Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Well, Duh

I've been stalled out with my progress for a while. I guess it took a "duh" moment for me to realize what's going on. 

Since Ryan started eating clean with me, I lost a little. At first I was like, "Yay me!" 

And then it stalled out again. 

So I was left scratching my head. I thought, "I'll just keep going because I know this works. I'm doing everything just like when I was losing...."

No, seriously.... I wasn't. 

In August, I went from working out twice a week for two hours at a time to maybe two to three hours total a week. I decided to give up my Monday night workouts to pursue a teaching job on Tuesday nights. Unfortunately I wasn't pushing myself as hard on Tuesday nights. Since it was a start up class, there were a couple of weeks I had no one. So I just didn't work out and went on....

One of the things I enjoy most about Zumba® is the different styles each instructor brings. One of my regular instructors teaches on Monday nights so I hardly got to see her. Her style of teaching challenged me in different ways and worked different muscle groups. 

Guess what happened? 

When I didn't dance with her, I lost that toning, calorie burn, and overall fitness level. 

Last night I went back to a Monday night class and it totally kicked my booty! I struggled because my body was out of the habit of working out. It's one thing teaching a class with songs you're physically comfortable with. It's totally different being challenged by some that you aren't familiar with. 

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I never imagined I had lost so much physical fitness in that time. But then I was all like, "Well, duh...."

I woke up sore, but fabulously happy! 

I finally feel like I figured out why I was going backwards. It was the simplest thing...something I should have noticed sooner. I think I've been so wrapped up in being busy that I overlooked it. Now it's time to get back on track! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Duck, Duck, Yuck....

This week has been super rough! On Wednesday, Caleb got really sick. The office was so busy we couldn't see our regular pediatrician. We were sent home with a strep combined with hand, foot, and mouth disease diagnosis. Caleb spent days cooped up in the house and we thought he was finally better by Saturday. His rash had healed, there was no fever, and he had been on antibiotics for three days. 

We decided to go to the county fair just to get him out of the house for a bit. 

My boys love horses. We are addicted to the show Heartland and enjoy watching it as a family. The downside? Both of them now want a horse... 

I'd actually be happy with just a baby duck. Unfortunately, they don't stay babies! 

The highlight of his day was riding a horse. The lady who walked him around said he was the only child who wanted to go fast. I tell ya.... we've been watching too much Heartland!

Ryan was most interested in the tractors. I think Ryan and Caleb were made to be farmers. I'm pretty sure they'd be perfectly happy in life raising chickens, growing a garden, and plowing the land. 

I have side by side pics from our county fair visit two years ago and this weekend. I am a lot smaller and Caleb looks less like a baby. Actually Caleb looks like he's slimmed up a little more too! He's outgrowing his little chubby baby/toddler phase and is looking more and more like a little boy every day.

Even though we had a nice time Saturday, it didn't last long. At 4:30 Sunday morning, Caleb woke up very sick. We were back at the doctor as soon as the doors opened to find out he had been misdiagnosed. He in fact did not have strep or hand, foot, and mouth. Another doctor in the practice diagnosed him with a viral infection which has to simply run its course. Fortunately he's able to keep down some liquids this afternoon and we don't have to take the antibiotic now. I'm actually on board with this diagnosis much more than the earlier one. Caleb just didn't have the right symptoms or a positive strep test. Sometimes you've just gotta go with your gut feeling.... 

It has been such a rough weekend all the way around so Ryan and I are ready to get some much needed rest! 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The More Important Things....

I got an email this week asking more about my every day life with my family. This person mentioned how rare it is to see a family do so much together. 

That's actually pretty sad. 

I was raised by parents who believed in doing things as a family the majority of the time. It wasn't until I was a teen that I really did much without my whole family. Even then, we still spent a lot of time together. 

When Ryan and I had Caleb, it was pretty much a given that we would do the same. 

Ryan and I chose to have Caleb. It's our job to raise him, love him, provide for him, and teach him. 

It's so frustrating to see parents not parenting. I'm tired of seeing parents living for themselves....putting their wants ahead of their child's.....not spending quality time with them. 

Ryan and I may give up every Saturday morning, two nights a week for practice, and hundreds of dollars for Caleb to play football. But it is worth every single moment. That child is making friends, learning that sometimes you get ahead by working as a team, and that physical activity makes you stronger and healthier. We slow down to eat dinner together. We play together and we pray together. We may go without sometimes so that he can have better. We work hard so that he can have all he needs. 

I'm the mom who wants to host sleepovers, can't wait to wake up to a house full of crazy kids, and cook them all a huge breakfast. I'm the mom who loves cheering her son on even when he's running the wrong way! I'm the mom who'd rather spend a Friday night snuggled up on the couch with her family.

God comes first, our marriage, then Caleb. Every single time. No exceptions. 

I can rest at night knowing my family is cared for. 

I know sometimes I mess up. I don't get everything just right. But I know that I try my best for him. 

