Baby Steps

Way back at the beginning of this journey, I decided that taking baby steps would be the key to my success. And baby steps worked, until I got derailed and kept thinking that I could just jump back in where I had left off before my most recent derailment. But it never worked to just jump back in and each time I think I ended up worse off than before. So I am going back to the beginning and focusing on baby steps again.

My two biggest challenges, and where I want to start my baby steps, are getting in enough water each day and finding consistency in exercise. So I am going all the way back to the beginning and starting with 8 cups of water per day and 10 minutes of exercise per day. Considering right now I am averaging between 3-6 cups of water each day and virtually no exercise, I think these are good starting points for me again.

When I was successful in the past, losing 50 lbs, I started with baby steps and a lot of walking. Most of my success has come when I have been walking and drinking a lot of water, which is why I really want to start with the water part again. I don’t necessarily intend to have walking be my go to exercise to start out right now, but fully intend to incorporate more walking (and maybe some running) as time goes on.

Today I had 9 cups of water and danced for 15 minutes, plus did some light stretching. Baby steps done, day one.

Do you prefer baby steps or all or nothing?

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44

I knew I hadn’t posted in a while, but I hadn’t realized it had been a month and half since my last posting… wow! In that time I contemplated posting several times and I also contemplated never posting again. But I think no matter how many times I think about leaving this blog, I will keep coming back, because in truth I love blogging. I love putting my words out there and the community I have found. I love that this blog has brought so many incredible people into my life. And in all honesty, even though I wasn’t posting, I was still thinking about this blog every single day.

But why haven’t I been posting? Because I for the last year I’ve felt like a fraud. I haven’t been living a healthy lifestyle. I haven’t been working on my weight loss journey. I have struggled almost every single day in so many ways. How can I write a blog about my weight loss journey and healthy living when I’m not even on the journey?

I feel like so many of my posts over the last year have been forced and inauthentic. I have gained weight and gotten out of shape. I cycle between not eating and eating tons of junk food. I cycle between no sleep and too much sleep. I gave up, I stopped trying and I stopped seeing the good in myself.

No matter how many times over the last year that I told myself that I was going to get back on track, I just never did. My inner dialog went from motivation and encouragement to negativity and shame. And how could I motivate and encourage others when I couldn’t even be nice to myself?

Yesterday was my birthday. I turned 44. I look back at my life and realize that I am so far from where I expected to be at this point in my life and I wonder how I got so far off track. There are some things that I’m happy are different than what I expected, but others are things I still want in my life. I need to find a way to get them.

I’m not going to promise to post every day, or even x number of posts per week. I’m not going to declare that I’m going to suddenly become healthy and whole again. But I will promise that I am going to work on it, I’m going to start trusting myself again. And I promise that when I share with all of you, it will be real and authentic. Right now I am taking things one step at a time.

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Midnight Snacking

Full Disclosure: This post brought to you by Blue Diamond. I received Sea Salt and Dark Chocolate Almonds in exchange for this post through the Blue Diamond Tastemakers program. As always, all opinions are my own.

With my crazy work schedule, I have kind of a crazy eating schedule too. My meals tend to be switched from most people with my “breakfast” around 6pm, “lunch” around 1am and “dinner” around 7am. With this type of schedule, most of my snacking takes place in the wee hours of the morning and usually at my desk at work.

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I try to bring healthier snack options with me to avoid hitting up the vending machine for chips or a candy bar and have found several favorite snacks that work really well for me including veggies and hummus, fruit and peanut butter, air popped popcorn, nuts and homemade trail mix.

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When Blue Diamond asked to send me a 5 oz bag of their Oven Roasted Sea Salt Almonds and a 5 oz bag of their Oven Roasted Dark Chocolate Almonds, I of course said yes! If you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all, you know I love Blue Diamond Almonds and generally have several containers on hand at any given time.

