Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Weigh-In Wednesday - Reasons for Whole30

So I've been talking about how I intend to do the Whole30 for at least a couple of weeks and now that I'm finally getting started, I thought I'd share with you guys the reasons behind my desire to do this. There are so many programs out there that you can follow, so many ways to reach your end goal, so what is it about Whole30 that's made me decide to embark on this particular journey? (You can read more about Whole30 here but in a nutshell, the program is this {from their website}: Cut out all the psychologically unhealthy, hormone-unbalancing, gut-disrupting, inflammatory food groups for a full 30 days. Let your body heal and recover from whatever effects those foods may be causing. Push the “reset” button with your metabolism, systemic inflammation, and the downstream effects of the food choices you’ve been making. Learn once and for all how the foods you’ve been eating are actually affecting your day to day life, and your long term health.)
Weight loss: I'm listing this first because this is a 'weigh-in' post and link-up, but to be quite honest, weight loss is the last thing that I really think of when I think of Whole30. I'm focusing on Whole30 for my overall health... I know that will lead to weight loss but truly truly truly, I'm doing this to be more healthy.

Nutrition: I believe in nourishing my body, fueling it with proper nutrition by eating the right foods. I don't care about calories, fat, points, macros, etc... I care that I'm putting food in my body that's going to make me more healthy. Simple as that.

Sleep: This has really been an issue for me the last few years and a lot of people who struggle with sleep issues see improvement from a healthier lifestyle with Whole30. I'm not generally tired during the day but every.single.morning. I hit the snooze button multiple times before I get out of bed. That's recent for me (in the last couple of years) and I'm quite sure the junk food I've eaten in the past has been a contributing factor.


Skin: I've always had skin imperfections but at 35 years old, I'm getting pretty dang sick of them! Rodan + Fields has an Unblemish line that I was seriously considering purchasing not that long ago. The cost scared me away ($170!) and I thought to myself 'why don't you start with the very things that you can control, the food you put in your mouth?!'. I've seen a lot of improvement in my skin since I've been eating mostly clean, whole foods, and I think this will only continue to get better.

Brain: The last few years (ie: since I've gained weight) I've had such a terrible memory. Things from last week that I should remember, I just don't... and when I do remember things, there isn't a lot of clarity there. Any guesses as to what causes that?! Eating processed food junk.

Food: I'm learning so much more about food these days and what it means to eat real food regularly, not processed chemicals that are anything but food. I've always thought that losing weight meant restricting the food you ate and always being hungry, but that's just not the case. You should never be hungry, no matter if you're trying to lose weight or not! You just have to be eating the right foods. If you're eating crap food, your brain is going to want more and more food because it's not getting the nourishment it's seeking... when you're fueling up with healthy foods packed with the things you need, your brain is satisfied sooner because you're giving it what it needs to thrive. Makes sense, right?!

Health: Listen, going through my health scare last fall scared the shit out of me. I want to be here for a long time, I don't want to be sick and have to fight awful diseases. And I truly believe that starts with the food we put in our bodies. There are no guarantees in life, of course, but you better believe that I want to give myself the best opportunity to live a long, healthy life. Eating processed food will not give you that, no matter how much you try to ignore that fact... it just won't.

This isn't about a quick weight-loss fix for me... this is a path I'm taking to change my overall relationship with food and to permanently change my lifestyle. For as many times as I've tried to 'diet,' I finally feel like I'm on the right track. Focusing on my health and overall well-being. It's hard to imagine how that won't lead to weight loss and an overall healthy life.

Have you ever thought about trying Whole30? What is holding you back?


Monday, February 23, 2015

Weekend Recap

I had these visions of taking lots of pics this weekend like any good blogger would do in order to fill my Monday morning post, but... I failed! It was just Ryan and I this weekend (Emily is on her way back from Florida) and we stayed pretty close to home.

Friday night I worked late so Ryan and I grabbed sandwiches for dinner and had a low key night at home. Saturday it was off to baseball practice, a little grocery shopping, a little catching up with friends, and some more reading of "It Starts With Food". The book is good and I'm really looking forward to getting started on my Whole30 but... I hate to read. Hate hate hate hate hate. I really need to bust out the rest of the book so I can start Whole30 with all the knowledge I need. My plan was to finish the book on Saturday, food shop and prep on Sunday, and start on Monday. Well, that plan went about as good as my plan to take lots pics this weekend :) The rest of Saturday was spent cleaning, doing laundry, etc... all the fun weekend chores. And then there was Sunday... ohh Sunday.

