Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Sugar Cleanse Results

I've been blabbing all over Facebook lately that "this is my year!" The year I've made it my personal mission to be the healthiest version of myself. I will tell you that at first I made this declaration with a goal weight in mind. A number on a scale that would magically mean I'm healthy and happy... But would it?

Let me tell you, the amount of reflection I've done on this topic is mighty. You see, I no longer want to focus on the scale. Instead I want to focus on my lifestyle and how I can make better choices to feel better in my own skin. I firmly believe that when we feel good, we do good. When I'm working out and eating right it's usually a product of being in a positive state of mind. I'm feeling good, I'm motivated, and I'm moving! When I have a slump and I'm feeling down, I may take a break from working out, I may pile more portions on my plate to feed my feelings and that's when it takes a lot more to get me back to where I started and in the zone again. 

I want to feel good and I'm taking a number of steps to do this. First and foremost is my health. I am embarrassed to say that I forgot the last time I made an appointment with my doctor for a wellness visit. So when I sat down to make new year's goals that was the first item on my list. I had been feeling kind of "yucky" on the the inside and I wanted to get medical advice for my symptoms. 

Last year I felt like I was on an emotional roller-coaster. Ladies, please tell me I'm not alone here!! ;) I would have these bouts of time where I didn't recognize who I was. Feeling lethargic, irrational, even ragey at times. It wasn't pretty and I finally got to a place where I threw up my arms and said ENOUGH!!! I need to be in control here and I want feel like myself again! 

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I explained in detail these things with my doctor and was relieved to hear there are a number of recommendations to help with what I was dealing with. One that felt doable right away was giving up sugar two weeks before my period. After my doctor said that, I got to thinking why not take it a step further and see if I could go sugar-free for a whole month. It's no secret that sugar wreaks havoc on our bodies and there are plenty of studies and research to back up why going sugar-free is extremely beneficial. But, something new I learned is how much sugar affects PMS. I always knew PMS was a "thing" but up until last year I never really felt symptoms like this. Oh, the joys of getting older. Amiright?!?

So that was it! I would go sugar-free for a whole month and see if I felt any different. On February 1st I gave up all refined sugars and foods with added sugar. I became very label conscious and was surprised when I started to see how many things I typically ate contained added sugar. I said "no thanks" to cake at birthday parties, donuts at work and candy from the community bowl. I said goodbye to bottled salad dressings, peanut butter (that one was hard), almost all bread and flavored yogurt, among other things. 

I upped my fruit intake and would grab a cutie or apple when I had an afternoon sugar craving. I have to admit that I was never a big dessert person to begin with, so after dinner and in the evenings seemed to not be as hard for me. But at the office where I would mindlessly pass by the candy bowl and grab a mini snickers multiple times a day, that was where the challenge was. The other challenge I had was the mood connection I apparently have with sugar. There were a couple of days I wasn't feeling particularly chipper and my stress levels were high. These were the moments that I felt a need to have a peanut butter cup for no other reason than to shove it in my face parts to make myself "feel" better. I had to kind of settle in with my feelings and figure out where they were coming from and how I could find a healthy way to address them. Not. Easy. But I did it! I made it through the whole month SUGAR FREE!

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I'm so glad I challenged myself to do this! Because I was more label conscious I found myself eating better in general. I did not shed a bunch of weight but started to notice I didn't feel bloated very often and my pants were fitting a bit looser. I also noticed I had a more mild temperament during the challenge. Of course life stress would still get the better of me at times, but overall, day-to-day I was feeling really good!

The most surprising thing about this challenge... the support I received from others! I can't tell you how much it has meant to me that people were in my corner, cheering me on while I did this. People would write thoughtful comments on my FB posts and I even had someone send me a link to the Dr. Oz show where they shared the benefits of kicking sugar. My co-workers have been awesome and I've even inspired them to make changes of their own to better their health.

This sugar cleanse was the first step to making positive changes. I'm going to remain sugar free to the best of my abilities. I will bring back peanut butter (hallelujah) and may let myself have a treat every once in a while but honestly, I'm nervous to "feed the beast." I've done so well I wonder if once I have  even a little I'll be inviting the flood gates to reopen. We'll see!

I'm doing this, guys! I'm capable of doing hard things and I will make it to the finish line. I'm so excited to have this be the year I actually achieve my goals and not just hope and wish for them. I know this is an investment in time as much as effort. I need to be patient and kind to myself along the way but push harder than I ever have and never give up! The journey has begun! #commitdontquit

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017 Goals - January

Two years ago I started working out regularly in preparation for a trip to Jacksonville, FL. I started posting monthly goals and I have to say, it really helped keep me accountable and motivated throughout the process. I also was able to hit some (in my opinion) impressive goals and physically achieve things I never thought I could!

