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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Time to Shape Up! Update at Week 3

Update Week 3
This week was frustrating for me.  My weight fluctuated quite a bit.  I went up to 123.2 pounds, but then my lowest was 119.8 pounds.  It's very frustrating when my weight does that.  My friend, Stephanie, is a personal trainer.  She came over this week and calculated my body fat percentage to give me an update.  It's a bonding moment when someone is pinching your fat rolls :).  My body fat percentage is now 19.3%!  I've lost over 4%!  So although my weight is retarded, at least I know I'm losing fat!  Things that I did not do very well this week, though, were taking my vitamins and drinking enough water.  My poor water intake is probably my problem.  I probably ate a high sodium meal and didn't have enough water to flush it out of my system.  I probably drank just enough water to make me swell.  It reminds me of the girl that turned into a giant blueberry on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Know what I'm talking about???  Here's a visual in case you don't.  Except not blue.
I'm a day late on my picture because I couldn't find my shorts! I hate laundry, so they were hiding at the bottom of a pile of clothes. At least they were clean though. Ha!

Update Week 2
Weight 120.2 pounds. 1.8 pounds in two weeks. I can feel my posture changing as my core becomes stronger. My upper back feels more toned this week, and I don't have the bulky feeling like I did last week.

This week at the grocery store I switched to organic foods. I also tried Coconut Milk which I will not say I am a fan of. I will return to the 45 calorie Almond Milk- vanilla flavor because I like the taste much better. I drink Almond Milk because I'm lactose intolerant, and it doesn't make me tired the way milk does, even the lactose free kind. Thankfully yogurt and cheeses are processed to a point where there is very little lactose in them, so I can still enjoy many dairy products. I also started buying Greek yogurt which I love! It has a creamy texture that works great in smoothies. I've been drinking green smoothies since Jack was born, but this week I drank several peanut butter smoothies, too.

For recipe link -> Peanut Butter smoothie

Update Week 1
Weight 121 pounds. One pound lost. Not drastic changes, but one pound is one pound closer to my goal! I feel bulkier this week. My muscles feel tighter but I feel like I am putting muscle on under my fat, so I actually feel bigger. The front of my stomach slimmed slightly, but my arms feel bigger.

The biggest adjustment I had this week was cutting sugar out of my coffee. This took away about 350 calories from my daily intake. I usually use about 4 tablespoons (yes I said tablespoons, not teaspoons) of sugar per one cup of coffee, and I drink two cups every morning. This week I went cold turkey on the sugar. I also cut my creamer intake in half. After the initial shock of the coffee, I am now used to it, and like it just as much as the "candy coffee" I drank before. Cutting out the sugar also keeps Arden from drinking my coffee, something she really loves to do. She told me, "Mommy, your coffee is nasty. There's no sugar in it!" I am going to shy away from the artificial sweeteners since they aren't any better for you. I will say I did cheat yesterday morning at church and put a SweetnLow in it. :)

Even though I eliminated the sugar, I didn't eliminate the calories completely. Instead I replaced them with more of the 12 power foods from the Abs Diet. Rather than the sugar's empty calories, I am consuming highly packed nutritional calories from nuts, spinach, etc.

Because of some recent requests from a few friends, this post is about reaching my fitness goals. Since it's the new year, and everyone is all about fitness right now, I thought I would motivate myself and maybe others to meet their goals. I will feel accountable for reaching my goal if I put it out here for everyone to see. Truthfully I feel very out of my comfort zone disclosing this personal information, but I really want the accountability and throwing it out here so I can't back out. After three kids, I'm finding that it's very challenging to return to my pre-baby weight. This is not about losing a bunch of weight, but about getting healthier and getting toned. It's about reaching pre-baby fitness and liking how I look in my clothes. It's about not giving up and just letting myself "go." It's about feeling strong. It's about having energy. It's about not being embarrassed to wear a bikini.

This is me July 2011, only six weeks pregnant with Jack, my third child. I had finally reached my fitness and weight goals, was in the best shape of my life, and was discouraged because I knew all my hard work was going to disappear. I tried to stay in good shape while pregnant, but let's face it... when your back aches and you're moody chocolate is VERY comforting. Since I was about to get chunky again, I asked my good friend and neighbor, Jess, to snap a pic of me so that I would be able to motivate myself post-baby to get back in shape. So this is the picture she took at her daughter's pool party. At this point I was 115 pounds and had 10.2% body fat.

The day I had Jack I weighed 154 pounds for a total weight gain of 45 pounds (The Spring before I got pregnant I weighed 109 pounds.) But at least that's better than the 55 pounds I gained with Arden!

post baby
However I dropped the weight faster with Arden. Jack is now ten months old and I have been plateued at this current point for six months now.

I am finding that the older I get and the more kids I have the harder it is to get back in shape. But that doesn't make it impossible. I just have to try harder. Once I reach my goals, I won't stop. Those of you that know me know that I am a workout freak. This is a lifetime deal for me, and I will continue to work to maintain because I enjoy how I feel and I love the results.

