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Biggest Looser -continued

There are only two weeks left in our works “Biggest Looser at Work” contest. I also can’t believe I’ve only lost about five pounds in the last two months, however, my clothes are looser and at my age at least I haven’t gained weight. All in all, I’d say I’m happy with the progress I’ve been making. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it – I really believe the slower I loose weight the better chance I have of keeping it off.

For the last month I’ve have kept track of my daily steps, miles those steps account for, any extra exercise and most importantly all of my food intake. With Myfitnesspal.com linked to my Garmin Vivofit it’s super easy to keep track of everything. I also downloaded an exercise grid and made some adjustments to it so I could actually write down my numbers. What can I say – pulling out a piece of paper and writing on it is still a lot less time consuming than waiting for my computer to turn on and going to the file, etc…

I’ll be the first to admit after a long day at work, the last thing I want to do when I get home is exercise, but I promised my health coach (free through our health insurance) I would at least try to do some sort of exercise three times a week. Doing the same thing over and over again is B.O.R.I.N.G. for me, so, one night after dinner I’ll take the dog for a fast walk,  another night I might try to do yoga, or try some easy Pilates, or do a Kettlebell work out – which is my favorite.

Just a little bit of transparency here – In the last few weeks I’ve really had this on my mind; I know this will only get harder for me in the next few months. I absolutely H A T E winter. Cold, bitter weather, lots of snow, ice…ICK. When winter sets in all I want to do is eat, make a nice fire, cover up with a blanket on the couch and sleep. I already know I’m going to have to change the way I think or I’m going to be in big trouble.

I’ve come to realize exercising is not for the faint of heart, but it good for the heart!! ♥♥♥~Bam

 

 

Posted in Life

Biggest Looser -Week 5

I can’t believe it’s really been five weeks since we started this contest at work. I kind of lost some gusto about a week ago – for about a week- then it was time for my Intervent Health Coach to call. Oopsie – I kind of fell of the exercise wagon and I have to fess up, or really what’s the use in having someone to be accountable to if I am not honest about my eating or activity level?

First thing in my morning routine is breakfast. I’ve been trying to incorporate some protein smoothies into this routine and I’ve been pleasantly pleased so far. I’ve made a Banana with Peanut Butter smoothie, a sort of copycat Orange Julius type, and an Oatmeal Cinnamon one. I start them all with one scoop of Vanilla Protein powder and Vanilla low-fat yogurt, some unsweetened Almond milk, and then I add the other ingredients to it to make the desired smoothie.

I have been pleasantly surprised at how well these smoothies hold me over until lunch time. On some mornings when I eat egg whites and a turkey sausage I am completely famished by lunch.

Which brings me to my next subject: LUNCH… I have definitely done much better about keeping an eye out for the lunches that we have brought in and when I need to take my lunch. I work in a very fast food laden area of the city, so it is nothing for me to hop in my car and get something quick. Not necessarily healthy and definitely not low calorie or low carb. I have come to realize it is super important for me to take my lunch if I plan on staying on task.

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I made a small amount of Tri-color Quinoa per package directions, added some fresh peas and green beans I picked from our tiny garden, fresh lemon juice, pepper and this package of StarKist Salmon Creations (I didn’t realize it was salmon until I had already opened it – I thought it was a tuna package – which is what I usually buy). After I made it and realized it was Mango Chipotle flavored I thought it would be really too spicy. The salmon has a mild flavor and the Mango Chipotle complemented my Quinoa perfectly. I will definitely make this again. Not only was this surprisingly delicious, I didn’t feel hungry half-way through the afternoon and I didn’t get tired either. I was the perfect lunch for the long lasting energy I need.

We do our weigh-ins on the Friday of our pay week, but I wasn’t able to weigh in because I was at the Creation Museum that day with the family. Regardless, I weigh myself at home every Sunday morning when I first wake up. This week I was down another pound.

Now, that may not seem much of an accomplishment to some, but for me, it’s fantastic. Considering I haven’t done much in the way of actual exercise – although I usually always get more than 10.000 steps a day. I have pre-menopausal hormones to deal with and I have hypothyroidism. Even though I take my thyroid medicine daily I just feel that my metabolism is perpetually  slow (maybe it’s just in my head- haha). I also feel that if I’m loosing the weight slowly I will keep it off longer. Hopefully for life. I feel that this needs to be a life long journey – not just a short term contest. Although, it was the kick start that I needed. Thanks Katlyn!!!

We will have to see where the next two weeks bring me.~Bam

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Biggest Looser – Week 2

Well last Friday was our first weigh in since starting the “Biggest Looser at Work” contest. Man, I was so mad. I gained .4oz and had to pay an extra 50 cents. I couldn’t believe it.

