Friday, April 29, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week 2016 #17

The last Friday of April, y'all!

So much to do and not enough time to do it, so let's just get right to...

The 8 Activities That Have the Most Benefits for Your Brain  (Count me in!)

Common Running Injuries and How to Prevent Them  (For my runner friends)

A Bodyweight Workout You Can Do Anywhere  (Love this!)

Turns Out These Bathroom Hand Dryers Detonate a Blast of Germs  (OMG, so gross!  Never using one of those again)

How to Turn Off Your Weight Gain Hormones  (Yes please)

What It's Like To Become Your Mother's Caregiver  (Sigh)

Common over-the-counter drugs can hurt your brain  ( this)

Keurig’s New K-Cup Coffee Is Recyclable, but Hardly Green  (Really, 10 years and this is the best you could do?)

12 Unexpected Ways to Fit Cardio Into Your Routine  (Good stuff to incorporate)

How Insulin and Cortisol Affect Your Body Composition  (Interesting information)

LIVESTRONG Success Story: David Mugovero  (Giving the guys some props)

Why I'm Happy I Grew Up Poor  (We weren't quite as bad off but not far.  I agree)

I Posed Nude for Money & Saw How Beautiful My Body Really Is  (Takes some guts!  I envy her)

How to Behave at the Airport   (So the tuna kimchee sandwich is a no go?)

This Hilarious "Aunt Flo" Video About Periods Should Be Required Viewing For Women and Girls Alike  (Such a crack up!)

9 Period Delivery Services to Help 'Aunt Flo' Chill TF Out  (Did not know these existed)

32 Photos That Show The Difference Between Normal Food And Hipster Food  (If you serve my food on a dustpan or shovel head, prepare to get hit by both)

19 Slightly Odd Things All Dog Owners Have Done At Some Point  (2, 4, 5 and 10.  #2 was called the Princess Leia and I did it with both dogs)

We've got a poop load of stuff to get done this weekend and in the upcoming weeks so checking in may be sporadic.  I can't believe April is almost over!  Where the heck did the month go!?

What are you guys doing this weekend?

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Pass the grass

We were never huge hamburger people during the week regardless of where we were in our weight loss adventure.  I was never picky about what kind of beef I got I just picked up 80/20 (or 90/10 if we were watching it) and went on with my life.  About 10 years ago, I remember hearing about this amazing grass fed beef on the Big Island of Hawaii.  It was back when grass fed was not common and we paid to have four steaks mailed to us.  You can imagine what we paid for the privilege.

We were both raised to believe that corn fed beef was the way to go.  We both agree that, to us, it does taste the best.  However, there is just too much evidence that much of the corn feed is GMO, chock full of hormones and antibiotics and Lord knows what else.  After reading about the benefits of grass fed beef, it got me wondering if we should give it another shot.

Here are some of the benefits of grass fed beef:

  • The way the animal is raised for grass fed is good for them and supports great farmers with ethical ranching practice.
  • It is leaner than grain fed and had a higher amount of omega fatty acids, which is good for everyone.
  • It contains conjugated linoleic acid that's believed reduce to cancer and heart disease risks as well as more antioxidants like vitamin E.
  • It's more environmentally friendly.  The U.S. produces 1.5 billion (with a B, y'all) bushels of yellow corn per year just to feed cows.  That corn takes chemical fertilizer added to the soil and the gases emitted by the machines used to harvest them which leaves a massive carbon footprint.  It takes half the fossil fuels to produce two pounds of grass fed beef vs. corn fed.  

When I saw it kept showing up in Trader Joe's both in the regular and frozen section, I figured that would be the time to try it again.  If you don't like anything at TJ's, you can return it no questions asked so what did I have to lose?  I've since used their organic grass fed beef but this was my first dabble to see if I was going to be able to make the switch for the rare times we had red meat in the house.

Here's a peek at the nutritional info

I thawed the beef in the fridge and slapped it in the skillet.

I gave it a goodly amount of seasoning while it cooked like ground chipotle powder, garlic powder, cumin and some ground black pepper.

One thing I noticed was despite being 85% lean, it cooked as though it was 80% and had a lot of extra grease that I'm not used to.

When it was done, I drained the beef so what I was going to add to it wasn't swimming in fat.

I grabbed my TJ's enchilada sauce...

...and my poblano salsa.

I added two servings of each to the meat.

I gave it a stir to combine.

Time for the taco shells!

I also cut up some red cabbage I had on hand as well as some black beans.

Here's how I stack my tacos so that we get more healthy filler over meat.  Layer the cabbage first.

Then the black beans.  (These are crock pot beans, not from the can)

Then add about 2 oz of meat to the shell and a little cabbage on top for color.  It fools you into thinking the entire taco is filled with meat.

I paired it with some roasted carrots and it was taco time!

The Verdict?

The Mr could barely tell the difference, he said it was very slight but nothing he didn't like.  I did notice that the meat was slightly more chewy due to the leanness of the meat and it was more greasy than I normally like.  For the rare times we have red meat in the house, I will likely go grass fed even though it's more expensive.  The reasons listed above are enough to change my mind and now, I just rinse it off slightly (not until it's bone dry though) so it gets that coating of grease off the top.  (It's still plenty juicy inside)

Do you eat grass fed beef?  How often do you have red meat?

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Sources for info:
The Scoop on Grass Fed Beef
Does grass-fed beef have any heart-health benefits that other types of beef don't?
Grass is Greener: Buy Healthy Meat

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

There's been a what?

*The following are a list of resources that you can use should you find your family dealing with a dementia diagnosis.  These are resources that have helped me, personally.  I am not a medical doctor and none of this should be construed as medical advice or direction.  Consult the appropriate physicians when possibly dealing with dementia and related issues.*

Since sharing our family's story with the horrible disease that is dementia, I've received many lovely comments, emails and messages with empathy and compassion for the toll it has taken.  I've relayed many times how this disease sucks and how truly an actual death is easier to deal with than having someone you love no longer know you.  But what happens if you or someone you know is suddenly being struck with this reality in their own family?  Where do you turn?  What can you recommend?

Below is a list of things that have helped our family and us as individuals cope with this seriously underfunded but rapidly growing disease.  I hope you find these resources helpful and they give you a direction to go in as you or someone you know navigates this new reality.

