by Melanie

Healthy Thanksgiving Tips, an Inspirational Transformation and a New Gym!

November 26, 2014 in Exercise, Healthy Tips, Holidays by Melanie

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

I hope you all have fun plans for tomorrow.  We’ll be spending the day enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with my parents, siblings and a bunch of my aunts, uncles and cousins.

Soooo fun and soooo yummy!

I will also be running a Thanksgiving Turkey Trot with Kev and my 11 year old son.

The Human Race

I’m really looking forward to it and the weather is supposed to be beautiful!

I really wanted to run the 10K, but my body did not.  Soooo, I’ve been affectionately calling our “Turkey Trot” a “Chicken Trot” because I’m too chicken to run the 10K!  Ha ha.

I love running a race on Thanksgiving morning though.  It’s the perfect way to start the day, in my opinion.

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I thought I would mention a few “helpful tips” for those of you who are trying to keep the holiday a little healthier this year.  Here are some of my suggestions…

Healthy Thanksgiving Day Tips!

  • Eat breakfast!  Do not, I repeat, do not start your Thanksgiving Feast on a starving empty stomach.  You will end up eating the entire turkey, stuffing, all the pies and probably even the cornucopia, lol!
  • Eat slowly.  Thanksgiving dinner is SO yummy that it’s very easy to stuff your face, go back for seconds and then feel sick!  Make an effort to eat slowly and enjoy every bite.
  • Drink lots of water.  Drink a full glass of water before you eat anything.  This will help you feel more full and will aid in digestion.
  • Start your day off with exercise!  Sign up for a local Turkey Chicken Trot, go to a Thanksgiving class at the gym, organize a fun Turkey Bowl with family or friends, go on a morning walk/run or just workout at home!
  • Fill up your plate with healthier things like Turkey, salad, veggies/dip and fruit and then just take a little bit of the sweet potatoes (sweet potatoes can be healthy, but usually the Thanksgiving versions are not!), mashed potatoes/gravy, stuffing and rolls.
  • Have just one serving of dessert.  This one is hard for me because I usually like to taste everything!  I like to tell myself that Pumpkin Pie is kinda sorta healthy too. :-)
  • Go on a walk after Thanksgiving dinner is over.  This will help you digest things better and not have that “gut bomb” feeling.  It will also burn some calories too!

I love Thanksgiving and I love this time of year!  I’m so thankful for all of the blessings in my life.

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I thought I would share a very motivational video that I LOVE!

This kid is a rock star!  I love his story and his transformation is incredible.

I showed this video to my big kiddos and they were so impressed.  In fact, my DAUGHTER said, “I want to do that!”

I reminded her that she would NOT have the same results as this guy, lol.  She said she was just inspired by his hard work and determination.

Soooo, my daughter went on Pinterest and found a bunch of workouts that she said she wanted to do every day!  I encouraged her to not go too crazy too fast or she will burn out.  I told her to come up with a healthy, sustainable plan and then just consistently do it!

I was so happy to come home the other day to this….

B and D after exercise with carrots

My cute kiddos got dressed in their workout clothes, completed their workout and then decided to eat some carrots!  Love it!

FYI, this is the workout they did…

B's workout

Pretty darn cool.  I’m not exactly sure why this workout is called the “Flat Belly Workout” though.  It has a lot more going on than just abs.  Hmmmm.

Oh and speaking of working out, I WENT TO THE GYM last night!  Wooooooo Hooooooo!

I can’t tell you how HAPPY I was to be there.  Oh my word.  I hadn’t been to the gym in over 4 months and I didn’t realize how much I missed it!  There is so much positive energy there and and I always want to push myself to the max!

I went to a Power Pump class and it kicked my can!  I loved every single second.  Seriously.  The instructor kept asking, “How are you guys doing?” and I was always the chick in the back of the class enthusiastically saying “Wooooo!”

I didn’t take any pictures though, dang it.  Blogger fail.

Oh, and I’ve been going to Gold’s Gym for years and years, but last week all of the Gold’s Gyms in Utah changed to Vasa Fitness.

Vasa Fitness

I am STOKED!

The gyms will be full of new equipment, more classes and a whole Cross Fit-type section…

Vasa Fitness turf area

I’ve done Cross Fit stuff in some of my workouts, but I’ve never done full fledged Cross Fit.  Quite frankly, it intimidates the heck outta me.  I’m hoping the new gym will offer some Cross Fit training and/or classes and I will DO IT!

