Saturday, October 27, 2012

Memoir Installment #3

Well, I didn't quite keep up with the blog as well as I intended after all my weight loss stuff ended. It didn't "end" really, as I'm still working hard at maintaining the loss. In the last 6 weeks or so, I've been able to stay right around my weight loss goal. I haven't gone over at all, but I have dipped a couple pounds at times. I eat more calories, but still try to keep it healthy. And lately I only have time to work out about twice a week, but I'm active in other ways (more info below). One of my favorite things to eat is whole wheat toast with butter and honey -- I have to stop eating so much, or I know it's going to spell trouble!

So the last 6 or 7 months was my hardcore weight loss time; we've now shifted into "get ourselves out of debt ASAP" time. Our goal is to get out of consumer debt by January 2013 (we'll still have student loans...ugh.) Andrew got a new job with great pay and benefits, and I have been working 20 hours a week (for the last few weeks) in the morning at a nursing facility doing housekeeping and laundry (while my wonderful parents watch the kids). Lots of gross stories, but I'll save those for another time. I've also been hired to do another personal history book, which is my favorite thing to do. Much more fun than collecting "soiled" laundry, I've found. The history has got me thinking about my own memoir again, and I decided to finish off a chapter I had almost finished last year or whenever that was.

So...this chapter does not leave off from where I was as a child. It's just what I wanted to write about next -- some about my angsty self in high school. Hope you like it! It's only had a light edit, and the formatting isn't perfect yet or anything, but here it is.

"An Enigma Exposed" (click on the title) -- Update: I temporarily removed the link to the chapter earlier today, but now it's back with an updated chapter.

In case you missed the first installments, here they are.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

"Final Reveal" pics

Since I won Biggest Loser AND hit my goal on the same day, I decided to do my "final reveal" pics yesterday. I must watch too many weight loss shows. 

I went and got a haircut -- FINALLY. I hadn't had it cut since before I started losing weight, knowing I would want to have a mini makeover at the end as a reward. I got some jeans that actually fit -- I've gone from a size 14 to a size 7/8 -- and some other clothes, too. I was going for this hairstyle (below), but it didn't quite turn out like that. I still like what I got, though. I know I will never be able to recreate what the stylist did, but oh well. :)

Andrew took a bunch of pics -- here are a few. Might have a few more later.

 I wanted a picture of me doing push-ups to remind me of my Transforming post -- about doing the hard things that part of me will always want to skip.

It might seem strange to some that I wanted pictures of myself as a reward for losing weight, but it's because I have never had any pictures of myself that I liked. I have worked on people's personal histories, and I always get a great picture of them from their past for the cover. It's always concerned me that if I was to publish my own history, I would not have anything I would want for the cover. I realize I'm thinking 40 years in advance, but I just wanted a high quality, decent pic of myself that I could have (before I get too old...) -- in case I ever finish writing my history. :)

Thanks all for supporting me and caring about my journey to health.


I lost 1.4 lbs this week and managed to pull out first place in the Biggest Loser competition!! Not only that but I hit my second goal on the nose for my final weigh-in. That felt amazing! I got to the pot of gold! :) To be a person who often stops myself from accomplishing something because it's too hard, I have to say that hitting TWO weight loss goals really feels good.

I have lost 54 lbs total. And I feel like I'm at a good "stopping" point. I will now work hard on maintaining where I'm at. I'll keep exercising to try to tone up a bit more, but I won't be trying to lose anymore. Such a strange feeling after such a time of doing it.

Here are the final results pics from the beginning of the BL competition to the end. I lost about 22 lbs from June to August. Over the summer, I'd occasionally look back at the "before" June pics, and I wondered if I'd be able to really see a difference by the end cause I didn't think 20 lbs would be as obvious as the 30 I had lost previously. I am so happy I took the pictures -- because I see a big difference. And that is motivating -- I don't want to float back up 20 lbs to a "comfortable" weight. I feel great where I'm at now.

These are embarrassing, but here they are --

 Please don't look too closely at these...eek. Wishing I had worn exercise pants instead...but then I wouldn't have been able to see the difference as easily. I lost 6 inches off my waist this go around and something like 4 inches off my hips -- the exact measurements are packed in a box somewhere. :) Lost a good chunk off my thighs, too, but I can't remember how many inches off the top of my head. All I know is is that my legs don't touch and rub together in the middle when I walk anymore. I often wondered if I'd ever lose enough for that to be the case, and I finally got there.

That's a total of ELEVEN inches just off my waist from the beginning of March. That is crazy!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Week 11 results

I lost 1.6 lbs this week. We are moving tomorrow, and we have been moving gradually all week. I have missed almost all of my workouts, but I still managed to lose a little -- I think mostly due to stress! :)

Just one more week!

Total weight lost: 52.6 lbs

Finished #2 this week, and I am still in the lead overall.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Week 10 weigh-in

I lost 2 lbs this week! Yay! That makes it a milestone week for me, as I've now passed the 50 lb mark for total weight lost! I've lost 51 lbs total.

I finished 3rd this week in the competition, but am still 1st overall. Just two more weigh-ins to go!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Week 9 Biggest Loser

I lost 1.2 lbs this week. Not great, but not bad. Getting closer!

Total weight lost = 49 lbs

4th place for the week, but 1st place still overall!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Week 8 weigh-in: I did it!!

(This picture represents how I feel -- minus the dizziness and nausea that would surely accompany me if I actually was above the clouds...)

Today's weigh-in marks a huge accomplishment for me. I made it to my original goal weight of 135 lbs! I lost 2 lbs on the nose. What a wonderful, uplifting, educational journey this has been for me. Life changing!

I am officially changing the little tracker to my goal weight -- the girl made it to the freaking flower!! Who ever thought that was actually going to happen??

I want to lose 6 more lbs by the end of the Biggest Loser competition -- the end of August.


