Category Archives: Insight

One More Round…

One More Round…

Throughout my life, I have always connected with music. I often did special music for church, was in a children’s choir in middle and high schools, took voice lessons in high school, and was even awarded two “leading” roles in musicals in high school. Music and I just go together. So it has always come as no surprise to me that I will occasionally find a song that I truly connect to, one that moves me and fully speaks to me and some circumstance that I have been going through.

It has actually been quite a while since that has happened, possibly because I do not often get a chance to just listen to music and be. But I had a mountain of dishes to do the other day, so I decided to play some music to keep me entertained. I just picked a random cd on my Amazon Cloud Player. I had not listened to it in a couple of years, so I chose Barlow Girl’s How Can We Be Silent cd. It was never my favorite of theirs, but I always had my few favorite songs on it. But I listened to the entire song list while I worked. And, then, it was time for my favorite song on the cd. It had been so long since I heard that song, I actually forgot what the lyrics were like. And, man, did they speak to me. God spoke to me through them. I am going to post the song link at the end of this, but I want to share a few of the lyrics with you, so you get an idea of what the song is about.

“One More Round” by barlowgirl

Round one wasn’t what I thought it’d be
Round two I’m struggling to breath
3, 4, 5, 6, 7 times I wondered why I stepped inside this ring

I may be knocked down and bruised
But I’m here to tell you
That I may be knocked down but not for the count
1,2,3,4
So take me one more round
I’ll just keep fighting
One more round
You’re messing me up but I’m still here

One more round I’ll come out swinging
One more round
I’m telling you now I’m not gonna lose it here

This song is now my official “theme song”. I did not know that I needed one, but I do. It was clear to me the moment the song started playing.

I have been through a lot with my Weight-Loss Journey. I have had a LOT of ups. But I have definitely had my share of downs, especially over the past six months. As can be clearly seen with my huge weight gain. It would be so very easy to just give up and go back to how life used to be. If I did that, I would weight another fifty pounds, easily, by the end of the year.

I do not care how many rounds it takes… I will always get back up when I fall. I will reach my fitness goals. I will keep pushing to be a better role model for me. I will improve my health. It is not even an option in my mind.

Here is the song. It will not, however work on mobile. So, if you are using an iPad or your phone, head over to YouTube and search for “One More Round” by barlowgirl. You will not regret it!

A Zeeva Post…

A Zeeva Post…

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I have seen this saying floating around for a while now, probably since I first started on my weight-loss journey back in 2011. And it has always rang very true to me. But it passed through my Facebook newsfeed yet again today and I suddenly had a moment. This saying is not just about weight-loss anymore for me. It also absolutely applies to motherhood. As the mommy of a very headstrong three-year-old, I can absolutely apply this to that aspect of life. (By the way, to ALL of you who never warned us that three can be worse than the “terrible twos”… Shame on you!) There have been way too many days in the past six months where I have questioned if I will ever feel sane enough again to even consider trying to have another child, and I was someone who ALWAYS pictured myself with two of them. Today was one of those days. Zeeva absolutely woke up on the wrong side of the bed. AND did not take a nap, which made bedtime just delightful. So, in an attempt to reclaim my sanity, when I saw this saying today, I decided that needed to write a blog post about all the amazing qualities of Zeeva. Because I need to focus on the awesome things, instead of the things that drive me bonkers. So here we go!

First Awesome Zeeva Thing
Her empathy. Most of the time, when someone is hurt or upset, she is a great comforter. She has even lately been playing pretend with her stuffed animals and will comfort them during her play time.

Second Awesome Zeeva Thing
This kiddo has the best playing abilities. Ever, I think. It amazes me that she can now entertain herself the whole time I am doing dishes, and will be completely involved in whatever story it is that she has come up with. The other day, she even had her toys come and rescue me. She said they were saving the day. It was utterly awesome.

Third Awesome Zeeva Thing
How much she absolutely loves her family. When Thomas has to put in extra long hours at work and she does not get to interact with him as much, I can tell that she very much misses him. And she is constantly talking about our extended family members, and will even randomly tell me stories about things that she did with them weeks and even months ago. Her memory ability is crazy.