Ryan had early baseball practice so we hit the road first thing. We didn't get too far down the road when we hit a patch of black ice, did a complete 360° in the middle of the road, and then slammed head on into a high snow bank. It was not a fun few moments but we were ok, albeit a little shaken up. We're lucky it wasn't a tree or telephone pole that we crashed into, and even luckier that there were no other cars on the road because they'd have hit us for sure. That snow bank though? That thing was hard. When we hit I thought for sure my car was all smashed up and my windows would be shattered... I was totally shocked (and thankful!) to get out and see very little damage. After assessing the car, we started to keep driving only to realize that something was wrong with my wheel so I pulled back over... aaaand proceeded to pull over right in a snowy, icy spot that got me stuck! My SUV has 4-wheel drive, I don't think I've ever gotten stuck in it... but yesterday, we were stuck! Good times, good times. So once that whole fiasco was over, it was another day of lounging at home. I had no vehicle to go anywhere so we didn't have much choice. I have a rental now and my car is in the shop... let's hope they call with good news and a low bill :) As for me, I'm pretty dang sore all over my body... like sore in places I didn't even know could get sore... but that will pass and I'm just so thankful things weren't worse! Ryan is fine, which is the best news of all :)

That's about all the excitement I could handle for one weekend, that's for sure! This week? Definitely finishing my book and getting started with Whole30! My Dr. has done it before and eats mostly Paleo anyways, but she's going to start Whole30 again with me so that we both have the support of each other. I told you, that girl is pretty awesome! Besides that, I'm looking forward to seeing my blonde beauty tonight... I miss her when she's away! And lastly? I try not to complain about the winter weather (I do live in Maine, after all) but I'm officially over it. Totally... over it.
Hope you had a good weekend, friends!


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Weigh-In Wednesday - Week 7 of 2015

Another week, another update...

Pounds lost this week: +1.0 lbs.
Pounds lost in 2015: -2.6 lbs. 
Pounds lost overall: -10.8 lbs.

This has been another learning week for me, as basically all of 2015 has been. I can honestly say that I'm not focusing on that number on the scale and I'm certainly not letting it dictate my journey. Right now it's all about being healthy for me and that's what I'm focusing on. If I continue to be healthy and make the right choices, I know the pounds will fall off. I say that all the time and I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but that's the honest truth of where I'm at... it's all about being healthy for me. Am I frustrated that the scale isn't moving faster or even in the right direction? Of course I am. But I know I'm making good choices for my body and that's what I'm continuing to focus on!

I'll be back next week with a more in-depth look at what my food intake looks like over the course of any given day. Hopefully it will give you some ideas to focus a little more on your overall health instead of just your weight.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday, friends! For the rest of the world this past weekend meant Valentine's Day and all the festivities that surround it, but for us it was a big Invitational weekend for Emily's cheer team. Her club (for which I serve on the Board) and the high school cheer club team up and put on this competition every year for teams from all over our state. It's a ton of work for everyone involved but it's so worth it. So many people work very hard pulling it all together! So that's what this weekend was all about for us.

Friday night I headed straight from work to Emily's cheer practice and then pictures for the entire cheer club. The club is made up of 3 teams with 20(ish) girls per team, so things can get a little hectic when we're all in one place at one time!
Just hanging out between practice and team pictures
Crazy girls... so flexible!
Getting ready for team pics
I try not to post pics of other people's kids on my blog but I just love this one!
Luckily things went pretty smoothly but it made for a long day... all day at work, all evening at cheer, and then a late (9pm) dinner once we finally got home, followed by getting everything ready for the next day including 25 homemade Valentine's for Emily's team. By the time we all hit our pillows that night, we were more than ready for bed!

