Posts by KARLI CLEAVER

  • 31 GREAT DAYS: WEEK THREE

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          blog7Starting Weight: 159.8

    Day fifteen (Sunday 6/14)
    What I ate

    Medifast Hot Cocoa
    Medifast Chocolate mint crunch bar
    Medifast BBQ bites
    Medifast caramel nut bar
    L&G: Taco salad
    Unplanned snack: 1 T pb, 1 serving mixed nuts, 1 slice cheese
    Medifast brownie + 2 T pb2 + 2 T cool whip
    Water: 106 ounces

    How I felt
     Decent. Pretty bummed my weigh in was only .2 down, but instead of letting it derail me, I just reminded myself that some weeks would be big and some would be small. As long as I was consistent, the weight would keep coming off. I felt a bit out of control at my in laws tonight for dinner and had some unplanned snacks. Made a plan for moving forward which always feels good.

    Things of Note
    -I definitely have trigger foods that throw me off and make me want to eat them and other things in copious amounts. It’s especially dangerous when these foods are relatively “on plan” to some extent because I justify them by thinking they’re not harming me…but too much of even good things is still too much.
    -This week I am aiming to cut out the following from my regimen and eating very clean otherwise: peanut butter, nuts, cheese {except in LC form}, and cool whip. Cool whip is the toughest one because I so look forward to my brownie with pb2 & frozen cool whip each night {ps-everything is better frozen!}, but I was getting too dependent and too lenient with it. Besides, the fake stuff in it just makes me bloated and gassy and isn’t good for me anyway, so maybe if I take a week off, I can either wean myself all together or get back to a place where I’m only using 2T a day again.

    Day Sixteen (Monday 6/15)
    What I ate
    MF Hot cocoa
    MF chocolate mint bar
    GIANT cup sonic ice {best ever!}
    MF pretzels with 1 wedge light laughing cow cheese
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G: Roasted chicken + revolution roll + roasted cabbage
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2
    Water: 112 ouncesblog5How I felt
    Good! Stayed on plan all day and chose well.

    Things of Note
    -Took all three littles to downtown for a doctor’s appointment today and stayed on plan! This is a big deal because usually driving downtown and having all three crazies with me at an appointment would have me reaching for the carbs. Grabbed the boys a quick lunch at Sonic afterward and although I kind of wanted a diet cherry limeade, I knew that would make me crave carbs all day, so I just got a 44 ounce cup of their amazing pebble ice. No calories, guilt free, and amazing. Plus, it lasts me several hours.
    -We went swimming for FHE with friends tonight which is always a hit. I wore my swimsuit and didn’t worry about not being exactly where I’d like to be.

    Day Seventeen (Tuesday 6/16)
    What I ate
    MF hot cocoa
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF BBQ bites
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G chicken salad on romaine + cucumbers/tomatoes
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2
    Water: 104 ounces

    How I felt
    Great! I was busy and productive all day and didn’t even think about food except when it was time to eat.

    Things of Note
    -I am definitely able to stay on track better when I am productive. I need to remember that productivity=success for me.
    -Spent the evening celebrating my in laws 45th wedding anniversary. I took pizza & fresh root beer for everyone else and enjoyed my chicken salad. Felt totally satisfied and enjoyed our visit.

    Day Eighteen (Wednesday 6/17)
    What I ate
    MF hot cocoa
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF pretzels + 1 wedge LC
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G chicken salad on romaine, 1/4 avocado
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2
    Water: 112 ouncesblog1How I felt
    Great! Another very productive day talking to clients and friends while getting things prepped for Father’s day, my son’s surgery, and a youth pioneer trek. Love keeping busy and happy and serving others!

    Things of Note
    -Homemade rootbeer and ice cream for floats at mutual tonight and because I’d eaten dinner beforehand, I wasn’t even tempted. Planning and preparedness are so key and can’t ever be underestimated for me.

    Day Nineteen (Thursday 6/18)
    What I ate
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF pretzels
    MF caramel nut bar
    MF pretzels + 1 wedge LC
    L&G: big salad with deli turkey & yogurt dressing
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2
    Water: 104 ouncesblog2How I felt
    Thankful! I am so thankful I was able to stay on plan despite it being a crazy and chaotic day. My emotions were all over the place because my oldest son had eye surgery early this morning and I was worried/anxious/excited/thankful/blessed/impatient/stressed/happy all at different times today. Stayed on plan and felt great about that!

