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Archive for the ‘Health & Fitness’ Category

“Laying the foundation for a happier, healthier life”

  • Start Date: June 15th, 2012
  • End Date: August 31st, 2012
  • Duration: 78 days

The next 3 months are what I like to refer to as “laying the foundation” in my body transformation journey. Without a good strong foundation the structure you are building will eventually crumble and fall down. I am dedicated to making life-long healthy changes for my family and me. And in order to do that, I need to train my mind & body to automatically “do” healthy. Sounds pretty simple, huh?

I wrote down some of the things I want to work on during the next 3 months. As you will notice I have included some things that aren’t necessarily health related but more home/lifestyle/family related. That is because I feel that all areas of ones life directly effects the other areas. At least they do for me. I am emotionally and mentally affected by my environment. If I am surrounded by clutter and disorganization then that will effect my emotional and mental well-being in a negative way. And if that happens, chances are I wont feel much like eating right or working out.

HEALTH & FITNESS

  • Drink more water and less soda  (This has always been an issue for me since I have an unhealthy love affair with Dr. Pepper)
  • Start eating healthier (#1. Stop skipping meals #2. Stop snacking mindlessly through-out the day #3. Don’t eat past a certain time in the evening)
  • Start working out consistently to build up strength and cardio endurance (#1. Start the Rip:60 workout system #2. Start using my rowing and elliptical machines (obviously not at the same time, lol) #3. Put my Zumba workout DVD’s and Wii Fit to good use)

HOME, LIFE & FAMILY

  • Train myself to get up at a decent time in the mornings so I can get my day started (Summer ALWAYS messes up my sleep/wake schedules)
  • Start planning out meals with the kids (they might actually eat what I cook if they have a part in the planning and prepping stage… I can only hope)
  • Organize my house: Find a home for everything or get rid of it (this has always been one of my biggest challenges in life. I am extremely organized but lack the discipline to follow thru with the systems I set up. So everything usually ends up in boxes and bins, underneath the beds or in the closets. My mom has said more then once, “For someone who is so organized, you sure are messy.”  By the end of the summer, all of that will change.)
  • Continue to build my AVON business so that I have repeat sales every month (As a single mother, having a steady income is EXTREMELY important, lol)
  • Start working on my mini-projects around the home and start doing arts & crafts with the kids (It is important to me to be more active and involved with my kids. Being overwhelmed by the symptoms of my Narcolepsy and the stress of raising children, it is easy for me to forget that there is more to being a family then just making sure the kids are fed and bathed.)

I definitely feel that these are some really good places to start building my foundation for a happier, healthier life. I know that it will take some time before both myself and the kids get used the changes around here. Especially since we are all pretty set in our ways, lol. But these are positive changes so it will all be worth it in the end. Let the journey begin :0

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Like most people out there,I  have struggled with weight, nutrition and healthy living. I know the older I get, the harder it will be for me to lose weight. I also know that if I can make the changes in my life to exercise and eat right, then ANYONE can. I challenge you to join me to reach your goals, what ever they may be. Do you want to lose weight, tone up, gain more flexibility, learn how to eat better, increase your energy & endurance levels? What ever your goal is, chances are, they are the same as mine. And if not, that’s fine too!

I am here to be completely honest about my weight loss journey and hold myself accountable for the choices I make. The reason I have failed time and time again, is because I never included anyone in what I was doing or the changes I was trying to make. The reason for that was so I didn’t have to deal with those people and their comments if I failed. I always went into my endeavor with blinders on, never taking my measurement and DEFINITELY not taking ‘before’ photos. I didn’t want any documentation that I was ever as big as I was! Like, if I ever got skinny I would be able to hide the fact that I was ever fat!

The reason this time is going to be different and I am going to succeed is because:

  1. There is no other option! Its that simple!!!
  2. I’m telling everyone in my life (and obviously on the Internet) about my plans to lose weight and get healthy. There will be no more hiding behind the curtain of shame.
  3. I have taken all of my measurements (and even added my own to the list), did a basic physical assessment & ACTUALLY took my “before” pictures. I keep all of that information accessible so that I see it everyday. It only motivates me to want to change those numbers and images into something that I can be proud of. This is it… I’M DONE BEING FAT.

I am going to make a very bold gesture, just to prove to myself how serious I am about getting healthy. I will post my “before” pictures and measurements for all to see, in the hopes that they will motivate others to make healthy lifestyle changes. I want people to see that I am a real person, with real struggles and body image issues… Just like you. Once a month, I will redo my measurements and assessment and post how I am doing. I will also post tips, advice and updates along the way to also help you. I encourage anyone and everyone to join me in the decision to live a healthier life. So, who’s up for a challenge?

**Please note that I am NOT a licensed nutritionist, medical doctor or fitness trainer. Any and all health related posts are from my personal experience, and nothing more then my opinions. What works for me, may not work for you. Before starting any exercise or diet regiment please consult with your doctor and discuss any and all health related concerns you may have.**

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Lets face it, with all the things that we have to deal with on a daily basis, the last thing on our minds is exercise. That is until we try buttoning up our pants and realize that we have to go up one size bigger…yet again. Or, unless you are like me and try squeezing into those pants because you absolutely refuse to spend more money on clothes. I consider myself an expert on excuses, since I am pretty creative when it comes to making them up (Not necessarily something to be proud of, I guess). Then a month ago, I found myself face to face with a full size reflection of myself. Since I have spent the last several years avoiding full length mirrors, it was easy for me to be in denial about how big I have gotten. So, naturally,  I was horrified. “Who is that person,” was the question that I repeated to myself. Right then and there, I vowed , to not only make changes in my life, but to actually follow through with them.

