Self help and exercise

On my morning walks I have started listening to self improvement books. I feel that way I can work on my body and my mind at the same time. Pretty efficient huh. Yeah, I thought so too. My current book (The Creative’s Curse by Todd Brison) inspired this post.

If you have been reading my blog for a while now you know I think of myself as just a mom. I’m a regular person. I’m not rich or famous or glamorous. I work hard and try to make the most out of my life. I didn’t have any special privileges growing up. In fact I grew up in a poor neighborhood and went to the “bad” schools. I have had to work hard for everything I have.

I’m also old…well when it comes to blogging, social media, websites and technology I’m a dinosaur. I have no clue what I’m doing and find myself googling terminology because I don’t know what people are talking about. Because of this, through listening to the books and doing webinars I have learned that I’m accidentally doing things right. My website is “branded” not because I had a clue what that was before I took the class but because I thought it looked better. I post a new photo on my Instagram every day. Not because I’m trying to raise my engagement and grow my audience but because I take a lot of photos and it drives me crazy when half my social media feed is all from the same person so I post one photo a day. I try to post one blog post a week. Also not for engagement but because it forces me to write something once a week. When I’m busy with large photography projects or home life I don’t work on my book. The blog keeps me writing.

You may wonder what any of that has to do with anything, well frankly I have no idea what I’m doing. All this stuff is where youngsters excel. I have found myself talking social media with these whipper-snappers as they try to explain to me how social media works like I’m 105. I had one youngster try to explain it to me using her Instagram as she carefully crafted a post for her 800 loyal fans. Saying how she has so many followers he should teach a class for people like me. After she made her post she wanted me to make one so she could help me. So I pull out my phone and start to craft a post for my 7,000+ fans. She looked at how many followers I had and asked me who’s account that was. I said mine.

In the book I’m listening to he is talking about his social media following (it’s lower than mine). In my last book by a different author he talks about his success and what strategies got him there. He also has less than I do. So the question on my mind is how can people who have not achieved the level I’m at teach me to do better? I’m already doing better than they are. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m apparently doing it right. I just post stuff I like at a frequency that doesn’t overwhelm or annoy me.

I’m not delusional. My ego is not inflated. I understand I’m just a mom. I work a full time job. Play with my kids. Do laundry. I have a photography business. It in no way replaces the income from my day job that supports us. I have this blog that I write to get things out there and force me to stay writing. (I started this blog after reading Single Wide Female) I honestly did not think anyone would ever read it. When I got my first follower I called my friend because surely it was a fluke. I’m still shocked when I get new a new follower every few days. I appreciate you guys. You keep me going.

So here I am. Just a mom. Walking at the crack of cock a doodle dark to try to loose weight because she does not have any other time to exercise. Listening to audiobooks because it’s the only way things get done is multitasking. While keeping up with the kids, my job and my side hustle photography business…and a few writing and charity projects tossed in the mix for fun. And I wonder why I’m so tired…

My weight loss journey – March/April

I missed a monthly post in there but I have not stopped. March showed my biggest loss to date with 8.2 lbs! you may ask what changed nearly 6 months in…

Well February was cold and wet and my exercise dropped leaving me to a measly 4.6 lb loss. Not cool man. But my goal weight loss for 6 months is 35.5 lbs. I can live with that. I still have a LONG way to go to my goal.

Now I like my stats and data. I like to weigh myself daily so if I eat pizza and beer and get all bloated I immediately see the scale rise as punishment for that indiscretion. I also like to see the satisfying drop from a day of doing everything right. Now sometimes it doesn’t work like that and there are fluctuations, but in general bad behavior shows up pretty quickly and I can correct it before things get too out of control. Along with my data I like to set small, obtainable goals. When you have over 100 lbs to loose (or anything more than the covid 20) this is very important…or at least it is to me. The little slow downward slope of the weight line just is not enough. DietBet was cool, while I still loose I often fall short of my goal and frankly I’d rather spend the cash in something else. So I started my search. I found an app that is kinda my new best friend. It has all the data I want to see as well as breaking my weight loss up into smaller goals and options on how I want it broken up. I opted for even numbers at 5 lb increments. (I went back and forth between 5-10 lbs and finally settled on 5 so every month I make at least 1 goal with most months hitting a new goal twice. This has helped me out of my February slump into my record March loss.

