The one in which I get a little mushy…or may that’s just sweat in my eye

I should have written this post weeks ago.  No excuses.  It’s just belated.  But now it’s done. I owe a big thank you to my trainers and my friends at my gym.  This is my thank you note….with a tiny bit of marathon reflection.

I have lost over 100 pounds.  It has taken me around 18 months to finally hit that milestone, beginning at my highest weight in September 2012 and busting through to a 102 pound loss at the scales in March 2014.  My real journey began in January 2013 when I joined Fitness Protection Program and started a challenge with a bunch of friends from The Little Light House.  I had maintained a 10 pound loss since September, but I made real lifestyle changes that January.

Lots of people think that my weight loss came as a result of working out every day.  That helped, of course. But anyone who has lost any amount of weight knows that the real work happens outside of the gym.  It takes discipline to wake up early every morning to work hard…weights, cardio and crazy things like burpee challenges and becoming a runner. (I’m totally smiling here at the fact that I just openly admitted that I’m a runner.)  I read a quote that says anyone can go to the gym 1 hour a day.  It’s having self control the other 23 hours of the day that makes the difference.  True story.

Ok, but what I really want this post to be about is the fact that my gym played a MAJOR role in my weight loss success.  I know, I know, I just said it’s not the exercise, it’s the eating.  Well, actually it’s both.  But in fact, it’s more.  And so I want to get a little sappy and dedicate this post to my fabulous trainers, Julie & Kasey.  And the fabulous members of Fitness Protection Program.  No way can I name them all…and so I won’t even try.  But thank you…

thank you…
for seeing me as an individual, with specific goals and never even hinting at comparing me to someone else.
for allowing me to learn how to push myself, by not letting me get by with anything less.
for creating (as cliche as it sounds) a family-like atmosphere, at a gym, at 5:00 in the morning, where people sweat and get sore and come back the next day for more of the same.
for celebrating with me every step of the way.
for advising me when my steps were going in the wrong direction.
for making workouts fun.  I laugh & smile every day at FPP.

What I really want to say is this…thanks for making me feel welcome from the very first day.  Nobody ever talks about numbers, and that’s ok.  It’s great really.  But I decided when I lost 100 pounds I’d be okay with talking numbers.  So those thank you’s up there…they are a bit generic, but they are real.

And what I want people to know, is that when I walked in your gym on January 15, 2013 I weighed 314 pounds.

I don’t really know what to say after that.  I’ll just pause for effect.  : )

I think the reason why I feel compelled to share such a personal piece of information for all the world to see…is that I want you to know that you can do it, too.  See, I said I had maintained a 10 pound weight loss by the time I started FPP…which means my highest weight was 324.

Another pause.

It still seems a little surreal to me to type those numbers.  Or maybe it still seems surreal to me that my weight now starts with a 2 instead of a 3 and someday it will start with a 1.  Maybe you’re at your highest weight ever.  Maybe your weight doesn’t start with the right number anymore.  And maybe you see the things I post and you know I do boot camp type workouts and you think you can’t do it.  But I want you to know you can.  You can.  Maybe you have 100+ pounds to lose and it seems overwhelming.  I totally get that.  For YEARS I told myself…”If you’ll just think about losing 2 pounds a week for a year, you’ll get it done”.  But it took a long time for me to actually start trying. (and more on that another day, too) I’m not quite finished yet.  At some point I won’t have a weight goal, but instead a body fat % goal or a BMI goal.

I ran (and jogged and walked) a half marathon last weekend.  I can’t even remember the point I decided to register for the OKC Memorial Run.  Looking back it seems like a natural thing to do.  But really?! One year after I joined FPP, I just get online and sign up for a half marathon?  Something about that doesn’t seem natural at all.  In January 2013 I weighed over 300 pounds and I had a goal to run ONE mile. But by January 2014 I paid money to run 13.1 miles?!

On Monday night I sat around a table with my trainers and friends from FPP as we celebrated our recent races.  I shared a table with someone who has run multiple marathons, ultra marathons and had just come back from her first Boston Marathon.  I shared a table with someone who ran the half marathon in less than half the time that I did.  We all shared our stories and we all toasted each other and everyone was celebrated.  And yep, I felt like a rockstar.

