3/24/16

Motivation - PewPew


Losing weight has a ton to do with mindset. Would you agree? Often the little voice in the back of my mind and my weight loss goals are NOT on the same page. Pesky little buggers aren't they?

I call it the voice of sabotage. The voice that tells me that it is all over because I had a piece of pizza. The voice that says the weight is never going to come off because the scale didn't go down this week. The voice that says it is ok to binge right before bed.

Of course I have my BIG motivators. My kids. My husband. I want to be around to take care of them. I want to see my babies (and hopefully their babies) grow up. Being healthy is the key to sticking around for the long haul. I know this and you know this, but sometimes that voice has a hard time seeing the big picture. It wants instant gratification and can be a negative Nelly.

Now. The big motivators should be enough, but I need more. Smaller motivators. Fun motivators.

This shirt is my first little motivator. I want to wear this awesome shirt. I mean it's Star Wars! You can't beat that. Well right now it will barely go over the girls if you know what I mean!


From this day forward, it shall be called the PewPew shirt. I will get into this shirt. Hopefully by our Disney trip!

3/21/16

Why you should make your Disney dining reservations 180 days in advance!


Last week I mentioned that I made our dining reservations for our next Walt Disney World vacation - 180 days in advance. Since then numerous people have asked me, "Why the heck do you have to reserve your dining reservations so early?"

Here is why... The ideal time to start planning your Disney vacation is 7-8 months in advance, at the very least, 200 days in advance. At 180 days before arrival you can make your dining reservations. Why the heck is it so important to make dining reservations at 180 days? Well..
  1. Restaurants do completely book up. The more popular restaurants, such as character dining spots or restaurants like Be Our Guest, or 'Ohana will sometimes even book up before the 180th day. You say.. what? How can this be? On the 180th day before your arrival you can start booking dining reservations for your ENTIRE vacation. (or for 10 days out) So for instance, someone who arrives just one day before you do has already had access to dining reservation times during your vacation. Now do you see how this could cause a problem with availability? BUT this is not a huge deal if you plan ahead!
  2. Dining times. Booking early will ensure you are not eating dinner at 8pm or during times when you wanted to be watching a parade or show. This is especially important for us with a toddler and preschooler who are use to eating at 5pm. They would be extremely grumpy if I was only able to secure late dinner times. No thanks, I like my kids happy and fed early!
Now, a few other reasons why you should book your Disney vacation early besides dining reservations...
  1. A layaway vacation! When you book your Disney vacation you only have to put down a $200.00 deposit. Your final payment is not due until 30 days before you travel! Why not make payments without finance charges? (In increments of $20.00 or more.)
  2. Fastpasses can be made 60 days before your arrival if you are staying onsite. (30 days before if you are not.) It is important to get these as soon as you can, especially for the more popular rides and attractions. If you wait you might still be able to get fastpasses but they might not be for the most desirable times or later in the day which will impede on your ability to get more after your first three are used!
  3. The excitement! The anticipation of going on our Disney vacations is something I really look forward to and enjoy. We participate in a countdown and activities to get us ready and excited for the trip. BEWARE of telling your kids too early though, Kellen heard us talking about our trip one day by accident after I made our fastpasses at 60 days and spent the next 60 days asking me EVERYDAY if were leaving for Disney TODAY. There is nothing wrong with being excited without the kids knowing for awhile!
I hope I have adequately explained why it is important to snatch up those dining reservations at 180 days and to book your overall trip as soon as you can! If you have questions or would like help planning your next magical vacation contact me today!

3/18/16

5 Thoughts Friday 3-18-2016

1. Spring. I love spring. The fact that I can go outside during my lunch hour is really going to help my weight loss journey. Getting outside for the hour and just moving, not worrying about anything else, but getting my 4-5 laps in is AWESOME. Bring on the steps baby!


2. This weekend I need to do a better job making sure there are meals to take for lunch for Robert and I. Him stopping at Subway for lunch is not something I want him to HAVE to do because he didn't see anything prepped for lunch, BUT because he wanted to or felt like it. Same goes for me. There were a couple days this week where a banana and cliff bar were lunch. I can do better than that! Lack of packed lunches did give us the excuse to go on a lunch date and that is always awesome. Yum. Stir-fry!


