Thursday, April 24, 2014

When a Night Off Feels Like You've Won the Lottery

You guys know I love my kids... they are my sun, moon, and everything in between. I, literally, think about them every minute of every day and miss them terribly when they're not with me, even if it's just for a few hours. (See also: Emily's been gone for a week and my heart hurts I miss her so much!) But (you knew there was a 'but' coming, didn't you?) nights like the one I just had sometimes feel a little bit like winning the lottery.

So Emily is away (for two more days!) and Ryan was gone for the night. My legs have really been itching for a good run lately so I had thought that yesterday would be the day that I started back with that. I'd been battling a major migraine all day and as fate would have it, the headache finally started to subside right around quittin' time. Perfect. And then I got home, threw my hair in a ponytail and instead of putting on running clothes, I put on a pair of sweatpants. You know where this is going. I'm not even one bit sorry that I didn't get that run in because a ponytail, sweatpants, slippers, a clean (enough) house, a delicious dinner made for 1, and relaxing on the couch with my laptop and my Red Sox on the TV made for a pretty perfect night. Better than therapy.

Who knows when my next 'night off' will be. Starting next week we have a minimum of 5-6 baseball & softball games a week, 3 practices, and 4 Dr. / Dentist / Orthodontist appoints practically back to back to back. That's our normal and I love it... I wouldn't have it any other way. But nights like last night? They're a welcome change when they happen, if only for a few hours!

Moms, please tell me I'm not alone in feeling absolutely blissful during a night like last night? Of course there's guilt as you're relaxing and doing not much at all, we're moms after all. When was the last time you had a 'night off' and what did you do?

 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday - Move Your Body


If you're at the beginning of your fitness journey, the whole process of trying to lose a substantial amount of weight is overwhelming. You've likely spent years developing bad habits... going through the drive-thru everyday, "treating" yourself to an unhealthy meal at a restaurant has become the norm, the only water that touches your body is the water that falls from the shower head, and the only exercise you get is the walk to the fridge. Pick your poison, we all have them and that's why we're in the situation that we're in. Trying to change those habits is overwhelming and more often than not, feeling overwhelmed is why we fail.

To achieve big goals, we need to start with small changes. Sure, doing a big overhaul of your habits seems all well and good at first, until you just can't keep up and stick with it. Changing the little things, the small daily habits that have caused our weight gain, is much more manageable and something we're apt to stick with long term.

I've mentioned it here a couple of times lately, but one habit that I'm trying to change is exercise. I've tried running but didn't stick with it, I've tried CrossFit but didn't stick with it... are we noticing a pattern here?! I'm not where I should be as far as giving my body an intense workout each day, but I know enough to know that I need to move my body. I sit behind a desk for 9 hours a day, 5 days a week. Weekends are spent at the ball field, sitting and watching baseball games. Throw in 8 hours of sleep each night and you can see that the majority of my time is spent not moving. That's not healthy. Even though I haven't stuck with my previous attempts at working out, I know that my body needs to move.

I began walking each day during lunch time a few weeks ago, just 30 minutes and a bit over 1.5 miles. Anyone can do that, even you. It's easy to come up with excuses as to why I don't have the time to exercise... I work full-time, parent 2 super busy kids, blah blah blah... but all the excuses in the world don't help my overall health so I make the time. I get an hour long lunch break at work so I use half of that time to get outside, breathe the fresh air, clear my head, and move my body. I can't even begin to count the ways that this simple activity has helped me through each day. After just the first couple days of doing this, my legs would start to get antsy around lunchtime, my body was craving that activity. It helps relax me, it helps my anxiety so much, and I feel good knowing that when I leave work at the end of the day I've already gotten in some exercise. Could I / should I be doing more? Probably. But for now it's a start and it's more than I was doing a month ago.
If you need to get some exercise in your day, start small. Start taking 30 minutes out of your work day to better your overall health. If your work doesn't allow it, take 30 minutes in the morning or evening, wherever you can fit it in. Make it a priority, just 30 simple minutes. And if you can, do your walking outside. Stepping on the treadmill inside is so monotonous... enjoy the fresh air outside, the sunshine, the activity. It'll make your daily movement so much more enjoyable. 

That's my challenge to you this week. If you don't currently exercise, give yourself one week of moving 30 minutes a day and see how it makes a difference in your life. I'm just asking you for this ONE WEEK to give it a try. Will you commit to these next 7 days with me?
 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Currently...

Totally jacking this blog post idea today from Jennifer at Bubbly & Buttercream.

Currently...

Thinking - about Emily and all the fun ways I'm going to make her birthday a great day this weekend. Nothing elaborate but certainly special.

