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Eyeballin’ It

I am a decent cook. Even now as I’m testing new, healthier recipes and making all kinds of substitutions – like quinoa for rice or sweet potatoes for fries, the family doesn’t complain about the changes in the kitchen.  One thing though- I’m not one for measurements- so I never really make the same thing twice.  Or, actually, I make the same things over and over they just never look or taste the same.  I eyeball the spices, veggies, serving sizes, liquids, everything- I’m just not big on getting out all those cups and spoons to make sure I get it right every time. I mean, if you’re mashing potatoes,  or creaming them as they say here in the south, what difference does it make how much milk, butter, salt, and pepper you add? You can’t mess it up or go wrong. Same for chili beans, spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, etc- you just can’t do “but so much harm” by not measuring. So that’s generally how I go about cooking- and life in general.

This has been a pretty major deterrent in my fat loss efforts. Over the last couple of years I have become fitter and healthier and more aware of my choices and decisions when it comes to food and exercise. But somewhere along the way, the scale stopped moving and the changes screeched to a complete stop.  I have been learning to live with and accept, and even embrace the “non-scale” victories. Like, clothes fit looser, I can lift heavier, run faster and further. These are awesome accomplishments. I actually have gone down in clothes sizes on top and bottom significantly- the problem is I don’t really LOOK much better. That jelly belly is still holding on being just as stubborn as everyone says it is. So in order to get the fat loss machine back in operation, I need some measurable information so that I can track it. I have to find new ways to assess my success. And I believe this means- I must learn to measure.  Measure my food, my portions, my macronutrients, my food timing. I must keep track of and record my workouts, reps, weights, times, supplements, water intake. And- I must take my body measurements. Everything from the neck girth to the back of the arm to the waist- even the calves. I have a program that informs me that to properly assess my body composition changes, I must measure it all. Which will involve me and a partner actually looking at my whole body. Yikes! So there’s more to accurate measurements then just pinching my fat all over?? Cuz, I mean, I also assess my body by checking out the curves of my shadow. Does that count? Apparently not.

So- I’ve enlisted the hubby to be my Monday morning measurement tracker. What fun that will be! That should be a humiliating motivating way to get going every week, right? I will be sure to report and let you know of my progress. Since, you know, Memorial Day is upon us.

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Spring into SUMMER!

I WILL NOT do it again! I REFUSE to give you my pre-Memorial Day vow for the third year running.  I will just say…I’m closer than ever before.  So now I can move on.

I thought since I took a minute to brag about Jordan I should do the others the same justice, they do deserve it after all.  I mean, they are great kids.  So today–it’s Avery, our newly turned 9-year-old going on 25.  She too has an incredible heart and spirit, and such charm.  She has a way of making you forget why you’re mad and making you smile with your whole face.  I love that girl.

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A Minute to Brag

It was brought to my attention today that it’s been a year since I’ve blogged here–so you know me, never one to disappoint my adoring fans–I jumped right on!  I had actually been thinking of posting a similar message as my fb status–but as it’s a lengthy one and not one everyone might appreciate I figured this would be the better form of social media to broadcast my opinion! Soooo, here goes!  Bet you’re expecting a fitness post, right?  Well–here’s a shocker–while fitness is a passion of mine–it is not all I care about at all, and I really wanted to–as suggested in the title of this post–take a minute to brag about my family and especially my oldest!  Last summer our Jordan turned 13!!  Can you believe it?? I can’t!  But it’s true and I just cannot begin to express how truly thankful I am for the young lady she is.  Now I realize that with teenagers things can change ANY minute–which is all the more reason I am so thankful for every moment she continues to show herself to be a girl whose heart is set on Jesus.  Again–I am not so naive that I don’t often sit up at night STRESSED OUT about the what ifs of the future–BUT FOR NOW–all I can say about her is that I deeply appreciate her commitment, her devotion, and her example.  The worst Jordan might do nowadays is talk in church, and I admit she’s been known to take a certain “tone,” that all mothers can identify with I bet.  But all in all–when other kids her age are completely wrapped up in their peers or their clothes–she’s wrapped up in her music and in the arms of her Savior.  I just wanted to take a minute to let the whole world know–We have a world changer in the making at our house and I can’t wait to see where God leads her.  I’m counting my blessings and this girl’s way up on the list!Image

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Born to Win??

