Friday, March 28, 2014

Let the measurements do the talking!

So long scale, you are a finicky friend. You are wishy washy and high maintenance. Some mornings you are my best friend and give me all kinds of love. But the next morning you spew hatred at me.
So see ya. I'll still check in with you occasionally, but our relationship is not healthy. I'm going to have to move on.  My new friend is a tape measure. It doesn't need me to call it every morning and every night. Infact, our friendship is best if I only check in once a month or so!

Yes, my bloggy friends, I am finally forcing myself to move beyond the scale.

Why? Becuase the 2-4 pound swing drives me CRAZY.  Perfect example was yesterday. I was at the gym at 4:30am. I biked for 5 miles, I ran for 3 miles and then lifted weights for 30 minutes. I ate healthy food, worked, and then swam 600 meters. I ate a healthy (smaller portion) dinner and got a good amount of sleep.

I weighed another 1/2 pound heavier this morning. GRR!

However, I remembered that a while back I took some measurements because I was frustrated with the weight loss, but I knew I was doing better physically.

I pulled up my measurement note from January 13, 2014 and retook my measurements!

So while the scale has gone up and down, my overall size has gone down.

Thigh: -1 inch
Hips: - 1.5 inch
Waist: -2 inches
Bust: -1 inch

That is progress!! I'm so glad I did the measurements! I needed that pick me up!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Painting a Night Scene

I completed another oil palette knife painting yesterday. I'm having a blast and as you can see in the background, so is Kylie. When I paint, she paints.

For those of you interested, here is the first layer. And then the finished piece.

And here is my "studio!" Boy this is fun!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Catching the elusive 8 minute mile

I had my best 4+ mile run today! I ended up sleeping in this morning and skipping the Saturday morning group run. So about lunch time I headed over to the local track and did 800's as my training plan called for. NINE of them to be exact. Yes, that is 9 half mile repeats! 

It wasn't just hard, it was tough! But I did it and I kept my pace pretty well. I ran 2 laps in 4 minutes. Then I walked 1/2 a lap. Then ran 2 laps in another 4 minutes. and so forth. I didn't track my 1/2 lap recovery walks as I didn't want it to mess with my time, but I didn't walk too slowly and a 1/2 lap recovery walk was under 2 minutes, so even counting the walk breaks, I'm more than pleased.

Look at my mile splits!

Woohoo! That mile first mile at 7:58 and mile 4 at 8:09!! Yippee.

I'm getting faster!!!

#strongerequalsfaster baby!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Scale Woes

In case you didn't know this about me yet, I have a love/hate relationship with the scale. I should toss it out and get relief, but I can't. I'm addicted to weighing myself almost daily.

It is frustrating and self-defeating, but I'm being real here and telling you that it is a life-long battle.

What is absolutely nuts about this is that I am in the best shape of my life. I am eating the most healthy foods consistently that I have ever eaten. I feel leaner and stronger than I have ever felt. My clothes fit great.

But the scale this morning was another 2 pounds HEAVIER.

NO!! I wanted to stomp on the scale.

And no, muscle does not weigh more than fat. a pound is a pound. A pound of muscle takes up less space than fat, but it isn't "heavier.."

So what do I do besides throw away the scale?

I don't know. I'm determined to live fully and healthy. That determination is far stronger than just seeing the numbers decrease on the scale. I've done the self-destructive diets in the past and the only prize is the number on the scale. The damage to my metabolism and body isn't worth it.

On Monday I'm starting a Spring Cleaning Eating and Exercises program. One of my facebook friends, a wellness and nutrition guru, is leading the group. I'm excited. I'm hoping with the accountability and meal plans and all that I can retool some more and focus on the STRONGER and LEANER me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

An A+ Life

My oil painting #3 got an A+! Fun times

I'm also giving myself an A+ on my new weight lifiting regime! I've upped my weights and am feeling it. I was able to increase by 10 pounds on most of my exercises and I added a couple of new things too! I'm feeling stronger and leaner. Too bad my scale isn't reflective of my work yet!

And I'm even giving myself an A+ on my eating! I did that 7 day challenge and that helped me focus on my food choices. The best thing I am doing is that I'm eating breakfast everyday! I love, love, love Hungry Girls oatmeal recipe. It just takes planning as you need at least 20 minutes. But it's yummy and soo easy and healthy!