Wearing - black dress pants, a gray and white shirt, and jean jacket. Needing to bust out some summer-y heels.

Eating - just drinking my water, waiting for lunch to eat my Chicken Vegetable Rotini soup. And looking forward to making Pioneer Woman's Chicken Spaghetti.

Listening to - Luke Bryan's "Play It Again"... absolutely love it! She was like, oh my God, this is my song...

Wanting to - pay off some debt in May. Just made a spreadsheet of a budget to make it happen. 5 paydays in May instead of 4 certainly helps.

Longing for - a vacation. It seems like half my town is away on vacation this week and I'm definitely wishing I could join them!

Liking - having time during the week to catch up on household chores after work. This will come to an end next week when Ryan adds another baseball team to the mix and Emily starts up with softball.

Loving - Ryan. Having Emily away this week lets me give all my time and attention to loving on my boy.

Testing - my patience hoping all of Emily's birthday gifts arrive before or on Saturday.

Laughing - at people on Facebook. There's really a limit to what you should post for the world to see and some people? Totally cross the line.

What are you 'currently' doing?...

 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend Recap

Good Monday morning, friends. Is it just me or was it extra hard to come into work today?! I think there's something about having a major holiday over the weekend and not having an extra day off from work that had me resenting walking into the office this morning. Such is life, at least I have a job to go to, right? Perspective.

Our weekend was good, albeit way too short! Saturday morning we were out the door at 6am to head down to Massachusetts for Ryan's double-header. It was early but the sun was shining and that's something I hadn't seen on a ball field in a long time so I was happy for that!
Ryan's team lost both games, which was a bummer of course. Ryan had some great hits and great plays in the field so he was happy with that and it made for an easier ride home. Those trips back home can be awful long if he's had a rough day on the field so thankfully that wasn't the case this weekend.
After the games we headed to lunch at The Cheesecake Factory since it was only a couple miles from the field and we don't have one at home. My boy was in heaven after a good lunch and a big slice of Oreo Cheesecake...
And I can't lie, I indulged too...
Come on... it was a Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake, I had to! I ate less than half though and brought the rest home with me, and then after a couple more bites at home I threw it away. So I treated myself, definitely, but I didn't overdo it. 

After that we went and watched one of his friends play at their double-header. It was only about 12 miles from where we played so it worked out well. By the time we got home it was 7pm and I was beat. It's hard work sitting out in the sun all day cheering on your baseball boy!;)

Sunday was a low-key Easter for us. Ryan had his basket at home, we played outside for a while and did some yard work, and then headed up to my mom's for dinner and desert. Cap off the weekend with a Red Sox walk-off win in the 9th and I'd say it was a good one!
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On a completely separate note, has anyone done a lot of freezer meal cooking? I was watching The Pioneer Woman yesterday and she spent a ton of time cooking up meals and freezing them. With baseball and softball season shifting into high gear over here, I've been thinking about giving it a whirl. My only problem is that I don't know what will freeze well and what won't. If you have any tips, I'd love to hear them!
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I updated the buttons on my sidebar this morning after seeing Erin's new button from her blog makeover! After realizing I needed to update her button on my sidebar, I noticed that a lot of the buttons I had from various blogs were outdated as well. So, they're all current now and if anyone else would like to do a free 'button exchange,' just shoot me an e-mail!
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How was your Easter weekend? Are you back at work today like me or enjoying some time off? If you're at home today, know that I'm extremely envious of you! :)

 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seven on Friday

It has been a freakin' week over here folks... busy and exhausting to say the least. I'm ready for the weekend and am really hoping it will turn into a lifetime vaca after I win the lottery on Saturday night. #prayforme

To catch you up on some randoms from the week, I'm doing Five 'Seven on Friday' today...

1. Ryan had some scary ish going on at school this week and it was a pretty emotional reminder of the world we live in today. Everyone is safe but that safety was certainly jeopardized and compromised and it was just a tough couple of days.
2. This beauty had a school function yesterday to show off projects that her class has been working so hard on. They had to study a famous Maine-r and Emily chose Anna Kendrick. She worked so hard on her report and poster and I'm so proud of her! Also, I quickly learned not to suggest that Emily read Anna's Twitter timeline to learn more about her. Bad idea. After that presentation Emily left for vacation... when she gets back she'll be 10! Double digits. She gets back on her birthday and I miss her already. I can't believe I've loved on my 9 year old for the last time. Sigh.

