Well hello out there! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! <3
We have been busy (as usual) and dang it, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to hop on this blog and type! Ugh.
Kev has been out of town since Wednesday and I’m feelin’ a bit weary. It is tough to be a single parent. I have so much respect for all of you single parents out there!
Since I haven’t been able to blog for a while, I thought I’d share a few things our family has been doing the past week or so.
My darling daughter is at a formal dance for her drill team tonight. She looked beautiful! She also went to a “Sweethearts dance” at her high school a couple of weeks ago (the red dress was tonight and the pink dress was from a couple of weeks ago!)
I’m really grateful I got at least ONE girl guys! I’m also grateful that she loves girly, pretty, feminine things as well. However, I’m learning that girls are A LOT more expensive than boys. Maybe it’s good we just have one. Ha ha.
I’m kinda sad that she’s nearing the end of her Junior year though. Sniff, sniff. I’ve really enjoyed living vicariously through her as I’ve watched her enjoy all of the fun high school things. I really can’t believe how quickly time flies! In some ways I feel like I just graduated high school about 10 or so years ago. NOPE, it’s been almost TWENTY FOUR! Auuuugh!
I’m an old lady.
I also enjoyed Valentine’s Day last week, although my darling valentine was sick with strep throat. Poor Kev. We got take-out at Panda Express that night and that’s about all he felt well enough to do! I’m grateful for him every day though, so we can celebrate Valentine’s Day any day!
I enjoyed helping with my 2nd and 4th graders classroom parties on Valentine’s Day.
Oh, I sure love these two cutie pies. I’m so happy to finally be at a stage in my life where I can help in their classrooms a little bit easier. I’ve had many years when I just couldn’t. I love watching them interact with their classmates and I’m glad they like having me in there too. Fun memories!
We also had a lot of fun making their cute Valentine boxes this year. Ya know, I really don’t make time to do crafty stuff with my kids too often, so I’m grateful that Valentine’s boxes give us a good excuse to be crafty!
My 7 year old loves Spider-Man, so that’s what we made! My 9 year old wanted to do a shark this year.
I bought some fun metallic acrylic paint at Walmart that made them look cool and I just used a black sharpie to draw all of the lines on Spider-Man. We made the shark fins out of cardstock that we painted. I also bought those cool silver letter stickers at Walmart. Very easy and my boys loved them!
Well guys, I’m still going strong with the whole “no sugar” thing in my life. I really love it.
And ya know, I really haven’t missed the sugar too much! I’ve had a few cravings here and there, but they’ve been pretty minimal.
Just to give you guys a little bit of background about me and my sugar intake…..I grew up in a wonderful home, with a great family and I had a great childhood, however, my whole family has always loved SUGAR!
My dad in particular had a huge sweet tooth. So I’ve pretty much always loved sugar. I’ve never been a binge type eater, so I never really ate mass amounts of sugar at one time, but I just ate it way too often.
I think when I was younger my body seemed to handle it better. As I’ve gotten older I can tell that the sugar does a number on my body!
I’ve always been pretty consistent with exercising throughout my life, but it wasn’t until about 10 years ago that I really got into the whole “nutrition” part of health. I’ve since learned just how bad sugar is for our bodies and all of the health ailments and diseases that it contributes too!
My precious dad passed away last summer. He suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for many, many years. I was amazed as I studied and read a lot about Alzheimer’s to find that a high sugar diet and a sedentary lifestyle are huge factors that contribute to developing that disease. Sadly, my dad ate a TON of sugar and really never exercised. 🙁
That really made me want to be more responsible with my health and make better, long-term choices. Sugar obviously contributes to many other diseases as well. It really is toxic to our bodies and believe me, it PAINS me to say that out loud.