    Things of Note
    -Usually being anxious about something induces a binge or at least a desire to binge. Today I was prepared and took food to the hospital with us. I had my bar and felt fine. After surgery when we saw how great our little man was doing I was ecstatic and that would generally also trigger a binge, but not today. I was so grateful and cuddled with him to a movie when we got home.
    -Several friends brought meals/goodies/treat over and I was able to just stick to my plan and let the boys enjoy their treats. A good friend brought me a salad because she knew I was eating healthy-how sweet is that?
    -Exhaustion is a huge binge trigger for me, but I am committed to staying on plan this week. That resolve plays a big part in my success.

    Day Twenty (Friday 6/19)
    What I ate
    MF hot cocoa
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF bbq bites
    MF caramel nut bar
    Unplanned snack: 2 small squares jerky + diet root beer
    L&G: 4 ounces roast + revolution roll + green beans
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2
    Water: 96 ouncesblog3How I felt
    Tired, but good. I didn’t get much sleep because little man was hurting pretty bad and had a hard time settling down. I managed to stay on plan despite a sad recovering 7 year old and very busy 5&2 year olds running around. That is something to celebrate!

    Things of Note
    -Made 8 dozen chocolate chip cookies for an upcoming even and didn’t have one bite, lick, or taste. Another friend brought cookies over. Again, no tasting. My sister picked up 80 pounds of chicken that I had to trim, bag, and freeze, and I stuck a piece of gum in my mouth and got it done in 2 hours. Sometimes the hardest part is just the decision that I won’t veer off plan. If I can make that decision with full intent, the temptation is often taken away completely. Grateful for that.

    Day Twenty-One (Saturday 6/20)
    What I ate
    MF hot cocoa
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF pretzels + LC wedge
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G: 3 egg omelet with veggies
    Unplanned snack: a couple bites of chicken & roast
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2
    Water: 120 ounces

    How I felt
    Pretty good. Tired and then rejuvenated after an unexpected nap.blog4Things of Note
    -I got 1.5 hours of uninterrupted naptime in today and I slept HARD. This rarely happens with kids and I did not take it for granted. It amazes me how much better I can be if I have adequate sleep.
    -I broke my no cheese goal and had 1/4 c. shredded cheese on my omelet. It was crazy because I couldn’t really taste it, so I should have just kept it out anyway.

    Week Three Weigh in:  (156.8 – 3 pounds)
    blog6 I felt all week like maybe I was losing because clothing was feeling a bit looser, but didn’t want to get my hopes up. At one point I said to my husband, “I better see a loss on the scale this week because I gave up my cool whip and have stuck to plan almost perfectly!” I knew even if it wasn’t down much I’d be a bit disappointed, but I would continue on. When I saw that it was down THREE pounds, I was ecstatic! I loved seeing that number and was super excited to tell the Mister. Woohoo! Some weeks are small, some are big, and they all average out in the end.

    **Typical results on our program are 2-5 pounds loss the first two weeks and 1-2 pounds a week thereafter.

  • 31 GREAT DAYS: WEEK TWO

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    weektwoStarting Weight: 160.06.7.15Day Eight (Sunday 6/7)
    What I ate

    Medifast BBQ Bites
    Medifast Chocolate mint bar
    Lean & Green: Unwich salad
    Medifast Caramel Nut Bar
    Medifast Brownie with 2 T. PB2 and 2 T. Cool Whip
    Water: 96 ounces

    How I felt
    Awesome! Weigh in was good, felt great about continuing on plan. This is a big deal because oftentimes in the past a weigh in (good or bad) would cause a binge or overeating/going off plan episode. If it was a good number in my eyes I felt like I “deserved” to have a treat or reward and if it was a bad number in my eyes I “punished” myself by eating. Neither of these responses is healthy, so I was super stoked to just be happy and continue on with my plan.

    Things of Note
    -We prayerfully fast the first weekend of each month for 18-24 hours and because I’m eating less, my fasts are shorter for now, but still so sweet. I felt great this morning and all through church-enjoyed being uplifted by my church family and worship always brings me peace.
    -Got home from church and usually after fasting I feel completely famished and want to eat everything. I didn’t have that experience this time and ate my MF meal and felt fine! I spaced my meals 2 hours apart throughout the afternoon to get them in.

    Day Nine (Monday 6/8)
    What I ate
    MF Hot cocoa
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF honey mustard pretzels with 1 wedge light laughing cow skim cheese
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G: taco salad
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2 & 2 T frozen cool whip
    Water: 118 ouncesweek2.5How I felt
    I felt good physically today, but super tired. The toddler figured out how to get out of his crib and fought bedtime for over an hour.