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While I love snacking on almonds straight out of the can (or in this case their new bags), I also really enjoy mixing them with other flavors as well, so the are great for serving as the base of a homemade trail mix. I love mixing sweet and salty treats together and tend to put together some pretty epic trail mix combinations. I like to mix a variety of nuts and seeds together with dried fruits and dark chocolate and have yet to be disappointed by any of the flavor combinations I’ve put together

I decided to put together a quick trail mix with the new almonds flavors and some other staples I tend to have in the pantry and have been enjoying this treat at work for the past week!

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Sweet & Salty Trail Mix

Blue Diamond Oven Roasted Sea Salt Almonds
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Dark Chocolate Cherry Granola
Blue Diamond Over Roasted Dark Chocolate Almonds
Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
Dried Pineapple

measurements are to taste; combine all ingredients and enjoy!

What do you like to put in your trail mix?

 

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Smoothie Love

Full Disclosure: I received a carton of Almond Breeze Vanilla Hint of Honey Almond Milk free through the Blue Diamond Tastemakers. As always, all opinions are my own.

I have been a fan of smoothies for as long as I can remember. When I first started creating my own smoothies at home twenty-some years ago, I started out with a very basic smoothie recipe: frozen strawberries, a banana, plain yogurt, orange juice and milk. Over time, I started experimenting more and adding different ingredients to my smoothies.

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Over the last several years, my go to smoothie has been a protein smoothie, mixing protein powder with various ingredients including fruit, peanut butter and coconut oil. My favorite combination has been chocolate protein powder, almond milk, powdered peanut butter and a banana.

When Blue Diamond offered to send me their new Almond Breeze Vanilla Hint of Honey almond milk to try, I knew right away I wanted to make it into a smoothie. Unfortunately I had just run out of my favorite protein powder, so I knew I was going to have to get creative.

After much deliberation, I decided to go back to my old school favorite smoothie with a bit of an upgrade… and it was one of the most delicious smoothies I have had in a long time!

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My Old School Smoothie:

8 oz Blue Diamond Vanilla Hint of Honey Almond Milk
8 oz orange juice
6 oz vanilla yogurt
1 medium banana
2 cups frozen berry medley (raspberries, blackberries & blueberries)

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Blend well and enjoy!

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Sundays are for Sharing #1

I am completely behind on my blog reading right now, but I wanted to share some of my favorite posts from the last few weeks…

SundaySharing

I Eat High Fructose Corn Syrup from Back to Her Roots

Dear Self: On Mistakes from Passion for Life, Love and Health

Decision Fatigue and How to Deal from A Merry Life

No One Talks About the Darkness: A Postpartum Conversation from The Lunchbox Diaries

Cheating… Helpful or Hurtful? from Living the Dream

How to Build Your Own Training Plan- 5K to Marathon from Run To The Finish

Love the Skin You’re In Virtual 5K from Brooke Not on a Diet

Think Outside the Box: 15 Ways to Technique from The Self Help Hipster

Lessons Lately from Girl Meets Life

 

Enjoy!

 

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Emergency Preparedness

At 7:23 pm on Sunday evening, I awoke from a dead sleep to an earsplitting noise. I could not identify it at first and spent a few precious moments trying to figure out where it was coming from. Then I realized what it was, at the same time I smelled something burning and saw my neighbors leaving the building with their pets. The building’s fire alarm was going off.

My heart started racing and I immediately grabbed Disney and put her in a carrier, closing the door. The other carrier did not have the door attached (the cats like to hang out in the carrier and the door never stayed open). A few more precious moments were wasted climbing to the back of my closet for the door and reattaching it to the carrier before putting Cheshire inside. At this point, I threw a jacket on and grabbed my keys and phone (thankfully I had worn a tank top and bike shorts to bed- not the most glamorous outfit, but I was clothed) and started out the door, but I couldn’t find my shoes. I had just received a free pair from a vendor at work, so I dumped them out of the box and threw them on before grabbing the carriers and heading down the stairs and out of the building. I didn’t even grab my purse.

