All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


12 Weeks of Maintenance – Wrapped Up!

It was getting pretty tough to focus on this 12 week challenge since I started PiYo 3 weeks ago – PiYo has  ended up taking quite a bit of time.  I knew my running would take a hit, and am honestly glad that it didn’t take a bigger hit than it did.  My goal was to run a minimum of 240 miles and I ended up at 229.77 miles prior to resetting running goals in week 10 to reflect the time required of PiYo and weather considerations (it is so wet and cold outside – I haven’t run outside in 3+ weeks, sigh).  I’m pretty darn happy with that and if nothing else, it reminds me it’s time for a new pair of running shoes  😉  I’ve definitely put 500 miles on the ones I’m currently wearing.  HA!

At the end of the day, most goals were met and I lost weight, if only 2.6 pounds (I did weigh 1.2 pounds less yesterday when I thought I was done with this challenge, but that’s OK).  My goal was to maintain, so any loss is a win!  I never went above 145 pounds and my body fat did not go above 24% – both of those were my highest-priority goals.  If fact, I lost 1.4% body fat, ending up solidly in the 21%-range (21.4% today) and I could not be happier with that!  I have never had body fat percentages this low before!  I think you can see the changes in the pictures – things really tightened up!

I almost spent 5 hours a week being active – and I have the PiYo challenge to thank for that.  I was slipping big-time on this goal but then PiYo started and it’s not a big calorie-burner, so I had to step it up to keep burning my calories while getting stronger and more flexible.  I ended up coming in under my weekly 5 hour activity goal by only 9 minutes a week – and when you consider my steps per day – I bet I met the goal.  I move a LOT chasing these kids around  😉

Another great challenge with most goals met!  I can’t always control how much time I can spend being active, but I can modify calorie intake to off-set those challenges and that’s what I did.  I’ve learned these last 12 weeks how to plan each day the night before, and to think about modifications when things don’t go according to plan.  A great thing to figure out, no doubt!

Summary (09/02/2015 – 11/25/2015)

  • Weight:   140.4 Pounds
    • Number of Weeks Meeting <=145 pound goal:  12 weeks
    • Pounds Lost or Gained (started at 143.0 pounds):  2.6 Pound lost
  • Body Fat %: 21.4%
    • Number of Weeks Meeting <=24% goal:  12 weeks
    • Body Fat % Lost or Gained (started at 22.8%):  1.4% Lost
  • BMI: 22
    • BMI Points Lost or Gained (started at 22.4):  0.4
  • Time Spent Being Active (goal is 60 hours):  58 Hours 12 Minutes
    • Number of Weeks Meeting >= 5 hour goal:  4 weeks (average of 4 hours 51 minutes per week, which is very close to the weekly goal!  Only off by 9 minutes per week)
  • Miles Run:  229.77 Miles (averaged 19.14 miles per week, only off 0.86 miles per week)
  • Measurements:
    • Natural Waist: 27 inches (27.5 on 08/29/15)
      • Lost 0.5 inches
    • Belly Button: 31.5 inches (31.75 on 08/29/15)
      • Lost 0.25 inches
    • Hips:  35.75 inches (35.75 on 08/29/15)
      • Neither lost nor gained inches

12 Week final

12 Week final side


Complete: Last 8 Weeks of Summer Fitness

It’s been a great 8 weeks! I was super focused on getting my body back into tip-top shape in preparation for the fall when I’ll have to move most of my workouts indoors. Let’s face it, running outside 5 days a week isn’t going to be doable. Bring on the kickboxing and INS.ANITY workouts!

I knew going into these 8 weeks that weight loss would be hard. I’d crept up to 146.4 in June and seemed to be hanging out there. I’d lost track of food and as we all know, you can’t out-work a crappy diet. That weight is still well within normal for my height and build (5’7 with a medium-large frame, BMI of 22.9), but it was feeling uncomfortable knowing that fall was around the corner. It was time to step it up.

I set goals for core strength, but I was meeting them almost immediately, so I dropped them. I set goals for cross training, and failed miserably. But in calorie consumption, mileage, and activity time goals, I exceeded all expectations… and they were lofty expectations! 1330 net calories a day, 5 hours a week of exercise, and 20-30 miles a week of running (or hiking or very brisk walking). As far as I’m concerned, these last 8 weeks have been very successful and I’m super happy. On top of meeting/exceeding those goals, I managed to drop a very solid 4.2 pounds (my wake-up weight today after no rigorous exercise yesterday and a rather unhealthy dinner last night) and I lost 1.0% body fat (which is 4.4% of the body fat I was carrying). I also dropped a collective 1.75 inches from my frame.

