Just Heather

I was a little nervous about Week 7 in the George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge because I was flying out in the middle of the week. Never fear, Ford offered plenty of healthy options during the Forward with Ford trends conference.

The Living Green lunch menu was especially cool—featuring organic, sustainable foods themed around the renewable materials Ford is using in their vehicles. They totally working with corn, carrots, rice and coconut for use in vehicle materials!

(Ford researchers also experimenting with dandelion root, thus the dandelion salad—that I couldn’t bring myself to taste.)

Lunch was followed by my favorite session of the conference—Living Green with Ed Begley Jr. He’s always been a bit of a green living hero to me—my family loved Living with Ed on Planet green. I had several conversations with him, including an interview on green living that will be up on Inexpensively later this week. My time with Ed was beyond awesome and would have totally been worth any weight gain this week—so glad I managed to lose 2 pounds instead, though!

I did manage to balance some healthy habits throughout the week, even if I wasn’t as active as I should be. I knew there would be a bit of walking, through the conference, but I did pack some workout gear to fit in a little exercise. I have already taken to slacking off the training circuits, and I didn’t want to fall further behind. Of course, as I feared, there really wasn’t much time for extras. I did fit in an ab circuit the first night, but not much else.

I never got around to running all week, either. The Couch to 5K program fell by the wayside in week 2, so we’re starting over this week. I’m also tackling Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred (yes, again!), after scoring a great deal on Amazon.

This time, I know I’ll stick with it because I have people counting on me. I bought my DVD the same day as my friend Chris, and we’re starting together on Monday. Michelle & Cherie have also committed to joining our 30 day adventure. We’ll be working together to complete this challenge.

It’s always easier to tackle something like this when you know others are there with you. Not only is it more fun to know my friends will be cursing Jillian along with me each day, but I’ll push myself because I know they’re counting on me. We’re all looking to each other to step up, motivate one another and lead the way to an awesome body.

It’s just like when we all completed a 5K together—I knew I had to push myself because the rest of the group was looking to me to finish what I convinced us all to start. I’ll be stepping up my game, pushing through Jillian’s torture and earning some amazing abs—for all four of us!

Halfway Point Measurements

Bust: 34.5″ (-2″)
Waist: 31″ (-6″)
Hips: 39″ (-3″)
Thigh: 21.5″ (-2″ each)
Arm: 11.5″ (-1″ each)

Inches Lost with Knockout the Fat: 5
Total Inches Lost with Mamavation: 17

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 176 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 2 pounds
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 19 pounds
Total Knockout The Fat Weight Loss: 11.5 pounds
BMI: 25.15

Sistahood Question: How have you recently stepped up to support someone in your life?

This post is sponsored by EatSmart Products, and I’m writing this to be entered into a EatSmart Precision Pro Digital Kitchen Scale giveaway hosted by Mamavation.

Disclosure: The George Foreman Knockout 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.

I was invited to participate in the conference by Ford and Ogilvy PR. Ford Motor Company paid for my travel and accommodations at the 2-day Forward with Ford conference. I was not compensated in any other manner for my time.

All opinions are, as always, 100% mine!

Brenia playing softball
The sixth week of the George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge was a busy one at our house! Between VBS, a county softball tournament and track practices, I’ve barely had time to breath—much less workout & plan proper meals. I am pretty proud of how well I managed dinner, under the circumstances.

We had to leave for Brenia’s softball games by 4:45 every night and didn’t return until 8pm. That usually means eating way off schedule, crappy concession stand food or grabbing fast food along the way. None of those were really an option for our lifestyle or budget. So, I planned a full week of sandwiches.

We had deli meats, grilled chicken, peanut butter and BLTs—that was my favorite since it was my first in many years. I used turkey bacon on gluten free bread, piled high with red lettuce & tomatoes. Each afternoon, I prepared sandwiches and packed fruit, veggies & water for everyone. Brenia ate in the care on the way to the out-of-town field. The rest of us ate on the bleachers while the team warmed up for the game.

Brenia with her softball cupcakeIt aligned perfectly with the exchanges Alysa gave me for my meal plan—I’m pretty proud of my creativity. What I noticed this week, though, is how much I eat without ever counting it. The bits of meat that drop while I’m preparing dinner. The icing I “taste” while baking cupcakes. The peanut butter I lick off the spreader while serving the girls breakfast.

It was just really noticeable this week. And, it’s a tough habit to break! One thing I need to get back to is hanging my meal plan on the fridge. For the first few weeks of the program, I printed the meal plan Alysa sent—and nothing went in my mouth without checking the list first. When I’m on schedule, I do just fine. When my routine gets thrown off, it’s easy to slide.

