Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Sleeping with the power out. . .

Holy cow. . . I clearly don't sleep when the power goes out.  Ugh.  Last night around 7 or so, the power started acting funny. By 8:30 it was out.  Out out out.  Not coming back on.  My husband called the neighbor.  I texted my mom (she's less than 2 miles away but on a different line than us).  Both were out.  Both had the same issues prior to the outage.

Both of our phones had low batteries, but we had battery packs so we hooked up and got on Facebook.  What else is there to do?  Everyone was out.  Literally a widespread outage.  Our electric comes from a co-op.  They posted on FB that it was an transmission line and was an Ameren issue.  So we wait.

We go to sleep . . . you'd think in winter the issue would be lack of heat right?  Not for me.  It's lack of a fan.  I was too hot!  I toss and turn.  I look on FB.  People are saying the power will be back my 11.  Nope it's not. Then it's midnight. . . still not on.  I wake just before 1:30 am and it's not on.   I look on FB and my area is scheduled to be up "soon".

Bam!  Suddenly the power is back.

Guess who wasn't smart enough to turn the lights off?  Us.  Guess who got up to turn them all off?  Me.

By this point it's much cooler and I'm able to turn the fan on and sleep fairly well.  I'm no longer worried about everything in the fridge.   In the morning it's always freezing in the house because we turn the heat down at night.  I race to the bathroom where it's warm from the space heater (we need that cause we have issues with freezing pipes in the bathroom).  Um. . . guess what didn't come on when the power came back?  Yup. . . the space heater.  Holy freezing bathroom!  My kitty touches my bare legs with his little paws and they are freezing too!  Yikes.  

Who'd have thunk that sleeping with the power off would be so hard?  It was two fold I guess because I was worried about all our food and also because it was just too darn quiet.

Yesterday was day 16 of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge and I was really struggling.  I decided to try something I hadn't tried before - making something with the meal replacement shake mix.

I had this recipe: 

I'm not a fan of a *lot* of PB so I used the regular chocolate shake.  The muffins don't rise but I didn't really know that and I filled 12 muffins as full as I dared. I didn't like how the batter tasted.  But I went on with the baking. . . 

I had enough batter to make 4 more muffins.  Unfortunately the power went out while they were in the oven.  My husband put them all away and I don't know which 4 weren't really done.  That should be fun to figure out.  I tasted one (ok two. . . ) of them and they weren't horrible.  Better than the batter was, but I'm not sure I'd make them again.  But maybe because they took care of my sweet craving I think. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Fitbit Challenges and a weekend update

Do you have a fitbit?  I started with the Fitbit Flex and while I liked it I had issues with charging it.  I also didn't like the lack of a true display and not seeing the actual *number* of steps taken.  So at the very beginning of the year I "upgraded" to the Fitbit Charge.  Not the HR. . . I'm not hip on having a constant HR monitor.  We have enough electronics in our life I don't need that kind of monitor on my wrist.  I also don't pay any attention to calorie burn cause I don't feel that's truly accurate even with a heart rate monitor.   So I used my points from my Amazon card and got the Fitbit Charge for like $9 after my points were deducted.  Score!   But as is true with Fitbit, they have quality issues and I got a dud.  The battery wouldn't even last 24 hours.  So I exchanged it with Amazon and now I have a good one.

I go in spurts wearing my fitbit.  Mostly because I know what it takes to reach 10K steps in my daily life.  I have a desk job.  I go for a 20 min walk at recess every day, but ultimately if I don't do *something* after work, I will never reach my steps.  So once I figured out what it took, the charm of the device wore off and I'd wear it in spurts.  Maybe if I had a big run/race I'd wear it just to see how many steps I took.  But I did that with one of my half marathons in 2014 and what happened???   Well I got the 10K buzz from my fitbit early on in the race and then when I synced it later it gave me way way under 10K steps.  Bogus!  What a rip off.  I have no idea why it barfed.  So . . . again - this is why I go in spurts with Fitbit.