Once outside, I joined the rest of my neighbors and their dogs (only one other neighbor had evacuated their cats with them), while the fire department checked the building, disabled the alarm and gave us the ok to re-enter the building. It turns out my immediate downstairs neighbor had fallen asleep with the oven on, which created a lot of smoke (and the burning smell) and triggered the alarm, but there was no actual fire thank goodness.

While everyone is ok and this particular instance was a false alarm, it was a real wake up call for me. I was not prepared to get me and the kitties out of the building quickly and wasted precious time getting the carrier ready. And though I got the most important things out of the apartment (the cats and myself), I would have had no means of getting us anywhere without my purse (which contained all of the identification I just finished replacing).

After the incident, I am putting together an emergency kit to keep by the front door with all of the essentials I’ll need to take with me in the event of an evacuation. And the doors will remain on both carriers! I already keep the carriers in the living room, so this won’t change, in addition to the emergency kit (which I will be setting up in a backpack), I will be keeping a pair of slip on shoes by the front door as well.

The emergency kit will contain:

Important paperwork ( birth certificate, microchip records, etc)
A few cans of cat food, dishes and dry food
A bottle of water
Puppy Pads (since I can’t fit a litter box in the bag)
A couple of toys to make the kitties feel comfortable
Cash
A pair of leggings, shirt and underclothes for myself
Any prescription medication as needed
A mini first aid kit

As I will be on foot since I don’t have a car, I will need to keep things fairly light and the backpack will free up my hands to carry both carriers. I will also put my purse and keys with the emergency kit when I arrive home each day and keep my phone with me in whatever room I happen to be in. In a true emergency seconds count, and I don’t want to be caught unprepared again.

Do you have an emergency kit?
What do/would you have in your kit?
Have you ever needed to evacuate in a hurry?

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Thinking Out Loud~ 5/7/15

Yay! It’s Thursday!!One of my favorite posts to write is my Thinking Out Loud posts to link up with Amanda. I really enjoy sharing random tidbits of my life with all of you this way. Granted, some of my posts are way more random than others, but here we go…

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~ I need to confess that I am incredibly sappy and I tend to tear up when I read certain types of blog posts… lately marathon recaps! Because I am not a runner, especially now with my hip giving me issues, I am in awe of anyone who can run a marathon and reading emotional experiences about either running or spectating a marathon just brings out all of the feels for me!

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~ It has been over a month since my phone/wallet was stolen and I finally got my replacement license Wednesday. I’ve been checking the mail every day waiting for it since it was the last thing to arrive. But now everything is officially replaced!

~ On Friday we are having our annual inspection at my apartments. Basically they just check to make sure that we haven’t disabled the smoke detector or completely destroyed the apartment. I have been cleaning most of the week to make sure everything looks pretty when they come. The biggest problem for me, though, is that they will be here sometime between 10a-6p and we can’t schedule an appointment time. Since I am in one of the end buildings, I figure they will either start or end here, but it makes it really awkward for a day sleeper like me to plan. At this point I think I’m just going to close myself and the kids in the bedroom and leave a note on the front door to be quiet.

~ Speaking of sleep, I’ve actually been sleeping really well lately. Since I took my mini-vacation and have returned to normal work hours, I have been averaging between 6-7 hours of sleep per day. Granted in the past my body has worked optimally at between 8-9 hours of sleep, I am still functioning well and only feeling slightly tired throughout the day.

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~ I have been tackling a few projects that have been hanging out for a while. I built a new tower for the cats as their birthday presents (both had birthdays in April), will be putting together a new jewelry armoire next weekend, and have been cleaning out and organizing my kitchen cupboards. I still need to tackle my filing cabinet and linen closet/ pantry; but that will come over the next few weeks.

~ After realizing just how close to 50 I actually am, and along with that, just how quickly time is passing, I have rededicated myself to my studies and am back on my study place for my PT certification. Unfortunately my savings plan kind of went out the window (I am SO bad with money), so I have to work on saving the money for the test, plus for tuition for the other courses I want to take. I seriously need to play the lottery and win so I can do everything I want to do (I want 4 certifications plus 2 bachelor degrees ultimately to fully round out my dream gig).