The SAGE test:
Is it normal aging or possible dementia?  If you want to test yourself or someone you suspect could have it, there is something called the SAGE test.  (Self Administered Gerocognitive Exam)  It takes less than 15 minutes to fully complete and don't worry if you miss a few.  Our neurologist was most concerned with the clock test which can be the first sign of a true cognitive decline.  If in this digital age, you don't know how to read an analog clock...LEARN.  Like now.  Please realize that the person affected will be scared, think of how you would feel if someone accused you of what many ignorant people callously refer to as "losing your marbles."  You would be defensive, resistant and scared of possible diagnosis.  You must approach this from a place of love.  Be kind, be patient and be empathetic to all of the emotions and resistance that may come with a person who feels cornered.

To learn more about the SAGE test, click here.

Make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible!
If you suspect you or someone you love may be going through more than just a normal bout of age or hormone related forgetfulness and truly feel something is wrong, make an appointment with your family doctor right away.  It is helpful if you have the person complete the SAGE test first and bring it to the appointment.  If they brush off your concerns, you must insist on being referred to a neurologist for proper testing.  A family doctor is not trained to ask the right questions, they are not a specialist.  Your family doc doesn't care if you want a second opinion and if they do, then they do not have your best interest at heart and consider switching.  When it comes to health of any kind, be your own advocate!  No one else will!

Has there been an official diagnosis?  
You will be overwhelmed, scared and wondering where to go next.  I would recommend going to which can give you an overview of what this diagnosis means.  They also have a great thing call Alzheimer's Navigator which can help you formulate a plan and answer the millions of questions you may have swirling in your head.  From working up a plan with your doctor to safety issues you will now have to consider to legal and financial planning to caregiver support, care options and what to expect of new daily routines, the Alzheimer's Navigator is an invaluable resource.  It can direct you  to local resources like caregiver support groups (which are imperative but often ignored) and home health care for mid to late stages.

The importance of help and empathy
As a caregiver, you will want to take on everything.  You will convince yourself you can handle it all but the fact is, you can't.  The sooner you accept that, the better.  Just because someone you love has dementia does not mean your life stops.  Living your own life is tough enough sometimes but helping someone else live theirs means there is not enough time in the day and something will suffer.  Too many caregivers exhaust themselves, their health suffers, they can resent the person they are caring for and yes, often times caregivers die long before the patient because they refused the amount of help they needed.

If you have family and friends who offer help, take it.  For as long as they offer it, accept it.  Also accept that some family and friends will not be able to emotionally handle the changes you and your loved one are going through and being around them will not be an option.  This does not mean they love the person any less!  They may have their own health issues like depression or anxiety that just make it difficult to be around them.  They may want to honor the person by remembering them as they were as the stages get more severe.  If they still offer to help in some way, give them some money and a grocery list to go shopping.  Allow them to bring over a home cooked meal from time to time giving them a list of the patients favorites.  Let them do yard work like pull weeds, mow the lawn, plant flowers, etc. If they want to contribute toward a cleaning service to come in every few weeks for a deep cleaning, let them.  Allow them to address Christmas and/or birthday cards.  If those traditions were important to the patient, they would likely be thrilled to know those things are still being done.  There are a myriad of ways people can help make your life a little easier and express their love and appreciation for the person who was diagnosed.

There will come a time that you will need more help than family and friends are able to provide.  There are expenses that come with home health care but there are also many programs available to help aid the financial burden.  If the person diagnosed is under retirement age and they are a spouse, you may want to check with your employer about options for enrolling in long term care insurance.  In most cases you do not have to wait for open enrollment to get that ball rolling.  A wonderful resource many families use for home health care is Home Instead Senior Care.  They will answer any questions you have and for those uncomfortable with leaving people with strangers, our local chapter was completely comfortable with us setting up a camera so family could check in.  A good health care place won't have an issue with any precautions you want to take to ensure the comfort and safety of your loved one.

Diet and exercise
You can do a search for Alzheimer's diet and exercise and find tons of articles about suggested foods that may help prevent the disease and many studies show moderate to intense exercise helps ward it off as well.  What many don't realize until there's been a diagnosis that diet and exercise is very important to possibly maintaining what cognitive function there is at that point.  The neurologist specifically told us to make sure Grandma was not eating fast/junk food and that she needed to exercise every day.  That was not followed.  The result was a dramatic decline so fast that even the doctor was surprised.  I firmly believe we could've gotten another 1-2 years with minimal decline had that been followed.  Obviously I can't know that for sure but when it is basically written down on a prescription pad as medicine for a diagnosis, to me, that needs to be followed as closely as you would medicine on a bottle.  Don't allow what happened on that front in our family, happen in yours.

"I don't want to go into a home."
This is the number one fear as soon as a patient hears the word dementia.  They think the family will throw them in a home and never see them again.  It is all very scary for them and paranoia is an early stage symptom you may need to address.  It is best to tour assisted living with dementia care programs while the patient is still able to give their opinion on what they did and didn't like about the place.  Assure them you are not looking to "dump them off" and run but as a responsible caregiver you must be prepared for the worst case scenario.  Tell them even if it's years down the road, discussing these things early in the diagnosis is imperative and you aren't making any kind of statement by wanting to tour these places.  If anything, it is a statement of your love for them and wanting them as empowered as possible to make decisions regarding their health.  It's very important that all of the family is on the same page with this because there is so much emotion involved it needs to be talked about in a practical way.  It will make an already difficult decision more tolerable if you all know you are coming out of a place of love not only for the patients best interest and the best care they can receive but also the health of the caregiver.

Good resources of comfort:

When grandma was first diagnosed, this book was recommended to our family and it has been invaluable. The 36-Hour Day: A Family Guide to Caring for People Who Have Alzheimer Disease  It gives you a good idea of what to expect in each stage and how you can handle it.  Some things were handled in a similar manner with our situation and unfortunately some things weren't.  It is definitely one of the first resources I would turn to post diagnosis.

Where the Light Gets In: Losing My Mother Only to Find Her Again  This is a book I'm still in the middle of but I can tell you as a big fan of Kimberley Williams Paisley that sharing her story of her mom's dementia and her concern for her dad as caregiver has helped me feel less alone.  A book like this will pull at your heartstrings but help you realize your feelings and situations are common and make you feel less alone.

Before I Forget: Love, Hope, Help, and Acceptance in Our Fight Against Alzheimer's  I haven't read this yet but it's on my list.  You may recognize B. Smith from her appearances on The Dr. Oz Show and she is truly a sweetheart and your heart breaks for her.  She and her husband stress the importance of part of her treatment being a healthy diet (no sugar) and exercise and meditation.

I hope that this has given you a good place to start whether you are going through this with your own family or want to share with others who are going through it with their family.

