Living 40 plus and fabulous

Living 40 plus and fabulous

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Its been a week and a half since I started my training sessions with Ben. He works out of town for many days straight so right now I am working on my own doing the cardio workouts twice a week. I can not begin to explain how great I am feeling! After the first week I was down another 4.4lb!! This makes my total loss 25 lbs! I am so excited about that. I am about to hit a gigantic milestone. The most weight I have ever lost at one time is 30 lbs. I felt great, stopped what I was doing to lose and gained it all back plus some. I can not wait to reach that 31 lb lost mark. It will be a huge moment for me. This time losing weight is becoming a lifestyle. I am eating better and exercising and I am loving how I feel on a daily basis. There is always something new that I notice. Something smaller on my body, the way my clothes fit or how much easier it is to do things. Yesterday I tried on some pants, one of them being my goal pants, and they fit! They are 3 sizes smaller than the pants I was wearing on January 1st! Instead of having 2 pairs of pants that I rotate through, I now have 7 or 8 pair that fit. I can not wait to go clothes shopping! I used to dread shopping so much because I couldn't find stuff to fit but not I will be able to walk into a store and not have to go to a specialty size section. I am so excited for the future and what it holds for me. My weight has held me back for so long and I am ready to release it and get on with what I really want!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Yesterday after my friend and I met to plan out my cardio workouts he invited me to go on a hike with him and his girlfriend (who is also my neighbor). The trail head is at the north end of Vallecito Lake. They both told me it was a good workout and a difficult hike but I was not prepared for how difficult it actually was. It was 2 miles of uphill zig zag hiking. There were a couple times that I wanted to give up but I knew I couldn't do that. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. I also thought I might faint a couple times. It took about an hour and a half to get to the top but I made it. Let me tell you that the whole difficult hike was worth it. At the top there is a small lake that is just beautiful. Here are a few pics of the place.

Ashley, Ben and I at the finish!

can you see the lake under those lily pads?

half the lake was covered in lily pads with these really pretty yellow flowers. 

I made it!!!

Holy fat pants batman!

I took this picture a few weeks ago. I tried on my biggest pair of capri pants that I wore last summer. These were starting to get a little snug on me.

I would like to start out by apologizing to you for slacking off and not updating this blog like I should. I have had a slow month so I didn't feel like sharing my struggles. That is not why I started this blog so I will try to keep updated as much as possible.

After my 5k I felt lost. I didn't know what to do anymore or what to train for. I guess I felt like the race was done so now what? I continued to eat fairly well but I would only walk a few times or ride my bike. (Which I got at a garage sale for a great price!) I quit waking up early and no longer did the JM workouts. I could see myself slowly reverting into my old self that I had been trying so hard to change. I realized about a week ago that  I can't do this alone. I don't know what I am doing and I need help. I turned to a friend of mine that is a trainer and decided to bite the bullet and see if he would train me. It was the best decision I have made in a long time. He is going to train me hard core for a month and we will see where I am and how things are going.  We met yesterday and he set out a 2 week cardio plan for me to follow along with 3 main guidelines.

1. Don't eat after 7 at night -
2. drink water all day long
3. Don't drink your calories.

They seem pretty basic but if you stop to think about it, not as easy to do as you would think. I  joined Weight Watchers as well to get me on track with food. If I'm paying for this trainer I want to make sure that I am on point with food and I know that WW can help with that.

As far as the cardio plan goes, he gave me three different exercises to do each morning. Each lasts only about 30 minutes and I rotate them throughout the week.

Monday & Thursday - Treadmill interval training - 5 minute warm up then I do 20 minutes switching every minute from walking at 3.5 at an incline to 3.0 at no incline.

Tuesday & Friday - I call it the hill of health. There is a small hill by my house that I have to do three different exercises to get to the top and I do that 3 times. This should be nice and embarrassing in front of my neighbors. ha!

Wednesday & Saturday - Walk up the trail behind my house to the top of the hill

At night he wants me to do what he calls "mindless cardio". That will be 30 minutes of stationary bike, walking or anything simple.

I started this morning and I am really excited for this next month. I will make sure to keep you posted on how I am doing. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Think on this for a while...

"You become what you think about most of the time."

This quote hit me pretty hard today. I've heard it before but in different forms. "Think and you will create", etc, etc. I'm not sure why in this text it really hit home. Maybe because what I think about most of the time is this- why am I fat, why am I single and alone? Well that is exactly what I have created. A fat, single, lonely girl. I can't blame anyone else but myself. I did this to myself but I am determined that is not what I will be thinking about anymore. This is not who I am anymore. I'm going to remember that I am a beautiful, independent woman and I am so strong and can accomplish anything I set my mind to. I have the best friends anyone could ask for and my life is so full and the future is mine!
I want you to sit down and ask yourself what it is you think about most. If it is negative and not what you want, change it . It is up to you to fix what is wrong and no one else's responsibility. It is up to you to grab life by the horns and not let go until you have what you want. Don't worry about being selfish because in the end it up to you to make your life better and enjoy this limited time on earth. Because when you are happy and full-filled, just think who else's life you can change or influence. Just think what you can accomplish. No dream is too big or too small. Do it! Do it for yourself!