Fourth Awesome Zeeva Thing
Zeeva’s laugh. Best. Laugh. EVER. Seriously, I could listen to it all day. And she is so incredibly goofy too! What a great fit for the goofiness that Thomas and I both possess!

Fifth Awesome Zeeva Thing
Even though she definitely still needs speech therapy and there are still plenty of times when we have no clue what she is saying, Zeeva tells amazing stories. She is seriously one entertaining kiddo.

Sixth Awesome Zeeva Thing
Artistic to the core! Zeeva loves to sing and dance and paint and she’s great at all three! I’m so curious to see how those things will develop as she gets older. For now, I love listening to her songs (real and made up… She even joins me when I am singing now!), watching her lovely dancing, and seeing what she comes up with when her paintbrush is in her hand.

I am sure that there are plenty of other things I could write here, but these are the ones that really jump out at me. Really, I am so proud of my kiddo, and am trying so very hard to focus on the good right now.

I would love to hear what your favorite things are about her too, if you know her!

Weigh-In Monday…

Weigh-In Monday…

I know that I am not the first person to feel this way but this is really my least favorite time of year. Everything feels cold and grey. Even sunny days do not feel warm because the sun is at such an oblique angle that it never really warms up Indiana. And there is not much hope for relief until you get to March, when you are sure that you can feel Spring just begging to be released. Which is why it was a nice surprise to step out the door this afternoon to 47 degrees! Is it warm? Definitely not. But it is soooooo much better than the -30 degree wind chills that we had just a week ago! I know it will not last but it was nice to feel it for the few moments that I was able too.

Today was also weigh-in day for me. I did fairly well this past week, much better than I have done in a very long time. I did “have” to have a decent amount of soda in the past few days though, due to my food poisoning. It was the only type of drink that did not send my stomach into a revolt. That, combined with the copious amounts of oyster crackers that I had to consume on Friday and Saturday, made for quite a bit of water retention. I feel very swollen, to say the least. So I am not convinced that the scale was very accurate this morning. But I did lose half a pound, which puts me at 1.4 pounds down since the first of the year. And I am ok with that. It is much better than being UP that amount, which was my previous weekly trend for several months! So I will take it. And I am excited to see how the rest of this month goes. And yes, I will definitely be limiting my soda intake from now on! Lol.

I have also been doing good with my leg challenge! I had to switch things around last week, since I was sick, and I completely forgot to do it yesterday, but I can definitely feel the effects of working out again! It will be interesting to see if all of these calf raises, squats and lunges have an affect on my measurements at the end of the month.

Update Time!

Update Time!

My family and I have been snowed in at our house since Sunday. We finally got plowed out yesterday, but our garage door appears to be currently frozen shut. And the roads around here are TERRIBLE. So we are not going anywhere anytime soon. We have also had some insanely cold temperatures here for the past few days so, other than a really good romp in the snow with Zeeva on Sunday during the snow storm and before the temperatures starting dropping, I have not been out of the house since Saturday. I am glad I went out then because I was able to get the rest of the fabric I needed for the curtains I am making for our awesome new bedroom, and I was able to snag an amazing deal on two new sets of sheets. (I decided that having only one set of sheets that we were actually willing to use for our bed just was not cutting it anymore.)

For anyone who does not follow me on Facebook, here are a few shots of just how much snow we got here in Indiana…

View #1 Out Our Front Window

View #1 Out Our Front Window

That used to be our bushes and, beyond that, our driveway.

View #2 Out Our Front Window

View #2 Out Our Front Window

That used to be our pathway leading to our porch.

Our Backyard Progression

Our Backyard Progression

The top image is about two or three hours after the snow started… the bottom image is on a couple more hours after that, when it started getting dark. 12.5″ of new snow, on top of the 6-8″ that we already had!

Driveway Before and After

Driveway Before and After

That huge mountain of snow in our neighbor’s yard was from our driveway! We were disappointed that it did not get deposited in our yard.