Now  that I've gotten you interested...

Healthy Oatmeal

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (30 calories)
1 cup water
1/2 cup old fashioned oats (150 calories)

Put all 3 in a big sauce pan together and bring to a boil. Stir. Turn to low and stir every so often for the next 15 minutes. It will thicken up, but still be pretty soupy in the pan. After about 15 or so minutes, pour into a large cereal bowl. Let cool a couple of minutes. It will thicken perfectly.

I add 2teaspoons of light brown sugar (30 calories) and mix well.


Total calories 210 and the best part is you are full all morning!

That's an A+ in my book!

Hope your life is going well, we are living life in the sweet spot right now!

Friday, March 14, 2014

The learning curve with oils

I finished my second oil painting tonight. It was much, much harder than the first one. I'm thinking I might go back to just plain ole paths and trees!

So anyway, here is my trail inspired painting. I took the girls to our local trail yesterday and came home and got to work. It's not an exact's impressionistic..

And here the paintings on the wall in my "studio!"

Nice that the playroom has great windows!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Riding Horses and Milking Cows

Today while I enjoyed a couple of hours of quiet in my house, the girls went with my mom and sisters to ride horses. I am so glad they got a chance to ride horses (and I got a chance to paint in peace..that's a win/win!)

Here is my mom and the some of grandkids!

Dillon loves riding horses!

Viewer beware... this is a photo dump. :) Maddie took some great pictures for me today! And 30 years from now, the girls won't remember that I wasn't there! They will just enjoy the scrapbook and not think anything of the fact that I'm not in the pictures.. as I am never in the pictures, I'm the one taking the pictures! 

Anyway... Enjoy the pictures of my sisters and the kids. The lady in the jeans, blue shirt and blonde ponytail is Jan, a friend of my mom's! What a great lady! She invites my family out to her place and spends time teaching the kids and they LOVE it!

Lexi loves riding horses!! She was so excited to get to see Patch again and ride him.

My cousin Morgan arrived just in time to go ride horses too.

They even got to ride in the arena.

 The bonus on the day... they learned how to milk a cow!

Thanks so much Jan for a great afternoon! The girls talked about it all evening! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My first palette knife painting

I completed my first palette knife oil painting today. I'm pleased-ish with the piece. I know that I can do so much more, I just have to practice! But I am excited to continue and I already have some ideas about future paintings!

Here are a few pictures from today. Lexi took a couple pictures of me getting started.

Mid painting. 



Now I'm off to the park. As much as I'd like to just paint today, the girls have other desires. And it is spring break...

Monday, March 10, 2014

My first "fix"

I got my first Stitch Fix in the mail today! It was fun!

I had heard good things, but I wasn't sure if I would like what they sent or if it would fit...

Well, everything I heard about them was right on and everything fit!

I got a dress, a pair of jeans, two shirts and a cardigan. I can't believe it! The jeans fit GREAT! And I didn't have to go to a store! I didn't have to try on 50 pairs of jeans and feel bad about my shape. I just  put on their selections and I felt great! 

The convenience of the "fix" was awesome, but the fact that the clothes fit and looked good on me was an amazing feeling!

I haven't decided if I'm going to keep the dress yet. There is a discount if you keep all of the items and the discount is almost the amount of the dress. I just can't decide if the dress is something I would wear enough to keep. It fits almost too good and would require a shell underneath the v-neck in order to wear it to school.

Anyway, I know this is something I will continue to do. The clothes were a more pricey than my local discount store, but you could feel quality in them, and they weren't really expensive either.

And if I don't want to keep all of the items, no worries, they provide  an envelope to send back (free shipping) what I don't want. Cool. So I don't have to deal with returns at a store!

If you haven't already signed up for a "fix" click here and use my referral code! It costs $20 for the stylist to find your items and mail them to you. Then you get that $20 in credit back to you if you purchase the items. If you don't want any of the items, it costs $20. And if you live where we live, you can't go into "the city" and shop for $20! With gas and eating out, you are easily out triple that amount... and you have to deal with sales people and other customers!! And say you change your mind about an item... another trip back before the return window closes!

Needlesstosay, I've already scheduled my next fix! Woohoo! Can't wait! I ordered it for the week of Mother's Day. Pretty snazzy that I get to tell them when to send me new clothes!

