Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Year 3: Day 19: Stopped Cold in my Tracks

The children have been passing around a cold for sometime now....I finally got hit.

I hate getting sick.

I know healthy foods, healthy liquids is the way to go when sick, but all I really want is hot chocolate, Top Ramen and grilled cheese sandwiches....all are warm and just glide down my very sore throat.

Hope your day is going better!

Happy Journey!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Year 3: Day 15: The Water Question

I love water. This love; however, was not always there. Growing up I drank milk, chocolate milk, strawberry  milk when my mom would let me, apple juice and orange juice...and the occasional soda (always a HUGE treat growing up).

I fell in love with water when I was in college because...well, because I had to. I had no money. Water was free and I needed every dime for food.

I do not like my water flavored by fruit or veggies. No cucumber, lime, lemon, strawberry slices for me. None. I can drink my water with ice cubes or with out. I can drink it cold, room temperature and sometimes I can even drink it warm or slightly hot (gotta be really thirsty though).

The only time I don't like water is when I am sick. Especially when I have a cold. Ugh, water tastes so gross when I have a cold. Then I want something with a strong taste - I usually go for orange juice or hot chocolate, but sometimes I will drink soda.

Since 95% of my life is now spent drinking water, I have (smugly) felt that I was pretty healthy. I mean drinking water is on like every advice list on how to improve your health. So, I'm good, right? Um, yeah, nope, not at all, not even close.

For the last two weeks I have been a participating in a clean eating challenge. The first week, the focus was on eating 5 or 6 small meals and making sure every meal was as clean as possible. (Read clean to mean as whole & unprocessed as possible).

It was a hard week for me. Breakfast, snack and lunch I can eat pretty clean, but dinner through me every single time. When I couldn't figure out how to make something more "clean", than I just ate a smaller portion with more veggies. Pretty good compromise. I really liked how I felt at the end of that first week.

The second week, the focus was on drinking a gallon of water a day. I did not drink a gallon of water a day, I was shy by 8 oz (2 cups) each day, but I still drank a ton of water! And I love water!

I'm sure everyone else in the challenge did a great job of eating clean AND drinking water, but for some reason I didn't. At first, I felt really guilty, but now I am glad for the mistake. Why? Because I got to experience for myself in a short amount of time the difference between eating healthy with some water and eating not so healthy and drinking a ton of water. Want to guess which week won? Which week where I felt my best?

Yup, you guessed it! The first week. With all that water I drank in the second week, I was forced to eat smaller meals, but the meals were not healthy and I felt (feel) like crap.

Huge wake up call to me that eating healthy trumps everything - trumps sleep, trumps drinking water, trumps exercise. Now, I know I have to do all of those things together, but if I am having a rough day and can only put my time & energy into one, then it needs to be my food. Clean, healthy, unprocessed food.

Happy Journey!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Year 3: Day 14: 5 Gratitudes for Friday, 55

1. The crud that hit me so hard yesterday that I slept 4 1/2 hours in the middle of the day....seems to be gone. I woke up this morning ready to take on the world...or at least the kitchen.  I even managed to cook dinner tonight. So thankful for my health.

2. My sister-in-law, Mandy, inviting me to join a clean eating challenge. Eating healthy is one area that I really struggle with and I have learned so much the past couple of weeks. The challenge was full of lots of wonderful people who shared their struggles, their triumphs and their favorite clean eating recipe. I feel out-classed - clean eating to me means adding a salad to my lunch. However, I am learning that it is adding that salad and then swapping your white rice for brown rice and other small changes until how you eat is completely different that when you started.

3. A wake up call. I don't mean to still the title from The Rock's new reality TV show, but yeah, I got a wake up call. Along with that  clean eating challenge, I was invited to learn about being a Beachbody coach. I've chosen not to become one, but in the process of learning about being a coach, I was challenged to list all of my roles (small sample: homeschooler, wife, mother, teacher, daughter...) and then choose 6 roles that I would focus on. Six. That is it. Six roles that I would work at and become amazing. Now the six roles will change over time (which is okay), but for right now my 6 roles have everything to do with being my children's teacher, mentor, health coach and mother.

4. My husband. I am so grateful for him. I am so thankful that he works hard everyday so I may stay home to teach our children. I am thankful that he supports me in all of my endeavors and love me even when I am being goofy.

5. My children. I love each of my children. They are amazing! I miss them being little, but I am finding that I am enjoying the ages and stages they are at more and more each day.