Total weight lost = 47.8 lbs!

Not everyone has weighed in this week yet, so I'll have to update the rankings later. Sorry!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Week 7 Biggest Loser results

Lost 2 lbs this week! Woohoo! Came in first for the week and am first overall. :)

Total weight loss = 45.8

Friday, July 20, 2012

Week 6 Biggest Loser

This week I lost 1.6 lbs. That means I have 4 lbs left to go to my original goal weight. I thought I might get there by the end of this month, but that is not looking very likely. I've never lost 4 lbs in a week! But that's okay. I have another month of Biggest Loser, and I hope to be down 10 more lbs by the end of that (end of August). It's my darned tummy that's the trouble! Why won't it GO AWAY?? 'Sigh.' It's getting better every week, though!!

Total weight lost = 43.8

Update: Woops, the standings! I finished 5th this week, but I'm still in 1st overall!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Week 5 Biggest Loser

I lost 1.4 lbs this week. I was really worried earlier in the week when I had actually gained weight from last week's weigh-in. I was so concerned that I'd have a GAIN. Ahhh! But luckily, I was still able to lose. I finished 3rd for the week, and I am still in 1st overall.

I think I can hit my goal weight by the end of the month! But I am hoping to lose maybe 5 lbs beyond that. It's just been so long since I've been down to these numbers, I wasn't sure how I would feel when I got down here. But I can see that I could stand to lose a little more than 5. There's still a nice roll on my tummy -- always the last to lose! And then I am rewarding myself with a new haircut and pics of my new self by Andrew. Don't you like how I'm rewarding myself with Andrew's time and work? Hahaha -- not sure you can actually do that. But he did say he would do it.

Anyway, got up early this morning to take Andrew to the airport. He's visiting his brother in Arizona. I am TIRED. I am planning a Christian update sometime in the next week. He turned two last month! You'd never know it, though, if you read my blog.

Total weight loss = 42.2 lbs

Friday, July 6, 2012

Week 4 Biggest Loser

Wow -- I had a great week this week! I lost 2.8 lbs!! I've officially lost 40 pounds! That feels amazing.

I took the #1 spot this week in the Biggest Loser, AND I've moved into #1 overall. Yay!

Ultimate goal here I come!!

Total weight loss = 40.8 lbs

Friday, June 29, 2012

Week 3 Biggest Loser

Down 1.8 lbs this week! Not the best week I've ever had -- I think I overate a little at a couple dinners, but I am getting super close to my goal weight. Exciting! I am 38 lbs down! Just about 10 more to go.

I came in 4th in the competition this week, and I am in 4th overall.

Friday, June 22, 2012

2nd Biggest Loser weigh-in

Wow -- I lost another 2.6 lbs this week!! Wahoooooo!!!

I have added an additional workout to my exercise routine. I am doing the Couch to 5k program, so I am running/walking for about 20 minutes every other day. I'm still as slow as ever, so we'll see how it goes. But the weight continues to come off!

I am feeling great and so close to my goal. I've lost 36.4 lbs total!!

As far as Biggest Loser goes, I came in 2nd place this week. I am 5th overall. Just trying to keep the pace and stay consistent!!

Friday, June 15, 2012

My first Biggest Loser weigh-in

Well, I lost 2.4 lbs this week! Same as last week, which is great. I'm now down to a weight I know I haven't been in at least 7 years! I cleaned out my closet yesterday, and I tried on some clothes that I had when I first got married -- and I fit into them!! They were a little snug, but it won't be long now!

I kind of got creamed though, in terms of weight loss, in the competition. I finished 6th out of 9! Yikes! These people are hardcore!

Total weight lost = 33.8 lbs

Friday, June 8, 2012

Biggest Loser Time

This week I lost 2.4 lbs!! Woohoo! I am loving my rate of progress and the fact that weight continues to come off! Total weight lost = 31.4 lbs.

I started a Biggest Loser contest that starts today with the initial weigh-in. If there's anyone out there that sees this today and wants to participate -- let me know! Here's the link to more info.

Anyway, I'm looking to lose at least 16 lbs, but I would love 20. 16 actually gets me to my married weight, but I'll just see how I feel when I get there. Maybe I won't want to go much more. I'm hoping to hit my goal by the end of July! The Biggest Loser competition runs through the end of August.

So here I go with another Biggest Loser competition. I'm really excited to be doing it with a bunch of friends this time!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Final weigh-in for 3 month goal

I want to write a longer post one of these days, but today's not it. Just wanted to weigh-in. I burned a lot of calories on our backpacking trip, and I also consumed a LOT of calories. So I wasn't surprised when I got home and my weight was the same. I do feel like I might have built up some more muscle, though.

I haven't worked out since getting home because I'm sick. But I'm back to my healthy eating and still managed to lose some weight.

The backpacking trip was amazing, but I will post about that later. 

This week I lost 2 pounds! So that brings the final 3 month weight loss to 29 pounds. Super close to my goal! Wish I could have hit 30, but I'll take the 29! 

Now it's time to start a new goal. 20 pounds in 2 months -- by the end of July. 10 lbs a month worked before, right? I'll just keep pushing it! In 20 more pounds I'll be marriage weight! 

So here are the final numbers -- 

I only recorded my waist and hip size in the beginning. Wish I had done everywhere, but oh well. I measured my arms, but never wrote it down, and I can't really remember what it was -- but I know I lost at least 1 inch from my arms (probably more). I lost FIVE inches from my waist and FIVE inches from my hips! I dropped two jean sizes and one shirt size. 

Can't wait to see what the next two months bring!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Early week 13 weigh-in

We will be leaving early tomorrow, so thought I'd better check in today with weight loss for the week. Still good with food, but this week I hurt my hip flexor during a Jillian workout on Tuesday, and so I decided to stop working out the rest of the week since I will need to be in good condition for the backpacking trip.

