June 30, 2011

Say It Only If You Mean It

It might be a modern day miracle, but I actually lost 1.5 lbs this week. I think the ladies at WeightWatchers thought I was insane because I was so happy about it, but when you have lost an OUNCE (actually just gaining and losing the same freaking .5 lbs for the past 3 months) heck yeah I'm going to be excited about the scale finally going down.

But that isn't what I want to talk about today.

I have had several people tell me they are inspired by my weight loss journey. Yes, I'm still 40+ lbs from my lifetime goal; however, 17 lbs has made a huge difference in how I look and people have started taking notice and have been inspired to do the same.

First, let me say, I am proud of these people for having the desire to say they want to lose weight. There is a "but" to that statement. BUT SAYING IT ISN'T ENOUGH! I have been listening to these same people say these things for going on years now, yet not truly doing anything about it. Making this commitment to losing weight has been one of the most honest and difficult things I have ever had to do. It has taken more than just words. It has been hard work especially with temptation lurking at every turn. Illness creeping in to take away my motivation. But I have stuck with it.

I really want to be able to help these people who have stepped forward and said they want to lose weight. I have been blunt and even a little rude about what they need to do because frankly, I'm getting a little tired of repeating myself. So here are the tips that I have given the inspired to hopefully help them get started on their way:

1) TRACK TRACK TRACK. I don't care what method you use to track how much you are eating, but it has been medically proven time and time again that if you are keeping a food journal, you are more likely to lose the weight. I obviously use WeightWatchers, but but there are many tools out there such as www.sparkpeople.com and countless apps on the smartphones. I have also tried MyDailyPlate.com and found it to be useful. I'll be the first to say that tracking kind of sucks, but it really does work. If I'm not tracking, I always (ALWAYS) eat more than I think I do and thus, gain weight.

2) No more soda (at least not the regular kind) but don't cover up that by just replacing it with diet either. I drink just one Diet Coke a day with my lunch. That's it. I also have just one cup of coffee in the morning. Regular sodas are totally wasted calories and offer no nutritional benefits AT ALL.

3) If you haven't been exercising, don't overdo it by trying to do too much out of the gate. When I started WeightWatchers meetings in January, I only was doing 20 minutes on the treadmill and some weights 3-5 days a week. I would sometimes do EA Sports Active in the evening or Dance Central which was really more just like fun and games. You don't need to exercise for an hour a day to reap the benefits from the start. Build up some endurance and strength otherwise you are going to really hate working out and probably quit. I really endorse the Couch to 5K running program- it really built up my endurance, was challenging, but not complete torture either.

4) If you aren't weighing in with a trainer or at a place like WeightWatchers, find someone to hold you accountable. Having buddies who are in the game too make all the difference in the world. It is insanely hard to self-motivate which is why I have been unsuccessful up until now.

5) Go public. Want to really hold yourself accountable? Tell the world what you're up to. Post your progress on Twitter or Facebook. Start a blog. I have found it to be probably THE most useful tool in my journey thus far. It is humbling and I have found that I have so much support from SO many people out there.

Listen, I know it is hard to get started, but if you want to do it, DO IT. Don't tell me in one breath that you want to lose weight then turn around and eat the rest of your kid's chicken nuggets and help yourself to a double serving of potato salad- that doesn't scream motivated to me. Don't say you'll start tomorrow. Just get started, TODAY. DO IT! If I can, so can you!

Please be sure to have a healthy, happy and SAFE 4th of July weekend!


June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Mommy/Son Adventure Edition

We have been trying to make the best of our time without Daddy here and have had many adventures during our exclusive time together.

At the MN Zoo- searching for dolphins- mom and baby were swimming around!
Checking out one of the caves at the Zoo. Nope. Didn't make me nervous at all.

Jack loved the coral reef at the Zoo and all the cool fish.

Taking a snack break while watching the monkeys.

Me and MY monkey
The face of the napless.

In my parent's backyard. Jack thought it was a kangaroo.
He asked to wear PullUps the other day. And nothing else. Does this mean we can potty train now?

June 28, 2011

Signs Of a Traveling Husband

I am no stranger to my husband going out of town for several days at a time. His last job in techie sales had him traveling several times a month (yeah... 20% travel my ass). Jackson was just an infant at the time and although somewhat exhausting being the only parent getting up at night to tend to him, I usually handled it with ease.