I actually bought a jawbone in Dec on a great sale at Target, but I realized I'm tied to Fitbit because I have so many friends in the app, that if I switched I'd lose those friends.  And what I do find motivating about my fitbit are the challenges.  So last week I was in a workweek hustle challenge. Who takes the most steps M-F??   Did I mention I have a desk job? However I have to say that I rocked this challenge.  I was often leading and honestly I think I would have won, but I had commitments on Friday after work that were *not* active and I couldn't reach my goal on Friday.  I was 5,000+ short.  I didn't even make it halfway.  But I did apparently set a personal record for the workweek hustle.  I didn't even know fitbit tracked this.

I was just shy of winning by about 3500 steps.  Oh so close!  I was bummed cause I really moved and tried like heck to win this.  :)

So the same person that invited me to that challenge, invited me to the weekend warrior challenge.  Challenge accepted!!!   I had a busy weekend.  I ran both days (3 miles) and was generally just moving around. And I won this one!!!  Whoop whoop!

There weren't as many people in this one but I still kind of crushed it.  The daily recommended amount of steps is 10K and you can see I stomped that.   Not all weekends are like this.  And honestly if I wasn't in the challenge I may not have ran both days.  As I said above the challenges and competing with friends in the one thing I love about my fitbit.  There is a revolving 7 day total that you can look at to see where you rank with friends.  I have a cousin that runs her butt off and is almost always over 100K steps in any given 7 days.  I'm never above her.  Sometimes you just don't have a chance :)

Yesterday I went to a baby shower.  My brother's girlfriend is pregnant.   I decided to try my hand at making a baby blanket.  This was a bit of a challenge because I couldn't decide on a pattern.  I knew exactly what color scheme I wanted, but choosing the pattern was stressful.  I actually chose this pattern and started with 2 rows of each color.  That looked off.  So I started over and did three rows of each color.  This is the shell stitch.  I learned a lot doing this blanket.  I learned 2 stitches I hadn't used.  I taught myself to make the top row even once I was done.  And I did a border for the first time.  A double border at that!  I think it turned out well. I have no idea how it will hold up.  I cringe at the thought of washing it - will the colors bleed?   Will the yarn hold up and dry well?  Yikes.  And if I can, at every baby shower, I try to give something horse related.  The stuffed horse is super cute, baby safe and I've given it to a few people now.  I adore it! I should buy myself one.

Today is Day 15 of the Advocare 24 day Challenge.  My weight is creeping down slower than the last challenge.  Which is kind of disappointing.  But it is going down and I'm feeling much more confident and comfortable in my clothes.  I brought my own food to the baby shower.  It was at 2 pm so I actually had a good lunch that held me over and I didn't eat all the snacks.  The key is really preparation and not allowing yourself to be set up for failure.  That's true with any eating program/ lifestyle change.  

We tried one new recipe this weekend.  Yesterday my hubby made Beef and Butternut Squash soup while I was at the baby shower.  He had it ready and waiting when I got home.  It was actually really really good.  We'd like to add a few more veggies next time.  Maybe some celery and green beans.   But holy cow - I LOVE butternut squash in soup.  I can't wait to make this again. 

Here is the recipe.  The interesting thing I thought is the outside of the beef was pink.  I don't know if it was the broth/squash that made it that color.  I cut my pieces up smaller (we'd do that differently next time too) and the insides were well done and brown.  It was kind of the opposite of how a steak would be where the inside is pink.  I was amused by that.  It's the small things. . . what can I say? 

Have a great week peeps!!! 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Advocare 24 Day Challenge: Phase 1 results

Today is day 11 and the first day of the 14 day phase 2.  They call this the max phase.   You are no longer cleansing your body, but you are giving it proper nutrition and vitamins.  You take quite a few pills in the MNS system.   I don't love that, but I do love results. . . .

So what were my results from Phase 1?

-6.6 lbs and -3.5 inches overall!!!

My inches broke down to:
           Chest: -1
           Waist: -1
           Hips: -1
           Thigh: -0.5

I'd rather have kept the chest and lost more hips, but such is life.