    Things of Note
    -Even though I was tired and frustrated with bedtime not happening as planned, eating was NOT my go to thought. This was super foreign to me. Instead of trying to eat my sleep {not possible} like I usually would have been tempted to do, I just wanted exactly what my body needed…sleep.
    -We have some unknowns in our life right now that are stressful {isn’t that always the case with life?}, but I’m handling and getting through them with talking, planning, and acting positively, rather than reacting by eating.

    Day Ten (Tuesday 6/9)
    What I ate
    MF dark chocolate shake
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF BBQ bites
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G: taco salad
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2 & 2 T frozen cool whip
    Water: 116 ouncesweek2.1How I felt
    Great! Not deprived & more rested.

    Things of Note
    -Getting up at 5:30-6 and staying productive and busy in the morning and through lunch and then getting an hour of downtime/rest time/naptime in the early to mid afternoon helps me so much. I am less prone to cravings, have a desire to be more active, and am more productive as a general rule.
    -Tuesday’s are usually pizza night at our house because we have guitar lessons and are in town & grabbing groceries in and then getting home right at dinner. I’ve gotten in the habit of just grabbing a pizza on those nights for convenience. I made a yummy taco salad for myself and didn’t feel deprived while the guys ate their pizza. The boys both had leftover crust {I’m a sucker for pizza crust} and I wasn’t tempted at all.

    Day Eleven (Wednesday 6/10)
    What I ate

    MF hot cocoa
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF pretzels w LC wedge
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G: hamburger on revolution roll with roasted cabbage
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2 & 2 T frozen cool whip
    Water: 112 ounces

    How I felt
    Super amazing considering I didn’t sleep much. Good mentally and physically.

    Things of Note
    -Baby was up from 11-5 am last night. I slept from 6-8 am this morning and ran all day on two hours of sleep. Despite being EXHAUSTED, I stayed on plan and had a good attitude. I felt a little invincible today! (;

    Day Twelve (Thursday 6/11)
    What I ate
    MF hot cocoa
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF BBQ bites
    L&G: Big Mac Salad
    MF caramel nut bar + string cheese
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2 + 2 T frozen cool whip
    Water: 116 ouncesweek2.2jpgHow I felt
    Great & accomplished because I planned & prepped everything well today and felt good because of it.

    Things of Note
    -Had eye appointments + groceries to get this morning & had my bites with me. Ate my L&G meal earlier because I had bookclub in the evening. Took my bar + string cheese to bookclub & ate it instead of all the yummy refreshments available. Enjoyed the conversation, relationships & camaraderie more than anything. Planning and prepping is KEY for my success. Also, deciding beforehand what my POA is in social situations.
    -Had a realization today. I have been a nail biter/picker my whole life. It’s a bad habit that I’ve never been able to break for long. Since I started back on program and really monitoring my eating, I have let my nails grow out. I’m taking a vitamin daily specifically for healthy hair/skin/nails {biotin} and am totally seeing the results. I just realized once again how one healthy habits or change can have a ripple effect and lead to change in other areas as well.

    Day Thirteen (Friday 6/12)
    What I ate
    MF hot cocoa
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF pretzels + LC wedge
    MF caramel nut bar + string cheese
    Unplanned snack: 1 oz cheddar cheese, 2 bites scrambled eggs, 3 T frozen cool whip
    L&G: Big Mac Salad
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2 + 2 T cool whip
    Water: 108 ounces

    How I felt
    Weak. Today was the first day I really struggled with cravings and wanted to eat all the food all day long. My resolve was really wavering.

    Things of Note
    -I narrowed my weak day to the feeling of anxiety I had all day about parenting and how I am going to raise 3 strong boys who are respectful, kind, and hard working. Whenever I feel hopeless or am dealing with things seemingly out of my control, I’m definitely prone to turning to food to numb those feelings for a short time rather than just feeling and experiencing them fully.