3. We should have been utilizing the YMCA with the kids as soon as we got the membership a couple months ago. They love it. Running home, getting dinner ready quickly, and heading out again was a little crazy, BUT hearing the squeals of laughter as they romped around the play area was totally worth it. Plus, they get their very own little work-out in. Just look at their sweaty little faces!


4. Coffee creamer. I've decided after much sampling of fat-free and sugar free varieties, that I'm sticking with the full fat and sugar containing delicious flavors. I just don't enjoy my morning cup with the yucky creamers. My plan is to only indulge in ONE cup instead of two or  three. Quality over quantity, right?

5. My Fitbit is making me mad this week. I joined a challenge and for some reason, Fitbit support doesn't know yet why, but the steps recorded on my dash are not properly transferring to the challenge. It's showing me at the very bottom when in fact I'm killing my steps this week. Eat my dust challengers! It doesn't matter though, Fitbit is still showing me as the loser. I might have to consider getting a new tracker. Urg. What the heck!

3/17/16

Homemade Taco Seasoning

We eat a ton of Mexican food in our house. It is my husband's favorite and for me it is EASY and FAST to prepare. I am all about food that is easy and fast, especially if it delicious too! I don't want to spend the entire evening in the kitchen cooking! I would much rather be spending time with my family! If I am super awesome, (which is only sometimes) I prepare a couple pounds of meat on Sunday evening to use throughout the week.

In the past we used store bought seasoning packets. This all came to a halt on one fateful day when I forgot to buy a packet during my grocery run and was too busy lazy to go back to the store. I researched and played around with a few recipes and came up with the one below. It tastes great and I use a ton of it!


Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 4 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (use 1/2 tsp if your family is spicy sensitive- this is a thing ya know!)
Directions:

Measure all of the above in a container of your choice and shake or stir, with a lid securing on of course! Don't laugh, I have had a seasoning explosion in the past! I have learned from my mistake and now use a small glass container with a very strong lid. Mason jars work great for this! Most of the time I also double the recipe. Saves me time in the long run.

After browning a pound of your meat of choice, add 1-2 tablespoons of the prepared seasoning and 1/4 cup of water. Let the water reduce, just like you would with a normal seasoning packet.

This is so easy. You will never have to run out because you forgot to pick up a taco seasoning packet again! Plus, you can't beat the fact that it has no additives! The applications of meat seasoned with this homemade taco seasoning are limitless. Salsa chicken, nachos (pachos for us since we use mini bell peppers instead of chips), taco soup, tacos, quesadillas, burrito bowls, tostadas, Mexican pizzas- I could go on and on! Are you hungry yet? Give it a try and let me know what you think!

 
 
 

3/14/16

179 Days - New Goal

179 days. I know...random number right? Not for me. Yesterday at 180 days I was able to make the dining reservations for our next Disney trip. Many of you are probably a little confused as to why this is a big deal, but for those who have planned a Disney vacation, you know that you have to plan ahead and snatch up the highly coveted reservations before they are all gone!



Now that you have the background of my number, I can explain its true importance for me.

In the next 179 days before our Disney trip I want to lose 45 pounds. This is my NEW goal. 

Goal experts say that one must have goals, attainable ones, to be successful. Not only do they have to be attainable but written down. Soooo I'm writing my goal down here even though it scares me to death to do so. Thoughts are running thru my mind, or I should say fears. What if I don't succeed? Everyone is going to know if I don't meet my goal! What will everyone think?

It is time to stop fretting about what everyone is going to think and just start doing; one day at a time. 

Why in the next 179 days? AND why before our Disney trip? One, Disney is a ton of walking. The way we do Disney is not for the faint of heart. We are on the go the whole trip. It would be nice for a change to not feel dead at the end of each magical day. I want to enjoy our trip to the fullest, and being a little lighter and in better shape will help me do so. Secondly, and this is pure vanity I know, but I don't want to look at our family memories and see an extremely unhealthy person anymore. I look at photos of our past trips and even though they make me happy, in the back of my mind I am thinking, "GAH I look HUGE."Now, please don't read this comment and think man she must judge others based on their weight. I don't, just myself. There are a TON of people out there who are comfortable in their skin. I am just not one of those people. I am tried of feeling this way.

Holy crap. I can't believe I am going to post this picture, but I feel like I need to. I despise being in photographs. My hubby is cute though and now we have a "before" photo! I know I am going to regret posting this.