Going into the next 10 weeks, I have three simple goals… I must weigh 145 pounds or less every Wednesday, my body fat cannot go above 24%, and I want to keep doing 5 hours a week of vigorous activity. I chose Wednesday as my weigh-in day because my body has always corrected itself by then from the weekend before. Since I’m truly in maintenance mode (my rib cage is a solid 31 inches measured just below my breasts, and the doctor says it is impossible for it to get smaller, that this is how I’m built), a mid-week weigh-in makes sense. I’ll create a boring page for tracking purposes. I love tracking information!!!

Here are my stats from the last 8 weeks:

Summary (07/04/2015 – 08/28/2015)

  • Weight: 142.2 Pounds
    • Pounds Lost or Gained (started at 146.4 pounds): 4.2 Pound lost
  • Body Fat %: 22.7%
    • Body Fat % Lost or Gained (started at 23.7%): 1.0% Lost
  • BMI: 22.3
    • BMI Points Lost or Gained (started at 22.9): 0.6
  • Workout Days (goal is 48 days)/Time Spent Being Active (goal is 40 hours): 44 Days/44 Hours 35 Minutes
  • Miles Run (goal is 160-240 total miles): 199.70 Miles
  • Days within Calorie Goals per MFP (goal is 45 days with an average of 1330 or less per day): 45 days
    • 49,983 Total Calories in 45 days (average was 1110.73 calories per day
  • Measurements:
    • Natural Waist: 27.5 inches (28.25 inches on 07/07/15)
      • Loss of 0.75 inches
    • Belly Button: 31.75 inches (32 inches on 07/07/15
      • Loss of 0.25 inches
    • Hips: 35.75 inches ( 36.5 inches on 07/07/15)
      • Loss of 0.75 inches


Fat Girl – A Confession

I have been MIA lately, and for lots of reasons.  We are so busy… so busy with life, so busy weaning (that went so well, I can’t believe it!), so busy making career/life decisions, so busy getting out on dates every weekend, so busy trying to purge the house of un-needed things (I am a FB swap-group selling goddess (this is the only thing I’ve ever been a goddess of) and have made over $2,000 so far and still have over $1,000 worth of things to sell), so busy just trying to keep up.  Because of our “case of the busy’s,” I have moved more into a maintenance mode with fitness which is nice, but also scary for me.

Weaning and going on a new birth control pill caused a little correction in my weight.  A 3-5 pound correction.  I knew this was coming, but I honestly thought that if I kept working out, it wouldn’t really happen.  But it did.  Turns out, Bryson was burning a lot more of my calories than we ever imagined and he was, all by himself, a very effective little cardio machine!  After two weeks of a steady climb, my body is back to burning fat and knowing what to do, so I’ve relaxed.

But I was tense.  So very tense.

This all leads me to something that is very sad and hard for me to admit.  No matter how thin I get, no matter how fit and strong I get, no matter how good I look in my clothes… I will always view myself as a fat girl.  I weigh less now than I did my freshman year of HIGH SCHOOL, but I still look in the mirror and think, “careful or you’ll get fat.”  I check my face daily for possible visible gain.  Isn’t that pathetic?  I have always had body image issues and it appears that those are going to continue no matter how thin I get, and that makes me a little sad.

I skipped my workout today.  It took everything in me to skip it because, well, I don’t want to get fat.  I know that one skipped workout isn’t going to make me fat, and I know I ate pretty well knowing that I may not have time to workout, but I still battle those little demons in my head that say, “don’t slip.  Don’t get fat.  I bet you’ll weigh a pound more tomorrow.”  Hottie is on the road and I called him to chat so that I would not go run on the treadmill.  I think it’s healthy to skip it – I don’t have to run 6 miles every freaking day.  But what I think, and what I really think don’t agree with one another.  My shins hurt, I plan to hit up an intense 10:20 class tomorrow morning and hopefully run at nap time, and I still felt the urge to just go run out of fear of getting fat.

This is pathetic.  But it is my reality.

I was raised by a woman who was pencil-thin her entire life until she quit smoking (I honestly believe she was anorexic on top of smoking – she even admits “preferring the anorexic look”) and a man whose family was so obsessed with weight, that I’d have mini-panic attacks before heading down to visit them if I’d gained a pound since the last time I saw them.  I loved my grandma, but that woman could sense any weight gain or loss of 0.5 pounds or more in a New York minute.  The first topic of conversation was always about how you looked, and you always hoped you looked good enough (I’m rolling my eyes writing that).  It’s no wonder I have body image issues.  My dad always told me I was “built like a house” while I was growing up and my mom liked to go on and on about how thin she used to be before she quit smoking.  That same woman was quick to tell us girls when to take it easy on the food because, “you came back from your freshman year a very big girl” (and enter my first real game of starving myself to get back to where I was before college).  Nothing was ever good enough, except, of course, when my older sister was really starving herself and looked how my mom and everyone else wanted her to look (frail).  Jesus.