    -Drank a diet root beer today which was the first non-water drink I’ve had since starting back on plan. It definitely doesn’t help because diet sodas just make me crave carbs more! Plus I feel bloated and gassy which isn’t fun, either.
    -Took a walk with the fam & saw a snake. Getting out together is always more fun!week2.3Day Fourteen (Saturday 6/13)
    What I ate
    MF chocolate mint bar
    MF caramel nut bar
    Hamburger patty with 3 pickle slices and ketchup/mustard
    MF honey mustard pretzels
    1 travel package Blue Diamond habanero BBQ almonds + 1 wedge light LC
    L&G: Cauliflower fried “rice” and ground turkey
    MF brownie + 2 T pb2 + 2 T cool whip
    Water: 140 ouncesweek2.4How I felt
    Off. We spent the day at husband & sons spartan race and it was hot! I didn’t pack enough water, so ended up drinking a ton later in the day. Dizzy and tired throughout the day. Ravenous after getting home from the race even though I’d eaten there. Also, happy and AMAZED to be married to a man who prioritizes health for our whole family and makes it fun to all participate together. He inspires me! Inspired by my little boys, too. They did the 1 mile mini spartan and kicked butt! Sure love them.

    Things of Note
    -Some days I feel like nothing can stop me and food barely even crosses my mind. I am focused on what I want most and never feel deprived. Other days, like today, I feel like all I think about all day is food. It’s like every minute is waiting til my next meal and trying to stay on plan. I was so excited for my boys and proud of them for doing hard things, but still had a desire to eat those happy feelings instead of experiencing them fully. Husband reminded me that this is probably the case for most everyone and the sooner I embrace the fact that some days will be harder than others, the more grace I’ll likely give myself and understand that it’s okay as long as I continue seeking what I want most and not what I don’t want. And even if I fall down a bit {snacking on several tablespoons of frozen cool whip like I did today}, it’s okay, too. Recognizing, feeling my emotions, and not over-analyzing too much will help immensely in the long run.

    Week Two Weigh in: 159.8 (-.2 pounds)
    week2 Remember last week how I was so nervous I wouldn’t see a loss and then I lost over 4 pounds? Today I thought I’d have at least a two pound loss and only lost .2 pounds! I thought about my week and realized the places I could have been better. I still think I deserved more than a .2 loss, but I realize that all the weeks balance out and some are big while others are small. Pretty sure I am retaining some water too, after standing in the sun so long yesterday.  Also, I’m feeling great, fitting into my clothing better, and not feeling the negative effects of inflammation and sickness. Shouldn’t that be reward enough? I decided I would continue upward and onward because the end goal isn’t just meeting a number on the scale, it’s about making health my way of life. It doesn’t really matter how long it takes as long as I’m continuing to feel great and make progress. This felt like such a big deal because usually something like this would completely throw me off course. YAY for BIG non scale victories!
    **Typical results on our program are 2-5 pounds loss the first two weeks and 1-2 pounds a week thereafter.

  • 31 GREAT DAYS: WEEK ONE

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    brownieStarting Weight 164.6startpic53115[Caveat: I take pictures of everything I put into my mouth and use an app called TwoGrand (you can follow me @healthconfessions) to log my meals/water/exercise. I won’t post all the pics on these posts as many of them are repetitive (see: I am a creature of habit below), but I’ll post some of my favorites. If you are wondering about the plan I’m doing, contact me or check out my website HERE. I’d love to help you reach your goals.]

    Day One (Sunday 5/31)
    What I ate

    Medifast Hot Cocoa
    Medifast Chocolate mint bar
    Medifast Honey Mustard Pretzels with 1 wedge light laughing cow swiss cheese
    Medifast Caramel Nut Bar
    Lean & Green: Omelet (eggs/egg whites/peppers/onion/cheese/turkey/avocado/salsa)
    Medifast Brownie with 2 T. PB2 and 2 T. Cool Whip
    Water: 104 ounces

    How I felt
    Awesome! It is usually kind of tough for me to start being really good on a Sunday because we spend so much time with family, but it was a great day and I felt in control, not deprived, and ready to be fully on plan all day. No headaches, hunger, or irritability. Score!

    Things of Note
    -Sunday mornings are harried for me getting all five of us ready and out the door for church, so the hot cocoa is a perfect quick and easy choice.
    -I ate my first bar between Sunday School and Young Women’s, ha!
    -After church the husband took our two big boys to his folks while the littlest and I took a TWO HOUR nap! Sleep=bliss for any mom, so this was a great act of service + kept me out of the kitchen and any temptations way.
    -The toddler and I headed over to spend time with the fam after we woke up and I prepped all the veggies and ingredients for my omelet before I went. Prepping is CRUCIAL for me as there were tons of off plan options around at the house and I just made my dinner as I had planned and it was delicious and I didn’t feel deprived.
    -The brownie at the end of the day is so yummy and rewarding. I never tire of it.cocoaDay Two (Monday 6/1)
    What I ate
    MF Hot Cocoa
    MF Chocolate mint bar
    MF BBQ Bites
    MF Caramel nut bar
    L&G: Big Mac Salad with lean ground beef
    MF brownie, 2 T. PB2, 2 T. cool whip
    Water: 108 ounces

    How I felt
    Another great day! No headaches, hunger, irritability, and just a little tired in the afternoon.

