Friday, December 28, 2012

Drop a Pants Size by February 2013

Well, it has been months since I blogged.  I have missed it!  Honestly, it is not easy to find the time to blog, work and take care of a large family.  One of my goals is to blog more.  One of the main reasons for doing this is because I need to.  I need a place that I can keep myself accountable.  Let me back up.  The last few months I have gotten away from healthy eating and living.  I haven't been exercising as much and my eating has been less than desirable.  Especially the last month I have gone WAY over board.  This isn't about what I have done though.  That is the past.  In order to move forward, you must learn from the past but not dwell in it.  I have spent much of my life living and dwelling in the past and I am hear to say, that does not get you very far.
So here we are at the cusp of a new year.  We are seeing ad everywhere asking what are we going to do different in 2013?  What are your goals?  I know I have been making goals for too many years to count and I don't follow through to the fullest.  Not this time.  I don't want to blink my eyes and a whole year has past and I haven't made one of the most important changes.  That change is my relationship with food.  Suffice to say, it is a rocky one!  I am ready to make a change in my lifestyle.  I am ready to break the negative cycle.  The negative cycle of eating well, binging, feeling bad, binging more and then doing that all over again. 


I can't do this alone, I need help and support.  Will you do this with me?  Are you ready to make a change too?  Are you wanting to lose weight, feel better, or all of the above?  Let's do this together! 

Starting Jan. 7th I will be starting a 30 day weight loss challenge.  Let us take 30 days and SERIOUSLY change how we are eating.  This challenge group will be on Facebook.

Here are the rules:

1.  You must drink at least 8 glasses a water a day.  Water is a great way to cleanse your body and keep you hydrated. 
2.  You must have a Facebook account.  We will be using it to support each other daily.
3.  Shakeology is required.  If you are not familiar with Shakeology, it is an amazing meal replacement from Beachbody (the makers of P90X). 
4.The first 3 days of the challenge we will swap one meal for Shakeology. 
5.The next 3 days of the weight loss challenge we will take the sugar out of our diet, no candy, cookies, soda's (even diet) and no foods with added sugar.  You would be surprised how much sugar is lurking in the foods we eat.
6.  Day 4 we will limit are carb intake.  Carbs especially from white flours (pasta, bread, etc), contributes to weight gain and/or not being able to lose weight.  We should be getting our carbs from veggies, fruits, or nuts. 

I think this is a great place to start for now!  We have time to go get our kitchens ready to start this, i.e. get all the holiday cakes and cookies out. 

I know this might sound like a lot but, we can take one piece at a time together.  I really want to see how I will feel after 30 days.  I have started challenges like this in the past and I have never given my full 100%.    Sugar and carbs are my Achilles heel. I start to feel better from not eating them for a few days and then I think I can go back and just have a little.  That never happens.  No matter how many lies I tell myself, I always go back in full force. 

I just don't want to lose weight for vanity reasons.  I want to take care of my body better and my mind.  You see, I suffer from anxiety disorder and I am finding the more sugar and carbs I have, the worse it is.  The more I eat healthy and stay away from the sugar and carbs, the better I feel.  It sounds so simple right, but so hard to do! 

Let us do this together.  I have limited spaces, so please let me know as soon as possible if you are in!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Caught in the Web?

When I say caught in the web, I don't mean a spider web.  I am referring to the internet or www (World Wide WEB).  A month or so ago I was at the movies with my family.  Before the movie started there was an ad for the new microsoft (I think but, I am not sure).  Anyway, it was an ad for a new something with computers and it had some images of a web.  It was right then that I started to think, "Am I addicted to the internet, am I caught in the web?"    Now, I know there is all kinds of addictions and there is a horrible addiction running rampant, which is an addiction to internet pornography.  That is NOT the kind of addiction I am referring to (that blog is for another day and time).  What I am talking about it being addicted to something electronic, mostly the computer/internet. 

Here are some questions I started to ask myself:

How often am I on the computer/internet, not just for work but other reasons, i.e. chatting, social media, websurfing, etc.?

Do I start to feel like I have been too "disconnected" if I haven't checked email, facebook, etc in a couple of hours?

Is the internet interferring with my family and/or work time?  Am I telling my kids to "hold on a minute, while mommy finishes this email?" 

What am I doing first thing in the morning/last thing at night?  Am I checking my phone for emails, etc? 

That last question really got to me because I noticed that since I started keeping my phone by my bed (initially to use as an alarm and listen to relaxing music at night), I am also checking other things. 
As I look back over these questions I am ashamed to say that I can answer yes most if not all of them. 


(Tell me if this is you except with an Ipad?  Come on, I know you have done it :-)







 
Ok, so what does this mean?  Or better, what does this mean to you/me?  I did find some very indepth articles on the internet.   Some are definitely worth reading but, I think they are a little much for what I am trying to say here.  So, what am I trying to say?  I think these questions that I posted above are good to reflect upon in our own lives and see how electronics /computers /ipads /iphones /androids /television/interent/etc, how it effects are lives and the lives of others.  I can't tell you how many times lately one of my children has come to ask me something and my face was in the ipad and then turn around and get upset with them because they don't want to sit down and read.  What kind of an example am I setting for them.
Before you say it, yes, I know we live in a digital world now but, I think there needs to be a healthy balance.  We especially need to teach it to our children.  I don't have children who text but, I have heard that teens/ young adults find it easier to text then to just pick up the phone.  I think this path will lead us down a road to further disconnection from people even though we are more connected than ever (OK, that was too deep for me ;-) ) 
 
For me this speaks to me on a deeper, faith level.  Am I, not intentionally, but replacing God with electronics?  Sometimes it is much easier to get distracted with worldly things than to spend time in quiet with God.  Honestly, I don't even know what being still and quiet is (that might be a product of having 5 young kids but, I digress).  I tell you, sometimes I envy our ancestors.  It seem like things were simplier then and there were less distractions.
 Even just 15-20 years ago.  Remember when you just left your house and all you had to remember was your keys and wallet?  Now, it's keys, wallet and oh, do I have my phone?  Then, your phone starts ringing and if you are a women, you are digging around in your bottomless pit of a purse trying to get that all important phone call.  Or what if you forgot your phone, what will you do without it!Ugh! 
 