For the past year and a half that he has been at his new job, I have had the pleasure of having him around with the exception of random late nights at the office maybe once a week. So when his annual week-long man trip arrived this year, I was more than a little apprehensive about it. A lot has changed since his former traveling days: my job became much less flexible making daycare drop off and pick up complicated (and guilt ridden), my sweet little baby is no longer a baby but a toddler who is hell bent on screaming (literally) his independence to the world not to mention he is going through some significant transitions (new classroom at school, big boy bed, potty training) and it has had an impact on simple things such as being dropped off at school in this new room, napping and bedtime. Needless to say, it has been plenty stressful for both of us and having to do it all on my own this week is going to test my very limits of being.

Barely 30 hours into my husband being gone, I gave up on a nap, endured two meltdown tantrums (both induced because of having to leave somewhere: the zoo and his grandparent's house), an awful night filled with lost Nukkies and random tears and potentially the worst daycare drop offs in the history of daycare drop offs. A drop off so bad, I sobbed with my guilt and exhaustion all the way to work. I don't even think I cried that hard the day I dropped him off for the first time at daycare.

We're now on day 3 with 2 more days to go until my partner, my love, comes home. We had a better night last night and a better drop off today. I am praying (PRAYING) the next couple days can go just as smooth. We have had our share of cuddle time these past few days:



Other signs that my husband has been gone:
  • The bed is made
  • The dishes are done
  • The house is immaculate (with the exception of the basement in which I have no audible words for the disaster that currently exists down there). 
  • The dog needs more attention- what, sleeping in my bed in the husband's spot isn't good enough? Dogs. *shakes head*
So, yeah, it has been a tough week. However, I would never take this or any other of his man trips away from him. As much as we are desperate for some adult time together, we also need this time apart. Time to miss each other. Time to realize how important a role the other plays at home. Time to remember that we are a TEAM even though sometimes it doesn't always feel that way.

I will be leaving on Saturday for my own girl's weekend away to celebrate one of my dearest friend's bachelorette party. The timing couldn't be more perfect as I will be desperate for a break. Desperate for time with friends.

Regardless of all the good times we both will have had apart, a part of me is looking forward to being a week from today and back to our routine.


June 23, 2011

Zumba- Can I Get A Hell Yeah!

After months of consideration and posts from my friends about how much they love it, I gave into my inner party girl and tried out a Zumba class.

BEST DECISION EVER!!

Not my class or club but you get the idea.
I have really enjoyed the challenge of running and while I'm not giving up on it, I knew that I had to start incorporating some truly fun things into my fitness. I started taking Group Fitness classes about 11 years ago and started out with Step. Invigorated by the music and choreography, it became a regular part of my workouts for the better part of the last decade. I had tried a couple Hip Hop and Latin Fusion classes and loved them. Always more of a "specialty" class held only every once in awhile, I think I have been hoping for something like Zumba to come along and be a regular part of the schedule. I'm not sure what took me so long to try it, but last night, despite the fact the rain held off, I just did not feel like running. Nervous to try something new, I bolted into the club (a few minutes late, ugh) and walked into a VERY packed studio full of energized, excited women. Always a little shy when trying a new class (and not wanting to screw up other people around me by not understanding the choreography... yes... us self-proclaimed "experts" do get annoyed by people who don't get it. Ask any stepper.). I made my way to a spot close to the back row and got into it quickly. My worry about knowing how to do the choreography quickly vanished when I discovered that 80% of the class really didn't know how to do any of the choreography and most people were there pretty much to have a good time. I think that is what I loved best about Zumba- there are really no rules other than to shake what your mama gave you! Determined to be a superstar however, I tried my best to perfect my choreography, pretending I was some kick ass dancer on So You Think You Can Dance. Unlike Step, I wasn't staring at the clock willing it to go faster as my legs became weaker and more tired. Before I knew it, an hour had gone by. Besides dripping from head to toe and the absent bottle of Mich Golden Light, it had felt like I was at a club getting my party on.

Here's a great little preview on what a Zumba class looks like. SO MUCH FUN!! 



I have felt a little bit of guilt over the past few days for the abandonment of my running program. Between a 2.5 year old that has been refusing going to bed and the shit-tastic weather lately, the road hasn't been exactly beckoning me and the thought of getting on the hamster wheel (a.k.a. treadmill) does not exactly inspire. I think it is important for me to have alternatives ready. FUN alternatives. I opted to break out my old EA Sports Active for the XBox Kinect last night. I had fun and it was definitely a challenge. The great part? I hadn't used it since about March and it didn't recognize me (it scans your body so all you have to do is stand in front of it for body recognition). I would say that is a HUGE ego boost considering my stagnant weight loss lately. The last weight I had entered in on it was also 10 pounds more than I weigh now which is also proof that I have made progress this year.