So here I am, hovering at 140 pounds at 5’7 with a super healthy BMI and a body fat percentage of 21.5% and abs that show without flexing them.  But I still feel fat.  I still can’t believe I wear a size 6/8 jeans and have a 27.5 inch waist – I swore to a sales lady at a boutique two weeks ago that I couldn’t go down a size because, “I am no 27” (but alas, I am).  My first reaction looking in the mirror is still, “you look fatter than yesterday” before relenting and thinking, “no, you’re looking good.”  Hell, I took this picture of myself on date night two weeks ago because I couldn’t believe it was me staring back at me from the mirror, in those 27 jeans and medium top that was too big in the shoulders (but they didn’t have a small).

Fat Girl

I took the picture to remind myself that these actions, these thoughts are pathetic.  That no matter how I see myself, others see me this way – thin, strong, healthy, fit.  I’m trying so hard to not think of myself as a fat girl, but it’s not working.  I don’t know if I’ll ever get there.  That makes me sad.  And it makes me grateful that I don’t have daughters to screw up with these issues.  In my branch of the family tree, it stops here.



A Second 10 Weeks in Review

Here I am, another 10 weeks later (actually 12 weeks later because of vacations), and I’m happy with my final statistics.  I didn’t hit my weight goal, but I did exceed my body fat goal, which is awesome!

Here are my 10-week stats (I didn’t test with push-ups, sit-ups, or the mile run… sorry!):

second 10 a


  • I lost a total of 4.25 inches over my entire body
  • I lost 10.4 pounds (goal was 12 pounds)
  • I lost 2.3% body fat (goal was 2.1%)
  • I lost 1.7 points in BMI

I had a goal of working out 6 days a week, and when this was all said and done, I ended up at 104% of that goal, which is something I’m super proud of.  Many days included double workouts, and I spent at least 5 hours a week, every week, exercising.  I also added a lot of strength training to this 10 weeks, which was really needed.


Here is my weight tracking over the 10 week period:

weight 10


And here are my before and after photos.  Please remember that the before photos from June are just hideous because I NEVER stand like that in real life.  The side view of the before photo still nauseates me, but it does show how far I’ve come in 23 weeks now!  There was no sucking it in in the after photos – just flexing those abs and arms!


Top left 6/14/14; Top right 8/23/14; Bottom left 10/18/14; Bottom right  11/22/14


Top left 6/14/14; Top right 8/23/14; Bottom left 10/18/14; Bottom right 11/22/14



June 14th to November 22nd… oh the difference 5 months can make!


5 Months of hard work!






So there it is – not a lot to say because it’s late and I’m super tired, and I just did strength training for over an hour while we watched TV.  I start a new session TOMORROW and will post my starting stats (they may be different from these ending stats from Saturday).


Another Get-Away

A great blog friend of mine commented on this post, “and then you’ll think WHEN CAN WE GO AGAIN?”

She was right!

From the moment we had dinner that first night in Telluride last month, Hottie and I knew we wanted to get away again… and soon!  We had a back-up sitter lined up for our Colorado trip who asked us to find a weekend soon that she could come and stay with the boys.  With Hottie’s work schedule involving so much travel lately (3-5 nights a week, every other week), I’ve been losing my mind a bit each time he travels.  I needed a break!

I texted our friend just over a week ago asking if she could stay with the boys soon and she asked, “next weekend?”. OK!

It was only one night and the boys loved it. And we loved it! We ate great food, shopped together, grabbed cocktails in between stops, had REAL conversations, and held hands. Just what the doctor ordered for this tired mom and her Hottie!

We’re going to try to do this every-other month!


Girl On/Not On Fire

When I get done with a workout here at home or at the Y, I stretch to “Girl on Fire.”  The first time I heard it during exercise was at the Y and it made me stop and really focus on what I was doing.  I’ve always loved the song, but listening to it as you stretch and stretch and stretch… it’s  empowering.

I don’t always get the chance to stretch here at home because Bryson is usually waking up as I’m wrapping up my workout, but when I do get a chance, I almost feel giddy.  I look forward to my deep, long stretches and I set a timer for 5 minutes.  I have “Girl on Fire” on repeat and I get to it.  Today, I even got to squeak in an extra core workout (12 minutes) before stretching, and I felt really good about getting a full 6 minutes of stretching in before Bryson finally woke up (naps are getting better here).


