Sunday, April 7, 2013

Today is a new day: Initial Weigh In

About this time last year.  I stopped.  Stopped anything that had to do with trying to lose weight.  I needed a mental break from everything weight loss.  I took it and I felt much better as a human being.  I am glad I got my brain sorted out, cause big change was on the horizon. 

 In June my husband lost his job and we spent a nine months searching and being unemployed.  He has had two temp jobs and recently got a permanent job.  Not only did we have the job loss, we have decided to become 100% debt free.  With the loss of a job it motivated us to move into one of our small rental homes and hopefully we can sell our largest home next year anticipating the market picks up in our area.

 This week I am moving for the second time in the past four months and it will be a semi-permanent move into a small two bedroom house.  Jumbbled I know but I so has my life the past year!!

 Those are all stories for another day, but needless to say I am grateful to have taken a break from weight loss.  My younger sister recently had a baby and she is hosting a weight loss challenge and I through nudging, I have decided to join. This is the first time I have joined a challenge and haven’t had a plan.  Last year when I joined a New Years challenge I had a distinct plan and I miserably failed/gave it up.  But I came a way a healthier mental person! 

 Now my body is crying for attention. It is time to get back to work.  Since we have been unemployed we froze all bills that were not crucial necessities including my gym membership.  And starting next week I will have a gym membership again and will be moved back to the town where the gym is at.

 So today was the initial weigh in for the challenge.  Here is my pics.  I hope to get a plan in place after I get moved next week.  But until then, looking forward.


Sunday, April 29, 2012

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Protein Brownies: recipe bust

I found this post I started almost a year ago in my drafts!  I thought I would post it despite it being a while back!

I have been wanting to make my own protein bars for a while.  I searched the internet for some recipes.  I ended tweaking one of the recipes I found and this is what I came up with.

Before you run off to your kitchen and go to start preparing this deceiving little morsels, let me give you the low down. The name was deceiving.  The wonderful aroma that wafted in the kitchen was deceiving, I gotta be honest with you, they weren’t very good, at all.
So if I were to rate them on a five star scale it would go as follows:

Chocolaty goodness**
Energy Boost****

Although these bars were down right gross, I had to give them 4 stars for keeping my energy up and warding off hunger.  Often times I need a boost and I crave something sweet, but what I really need is a swift kick of energy to keep me going.  This nasty bar did it for me.  So rather than dump them all in the trash I have stashed them away in the fridge.  The recipe recommended cutting them up into 8 bars.  I could only stomach ½ a bar, and still was given the boost I needed.  The nutrition information is based upon 8 bars though.

One other problem I had with the recipe…. It recommended cooking the batter on waxed paper, which I did.  I could not remove the wax paper though.  I pulled what I could off, but there was no way this paper was coming off.  Maybe next time I will try parchment paper, or just spray the pan.

Please let me know if you try them out and have better luck!!  Or if you have a good protein bar recipe I would love to try it out. Thanks!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Protein Brownies
8 Servings

½ cup old fashion oats
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 ½ cup vanilla flavored protein powder or 6 scoops (I would have done chocolate, but I didn’t have enough)
½ cup dry unsweetened cocoa powder
2 egg whites
1 tbsp chocolate syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup natural peanut butter
½ cup-1cup water

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Blend oats until flour.  Add remaining dry ingredients.  Mix egg whites, chocolate syrup, vanilla and peanut butter in large bowl.  Add dry ingredients.  Slowly add water until "gooey". (this does not turn into a batter; it is very thick in consistency).  Pour into 9x9 pan lined with wax paper.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on cooling rack.  Cut into 8 bars.  Refrigerate. 

211 calories per serving
18 grams of carbohydrates
10 grams of fat
26 grams of protein
3 grams of fiber

Keep in mind that nutritional content will change with brand of protein powder

I Am Back!!

Well, I am gearing to get this blog back up and rolling.  This is my lengthy explanation of where I have been and what I have been up to!

A couple months back I had to stop. Stop all of it.  Initially it was all of my internet time consuming task, but mostly this blog and my “health” goals.  What I was neglecting was my mental health.  I needed to walk away from my blog for a while to re-gain sanity. 

