Just Heather

We have just finished Week 3 of the George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge, and I’m gaining weight. I have the tools, I have the knowledge—I just need to stick to the plan! I kept up with my workouts, walked a few times with friends and ran a couple times on my own. But, I had a pretty lousy food week, proving you just can’t outrun bad nutrition.

I went out a few times and indulged in cravings a bit more than I should. By the weekend, I was making better choices and being more careful about balancing my indulgences. I just should have been paying more attention to what I was doing all week. At least, I stuck with water every time!

This week will be better because I do not want to see those numbers on the scale going up again. I have full confidence that I can do this—I know I’ll have the full 40 pounds off by the end of the year. And, confidence isn’t usually my strong suit. This time, though, it comes from the success I’ve had so far (2nd place in the MiLi challenge!) and the support I need to continue.

When I need an extra shot of confidence, I just don my favorite purple high heels. They make me feel powerful and sexy. Of course, running into people you haven’t seen in months who tell you how awesome you look doesn’t hurt either. I like when people notice and ask about my weight loss.

Because 12 pounds doesn’t sound like a lot to me, but if people can see it, I know I’m doing something right. The key is to keep doing it! I slacked a bit this last week. I had a meal plan, but I didn’t always stick to it. I had an exercise plan, but I didn’t finish all of it. This week I’m determined to follow through—especially since it’s race week!

The 5K I signed up for right after applying for Mamavation is coming up on Saturday. Originally, I just wanted to finish it. Then, I decided I’d like to finish in under an hour. And, somewhere along the way, I decided to try running some of it. I’ve been building up to it, and I’m ready for this.

I’ve even got my purple sparkle skirt to give me a little extra confidence—you know, since I can’t run in heels.

If you want to offer a little extra support for my race, I’d love if you could donate to the cause! I’m running a night race for melanoma. Outrun the Sun raises funds for skin cancer research & education, and any support you have to offer can make a difference!

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 182.5 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: -1.5 pounds
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 12.5 pounds
Total Knockout The Fat Weight Loss: 5.5 pounds
BMI: 26.1

Mamavation Topic: What are your go-to tricks for when you need a confidence boost?

This post is sponsored by Your Best Face and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation and sponsored by Your Best Face.

Disclosure: The George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge is a compensated program. As an ambassador for George Foreman, I received a George Foreman grill and will be paid for my time at the end of the 90 day challenge. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine!

Today is the end of the Move It, Lose It challenge—it’s been an interesting few months. I’ve built some good fitness habits, planned healthier menus and even started running regularly. I’ve lost 14 pounds so far, 12 total inches and worn things in public that haven’t seen the light of day in years.

But, I’m not finished yet! I am well on my way to the ultimate goal and looking forward to the next few months. Especially because today also begins Week 3 of the George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge. After two weeks of amazing meal plans from Inspired RD, we’ve been unleashed. I created this weeks meal plan on my own, based on the exchanges Alysa laid out for me.

As we move forward on this challenge, I will be continue creating my own meal plans, circuit training and running—and working to increase that. I currently run only part of the mile or two I set out on each day. Sometimes, I head out at night alone. Sometimes, the hubby and I will take a walk together. And, lately, I’ve been walking to a playground with Lorelai to run laps while she plays.

Kabobs & Corn = Dinner on a Stick for the ball diamond

It increases my distance, gives her something fun to do and motivates me to get out there when I would otherwise have the excuse of caring for kids to keep me home. With our last week of school ahead of us, I’m planning our summer activities. This will be a large part of weekly schedule.

I am, however, cutting back on the daily exercises just a bit. After twelve weeks of twice daily exercise, something just has to give. I’m behind at work, and the house is falling apart. I am stepping back to one set of circuits each day, since I’m planning to increase my walks & runs.

As long as I continue on the healthy meal plan Alysa has created, I think I’ll be satisfied with my continued weight loss, even when it slows a bit. This week will be a bit of a challenge for that—we have several on-the-go days ahead of us. The key is to plan ahead and pack healthy meals & snacks to get us through.

Loving my George Foreman Healthy Cooking Grill!

Clementines are a current favorite—they come in their own packaging and are small & easy to handle on the go. Nuts are another favorite snack—the girls especially like to make their own, healthy versions of trail mix.