My goal is not necessarily in weight loss, but in fat loss. Although I'm only seven pounds heavier than in the bikini picture I have more than double the body fat. My body fat percentage is now 24 percent.

So these are my goals:
drop body fat percentage by at least 10 percent.
lose seven pounds
achieve this by Jack's first birthday, two months from now.

I deliberately wore tight clothes in these pictures below so that I am able to see my problem spots. It will be easier for me to visually gauge my progress. So here are some of the visual cues I will also be looking for: my muffin top shrinking, my shoulders becoming more defined, leanness in my inner thighs, and my bra not cutting into my back fat. I don't have a lot of weight to lose, but I could definitely use some toning up.

I seriously felt like I'm taking a mug shot

and for everyone that didn't know I had a tattoo, well there you have it. 19 year-olds aren't very smart

These are the steps I'm going to take toward my goal.
1. Go on the abs diet. (I chose this diet because it makes the most sense to me and is not very restricting. I didn't use a specific diet per se to lose my weight after number two, but this diet is very close to how I ate back then. I also choose it because of my body shape. I gather my weight in my torso which this diet targets; My body shape, my naturally high cholesterol, and my strong family history of heart disease puts me at risk in the future. Therefore this diet makes sense to me. Plus I want a six pack. :)
2. Drink sixty ounces of water a day
3. Perform cardio at least three times a week for at least thirty minutes
4. Weight training at least four times a week for at least an hour
5. Take multi vitamins (something I'm really bad at remembering to do)

I've already been hitting the gym several times a week since Jack was a month old so I have a good start. This last stretch is the toughest which is why I feel compelled to write about it.

I will take a picture every week for the next two months. I will update my progress every few weeks.

My hope in posting this is I might motivate others to meet their goals, and that I am motivated to meet mine. Your goal may be to tone up like me, or maybe it's to lose a significant amount of weight. Maybe it's to run in a race or go to the gym. Maybe it's to stop eating potato chips or drinking cokes. Maybe it's to add a green vegetable into every meal. Whatever the goal is it takes encouragement and determination. I welcome any encouraging words or success stories of your own! Good luck to you!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Arden Learning to Read

Arden is practicing reading with a classic Dick and Jane book.  I had success teaching Halle how to read with these books, so this is what I'm using to teach Arden as well.

You can hear Jack having a good ole time in the background jumping up and down in his bouncer.  :)

New Years Party

Brian and I had a small New Year's Eve party.  Actually we had two parties: one for the adults and one for the kids.  The Greens and The Collins joined us, and between us three couples our kids almost outnumber us 2:1.  That's right.  Six adults and 11 kids.  Halle was the hostess of the kid party and kept them entertained while we adults played our own games.  The kid activities were suppose to be done outdoors, but with the pouring rain they mostly stayed inside.  Arden and Myleigh didn't care it was raining, though.  They got soaked from swinging.  The kids weren't allowed at our party and we didn't interfere with theirs.  It worked beautifully.... except for them blowing the horns constantly!  
Poor Dalton looks like the culprit here, when in reality Arden was the biggest noise maker of them all!

KID party:
I blew up some balloons and tied them to a string.  Each balloon had a specific time on it.  The kids popped each balloon at the corresponding time because there was a piece of paper on the inside with an activity.  So every thirty minutes they had something new to do.  They played hide and seek, did a New Years themed scavenger hunt, made foil animals, wrapped each other in toilet paper, etc etc.  I made sure all of the games were easy and fun for the big and little kids.  
Jakob and Jackson playing a game on the make-shift ping pong table. 
not sure who Jackson is wrapping.  Halle maybe?

Nope, have no clue who this is either.  
Halle made a bow out of her foil
On to the adult party!  We had a great time.  Well I did at least!  We played cards, played a few games, and ate and ate and ate.  In addition to the chili cheese dogs, Chuy's dip, and drinks, we had a deep-frying party!  Being the end of the year and knowing that we were about to all commit to fitness goals, why not go out with a binge....  I mean, bang?

Look at that talent! Beating Brian and Nik at this pong game and being a dad at the same time ;)

We fried so much junk.  We fried Twix, Snickers, and Oreos.  We even made biscuilt-donuts and topped them with chocolate and glaze.  Mmmmmm!  I made a funnel cake batter that we used as the breading for our fried treats.  Then we made funnel cakes with the leftover batter.  Nik and Brian got good as swirling the batter in the oil for the funnel cakes; they may just need their own booth at the Rodeo this year.  Oh. My. Goodness.  It was all so delicious!  I was a little disappointed with the fried Snickers, but the Oreos more than made up for it.    

Brian posing with the Oreos while poking holes into the "donuts"

enlarged to show detail
 Doesn't that look so greasy and bad for you????  Yes it was, but it tasted so good.  Alright I'll stop talking about it now because my mouth is starting to water.  Where's my celery sticks and hummus?  