What are you going to become??

New ink!

I have wanted a tattoo since I was in my early 20's. I have gone back and forth with what I want but when it came right down to it I never went to get one. I think that deep in my heart I knew that what I thought I wanted wasn't really what I wanted on my body for the rest of my life. I am really glad that I never went through with it in the past. Now I am so happy with what I decided on and that I finally went through with it. I would be lying if I said that it didn't hurt. It did! Nothing that I couldn't handle and I am so pleased with the end result. I knew that when I got a tattoo it would have to mean something. Not just a cartoon character on my calf because I thought it was cute. I got something that means something to me. It doesn't mean much to most people but to me represents so much. First let me just tell you what I decided on. It is a peacock feather and I have loved peacocks and their feathers for a long time, long before it was the "in" thing. To me they represent not just beauty which is very evident at one glance but I see confidence and a pride unlike anything I have every seen before. Just take one look at peacock in full glory. They strut, they hold their head high and know that they are the most beautiful creature around. The feather also signifies a re-birth to me. People collect them and cherish them. That is what I am doing with myself. A re-birth of sorts, holding my head high, proud and confident of who I am and what I am. Beautiful and confident in my own skin and loving every minute of life!

This is Bob my tattoo artist. A genius! I did exactly what I wanted. Here I am getting the outline put on.

Getting ready, outline on, scared to death!!

Not so bad. Hurt but not as bad as I thought it would.

The finished product. I love the colors and everything about it!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May Update

Each month I have been measuring myself so that I can see the progress I have made that is not reflected on the scale. To date I have lost a total of 22 inches overall!! 22 pounds down and 22 inches down!! 22 might be my new favorite number this week. Here is the breakdown - 4 off my chest. 1 off each arm. 6.5 off my waist. 5.5 off my hips. 2 off each thigh. I'm so excited!!! I am also finishing up phase 1 of Jillian Michaels body revolution. I should have finished last week but I got sick so I didn't work out. I can't wait to start phase 2!
As for my 200 mile walking goal I have completed 8 miles so far. I am right on track. Having the treadmill at my house is really convenient and I love having it.

I took a side picture of myself to show how my body is shrinking and toning up.

Fall of 2011

May 1 (sorry for the flash!)

5k finished!

Last Sunday was the Cherry Creek Sneak. That is the 5k that I had been training for. I was a little nervous about how I would do and how much of it I would be able to run. I am very happy with my results. My official time was 47.26 which is better than my practice 5k that I did at Easter. I also had to stop half way through to go to the bathroom so I know that had I kept going my time would have been better. I also jogged a lot more than I did on Easter. I think I walked about 3/4 of a mile total. As I've said before I really don't like running but I know that I get more healthy and fit it will be easier for me. I will keep it up just not make it an everyday thing that I do. Here is a picture of my sister and I at the run.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Never forget this...

Here are two things I found on Pinterest that I need to always remember -

Pounds down and a new goal!

As you know for the past several weeks I have not been losing weight and it is kind of discouraging. Well with so much going on at work and not much time for myself I decided on Thursday that I would weigh myself and see where I was at. My food and exercise plan wasn't taking center stage in my life for about a week and a half and I wanted to make sure that I hadn't gained or gained much. To my wonderful surprise I was down 6 lbs! That makes my grand total so far 22 lbs!! I was so excited  that I had to immediately call my mom and sister. I'm not sure if I was holding onto weight because of stress or if the exercise I was doing at work mixed it up enough to make my body do something. Whatever it was I am happy with it.

My 5k race that I had been training for is Sunday. I am very nervous of how much I will be able to jog. Since the 5k at Easter I haven't jogged at all. Oh well, I will do what I can do but I know that I will finish. I have decided that it is also time for a new goal. This one I am trying to recruit people to join me. I am going to set a goal of walking at least 200 miles by Labor Day. My daily movements do not count towards this goal. It basically breaks down to walking 1.5 miles a day. I know that some days I will do more and some I might not walk at all but at least I have something to shoot for. As long as I walk 11.5 miles a week I will have no problem making this goal. My sister and my cousin Molly are all ready to join me in this. Who else is with me??