Oooohhhhh, I’m so excited!

They’re also building a brand spankin’ new full sized gym near my house!  Eeeeeee……Seriously GUYS!!!!  I’m thinking it will be finished and open in time for the New Year and I WILL BE READY to kill it.

Woooooo!

Okay, I will calm down now.  I actually have a bunch of errands to run and a bunch of rolls to make (that’s my Thanksgiving assignment!), so I need to end this.

I sincerely hope each and every one of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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by Melanie

Refocusing, Recommiting, Planning and Goals!

November 24, 2014 in Deep Thoughts, Exercise, Goals, Motivation, Weight Loss Plan by Melanie

Happy Monday!

We had a nice, relaxing weekend.  On Saturday, Kev and I took our older kids to see the new Hunger Games Mockingjay movie.

Hunger Games Mockingjay

I really liked it!  I’ve never read the books, but my kiddos have.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of the Hunger Games movies.  They are so well done and so well cast.  I love them!

I also told my kids that sadly, the Hunger Games story offers a great view of history and government.  The movie and characters seem so farfetched, but unfortunately things have happened and are happening in the world that closely resemble some of the things that happen in that movie.

Sad, but true.

It seems like the older I get and the more I learn about the world we live in, the more frightened I become to live in it!  It’s especially frightening to raise children in such a scary world.  BUT, I’ve also learned to be BRAVE and to strive to be a FORCE for GOOD in the world.

I also try to teach my kiddos to be brave, fearless and unwavering….just like Katniss!  Sounds cheesy, but as a mother I worry about my kids and the things they’ll have to face in this world.  I wish I could protect them from every bad/sad/scary thing that will ever happen to them, but I know I can’t.  I also know that experience and challenges are good for them and make them stronger.

I want my kids to be brave, strong, capable and prepared for life!

Thankfully, over the years I’ve realized our family kind of, sort of lives in a bubble.  We live in such a great community and are surrounded by so many wonderful people.  I am very happy, content and grateful to live in our bubble!

I’ve also learned to embrace my naivete.  Ha ha.

Anyway, we had a great weekend and I loved spending time with my sweet family.  Here are a couple cute pics I took this weekend…

Cute baby Kev and B pics

Oh my word, there is nothing quite like snuggling a sweet, squishy baby!

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Well folks, my healthy efforts had serious issues last week.  I have so many goals, ambitions and things I want to accomplish, but lately I’ve felt a little unorganized, unmotivated, sleep deprived and overwhelmed!

Auuuughhh!

Soooo, I decided to STOP, take a deep breath and take a long hard look at my life.  I reminded myself that I am NOT wonder woman, but I AM capable and I AM IN CHARGE of my life!

Sooooo, I decided to sit down with one of my notebooks and make myself a plan.  I’ve always LOVED notebooks.  They are so motivating and therapeutic to me!  Whenever I make serious goals or life changes, my notebooks are my best friends…

My notebooks

After the kids go to bed at night, I love to curl up with a notebook and put things into writing.  I write goals, ambitions, to-do lists, deep thoughts, menu plans, exercise plans, workouts, etc.

Inside my notebook

There’s something so empowering about actually writing thoughts and goals down.  I love the quote, “A goal not written is merely a wish” and I’ve definitely found that quote to be true in my own life!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought, “I’m going to eat really well” or “I’m going to kill it in the gym this week,” but I don’t actually write it down and PLAN.  If I don’t have an “official plan” and actually write my goals down, they fizzle very quickly.

When I write my goals and share them with others, I am so much more committed and ALWAYS have so much more success!  In fact, that was the main reason why I started this blog back in 2011…..to be accountable to all y’all!

With that being said, I decided to sit down with one of my beloved notebooks last night and write down some goals.  I planned out my exercise schedule for the week and I WILL stick to it!  Here’s the schedule I came up with…

Monday:  Run 3 miles
Tuesday:  Attend a muscle class at the gym!
Wednesday:  Rest (or do some cardio if I’m feeling ambitious)
Thursday:  Run a 5K Turkey Trot
Friday:  Rest
Saturday:  Go to the gym and do a total body resistance training workout
Sunday:  Always a rest day

I would really like to work out every single day, but I’m trying to “keep it real” and not get too overwhelmed.  I definitely plan to kick it up a notch as my life and body allows.  But, I am happy to be going back to the gym this week!   Eeeee!

