Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 - Things to be grateful for!

Even though I haven't been blogging long and don't have many posts on this, I thought I would do a quick 2009 things to be grateful for post. This afternoon, my family and I were driving around doing errands and everyone was in a bad mood. Work is incredibly hard for me right now, my 3 year old is being a real pill, I haven't been feeling well for a week (a cough that I refer to as my stress cough will NOT go away!), and because of all of this, haven't slept well at all.

SOOOO, my beautiful husband said we should think about things for which we are grateful from 2009...and I think I might have some pictures to go along!

We took some great trips! Over spring, I went on a work trip with my hubby to San Diego. We had a great time. It was our first time away from the kids and it just felt great to be alone with him. We did some awesome things on this trip, but I didn't take many pictures. The best one I have is at a Padres game. I am a big baseball fan and have this not so secret dream to attend every major league ball park in the US. This stadium was a great one!

We also went to Santa Fe as a family. My parents have a house out there. We went over the summer and had a blast. We had picnics, ate great food, swam, relaxed, was awesome!

We also took a couple of trips to Chicago. One in the fall as a getaway for just the four of us:

And again in December as our annual trip to celebrate Christmas. We go every year, do some regular traditions, and see lots of family. It's a great time.

In June, I completed the hardest year of teaching IN MY LIFE, and in August, I started year two in a different position, and in a MUCH smoother way. (This is just something to acknowledge - I don't really have pictures of this) :)

I ran/walked two races. In October, I did a 5K with two of my friends. My time was 38 minutes and I was just so happy to complete my first race in 5 years.

With the BEST cheering squad EVER!

In November, I did the Drumstick Dash on Thanksgiving. 4.5 miles in a little over an hour. Again, I was just so proud and LOVED the fact I started my holiday weekend with this race!

In May, we celebrated our baby girl turning one,

And in November, we celebrated our baby boy turning three.

So no matter what, really, could I be any luckier? I have yet to set my goals for 2010 - I have a couple of ideas and am ALMOST ready to go public with them, but for now and tonight, I'm going to celebrate a year that was, in all, a very successful year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A rough few weeks

This morning, I went for a two mile run. My first in quite a while. I felt pretty good. I took off too fast, but eventually I found my pace and pretty easily made it for the two miles. While I ran, I thought about my plan of attack. Slowly, but surely, I'm realizing how good I feel when I eat well and exercise regularly. I do not want to create resolutions - maybe more like plan of attack. I'm turning 35 in 2010. I"m hitting the second half of my 30s and want to feel better than I ever have before. I have been under a lot of stress at work lately and am really looking for balance and happiness. I haven't been focusing on eating, I haven't been putting emphasis on exercise, and you can tell. I'm tired, my face is a zitty mess, and I feel like a slug. I have a family and important job, people! I can't feel sluggish!

I felt proud this morning after my run. That feeling of pride, in my opinion, should trump any other feeling of stress or unhappiness I have. So, although this isn't my "Goals 2010" post, I would definitely say that one of my goals is to feel proud more often - and furthermore, acknowledge that pride!

We are visiting family for the next couple of days. When we get back, I'll do my Goals 2010 post - OH and I got a Canon Powershot for Christmas! Perfect to carry along with me on my runs! :) (Of course I forgot this morning - I will tomorrow for sure!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Body Image Issue

As I write more and get happier with my body more, I'm sure I'll write about this more.

The bottom line is, regardless of the fact that this body has given birth to two amazing babies, works hard everyday, helped open an incredible school, has run many races including a half marathon, takes care of a house, cooks healthy food for her family (almost) everyday, takes walks with the family regularly, was a gymnast and softball player - and a pretty good one at that....regardless of all of that, I will never forget the HURTFUL things people said to me when I was younger.

Nobody says them now.

In fact, I get a lot more compliments than anything else.

However, when I have days that I struggle to exercise or make a bad order while I'm eating out, my mind goes back to those mean and thoughtless people.

They have power over me. That is a power that I am going to conquer - even if I am peering at 35 off yonder in the distance. If I'm going to raise my children to love themselves, I really need to figure out how to love myself too.