I feel like I’m on fire right now in many regards.  The fall is here, school has started, and routines are back in play.  I feel good whenever we stick to a (good) routine.  Because school is Mon-Wed, Thursday ends up being a “catch-up day” of all the things that need to get done before the weekend – things like taking the boys bowling, getting groceries for the weekend, running to Target for cat litter, etc.  Friday morning has no routine until speech at 11:30.  We usually get out of the house once Bryson wakes up around 10:30 or so.  And I’ll admit it right here and now – we go out to lunch every day together, the boys and I.  It’s my favorite thing in the world to do.

Things in the house are pretty calm and organized.  Yes, there is a bill that is a touch late (just writing that made me go pay it, and the two other bills due later this month) and the drying rack of kids’ dishes is always full, but the dishes are always clean, laundry is always done, toys are always picked up, and the yard is always mowed.  The house has its weak spots like the mud room, the pantry, the 5th bedroom downstairs where all baby things go to hibernate before they’re needed again (??) – but everything else is pretty under control and that’s nice.  No one ever goes without clean jammies or jeans, and that’s a big accomplishment given that the boys wear fresh jeans and jammies daily (and their jeans are line dried).

My commitment to my own health and fitness is unwavering and strong.  I hated missing a workout yesterday, but I reminded myself that my goal is 6 days a week and rest days are good… necessary.  My workouts have been intense and I just make them harder and harder every day – the slogan printed on the inside soles of my shoes has truly motivated me (“Be Better Than Yesterday”).  I’m very competitive with myself and always push myself to run a little bit faster, a little bit further than the last time.  Getting my butt out for a run or to the garage for a killer workout is not a problem for me.

Hottie and I talked yesterday about will power and we both agreed that I have a tremendous amount of it.  If I tell myself that I don’t want to eat something, then I don’t eat it.  If I tell myself that I’m not going to do something, then I don’t do it.  It’s that simple.  I can stick to most anything I put my mind to like it’s nobody’s business, and I’m a champ at delaying gratification.  This is probably my greatest strength, come to think of it.  My parents pushed this hard with us (“save your favorite part for last, don’t rush to the good stuff, get the hard/not fun stuff out of the way first”) and I am truly grateful to them for that.  That will power is keeping me from eating stupid things.  I haven’t had fried food, aside from a few things while in Colorado, in 16 weeks.  SIXTEEN WEEKS.  That’s huge for me because I love nothing more (NOTHING MORE) than McD.onald’s fries.  That is a fact.  I haven’t had Mexican food in 16 weeks aside from “fresh Mexican” places like Chip.otle and Pan.cheros because the sit-down restaurants keep your chip bowl fully loaded and I do not have will power in that regard – so we just don’t go anymore.  We committed to cooking Paleo at home and aside from the cheese fondue and apple pie earlier this week, we’ve stuck to it!  How and what we eat couldn’t be going better.

Speaking of eating – I am totally in a groove when it comes to planning meals and cooking during the week.  I don’t even need to prep food anymore when the kids nap because I’ve got the timing down to have dinner on the table at 6:00 every night.  I figured this would happen with time, but I’m really glad that it did end up happening.  We don’t ever struggle on “what’s for dinner” because I have it planned out for the week on Sunday night.  “What do you want for dinner” used to cause probably 70% of our fights before I started cooking dinner here at home.  I’m serious.

Hottie and I had a great trip to Colorado and are planning to leave again next weekend for a night out of town.  We learned while in Colorado that we need to get away together – that we need to hit pause and have a few days and nights of “the old days” without kids.  It’s amazing how quickly we started to not notice each other once we got home from that trip.  There is just so much going on that by the time Hottie gets home from a hard day at work and I finally get to sit down (9:00 PM), we’re both exhausted.  That’s not good, but it is how things tend to be with small kids, so we need to carve out time to not be with those small kids.  And we’re doing great at that!


I’m not so on fire when it comes to parenting.  The age of three is killing me slowly.  I have been losing my patience with Matthew too quickly because he’s become quite demanding and whiny.  I know this is normal, but honestly – I just didn’t think this would happen.  Most kids get this way before they’re three, so I thought maybe he just wasn’t going to be the typical whiny, domineering kid.  I was wrong.  HA HA!  He hits and kicks me when I try to get him dressed in the morning, he’s bossy with Bryson (under the guise of helping Mom), he’s pushy at school, he whines a lot, and he’s gotten sassy.  He tells me, “Mommy, no talk to me that way AGAIN!” while wagging his finger at me.  What???