It is still a work in progress. I still struggle with the sleep/exercise balance. I still get busy and forget to log my foods at times. While I have lost over 30 lbs I have so much to loose that you really can’t tell. In my mind I know diet and exercise with a slow 1-2 lb loss a week is the way to go to truest keep it off but in this modern time of instant gratification I just want to pop on a bikini and look fantastic already.

I have 6 weeks until I go to Cabo San Lucas and 6 months until my brother’s wedding. I’m hoping to stay strong through the spring and summer and stay closer to the 2 lbs a week loss. I’m trying to focus on healthy activities. I’m trying to reward myself with things like new clothing (we are just not going to talk about the awesome swimsuit I got online for my trip that I can’t get up past my knees). I’m adjusting things as I go along. I’m finding out what works for me and what does not. It isn’t easy, but then again things worth doing rarely are.

I love my data!

Accountability – my weight loss Journey – month 3

Here I am three months in and I finally feel like I have this worked out. I have my morning rowing (I’ll switch it up with step/dance videos later). I’m meal prepping breakfast and lunch. Some days I’m good, others I’m hungry. I’m not sure why that is yet. But I’m still tweaking my snacks trying to figure out what will keep me satisfied. Overall, I’m doing pretty good.

I still want to increase my water consumption. I find this is a challenge since I’m at work all day, wearing a mask. Sure it’s an easy thing to take the mask off to get a drink but it’s one additional step and it seems to be a barrier that I need to overcome. I’m use to just drinking leisurely at my desk while I do my notes but with a mask on that just doesn’t happen. I think this will be my challenge I work on in month 4.

The last part that I have not fit in is yoga in the evenings. I’ll admit it. I have not don’t yoga once in the last 3 months. I put a yoga mat in my bedroom and one in the garage so wherever this happens I’m ready. I’m just not sure what my block is in the evenings. When I have a class somewhere else I pop out to it super easy. But yoga at home…I’m just not a fan so I put it off. My only thought is when I go to a studio the room is open and clean and clutter free bringing peace. Unlike at home where I’m always looking at things I should be doing or having to kick dinosaurs, cars or trains out of the way to have space for my mat. I’m happy to say I have solved this problem!

I had an old yoga teacher friend contact me and ask me some questions about what kind of classes and times and formats I think would help. I have my input. She then contacted me again a few days later and told me she just put together some regular zoom yoga classes and if I want to attend I can join them via zoom or I can join her in her home studio while she teaches on or off camera. I told her 100% I’m in! I told my sister who has been complaining about being stiff about the classes and she is in too. For the first month I’ll do the classes via zoom with my sister and once I get back into the flow in a month if my sister sticks with it I’ll stay with her and if she drops it I may go to the studio. We shall see.

So you might be curious where I’m at now… this month I lost a respectable 7.4 lbs. it isn’t enough to win my diet bet, but it’s 7.4 lbs less on my body. If we add that to my running total of 15.3 lbs, I am down a grand total of 22.7 lbs!

Kicking butt in 2021!

My coworker that I share an office with told me today that I’m super annoying. That may offend many people. But I wasn’t offended at all. Do you know why I’m annoying? I am getting stuff done and checking off my “to do” list items one after another. Apparently, that is really annoying to people who are not doing anything.

She said it’s like being trapped for 8 hours with a super peppy cheerleader. I told her in my defense… I was one in high school. I feel awesome so far this year (even though we are only a week in). I am getting stuff done. I am getting up and exercising before work every day. I am eating healthy. I am cleaning closets and purging old toys and books. I am organizing my business and revamping my social media strategy and website. I have a LONG to do list and I’m ticking off items one at a time.

Accomplishment is annoying. When did that happen? I find people who are smashing goals as inspiring. I see someone who lost 100 lbs in a year and is now wearing a sexy cocktail dress at their 50th birthday party as inspiring. Their smile is contagious. It makes me want to put down that cupcake and hit the dance floor! If someone overcomes obstacles and achieves greatness it’s inspiring, not annoying. That’s why they write books and make movies about things like that. But you know what all those people at the top have in common? They all had nay sayers in their lives who told them they couldn’t do it or that it was stupid or they were annoying and should just settle in like everyone else.

I don’t want to be like everyone else. A boring life of mediocrity sounds like an absolute nightmare to me. I have goals. I want to achieve things. I want to travel and see things and do things and inspire other people to rise up out of the muck and dare to be annoying. I hope to someday inspire others to do the things they dream of no matter what that dream is. They don’t need to be anything special or different to do great things they just need to try. Then if you fail regroup and try again. Keep trying and modifying and trying until one day you did it! Despite the nay sayers and the people who thought you were annoying.