Anywho, despite that setback I still lost 1.4 lbs this week!! Only three pounds to go for my goal (and one week left)! The question is can I lose that much while backpacking and eating high calorie food (in order to get all the calories I need while burning so many...)? We shall see!! See you next week! That is if the snakes don't get me. We're going to be sleeping under the stars -- tentless. My first time, and I'm a little bit nervous!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


As I've been losing weight this go-around, Andrew has had different ways of telling me that I look thinner. His preferred method has been to exclaim, "You're disappearing!!

It always makes me laugh when he says it, just because it always strikes me as an unusual way of phrasing it. Why not just say, "Hey taai, I can really tell you've lost a lot of weight" or "Dang, girl! You so skinny!" But I realized that his phraseology was actually right on. I am disappearing!! The person I was, in far more ways than just weight, as I've mentioned in previous posts, is fading away. 

Exhibit A:

I went back and dug out my "fat pics" from 2008. I took them because they were required for the Biggest Loser competition I was participating in at the time. I didn't have any special workout clothing to take the pics in -- I didn't even have a swimsuit that fit. So there I am in a swimsuit top that I hadn't worn in quite some time and some Umbro shorts from the 90s against a dark background (everything's black!). The thought of anyone ever seeing the pictures mortified me! I had already lost 8 lbs at this point, and I was honestly already feeling better about myself (until I saw the pictures -- it's true what they say, pictures really don't lie). 

So in May 2008 I was roughly the same size I was in March 2012 when I began exercising again. I didn't take "before" pics in March because, well, it's a horrible experience. But since I have this one from 2008, it works just as well. 

I thought it was important for me to post these -- not because I think I look so great in a swimsuit now (I still have 20+ pounds to go...), but because when I look at these two pictures, I see two different people. On the left is someone miserable, ashamed, and very uncomfortable with who she has become. On the right is someone who is at least starting to get it.

I honestly never thought I'd let the picture on the left see the light of day, but here I am posting it for all to see. It's easier than I thought it'd be because, really, that doesn't feel like me anymore.

Exhibit B:

Last fall I really wanted to take a family picture. We have never been very good at doing that, and I wanted to start doing it annually at least. So we went up in the mountains and took a picture. And I liked it. But now I feel uncomfortable looking at it because I know how uncomfortable I was. I was trying to place Christian in front of me so as to cover as much of me as humanly possible. In the 2012 picture below, Christian is still covering most of me, but it had less to do with strategy and more to do with getting a good picture.

Being in St. George over the weekend was fun, albeit exhausting. But seeing the solar eclipse and the "Ring of Fire" was awesome, and I'm glad we did it. Sometimes "disappearing" is really something to see and remember.

Taken in Japan (AFP, Kazuhiro Nogi)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Week 12 weigh-in

Today's report will be quick -- our family is headed out of town for the weekend, to St. George, to see a solar eclipse! I'm excited. We just got a cheap motel for a couple nights and hopefully will have some fun.

So this week I only lost 1.6 pounds. It's actually more than I thought I would lose this week because every time I weighed myself nothing had changed from the last weigh-in. ARGH. So to see the number go down today was a relief, just not as good as I had hoped for.

I wonder if part of the reason is the Ripped in 30 DVD I've been doing. I'm on the second week workout, and it is HARD. I can barely do a lot of the exercises. So maybe I'm not burning as much doing a workout I can actually complete?

I'm going to have my final weigh-in for this 3 month goal be on June 1st (a Friday). Then, based on how much I've lost, I'll set a new goal. I'm so close to my 3 month goal -- will have to push myself these next 2 weeks to get it!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Week 11 weigh-in -- a milestone!

Christian LOVES my smoothies -- this one he snatched and wouldn't let go. He drank quite a bit before I was able to get it back from him. :) Can't blame him -- it's delicious! I usually give him a little in his own cup. He's going to be my little Popeye!

A sampling from this week's dinners...Tasty barbecue pizza...nom nom...whole wheat pizza dough with barbecue sauce, corn, black beans, and tomatoes, topped with mozzarella cheese. GOOD.

Well, this week got a little bit crazy. Both kids had some funky illness -- high fever and vomiting. Oh the vomiting. They're both better now, thank goodness. Kate was really dehydrated, though, and just looked awful. I took her to the doctor because it was so scary. They ended up giving her a suppository to stop her from vomiting any more. They ran a bunch of tests but couldn't figure out what was making her sick. Anyway, it did the trick -- and she is feeling and looking much better.

I spent all day yesterday sanitizing -- EVERYTHING.

So I didn't work out 2 days this week because of the poor kids. But I still ate all the good, healthy stuff. And I lost 2.6 lbs!! Woohoo!! I am very happy with that.

This week's weight loss is kind of a milestone because I am officially in the "normal weight" BMI category. Yes!! I remember last time when I was losing weight and I got to this point. I stopped losing weight shortly after that. And ... now that I know our scale was off by 7 pounds, I realize I never actually got to this point. So I'm in uncharted territory here! Love it! I feel like I'm just getting going!

By the way, I just wanted to say thanks for all the comments and encouragement. I really appreciate it! I don't always comment back because I'm not sure if you ever get the follow up comments. But thank you!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Won't be back that way again

Over the past week or so, I have noticed something in myself that I feel the need to document. And since I haven't written in my journal for quite some time...I thought I'd share it here because I know you are all sooo fascinated by the entrails of my life. ;)

It sort of amazes me how we experience life. The moments we feel most alive don't often occur when we expect them to (at least for me).

