Friday, September 30, 2016

America's Fittest Couple Challenge

So a couple weeks ago Heidi Powell, from Extreme Weight Loss on ABC, posted on Facebook about this challenge hosted by Oxygen and Muscle and Fitness Magazine. Usually I just move on past it but something drew me to read more...winner gets a trip to Hawaii! Oh yes and you get to be on the magazine cover, but really I don't care about that as much as going to Hawaii and losing the weight in the process.

Casually I mentioned it to my husband and without me saying to much more he was all for it, to my surprise. This program includes meal and exercise plan, along with a private Facebook group for support. He is all about the changing of our diet and I concentrate more on the exercising, so this was a great compromise. 

"Diets" have never been completely our strong suit maybe because our bodies process food differently. For instance he does well on low carb diets, but I need carbs to lose weight. I have tried the low carb and it made me irritable and noticed very little change in weight or size.

Tri-Bean Chili
So I went home and immediately signed us up...then realized the program didn't start until September 19th. It was only the 13th but I was ready to start. It was good because we were able to do a little planning and rearranging schedules. My husband is a manager working full time and going to school full time on an accelerated program (hopefully will finish 2 years after starting), he also has responsibilities in our congregation preparing for the new preacher, and finishing our remodels (ALMOST there). I listed a house at the beginning of September and it went under contract in 10 days, still showing property to several others, babysitting, homeschooling, trying to clean and help with the remodels, Bible study and helping with a baby shower. Oh and the boys started soccer, practice on Thursdays and games on Saturdays. BUT we were not going to let these things become excuses.

Last year I told you I was at 175 but this year after vacation I had gone up to 181 and haven't seen any improvement. 

December 2015
Although I do see muscle definition from last year I was still becoming depressed about my weight. I had tried to do what the trainer had talked to me about eating 1700 calories, 175 grams protein and as little of carbs and fats as I could but after 6 weeks I would become sick. Literally sick, I started to gag as soon as I saw protein. This happened 3 different times since January. I was feeling like a failure as hard as I tried it wasn't good enough, so I was a little hesitant about the requirements for this, and still am a bit.

We were suppose to have access to the meal plan and recipes the weekend before it started but all we received was the recipes and grocery list. We did buy what we could but had a hard time finding many items and then we didn't know when we would be eating what so we decided to wait until we had all the information to start.

The first week was a steep learning curve and expensive but overall good. We found some of our missing items like Kodiac Protein Waffle Mix and Ezekiel bread. Both things were surprisingly good. To make the food took forever but partly because we didn't get a chance to prep anything. My husband missed 3 workouts and I added in a run to one, along with coaching my youngest's soccer game (you are actually on the field running with the kids). He lost 9 pounds and I lost 3.5! Did I say that was in 1 WEEK! Oh and that was with me having to bake a cake for a friend's baby shower. It was hard to resist the batter and the cake. Luckily the boys ate the tops for me but I may have still had a few tastes. Everyone at the shower helped us by making sure I didn't take any home to be a may have been at my urging but they didn't seem to mind ;)

July 2016
Some definition appearing
We finally had an understanding how it worked. Following the Fit Cycle 2 high carb, 1 low, 2 high, 1 low, then FREE day. We also found a few recipes we really liked but based on knowing high carb days I have 1500 calories and  my macros are 40% proteins, 40% carbs, 20% fats and low days I have 1200 calories 40% fats and 20% carbs has helped. 

This week we have played with some of the recipes and other things we just went away from the meal plan but stuck to the macros. As of this morning he is down 11 pounds and I have lost 5, I'm so close to being under 175 again hoping it happens when I weigh in tomorrow!

After tonight's workout
After joining the Facebook group I can't say that we will win. There are many very fit athletes, gym owners, and determined people. We are not letting that stand in our way but putting our weight loss in front of winning, it would just be an awesome bonus.

It is another busy weekend with soccer and projects but we got this! If you don't mind I'll post (hope to be consistent) updates and things that has helped us along the way. The  competition ends in November but if I don't get sick from the protein this will be something we do long term because it really isn't a diet but a change in habits.

Changing up a recipe, not as good as the original.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

1 Month into School

Remember in my last post when I said that my creativity is very minimal...

Well I did add an anchor chart...and wanted to add a few others but I became sidetracked quickly.

Hy-Vee does a "back to school" walk which we really enjoy. We don't need the pencils and rulers but the boys get snacks making the first week of school more exciting. We also get these pictures

The first day of school was not at all like I hoped nor expected. I have this dream of how it would go perfectly the boys be thrilled and everyone pays attention. Then I have my expectation which is usually more in line with reality, kids groaning but cooperative, house slightly messy, and going slightly over our goal time to end the day (11am)

Reality for this day was far from my expectations...I may have threatened and really thought about sending them to public school. That is how our first day went. By the way there is nothing wrong with public school which is why I seriously thought about sending them but I also know they don't want to go which is why I threatened it as well.