I never thought that halfway through the year I would only have lost 16 lbs. Yes, much of that has to do with the medication I'm being forced to take, but it still doesn't feel like that good of an excuse. Trying to look at the bright side however, despite the fact that I'm not halfway to my goal like I expected to be at this point, I know I look different. I feel better. I have made making healthy choices a true part of my lifestyle and am so conscious about everything I eat now. I have also made fitness a real part of my life. I can honestly (HONESTLY) say that I workout 3-5 days a week and have done so since the beginning of the year. THAT my friends, is a pretty awesome goal for me to achieve. I hope I never have to go back to saying "Time for me to get back on the wagon," because I am already on it and never getting off.

I love that I have inspired others to be healthy. My husband, my co-workers, my family. Just today, my colleague told me she wanted to join WeightWatchers. She's been working out with a trainer for over a year, but has done nothing about nutrition. It will be so motivation to have someone sharing the journey with me. My office neighbor has seen my transition (not to mention many others who have had significant weight loss in our workplace) and he has lost 60 lbs already (he has probably close to 150 lbs to lose). I'm so proud of him.

The most important thing I did in my journey is be verbal about it. I told everyone (and then some) about my ambitions and it has helped to hold me accountable in not giving up. One other important step I have taken is to stop the excuses. The kid. The weather. Weddings. Events.Work. They are no longer excuses for cheating. Just because I seem to have hit a wall these last few months doesn't mean that I get a free pass to stop. It may take me a year or more to get there, but I will make it. I will not give up.


June 22, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Father's Day Edition

In honor of my husband who is an amazing daddy to our little boy.

Most current picture of my guys- Daddy teaching Jack how to bowl.

Jack with his cousin Miles hanging out on Father's Day

Jack & Miles
Here's to all the daddies!


June 20, 2011

Parenting Failure 101

If I ever thought that a newborn baby or infant was a challenge, I take it all back. If I could go back to cuddly overnight bottles and snuggly couch naps, I would. 

When Jack was a baby, I kept thinking that I couldn't wait for him to get older and more independent. I thought that life would be more simple. I could do the dishes. Watch my soaps. Make lovely dinners.

Nobody told me how far off the mark my thoughts were.

Nobody mentioned to me the epic, horrible toddler days. The terrible twos.

On Saturday, I think we gave Jack at least 12 time outs. Throwing toys at the walls. Throwing toys at the window. Kicking mommy. Punching daddy. Pushing the dog. Throwing tantrums. He tested us at every twist and turn. He wouldn't nap (which actually resulted in a lovely and swift bedtime for daddy). By the time our little spawn was sleeping ever so soundly, both my husband and I were spent. We were shell shocked at how this little person terrorized us all day. What on earth happened to our sweet, polite and snuggly little boy??

While Sunday was a better day (only took him an hour and a half to take a nap as opposed to just not taking one at all) bedtime for me was a nightmare. He fought me with every toddler power he had until I finally just threw my hands in the air, kissed him on the forehead, said good night and walked out of the room as he was standing up in his bed just WAITING to taunt me and challenge me again. When he realized I was gone and that I might not be back, an epic tantrum ensued. My husband, fresh from mowing the lawn all sweaty and cranky, asked me what was going on and I said I gave up- I was watching him on the video monitor so I knew he was safe and the kid was just royally pissed off. My husband proceeded up the stairs where upon walking into the room, the little monster quickly laid down. They had a very quick conversation which I was unable to decipher through the hum of the monitor and my husband walked out. Jack was asleep in a matter of minutes.

Imagine my frustration. As I watched this go down in front of my eyes, I began to weep. Yes, because I had a pile of dishes from my own epic baking failure earlier in the day but mostly because I felt like a parenting failure. What on earth did my husband do that was different? NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHING. So why does he choose to listen to daddy and not me? Did my kid tag me as that much of a pushover? ALREADY? Nobody told me that happens this early!

