Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Five: Earth Day

In lieu of yesterday being Earth Day, today's 5 will be what I am doing, or am trying to do, to make living less toxic for the Earth.

I haven't always been very earth friendly with the way I live. Up until recently I haven't really thought much about it. I hear about everything needing to be "greener" or "organic", and the cynical side in me thinks about how much money everyone is making by putting a "green" or "organic" label on products. However, with a toddler under my care and learning from my actions I began to think about what "going green" might really mean.

I certainly don't call what I do "going green". I like to think of it as helping the Earth. Whether you know it or not, everything you do effects the Earth and as inhabitants of this planet we have a responsibility to cultivate, maintain and protect it. Once I discovered how my actions, or lack thereof, would make an impact, I began to rethink my cynical ways.

5 easy somethings I can do to help the Earth

  • Recycle- This seems like it should be easy, right? But, oh boy... Last summer I located the closest recycling center and made weekly/bi-weekly trips. After about a month or two things began to get more complicated. It seemed like such an inconvenience. Plus, the plastic bins I kept the recyclables in began to get stinky which proved to be the last straw. I didn't want to wash out all of the cans/bottles, sort through and shred papers, break down boxes or deal with stinky, gross plastic bins all while chasing a toddler. (Way to make a case for recycling, right?) BUT, I should. I chose to turn my back on something I feel is right. It's such a small thing that can make such a big difference. I persevere this year and find a way to make recycling work for my family.

  • Buy Local- Support your local farmers and buy their produce. In return, you'll get fresher, better tasting food that hasn't traveled hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles away. 10 Reasons to Eat Local Food

  • Plant a Garden- I suppose growing my own food has been instilled in my by my father. I remember in my early elementary school years watching my dad till up the garden and a few weeks later weeding that same garden. I always pulled up the cucumbers because I thought they were weeds. Now that I have a yard of my own, growing my own food has always been on the "to do" list. This year's 4X4 garden is fairly small (smaller than what I would like, anyway). Each year I plan on increasing it's size. And I must say how exciting it is to see my nearly 2 year old learning about seeds, dirt, plants, worms and gardening. I am so happy to share this with her. Square Foot Gardening is a great way to use the what space you have to its' fullest potential. And if you don't have a yard, use old plastic containers to grow herbs or tomato plants.

  • Composting- If you do decide to garden, composting your trash is an excellent way to feed it. And if you don't decide to garden, composting is an excellent way to feed my garden! (haha) I have had my compost trash can for a long time and finally decided to make the plunge and go for it. I am using a large rubbermaid trashcan that we bought when we first moved. I poked holes all over it to help with ventilation and, because it's round, I can mix everything together by rolling it. It takes awhile to see the results but it will be worth it. Plus, I get to look for worms with my daughter to put in the compost bin. Can you tell we love dirt? 30 Unusual Items You Can Compost

  • Homemade Cleaners- This is something very new to me. I had heard of people making their own cleaning supplies but I guess it just seemed "weird". Lo and behold, here I am wanting to make the switch. I like the idea of knowing EXACTLY what is in whatever I am using. Most cleaning products are packed with chemicals and additives that are bad for our bodies (ever checked the warning labels??) and horrible for our waters. Using lemons, vinegar, baking soda, borax and a few choice essential oils will help the environment, my health AND my wallet.

  • I've used the Christian HomeKeeper Network to find the bulk of my homemade cleaner recipes. Once my laundry detergent runs out, I plan on using this recipe to make my own laundry detergent. I am also in the research stage of making toothpaste, deodorant, facial cleanser and shampoo. Your skin is the largest organ of your body. Whatever gets put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, into your bloodstream and into your organs, as has been proven by many studies. Essentially, whatever is toxic to put in your mouth is toxic on your skin as well. Kind of a selling point for me.

The point is now that I know, I can't just do nothing. Doing one small something is better than nothing. A friend told me once that it's baby steps. Be mindful of what you buy and how that in turn will effect the planet.

Making a cleaner, healthier world has to start somewhere. A way to start is by becoming informed. There are countless websites with oodles of information. That's where I started: There are also documentaries that are truly eye opening. No Impact Man and Food Inc. will make you think.

What are some ways that you're helping the Earth?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in

Today was super busy, but super awesome, and so I am only now finding the time to write a blurb about this past week and how it altered my weight loss.

