Monday, October 29, 2012

MAMAVATION MONDAY: Week 1, Day 1 Thoughts

Today marks Week 1, Day 1 of the 2 week challenge and I just finished my first workout provided by Bob Harper, trainer on The Biggest Loser.  I really didn't know what to expect.  I looked at the circuit outline and watched the demo videos to make sure that I would do the exercises correctly. I made it through the entire workout but it was tough!!
When you look at the exercise, they arent' anything complex or not crazy enough to confuse you, they start off pretty simple...looking.  By the third set of the Part B workout, I was exhausted and not sure if I could pull it off.  I did and I feel great.  I know, for a fact, that I will be sore later or tomorrow but it is well worth it.  I am worth it. 
I am doing this challenge for me.  I want to change my body, my life, my health.  I don't have any health problems right now but I am not getting younger.  I want to work hard now to live a lifestyle that leads to problem free health. I want to show my kids that it is important to take care of ourselves and do what we can to stay healthy and fit. 
I took my starting weight and measurements and I'm hoping to see improvements at the end of the next two weeks.  I know I will feel better.
We aren't required to announce our starting measurements but I am:
Weight: 143.9lbs.
Arms: L 11.5, R 11.5
Waist: 34
Hips: 37.5
Thighs: L 22, R 22
I can't believe I just did that!!  Ack for accountability! ;)

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nervous and Excited

Monday begins the 2 week health and fitness challenge that I am doing through Mamavation!  I am nervous and excited at the same time. 

On one hand, here is a great opportunity to work with the Bob Harper from The Biggest Loser using his site with daily workouts, food suggestions and recipes, healthy living advice and so much more.  I am so lucky, it is like having my very own dietician and personal trainer!!  Something that I really need and have wanted for a long time.  I am so thankful to Mamavation for the opportunity!

On the other hand, I am so nervous that I am going to struggle to keep up.  I have a very busy schedule but I always try to take time out for myself using the mantra, "you are worth it." I will be doing the daily workouts in the mornings and using his advice for my eating.  I hope I am strong enough to do the things he wants me to!  I think most times it is mind over matter with exercise.  You can be totally exhausted and your mental encouragement allows you to finish big, or you can be mentaly defeated and the struggle is far worse. 

I'm going in totally pumped for this chance to change a lot of things about myself and learn more about myself at the same time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I've made no secret about my concerns with Lincoln and his struggles at school.  I am still hearing from his teacher that "he is struggling, he needs a lot of work, he will fall behind", etc.  It has been driving me crazy and I keep working with him.  That is not going to change.

I am seeing progress so we are really wondering why I keep hearing that he doesn't know too much.  That he really needs a lot of work with his letter recognition, letter sounds, etc. 

His first letter recognition test at school, he knew none.  At that time, I panicked and couldn't believe that he knew none of the letters at all.  That is when we went on a mission to improve this situation.  We work every single day on his letters and sounds, numbers, patterns, rhyming, etc.  Anything the teacher says he needs to practice, we work on. 

I have no problem with sitting down with him and teaching him, practicing with him and watching him as he learns and masters new letters.  I see improvement. 

The next assessment they did in school, he knew 5 of his letters.  Thank goodness because I knew that he knew some of his letters. However, I also knew that he knew more than those five letters because I work with him everyday.  I told him that he needs to really try hard and think about the letters and make sure he tells the lady the letters that he knows because it is a very important test. 

I have been using letter flashcards and he is learning more and more of them. I lay them out on the floor in random order and he gets to go through one by one and say the letter name and if he knows it, he gets to keep it.  When we are all through, he counts how many he knew and it is so very exciting.  He is up to 13 that he knows and that is amazing. I have to say that it is just as satisfying to me as it is to him because we both work hard to get there.  The ones that he does not know, we go through and I try to teach him the letters in a way that he will remember.  For example, Z is zig zag Z because it looks like a zig zag line.  J is hook your sister, because it looks like a hook and his sister's name is Jada or Jay for short.  It seems to be working. I don't have clues like that for all the letters but some of them. 

His last assessment, he knew 9 letters and I know he knows more but I am happy to see progress in school as well.  I am probably going to email the reading specialist that he works with and just check in with her on her opinion of his progress and what she sees. 

I honestly do not know if I can trust his teacher's opinion or assessment because I have learned a few things that are unfavorable to the situation.  I think she may be biased and she is struggling herself on teaching this classroom.  There are children in the classroom with special needs and I don't think she is handling it very well.