    Things of Note
    -My mom took my big boys and I to a local hot springs to swim for a couple hours today. I took it super easy and just played with my boys and floated around. It was lovely. Took my meal with me and didn’t feel deprived at all when the boys got shakes and fries afterward.

    Day Three (Tuesday 6/2)
    What I ate
    MF Hot Cocoa
    MF Chocolate mint crunch bar
    MF honey mustard pretzels with 1 wedge light laughing cow swiss cheese
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G: Roasted chicken breast, roasted cabbage with lemon & olive oil, 10 black olives
    MF brownie, 2 T PB2, 2 T cool whip
    Water: 92 ouncesl&gHow I felt
    Today was great specifically because I was fighting with some feelings of low self confidence and questioning myself in all aspects of my life. In the past feeling like that would have had me curled up on the floor in a fetal position and/or binging on every carbohydrate in sight. Instead, I allowed myself to feel my feelings, but also realized that my thoughts precede my feelings and that I can’t always believe what I think about myself. It was empowering! I felt stronger for not giving in to any cravings and not sabotaging my efforts. Slight headache this evening and tired all day because of those feelings I fought all day.

    Things of Note
    -I am a creature of habit. I have found the meal replacements I love and am happy eating them every day. Thankfully, the program works well with variety or not.
    -Took the boys to get their first real bikes tonight and had a blast watching them live life. They are carefree, healthy, happy, and blessed, and it is so awesome for me to be in the trenches and watching on the sidelines as they experience all these new life joys.

    Day Four (Wednesday 6/3)
    What I ate
    MF Hot Cocoa
    MF Chocolate mint bar
    MF BBQ Bites
    MF Caramel nut bar
    L&G: Big Mac Salad with chicken instead of beef
    MF brownie, 2 T. PB2, 2 T. cool whip
    Water: 104 ounces

    How I felt
    Fabulous! Prepared, No headache. Woke with a much better outlook on life and what I’m doing. Feeling much more like me and noticing a bit more clarity in all thought processes as well.

    Things of Note
     -Blogged THIS today.
    -Taught my 7 year old to ride a bike without trainers! I was ecstatic for him! I felt so happy and had the thought that I would be totally justified in rewarding myself {and him of course} with some sort of celebratory treat. He got a small treat, but was just as excited to treat himself by riding the bike for hours all day long (isn’t accomplishment the best reward?!) and I resisted and felt fine, but realized I have to consistently and intentionally always be safeguarding myself from my mind and old habits/addictions. It reminded me of a quote by Brene’ Brown from her book The Gifts of Imperfection, “Joy is as thorny and sharp as any of the dark emotions. To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees–these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain. When we lose our tolerance for discomfort, we lose joy. In fact, addiction research shows us that an intensely positive experience is as likely to cause relapse as an intensely painful experience.”
    -I am so thankful I was able to recognize what I was feeling and then allow myself to fully feel my excitement for my son doing a hard thing without mistakenly trying to mask or enhance that JOY with food.

    Day Five (Thursday 6/4)
    What I ate
    MF Hot Cocoa
    MF Chocolate mint crunch bar
    MF honey mustard pretzels with 1 wedge light laughing cow swiss cheese
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G: Omelet (eggs/egg whites/peppers/onion/cheese/turkey/avocado/salsa)
    MF brownie, 2 T PB2, 2 T cool whip
    Water: 112 ouncespretzelsHow I felt
    I started my monthly cycle today so felt crampy and cravey most the day + had a headache in the evening. I was definitely more irritable as well, but knew why, so was able to successfully stay on plan which felt great.