I would say that 70% of the time, Matthew is delighting me with kisses, hugs, snuggles, jokes, dances, protecting his brother, and just being sweet and loving.  He is hilarious and he loves to make people laugh.  No one is a stranger to him and he asks me to roll the window down so he can say hi to everyone.  I oblige because why not?  That’s sweet and awesome!  He is the most affectionate kid I’ve ever known and this is seconded by his teachers and instructors – he hugs and kisses them like they’re his family and he loves to hug and “tiff” (kiss) his friends.  He is so dang sweet that it makes me feel awful when I lose my temper with him. But I do lose my temper.

I’ve been yelling way too much.  Way too much.  I told myself two days ago that I was done yelling and I did great for almost 48 hours – but then Bryson almost landed on his head from a nudge from Matthew and I raised my voice.  Sigh.  At least I’m not yelling as much.  Much of what Matthew recounts to Hottie about his day is that, “Mommy got mad when I…” and that makes me feel awful.  AWFUL.  So the yelling has to stop, or be majorly reduced.  In the 48 hours of no yelling, Matthew was a better behaved boy who seemed more calm.

I need to stop yelling.


I’m also not “killing it” in regards to being engaging with Hottie.  The poor guy comes home to a wife who is tired and on her last nerve, and I’m usually finishing up dinner as he’s walking in.  Kids need to be put in their chairs, drinks need to be poured, food needs to be cut for the kids, and I just want to sit down and not talk.  Hottie gets the drive home to decompress, and that sometimes isn’t enough for him to “get over” his work day.  I don’t get that drive home.  I don’t get that quiet time to myself to think about whatever I want, uninterrupted (I know that Hottie thinks about work for most of the drive home, but he gets to do it in quiet).  I sometimes just want to sit and eat and not talk, and that does not make a husband feel good.

We moved the kids’ bedtimes earlier and it’s working great for Bryson, but horrible for Matthew.  Since the change, he’s delaying bedtime by asking for a different cup, more kisses (how do you say no?  I can’t.), medicine for his headache (he doesn’t have a headache), etc. each night.  He wasn’t asleep tonight until 9:40, and Hottie and I both sat and watched the monitor until he was asleep.  No conversation took place because we were too focused on Matthew’s movements in bed (“is he just tossing or getting out again?”).  It’s exhausting.  And again, I just want to sit in the quiet and not talk.  Not talk.  Not talk.

Reconnecting is so important – something we need to focus on weekly.  Once the earlier bedtimes settle down, I hope we can get back to our evening chats and laughter.  That was nice.  I miss it.  And that is why we moved the bedtimes earlier – so we could have MORE of the fun stuff together each night.  It’s not working out that way.  It will.  But it’s damn exhausting right now.


I hope to God I get to stretch again tomorrow.


10 Weeks in Review

I don’t know what to say right now.  I’ve spent the last 10 weeks working my ass off and eating as intelligently as possible.  I’ve enjoyed it immensely and was completely wrapped up in the challenge.  These last 10 weeks gave me my “normal” self back – the Courtney I was before we found out that we couldn’t have babies the normal way.  The healthy and active Courtney I was before infertility became the focus of our lives (for 2+ years before conceiving Matthew, and then again as we ramped up for Bryson).

I feel like myself again in my own skin.  I feel good.  I feel strong.  I feel proud!

I didn’t win the $1,000 challenge.  My stats blew the winner away and the photos – well – they speak for themselves.  BUT – even though I was in it to win it (and I am so competitive with myself and others, it’s ridiculous), I’m so proud of what I accomplished in 10 weeks.

I’ve broken down the data in many ways because I know I’ll want to look back on this someday and not have to run all of the numbers.

Here are my 10-week stats:

2014 Stats

  • I lost a total of 21.5 inches over my entire body!
  • I lost 25 pounds exactly (but 26.2 on the gym’s scale)
  • I lost 8.1% body fat (23.9% of the fat I was carrying 10 weeks ago)
  • I lost 3.93 points in BMI and am now in the healthy range
  • I more than doubled my push-ups (ended at 78)
  • I did not double my sit-ups 😦
  • I gained 2.5 inches in flexibility
  • I took 2:21 off my mile time!