Anyway, I do not know if being cooped up in the house has started to affect me mentally or what, but I have been putting off writing this blog post for over twenty-four hours now. And it is a good one. So what is up with that?? I weighed myself yesterday morning, because I completely forgot to weigh myself on Monday morning, which is my normal day. And, somehow, I managed to lose 0.9 pounds in six days! I say “somehow” because I really feel like I did not do a good job at all. But my good moments obviously outweighed my bad moments. And yes, I am actually exciting about the amount that I lost. I know it is not much, but it is soooooo much better than I have been doing for months. And, it gave me a push that I really needed. I had a whole day of good food choices. (When I say good, I mean that I stayed within my calorie goal for the day.) And I even set up a leg challenge for myself as a form of exercise for the rest of the month. I was originally going to be doing workout DVDs, but that has not happened (partially because I cannot find the one I wanted to start with! Booooo for being unorganized!). So this is a good start. I have been doing good with my eating today too and am even planning on having the dreaded “s” word for dinner… SALAD!! Seriously, that is big for me, as I tend to hate most salads.

One goal of mine for the next week is to cook fish one night for dinner. This is sparked because my daughter recently told me that she wants fish every day. Lol. She has had fish sticks for lunch a couple of times this week, which are not the healthiest things in the world. But she gobbles them up and apparently loves them, and it seems like it is a nice change from the pb&j sandwiches she has been insisting on eating for almost every meal. (Yes, I have somehow managed to not yet pull my hair out at that one. This is payback for me for being a super picky eater when I was growing up…). So, if you have any awesome fish recipes, feel free to shoot them my way! Especially ones that are tried and true with kiddos.

I hope we all have an amazing week! Here is the leg challenge I am doing for the rest of the month of January. If anyone wants to join in, let me know and we can all help keep each other accountable! I just finished today’s workout (after shoveling snow) and I have a feeling that I am going to be regretting those calf raises! Can you say OUCH!!!? :o)

January Leg Challenge 2014

ps… Our garage door is no longer stuck shut! Hooray!!

New Year, New Plan!

New Year, New Plan!

Let me start off by saying HAPPY NEW YEAR!! I am sorry that I have not been around lately! My website actually got hacked for a while and it took my husband a bit to get it fixed. Apparently it was a pretty bad one. This seems like a silly site to even want to hack, but what do I know. Lol.

Here’s the thing. I know I have done horribly these past few months. Absolutely. I want to puke when I think about how I feel and how much weight I have gained. But rehashing those things and how disappointed I am in myself is not going to do any good. It will just make me depressed, which is something that I am prone to during the winter anyway. I definitely do not need to add to it. So, I am moving on. New year, new plan! I am going to be setting monthly goals, and maybe a couple of “end-of-the-year” goals too.

As far as exercise and eating go, I am keeping it pretty simple for now. I am drinking my water, tracking my calories, and moving my body. My shoulder has been doing a lot better the last few weeks and even survived me painting my bedroom and lifting a very heavy headboard. But I can still tell that it definitely needs to be a bit babied when it comes to certain things. So, I am going to take it “easy” with my workouts. I am going to alternate days between a Leslie Sansone walking DVD (or something else like that, as my DVD is currently MIA) and HipHopAbs. I am also going to throw in some other ab workouts and light weights here and there, to really get myself back in the groove. I am excited to see what this new month brings! I am ready to be focused again!

I also need to refocus in some other areas of my life. As a family, we need to find a church we’re comfortable at. And I need to get a better grip on handling a very opinionated three-year-old. With that being said, here are the goals I have figured out thus far.

January Goals

  • Stick with my exercise plan. I am not making it too hard on myself, as I really am restarting from ground zero. So I know that it is something I can do. I just need to actually DO IT.
  • Lose five pounds. Yes, I know that weight is not everything. Yes, I know that there are other tools to use to judge your health. But, honestly, I need to lose the weight. I am way up, I feel horrible, I have no energy, and I have an extremely poor body image right now. So yeah, I think it is ok to say I want to lose five pounds this month.
  • Track my calories, even if I end up going over some days. I still need to be accountable to myself.
  • Read my Bible. Just start with five minutes a day. It is way better than nothing! And I want to start incorporating a Bible reading time daily into my Zeeva time too.
  • Attend church every Sunday, weather permitting. If we try one and do not like it, then we will try another.
  • Sew our new curtains for our bedroom. Woohoo for a bedroom makeover!
  • Finish fixing up my new (old) nightstand. This involves fixing a broken piece, staining it, and finding some new knobs that we like for it. It is going to be awesome when it’s done and will look great in our new bedroom!
  • Figure out what I want my new weightloss goals to be. And a reward system.
  • Eat a lot of our meals from food we already have stored up.