    Things of Note
    -Went to a meeting with my husband and took my 4th fueling, but left it in the car. Our meeting went longer than expected and I ate about 1/2 an hour after I needed to, which led to the headache. It’s so vital for me to not go over that 3 hour between meals mark.
    -My sister brought my husband (who is an ice cream loving fool and works dang hard through working out and eating clean to stay lean so he can enjoy it basically whenever he wants) a PINT of Baskin Robbins flavor of the month: Mom’s Homemade Cookie Dough (which happens to be my favorite ice cream flavor) and it was the first time I had really felt tempted in five days. I noted the feeling, smelled it, and then continued fixing my meal. I remembered my WHY and focused on what I was choosing to have instead of what I was choosing not to. (Stop.Challenge.Choose). It worked! The craving literally passed within seconds.{video from the next morning talking about it below}

    Day Six (Friday 6/5)
    What I ate

    MF Hot Cocoa
    MF Chocolate mint bar
    MF BBQ Bites
    MF Caramel nut bar
    L&G: Crustless Chicken Pot Pie
    MF brownie, 2 T. PB2, 2 T. cool whip
    Water: 108 ounces

    How I felt
    Strong! I felt prepared and great all day.

    Things of Note
    -National Donut Day! I blogged THIS. It was as much fun for me to see my cute boys enjoy their donuts as it would have been to have the instant gratification of eating one & I didn’t have a stomachache after so that is a bonus! I look forward to the day when I can moderately eat a donut and not binge and I know it will happen, but for now, abstaining is a healthier choice for me.
    -My sister and her husband had our family over for dinner and she made copycat Cafe Rio with all the works. I prepped my meal beforehand and ate alongside everyone else. So much of social eating for me is about being able to eat WITH everyone at the same time, not necessarily eat WHAT they’re eating. This is a huge realization for me because it helps me see the socialization and feeling included is what is important to me.
    -I had a can of sparkling water during dinner and felt bloated and gassy throughout the evening. Pretty sure the carbonation did it to me and it’s not worth it!orangeblendDay Seven (Saturday 6/6)
    What I ate

    MF Orange blend drink + 1 T sugar free vanilla creamer
    MF Chocolate mint crunch bar
    MF honey mustard pretzels with 1 wedge light laughing cow swiss cheese
    MF caramel nut bar
    L&G: Turkey Unwich (Homemade Jimmy John’s Copycat)
    MF brownie, 2 T PB2, 2 T cool whip
    Water: 112 ouncesl&g2How I felt
    Felt awesome physically which was a good thing because mentally I felt super weak. Hard mommy day and definitely found my mind wanting to turn back to my old carbohydrate friend many times. A couple people made comments about what I’m doing for my health journey (one of the cons about making my journey so public) and I questioned myself a little, but then received confirmation several times through studying it out and really pondering that what I am doing may not be right for everyone, but it is right for me at this point in my life. Being that time of the month never helps things anyway and I remember never to take myself too seriously when I am overly hormonal. (;

    Things of Note
     -I shared this on my @healthconfessions Instagram feed: our family started a Saturday  tradition almost three months ago that has stuck. We turn on some tunes, dance and talk together as we make homemade pancakes, homemade maple syrup, scrambled eggs, and fruit. This is one of my all time favorite meals. But today and the past few weekends I haven’t eaten any of it. Today I got up early to prepare this meal before the kiddos woke (love summer sleeping in) & before the Mister got home from the gym and I drank an orange blend shake (it’s yummy!) instead of eating the delicious pancakes and syrup. Why? Because I am committed to staying on my plan right now. I am choosing what I want MOST over what I want NOW. My moderator friends often say things like, “just have it-deprivation will lead to anger and binging later,” or “why are you doing this to yourself?” Here’s the deal: Because I’m an abstainer. It REALLY is easier for me not to have any of something most of the time than it is to give myself an inch of allowance. I know that’s a frustrating concept for you moderators and that’s okay. It’s frustrating sometimes for me, too, and I hope to someday mold myself into a well functioning moderator. However, I’ll support you and not try to lock you into a strict plan with no room for error if you will support me by being okay with me not eating the dang pancake (or donut or chip or pizza or whatever!) And remember, it’s not forever, just for now. I’ll have a pancake again and I’ll enjoy it even more because it will be what I want in that moment. I’m slowly learning what works for me–optimal health is a journey, after all.caramelbar-I made homemade chocolate sheet cake with homemade chocolate frosting today for a friend’s birthday, my church class, and a dinner I was hosting for family Sunday night. I didn’t have one bite, lick, or taste, and instead felt awesome just serving other people through baking. (I try to be sensitive about when/what I take to people depending on what battles they may be fighting with food, too). I am pretty sure I enjoy the process of feeding others as much or more as feeding myself! Service is most often the way I show love to others which is why I love it, but I think part of it is that I like to live vicariously through other people as I watch them enjoy food, haha!
    -The book Brain Over Binge, by Kathryn Hansen, has been a great tool for me recently and I have been focusing on being present in the moment, allowing myself to feel the feelings and cravings of what I want, but then to NOT binge. And to not try and mask those feelings through eating OR distracting myself. I feel stronger for recognizing and moving through those times than trying to avoid them all together, because I know those thoughts and cravings will come and if I can face them head on I’ll be better prepared to overcome them.

