Category Archives: Health and Fitness

Learning to Eat In

Learning to Eat In

We need to save money for our big move this fall. So before resorting to become a traveling family circus show to earn extra cash, we decided to stop eating out. It was actually my 9 year-old’s idea, as if she read my mind. I was elated when my middle daughter banded with us. But then my joy went south when the 6 year-old, while wagging his index finger in the air like he does, announced that he would have no parts of the moratorium on carry out. I could understand because the whole lot of them are picky eaters, but he’s by far the worst. A tough sell on anything green, healthy or fresh. I shuddered at the thought of going toe to toe with him over a broccoli sprout. But a second later, I found my spine. “You will eat what the rest of us eat, little boy,” I boomed. “Well, what about Daddy, huh?” he said. “Daddy buys a lot of fastfood.” “Yeah!” both girls chimed in. Okay so they had a good point. Daddy is an admitted Chick-fila and McDonald’s addict. I put my hand on my hips and told the kids to leave Daddy to me. I explained that we’d still eat out for birthdays and maybe once a month for family morale building ( read–when we simply cannot take another roasted chicken).”It’s new house with new digs, or nothing,” I said.

The kids and I stopped eating out cold turkey and it only took Eric two weeks to feel guilty enough to stop his iniquity. Well… I do still see a few charges pop up at Chickfila for $2.69 ever so often. (Must be the cost for a breakfast sandwich). But I don’t confront him about it. It’s not a problem. Why? Because we have saved 400 bucks a month, that’s why! Now 3 months in, that is something to celebrate. So tonight we eat out! Lucky for us it just happens to be Eric’s birthday ;). Speaking of… look who just came from the gym and is making a PB&J– the birthday boy himself. That’s good stuff.

Tit for Tat

Tit for Tat

So we are hanging out at a super bowl party this weekend. Should be fun. I love football and in a different life, I’d play the game and be that super fly wide receiver, for sure. But Eric tells me that the girls who play in our neck of the woods are way bigger and meaner looking than me. “I don’t know P,” he said. “You might get hurt.” Tough as I wanna be, I read an article about a local women’s league and decided he was probably right. So this weekend I’m just going to enjoy the game (and the commercials). Then next date is my pick. It’ll be frilly and pink. I like Fugosa for a little wine tasting and dinner. Now E’s no wine connoisseur but if I promise some nearby shopping afterwards, he’s in there!

Our date nights and evenings devoid of children help keep our marriage interesting.  What keeps your relationship spicy? Share.

Love Your Body

Love Your Body

Oh wow! We’re back from vacation and it was a blast. I’m so excited to blog tonight because I just ran across this article online that was just what I was thinking to blog to you all about. Pleae read it. It’s a great confidence booster about body images.

We spent the last part of our vacation at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg. It was awesome! Great Wolf is an indoor waterpark with lots of outdoors activities and games, etc. for families. So after deciding to go swimsuit shopping for this trip I couldn’t believe I had let mainstream America mess me up like this. I’ve been hiding my beautiful curves under a modest (and ugly) short set of a swimsuit for 5 years. Yes, having one baby forced me from bikinis into coveralls.  Not because I’m modest, but because I thought I was fat.   I vowed to never take them off until I had lost all the weight.   I’m so glad I came to my senses.  As I tried on swimsuits prior to our vacation, I was awed by how beautiful motherhood had made my body.  Now after going to the waterpark and seeing all forms and sizes of other women who let it all hang out and some who tried to cover up I realized, that all that craziness comes from the media. There may have been 1% of women there with perfect bodies and maybe not even 1% maybe only 0.5%. Honest to God. the skinniest people where a few preteens.  And after seeing some nice jiggling bellies I realized what my friend meant when she said belly dancing requires a belly.  You actually need a little fat! I couldn’t believe it.   Get this, it wasn’t just the location of the waterpark either. The crowd was quite diverse. Besides, my family and I had just left the beach in NC where I witnessed just the same. 

Bodies are all different and what you wear depends on you. There were plenty bikinis and everything else on all ages and all walks of life. And I can’t leave out the men who were representing in full force with their guts  a-swingin’. Oh how TV and the internet has played a nasty trick on us! The people at the beach and waterpark seemed happy and confident.  Even if they weren’t as confident, they weren’t about to miss out on the fun of life because of their body images. I loved every minute of that!  Freedom to just be me.

I will forever be trying to eat right and enjoy fun exercise because I want to live a long, healthy life. But best believe I can now see myself in a whole new light. It’s as if all the images I’ve see since I was a girl have been a total lie. Well, I guess they pretty much were. So, I say go for the healthy approach to life and take good care of your body. Then, while you’re working on that, work those curves and flaunt it with attitude.  Love your body!

On A Natural High

On A Natural High

Today I reached an all time high of calories burned by expending 600 cals this morning on the elliptical.  It may sound like I went crazy but I didn’t.  I decided to extend past the 30 minutes I always do.  Because I want this bad.  I need to see a change. So I did a fat-burning workout instead of cardio and it felt really good. It only took 45 minutes.  The total workout was an hour including the warm up and stretches.