So, with an injured foot and a postponed C25k I had to find other ways of exercising. Walking would have been great this week but my husband was out of town from Sunday morning until about an hour ago. Here's what this past week looked like in workouts:

Thursday: 2 mile walk in the a.m. & C25k-week 2, day 3 in the p.m.
Friday: injured foot :(
Saturday: 25 min. outside cycling & 40 minute walk
Sunday: 30 Day Shred, Day 1
Monday: 30 Day Shred, Day 2
attempted 30 Day Shred but the top of my injured foot felt like it was being stabbed with a knife so I just did 15 minutes of strength training
Wednesday: 30 Day Shred, Day 3

Michael is back so I can resume my a.m./p.m. walks, pending any foot pain. I had not realized how much I truly enjoyed those walks until I couldn't go on them anymore. Walking for exercise just isn't the same with a toddler climbing out of the stroller.

What are the results of such a workout week? -1.2! I truly thought I would gain this week because my eating has been so off. I guess I worked hard enough to balance it out.

Well, folks...I'm heading off to watch 'Glee' on now. The ONLY two TV shows I watch, Biggest Loser and Glee, just happen to be on the same night. Rats.

I hope all of you are finding some time in the day to get outside, get active and enjoy this lovely weather!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


I completed the 2nd week of C25k...only to aquire an injury along the way. My left foot (the already injured one) has fallen victim to yet another injury. I'm pretty sure the combination of my compensating for the old injury by overpronating (running more on the inside of my foot than normal), using worn running shoes, running on pavement and adding trail/hill work on the weekends are to blame. It could be worse, though. If I had chosen to start this weight loss journey back in December by running and then injured my foot, I most likely would have given up.

But not this time.

This journey isn't about quick fixes. It's a life change. I'm in it for life. So, although I have to take a break from running, I don't take a break from becoming healthier. I plan on cycling (even though I get bugs in my hair), walking (slower than usual, but walking is better than nothing) and continuing with different workout DVD's--most likely the '30 Day Shred'.

Plus, losing weight and becoming healthy isn't just about exercise, right? It's about eating healthy, too. I definitely don't have this one down. Since I'm throwing all this out there I should fess up. I did binge a few times this week. After I hurt my foot, I became scared. Scared of losing the progress that I'd already made. Scared I wouldn't be able to run, or even walk, for a few weeks. (It hurt that bad, people!!) Scared that I would give up and pig out to the max. Scared of shutting down and ballooning to a record high weight again. I kind of freaked. So, what then? Well, I ate some SunChips. By some, of course, I mean pretty much all. I am grateful at times like these that we (I) don't keep most junk food in the house, and that we have one car which Michael uses. I had no easy access to any other food.

My lesson?? Not learned, but learning.

I truly hate admitting this, because I've tried my hardest to hide it all my life. Yet here I am. Confessing one of my deepest sins and secrets to only God knows who. And why?? Because I need the accountability. And because sin and secrets can't live in the light. Bringing it out into the light exposes it. Sure, it makes me more vulnerable but how will I change when I keep everything to myself?

"..The light from heaven came into the world, but they (unbelieving) loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light because the want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished. But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants."
John 3:19-21

This verse is where I am. I don't love food more than I love Jesus. Kind of sounds like a "duh" statement, right? However, when I hide my binging and over eating, I am afraid of being exposed. BUT when I bring all of this into the light, I am being purified of it. I am choosing God over food.

By the way...I am so encouraged by everyone I know who, after reading this blog, has decided to make their lives healthier, too! Keep up the good work. It's so difficult to change a set pattern--be it eating a certain way or not exercising--but it is worth it!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Friday Five: Workout Songs

I am not the kind of person that can run without any kind of music. I can walk without music, especially if I'm being accompanied by a friend or it's a nature walk, but I don't like to. It's my fuel. When I want to quit (which I experienced last night on my 3rd run of the week--definitely a morning person), the right song can push me through.

Here are my current top 5 workout songs.

5. "Superfly" by the O.C. Supertones. There's nothing lyrically ground breaking about this song and ska is certainly not my preferred genre, however, this song puts a smile on my face even while huffing and puffing.

4. "The More" by Downhere. This song has a great little guitar hook, is fast paced, lyrically awesome and helps focus my thoughts Above. It's a great song, even if not listened to while running.

3."You Already Take Me There" by Switchfoot. An older favorite of mine. Listening to this one always takes me back. Plus, I ♥ Switchfoot.

