Challenge Daily Log

Day 1: (June 21, 2013)

What is that old saying?  If at first you don't succeed, try and try again?  Yep!  That's me!  I am trying again to take charge.  And it is Day 1 because I firmly believe in doing something for 90 Days straight to develop a true life change.  This time, I am armed with a baby who is nursing AND eating solid foods AND sleeping through the night, a new house we just bought on a country road that I LOVE to run on, a fitness coach who is helping me customize a plan to hit this out of the park, and a set of goals that has not changed: I want to feel like ME again, I want to feel comfortable in my skin and my clothes, I want to feel confident, I want to leave my house without feeling like I have to make a grand apology to the world outside of it and without worrying that anyone who I have helped to create THEIR physical dream for themselves will see me and think I am a full-blooded hypocrite. It is time.  Please join me!  You'll need to get a few things:
  • A heart-rate monitor.  I purchased the PolarFT4, simple and gets the job done.
  • A refrigerator full of healthy vegetables, even if you don't love them now, prepared to eat throughout the day.
  • Lean proteins.
  • Ezekiel Bread -- no other bread will do.  Other low-carb breads are GROSS, regular bread is just plain not good for you!  You can find it at health food stores, Trader Joe's, and Smith's.
  • Coconut Oil -- really good for you and a great, healthy fat!
  • Healthy Carbs -- Brown Rice, Quinoa, Oatmeal, Sweet Potatoes
  • A fitness goal -- something that will challenge you but that you have ALWAYS wanted to accomplish.  Mine is a half marathon.  Baby step to the full marathon I will probably run next year.  What does your heart want?  Figure it out and START doing it!
  • A Vision Board!  CRUCIAL step here!  It's just for the next 90 Days, not your whole life.  But what do you want to accomplish in those 90 Days? If 90 is too far to be real, start with 30 Days.
  • An Affirmation Journal -- You will focus on ONE affirmation a day.  Get rid of the stinkin' thinkin' inside your head.
That's it!  That is how I am prepped for success!  Feel free to message me and tell me you're on board!  I love doing things with friends!

Day 11: (March 14, 2013)

I saw on FB this morning that today is Pi day (3.14).  And people are making pies all over the place.  BUT not me.  I'm celebrating life.  I'm celebrating a day of rigid goals and NOT branching out to the world of junk/sweets/unhealthy fats.  I'm okay with that.  And thankful that my husband won't be making a pie this year, either, in support of me and my goals.  Though - in the future, I would love to celebrate this pie day!  It sounds fun, doesn't it? :-)

My run tonight turned into a walk after a little bit of a scare with my kids that left me reeling emotionally and trying to keep from emotionally eating.  I DID IT, THOUGH (thank you, Challenge).  And the time change is still throwing me off -- you know?  HOWEVER, I did get a nice 45-minute walk in.  I walked down to the store to get a date night movie from the nearest Redbox and then walked around our neighborhood to get my time in.

The focus tomorrow is to stay away from nuts!  Seriously - those things are like my potato chip replacement when stress hits the fan! GRRRRR!  Great in moderation -- but, WOW, do we love nuts around here! :-)  AND to run.  Run. Run. Run. Run. No excuses.  Get 'er done.  AND to get my hair done.  If I can find a hair wizard so it isn't ruined like it was the last time. LOL!

Day 10: (March 13, 2013)

Wow!  Today was HARD.  Emotionally, mentally, physically, it was just HARD.  Part of the problem was finding out that my sister-in-law moved her wedding up to two weeks from now (instead of three months from now).  A huge part of my goal was being in a good place for that wedding and the inevitable family pictures.  In my mind, I hear all of the negatives.  Four of us had babies this year.  I was the last of the four -- and I'm struggling, as usual, with getting this body to react to all of my efforts to get my weight under control and feel like me again (while still making all the right choices to sustain life, know what I mean?).  I had a special dress I was hoping to wear to the wedding -- it was part of my Vision Board for what I'm working towards.  And I also wanted to make it a business trip at the same time and really get the most out of it, feel good in my own skin to put my best self forward.  So - I felt like that was all yanked away from me.  And all the negative voices of fear, doubt, comparison, failure, etc. that I had gotten rid of -- well, they swarmed back today in spades.  I don't think eating junk, even allowed junk on my free day, helped any.  My body wasn't in a good place.  Sugar affects our moods, our mental state, everything.  And I was A-FFEC-TED!

My run, therefore, was just a walk today.  But my husband gave me a pep talk before I left on it about not letting these things pull me down.  I'm on a journey to better health.  I'm on a JOURNEY!  I have goals, I have vision, I feel empowered both in setting them and in reaching them.  And though I might look like -- like I'm 9 months pregnant (LOL!) -- I will have this picture to look back on when I DON'T, to see how far I've come.  And if anyone is judging me, they judge out of their own feelings of inadequacy, their own self-judgments that pull them down and make them pull others down.  I just have to make sure I don't allow myself to be that person -- to be bringing others down in my own misery.  So - when I left for my "run" tonight, I ran for me.  Not for a goal, not for a time, not to increase my lung capacity or wake up my muscles.  Just to re-focus, to clear my head of all the negatives, to get back in a good place to complete my 120-Day Challenge.