I know I sound really down on technology but, I mean this as food for thought.  There are many things I love about electronics/internet.  For instance I am doing a fundraiser for my twin boys via a website.  With that and email, I am able to easily reach more people.  That is wonderful!    This is just something to think about as you read this blog on the internet (I would try sending this via smoke signal but it would take WAY to long)!

 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Raising Money for my Twinnies!

I have blogged a lot about my twin boys, Michael and Matthew who have cerebral palsy.  They are a source of joy and inspiration for my family and for those around them.  The twins receive their physical and occupational therapy at Progressive Pediatrics in Tallahassee.  It is here that I first learned about a relatively new therapy called "Therasuit Therapy".  Therasuit Therapy is a holistic approach to treating children/adults with cerebral palsy and other brain injuries.  It is a 3 week, 5 days, 3 hours a day therapy.  Here is a definition of the therapy according to www.allkids.org
 

What is the Therasuit Method® Intensive Program?

Therasuit Method Intensive Program (sometimes called TMIP) is an intensive individualized therapy program that accelerates functional progress. The program uses the Therasuit® (a soft canvas suit with bungee-like cords attached) and the Universal Exercise Unit (“Spider Cage”) to allow the child to learn new & correct patterns of movement through strengthening and functional skills practice. The Therasuit Program is ideal for those looking to meet functional goals at an accelerated rate as compared to traditional therapy.

Goals of the Therasuit Progam

  • Improve independence with activities of daily living (self-care, feeding & dressing)
  • Improve body awareness
  • Improve motor skills
  • Improve balance and coordination
This type of therapy sounds wonderful but, since it is relatively new, it is not covered by any insurance and it costs $6000 per child.  Since I don't have an extra $12,000 lying around I decided to start a fundraiser to raise money so the boys could receive this therapy.  The therapists at Progressive feel Michael and Matthew would benefit greatly from this therapy. 
 
So, here I am asking for you to get the word out about this fundraiser and if possible, consider a donation.  No donation is too small or too big!  I see this therapy as a great opportunity for the boys to accelerate their progress toward a more independent life.   Please visit my fundraising website at:
 
 

 As any parent would, you want the best for your child.  I want the best for all my kids but, the Michael and Matthew need more than the "average child".  I know we will meet or exceed our goal and the boys will get this therapy.  I can't wait to see the results!!!
 
Thank you for your consideration!  Please help my superheros reach their full potential!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How the Olympics Have Inspired Me


XXX Olympiad


Oh, the Olympics! 

In years past I was not an Olympics fan.  I think the reason for this is that I wasn't a very huge sports fan.  The Olympics only interfered with regularly scheduled programming.  Over the past 12 years, my husband has slowly gotten me into watching them.  At first, I went kicking and screaming to watching them, but as each year passes I see more and more the magic that the Olympics has to offer.

The first Olympics I really remember enjoying was the 2008 Olympics in Bejing.  This was the first time I was introduced to the likes of Michael Phelps.  I still remember articles on the web about his 10,000 calorie diet (or something like that).  Fast forward to the 2012 Olympics in London and I am hooked.  The kids have really enjoyed it too.  Our daughter gets out the American  Flag and starts waving it!  I love the patroitism that is stirred in my soul.

What has me drawn into the Olympics is the stories behind the athletes.  The work and obstacles some of these people have overcome to get there, to me is unimaginable.  It is unimaginable to me because I am in awe of the patience a person has to have to endure all of that for just a few minutes in time.  In some cases, like in the 100m, a few seconds! 


You are not disabled by the disabilities
you have, you are ABLE by the abilities you have
-Oscar Pistorius

There are quite a few that have impressed me like Missy Franklin, Gaby Douglas, but the one that has caught my attention the most is Oscar Pistorius.  If you haven't heard of him, he is the double-amputee that is running in the Olympics.  Now, those are 2 words you don't typically hear in the same sentence: double-amputee and running!  If you don't know about this guy, you need to find out more about him.  He inspires me in so many ways and I can't help but think about Michael and Matthew when I see him.  To me Oscar Pistorius is an amazing example of what a human being is possible of doing.  He is an example of what the human spirit can achieve.  He made something seemingly impossible a reality.  I see his story and stories of people similar who overcame, what seemed to be insurmountable odds, I am filled with hope.  I have hope for Michael and Matthew that they will overcome the limitations that they were born with.  They will be another example of the power of self and more over the power of God. 


"But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." -2 Cor 12:9

There is so much more I say about Oscar but, all one has to do is look at his life and that says it all. 
I am a believer in the Olympics now, well I guess I am a believer in the effect the Olympics has on people.  What effect is that?  It brings out the best in these athletes and I think it brings out the best in us who are watching.  I know for me, it gives me hope; not just for the twins, but for all my children and for all of us.

If you are watching the Olympics, how has it spoken to you? 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My Back put me in Time-Out!

I should be starting Week 5 of P90X this week but, instead I am lying in bed right now with an ice pack on my lower back.  Remember my back yelling at me last week?  This week is told me to sit down and shut up!  I visited the chiropractor yesterday and he told me I have a pinched nerve.  Ugh!?  Really, doesn't my back know I am in the middle of an exercise program?  Doesn't it know that I have children I have to pick up?  My back obviously didn't get the message but, it is sending me one loud and clear, "You need to take better care of me!" 
I thought I was taking good care of my back, I have been strengthening my back muscles, my core, losing weight, I guess I still have some weak spots.  I was warned though.  My lower back was really tight a few weeks ago.  I tried stretching it but, not as much as I should have.  I think what sealed the deal with my back was doing tuck jumps during Fire 60.  I knew I probably shouldn't have been doing them but, my pride got in the way and I did it away.  Guess what?  I can't do anything now until this heals.  The moral of this story is to listen to your body.  There are times you should push your body and times you shouldn't.  There is good pain and bad pain. I knew the difference but, did it anyway. 