2. "Undignified" by The David Crowder Band. The beat is perfect for running and the lyrics are fun but meaningful. It doesn't hurt having an awesome chant in the song.
"La la la la la
La la la la la
It's one of those chants where you just feel the need to fist punch the air on "HEY". I'm sure I look all sorts of ridiculous running and fist punching the air...

...and my top favorite workout song (drumroll, please)

1. "Fighter" by Christina Aguilera. This is my all time favorite workout song. Angry chick music. Go figure. When no other song inspires, this one does. The gist of the song is about a girl who's had the wool pulled over her eyes by her boyfriend and, instead of holding a grudge, she learns her lesson and comes out on the other side stronger.

"Makes me that much stronger
Makes me work a little bit harder
Makes me that much wiser
So thanks for making me a fighter

Made me learn a little bit faster
Made my skin a little bit thicker
Makes me that much smarter
So thanks for making me a fighter."

It's easy to listen to these lyrics and relate it to running/becoming healthier/losing weight, and then push through a rough spot in my workout. The only problem I always run into is wanting to sing along! I suppose that would really build up my lungs!

If you haven't notice, I have no new music in my favorites. It's not that I don't like new music. Music just doesn't seem to have the same priority it had before Liesl was born. I'm not proud of that, but it is what it is.

So, tell me...what are your favorite workout songs???

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in

This morning I took to the streets for Day 2, Week 2 of the C25k. Can I just say how much I LOVE seeing the sunrise while running? Seeing the sun peak over the horizon and make everything glow is just amazing.

Today's run was more challenging than Monday's. I went for a walk last night and my left foot was feeling great so I walked at a faster pace. When I woke up this morning I knew today's run would be hard. I took some ibuprofen before leaving to run. It was truly painful to even walk on it, but after the second run I didn't feel any pain. I should have known better than to push myself last night. I am still needing to find that balance between pushing myself and holding back.

And now to the weigh in...

-2.4 pounds!

It's roughly the same as last week, only this week I feel the difference. Does that make sense? My clothes fit a bit looser around the waist and I am seeing more of my collarbones (yes, I think I may have a slight collarbone obsession...they've been "hiding" for so long it's like discovering a new body part). This 2 pound deficit also put my weight at a different tenth digit. I don't think I'm going to reveal my weight, though. I am working on before pictures so the after pictures will have their true effect. More on those some other time.

I received disturbing family news yesterday. I am not at liberty to discuss it but it's already begun to test my resolve. After I heard the news, all I could think about was getting to McDonald's and slurping down a supersize sweet tea..or eating something, anything, mindlessly. Luckily, this house is stocked with nothing but healthy foods so I would have to leave the get the junk food. I didn't. I wanted to. Really bad. Instead of turning to food, where should I turn?? To the only Food the truly satisfies, the only Water that truly quenches. I am still learning to turn to God instead of food. I'm not there yet, but I am learning.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pants on the Ground vs. Wedgies

I just completed Day 1, Week 2 of the C25k program.Whew. I had hyped myself up over the weekend by thinking it was going to be brutal. When my phone's alarm clock went off at 5:30 a.m., there was no hesitation at hitting the snooze on it. My husband said something to me about getting up and running--I think it was supposed to be encouraging but all I wanted to do was hit him for talking while I was trying to snooze 15 minutes longer. Snoozing more just wasn't in the plan this morning. I found out that my new phone was set to repeat alarm every 5 minutes. Evil.

10 minutes later I was dressed, laced and ready to go. Ipod and phone in hand, I went out to face the chilly morning air. After my 5 minute warm-up walk, I began my first 90 second run. The run, itself, went well. I did have wardrobe malfunctions. Actually, I thought my running attire wouldn't pose another problem but it's a recap.
..(Warning: a bit of TMI)

Wednesday's run: I had to hold my pants up during the first 60 seconds. They were falling off. During the 90 second walk, I tied the drawstring so tight that it left a lovely ring around my waist. Even with the drawstring tied tight they needed to be held up.

Friday's run: Different pants, no drawstring. The first 60 seconds had my underwear falling around my hips and my pants sliding down with them. AHHHH! I'm sure it looked pretty ridiculous to passerby's. During the 90 second walk, I pulled my underwear up and found the only way to keep them up during a run was to impose on my self a wedgie. Yes, I just went there. My pants were similar. No drawstring=Urkel style pants. At least my shirt was covering them up!