It felt good.  And I am sure I'll need a few more of those in the coming weeks.  Meditation is a powerful thing.  Definitely key to accomplishing ANY goal, particularly when your life revolves around motherhood and getting five people to their goals and not just one.  If only you could just focus on YOU and nothing else, it would be easy. Or would it?  Because for years, all I had was me.  And I still struggled with the voices -- still had some of the same issues with my own self-image and being healthy just for healthy's sake. Hmmmmm - hard lessons, right?  Goodbye, Today!  Hello Fresh Tomorrow!

Day 9: (March 12, 2013)

My in-laws are here - so getting 7 hours of sleep was tricky last night, but we did it!  I am learning that I feel better when my sleep happens before midnight. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen, making food for Grandpa's 81 Birthday Party.  I didn't want everyone to feel awkward with me being "on a diet" and not eating certain things, but I also wanted to use my "free day" for the birthday judiciously because I don't want to lose all the work I've put in, you know?  I remembered another favorite/healthy food: chili!  Especially when you do a vegetarian chili or use ground turkey instead of ground beef.  I didn't struggle today with staying on track, but I have to say the chocolate frosting that looked like fudge was QUITE the temptation! LOL!  I'm working on letting myself have and enjoy our free days, no regrets, no feeling like I failed and can't recover.

Day 8: (March 11, 2013)

My mother-in-law is coming today, and that will make things a little . . . interesting! See, like most of us, I don't want her to think I'm on a special "diet" -- don't want the questions, the discussions, the potential judgments.  I'm not where I thought I would be at this point postpartum.  I know that - and it's not for a lack of trying and being disciplined.  This is just what my body does after it has a baby.  It stalls.  It clings.  It holds onto every ounce.  It doesn't like me exercising and dieting.  It rebels.  And this time, I'm trying to trick it - to change the game, to have a positive postpartum experience, to nurse and take care of my baby while also taking care of me and the other three, ages four and under.  And so - we're adapting.  Staying within all the pre-set goals (and so thankful to be able to say, "No thank you, I'm doing this challenge where I'm not eating sugar, and just one bite will cost me $60 this week, so I'll pass.  But go ahead and have whatever you want -- I'm totally good with other people eating sugar - it won't bother me at all!"  And know what? I mean it!  I really do!  I am at that place where - this is it!  There's no turning back!  This is MY CHALLENGE to win!  This is MY YEAR to succeed!  This is MY POSTPARTUM EXPERIENCE to enjoy! This for me IS having my cake and eating it, too!

Day 7: (March 10, 2013)

Sweet Sunday - day of rest and relaxation.  And after this last week of INTENSITY, I need it!!!  But what I love about this not being a "weight loss program" or a "fad diet" is that - I don't feel like I need "free days" to do what I want. I really feel grounded in my lifestyle and my relationship with food right now.  Food is fuel!  Food gives me life!  Food gives my body nutrients for my own health, mental clarity, and happiness AND my baby's as his little body is dependent on mine.  Food is FUN sometimes, but our fun doesn't have to revolve around food.  And when I take a "break" from my daily to-do's, I don't go and eat everything in sight because I feel deprived and can't stand going without any more.  I really love that feeling -- this is EXACTLY what I've been searching for these last years.  And it is such a relief and a blessing to be able to live it NOW and teach it to my children so that it will be, for them, as natural as breathing!

Today is Camille's birthday, so it's one of our two "cheat days" this month.  Since I have been feeling SO GOOD this week, I didn't want to go and BLOW it all, you know?  So we opted for sandwiches, popcorn, and then we had a little obedience struggle with the kids and made peanut butter popcorn to set a positive tone in our house again and have a good night with them.

Problem hit around . . . oh, 8:00 at night.  My mother-in-law is coming, we had some discussions about some pretty stressful things, my sister called and said we were over on our phone minutes and had a huge unexpected bill to pay, and I LOST it!  Not that I did anything hugely crazy, but I did eat a couple meal replacement bars to satisfy my sweet tooth!  Didn't help that my kids started crying of upset tummies and feeling like they were going to throw up right then as well.  And that pretty much set the tone of the night for me -- sleepless, sick kids, my own upsets, anxiety, emotional eating.

On a positive note, at least it happened on our cheat day and I didn't lose the whole competition.  Negative note, if it had happened on a non-cheat day, I wonder if I wouldn't have had the stamina to work through it in other ways.  Hmmmmm . . . onward and upward, either way!  Fresh starts and new beginnings -- and BACK ON COURSE!!!