Saturday morning we were up at the crack of dawn to get ready and be at the Invitational by 7 am. Let me tell you, getting up super early and getting yourself ready is one thing, but getting up that early and having to get a little cheerleader ready complete with cheer hair is a whole different story... fun stuff! ;) All parents have to volunteer at the event all day long... 7 am until whenever it's done, which is usually 7-9pm. Like I said, lots of hard work by a lot of people!
Once I drop Emily off at these comps, I don't really see her again until it's over. She's in the practice gym with her team and parents aren't allowed to be back there. Since this was our comp and we were all working it, I did see her walking around a couple of times but for the most part, I'm always out of the loop as to what's going on. When I went into the gym to watch her team compete, one of her team coordinators was telling me that the girls absolutely bombed their warm-up... it was pretty bad so we were a nervous wreck just hoping the girls didn't embarrass themselves out on the mat, especially at their hometown comp! 
About to take the warm-up mat
Well, the girls came out to perform and managed to get themselves together and absolutely nailed their routine! As nervous as we had been, we were just so happy that they performed well. Of course we wanted them to place (top 3), but at that point it didn't really matter... we were just happy they represented themselves well. There are a lot of really talented teams in their division this year so anything good that happens, you absolutely have to earn every ounce of it.
Once all the teams performed, all the teams gathered back in the gym for awards. They start with the youngest teams and work up to the older teams, and then with the lower divisions to the highest divisions... this meant that Emily's team was in the last group of awards to be announced so we were all just a nervous wreck listening and waiting... and waiting and waiting. Finally they get to Division I and they announced the 3rd place team... not us. Like I said, we would have been thrilled with 3rd and since there are so many good teams in our division, when we didn't get 3rd I started to get a little nervous that we didn't place at all. Then they called out the 2nd place team... not us. Seriously, I can't believe how nervous us adults all were. We had either won or not placed at all. Finally they announced 1st place and it was our girls! We went absolutely crazy, seriously a group of grown adults looking like maniacs, I'm sure! But we were just so proud of our girls. Winning is great, of course... but winning after having a tough morning, having your confidence shaken, and still being able to pull yourself together and not only nail your routine but win the whole comp?! SO proud! I don't think I'll ever forget that moment, it was just awesome!  Our club's younger team had won their age group/division too so there were lots of happy faces from our cheer club out on that mat!!
Once that was over, I had to stay around and work for the rest of the day. Emily usually stays and hangs out with her friends for the day while watching the older teams compete but she had other plans for the afternoon so she left me.
My beauty!
I missed her all afternoon... it felt weird to be at a comp full of cheerleaders and not have her there with me! But it was a fun day nonetheless,.. I absolutely love being around all the kids, and people in general. The comp finally ended and it was time for the dreaded clean up. Luckily, a lot of our parents stayed to help so it went much quicker than we thought it would... quick enough that we were able to leave at a normal time and go grab dinner at the local pizza place. We had to laugh that it was Valentine's Day yet our group of friends was spending the evening at a pizza place with each other... not very romantic for any of us but there was food, (too many!) drinks, and a whole lot of laughs! It was a fun night and the perfect way to wind down the busy day!

I was almost looking forward to our projected blizzard on Sunday so that I wouldn't have to do much at all... turns out, the majority of the snow just missed us and it turned out to be a pretty nice day! I ran some errands, read some of my "It Starts With Food" book, and cleaned the house before heading off with friends last night to see Fifty Shades of Grey. I'm not a big reader so I haven't read the books but I'm all for a night out with friends so I was game to go see the movie. There's so much debate going on about the movie and truthfully, I don't see what the fuss is all about. I didn't find it to be abusive or manipulative or any of that... I'm about as deep as a kiddie pool though so I don't look too far into things. At one point during the movie, my friends and I got into a laughing fit... one of those where you can't stop laughing no matter what you do. I was trying everything in my power to stop laughing and then I'd just bust out laughing even louder... it was pretty hysterical. Once the movie was over, we met up in the hallway with three other groups of moms from our town that were there watching the movie as well. We had no idea they were going... guess it was just the dirty moms club at the movies that evening! ;) Fun stuff! After the movie we went out for desert and chatted until way too late... a perfect way to wind down the weekend!

At our late dinner on Saturday night as us parents were talking about how this was our Valentine's Day/Saturday night and it wasn't very exciting as far as normal standards are concerned, we all agreed that we wouldn't want it any other way. Being there for our kids and their teammates, being a part of our community, those are  the things we want our kids to remember when they look back on their childhoods. Simple moments are always my favorite and this weekend was full of them. I truly wouldn't have had it any other way!


Thursday, February 12, 2015


I haven't done one of these posts in a while and am totally stealing Desiree's idea from her post yesterday :)


Making... literally just took this out of the oven before I came and sat down to blog. Breakfast for at least the next few days. Eggs, all-natural chicken sausage, and a whole bunch of veggies...
Drinking... Lemon & Ginger hot tea. It's so relaxing to me to wind down the evening with some hot tea in one of my favorite mugs! (Tonight's mug is my Los Angeles Starbucks mug that I bought when I was in town for The GRAMMYs.) I have a thing for mugs.