So there it is! 179 days AND my goal is posted for the world to see. Talk about feeling vulnerable and a little scared, well more like REALLY scared.

Day one has been pretty good so far. I walked the parking lot during my lunch hour when I could have made excuses because of the rain. I mean...let's face it, I am sweet but I'm wasn't going to melt, right? Here's to the next 178!


How do you set goals? Do you write them down? How do you hold yourself accountable?


3/8/16

Weekend Weight Loss Woes

 
The weekend. I LOVE the weekend. Even though I am still up early with two toddlers who don't understand the meaning of "sleeping in," I love not having to get up and run out the door. I LOVE spending time with my family on the weekends. It is what I live for.

What I don't love about the weekend is its affect on my weight loss goals. It is completely 100% self inflicted. I know this. I own it. I know I need to do better. Be better.

I feel like all the work I do during the week is null and void by the end of the weekend. I am not gaining all the weight back I lost during the week, but I am also not losing any. I want to make progress over the weekend without being a weight loss Nazi. I am looking for balance.
 
I don't go super crazy, but I am not adhering to my water schedule, work out schedule, and certainly not journaling/counting what is going into my mouth. Not to mention the difficulty I face trying to say no to those little voices saying, "mommy lets get ice cream!" (We eat frozen yogurt but still!)

I need a game plan. I could just say, do exactly what you do on the weekdays, but I want this change to be for forever. The weekdays are pretty strict and scripted. I want wiggle room, and in the long run I know myself. If it is hardcore ALL the time I won't stick with it. I will give up... again.

  1. First and foremost. Water and food journaling. Even if I do the crappiest of jobs drinking my water and I consume 8 million calories, at said yogurt shop mentioned above, it WILL be documented.
  2. Second, activity, even if it is just a dance party or walk with the kids. I also want to get the kids to the Y at least once every weekend.
  3. Third. Meals at home for the most part. I will allow two "take-out" style meals. A frozen yogurt run is ok, maybe just a smaller portion and plain for me. It's so hard to say no to those delicious maraschino cherries. I love them, but I will stay strong!
I think that is a good start. Weekend warriors how do you carry-on your weight loss goals over the weekend without being hardcore dictators?

Balance... I want and need balance. 
 
 


3/4/16

Freezer Smoothie Packets


Mornings. I am NOT a morning person. Getting out the door with a toddler and preschooler (who basically pack a suitcase to go to grandma's EVERY morning) and remembering everything can be difficult, and most of the time I forget to eat breakfast or I tell myself, eh I will have a cup of coffee. I mean isn't it enough that I remember my packed lunch?

Yes, yes I know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yada, yada. It wakes up your metabolism, yada, yada. Please don't take my yadas as me not knowing this is truth. I do. I understand and know that I NEED to eat breakfast, BUT the busy mom in me finds reasons excuses not to.

How have I eliminated my morning excuses? The answer? Premade breakfasts. Easy grab and go options. My absolute favorites? Smoothie packets, breakfast burritos, and yogurt parfaits. Delicious, nutritious, and EASY/FAST to make.

Today I am going to focus on the smoothie packet.

Ingredients:
  • Bananas
  • Frozen Fruit (or fresh) of your choice
  • Spinach + water for blending (Spinach cubes are optional!)
  • Freezer safe baggies
  • On day of consumption:
    •  Liquid of choice (milk, almond milk, juice, green tea) about 1/2 to 1 cup depending on how thick you like your smoothies!
    • Optional: Greek Yogurt (1/4 of a cup) for a touch of protein
Directions:
First! Make the spinach cubes! Dump a bag of fresh spinach with just enough water to blend. Pour awesome green goo into an ice cube tray and freeze! I wrote above that these are optional, BUT I say why not? You don't taste them and it is a great way to sneak a little green into breakfast. My kids call them Hulk Smoothies!