While we ate like pigs we played the mustache game.  "Cheers!" when the mustache lined up with a person on TV. 
Jenny McCarthy mustache you a question.

My husband's a dork.  This was a lot funnier in the moment.  Not sure who Brian was impersonating here, but he had a British accent and was shaking his finger at everyone.
Right before midnight we prepared for our champagne toast.  These are the kids' glasses of "champagne"  It's sprite poured over cotton candy.  This would have been a lovely looking drink if the cotton candy was the right color.  We couldn't find PINK cotton candy at the store, so we ended up with something that looks like it came out of a sewer plant.

New Years Eve: Fill glass with pink cotton candy and slowly pour champagne over it. Such a beautiful beverage. Make it kid friendly by adding sprite in place of champagne.
what it was suppose to look like, lol.  
Oh well the kids didn't know the difference
We all missed the New Year by a minute or two, so we did our own belated countdown.  Apparently the boys were very excited about this.

The kids then had fun with lots of sparklers.  

By adjusting the shutter speed and after many outtakes I was able to capture this on my camera !


Monday, January 7, 2013

Christmas Week

Cutest little present ever!
We had a great Christmas!  Christmas Eve is always spent with Brian's family.  Aunt Carla and Sarah usually takes turns hosting it at their house, so this year we headed to Carla's house in Katy.  We did miss Ryan this year.  He was the only family member not present because he recently moved.  Hopefully next Christmas he'll be able to fly in from Georgia,  We ate dinner, opened presents, and had desserts.  This was Jack's first Christmas.  Mimi and Poppy gave him a huge snuggly bear.  His face was so cute when he saw it!  It stays in his crib with him so he snuggles with it when he sleeps.
Christmas Eve at Aunt Carla's house
Jack loving his giant cuddly friend
what Mike and Christy got me.  LOVE it!

Jack is the only one in a festive ugly Christmas sweater!

Arden also received a stuffed dog named Belle on Christmas Eve.  This dog is unique in that it "speaks" along with a storybook.  Arden LOVES this toy.  The dog says thankyou, I love you, among other sayings.... in a doggy kind of way.  Belle has found her spot among the other favorites.

Arden headed to bed on Christmas Eve with  her usual friends: Sweet Blankie, Pinkie, Sweet Minnie, and Hazel the Reindeer. Belle, the dog, has joined the elite (the upside down white faced one.)

Before bed the girls set out milk and fruitcake (we didn't have any cookies) for Santa.  Halle also put her own naughty/nice list on the fireplace in case Santa forgot his.  Thanks to Alicia's cookie exchange party, we also had reindeer food for Santa's reindeer: oats, raisins, and magic rocks (rock salt) for extra flying power!  Such a great idea!  We were suppose to sprinkle it outside for the reindeer, but I forgot.  The bags were gone the next morning so I'm sure Santa passed it along to them ;)

filling all of the stockings.  I may or may not have eaten the fruitcake...
On Christmas morning Brian and I got up early to make coffee and breakfast.  Adam, Sarah, Mike, and Christy joined us for reindeer pancakes and more gift opening!
Christy aka Gigi and Halle

you would think a three year old would be excited on Christmas morning.

but no, grouchy pants rolled over and stuffed her face in the pillow

She finally decided to join us
Reindeer pancakes
Gift opening
Who let Adam get a hold of the camera???
Brian was a very good boy this year.  He got a very fancy mountain bike from Santa!

The girls got skates for Christmas and spent the rest of the morning at the roller rink.. er back patio

That evening we headed to Pauline's house for Christmas with my family.  Not before we got a flat tire though.  Luckily we weren't far from home, so we unloaded all of the presents and kids and food and reloaded them into Brian's truck.

We always buy presents for the little kids traditionally, and the older family plays White Elephant.  We also played Pictionary.  My family is very loud, especially when we're playing a game.  It's likely that your ears will be ringing when you leave.  
"Man!,  No Running!  Hand! Girl!"
Hope in the background  is very excited about  whatever this drawing is.  The boys aren't allowed to see our drawing and vice versa, because of cheating in the past.  So there are two dry erase boards standing back to back on a table and held together by duct tape.  That's how we roll!    

I look like I have no clue what the person is drawing
Three of my nieces

Jack is being very fussy so Linda is trying to keep him occupied

The boys beat the girls at Pictionary two years in a row.  Not. Cool.  I'm pretty sure they cheated.   

Brian got a bottle of Tequila as his white elephant gift and I got AMC movie tickets/refreshments.  

Later in the week we went to visit my dad and granny  in New Waverly.  
Granny and Jack
Paw Paw and Jack

My kids always love going there because they get to run around outside, swing, and collect rocks.  
swinging on the same swings I had as a little girl
on the steps of my granny's old beauty shop
on her property.  so many memories here....

Oh I almost forgot to mention MY Christmas gift.  I finally got a DSLR camera.  I'm so excited and have been having so much playing with it.  I also got a special lens and Photoshop.  Yay!!!