Today, still feeling defeated and sorry for myself, I took my troubles to my friends at my various baby advice sites. How easy it was to search and find "Bedtime Struggles" and find the hundreds of comments to go with them including stories that sounded a thousand times worse than mine. At least he has no desire to sleep in our bed. That would seriously be the final straw for us. Importantly... I learned that my kid's behavior is normal (which is seriously mind blowing). The one thing I cannot find the answer to is, how long does it last? Does not finding the answer mean it NEVER ENDS?

We are hoping it is just a phase. We are hoping that it is his new classroom transition that is causing him to act out this way- he hasn't been thrilled about the change to the "Big Boy Room" (aka Early Preschool 2). We see other kids acting out in this class as well. Is it the teacher's lack of coddling? Lack of attention? Something doesn't seem right. We want our sweet boy back. We want something or someone to blame. That's what all parents do, right? No WAY could this be our fault!! Ha!

I will accept any advice at this point on how to deal with the terrible twos. If you have any, I am all ears.

I am thankful that my husband and I alternate putting the kiddo to bed. My nights off, as I lovingly refer to them, I am able to work off all my frustrations by going for a run or, like tonight (as I suspect rain coming in) heading to my first ever Zumba class.

Until I figure out a solution or this phase works it way out, I am learning tenfold what it means to have patience. All I can say to my own parents is this: If I ever did this to you, I am sorry.




June 16, 2011

Oh The Frustrations

Another week of seeing zero results on the scale.

I was hoping that I could defeat the medication side effects. I shook up my workouts. I tracked hard core for the past three weeks. All to no avail. The researcher in me took my frustrations to Dr. Google and low and behold, those taking the same pills while not necessarily gaining weight, was slowing any weight loss.

At my WeightWatchers meeting today I wanted to cry. I appreciate that my leader said, "Well, you aren't gaining. That is the good news. Sounds like you just need to ride out these meds and you'll be back to yourself in no time." I hope she is right. Do you have any idea how hard it is to celebrate everyone's successes when you have zero yourself? Or how hard it is to see zero results after you have worked your butt off?

I'll tell you how hard it is. It makes me want to quit. Give up. Throw in the towel. Got any more cliche's? 

I have about 1 month left on my pills and then we will see if this was indeed the cause of my plateau. Until then... ugh. I will keep truckin' along.

My husband recently started on his own healthy journey which is incentive for me to keep going. While I love that he has been inspired to get on the healthy train, I also know that his journey will frustrate me. He will likely lose a lot of weight quickly and I'm sure he will waste no time in rubbing it in. Don't take that the wrong way. He won't mock me or anything awful like that. He will just celebrate. A lot. He knows that I've lost weight and it is driving his competitive side. I am hoping that I will be a good cheerleader instead of wallowing in my own frustrations.


June 15, 2011

Not Quite Wordless Wednesday: Sleep Deprived Edition

I've seen the book "Go the F**k to Sleep" by Adam Mansbach and found it to be absolutely hilarious.

For those that actually thought this was a children's story and are offended? You're an idiot. Don't read it if you don't like it. For cripes sake, grow a sense of humor (and keep the book safely out of reach of tiny hands).

I also saw a comment about the book saying "If you don't know how to get your child to sleep, you are a terrible parent."

Apparently the person who made that comment never had a toddler.

Parents may not say the words "Go the f**k to sleep" out loud, but you KNOW you have thought it. Last night I lived it at 2:00am when my 2.5 year old cried because he lost his soccer nuk (and no, there are no other substitutes) and again at 4:00am when he cried out in the night because, yes, his pillow was upside down and Buzz & Woody were facing the wrong way. I won't even bring up the two additional times that are a haze and maybe had something to with monsters and robots (perhaps watching an Ironman cartoon was not quite appropriate before bed).

As I stumble around in my sleep deprived yet incredibly caffeinated state today, I can't help but chuckle at the absolute brilliance of this book. While I didn't say, "Go the f**k to sleep," I'm pretty sure I said the words "You've gotta be f**king kidding me."

The audio version of the book is making the viral rounds now, but I couldn't help but sharing it today because there really isn't a more perfect narrator: Samuel L. Jackson.



I hope you enjoy. I also hope you get some sleep someday.


June 09, 2011

Stuck in Plateau Hell

I confess. My weight loss efforts have gone in the garbage over the past month or two.

I've slacked on my tracking. I knocked my workouts down to 3-4 days per week instead of 4-6. I've been busy. There have been holidays. Weddings. Parties. Could I find some more excuses for you?