  • Year Goals

  • Reach my weightloss goals.
  • Stick with it! Do not give up like I did in 2013.
  • Run another 5k. That was my best moment of 2013.
  • Vacation! Even if it is not far from here.
  • Finish SIX paintings! I did three last year, so I think I can do it!
  • Feel comfortable in my own skin. I am just about as far away from that as possible right now, and I hate feeling like this.
  • can some jelly. Lol… I know, this does not sound very exciting. But it is something that intrigues me and yet makes me very nervous. So it will push me out of my comfort zone for sure!
  • That is what I have for now. I may add to this list or change some things around. And I do not have a single problem with changing my goals as the year evolves. It is my life, after all. Sometimes things come along that make you adjust your thoughts.

    Do you have any goals you would like to share? Or any goals that you reached last year that you are particularly proud of?

    Thump, Thump, Thump…

    Thump, Thump, Thump…

    **thump, thump, thump, thump***

    Most of us know that noise well…

    **Thump, Thump, Thump, Thump***

    For me, the noise causes my pulse to race, and I dash through the house as the noise quickly grows louder…

    **THUMP, THUMP, THUMP! THUMP!!***

    Yep… It is that stupid washing machine again!

    I had a stretch today where I was feeling a bit better so I decided to take advantage of it and make a bit of a dent in the housework that never seems to be caught up with these days. Zeeva insisting on rolling around on my germ-infested pillows and blankets may have had something to do with this. ;o) So I ran some couch pillows and my pillow case and blankets through the washing machine while I tackled the mountain of dishes that had somehow piled up, even though we have eaten out for pretty much every other meal for two weeks now. Yeah… How is that possible?? Anyway, at one point, the washing machine started getting off-kilter and making its lovely banging noise, which freaked Zeeva out a bit. I rearranged the very wet items and restarted the washing machine, only to have it get out of whack again. This actually happened several times in a row, which cause me to get very irritated. I started wondering if I was going to have to take some things out of the load, which made me wonder where in the world I was going to store the dripping items while waiting for the washer to be free again. So I tried one last time, this time completely taking everything out and then carefully relayering back into the machine, in the hope that it would be balanced this time. It was! Awesomeness! Zeeva even clapped for me when I closed the doors to the laundry area. :o) It does not take much to impress that girl.

    So, back to the dishes I went. But I kept listening carefully to the washing machine and thinking about what a pain it had been. And then I realized something rather profound. Today, the washing machine has been a lot like my fitness journey. I made it through the “wash” cycle perfectly fine… I lost 60+ pounds with no major setbacks in the first year and a half. I know, some people have lost that in a matter of months. But I think my way was better, it was a steady rate, and I did not have to do anything insane to lose it. But then I started getting a bit off-kilter with everything. And I started gaining a bit of weight back. Which threw me more off-kilter. I have tried several times now to “reset” myself, to mix things up and get back on balance. And, for the past two months, I have been dealing with an injury, family illness, a hubby with some intense work hours, raising a three-year-old, life craziness, my own illness, and now may be facing needing physical therapy for my shoulder. (Please, Lord, let that not be the case! Please!)

    I am ready to be balanced again. I am ready to take everything out of my washing machine, rearrange it to make sure it fits and is going to last the long-haul, and restart. As soon as I am done being sick, I am going to figure out what that is going to look like. I am currently working with a great friend and awesome wellness coach, and I have a feeling that her coaching is really going to help me out with this. She keeps reminding me that I am not currently in the same place that I was at a year ago… I cannot set the same goals for myself and expect them to work. I need to realign my thinking and my goals to where I am now. Even if I used to be able to easily do something, that may not be the case. Will I get back to where I was? Absolutely. And I have full confidence that I will get to my final goal. But if I do not slow down and take the time to make sure I am doing it the balanced way, then I am just setting myself up to get off-kilter again.