I know some people are thinking about their dreams as they read this and think…yeah, right. That’s easy for you to say you have done so much already. Well, I started out with nothing…twice and rebuilt my life. Nothing was handed to me either time. In fact both beginnings were full of drama. Both times I had a job. My clothes, some personal stuff and that’s pretty much it. Both times I was super broke. Here I am now. I worked hard for everything I have achieved by doing what most people are not willing to do… work for it.

Who am I really? I’m a woman in my 40’s. I’m a mess. I’m overweight. I’m a wife and a mother to two little boys. I’m a special needs mom and a heart mom. I’m a working mom. I’m a photographer, an artist and a writer. I’m not anyone special. I’m just someone with goals and dreams who isn’t afraid of working hard to achieve them. If I can do it, you can be annoying to people around you and achieve amazing things as well.

Be annoying… Achieve great things in 2021.

My weight loss journey-the January push

I decided 2 months ago that January 4th $hit gets real and I put together all my rumblings and bad starts and struggles into a solid diet and exercise routine. I had a lot is struggles to overcome with stores being out of stock of items I wanted for my meal planning, gyms being closed, our garage being full of boxes for our Christmas decorations and the list goes on and on…

I knew there was going to be challenges. So I planned for it. I think I worked out most of the kinks now although, I’m sure I will face others as time goes on. Last night I did my meal prepping for breakfast and lunch. I put my workout gear out. I set my alarms. I made sure the garage was clutter free and ready to workout. I also made sure that the heater I plugged into the WiFi plug was on so it will actually turn on in the morning. (Seriously genius. I can even program it to come on automatically so it isn’t actually freezing at 5am when I’m in there trying to workout.)

I joined a DietBet to keep me on track and track my progress. Then yesterday my sister joined the extreme hip hop 90 day challenge. I like Phil’s step workouts and it was only $25 for 3 months so I joined too. I don’t plan on adding in the step workouts for a couple weeks but it’s ok. He only does workouts 4 days a week and I workout 5. I like to start them late so I always have new workouts.

So, you might wonder how today went? Well, it went great. I hit all my exercise goals. I need to find shoes that work well for rowing and I need a playlist with songs that have a good cadence for rowing as well. So that’s a kink, but not a bad one. My meal planning helped out when I was running late for work. I was hungry when I got home from work for sure but I still stayed in my calorie range. I still want to fit in yoga tonight after my kids go to bed. But overall, I think it’s a success.

Weight loss-Accountability Month 2

Well, one more month down and another 7.5 lbs are gone. 7.8+7.5=15.3 total so far. Not bad. I swear I still can’t tell. But I’m hoping that changes soon.

I saw this and could not think of anything more appropriate for this post.

So I did better on some things and failed at others but it’s a work in progress. My diet overall is getting better. I’m meal planning and logging my foods. I also increased my water intake. I still need to get 32 more ounces down to be at my goal. I can do 64 in a day pretty easy but I want to double that. Again, a work in progress.

My exercise is still hit and miss. My goal in 30 min cardio in the morning, a 10 min walk mid-morning and another mid-afternoon (I’m pretty much sitting chained to a computer all day at work so I’m trying to break it up) and 15 min of yoga in the evening to stretch. It seems pretty easy, but I’m still struggling to get all of them in and fail in at least one of those 4 each day. I told my co-worker Monday $hit gets real and I’m setting an alarm for our walks. Whomever has a scheduled patient at 10:00 that day goes for a walk as soon as they finish. When that person gets back the other person goes for a walk. I’m setting an alarm for 10:15 and 3:15 to remind us.

You might wonder what changes I’m making this month. Well, I joined a diet bet to try to keep me on track. I do this periodically to challenge myself. I’m working hard on trying to get my exercise to become routine and I’m going to work on refining my diet more to make it healthier.

Overall, I always hope to just wake up one morning and be at my goal weight. I’m a very long way away from that. I always hope for more of a loss but I’m loosing at a nice 1-2 lbs a week pace so I can’t really be upset about that. I also lost 15 lbs through the holidays, in a pandemic. So that’s pretty awesome.