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Couch to 5K

I may be doing great with my JM workouts but my couch to 5k jogging plan is going slow. Actually it is almost non-exsistent. I have realized that I do not like jogging. I would rather walk for one mile than jog for 1/4 mile. I'm not sure what it is that I don't like but I just don't like it. On Saturday my sister and I decided to do a local 5k here in Bayfield that they had for Easter. It was a tough one for sure. There were a lot of hills and I was only able to run about 1/2 of it. That's good I guess since 2 months ago I couldn't run at all. I will continue to walk and maybe add some bursts of jogging in just to mix it up but I do not see a future for me in running. Good things there is a lot of other types of exercise to do!
Well it seems I am getting behind again in my posts. I am now 2 1/2 weeks into my Jillian Michaels workouts. I completed workouts 1 and 2 last week and moved on to 3 and 4 which I will continue through next week. She really amps up the workouts. I am kind of scared of what is to come. The good news is that I know I will be ready for whatever she throws my way. I can definitely feel myself getting stronger and able to do a lot more different exercises every week (with the exception of planks). Any exercise involving planks is very hard! I will master them though!!! I have been getting up at 6am to workout and that is working great for me. I feel so good all day. The one downside that I have noticed is that I am tired and ready for bed at about 8pm. I'm not sure if my diet is causing this or I what. I will try different foods and see what happens. It might also be that heated mattress pad that I got for Christmas calling me to bed early. It just feels so nice and warm in there. Last week I didn't lose any weight but I feeling a difference in my clothes. I am really trying hard to not get discouraged with low number loss. I know that I am losing inches but seeing the scale go down is easier for me to see than inches. I'm trying to change my mindset and focus on how far I have come since January 1 instead of how far I need to go. I'm doing great and I will keep it up.
Every so often I post my progress on Facebook and that is really helping me keep going. I love the positive feedback that I get from friends. Something else that keeps me going is that a lot of people have told me that I am inspiring them to go work out and get moving. I have never thought of myself as an inspiration and that really means more to me than I can put into words.
Here is a picture of my progress so far -

Before- taken fall of 2011

Beginning of April 2012
I can really see the difference in my body. I'm glad I took this picture to keep me motivated!

Thanks you everyone for continuing to support me and for all the positive feedback!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Week 1- JM body revolution done!

Well today marks the end week 1 of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. I will be the first to admit that I usually don't make it past day 2 or 3 of any workout videos so finishing a week is kind of a miracle. I really like this workout a lot. Not only is it not a lot of time out of my day but it is an asskicking workout during that short time. By the time the 30 minutes are over I am dripping with sweat and really feeling like I got a great workout. The first two days I was very sore and it took a lot of move but now I am no longer sore and feeling really good. I am also trying to follow her diet plan. That is actually harder than following the workouts. I picked some menu items that ended up being a little more time consuming than I thought so I was pretty frazzled the beginning of the week trying to get my meals cooked for the week. This next week should be better since I figured out what to do and what not to do. The meal plan also is very limited in meals if we are expected to eat this way for 90 days so I bought her metabolism cookbook today so that I can use recipes from there too. I know that it is not exactly what she wants done but I figure it is her own cookbook so it should work just fine.

The best part of this week was weigh in today. I lost 4.6 lbs!! That makes getting up at 6am to workout totally worth it. Plus the way I feel is great too. Since the first of January my total weight loss is 16.1 lbs and my total inches lost is 15.5. I can really see a difference in the way my clothes are fitting. I wore some jeans the other day that I couldn't even button a couple weeks ago.

I haven't posted any new recipes for a couple weeks because the few things I have made are not worth sharing. I hope to have some new and tasty recipes coming in the next few weeks.

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful spring weather!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sorry I have been MIA for a couple weeks. I really didn't have anything to report. It was just the same thing day after day. It actually putting me in the dumps for a few days last week. The weather was bad and I have horrible spring fever that I just let it get the best of me. It took me a couple days to snap out of it and now I feel so much better. I didn't realize how much better working out made me feel. Because I was in a funk I didn't work out at all last Sunday, Monday or Tuesday. When I finally did get my butt in gear and exercise on Wednesday it was like a cloud had lifted off me. I felt so wonderful. I guess I needed that darkness to make me realize and appreciate the light!
I am now done with 5 weeks of my couch to 5k training. I have 4 weeks to go. On the last day of week 5 I had to jog 20 minutes without walking to break it up. I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to do it. I did have to stop for about 30 seconds to get a drink of water but besides that I went the whole time. I was so proud of myself. I actually cried when I was done because it was something I hadn't done before and I did it! I am doing and completing things that I didn't think I could do. I'm realizing that I can do it and it may hurt but the result is so worth it. My next session bumps down to 5 and 8 minute jogging sessions. I think that I will use these times to try to get a little faster. I am a super slow jogger and would really like to complete my 5K in 45 minutes or less. Right now I am at about 50-60 minutes. I know it is not a race but I need a goal or I might just take half the day for it. :)
I finally got my Jillian Michaels Body Revolution and I have completed two days. I am so sore right now that I feel like I need a grab bar by my toilet just to get back up. It is a really good workout though. It is only 30 minutes but when I am done I am so sweaty!. The 1st phase that I am doing right now is just a warm up for the coming phases. I can't even imagine what that will be like. I think I hear my body crying just thinking about it. Luckily I have 2 weeks of phase 1 to get my body ready. I really like this workout so far and will keep you posted on how I am doing. I have figured out a schedule for my exercises so that I don't wear myself out or get to a point where I don't want to do anything.

Saturday - JM in am and 5K in afternoon
Sunday - JM in am
Monday - JM cardio in PM
Tuesday - JM in am and 5K in afternoon
Wednesday - JM in am and 5k afternoon
Thursday - JM cardio in am
Friday - off

I figured this will be the best so that I have workout and cardio almost everyday and a day for doing nothing!