Here is a comparison of my first 10 weeks (over 8 years ago!) to this most recent 10 weeks:


  • I lost 2 inches more in my chest, 4 in my waist, 1 in each arm, and 0.5 in each thigh this time around.
  • My hips aren’t as small as they were 8 years ago (surprise!)
  • I started 6.8 pounds heavier this time around and ended up 5.6 pounds lighter!
  • I ended up 2.1% lower in body fat this time around
  • I lost 0.7% more body fat this time around
  • I finished way stronger in push-ups this time around
  • I beat my 2006 final mile time by 1:31 this time around
  • This 10 weeks was way more productive than my first 10 weeks!

Here is my exercise log from the last 10 weeks.  Expect to see something almost equally aggressive in the next 10 weeks:

Workout Tracking

  • My goal was to workout 6 days a week – I exceeded that goal by 3% overall and 13% in the second half of the session
  • Many days had multiple workouts
  • Doing this helped me plan my work for the next 10 weeks

Here is my weight tracking over the 10 week period:

Weight Tracking per Week

And here are my before and after photos.  Please note that the before photos were really hard to prepare for because I NEVER stand like that in real life.  It’s amazing how much our daily posture holds us together in our mid-sections.  I had to think really hard about letting it just hang out like that.  The side view of the before photo nauseates me, but that after photo makes me SO PROUD!  There was no sucking it in in the after photos – just flexing those abs and arms!

WP_20140824_09_49_03_Pro (1) WP_20140824_09_49_22_Pro (1)

I worked really, really hard at this, and near the end, it really felt like my job (a job I loved).  Hottie viewed it the same way – we talked about it on Saturday.  I said that I felt like the last 10 weeks was all about me getting back to how I like to feel, how I view myself, etc. and that it felt like a true job, and he agreed.  Hottie was SO supportive, it was amazing.  I don’t know how many mornings he sat up with Bryson in the rocker while I kicked bags at class.  On many occasions, he rushed home from work so I could get to a late afternoon class because I’d been up all night with Bryson the night before and just could not get motivated to go to class at 6:15 AM.  He admitted on Saturday that he got nervous about “the gear” purchases but didn’t say anything because, “I knew it would help you stay motivated, and I wasn’t going to mess with that” (he also said he was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t buy a ton of stuff!).  This really was a team effort, as fitness always is in this house.  It was awesome to both be so focused on my success at this!

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Paleo Week 5 – Last Big Week!

This is the final week of my 10-week fitness challenge and our fifth week of being Paleo.  I told B that we need to stop eating pork this week and focus on lean meats.  If we focus on lean meats but don’t worry about the rest, good things will happen.


Sunday, 08/17/2014  *** Chipo.tle ***

We got back from Chicago around dinner time, and both kids were EXCELLENT in the car the entire time.  We rewarded them with their favorite thing (and our favorite thing – so that worked out!) – Chip.otle!  Because it was a day of limited food, and because it was technically my free day, I had the soft corn tortillas with my tacos and they were great!

Monday, 08/18/2014  *** Pan.era ***

Tonight marked the last night of Matthew’s swim lessons at 7:00 at night, and I had preschool orientation at 5:00, so we decided to just go out to make it easy on us all.  There was no time between both activities to get us all together around our table for dinner.

I kept it Paleo-friendly with a cobb salad with avocados.  It was good.  It always is!  B had some Paleo bowl with eggs, spinach, olive oil, bacon, and lemon.  The boys had chicken.  

Tuesday, 08/19/2014  *** Greek Chicken (Again) ***

Our Greek Chicken hiatus is over.  This one was the best so far.  I remembered to cook the breast side up so that B had lots of crispy skin to enjoy.  We made asparagus again, but knowing that Bryson would eat 3/4 of it, I popped some rainbow carrots in with the chicken with 45 minutes left to go.  I just salted and peppered them and tossed them in.  They were divine.  Absolutely perfect!  Matthew even ate them – we told him they were candies and he agreed!  As expected, Bryson ate 3/4 of the asparagus.  There was no chicken left – Matthew polished it all off.  This meal is a hit!

Wednesday, 08/20/2014  *** Bacon Wrapped Shrimp with Pineapple Tidbits (AKA Srirachi Shrimp) ***

Yep – we did this one again!  We both love it and it’s easy.  Because of my lean meats rule this week, I only had the equivalent of 2-3 strips of bacon (which I entered into MyFit.nessPa.l as 3 strips to be safe) but it was still awesome!

I made green beans again and once they were soft in the steamer, I then tossed them into the bacon grease to finish them off.  I thought this would be terrific.  It was just OK.  I’m trying to shake up our green beans a bit, but this is not the way to do it.  Wasted calories.  They weren’t the worst thing in the world, but they weren’t worth doing again.  I figured that the fat grams from the bacon were already included in MFP with those 3 strips (nutrition information is pre-cooked, so accounts for all fat content before cooking it off), but it wasn’t necessary.

