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 ;)