And I think that’s when I had some sort of real revelation about what makes FPP different than any other place I’ve worked out.  It is never about comparing ourselves to one another…although we do like a little friendly competition at times!…it is about supporting and celebrating individual accomplishments.  Nobody cared how much I weighed when I started this journey, but they ask me how it’s going and celebrate my success along the way.  Nobody cared that I couldn’t do some of the exercises when I started working out (plank jacks, side plank, maybe anything with a slider?!) or that there are still some exercises I have to modify (pull-ups!!!!!).  And Monday night, as we sat around…I got to excitedly talk about my experience running my first half marathon.  Nobody cared what my pace was or how much I walked vs. how much I ran.  They listened and applauded me because I accomplished what I set out to do.  They have seen a transformation in me and they celebrate personal success.  And then they bought my dinner and I was stupidly confused by it all.  Which brings me to another point…

The day I tipped past my 100 pound mark, I surprised my trainer (Julie) because I think it was almost 9 pounds less than my previous weight.  She and Kasey had been secretly planning a gift for me…and then waiting and waiting and waiting for me get my act together (ha!) so they could celebrate with me.  Of course the gift wasn’t at the gym on the day I finally hit it! : ) But that day I did get a fabulous card with so many sweet messages from friends.  My kids like to look at it and talk about “the notes from your friends because you did a good job exercising” and then the next day I almost fell over when Julie handed me a Visa gift card.  Members & friends had donated to my gift and then FPP matched it.  I was SHOCKED.  It was a total surprise to me that they had done all of that and I had no idea at all.  I had to promise to spend it on myself…a promise I was happy to make!  I’ve spent a decent chunk of the money, but I have a scheduled shopping trip with my mom & sisters next weekend.  After that, I’ll to a full post on all the goodies I got.  But really, what an amazing place with such generous people.  I still feel so undeserving of such a nice gift.

So thank you FPP family…for pushing me, loving me, celebrating me and being ridiculous and rewarding me.

I feel like I probably haven’t done an excellent job of putting my thoughts into words tonight.  But I’ve been wanting to say thank you for a while, and after dinner on Monday night, I felt I had an additional perspective on why I love FPP so much.  Excellent trainers in all the technical things that trainers need to be good at.  But also excellent people who really care about helping others reach their goals.  Daily accountability, scheduling meetings and giving advice when needed and somehow maintaining this amazing camaraderie that applauds individuals.

Oh, and if you’ve made it this far, you should also know that FPP is celebrating Women Owned Business Day by offering a fabulous deal on a 6 week membership.  A tiny sales pitch to say that for $26 you can workout at Fitness Protection Program for 6 consecutive weeks, as long as it’s activated by November.  Ahem, $26 people.  Give it a try.  If you’re ready to kick start a journey to better health, this is the way to do it.  Click here for the offer or call them at 918-622-3774 with questions.  Visit their website or Facebook for more info!  This special price is only available May 1-7.  Get on it!

PS. This is not a sponsored post.  I’m not that much of a big time blogger (yet). I just wanted to say thank you to my people for being so fantastic.  And I thought you should know about their fantastic deal.  I’ll be at the 5:00 am class if you wanna join me. And if you come in the summer, I could possibly force myself to come to a later class.  I would love to work out with you.  Come!

 

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Sort of a boring post without pictures except…

Sort of a boring post without pictures except…

I’ve lost 102 pounds!!! And so that is not boring at all.

And now I’ll apologize for the boring parts. Because while I had intended a post with before/after pictures and spilled out thoughts about my weight loss journey. But there are no pictures and minimal thoughts to be shared tonight. We’ve had a fun St. Patrick’s Day…with green eggs & ham for breakfast, leprechaun lunches and green play dough. I’d like to promise a better update tomorrow…but it looks busy, too. So…less than a promise that I’ll have a better update tomorrow, k?

For now…I’ll say that I was pleasantly surprised to step on the scale this morning and discover that I had lost 9 pounds since I last officially weighed in (Friday, March 7). I had peeked at the scale last Wednesday because it had been one week since I began my Lenten fast from meat, dairy and sugar. I was curious to see how I was doing, although I typically do not weigh more than once a week. I was down about 5 pounds, putting me 2 pounds away from my 100 pound goal.

Unfortunately (fortunately?!) I was hit with a terrible stomach bug late Thursday night and I had to miss my official weigh in on Friday morning. And then…I had a crazy toothache/infected gum issue on Saturday/Sunday. Tummy bug plus toothache equals…major weight loss goal met!! Ha!!

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And no, actually…2 pounds past my milestone. So I met my goal of 100 pounds lost and those other 2 pounds are just icing on the cake hummus on the carrot!

