Personal

New Year Resolution 2015

Happy New Year!!

I’m hoping that 2015 is going to be my most balanced year yet.  I find that I am focusing a lot on work and doing virtually nothing for myself or my family.  So, I am hoping to gain more balance and be more productive in my life.  I know people who don’t like “new year’s resolutions,” but I always like to take the time at the new year to reflect on where I am and where I want to go.  The reality of this past year is that I am actually no further this year, with the exception of my promotion, than I was last year.  I am trying to structure my life to help me get where I want to go.

This mostly starts with my wellness.  I need to do a better job of meal planning, meal prepping, and exercising.  I know what I need to do, I just don’t do it.  Therefore, I have a calendar and I am going to schedule time to do these activities.  Hopefully this will hold me more accountable.  Also, I need to find motivation.  I feel like I have been in a “funk” recently, and I know doing all of these things (eating right, exercising, and making time for me) will help… I just need to do it.

When I meal plan, I usually make healthy things; it is a matter of doing it consistently.  Meal prepping is also something that I just need to do consistently.  My spouse and I are going to start Body Revolution on Monday, and I am excited to get things going.  We need to hammer out some of the details, but I am excited to get things going again.  I received BodyShred for Christmas, and it looks way too insane to try now, so we are going to get back to basics, progress forward, and see where that takes us.

I also have a plan to take a picture everyday this year.  I saw this go around last year, and I thought it was a cool idea so I remembered it… for a whole year.  Every week I’m going to upload these pictures to shutter fly, put together a book, and then order it at the end of the year.  My spouse does not think I am going to last, but I have faith.  I think this is a really cool concept…. and I’m excited to try it.

I want to read at least 20 books.  These can be personal or leadership related (but the CARF manual won’t count).  I think this one may be hard because I have so much of a learning curve at work that I will have to take stuff home to read and work on.  But, I also need to make time for me so we are going to try it.  Once I get into a book, I can usually finish it pretty quickly (if I like it).  Then, I can write my book reviews on my blog.

I also want to make more time to craft.  Crafting uses a completely different side of my brain and I enjoy it immensely.  I know getting my monthly craft kit will help out too.  I post my crafts of my crafting blog, so be sure to go there to hold me accountable!!

I also want to do well in my new position.  I am going to have a plan and really work on developing my leadership skills.  That is where a lot of my focus and attention is going.  I know I am going to be consumed with this in the next year, so I am going to do my best while remaining balanced.

To do all of these things, I need to start finding my motivation because I lost it somewhere along the way.  I think I’m going through a funk because of some stuff going on throughout my life.  I think the above is what is going to get me out of the funk, it is just a matter of getting started.

Happy New Year!!!  Thank you for reading my blog and following me.  I appreciate everyone and look forward to the new year!!

Personal

I Finally Exercised

…and it felt good.

Last week, I found out that I was selected for a promotion at work, which would normally be super exciting; however, it means that my mentor is retiring.  I have been in this weird, numb, flat emotional state as I try to process this information and wrap my head around what the next year is going to bring.  There are a lot of feelings wrapped up in this that I will probably process more on my blog as time goes on (and more people know what is going to happen).

Anyway, I have felt very lost and overwhelmed.  When I feel this way, I know that I need structure.  So, this weekend, I got my shit together.  Here are the things I know I need:

  1. An organized, prepared, meal plan so I can eat successfully throughout the week.
  2. A routine exercise plan, so I am exercising every day.
  3. Time to do my extra continuing education credits I need
  4. Time to hang out with my family
  5. Time for myself (to read/blog/be)

Keeping all of this in mind….here is what I am going to do…

  1. Wake up at 5am in order to work out at 5:30am
  2. Create a meal plan/shop on Friday or Saturday (depending on what is going on that week) and prepare my meals on Sunday for the week.
  3. Block out 8pm-9pm to do my continuing education credits.  This gives me time when I get home to eat and unwind with my family.
  4. From 9pm-10pm is ME time.  This is when I will read or blog (or whatever)
  5. Go to bed at 10pm.

