Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Let's talk about food. Yum.

This is about my fitness/weight loss journey. If you're not interested, go ahead and clock out now. I won't mind.

I get so many questions and comments about food that I figured it would be easiest to blog about it here.
I keep hearing things like "oh please! You'd never eat that!" or "yeah right, like you eat..." and from internet friends who don't see me in person "just don't get too skinny and whither away!".

I eat. A lot. I big puffy sparkly heart food. For real! Food is the reason I got so big in the first place. (too much of it, anyway.)

So with my weight loss, food is my biggest struggle. I love food. Food & I, we go way back... (ha.)
If you were to ask anyone who is with me on a regular basis, they'd tell you that yes, I eat. "Normal" food, and a lot of it.
I eat burgers. (mmm, burgers.) And tacos. (mmm, tacos.) And donuts. (mmm, donuts.) And chips. (mmm, chips.) and Mexican food. (mmmmmmmmmm, Mexican food.)

I've been approached several times by companies wanting me to represent their brand in regards to fitness. And my response is "if it is diet based, I'm not really interested. I don't watch what I eat."
And that's mostly true.
I mean, I DO watch what I eat, to some degree. I don't count calories, but I'm very aware of what I put in my mouth. I glance at nutrition labels to have an idea of what's inside.
If I don't LOVE it, it's not worth the calories to me. If I take a bite or two of something and it's just "meh..." I push it aside. Not worth the sweat it'll take to burn it off.
Thinking of calories like a budget, if I take in too much one day, I'm gonna have to burn it off the next day. But if I have a particularly light day, I can allow myself to splurge the next day.

Surprisingly eating well does get easier and become more natural.
The other day it occurred to me what I'd eaten that day was all nutritious. I had had 5 almonds (always what I pop in my mouth before my morning workout, just to stave off the hunger pangs), a light Greek yogurt with berries in it, whole wheat toast, and a large salad topped with grilled fish for lunch.
I was like "Wait, what?! Who eats like that?? A healthy person, that's who!" .... None of those choices had really been intentional. They were just naturally what sounded good to me.
I had a burger for dinner and didn't feel the least bit guilty about it. (mmm, beef.)

My basic philosophy is to eat a little less, burn a lot more calories. I work out HARD. Really hard.
I realize that for everyone this doesn't work. For some who hate to work out, they have to watch the food a bit more. But for me, working out like a beast is worth it to enjoy food that tastes amazing.

Truth be told, if I really watched what I ate, I'd have lost a lot more weight by now. But for me, food is one of the great pleasures of life and I refuse to be miserable just to be skinny.

I haven't lost a pound in like 2 months. I'm a tiny bit frustrated about that, but I've also been seeing muscles that I never had, so I know that skews the numbers on the scale.
I'm stronger and fitter than I've ever been. I'll never be long & lean and I'm okay with that.

Life is short. Enjoy the guacamole. (mmm, guac.)

Friday, July 17, 2015

It's all about the climb...

You guys, I think I just quoted Miley. Sorry. (not really.)

Last year when we were in Colorado I discovered The Incline. And immediately I said, "I want to do it!" because I'm insane or something.
We didn't have time last year, so that was my one goal for this year - hike The Incline.

If you're not familiar with The Incline, it's a torture track. Kind of. No, really it is.
It's awful. In the best kind of way.

The Incline begins at about 6,500 feet in elevation and climbs to around 8,500 feet in less than a mile. Two thousand feet in one mile! That's an average grade of around 40 percent with stretches that hit more than 60 percent. It's like racing up the stairs of the Empire State Building. Twice.

It's railroad ties, unevenly spaced, so sometimes you have to your your hands to help you climb.
And there's re-bar sticking up in certain places so there's a chance of impalement, which is always fun.
Olympic athletes train there. Military Special Forces train there.
And average crazy people like me train there. Apparently.

I'm a weenie. And I'll admit that I was scared. It's a beast. Intimidating.
And even though I'd done as much research as I could, it's one of those things that you just can't fully prepare for.
I didn't really know what to expect until I was in the middle of it, sort of like childbirth.

I wasn't concerned at all about my time. Just completion. That was my only goal.
And I made it! It wasn't pretty. It wasn't fast. But I made it.

Once you make it to the top, you have about a 4-5 mile hike back down a different part of the mountain. That was actually the roughest part for me.
I thought the trail down was NEVER going to end. It's beautiful, but slick and gravely. I saw several people fall.
And then I fell. I wiped out, got banged up a bit, and had a few battle wounds to show for it.

If you're in Colorado Springs and want a fun challenge, do The Incline! It's brutal, but so rewarding!

(I'm ready to do it again... gotta beat my time!)

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tackling mountains.