So, what am I going to do for now and I heal?  I was thinking about eating Ben & Jerry's but, I need to do better by myself.  What I have started doing is going through a great book called "Push" by Chalene Johnson.  She happens to be the creator of Beachbody's Turbo Jam, Chalene Extreme and my favorite, TurboFire!  This book is about health and fitness but, it is more than that.  This book is about how to set your priorities and goals your life.  This book teaches you how to make your goals become a reality without sacrificing the priorities in your life, such as family, yourself, etc.  I am only on day 2 and I look forward to seeing how this helps me.  I need some focus in my life, sometimes I feel like I am on a runway train! 

I will tell you one very important goal I have right now:  My back be healed and in the process not undo all the work that I have done to get me to this point!  Have you taken a look lately at the priorities in your life? 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Stretching is Important

I am in week 4 of P90X.  Week 4 is Recovery week where you get a break from weight lifting and focus more on core and cardio.  I have done none of that this week.  My lower back has always given me problems since high school and sometimes it acts up.  I don't know if it was from exercising our picking up my kids the wrong way or a combination of both but my back has been SCREAMING!  It has been saying to me, "you are not doing ANYTHING this week unless you want to cause yourself serious problems"  Sigh.  Instead of doing nothing this week, I have been doing Stretch X.  It is a whole hour of stretching every inch of your body and it feels so good.  I have been doing that instead and I think that has been helping to loosen up my back.  Honestly, I should be doing that every week.  I have never been a flexible person and I always under emphasize the importance of stretching. 

Stretching helps you in all aspects of life.  Here are a few reasons why you should stretch:

1.  It Improves Muscle Development
If you're doing a workout with the hope of building muscle then stretching is very important as it enables you to move through the full range of movement. This will also give you longer, leaner muscles.

2.  It Increases Range of Motion
Not only does stretching increase the range of motion for someone lifting weights while they're doing it, it also helps to increase range of motion and flexibility in general. For example, want to get higher kicks, be more flexible.  Your hamstrings especially have a tendency to be very tight, so the more you stretch them, the better!

3.  It Reduces Injury
Stretching reduces the chance of injury by gradually elongating the muscle. If you're more flexible then that will mean that you don't pull or tear a muscle if you are to slip or trip as your body is capable of reaching that position. In the short term it also helps to limber up the muscle and tendon and thereby prevent a pulled muscle or tendon.

4.  It Warms You Up
Stretching can be used as a way to warm up the muscles and it will encourage the flow of blood. This then provides the muscles with an oxygen supply as well as nutrients in order to help them to keep going.  You should never stretch cold muscles though.  Do some jumping jacks or jog in place to get the blood flowing before stretching.

It Improve Posture
Stretching can also help you to improve your posture and particularly stretching the back. It may also be useful for alleviating pain.  Plus, when you stand up tall, it makes you look leaner, which isn't so bad ;-)

When I do stretch more often, I do have less injuries and feel better in general.  Careful though, don't over stretch to a point where you cause yourself pain.  Stretching should be a gentle pulling of the muscles.  If you overextend your muscles, you can cause injury. 

Don't forget to breath either. Exhale when you are actively stretching the muscle and you will get a deeper, longer stretch!

Now, I just have to listen to my own advice! 

Also, here is a short video with some different stretches to get you going!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Are You Addicted to Sugar?

If  you are like me, you love sugar! It doesn't matter in what form it comes, you want it.  Donuts, cookies, muffins, chocolate, ice cream, coffee creamer, straight up, you want it.  I know my sugar addiction must have started at an early age.  There was always some sort of sweets around the house and when I would visit my grandparents they always had some sort of boxed or homemade treat waiting for me and I loved it. 
When my friends and I used to go out to diners when I was in high school, I would literally eat sugar packets (I know that sounds gross to some of you but, I bet not all of you).  Sugar has always been there for me.  If I feel down or mad or happy, it is ALWAYS the right occasion to have some sort of sugar-filled delight. 
The question I have been asking myself recently is, "at what cost?"  I have been reading a lot lately that you can be addicted to sugar, that sugar addiction can be as powerful as an addiction to alcohol  or narcotics...what?!?!  When I first read this, I was like, "yeah, right".  I can quit anytime...or can I?  Case in point, there were cookies in the kitchen today at work and they were my favorite, chocolate chip.  This was a perfect time to test my theory that I could quit at anytime.  Any guesses what I did?  Well, 5 cookies later...I guess I can't quit at any time.  So, what do I do, how do I break this physical/mental/emotional tie to sugar.  Well, first here is a list of five symptoms of possibly being addicted to sugar I found at http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/five-symptoms-that-youre-addicted-to/:

1. You Crave Sugar Despite Being Full

If you are generally well nourished and have just finished a fulfilling meal, and still find yourself craving sugar, then that is a clear sign of something unnatural.

2. You Feel Guilty Afterwards, But Do it Again Soon

It is common to get a guilty conscience after an unplanned "cheat meal". If this happens to you, but you still find yourself doing it again soon, then you may have a problem.

3. You Have Tried to Quit Multiple Times

Perhaps you've realized that all the sugar you're eating may be hindering your weight loss efforts. Now you try to quit eating sugar, but still find yourself reaching for a treat several days later. Perhaps this has happened repeatedly and you're constantly angry at yourself for the lack of willpower.

4. You Make up Excuses About Why You Should Cheat

The way a craving feels is like your brain is arguing with itself, trying to sell you some excuse as to why it would be a good idea to indulge, despite having made a decision not to.

5. You Can't Quit Despite Physical Problems

Perhaps you've got bad breath, acne or your teeth are getting damaged. You may even be severely overweight and diabetic. You know these serious physical problems are caused by your unhealthy lifestyle and still you just can not quit, no matter what.

After I read this list I realized that I could answer yes to all 5.  Ugh! The one that got me the most is the fact that I have been trying to lose weight but, when it came down to it, I couldn't give up sugar for more than 3 days without going back to it.  So what is a girl or guy to do to quit this habit that sabotages or health and or efforts at weight loss?