I didn't get a photo of my fat % monitor on Day 1.  (Running late for work as usual)  But I was at 32.8 %.  I didn't write down the BMI but I imagine it's the same. Oh and that's a high BMI - the freaking bar flashes so I forgot about that and the pic snapped at the wrong time.  I wish I was normal BMI, but I'm not.

Yesterday was a bit challenging.  We regularly have pizza day at work.  We had a few inches of snow and we had severe server issues at work - causing many people to twiddle their thumbs.  The boss declared it a pizza day.  Ugh.  They set up the tables in the hallway just outside my room.  The smells. . . oh my the smells!  But I was mentally strong and I resisted.  I wasn't about to mess up.  I am pretty strong on the challenge cause I believe anyone can do anything for 24 days.  But the day before I'm going to take phase 1 results?? That means I'm even stronger.  I resisted.  It's all about choices and eating for your goals.

But man. . . that's a lot of pizza and therefore a lot of pizza smell to resist. . . .  I did it!  SUCCESS.  Eat for your goals!  Eat to live, don't live to eat.

I can't wait to have final results in 14 days.  My weight has been holding for several days now - even creeping up 0.2 lbs today.  So . . . I think my body is resisting.  Which means I have to be strong and strict with my food choices.  I think I need to cut back on the fruit a little bit. It's my saving grace and replaces my sweets.  So a few less handfuls of grapes are in order.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Confession: I'm a scale junkie

OMG!  I get on the scale every freaking day.  How horrible!  Judge me now.  

I understand that this doesn't work for everyone.  If we were all the same what a boring world this would be.  

I get the unhealthy aspects of this.  But gosh darn it to heck. . . I'm tired of the harping about *not* getting on the scale every day.  You gotta do what works for you.  I'm on the scale every single flipping morning.  It's what I do.  Do I freak out if I gain weight?  No.  Do I happy dance if I lose?  Yes!  I can eat Chinese food and gain 3 lbs the next day.  I know this.  I'm aware of it.  I move on.  My time of the month can cause a 2 lb gain the first day of that week.  I know this.  I hate it.  Lol! 

I found this article this morning. Holy cow!  Stop the presses!  This actually says it's A-OKAY to get on the scale every day.  Take that you once-a-week-scale-judging peeps!  

"Stepping on the scales should be like brushing your teeth," says David Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University.

Hallelujah!!!!!  That's me - first thing after I pee.  On the scale I go.  

The article also says: "It was possible that cause and effect went the other way —  that good numbers kept people coming back to their scales while disappointing numbers kept them away."

Interesting eh? 

Now keep in mind that the scale doesn't define you. 

And if you let it define you then maybe you do need to break up.  Maybe you should seek therapy.  

But I think there is a healthy way to get on the scale every day.  People say "measure - go by how your clothes fit".  I'm here to tell you that I'm 5'10".  I'm lucky that I carry my weight pretty well.  I've weighed 250 lbs and people were stunned when they heard that.  I thought I looked like 300 lbs.  But whatever.   They didn't see it.  So I can gain 20 lbs and guess what?  My jeans still fit!!!  So I like to stop that crap in it's tracks - before my friendly scale says I gained 20 lbs. 

So my scale is my friend.  We have a morning meeting every morning.  It's ok.  I go on with my day.  You gotta find what works for you.  If you have a once a week relationship then that's great.  I won't judge your relationship, please don't judge mine.  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Some fun recipes over the weekend

It was a 3 day weekend this past weekend.  Whoop!  It was freezing freaking cold without snow.  If I have to be that cold it should at least snow.  It's suppose to snow today.  I believe when I see those beautiful flakes with my very own eyes. 

Today is Day 9 of the Advocare 24 Day Challenge.  Lots of people can't wait till Day 11 which is the first day of phase 2.  I don't understand because I eat the same on all 24 days of the challenge.  The Advocare Daily Guide doesn't indicate any differently.  Yes I'm an Advocare distributor and if I have one complaint about the whole thing it's the lack of definitive instruction and the way directions are spread through the grapevine.  I've heard things that absolutely don't make any sense and some things that are totally scientifically incorrect.   So that's my beef, but I love the products and what they have done for me.  But I'm pretty dang strict on the challenge.  I don't do dairy at all.  I avoid all processed carbs - no whole wheat bread for me.  Not even Ezekiel bread.  No pasta of any kind.  No sprinkling of cheese.  No yogurt.   The carbs I eat the most are fruit, quinoa and sweet potatoes.   