He makes me a better person and I will forever be thankful for that. 

I understand so many of us get wrapped up in our weight loss or fitness journeys. Or we get so consumed with work or just surviving every day life. Life is hard at times and we're doing the best we can. 

I challenge you to examine your life from time to time. Make sure you've not let your pursuits completely overwhelm the most important things in your life. It is so very easy to do. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Progress and Motivation

There are days that not seeing huge progress kinda gets you down. It feels like you work so hard to move that number and it just won't budge. Week in, week out.... It gets to you. Sure, there are days I just want to stomp my feet and pout. 

A lot of my friends do the #TBT (Throwback Thursday). This Thursday just so happened to land on my brother and sister-in-law's fourth wedding anniversary. I have tons of pics from their wedding so I thought I would post some and wish them a happy anniversary. 

Um, wow....

And then I remember how hard I've fought.....how far I've come.....how every single step has been worth it.....and I am never going back. 

I'm towards the end of my weight loss journey and things are just so tough. I've been working at this for almost three years. My body wants to just maintain right now and my mind tells me I want to push just a little bit more. It's an every day battle right now. When I step back from that, I am honestly very happy with my progress. I know I've come a long way, but the perfectionist part of me wants to just get to my goal. I'm hanging in here! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Date Night and Garth Brooks

I'm country through and through. Talk to me two minutes and you know exactly how Southern I am! There was a time in my life I tried to deny it, but now I just choose to embrace it! I've loved country music my entire life. So many of my childhood memories have amazing country songs woven throughout. My all time favorite artist is the one and only Garth Brooks. I'm pretty sure I know every word to every song he sings. All through his retirement, I swore up and down I'd go see him if I ever had the chance.

When I heard the announcement that Garth would be touring again, I knew I had to have tickets! I waited an hour and twenty minutes, sat through two sold out shows, and finally got tickets to his third Atlanta show. I ended up with great seats and I was beyond excited!

This sweet man made sure I was going to see Garth Brooks! He told me to do whatever I had to do to get us tickets and he would take me.

I was honestly excited about just having a date night with my husband all to myself. We've had so much going on lately that we haven't even had a chance to have a date. We stopped by Cabela's on the way and had plenty of time to ourselves.

We had an awesome buffalo chicken salad at Hudson Grille before the concert.

It had grilled chicken covered in buffalo sauce, crumbled blue cheese, and celery. I'd love to make a version of this at home. It had tons of flavor, but I think I'd cut back on the hot sauce just a little!

The concert didn't start until 10:30 pm, so we had some time to kill. Ryan took me on a carriage ride through downtown Atlanta. The horse was absolutely beautiful. 

I'm so fortunate to be married to such an amazing man. I know so many people think they have the best husband in the world, but I know without a doubt Ryan's the best thing in the world to me. I know he's absolutely perfect for me.

We finally got seated and Garth started playing a little after 11:30. He played so many of his old songs and he put on an amazing show!

We headed back to our car around 1:30 am and got out of Atlanta as quickly as possible! We finally made it home by 3:30 am. We got about three and a half hours of sleep before getting up and taking Caleb to his football game!

Nothing looked better at 8:00 in the morning than these two cups of coffee! We were absolutely exhausted!

This cutie went back to his Nana and Pa's for some playtime so we could grab some more sleep. Thank goodness for grandparents!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Motivation Monday

Welcome back for another Motivation Monday! 

I've been asked if Ryan and I are still drinking grapefruit juice and if it was really helping. I wasn't completely sure that we were losing weight due to the grapefruit juice or if cleaning up out diet was doing more for us. 

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Ryan and I have been eating clean for over two weeks. Things are going great! So far he has lost 15 pounds and comments often about how much better he's feeling. 

We have had steady losses. Slowly, but surely the weight is coming off. Last week we ran out of grapefruit juice but continued to eat clean for about two days. During that time, my weight loss stopped. I grabbed some extra grapefruit juice and restarted it. The next day, I continued losing. 

So yes, it is definitely helping. I think the grapefruit juice has helped me a lot. My blood sugar sometimes drops and I get dizzy. When I'm drinking my grapefruit juice, I notice it is stabilized more. 

Don't forget to check with your doctor before you start drinking grapefruit juice regularly because it interacts with some medicines! This is crucial! 

How'd your week go? 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Little One

The day before I had my ultrasound, I knew deep down we were having a boy. Weeks before, I began dreaming of a little boy who looked a lot like my husband. I told Ryan that we didn't really even need to go to find out what we were having because I was absolutely certain it was a little boy. God knew that I was made to be a boy mom! From the moment I was sure we were having a little Caleb (instead of a Kylie), I dreamed of football. I knew deep down that I was raising a football player! Ryan carefully picked out an orange and white Tennessee outfit to bring Caleb home in. As parents, we agreed to support him in whatever he wanted to do.... We tried baseball and we offered soccer, but his little heart loves football! 