1.  You need to be committed.  Just like with anything, if you are not committed to something, you will not succeed.
 
2.  Write down all the reasons why you want to quit sugar, i.e. health, weight loss, energy, etc.  Go back to that list when you are especially feeling tempted.

3.  Find something to fill that "sugar void".  We use sugar as a reward in so many situations.  Instead of "rewarding" yourself with a cookie or ice cream, do something good for yourself.  Take a walk, get a mani/pedi, read, find something to do that isn't food related!

4.  You need to quit for at least 3 weeks.  You can't quit for a couple of days and then think that you can have "just a little bite".  That, "little bite" will snowball into days or weeks of eating sugar on a daily basis.  3 weeks should give your body time to adjust to not having sugar and after that 3 weeks, you will feel so much better, you won't want to go back. 

5.  If you are able, do something like The Ultimate Reset, this will restore your body and help you get rid of unhealthy cravings.  There is so many other benefits as well, you can lose weight and have more energy and who couldn't use more energy!

6. Drink plenty of water!!!  That can't be emphasized more!

7.  Eat protein at every meal; it is digested more slowly than simple carbohydrates and will leave you feeling fuller for a longer period of time. You will therefore be more likely to resist the urge to eat dessert every night after dinner.

8. If you are considering having that donut, walk away for 15 minutes and drink some water.  In 15 minutes your craving should subside.


I know that this sounds like a lot.  If you take it one day at a time (sometimes, one minute at a time) you can do this and reap the benefits!

I am starting a nutrition challenge on facebook next week. The challenge will last for 6 weeks.  One of the requirements is kicking the sugar habit.  Will you join me?  Email me at aclow75@gmail.com and lets do this together!

Friday, July 20, 2012

If I Can Do It, So Can You!

Week 3 of P90X is coming to a close.  I have Friday and Saturday left before recovery week starts.  I wish I could say I have been eating well this week but, I have made a few questionable choices.  It is amazing how one bad meal, leads to another, and another, and another.  I am not happy with myself right now.  I want to say that I am not "beating  myself" up over it but, that is not true.  That not so small voice in my head is saying "why bother, you aren't going to lose any weight anyway".  Be quiet!!!  That voice is so annoying but, it does hold one point.  I am not going to lose weight if I don't combine my hard work exercising with eating right.  When I say eating right, I mean not going back for more birthday cake at 10 at night.  I am eating better but, I still struggle with going to food to "comfort" me.  I am still learning how to overcome the cravings that I do have.  BUT I CAN DO THIS, even if I don't feel like it can happen, it will, it has to. 

WE CAN ALL DO THIS.  Despite the voices that tell me I can't, I have continued to move forward.  Let me tell you, it is not easy, especially when you are doing Ab Ripper X and you have kids running around you or asking you questions.  It is very hard to answer questions and stay focused on trying to get through Ab Ripper!  The only time of day that I can work out is when all 5 kids are awake.  I know it sounds crazy to even attempt but, if I want to do it, this is when it needs to get done.  For the most part the kids will leave me alone but, when it starts to go downhill, it goes downhill fast! 

On the positive side, my kids are being exposed to Mark and I taking better care of ourselves. When I was a kid, I never had that exposure.  In fact, I was always the kids lagging behind in the back while we had to run around the football field in gym class.  Exercise and me where never friends.  The best part for me is when they exercise with us.  It makes all the other distractions worthwhile.

I tell you this because I want you to believe you can do it.  No matter what your schedule is like, how many kids you have, whatever other "excuse" you may have, if you want to get take better care of yourself, so you can enjoy your life more fully, you will find away to do it.  There are days when I just feel like I don't have the energy to get through it but, somehow I do.  Does get go smoothly all the time, no.  Sometimes it is so bumpy I am surprised I get anything out of it at all.  What I get out of it is the confidence and power to do it again tomorrow.  I show myself that I can work through obstacles to achieve my goals.  Am I to all my goals yet?  No.  That is ok.  Fitness, like anything in life is a journey.  Sometimes the journey is smooth and sometimes you hit big potholes!  We just need to climb out of those holes and keep going. 

So let's keep going together, shall we?  If you want to go on this journey with me, contact me at aclow75@gmail.com

I am putting together a nutrition challenge group on facebook that I would love to have you aboard for. 
In this group we will list daily how we are eating and what kind of exercise we are doing. 
I also ask that in this group that you drink Shakeology once a day.  If you are not familiar with it, it is an AMAZING drink made my Beachbody.  It is a meal replacement drink that tastes to good to be healthy!  Check out the link above and it will give you all info you need about it.  It will really help in curbing your cravings and help to lose weight.

I will be getting the group read on FB to start this challenge on July 29th.  The challenge will last for 6 weeks.  Let's see what you can accomplish!

As Tony Horton would say from P90X, "Do your best and forget the rest"!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Boy Mom Bloghop Welcome!

Hello Moms of Terrors...oh I mean, sweet boys :-)  I came across this on someones blog and this sounded like fun!  I am the mom of 1 girl and 4 boys.  My kids range in age from 9 yrs to almost 3 years old! 

Here is the rundown of the boys:

Daniel is my oldest son and he is 7 years old.  He is wild and crazy but he has the biggest heart.  He loves his momma :-)  He is also a very good big brother to his 3 little brothers!  He is always hugging someone, sometimes to rough but, love hurts sometimes ;-)




Up next are the twins, Michael and Matthew.  They are 4 1/2 years old.  They are amazing because they both have cerebral palsy and beat the odds everyday!  They were born at 32 weeks and spent 7 weeks in the NICU.  When they were 2 we found out that they had cerebral palsy.  Please check out my previous blogs about them. They are beautiful, wonderful and our families inspiration!


Last but not least, is Christopher.  He will turn 3 in September.  He is a ball of energy.  He is such a big help to his big brothers.  Sometimes I think I have triplets because Christopher, Michael and Matthew get into all kinds of mischief.  He is a very independent little boy but, will still sit with me and snuggle.  He is my baby!

The games these boys love to play is anything that has to do with Star Wars or Superheros. They are always dressing up as Batman, Robin, Spiderman, Superman...  They also love to look at books, do puzzles and color/draw. 