Thursday, 08/21/2014  *** Cilantro Lime Chicken Breast with Browned Brussels Sprouts with Maple Butter Chic.k-fi.a-A Dinner ***

I chose this meal for tonight because it’s super easy – at least the chicken is.  Matthew has a haircut at 5:45 so we’ll be rushing home to cook quickly and eat (we usually eat at 6:00 sharp).

The cilantro lime chicken breasts came from the meat counter at our local grocery store.  They’re really good.

If you know me at all, you know that I love, Love, LOVE brussells sprouts!  I don’t really care how they’re cooked as long as they’re not just steamed – they need to be crispy.  When we were at our new favorite place here in town a week ago, we had their brussells sprouts that are cooked in pomegranate molasses – whatever that is.  I don’t care what it is – it is AWESOME!  We won’t use molasses in this house, so I had to find something that was similar in sweetness to satisfy my need.  I found this little dandy while coming home from Chicago because I was looking up recipes for Maple Butter Syrup (had some of that while in Chicago and holy hell – it’s divine!).  I’m not sure that this is a good match for the chicken, but I could care less.  I’m doing it!

Scratch the above – we were way too busy tonight to get dinner made!  With 10-week testing coming up, we decided to go to for dinner since they have the easiest healthy options for Paleo folks and because they were right next to Matthew’s stylist’s studio (he had a long-overdue haircut!).  I got the 12 piece grilled nuggets and fruit, and then ate an extra 3 nuggets that the boys didn’t eat from their meals (we all get grilled nuggets – they have never even tasted fried chicken).  This meal is low in calories, but high in protein, so it was a slam dunk.  It was great!  Good ol’ Chic.k-fil-A!

Friday, 08/22/2014 – *** Greek Chicken (Yes… AGAIN!) ***

This meal does wonders for the scale, so we’re doing it all over again before final weigh-in Saturday morning.  Greek chicken with plenty of garlic?  CHECK.  Lots of asparagus for Bryson?  CHECK.  Tons of carrots for us (“candies” for Matthew)?  CHECK.

The carrots were awesome again!  I swear by using green-top carrots because they’re just fresher and taste WAY better than bagged carrots.  We’ll never get bagged carrots again.  I kept the skins on this time – a secret I learned while in Chicago and dining at the Gran.d Lux Ca.fe.  Keeping the skins on is AMAZING and even Hottie loved it!  We’ll never skin carrots again!  Bryson switched his preferences to the carrots, leaving lots of asparagus for us.  I hardly got any carrots, and we cooked two bunches of them.  Next time – 3 bunches of carrots, no asparagus, and a bigger chicken.  These boys are eating me out of house and home.  No leftovers!

Saturday, 08/23/2014 – *** PARTY ***

Tonight is celebration night – I am eating whatever I want, whenever I want.  The end!

(Back to our regularly scheduled Paleo lifestyle tomorrow!)

Week in Review:

  • Weight Lost This Week:  3.8 pounds
  • Weight Lost So Far (in 5 weeks):  12.2 pounds
  • Fat % Lost This Week:  0.8%
  • Fat % Lost So Far:  3.4%
  • Noteworthy Points: We’re converted.  Eating this way is so easy and so worth it!  I have not missed my secret trips to for my “large #2 with pickles and cheese only please, with a large Diet”  I have hardly missed our many-nights-a-week trips to D.Q.  I don’t miss much.  I kept Diet Pe.psi and Diet in my diet because asking myself to give that up is just too much.  I haven’t had fried food in 10 weeks (not even on my free days) and I’m thrilled about that.  THRILLED!  Sure, I’ll have McDon.alds again someday – but not any day soon.  Sure, I’ll have fries again – but it’s going to take a lot of desire to actually order them.  And yes – at this point in the game, I’m dying to go to D.Q for a blizzard with ore.os.  And I will be getting myself a cupcake (or 2) on Saturday after final testing.  But those things aren’t going to be regulars in my life anymore.
  • How I feel:  GREAT!  There is no other word to describe it.  Well, maybe there is… PROUD!


Goal: Achieved

I did it.

As of this morning, prior to any workouts, water, or food, I weighed 155.6 pounds. I was only expecting to see 156. I hit my 25 pound weight loss goal with a full day of health and exercise ahead. I am shocked!