So I’ll skip the usual, “oh, it’s been so long” bit cuz it obviously has been and I can’t seem to do anything about that.  BUT–I’m glad to bring you today’s post which is just a little something that’s been mulling around in the ol’ noggin and that is, Are some people just BORN to WIN???  I ask this because you all know that for YEARS I have been trying to reach my Memorial Day bikini goal and every year I get closer, but I have yet to get THERE.  Now I will say that this year I’m not totally disgusted with myself in a bikini but unless some dramatic changes unfold in the next 4 weeks it may be another bikini-less Memorial Day for me. 😦

So my question comes about because honestly, I really do try VERY hard and really…I workout ALL THE TIME!!  Do I know why I fall short of my goal every year? YES!! I DO!!  It comes down to the fact that I EAT TOO MUCH!!  I am addicted to caffeine and carbs and all things baked with sugar and I SIMPLY CANNOT RESIST these things.  If they are near, they will be eaten.  Now, it is true that this is controllable in that all I have to do is NOT BUY these items, which really, I rarely do.  I mean, I don’t want my family gorging out on processed junk any more than I want to, BUT, it seems there is ALWAYS an OCCASION of some sort to deal with.  Holidays, birthdays, celebrations, get-togethers, date night, whatever–  I CANNOT ESCAPE the lure of cake and candy and coffee.  I WANT TO, I REALLY DO–but it’s so hard!!  And while for me this is an incredible struggle, others can easily pass on the sweet stuff but cannot get their butts off the couch to exercise, which as you know is SO not my problem.  I really LOVE exercising.  Then there’s that person, who can just DO it, and STICK TO IT, and never look back and just gets hotter and hotter in their bikini every year.  WHY AM I NOT THAT PERSON???  Really, were they just BORN with more of the determination gene than I have?

I have always been a quitter. It’s sad, but true.  In middle school I quit band.  Senior high school I quit cheerleading. And once, after going out for track and making the team, I even quit a RACE–then, I quit track too.  I never really had a lot of support for any of these endeavors.  I had to bum rides from practices and all that so sometimes it just seemed easier to quit.  I didn’t quit too many jobs though.  Just waitressing in college, which trust me, was a good decision–for the customers and especially management, if not for me.  I’m not afraid of hard work at all.  I’m not afraid to challenge myself and do new things.  I just don’t have that extra “oomph” that really successful, determined people have.  That really and truly NEVER EVER QUIT attitude that separates the men from the boys you  know?  Yes I know I’m a woman but you know what I mean.  Like, I REALLY want great abs, but ab exercises are uncomfortable and all the science says it’s really a matter of burning fat all over the body, not just working the abs so crunches are unnecessary anyways. Right??

See, that’s where I think I get myself.  I can rationalize just about ANYTHING.  I’m so gullible when I’m talking to myself.  I’ll say to myself, “Self, you’ve done enough.  I mean, who else has done all this today?” and then, I’ll quit.  Or sometimes, it’s, “Self, you can have that one sliver of cake.  Just a little and then you’ll have satisfied the craving and you can stop and walk away.” The problem with that is, eating is the one thing I DO NOT QUIT!!  I’m not a moderation kinda girl.  I can’t do the “one little bite” thing.  If I have a bite of cake, I will eat the WHOLE cake.  Please, somebody help me.

I guess I fall into the category of what you would call, a binge-eater.  I mean, not the bulimic barf it all up kind.  But the, kind who doesn’t indulge for  a while and then, BAM! I’ve eaten a bag of chips and a box of twinkies.  I read an article recently about my type of binge eating wherein it stated that this habit comes from not having a real “appreciation” for food and nutrition.  Rather than savor the flavor, my type usually inhales food quickly-either out of guilt or because it’s being done in secret.  Now I will say that there was a time that I would “secretly” binge, but I convinced myself that it was more of a “me” time reward I had earned.  So when the kids were in bed and the hubby was out of town, I would indulge in all things baked in sugar.  Now I own it more.  If I go over the edge, I immediately confess it to someone and take responsibility for it. Which I believe is a step in the right direction.