I had made hefty weight loss goals at the beginning of this year and I even joined two challenges that cost me big bucks to enter.  I stopped all of those things too, weighing myself, counting calories, obsessing over whether or not my body was weighing less.  I found I was getting angry with my body and I was feeling crazy with my load as a wife and a mother.  Not a healthy place to be if you ask me!!!

For my sanities sake, I had to stop it all.  I had to re-prioritize my life.  I have visited with my doctors and I am healthy in all physical aspects, other than I am overweight.  Since my mental health was going to pot, I just had to stop it all.  For one whole month I didn’t go to the gym and I didn’t fret over the food I ate.

I maintained my weight for the most part, up until the past week or so where I have seen a gain.  Sigh…

During my time “off” I mostly just took a step back and began breathing again.  I was struggling with anxiety and it was getting worst with my weight loss efforts.  I would stress over things I did not have control over like sickness, and the moods of my children.  I would cry and feel stressed if I couldn’t get to the gym.  It was at a point of I needed to make a change, and I really didn’t want to let go of my goals I had set, but something big had to budge or I was not going to “get better” mentally.

I worried that my anxiety was beyond my control.  I was to the point I had made an appointment with my doctor to talk about options and possible medications.  But due to my doctor being out of town and a job change with insurance not starting up right away,  my appointment was a month out.  I decided before I got into see my doctor I would do every thing I could to get mentally healthy before I went to see her. 

Normally I think most of us would benefit from exercise mentally.  But it was not working for me, it was bringing more stress, especially because all of my efforts felt in vain because I was not losing any weight.  I was feeling more stress about trying to get to the gym, than was good for my soul and my body!

Along with my break from the diet world, I saw a counselor to see if I could sort some things out. My hopes were that I could gain some tools to help me deal with my anxiety so I wouldn’t have to turn to a medication route.

The other change that took place was birth control, I ran out of my prescription for the pill and I wouldn’t be able to re-fill until I had my doctor appointment.  So I went off.  I suspected that the hormones in the pill were partial factor in my anxiety (which has been a struggle for me the whole year I was on the pill).  I started feeling better and better with each day without the pill.  The hormones were messing me up!

Here are some of the things I learned from my:
“break from weight loss”

-Yes, the birth control pill makes me more moody and anxious.  Not a good way to live!

-Going to therapy was helpful and I was able to gain a better perspective and helpful tools for coping.

-Not working out, was a blessing for this time being.  I needed it! Backwards I know!

-You have to put what is most important first, even if it means you have to give up something you want really bad (I had big dreams of being down 60 lbs by June! Not gunna happen!!)

-When I eat lots of sugar I am more moody and it also brings on the anxiety.  Dang, I wish sugar wasn’t a factor cause for some crazy reason I like the stuff!

-When I am not exercising and eating healthy I have a hard time getting to sleep, and a  harder time getting up in the morning.  I missed my deep sleep and the ability to fall asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow!

-But most importantly I have once again learned how important it is to Trust in the Lord!

So here I am, ready to start making healthy choices once again. I didn’t think my break was going to be as long as it was, but I am grateful to say that I am a healthier person today, even if I still am fat! :)  I can think clearly again, and I am not emotionally volatile, like I was becoming a few months back.  I have gained back a great sense of sanity and I don’t live in an anxious hole of worry.  I am very grateful.

I hope all of you are hanging in there!  Please do not forget to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health.  They go hand in hand and if one is lacking greatly, you can not win!

 Have a beautiful week!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

On Leave....

I am taking leave.  Leave from my computer.  I have decided the best thing for me and my family is to walk away from my computer habits.  I spend too much time pinning on Pinterest, browsing Facebook and too many hours catching up on Google Reader.  I won’t even start with how much time I spend checking email and time on My Fitness Pal!!

I am not giving up on my weight loss.  I am hoping this helps me gain focus where it needs to be.  I don’t know how long my absence will be, but I just need to change some things up in my life.

I hope to return a healthier person, mentally and physically.