Today's run: I was optimistic. I bought smaller size underwear this weekend and I was wearing my favorite, very worn, grey, capri, drawstring pants. I hadn't adjusted the drawstring since the beginning of March, so I should have expected what was to come. Friday's mishaps repeated themselves. Self-imposed wedgie and really tight drawstring.

(End TMI)

Lesson learned. I need proper running attire. My old workout clothes just aren't going to cut it anymore. Sure, they are great for a DVD workout or walking, but running requires a little more. Good thing I have a birthday in a few weeks ;) I, also, think that cotton on cotton can prove to be a disastrous pant/underwear combination.

And, for those of you driving to work around 5:45-6:30 a.m. in my area, I am so sorry if you had to witness any of that! I promise it won't happen again....until the next time it does.

I headed out on Saturday a.m. with my camera in hand to capture the beautiful sunrise. This is one reason why running/walking in the early hours is completely worth it.

In case of collapsing while running, I am within a half a mile from a hospital. Ha.

Any good running wardrobe advice????

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Friday Five: Musicals

Okay, folks. I'm going to be straight with you. I totally stole this idea from a fellow blogger. She's the smarty pants behind this idea. I always love reading little tidbits about people. The 'Friday Five' will, hopefully, be a way to share a little more of myself-sans weight loss struggles.

I'm starting off small and light this Friday. If you already know me-know me, you can probably just come back next for the next post :)

Musicals aren't everyone's favorite but I LOVE them! So, here are my favorite 5 Musicals:

1. The Sound of Music

I mean, c'mon. Of course this is my favorite musical. My daughter's named after one of the characters! I've loved this musical since well before I can remember. When I am in an exceptionally good mood I find myself singing "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music". It just naturally comes out of me. Love it.

2. My Fair Lady
Eliza Doolittle puts a smile on my face.

3. The King and I

This musical isn't in my top 5 for it's musical quality. I actually find the songs lacking and skip past the slow ones :) I like the story and find the king very entertaining--but the real reason why it's in my top 5? My favorite dress is the one Anna wears to the dinner. When the wives lift their dresses (with no undergarments) to hide from the man with "head of a goat" and the "evil eye", I crack up. Every single time.

4. Fiddler on the Roof

I really wish I was related Tevye. Can you imagine how fun family gatherings would be? Hilarious.

5. Mary Poppins
Or "Pop Pop", as Liesl calls it. I just love Julie Andrews. And most people love Mary Poppin's lace up shoes, too. Oh, not me. I want a pair of the purple shoes she pulls our of her carpet bag! I wonder if they come in a size 12...

I think I might just walk around singing songs from musicals all day now.

Off to complete Day 3, Week 1 of C25k!......What's your favorite musical???

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday Weigh-in

Day 2, Week 1 of the Couch to 5k program is completed! Only one more day to go this week and I must say that this is more challenging than the LCW DVD program. It's not that it's more strenuous but it leaves more days open for me to chose what to do. You would think that would be very freeing but I like routine and "having a plan". The C25k is a plan but what about the other days of the week?? Yoga, biking, LCW, dancing, another random DVD...? The possibilities are endless and if I don't have it already planned out in my head, or on paper, it just isn't going to happen. Like yesterday. Not a good workout day. I went for a 35 minute walk and did about 10-12 minutes of strengthening while watching 'The Biggest Loser' but it wasn't nearly as much effort as I've put into my body in the past few weeks. Oh, well. One more thing to add to the to do list-Planning!

The results are in. I am -2 pounds this week. I definitely am feeling more like a turtle than a hare. Slowly, but steadily, the weight is coming off. With as much as I have to lose, though, it just seems like I should be able to drop weight a little faster. Watching shows, like 'The Biggest Loser', can be encouraging and lead you to push harder but it can also lead to unrealistic expectations. Like losing 9 pounds in a week. Every other week. Since starting this journey the most I've lost in 1 week was 5 pounds. It was at the beginning of this journey so I'm sure a lot of it was water weight. It would be nice to have those big losses again. Any thoughts?????