Soooo, over the years I’ve cut sugar out of my life many, many times. I always feel so great when I do and I learn so much about myself in the process. However, sugar always creeps back into my life and gets a hold of me! I’ve been telling you guys the past couple of months that I just haven’t felt well. I’ve been tired, run down, I’ve gotten a few colds, I gained about 10-12 pounds (which never happens to me!), I gained weight around my middle, I didn’t sleep as well and my body has just felt “off.”
It all started in December when I was very sick for a few weeks. I didn’t work out and I ate way too much sugar! I really think it put a lot of stress on my body and it made my body freak out and seriously jacked up my hormones.
I’ve felt this before in my body. In fact, a very similar thing happened to me last year around the same time. Kev was very, very sick for a while and I was just completely stressed out. When I was initially going through all of the hard stuff, I actually lost weight and really didn’t have an appetite. However, after life started to calm down and normalize a bit, my body freaked out.
I really believe I just had a lot of stress hormones going through my body that made me feel crappy and gain weight. If you look back at some of my blog posts in my archives from December-March 2016/2017 (scroll down to the bottom of my blog and you’ll see a drop down menu), you can read about my experiences with all of that if you want to!
Soooo, with all that being said….stress does a number on the body! I really think stress contributes and might even cause so many of the diseases out there! I also think that eating a crappy diet, particularly one high in sugar puts a lot of stress on the body! I think one of the very best things we can do for our bodies is to learn how to cope with stressful things, to relax, to meditate, to take time to ourselves, to get adequate sleep and to eat a diet that promotes good health and keeps the blood sugar and hormones stable!
I’m learning how to do all of these things! I’m a busy body by nature, so I’ve had to learn how to slow down, rest and take time for ME! I’ve also had to learn that I need to cut sugar out of my diet for the most part….forever. I’m tired of working so hard to get my body where I want it to be physically and mentally and then giving it all back once sugar enters my life again.
Sugar is really the only thing that I feel a level of addiction to. So, these past few weeks I haven’t eaten any traditional high sugar foods. I’ve still eaten food items that contain sugar, but just not the typical crappy sugar stuff. I’ve been eating really well, but I did have pizza once and I’ve snagged a few french fries or chips here and there to keep my sanity. It really hasn’t been too hard. I’m actually glad I’ve had a few crappy food items here and there because it really does help me to stick with it and make it a lifestyle thing. I’ve just made sure to stay away from the SUGAR!
AND, I feel great. The results have definitely been slow to come, but they are very obvious to me! I have so much more energy! I used to just feel like I was draaaaaging all of the time, but now I don’t! I’ve always struggled with getting enough sleep, so on the days when I haven’t been diligent at getting my sleep, I still feel tired, BUT it’s a different kind of tired. I just feel sleepy and weary, whereas before my entire body just felt exhausted.
My workouts used to feel a lot harder. My body felt heavy and sluggish. Now, my workouts are still hard, but my body feels much more capable! It’s a lot more fun to workout and a lot more rewarding!
I sleep so much better! It is heavenly. I sleep hard and wake up refreshed. Before when my body was wacky, I would sleep a lot lighter. I would toss and turn in the night and just felt like I would wake up much easier. I didn’t feel that beautiful “deep sleep” feeling and didn’t wake up feeling refreshed.
I really thought the weight that I’d gained would come off fairly quickly, but that has not been the case. Dang. However, it IS coming off! I’m still up about 5 pounds and I’d like to lose another 5-10 pounds after that, but I’m just glad to see the scale trending downward. My clothes are starting to fit me like they should again and I’m so happy about that!
GUYS, it was just so crappy and depressing to have all of my clothes feel tight on me! I felt that beautiful muffin top in all of my pants that I wore. I felt like such a rolly polly. I kept reaching for all of my “more forgiving” clothes and it was just sad.
But, I’m actually grateful for how crappy I felt and looked because it really made me realize how much I needed to change and how bad sugar was on my body! Oh and BTW, I knew the sugar was the biggest cause of my issues (combined with just the stresses of life and my crappy sleep habits) because that really was the main thing I was doing differently in my life.