My plan is to do 6 days of exercise broken down like this.  Two days of cardio, two of weight training and 2 of fat burning workouts.  I will work out for 1 hour a day including my warm up and stretches.  If I can at least burn 300 cals per day, and eat like normal or better, I should drop about 12 pounds by December.  Of course I wish it would be more and sooner, but I’m going to move steadily so I can get this right.

I counted calories in my diary today and yesterday.  And get this, by eating fruit at the right time today, I didn’t end up pigging out on sweet treats.  I’m very proud of myself and looking forward to tomorrow’s workout. It’ll be weight training.  Probably can’t get a full hour due to a physical therapy appointment for my arm.  But I can at least do Gilad or part of Cathe.  I recorded them on DVD last fall so I can play them for free when I feel like it.  I like to have variety when I workout.

I can’t wait till I can fit in some after dinner walks.  Maybe in a few weeks.  And speaking of dinner.  I cut out the sweet tea, koolaid and fruit water since I added them a few months ago.  It was by accident that I started these bad drinking habits. I am good with just plain old water.  Never had any issues there so, I’ll save all of the above sweetened drinks for my weekend or occasional splurges.  I don’t need the extra sugar cals turning to fat on my butt and thighs.  I have totally trimmed my breakfast, lunch and snack calories.  Those meals still pack a punch but not some much empty or fatty foods makes a difference to the bod.  I added more whole grains, fruits, veggies and nuts.  I’m pumped!  Bring on the new, healthier P.

Are You Happy?

Are You Happy?
Picturesque Sun

Every now and again I like to take inventory of my life and think about what it takes to be happy or at least improve my current status.  It’s not that I’m ungrateful for God’s  many blessings.  It’s just me trying to enjoy life to the fullest.  Sometimes I can tell that I’m not centered but I don’t exactly know the reason.  So I start running down the gamet.  As topics occur, I try hard to reach a decision that will make me feel less stressed or make the task, whatever it is, a little bit easier.

I did that analysis a few weeks ago when I realized that I needed to work more  in the mornings and less at night.  Keeping the new schedule is challenging to say the least, but I fought hard to get back to it since I am enjoying more restful sleep and I seem to get more work done before the kids wake up.  On top of that, starting the morning out in solitude has many benefits that I don’t think I can live without.  In a word– I’m spoiled. Just by making one adjustment many areas were affected.  Definitely a good move.

While evaluating life, of  course I eventually question whether staying at home with the children is working or should I switch up and do something else that will make me happier. For example is teaching and nurturing them, while running a business and being a  good wife worth all the blood, sweat and tears?  Would it be better to give up on my writing dream and go earn a fat paycheck, while putting the kids in daycare and afterschool care?   Could I complete the house chores, and still have  energy left for my marriage?  I allow myself to think about it all and I chart it out and write on paper so that I can see advantages and disadvantages plainly.  I am serious when I’m doing this.  Eventually, I arrive at an answer that I can live with or I set myself on a timetable that will get me where I want to be.  Like for now, I have to remember that Eric is still in grad school.  Not to mention I actually like dealing with my children and teaching them new things.  I’m going to be patient at this time in my life; besides my novel still has to be written.  Selling out family and self  will not make me happier.  So I can check that item off the list.

The biggest area for me to evaluate is usually my health.  I determined that being overweight and sedentary isn’t going to cut it.  I am not happy about where I am.  So in addition to changing my work schedule I plugged exercise in as my first task.  That assures me that it gets done on time and that nothing arises later to throw me off.  I got on the scale this morning and even though this is the start of week 3, I don’t see any progress.  I can only hope I’m trimming some fat somewhere, so I’ll keep working on it and then I’ll take measurements.  I’m going back to my food and exercise diary because it really worked. But even though the scale hasn’t moved I already feel better thanks to more energy from working out.  I am very proud of my daily efforts to be healthier and I know I’ll reach my goal.

Overall, there are still some changes needed.  But… I am happy.  I’m doing more of what I want and thanking God for allowing me to do it.  What about you?  Are you content or would you like to make some  life changes?

Get Your Shake On!

Get Your Shake On!

As I glanced through the latest JCPenney catalog over breakfast, I had a sudden urge to buy a swimsuit.  But I wouldn’t dare act on it.  First, this spare tire around my waist needs some reducing.  I started out strong yesterday with a light warm up and stretches that I did in the bathroom so I had no excuse.  When I felt confident, I tipped-toed past the children’s rooms and did 10 minutes on the elliptical for a total of 152 calories burned.  Probably 200 cals in all.  Measly, I know.  But for a short amount of time invested, you can see the benefit.  Some exercise vs. no exercise.  Yeah, just enough to burn off that Kit Kat I ate the day before. 

Today I’m sticking to my guns and I’m not eating that crap — just well balanced meals and fruits or healthy treats.  Maybe in June, I’ll be ready to shop for that tankini.  And if I don’t at least my heart will be healthy and I’ll have enough stamina to keep up with my children.  I’m striving to be active each day.  So tonight I have belly dancing and I can’t wait to shake away the pounds.  How will you get your shake on?