I feel the need to get back to it and while I'm very tardy to the first-of-the-year party, it's still not too late to set some goals for the month. So let's do this, shall we?!?!

  1. Lose 5 lbs. - I totally feel this is doable in a month
  2. Workout at least 3 days a week - so far I have 2 times for this week. I will document and report back in Feb. 
  3. Work on my It Works business every single day and follow the 90 day burst to a T - I'll share more about my new gig at a later time, this post is just for goals. 
That's it for now! I'm excited to get back at it. What are your goals for the month? 

Friday, August 12, 2016

A Big (Small) Deal

Little C,
This has been your first full week of kindergarten. Can you believe it?!!? I can hardly believe it because it seems like just yesterday you were a tiny little baby. Now when I look at you I see an amazing boy who is more than ready to take on this exciting new chapter of his life. 

This kindergarten rite of passage is a big (small) deal for all of us. "Big" for the newness and big-boyness of it all. But "small" because you were so ready for this. Better prepared than most I would wager (but I'm not biased or anything). Also a small deal because it's a drop in the bucket compared to all of the important, life-changing milestones you have to look forward to throughout your years. 

It's also a big deal because in many ways we're sending you out into a big world after you've been in a shiny, happy daycare bubble for so long. With daily emails about what you ate and what activities you did that day, accompanied by fun photos of your smiling face. This week we've had to ask you what you learned about, who you talked to and if you're liking it. We've had to trust that you're getting on and off the school bus and where you're supposed to be in time for the start of school. We have to deal with the guilt of picking you up a little later than usual because we now have two school pick ups between your sister's daycare and your school. It's been an adjustment to say the least, but a positive one for sure!

The novelty of it all will wear off  in time but right now it really is an exciting new adventure for the whole family! You seem to be really enjoying the experience so far and you were even super excited to do your first homework. Of course your little sister proclaimed that she had to do her homework too and diligently colored in her 'Sofia the First' coloring book with crayons as you penciled in your math problems.

We were also very impressed with your first day of school experience. You were so ready and brave! We let you sleep in but you woke up much earlier than you usually do. I made your favorite big breakfast but you didn't eat as much as you usually do. I'm thinking both instances were the cause of anxious jitters but you handled it all so well.

We dropped off your sister first so your Dad and I could have you all to ourselves. :)  We took pics in front of the school then got in line where instructed. You clutched your dad's leg tightly as we waited for the word that we needed to say our official goodbyes. When it was time we each bent down so all of us were eye-to-eye and gave giant hugs. Then we did our family chant with hands stacked on top of each other's, "Go Scott's, Go!" At this point I felt a lump in my throat and knew it was time for you to venture inside.

You followed the line of other little five year olds wearing giant back packs with faces of slight apprehension. After a few steps away from us you looked back and said, "bye mom and dad!" You took a few more steps farther away from us and turned back once more for another wave and good bye. Then you disappeared through the giant doors and it was over. Of course, when your father looked back at me by this point I had tears pooled in my eyes and after one blink a couple ran down my face. Not because I was sad, but because I just love you so gosh darn much that the very thought of how proud and happy I am to be your mother takes by breath away and can easily bring me to tears. And the fact that you are starting a new phase of your childhood on top of how much I love you was definitely enough to bring the water works for your dear 'ole ma.

The whole experience was another first for the three of us just like every first we've had since the day you were born. As our first born child you will find the three of us, (heck!) even the four of us, will be going through things a bit blindly. Navigating each new experience together will be a thrill but a challenge at the same time. This was our first big (small) deal and there will be plenty ahead of us bigger or smaller than this. All that matters is we'll do it together. Team Scott, right?

All I know is that your first day and week of kindergarten has been a huge success and we are so excited for what's ahead. Go Scott's, Go!

I love you,

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up: 4th of July 2016

We had such a blast over the long July 4th weekend! To me, it felt like the epitome of summer. The perfect blend of sun screen slathered, dirt covered, water balloon soaked, sweaty little kids with gigantic smiles and late bed times. 

Time spent with family and friends paired nicely with fantastic food and icy cold adult beverages. 

There was light rain but mostly the sun was shining and the typical oppressive summer heat was replaced with 80's and mild breezes. 