And, now, here is a blurb about an inspiration of mine. This person started changing my life in September of 2007. She is one of my motivations to keep on pushing because I know my efforts for myself will benefit her, too. She changed the way I see the world and the way I see myself. Because of her, I want to be better. She is my daughter. My sweet, fun-spirited, contagiously happy 22 month old little girl. Motherhood hasn't been easy-I'm sure it's only going to get harder, but I am learning so much about myself by being a mother. I am finding that I want to eat healthier because I want her to eat healthier. I love it that she wants a salad every time I eat one, and squats down to "cise" (exercise). Of course, she's changed much more in me and I aim to teach her a lot more, but I want her to respect her body and take care of herself. I don't want her to have the same struggles that I have had. Food will not be a reward, but fuel. Exercise will be fun and a way of life, not a drudgery. This is what I hope to teach, and how I aspire to live.

(she's not passed out, just "sleeping" after gardening with me)

Who inspires you?? Who motivates you to live healthier, and go that extra mile??

Monday, April 5, 2010


C25K looks like a bunch of gibberish BUT it stands for "Couch to 5k" which is what I've decided to make my next endeavor. And I won't be doing it alone. JewliaGoulia started her C25K and invited people to join along. It will be great to have the support and have a community of newbies to running. Join us if you've ever thought about running but were to shy, scared, self-conscious, unmotivated, nervous or thought you were to out of shape to do it. What have you got to lose?

After 5ish weeks of the 'Last Chance Workout' DVD, I am calling it quits. It's not that it isn't fun. I still enjoy it, but it takes up an hour of Liesl's naptime. Oh, who am I kidding? I just want to RUN! I'd rather RUN than stay inside and finish up a DVD which, by the way, is to blame for aggravating an old injury in my foot. I haven't done the cardio portion since Thursday but added in running, bike riding, more walking while continuing with the 'LCW' strengthening, and my foot doesn't hurt nearly as bad as before. Yay!

But does this mean that I didn't complete yet another goal I set??? Yeah, I guess so. I think I stuck with it long enough to see the benefits I would gain. However, I was beginning to dread Liesl's nap time just because I knew I would have to do the workout, and I knew it would wipe me out for the rest of the day b/c of my foot. I even began keeping Liesl up longer than usual to avoid it. Eeek! That's a sure sign it's time for a change! I may pull it out on a rainy day because it is a fantastic workout; but that's the beauty of DVD's!

In addition to changing my workout, I've also changed my weigh in day. Wednesday is now the lucky winner. I think it will give my body a chance to rebound from the weekend.

Off to tend to the garden now...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ding Ding Ding

Sorry for the lack of consistent updates. I have been recovering from being sick...again. Thank-you, daughter of mine, for kind.

Last week I had a green smoothie most mornings so, by the end of the week you would think that I would feel great. Not. I had a headache the size of Texas, I was nauseated (no, I am not pregnant, thank-you very much), I was breaking out on my face and craving all the wrong foods. I assumed all of these symptoms were PMS related (TMI? Sorry.) so I gave into my cravings knowing that they would only last for a day or 2. By "giving in", I consumed homemade pizza, reese's bunnies, ice cream and m&m's. Not all in the same day and not the entire quantity but enough to counter effect my hard work from the previous days.

The calendar doesn't lie. It's way too early to be having these symptoms. I didn't put two and two together until about 1 hour ago. I returned from my morning walk and had a monster of a headache. "Not again," I thought. I had also noticed yesterday that my face was breaking out again, too. Surely this isn't PMS. Then, I thought about my green smoothie breakfast and


Of course, I've experienced this before when I was on a Raw Food diet before Liesl was born. D-E-T-O-X. Moodiness. Break outs. Nausea. Headaches. Sugary, high fat food cravings. It all makes sense. Unlike last week, I'm not "giving in". I'm going to stick out the side effects because in 2-4 days, they'll be gone and I'll be healthier.

Back to last week, my binge episode, that I'm not proud of btw, effected my weigh-in. I did lose 1 pound but I put in a heck of a workout week that 1 pound could have been a lot more. I can't change the past though, can I? I fell to temptation, repented and, by grace alone, I am still standing.

I have decided to incorporate running back into the exercise regime. It's time. I've been walking for a few weeks along with the LCW DVD so I am ready. Because I've been sick, my 6 week DVD program is turning into more a 7- 7 and a half week program. But I'm okay with that. I will complete it even if it's not in the amount of time suggested. As for running, M-W-F seems to be a good start. I'm also not going to start any kind of "formal" training/program for running until I am finished with the DVD. I'm still not sure which, if any, DVD I will try next. I may just focus on running and do a workout DVD on the side..who knows..

Until we meet again..

...enjoy spring!