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Happy Monday

Is that an oxymoron?

We had a lot of cleaning that needed to get done.  Well, not as much as we would've had if we hadn't skipped our traditional workout Friday to do some deep cleaning.  We both felt quite whooped from the week's workouts and felt like another ballbuster would've put us over the edge.

The scale spat in my face and I just tapped out on life.  The Mr and I went into the weekend without a plan...again...and it wasn't pretty.  Lots of hissing and just being frustrated in general.  When we finally calmed down, we went back out and I got some stuff I needed and found some brioche for Sunday's brunch with mom.  We went home and cleaned the rest of the way.  While it was great to have a clean house in every single room (sans the basement), we kicked up a lot of dust.  So that meant we woke up with nice gritty noses and throats Sunday morning.  But we had no time for that because we had brunch to get ready for.

I made Croque Madames (ham and brioche with homemade cheese sauce and egg) with a side salad and individual tea pots.  Mom seemed to really like it and we enjoyed our time together.  I need to remind myself to just tune out when the subject of anything to the handling of grandma's situation comes up.  I almost went off once and caught myself.  The Mr later said he was proud of me for catching myself on it even though I still got my point across.  But I didn't want this visit to be about that so I just tried to concentrate on making the food and let the Mr deal with the brunt of that stuff.  Thanks for taking one for the team, Mr.  I let her try out a back massage thingy I got and she loved it so I bought her one for Christmas.  (Paid $10 less than I paid too...hmmph!)  So I guess you could say I started my Christmas shopping already!

She was here quite a while and when she left, we went to the historic district and did a 3 mile walk which I'm sure we'll pay for today.  Those uneven cobblestone sidewalks are always a joy on the hips and legs the following days.  Last time it sent me straight to the chiro but I think he's still on paternity leave this week so I'll need to take care of it myself if there are any issues.  When we were done, I wasn't in the mood to cook, we had a steakhouse gift certificate on us so decided to use it.  That is super rare for a non high cal day but we did well.  Sometimes we just want to feel like "normal" people and not be so friggin' strict.  When all was said and done, I was only 200 calories over what I had planned so I didn't feel bad at all.  Sodium was another story but oh well, that's what water is for.

We swung by the grocery store and grabbed some fruit and back home to get ready for the week.  I got a nice thank you email from mom saying she enjoyed her time and gifts so that was nice.  Now it's time to get ready for a new week!

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, April 22, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week 2016 #16

TGIF yo!  Who else is ready for the weekend!?

I know, I know, we're always ready for the weekend, am I right or am I right?  Ri-ri-right?  (Points if you read that like Ned Ryerson)

Let's get right to...

The 5 Foods You Should (Almost) Never Eat  (Good outlook on food in general)

How to Know If a Diet Is Legit or Just a Fad  (Interesting video and good for anyone considering one)

8 Guilt-Free Cleaning Products to Make at Home  (I make a few of these myself and will add some new ones to the arsenal)

Secrets Of The Very Old And Healthy — Start When You're Young  (Great reminders to keep active now to be active all of your life)

Those Drug Commercials You're Bombarded With Are WAY Sketchier Than You Realize    (I know this is long but the first few paragraphs tell you about all you need to know about how "trusted" these meds should be considered)

Signs of Diabetes: 5 Symptoms You Should Not Ignore  (Make sure you know them, just in case!)

These 10 Foods Can Help Balance Your Hormones and Reduce Inflammation  (Will add the few I'm not already using)

This Company is Selling Luxury Dorm-Style Living to Adults  (Interesting concept.  Not sure I could do the whole communal areas though especially if I shared with a few people I didn't care for!  HA!)

Scientists Discover Simple Technique That Cuts Calories In Rice By 60%   (For those who eat white rice)

12 Things No One Tells You About Owning a House  (I would give anything for "absence of noise."  It would not freak me out in the slightest.)

Why Food Labels With Exercise Equivalents Are a Horrible Idea  (I think it could be okay for impulse buys like candy bars.)

9 Things Wedding Guests Should Never Do  (I am still livid about the witch we didn't know that MIL forced us to invite and her 3 year old brat can be heard in our wedding video screeching over the whole first half of our ceremony!  We don't watch our wedding video any more because it just pisses us off.)

Wedding Photographer's Warning to Wedding Guests Goes Viral  (The picture this photographer is talking about shot my blood pressure sky high.  Standing in the aisle!?  That is a moment those people will NEVER get back.  Your crappy iPhone pic rarely gets sent to the couple anyway!  These people hired a photographer to capture the magic...stay the hell outta the way!!!  As you can see, I have no opinion on this.)

I went without my smartphone for 7 days — here's the most disturbing thing I noticed  (It's kind of sad that was all he noticed and then went right back to it.  Get your noses out of the phones is happening all around you.)

Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo List Their Spacious Soho Loft For $5.5M  ( can tell Adam decorated this place.)

We've got some house stuff to get done this weekend since we're having my mom over for brunch Sunday morning.  I'm making Croque Madams and a little side salad.

What are you guys getting into this weekend?

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Back to Nature Stoneground Wheat Crackers

I grew up on your typical crackers.  When it was time for a cheeseball or cheese and cracker platter for gatherings, Ritz were the only crackers that were acceptable in my circles.  Crackers were never something I kept in the house and still don't.   But one night a few months ago, The Mr and I decided that a charcuterie plate might be in order.  I wanted to get some classier crackers, or at least ones that were a little more on the natural scale.  I found these in our organic section of the grocery store.

That charcuterie plate never materialized but one day when I was having tuna fish, I knew I could put these crackers to the test.

Here's a peep at the nutritional info.

Just look at all of that hearty goodness in these babies.

They certainly don't disintegrate as you eat them.  They have a little heft to them and they're not light as air and unsatisfying in the long run like our old standbys.  They're perfect if you want a little hard cheese like parmesan or asiago on top or maybe a little natural peanut butter as a snack.

If you're looking for a portable lunch or an after strength training snack, they are sturdy enough to be able to scoop your tuna fish without fear of breakage!

While I can count on one hand how many times I indulge in crackers per year, I will definitely reach for these from now on when the mood strikes.  I will even do the holiday cheeseball with half of these for those of us wanting a little more substance to our crackers and half the other kind to keep familial peace!

What are your favorite crackers?

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Creaks and groans, good eats and of course, Shirley

Howdy do, all!