The other day as I was driving around with the kids running errands, which is generally a frazzled time for me, I had a distinct, quiet, prolonged moment of absolute tranquility; I might even call it euphoria. I felt at total peace with myself and with everything around me. I felt elated, patient, loved and full of love, and grateful (as I was driving!). It overwhelmed me, almost to the point of tears. Since that moment, which really lasted most of that day, I realized that I feel that a lot now. I can't remember the last time I felt like that before for any length of time.

I'm used to feeling tired, stressed, frustrated, depressed, worried, scared, overwhelmed, and irritated. Of course, I didn't feel that way ALL the time -- yikes!, but most of the time despite what I'd be saying or doing, that is how I felt on the inside. Sort of a constant state of franticness.

I attribute my happy feelings now in large part to the healthy foods (and lots of water) I've been putting in my body and the exercise I get nearly every day. (Though driving with the windows down on a beautiful day with the sun shining on you and Explosions in the Sky playing doesn't hurt either -- not to mention the sweet, beautiful children in the backseat.) I've always heard people talk about health and "well-being." But I don't think I ever knew what "well-being" really felt like until now. I have energy, I have happy feelings bursting inside me, and I have peace. Just saying the word "peace" to myself gets me teary-eyed.

That vision that I had of myself years ago...I have it again. It's clear in my mind, and I think about it often. Not there yet, of course, but I'm on my way. I'm not going to let it go this time. I'm not going back to who/what I was. The path I'm on now is taking me to where I want to be. And I'm going to get there.

As I was discussing this with Andrew -- my new happy feelings and my desire to live an engaged life -- he quoted Henry David Thoreau to me (from his favorite book, Walden). Is it any wonder I married him?

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
It reminded me of what I expressed in my Transforming post, "I want to get excited about life and live it up!" I want to taste the sublime, to know it. I want to say at the end of my life, whenever that may be, that I lived.

Saturday I began a new workout video. I started doing Jillian Michaels' "Ripped in 30" DVD. Holy cow -- I have a feeling I'm going to be "Sore for 30." It's a short workout -- but it really gets ya. Anyway, at the end of the video while she's leading the stretch, she morphs into philosophical Jillian. I tend to like that Jillian better than the "I'm going to make you CRY!" Jillian. Anyway, what she said hit me, and maybe it's simply because she used the word "transformation" that it triggered an emotional response, but I liked it and thought I'd share.

She said,

"Most people don't show up in their own lives.
They go through life every single day without being focused on bringing their 'A' game.
Transformation is not a future event.
It is a present activity.
That is why you must bring everything you have to give in every moment.
And it doesn't have to be perfect.
It's not about perfect.
It's about effort.

Bring that effort every. single. day.
That's where transformation happens.
That's how change occurs."

Friday, May 4, 2012

Week 10 weigh-in

another random exercising person...

Well, this week was a bit of a disappointment. I worked out 6 days, ate great, healthy, low calorie foods and smoothies, and I only lost 1.6 lbs! I think that's the lowest amount of weight lost since I started. On Wednesday when I weighed myself I had lost almost 4 pounds, so I thought I was on my way to an amazing week. Not sure what happened. I feel great, though. I have a ton of energy and generally feel very healthy. That's the most important thing, but I do want to hit my goal this month! 

Andrew and I have some fun trips planned at the end of the month, so we'll see how that impacts my weight loss. One of our trips is an extended backpacking trip in Southern Utah (my parents are watching the kids -- woohoo!), so I am hoping I'll burn lots of calories doing that. 

Looking forward to an exciting month ahead!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A great food day!

 Tasty breakfast smoothie! You'll feel like Popeye after drinking this!
The Ninja processor I got came with these cool cups that you can actually blend stuff in. Then just put on a lid, and you're good to go!
 Red Lentil Thai Chili....nom nom...
Banana ice cream!
This one's not my picture -- It was on Pinterest 

So I got a Ninja food processor last week, and it was pretty much one of the best decisions of my life. I LOVE this thing! I use it all the time. Christian really freaked out the first few times I used it. He was so scared. But today, he didn't scream at all. He just came in, and said, "Mmm mm!" He really likes the stuff I'm making with it. I share my smoothies with him. :)

I made a "green monster" smoothie this morning. It was my first time making this one, and I LOVED it!! So delicious. Spinach, Greek yogurt, Almond milk, peanut butter, and a frozen banana. I froze the yogurt in ice cube trays (someone in the comments suggested it), and I used PB2 for the peanut butter, which has way fewer calories. Tastes enough like the real stuff. I loved this smoothie, and I can't wait to have it again tomorrow!! Here's the recipe By the way, you don't taste the spinach AT ALL.

Lunch was great, too, but I didn't take a picture. It was turkey slices, tomatoes, spinach, and avocado inside of a whole wheat tortilla. YUM.

Dinner was amazing, I thought. Red Lentil Thai Chili

A little bit spicy, but so good. No idea how many calories in each serving, though. It made a TON that I'm going to freeze, I guess. Andrew liked it, but said it tasted "really healthy." He thinks some kind of tasty bread with it would have made it really good. I thought he was going to love it because he loves Thai food, so I was a little disappointed with his reaction. But I loved it! Sweet potatoes, red lentils, kidney beans, red pepper, onions, coconut milk...etc, etc. so good!

THEN, I saw on my sister-in-law's Pinterest, she had a recipe for banana ice cream. It's just made from frozen bananas, peanut butter, and cocoa powder! It was yummy and healthy. The kids enjoyed it. And I was even able to eat it. Win win.

I'm not sure any of you care what I eat every day, but seriously today was a GOOD food day. I just had to tell someone. :) What would I have eaten a few months ago? Cheerios for breakfast, hot dog for lunch, and spaghetti and broccoli for dinner. Why would I want to go back to that?? I still like broccoli, though -- don't get me wrong.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Explosions in the Sky

I've heard Explosions in the Sky before and have always liked them. But for some reason after listening to this song tonight ("Your Hand in Mine"), I HAD to have their CD. The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place (2003) is coming on Tuesday. Woohoo!