It is super fun to be able to say I’ve lost over ONE HUNDRED pounds. Of course that means I was overweight by more than one hundred pounds, too…which is not so fun. But I don’t tend to dwell on a negative past.

I’m proud of where I am today, how I’ve gotten here and where I’m headed. And I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow(ish)

Thanks for all the love & support you send to me…faithful family & friend blogreaders. And the internet strangers that happen upon my blog for one reason or another, I’m glad you’re here, too. Thanks for being my audience and cheering me on just by reading my words and liking my posts!

Pictures soon, pinky promise!!

waiting on 100, what we’re eating, what we’re learning…posted!

1. I’m pretty sure I neglected to mention that I gained a couple of pounds last week. I’ll blame it on hurting my knee resulting in lower intensity workouts and no running. Oh, and then not adjusting my calorie intake to account for that lack of activity. I was back down a half pound (which is kind of staying the same, right?) this past Friday. I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular. In the preceding week I had spent a long weekend at my parents’ house, which included one really fabulous cheat day and then a few days of some decent self control. And then I had Fat Tuesday…which was yummy. Since Wednesday, I’ve been really good at sticking to my Lenten fast (no meat, dairy or sugar)…but a few days of eating healthy plus two cheat days just isn’t enough for weight loss. HOWEVER, minus a couple of slip ups…I’ve been following my self-imposed rules for Lent, which results in no cheat days or even any real cheat meals. Plus, my knee is much better…I’ve done a couple of runs and don’t have to modify near as many exercises at the gym. I’m looking forward to Friday’s weigh in to see how close I am (again!) to the 100 mark. Ready to blow past it!!

2. I’ve managed to make it five (and a half!) days of no meat and no dairy…but I did end up with a little sugar intake. Not a single bite of grilled cheese sandwich or pizza or Italian chicken sandwich. No brownie bites or m&m’s or Oreos. (Yes, these are all things I brought into my house voluntarily this week!) The sugar happened because the almond milk we had contained evaporated cane juice in it (see also: sugar). I have since replaced it with unsweetened almond milk, which mostly contains almonds and a few other things. Someday I may attempt to make my own almond milk…but we’ll see! I also ate pita from Zoe’s Kitchen last night. It was soooo good. I’m not positive it contained sugar, but most breads do. Oh, and I was excited that while my kids Veggie Straws do contain sugar, pretzels do not. Until I read the label again and saw corn syrup listed. Boo. And finally, I found a great vegan pumpkin muffin recipe. I made it this morning for the kids and myself. It called for 1/2 cup brown sugar and I substituted with baking stevia, which actually includes some sugar. I will probably play around with the recipe a little bit and see what I use to replace sugar totally. You can find the recipe here. I subbed whole wheat flour for the white flour and used quinoa flakes instead of oats. I cooked the apples in coconut oil. Everything turned out delicious. The cooked apples were really a treat. I think I’ll try them in other muffin recipes and will probably switch to cooking in just water instead of oil.

3. I do a letter of the week curriculum with my kids. Found here. Some weeks are filled with activities and some…are not. We’re doing a little better sticking to a routine these days. I have a lot of fun with the kids when we do school activities, especially when I supplement the curriculum with my own stolen from Pinterest ideas. This week is letter P week and honestly, there are not enough days to do everything I want! We started this morning by having a picnic. (Super fun way for me to avoid clearing the kitchen table for breakfast.) We had pumpkin muffins, bananas & milk. We had planned a play date at the park, but cousin Mary wasn’t feeling up to it. And so our previously planned peanut butter & jelly sandwich picnic at the park has been postponed until this evening when we will play outside until Papa comes home. The weather should be perfect! For lunch today we made pasta salad with peppers and provolone cheese Daniel poked the plastic to open the pepper package. He was so proud! We’re also planning a pizza party, movies with popcorn, pancakes on pajama day, polish sausage, pork chops, potatoes, p’sketti, pineapple, peaches, pretzels, pudding, potato chips and pie on Friday, March 14…because I am nothing if not a math nerd. (see here if you do not happen to share this love for numbers). I hope to make some penguins (maybe by painting with potatoes?) and we’ll be learning about the plagues. I found a great site to help me incorporate bible stories in our schooling. She shares links and even lists food ideas. Click here to see what we’ll be studying this week.

4. And…my thoughts have been totally interrupted by a dying laptop battery and kids that are dying to go outside. Occupational Therapy is finished, I’m packing our picnic and we’re headed outside until sunset.