I will admit I haven’t been eating as healthy as I could have, especially at work. We get a lot of lunches brought in for us and usually those are just too tempting to pass up. I did take my lunch to work some days but apparently not enough to make a difference. So, here I am back to my original thought – I need to eat to live not live to eat and I really need to be better at keeping a food log. I love MyFitnesspal.com. It really does help me to see where my calories are going and it will also let me know when something has a lot of saturated fats, high in sugars, etc.

About two or three times a week I was driving through McDonald’s for a breakfast burrito and a large unsweetened Iced Tea. I did not realize that the burrito I was eating has so much saturated fat in it. I just knew from the menu that is has 300 calories and I thought that wasn’t bad for breakfast. Then I realized, once I keyed it into MyFitnessPal that it really isn’t that good of a choice. On my way home I stopped by the grocery and pick up a carton of egg whites and now I’m making an omelet with egg whites, and a small amount of shredded cheese most mornings. They are super easy to make in the microwave, on high, for 60 seconds, and I have a much healthier breakfast. I have three different microwave egg cookers and I use all three of them regularly. I just can’t go without breakfast. Just can’t do it.

On the days I took lunch I would say I ate really healthy. I love this lunch box. It’s fairly new to me and I think it’s great to portion out my food this way, and it keeps everything nice and neat. It’s called “LunchBots Bento Cinco LARGE Stainless Steel Food Container“.

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This day I had raw baby carrots, sugar snap peas with a tiny bit of Ranch dressing (everything’s better with Ranch!!). Roast Beef lunch meat with a mixture of cream cheese and fresh chives from the garden wrapped up neatly. A hard boiled egg,  a few roasted peanuts, and some apple chips. I am obsessed with Seneca Apple Chips…they are crispy-thin, delicious, goodness and they make me very happy. I only packed a few because I could eat the entire bag at one sitting if I didn’t portion them out.

I am determined to take my lunch more these next two weeks, exercise more, drink more water, and not stop at McDonald’s for breakfast anymore. That has got to make a difference right?

Moving forward to the next two weeks~Bam

 

 

Posted in Life

The Biggest Looser at Work

One of the girls I work with decided we should have a biggest looser contest, so she coersed almost all of us in the office to participate, made teams, and came up with a plan.

We are doing a three month plan. Weighing in every two weeks. We paid $1 to start and every weigh in we pay 50¢ and additional 50¢ for each pound we’ve gained. When the three months is up the person who’s lost the most percentage of weight gets the money.

I’ve already been trying to watch what I eat for a while now, but I’d only lost about five pounds and then things kind of just petered out. I became discouraged. What I needed was someone to be accountable to, so I was fairly excited when this opportunity came up.

I’ve really never been one to exercise regularly, except in my early twenties, when I was involved in martial arts. Then I life moved on.  I got a full-time job, got married, had a baby, went back to college, changed careers and two and half decades later here I am. Forty-seven pounds heavier than when I married.

I look back and I wonder how in the world did this happen?  Well, I’ll tell you. I love to cook and eat. I have come to the realization that I have been living to eat – not – eating to live.  I would say this has burdend my thoughts for about six months now and the more I dwell on it the more I’ve come to realize I don’t have to be a random eater. I shouldn’t be eating breakfast and thinking about what I’m having for my next meal. Now, that’s not to say I shouldn’t plan out my meals though.  I’m becoming a firm believer in meal planning, especially my lunches to take to work.

The first week I actually gained two pounds back. That really got my goat, so the second week (weigh in week) I really started to watch what I was eating, did some kettlebell exercises and tried -for the first time -yoga. (Yes I have a new appreciation for that, let me tell you that takes some real muscle to pull off some of those poses.) I also had a peanut butter smoothie for breakfast instead of one of my normal breakfast’s on weigh-in day.

When I weighed in on Friday morning, I had lost those two stinking pounds and another pound and two ounces (yes ounces count). I cannot tell you how excited I was. I wad in a good mood the rest of the day.

Hope this inspires some of you in a good “weigh”~Bam

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Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Besides Christmas, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I love everything about it – the cooler weather, the changing of the leaves, the food and being together with family.

Today is the day Americans give thanks for the years bounty. But really, shouldn’t we be givings thanks everyday. Not to offend anyone here, but we have so much to be thankful for. My husband regularly tells me this, because he knows that’s just not how my mind works. I’m usually such a worrier that I don’t take the time out of my worried thoughts to just relax and be thankful for what we have.

Thanksgiving for our family isn’t just about things we have but also the promises that God has given us.

Our world may be going through some craziness right now, but, I believe ultimately God is  still in control and He is providing for us in ways we can’t even fathom. He holds the universe in His hands.

2 Corinthians 4:15-18New King James Version (NKJV)

15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

I believe that everything we have has been provided by God, and we should be thankful that His grace is abundant and everlasting.~Bam

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Life

Too busy

I can’t believe it’s November already. It seems like I live and exist on a daily basis…eat, sleep, work and repeat. I just don’t take the time to appreciate daily life. My husband is always telling me to stop – relax – take time to be grateful.

