Thursday, October 23, 2014

Snacks in sight

Day 23 - 31 Day Challenge
To read the series from the start, click HERE.

As I ran errands yesterday, I was listening to a podcast in the car.  The host stated the best way to do something was to keep it in view.  To use her example, if you are an amature photographer, don't put your camera away.  If it is sitting out in plain sight, you are more likely to see it often and pick it up and click off a few pictures more often than if you have to get it out of the case tuck on a closet shelf every time you wanted to use it.  It is much easier to have it handy and snap some shots of the kids playing outside or a pretty flower in just the right light.

The same could be said for snacks.  We all get hungry between lunch and supper.  What is easiest to get to is what we will reach for time and time again.  If there is a bowl of grapes sitting out on the counter, washed and ready to eat, that is the snack of choice.  If a bowl of M&;Ms sits on the coffee table, and the grapes are unwashed in the bottom drawer of the fridge, the M&Ms will need to be refilled every day (twice, maybe).

Keep the healthy snacks ready.  When you get home from the store, peel some carrots and cut them into sticks.  Rinse off some celery and put them on a plate beside the carrots. Keep apples, bananas, grapes washed and in a bowl in the fridge or on the counter.  Having the colorful plate of healthy snacks will be a ready defense against those sugary cravings.

This time of year when stores are stocked full of the bite sized snacks for trick or treat, we need to keep ourselves aware of healthy eating and the temptations that can trick us out of those healthy treats.

Let's do this.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Schedule for Better Health

Day 22 - 31 Day Challenge
To start at day 1, click HERE

My exercise routine had fallen by the way side due to many excuses and no real reason.  So I scrapped the old plan and set up a new schedule to keep me out and moving while the boys handle the independent school work which does not require my help.  Every other day, I drive to a nearby park and walk two miles at a very brisk pace.  Getting outside, breathing fresh air makes it feel less like work and more fun somehow.

Monday, I was able to get my two miles in around noon.  My guys had had a full morning of school and as they fixed and ate lunch, I headed to the park.  This small park has a paved path around it that measures just short of 1/3 of a mile.  The sky was bright. The breeze was cool and crisp.  A wonderful day for a walk.  My average pace was 16 minutes and 5 seconds per mile.

Today, I went out again.  I left the house earlier than Monday and arrived at the park in full walk mode at 9:10am.  I had just downloaded a fresh podcast to listen to, "Read Aloud Revival" (please check it out, really good).  This episode was just over 30 minutes long so just about right for my walk.

Now, at this point I must mention that my loop begins just after the bridge.  The bridge happens at the bottom of the hill.  Did you know you can build up a pretty good pace coming down a slight hill?

The sky was overcast this morning and the temperature was just below chilly.  I wanted to break a sweat, so I knew I needed a good pace to do so.  Off I went.  I had borrowed my son's headphones, so I wouldn't worry about the earbuds continually falling out of my ears or causing my ears to ache (I really need to ask my wonderful hubby for some my coming birthday).  My body must like the earlier time because I was cruising.  At the end of the hill, at the end of my first loop, my foot met the bridge.

It wasn't until both feet were on the wooden slats that I realized I no longer had traction.  The heavy dew, the leaves, the age of the wood, along with the build up of a layer (or two) of pollen created a surface that was slicker than snot on ice.  While I did maintain a vertical position, I could have spelled out "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" with the right flags in my hands with all the waving and flailing I did.  Do you notice the 90* turn at the end of the bridge? That is only the halfway point of this treacherous terrain.

My first thought was, "Man, this is really gonna kill my pace!" Then I realized I had to cross this bridge five more times before my two miles were finished. While, I didn't have to crawl across the bridge, I did have to slow significantly to avoid ice skating into the railings or falling on my butt.  It was really slick, y'all!

Trying to make up for the snail's pace on the bridge, I booked around the rest of the loop.  Each time I stepped onto the wooden slats, I had to back down to first gear.  I still slid a little, but I kept moving.  At the end of the six laps, I checked my time.

My overall average was 15 minutes and 30 seconds per mile. My second mile was the quickest at 15 min and 5 sec.  Maybe skating over that bridge helped after all!