So anyways . . . I'm rolling right along and I can't wait to share a scale update on Day 11. 

In the meantime we had some fun with recipes this weekend.   

 First. . . on Saturday we made a soup that we made last year when I did the challenge (my hubby did not) and we loved and freaking forgot about it.  We will be making this a lot more often.  Here is the link sweet potato, chicken & quinoa soup.   YUM!  It's a crock pot recipe.  Check it out.   I'm eating leftovers for lunch today :)  It looks better in the blog photos. 

We had fish on Sunday and decided to try brussels sprouts again.  We like them but struggle to cook them.  My friend said to cook at 350 for 20 mins, then 425 for 10 mins.  That worked like a charm.  And we learned the smaller sprouts are better. The last time we tried I swear our sprouts were the size of golf balls.  They weren't very good. 

Last night we tried a new to us recipe that people doing the challenge are raving about.  Hummus Crusted Chicken. 

It was really good.  There is zucchini, squash and onion under that chicken.  We'd change a few things next time.  We would butterfly the chicken so the hummus covers more surface area.  And we'd cut back on the amount of lemon we left in the pan during baking.  If you want to try this recipe here it is. 

I've heard it's good with pork chops too!   

This weekend my hubby and I worked out three days in a row!  I took him to the gym with me on Sat and got him a 7 day pass.  I think he's going to join.  He joined the Y with me years ago and didn't last that long.  He had a lame excuse about not liking them withdrawing from his checking. . . umm. . . that's the easy way to pay and whatever.  I still don't know how committed he is, but this gym is much cheaper.  He says he wants to keep his cardio up.  We will see if he signs up once the 7 days is up.  And we will see how often he goes if he does sign up.   I love that he's trying and seems dedicated now.  

I'll be back on Thursday with an update on the results from phase 1.  If you are doing the challenge as well - stay strong and rock on!  You got this!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Crinkle. . . crinkle . . . crinkle. . .

Crinkle crinkle.  What is that noise?  Oh that's the sound of my husband opening one of these:

What?!?!  Seriously.  We are doing the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. Candy canes are not on the menu.  What the heck?   It was about 9:30 pm last night.  We just got done watching 2 more episodes of Orange is the New Black and were going to bed.  He was going to feed the kitties and give Sophie her medicine.  And I hear the crinkle of the plastic.  Umm. . . nothing in plastic is on the menu. 

"What are you eating?" I ask.  

He gets defensive and says "It's just a candy cane! It's only a candy cane". 

He didn't use cuss words for once if I remember right.  I was mad.  Should I have been mad?  I don't know.  We are doing this challenge together.  A candy cane didn't temp me but the crinkle of the paper did.  It's like during the various times when I'm not drinking soda and I a coworker has a fountain soda . . . I can hear the ice.  My mouth starts watering.  So the crinkle made me think of chocolate. 

And yes I went to bed mad at him.  Do I expect perfection on the challenge?  I don't know.  Maybe.  I expect it of myself.  I don't even eat my vitamin C and vitamin D vitamins right now cause they are gummies and have a coating of sugar.  No artificial sugar in my system!   So yes I guess I expect the same from him.  But above that I expect that he doesn't eat these things in front of my face.  If he isn't committed he can cheat during the 12 hours a day that I'm not home.  That's what I expect. 

When I invest the money in the challenge (it's not cheap!) I give it my full commitment.   I paid for his challenge cause I ordered and my credit card is linked to our Advocare account.  I suppose I should have had him pay for his.  Then maybe he would realize the expense and be more committed. 

I think the other thing that bothered me is that he didn't *need* that candy cane.  What?!  He was mindlessly eating.  Through the challenge you learn how much you mindlessly eat when you want to reach for something you "can't have".  It's eye opening.  

So yes, my feathers are ruffled over a candy cane.  And I don't even know how to talk to him about it. 