Friday, March 16, 2012


I lost 1.5 lbs this past week! It is coming off. Slowly but surely!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Mmmm... Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Growing up some of my most precious memories are at my grandma's house. She always had fun stuff to do and she made the best food. My favorite thing that she would make was her homemade spaghetti sauce. It was always a treat to be there when she made it fresh but it was also delicious when she canned it and we could enjoy it during the cold winter months. To this day it is still a special treat.
When my cousin Michael was wounded in Afganastan we had a fundraiser for him that included a auction and a spaghetti dinner. We all made sauce from my grandma's recipe and used that instead of store bought. We had so many people tell us that it was the best spaghetti dinner they have every had. It was the sauce that they all loved so much.
Last Tuesday after I went to Gloria's funeral I was surprised to see my aunt Kally at my grandma's house. We all three went to lunch and after that we all went to grandmas to make spaghetti sauce. It was a really great day and a nice end to what started out as a sad day.
Normally I would post the recipe of what I have cooked but I don't have it with me today. Besides when we made it my grandma just told us what to add not really following a recipe. It is very simple ingredients but the true secret is letting it simmer all day. You can make it quick but it just won't taste the same. Sorry I don't have quantities for the ingredients.

Cook onions, garlic and mushrooms (optional) in some olive oil

Add tomato paste and tomato sauce

Here she is ordering us about. Lol!

Add tomatoes and Italian seasonings

Here is the finished batch after it simmered all day. Yummy!

Dinner is served! Oh the memories this brings back!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Blah....but on the bright side

Well today I am up 2 lbs. I know exactly why and there are two reasons. One was completely in my realm of control and that would be my pantry and food. I did not go to the store this week so I really just ate a lot of carbs and ate out more than usual. I didn't eat very many veggies and  I also didn't drink water everyday like I should have been doing. The second reason is female issues so... 'nuff said. Next week will be better and I will keep on keepin' on! I have been working out doing cardio everyday except Monday. I am feeling better and better and a lot more energized. I have said this before and not done it yet but I really need to add toning and strengthening into my routine. I really enjoyed Crossfit but I do not enjoy the cost of Crossfit. I could plop down the $125.00 a month for a membership but that would mean I give up a lot of things and I am really not willing to do that. I also thought that maybe I would just buy a punch pass for $90.00 which is 10 workouts. I could go once or twice a week and do cardio for the other days. Then while eating breakfast the other day I decided to watch the informercial for Jillian Michaels new program that just came out in January. I have channel surfed past them for weeks now but thought I would finally see what it was about. Now I will admit that I really get sucked into informercials and usually want to buy every item I see. Luckily I have some self control and I don't buy them. This one was no exception. I wanted to call that minute and buy it. I talked it over with my sister, decided not to buy it but then kept thinking about it and so today I bought it. It's the same price as one month of Crossfit but its mine and I can do the program a lot longer than one month. I think what I like about this is what I like about Crossfit. Crossfit is a high intensity workout that only lasts between 15-30 minutes and you actually get a really good workout during that time. Jillian's program is very similar. It is only 30 minutes a day and high intensity as well. The program is a 90 day body revolution that has 15 disks that you workout from. Changing up the workouts so that boredom doesn't set in. Also that fact that it is Jillian Michaels I know that it will work. She has proven herself over and over again on TV. I just have to be committed to doing the program. I should get everything in about 10-12 days. What I will do is instead of riding my bike in the morning I will do the DVD's. Its the same amount of time but will burn way more calories and tone and strengthen. I am really excited to get going on it. All the reviews I have seen so far the people are really enjoying them. They are hard but not impossible. Once I get them I will keep you updated on my progress.  Here is the information if you are interested in seeing what I am talking about.

Yep, It's possible! You just have to work for it. Easier said than done, right?!?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Are you grateful?

Sorry that it has been a few days since my last post. Life is kinda getting in the way of things and I haven't been able to post like I want to. I have been trying to do so much and it is kind of catching up with me. On Monday I was just exhausted. I decided to listen to my body and not go out and train for my 5k. As a matter of fact I just  went home, put on my pj's and went to bed at 6:00. I didn't go to sleep I just laid there and watched TV until about 9 then I went to sleep. I only ate a granola bar for dinner! That's how tired I was. I think my body needed it.
Yesterday I went to a funeral for my friends mother. While I was sitting there waiting for the mass to start I heard a cry of grief so great that it physically hurt my heart. The grief that my friends father was experiencing at the loss of his wife was a sound that I have never heard before. It was a wailing of sorrow and sadness and things to never come. It was so heartfelt and sad that tears immediately came to my eyes. I thought of my parents and the love they have for each other. I thought of the heart ache that they will feel when one is gone. I thought of the years ahead for my friends dad and hopefully the void in his heart that he will be able to fill with his children and grand children.
This was the 3rd memorial service that I have been to in 30 days. Needless to say I have been doing a lot of thinking about death and life and how tragic it is that these 3 people have passed away long before they should have. One was for a 5 year old little girl, one for a 25 year old woman and one for a 60 year old woman. All three had so much more living to do. So many things that they could have accomplished. I mourn for these beautiful souls and the things they will never do again. I mourn for the parents and family that have lost a loved one way too soon. I mourn for the 2 girls that will never get to dance with their fathers at their weddings and for the grandma that will never see her grand kids graduate or get married. I mourn for the lives that will never be touched by the kindness of these three individuals.
It really makes me sit back and be grateful for all that I have in my life. Of course there are things that I want. Husband and kids, grand kids, more money to travel or live abroad, the list could go on and on. I do realize though that I have been blessed beyond words. I have so many family and friends that I could call on at a moments notice and they would be there for me. I have a sister that is my best friend. I have both my parents and I can talk to them everyday. I have a house that I own and a job that I enjoy and don't dread going to. I have been given a family that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. Of course we have our ups and downs but in the grand scheme of things they are pretty fantastic. I have money in the bank and food on my table. I have friends that I can laugh with and act stupid with and tell secrets to. Honestly I have more than a lot of people. I try not to take it for granted and I am so grateful for what I have and who is in my life. I wouldn't trade any of it.
If you do nothing else today, just take a moment to tell someone how much they mean to you. Call your parents or your kids, your grandparents, your extended family or your friends. You never know when that last moment with them will be. Cherish those moments and make the most out of every second. If I haven't told you yet, I love you and I am truly grateful that you are in my life!