It’s easy to grab a handful of chips off the refreshment table at church. It’s easy to eat ice cream with the softball team, even when I already had a cupcake. It’s easy to eat more than I should, just because circumstances allow. I had a lot of extra calories last week, but I am proud that I handled dinner well. I’m also proud that I managed to turn down the ice cream at Friday’s end of season party!

In the end, I did better than I thought. I was a little nervous about this morning’s weigh-in, but I managed to lose another pound. If I had kept up my workout routines, I could have done even better. This week, I want to continue the Couch to 5K program that Stacia and I started last week and get in a bit more of Jillian’s torture & Stephanie’s circuits.

My goal for next week is to have activity levels to brag about!

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 178 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 1 pound
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 17 pounds
Total Knockout The Fat Weight Loss: 10 pounds
BMI: 25.5

Sistahood Question: BRAG. What accomplishment have you done recently that brings a smile to your face?

This post is sponsored by Joggermom, and I’m writing this to be entered into a yoga mat giveaway hosted by Mamavation.

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.

It all started with email, and that’s the way our relationship continued. We flirted, we planned dates and even sent hugs & kisses through our college years. As time went on, though, we kind of got away from all that.

Email was used to share grocery lists, pass along info for the kids’ events and send details or to-do lists for work, websites & the house. A little less romantic than the song lyrics or poems he sent long ago, but effective nonetheless. Then, we hit rock bottom—our story looking a lot like a tragedy—until we realized the communication method that brought us together could have a part in bringing us back.

We turned to email to hash out all the things we couldn’t say in person, without a massive argument. I used it to apologize, when the words stuck in my throat. We used it to share things we couldn’t seem to get out when faced with the other’s tears. It didn’t always work—sometimes the words still hurt, no matter how they’re delivered—but I think it helped both of us learn how to communicate again.

Now, we’re back to using email in a pretty utilitarian fashion, but it’s always there, ready for a surprise ‘I love you’ or emailed kiss. I miss when there was more of that, but our lives are so full now—in many ways—that it’s easy to get caught up in the mundane. Who has time for flowers & poems when there is carpool to drive, uniforms to wash and band-aids to apply?

And, I suppose, that’s where alphabet dating comes in. We force ourselves take a break from parenting & working to reconnect. In between, we plan our out-of-the-ordinary dates (often by email!) and enjoy one another through the process too. Still, I need to remember our roots & send more fun, flirty emails just because.

I’ve been averaging 2 pounds per week, since beginning the George Foreman Knock out the Fat Weight Loss Challenge. This week? I only lost a single pound. That could have something to do with the fact that my poor George Foreman grill went out on me, and I’m waiting on a replacement. It truly drains an amazing amount of meat from our meals! As for the rest of my nutrition, I had a pretty decent week.

I’m continuing to use the nutrition plan Alysa mapped out at the beginning of the challenge. It’s helpful that it follows a format my family is used to. I’ve always kind of balanced carbs, proteins and vegetables for dinner—I just didn’t know the right portions to keep it healthy. We eat together every evening, so I don’t want my meal to be different from theirs. With this plan, I just work our favorites into the meal plan each evening.

There were a few ice cream treats this week, but I made appropriate changes to the day’s menu to balance it out. I also made smarter choices than I usually do—smaller sizes, for one. Hello, portion control! Nice to finally get to know you. My hope for the rest of this challenge is to really make portion control my friend—I think that’s what will help maintain my weight, once I finally reach my goal.

My fitness levels were pretty spotty this week, with some lazy days and some decent days. But, no real good days. I started to tackle the 30 Day Shred DVD but forgot to take it with me when we made a spur of the moment trip to my parents’ house. I did swim some laps at my Mom’s pool, rather than just spending our lazy day lounging around it. But, I only ran twice the whole week.

I squeezed in a mile on Saturday, which just felt pretty awful. When I saw my time, I realized I’d been pushing myself harder than I usually do. It was my 2nd fastest pace so far, which made me feel a little better about it. Last night, I began the Couch to 5K program with my teen—we set out together on the Day 1 workout.

Sometimes, we’ll go together. Others, we may each take a run on our own. I think this is going to be a good thing for a lot of reasons. Not only will we be working towards running a full 5K, but we have the chance for some bonding time. With the hubby running, too, it’s becoming a real family affair. It’s nice to have something active to do with my family, other than taking turns at the Wii Fit now & then.

Plus, I’ve officially decided on the Wine at the Line 5K—and this time, I want to run the whole thing!