Reading... "It Starts With Food" (but you already knew that!)

Planning... adventures! I am dying to travel and see so much of this big world... I want to explore and take adventures and live! I read this article the other day and I absolutely love it! Of course there are differences but there's a lot in that article that speaks to exactly how I feel. My favorite part was "In my life, there’s been a single, reliable constant: I want to travel. I don’t want to buy a house right now. The only thing I want, to put it simply, is the world." Yes, all of that, yes.

Wanting... a new couch. Our old couch was one of the first things we bought when I got married and that was almost 14 years ago! Last fall when I had my surgery, my dad brought me a recliner to help me recover more comfortably in and as we were making room for that, I had them move out the couch and get rid of it. So we have a recliner and other chairs in the living room but no couch. I want a new one, I just can't decide what I want and where to get it. I'm actually really loving this one.

Looking... like I'm ready for bed, because I am. (You're probably reading this on Thursday morning but I'm writing it on Wednesday night, hence the reason why I'm ready for bed :)) Fuzzy slippers, comfy pants, and my hair in a pony. Is there any better feeling?! I think not.

Playing... Word Crack. I know the rest of the world is hooked on Trivia Crack but I'm obsessed with Word Crack. Add me - @shesabigstar.

Wishing... the weather would warm up. We have so.much.snow. and we're supposed to get another storm this weekend that'll bring another 1-2 feet. I'm over it. I was driving around today and the sun was out and my radio was blasting... all I needed was some warm weather to go with it!

Enjoying... music. I have Taylor Swift's latest album on repeat this week. So good.
Missing... working at Disney. I got an e-mail from Disney Recruiting yesterday about national auditions for character performers and I totally looked to see if they were coming near me. I definitely want to go back and work for the Mouse again someday!

Waiting... for my laundry to dry.

Wondering... about your favorite make-up and skin care products. I need suggestions for some new products!

Loving... my new silver hoop earrings. I still haven't outgrown my love of hoops paired with a good jean jacket!

Marveling... at Emily. She did her back handspring on the floor at cheer practice this week for the first time... up until now she's only done it on the spring floors and trampolines at tumbling class. She was SO happy and I'm just amazed at how much progress she's made in a short amount of time.

Needing... some sleep and a good massage.

Noticing... how lame Facebook is lately.

Worrying... about the (routine) scans I need to have done. I don't like re-visiting any of the not-so-fun health stuff.

Feeling... happy! I was actually just thinking about how good it felt to be so happy for no reason... love that feeling! (See also: sunshine and good music!)

Now it's your turn... tell me one thing from the list above that you're 'currently' doing!


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Weigh-In Wednesday - Week 6 of 2015

Well, here I am, just creeping along...

Pounds lost this week: +0.2 lbs.
Pounds lost in 2015: -3.4 lbs. 
Pounds lost overall: -11.6 lbs.

I haven't been able to string a couple really good weeks together in a few weeks but that's my own doing. Treats here, an indulgence here... but I'm still moving in the right direction. Those treats and indulgences are part of life and I honestly don't even think twice about them any more because the majority of the time, I'm eating very healthy. It's definitely been a big shift for me... despite the fact that I haven't lost a bunch of weight at once yet, I've seriously overhauled my habits and that's a huge step in the right direction. I'm not counting calories, points, or macros... instead I'm focusing on fueling my body and nourishing it with healthy foods. Even though the weight loss seems to be slow, I know I'm moving my body in a healthy direction so I'm 100% happy with where I'm at.
With that being said, I'm about to embark on a different journey for the next few weeks. My Dr./Chiropractor/overall life coach is huge in nutrition and even though she's been treating my headaches, we talk a lot about nutrition and the effects of food on your body. She knows that if I fuel myself better, I'll see better results with my headaches and feel better overall. I'm learning so much and at her suggestion, I'm reading "It Starts With Food." Once I finish (hopefully within the next day or two) I'm going to start the Whole 30. In a nutshell, Whole 30 is 30 days of eating whole, good foods to heal your body from the inside out.  This isn't about weight loss (although I do hope to lose at least a few pounds), but instead is about my overall health. Mostly I want to rid my body of inflammation, which I had no idea had such a negative affect on my body until recently. I've been learning a lot lately and I'm really excited to take this on!

Heather is in the midst of doing Whole 30 right now so I'm glad to know someone else who is doing it at the same time. Do any of you have any experience with it or thinking about doing it? I'd love to hear your thoughts and tips!
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