Thank you, Carla, for your post today. It hit home in more ways than you'll ever know. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Exercise Issue

Ahhhh exercise....

How I love thee but struggle with thee.

I have to wake up to workout early. I can do videos in my living room, exercises on my own, and even go running.

But I don't.

All week, I set the alarm for 5:00 and ended up getting up between 6 and 6:30, then I'm out the door by 7:00.

It's just so hard.

I want to set goals and make this big plan for myself, but I don't. The craziest thing is that I know it will make me feel amazing. I know that I will be so psyched that I started my day that way and walk into work with all kinds of pride.

I wish I could have this whole conversation with myself to convince myself.

But I'm not.

I would be so excited if I blogged every morning about my great morning workout - just like I was excited to blog about my food choice out to eat on Monday (and by the way my eating has been AWESOME this week!)

So I'll leave it at that. I'll keep reminding myself about how good I'll feel if I do it and blog about it. And I KNOW I will get there!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

If you don't want to take a picture of it, don't eat it!

Last night was gymnastics night at our house. We leave work a bit early, pick up the kids and take them to gymnastics. A1 is in his own class and A2 is in a parent/tot class. They workout at the same gym I went to as a kid before my family moved to Chicago (once upon a time, teachermama was a pretty good gymnast...maybe another time I'll get into that...)

After gymnastics, we go out to dinner. Gymnastics ends at 6 and by then the kids are starving - even if they've had a snack on the way! We often go to Subway which is great - I can get a veggie sub and baked chips and not feel even remotely bad about myself. I can even snack on the kids stuff and not feel bad (I have a TERRIBLE time keeping my hands out of their food. I'm working on it!)

Last night, Ryan and I were not feeling Subway. It was all A1 wanted, but we convinced him to go to McAlisters. This is a place I don't love, but it has more options - however, for a vegetarian, the options are slim. Salad does nothing for me. I had veggie chili for lunch and really didn't want it I opted for a cheese pizza. They are thin crust and good. Then, while I was sitting there, I thought about taking a picture of my food. I thought that I might be embarrassed of taking a picture of my cheese pizza. For someone who SAYS they are trying to be healthy, I shouldn't be ordering cheese pizzas. :) So THIS is what my plate looked like:

Yippee for me!!! I am my own superhero!!! I was quite proud! The sandwich was delicious, and I only used a little bit of the ranch dressing (so nice it came on the side!) I nibbled a little bit on the kids' stuff (those are A2's nachos in the background, she likes to "dip" stuff!), but felt really good about my choices....maybe this food blogging thing is worth it ---although hubby did get a little annoyed I was taking a picture of my food while the kids were both crying and whining..... Hey, I'll figure it out!

Cheers to a great day! My day started with another incredible bowl of oatmeal - yum, yum, yum!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Morning Breakfast

Since I started reading all of these wonderful food blogs: Eat, Live, Run, Healthy Tipping Point, Meganerdruns, Oh She Glows, Kath Eats, Food Fitness Fashion, Carrots N Cake, N Her Shoes (and others - but I only have so much time!) I've started embracing the oats. These fabulous women have bowls of oats in the morning that blow me away - and I've been emulating for about a month now!

This weekend, after my Drumstick Dash, Ryan (my husband) asked me how I felt compared to the 5K I did in October. I told him I felt great. He asked why since I hadn't been running like I wanted - I told him I thought it was because of the fact I've been eating healthier and making healthier choices. I generally have more energy.

The beautiful ladies mentioned above, as well as mizfit have gotten me to really think about how to LIVE. How to make food and exercise choices and LIVE. How to eat clean and LIVE. How to enjoy healthy food and LIVE. How to complete a run and LIVE. I'm so doing that!

I LOVE how these beautiful ladies blog about their food and food choices. I'm going to TRY. Keeping in mind I'm a mother of two and a school leader - I only have so much time in the I'm REALLY long-winded :)

So, here's breakfast. My oats - how I love thee. I literally get excited thinking about oats and what I'm putting in them. I eat at school before I teach my little math class and everyone looks to see what's in them. Nobody understands how good they are and how long they keep me FULL!