If I run out of time to pack healthy treats or don’t think ahead to what’s going on, we’ll find ourselves in trouble. I get in my own way a lot, too—sometimes the only thing stopping me from snacking healthy is that I really, really want chips.

Or candy. Or, ice cream—twice last week. Once was in taking our daughter out for a Frosty to celebrate her elementary graduation. The other was on a rare afternoon with my mom—no where to be, no family dinner to get to—just my mom, the girls and I out for shopping & milkshakes.

Grilled Chicken & Veggies

I tweeted that sometimes an experience is worth going off plan, and Alysa chimed in with whole-hearted agreement. She is adamant that this is not a diet. It’s a plan for healthy living, and occasional treats do have their place in it. The second I start feeling deprived or disappointed at missing out, I realize I’m treating it as a diet. Which will inevitably fail.

A healthy meal plan that works into our lifestyle, with allowances for special occasions or the occasional treat, is long term. This is something I will stick with, even once I hit my 40 pounds. Especially since the food is so yummy anyway! And, finding a plan I want to stick with means I’ll get to keep the weight off!

So, I can officially cross it off the 40×40 list.

And, now, since we are at the end of my Mamavation Move It, Lose It journey, it’s time for another swimsuit edition! I honestly didn’t expect to see this many noticeable changes in the 8 weeks between pictures. I feel different, but I am blown away that my body has changed shape so rapidly. I’ve lost 14 pounds in 12 weeks and am down 12 inches so far, including 5 inches in my waist.

I’ll definitely be taking pics at the end of the George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge, too!

And, in case you’ve forgotten what I looked like a few months ago:

MiLi Final Measurements

Bust: 36″ (-.5″)
Waist: 32″ (-5″)
Hips: 40″ (-2″)
Thigh: 22″ (-1.5″ each)
Arm: 12″ (-.5″ each)

Total Inches Lost: 12″

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 181 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 2.5 pounds
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 14 pounds
BMI: 25.9

Mamavation Topic: What keeps you from having healthy snacks on
hand when you are out of the house?

This post is sponsored by Grunt Style and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation and sponsored by Grunt Style.

Disclosure: The George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge is a compensated program. As an ambassador for George Foreman, I received a George Foreman grill and will be paid for my time at the end of the 90 day challenge. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine!

Thank you to Yahoo! Mail for sponsoring this post about staying connected. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Boy meets girl. Boy asks girl on a date. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy & girl live happily ever after.

Except, ours went more like: Girl meets boy. Girl falls in love with boy. Boy barely notices girl exists. Girl stalks boy through email for 6 months. Boy asks girl on a date. Boy falls in love with girl. Boy & girl live together ever after. The happily part came & went through the years, but that’s another story.

This is the never told story of a long ago email stalking flirtation. The story of us.

The story most people remember is we were engaged less than 6 months after beginning our relationship and married when I was 5 months pregnant. My version is better—we met in 1995 (my freshman year of college), were engaged in 1996, married in 1997 and had our first child in 1998.

And, none of it would ever have happened, if it weren’t for one impulsive, late night email.

But, I suppose I should back up a bit. I first met Spencer when I needed some help finishing a project. The super cute geek in the computer lab came to my rescue, but I didn’t think much beyond “Oh, yum!” and “Crap! I hope I can get this finished on time.” So, I didn’t even get his name.

Then, I bumped into him again, a few weeks later—on my turf. I served him ‘mocktails’ at my dorm’s Casino Night fundraiser and brazenly introduced myself. This is sort of not like me, but I figured seeing the same cutie twice in one month was fate. We flirted (yes, even him—it was awhile later before I realized he kind of isn’t good at it.) a bit and that was that.

Everything in me wanted to call him up the next day and invite him to our dorm’s formal that night, but I figured it would be a bit much. So, I settled for bumping into him the next week at the computer lab & sending random, light-hearted emails to stay on his mind—a tactic I employed for the several months. I flirted. He blushed. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Until the night I stayed up way too late and ended up sending a completely different kind of email, about how much I liked him. I can’t begin to tell you how much I wished for an undo button that night. It was completely candid & totally humiliating, probably even more so because he didn’t even bother to respond. But, it did put things out there and make my feelings completely obvious to a clueless college kid.