The Mr and I both felt a little beaten up by the workouts of the previous night.  The funny thing is it was supposed to be the upper body that should've done us in but we were both feeling it from the hips down from the tabata portion.  I used my back massager contraption to dig into my neck and lower back before I got out of bed.  Good Lord man, I need to roll my foot arches over a tennis ball until my tendons snap, dig into my neck with the contraption (affiliate link) to combat whatever weird position I've slept in and depending on how my shoulder feels, roll it on the hard spiky ball...all to get out of bed in the morning.  Always how I envisioned middle age...not.

I had some "day old" challah I needed to use up from last Sunday's brunch.  I know, that makes it more than day old.  Stale, I believe is the word.  However, what does one use past it's prime challah for, other than croutons?

Let's just say the Mr was quite happy with his pre-class breakfast.  That never happens during the week but it fit nicely in the calorie range so I was glad to give him fuel for his day.

I got some work stuff done I needed to...still a lot more to do but knocked out what I could.

We went down for last night's workout - Powerstrike.  (I typed Powerstroke like 4x and that just sounded like a dirty movie set in a gym or something.)  It was quite comical at first because we were just still so tight from Sunday's workout so we were grunting and groaning until we got loosened up.  Then it was time for dinner:

Ginger garlic shrimp over brown rice and veggies with a bao on the side.  That is an ALL Trader Joe's dinner right there!

If you have one close to you, here's what you'd need to buy to make it.  (Almost all of it is from the freezer section except for the sugar snap peas and chili jam.  Quantities listed are for 2 people)

1/2 bag Red Argentinian Shrimp
1 bag Rice Medley (brown rice, barley and red rice I think
2 servings Organic Foursome (mixed veggies)
2 Char Sui Bao (pork stuffed bun...also called manapua in Hawaii)
2 servings Sugar Snap Peas (in the refrigerated produce section)
2 tbsp Hot & Sweet Chili Jam (with the sauces in the middle aisle)
Toss the shrimp in garlic powder and ground ginger, fry in 1 tsp coconut oil

So yummy and about 600 calories less than takeout.  Woot!

When the Mr got back, it was time for our annual viewing of Airplane! (affiliate link) 


Thank God I grew up in an era where I can laugh at EVERY SINGLE LINE!  I feel sorry for people who might watch it now and point out the 2,498 "offensive" things in it.  Sadly, I still can't speak jive but it's a life goal.  If you haven't seen the TruInside story behind Airplane, it is friggin' awesome.  There was actually a lot of research by the actor who spoke jive and I learned a lot from it.  Give it a peep, if you need something to watch tonight, it's a great behind the scenes look at the movie!

What hurts on you in the morning?  What "un-PC" movie do you love?

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Damn vampires and giving a finger to 'the man'

Well, we saw our new doc on Thursday.  We both liked her.  She was down to Earth and actually reminded me a lot of my friend SB so I felt really comfortable with her.  I do wish that it hadn't taken as long as it did.  Our insurance is the worst and along with them just being knobs in general, they are particular about where blood is drawn and collected, what address the claim is sent to and to make sure it's printed on 24 lb organic cotton ultra white letterhead.  Okay so I made up the last part about the letterhead...they don't care if it's organic or not.  So the nurses were on the phone with them for a while getting confirmation of how they were going to arrange the pickup and get their reimbursement.  Look, can you hang up with Jason Bourne and draw my damn blood already?  Fat girl fasted for going on 13 hours and while I know I can live off the fat of the land for now, I'm getting hangry...


They actually took the Mr's blood before they took mine!  Luckily the woman was pretty fast and it was relatively painless at the time of extraction.  When she was done, I told her I came from a family of nurses so I know using the term "deep veins" is code for fat so I'm glad she didn't say that.  She cracked up laughing and said she was going to remember that.  All in all, we really liked everyone we encountered and hope to get our results back of our blood work soon.  That will already be light years ahead of the doc who refused to give us our results and said that if there was a problem she would've told us.  Mmm hmm.

I kept my band aid in the crook of my arm for most of the day because it was hidden and I forgot about it if I'm being honest.  But I also felt a little sore from it too.  When I finally took off the band aid later that night, I was greeted with this...

"Use the whole syringe, lady?"
Damn vampires!  It morphed as the weekend went on.  I felt like I got some side eye at various places.  I could've been paranoid.  I suppose I should've worn a band aid until it wasn't barf inducing...mainly for myself.  In all the times I've had my blood drawn, it's never looked like that...the Mr?  Yes. way.

By Saturday night, it looked like this...

A wee less gruesome thanks to some Vitamin K Cream (affiliate link)  and trying to ignore it for 2 days.

Sunday was just a total time warp.  I even got up at 8:30am and the Mr shortly after.  We got to talking about some stuff as he was proofing some posts for me and then before we knew it, it was 10:30am and time for me to start on brunch.  We tried a new pancake mix (review coming soon) and I made Ramsay eggs so the Mr was happy.  We started getting some techie and paper organizing stuff done but when you're still sitting in a messy house, it makes you feel like you haven't accomplished much.  But the Mr took it upon himself to get together some bags and boxes we've had ready to donate and take them to Goodwill.  He must've read my mind because it was one of the things swirling in my mind keeping me from going back to sleep.  Props to the Mr for doing it without being asked yo!  Hubby brownie points.  Then it was suddenly 5pm and we still had a grocery store to hit.  We decided to workout first or it would be that much harder later so we did our upper body and tabata workout.  We grabbed our showers, ate dinner then off to the store at 8pm...when we were supposed to be starting the movie we had planned for the night.  *face palm*  We got home around 9pm and he cut my veggies for the week and then the night was kind of over.  Womp womp.  He's taking an online class this week so he'll be home but up in the office.

Oh yeah...Facebook's algorithm has done it again.  My reach on there is about as low as I've ever seen it and given I'm not a big time blogger, I've got no money to "boost posts."  (I'd rather save any commission money I do get to do occasional giveaways and stuff to give back to you guys.  Speaking of which, I'm due soon.)

So if you want to get notifications on FB as to when I post, go to my page, where it says LIKED, click the little drop down beside it.   Where it says IN YOUR NEWSFEED, check SEE FIRST.  Then under that it'll say default and just click ALL ON.  What does that do?  It gives "the man" a big ol' finger to them trying to take away your access to me.  Access that you fine FB followers chose when you so graciously hit "like."  That is something I don't take lightly.

I only post twice a day (a RARE 3x at most) so I won't flood your feed with irritation because I don't like that myself.  Treat others as you'd like to be treated is my motto where social media is concerned.  So if you FB'ers want to make sure you're still getting notifications, do that and you'll always see when I post in the morning and when I update my dinner and exercise at night.  There is a set of directions in the cover photo right now too so you don't have to go back to this and FB to see how to do it.