Take Care,

Monday, February 20, 2012

SCC Week Seven Update

Spring Chick Challenge (SCC) Week Seven Challenge Update:

1.       Commit to a NSV (non scale victory) to be assessed at the start and the conclusion of the challenge.   My size 14 jeans I currently wear will be loose and falling off!  I will be wearing a size 12!!
I feel like I am getting no where, but I am determined to keep moving along and attempting to move forward.  I did however have a NSV, My 14’s I wear most often are loose, and due to my body shape they fall off my rear when they are worn below my belly.  But due to the size of my belly right now they won’t stay on top of my tummy at all.  I really have needed to find a belt.  Last time I tried on my belts from my closet (which I have not been able to wear since having kids) I was disappointed that I couldn’t wear them.  Me and my stubbornness refused to go out and buy a larger size. 
Valentines I was going out on a date with the hubster and I decided to try on one of my belts.  I was able to wear it at the largest size.  It was a little tight, but it kept my pants in place while we were dancing.  I tried on a second belt and it fits even better!  So I am happy for this small step of progress!  It has helped lift my spirits a bit.

2.       Commit to a set of nutrition parameters and track via MyFitnessPal
o        I will aim for 1200/day and adjust according to my exercise  tracking via MyFitnessPal (add me as your friend—ambreee)
o        I will drink at least 64 oz of water a day.
Eating this week was not so great.  I didn’t track as often as I should have and I ate way too many goodies.  Today I am back on track with logging my food. I did great on water.  I figure if it is one small thing I can do for myself, I can chug my water!

3.       Commit to a set of exercise parameters. These can be as loose or as flexible as you feel work for your personality, schedule, etc.
o        I will exercise 4 times a week at least 45 minutes a session
My moodiness is improving, and this morning I was able to go the gym while my husband stayed home with the kids.  It was nice to get in a solid work out with cardio and weights.

4.       Commit to blogging at least twice weekly and 1 of those times must be you check in with a complete up date on your progress. All other blogs could include new insights, results of weekly challenges, or just letting others know how you are doing.

5.       Commit to support... both giving and receiving. Check others blogs and comment as you feel motivated to do. 

Week 7 Review
·                     How was the 7th week...?  Over all, week 7, was well… ho hum….  But I am slipping out of my slump, so that is good news.
·                     Did you remain sweets free...?  No!  I thought this weeks challenge was to eat with smaller plates and utincels??? I normally eat on small plates, I didn’t change this up, but could have ate on my kids plates.
·                     How were your workouts? The ones that I actually got in were great! Would have loved to work out more though!
·                     How was your water consumption?  Great
·                     What do you think of the mini challenges?   They are good to have. Thanks!
·                     What did you do for yourself that was fun? Dancing on Valentines Day with the hubs!!I

I finally got around to changing my profile picture!! Yeah for changing out my half- grin photo.  I hope you all have a great week.  I can already tell this week is going to be much better than the previous three!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

... There is good news too!

Okay since I vented on my last post I only though it is fare to tell you about the good things happening in my life today as well.

-After trying to sell my car for several months I have a buyer!  Yes we had to drop the price a couple of thousand dollars, but we have a buyer and we can replenish some money in our bank account!!  I am still crossing my fingers that it all goes through.  I love my car and it is hard to let it go.  I bought it brand new in 2006, we “upgraded” to a mini-van last September so it is time to say goodbye to my lovely little wagon!

-Since my husband became a CPA, we have been searching for a new job.  He has applied many places.  The past two week have been FILLED with interviews (around 10ish!!).  He is even on round three (the job is between him and another individual!) at a job he would really like.  Tomorrow is the big day for this final interview.  We have been hoping and praying this is the job for us and that it will be a significant pay increase (especially since he has never had a raise in all four year of our marriage, even when he did get his CPA!).  Please pray for us!

-I had a nice Valentines with the hubs.  We went to dinner then went dancing.  It was a fun evening filled with Lindy hop, ChaCha and Salsa!  My mom was so gracious to babysit for us, it was wonderful to get out and just be alone for a little while.

So there are some really great things in the works at our house.  I hope your week is going well!

Mommy Blues

Okay, vent session coming on…. Just trying to gain a better perspective of how I can accomplish my weight loss goals.

Right now my number one priority is to be a mom to my kids.  Each Sunday night as I lie in bed I get out a pad of paper and write down my goals for the next week.  Some times my list is full of “To Do’s”  other times it has great aspirations about calorie counting and future work outs.  It feels good to map out my week and slip into restful slumber.