As for me, I work part-time out of the home and I am also an Independent Beachbody Coach.  Beachbody has changed my life in enabling me to exercise at home and make extra money from home.  I am committed to being healthy so I can be stronger mentally, emotionally and physically to take care of my family.  The kids love to exercise with me so I feel that I am teaching them good habits at an early age.  If you are interested in learning more about Beachbody (they are the makers of P90X), please contact me.  I know I could help you reach your fitness goals!  Right now my husband & I are doing P90X together and are having a great time getting fit together.

Thanks for visiting my blog, I hope you stay awhile!


 



Monday, July 16, 2012

Week 3 of P90X begins!

Today I start Week 3 of P90X.  I feel like I am starting to see some results.  My stomach looks flatter (all that Ab Ripper X) and my chest muscles feel tighter ( I can use all the lift I can get ;-) ) 

Unfortunately, I have been SO TIRED.  Ever since last mid-last week I have been dragging tail.  The only thing I can think of is I am not fueling my body enough.  The nutrition plan says I should be eating around 2400 calories.  What!?  I don't know how I could eat all those calories so, I haven't been.  I think I am starting to pay the price for that.  These workouts are SERIOUS. You are pushing your body hard and if you don't give your body what it needs, it starts to not work.  Carbs is what gives your body energy and if you are not eating enough of them (good carbs; like whole grains, brown rice, potatoes, etc) you will run out of steam.  This week I am going to add some more healthy carbs to my diet to see if that helps with my energy levels. 

Sleep is also important.  Never underestimate the power of sleep!  I have also been going to bed late between 10:30 pm and 12:00 am.  That is late for me.  My day starts around 6:30 am so, not going to bed till 11 or almost midnight is bad.  Sleep is when your body repairs itself  and I know my body needs repairing and a massage too but I digress...

I am also cutting out coffee this week and most especially the yummy creamers.  I am going to try green tea instead and see how that goes. To tell the truth, the caffeine in coffee doesn't seem to help me wake up, it just tastes good with the fancy creamers I put in there.

Here's to Week 3 of P90X!  Next week is Recovery Week!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Days 10 & 11 Down

I am on Day 11 of P90X and it is going well so far.  I have lost 2 lbs since I started.  I won't take measurements again to Day 30.  I have been eating pretty well for a change and not doing a lot of late night snacking (that always gets me

Last night was a little rough for me.  I was super tired and the only time I could exercise was after 7:30 pm and I was not interested.  I did Cardio X and I felt like it was the first time I had ever exercised.  I was all uncoordinated, stiff and sore.  It wasn't pretty but, I did it.  It doesn't have to be pretty, you just have to do it.  Toward the end my littlest son, Christopher was holding my hand :-)

On another note, I wanted to talk briefly about McDonalds (or any fast food place).  It used to be that if I used to eat a lot of fast food (at least 2-3 times a week).  I could never stop and get the kids food without getting something for myself.  That has been changing for me in the last few months.  I am finding I can stop now and not get anything for myself  or even "snack" off the kids food.  I know the fast food isn't the best for them but, we do get it from time to time for them.  I will get it for the twins after therapy as a treat for all their hard work.  They love cheeseburgers!  At first I thought I was "missing out" because I couldn't have any. Now, it is different.  I feel like I am doing something good for myself and I am not missing out on the 1000 calorie meals! 

Healthy living is a process and journey.  I used to think it was some destination I was going to reach.  I am seeing better now that healthy eating, like life,  is a process and you never reach a point and say, "ok I'm done, I can stay here."  You can't be stagnate in life, you are either moving forward or going backward.  Let's make the steps forward more than the steps back!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dedication to my Grandma, Violet Jaworski June 1, 1926 - June 25, 2012

I have been wanting to write about my grandmother's death for the past 2 weeks since her passing.  I have had so many ideas and memories swimming around in my head, I wasn't sure how to put "pen to paper" or "fingers to keyboard".  I have finally decided to just go with it and see where it takes me.

It is hard for me to believe that my grandma, Violet or as she always signed her cards, "Grandma J" has passed from this life to the next.  I know I feel this way because I have not seen her in 7 years and I haven't seen her much at all in the past 15.  I live in Florida and she lived in New Jersey and as my own family grew, it was very difficult for me to travel to see her.  That doesn't change that she is gone and I won't see her again on this side of heaven.

Grandpa, Grandma and me (1977)
Her and my grandfather have made an indelible mark on my heart and in my life.  As a child, I spent many days and weekends with both of them.  We did everything from play cards (which my grandpa always won), eat, talk, walk around Passaic, NJ going to various bakeries and delis, eat some more, visit family, laugh and once again eat.  In a Polish household, there is a lot of good eating going on :-)  My grandparents lived in an apartment building and I used to "go downstairs" and play Bingo with all the old folk.  I tell you, I felt more comfortable around adults, especially older people then I did kids my age!

  My grandma was always sweet, loving, kind and there for me.  She would carry the biggest purse/bag around and I think she did have everything in there but the kitchen sink!  You wanted some candy, it was in there, a hat b/c it was cold, it was in there, scratch off lottery tickets, they were in there too.  She always had exactly what I wanted. 

She was always there for all of us.  My grandpa was 15 years her senior and as he got older and was confined to a wheelchair, my grandma was ever by his side helping him to and fro and doing so much for him.  What was even more amazing was my grandma was barely 5 feet and he was over 6 feet.  She was strong, little lady in more ways than one!

Daniel with his Great-Grandma (2005)
When I was a teenager, my mother, my grandma and I (and usually a friend) would go down the Jersey Shore.  Those will always be fun and good memories.  My grandpa died when I was 16 and not long after that, I left for college in Florida.  My grandma flew on her first plane ever, with my mom, to come and see me.  She always wrote me letters, sent me money to go out to eat and we talked on the phone.  After college, I stayed in Florida, got married and started a family of my own so, traveling was never in my picture with so many little ones.  We did get to go visit her in 2005 when my oldest 2 children were 2 years and 6 months at the time.  That is the one and only time she ever got to see her great-grandchildren.  That will always break my heart that she never got to enjoy her 5 "great-grands" as she would call them.  I know she is enjoying watching them from heaven. 

