Thursday, August 1, 2013

Still alive and kickin'!

James and I are still here. We are still trying really hard to make good choices. We will be back to blogging regularly really soon. I expect to be back to normal routine within the next week or two. 

Summer was difficult for us! A slip here and a slip there, and lack of routine. I'm confident that when we pull the scale out of the closet and get back to it there will be repercussions. That's okay though, because it's part of the process. Right now I'm just trying to keep our healthy habits even if some of the unhealthy ones have elbowed their way back in! I am planning several trips to the farmer's market this month and I'm looking forward to purchasing in-season veggies. Here's an image I found online to help. There were no credits with the image...if you know the original source let me know! :) 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Overdue for an update!

So I was thinking to myself that this is by no means an official progress photo...but DANG Y'ALL! I was doing some file clean up on my computer last night and found a whole batch of RAW CR2 files in my folder that had never been edited. I opened them and they were from our family vacation in December. And I was shocked to see what we looked like.

It is coincidental that James is wearing the same shirt (LOL) but I asked him to take a quick selfie with me really quick on his way out the door this morning to compare. I felt like we probably looked different but it's so surreal seeing it! So in this pic he has his messenger bag on his shoulder, ready to walk out the door, and the smoothie I whipped up for him in his hand! ;) I have damp hair from the shower and not a lick of makeup but I STILL felt happy and confident to share the pic. If that's not progress, then I don't know what is.

It's been quiet around here but we have STAYED ON TRACK! Which is a huge deal. The last two weeks of the semester for him is rough every time because, as an English professor, he gets flooded with term papers and barely has time to sleep, let alone maintain healthy habits.

The last two weeks of his semester every term coincides with two big holidays in my profession, too...NSD (National Scrapbook Day) the first Saturday in May, and then DSD (Digital Scrapbook Day) the first Saturday in November. I feel like my foot is chained to my desk in preparation for the influx of work. These two periods also coincide with semesters' end for the kids. So...plays, recitals, projects, conferences, you name it. Twice a year we face these struggles and for years we've never come out on the other side unscathed. No doubt we did our best to subtract years from our lives by not sleeping and living on caffeine and junk. I bet you we gained 5 lbs, twice a year, just in these periods alone. This year we've still exercised *some* days (we're not perfect!) and we've eaten properly ALL days. That part--is just non-negotiable. We've done it. Today is the last day of the semester. We survived it--without compromising our health. This is a huge breakthrough for us. I promise to try and post more now that we are through the crazies.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Creamsicle Smoothie--Saturday Smoothie 4/6

So my Saturday smoothie post is a day late this week...but I had to come share with you the smoothie I made this morning. The one thing I've not put in a smoothie so far is an orange. It seems so fresh and clear when I really want a creamy smoothie...while I love to eat oranges I don't like citrus flavored candy or desserts much. But today I decided to take the plunge and I'm SO SO SO glad I did :)

1 whole orange
1/2 frozen banana
2/3 c frozen kale (I like blue curled kale best)
10 frozen mango chunks
1/4 c unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/3 c coconut milk
1/3 c water

I used less water & coconut milk than a typical 16 oz smoothie to counteract the extra juice from the orange. I blended this in my magic bullet and it was gone in no time flat...I can totally see this becoming a new favorite, especially during cold & flu seasons when extra Vitamin C never did anyone any harm. :)

Let me know if you enjoy this one! :)

Week 8 Results & Wrap-Up

This was a crazy week. James and I both had good results (In the Progress tab above), but again I didn't feel like I had a firm grasp on the process. We didn't cheat in the kitchen, but it totally felt like we were rushed through the week barely hanging on. I guess that's part of real life though!

This upcoming week will present to both of us one of the biggest challenges yet. I'm going out of town. I won't be 100% in control of what food is available to me. I'm prepared, but a little nervous. James will be on his own for meals, which is another challenge in and of itself.

We won't be weighing in on Sunday like normal, but rather on Tuesday.