I even told my spouse about the plan so I have an accountability partner.  I had the plan in place, I was all excited to go, and (of course, like always) I didn’t wake up at 5 and chose to sleep in.  Now, I know you are wondering why the name of this post is “I Finally Exercised.”  Well, because I was not going to let my poor decision stop me from achieving my goals.  So, I worked out this evening.  That’s right…day 1 of Jillian’s Body Revolution DOWN.  I have also prepared breakfast smoothies and made my lunch for tomorrow.

While I didn’t get my continuing education class started like I wanted, I feel accomplished.  I’m hoping to take this feeling into tomorrow and start fresh.

It takes 30 days to develop a habit.  Here’s to a day (finally) down.

Food

Mexican Pizza Saga

Mexican PizzaLet me start off by saying this pizza was AMAZING!!  However, it was complicated to make.

I saw this recipe on Heidi Powell’s blog.  She said in Bootcamp for Extreme Weight Loss the contestants take turns cooking for each other.  Anschutz works with the contestants in order to help them make their favorite foods healthier.  Of course, it has to taste good as well.  I really enjoy Mexican food, and I look for any and every opportunity to make it, especially when it’s healthy.  This also had a cauliflower crust, which has intrigued me for a while.

The cauliflower crust was pretty awesome!  It was tricky to make, in some part because I don’t eat a lot of cauliflower, therefore I don’t work with cauliflower, and in part because I had some ingredient mishaps.  First, I had to process two heads of cauliflower.  This took six times in the food processor, because I have a smaller food processer.  It was also a little messy when I was cutting the florets off of the head of cauliflower, and I ended up with cauliflower with everywhere.  Then, you have to steam the cauliflower in the microwave, which also took me six rounds because I don’t have a large, microwavable bowl.  Next, you have to squeeze the moisture out of the cauliflower.  Everything was in the bowl, I went to add the eggs, and all of my eggs were frozen.  So, everything had to go in the refrigerator.

The next day, everything went much smoother and I was able to complete everything.  The crust was a little soft, but I think it’s because extra moisture was added when I had to put the cauliflower mixture in the refrigerator.  I also forgot to add the spices.  That being said, this is one of my MOST FAVORITE things I have ever made.  It was SO GOOD.  I used spinach, red/orange/yellow bell peppers, and ground turkey.  This is MOST DEFINATELY something I will be making again and again.  And, it’s DEFINATELY something you should try.  You won’t regret it.

Personal

See, I Told You

After my confession yesterday that I have lacked motivation but believe to have turned around, I thought I had turned a corner.  I went to bed, set my alarm to wake up and work out, and drifted off into peaceful sleep earlier than usual, proud that I had gone to bed early to get enough sleep to work out in the morning.

Morning comes, my alarm goes off… and I hit the snooze button.  I know in my head that I need to get out of bed and workout, I’m going to regret it, yet here I am.  I’m not sure what is going on with me.  I don’t know what prevents me from getting out of bed than my sheer laziness and indulgence to sleep in a few more minutes.  Now that I am home, work is pounding in my head, the rush of getting dinner on the table, and now the exhaustion of the day and thinking about tomorrow sets in, and all I want to do is sleep.

What I am not going to do is let this define a failure for the week.  Tonight, I will set my alarm for 5am and have every intention of working out in the morning.  There will not be any time tomorrow night as I have to go to work, stay late for a Heroin presentation, run my first group for “girls who like girls,” then eat.  So, I have to get up and work out or I’m going to continue to be fat and miserable and hate myself when I look in the mirror.

Something has to change, and it has to be me.

Goals

Getting My Groove Back

I have had an awful time of it lately.  I can’t seem to get motivated, and I’m not really sure why.  I think part of it is time.  I am so tired when I get home that I don’t feel like working out, stay up later than I should, and don’t want to get up in time to work out in the morning.  Something needs to change.  I really need to do something.  I hate looking at my body.  I really want to be in the pants I used to wear instead of back in my “fat pants”.

My first piece of motivation came this weekend when I received my Skinnytaste cookbook.  I have followed her blog for a long time, and I have never had a bad meal!  I was really excited for her cookbook, and this one did not disappoint.  I have made three weeks worth of meal plans with recipes with the cookbook, and I can make many more.  All of the recipes sound amazing!!  Also, I have already prepped the meals for the week.  (YAY ME!!).