It would be several more months before he did anything about it, but it didn’t take much from there for everything to click. And, that’s a story for another day!

This has been an interesting week for my healthy living journey—and I’m so excited to step on the scale this morning! Who knew I would ever say that? We have just completed our first week of the George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge, and I’m feeling pretty good about my progress.

I had hoped to hit 185 this week, so I could finally match the number on my driver’s license. Unfortunately—or, blessedly!—I blew right past it to 183.5! It has felt good this week, so I’m not too suprised to have nearly doubled my weight loss goal. And, I’ve officially passed the 10 pound milestone so I’ll be treating myself to a bottle of my favorite bubble bath.

It’s been a combination of healthy eating, exercise and running, most of which I’d been doing since starting with Mamavation. Having a bit more guidance on meals through the George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge is what really put me over the edge. I’m learning what real serving sizes look like and finding ways to work my favorites into a balanced diet.

The meal plan is amazing—Alysa from Inspired RD has created a menu for me based on the American Dietetics Association exchange lists. I’ve tweaked it a bit for my own tastes (turns out? We don’t like Greek yogurt. At all.), the grocery budget (jicama? Way to expensive for me to even try.) and our daily schedule (including straight through dinner softball games!).

The steak fajitas were the biggest hit this week—especially the leftover steak salad I enjoyed for lunch the next day. This included avocado as my evening fat source, and we’ve decided we rather like it. I do like guacamole now & then, but using avocado as a spread or salad dressing is new to me. And, so yum!

Aside from marinating the steak overnight, the whole thing went together in about 15 minutes. In fact, most of the meals have been super quick. Part of it is Alysa choosing simple recipes for a busy mom, but it’s also my new George Foreman grill. Being able to grill both sides of my dinner simultaneously cuts cook time in half.

Which gives me more time for fitness! I’ve been hitting Stephanie’s twice daily circuits, plus I finally started running. My 5K is next month, and my original goal was just to finish it. I’ve been walking for months, since that was the plan. Somewhere along the way, though, I decided to try this running thing.

I hit the road for the first time last Tuesday. Well, I hit the neighborhood trails. My first run/walk was a mile loop near our house, which I finished in 17:10. I was pleased with my time, since it’s my first, but I was even more thrilled when I mapped the route and learned it was 1.25 miles.

I ran again a few days later and plan to make it a regular part of my weekly routine. Maybe I’ll even run part of my 5K! I do need to stretch more before & after, though. My legs were a bit sore & tired the next day each time. I think I’ll go with a yoga/run combination. I always feel so much better after a yoga session. It just relaxes me—almost as much as my bubble baths!

What’s your most centering healthy habit?

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 183.5 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 4 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 11.5 pounds
BMI: 26.3

George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge total: 4 pounds

This Week’s Mamavation Topic: In your wellness efforts what is the simplest healthy habit that makes you feel most centered after doing it?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win a pair of Earth Footwear sandals.

Disclosure: The George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge is a compensated program. As an ambassador for George Foreman, I received a George Foreman grill and will be paid for my time at the end of the 90 day challenge. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine!

Today is Day 1 of the George Foreman Knock Out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge, and I couldn’t be more excited! It’s a lot like Mamavation, for me, in that I’ll be receiving the same support I was seeking. Leah from Bookie Boo is there to lead the way, Stephanie from Fit Mom in Training will be kicking my rear with an exercise plan and Alysa from Inspired Results has created a meal plan just for me—featuring healthy recipes I can cook on the George Foreman grill I’ll receive.

I started the morning with Elvis oatmeal—peanut butter with bananas, of course. It’s made from scratch, incredibly healthy and fits into the dietary exchanges laid out for me by Alysa. I am loving this type of menu plan because I can make simple swaps if I don’t like something, need to use up what’s already on hand or want to buy less expensive items at the store. I definitely had to trade the watermelon Mom & Dad brought me for some of the fruit she had listed. Yum!

Today, it’s time to get back in the game and tackle Stephanie’s circuits. I slacked off a bit a few weeks ago, then had trouble getting back into it. I think I slid back so much during my mini-break that the exercises got a little out of my league. Then, I had my eye thing and took most of last week off to baby my body. Not to mention the fact that I didn’t want to get sweaty when I couldn’t take a proper shower. (What? You try to shower without getting your eyes wet!)