What did you guys do this weekend?

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Friday, April 15, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week 2016 #15

It's Friiiiiiiiiiii-daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!!!

A new pet peeve has popped up on my radar...companies trying to guilt you into signing up for their newsletters.  A lot of these sites I get these links from have something pop up to sign up for a newsletter from time to time.  In order to close it instead of clicking an X at the corner, you have to click some snarky sentence like "No thanks, I don't want fat burning tips", "No thanks, I'm not interested in being awesome" or "No thanks, I don't need to get bikini ready."  I get enough passive aggressive BS in my day, I don't need it from a website trying to guilt me into signing up for spam, thanks toolbags.

But enough of my passive aggressive hate...let's get to...

Top 5 Lessons I've Learned After Reading 500+ Self-Help Books  (Now you won't have to read 500+ self help're welcome)

10 Vegan Ingredients You Should Have in Your Pantry at All Times  (I've got all but chickpeas)

What Staring at a Computer Screen All Day Does to Your Eyes  (Yeah, that about sums it up)

12 Things Healthy Morning People Do Every Day  (I keep meaning to wake up to a booty shakin' song.  Might as well since I have to spend 5 minutes rolling my feet over a tennis ball and digging into my back with a contraption so I don't feel 80.)

Check Out This CIA Operative's 9-Step Hotel Safety Checklist  (I'd say that #4 is a little out there but given how many instances people who rent through AirBnB have said they've found cameras during their stay, I guess not)

Sites to Check Before You Freak Yourself Out on WebMD  (Admit it, you've done it)

Foolproof Ways to Win Friends and Influence People  (You mean saying "stop being an idiot" doesn't work?)

Super Healthy Foods High in Magnesium  (It's more important than you think)

Protein-Packed Snacks That'll Help You Shed Pounds  (Mmm, protein!)

The Beginner's Guide to Strength Training  (It's here to up!)

Should You Exercise When You Are Sore?  (Ugh, there's nothing I hate more but still need to do it)

High or Low? The Sugar in Your Favorite Fruits  (Good to know)

Parenting: Are We Getting a Raw Deal?  (Bravo!)

New Study Reveals Traveling Boosts Your Sex Life and Can Help You Lose Weight  (Let's get the heck outta here!)

Your Netflix Bill Is About to Get More Expensive, and Most People Have No Idea  (Thankfully a family member shared his PW with us so we could check it out.  Wow does their streaming service suck rocks.  The only good thing on there is Grace and Frankie)

10 Great Things That Happen When You Set Boundaries  (YES!)

15 Ichabbie Moments  (For those in the mood to reminisce)

Cookie Monster can't contain himself in Apple ad outtakes  (So cute.  One of my new favorite commercials)

It's supposed to be in the low 70's this weekend and they claim the snow is done for the season.  I have to imagine we'll get out and about at some point.  We do have some house stuff that needs taken care of but maybe we'll save that for the evenings so we can enjoy that big ball of light in the sky that has come out after hiding for 2 weeks.

What are y'all into this weekend?

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Choosing a new doctor

Today the Mr and I are meeting our new doctor.  We had the same doctor for about 15 years.  She wasn't necessarily the best doctor but she would work the system by making sure things were worded properly to make sure insurance covered what they were supposed to.  See kids, back in the day when you had insurance it actually covered things.  Then they started becoming all about profit and draining the working man into bankruptcy and now you have to fight with them to get them to cover the little things they actually say they will.

But I digress...

We have a dear friend who was in school to become a doctor and halfway through her training decided it wasn't for her.  Then she went on to recently complete nurses training.  We are very similar to her in that we do not like conventional medicine and would prefer to treat the whole person, not throw a pill at it and hope a 3rd leg doesn't sprout as a side effect.  She was telling us about the difference between an MD and a DO.  An MD is that kind of assembly line mentality whereas a DO will take more time to get your background, find out your eating habits, stresses and wants to know the person as a whole.  We said when we decided to switch that we would definitely look into a DO.  When I was in San Francisco and got sick, I called our doc because I suspected strep.  She refused to call in any kind up prescription because I hadn't been to her in 14 months and was now considered a 'new patient.'  WTF!?!  For me, I was kind of done with her at that point.  Two years later when the Mr needed a punch biopsy which he'd done before, we were shocked to get a hefty bill.  She neglected to tell us that she dropped our insurance prior and then wouldn't even negotiate down.  We were truly done with her then.  Any kind of quick diagnosis needed would be handled through Doctor on Demand.

We dragged our feet getting around to switching docs and then the decision was made for us.  Our skinny, granola doctor who used to blame anything from a hangnail to a stubbed toe on us being fat...had a stroke.  She was unable to speak and had to close her practice.  We got a letter in December saying that we had until the end of March to get our medical records transferred.  We tried desperately to get them to release our records to us so we could take them with us.  After all, they were ours.  Nope.  She refused.  I don't know if it is law or what but I know plenty of people who have had their records released to them.

Now we were being forced into finding someone new or risking having our medical records being sucked into some black hole.  The Mr and I both agreed that this time, we wanted to go the DO route.  Of course the first three choices weren't accepting new patients despite their websites saying they were.  By the time I got to the 6th one, she was accepting new patients.     Our thought was we could just get our physicals done, get a feel for how we like her and the whole DO experience.  It's important for us to have someone that isn't just going to try to throw meds at something that diet or more natural methods could also treat.  She's 56 years old so I may keep checking back with my first choices each year for openings.  Nothing at all against her before I even meet her but she's within 5 years of possible retirement and I'd prefer someone that we can go the long haul with.  Of course no one would've thought that a 48 year old seemingly healthy woman would have a stroke but you know what I mean.

So for those of you wondering what the difference between an MD and DO truly is, here is what I've found in my own research.
  • An MD is a doctor of medicine (allopathic aka Western medicine) and a DO is a doctor of osteopathic medicine.  Both do the same residencies, training, licensed in every state and have the same responsibilities.
  • Traditionally, an MD is more likely to look at your symptoms only.  A DO is likely to be literally more hands on by doing an exam where they actually feel the area of distress.  Studies suggest that more MD's are embracing a DO philosophy so the difference may soon be indistinguishable.
  • A DO is given osteopathic manipulative medicine courses (300-500 hours) in their 3rd or 4th year to learn the skeletal system and the interactions of your body with diseases.  This is typically a two month training period where they learn spinal manipulation like a chiropractor as means to diagnose, treat or prevent injury or illness.  This does not mean that you will likely get adjusted as part of treatment as it's becoming rare for them to use that but the knowledge of it is comforting as an extra tool in the diagnosing arsenal.
So I'm hoping after today we will have a doctor we feel comfortable with and fingers crossed all blood tests and such come back normal.