I’ve felt so out of shape and frumpy lately, so I haven’t wanted to show my face at the gym.  Hee hee.  BUT, I decided that was just stupid!  I gave myself a swift kick in the butt and decided to buck up and get back there.  I seem to push myself so much harder at the gym and always get a great workout in!

I also recommitted to eating CLEAN!  I’m staying away from sugar, white flour and processed food.  I’m striving to eat lots of veggies, fruits and real foods!  I really should write some more specific goals for my eating plan, but for now this will suffice.

I’m also committing to GET MY SLEEP!  I’ve been so dang tired lately and I know that’s why I’ve been struggling in the other areas of my life.  Soooooo, 11:00 PM is my “lights out” time.

When I get really serious about losing weight, living healthily and accomplishing goals, I also like to write in my notebook each night.  I usually write down things like what I ate, how much water I drank, what I did for exercise, if I lost any weight, and my THOUGHTS about my efforts for the day.

It’s so helpful to me!

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Soooo, this morning after I got my kids off to school, I got dressed in my exercise clothes and hopped on the treadmill!  I got my 3 miles in and it actually wasn’t too bad.  The time went by quickly and I was so glad I stuck with my goals!  Woo hoo.

After my run, I made myself a very yummy Strawberry Banana Protein shake!

Strawberry Banana Protein Shake

I had this sample packet of Strawberry protein powder, so I decided to give it a try!

Individual packet of Strawberry Protein Powder

This protein powder isn’t the healthiest out there, but it tasted really good!  I’m now on a mission to find a healthier Strawberry protein powder.  Oh, and FYI, I put coconut milk, protein powder, frozen strawberries, 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 Tablespoon chia seeds, a little bit of stevia, spinach and ice in my shake.

Oh, and I recently bought this stevia on Amazon and I love it!

My Stevia Powder

And dang it, I just checked on Amazon and this stevia is currently not available right now!  What’s up with that?!?!  Hopefully, they’ll get some more in stock soon.  I loved that this was just 100% stevia with no added fillers!

This packet of stevia is very small btw.  It’s about the size of a small envelope.  I only use a tiny amount every time I use it though.  I also bought these on Amazon so I could more accurately measure my stevia…

Mini Measuring Spoons

They’ve worked out great.  Yes, I’m an official Amazon addict.

Well, I gotta wrap this up so I can stick with my bedtime goal!  I will leave you guys with a little bit of motivation

You don't get it Inspirational Quote

Have a wonderful night!!!

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by Melanie

Juggling Life + My 3 Month Postpartum progress!

November 18, 2014 in Deep Thoughts, Goals, Postpartum, Weight Loss by Melanie

Hey everyone!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to hop on the computer lately and update the blog…..but haven’t!  I keep thinking when life calms down a bit, I’ll be able to blog more often and more consistently, but life just never seems to calm down!

So, I’ve somehow learned to just squeeze things in, cut out what I can and keep on doggie paddling through life.  Ha.

Over the weekend, I made a quick trip to Costco.

I found this awesomeness and was so excited about it….

Raw honey from Costco

Costco is THE BOMB and I’m always so impressed with the quality and healthy options they have available!

I also had to take this cute pic of the baby buried among all the groceries…

Baby buried in the Costco cart

I love that little sweetie so much!  He is SUCH a good baby!  In fact, he just may be my “best baby” yet.  He’s so quiet, happy, rarely fussy and is such a good sleeper.

He is truly a little angel.

He just turned 3 months old yesterday, if you can believe it!?!  I love the 3 month age.  I wish I could just freeze him and have a permanent 3 month old forever!

The kids have enjoyed having a baby in the home as well.  They are always wanting to hold him, change him, love on him, etc.  I love it.

The kids giving lots of love to the baby

Oh, and I just want to mention something.  Yes, my baby has a name and if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’re aware of his name.  BUT, before baby was born I was very careful not to mention my kids names on the blog.  I’m not “super secretive” about it or anything, I just want to protect them a bit.

Anyway, I’ve decided that going forward he’s going to go back to being “nameless” along with the other kids.  I realized it was kind of weird to only mention his name and not the others…..so he’ll now lovingly be referred to as “baby, the caboose, little squishy cutie pie, etc.”

Alrighty then.

I’m happy to say we got the house all decorated for Christmas over the weekend!  Woo hoo!  I’ve never in my life set up Christmas before Thanksgiving, but this year I decided to do it and I will tell you why….