     -Got myself and my littles out for a quick 10 minute walk and then to play outside in the sprinklers which helped my mommy mood for a while. I have to remember that getting out of the house-even just outside on the lawn-for an hour or so a day is very important for my mental health!

    Week one Weigh In: 160.0 (-4.6 pounds!)
    6.7.15 Woke up and had this sudden fear that I was going to step on the scale and not see any weight loss after a great on plan week. I panicked a little thought “What if that was the case? What would my reaction be?” I’m embarrassed to admit that in the past my reaction would have been to say, “Screw it! I am eating whatever the heck I want today since it doesn’t make a difference anyway!” I would have binged all day and felt awful because the SCALE (a tool that is useful, but is only ONE in a sea of other progress measuring tools) told me I wasn’t good enough or hadn’t done enough. Isn’t that crazy? I didn’t feel that way this time, though. I thought about it and realized that no matter what the scale said, I would continue my healthy journey because I FEEL so good that it doesn’t matter how long it takes for the scale to register what I want it to and I am making progress in every area. The mental transformation going on is the most important part anyway because that is what brings lasting changes. I felt balanced in mind and body stepping on the scale and although I was excited that it did in fact register my on plan week, I didn’t put too much stock in it at the same time because I knew I would make the same choices moving forward either way. 

    PS: Husband has so much self control (he’s a moderator) that there is STILL some of that amazing cookie dough ice cream in the freezer and it hasn’t even bothered me at all! Woohoo for non scale victories!

    **Typical results on our program are 2-5 pounds loss the first two weeks and 1-2 pounds a week thereafter.

  • NATIONAL DONUT/DOUGHNUT/DO NOT DAY

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    Happy National Day of the yummiest baked creation ever invented!Donut-Kurabiye1Donuts {or doughnuts if you prefer spending more time spelling and less time eating them} are one of my all time favorite foods.

    They are also one of the foods I’m pickiest about, meaning not just any donut can tempt or sway me & they are NOT all created equal. I LOVE our local bakery’s donuts more than any I’ve ever tried. Their maple bars and glazed donuts and pinto bars {chocolate/maple side by side} are uh.mazing! Second favorites would definitely be homemade deep friend donuts with homemade maple glaze. Um, yum! Of course I am a sucker for a Krispy Kreme donut right out of the oven and love a good gas station cake donut once a year or so and I probably won’t turn away from someone who offered me a random donut from any other place, but the simpler the better. No sprinkles or nuts or candy or jelly…okay, okay, with the exception of the raspberry filled donuts at Krispy Kreme-because oh my heck!-otherwise, plain jane for me. {Sidenote: My dad brought me a dozen of those raspberry filled donuts in the hospital after the birth of my last baby and I may or may not have eaten at least 6 of them in one day. Thinking of it kind of makes me wish I were about to have another baby right now! Ahem, I digress.}kkraspberryfilledToday I am getting my boys a donut in celebration of this most awesome baked deliciousness. However, because I’m committed to my 31 really great days this month, it will be National DO NOT eat the donuts day for me. It won’t be hard because I’ve already made a choice, but I will sure enjoy smelling them and watching my boys relish their yummy treats. And I’m totally having one in July!

    And if you decide to have a donut today, enjoy it. If not, enjoy being able to make that choice as well.

    Seriously though, go have a donut.

  • 31 GREAT DAYS

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    So yesterday I blogged about where I’ve been the past six months. Now I’ll explain a little about where I am NOW. I got back on the 5&1 plan April 27th because I felt like some much needed structure and guidance and not having to think about what to put in my mouth would be really great for me and throughout the first several weeks I did pretty well. I’d have a really good week to ten days and then have a slip up or two for a few days in a row. It wasn’t big stuff, just not sticking to plan consistently. I knew it was sabotaging the results I could be having and I was frustrated because I didn’t intend to stay on plan forever and wouldn’t get to my goal if I kept waffling back and forth. I ended up losing only 6 pounds in the first 34 days. Sure, I was pleased about the loss, but I knew it could have been 2-2.5 times more if I’d have really committed myself. So I decided to test my theory. I challenged myself to put in 31 really great on program days and see what I could do in that time period.31greatdaysStart date: May 31st
    End date: June 30th

    I decided to document each day to remember for my own sake & to help keep me accountable, but also in case any of you are interested in how this program works. At the beginning of each new week, I’ll post the previous 6-7 days report.