Do you have an MD or a DO?  How often do you go to the doctor?

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Sources for info:
Comparison of MD and DO in the US

The difference between an M.D. and D.O.
Difference Between MD and DO

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The flip side of how your fat friend might be feeling

I was reading this article from a woman who was trying to explain the plight of the fat friend who receives unsolicited concern from friends, family and strangers about their health.  In reading her experience, I felt horrible that she has had some seriously douchey comments said to her by potentially well meaning people who think tough love was the answer.  I think if you've ever been fat, you've had at least one thing said to you and know how that feels.  No one likes to be put down and made to feel less than.  However, the more I read, a surprising emotion was popping up for me...irritation.  I felt irritation for a few reasons.

See, when I was 494 lbs not one person ever expressed concern for my health.  No one.  I felt like the woman in the article should be so lucky that so many people care about her to want her around for a long time.  Now perfect strangers or teachers commenting on, they can take a flying friggin' leap because they don't know her.  (If someone as callous and mean as that old man said to me what he said to her, I'm pretty sure I would've quickly said "yeah, I am going to die.  We all first."  He deserved a response like that given what he said.)

As someone who has lost over 200 lbs and worked hard to keep that off, I am still fat.  I am still the o word...obese.  Someone could easily look at me on the street and think I'm a lazy slug and not know I workout 6 days a week and make better food choices in one week than they may make all month.  I accept that and if someone had the audacity to say something to me now, I'd say "lost 225 lbs and kept it off" and drop the mic.  From the flip side, I am deathly afraid that my mom who had WLS over 10 years ago and has regained some of the weight may die or have a stroke.  She has high blood pressure to the point she has fainted at work, she's had blood clots on occasion, her knees are to the point she's bone on bone and needs a either a scooter or cane for mobility which breaks my heart because she doesn't deserve that.  She feels like she's too fat to exercise but has access to a pool all summer/fall long and 20 lbs could take so much pressure off of her knees.  She eats snacks or meals out which have so much sodium in them but she's never been one to cook especially for just herself.  I have gone to great lengths to help her in the past but don't bring it up unless she does because I know how touchy the subject can be.  I've bought her groceries, cooked meals up and froze them and a year later they were still in there.  She takes pride in the fact that she doesn't have diabetes in a family with history but eats a lot of salt which I don't even think she's aware of because she's used to it with high blood pressure.  It's hard for people who love you to sit back and let you potentially kill yourself without saying something at least once.  I'd do anything to help her but I can't do it for her and I know from experience.

When I was 19, I remember a specific incident where the Mr and I were out to dinner at Ponderosa (remember those?) with my mom.  The subject of weight loss came up and we all needed to lose weight.  They were gung ho and in the mindset and given what I knew of diets and such, I just wasn't mentally ready.  That was the time of low fat diet fads where you were encouraged to eat 15g of fat per day.  Per DAY.  I got super defensive and super bitchy.  On the way home when I ran an orange light, a cop pulled me over and as he approached the window and tried to give me his crap, I just burst into tears from all of the emotion of the talk and the screaming that had just ensued from my mom asking what my problem was.  The cop shrunk away and let me go after looking at the Mr and my mom like "what the hell is wrong with her??"  I think my mom learned never to broach the subject with me again.  I regret that now because I wish we'd had an open dialogue about it that could've gone both ways.  At that point, I still had 150+ lbs to gain so I wasn't even at my heaviest.  But when I got to the point where I was turning down invites because I couldn't fit into places or getting out of breath 10 minutes into a grocery visit, it would've been nice for someone to say "hey, I love you and I want you around for a long time.  Is there anything I can do to help you?"  Yes, it may not have felt so hot in the moment but once your rational brain is finally developed and you're 25 or older, you should be able to tell when it is said out of love and true concern...not judgment.  The only time anything was ever said to me about my weight is when I began losing it.  Once I had 150 lbs off (and was still considered morbidly obese by medical standards) several people who didn't see me often mentioned they were getting "worried about me."  I smiled and said "I'm sorry but no one was worried about me when I was almost 500 lbs pounds and a ticking time bomb.  So unless I have bones poking through and sunken eyes, you don't get to comment on my weight now."

The other reason I was irritated is because the woman in the article may have been ignoring the only important lesson I've ever gleaned from Dr. Phil:

My two best friends were tortured and I mean tortured in middle school by a bully who got off on making fat girls his target.  Because I was a good 6" or so taller than him, he never really targeted me.  He did walk by once when I was with one of them and he said "what's up fat asses?" and I immediately shot back "f*ck off, @sshole!"  He never said anything to me again in middle school.  I will always remember the fear in my friend's eyes, the way her body caved in and shrunk and the feeling of wanting to make herself as small as possible.  I get that but that is exactly what he wanted.

In my first month of high school, I was internally horrified to see I would be sharing homeroom aka the first 15 minutes of each school day for the next 4 years with said bully due to last name.  One day it happened.  As I was talking to my friend in class, he slid into the table behind us and said "what's up, fat ass?!" and the whole class just stopped.  I laughed at him and said "Oooooh fat ass, that's the best you could do?  How ORIGINAL!"  Everyone busted out laughing at him and I never had another issue with him ever again.  Standing up to him told him I wasn't going to take his crap and everyone else seeing that likely told their friends and so my reputation for being an "ass kicker" from middle school on (without a single ass ever having been kicked) stayed well intact.

I was consistently the new student in school the first 5 years of my school years so I was always the one having to make friends hoping someone would want to take the tall, fat girl into their fold.  I didn't judge people because I didn't have that luxury.  I was the outsider.  I was the one that needed to prove themselves.  So while I am a highly sensitive person, I developed a defense mechanism of self deprecation that pretty much any fat person adapts that doesn't decide to shrink into themselves.  It's a 'make fun of yourself before they can make fun of you' mentality and honestly, that doesn't serve you well either.  It may keep others from commenting but playing that tape in your own head makes you start to believe it and when you say that in front of people who love or care about you, it makes them uncomfortable.  When you're a grown ass woman, it just makes you sound desperate for validation and that ain't sexy.  I've worked very hard not to do that anymore out loud because I don't like to hear other people say that about themselves.  I don't want to put someone else in that uncomfortable position to reassure me that I'm still worthy even if my body isn't perfect.