Can't wait to see what the bridge is like on Friday!
Let's do this!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Day 21 - 31 Day Challenge
To read from the beginning, click HERE

Last night, a wonderful group of nine ladies went out for a "Mom's Night Out".  We just needed a lady's night to get out and refresh.  Dinner at The Cheesecake Factory filled the bill.  Now for some of you, you may think there was loud laughter, delicious food, and alcohol to keep the party going for the three plus hours we were there.  You would only be right for 2 of the 3.

I met this group of ladies at church at our mom's group.  The two things all of us have in common is that we are Christian mothers.  Some of us are stay at home moms. Some are working moms. Our kids range in ages from infants to married adults and attend every type of schooling: public, homeschool, cyber school, and private school. We all get along so very well.

Not a single one of us ordered alcohol.  Not that we couldn't. We are all well over the legal age and we even rode to the restaurant in one vehicle so driving was not an issue. If someone had ordered a glass of wine or a mixed drink, I can't imagine it would have been a big deal.  We just didn't need to add alcohol to have a good time.

We laughed most of the evening and shared really good food and even better conversation.  We laughed about our kids, shared wonderful moments we had with our husbands, and even talked (and laughed a lot) about sex.

It was so relaxing to be in the company of women who love God and their husbands and are comfortable talking about it.  These women lifted my spirit in a way that geocaching and exercising cannot.  Knowing we worship the same God, and we treat marriage with the utmost respect, gives us the freedom to talk about problems or concerns we have with our marriages or our families.  The advise we receive will be grounded in the Bible that is the foundation for how we live.

I have asked these ladies how to handle sticky situations and also to hold me accountable in my walk with Christ.  This is Spiritual Health.  To be confident in your faith. Believe wholly in God. Have a group of friends who will support you along the way.  These same friends will and have helped me when one of my family is sick, when we moved across town, and when we needed childcare so hubby and I could go on a much needed date night.

Ladies, Thank You!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Workout with out the gym

Day 20 - 31 Day Challenge
To read the rest of the series, click HERE

This weekend was one of unintentional exercise.  That exercise counts twice in my book because it is usually a lot more fun.

We won tickets for the family to go to a local amusement park.  Saturday was the only day that worked for us to go before the tickets expired. Friends of our had also won some tickets, so we made it a joint day of rides and fun.  How is this exercise, you might ask?  According to my FitBit, I walked almost 4 miles in that park.  It was a cold and rainy day, my body worked hard staying warm.  Not cardiovascular, I admit.  But I was moving around and NOT eating the funnel cake my tummy screamed for. Exercise in will power to boot!

Hear no candy wrapper. See no cotton candy. Eat no funnel cake!

Sunday, yesterday, I walked nearly 3.5 miles in just your normal everyday activity.  I really do a lot of walking and talking during church and Sunday School activities.  Once back home, after a little nap, we needed to do a little work in the yard.  We have a fireplace and needed to cut and split some firewood.  There are a couple of trees down in the woods around our house.  My man grabbed his chainsaw and I found the axe.  After he cut off the right length for the fireplace, it was my job/exercise routine to split the logs into firewood.


Just so you don't think I only split one log's worth of wood.

This was only 1/3 full when we started.  With the exception of the two logs the boys took a swing at, I split this wood.  My abs got a work out.  My arms found muscles that were lost long ago.  My legs are sturdy. I am actually surprised at the sense of accomplishment I feel.

So while, I didn't "work out" in a way most people think about, I exercised just living life.  I know I won't be able to work like this everyday, but it was a good couple of days of getting healthy.  
Let's do this.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


Day 19 - 31 Day Challenge
To read from the beginning of the challenge, click HERE.

Good news: I am excited I have posted a blog everyday for the last 19 days!  I have made it almost 2/3 of the way through this challenge.

Bad News:  I am discouraged in my journey towards health.  While I did stick to my eating plan for the most part yesterday, the previous days have not been so great.  My water intake has been more miss than hit.  I know what I need to do, but I cannot seem to find the wagon I fell off of so I can get back on.