We signed Caleb up a little early for football this year. He's playing on a 5 and 6 year old team and he's also the baby of the team since his birthday is in November. He's always been big for his age, so we thought we'd give it a try. He isn't the fastest on the team, but he's got a huge heart! He has the attitude of an NFL player...

At practice last week, Caleb took a nasty hit. One of the more experienced kids on the team tackled him hard. He cried for a couple of seconds, realized he was okay, and wanted to go up against the same kid again! The coaches said he took the hit of the season. 

On Friday night, I got a text from the coach telling us Caleb would have the honor of carrying the Pounder Hammer onto the field and would be Saturday's team captain for the game. 

I cannot believe we have an almost five year old. His little personality is such a shining spot in our family. There's never a dull moment with Caleb around. 

I had a huge proud mama moment seeing him walk out onto the football field carrying the hammer. I graduated as a Pounder and this little child of mine is playing as a Pounder. And it's pretty cool that he's the baby of the team this year.

I think the most surprising part is discovering more and more of his personality through football. He may be one of the smaller ones on the field, but he makes up for it with attitude. Caleb got thrown into practicing four hours a week, doing a lot of physical exercise for his age, joining something very structured, and playing once a week. I love that through everything he just keeps trying. He doesn't give up easily and he's showing us how he can hang in there with bigger kids. He's got some amazing determination for a four year old. I never imagined he'd get hit and get back up asking for more. I see him leaving behind his baby stage that needs me all the time for getting wild with his new friends. 

I think Caleb has inherited our love of the sport and a lot of our stubbornness. As long as he enjoys it and loves the game, we are most definitely all in. I'd be proud of him for not playing any sports, but I love watching him grow through his love of football. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Motivation Monday

Ryan and I have been eating pretty clean for over a week now and we feel so much better! The weight is slowly dropping and it's getting easier to stay on track every day. 

I noticed something this week that has made a huge difference in my renewed motivation. Ryan has joined me this time and it's so much easier to excel when we're on the same "team". Sometimes it's been pretty hard being the only one eating healthy meal after healthy meal. Ryan and Caleb ate well with me, but they also splurged on junk a lot more than I did. Now that Ryan is watching what he's eating, it has helped me stay accountable. 

I've actually enjoyed the feeling of him being dedicated just as much as I am. We're working toward a common goal and it keeps me on track. I'm so fortunate. 

I think I've been doing this so long that I just got tired. As long as I'm seeing progress (the scale moving down or clothes fitting better), I'm good to go. But it's those long, drawn out plateaus that just exhaust me. I admit that it really got me down this time. I feel like I just keep trucking along and bit by bit it's happening for me. But to be honest, the losses are so slow and so small right now. It weighed on me at times and I could feel my determination slipping. 

I've spent the past two months really struggling. Losing, then gaining. Trying something new, going back to what works. Being hopeful, getting frustrated. Happy and mad. 

Then Ryan stepped in. 

He saw me sit on our bed and burst into tears because I lost my drive. From that point on, he hung in there with me. He wasn't just my cheerleader, he was my partner. I'm so grateful I'm not doing this alone right now. 

My journey has been mostly solo. There have been times that I'm the only one working out or eating healthy meals. It's tough to stay strong and be unique when everyone around you has stayed the same. 

I literally couldn't. I had to change, but it wasn't always easy alone. 

It was definitely worth it, but far from easy. 

I challenge you this month to find someone close who can share the battle with you. Don't wait until you get frustrated like I did. Connect with someone who can cheer you on, encourage you, and help you through the tougher parts.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall Boat Rides

This Saturday was our first peek at the fall season. The wind kicked up during our early morning football game and it was chilly. Ryan had to run home to grab a blanket and some extra coffee! For the rest of our football season, I shall keep blankets and jackets in the car. 

After the game we made sure we wore our colors to support the Vols! Every time Caleb wears his Tennessee jerseys he asks if that means he plays for the Vols. I keep telling him not yet...

And no selfie would be completely without showing off our blue Powerade tongue....

We went out on the lake for an extra long boat ride. I think this was Caleb's longest boat ride ever. It was absolutely gorgeous!

The sun finally showed and we were able to warm up for a bit. It was so pretty and peaceful out!

We cruised to the dam and back while Caleb begged to swim. I am always in awe of how breathtakingly beautiful our home is. When I try to imagine living anywhere other than Chattanooga, I cannot think of any other place I'd rather be. Possibly the beach, but who wants to deal with the occasional hurricane? Not this girl. Give me the mountains, the lake, and the convenience of three major cities within a two hour drive. My kind of home sweet home.

Speaking of boat rides, my captain for the day was pretty awesome too. He drives and I lay out. I think it's a great deal!

I hate that summer is ending. I'm one of those people who'd be comfortable with 80+ degree weather year round. But since that's not how things work around here, I'm going to embrace the beauty of the new season. I suppose I'm ready for cooler weather filled with football, chili, campfires, and pretty leaves. Bring on hunting season, Tellico weekends, and cuddle up weather! 


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