Happy Journey!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Year 3: Day 12: What does that number really mean?

Last night as I was going to sleep I began to think about the number on the scale. You know that horrible number that never seems to budge or move down...but magically will jump up several numbers at a time? That number we all seem to obsess about because somehow the number on the scale represents how healthy we are?

Well, I hate that number. I've always hated that number. In fact, the number just drives me nuts. And here is why:

When we were little (or when our children were little), every time we visited the doctor for a check up or an illness, the very first thing the nurse does is take weight and height. Weight and height every single time...even if you saw the doctor the day before.

Now children are blissfully unaware what all these numbers mean, but parents know the numbers are put into a chart to see if the child is growing properly. (My frustration with that is not appropriate for this post!)

If you do not fall into the nice average than perhaps you heard your whole life (like I did): underweight and under height. Some may hear overweight and over height....or any combination. Does this mean the child is unhealthy? Does this mean the child is not growing? Does this mean something needs to change drastically?

Um, no.

What it means is that the child does not fit the average (last I checked, to get an average you must have highs & lows, but I digress...).

So, let's pretend for a moment you heard your whole life you do not fit the average. Than you hit a magical age (usually around 18) and the numbers no longer matter. That's right, they don't matter. Now, the nurse still takes your weight (rarely does height get checked once you are an adult), but the doctor no longer plugs into a growth chart. Yep, doesn't matter....unless you fall into an extreme. Extreme thin or Extreme weight. Everyone else is pretty much ignored.

Now, if you heard growing up "you are underweight, you need to eat!" than trust me when I say it takes a long time for you to figure out that the weight number going up might not be such a great thing....

I hate telling people how much I weigh because so many people do not get this concept: weight on a tall person looks different on a short person.

I weigh 145lbs. I hear all the time, oh, that is really good. Great! Is that really good for a short person (I'm only 5'1"), an average person (5'7") or a tall person (6')????

Seriously, it will look different on each person. It will also look different if you are small boned, medium boned or large boned. I am small boned.

It also looks different on your shape - are you curvy? are you top heavy? are you bottom heavy? are you straight? 145lbs on a tall, shapely woman is going to look a heck of a lot different than 145lbs on a short, shapely woman. One will look svelte...the other will look fat.

Yes, I used the f word. fat. But fat is subjective, just like the number on the scale and the number on your  clothes. What is not subjective is your height. Your height is never going to change. Even when you wear 6 inch heels....your still the same old height.

Your weight, sure it isn't subjective....but how we look at it is. That is badly worded, but basically, weight is subjective.

Why? Because so many of us are trying to get to some magical number that some chart, some calculator, some doctor, etc. said we need to get to.

I'm 5'1" - height/weight ratio says I can be as low as 110lbs....last time I was that weight was college and some people thought I was anorexic. Nope, not anorexic, just very, very, very skinny.

If you look at BMI I should be some where in the 120's....both systems say 145lbs is overweight for someone of my height.

Fine. Whatever.

But does the 110lbs, the 125lbs, the 134lbs or the 145lbs reflect my health? my happiness? my longevity? Nope, not at all.

In some ways, I am healthier at 145lbs than I was at 110lbs. Why? Because I am actually eating healthy where I did not when I was in high school and college.

Since baby number 3 was born, I have wanted to shed the baby weight and be back down to a very healthy 125 lbs. It is the weight I was at when I got married before I had any children. It is a nice number, but being that number doesn't automatically equate health.

Which brings me back to my title: what does that number really mean?

The arbitrary number: 125 lbs
Meaning: A wonderful reminder of a time in my life when I was extremely happy - newly married, a new mom, etc.

The arbitrary number: 145 lbs
Meaning: A reminder of struggles with depression (including post partum depression), moving away from friends (too many times to count), struggles with money and even struggles as a wife and mother.

Neither of those numbers mean health or unhealthy to me. Those numbers are 100% EMOTIONAL!

I've decided if the numbers of my weight really meant nothing than as an adult they mean nothing as well.

I've decided that instead of weighing myself constantly and stressing over an arbitrary number...I 'm going to focus on my emotions. Do I feel happy? Do I feel up? Do I feel good about myself?

I'll also focus on eating clean/healthy and moving my body....but that goes without saying.

Happy Journey!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Year 3: Day 11: A late start on the new year

Happy New Year!

Depending on a number of factors I am either extremely yearly or just a tad late....

I started this blog three years ago, the day after Thanksgiving, and I feel I did a great job of chronicling my journey the first year....not so much the second year. I am truly hoping this year will be different.