I dedicate this post to Kimber Brown, Caitlin Kremler and Gloria Lopez. Gone but most definitely never forgotten.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Purple Cauliflower Soup


Last week while grocery shopping I went to grab a head of cauliflower and noticed that they had purple and orange as well as the regular white. I immediately grabbed the last of the colored ones and couldn't wait to make something yummy with them. I didn't want to just steam or roast them either. I searched online and finally found a recipe that was simple and one that I had all the ingredients for. Purple Cauliflower Soup! It was delicious and very easy to make. It took about 40 minutes from start to eating. Click here for the original recipe. I really didn't stray too far from the original recipe. I used low sodium broth and unsalted butter because I like to control the salt in my food. I'm not a huge salt fan. I also did not garnish the soup with a drizzle of olive oil. It didn't really need it. I highly suggest garnishing with smoked paprika if you have it. It gives it a nice smokey taste that I can't really describe. It is also good without it too so it doesn't matter too much if that is something you don't have in your pantry. I din't puree mine to a completely smooth consistency. I liked having a few chunks of cauliflower in every bite.

Purple Cauliflower Soup

1 head of purple, orange or white cauliflower (They all taste the same BTW)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter (I  used unsalted)
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken broth (I used low sodium and 1 can was fat free)
smoked paprika
good quality olive oil (optional)

Clean and break up cauliflower into small florets.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat up the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sautee for 5 minutes.

Add minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.Be careful that the garlic does not burn. Add cauliflower florets, stir to cover with oil and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes.

Season with salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Puree soup using an emersion blender, food processor or blender and return to pot. Check seasoning. Garnish soup with smoked paprika and a drizzle of good quality olive oil.


What? That's what it takes?

It seems that for as long as I have been alive, I have been on a diet. I've tried them all. I've even tried to make up my own. I would lose some then gain it back plus more. On top of that I had myself convinced that I hated exercise. I don't love it now but I am finding the benefit of working out and on occasion I am actually enjoying it. For years I have heard people tell me and also read everywhere that the key to losing weight is to eat in moderation and exercise. I was hoping for a miracle diet. One that would shed the pounds in weeks and I wouldn't have to work out.  Over the last two months I am finally listening to those people and those articles and it is paying off. I also know that part of losing weight is mental and I think that I am at a place in my life that I just feel "Enough is Enough!" I'm looking at myself with love and admiration for what I am accomplishing. Right now is the longest I have stuck with any sort of weight loss program. I know that this is not a program and it is a lifestyle change but it is also changing my life. I'm ready to stop hiding behind the fat and go get what I want. 
For the past two weeks I have amped up my cardio and cut down on my eating. I don't eat a morning snack anymore. If I do feel hungry I have a protein shake. I am also noticing that at dinner I am not as hungry as I used to be. I continue to ride my stationary bike for 20 minutes every day and I also do my couch to 5k at least 3 times a week. Because of this I lost another 3 lbs this week!!! That is a total of 12.4 lbs so far in this journey! I am learning so much and enjoying what I am doing. I don't feel deprived or hungry. I'm not grouchy or sad. I'm feeling great!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

2 months down!

Well it is 2 months since I started my journey to be healthier. I am really happy with the progress that I am making and I am really looking forward to the future and all that I will accomplish. So far I have lost 9.4 lbs and a total of 12.5 inches off my entire body!! I am really glad that I decided to measure myself back in January because that is where I am seeing major changes. It's nice to have something else to gauge my progress with besides the scale.


Monday, February 27, 2012

To achieve your dreams remember your A,B,C's

This is something my grandma gave me years ago in a birthday card. It is hanging on my mirror so that I remember this great advice. 