But back to being BORN with more drive and determination.  I mean you see it all over.  I’ll admit that while I am not a great admirer of athletes, I do recognize that while they are grossly overpaid, there is something to be said for the dedication it takes to be a standout professional athlete.  There’s a little girl our family has gotten to know over the years, she’s 11, and let me tell you, nothing but an act of God will stop her from achieving her goal of playing college basketball.  The kid is 11 people.  No one MAKES her get up and run 2 miles, no one MAKES her go to camps and trainings all over the state.  She definitely has a great support system and the advantage of being able to afford a lot of opportunities other kids just can’t, but again, no one MAKES her do these things.  She has an ingrained determination to reach her goals that is impressive at any age, but to see it in an 11-year-old, that just makes me feel bad about myself.  Here is a kid who wants something she won’t even see fruit from for years to come, and yet she puts in work like she has no choice.  And I can’t make myself finish the ab portion of a DVD.  Can we chalk it up to genetics?  Please?

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March MADNESS!!

With a little bit a’ basketball, a whole lotta madness!!  As usual life is hectic, but oh so good!  The kids keep us busy, still playing hard on Saturday mornings.  The dogs keep us busy.  Work keeps us busy. School keeps us busy.  Band keeps us busy.  Church does too.  But I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything! It does feel sometimes like we’re trying to catch up with ourselves and never quite getting there, but at the end of the day it’s a good exhaustion knowing that everyone’s needs and talents are being met and fed.  Speaking of talent, that’s coming up again and we are in the midst of the ever-stressful SONG SELECTION!!  Itunes gets so rich off of me at this time of year.  Not that Apple doesn’t already thank us and our iphone, ipod, ipad using selves.  I’m just waiting for this stupid computer to just DIE to I can go Mac!

And wanted to share with you my latest quest and conquer–HIP HOP HUSTLE!!! Now this is a mess because I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO NOT a DANCER!! I mean–I could pick up our little cheerleading choreography back in the day but this–this is different.  BUT–this is FUN!!  So I’m adding it to my repertoire of classes at the Y and am SUPER excited, but also very nervous!  Thankfully I do have some Hip Hop Homies who have been my guinea pigs so it’ll get there!  Here’s a glimpse of what it COULD look like, but not necessarily if I’m teaching it lol!

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Two words…Beach Body!!

Already almost a whole month of the new year is gone.  It’s not even “new” anymore.  How have those “resolutions” come along for you all?  Being faithful to the new diet plan and exercise regimen?  Have you quit smoking or at least cut back?  Have you stuck to your Bible study, turned off the TV, tightened the budget, and gone to bed early?  Good for you if you said with great energy, “YES!!  I HAVE!!”  Try again tomorrow if your answer was, “Well, see, what had happened was….”

That’s the nature of new year’s resolutions right?  I have to say I consider it one of the greatest cultural crocks we give in to.  (I know that’s not grammatically correct but I do try to appeal to the masses lol) If you have to wait until a whole new year begins to make some kind of important change then it’s likely you won’t really make the change when that year begins.  People who want to do new things or reach new goals don’t WAIT!!  They get off their butts and DO IT!!  It’ s like waiting for Monday to start a diet, or waiting until you “have it together” to accept Christ.  (That’s a stretchy comparison I know)  But I’m saying, if you wait for the right time to do something, you will waste a lot of usable time in the process.