Sometimes, it’s just necessary to just take a step back to regroup, recover or relax. The key is not to take it quite so far. A few relaxing walks, rather than naps, would have done me some good during last week’s fitness hiatus.

I’m glad Stephanie is starting us a little slow, for those who haven’t already been participating in a fitness program. It will be easier for me to get back into it. Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t been a total loss—I managed to lose another 1.5 pounds this week! I’m still making healthier food choices and staying more active than ever before. I just wasn’t as active as I should have been for the last few terrible, horrible, no good, very bad weeks.

But, I’m ready to get started now!

George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge Starting Weigh-In: 187.5 pounds
Before Pictures:

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 187.5 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 1.5 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 7.5 pounds
BMI: 26.9

This Week’s Mamavation Topic: Do you know when to back off of your efforts? When is the last time you took a step back in the name of gentle kindness to yourself?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win a Jillian Moriarity workout DVD from Jillian Moriarity.

Disclosure: The George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge is a compensated program. As an ambassador for George Foreman, I received a George Foreman grill and will be paid for my time at the end of the 90 day challenge. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine!

Last week’s Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Week is bleeding right into this one. It started over Easter weekend, as we noticed our old, paralyzed dog deteriorating even further. On Monday, we had to say goodbye to Indy. He’s been with us for 14 years.

On Tuesday, the hubby had a doctor’s appointment—just a routine checkup, but he also needed to share some recent, ongoing symptoms. Which, resulted in an MRI on Wednesday to see if he had a brain tumor. (He doesn’t, but that was a scary few days, especially on the heels of our loss.)

On Thursday, the doc called—but not with the results of his MRI. Just to let him know he has high cholesterol. So, he’s now on cholesterol meds, and we’re making dietary changes. Luckily, we started that process months ago, at the beginning of Mamavation. Still, there are a few not-too-unhealthy foods he uses as lunchtime standbys that will have to go.

The weekend wasn’t too bad, really—with my Tiny Prints 4 Mom party being a major highlight! There was also a school picnic on Sunday. Both of these events generally equal indulgent dining, though I did my best to make wise choices. I’m a comfort eater, though, which means the week was filled with dessert and chocolate. I just love me some Easter candy!

But, today it became clear our rough patch is not over. I had a followup visit with the retinal specialist, to be sure my eye is remaining stable. Turns out, it’s not. The bleeding is back, and I required another shot in the eye. Yes, in my eyeball. The eyepatch is back for the week, and I’m hoping for an easier recovery this time.

I am, after all, much healthier than I was last year. I just wish my eyeballs would get on board with that plan. I tried to show them who’s boss by heading out for a salad after my appointment, instead of grabbing fast food. I even skipped the Reese’s egg I really wanted to chase it with. Though, I did snag a small handful of Easter candy corn later in the day.

With our crazy, awful week, I have over-indulged quite a bit. You know, because I deserved it! I still managed to lose a couple pounds, mostly because I tried to lose myself in exercise all week. Turns out, getting sweaty is a good stress reliever. Who knew?

I’ve got to find non-food ways to reward myself, though. I’m celebrating my weight loss with a new swimsuit this year. Corrin pointed out a few weeks ago that I deserve a good one. I’ve never felt that way before, but I have one picked out at SwimSpot.com, courtesy of an Eversave deal. I just want to wait another month or so to see where my size is.

I think for this particular journey, clothes will be my reward. So far, I have only bought a belt. I had to do something to keep my pants up, but perhaps it’s time to setup a specific reward system that fits with my goals. Of course, I had such an awesome time with Saturday’s pampering (Tiny Prints & Clever Girls really know how to throw a party!) that I’m starting to think along those lines.

A well-deserved massage. An earned mani-pedi. A special bubble bath. Granted, I take a bubble bath every, single night, but I just use whatever suds are on hand. I think I’ll start treating myself to my favorite scents or finally buy myself a bath bomb when I reach a goal.

Because I’m worth it.

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 189 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 2.2 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 6 pounds

This Week’s Mamavation Topic: How do you reward yourself after you have worked hard towards a goal? Do you have any pampering rewards thought out for future goals?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win a Eco Ethical Skincare Basket from Tilvee.