(the ones in bold my Grandma had highlighted)

To achieve our dreams remember your A,B,C’s

Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits
Believe in yourself
Consider things from every angle
Don’t give up and don’t give in
Enjoy life today,  yesterday is gone, tomorrow may never come
Family and friends are hidden treasures, seek them and enjoy their riches
Give more than you planned to
Hang on to your dreams
Ignore those who try to discourage you
Just do it
Keep trying no matter how hard it seems, it will get easier
Love yourself first and for most
Make it happen
Never lie, cheat or steal, always strike a fair deal
Open your eyes and see things as they really are
Practice makes perfect
Quitters never win and winner never quit
Rea, study and learn about everything important in your life
Stop procrastinating
Take control of your own destiny
Understand yourself in order to better understand other
Visualize it
Want it more than anything
Xcellerate your efforts
You are unique of all God’s creations, nothing can replace you
Zero in on your target and go for it. 

Here is my grandma last August at her 90th birthday. I love this lady!


Every once in a while I get tired of the same old thing day after day and want to move as far away for here as possible. I long for the excitement of city life and all the things there are to do and see that we don't have. Even though I want a bit more I have to admit that where I live now is one of the most beautiful places on earth and that I am very lucky to be able to live here. Below are some picture that my sister and I have taken that prove my point. 

This is my view on my drive to work. I wish I had one in the summer because it is truly breathtaking. 

View outside my back door (if you look over the houses. haha)

My sister took this. It is above Mancos. 

Above Mancos

Above Mancos

On Junction Creek road. Feels like the top of the world

Above Vallecito Lake. Those trees are remains of the fire several years ago. 

Red Mountain Pass- beginning of color changing

My friends ranch

at the ranch- One of my favorite pictures

Who could forget the snow! Yes that is my house behind all that snow.  
Hope you enjoyed these!!

Week 9

Week 9?!?! It has been 9 weeks already and I have to say that I feel so great! I am doing and trying new things all the time and I wake up each day with a little bit more energy and zest. I really can't wait for the spring and summer to do so much stuff. I want to go hiking, plant a veggie garden and clean up and fix my yard. I want to do a lot more than that but that is a good start. Here are the new steps for the week. Let me also say that I don't do everything on this list every week but I do the majority of them each week and switch some one week and do others the next week. The main point is doing something everyday to better my health.

1.     Shop once this week to keep my pantry stocked with healthy foods
2.     Stay between 3 and 6 on the hunger continuum and register my hunger and satiety level in my journal
3.     Maintain my food journal
4.     Drink 8 glasses of water a day
5.     ride my bike for 20 minutes at least 5 days a week and increase the resistance and note my rides in my journal.
6.     Squeeze some exercise into my daily routine.
7.     clean 1 drawer/cabinet/closet a week
8.     create and maintain an efficient laundry system.
9.     Eat 3 meals and 1 or 2 small snacks each day
10. Add stretching to my workout routine
11. Take a multivitamin each day – I am actually taking a multivitamin, a fish oil pill and a Llysine pill. (this is for cold sores so that I hopefully won’t get them too often)
12. be aware of my posture. Walk tall and with confidence!
13. Limit alcohol to one night a week and limit number of drinks to 2. Unless it is a margarita from Chavolos then the limit is 1.
14.  When going out to eat or at friends, chose food that is not fried and don’t graze around the food table. 
15.  Replace bad fats with good fats.
16. Add one fun element this week. (going dancing, playing basketball, etc.) This can take the place of one of my bike rides.
17.  discover the benefits of yoga
18.  clear the clutter from a mail pile, front door, etc and maintain a system to keep it clear
19.  Add core exercises and crunches to my workout routine at least 3 times a week.
20.  Start reading the ingredient list on the back of food labels. Watch out for additives and sodium especially.
21. Eat slower, savoring the food and truly enjoying the meal.
22. start a gratitude journal or explore journaling in general.
23. limit processed food and go for whole grains and whole foods.

Here is what is going on for week 9.

24. eat fish at least 2 times a week. – This is gonna be hard. I like fish but trying to make it so that it is not bland will be a little difficult. I better get out my cookbooks.
25. Do not eat after 8 o’clock at night
26. Try some more challenging strength training moves.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Asparagus Fries

I'm trying to get out of a rut of eating the same foods the same way all the time. I have branched out this week and bought some veggies that I normally don't eat but I also bought some I love. Asparagus is one I love. I could eat it at least twice a week. It makes me sad when it is no longer in season but I try to eat as much as I can when it is in season. I found a recipe that looked really good and it satisfied my veggies that I need to eat with my love of fried food. Of course this is not fried and it doesn't need to be. It was delicious! Click here for the original recipe. I omitted the zest of lemon since all I had was bottled lemon juice and I also omitted the red pepper flakes. I actually forgot to put it in by mistake. Next time I will not forget. I bet it would be even that much better. I also did not make the Aioli sauce. I'm sure it is good but I just didn't want to add those extra calories on.

Asparagus Fries

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, washed, ends trimmed 
  • 1 egg (I used 1/4 cup of eggbeaters) 
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with baking spray. (I use stoneware to cook everything so I skipped lining the pan)
  2. Combine egg, dijon and lemon juice in a shallow bowl, whisk together.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs, salt & pepper in a dish and mix together.
  4. Coat asparagus first in egg mixture and then in breadcrumb mixture. Line up on baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes until breadcrumbs have turned golden brown and asparagus still has some “bite” left to it.
  6. Serve warm out of the oven.
They won't be completely coated in panko which is good because you will have more of the asparagus taste than just breading taste. You get a nice mix of both. 