Day 6: (March 9, 2013)

What a fantastic day!!!  It was so nice outside that we decided to take the kids to the park where I run and let them play while we ran around the track that goes around the park.  Imagine my surprise when my kids decided they wanted to run WITH us instead of play on the toys.  Even more impressive was the fact that my 4-year-olds ran about 2 miles a piece - and would have kept going!  My 2-year-old ran about a mile (in winter boots - poor girl!).  They actually ran faster than me -- with greater endurance than I had.  But, hey, that's EXACTLY why I'm doing this!!!  I am not going to be the mom sitting on the sidelines of my children's lives!  We're RUNNING through life TOGETHER!  And after we saw what THEY can do today -- we're planning a few 5-Mile day hikes with our kids.  Going to get them each backpacks, water bottles, good shoes, and hit the trails this Spring/Summer/Fall.  I can't wait!!!

We came home, everyone feeling so good and energized from our run, and had ham, turkey, cheese, pickles, olives, mustard, mayo, and lots of lettuce on sandwiches!  I actually went without the bread today because this week's challenge includes no carbs.  So I grabbed my three servings of lettuce, wrapped my two servings of sandwich meat around it, grabbed a handful of olives and a small, thing slice of cheese, and made my own "sandwich" -- only thing missing to make it FANTASTIC were tomatoes and avocado! MMMM!!! So good, right?  My kids actually wanted to eat MINE instead of THEIRS! LOL!

I also discovered that, appetite-wise, I much prefer my runs in the late afternoon, before dinner.  In the morning - while nursing - it just doesn't work into my routine and my body isn't quite ready for it. I need some fuel under me first.  And mid-day is about the same. 

Day 5: (March 8, 2013)

When we woke up this morning (at 5:00 a.m.), I looked over at the two kids who had made their way to my bed (and the one I was surprised to find sleeping on my floor) and knew that today needed to be a FAMILY day!  Today is my crosstraining day in my running schedule (to prep for 4 miles tomorrow).  So I wanted to get out with the fam to create that "training" and enjoy each other.

Part of our day included a trip to Costco!  Which, in our house, always means a stop at the food court on our way out for pizza slices and hot dogs.  How did I prepare for success?  We found a prepared salad in the deli section -- Spinach, tomatoes, eggs, mozzarella cheese, craisins, raspberry dressing, etc.  Since I'm really watching my sugar right now, I took half the salad for me, threw away the dressing (can you believe they give you like 1/2 of a cup of that stuff?!?!?!  Do people really eat that much on their salad?!?!?!), and just enjoyed it!  We bought some mixed nuts to snack on for the rest of the day (and week - I LOVE my nuts).  It's just been fantastic!  Feeling so good, so alive, and so grateful!!!

Day 4: (March 7, 2013)

I have had SUCH an appetite this morning!  I don't know what's gotten into me -- probably the run combined with nursing.  My body is adjusting.  So - I did my nutrition-packed morning shake, but I have also had like 50 almonds! YIKES!  Definitely need to reel that in - but it was tough not munching on everything in sight this morning (cold cereal and yogurt being the tops), so I went with the almonds and then hid upstairs with lots of water while my kids finished eating! :-)

I am happy to say that I am FEELING that arm workout from yesterday -- particularly in my shoulders! I'm going to do it every day between now and Easter -- I'll let you know how it goes!!!

Lunch was another HUGE salad -- this time with two boiled eggs, carrots, and celery. (We got the stomach flu last week, and I'm trying to salvage as much of the greens we bought as possible before they're too slimy to use - LOL!)  I feel SO MUCH BETTER than I did in the morning -- might also have to do with drinking LOTS of water! ;-)

I LOVED my run tonight!  Another night of walking/running 3 miles.  And the best part is that I am noticing I can already do more - run longer - run faster.  It's amazing how your muscles remember.  As I ran, I pictured what I am working for in my head.  I pictured me playing soccer with my kids, running and dancing and biking and hiking -- all without getting tired!  I pictured this blog giving nursing moms inspiration -- helping them see for themselves that you don't have to stop nursing in order to take control of your body while your baby borrows it for their best growth and development.  I pictured my AFTER picture -- not a weight or even a size, but a radiant feeling of empowerment and accomplishment.

Day 3: (March 6, 2013)

Today for lunch, I made this delightful salad!  It was a Spinach/Mixed-Greens salad with a "taco" flare!  About a month ago, I took some ground turkey, peppers, onions, and taco seasoning and put it in my crock pot.  Then I froze individual servings in my freezer.  Yesterday, I took out a few servings of that mixture, tossed it into my 3 servings of salad, added 1 Tablespoon of Ranch Dressing - and let me tell you, it was DELICIOUS!  Very filling, very satisfying!

Also on the menu were lots of almonds, an apple, a turkey roll-up, a few mozzarella cheesesticks, and LOTS of water!  LOVE my water!

I ran/walked 3 miles as well.  I made it a little interval workout --- whenever the verse to a song was on, I walked to the beat.  When the chorus came on, I ran!  It was great - I felt so good coming home last night from my run!  And my recovery shake never tasted so good! LOL!


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