Even more surprisingly, my body fat is officially down 8%. I’ve lost 23.6% of the fat I was carrying 10 weeks ago. I was shooting for 9-10%, but I’m over the moon with 8%. To lose 10% in 10 weeks, especially being female, is REALLY hard to do. I’ve only seen one woman ever do it, and she started out with a 40% body fat percentage (I started at 33.6/33.8). Regardless, I wish I could have hit 10%. “Hard to do” has never stopped me! 😌

I’ll be posting final stats, before and after pics, and my exercise log on Sunday. Until then, this photo will have to commemorate this day (taken after some serious weight lifting… Still working on that body fat percentage!).

Thank you all for your encouragement here, on myFitnessPal, and via text messages! Fitness is always a team effort!!!



A while back, B and I had a pretty tough conversation about the things I’m not doing as a SAHM that he sort-of expected when we decided to have me stay home.  And to be fair, I did agree to the things he expected – I just never acted on some of them.  The main thing I didn’t do, which he’d like me to do, is cook or at least prepare meals.

B likes REAL meals – not sandwiches or pizza or taco night, but real meals made from real, unprocessed food.  I like those types of meals too (I grew up on mostly real food), but I also love things like pizza, taco night, baked potatoes with good toppings. etc.  I’m perfectly happy with a grilled chicken breast and steamed veggies, but that does get boring.  Because B likes a nice pan sauce, or more-involved meals – I just decided I wasn’t going to cook for the family.  If he wanted those things, then he could make them because I surely didn’t have the time to do it with two kids yanking on my ankles.  So B would come home, prep and cook dinner, and be stressed out.  His stress would cause me stress, and the nights just didn’t end well.

No one was happy.

When I decided to do my 10-week fitness course, I knew we’d need to eat more at home to keep things healthy.  B still did the cooking, but I did a better job of having things ready and planned out.  When I decided to switch to a Paleo diet for the second 5 weeks of the fitness course, I told B that I would take responsibility for all dinners as long as we had good, easy recipes.  He ponied up the recipe book and I got to work planning.  B said he’d be happy to cook if I wanted to just get everything prepared, but I really wanted to put forth the effort.

We are 2.5 weeks into the Paleo diet and I have done 90% of the cooking, and 100% of the preparation, so far.  I’ve come to find that I LIKE doing it – it relaxes me.  Cooking has ALWAYS relaxed me, and preparing food is on a whole other level of relaxation for me – I just don’t like doing it with kids around.  I’ve gotten to the point now, though, where I can prep quite a bit when the kids are playing, and then put the finishing touches on things while they nap so that things are 100% ready to go when it’s show time.

I have my nights off this week from mom-duty because my happier husband signed me up for a sailing class with a friend, and he said he’d do everything each night so that I didn’t have to worry about anything.  However, I’m still prepping meals for him so that all he has to do is turn on the oven or burners and cook it up.  Every day, he says he can do it (and I know he can) but I really WANT to do it.

And that’s what this post is about – I WANT to do something to make B’s life easier.  I know he’s much happier this way – you can see and hear it in his eyes, his posture, his words, etc.  I want him to come home and not have to worry about whether or not dinner is planned – and stress about the possibility that it’s going to be up to him to either get dinner on the table or make the call to go out to eat.  I want all of us to know what’s coming up in the days ahead so that we can be prepared and looking forward to experiencing new recipes (and good old ones!) and time together without the resentment of who did what and when.  And the bottom line is this – preparing and cooking the meals is truly making me happy!  I spend 20 minutes each Sunday going through our cookbook, selecting recipes for the week, and then go to the store to get all of the ingredients so that we are 100% prepared.  I LOVE that part of my Sunday – it excites me!  Everyone talks about meal-planning and how easy it makes things, and I’ve always just nodded along and thought, “yeah, whatever.”  The truth is – it IS easy and such a great use of time!

This is going to sound very 1950’s, but I have felt more confident as a SAHM these last 2.5 weeks than I’ve felt in a long time.  Between the working out and taking care of my family (in the way of meals), I feel like my life is a little more directed and stable than it was before.  Because I need to plan and prep meals now, my day has more structure to it as I challenge myself to get everything (including working out) done in a timely manner so that I can have some down time to do whatever I want to do.  I’m getting up early each day to get to my fitness class, I’m getting Matthew to his summer camp before the last-minute, I’m getting Bryson and myself either to the Y or out for long walks to add onto our “active time,” and I’m getting dinner ready long before it’s time to have it on the table.  Things have fallen into place.

Having spent 2.5 weeks this way, I’m truly wondering what I did with my time before this.  I was definitely slacking off, even if I refused to believe it.

And I wasn’t super happy.  Right now, I’m feeling pretty happy!