Over the past 2 weeks I have really thought about her and her life and the time she grew up in.  She was the child of Hungarian and Polish immigrants.  She lived in a time where woman didn't drive, in fact, I don't think she ever drove in her whole life.  She always lived in the city so there was no need for cars.  Transportation was a bus or your own 2 feet.  She lived through World War II.  She saw her sons go off to war during Vietnam.  She always loved and was there for her 6 grandchildren. 

She was worried and concerned as to where this country was heading.  I remember having a conversation with her years ago and she was worried about where are country was headed and concerned for me and her great-grands.  I can certainty see why she felt that way. 

There is so much more I can say about her but, words just don't do.  This picture below, is how I will always remember them.  They always made me feel so loved and special.  I will always carry that with me.   My grandma was one of a kind and she is terribly missed.  I know she and my grandpa are smiling down at us from heaven and I look forward to the day that I can be with them again.
I love you.



"I Will Remember You" by Amy Grant came out around the time my Grandpa died and everytime I hear it, I think of him and now my Grandma.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Sweaty, Stinky and Loving it!

I know, that is not what you expect a woman to say, "I am sweaty, stinky and loving it".  In this situation, it is true.  I am really enjoying the feeling of accomplishing a workout.  It may not look pretty, or smell pretty but the end result is. 

Today was Kenpo X and my husband and I brought it!  It really is a fun workout and the hour really flies by!  It felt great when I was done and I was able to get some stress out with all the punching and kicking :-)  I was also really happy because my chocolate Shakeology and Results & Recovery came in the mail today.  So, I fueled with Shakeology and had an awesome workout!  Even my older kids punched and kicked with us.  You know what they say, "the family that exercises together stays together". 

http://www.stargazers.org/


On a completely different note, we talk the kids to the planetarium this morning.  It was the first time we had ever taken them there.  They really enjoyed and so did Mark and I.   The kids are looking forward to tonight to go outside and see the "real" stars :-)  We even got to look through a telescope at the sun today and that was  WAY COOL ( I know, I am geek but, that is ok)! 

Here's to a day filled with sweat & stars!


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Listen to Tony!

Well, so much for posting everyday.  It being the 4th yesterday, I enjoyed time with family and friends but did manage to get my workout in the morning. 
On Day 2 was Plyo X.  Plyo has a lot of jumping and is a great cardio workout.  I had done it before and for the most part, liked it.  I had to do it after 7:30 at night which is a hard time of night for me to be motivated to jump :-\  We put the DVD on and pressed play!  It was going fairly well but, I was getting very tired at the end and my heart rate was elevated.  When it was time to stretch, Tony specifically said that if your heart rate was still high, don't put your head down and stretch.  I looked at my pulse, it was at 135 bpm, it was high for being about to stretch but, I thought I would be fine. WRONG!  I started feeling really nauseous and after a few minutes I had to sit down.  I felt awful!  I knew then, that I had bonked, hit a wall, whatever you want to call it.  I felt like s#*!  My dear husband proceeded to go make some Results & Recovery for me but, we didn't have enough :-(  So he made a no sugar gatorade type drink that we got from a whole foods place in town.  That helped some but, I was still feeling bad so he got me an italian ice (only 100 calories) and the sugar I needed to start feel better.  I went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling fine.

The moral of the story is: Listen to Tony, he knows what he is talking about! 

Day 3 was much better.  It was Shoulders, Arms & Ab Ripper X.  Mark and I exercised before heading out for the day.  It was nice to get a workout in early.  Ab Ripper X is getting better.  I can last longer doing each of the sets (there are 25 in a set).  Are they pretty or perfect, no but I am doing it!

The diet has been not too bad.  I only had one small piece of cake yesterday at a Independence Day gathering.  I have been trying hard not to eat late at night.  That, I am convinced helps in losing weight.  I especially don't eat carbs late.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 1 Down of P90X

Despite feeling very tired and sluggish yesterday, I did Day 1 of P90X which includes 2 workouts:  Chest & Back and Ab Ripper X.  Mark and worked out while the twins were in therapy.  The other 3 were about playing and did jump in a few times and did some push-ups.  Christopher also tried feeding me while I was lifting weights.  He is so cute and he did not want to take NO for an answer.  He finally relented and walked away :-) 
I felt good about what I did yesterday.  I ate well, had salmon and broccoli for dinner and no late snacking!  I was pretty tired and was ready for bed by 9pm.  All in all a good day.
Today will be more of a challenge.  It is a long day for us in my house so we won't be able to work out until after 7pm :-\  I am usually so tired by 7/8 pm but, it will help that Mark and I are doing it together!  Bring it!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mark and I are Going to "Bring It" Together!

My husband, Mark decided a few weeks back to give P90X a try again.  We had both started it last year but, for various reasons (i.e. we quit) we stopped doing it.  I was in my 3rd week of Brazilian Butt Lift and Mark had asked me if I wanted to do P90X with him.  At first, I wasn't sure because after coming off of doing a very high cardio, fast moving program like Turbo Fire, P90X seemed like it would be "too slow".  After thinking about it I decided to do because it would be great for the two of us to do it together.  Last year when we did it, we stuck with the workouts but strayed often on the diet.  This time I want us to put diet and exercise together and see what happens!


I did start working out with him on Friday and did Legs and Back.  Even Christopher was getting in on it: 




So, starting today I am going to blog my experience of doing P90X with my husband and everything that goes along with that.  For instance, I am going to workout today with him when I get home from work and let me tell you, right now I want to just go home and sleep!  I am so tired today.  I have eaten well so far today except, for some cake I had with my co-workers BUT I am tracking my calories using www.fitnesspal.com and I will make sure I don't go over my 1800 calorie limit. 