I am just going to be very honest here. Homeschooling is NOT for everyone. In most cases it works for us but I do get frustrated at times. It probably was not the smartest idea to begin babysitting again the same day as we started school but we did. Aside from one child being extremely emotional because it had been a month since I watched her and she had to adjust back to our schedule, a 6 month old teething not just one but 4 teeth at once they were actually the behaved ones. My boys woke up on the wrong side of the bed. They forgot we had bought them donuts for their breakfast and threw a fit that they were hungry before realizing I had their food already on the table waiting for them.

After that it was on me because we decided not to adapt the 3rd grade curriculum for Kindergarten. It is easy to do but I already own the Kindergarten stuff and that is part of my OCD. But they (Sonlight) changed the format of the teaching manuals for 3rd grade making it very confusing for me. It is no longer laid out day by day of what we are doing but basically the whole week summary. Anyway I was not as prepared as I thought I was. Then came spelling and well I am still not sure I like it but can see the benefits of it. I figure we can stick it through at least a couple of months and then if I don't feel like he is progressing I'll switch it up. That is the Awesome thing about homeschooling I am in control and if something doesn't work then we'll adjust. Tears may have been shed by everyone that day but we learned from it.

Tuesday was so much better. Instead of 6 hours it took 4 hours. And 4 weeks later we have a pretty good routine down making school only about 3.5 hours. We do our read out-louds as bedtime stories. And my oldest does his Bible reading right before that. It has become one of my favorite routines.

Do we still have hard days? Oh yes, but not as hard as that first day. We have already taken a week off, that was last week while my husband was home.

My youngest loves school, he is eager to learn new letters and work on math. My oldest dreads math now but is very good at it. He didn't want to learn cursive (he hates change) but loves it and is starting to look ahead so he can learn more letters to spell his and his brother's name.

And if you are curious those 4 little teeth finally did come in and the little guy is back to napping and being content watching us. His sister also back into routine joining us in learning letters and colors and just taking it all in.

Here are a few more pictures we took for "First Day" even though it was a week in, after the dust had settled ;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

School Preparation

It is that time of year again...Back to School...and again I have fallen a bit behind schedule but it was worth it.

My goal to begin school was August 1st but with so much that had happened this summer and most of it in June/July I have slowly pushed our start date back to August 8th. Oh I guess if this is your first time reading it may help to know that we homeschool.

The good news is that it has not taken me by surprise like so many other times, no I have been working on things for a while now. I ordered our material in May, tried to get the bathrooms finished up in June (we are SO close), started a routine including cleaning in July, and organized/purged our classroom in August. So organizing may have started in July but I finished today and hung our bulletin board boarder.

One of the reasons I fell behind wasn't the sickness, vacation, or even the collapsed sewer line (yep you read right). It was that my boys went to spend 4 days with my parents unexpectedly one of the last weeks in July. It was the weekend I had planned to do some of the fun stuff of picking out new outfits and items we may need for school. Even though we homeschool it doesn't mean that we can't join in the fun of back to school shopping. For us we get to wait until things go on sale but there are a few things like decorations that help get them excited to start.

The time away was good for both them and us. It has been a couple years since my mom had them for a couple nights but I was a counselor at camp only about 30 minutes away, otherwise it had been since before my youngest was born. I missed them like crazy but we are planning to do this more often so they can spend time with family.

My husband and I tried to make the most of it trying to come up with places we wouldn't normally go with the boys or at least places that would be good to try before taking them. It was hard coming up with ideas, but again we only had an hour between the time I mentioned the idea to my mom and her picking them up. They live 2 hours away and she was in town helping a friend so it just worked out perfectly. When my husband was working or studying I spent my time watching movies and doing absolutely nothing...again playing a part in the delay in school. :)

Now we are close to my next goal date and I have just found out I am babysitting the first 3 days but I plan on having activities for the little girl to do and just hoping the baby sleeps through the morning. He really is a good baby so I think we should be fine.

But my dilemma comes back to we haven't decorated or planned anything special to mark the first day of school. Every year I have these grand ideas in my head, pinned to pinterest, maybe even supplies bought but so far this year I come up blank. Looks like it may be a surprise to all of us.

This year I have done something ahead of time, that I haven't done since my oldest started ahead and planned. Usually I wait until the last minute to put my teacher books together and then usually I do about 4 weeks at a time. Last night I copied and assembled 12 weeks until the ink ran low and I completely ran out of paper. I actually had to go find 5 pieces to finish but we made it. This also caused me some anxiety because 3rd grade seems to be so different than the last 3 years. Maybe once we start it won't be so bad but it does feel a little overwhelming.

Let's see what happens in the next 5 days...