I killed it this week!!!!!

Let me start out by letting you know that I have moved my weigh in/recap day to Friday. I did this for a couple of reasons. The main one being that Monday seems to get bogged down with a lot of blog posts and I want to spread them throughout the week. The other reason is that weighing in on Friday allows me to have a little more relaxing weekend. I have spent the last several weekends worrying about what I'm eating, whether I exercised enough, etc, etc. in order to get a number on the scale that I want. I think it might be part of my issue for the last several weeks of not going anywhere with my weight. However it does not mean that I can just fall off the wagon and eat like a pig all weekend and not exercise because I have a whole week to work it off. I've done that in the past and it got me nowhere. I know that I need to continue my process on the weekends as well. It's just a more relaxed process. Sometimes I don't eat breakfast because I got up late or I don't eat 5 times a day. We will see how this works for me in the next couple weeks.

Now I am so happy to report that I lost a whopping 3.7 lbs this week!!!! I was so happy when I saw that this morning I almost cried. I have been really stepping up my cardio this week and obviously it has paid off. That makes my total loss so far 9.4 lbs! I have also adjusted my eating plan a little bit.

As you know I am training to run in the 5k in April. I have done that training twice this week. I also make sure that the days that I don't train I ride my bike. Sometimes this week I rode my bike and jogged in the same day. That is a first for me. :) Yesterday I was planning on jogging again but the wind and cold was so bad that I was having doubts. My friend Pam randomly texted me about the new Crossfit place in town and wondered if I wanted to try it. I decided at that moment that I would go check it out and if they had a class I would do that instead of my jogging. OMG it was an ass kicker! It was a really good workout. Probably the best I have had in a long time and my lungs were feeling it. I finished last in the class but the awesome thing was that I finished. I didn't give up.

As far as my diet is going I have replaced one snack with a whey protein drink and bought more variety of fruits and vegetables. I bought purple and orange cauliflower! I can't wait to make something awesome with that. I'm also switching from coffee to green tea. I don't put sugar in my coffee but I do use fat free half and half. I didn't really think it was so bad until I was checking out the calories. It is 20 calories for 1 tablespoon. Not a whole lot but I usually have 3 tablespoons a day. That is 60 calories a day which ends up being 420 calories a week! That is a lot of calories for something that I can easily replace with 0 calories. It's small changes like this that will help my diet and my body in the long run.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Let the training begin!

If you have been following this blog from the start you will know that one of my goals this year is to run (not walk) in a 5K. I haven't run since I was in junior high. Since I am now 38 that is a really really long time ago. I asked several friends if they knew of any to try. My friend Steve told me about one that is in April called the Cherry Creek Sneak. Steve is actually the one that inspired me to run in a race in the first place. Last year he started training and since then he has lost a lot of weight and run in many races. On Friday I signed up for this. It is April 29th in Denver. Steve and his wife Mary are going to do the race. My sister has signed up and I hope my friend Pam will join as well. I'm going to try to get others to join too. The more the merrier!

To start training for this I downloaded a couch to 5K training program for my iphone. On Saturday I did my first training. I am very proud to say that I jogged! The program is great. It starts out with several minutes of walking to warm up them switches from jogging to walking slowing building up to just running. It has a time clock on it and will prompt when to walk and when to jog. You can also program songs to play. I really enjoyed it. I jogged for the whole time I was supposed to and didn't stop even though my lungs were burning!

I haven't found a treadmill yet but now that the weather is getting nicer I think I will be able to train outside. I am still on the lookout for a treadmill but I am not going to let that stop me from training. I also bought some new running shoes and workout gear. I'm ready to go!

Week 8

1.     Shop once this week to keep my pantry stocked with healthy foods
2.     Stay between 3 and 6 on the hunger continuum and register my hunger and satiety level in my journal
3.     Maintain my food journal
4.     Drink 8 glasses of water a day
5.     ride my bike for 20 minutes at least 5 days a week and increase the resistance and note my rides in my journal.
6.     Squeeze some exercise into my daily routine.
7.     clean 1 drawer/cabinet/closet a week
8.     create and maintain an efficient laundry system.
9.     Eat 3 meals and 1 or 2 small snacks each day
10. Add stretching to my workout routine
11. Take a multivitamin each day – I am actually taking a multivitamin, a fish oil pill and a Llysine pill. (this is for cold sores so that I hopefully won’t get them too often)
12. be aware of my posture. Walk tall and with confidence!
13. Limit alcohol to one night a week and limit number of drinks to 2. Unless it is a margarita from Chavolos then the limit is 1.
14.  When going out to eat or at friends, chose food that is not fried and don’t graze around the food table. 
15.  Replace bad fats with good fats.
16. Add one fun element this week. (going dancing, playing basketball, etc.) This can take the place of one of my bike rides.
17.  discover the benefits of yoga
18.  clear the clutter from a mail pile, front door, etc and maintain a system to keep it clear
19.  Add core exercises and crunches to my workout routine at least 3 times a week.
20.  Start reading the ingredient list on the back of food labels. Watch out for additives and sodium especially.