I really want this to work this time.  My 37th birthday is at the end of August and I want to look at the scale and not see the same numbers I have been seeing for the last few years, I want them to be lower!  I believe I will have much more energy to if I weighed less. I need all th energy I can get to keep up with my family and life.  So keep me accountable!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Being Real Tonight


I had thought of many things I could have talked about today but one thing really came to the forefront of my mind; anxiety.  Yes, my name is Allison and I have generalized anxiety disorder.  It is not something I like to talk about but, it is a part of my life.  What brought this on was something that sounds silly.  I tried a new medication today.  I had found out my testosterone was very low and I started a testosterone cream.  Sounds harmless, right?  Well, a half hour after I used it, I started to feel amped up.  I didn't like how it felt and I started to feel anxious.  I started to feel more and more unsettled.  Once Mark got home I started to feel better but, geez I felt silly.  Then, later I needed to go out to the store.  I really didn't want to because I had been feeling anxious and one of the "triggers" for me is driving.  I DON'T like to drive when I feel anixous.  Here is where I had a decision to make.  I could have either stayed at home and given in or take control and go out.  That is what I did.   I not only went out but, worked through it and went shopping.  It was tough but, I did it! 

Anxious p... I have been living with anxiety/depression since I was about 19.  Sometimes it has been worse rather than better but, I have found ways to work through it.  I have a supportive husband who understands when I am struggling.  To be fair, another thing that made add to my anxiety today was our landlord coming over and having a realtor look at the property.  Granted, in this economy, nothing is going to sell anytime soon but, it was a reminder that this is not our home and we are at the mercy of someone else.  Most days it doesn't bother me but, it got to me today. 
So, what do I do to live with this and to pursue a "normal" life?  It isn't just one thing, it is a puzzle that keeps me together.  First, I take medication.  I hope there is a day that I don't have to be but, for now I need it. Second, trust in God (I know that should be first but bare with me).  Trust that the Lord will provide and take care of my family and me.  Third, diet and exercise.  I am believer that diet and exercise has helped me handle life better.  I have been doing at home fitness through Beachbody.  That has been such a gift to me.  I have been able to exercise at home, when I want.  Diet is another important part.  Do I have the "eating better" thing down pat, no.  I still like my ice cream and french fries but, overtime I have learned to modify what I eat.  For instance, I won't eat fast food for the most part anymore and if I do, I look for one of the best things on the menu.  I drink my Shakeology.  That shake helps give me a very balanced meal everyday.  I am on the go a lot so to have a shake or protein bar is important.  Fourth, which is really not fourth but, family.  My husband is a great support and understands when I am struggling and drops everything to help me.  He is my best friend.
Overall wellness is a journey.  I am know where near to where I would like to be.  Some days I take 5 steps back and other days I feel like I leaped light years ahead.  Life is a great puzzle, isn't it? 
One thing I have been doing recently is coaching with Beachbody.  That has really been fullfilling for me.  It is such a joy to help other people from the things I have learned through trial and error.  If you have ever thought about at home business or helping people with their fitness journeys, contact me!  I love to know you and help you. 
Now I must go and do the most important job I have, helping my son make his puzzle :-)  Until next time!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tropical Storm Debby Won't Stop Me!

For those of you who haven't heard, Florida has been being pounded by Tropical Storm Debby.  I live in Florida and we have been getting LOTS of rain.  What is ironic is I have a degree in meteorology and used to watch the weather all the time.  Since having kids, the only amount of weather watching I do, is looking out the window.  Needless to say, I did not see this coming!  We were on our way to church Sunday morning and I was wondering where all this wind, clouds, and warm rain were coming from.  I didn't have to look any further than my smart phone to see that we were being hit by rain from the tropical storm.  I digress...
Sunday was a rest day for me for exercise so I didn't mind so much that it was raining and dreary.  It was one of those days were you just want to curl up and read a book or play games with the kids.  Monday though, was a different story.  It was back at it on Monday with my Brazilian Butt Lift, Sculpt.  I don't know about you but, when it is raining and dark and dreary, the LAST thing I want to do is exercise.  The old me would have procrastinated until it was too late to do anything.  I was proud of myself, I didn't.  I got my workout in and felt good about it.  My eating choices weren't all that great for the day but at least got worked some of it off! 
My husband, started P90X yesterday.  I was proud of him too for getting it done when motivation was low.  It was so fun watching him exercise with all the kids trying to exercise with him.  The twins trying to do sit-ups and push-ups was precious.  Abigail was doing a great job with the mason twists (for those who have done P90X, you know what I am talking about)! 

Speaking of P90X and BBL, Beachbody, the company that produces these awesome at home workout videos is running an incredible deal right now.  If you have ever wanted to try at-home fitness this, is the time.  You can try P90X or BBL or TurboFire AND a bag of Shakeology for 1 month for only $14.95.  That is an awesome!  If you don't know what Shakeology is, please check out the link I have attached.  It really is the best meal of the day!  Please talk to me about this incredible deal and/or check-out the website:  https://extranet.securefreedom.com/MillionDollarBody/csShopping/ShoppingCart.asp?Cat=&ProductID=&InvCountry=USA and then click on Trial Offers.  Really, ask me anything about these programs, I would love to help!

Wow..I think I see some blue skies coming back...



Saturday, June 23, 2012

2 Weeks of BBL Complete!

I finished week 2 of Brazilian Butt Lift.  Today I added ankle weights to the routine called, "High & Tight".  I could definitely feel by butt and my hamstrings getting a better workout.  I might be sore tomorrow, but it will be a good sore :-)  I am continuing to get the moves down in Cardio Axe and I am having more fun with it. 

I haven't taken my measurements in a while, so I am going to and see if any inches have been lost! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Back to Brazilian Butt Lift!