Lastly, the enjoyment of fireworks being ignited from the street with kids at the perfect ages to shriek with excitement at every fountain or sparkler being lit. 

While all of this was almost too good to be true, it was a proclamation from my son that took it all over the edge to down-right perfection. He wasn't speaking to anyone in particular he just simply blurted out with all the five year old enthusiasm he could muster... "This is the BEST 4th of July, EVER!!"

I might have to agree with him. I'm already looking forward to next year!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Breathing you in

You are three and a half years old. A whisper and a wild fire all at once. You can go from sugary sweet to extremely feisty in a matter of seconds. And don't get me wrong, when I say "feisty" I mean that in the most endearing way (most days).

You rarely sit still. A very busy girl with so much to see and do. Twirling, jumping, walking, running, climbing... A constant ball in motion. You also talk very well for a three year old, if I do say so myself. The things that come out of your mouth are often times hilarious. And not in that innocent, cute toddler way, but in a very intentional "I meant for that to be funny" kind of way. You know your audience and you enjoy making others laugh.

Getting you to sit still is nearly impossible and the rare moments that you do, your father and I always run to take your temperature because we assume surely you don't feel well. Your spunk, and zest for life is something we try not to stifle. I say we can't get you to sit still but honestly? We stopped trying a long time ago because it's not you. You need to be doing something all. the. time.

But there are rare moments. As much as you love to always be on the go, you have learned that it comes with a price. You take more tumbles and falls from your daring feats that can sometimes leave you in tears. You run to the nearest parent and you nestle in for long lasting hugs and snuggles as we dry the tears from your plump little cheeks.

The other rare moment is the one that I love the most and never want to forget. It is first thing in the morning. The sound of your little feet shuffling on the floor. Your hair in a tousled blonde mop, cheeks bright pink with warmth from your slumber. Your "lovie du jour" under one arm and your trusty steed "blankorie" (your pink blanket) secured directly in your mouth for comfort. You come to my side of the bed and I lift you in, draping you under our bedding to warm your cold little girl feet.

I usually move away the hair from your face with my fingers and I'm always amazed by how soft and wonderful your skin is. From your hair I move to trace an invisible path from your forehead, down your cheek and chin and a final swoop down the center of your nose. This is the moment that I get lost in your beautiful blue-green eyes and my heart is flooded with such intense feelings of love and adoration that I can barely contain it. How are you mine? How is this amazing little being my daughter?

It is the stillness of the early morning that I get to breathe you in. Together we are calm, quiet, and content. Of course, this moment is fleeting as your eagerness to start your day soon kicks in and you're bouncing all over the place. But that's just you, my dear, and I know full well that there will come a day where hopping into bed with me will not be on top of your priority list. But until that day comes, I'm going to keep soaking in these moments as much as possible.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What The Thread Means to Me.

There is a group of four women. Four uniquely individual women united in friendship and bound by solidarity. They have distinct strengths that make them warriors and admitted flaws that make them beautifully human.

They are for each other what every woman out there needs. A sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, an honest critic, a motivator... among other things. They are a sisterhood fueled by inside jokes and inappropriate humor but more importantly a cohesiveness bore from respect and adoration for one another.

They are, The Thread.

I first became acquainted with this enchanting group of gals back in 2012 when I started blogging. I found Brandy's blog (Mannly Mama) first and from there started to read the other ladies blogs. Initially I enjoyed reading their posts because they are all working moms like myself. But then there was something more about all of them that drew me in. Like the cool kid in class you gravitate toward because they are exciting and all the things you want to be but feel less-than most of the time.

Through eloquence, humor, or just raw real life, The Thread shares the types of things that have you nodding your head as you read because you can relate or even have you literally LOL-ing at their stories. I've learned so much from these women and I hope they know the positive impact they have on the world around them.

That might seem exaggerated but if the four of them found each other across the US and across country boarders through the power of Social Media, then the impact that the four of them have on others is also just as powerful.

From the The Thread I've learned parenting and marriage tips, the importance of being your authentic self, and even that an IUD could go missing... in your body... and have to be surgically removed. I've learned that self-confidence is beautiful and so is wearing your flaws like a badge and not giving two fucks about it.

I've gained style inspiration from Alicia thanks to her daily #officefashionshow. Plus, the way she writes, digesting her thoughts in a manner so impassioned and thought-provoking, I am just in awe of her many talents. To me she comes across as a free spirit and raising three simply delicious little girls she is clearly encouraging their authentic selves to shine as brightly as hers.

