Monday, March 8, 2021

Double Digits

 I am bursting at the seams to share so many things.  I can already tell 2021 will be a big blogging year (maybe...possibly...don't hold me to it).   Let me start off on a super positive note – I have officially lost 10 pounds since January 1, 2021.  WOOHOO!  So, this will be what I learned about my body, and what is working for me.  

Knowing my body - I should say – getting to know my body.  I was slowly but surely losing a pound a week, but the next week after my last weight loss/fitness post I had a day or two where I gained and was gaining weight rapidly every day, and not losing and I struggled with the fact that this may be muscle because my measurements were not changing.  Realizing I needed to understand more about the food I was eating I started evaluating myself more after I ate.  I started keeping a 'food journal' in MyFitnessPal and weighing about 2 or 3 times a day.  Granted, in a lot of circles, this is a HUGE no-no.  Keep in mind that I was not using this as a reference to my weight loss but trying to understand when my body would retain water.  My body thinks it is fun to retain water, so I wanted to see what worked best with my body.  I was not happy with what I found out.  

D.A.I.R.Y.  – I would not be lying to say it is my number one favorite food.  I am huge on cheese, yogurt, milk…all the dairies.  One thing my body did not like and reacted to the most…. delicious dairy.  I took it out of my diet (tearfully) and was shocked by the scale that coming week.  I had lost 3 pounds in one week.  I was still eating plenty, keeping my calories at the right place, etc.  I knew that I had to keep dairy out of my diet until I reached my goal, then I would slowly add it back.  Let me also tell you a crazy thing.  This past week I tried Almond Milk because I really enjoy a sugar-free decaf latte for dessert some evenings.  I had about a cup of Almond Milk (Unsweetened, Plain, read the ingredients) and within 24 HOURS I had gained 5 pounds in water weight.  I am not kidding.  I do not know exactly what happened, but I changed nothing in my diet or exercise other than adding that.  Taking it back out, I was back on track about a day later.  So frustrating.

Water – I finally listened to my husband, as well as 1000 other people tell me this is key to healthy weight loss.  Drinking the recommended amount to start with, then as my body understood I was being nice to it (finally), I started craving more and now it is my go-to after coffee.  I believe this also helps keep my water retention at bay as well as any bloating. 

Anti-Inflammatory Foods - The majority of what I was eating fit on this list, but some did not.  I focused more on foods that really help to reduce inflammation, which will also help in my water retention - among a gazillion other things.  Foods like almonds, fish/seafood, olive oil, berries, leafy greens, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, garlic, onion, eggs, brussel sprouts, zucchini, green tea, and a lot of others.  Not only did I pay attention to foods on these lists, but also what other foods would do the opposite and cause inflammation... sugar (white, honey, agave, splenda, aspartame), peanuts, sodas, alcohol, iodized salt, gluten, refined carbs, trans fats, and others.  These foods that cause inflammation are easier to avoid if you eat cleaner, and there are lists that contradict themselves - so take the bulk of knowledge and work with it.  For example, there are some dairies that are good anti-inflammatory foods, but after my snafu with dairy, I just listened to my body and not the lists. 

10 pounds feels amazing, but my goal is not fulfilled yet.  I was talking to a friend of mine, and I let her know that this next stage might be the most difficult.  I don’t know where my 36-year-old body will want to be, and if I can even reach my goal.  We shall see.  You know I’ll keep you updated. 😉  I’d be happy just looking killer in a bikini..which will be shipped very soon. Yay!  

I'd like to add a life moment reality- this past weekend was special.  I took a vacation day and had an amazing day-date with my husband (post/s coming soon 😉 it was seriously such a fantastic day).  I ate whatever I wanted.  This included Dairy Queen Chicken Basket (gravy of course), lattes with oat milk, specialty tacos, diet soda, chips & salsa, mall pretzel bites with cheddar cheese sauce & pretzel covered hotdogs, and ending with a cheeseburger meal. ❤ Balance. ❤