~ And that’s quite a lot of rambling today, so I think we’ll finish here. Don’t forget to check out all of the other great Thinking Out Loud posts today as well!

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An Almost Wordless Wednesday

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Cheshire couldn’t wait until I finished assembling the new tower to try it out

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Supplementing

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Finally got my fitbook!

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So thankful to everyone who helped after the robbery

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Because… donut!

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This Blog Life

There have been points along my journey where I’ve considered stopping this blog. I’ve toyed with the idea of starting a new blog and with the idea of just not blogging altogether. But I love blogging and the community that it has introduced me to. I love this blog and my little corner of the internet. So I’m still here, still dedicated, and still looking to grow and develop as a blogger… even when life can cause some unplanned silences.

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This year I really want to explore some new directions with this space. I am still a healthy living blogger, I am still a weight-loss blogger; I don’t think that part of the equation will ever change based on my own personal life goals; but some aspects of the blog may change a bit over the coming months.

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I signed up for Blog School this year, which I am really excited about. It officially launched in February, though with my schedule I have just recently been able to start going through the modules and assignments. They are really making me think about my goals and where I want this blog to take me. They are also making me think about my voice, my experiences and my audience. I expect to see these lessons start to show through in what I’m writing and sharing here with all of you… and I hope you will all enjoy where I think things are going.

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Along with loving to write, I also really love reading other blogs. My Bloglovin’ feed is so full that I realize I need to start refining the list of blogs I read. For one thing, some of my interests and needs have changed since I initially set up my feed. There are blogs that I used to follow religiously that no longer meet my needs and I find I’m marking their posts as “read” more and more often without reading them. But then there are other blogs that I’m just now finding that are perfect for where I am in my life right now. Over the next several weeks (months maybe), I’ll be really monitoring which blogs I’m reading and which blogs I’m skipping so that I can narrow my feed down to a workable number of blogs that really resonate with me.

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That being said, there are some blogs that I will always follow! There are the blogs of good friends (met through blogging), the bloggers I aspire to emulate, and the bloggers that are just plain fun! For now, I have marked my Blog Roll page as private as I revise the list, though I look forward to sharing with you again as soon as I’m done. I love sharing my favorite blogs with you and fully intend to continue to do so! I’m even hoping to have some guest posts down the road.

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Where I Am Today

I had originally decided to start doing weigh-in posts again every Monday… and then never did it. I just couldn’t get myself to type up the posts. Not because I didn’t want to share my progress (or lack thereof), but because as much as I still want to lose weight, it isn’t about the scale for me right now.

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For the last 6 weeks or so, I’ve been debating with myself about stepping on the scale to post an update. I’ve thought about joining another Diet Bet or weight-loss challenge to inspire myself, but my heart just hasn’t been in it. What is more important to me right now is regaining my fitness level, incorporating more regular workouts, and reducing joint pain.

Since changing jobs a year ago, my fitness level has deteriorated rapidly. I went from being on my feet at work 8+ hours a day to sitting at a desk all day night. I used to regularly walk 2-7 miles every day with no problem. Now, I feeling like my daily walks between work and the bus are a challenge (a mile one way). And the pain in my hip every morning just makes it that much worse.

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The changes that I am working on are a little harder to quantify and they aren’t something that will show a ton of change each week, so a weekly progress report isn’t going to show changes. I can still share my workouts and meal plans every week if anyone is interested, but to be honest my heart really isn’t in to that type of post (I am more likely to skip this type of post when reading blogs if I’m short on time).

I would like to share a monthly update, on the first Monday of each month, noting my thoughts on the previous month, but I’m not sure what I’ll be posting the rest of the time on Mondays (because I do plan to get back to daily posts now that my work schedule is back to normal).

So with all of that being said, here are my goals for May:

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1. Begin a daily Yoga practice
2. Get 10 minutes of cardio (aside from walking) every day
3. Core work at least 3x per week
4. Drink at least 48 oz water per day
5. Sleep at least 6 hours per day

What are your goals for May?

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