New steps for week 8 –

21. Eat slower, savoring the food and truly enjoying the meal.
22. start a gratitude journal or explore journaling in general.
23. limit processed food and go for whole grains and whole foods.


Does the number on the scale matter?

I'm really starting to get discouraged with my weight loss or as it happens, the lack of weight loss. I have been losing and gaining the same pound for the last 3 weeks. I'm not sure what is going on. I think what I need to do is focus a little more on my eating plan. I thought that I have been eating well and have been watching my portions. I do have at least one meal a week that is not too good but I would think that wouldn't affect my weight like this. Maybe it is. When I make something at home I always swap out the full fat/high calorie items for lower fat/calorie items and I have been doing some sort of exercise every day. I'm not sure what it is but I will fix it! I will check out some websites for some foods that boost weight loss or some new menu ideas.  I have read numerous articles about not fixating on the number but how I feel and how my clothes feel. I do feel great and my clothes are fitting better. It is just really hard when that number is not moving. It is something I can see that the work I am doing is making progress. I also think I need a little more patience. I keep saying this but it's true- it didn't get put on in a hurry and it won't come off in a hurry. Does anyone have any ideas for me???

Pizza Lasagna

I had some pizza toppings left over and decided to make something a little different. I thought about making lasagna cups but decided in the end to make a flat lasagna. I didn’t have any ricotta cheese so I decided to experiment using some greek yogurt that I had. Any toppings would be great in this. Below is what I had on hand.

Pizza Lasagna

8 whole wheat lasagna noodles
½ cup greek yogurt
2 cups low fat mozzarella cheese + ¼ cup additional for top of lasagna
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 small jar pizza sauce
1 shallot- sliced thin
1 can mushrooms (can use fresh but canned was all I had)
Turkey pepperoni
Sundried tomatoes- cut into bite sized bits

Preheat oven to 375
Cook the noodles until they are al dente. Strain and let cool. In a small bowl mix the yogurt, Italian seasonings, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. The consistency will be sort of a paste texture. In a small deep dish baker (mine was about 8") or small pan spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom then add a single layer of lasagna noodles. I cut the noodles in half to fit better in my baker. Add some more sauce, a third of the cheese mixture and a third of the toppings. The cheese might be a little hard to spread with a spoon. I just used my hands to break little pieces and sprinkle over the sauce. Continue the noodle, cheese, sauce and toppings in three layers. Once all the layers are done sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup cheese on top and put in oven. Cook until cheese is melted and lasagna is cooked through. I cooked it for about 30 minutes.
I was able to get 6 servings out of this. They are small servings but they will freeze well and I plan on eating them with a fresh salad or veggies for lunches.

This is the first layer

All the layers just going into the oven

The finished product

one serving (this is a teacup plate just to get an idea of size. They are small portions) - I cut each serving out and put in a  plastic container and froze them. This way I have dinner or lunch when I don't have time to cook

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Something new to motivate you...

Today while I was looking at pintrest I found a pin for a website that sends out daily email challenges for you to do. I thought that was such a great idea so I signed up. You can invite your Facebook friends so you can experience changes together and you get points and awards and some other little things. I'm not much into the points and such as much as the idea of having my friends involved with me.  "The Daily Challenge is a social well-being experience that gives you the opportunity to positively impact your life every day by doing simple daily challenges and sharing the experience with your personal connections" -(per the daily challenge website) The website can be found here.Today's challenge was to write down a personal mantra or motto and put it up in a visible spot. This is what I wrote-

Keep up the good work! You can do it! You can do anything you put your mind to!

I'm excited for this since it is just something small and easy that I can do each day. I like that they come by email and if you haven't marked "done" once you have completed the task they send you a reminder email later in the day. Just another small thing to help make a difference in my lifestyle!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Crockpot Chicken Teriyaki

Since my experiment to try a new recipe each week, this is the best I have made yet. I used chicken breasts instead of thighs and also added steamed broccoli and green beans as well. Next time I make this I will also add more veggies just to amp it up even more. I got 6 servings out of this recipe and served it on rice.
Here is the link for the original recipe. Below is how I made it.


2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
6 tablespoons cider vinegar
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 1/2 teaspoons cold water
1-2 lbs steamed vegetables
Hot cooked long grain rice

Place chicken in a 4 qt. slow cooker.  In a large bowl, combine the sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ginger, garlic and pepper.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender.  Remove chicken and shred or cut into bite sizes pieces. Transfer to a serving platter and keep warm.  Skim fat from cooking liquid.  Place liquid in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Combine cornstarch and water until smooth.  Gradually stir into liquid and stir until sauce is thickened. In the meantime, steam the veggies until tender. Once the sauce is thickened, toss in the chicken and the veggies and stir until everything is coated.  Serve with and rice and top with sesame seeds.

This is when I decided to add the veggies. There seemed to be too much sauce. 

Here it is with just broccoli. I added the green beans when I ate it for another meal. 
Finished product. Doesn't it look yummy?!?!