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Ooo la la & Omgoodness

First of all, let me say I am already breaking one of my 2021 resolutions of no self-shopping.  Secondly, I don’t care – Mama has worked hard and I will be rockin’ a new suit in my hopefully toned body.  It has been so hard finding the right swimwear this year, on top of the fact that it's normally hard finding a swimsuit that fits right.  You would think with all the options out there I would find a suit that I like.  Well, finally I did.  Hooray! I was scrolling through Instagram and there it was - the swimsuit I have been looking for.  Come to find, out one of my favorite clothing brands was launching swimwear in a matter of weeks.  I was ecstatic.  I loved it so much, that 2 nights before the launch I had a dream that it sold out before I was able to order.  Woke me up out of a dead sleep.  I'm still giggling about it.  I blocked off my calendar because these products seem to sell out in a matter of hours.  I had looked over the measurement guide and knew exactly what size to get in each, I was ready to pounce.   

They were launching at noon on a weekday, so I made sure to leave work at just the right time to make it home in time.   Because I had a dream that they sold out within minutes, I didn't waste any time.  At noon I refreshed my screen put the sizes in my cart and checked out by 12:02 pm.  Guess what?  By 12:13 pm my sizes were completely sold out, as well as 3 other sizes.  It is such a beautiful suit, I knew it would fly.



My next purchase was a dress for a May wedding I am attending.  The wedding will be hosted in one of my favorite places in all the world – Nashville, TN, and I am counting down the days.   AH!  The excitement is so intense!  You will be tired of seeing the happiness on Instagram I can tell you that for sure.  With all this in mind here are some of the shops that I am regularly stocking.  My recent fashion obsession is cut-outs.  The designs with it in just the right place to add that "Ooo la la" 😲 without the "omg" 😳.   


Kittenish 

My beautiful bathing suit is from here.  This is Jessie James Decker's clothing line and I love how it's unlike anything else.  I've window/screen shopped for years, but never actually bought from them until I saw the swimsuit.  Her line is just what you'd think Kittenish would be.  It's cute, playful, and country but yet still has a great deal of sex appeal. The fanbase followers to her line are growing quickly, and she usually sells out multiple items hours/days after launching them.  The good news is that she has a Nashville, TN store and one close to Destin, FL that remain fully stocked.  Here are some pieces that I haven't bought, but I really like (mostly because, you guessed it..sold out). 



VICI 

Another online retailer that I have screen-shopped for a long time and never purchased.  Also, they sell out quickly as well.  They have daily drops - DAILY - which is why I love following them.  With so many selections, it's hard not to find something that fits your style-personality.  There really seems to be something for everyone.  They've got a brick store in Nashville, TN...it's on my list to visit. 

 











Southern Alternative 

This retailer has to be my favorite.  I've been following them for almost a year now, and today was the first time purchasing from them, and I am stoked to receive the item in the mail.  Southern Alternative takes a twist with a sweet & southern style and mixes it with sultry.  A lot of open back tops during the summer, plunging necklines, cutoff shorts, crop tops, and everything else that pushes the envelope while still holding onto southern-class.  If you watch them long enough, you will also find out that they are months ahead of trends.  Just scrolling through their Instagram they were posting outfits last summer. that are currently starting to show up in stores    They are simply amazing.  I don't know why it took me so long.  I have so many pieces that I wish I had purchased that are completely sold out now. 


I decided to finally purchase this dress when I realized after a day of unsuccessful shopping that this was the look I was hoping to see.  I'm am nervous about the color, yellow tones can be all over the map. Yellow is normally considered a 'warm' tone but a lot of yellows are mixed with cool undertones that can throw my skin color sickly ill.  I do believe the best way to handle any yellow is a nice coat of darker self-tanner.  Yellow is a color of summer, and usually, tanned skin accompanies & compliments.  Here are some past styles that I wish I had added to my cart.  Cheers to better luck this season. 









Friday, February 12, 2021

The Case of the Caveman

 

Wowzas – did January last forever or was that just me.  Haa!  So many amazing things have happened since my last post that it seems hard not to combine all the sharing into one huge post.  Don’t worry, I’ll spare you and get closer to that ‘blog every 2 weeks’ resolution I made. 😉

News flash – this post is about my recent weeks with weight loss – BONUS - I am not sharing anything you should buy!  Please remain calm…I know…crazy right?!  Haa!  Goodness, it is everywhere these days.  Okay, moving on.