I can't listen to their music without a montage of my life's events floating through my mind. Listen to this song -- and try not to think of your life as a dramatic, meaningful movie. You can't do it, can you?

Tell me what you think of this band or this song. Like or love? Cause I can't comprehend anyone hating on these guys. :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Week 9 weigh-in

sorry these are fuzzy
Here are some of the meals I made this week. For breakfast, I've been enjoying an egg white burrito with tomatoes, green onions, and turkey bacon. Yum! Then I tried a tofu recipe this week for dinner -- my first time trying to cook tofu. It turned out okay. Andrew actually really liked it, and he's usually pickier than I am. I'm not sure if I'll be making it again any time soon, though...I have a different tofu recipe I want to try that I think/hope will have some more flavor.

I was already trying to eat less red meat -- not that I ate a lot before, but after watching some documentaries recently, I definitely don't have a desire to eat beef a whole lot anymore.

Anyway, this week I lost 2 pounds! .2 away from my 2 month 20 lb goal. But that's okay! I'll try to make it up next week. 10.2 lbs more to go! I worked out every day but Sunday, and I feel some major muscles growing in. Especially in my biceps! It's kinda fun! :)

So far I've lost 3.5 inches off my waist (2 inches this month) and about 2.5 inches off my hips (1 inch this month). I never measured the rest of me, but I'm pretty sure I've lost some on my arms, too.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

My rock wall

Yesterday Andrew and I celebrated our 9th anniversary. Crazy! We were actually able to go out on a date thanks to Andrew's kind grandparents who watched our kids. We went to a delicious Thai restaurant in American Fork where I tried to order something with as little calories as I could. It's hard going out and having no clue how many calories are in what. I just ordered mixed vegetables and tofu in soy sauce and had very little rice. I did have a little bit of dessert -- mango with sticky rice in coconut milk! YUM. No idea how many calories in that. So we'll see what the numbers are like for weigh-in tomorrow.

The day after Thanksgiving, we bought the Pass of All Passes for a really great deal. The pass lets you go to Trafalga and Seven Peaks for a year for "Free" (besides what you paid for the passes) as many times as you want. Anyway, we've only used it once since then. So we decided to go to the Trafalga in Lehi last night.

As soon as we walk in, I see a rock wall. Andrew got very excited, as he's been wanting to get me to climb one with him ever since we were married...NINE YEARS AGO. He even suggested we go somewhere like The Quarry (a rock climbing place) for our date last night. I suggested Trafalga instead (not knowing they have a rock wall...) Whenever he would suggest rock climbing, I've always managed to get out of it. My answer would always be, "No. I'm scared of heights. I'm scared of falling (even with the thing that makes it impossible to fall and get hurt). I don't have enough upper body strength." I was mostly just afraid that I wouldn't be able to do it. I wouldn't even be able to make it to the top, and I would be embarrassed. FEAR. FEAR. FEAR.

Well Andrew's eyes lit up when he saw that wall, and he once again tried to get me to do it. My answer, "Hmm..." which means no. But when he asked the second -- or third? -- time, I took a breath and said, "Okay. Let's do it." So we did. And get this -- it was FUN. I actually enjoyed it. I made it to the top and had a minor anxiety attack when I had to let go of the wall, but it was fine. When I got to the bottom I realized my arms felt like they were going to fall off! But maybe I burned off a few of the mango dessert calories. 

I should add that it was a pretty easy wall and even young children were able to climb it. But still, I was pretty happy that I tried something that makes me uncomfortable to think about and that I've been avoiding for years. Remember that Transforming post I wrote a couple years ago? This is the kind of thing I had in mind. 

After that we played mini golf and laser tag, and it was all really fun. I'm excited to use that pass a lot more! I'm also excited to try rock climbing again -- and maybe even on a harder wall. :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Week 8 weigh-in

Well, I had a great moment this week. The pair of jeans I've been wearing developed a large hole in the crotch area...but since I knew I wouldn't be wearing that size for much longer I didn't want to go buy another pair of jeans. So I've been wearing the crotch-hole jeans. Nice. It's been okay, as I haven't had too many important places to be, but then I had a meeting for my calling this last week. I was so stressed out, because it clearly isn't appropriate to wear the jeans I was wearing, but I did NOT want to buy another pair.

I decided to give my jeans that are down a size a try, even though I had just tried them on the week before and they were not comfortable (I could get them on, though!). Well, lo and behold, not only did I get them on, but they FIT. It was one of the best feelings of my life. I really was quite elated. Problem solved! And I was down a pant size!

So this week I lost another 2 pounds! Just 2.2 to go for this month. At this point, I am really feeling smaller, and THAT IS FUN. Feels like everything from here on out is bonus!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Week 7 weigh-in

Well, this has been another good week of working out and eating healthy. I find it funny that now that I'm on a "diet" I eat tastier foods than I ever did before! So strange. I've been loving the dinners I've been making. Seems to me the best way to stay on a diet! Tastiest one was Portobello Mushroom Burgers. YUM! Try it!

I'm working out about 5 days a week, alternating between cardio and sculpting. I've been doing all three levels of both work out videos, and it has left me tired! And sore. I also have become aware of muscles in my legs that I haven't felt for a while!

Anyway, weigh-in today was another great one!! I lost 3.2 pounds!! Woohoo!!

I have not gone down a pant size yet (though the pants are really loose and my belt is cinched tighter), which I am anxiously awaiting...and I'm not sure if anyone but me or Andrew would even notice I've lost weight (and Kate -- she says she can tell by my love handles), but I think over the next ten pounds it will become more obvious to the casual observer.

I got very little sleep last night thanks to Christian, so I am going to have to take a nap today before I can even think about exercising.