I feel I can relate very much to Kat. A "people pleaser" and ray of sunshine with an unexpected dirty sense of humor. She wrote a post called, "I always thought there'd be three" and I literally had tears streaming down my face as I held my newborn daughter in my arms trying to make heads or tails of my own child-rearing future. Then I shrieked with excitement when she announced she was pregnant with her third and quickly empathized when she admitted it was a surprise. ::raises hand:: Been there. Oh and the girl's physique?!?! fuhgettaboutit. Those Barre classes are working, sista!

Brandee is the one out of the four that I've watched from afar. We haven't had too much interaction but I've read her blog for a while. In fact, when my daughter was born I would be nursing her in the wee hours of the night and Brandee would be blowing up the twitter feeds entertaining me with dialogues on her secondary infertility. I read tweets that used humor (they were pretty darn funny) to mask the pain she was feeling. I wanted so badly to reach through the phone and just give her a hug. Not the "it will get better hug" that no one wants when it doesn't feel like things will get better, but more of the "this fucking sucks" hug that you need when something in your life just fucking sucks. When I read her announcement that she was pregnant with the infamous #sciencebaby, I welled up and wanted to then give her a congratulatory hug! It was from her posts that I learned what secondary infertility was and I can only imagine the immense help her information was for other couples struggling the same as her.

Lastly, my girl Brandy. Her humor and go-with-the-flow approach to parenting and life in general was so refreshing. She cusses like a sailor and drinks whiskey like a boss! Clearly a girl after my own heart! I slowly started to engage in some "offline" discussions with her on topics that I hadn't even talked about with my closest friends. She was always open to chat and her advice was always on point. It's hard for me to put into words how Brandy has impacted me. She puts herself out there so unaplogetically, so fearlessly in a way that a modest, insecure gal like myself admires so much. In fact, she doesn't know it (until now) she's inspired me to make some shifts within myself toward a more confident way of being. She is a breathe of fresh air and a rare gem.

The Thread is making their annual pilgrimage of friendship to Denver this week. So I will have the chance to meet them face-to-face for brunch. You guys!!! Did you hear that? I get to crash The Thread's party and do my best not to be a total buffoon around them. I wanted to share all of this here instead of in person because... AWK-ward.

So there you have it. The Thread. If you didn't know about them before, ya welcome. If you knew them already and are totally jealous of the fact that I get to meet them in person on Saturday, you should be. ;) They are four of the most badass women out there and all of us should be so lucky to have a Thread-like crew in our own lives.

Hat's off to you ladies! Here's to friendship!

And whiskey.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July Goals (better late than never)

**The above photo is brought to you by beach withdrawals. The struggle is real. 

I fell off the goal wagon in June. I was still actively working out and taking care of business, I just didn't post anything at the beginning of the month. June was busy at home and at work. Then we were on vacation the first week of July and alas, here it is July 15th and I'm just now posting my goals!

I'll recap where I last left off and report on how May ended up:

1) Schedule my Series 6 class - DONE! It's currently set for 8/10 which I'm starting to feel was a bit ambitious and I'm scared and stressed and wanting to push it back one more month. But then I think I should just soldier on and get this darn thing over with.

2) Lose 5 lbs. - DONE! By the end of May I had hit this goal. But I'm certain after vacation I'm starting back from scratch with that one. :( I haven't weighed myself and I'm too scared to at this point.

3) Do 10 sets on each side of side plank with a leg raise - NOPE. These moves really allude me. I'm not sure why because my strength all around has been improving greatly. I'm not going to give up though!

On to July! Since there are only two weeks left they might be a bit light this month. I'll kick it up a notch in August. So here we go:

1) Post next month's goals on time. ;)

2) Do 10 sets on each side of side plank with a leg raise.

3) Do 20 push ups (not on knees and with good form). I had a goal a couple months back to hit 10 solid push ups, which I accomplished, and now I try to do a set every time I work out. The other day I did 12 so I know I just need a goal like this to push me farther.

So that's all for now. Seems simple but as my arms tremble and the sweat beats down from my face, I'll want to take these "simple" goals and give them the ole heave-ho! Also, on a side note, I plan on doing a post about how my workouts have been going. Since starting these monthly goals back in January I have really come a long way and I'm pretty darn proud of myself! I still have plenty of work to put in before I hit my ultimate goal but I have to say, finally seeing results has been very motivating.

What are your goals for the month? Are you on a fitness mission yourself? How is it going?