Sunday, September 25, 2011

Make yourself.

Yes, it's been a while.  No, I don't have a good excuse.  I could go with the started, life is crazy etc.  While that's all true - it's also just part of it!  So - let's revisit the time from lunch bags until now, shall we?

School is indeed back in session - has been for a while.  I feel like I've finally adjusted to that routine.  Things have been tough emotionally, for a whole host of reasons and so I've been mostly working and sleeping.   Not a lot of gym time.  Strange for me, very strange.  I have been doing some jamming at home etc, but nothing close to my normal routine.

That my friends, is over.  My funk is over.  Let's all be impressed that it's taken 2 years for me to really find a true funk to be in.  lol  But - the weight isn't where I want it to be, I've not been as dedicated as I usually am, I'm more tired and more grumpy than normal.  I know that the gym is therapy for me - why I've let myself fall into this is a bit odd, but, I know it's a normal part of the ebb and flow of life.  I also know that Jam training took me off my normal routine (Yes, Amber told me this would happen, yes I believed her.  lol).  I'm SOOO glad I trained - I love jam (as I not so patiently wait to find out if my video assessment is a pass or not).  I love to teach and am anxious for the day when I get to do it more routinely and am on the schedule!  But, the training truly did take me completely off of my other personal goals.  Now that I've re-adjusted to work, I'm re-committing.  

Sometimes in the evenings I've not been wanting to go to the gym - so, I've got plans for starting up training again with Amber - it's really the only way I'm truly truly completely invested in the whole process AND it's what makes the weight go - so we'll be getting that going again very soon.  I've also decided to get flow in my schedule in the mornings again - it's the best way to not give up cardio minutes!  And, until I can get back to training, I'm pumping.  I really don't love to do pump, but I know that it'll bee good for me and I know that it will be better than nothing!  I'm going to try the early AM tomorrow - so we'll see how that goes!  Never did I think I'd be an early early morning gym girl!  

Anyway - I'm alive - I have no excuses, it's just time to get back on the horse and finish what I started.  :)  I need to go back to Dick's sporting goods and buy the Nike shirt that says "Make yourself."  (that's how I did it before!)

Anybody else ever struggle with this?  How did you get through it?  What motivated you to get going and fully commit again?

Monday, August 8, 2011

This and that

So - I promised some of you last week or so that I'd show you my (hopeful!) solution to my lunch carrying problem.  I am about to test out this solution starting tomorrow, so we'll see how it goes!  I'm now SERIOUSLY on the verge of winning the "who carries the most bags" award, but, I digress.  

Here is what I bought to carry my food for the day!

Now - a few things.  I recognize this is not one, but two additional bags.  Oh well!  The plan at the moment is to do legit lunch (with water bottle/whole fruits) in the big bag and use the small one for snacks.  I posted all 3 photos so you could get some sense of scale.  They're cute, and spacious.  Also - having a separate snack bag will eliminate the digging through containers/empty stuff to get to the "before gym" snack I always eat on the way back into town!  Success!  Let's hope this works.  I'll update you in the coming week or so on the outcome.  

Some food updates!  

So, I've also been trying out some new recipes from my Clean Eating magazine.  I LOVE that magazine, but so rarely try things, so I've got a few photos here.  

 Not the best photo, but this is my own creation - sun dried tomato and squash pizza.  I sorta stole this idea from a dinner I had at Alison's house that I LOVED.  This is on a gluten free crust, just b/c I liked the one she used!  So delish.  Let's not really talk about calories or carbs.  It's not *horrible* but definitely not the best.

This is from clean eating.  They called it some sort of "pizza."  The crust is shredded potatoes.  The rest is a roasted red pepper, roasted eggplant spices and lowfat mozz. cheese.  It was SO so good! 

Another clean eating recipe - but a horrifically unappetizing photo, my apologies.  This is whole wheat rotini, flank steak cooked in salt/pepper/garlic in a spray of olive oil on the stove with a chunky diced fresh tomato.  The "sauce" is avacado mashed with greek yogurt.  I cannot begin to tell you how GOOD this is.  (even if it is horribly unattractive).  Also - it was great cold! 

Finally - my favorite breakfast from Natalie.  It's dry oats, strawberries and raspberries with a drizzle of honey.  And oldie, but a goodie and probably my all time favorite filling breakfast!

We've had a lot of farmshare veggies - so, it's been fun to try some new things! 


New clothes!  Finally - after close to 2 years and 50 pounds - I got a whole slew of new clothes.  I've gotten an item or 2 here and there, just b/c I was desperate for something that fit that wasn't gym/jam related.  But, nothing towards work clothes since I started my job 2 years ago.  Let's just say that none of those clothes fit anymore.  I need to sort through them and decide what to have altered and what to get rid of.  I'm happy for new clothes though!!!