I've been plagued with canker sores still. They are so painful it hurts to talk. For a few days I was not drinking enough water because it hurt so much to swallow. Not sure which fruits to cut from my diet. I love them all!

Anyway, I'm half way to my goal, and half way through the 3 months. Feelin' great!!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Week 6 weigh-in

Time for another weigh-in...this time I know exactly what my weight is -- down to the decimal!

This week I lost 2.6 pounds! I'm very happy with that, as it keeps me on track to hit my goal!

I'm still rolling with the salads for lunch and smaller portion sizes for dinner. I worked out 5 days this week, and aside from a major canker sore attack (on the back of my throat and tongue -- too many acidic fruits in my diet now), I feel great!

A week or so ago, I went to a Church activity where chocolate was the only thing available to eat. I even had to bring something -- chocolate chip bread -- yikes! I had a tiny bite just to make sure it was edible, and the rest I left to everyone else. I wish I'd had my camera at the activity -- SO MUCH CHOCOLATE!! It was like straight out of a Biggest Loser temptation episode. But I didn't have any! It was a little bit weird, but I was not even really that tempted. Freaky, huh?

In that Hungry for Change video I mentioned last week, one guy was talking about changing the way we think. Instead of saying, "I want that, but I can't have it" -- change it to "I can have that, but I don't want it." That's totally how I felt when I was surrounded by all that chocolate. It was a bit awkward for me to be the only one not eating, but it was fine. I survived it, and I continue to lose weight right in line with my goal. My eye's on the prize, baby!

Total weight lost since March 1st: 12.6 pounds
Percentage lost: 6.89%

Friday, March 30, 2012

D@$% accurate scales!!

My new scale came today! I went with the "Eat Smart Precision Plus" scale. I was so excited to get this scale I was even dreaming about it! I had dreams where I got on, and I actually weighed LESS than I had on the other crappy scale. I woke up really happy.

Unfortunately that wasn't reality. I just weighed in and am 8 pounds heavier than I was on the other scale. I realize that I didn't suddenly pack on 8 pounds, but somehow I feel fatter now that I know the truth. Sigh.

When I first got on it, it said I weighed 219 pounds!! I almost fainted. Then I read in the manual that it has to adjust the first time or something. So luckily THAT was not reality.

The good news is I've lost 1.5 inches on both my waist and my hips. So there's that.

In other health news, I just boiled fresh ginger and added some turmeric to it for some ginger tea -- which is supposed to be really good for you. Right now it doesn't feel very good. Everything's burning!

I am happy that I know my real weight, so I won't have to be shocked whenever I visit the doctor, but gees, it is a little frustrating. I feel like I already lost those pounds, but in reality I was just way bigger than I realized.

Oh well, I'm looking ahead to next week!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hungry for Change

I think something significant happened to my mind this week. I've been eating healthy and all that and feeling great, but I watched a movie called Hungry for Change, which you can watch free here until Saturday. The movie didn't even really say a lot that I didn't already know, but for some reason something clicked for me while watching it. The movie advocates eating more vegetables and fruit and cutting back or eliminating processed foods.

Whenever I'd start a new phase of exercising and eating right, I would just think about all the things that I couldn't eat. I had one goal: lose weight, lose weight, lose weight!! But since I had that heart scare (which was probably nothing at all), I have started FINALLY thinking in terms of my health. What is going to make me healthy? What kind of healthy foods do I want to eat for the rest of my life -- not just for my weight loss goal in the next 3 months?

I decided eating salmon every single day is probably not feasible for the long-term, nor would that necessarily be healthy either. I am going to eat it two to three times a week, I think. But I now LOVE salad. Not the nasty Iceberg lettuce salad -- barf. I got this super tasty Herb mix from Walmart that is so good and flavorful! I am going to eat that every day, and I started mixing in spinach (hello super food!!). Add a tomato, cucumber, radish, cilantro, and parsley and some crumbled walnuts or seeds, maybe a boiled egg -- yum! I got a Balsamic vinegar dressing to go with it, and it is SUPER tasty. Like way yummier to me than what I was eating before. And filling!

It's just exciting to me that I am thinking in terms of health now. I always wanted to think that way. Andrew would always remind me that it's not about the weight that I am, but about being healthy. I'd always nod and say, "Yes, I know." But I didn't really KNOW. It's hard to explain, but I finally get it.

There are a lot of different diets out there, but I've always known that I will not survive on a "diet." If I think of it like that then it will not work. I have to change my mindset and think about the nutrients my body needs to perform well. The movie made sense to me -- diets where you eat mostly meat or whatever, I never understood. Thinking in terms of the Word of Wisdom, I think eating a lot of vegetables and fruit, and some whole grains, and a little bit of meat makes sense. It's not extreme, and it's totally doable.

On a side note, I used the scale on Sunday as a stool to see in the mirror better, and I stepped on the glass and completely broke the whole thing. Argh.

So I ordered a new scale (it's going to come tomorrow just in time for weigh-in!), but I'm kind of worried that the number will be way different on a new scale -- because let's face it, the old one sucked. I think my scale was off by maybe 5 pounds, but I'm pretty confident that the amount of weight lost was accurate. So if the new scale says I weigh 5 pounds more than I thought, that will be really frustrating.

It's disappointing that I'll never really know if I made my 10 lb weight loss goal. But I am declaring myself victorious -- I feel I reached it. Even on Sunday when I weighed myself last I was about a half pound away, and I'm pretty sure I lost more than a pound -- so I'll just declare my goal for March MET.

(This post says it was published last Sunday because I started the post then...annoying. It's Thursday night.)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Week 4 weigh-in

Well, on Monday my health insurance got approved, and immediately after finding out I went and did a Biggest Loser workout. I did it 3 times this week, and I haven't had any heart troubles, so we probably just got more expensive health insurance for nothing...but it does give me a little peace of mind.