In an effort to get my life back on track, here’s what I am going to do.

  1. Get my ass out of bed every morning to work out.
  2. Stick to my meal plan
  3. Track all of my food in Myfitnesspal
  4. Blog about it

I already created a menu for the week!!  I’ve also prepped everything to be sure to stay on track.  I usually either don’t plan anything or don’t prep ahead of time and am too tired to cook from beginning to end when I get home from work.

  • Sunday: Oven Roasted Fried Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries
  • Monday: Black Bean Burgers with (leftover) sweet potato fries
  • Tuesday: Out (OMG, we are so busy this day, there’s no time)
  • Wednesday: Chicken Pot Pie Soup
  • Thursday: Leftovers
  • Friday: Turkey Panini with Avocado, Roasted Red Peppers, and Spinach
  • Saturday: Out with Mom

Since I have so many amazing recipes, I am going to continue with my “Foodie Friday” and put all of my food on that post.  However, that’s the only thing I am going to have “set,” because I think just blogging every day/night about whatever I want will be more productive.  There are product reviews, fitness things, and random thoughts to post.  I’ll also post the random recipe (like smoothies and stuff), but I just want to be free without it seeming like a chore.  But, I think I just need to get into a routine. I also (eventually) want to start reading again. It’s really about a routine as I don’t do well when I am “on my own.”. I think I’m off to a good start, now I just need to stay on my track and not derail.

Here’s the a new start!

Food

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna RollsThis recipe came from one of my favorite bloggers, Skinnytaste.  She blogs amazingly good, healthy food.  This one is no exception.  I’m not usually a lasagna/pasta girl (even though I’m Italian).  However, these lasagna rolls are amazing!  It probably helps that there is no red sauce anywhere in this dish.

The preparation for the dish is a little tedious; however, it is well worth it.  You have to make the butternut squash sauce (pot then blender), boil the noodles (pot two), filling (bowl one).  Then you put it all in a pan (this makes dish number five) and put it in the oven.  Luckily I have an amazing better half that does all my dishes (with minimal complaining because she really likes this recipe too).

I do this a little different than the recipe in that I used a whole wheat lasagna noodle and wilted fresh spinach instead of using frozen spinach.  I prefer whole wheat noodles and like the extra nutrition I get out of my noodle.  Also, I prefer not to use frozen vegetables if I can help it.  This is only because I usually end up with a runny product because of the extra water.

Ultimately, this is one of my favorite fall dishes.  I will usually prep this meal on Sunday and heat it up so we can eat it during the week.  It’s a fantastic make-ahead meal.  Full of fantastic flavor, this recipe is hard to beat.  And perfect for the beginning of fall!!

Food

Sirracha Honey Chicken Wings

Sirracha Chicken Wings

I am a sucker for crockpot meals.  I’m also a sucker for chicken wings, which is what made this recipe so delicious.

The picture that is used on the blog post shows a nice crunchy chicken wing with a thick, juicy sauce that makes your mouth water just by looking at it.  However, that’s not what I got.  I got a runny sauce with a possibly slightly overcooked chicken wing with the meat just falling off of the bone.  That’s not to say they weren’t good, they just didn’t look like the picture.

I think the sauce was runny because the chicken wings went in frozen.  So, when they defrosted, all of that water went into the sauce.  When I make them over, I’m going to defrost them before they go into the crackpot.  Also, I’m going to decrease the cooking time.  I think they just cooked way too long.  They were good the first time, but I was afraid to reheat them as I didn’t want them to dry out.

I took the heat down a little as my better half is a weenie and is not big on spicy food; however, I definitely could have made this hotter if I wanted to.  While I think I would have this again, I would have to use a few adjustments.  I also think the honey/Sirracha would make a good combination for a sauce for a stir fry.

Races

The Happiest 5K on the Planet!

Good Evening!!