What about Jam, you ask?!

That's a photo from Launch.  I'll do a post this week about just Jam - but, I will tell you now that this past Saturday ( the 6th) I taught my very first ever class on my own!  I've come a long way in a pretty short time and I feel good about where I'm going.  I'm planning to tape once more, then pick my fate between one of the two.  I'm also excited to learn an old release so I can keep teaching a bit while we're in mix up phase! 

School starts tomorrow for staff in our district, as well as many others too, so that's all I've got for now.  Time to go switch the laundry!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tupperware & lunch on the go

Ok, it's possible it's just me.  (and maybe Natalie over at Follow My Fitsteps.)  But when school is in session I feel like the bag lady.  That's just fine, but, there's a small problem.  There is NO lunch box possibly large enough to carry all the things I need for the day!  Now, some might say "eat less," but, I think I've got the consumption part of this figured out.  It's the transport that needs some help!  The issue really hinges on the fact that we're gone ALL day.  I won't be unprepared or hungry.  That just leads to cranky, and nobody wants that!  So, when I pack for the day, I'm looking at 2-3 snacks and a lunch.  (3rd snack is required if I go straight from work to the gym).  So, that's a lot of food for those tiny lunch bags!!!  Seriously....  I'm supposed to get all that, including all of my fruits, veggies, etc, in something like this....

Are you freaking kidding me!?  Please say someone besides Natalie relates - lol.  Though, this is a super cute little SNACK bag! I feel a little like my (very overweight) high school history teacher who carried his "lunch" in one of these...

But I'm not talking about the personal size.  Oh no, this was the, "I can fit a meal for a family of 6 inside this" size.  But, I get it - well, kinda.  I don't think he had quite the quality of options that I know Natalie and I pack in his cooler.  I guess you gotta have enough room for all 6 sodas a day.  But I digress.  Let's do this....  a typical array of what I'd pack for the day.

Snack 1:  an apple w/a cheesestick or 2
Snack 2: 1 container of greek yogurt
Snack 3: carrots with hummus
Lunch:  Salsa chicken in a tortilla with shredded cheese, some sort of vegetable and a fruit.

In fairness, I usually pack a little something extra just in case I'm still hungry.  I want to have options I know are good, not just have to grab something at work that might not be the best choice.  If you can get all that in that little bag up top, please come visit me so we can have an intervention.  The other issue is keeping it cold.  You've gotta have some ice packs - so now, I need even MORE space!  And what if I want to keep my water cold?  Or one for later!? (Truthfully, I usually put the water for the ride home in the fridge at work).

So, I have a couple of things that help me - the first is some of the "fit and fresh" products.  If you've never heard of them, find them.  They have built in ice packs inside the containers!  Less space in the lunch bag, yay!  Here are some pictures of some of them....

 The one I use the most is this one..... 

I also have, and love, this one....

 Of course, even though they're awesome, they still take up room!  I have not yet solved the "what do I carry all this in" problem yet.  But soon enough.  School starts in a little under 2 weeks and I'm going to have to find something!  Amazon has a whole host of fit and fresh products.  I've also spotted a few of them at bed bath and beyond and Hyvee on 6th st.  If you're not like me and can get away with a small bag, TJMaxx has SUPER CUTE bags on sale that come with a fit and fresh container!  

I'm considering investing in this...  

It basically allows you to pre-portion all your fruits and veggies, and store them in the fridge just like this.  No more "I didn't have time to pack" excuses!


How do you deal with packing lunches? snacks?
Any tips?  Suggestions? 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Grocery Shopping, list making, menu planning!

Ok, loyal readers.  I know that some of you are itching for a Body Jam update, that is after all, the ONLY thing I feel like I've accomplished lately!  But, you're gonna have to wait.  That's gonna be a big post, and I promised someone that I'd blog today, so in an effort to keep that promise, I'm going to talk about one of my favorite things, grocery shopping!  (Stay tuned for a Jam update, lord knows I've got plenty to post about THAT!)

I've been meaning to do a post about this, though I do have an old post about menu planning alone, this is much more detail! - and I found some articles that gave me some inspiration: 

50 Shopping tips!
Why NOT to use a basket for shopping!

Very interesting read, I think.  I'll have to do some "people watching" and see if there's any truth behind it, but, I can see how that might happen.  My strategy for quick trips is usually no basket, no cart.  That way, when my hands are full, I'm outta there.  Having something to carry it in is just an invitation to browse!