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

7 Day Slim Down Challenge

A facebook friend of mine who is a fitness guru offered a 7 Day Slim Down Challenge. I, along with a group of others, signed up. I have been lacking motivation lately and figured this was just what I needed!
And boy is it! Wowsers. :) The workouts so far are not bad. I must say, I rather enjoy full body workouts. They aren't boring. The hard part is fitting it in with my running. But it is good for me!
The eating is harder. Shanna provided a meal plan and its pretty easy to follow. 3 meals and 2 snacks. The problem for me is that I don't do smoothies. at. all. So I'm having to change up some of the meals, but she provided alternative choices too. So, NO EXCUSES!!
Today is Day 3. (But I really started on March 1st as I had already made that commitment to myself to reboot my hard drive.)
So far, I've lost 3 pounds. Wow! Love it. And for all of you who might think I'm starving myself for the pounds lost... I'm tracking the points in Weight Watchers and I'm hitting my points each day.
If any of you need a challange, you should  contact her for the meals and more information!
So what did I do this morning? Well...
300 jumping jacks
300 crunches
300 squats
75 pushups
2 sets of  plank for 30 seconds
Then finished off with 45 seconds each of burpees, bicycle crunches, jump squats, ski jumps, and mountain climbers.
Then I stretched a bit.
And was in the shower by 6am.
Can't wait to see what tomorrow's workout will bring!

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Cowtown Marathon Weekend 2014

The Cowtown Marathon Weekend is truly a running highlight of our year! There is just something incredible about the Cowtown Marathon (located in Fort Worth, Texas)
I think even if we were not runners, we would still feel this way. 
The energy and excitement is palpable from the time you pull up at the expo on Friday until you cross the finish line on Sunday morning. But given that Doug and I are both runners, and this is a "local" race, we take full advantage of the entire weekend experience!

For those of you who do not know about the Cowtown Marathon, it is the oldest and largest multi-race, multi-day event in Texas. Around 30 THOUSAND total runners compete in the races on Saturday and Sunday. The city doesn't come to a complete halt, but almost! The streets are closed and people stand for miles and miles cheering and offering support to the runners. 

It is truly and incredible event! (wow.. nice unpaid commercial..)

Anyway, on Saturday morning my sister Libby, my friend Crystal and I joined about 8 thousand other runners and ran the 10k. It was jam packed, but fun! Don't you love the pictures from marathonfoto! No, I don't mind pasting the proofs in as I will be purchasing all of the photos! 

As the 10k is finishing up, the Adult 5k starts with another 6 thousand runners or so... Here is Doug with some of my friends from the run club I run with. 

All of us ran on Saturday so that we could qualify for the Cowtown Challenge: running both days and getting an extra medal! :)
Once the morning races are over, we putter around the rest of the day, using our "fueling" needs to excuse our eating habits! We had lunch at In and Out Burgers. Yummy!! We had never had them before, won't be the last time.
Doug and I enjoyed walking around a shopping area and just hanging out. Something we rarely get to do!! For dinner, we went to Chuy's and enjoyed mexican food.

Sunday morning brought the half marathon, full marathon and the ultra runners. We ALL started at the same time. I don't know how many runners, but I'm thinking at least 15 THOUSAND runners starting at the SAME TIME. It is craziness.

Here we are in the corrals waiting for the start. Way off in the distance you can see the starting line.

Here are Crystal and I on the course. We were sllloooowww, but we had fun!
Here I am at the finish line. Yes, I was pumped to be finished!

My time was way off from what I know I can do, but it reflected my training of late. I finished strong and happy, so in the end, I can't be upset with my sad time. I just have to be honest with my self and my expectations. If I want to run faster, I have to train faster and more consistently. I've been in a post marathon slump for a few months, I feel like I have finally come out of it and am ready to train!

Here I am with Doug after the race. He ran a strong 1/2 marathon for his second 1/2 ever. He is already talking about training for his next one!

And here Crystal and I are. We are absolutely 2 peas in a pod. We have the same mindset and are the same level of crazy and motivated. We scare our husbands. :) Good thing they are friends too!

And finally, a close up of the weekend bling! Love the spur finisher medal! Can't wait to get another oen next year!