Well, after taking a couple unplanned days off of BBL, I was back at it yesterday.  It felt great to be back to exercising!  Yesterday I did 45 minutes of Scuplt.  I worked every muscle using weights and my own bodies resistance. 
It was funny because when I started exercising the twins asked me why I wasn't doing TurboFire.  They like TurboFire better and wanted me to do do that.  I miss Chalene too, but I needed to try something else ;-) 
I ate well yesterday and didn't over eat (Yeah!)  Today I am craving something sweet so I am trying not to think about it.  Sometimes I feel like if I don't have donut, cookie, etc now, I am going to go crazy (ok, that is a little drastic but, sometimes true).  I am trying to remind myself of the bigger picture.  I will be 37 in 2 months and I would like to weigh less than I did last year when I turned 36.  40 is creeping up and I want to be in better shape when I am 40 than when I was 20! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Stress Eating Monster Makes an Appearance

If you have been following this blog you know that I started Brazilian Butt Lift (BBL) last week. I finished Day 5 with no problems.  Well, that night one of my sons woke up with a horrible toothache and I was up with him for half the night. It had been a long time since I had a night with little sleep.  I.Felt.Miserable.  The first thing I wanted to do when I woke was-EAT.  I didn't want a healthy breakfast, no I wanted something that was tasty and full of calories.  I will spare the details but I did resist the urge to eat more.  Later that morning I had to take my son to the Dr. and afterward, to make him feel better, we went for donuts and this time, I did get donuts.  I had 2 and they tasted so good!  As soon as I ate them, I felt horrible.  Why did I do that to myself?  I went to get donuts in the name of making my son feel better but, the truth is, I went there to make myself feel better. 
After doing that though, I didn't say "the hell with it" for the rest of the day and eat poorly.  Also, despite being sleep deprived I DID do my workout and I was proud of that!
Fast forward to Monday and I found myself in the ER with my husband.  He is fine, praise God but once again the stress eating monster appeared. That morning I could not wait to eat the donuts that were left over from Sunday.  I consumed them and still wanted to more.  How many donuts would I have to eat to feel better? 2?5?10?  How many times am I going to do this to myself and think that food is going to make me feel better?
I was remind of a couple of things.  I was reminded of how when you do not get enough sleep, your will-power is lowered and you have a harder time fighting those cravings.  I was reminded again that no matter how many donuts, ice cream, etc I eat it will never make me feel better.  It will never take the place of what I am really craving in that moment; sleep, less stress, break from the kids, a trip to Cancun...
Even though, the last few days have not been "fun", I think God puts these moments in our life so we can learn from them and hopefully make better choices in the future!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Day 5 of BBL in the Bag!

After a day of rest yesterday, I was back on it today with Day 5.  Before I got to my workout, I enjoyed a great performance from my kids on the last day of Vacation Bible School.  I especially loved the twins dancing!
Well today my Brazilian Butt Lift workouts were Cardio Axe, which is 30 minutes of Brazilian/South American dance moves.  There are different sambas and great moves.  I am getting comfortable with the moves and I am able to get into more.  The 2nd one was one called High and Tight.  That is 35 minutes of concentrating on the booty and let me tell you, he works it from every angle!  The core of this workout is working the 3 muscle groups of the glutes in as many directions as possible.  While I was lying on the floor doing some moves, my cat even joined me, well, not really she came to give me moral support but that is besides the point ;-)  At the same time my 2 oldest were carrying on a conversation with me about going to the beach.  It is a good thing us women know how to multi-task! 
All and all it was a good workout and I look forward to tomorrow!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Day 3 of Brazilian Butt Lift Down!

Well, yesterday I completed the 3rd day of BBL.  It was a tough workout.  I was sore from the day before and my legs were screaming!  They did not want me to do lunges, so I didn't go as deep into them. 

I am getting the moves down more and the dancing is quite fun.  This is a great longer body workout and I feel it!  I definitely get a good sweat and have fun at the same time.  I am still trying to get used to Leandro's accent. My kids still think the workout is "weird".  What do kid know about wanting to have a better looking backside ;-)

Today is a rest day and according to the calendar it says to take a nice bath...so I think I will tonight!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My Crosses, My Joys

My joyful boys at 4!
I have so much to say and I am unsure where to start.  As I was dropping off the kids at Vacation Bible School this morning the twins group leader, stopped to tell me how wonderful the twins have been.  Not that I am surprised, they are pretty great kids but it was just hearing this from another person.  She went on about how smart they were, how well they participated and how they were always smiling.  I have heard that often from people that the boys smile all the time.  It is true, they are happy kids but, they have their moments like everyone else.  Those boys have been through so much in your life but yet nothing deters them.  I am in awe of what they do and I am humbled that God has made me their mother. 
It is amazing how our crosses can also be a source of our joy.  I am here to tell you, that it is not easy having 5 kids, let alone 2 that have disabilities.  Just the basic things in life that we take for granted have more work to them.  For instance, going potty. By the time most kids are 4 1/2, they can get on and off the potty by themselves.  Michael is just starting to be able to get off the potty by himself but he needs help getting on, pulling up pants, etc.  Matthew can't do either so, we has to be put on and off and help getting to the sink, etc.  I am not complaining, I am proud that the boys can do what the can now.  My point is, is there is more work involved in having twins but, then throw on top of that, the extra help that is needed can sometimes be tiring, especially at the end of the day when all you want to do is tell them to get dressed for bed, brush their teeth and go to bed :-)  Lately, Mark and I will each take a twin and that definitely lightens the load. 
Matthew in Michael during their stay at the NICU 2008
Both boys have been working at therapy and at home with getting dressed and undressed and have made great progress.  The boys continue to make progress in every area of their life.  They are 4 though and they whine and get upset and fight and all the normal things that 4 year old do!  I am thankful for that (though I have to tell myself that on some days).  I am thankful that their disability is only a physical and on the scale of kids with cerebral palsy, mild. 
We were told just a few weeks ago by their school therapist and after school therapist, that kids with cerebral palsy typically don't make the progress that both Michael and Matthew are making on a daily basis.  That just amazes me!  It amazes and humbles me that God would give us these boys to raise.    I am unworthy of such a task and some days that task feels so heavy.  I believe that God has blessed us with 2 wonderful, loving, smart boys.  He has also blessed us and them with 3 siblings who are amazing.  That is a blog for another day. 
I know for me, I have to focus more on the joys part and actually enjoy the joy, if you know what I mean.  I get far too caught up in the work to be done.  This morning, after I got Matthew dressed and put him in his chair to eat breakfast he said he wanted to hug me.  He gave me the biggest, sweetest hug around my neck and when I pulled back, he was just smiling...not that is JOY!