If you're reading this, thank you for following our journey. We are so happy to be doing well, but the path ahead is still long. I tend to lose focus around week 6 or 8 typically....going into week 9 is a great victory but I won't be doing a happy dance until I've proven to myself that I can hack it another month or two and get over the hump! :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

You can too spot reduce!

I was an aerobics instructor for 2 years. It was practically a whole lifetime ago. (From 2003 until 2005). I quit due to overuse injuries from teaching 2 hours of step aerobics a day. It was that or foot surgery, and who wants surgery? Not this girl.

While I was an aerobics instructor people always asked me..."How do I get rid of this ______ fat?" (Tummy, thigh, hip, butt, arm) I always gave them the "right" answer which is that you can't spot reduce...doing sit ups doesn't guarantee a flat stomach. Doing tricep dips won't eliminate arm fat. Sure, toning up your muscles is a fantastic idea...but fat stores where it stores and the way to reduce fat is cardio...of any sort...and you don't get to tell your run, "That one was for my thighs" or your Spinning class, "Take that off my belly, please."

I've always had a mesomorph/endomorph body type which means I'm kind of stocky/athletic. I'm not delicate, I don't have a pear shape. I've got a boyish body with big boobs, basically. Narrow hips, thicker through the middle. I carry my extra weight in the middle. My arms are average sized, my hips, butt and thighs have always been smallish but my problem area for sure!

In the past when I've lost weight, it comes off in all the wrong places. I enjoy when my face thins out, and my fingers, etc. But primarily I've lost it in my hips, butt & thighs that were already not that troublesome to begin with. My chest and tummy...where I'd like to lose it the most...has been stubborn.

Enter this new diet change.

I am spot reducing for the first time in my life.

Not eating grains or processed foods is SHRINKING ME IN THE RIGHT PLACES!

For the first time ever I had to go shopping and buy a smaller shirt size. Last year I lost 30 lbs, but not by eating healthy foods. By eating smaller portions of processed foods. I went down a pant size but not a shirt size. This year I've lost 30 lbs and have gone down a size in BOTH pants and shirts (and wedding ring!) By feeding my body what it needs, it is FINALLY getting rid of what it doesn't.

And THAT, my friends, makes me so happy I could cry.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Blueberry Chia Smoothie & Week 7 Wrap-Up

Doesn't that make your mouth water? It does mine!

I missed a few posts this weekend thanks to Easter! We were so busy!

Here is a smoothie for you for my Saturday Smoothie installment!

This one was quick, easy and delicious!

1/2 c frozen blue curled kale
1 c fresh spinach
large handful of frozen or fresh blueberries
5 fresh strawberries
1/2 frozen banana
10 frozen grapes
1/2 c coconut milk
1/2 c water
1 tbsp chia seeds

Makes 1 16-oz smoothie, just blend it all together!

I have to say I have been using So Delicious coconut milk. I thought I was doing great by choosing the unsweetened version...then I noticed it was "coconut milk beverage" not coconut milk. I've switched to Silk Pure Coconut milk and it's SO SO SO much creamier and yummy! More calories, but less chemicals!

Also, I've updated our progress page...this week was rough! We ate well and had no problem at all sticking with our lifestyle change there...but I struggled to drink enough water and get enough exercise because I was busy and distracted. We got through it though, and I'm back to drinking 100+ oz of water daily and getting my workouts in wholeheartedly instead of just rushing through halfheartedly :) Here's to another great week, friends!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Updated Side Effects

Just a quick note to let you know I've updated some of the side effects James and I are experiencing since changing our lifestyle. After losing 53 lbs combined, a lot of things are bound to change, right? James messaged me this morning to let me know that he'll need his wedding band resized soon. It almost fell off in the car this morning.


I'm excited about some of the side effects I posted this morning. I keep thinking the same thing over and over...if I could go to six-months-ago-Lena or even six-years-ago-Lena and give her a 30 minute glance into how amazing it would feel to make these changes....she would have been ready to make them so much sooner!

To see our side effects, click on the link above that reads "Side Effects". 

Have a great day everyone. I'll be back Saturday with a new smoothie!