Spinach Cubes
Next. Slice the bananas. I put half of a sliced banana into each packet. (My kids love helping stuff smoothie packets!) Every Swaim smoothie is made with banana. They add creaminess and just enough sweetness such that no additional sweetener is needed!
Add half a cup of your favorite frozen fruit. When fresh fruit is plentiful in the summer I freeze my own, BUT over the winter I buy huge bags of frozen fruit from Sam's Club.
Banana & Mango
Finally add one frozen spinach cube!
Seal and freeze... ahhhhhhh..... I can just see my morning excuses flying out the window.
Freezer ready packets!
On the morning of blending I grab a packet from the freezer and add my liquid. Depending on how thick you like your smoothies 1/2 to 1 cup will do the trick. As far as what kind of liquid, that is up to you. I use green tea (unsweetened, brewed at home), but almond milk, regular milk, or juice will also work. Most of the time I also add a little Greek yogurt. (about 1/4 of a cup for the protein and added creaminess) 5 minutes or less and you have your smoothie!
Yummmmm....
Pour into a cup and off you go!
Now...  This packet is for ONE smoothie. If you are making multiple servings then just grab more packets! EASY....
What kind of breakfast prep do you do?

3/3/16

5 Ways to Add Steps to Your Work Day


Getting 10,000 steps in a day, everyday can be a task, especially if you sit at a desk for 8+ hours a day. 

Some days I'm lucky to make it home with 3,000 steps to my name and after dinner prep, kitchen clean-up, bath-time, bedtime stories, and cuddles I'm tired. Can I get an amen?

Now. I'm not saying I don't don my workout clothes after my monkeys go to sleep, and hit the gym, but sometimes it would be nice if the cardio part of my workout was 30 minutes instead of an hour. 

Since I had such a hard time hitting my step goal in February, I came up with a game plan to conquer those 10,000 steps DAILY in March!
 
1. Wake up 10-15 minutes earlier and just house walk. A step is a step. It doesn't count more if you are at the gym! 

2. Park farther away from the front door at work. Every step counts. 
 
3. When at work pace while you talk on the phone. This works really well if you are in a phone meeting or have someone who is particularly long winded. You might have to buy a longer phone cord or risk the chance of dropping your phone a lot. I had a problem with this!
 
4. Take breaks at work to get up and move around. For me, instead of going to the filing room once at the end of my day, I take several trips throughout the day. 
 
5. Lunch hour walk. This one is huge. I can't wait until it's decent outside to walk during my lunch hour! Enlist a co-worker and hit the pavement. Bring extra clothes and shoes if you need to. This is such a nice way to really de-stress in the middle of the work day. Most of the time, if I do a lunch hour walk, I'll have almost 10,000 steps before I even get home or hit the gym!

Reaching step goals can be hard as a working mom, especially if you have a desk job. I am hoping sprinkling them in throughout the day will help me! 

How do you get your steps in everyday?

3/1/16

February Goal Recap & March Goals

Greetings fitness seekers!

Another new month! Can you believe it is March? Are you ready for a confession? I did NOT do a good job in February. Are you ready for it? I lost exactly 0, yes ZERO pounds! Arrrrggghhhhhhhhhhhh.....

I have to give myself a little credit. The month wasn't a complete bust. I did a stellar job at taking my lunch to work and drinking my water. I even counted my calories for most of the month. Now the biggest accomplishment? I haven't given up. In the past, at the first sign of "defeat" I would completely quit.

Now are you ready for the silver lining? I didn't lose any, nor did I gain any! I maintained the weight I logged on February 1st! I am pretty surprised actually. In the past I would have given up  and gained it ALL back and then some.


Why do I think it was a zero weight loss month? (OR should I say excuses?)
  1. My kids have been sick this entire month. I too being sick at the beginning and now at the end. (Yesterday and even today. I really do think parents should be exempt from getting sick when taking care of their mini humans!)
  2. I went to Disneyland for training and did not count my calories. I didn't go crazy, but it was definitely over my allotted daily calories for the day.
  3. I've been sooooo TIRED after getting home from work, which translates to no gym time after the kids go to sleep.
Now.... game plan for March. No more excuses.... This is important to me and I will find a way and the time.

These are the main goals I will be focusing on for March. I have other on my list, BUT these are the ones I think will be the most helpful to get me a loss in March.
  1. WILL wake-up earlier to get a work-out in, even if it is only 15 minutes of house walking. (Gah..... 5:45am is already too early in my opinion!)
  2. WILL go to the gym with my husband 3 days a week. Hopefully we can keep each other accountable. (Okay.... I will be honest, HIM keep ME accountable!)
  3. WILL make sure I get in at least 10,000 steps per day, EVERY day.
I really do think my lack of movement is the problem. I need to make the time. How do you get your 10,000 steps in per day?


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