This morning I did something kind of crazy… I ran/walked my second Color Run.  Let’s start with the back story.  I did the Color Run with my friend back in 2012 in Indianapolis.  We took a leisurely walk as I was not in the shape to run, but it was so much fun!!  Since then they have come out with the Kaleidoscope Tour, and I have wanted to do it again ever since.  For those who have never experienced The Color Run before, it is a 5K with a “color station” at each kilometer.  You start the race in all white and end up all colored.  Don’t worry, all of the color is all natural and is not going to hurt you, AND the volunteers are really good about not pelting you in the face with it.

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Fast forward two years, and my wish came true!  I was walking around the mall with my better half and saw that The Color Run was coming to Champaign, IL, which is significantly closer to me.  The upside was the race was the weekend of my birthday, and it would be really fun to do for my birthday; the downside was my better half was going to be out of town and no one else could do it with me.  So, I did it by myself.

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I was able to go pickup my race packet the day before the race, which I was excited about because in Indianapolis I had to wait in a horrendously long line the day of the race.  Packet pickup was so smooth, and the staff members were very warm and friendly.  Not to mention, the race packet is awesome.  I got the “extra” packet, so I paid to get some extra things, but all of the things were awesome.  Also, they had the store set up at packet pickup, so I did not have to worry about what to do with the things I wanted to purchase the day of the race.

IMG_1087The original race packet includes the T-shirt, tattoos, headband, race bib, wrist band, and a sling bag (not pictured).  The extras came with the hat, socks, sunglasses, and magnet.  This made my wardrobe choices on race day really simple!  All of the “white” things were already covered.  I also purchased a tank top, a shirt that reads “worry less, run more,” and a stuff cuff (which is the blue thing on my arm in the above picture).  It is amazing and held my car key, license, and debit card while I ran.

What I like best about The Color Run is that it is an experience.  It is not timed or “official” or anything like that.  It starts and ends with a party.  It was a bummer that I didn’t have anyone with me, because I wanted to take pictures and stuff, but it was hard because everything was a selfie.  There is a stage with a DJ, lots of picture opportunities, and everything is all in white.  I was greeted with lots of music and “the wobble” to get us started.  We also played a game of “Simon Says” that gave a decent warm up and stretch.

IMG_1092 IMG_1093 IMG_1094 One of the most fun things about The Color Run (in general) are the signs around.  They have great signs that make you smile.  It attributes to the fun atmosphere The Color Run tries to create.  You see a lot of people taking pictures around the signs, and everyone is having a good time.  It’s hard to be a sour pus at this race.

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Once the pre-party was over, it was time for the race to begin.  The question is, how to do you move 1,800 people over to the start chute?  A CONGA LINE of course.  We all conga-ed and cha-cha-ed our way to the start chute, which, of course, is all white.  The DJ even moved with us to continue the music and the fun in the chute.  We did the wave and jumped, danced, and smiled for prizes.  I was a little too far away to get anything, but it was fun none-the-less.

IMG_1099 IMG_1100 Then the race began.  I started off at a decent jog, lasted about a song, and then I walked.  I would alternate running and walking.  However, I became frustrated because I did not have the stamina I wanted to have.  I know I have not trained in almost a year, and have not been working out like I need to be.  My “shooting for the stars” goal was to complete the race in under the time of my last 5K the previous November; however, my realistic goal was to complete it in under an hour.  Another thing I liked about this race was the color choice!  The first color station was PINK!!  I LOVE  pink, and pink was not available in 2012.  I wish I had taken pictures at every color station, but I didn’t.  Mainly because I was trying to focus on completion and I didn’t want to get color all over my phone.  The second color station was yellow.  This was my least favorite as the volunteers weren’t AS enthusiastic (usually you are greeted with people who are super excited to throw color all over you).   The halfway point was marked with a bubble machine!

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This would have been a better picture had the cord for my headphones not been in the way.  I guess that’s what I get for multitasking.  During the last half, I started to get a cramp in my side.  Luckily there were two hydration stations along the way, and I took advantage of them.  The last two color stations were blue and purple.  Again, I wish I had taken picture as they had hilarious signs along the way.  For example, “woohoo for blue” and “purple people eater ahead”. Finally, I found the finish line!!