The good news is that I'm not really gaining weight. I've bounced around losing and gaining the same two pounds for probably about 6 weeks now.

That's not good enough for me and I'm ready to get serious about reaching my goals.

I'm guessing most who are on a weight loss journey go through the same thing. We come out the gates like a bat out of hell completely immersed in our new lifestyle. We see results. We get excited. However, for some reason, we hit a wall and become complacent. We let the excuses creep in. We get lazy.

Since my bridesmaid days have come to a close and is no longer a motivator, I think it is time that I start some new reasons for my journey and reset my goals.

1. In my last post, it dawned on me that the picture of bouncy-land at the school carnival actually included my ass. I can't say I'm thrilled with it. I would really like to have no fear of anyone taking ass pictures of me.

2. Now that I am 16 lbs lighter, I can once again enjoy shopping at stores such as The Limited, Loft and Express; however, it would be nice to not always have to go to the back of the rack to find my size.

3. Swimsuit. Nuff said.

I will also reset my series of mini weight loss goals. Let's face it, I've got 45 lbs to go until goal. Daunting. I cannot look at it that way.

July 1: Down 5 (21 lbs lost)
Sep 1: Down 10 (31 lbs lost)
Dec 1: Down 10 (41 lbs lost)
Feb 1: Down 10 (51 lbs lost)
Apr 1: Down 10 (61 lbs lost) GOAL!

So my hope is that I will reach my goal weight a little less than a year from now. I'm sure I will gain momentum in the summer and have to reboot again at some point this fall just like I'm doing right now. It think as long as I keep rebooting, I might actually make it there at some point.

I have to remind myself that my current medication may very well be the cause of my weight loss stall. Looking back at my graph, my plateau started right about when I stared the meds. I will officially be done with them at the end of July, so worst case, I might have to hang out at my current weight for a little while longer.

One thing I can be really proud of is my sticking out the Couch to 5K program. It has really been a great source of workout motivation for me and I am actually starting to enjoy running- from the challenge of it to the awesome endorphins. I can't believe I just used the words "enjoy" and "running" in the same sentence. Because of the million degree weather earlier this week, I chose to take my training indoors on the treadmill and was surprised at how much I hated it. No trees. No people. No doggie. Just the endless lonely trot. Thank goodness for good tunes along with some serious air-drumming skills.

I would love to hear from you!! Let me know what you do to bust through plateaus.


June 08, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Summer Is Here Edition!

We couldn't be more excited for summer weather to finally make its long awaited appearance and we had a GREAT TIME being outside in it!

He proudly rode a pony all by himself. He said it was much more fun than daddy horse.

School carnival. Yes, a tantrum ensued upon trying to leave.

However, after recovering from his tantrum, our little jokester emerged.

No... that is not a water approved slide but he loved it!

Nothing like getting the approval to splash as much as possible.
We even had a visit with Grandma & Grandpa squeezed into all this summer fun.

Oh what adventures are yet to come.


June 01, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Memorial Weekend Edition

The weekend kicked off on Friday night with a night out with my girlfriends.

We went to see this movie in honor of our friend getting married this August:



Not only was this movie the perfect choice, but heck, it was just nice to see a movie. Why don't I do this more often??

Saturday: No biggie. Just a couple tornado warnings, some hail and wedding jewelry shopping with my good friend.

Sunday: MN Zoo Day.

Jack was so excited for his first ride on the monorail... but it was sooooooo sloooooow.

Bump! Bump! Bump! Did you ever ride a Wump? Jack thought the camels were Wumps (think One Fish, Two Fish book)

Shark Hunting

Monday: Nickelodeon Universe. In a moment of pure insanity because of the crappy weather, we decided to take a trip to the MOA for some rides. I'm really hoping I didn't scar my child for life...

This ride actually made Mommy sick.

We took him on the Log Chute. He wasn't impressed.

1st ever roller coaster ride. This was more his style.

My little guy was checking out this older chick. Such a little mack daddy.

We have no photographic evidence of this, but we made the mistake of taking the boy on the Ghost Blasters ride, thinking he might enjoy blasting the ghosts with the gun. Um. He was terrified of the dark and scary ghosts and cried through the whole ride. We'll just say that bedtime required a couple extra snuggles that night. I'm hoping he will soon forget the whole trauma.

Overall it was a fabulous weekend. Nothing better than spending time with my little person. He is so much fun.

My husband made this collage of our adventures

God Bless our Troops and God Bless America.

 
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