But I'm rocking the challenge and the scale and I are friends again!  I won't post anything about my weight till I'm either a week in or at the end of the 10 day cleanse mark.  You never know what the scale will do, but these last 2 days have been *happy dance* moments when I saw the number on the scale.  

Monday, January 11, 2016

Advocare 24 Day Challenge . . . Day 1!

Whoop!  Today is day 1 of the Advocare 24 day challenge.   I stuffed my face like every meal was my last meal this weekend.  I blew up.

Holy yikes!  This makes me want to cry.  I undid a lot of hard work the last half of the year.  I used getting sick as an excuse to eat whatever I wanted.  I went through stages of panic and depression during that time and food was comfort.  But I could have got it under control.  I totally could have.  I just didn't.  Then the holidays came and I did ok.  But then New Year's came and I had 11 day till the challenge.  So what I did I do?  I ate everything one last time.  Like I'd never ever be able to have it again.  So I earned that 196.  I know it.  I own it.  I'm moving on.  (the fat % was 32.8% but I forgot to take a photo.  That's up too. . . )

We prepped food this weekend.  I made scrambled eggs for my breakfast every day.  My husband made chicken for my salads.  We made some quinoa and fruit salad.   So it's on!  We got this under control.

That was my breakfast this morning.  I'm drinking my spark right now.  I decided to have mandarin orange to shake things up and it's pretty good.  A bit like tang from the old days, but I was stuck on fruit punch so I needed to change it up.

Last night before we went to sleep. . . the last thing my hubby said was "I can't wait to start our cleanse tomorrow".  Whoop!  He had to come into this in his own time.  He's done the cleanse with me before but I think just to humor me.  I feel like he really *wants* to do it this time.  And this will be his first time doing the full 24 days.  So I'm very excited to see how he does.  I'm super happy that he wants to do this and was looking forward to it as well.

One last thing . . .

I bought an Amazon Fire Stick over the holiday sales.  Finally set it up this weekend.  My internet doesn't seem to be fully up to snuff with streaming (we live out in the sticks) but it's working well enough.  Last night we watch three episodes of . . . 

Whoa!  Wow.  First of all when practically the first scene is 2 women having sex. .  .and your husband says "what are we watching". . .   ha!  Nah it's all good.  I can't wait to watch more!!!  I can't believe I finally got on the Netflix bandwagon.  I feel so grown up. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 resolutions

I hate New Year's.  Why?  Because it marks the passing of another year.  Because it shows me 365 days have gone by and what have I accomplished?  In 2015 I did work on my health/weight quite a bit and that was good. But really not much else.  I have time anxiety.  I stress every day over how much time I have left in the day.  How much I have to do in that amount of time.  And I stress about the overall passing of time and getting older.  I'm 37.  I'm not where I expected to be in life at this age. 

I shared these goals on FB and I'll share them here.  My "official" 2016 New Year's resolutions.

1. Continue on the healthy journey I started in 2015.

2. Be thankful for my health each day. 

3. Run a 10K race. I’ve ran the distance, but not an official run.

4. Try not to fit so much into each day. 

5. Relax about “time”. 

6. Think before I speak.

7. Be less impromptu about spending money. 

8. Stress less about decisions.

9. Be more organized and reduce clutter in my living spaces.

10. Spend Christmas 2016 in a house.  Yes a new house, but an actual house. 

Some of these will be much harder than others.  And number 10 is going to be the deal breaker on my marriage.  If that doesn't happen I don't think I'll be married by the end of this year.  So I expect a tough year ahead. I am not looking forward to it.

I'm starting the year sick.  I got sick yesterday and it got worse as the day went on.  I probably should have stayed home just to rest today but I feel like my husband doesn't support me staying home from work.  I have no idea why but I guess I feel like he thinks I should "suck it up" and go to work.  After all, back in August when I was *sick*  (I wish I had a name for what was wrong with me) he told me to take a shot of whiskey and deal with the pain.  So that's the kind of attitude he has.  So I came to work.  Yay me.  Happy New Year's to those of you that are excited about it. I just realized it's a 366 day year.  Oh yay.  One more day to accomplish my list above.