3. Tomorrow morning Ryan and I will be up and out the door by 6am for his baseball games. But the forecast? Sunny and 60°! After a rain-soaked tournament and two weekends of canceled double-headers, you better believe I'm ready to sit in the sun and watch my boy play baseball.
4. I busted out this gem for a little #TBT action last night and goodness did it bring back some sweet memories. This was back in the fall of '98 when I did my college internship at Disney. Not only did it bring back memories for me, but when I posted it to Facebook a lot of us Disney alum started chatting and texting about those memories. So sweet. I will probably blog more about my WDWCP days next week!

5. Even though we've been busy with travel baseball since last fall, things are just starting to come together for this year's Little League season in our town. I'm in charge of running all of concessions this year for the league and while that may sound simple, it's totally not. I'm knee deep in schedules and food and cleaning and organizing over here. It's a good thing I love those kids and this game so much!

6. This turned into a not-so-good week on the healthy wagon. One cheat meal can turn into a whole bunch of cheat meals for me and that happened this week. I'm human, it happens. What's important is that I jump right back on track and I have. Hopefully next week I'll have some good progress for Weigh-In Wednesday.
7. Happy Easter weekend! Since Emily is away, it's just Ryan and I at home celebrating. Are you all done getting your kids' baskets together? Can we all agree that the commercial side of Easter has gotten just a little bit out of control?! I realize I'm part of the problem and I didn't go overboard this year but it all adds up so quickly! What are your plans for the holiday?

That's all I've got for you today, friends... have a great weekend and enjoy your Easter!
 
 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Weigh-In Wednesday - I'm Baaack!


I'm baaack! Ha! If you've spent any amount of time here on my blog you probably remember that I used to host this link-up every week with my girl Alex. That girl is too busy these days being a complete CrossFit rockstar and raising her sweet little girl and blogging right now just isn't her thing. And then I just wasn't in the best spot with my whole weight loss journey so I handed the link-up off to Heather and Ash. They've been owning it and doing such a great job... and I'm so thankful that they let me back in on being a part of Weigh-In Wednesday every week again. So if you're on a health journey of any sorts and you blog, please come link-up with us! You can link-up each week or just every now and then... it doesn't matter, we just want to give you support on your journey!

Last week I kind of swore off stepping on the scale so I don't have an actual number for you today, but now that I'm part of the link-up again I will be sharing my loss or gain with you on Wednesdays starting next week.

Today I want to talk about drinking your calories and how it can affect your healthy living. For me, drinking my calories is quite often more of a struggle than the actual food I eat. My old habits go like this... stop and grab a coffee on my way to work, sip on that coffee all morning long, have a Diet Coke with my lunch, and then I'd sip on that all afternoon long. By the time I'd leave work at 5pm, a good 11 hours into my day, I'd have drank zero water. Zero.

We all know that water is the best option to keep our bodies healthy, and for me it's absolutely a key piece to losing weight. But just how bad were the coffee and Diet Coke for me? Well, I'm no nutrition expert but I'm smart enough to know how they were affecting my body.

My two problems with coffee are that I'd have it with cream and sugar, and let's be honest, even though coffee isn't big on calories, no one's going to lose much weight adding that extra junk to their morning Joe every day of the week. I also don't drink my coffee very fast so I'd sip and reheat that bad boy all morning long meaning that I wasn't taking the time to drink any water. For me, that's just the way it goes.
Diet Coke is a different story. When I joined Weight Watchers a while back I remember being relieved that Diet Coke had "0 points." Diet Coke was my vice, my favorite little addiction. And the fact that it wasn't making me gain weight? Well, that was a total score! But the more I paid attention to my body, the more I realized the DC wasn't doing me any favors. I'm not much of a sweets person at all (give me all the salts!) so I didn't know why every afternoon after I'd take my first few sips of DC that I'd run to the store and get some candy. Every.single.day. It's true folks, artificial sweeteners in things like Diet Coke make you crave more sugar. And you don't need to read the 8894516 articles to prove it. Listen to your body, that's your best resource. Aside from the sugar cravings, DC was making me so bloated and I didn't even realize it. It wasn't until after I started drinking a lot of water every day that I noticed a difference. About 10 days after making the switch, I couldn't believe the changes I felt in my body. 

Add in the numerous and immeasurable benefits of drinking water and I'm here to tell you, from my own personal experience, that there's no way you're going to achieve your fitness goals if you're drinking so many calories each day. And just because your diet soda doesn't have any calories, you're still doing your body plenty of harm by drinking it. You're not fooling anyone by drinking "diet" soda, except for maybe yourself.

As my girl Jennie Finch says, embrace, love and respect your body, it's the most important thing you will ever own.

So tell me, are you having trouble drinking your calories? Is soda still an everyday part of your life even though you're trying to get healthy? I know it's a struggle for SO many people and I'm certainly not judging you. I just want to help you put down the crap and pick up the water, 8 oz. at a time.
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