Accountability-my weight loss journey

So I decided “Enough is enough!” At my birthday in October and set out a tough plan to get in shape and finally loose the baby weight (after all my baby is now 5 years old). My plan was simple… watch what I eat. Log my foods. Get some exercise. I had a few friends who also wanted to do the same that were going to join me. We all decided November 2nd (a Monday) was the official start date. Well my walking buddy flaked… as did my yoga buddy… and my bike riding buddy… and my eat healthy buddy. Apparently they were not as committed as I was.

I stuck with my plan and found several problems that I had to work through the first was the amount of leftover Halloween candy I was eating every afternoon when I hit an energy drop about 2:30. OMG the first week of my new diet I gained 3 lbs. not a good start at all and all 4 of my friends flaked on me in the first week! I had no support and LOTS of candy (in the future I’m sticking to my traditional blow pops. Screw the chocolate. I can’t plow through 20 blow pops in 5 minutes.) anyway… week #1= epic failure.

Week #2 I had to get it together so I meal prepped and started drinking iced tea to keep a steady flow of caffeine all day and try to avoid the afternoon slump. It kinda worked. I got really bored with the food and was still hitting a slump and craving sweets in the afternoon.

Week #3 I actually solved a few issues.

1) Sorry to any of you who actually like the healthy green juice. It’s nasty. I also don’t like the collagen powder stuff. So I solved that issue by putting them together, mixing it with a small can of pineapple juice to try to mask the taste and texture and just chugging it and following it up with a glass of water to get the taste out of my mouth. Both are being discontinued as soon as I run out hopefully by the end of the week.

2) The afternoon slump: For this I solved by taking 1 scoop of a pre-workout instead of 2 scoops and mixing it in a shaker bottle with another pineapple juice. The sweetness from the juice fixes my sewer craving and the caffeine and b-vitamins help with the slump. Yeah, it’s 2 juices a day right now but I’m not diabetic. They are only 100 calories each and they are packed with vitamin c. Oh and I’m dropping the morning stinky green juice as soon as I run out and swapping it for a protein shake to hold me over until lunch. I would just toss the green juice and collagen but I don’t like to be wasteful.

3) Get off my butt! I am chained to my computer all day and it sucks! With all this covid stuff everything is on the computer, my charting, the million emails, meetings, trainings… I don’t go anywhere anymore. I use to at least have to walk to a conference room but those days are over. So I try to take 2 laps around my building in the morning and 2 in the afternoon every day. It is literally a 5 minute walk from my desk, around the building and back to my desk. but it helps my focus, posture and I get a little bit of fresh air outside as well. I do my rowing machine in the mornings when I can get to it (it’s currently not accessible until we put all the boxes for the Christmas decorations back away).

I still have not fit in yoga in the evenings but I’m trying to work that in somehow at least 2-3 times a week but I hope to get a regular 20-30 minute evening practice going every night before bed. I also want a morning cardio maybe step aerobics or Zumba (also about 30 min) to add to the rowing machine I’m currently doing and to add in some weights for a total of 1 hour before work.

So I’m not there yet, not even close. But I made some good progress and I lost 7.8 lbs in the first month! (10.8 if you add the 3 that I gained and had to loose to get back to the starting weight).

I planned on updating weekly with progress to keep myself accountable. But…life. I am working full time with 2 small kids at home and I am running my photography business on the side and working on my book. So, I’m busy. But busy is not an excuse. I just need to figure it out. Everyone needs a piece of me so doing something for myself is hard. But nothing worth doing is ever easy. I’m sticking in there.

My weight loss journey – 57 weeks to go

One week down… 1 pound lost.

Not what I was hoping for, but it’s a start. Given that the last week was one of the most stressful and frustrating I have ever had at work I’ll cut myself some slack. The air quality is still not great from the fires, gyms are closed so exercise is pretty much a no-go. So that’s a bummer. But hey, it’s one less pound to loose!

The upcoming couple weeks will be interesting. I’m only working 3 days each week. I’ll be going out of town for the first time since September 2019 when I went to the UK. I’m not leaving the country, or even the state but I am going somewhere I have always wanted to see so I’m excited! It’s only a couple days but with covid even a short overnight trip in your state can be exciting!

New Beginnings

Welcome 2020! A new year, a new decade. We welcomed in 2020 with a 1920’s themed party at our home. It was a blast!