So I exercised 3 times this week, and I haven't slipped up on my dieting at all. I have been sufficiently full and loving the food I'm making! It looks so pretty to me, I always want to take pictures of it now. That didn't happen when I was eating a hot dog and chips for lunch -- just so ya know. Yesterday I decided to change up my lunch slightly. I just put the salmon over some tasty greens with tomatoes and a couple crumbled walnuts. Just used lemon juice for "dressing." Super tasty!! Nom, nom, nom.

Anyway, just weighed in...and I lost TWO more pounds! This is the most successful weight loss experience I've had so far, I think. I am not giving into chocolatey cravings, and really I'm not even having them very often. I am very careful about my portion sizes, and surprisingly, I always feel full when I'm done eating. Who needs two helpings of lasagna when one does the trick?

Total weight lost this month? = 9 pounds. Still one more week to go to hit my goal of 10 for March.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Week 3 Weigh-In!

So I have been eating really well this week! I eat this almost every day for lunch -- grilled salmon, carrots, and cottage cheese w/fruit. Yum! I just eat regular dinner, but smaller portions, of course. I've had lots of energy even though I've been getting super crappy sleep (Christian). I haven't really gone back to the exercise videos yet, but I did ride a bike for 30 minutes one day and the other days I've been going on walks with the kids after dinner.

Anyway, I just weighed in....and I lost THREE pounds!! I am very happy with that! Amazing what eating less can do...although I have been somewhat starving on the days that I have gotten some exercise.

I'm already down 7 pounds and well on my way to 10 pounds for the month -- to keep my 30 lbs in 3 months goal in sight.

Feels great!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Andrew update and adventures in art shows...

On his way to a different kind of art show this morning

I think the last time I gave a real "Andrew update" was like four years ago, right after he quit his 5 Buck Pizza job. So it's time!

Andrew is a busy guy! He's been working for his current company for almost a year and a half, and he's doing well there. He's always got side projects going on at home, so when he gets home from programming, he usually goes right back to programming. He's got some gorgeous pics he recently scanned that are in the works, but he hasn't edited them yet.

And yesterday, today, and tomorrow, he is in SLC for "Art and Soup" -- a charity art event. He has his photos on display and a percentage of what he makes goes to the charity -- the money helps people who have health problems who don't have the means to pay.

Since we only have one car, I won't be able to go there and hang out like I normally do at art shows. It's like my favorite thing ever! -- the possibility of selling his prints is so exciting to me. But this one isn't really kid friendly. It's at the Sheraton Hotel in SLC, and everyone's dressed up. The entrance fee of $15 lets you try a bunch of soups, breads, and desserts from local restaurants. Sounds delish, but also probably not great for losing weight!

Andrew said that as far as art shows go, it's art show heaven. No booth fee (just the cut), he didn't have to bring his tent and wall panels (they provide a place to hang pics), it's only 7 hours a day, with a huge break, and they bring yummy food around to the artists! A far cry from Aspen, CO (pictured below) or pretty much any other art show...

The guy without the shirt offered to help Andrew, which was great because set up is torture, but then we realized he was probably looking for money in exchange...woops. Fresh out of money.

See those wooden crates Andrew's got on the cart? Well, inside are his pictures. I can't tell you how much we hate those crates. They are HEAVY (they actually broke the cart during that show), and they serve up splinters like you wouldn't believe. Try moving those around all over the place and opening them up (so many screws!) in time for the show. We were almost always the last ones set up, and the last ones to go home at the end of the show.

Loading up to go to Moab, May 2011

I didn't really blog about any of the art shows -- probably mostly because last summer was really hard/stressful. Below is our car, after the brakes failed on a steep Aspen...RIGHT as the art show began. That was one of the most depressing weeks we've ever spent. Luckily, Andrew's mom drove hours to rescue us and haul us and the trailer back to Utah. Otherwise, we might STILL be in Aspen.

The good news is -- we have a better way now. Because of the above, said accident, we had to buy a new car. We chose one that was better equipped to haul a trailer (for art shows) and that could get Andrew to better places to photograph. Sorry for the photograph, Andrew...this is one of the few pics that actually shows "Cliff" -- our 2001 Nissan Pathfinder. Kate named him -- the name seemed appropriate, as Andrew likes to take us up in the mountains a lot.

Here we are on West Mountain eating Cafe Rio -- just
enjoying a nice view before we noticed we were
surrounded by ridiculously large and scary spiders! EVERYWHERE!

This is another thing Cliff is useful for -- getting a higher/better perspective!

So the "better" way, now that we have Cliff, is to remove all the prints from the crates and put them ever so gently in the back of Cliff. Amazingly, they all fit! So that's what he did for the "Art and Soup" show. Didn't even have to get a trailer. Sweet.

A typical outdoor art show costs $400+ for a booth space, 5+ grueling hours to set up, and then it runs about 10-12 hours in the hot sun for multiple days with no way to get food or go to the bathroom except to leave your booth unattended (if no one is there to help). It's one of the most exhausting things I've experienced, and I didn't even have to be the one talking to people and selling to them all day. It's all very costly, and it causes stress knowing you have to sell so many prints to recoup your money -- not to mention trying to make a profit.

Andrew said the show in SLC this week is also better because the crowd is very different -- they're more educated art buyers. He said he didn't get any of the usual questions -- one of his favorites is, "Did you go to all these places?" After they knew he was the photographer! Hello! (This is asked by a lot of people!)

Plus, for some reason he is almost always set up next to the crazy of the art show -- the kind that, upon first meeting, proceeds to tell you how much they hate photographers... Nice to meet you, too...

It's his first full day at the show, and he's already sold a 30x40 "A Tangerine Blue." Yay!!