However,  I do believe in walking with confidence even if I don't have it  and if faced with a potentially threatening situation where there is the possibility things could be said about my weight, I put on my resting bitch face letting them know 'I don't tolerate chit...think again.'  I know it can be hard to armor up especially if giving a 'victim like vibe' is what you're used to.  I know some people will be offended by that term but I don't care.  Offense is typically taken when there's at least a grain of truth to it.  If you identify with that, have enough respect for the awesome person you are to project that to the world...don't give haters the in to disrespect you.  Trust me, they're looking for it.  They're looking at how you walk, where you're looking and if they think they can verbally take you.

You can't stop people from saying things but you can walk with an air about you that conveys how you expect to be treated.  We all deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and that starts with respecting the person staring back at you in the mirror.  See the beautiful things in yourself that the people who love you see unconditionally and teach people how to treat you.

Do you armor up or shrink up when your weight is addressed in any form?

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Eatin' like sloths and the first of the season

We had a pretty good weekend.  As always, too short.

Saturday we got up and around and realized both of our shoulders felt like crap.  We did kettlebells Thursday night and it just did not like that.  So I think for the next month or so, kettlebells will have to take a backseat.  I'm still feeling it a bit but must be vigilant with my ice and ultra sounding.

The Mr has been wanting to put our new chew like sloths method to the test at this restaurant known for huge portions.  I agreed and got a half BBQ chicken sandwich and fries.  Normally, we would both get a whole sandwich, cram it in and I would leave about half my fries on my plate.  But then you start noticing that 'normal' girls were only getting half sandwiches.  I'd always preface my order to the waitress if she ever bothered to ask half or whole..."let's go whole today, I skipped breakfast."  Well, I always skip breakfast on Saturdays since we typically eat at brunch time.  She didn't need to know that.

But nope, this time we both ordered the half and even though the amount of chicken was paltry at best, I was still pretty friggin' full.  We both were and considered it a good test.  I do find that I will "drop" and get hungry sooner than before but it's something I need to learn to deal with.  I'm not going to starve and I'm making hot tea my hunger go to if we've got a while before our next meal or if we're done for the night and feel a little peckish.  It's worked so far so we must keep that up.

I was given an "in" to put in my two cents on the grandma front.  It's all still developing so when I hear, I'll pass along an update.  Let me just say that I unleashed all of my concerns and it's out on the table.

Sunday we headed out on a road trip for our first drive in of the year.

We saw The Boss with Melissa McCarthy.  It was funny but I felt like the funniest parts were in the trailer.  Love the dude with the's about time we had a nice strapping love interest!  We got back later than we'd like and that's when I'm writing this so excuse any typos!

What did you guys get into this weekend?

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Friday, April 8, 2016

What I'm Reading This Week 2016 #14

We've finally made it to Friday, y'all!  *insert happy dance*

I must say I've been really happy with the consistency the Mr and I are showing on the eating slow front.  It is taking me about 30-40 minutes to eat breakfast and lunch and 20-25 minutes to eat dinner.  Bite, chew to mush, drink of water, repeat.

But enough about my new (old) almost habit, let's get to...

The Do’s and Don'ts of Cardio  (And there ya have it!)

Why "Clean Eating" Is Total BS  (*Love. This!*)

9 Common Mistakes You're Making in the Kitchen  (Good to know)

Why an Airplane May be Worse For Your Skin Than a Tanning Bed  (Just reinforces why I always close the blind after take off.)

Ask Ann: Exercise and Plantar Fasciitis  (Good tips for those who suffer)

Everything You Need to Know Before You Buy Your Next Dozen Eggs  (Clears up some potentially confusing lingo)

Why I'll Never Let Emails and Texts Replace Thank You Notes  (The one thing I learned from my MIL and while I appreciate a thank you email, a handwritten note induces warm fuzzies)

How Not to Be the Worst Tourist Ever  (Must start traveling via private plane)

19 Ways to Really, Finally Keep the Weight Off for Good  (Yeah, we'll see)

How Long Does Probate Take?  (One thing I learned from a friend's parents death was no matter how long you've been married, get a survivorship deed passing it to your spouse.)

How to Diet with Your Spouse  (Good for those with a non-dieting spouse)

5 Lines to Shut Down a Pushy Car Salesperson  (LOVE this)

Sore Neck? Here's How to Feel Better Instantly  (It's fun to be kinky but never in the neck)

Eating A Portion Of Beans Every Day ‘Makes You Lose Weight’  (Got a new batch on the stove now)

9 Signs You’re A Highly Sensitive Person  (Yes, yeah and yepper.  As with the other highly sensitive peeps in the comments, we all disagree about working well in teams.  If I'm working in a team, I take on more than my fair share and want to shank someone by the middle of the project.)

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson Fact v. Fiction: Where the Ripped-From-Reality FX Series Gets Creative  (So well portrayed by the actors but let's not forget a lot of what was shown was for entertainment.)

Girl Asks Boyfriend To Buy Makeup, Regrets Her Decision Immediately  (Don't ever do that)

Anonymous Artist Is Photoshopping Kids Books, And The Result Is Hilariously NSFW  (Definitely NSFW and don't drink anything whilst reading!)

It's supposed to be chilly this weekend with the chance for snow.  Yay?  No real plans that I know of.  I suppose we should rectify that a bit since Aunt Flow is here and the likelihood for permanent b*tch face has the possibility of taking hold.  By the end of the weekend, the Mr may have a shield and throw dark chocolate nuggets at me from behind it to placate the beast.

What are you up to this weekend?

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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Interconnected through tragedy

We watched the finale of The People vs. O.J. Simpson the other night.  It's not like we didn't know how it was going to end but there was just something about it that we couldn't tear ourselves away from.  I think it was such a huge part of our American modern history that it is hard for people who were alive during that time to not know where they were when the Bronco chase was going on or when the verdict was read.

We worked for lawyers at the time, it was a very interesting culture.  We weren't lawyers ourselves but you'd see the table of young lawyers who had come down to the cafeteria to watch as though it was a case study.  I suppose to some degree it was for a few of them.  They would put their heads together, whisper and debate.  We would roll our eyes, discuss our opinions on the case and yell at the TV when something ridiculous would happen.  Reality TV on the brink of becoming a "thing."  Since the Mr and I remember so clearly where we were when the verdict was read, it got me thinking about how traumatic events can attach people to you forever.