I have successfully lost a pound a week.  YAY!  You know what finally worked?  Knowing my flippin’ body type and looking at my macros (percentage of Fat, Protein, and Carb intake).  It was not super fun learning what foods I should eat and what I should not eat, and then figuring out how much of in each category…January was rough.  BUT – it got easier because now I have more of an understanding of what is a healthy fat, what is protein, and what is a healthy carb.  Meal planning is now a bestie of mine.

Body Type

Turns out I am an Endomorph.  This surprises a lot of people because this body type retains/stores fat, is usually plumper/round – and I am a petite thing.  The reality is - it is harder for me to lose weight because if I am not eating a certain way, then my body reacts like a caveman and stores up for winter.  I have struggled MY WHOLE LIFE with my legs.  They confuse so many people who I consider very knowledgeable about fitness.  You could even argue that I am only an endomorph from the hips down – but you need to treat your whole body this way. 

Activity

I have also exercised at least 4 out of 7 days, and I have been loving these Pilates / Barre workouts (30 mins).  They are hilariously difficult for me, but strangely in a good way that I am really enjoying them.  I also have random HIIT workouts (10-15 mins) that are mostly leg driven – but my husband thinks it's funny to throw arms in and 60 pushups later I can’t hold a phone to my face and want to put everyone on a speaker (true story).

Food

My macros are 50%-40% healthy fats, 30%-40% proteins, and 20% healthy carbs.  This was really hard for me.  Having healthy fats as your main food group looks REAL funny for this southern raised lady.  My healthy fats are nuts, seeds, avocados, Greek yogurt, certain cheeses, eggs, olive oil, etc.  Can you imagine how my plates look?  I’d like a scoop of seeds, a side of fish, and half a cup of broccoli, please.  The good news is that there are a lot of proteins that I eat that are also good fats so that evens it out a bit.  I eat a lot of seafood. Cod has been my favorite.  I wasn’t getting enough fiber, so that took a while to get right.  You have got to eat things that are high in fiber and still in the correct category.  So chia seeds were like a light bulb, and BOOM– bloating was way down and the flow was smooth – sorry if TMI, but you have to get this right.  My carbs are my vegetables, which I use to fill my plate with but now I am just normal portioning it and am seeing the difference.  Broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, green peppers – mainly dark green veggies.  I do have Ezekiel bread once a week or so.  I usually save this for the afternoon after my Wednesday Weigh-in & Measure. 

What do my meals actually look like – I’ll let you know – your welcome.

Breakfast – ½ cup Plain Greek Yogurt w/ 2 tablespoons of chia seeds mixed in and some cinnamon with about 10 blueberries on top, and ¼ cup unsalted raw almonds.

Lunch – this varies on leftovers.  1/3 cup veggies, chicken or fish (sometimes both), and cheese/avocado slices usually. If it’s cooked it’s in olive oil and seasoned well.

Dinner – same as lunch, big surprise haa! Usually a glass of red wine.

 My ‘treats’ are 85% dark chocolate.  I get this kind from Aldi’s and oooooooo it is my jam.  I drink my coffee without milk/cream now and some stevia.  I have also upped my tea game, and herbal tea now has a special place in my heart. 

Weight Loss

I will also admit that losing a pound a week is the healthiest but hardest part.  I want to see results NOW, but they come in stages.  I have consistently lost a pound a week since January 1, and I have to mentally realize that this is the way to go.  It is gonna take time, I cannot rush it.  I must continue to make good decisions daily.   I’m proud of myself, but at the same time it’s only been 5 weeks, so only 5 pounds, and I feel like I’ve been doing this FORRREEEVVVVEEEERRRR.  But – in 5 more weeks it will be 10 pounds…so, the toughest part is just rackin’ up those weeks. 

...

Another hard thing is making sure I eat the right number of calories.  My body acting like a caveman tends to store up in case of starvation setting in.  So, I can’t cut calories to a crazy extent.  This is hard for a recovering anorexic.  When I was younger, I did just that – lower my calories to a stupid low.  No wonder I have had a problem with my legs – they are storing ALL the fat from years & years of winter!  Not to mention I never actually worked them…at all…my whole life.