So what kind of commitments did I make for 2011 you ask?  Well, you know me too well if you said it was fitness related.  Now I do not have a” lose this many pounds, be this certain size” sort of goal.  Mine is just to stay IN IT!!  Just keep going at it daily to get into the best shape of my life.  Get stronger, leaner, faster, have more endurance, and feel everyday like I know I’m doing ALL  I can to make it happen.  So for me, it’s not a 2011 thing.  It’s a “rest of my life for as long as I’m able never gonna quit” kind of thing.  To that end, I’ve gone into the fitness biz!!  Now most of you know I am now a fitness instructor.  That sounds good, huh?  I’ll say it again.  I am a fitness instructor.  That probably brings up some glorified images of six-pack abs and bulging biceps.  Yeah, I’m not THAT fitness instructor.  YET!!  But the goal is to become that fitness instructor.  And so my newest program is …..RevAbs with Brett Hoebel.

I am only three days in and here I was thinking, “Oh yeah, I’m fit, I’m strong.  I’m goin’ straight to Phase TWO baby!! I don’t need to build a fitness foundation.  I HAVE a fitness foundation!!” POP!! There went my bubble.

He is kicking my butt!!  I am sore in places I have not been sore in a long time–and I LOVE IT!!  This pain makes me think–RESULTS!! They’re coming, they’re coming!!  Stick with it!!  Added to the workout I am also partaking of the famous Beachbody Shakeology.  Can I just say–YUMMO!!  Now I tried it over the summer when a coach sent me some samples and it was OK–but I thought I’ve got this plateau in place for like a year now, I gotta do something…so I went for it and am now hooked.  When properly prepared this stuff is GOOOOOOD!!!  And I can really feel the effects like, less hunger and cravings, NO bloating, better regularity, and ENERGY through the roof!  Wanna feel the same way?  I can help you with that too!

I mentioned earlier that I am now in the fitness biz.  You know all those infomercials you see–P90X, Insanity, TurboFire, Slim in 6, Body Gospel to name a few–you can buy them from ME!!  And why would I be selling these items???  Because I’ve tried most of them and they have CHANGED MY LIFE!!  Need I remind you, I am a fitness instructor.  Now how did that happen?? Two Words.. TURBO JAM, and two more… CHALENE JOHNSON!!  Had it never been for that workout I don’t know what I would be doing, but it wouldn’t be teaching fitness classes.  It would probably be more along the lines of perfecting my after-dinner belly rub or making my next excuse for my weight, because…well Avery turns 8 in a couple of months and the “had a baby” excuse does not fly anymore.

So what’s up for me in 2011?? Big stuff people.  Getting fit, helping others get fit, doing my part to overcome the obesity epidemic in America.  Feeling awesome–and this year REALLY–the Memorial Day bikini is a DEFINITE!!  Watch me!!

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Tis the Season to be…Busy, Frazzled, Frustrated, and Oh Yeah…Merry

I know, I know–you’ve all been checking and re-checking the blog, pacing the floors, waiting for the email that says Finally!!  I’ve Updated!!  Well–at long last here I am to wish you a Merry, Merry CHRISTmas and wish you well in the new year.

Maybe you’ve wondered for the last month what I’ve been up to, what could possibly keep me from the delightful pastime of blogging away–well, it’s been a little bit of everything actually.  First, there are of course, the three kids I have.  I know many people have many more kids than that but for me, it takes all I have to remember their names so we’re good with just the 3 thank you.  Also there’s the endless task of homeschooling, which is a privilege that I am thankful for but do not always love–sorry to disappoint those with visions of picnics in the meadows.  Then, shopping.  I cannot believe there was ever a time in life when this was an enjoyable process.  I’m at the point where I just don’t care, throw it in the basket–whatever!!  Just let me get out of here without being arrested for either child abuse or neglect–KIDDING!!!  Relax, people, but really–this has NOT been fun.  Decorating, baking, wrapping gifts, teaching Turbo, band concert, youth group, Kids’ Church, play rehearsal, RE-decorating when the tree fell, you know how it is.  If not, check out the pics.

Honestly though, in the midst of it all, I have truly reflected on the reason for the season.  Praise the Lord that He would come to this fallen world and live as a lowly man, just to give His life that we might know Him as Savior.  Praise His name, He is WORTHY!!  Be blessed this Christmas and always knowing He loves you and is at work in you.   Do you know the REASON for the SEASON??

 

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