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According to my Couch to 5K app, I finished 3.38 miles in 56:38. Not bad considering I haven’t trained in almost a year, and I completed my goal. All in all, I am pretty pleased with my performance today, and I look forward to getting better in the future. The best part about the end of The Color Run is the after party and color throw. When you’re done, you get a color packet full of your own color to throw up in the air. There’s music, more photo opportunities to take your “color” or “after” pictures, Kind bars were there to fuel post race, and more opportunities to win prizes.
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After the race, I left, ate Einstein Brother’s Bagels, went home, mowed the lawn, and took a nap.  All in all, it was a good day.  I’m really glad I did it, and I’m proud of myself for doing it alone (because that’s not something I would normally do).  For those considering doing a Color Run DO IT!!!  They attract people of all shapes, sizes, and athletic ability.  I’m not a super runner and self-conscious about my appearance.  However, I do not feel judged, and I had a ton of fun.  It truly is the happiest 5K on the planet!!  I can’t wait to do another one!!

Personal

Baby Steps

I spent my day reviewing my entire blog.  I started with my first entry and redid all of my categories and tags so it makes more sense.  Looking through, I notice that I have a lot of “tough time” posts.  I tend to blog when I am having an issue or have not been doing well for a while.  In the future, I hope to minimize those posts.  Although, I think it brings it back to losing weight is a struggle and it is a side effect of something else that is going on.

Somewhere throughout all of this, I lost sight of me.  I don’t get “all dolled up” like I used to, and I don’t laugh like I used to, and I take things really personally and bust my ass for other people with the foolish notion that they will like me better or things will be different.  And, I kind of hate myself for that.

Just like this week.  While I stayed (mostly) on point with my diet, I had a REALLY HARD time exercising.  I just could not get my ass out of bed.  I’m just so tired lately and feel like I am losing my drive and ambition.  I have a hard time explaining what happened and how I got here.  But I have, and I have to deal with it.

In addition to all of the things you are “supposed” to do when you are trying to lose weight (exercise, eat right, blah, blah, blah), I’m going to do the little things for myself.  Like, put eyeshadow on when I wear makeup, wear jewelry, read, do my daily mask, take a bubble bath…just those little things to make me feel good about me.

After all, all I have is me.

Personal, Progress

Every Journey Begins with a Step

…and for me that’s my first step on the scale in a long time.

I’m not really sure how I got out of my healthy habits, but I did, and I definitely paid for it.  I started cooking less and eating out more.  I haven’t been consistently working out.  I don’t have a plan.  As a person who likes a plan, this surprises me.  I can make a lot of excuses, but the bottom line is I stopped investing in myself.

Lately, I have been watching a lot of Extreme Weight Loss.  For those who have not seen the show, go to ABC.Com or look on Hulu plus.  It’s pretty awesome.  I like there is no competition.  It really is about the individual.  And, I really enjoy Chris and Heidi… not as much as I like Jillian, but it’s a pretty close second.  At the beginning of every show, Chris and/or Heidi “ambush” the new contestant and choose them for the transformation of a lifetime.  The transformation always starts with the contestant stepping on the scale and bearing their weight to the world.

So, here it is.  All of my measurements and the vulnerability that goes along with bearing my weaknesses to the world.  This is also the new beginning to my journey.  I have really missed blogging, and I’m going to start blogging about my life.  After all, this is MY journey, and my everyday life and habits play a huge part in my journey.   This is also my commitment to change.  Here I am:

Weight: 270.9 lbs

Bust: 47 inches

Waist: 47.5 inches

Hips: 55 inches

Thigh: 31 inches

Arm: 17.5 inches

There it is.  It’s not something I’m proud of, but it’s there.  The next thing they do on Extreme Weight Loss is make goals.  The year is divided into 4 phases, each phase lasting three months.  In three months, I will be going to Las Vegas with my wife and my mom for her 60th birthday.  During the first phase, the weight loss goal is about 25% of their original body weight.  The first phase is also spent in a medically supervised facility.  Since I am in the comfort of my own home, I’m going to aim for 15% of my original body weight.  This means, by Las Vegas, I want to weigh 230 labs or less.

Here’s to the last day of hating my size, and the beginning of a transformation.