Some days I literally feel like I’ve just repeated the day before. Actually, most days are a repeat of the day before. I know what you’re thinking….I must be pretty boring. Well, I would agree, but I also would say that boring isn’t a bad thing. I feel pretty adjusted to life – as it were.

Today, during the church service, our Pastor mentioned something I’d never heard before and it really got me to thinking about how small we are in the big scheme of things that God has made for us. I’ll be the first to tell you I’m a Creationist – I completely and fully believe that God is why we exist.

Genesis 2:7 (NKJV)  And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

This world we live in, our surroundings, nature, all that lives in nature was made for us – to enjoy – our world. I’m so befuddled when I look into the sky at night – the cosmos is bright with shining stars and it makes me feel so small. At the same time, it’s weirdly comforting to know that God knows me by name, knew me even before I was born, knows the numbers of hair on my head, and knows my thoughts, my dreams and worries. He knows what exactly what my future holds – the decisions I will make in the future that will be my life’s existence.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;

Matthew 10:30 (NKJV)  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Even though I feel like my life might be boring and routine, the world is the same yesterday, today and will be essentially the same in the tomorrow. God is still in control – of everything. I feel I should be more grateful of my surroundings – the incredible world I live in.

I’ve never traveled the world, but I have “traveled” through others eyes using this incredible media called the internet. I am often times awestruck at the beauty that others have seen, taken pictures of and then posted for others to enjoy.

Then I take a look around my house, in my own backyard and am amazed at of the beautiful colors. I absolutely love Fall (not because I knows what’s coming…brrr), but because I am truly amazed.

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Take a moment to enjoy the world we live in and be grateful~Bam

Posted in Life

Real Techniques Makeup Brushes

I have a new obsession with makeup. I’m not really sure why, maybe it’s because I’m getting older and have decided I should do something to look a little younger. Maybe I’m just trying to relive some of my youth, but, whatever the reason I’ve discovered some really great application brushes.

Nicola and Samantha Chapman, Nic and Sam as they call themselves, are sisters and makeup artists and they’ve started their own line of makeup brushes – Real Techniques.

I’ve tried foundation application with my fingers and with those little bitty wedge sponge things, but, neither really work the foundation in so it doesn’t look caked on. Their brushes are synthetic, not tested on animals and 100% cruelty free. They don’t need anything special to clean them, just a little baby shampoo (don’t blow dry them though because the heat can melt the adhesive used to make them). These brushes are super soft, they don’t lose bristles, they have an engraving of what they’re used for on each brush, and they are really reasonably priced.

I was reading one of my favorite magazines – Real Simple – and they had these brushes listed. Which got me to wondering if they really were “that” good. Yep…they are. I LOVE theses brushes.

Real Techniques Foundation Brush

Real Techniques Core Collection Set
The Pointed Foundation Brush found in this set of four Face brushes with a travel case along with a  Detailer Brush,Buffing Brush, and a Contour Brush.

My skin just isn’t as elastic as it used to be and these brushes really do get all-over facial coverage. I’ve found the Buffing Brush that comes in the collection is really good on the lower jaw and upper neck area to blend the foundation perfectly into the skin. It really helps me to get a more natural look. I’m so afraid I’m going to end up with the “old lady” look. You know the one, the foundations just a little too dark and really looks out of place  compared to the lighter skin on the neck and chest area.  I’m not anywhere near that stage in my life and I don’t want to look like I am either.

I also bought the Travel Essentials Set which has Essential Foundation Brush, Multi-Task Brush, Domed Shadow Brush and the Real Techniques Starter Set for you eye makeup application. This set includes: base shadow brush, deluxe crease brush, accent brush, fine liner brush and a brow brush.

Then I discovered they sell them in the Kohls stores (also on-line but the minimum free shipping it too expensive – I think) and bought a few single brushes.

Blush Brush, Stippling Brush, and lastly on of the coolest things ever, their silicone liner brush.

I absolutely LOVE this eye liner brush. It’s made from one single piece of silicone with a very small but very soft point to it. You can have a eye line very close to the lashes or you can continue to build it up all with this one little brush, and it wipes completely clean after each use.

These girls have a fantastic web site also. The have all sorts of videos of different application techniques using their brushes along with their favorite makeup. They do a great job of making everything very simple and explain why they’ve chosen certain types of makeup for specific applications. They even have a section for Halloween or Costume makeup styles. There website is very clean and organized which is another reason why I like it so much.

If you’re looking for some new, fun makeup brushes I hope you give these a try~Bam

(I used Amazon.com’s links for these brushes – but they are sold at Kohls and several other on-line retailers as well)