Like I remember when the Challenger exploded.  My elementary class was on the way back from gym class and I remember Sam F. rounding the corner screaming "the Challenger blew up!"  Our teacher started running toward the classroom and we ran behind him.  That day we watched as they replayed the tragedy over and over...burning it into our brains.  Now I can't hear the word "throttle" without having a physical reaction and I will always think of Sam F. running down the hall to tell her mom in the admin office about it.

I also remember being in Crate and Barrel waiting in line to check out and this blonde woman ahead of us got a text, gasped and said out loud "Robin Williams died."  I felt like someone kicked me in the gut...I couldn't breathe.  The Mr and I both said to each other "oh my God, what happened?"  A minute later she got a text back and said aloud "suicide."  It was the way she said it that pissed me off.  Like it meant less because he took his own life and was so disgusted in her tone.  I had to get out of there as soon as possible and when we got to the car, I sobbed.  Whenever I think of Robin, I always think of the traumatic, non-chalant way I was informed of his passing.  While I don't know her name, I am forever connected to her.  In my mind, I just call her "heartless bitchface" and move on.

It's funny how we can be interconnected through tragedy either with people we know or perfect strangers.  Even if you never see those people again, you have a connection to something that profoundly stays with you for much of your life.

Who are you interconnected with and to what event?

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

My favorite visit yet

I went to the chiro Monday and I was excited.  I couldn't wait to give him his baby gift.  I found their registry and got a few things off of it and designed a cute little shirt for the baby...

Get it?  Well adjusted!  He's a chiropractor!  Never mind.

Anyhoo, when I went back, I handed him the gift bag and said I had a gift for the baby.  He thanked me and when I said "the mommy's always get to open the gifts so I thought daddy could open this one."  He tore into that thing!  It was so funny.  He absolutely loved it and said so probably 10x.  I don't know why I love doing unexpected things that make people happy but it was definitely one of my happy things for my one happy year journal that day.

He felt my shoulder and said he only felt one little spot on there but it was coming along really well.  I told him I did lower body the night before which didn't require any lifting but I tried 20's and only had a little bit of soreness the next day.  I was waiting for some side eye but he said something that made me feel very happy...and competent.

"I trust you to make the best decision for your recovery.  You listen to your body and I know you won't push yourself further than you can handle."

He said I can push out seeing him for a few weeks unless I have a setback.  I am going to try to heal it up the rest of the way on my own so he has less people to finagle when the baby comes in a few weeks.

Last night we did a serious upper body workout so if I can get through today without feeling like I did any damage, I'll consider myself good.

Dinner was cod over pineapple quinoa.

What's something that's made you happy lately?

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Bosses don't cancel

You know, it's funny...when you're trying to start a lifestyle change, you want to go from zero to sixty.
"I'm going to eat fruits and veggies!"

"I'm going to drink half my body weight in water!"

"I'm going to exercise at least 5x a week!"

It's good to be enthusiastic and motivated to make those changes but sometimes it can be overwhelming.  You can take on too much, too soon and feel like it's too much to handle.  When we started up in 2008, we focused more on our portions.  We did exercise but not as consistently as we should have.  It wasn't until 2009 that we got on our true path with exercise that we never wanted to stray from.  By then, we learned that exercise had so many more benefits than just weight loss.  The stress busting benefits were huge which is why exercising at the end of a work day made the most sense for us.  We could take those things that stressed us out the most and punch, kick, lift and dance our way to being able to breathe again.

So many people like to say "oh, you're making a mistake by waiting because you'll find an excuse if you don't have the time.  You need to workout in the morning, it's the only way you'll get it done."  Funny, we haven't had a problem "getting it done" in the evening for 7 years!  Have there been times we have had to switch it to morning workouts because we have plans that night?  Sure.  Namely holidays and occasional family dinners out and you know what?  I consistently burn less when I workout in the morning.  So never let anyone tell you that the time of day you workout is wrong because what is wrong for one is oh so right for another.  In the end, being consistent is the only thing that matters.  We have an appointment to exercise in some form 5-6x per week and that isn't optional. (Vacation is the only time this schedule gets interrupted but we try to do some exercise here and there as well.)

The other night we went to the grocery store, did a little shopping, had to unexpectedly help a family member with something that took longer than it should have and by the time we got home, it was almost 7pm.  We still hadn't worked out or had dinner.  Well, it's always been our rule we don't eat unless we've worked out.  My lower back was killing me and even just walking in the grocery store was a chore.  Did I want to workout?  Hell no, I didn't.  Did we?  Hell yes we did!  It wasn't even a discussion like it would've been in the old days.  In the old days, we would've talked about how late it was, spent 15 minutes whining about why we didn't want to workout and then skipped it and still ate the dinner planned.  Instead, I had the Mr jam his elbow into my lower back where my muscles were bunged up, rolled on the big foam roller to crack my spine back into place and sucked it the heck up!  I'm not stupid, I didn't do something that was going to injure me but the back pain I was having was from sleeping wrong.  It wasn't a pulled this or that.  Even if it was, stretching or light cardio would've been fine to loosen things up.  The Mr said "see, this is how I know we've changed because we're not even entertaining the idea of skipping, we're just doing it."  He was right...and I was proud.

When people ask me how I've managed to keep my motivation to exercise all of these years, I'm very honest with them...I was never motivated.  Motivation wanes.  Motivation betrays you.  If my own wedding and a trip to a tropical climate wasn't enough motivation for me, something trivial like a reunion or fitting into a certain outfit certainly wouldn't be.  You just have to do it and make no excuses.  It has to be like brushing your teeth or eating's not an option not to do it.  Even when I was suffering from my worst bout of leg issues and was put on non weight bearing exercises, I initially thought "oh my God, how am I going to do this!?  I'll never lose weight now!"  But you know what?  I got over myself and I got a floor bicycle(affiliate link) did upper body strength, did lots of stretching and even did the same workouts the Mr was doing but sitting down in a chair.  I knew back in 1999 when I saw a dude doing Tae Bo in a wheelchair that I never had another excuse again.

Whether you need to lose weight or just want to maintain what you've lost regardless of whether you're at goal or not, it's those daily commitments you keep to yourself that matter.  How can you be a good wife, daughter, mother (husband, son, father) if you're taking care of everyone else and not yourself?  It's like the caretaker who puts themselves last because people need tended to and helped. Well, guess what, if you don't have your health, you can't help those people who need it.

Let the little things add up to big success.  Be a boss!

How often do you exercise per week?

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