In my oats today:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1/2 cup water
Half a Banana
1/4 cup pumpkin granola
Tablespoon of Almond Butter
A smattering of chocolate chips

And a Diet Coke (she says as she recoils from the aforementioned foodies...A BIG goal is to rid myself of my Diet Coke habit. I have one or two a day, it could be worse, but I shouldn't drink it. Nothing good or healthy about it - except it completes me :)

Cheers to a great day!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's a proud proud day...

This afternoon I ran THREE MILES IN A ROW! Yes ladies and gentlemen (I'm almost confident nobody is reading though!) this was the first time I've done this in years. I feel amazing - but exhausted. I hardly slept last night, woke up early with A2, and had a busy day.

The run was great. I walked for a couple of blocks and then just started running. My pace was between 10 and 11 minutes, and using my Nike+, I checked my pace every so often and even slowed down a little bit here and there. I really wanted to make it the full 3 miles. There were a couple of times I thought about stopping and walking. Then, I thought about how amazing I would feel if I kept going and completed the whole run. By the time the lady in my ears was telling me 400 more meters, 200 more meters, etc, I thought - I can do this! And I did. I really am so happy!

My plan for now through my winter break is to exercise 5-6 times a week. Three runs, and the other days strength training to either Jillian Michaels videos or Firm videos. I'd like to throw in some yoga in there, but don't have any videos. I downloaded a couple of things on, but I'm not sure if I like them. Maybe I'll try them tomorrow.... AND, I'm going to do Whittle My Middle EVERY DAY! The key to all of this is going to get up early to do it. It's really the only time. I'm still working through running in the dark in the morning, so we'll see. But the GOAL is to exercise 5-6 times a week, eat REALLY clean, and hopefully lose in the next couple of weeks. I have one out of town trip to Chicago - that will be hard, but I'm confident I can do this!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

You Have to Learn to Live

I just commented on Rebecca's post about this - and wanted to quickly write it to remind myself as well!

On Wednesday night's Biggest Loser special, Bob visited Eric's (I think that's his name) house. Eric is a former winner who has gained back most of his weight. Bob told him this, "You know how to lose the weight, you know how to gain the weight. Now you have to learn to live."

This is so me. I have to learn to live. I have to learn how to be a mom to two amazing kids, an educator at an amazing school, a wife to an amazing husband - and take care of me. I'm living a healthy life for me to be able to be an amazing mama, teacher, wife, sister, daughter, friend...that's what I'm doing. I have to learn to live.

I'm SO going to do it!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Drumstick Dash --A New Tradition

This year, I was DETERMINED to do a race on Thanksgiving. Last year, when I drove by everyone picking up their stuff for the race, I was so bummed I wasn't doing it. Last weekend, when I threw out my back, I was really worried I wouldn't be able to do it - that my body would feel like it just couldn't make it. I got a massage this week, saw the chiropractor, got my friend to sign up to do it with me, and did it. Man was I glad. I LOVED this event and LOVED starting my day off with it!

We ran the first two miles. There were 10,000 people in this race and it was packed. It was near impossible to get a fast pace going, and once you could, it would bottle up again. But it didn't matter. We ran an easy pace the first two miles. At mile two, my friend's son (who's nine and was AWESOME running with us!) wanted a break and Nikki and I weren't complaining. So, we walked a bit. We were antsy to run again - her son wasn't as much, but we got him to! We did the rest of the race running and walking, trying to alternating longer running periods with shorter walking periods. Even when we walked we did a great pace. The last couple of minutes were hard. My legs were tired! We were both panting and complaining a bit, but we pushed it, and crossed the line at one hour two minutes. I was SO proud. It made our pace about 13.7 minutes/mile and to me, someone who is just getting started, that felt great!