    Middle-of-the-Night Post! :o)

    Middle-of-the-Night Post! :o)

    There is nothing like being wide awake in the middle of the night for several days in a row because your mind keeps going in circles. So I have decided to be proactive and write a blog post to get he main topic off my mind.

    I have not been doing good with my eating. Or my exercising. So I am posting now more to keep myself accountable than anything else. I realized that I have not been posting on here as often the past few months and there might be a correlation between that and how I am doing on my fitness journey. Posting on here has been a way of keeping myself accountable… Right now, I am not being kept in check at all. I have even stopped using LoseIt. So I will be posting more from now on. In fact, this post is going to be a two-parter… Following this portion will be a follow-up on how my day went, good or bad. So here are my goals for today…

    Drink water! Three bottles. I have been severely lacking in this area and I think it may be part of why I have been feeling so insanely tired lately.

    Exercise! I have not tried a workout video in weeks, mostly because of my shoulder injury but partially from fear. I am not pretty attuned to my shoulder and can generally tell right away when it is going to start hurting. So I am going to plop in a DVD (I think HipHopAbs) and give it a whirl tomorrow. If I need to stop after a while or adjust the moves, then so be it. I just need to do something!

    No buying sweets! I have been HORRIBLE about this. I do not want to cut them out altogether because I tried that twice this summer and it majorly backfired each time. But I need to get a handle on it or I am going to really hurt myself. And I am not just talking about gaining weight.

    That is it. Those are my goals. I think they are pretty simple ones too, so I am looking forward to checking back in with you tonight and letting you know how the day went.

    And now, hopefully, I can get a good night’s sleep, knowing that I have finally done something to help me stay accountable.

    One Day at a Time…

    One Day at a Time…

    I feel like it has been ages since I wrote on here, but it has actually only been a month. And while I could say it is because I have been too busy being a mommy to an almost-three-year-old, I would be hiding from the truth. And the truth is, I am embarrassed. Embarrassed at how I feel. Embarrassed at how far I have fallen. Embarrassed at what I have done to myself. It is the truth.

    But I am taking my life back, yet again. I never thought that I would be where I am right now, but I cannot change things. I can only try to learn from my mistakes and move forward. And right now, I am taking it one day at a time, even one decision at a time. Today was not perfect by any means, but it was a lot better than yesterday was. And that is okay. I am not seeking perfection, I am seeking a way for me to live in harmony and moderation and be the best person that I can be. I need to once again be a good example to my kiddo. (Who turns THREE on Sunday!! I cannot even begin to process that!)

    I will get there.

    Weigh-In Monday…

    Weigh-In Monday…

    After a not-so-great end of the week last week (I was sick Wednesday, my parents had to put their dog to sleep Thursday, and Friday was filled with major allergies and a naughty toddler), Thomas and I were very much looking forward to our date night on Saturday. We did not do a whole lot of anything too exciting, but we did have a great time just being together and going to random places. I even broke my sweet-fast and had a very controlled ice cream cone. It was delicious. The only problem is that I then gave in to a major craving that I had on Sunday night and ate a HUGE bowl of cereal. Not great. And my tummy did not appreciate it too much either. But I have now decided that it is ok for me to have sweets again, as long as I am very controlled with it. If I cannot handle it, then I am just not allowed to have them.

    Before I get into how my weigh-in went this week, I need to address my weekly questions that I am asking myself…

    1. Did I overeat this week on any day? Unfortunately, yes. I ate way too much bread at dinner on Saturday and I have already confessed to my cereal mishap.
    2. Did I move more and exercise regularly? Nope. But I did get in a nice walk yesterday at a state park with my daughter and my parents. And I now have an official game plan for the rest of the month, which starts today. I am doing a squat challenge, plus some arm exercises. And walking whenever possible.
    3. Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration? Nope!
    4. Did I feel, at any time, that I ran to food instead of God? No. This is something that I am truly striving to do.
    5. Before I hopped on the scale, did I feel that I had a successful, God-pleasing week? Aside from overeating on the weekend a bit, I had a good week. But I do need to get back to my devotional. I have fallen off-track with that.