I am going to wait until after a parent/teacher conference to raise any concerns to the principal or administration. I don't have any problem with raising a concern higher up than her because it is for the children in that class that need more support rather than discouragement when they are in the prime learning stages of their lives.  Having a bad kindergarten experience can affect their entire school career.  I don't want that to happen to my child or anyone elses.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Getting the Hang of Things, Goals, Workouts

When I first heard about Mamavation, I really wasn't quite sure what the heck it was.  I just saw that my friend was posting the hashtag on Twitter and posting about health and fitness and challenges.  I was intrigued and wanted to know more. I read a little about it on their website and that was it. I was so busy and really didn't have time to commit to all the stuff that it entailed. 
Then, I got serious.  I wanted to see my former self again, I wanted to get myself into better shape and health.  I took a second look at Mamavation and I decided that, yes, I am worth the time to pledge.  I am worth the dedication it takes to get back to where I want to me.  I am worth it.
So here I am.  I am now a part of this inspiring, supportive, wonderful community.  I was asked to be a Sista of the Mamavation. I couldn't be any happier or honored to accept the invitation. 
I am still getting the hang of things with Mamavation, there is a lot of information and ways to connect that I need to just keep learning and getting it better. 
I am starting with a few goals this week. 
I hope to continue with my arm workouts each morning and evening.  I have done very well with these with exception to this weekend.  We were on the go all weekend and I didn't get them in but today is a new day.  That is an important lesson...don't look back, look forward with your eyes on the prize. 
I plan to do a cardio workout each day this week.  I will be rotating different workouts found on Pinterest so that I stay engaged and don't get bored. 
I would love to go running one or two days this week as the weather here is going to be beautiful!  We are going to be in the 70's here all week.  If I do run, it will be interval training through the Couch to 5K program, I use the app on my phone for that so it is convenient. 
If I don't run, I may get in a bike ride.  I haven't gotten on my bike in quite awhile but I do love the breeze and sunshine so what better way to enjoy that than on a bike?
As far as eating, I am learning the art of calorie counting.  I have never used this method before so it is new to me and I am also using an app for that.  My friend uses MyFitnessPal and so I loaded that onto my phone and I used it on Thursday as a test run and it was easy and is such a great way to do it.  I will use this week as a sort of baseline to see what I need to change, what my bad habits are, where I get most of my calories from, etc. A science experiment of sorts. lol.
So those are my goals for this week.  I really hope to get all that in this week.  I have so much going on in my life right now but as I said before, I am worth it!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mamavation Monday: Small Steps to Big Leaps

 I posted my fitness/weight goals and I have gotten started. 

I have really been utilitizing Pinterest for my home workouts.  It is amazing how you can find so many different workouts to do and you could do a different one every single day if you wanted to.  I haven't been doing anything crazy like the Insanity workouts but I've been doing small, short workouts that really target certain areas or get my heart going.

I did find an arm workout that I really like and I've been doing that every single morning for almost a week.  I haven't been keeping track of measurements so I have no idea if there is a difference in my arms yet but I like the workout so I will continue that for awhile until I feel that I can add more weight on to it. I am doing it now with 2lb. weights to start out.  I don't want to start out by doing too much because then I will be more likely to give it up. 

This is my arm workout that I do daily:

I usually start out with this then I find a total body, thigh, lower body, core or any workout that I feel like doing.  This morning I did a good workout that got my heart rate up.  I would say it was a total body workout as it worked my arms, abs, legs, and core. 

Here is the workout I did this morning after my arm workout

It was tough and I was sweating and breathing hard but that is a good thing.  That is what I want.  I want a workout that I know is making me push myself. 

I feel great after this workout and I know that I can go through the rest of the day knowing that I accomplished this tough one.  I look forward to working out again tomorrow.  I may start doing the arm workout again before bed at night.  Just for something a little extra.

So far, my weight has remained the same.  I am okay with that because I know this is not an overnight process.  This will take time.  I have a long range goal and I know the road is long and winding, but I can do this!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stepping It Up

When I quit working full time back in June, I had an online job lined up and it was going to be awesome, I was going to work and make great money and well, I was excited. 

It didn't work out.  Ever since then, I have been looking for a part time or full time job that I could do from home so that I would still be able to take Lincoln to school everyday and also be there for my older kids.  That was my number one job, mom.

I finally found something that is going to work well for me, at least I hope.  It sounds promising and I didn't have to pay anything to start this job, like many of the other proposed work-at-home jobs I found.  I will be working from home as a call center agent for a company that helps with higher education. 

I start training today and will start my actual job tomorrow....on the first day of the new pay cycle so it works out well.

This new job will be 25 or more hours a week so nothing too overwhelming.  It does mean that I will be staying home more in the evenings and Chuck gets to do more of the kids taxiing! Which is totally fine with me! 

I really hope this works well for me.  I have to split my work day up into two separate sections since Lincoln is in half day school but I think to next year when I can be working during the day, uninterrupted and actually add hours to my days.  Yet, I will still have the flexibility to be there for the kids and go on field trips or help at holiday shops, etc.  Living my dream.

Aside from all of that, my Scentsy business seems to be picking up.  I have had more shows, more events and parties lately and I am happy about that.  I joined Scentsy 2 years ago and I haven't worked it the way I wanted to until lately so it is nice to see it taking off a bit!  Anyone need anything Scentsy, let me know, I got you!