So for me, and this should be no great surprise, I'm super organized with my shopping.  Before training (yes, I've been a completely slacker since) I make menus in 2 week sets.  I separate my list in a notebook, menus on one side, list on the other.  I use basic categories (fruit/veg, meat, dairy, dry/canned, other).  I take the whole book to the store, coupons in the pocket if I have them.  I really *try* not to deviate from the list, but, crap happens and sometimes a sale can't be passed up.  I'm also a freak about an organized cart.  (good lord, I'm realizing how this post points out just HOW type A I really am, yikes!)  I mainly keep the cart organized because it helps at checkout (#TypeA).  

When I check out, I separate my stuff, with my bags in between.  You sometimes have to tell the cashier what you're doing, otherwise they'll pick them all up!  This way, when I get home, everything is organized so that putting things away is as quick and as painless as possible. 

As for how many menus?  Well, that depends on your family.  There are 2 of us, I typically cook meals that have 4 servings.  If it has 8, I try to freeze 4, so that way we have a ready to go meal later!  (I have to brag for a moment, I've done a LOT of cooking this summer and have probably 30+ frozen meals in the freezer for the fall!).  Anyway - for the 2 weeks, for the 2 of us, I typically plan 10 different meals.  Doing 14 is FAR to many, you'll never eat it all.  10 Allows for "I don't want any of this, let's go out/eat cereal for dinner" and for leftovers!

Some things you're gonna need....

  • Rubbermaid containers like these... they have holes that vent and will keep my spinach and/or fresh chopped veggies too.  
  • A notebook.  I prefer a medium sized one.  It fits in a pocketbook well and isn't overly large like a regular sized one.  Get one with either hard plastic or cardboard on the outside.  You'll be using it daily for referencing menus, taking it to the store, etc. So, it needs to be a little rugged. 
  • Some place to gather menu ideas.  I subscribe to Food & Family (watch the recipes here, not always the healthiest, but can be easily modified), and Clean eating.  I also have many cookbooks, and frequent numerous online websites for recipes too!
  • Put a small magnetic whiteboard on your fridge.  Write out the places you shop (for us, it says "grocery," "costco," "target").  Keep those there all the time and once you run out of something, write it down.  (do it immediately or I promise you'll forget!). This is REALLY helpful so that you keep a stock of staples in the house and only really buy what you need when you hit the store.

So, that's how I (usually!) keep myself on track.  It's a bit of a process, and it takes a little bit to get used to doing (time wise). But, the good thing is, that once you do it a time or two, it just gets easier.  I can't even remember how we did it before.  But, I can tell you, that we don't ever just not eat or wind up eating "whatever" because we couldn't decide what to make.  It also helps with the grocery bill!  I should say, the main reason for using a notebook is so that you can reference your menus later.  When I go to plan, I typically look back at the old menus for suggestions, things we haven't eaten lately, etc.

Happy menu planning!

Questions for YOU!
Do you menu plan?  If not, what do you do?
Do you organize your cart or just throw it all in?
Do you keep things together when your groceries get bagged?
How do you keep yourself on the list/budget?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How do you say goodbye?

Ok - this post isn't about anything I usually blog about.  I'll return to my normal blogging soon, I promise.  Trust me, I've got a lot to write about after Jam training!  But here's today's musings....

I stopped today in Eudora to visit Isabelle.  For those who don't know, Isabelle is a former student of mine, who died waiting for a heart transplant at the age of 3.  She was, by my account, the smartest 3 year old ever.  She taught me more than you think 3 year olds can teach you - and she had a heart of gold.  She was truly always happy and some of my fondest teaching moments are still with her.  She had the kind of spirit that you wish everyone you ever encountered would have.

When I started working at 437 - I met Laurie.  Laurie is pretty much what I imagine a grown up Isabelle would have been like.  I have always considered my mother to be the kindest, sweetest, most gentle person I know.  That must be why Laurie and I immediately hit it off, b/c she's the exact same way.  She had an amazing ability to make you feel like your problem or concern was the most important thing she had to deal with.  I can't recall a time when she didn't smile or a time when she couldn't come up with something to be thankful for, even though she was going through so much.  She always had time for a hug and she never let me leave school without one.  From almost day 1, she called me her Sunshine Girl. 

Tomorrow, I have to say goodbye to my dear friend.  Over the weekend she lost her battle with breast cancer.  While I knew this would happen, and while I had even prepared myself for the possibility that the event a few weeks ago was possibly the last time I'd see her - I'm not ready.  I know life isn't fair - our family learned that when Laura died last year.  I also know that Laurie was in pain, even if she wasn't acting like it.  She had left me a message at work one day, essentially, a goodbye message (I hope the IT guy really did get it saved).  At any rate - she said on the message numerous times a few things that I have heard her in my head saying over and over the last few days.  The first was, "don't cry for me or be sad for me," and truly, I'm not sad for her.  Beyond feeling sad for myself, I'm sad for all of the children and families that won't get the opportunity to know her, to have her spirit in their lives.  I'm sad for all of the people who won't get to know one of the kindest individuals I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. 