    Time for how my weigh-in went. I gained 2.9 pounds. But I have a definite non-scale victory… It is not phasing me in the slightest! I know that I may have gained a bit this past week. But I know I sure did not gain nearly 3 pounds. It just is not possible. So I know that a lot of that gain is most likely water retention. I actually wavered on whether I should weigh myself this morning, but made myself step on the scale. I am really glad that I did because not being down about my weight being up is a huge thing for me.

    And now on to the bigger news this morning… Today was measurement day! I have now been eating at a higher calorie level (and, unfortunately, not working out much) for four weeks, so it was time to check in with how my other progress went. While my upper arm and forearm stayed the exact same, the rest of my measurements all changed!

    Neck: Lost 0.5″
    Wrist: Lost 0.125″
    Chest: Lost 0.75″
    Belly Measurement #1: Lost 1.625″!
    Belly Measurment #2: Lost 1.625″!
    Hips: Lost 0.625″
    Abductors: Lost 0.625
    Thigh: Lost 0.25″
    Calf: Lost 0.5″
    Ankle: Lost 0.125″

    That is 6.75″ lost, basically just from increasing my calorie intake to where it should be! I see overall consistent changes, with the most change in my biggest problem area. I will take it for sure! I am definitely continuing with this and am excited to see what my measurements are in another four weeks, after I have added in exercise!

    I also took my progress pictures today… Only to find that I somehow have not taken them since the beginning of July. Somehow I did not end up with “starting” pictures from when I first started eating more calories four weeks ago. Oops! Oh well… The good news is that I could not see a single difference between now and the beginning of July, including in my muscle definition. After not having worked out for a month, I will take that! And now I have a good set of pictures to compare with next month!

    My Two-Year Anniversary!

    My Two-Year Anniversary!

    I cannot believe that I forgot, but yesterday was my two-year anniversary of starting my weight-loss journey! Wow… I cannot believe that much time has gone by already. Honestly, I thought I would be at my “goal weight” by now. But I actually currently weight about ten pounds more than I did at this point last year. I am mostly okay with that… I think I needed to stumble a bit to learn some more things about myself. And I am absolutely back on track with my eating. And today is the day that I get back on track with my exercise! I have come way too far to give up now. And, honestly, I LIKE having some tone and muscles, so I need to workout to keep them!

    Now, on to Weigh-In Monday. I know, I know, I know… I said I was not going to be weighing myself for now. But it felt like the right thing to do this morning. So, as long as I am feeling strong, I am going to weigh myself once a week.

    Here is the cool thing… I have officially lost two pounds in the past twelve days… While eating MORE calories than I have ever allowed myself while on my weight-loss journey! I am currently eating around 2,100 calories a day. I am so excited to see that “Eating the Food” really does work! Here are my weekly questions to go with my weigh-in days:

    1. Did I overeat this week on any day? No. I was slightly more lenient this weekend and even allowed myself one “cheat meal” on Friday (homemade pizza), but I was very controlled and was even able to stick to not eating sweets when faced with a platter of buckeyes all day yesterday! That is a definitely WIN in my book!
    2. Did I move more and exercise regularly? No. I need to get back in the groove of working out. I am definitely going to work on that this week.
    3. Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration? Nope!
    4. Did I feel, at any time, that I ran to food instead of God? No. This is something that I am truly striving to do.
    5. Before I hopped on the scale, did I feel that I had a successful, God-pleasing week? I think God is happy with the progress that I have made this week!

    Now, I am posting this picture to remind myself of how very far I have come. The picture on the left is my “starting picture”… But it was actually taken after I had already lost ten pounds! I do not have a true starting picture. (If you are just starting out your journey, I would HIGHLY recommend you get starting pictures from all angles… It sucks to start wi but you will soon thank yourself!) The picture on the right is actually from about a month ago. I should take one right now, but I just know it will not be happening this week. So this will have to do!

    Do I have issues I still need to work out? Sure. Do I have areas of my body I still want major changes in? Absolutely! But I am a completely different person now than I once was and that alone is worth everything. I am staying strong in being healthy… And I highly encourage you to join me!