Anyway, as hard as the shows were/are, he learned a lot about what kind of photos people want to buy -- which is very useful information...and people loved his photographs and booth (he tried hard to make it different and feel as much like a gallery as he could) -- he was always the talk of the show, among artists and attendees. I was very proud of him.

Andrew at the Logan, UT show, 2011

The SLC show may be the only show he decides to do this year, as he is busy with other things and wants to get some different pictures before he does more. Plus he just got really burned out last year. It was SO much work. Andrew is one of the few people I know who takes work off, so he can go work some more. He's one of the hardest working people I've ever met. We're going to try to fit in an actual vacation this year!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Video: Happy Feet

I haven't gotten the videos off my camera for a long time...The first one is the most recent video taken a couple weeks ago. Ever since Christian saw the movie Happy Feet, he has had happy feet! It's very cute. He'll just randomly do it in the kitchen sometimes.

The video format doesn't quite fit on the blog, so the right side is cut off...not sure how to fix that.

I realize these videos are not super exciting or funny, but my parents don't get to see the kids often enough -- and it appears not many other people are reading my blog anymore, so here ya go Mom and Dad. :) Jan. 2012

November 2011

Friday, March 9, 2012

Week 2 weigh-in and thoughts on mortality...

Well, I just weighed in, and I lost 2 more pounds! Woohoo! Total weight lost = 4 pounds.

This week has been interesting. I worked out every day until yesterday, and I have been eating well -- I felt amazing!

But on Wednesday I began to have heart palpitations! I've never had that before, and it freaked me out -- to say the least. I know it doesn't necessarily mean anything, and my dad's had them for years. But Wednesday night I also started to have a tightness near my heart! Hello! Googling that did nothing to calm my fears.

Suddenly my life was flashing before my eyes, and I started thinking about how my life isn't what I want it to be before I die, and all sorts of dramatic thoughts were spinning around in my head -- mostly, "I'm too young to DIEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!"

It's not that I'm really scared of death itself -- I've watched enough I Survived, Beyond and Back to know that the transition is not something to be scared of. :) But I am scared of not being prepared and not having become the person I want to be. And, of course, not being with my family.

I suppose it's good to be reminded of your mortality, even if there might not actually be an immediate threat. We were just in the middle of deciding on insurance for me to apply to when all this came up -- so that added some more stress. So I didn't exercise yesterday, and I may not today either. I just want to get insurance in place before I do again (want to rule out serious problems)....but I don't want to get out of the habit and lose my motivation because I was feeling so great.

Anyway, we'll see...I might just do some mild exercising or something. Hopefully I will keep losing weight because I am really watching what I eat. Last night I made a "Cheesy Eggplant Bake" that was really tasty! Andrew didn't love it quite as much as I did -- he said it tasted really "healthy." But he did like it. It took much longer to make than I realized it would, but I really enjoyed it. Here's a link to the recipe if anyone's interested.

I think the heart stuff has just made me that much more committed to being healthy. Not just losing weight -- but really getting and staying healthy. I want to be around for a long time with my family, and it's time to start taking what I put in my mouth more seriously.

Here I come WEEK THREE.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Christian the multi-tasker

I keep thinking of things I need to write down about Christian, but then I almost immediately forget them. Argh. I am also making a goal to take more pictures of the kid.

There are a couple of things I should have included in his update --

1) He loves to dance, much like Kate did, but in a very different way. It is my goal to get a good video of it because it is CUTE.

2) He still drinks out of a bottle for his milk, which is my fault, not his, but the way he carries his milk around is unique to him, and he's done it for as long as I can remember. I think he started doing it when he was crawling, since he couldn't carry his bottle and crawl at the same time. But he still does it now that he can walk. He just walks around with the bottle's nipple between his teeth, as pictured above.

He'll play, read books, whatever all while carrying the bottle around in his mouth, saving it for whenever he's thirsty. I'm sure it's a very terrible thing for me to let him do. :)

And there was something that he did today in church that was funny. He recently figured out how to put his index finger to his mouth (more like his chin) and say, "Shhh." Well today he was being pretty loud during the Sacrament, so I told him, "Shhh." My mistake! He put his finger to his mouth and said it, too. Then he let out a loud scream, and he immediately followed it with a "shhh." Then another loud shriek, and "Shhh." I'm glad that he's figuring out what things mean, but for now I need to remember that "shh" has the opposite effect with him.

Weigh-in #1 ... x 5??

I decided to weigh in today because I started exercising and stuff part way through the week. From now on I'll weigh in on Fridays, like I used to.

Last night I went through and read all my entries on here about exercising and losing weight over the past few years, and it got me excited to do it again. It did get me down a little, though, that I haven't been able to stick with it, and even though I was so close to my goal before when I lost 30 -- I can't believe I didn't finish, but instead gained it back! Losing 30 lbs last time took me a lot longer than 3 months, but I will just do my best. I really want to do this!!

I've had a LOT of first weigh-ins over the years, but here is the results of today's first weigh-in: Minus TWO. It's on!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

One tooth down...

Kate's tooth finally fell out today!! It was to the point where it was moving when she talked for heaven's sake. Today she was eating an apple slice, and she said, "Mom, I think I bit something hard." I look over, and I see a dark spot in her mouth where there wasn't one before! Her tooth had fallen out onto her plate. Her mouth didn't bleed at all, and she said it didn't even hurt! So glad I didn't try to traumatize her by yanking and pulling at her tooth. This way was much better!! Every time I look at her now, though, I am inwardly sighing at how big my baby girl is getting!

I couldn't resist...back when that tooth had just come in...'sigh.'

She got ice cream, as promised (I made the promise a while ago hoping she would let me pull it out...), and could not be more pleased. She was so excited. She told me she thought we should call the dentist to let him know. Hehehehe.

After the tooth fell out, she and I went out and got our hair cut! Fun day. Now if I can just remember the Tooth Fairy is supposed to come tonight!