Happy Monday, friends!

Focus on Five

Yep. 5 pounds until I have reached a big weight loss goal. It’s not my ultimate goal, but achieving a 100 pound weight loss is a pretty amazing thing and I’m looking forward to accomplishing it. Soon.

Here’s my meal plan for the week:
Sunday
Breakfast: Malt O Meal (kids) Oatmeal (me)
I will also have a Luna Protein bar during our Sunday School class. Luna bars & Clif bars have kept me out of the donut box for over a year.
Lunch: hotdogs (kids & Rob) Sweet potato, Laughing cow cheese, salsa & steamed broccoli (me)
Snack: string cheese & fruit
Dinner: Pizza & Stromboli (kids & Rob) quinoa crust pizza (me)

Monday
Breakfast: muffins (kids) Oatmeal (me)
Lunch: muffin tins (kids) leftover pizza (me)
Dinner: taco potatoes (ground turkey for everybody, sweet potato for me)

Tuesday
Breakfast: crockpot steel cut oats (everybody)
Lunch: nachos (kids) lettuce wrap with leftover taco meat (me)
Dinner: goulash (kids & Rob) sweet potato chili (me)

Wednesday
Breakfast: yogurt & oats (will finally prep this!!)
Lunch: sweet potato chili (everyone)
Dinner: lasagna (kids & Rob) spaghetti squash (me)

Thursday
Breakfast: pancakes (kids) yogurt & oats (me)
Lunch: out with a friend
Dinner: pb&j on Ezekiel bread on the road

We have a crazy schedule for the weekend and will be spending time with family. I’ll make sure I have some healthy snacks and meal options available, but I likely won’t plan the menu for the weekend. I’ll also weigh on Thursday morning because I’ll miss boot camp on Friday.

Did I mention that I busted my knee on Friday? It’s still pretty sore today and I’m not a fan of injury. Saturday was day and I would have loved a long run, but that’s not happening. I’m elevating and icing and trying to remember to stay on a steady dose of ibuprofen. I don’t know what my workouts will look like in the coming week. I’ll go to FPP every day and do as much as possible with some modifications, I’m sure. That’s even more reason to make sure I totally stay on my healthy eating plan this week.

if only the baristas would babysit my kids…

I want to write a 7 Quick Takes Friday post of randomness and link up to Conversion Diary.

I want to write a purposeful post about infertility and link up to Kelly’s Korner.

I want to write a blog about our Fab Five Birthday Extravaganza.

I want to update you on my 131/13.1 journey.

So what I’m really saying is I want you to come to my house, take care of my children and my chores while I go sit at Starbucks all day and write.  K?

Or…I’ll just pop in quickly to say I lost 1.6 pounds this week, which feels fabulous after a week of tracking most everything but not everything.  After taking today off of tracking, I will enter every single bite on My Fitness Pal because I am 5 pounds away from 100 pounds lost! I’m determined to push through and get this big goal finished!! (so I can move on to the next goal, of course!)

If my minions will cooperate I’ll be back to post on some of those above mentioned topics later today. Otherwise…have a happy & healthy Friday!

Post-worthy pic

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I have no real reason to post this picture, other than this was my Valentine date night outfit. Oh, and an occasion to wear make up and something other than workout clothes. And I fixed my hair. So, yes, a few reasons to celebrate & share a pic! I still can’t believe I’ll wear something with a belt! My husband picked this outfit for me when we shopped together in December. I need to stay focused so I can enjoy an entire new wardrobe some day! For today my money is being spent on a new (smaller!) sports bra & new running shoes.

I had such a good cheat day yesterday that I won’t have any trouble staying away from junk today. Ugh. Back to fueling my body with healthy foods. I’ll be working on my monthly menu today & will shop this weekend. I’m looking forward to trying some more new recipes!

Happy Saturday everyone! Have a healthy day!

Taking Control…Again

Menu written, groceries bought, meeting with trainer held, weekly goals are happening and extra accountability is in place!

 

New this week…planning most meals family friendly as well as friendly to my own nutritional goals.  I try to feed my kids healthy foods the majority of the time.  There are definitely McDonald’s days.  Or pizza days.  Or grilled cheese from Sonic days.  But in general, I aim for healthy foods.  But “healthy” kid foods “most” of the time…was still tripping me up on my plan.  I might snag a few bites of whatever I fixed for the kids, in addition to my own lunch.  Or, I wouldn’t give myself enough time to fix my dinner along with dinner for my family…and I’d end up eating something healthy but not very satisfying, leading to more eating later that night.