When I look back at where I was at the start of 2010 things were not that great. Here I am a decade later with almost a completely different life! So what do I have in mind for 2020? Continuing on a lot of the things I started in 2019. I’m still working on my photography and book. I’m still working on getting in shape and loosing weight. I’m finding my own inner peace and sticking with the new yoga class that I started a month ago (my ex-husband said yoga is what keeps me from snapping and killing people. He is still alive today thanks to a regular yoga practice or else I probably would have been a widow than divorced). So enough of continuing goals and chilling out… let’s hear what’s being pondered and planned for 2020!

I’m planning on teaching at an educational conference again (Hello Las Vegas!) it’s boring ultrasound stuff. But hey, free CEs are free CEs… Oh, and it’s in Vegas! (I’ll be planning on visiting a few friends while I’m there not hitting the casinos.)

My travel dreams are never out of my mind and I always have a few options brewing. In 2020 I’m trying to work out a couple trips away with the hubby. If all goes as I hope then he will be dusting off his passport in the spring for our anniversary and we will be heading to an island paradise for his birthday in the winter. The spring trip may be pushing it a bit, but I’m already starting my planning to see if I can possibly pull it off while simultaneously looking into the winter trip. (Travel for 2 takes a few more hoops to jump through than travel for 1, especially when those two people have 2 special needs kids under 10 years old that are NOT going with them.) I’m putting in for the time off on the annual vacation calendar at work so the time will be blocked. Then I’ll just have to see if I can work out all the details to make it happen or not.

That’s it so far. But then again… The year is still new.

Happy New Year!!!

Loosing it!

After posting last weeks post with a photo from my UK trip in September I realized that I actually have lost weight, I see myself in the mirror every day so I don’t notice. I knew I had to get smaller pants for work because they fall down when I put my phone in my pocket but when I look in the mirror I just see how much more I have to go not the progress I have made so far. Let’s start with how did I get to be so fat…

Weight has been a struggle for me my entire life. Growing up I was a healthy weight then I broke my ankle and put some weight on in junior high. I lost the weight walking with the moms in the neighborhood in the mornings and got back to average. In high school I did cheerleading. Nothing can make you feel fatter than being a size 12 in a size zero to 5 world. That started my struggle. In high school I worked and ate at Burger King where I worked. All that fast food made it a struggle to keep the weight off. I joined my first gym and took step aerobics every morning at 5:30 am. By graduation I looked great and was almost at my goal weight.

From high school on my weight went up usually from excessive eating out, an injury that had me laid up or both. Followed by me recovering, getting irritated that I was overweight and starting to watch what I eat and exercising until I got back in shape again. I’d stay in shape until the next injury and I’d start the cycle all over again. All those times I was young and didn’t have kids. Life is different now.

My current weight loss struggle started almost a decade ago. Yes, I said decade. I fell and shattered my leg landing myself in a wheelchair for just over 6 months. The weight piled on. But, as in the past I healed up and started to get in shape again. I got married. I got pregnant. I got on bed rest. That baby had 2 congenital heart defects and was 6 weeks premature. He was in the hospital for 69 days after his birth. All that sitting in the hospital and eating take out not my husband and I put a lot of weight on and I blossomed you to my highest weight ever at 323 lbs! Once life settled and the baby was home we made a change and decided to lead a heart healthy lifestyle to set a good example for our son. We started eating right and exercising and loosing weight. I was doing awesome! Then I got pregnant again. My husband was running marathons and I was still doing a 5k a month while pushing the baby in the stroller until I was 6 months pregnant and the baby was shrinking my lung capacity.

Baby #2 was born healthy but 2 small kids and a full time job left me so sleep deprived that I started eating candy when feeding the baby in the middle of the night to stay awake. Not only did I have the baby weight to loose but the weight I gained from all that sugar. After baby #2 I struggled with energy level. I had trouble sleeping at night and still have nightmares from the PTSD I struggled with after having baby #1 and still struggle with today. My weight started to creep back up.

Now I had starts and stops in the last few years But when baby #2 turned 4 in August and I decided the “baby” is no longer an excuse and I need to get off my butt and get in shape for real. I had my UK trip in September and my birthday in October so I decided I’m getting serious after my birthday. Since that point I have been all about getting my eating habits under control. In just over a month I have lost 21.1 lbs. I still have a long way to go so I just see the work that needs to be done not what I have accomplished so far. Then I saw my face in the photo I posted last week and having just worked on our family Christmas cards I noticed a difference in my face. Now I have a long way to go still. But it’s inspiring.