Every single year I always “try” to get everything done (i.e. Christmas cards, shopping, decor, planning, etc.) early in the season so that I can just sit back and enjoy the beautiful Christmas season instead of resent it.  However, it never seems to work out that way!  I always end up stressed out, shopping at the last minute, sending Christmas cards out on Christmas Eve and wishing Christmas would just be OVER!

How sad is that?!?

So, this year I decided to decorate the house early so I wouldn’t have to find the time, in an already busy Christmas season, to do it.  I’m also planning on taking a family picture this week for the card and will hopefully get them mailed out right after Thanksgiving.  I’m also going to do a lot of the shopping on Thanksgiving weekend so I can catch all of the sales AND then I will just order everything else online.

I’m bound and determined to ENJOY this Christmas season!!

I will take some pics of the Christmasy house soon and share them with y’all.  I did take one cute pic on Sunday night that I love…

Cute sleepy Santa by the Christmas tree

My sweet little Santa was worn out!  Oh, and I also want to mention that having all of the Christmas stuff up has put everyone in a very good mood!  As soon as the kids walk in the door, they immediately plug in the the tree and turn on Christmas music.  Everyone is so happy and there’s hardly any fighting going on!

Isn’t that awesome!??

Maybe I should just keep the Christmas stuff up all year long, huh?

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Well, as far as the whole “healthy living” part of my life goes, I’ve been doing okay.  I’ve been eating well and exercising regularly, but I’ve also been slackin’ a little bit here and there.

I really, really, really wanted to stay ultra committed until Thanksgiving, but for some reason I keep finding myself eating things that aren’t on my “mega healthy, get fit, lose all of the pregnancy weight” approved plan!

The lifestyle I’m living right now is a wonderful, realistic, healthy lifestyle, but it is very much a “maintenance lifestyle.”  I know that if I’m really serious about losing weight, I need to be “ALL IN” or it just doesn’t happen.  Losing weight is tough!

I did manage to take some 3 months postpartum progress pics to share with ya’ll.

Progress Pic 3 months Postpartum

My 3 month postpartum pic

I can’t say I’m happy with my progress, but I can’t say I’m discouraged either.

I know as a blogger, I put myself and my life out there for the world to see!  I’m totally fine with that.  So, with that being said, I just want to speak candidly for a sec.

First off, I have a good self esteem and a good body image, even when I have lots of baby fat to lose!  I really don’t see any reason to put myself down, criticize myself or beat myself up.  There is no good that comes from that!

However, I expect a lot out of myself.  I do not like to be a slacker.  I LOVE to push myself, set and achieve goals and really take charge of my life.  If there’s something about myself or my life that I don’t like, I try to use it as motivation and do my best to change it or improve!

So, with all that being said, I will give you all a very open and honest view of what I think of my body and my progress so far.

I realize some people will look at my pictures and think I look just fine and that I should just be happy and satisfied with how I look.  I also realize others will recognize that I have a lot of work to do and definitely still have some pounds to lose!  It’s all a matter of opinion.

In my opinion, I have plenty of weight to lose and I want to tone and tighten up!  I will not stop until I get there.

Anyway, I’m happy my stomach has mostly gone down.  My stomach doesn’t get very huge when I’m pregnant (although the rest of me does!), so it goes back to “flatish” pretty quickly and easily.  However, I seem to stay WIDE for quite a while.  My waist, bum and hips are definitely a lot wider than they usually are!

I also have like ZERO muscle tone.  I’m hoping my muscles are still buried under there somewhere and that they will show up again after I lose some of this weight.  We’ll see.

My face is definitely more full than it usually is, but it’s not as big as it was a month or two ago.  I’m happy to see a little bit of progress there.  When I lose (or gain!) weight, my face and neck are one places I notice it first.

My legs definitely feel bigger.  I’ve been wearing my fall boots lately, and they are noticeably tighter!!  So sad.

My chest is a LOT bigger than it usually is, but that’s mostly because I’m a nursing mom.  I may very well be carrying an extra 10 pounds just there!  Ha.  I have to take extra precautions when I run these days and wear two sports bras.  Sigh.  I know some ladies love to be larger in this area….I DO NOT.  As long as I have some sort of shape and look feminine, that’s good enough for me!

Soooo, that pretty much sums up the body assessment.  Pregnancy is a big sacrifice and definitely messes up the body, but it is SO WORTH it!

Well, I gotta go run a bunch of errands and figure out what in the heck we’re having for dinner, so I gotta roll!  xoxo

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