The number of lives Laurie touched is probably impossible to ever know.  I am so lucky to have gotten to know her, and to call her a friend.  The best I can do to honor my friend is to live my life much like she did, and try to spread just a small amount of the amazing gift she had with people, the kindness she showed toward everyone, to all that I come across as well.

I love you Laurie - I hope you know how much you taught me and how you influenced me both as a person and as an educator.  I will carry a piece of you with me always.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm hyping the pants....

Ok - I've been putting off my next entry b/c I was waiting until it was officially official!  For months now - since last fall really, I've been planning.  I don't know when, where, or how, but at some point, I got addicted - and the only real cure was Jam.  Many a night have I spent at body boutique with 3 of my favorite ladies taking their classes.  The more I did it, the better I got, and then I couldn't stop.  Like clockwork, every monday, thursday and friday nights, there I was.  Something about each and every one of those classes started to change me - physically and mentally.  I have never ever walked away from a class without feeling 100 times happier than when I arrived.

I frequently joke that I go to two churches.  (I hope I don't offend anyone here!)  I go to the church of Body Jam and the church of Body Flow.  Seriously - I post it on facebook, but Jam seriously has cured (most of) what ails me.  I love that for an hour, I can be someone else.  (Thanks Alison!).  I love how FUN it is to be with all the ladies.  I am, well, an addict.

So, now that I've admitted my problem, I've decided to give in to the addiction.  Next weekend I leave for Cheney, Washington.  What's in WA you ask?  Body Jam training!

I am super lucky to have the support of Sherri, Alison and Amber and, frankly, I don't think I could do this without it.  I know this will be hard, I know this is going to require work.  But I also know it will pay dividends in my life too.  I want to hop the plane now - I'm tired of waiting.  I'm nervous, anxious and scared I'll be terrible.  But, fear and nerves are important (Thanks Sherri!!) - it'll make me work harder.  The things we really want in life aren't ever acquired without fear and hard work. 

So, I dunno where this is taking me - but I'm jumping off this cliff.  I truly cannot WAIT to see where this new journey takes me.  I hope it will allow me to stop stressing about myself, stop worrying about the last X lbs that I can't seem to lose, stop considering myself the main focus and start (in some small way) giving back to other ladies trying to do the same thing.

So - say a prayer, cross your fingers, or whatever you'd like for me.  I'll need all of the well wishes you can send.  But, fear not, I'll be working my tail off too!  I believe I can, now I've just got to put in the work and time.  I'll make sure to let you know how it goes.

Here's to making 3 special ladies proud - and to hopefully being completely honored to one day grace the same stage as them.

P.S.  Special thanks to Amber for going shopping, dressing me, dealing with my skirt addiction and letting me borrow your awesome pants for training.  I fully intend to rock those pants!  haha  ;-)


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Because I'm all out of Vanilla Wafers

It was bound to happen at some point.  Me, a box of vanilla wafers and a hot bath.  That'll fix most any problem when you're stressed, right?  Ok, so it's not the *best* choice to make.  April was a really hard month for me emotionally - I have to admit that I kinda lost my way there for a while - I was in some kind of funk and couldn't really figure out how to get out of it.  There's no excuse for anything - but, it's time to step away from the vanilla wafers, lol.  So, here we are.  What now?  

I've been stuck - on one of every person who's ever tried to lose weights worst nightmare - a plateau.  Part of it is my fault - a box of vanilla wafers is bound to add a few pounds back, yes?  ;-)  But, I think a large part of it is my body's stress level - which does nothing for sleep, nothing for anxiety and nothing for weight loss except bad things.  BUT - all isn't lost.  School is coming to a close and I'm out of vanilla wafers!!!!  Bootcamp is in full swing and that's good.  And, there are other things on the horizon too (stay tuned!).  What I need right now is some publicity - lol.  You know, some admission of crap that's happened, some time to reflect on ll the crap that's happened and some time to look forward at what I can change instead of wondering why I haven't gotten to my goal weight yet.  The last bit of weight is serious business - yeesh.  

So - here's the new plan:

1. Stop dwelling on the things I can't change. 
2.Stop beating myself up over it.
3. Eat the stuff I know I should be eating
4. get in my lifting time
5. work out at 100% all the time
6. put body flow back into my routine 3X/week
8.Log food and weight to monitor progress.
9.stop dwelling on the things I can't change.

So - hopefully I'll be here posting at least once a week.  I have a whole list of things to talk about - things I've been through, things that can help others and things that will help me moving along on this crazy journey, and I hope you'll all be here to read (and maybe comment too) along the way.  I'm feeling like me again, which feels good.  I think that's really the first step of getting this going again and I'm super thankful I've finally arrived.  (again).