Sometimes the restful slumber is awakened in the middle of the night by my children crying out, for one reason or another.  The most recent weeks have brought my teething 15 month old son, sad in painful tears throughout all hours.  My 2 ½ year old daughter has even contributed to the all night mommy parties.  Late last week she woke up at 2:30am, we brought her to our bed in hopes she would go back to sleep and we could get some rest.  3:15am it was apparent that she was not going to go back to sleep, so we trudged out to the living room so dad could get some rest.  She wanted to talk my ear off.  It is like her brain was processing so much and she was trying to process all she had taken in the previous day.  Sleep didn’t come until 5:30am, after her chatter, moving around getting into trouble I had had enough, I insisted she lie down and go to sleep.  After some fussing, she finally did fall asleep, and so did I.

So here I am exhausted day after day, just from my duties of being a mom/dealing with my children.  I did really well for many months at getting to the gym 4-5 times a week, the losing weight has been slow even on my best weeks with exercise and eating well, which is incredibly frustrating!!

I guess I am calling out to all moms who have been where I am at.  My intentions and goals are all well meaning in my weight loss, but honestly after getting sick two weeks ago I have really been struggling.  My daughter (who is behaviorally challenging) and my son (who is incredibly curious) take every ounce of energy I seem to have most days.  I aim high when I set my weekly goals and recently I am not able to follow through.  I am trying hard to not let it get to my head and get me even more discouraged.  What has worked for you?  How do you do the balancing act with young children?

Today I was determined to get to the gym. Our day started about 6:45am.  The gym childcare opens at 8:45am, closes between the hours of 1-4pm, then opens back up from 4-8pm.  My goal is to get there usually around 9:15.  My son was having a really rough morning, which halted all plans of leaving the house.  My sister-in-law called and asked if I could watch her youngest two kids while she took the older two to the dentist.  So that delayed any gym plans.  My son was still crabby and had I gone to they gym they would have called me out anyhow.  My sister-in-law offered to take my daughter to her house to play when she came to get her kids.  I was happy I would be getting a little break and she was happy to get to play with cousins.

I decided when I went to pick her up this afternoon I would hit the gym on my way back home when the childcare opened back up.  Since my daughter is used to going in the morning, the mix of changing things up and her being tired was the perfect recipe for disaster.  She cried and started throwing a fit before we even got out of the car.  My hopes were she would warm up and be happier once we got inside.  I should have just stopped there at the car door.  The trek across the parking lot and just getting into the door of the gym were filled with crying and screaming.  I had the attention of all the people working out, I even had two people get off their work out machine trying to come to the aid of my daughter when she threw herself in front of the door as it was swinging shut and she fell to the ground.  She tantrumed on the ground yelling, “Candy! Candy!”  I am sure the people were thinking, “Yes, and now we know how your mommy got fat!”

One of the gym workers who knows my children came over and helped us back to the kid room, the crying continued, now my son decided to join in.  I kneeled on the floor trying to compromise with my daughter to get happy and play.  It wasn’t working, not one bit.  My daughter just wasn’t going to calm down.  I decided we would get out of there before my son started back up.

As we were leaving the gym a man who I have never seen before ( I am normally a morning gym rat) said, “Time for her candy?”  I replied, “Oh no, no candy for her.  We were not here long enough for that.”  My daughter actually walked out the door as I held her brother.  Once we got outside the tantrum heated back up.  She wasn’t going to move a muscle.  I swooped her up with my other arm, trying to balance her brother and my two bags, I must have looked atrocious. This is my work out, every day.  Carrying children.  Some days that is all I can get.

So here I sit utterly exhausted reflecting, “How can I make goals that are reachable for this stage my children are in.” I know this time is only a season, but sometimes I want to have and do it all.  Realistically speaking, I can not. I am educated and should know how to deal with some of my situations with my daughter, for goodness sake I have degrees in special education and early childhood development!  Why can’t I balance it all??

I have a wonderful husband who is very helpful, but he can only do so much and recently he has had to work overtime so he has even more on his plate.

So here is the good news… (and possibly the bad news)
Tomorrow is a new day and I get to start fresh again!!

So mommas out there in blog land, how do you balance the juggling act?