Why didn't I post very much?

I would like to say it is because I was super busy. I have been busier this year, but I could have made time to write. I should have made time to write.

The real reason I didn't post much is because I felt embarrassed by my lack of walking and strength training. That was the goal last year and I fell flat on my face.

You see, I don't like to show my failures. I much rather fail in private and succeed in public. Maybe others are like me? It would be nice to know I am not alone in this particular idiosyncrasy.

Regardless, I have been working on my health this past year....even when I had to quit walking for awhile because my left foot was bothering me. Instead of exercise, I made changes to my diet. Why didn't I write about that? See the above reason....I felt like a failure.

I am currently taking a 3 week clean eating challenge. The challenge has been interesting, but from that challenge I was invited to a "become a coach" Facebook page where current coaches recruit others to become coaches! I'm pretty sure it is going to turn out like all other "work from home" companies where I either need to see stuff or recruit people to make money. I am not interested in that, but I am going to finish out the week to gain knowledge. That's right, knowledge. The first day of this group, one of the current coaches posted a video of why she is a Beachbody coach (I think that is the name of the company). In her video she said people like to see your struggles, they like to watch your progress, your failures and your successes.

Yep, it hit me like a ton of bricks....I'm suppose to share the ups & downs, the success & failures, the frustrations....all of it. It is as much for me as for anyone who happens to read this blog.

I never expected to become a mommyblogger with hundreds of readers. I just hoped that my writing about my journey would help me. Sounds selfish doesn't it. Well, the best writers always said they wrote for themselves, not for a commercial audience. I figure blogging is the same way. I am writing for myself and I am happy to invite others to come along.

So, to the few readers I have out there, I apologize for not letting you in on my failures, roadblocks, set backs and frustrations.

Here is to a new year and lots of sharing!

Happy Journey!

(yep, changed my ending...my year of walking has developed into a whole new realm)

Monday, November 24, 2014

Year 2: Day 361: Winding down & gearing up

This week will mark the end of year two.

I am pretty sure most people would count this year as a bust.

I know that I certainly have from time to time.

I am also striving to see this past year as a learning opportunity and to recognize that I can not succeed in personal health if I do not have a few failures and set backs.

Failures and set backs are a part of life....I just don't like them.

Today is what I did right...because honestly, I think it is the harder of the two posts.

What I did right:
1 - I took time off to heal. When I got hurt (pinched sciatic nerve, lower back pain and my left foot bothering me) I took a few days off (or more) to recover. Sometimes, I even saw a doctor to ensure nothing worse was going on. I have learned it is important to listen to my body and adjust accordingly.
2 - Focused on what I could control. When I wasn't able to work out, I focused on other areas - like eating healthy or doing more stretches.
3 - Learned to go slow. I am, by nature, a person who takes an extremely long time to decide to do something (like work out), but when I make that decision, I jump in with both feet and go full force. While the enthusiasm is good, the full force is not. Sometimes going slow and ensuring you have the right technique down is better. And in terms of changing food habits, slow is better for me.
4 - Discovered I don't need dessert, but I do need my starch/carbs. One of the areas I focused on this last year was food. I challenged myself to only eat one dessert a month. I gave up donuts, cake, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, candy bars, etc. I thought it would be hard, but it wasn't. It was a piece of cake....however, when I attempted to do the something with breads, breadsticks, crackers, etc...yeah, I fell down really quickly (but that is a story for a different day).
5 - Stopped beating myself up. I did feel like a failure. I had a lot of people remind me that I was not failing. I have learned that health is a fragile thing. I have also learned that health is an every day lifestyle - not a once in awhile thing to try. I'm really looking forward to next years challenge.

Happy Walking!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Year 2: Day 316: 5 Gratitudes for Friday, 55

1. Children working hard at school so we can take off a couple of days next week to visit some friends. My children are pretty amazing that way.

2. A very rainy year. Rain is always needed, but more so in the desert. We have had a ton of rain this year - thanks to a great monsoon season and a couple of hurricanes. I just love it.

3. My husband getting the green light to continue to work remote - meaning he will continue to work from him and not have to travel. Yeah!

4. My family and I coming to a compromise on house cleaning. I am choosing to do a little less and they have agreed to do a little more. I think it is a good system. I hope it is a good system.

5. For the peace and patience I have had all week. I pray for a little more patience every day and truly feel that I am being helped.

Happy Walking!