I won’t go on and on and on, but I thought I would share just a few of the thoughts that have gone on in my head that have helped me to stay committed.
I’ve just felt so ticked off and sick and tired of sugar undermining all of my healthy efforts! I would exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, but then it felt like the sugary stuff I consumed made it hard for my body to enjoy the effects of my healthy choices. It just felt like it undid all of my efforts! Sooooo, I’ve been using that “ticked off” feeling to fuel my motivation and help me to stick with it.
I’ve been trying to retrain my brain to commit to staying away from sugar. When a craving hits, I remind myself WHY I’m staying away from it and then I reach for something else to eat that is not sugary and that is much better for my body!
I really believe that the mental state is far and away the most important factor in health and fitness! You just have to stay committed and mindful. I’m really trying to make this something that I can do for the long haul, so that is why I’ve allowed myself to have other (non sugary) crappy food items here and there. It helps me to not get burned out.
I’m also trying to remind myself that my favorite sugary indulgences are very short lived! It just takes a few minutes to enjoy a cookie or a donut. However, feeling light, energetic, healthy, vibrant, happy and motivated is so much more rewarding and much more long lasting! It also has a lot more impact on my total health, body and life in general!
I really feel good and my hope is that after my body gets back to “normal,” it can stay normal! I’d love to just get to a spot where I don’t even have to worry about my weight because my body is in such a good place and just naturally stays at a healthy weight and in a healthy state!
That is the goal.
I’ve still been trying to have a green smoothie or a homemade protein shake every day. I really think that it is helping me a lot! We had a crazy night a few nights ago, so I just made me a quick protein shake for dinner and took it with me on the run!
That is one of the many, many things I love about protein shakes/smooties….they are so easy to take on the go. They only take me a couple minutes to make, they are full of a ton of good things and they are very portable! Win, win, win.
This has also been one of my favorite “mid-afternoon slump” snacks lately….
Just some scrambled egg whites topped with a little mozzarella cheese and natural ketchup with a side of toasted Ezekiel bread topped with a little natural peanut butter and banana. That toast tastes just like a treat to me! I’m trying to train my brain and body to be satisfied and enjoy healthy treats like this!!
I’ve also been enjoying my BCAAs throughout the day. One day I’ll write a post all about supplements and go into more detail, but basically BCAAs are Branched Chain Amino Acids that are “essential” Amino Acids because your body can’t make them on it’s own…you have to get them from the foods that you eat or from a supplement.
They really help to support and promote muscle mass and help with recovery after a tough workout. Here’s a great article about BCAAs if you care to know more, https://www.precisionnutrition.com/all-about-bcaas
I like to mix a scoop of BCAAs into a water bottle full of ice water. I also add a little bit of a natural, low sugar/sugar free drink mix (I add about 1/3-1/2 of one of those little packets) to give it some flavor. It tastes so good and is so refreshing!
I really love to buy BCAAs and Glutamine (my other favorite supplement) that are just plain without any extra crap mixed in. That way I can mix in the flavor of my choice (or sometimes I’ll just have it plain with just water) and I know exactly what I’m putting into my body. It also tastes like a little sweet treat as well!
Well, I think that’s all I will say today! I will end by sharing some fun screenshots from my gym, F45’s Instagram story today! I’m in each of these pictures and this workout kicked my butt.
I have to say that that rowing machine (the far right picture) is a freaking beast! It kills me every time! I hate that thing, but I know it is such a great way to workout so I kinda sorta love it too. 🙂
It’s hard for me to share pictures and/or video from my gym because there are no mirrors there! So, I’m grateful I can share these screenshots with you so you can get a little bit of a feel of what these workouts are like. If you watch the stories from my gym’s instagram page, you will see live video of all of the incredible exercises! I love my gym sooooo much!
I gotta go to bed! Love you all! xoxo