A few weeks ago we took a break and headed to our cabin in Colorado for a few days.
This year we went with another family and it was so much fun!

(all of these are cell phone pics.)

Kids being kids... getting dirty... using their imaginations.

Garden of the Gods is so fun to hike around in.

There were plenty of war games.

Campfire food. Throw veggies, meat, and seasonings into a foil pack and cook it over the fire.

For 4th of July, we painted t-shirts. All I had were inexpensive shirts from WalMart and red & blue fabric paints. We made stencils out of paper plates and painted with q-tips.
(mine is the flag tank top)

We found an old cabin while we were out hiking!

Hashtag bear markings.

We had late nights around the campfire with banjos & guitars. Sleepy slow mornings with coffee and bacon and cinnamon rolls. Hikes through the woods and up mountains.
Cool air and a break from normal life is exactly what was needed.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Sometimes the pressure of life gets unbearably intense.

We have pressure to be pretty
to be fit
to be a good mom
to be a good wife
to be a loving friend
to be tough
to be a nurturer
to be wrinkle free
to be a good marketer
to be charitable
to be an artist
to be courteous
to be a boss
to be a listener
to be a caregiver
to be sexy
to be a housekeeper
to be funny
to be a teacher
to be resilient
to be charming
to be a solid rock
to be well mannered
to be an organizer
to be the glue that holds everything together.

But sometimes when the pressure gets too intense we start to crack. Through the cracks we begin to seep fear, anxiety, desperation, loneliness, uncertainty, and panic.

We can't do it all. And we were never meant to. We just think we were. But I'm telling you, we're wrong. We are not meant to do it all.

"Pay mind to your own life, your own health, and wholeness. A bleeding heart is of no help to anyone if it bleeds to death." - Frederick Buechner

Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete. James 1:2-4 (Living Bible)

Release some of the pressure. Accept the difficulties as gifts. Breathe.
God's got this. Not you. You don't have to.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

"What are you doing?!"

This is the question I keep getting, so it's time to talk about what I'm doing, I suppose!

Some of you have been following my weight loss/fitness journey. If you'd like to know how I got started, I first blogged about it here.

At that point I had lost 28 pounds.
I'm currently at 37 pounds lost.

I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm making strides, although they're slow.

I still like food. A lot. And I eat nearly everything I want. I just watch the portions and offset a few "bad" meals with more good ones.
Someone asked me if I have coffee and/or alcohol. Yes and yes.
I don't take any pills, no special shakes or drinks. I'm not selling anything.
I don't belong to a gym, don't have a trainer.
I also don't mind making a fool of myself.

What I am doing: Working my butt off. Or trying.

- I do a 1.25 mile wog (walk/jog) every morning. A lot of people online think I'm "running" but I have to tell you I'm not. It ain't pretty, what I do. It's just walk/jog intervals. I don't think I could run a mile to save my life if I had to.

- I run the steps & sidewalk in front of my house. Again, it ain't pretty. But it gets me sweating.

- Push-ups. Last year I started doing them against a counter top. Eventually I moved to the ground and did "girl" push-ups. Now I do about 30 "guy" push-ups. And recently a friend showed me inverted push-ups where my feet are up on a bed/step/ledge and my shoulders are toward the floor - WHOA! So I've added those as well.

- Squats. Weighted squats, jump squats, double squats. I change them up daily. They really are no fun, but my butt is thanking me.

- Kickboxing. I have no idea what I'm doing. But I have a punching bag and it feels really good to beat the snot out of it. It makes me sweat and I'm sore the next day so it's doing something good, right?!

- Crunches. Old school. 100-110 of them. (but to be honest, I've slacked on these lately. Need to get back to doing them.)

"Cardio Yoga"... this is a thing I made up. As I mentioned above, I don't mind making a fool of myself.
I know a few yoga poses called Sun Salutations. I don't know why, but one day I started doing them to a Kid Rock concert I have in my dvr. It's fast paced and I crank it up crazy loud. Not exactly yoga-ish.
It's not about the breathing and relaxing that you normally get with yoga. It's about getting a crazy sweat on and being a cowboy, baby. (heh... see what I did there?!)
20-25 minutes of this and I'm about to die. But I love it!!

So, that's what I'm doing. I get bored easily so I change the workout almost daily. I'm always looking for new things that will make me sweat.
I am still limited to about 30-35 minutes a day for my entire workout.

Some people are motivated by new workout clothes. I'm not, but I LOVE new music. So I'm frequently adding new songs to my playlist. (currently liking rap, R&B, and metal. Ummm, that's crazy. And not very me. But really fun to workout to.)

I'm seeing more muscle all over my body, but there's still a layer of fat over most of it that I want to get rid of.

Questions? I'll try to answer!