We owe it to ourselves and to our families to be healthy. The last thing I want to teach my children is to be unhealthy and overweight. When I came across this article Get Sneaky: Fun Ways to Sneak in Daily Exercise from http://www.socialmom.com, I was excited. “I can totally do these things,” I said to myself. And so I did. I used the article as a starting point and then slowing found myself wondering how I could turn the simplest task into a workout regiment. Here are some things I have come up with:

  • Before checking the mail, I do 20 jumping jacks. When I come back from the mail box, I do another 20 (on days that I didn’t do a lot of activity, I will repeat this regiment 1-2 more time.) To spice it up, I will sometimes do lunges to or from the mailbox. And I totally don’t care if anyone sees me and thinks I’m completely crazy, lol. At least I’ll be the Smokin’ Hot Crazy Neighbor, when this is all said and done!!!)
  • I have a goal of 1000 jumping jacks a day. If (who am I foolin’? I mean, “when”) I am sitting on the couch watching TV, I will do a minimum of 10 jumping jacks each commercial. If I’m feeling feisty, I will do more but 10 is the minimum.  (I know that some people may not be able to do something that is considered high impact, whether it be because of your knees, back or other parts of your body. Find something that works for you and your body type. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you move your body)
  • When I pick up my youngest daughter from her playpen, high chair or the floor, I will turn that into bicep curls. Its not only great for developing my ‘guns’ but Faith loves the interaction with me. Another variation is, when I’m sitting on the couch, I will place her on my ankles and do leg lifts with her. Again, she loves the interaction. And it is totally fine that she thinks I am doing it to solely entertain her 🙂
  • This is my own variation of the ‘parking lot’ suggestion from the article. As they suggested, I park furthest away from the door so that I get those extra steps in for the day. But as an extra bonus, once I am done loading up my groceries in the car, I will walk the cart BACK to the store and carry my Faith in my arms BACK to the car. (I will be honest, there are some days that are just WAY too hot to be roaming around the parking lot, so I dont do this every time I go shopping, lol)

So, these are a couple of extra things I have added to my day. Once you realize how easy it is to sneak exercise into your daiyl routine, you will find yourself wondering, “Where else do I have a couple of minutes and what can I possibly do with them?” Or, am I the only one? If you have a “Sneaky Exercise” suggestion, Please share it with the rest of us!

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I did not realize how hard it was going to be for me to post my “before” pictures. I have been trying to do it since Monday but every time I was about to hit the ‘post’ button, I would lose my nerve and hit the ‘draft’ button instead. I thought I was doing pretty good just to take the pictures, in the first place. And even better when I uploaded the pictures onto my computer and saved them in their very own “Before Pics” folder. But I knew that those pictures were doing me no good if I was able to forget about them. So I did something I have never done before, I sent them thru the Walgreens website to be printed and picked up at the store. If I had the ink in my printer I would’ve totally opted to go that route…especially if I could foresee the embarrassment that waited for me at Walgreens, lol. My pictures were accidentally put into someone elses envelope and theirs in mine. When I got to the counter to pick them up, I saw that the pictures were of some beautiful couple expecting their first baby. I almost didn’t want to tell the clerk that these were the wrong pictures because I knew he was going to have to search for mine in all the envelopes from that morning. I just didn’t want him to see them but I knew I had to tell him. I was standing off to the side, while the dilemma was being resolved when a guy came up to the counter asking for his pictures. As my horrible luck would have it, MY pictures were inside HIS envelope! I could have died, lol! “Are those your ‘before’ pictures,”he asked me. I guess the traditional front/side/back poses gave them away. I could feel my ears turning bright red as I answered him. “Well, I could only imagine how great the ‘after’ pictures are going to be,” the stranger said as he walked away. Oh, Thank you, Awesome Stranger at Walgreens!!

Needless to say, even though I was flirting with the edge of my comfort zone, I had not officially stepped outside of it. The final hurdle still awaited me when I got home. I needed to post my pictures and measurements here. So here I am 4 days later, struggling with myself. At first, I thought it was because I didn’t want other people to see me; I was afraid of the judgment or shame others may feel toward me.  But earlier today it dawned on me; That wasn’t it at all. I don’t mind how others see me. Its all about how I see myself…and I am very disappointed. Unfortunately, I am my own worst enemy. So with that “ah-ha” moment, I decided that I just needed to quit whining and toughen up. Plain & simple.

Smile

Here are my “Before” Pictures as of June 15th, 2012

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MEASUREMENTS:

  • Neck- 13.25
  • Shoulders- 46.25
  • Chest- 38.5
  • Upper Arm- 15.5
  • Waist- 38
  • Hips- 46
  • Butt- 48.25
  • Thigh- 29
  • Calf- 17
  • *Waist to Hip Ratio- .83
  • *Body Fat %- 39.36
  • *BMI (Body Mass Index)- 36.27: Obese Class 2

*These figures are estimates based on weight, height and other body measurements. To get accurate measurements I recommend asking your doctor for them when you go in for a physical or if you are a member of a gym, they usually do these for free for you. Or you can do what I did and go to http://www.bmi-calculator.net to get estimates.

PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT:

  • Push ups (military)- 3
  • Crunches-17
  • One Mile (walking)- Still needs to be determined

So, there, you have it! I am very proud of myself for over-coming one of the limitations I had for myself. Today I post pictures of myself on the internet; Tomorrow I will take over the world, lol!! The possibilities are endless!

Helpful Tip: I have always heard that visualizing the results you want, will help you achieve those results. To help make those desires a reality, you should draw the changes you want directly onto your pictures. So I ordered double prints and did this on one set. I have to say, I highly recommend that EVERYONE does this with a set of your ‘before’ pictures!!  It really hits home that everything I desire is tangible, as long as I work hard for them.

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