I ate the rest of the day as I normally would - but cooked quite a bit of food thinking a little bit more about what was healthier. I substituted agave nectar for a lot of sugar - and you could not tell. In a couple of dishes I used Earth Balance instead of butter, and opted for Light Land O'Lakes butter. I had one vegan dessert, and 3 other vegan dishes. My family forced me to make turkey (I've been a vegetarian now for a couple of months), but EVERYTHING else was veggie - even the gravy and NOBODY noticed - or at least they didn't say anything!

The meal was great (if I do say so myself) and I haven't one picture --I had big plans to take pics of all my food, but just didn't get it together -- except this one of A2 eating her first Thanksgiving meal (last year it was all about formula!)

-mashed potatoes
-butternut squash puree
-green beans and shallots
-cranberry preserves
-pumpkin cheesecake
-cranberry apple crisp

In all, GREAT day! Great friends, family, and food - could a girl ask for anything more???

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's a bust

Man oh man. Last spring, I was holding my 11 month old, bent over to pick up a sock, completely wrenched my back and didn't walk for 4 days. I blamed it on stress, being overweight, and not exercising - at all.

What did I do about it? Nothing! I am currently the same weight I was last spring. I have mastered maintenance - at a weight that is at least 70 pounds more than it should be!

This fall, I've tried to start running regularly. I've run a 5k, had some amazing runs with family and friends, but have been unable to be consistent. Last week, I was all about doing the Whittle My Middle Challenge. I did it one day.

This morning, I threw my back out again. I was picking up the now 18 month old to changer her diaper before I went on a 4 miles run. It's not nearly as bad as last spring, but it happened. I cried really really hard for about 15 minutes. I self-deprecated myself to death, cried about being stressed, cried about being stuck at a completely unhappy weight, and tried to figure out what the hell is wrong with me.

I've come up with nothing, but something has got to change. I have got to get rid of this weight. I have got to be healthy.

What I really want to do is challenge myself to waking up early, 5 days a week, to stretch and do strength training. I have amazing videos. I could do this. I don't get up because I am the world's worst morning person. Excuses excuses. I am full of excuses. I self-sabotage...I have got to figure this out!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Whittle My Middle

The kids' sickness is OVER! Yay! I haven't run in a week. No excuses, but I will be running tomorrow!

I've been reading about Whittle My Middle on various sites. Different people are doing it everywhere (or so I've read on their blogs!). Ryan, Abel and I did our 6 exercises tonight. We ruled. I'm planning on doing it everyday. I didn't start with measurements, but I did set a goal to lose two pounds a week goal starting today. I have a graph and everything.

I started my day with a green monster, had oatmeal and nut butter in the middle of the day, hummus and veggies mid afternoon, and went out to eat at Binkley's (not an awesome meal but not too bad) at the end of the day. I'm not feeling bad about my choices at dinner, but wish we would have been at home. My hubby LOVES to eat out. So do I - but the kids were tired and right now, at this point in my experience, it's hard to make the right choices when I'm out to eat. If I'm feeling really good when I'm at a "pub" type place, I get a house salad, dressing on the side, and a baked potato. Tonight, I ate half a 10" pizza - sharing one piece with A2. 4 small pieces. Could have been worse. Once upon a time, I would have eaten the whole thing!

So, just wanted to share my Whittle My Middle start - cheers to the next 29 days! :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My first green monster

Now, I've made a lot of smoothies in my day. My typical recipe was a small can of chunked pineapple, a variety of frozen fruits, a container of lite vanilla yogurt, and enough orange juice to smooth it out. My problem with smoothies is that they are time consuming for me in the mornings and I lose patience - plus lite yogurt is full of all kinds of things bad. I've been reading about the Green Monster Movement (and see all kinds of people's sites where they've had a green monster) and decided to try one tonight. I'm having another blah day. I had to come home from work at the midday to relieve my husband who was home with one sick kid. The other kid was fine yesterday and this morning, but ended up getting sent home as her fever went up again. My level of sadness and frustration about my kids not feeling well is killing me....and it's just fever. Nothing you can do about it.

Except be peaceful.

And quiet.

And present.

And as healthy as we possibly can.