Life is looking up....slowly but surely, it's looking up!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Reclaiming Me

If you are a mom, you know how easy it is to lose yourself.  We are so busy taking care of everyone else that we get lost in the bottles, diapers, preschool, projects, sports, activities, running errands and 4372980432 other things that somehow we forget who we are. 

I am no different.  I have been a mom for 12, almost 13 years and the sense of myself has ebbed and flowed a few times.  I have lost myself, found myself and lost myself again.  I have been lost for a few years.  I was busy working full time outside of the home and being a taxi driver, nurse, teacher, cook, therapist, etc.  You get the point. 

I have been watching my friend, Kat, for awhile now through Facebook and Twitter.  She has found herself in a huge way.  She has been working so hard and so diligently to lost a lot of weight and live a healthier lifestyle.  She is a true inspiration to me and I want to follow in her footsteps. 

Four years ago, I started going to a gym and working out.  I was dedicated and my husband joined me in working out and with his help and guidance, along with some great classes at the gym, I lost 22lbs in six months.  I was so happy, I was so proud and I was in the best shape I had been in since high school....maybe even better shape than high school!  I felt amazing. 

Then, I started working full time and was going to the gym less and less.  I was eating more and more and working out maybe one day a week.  A drastic drop from the 5 days a week I was going. 

My husband just started a new job and in six weeks, he has lost a total of 27lbs. and he looks good.  He hasn't been working out but apparently, the job itself is enough of a workout to help him lose that much.  Another factor is his drinking.  He wasn't an alcoholic by any means but he drinks waaayy less now that he needs to be up extra early and works long hours.  There just isnt' enough downtime.  Anyway, he has lost this weight and he is going to start working out soon so that he can tone up his muscles and maybe even bulk up a bit.  He is going to look amazing. 

I need to get there too.  I need to get some weight off and tone up.  I need to feel good again and be healthy and show my kids what it means to life a healthy lifestyle and remain active so that I can keep up with them! 

I have some goals already, nothing too extreme or unrealistic.  In fact, they are very atainable. 

My goals:

* Lose 11 pounds to a goal weight of 130lbs. 
* Tone my arms and legs
* Strengthen my core and feel those abs again

Nothing too crazy, right?! 

I can do this.  I have done it before and I know I can do it again.  One thing I have this time around and I didn't last time was Pinterest.  Yes, I said Pinterest. I have found some really great workouts on there that I can do at home and that only take out a half hour of my day!  I will have a membership to my gym again so that will also help.  I will be able to workout and run at the gym when the weather is bad.  I can go there while Lincoln is in school in the afternoons. 

So, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, please excuse all the workout or fitness posts you will be seeing.  I know it can be annoying but honestly, for me, it is a way for me to stay accountable and posting about it helps me. 

I'm on my way back to being me, the me that I can be proud of and show the world.  The me that is important and confident.  The me that can walk around with my head held high and maybe even inspire others.

Monday, October 1, 2012

A Taste of Yesterday

Well, my husband did it!  He played his heart out at the alumni game and he lasted the entire game! 

He had to be there early to get all the equipment and get ready.  When we got there, there were several of the younger guys there and when they saw Chuck walking toward them, there were whispers but I could hear them.  It was all I could do to not bust out laughing. 

"Oh my gosh, that's Chuck!"  "Hey guys, Chuck is here, oh my gosh!"

You see, to them, Chuck is like a legend.  I know that sounds weird but for years the coaches mentioned his name, they told stories about him and these kids were a lot younger and have never met him, only heard of him.  It really is strange but really funny to me. 

I was nervous about this game.  He was playing with kids that are a lot younger than him and he hasn't practiced or worked out for this game.  He was going in and winging it.  It's not that he's overweight or anything, In fact, he's only 20lbs. heavier than he was in high school.  I wish I could say the same!

When the game started, I got really nervous and anxious to see him out there.  They put him in for the first defensive play and he went in as a linebacker.  The play starts, he goes up against a big kid and he ended up on his butt!  We all laughed in the stands and I watched to make sure that he wasn't hurt. 

He played a lot during the entire game, he played all four quarters!  He survived!  I am so proud of him.  He helped with a few of the tackles and he ran his butt off. 

The kids thought it was really strange to see their dad out on the field playing but I know that they loved it.  When the announcer called his name after he helped make a tackle, we all went crazy cheering but I heard the kids yelling, "Yeah Dad!!!" Best cheers of the night, by far. 

He plans on playing again next year but he plans on working out up until that game so he can be in better shape and maybe even run the ball a bit next year!  He had a lot of fun and will be sore today but in the end, he did it and I really couldn't be prouder.  I really enjoyed watching him out there, I have missed seeing him play and it brought back so many memories of what was years ago but only seems like yesterday.