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 179 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 1 pound
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 16 pounds
Total Knockout The Fat Weight Loss: 9 pounds
BMI: 25.6

Sistahood Question: How often do you and your family eat meals together and get active together?

This post is sponsored by Together Counts and I’m writing this to be entered into a Qlip Any-where Pedometer giveaway hosted by Mamavation.

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!

Showing off my Sparkle

I ran my first ever 5K this weekend—and, I’m still a little surprised by that sentence. It isn’t like that was ever a 40×40“>life goal or anything. You’ll notice a lack of fitness goals on my 40×40 list. The only reason it was in my sights is because completing a 5K is part of the Mamavation Mom contract.

I registered for Outrun the Sun the same week I applied—because I wanted to lock myself into something, in case I wasn’t selected. So, even though I wasn’t contractually obligated to participate in a training program, exercise daily or complete a 5K, that’s exactly what I did.

Originally, I just wanted to finish it. I thought I’d walk 5K and call it a day. Then, I decided I should set a goal for myself and wanted to walk it in under an hour. Somewhere along the way, though, I made the choice to start running—okay, jogging—a bit. So, I thought I might try to finish in under 45 minutes.

I never quite got there in my training, not that I knew what I was doing with all that anyway, but I came pretty close & hoped race day adrenaline would give me a little extra boost. And, then I saw the massive pack I had to work through to even start running. Not to mention the hills. Holy crap, the hills!

I honestly thought I’d be lucky to finish in under an hour, even with the running. I run intervals, actually, with a whole lot of walking breaks in between. I did learn to pick up the pace on my walking from pre-walks with my long-legged friend, Michelle. And, I have worked on running more & more of the distance. Plus, Angie & Emily really pushed me to run more than I had planned.

With My Indy Mamavation Support Team: Chris @punkinmama, Angie @katydid6, Emily @designhermomma, Michelle @gotchababy, Julie @fairytalemom

It really helped to have friends long for the journey. When I first mentioned the 5K requirement, Michelle volunteered to walk with me for support. Then, Julie jumped on board for a walk—always the supportive friend, though I think she’s cursing me after those hills.

Finish line pics by Angie's hubby

They walked together while I ran ahead with Chris for a bit, though I wish we would have had more time to enjoy the evening together. Alas, Outrun the Sun became Outrun the Storm, and everyone rushed home. I definitely enjoyed our “training” chats walks. We’ll have to keep those up. Especially since many of us have decided to make this a regular thing.

We’re eying 5Ks throughout the year—Greek Festival, Wine at the Line and the Underground Railroad are the current front runners. I can’t say I’m in love with running, but it’s such a fast, easy way to burn lots of calories—which is how I lost 2.5 pounds this week, even though my nutrition could have been better.

I definitely made better choices than last week. Weekdays go pretty well, but there were a few moments of weakness over the weekend. Yesterday’s turtle pecan cluster blizzard definitely ranks at the top of that list. You know, because I totally earned it after finishing my first 5K in 44:11!

I’m living off salads & veggie filled sandwiches for lunch and George Foreman grilled dinners at night. Although, I did cave and make myself a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch once. They’ve been so hard to make since going gluten free—the bread is crumbly & difficult to flip. So, I’ve resorted to cooking them in my toaster oven. It is just not the same.

George Foreman Grilled Cheese

Since the George Foreman grill cooks both sides at once, I can easily make yummy, gluten free grilled cheese sandwiches—hooray! I’m going to really miss my GF this week. I’ve used it daily since it arrived 4 weeks ago, and the other day it just went out. They’re sending a new one, I believe, but I really hope this was a fluke.

Because cooking my dinner in half the usual time and watching the fat drain right off has really kinda grown on me.

I’m all set with what to cook—Alysa has armed me us with the right tools & knowledge to plan healthy, balanced meals. It’s the random treats along the way that really throw me off.

I’m totally not willing to give them up altogether. It’s simply not realistic. I just need to get better about exchanging and planning around the extras. ‘m going to watch my exchanges a little better this week, so when I hit the sweets it will be within my meal plan.

I’m also going to start the Couch to 5K program. Yes, I know, I just finished a 5K, but I want to build up to running one. I think. Either way, the training should help knock off the rest of my 40 pounds.

I’ve lost 15 so far, and I’d love to pickup the pace on the other 25.

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 180 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 2.5 pounds
Total Mamavation Weight Loss: 15 pounds
Total Knockout The Fat Weight Loss: 8 pounds
BMI: 25.8

Mamavation Topic: What gaps in your nutrition knowledge do you want to fill?

This post is sponsored by Omron Healthcare, and I’m writing this to be entered into a Omron Go Smart Pedometer giveaway hosted by Mamavation.

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!