I kind of snacked through my day (but nothing horrible). I gave my kids leftovers for dinner and decided to try my hand at a Green Monster. It was delicious! Mine contained a huge handful of spinach, about a cup and a half of frozen fruit including strawberries, mangoes, and blueberries, the juice of half a lemon, a drizzle of agave nectar, and a cup of almond milk. I blended and blended, poured, drank, and it was delicious! It ended up being a bit more of a blue monster (sorry about the photo, I used my iPhone) but it was great. Filled me up, and made me feel really good about that choice I made for today. Thanks to ALL who have inspired me to do something different with my smoothie routine!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Sitting here...

My kids are sick. They are always sick. They are kids who are in daycare and there is always some kind of an issue. It really wears me down having to figure out who's staying home from work, and how to work it out...I love my kids and love being able to be home. However, when I'm home and out of my routine, I get really bummed out. Routine is really important to me.

Tuesday nights have become one of my nights to run. Tonight, my hubby worked late and I was home all day with A2. I usually run between 5 and 6 so it's just before it's really dark and I still have time with the kids when I'm done. Tonight I'm out of my routine. Therefore, I'm sitting here, having not exercised, eaten pretty horribly all day, and not running. I could drive to the Y and run on the treadmill, but that's just not natural to me (excuse!?!?) I could just go run in the dark - but I'm slightly weary of that (excuse!?!?!).

Tomorrow is a new day. I have already packed all kinds of goodness for my lunch and will conquer after school snacks at our regular Wed. meetings. But for now. I'm blue. Let this be a learning experience...geez - I'm 34 how many more of those am I going to have to have before I get it???

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sunday Run

Yesterday I went for a run with the whole family. It was A1's third birthday (my kids are Abel, 3 and Adelyn 1 1/2 - we refer to them as A1 and A2). We had a breakfast out, went to the store, and came home for a run. I forced Ryan (the husband) to go with me too - even though he wasn't feeling well. We did a loop through Butler University's (we live in Indianapolis) campus and it turned out to be 4 miles exactly. We completed it in 49 minutes - walking off and on just a bit. I ran the first 1.5 miles and felt great. I had a really hard time getting started again after I stopped and walked for a bit. I sometimes can't help but to wonder if I really need to be walking. I'm panting like crazy in my runs, so feel like I should stop to give myself a break, but also wonder if that's really necessary. I'll keep experimenting and see!

My eating this weekend (like MOST weekends) was really horrible. I need a great deal of work on weekend eating. Once I get that down, I know weight will fall off. It being A1's birthday, I think my mind decided to say so be it. That is a horrible obstacle for me!

This morning I loaded myself with oats, pumpkin, a tablespoon of almond butter, and a tablespoon of Trader Joe's chocolate chips. I LOVE this breakfast!

Cheers to an amazing day!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


I've tried blogging before to keep me accountable for my weightloss. In Nov. 2006 I had my first baby (he'll be 3 tomorrow!) and in May 2008 I had my second baby. 3 weeks later, we moved our family and 2 weeks later I started a new, extremely rewarding, but HARD job in a brand new charter school.

I gained about 65 pounds in both pregnancies. Between the first and second, I lost the weight that came off with baby and about 40 more - pretty easily. This time, it's been a lot, lot harder. I'm busy and I love food!

This year, in year two of our charter school and in a new position in the school (part time administrator that teaches a couple of middle school classes), I've recommitted to losing my weight. However, I'm not doing it just to lose weight, I'm doing it to be healthy and somebody I want my children to know me as.

I recently ran/walked a 5K in 38 minutes. Before kids and a tough time in my life, I ran regularly, was in a few races, and completed a half marathon. I'm wanting to get there again. In fact, I've registered to run a half marathon in May.

I'm 34 years old. I'm 5'6". I'm 70 pounds over weight. I have a long way to go. My knees and back hurt all the time and I know it's from years and years of carrying extra weight (I haven't been at a healthy weight since college - not even when I ran my last half marathon). Enough is seriously enough.

So, I hope to chronicle good eating choices and my new running routine on this blog. I hope I can help others do the same. However, I remain incredibly busy. But I can't make excuses. Nothing can get in my way. I have to do this for my family but mostly, for myself.