I know everyone goes through seasons like this.  I know there are those whose situation is much more dire.  I have no physical ailments or illnesses except being overweight.  I have a family who loves me, food in the pantry, and a cozy home to live in.  Should I really be complaining?

Somedays I am so pumped and ready.  The "I've Got This" attitude flows from every pore.  I drink my water, eat the right foods, get my exercise. Lately, I've had a run of days where I ask myself, "Can I do this? Should I even be trying?"

The busyness creeps in, food on the go is the quick and easy choice.  When I have barely made it through a kicked-my-butt karate class that was much easier 10 pounds ago, sugar-ladened frappe is a recovery reward.  My friend is eating a bacon burger with cheesy fries, sure why not.  "I'll have what she's having." I don't want her to feel alone, right. If I order a salad, she would enjoy her burger as much.

The excuses and reasons are far to easy for me to come up with.  My will power is not strong enough.  I have to be real and admit I am having problems eating healthy and wanting to be fit and "in shape". This blog does help.  I use it to vent my feelings and frustraions in this journey today.  I would prefer it to be up beat and encouraging to those who may read it, but today, I vent.

If you stumbled upon this blog for the first time today, I'm sorry.  My posts are not usually like this.  Please scroll thru some of my other posts to get the true feel of the blog.  I'll be back to my normal, slightly off bubble, self tomorrow (I hope).

For those of you who have been following during the 31 day challenge, keep strong.  Learn from your failures. Do not quit because of them.  I am going to get my water bottle ready for tomorrow so I can grab it on the way out the door to church.  Lunch will be chicken cooked in italian dressing, veggies, and possibily a salad.

I'm planning ahead and have actually used a "text a friend" life line to get some accountability for my exercise.

Well what do you know? I think I found the wagon.  I'm on it.
Let's do this.

A Journey from White to Black

While this post is not about physical Health, it is all about family health.
Day 18 - 31 Day Challenge
For the previous days of this challenge, click HERE

This post is almost a year over due.  I posted when the oldest of the Little Ms earned his Black Belt.  I  even posted a few pictures when I achieved the same goal.

Well, in November of 2013, the youngest of the family proudly removed his red and black belt so our instructor could tie his new, solid black, hard earned, First Degree Black Belt around his waist.  It had been a long three years of practices, tests, board breaks, setbacks and success.

When my young man was 5, he watched his older brother take karate classes for a year.  At age 6, he finally got to don the white uniform and learn the punches and kicks for himself.

He has grown so much in those three years.

 While he will always be my baby, he has matured into a thoughtful young man with an amazing sense of humor, a tender heart, and a fantastic Black Belt attitude.  He loves going in to the Tiny Tiger classes with the 4 and 5 year-olds to help teach the class as a junior instructor in training. He passes his smaile to each one to help them love this sport that involves his whole family.

I'm so proud of you, Buddy! In karate and in everything else you do.

Friday, October 17, 2014

What Do You Do When You're Sick

Day 17 - 31 Day Challenge
To read this series from the beginning, click HERE.

For the last week, I have had a little tickle in the back of my throat.  That little signal that means a cold or sore throat is on the way.  That tickle leads to a cough, which leads to sleepless nights, which lowers immune systems, which leads to the cold - runny nose, sore throat and all.  My coughing then keeps my hubby awake and soon the cold has spread to the entire house.

Okay. Maybe I exaggerated a little bit, but you know what I mean.  We all get those little signals that a minor illness is coming.  Do you reach for the honey and hot tea or some other home remedy? Do you run to the store for Airborne or other over the counter immunity booster? Do you head for the doctor's office to get the tough stuff to nip this in the bud before it can become a major inconvience?

I have tried my darndest (is that a real word?) to ignore this tickle.  While I have increased my water and fluid intake, I'm pretending the coughing and the throat irritation is normal.  If it gets worse, I will start sucking cough drops like they are going out of style.  I would rather have a broken arm than a sore throat.  I will do what I must to avoid them at all cost.

Right now, it is only a tickle.  Coughing occassionally and a little throat clearing seems to be the only things that have come from it.  If it gets worse, I will indeed seek harsher medicines than hot tea.

What do you do to combat the coming cold and flu season?