 

The last thing – meal planning really has made my life a lot easier.  You see – my amazingly handsome husband is the EXACT opposite of me.  He is 50% healthy carbs, 30% protein, and 20% healthy fats!  So we usually make dishes for ourselves that I know I will only get a tiny portion of and he will get a huge portion of.  Like beans, couscous, whole grain stuff, veggies, fruits…etc.  Then you throw in a semi-picky toddler in and it’s chaos without planning.

 

YAY for seeing success!  Hope this was fun and helpful!

 

 

Monday, January 4, 2021

#mulligan

 Someone asked me if 2020 had to be a hashtag what would it be?  I’m sure everyone will have a different answer, and that is one thing I love about people.  For me…it would have to be #mulligan…and I don’t even golf.  Can we just pause and hit timeout and restart?  Just blow the whistle already, let’s take a breather and start over.  Mentally that is what my new years resolution is anyway.  I looked at last year’s, and I am literally doing them over again.  Taking off the one’s I’ve accomplished and added new ones along with those that didn’t even get touched because #2020.  

My Papa-Bear resolution affects a lot of things.  Ready…No Self Shopping.  Ugh!  Like a dagger to the heart!  I made a list of necessities, and that is the only kind of self-shopping I will be doing.  I did get a gift card for Christmas that I haven’t used yet, so I will have one last hooray.  

My Mama-Bear sized resolution is just as hard.  Eating healthy and exercising.  I’m adding the value of friendship to this one this year.  My best friend and I are doing it together, keeping each other accountable.  We made up a game to it and will have a points system with obvious rewards like a girl’s night or spa day.  I’m excited about it.  Snakin’ Momma WILL become Sexy Momma!  

The Baby-Bear resolutions are the most numerous and easily completed. They are more about self-care instead of hard self-altering goals.   Keeping my nails painted and self-tanner on point and blogging at least every 2 weeks.  Keeping the house tidy & organized (maybe a little harder).  Spending time with Jesus & journaling every day.  

I’m going to be honest because that is why I love blogging.  2020 wasn’t a bad year for my family.  It was actually a very good year.  Both my husband and I were able to get better jobs that pay us more.  We became closer than ever because we had a tough conversation about separating and came to the same conclusions.  Now because of that understanding, we can love each other better than before and have a deeper desire and confidence in one other.  We discovered a lot of things we still have in common and realized our goals and are now striving for them together.  Our son is a better person than he was a year ago thanks to increased family time.  I think 2021 will be a harder year than in 2020.  Not better or worse, but harder….and a different kind of hard.  Maybe not emotionally, but in a consistent-active-work kind of way.  I will have to work harder in 2021 on a lot of things that were simply easier in 2020.  

I learned more about myself – good & bad things of course.  I also was able to firm up on a lot of things I was on the fence about.  For example, I am more solid in my political views, am even more certain that I hate living in the Land of Lincoln, and convinced that I feel more myself with false lashes, self-tanned skin, and painted nails.  Bad things about myself…I am incredibly selfish, extremely prideful, and horribly lazy.

My selfishness stems from the fact that I simply do not care about others very well.  I don’t ask questions because I could care less.  Yikes.   That has to change.  To love others, you need to care about them, want to learn more about them, want to talk to them for no self-related reason.  I learned all this because I came face to face with people who are the same way, and the havoc of their words and actions affected others in a way that shook me.  I realized I had too much in common with the disgusting behavior and was humbled.

Good things I learned about myself – my skin is a warm tone; hence cool tones look terrible on me.  This was a huge discovery!  I love fashion and makeup and now I have a clear understanding of colors to wear.  I also found the perfect hair color and am praying that the manufactures never stop making it.   

I also learned random things like….

I hate the taste of Rum and love the taste of Gin.

Lunges are the key to better legs.

Not a total homebody like I thought I was

Silence is wisdom

Summer is my favorite season


And experiencing new things like…. Chili Mac.


Another thing I realized is that my blogs do not have to be perfect paragraphs of well-placed words and rhythmic sounding sentences.  They are thoughts that I need to write, that I need to share, that I need to publish.  


How about you?  Will you try again?  Was it a good year?  What did you learn?