This week is a good week to ease the family into my food world (ha!) since I have to been gone two evenings this week.  I asked my husband which meals he wanted me to fix when I’d be out of the house.  Family cheat meals! ; )

 

Here is our menu for the week:

Breakfast
Monday-muffins…I tried out two new recipes for kid muffins.  I had one for a snack and ate oatmeal for my breakfast. 
Best Ever Healthy Muffins (not my favorite, but the kids ate them)
Toddler Muffins (pretty tasty to me!)
Both have veggies in the recipe, so you can feel good about getting a vegetable in at breakfast!

Tuesday-crock pot oatmeal…for everyone

Wednesday-refrigerated oats & yogurt…I’ll make enough for everyone and will let the kids choose between that and cereal & fruit (I ended up having banana protein muffins instead…I was out late and didn’t prep the oats.  Kids had cereal or yogurt.)

Thursday-breakfast burritos…I’ll sauté veggies and scramble an egg in coconut oil, then wrap it all in an Ezekiel tortilla.  I may give the kids a regular ol’ white flour tortilla.  I’ll love my own so much I shouldn’t be tempted by theirs…which may include ham & cheese.

Friday-It’s Valentine’s Day and I haven’t fully decided what I’m going to eat that day.  It’s my usual “cheat” day..so we’ll see.  Planning healthy strawberry & yogurt parfaits with heart shaped pancakes for breakfast.  I may skip the pancakes, or make sure I have healthy ones on hand.

Lunch

Monday-quinoa enchilada bake…a new, delicious recipe!  Most of my kids liked it, too!

Tuesday-cucumber, avocado & cheese sandwiches on Ezekiel bread…we added sautéed onions.  I let the kids run the toaster and choose what they wanted to add to their sandwiches and they all ate pretty good!  They had fruit on the side, with veggie straws.  I had veggies on the side and also a half serving (yep, counted them out!) of veggie straws.

Wednesday-muffin tins (an assortment of food in a six cup muffin tin…great way to have them try new things and a great way for me to get rid of little bits of leftovers!) for the kids, leftover enchilada bake for me

Thursday-Chopped Southwest Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing…my kids tend to think salad is for grown ups, but they actually like it! I’m going to have them help me make it and I bet they’ll love eating it too!

Friday-I’ll probably make heart shaped sandwiches or heart shaped pizzas for the kids.  Not sure what I’ll eat…

 

Dinner

Monday-taco potatoes…We almost always use ground turkey in place of ground beef.  I skipped butter and had Laughing Cow cheese instead of shredded cheddar.  I also had lots of tomatoes and just a couple of tortilla chips.

Tuesday-sloppy joes…I had a meeting, and sloppy joes in the crock pot is my go-to meal when I’m leaving for the evening. I ended up eating leftovers from Monday’s lunch when I got home.

Wednesday-spaghetti squash…The last few times I have made spaghetti for our family, I have eaten spaghetti squash instead.  I make a sauce for me and feed them Ragu.  I’m not exactly sure of the saucy plans for this dinner, but I am going to offer the spaghetti squash to my kids.  And for the good of my marriage, I’ll have some regular ol’ spaghetti & sauce for my man (and likely for at least one of my kids!)

Thursday-enchiladas…I will be gone to Bible Study, so I’m fixing enchiladas for the family and I will likely eat leftover spaghetti squash.

Friday-Valentine’s Dinner…something my husband cooks for me?! ; )

 

I left my snack options open, but listed a few in my planner to choose from.  I usually eat a snack in the morning and in the afternoon.  If I run in the evening, I typically have a little snack before I run and then eat a later dinner…or skip dinner if I don’t need it.  This week’s snack ideas:  almonds, smoothie, oats & yogurt, strawberry chia drink*, fruit with cheese or almond butter, Luna protein bar, steamed edamame, oatmeal.

 *I’ll post separately about my newly discovered chia drink!

I’m finally finishing up this post on Wednesday.  So far, so good this week!  I have started each morning at boot camp and I ran 4 miles on the treadmill on Tuesday night.  I will run another 4 on Thursday.  We are supposed to have beautiful weather this weekend so I’m looking forward to an outside 6 or 7 mile run on Saturday.  I have not eaten anything off of my plan and am pushing through to a good weigh in on Friday!