    I know great changes can happen in mind and body in a month’s time. What something are YOU going to do for the remainder of this month to change your life for good? It might be brushing your teeth twice a day more diligently, making a meal plan and sticking to it, finally reaching out and taking charge of your health, not yelling at your kids, speaking positively to yourself and others every day.  What is it for you? I’d love to hear about your goal. Let’s encourage each other!

    PS-If you need a great help in getting started, join our June Health Games! It’s fun, team oriented, and you learn lots of great healthy tips along the way. Do our plan or your own & have me for your free health coach either way. $23 gets you in and you’ll likely earn it back + some  if you meet your weight loss or maintenance goals + earn your daily health points. Woohoo! Join HERE today!

  • SINCE I’VE BEEN GONE…

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    meWhere the heck have I been for six months?I’ve been gone from the blogging world for a while, but now I’m back! I am looking forward to blogging again, and sharing some of me and my story with you, and hopes that others may be lifted up and encouraged on their own journey to optimal living.

    So what led to my six-month blog absence? I didn’t fall off the face of the earth, no major family issues arose, I didn’t get pregnant, have a baby, move, switch jobs, or have any major life crises. I simply needed a break. Recently I came across something that spoke to me in a book by Brene’ Brown, and she said she is a recovering perfectionist and aspiring good enoughest. I realized that I felt like I was failing in a lot of different areas, but mainly in my quest to overcome my issues and addictions to food. I was also feeling like blogging was a job and not something I enjoyed anymore, so it wasn’t a therapy for me anymore, it was becoming a perceived pressure, and that made me want to do it less and less. So I took some time off, and did a little soul-searching and took some me time. As a mom and wife, business owner, church volunteer, and trying to stay active with family, friendships and community, that isn’t always my first instinct. But I made it a priority to go to the gym 3 to 5 times a week, {my boys went with me which was awesome to have them see me making my health and fitness a priority}, I ate well most of the time, but still struggled with binge eating episodes some weekends. I read a lot of self development books and had a lot of long conversations with my husband about my perceived & real issues. And my desire to write again started coming back, but I feared that feeling like I had to would take away some of my authenticity.enoughestWhen I found that quote by Brene’ in her book The Gifts of Imperfection, I identified with it so much. I realize that in almost every area of my life, I am all or nothing. Of course you know that I’m an abstainer if you’ve been reading my blog for any extended amount of time, but being a perfectionist and an all or nothing personality has not served me. Instead, I do great when I’m on track and horribly when I’m off. There is no middle ground, no grace or forgiveness for myself, no allowance for me to be human. I not only felt this way with my body, my health program, the foods I put into my body, the exercise I did, the relationships I held, but also in relation to blogging. If I wasn’t blogging frequently enough, it wasn’t good enough. So instead of just doing it when I felt like it, I stopped altogether {which coincides with my all or nothing tendencies and doesn’t help me or anyone else at all}.abstinenceI definitely haven’t received total clarity in my mental health, but I have been focusing on striving to be okay with myself wherever I’m at. Instead of punishing myself for not meeting a certain standard that I set for myself-by binging or just being super disappointed in my lack of ability to be a perfect person in an imperfect world-I am giving myself more grace. I am focusing on health as a long-term goal rather than a destination. Instead, I am just working on remembering that I am worthy-I have innate worth-and my body is amazing no matter what size or shape it is, or what  choices I make.

    With that said, I know how I feel when I am 10-15 pounds above my goal weight, when I’m feeding my body unhealthy foods, when I’m full of inflammation, when I don’t get enough sleep, when I choose abusive behaviors {binging, secret eating, etc}, and when I feel like I’m not living up to my God-given potential. Because of that, I am focusing on making healthy choices and jumping back up WHEN I fall. In the past, if I binged, it would take me weekends-weeks-months to get back on track. Now, I am intentional, I’m enjoying myself, and if I happen to binge with or without intention and it turns into a day where I am totally off track and feeling awful, I forgive myself, I take responsibility, and I don’t let it derail me. Because food doesn’t have to own me, or have power over me, and I don’t have to be a slave to my previous addictions. Shaming myself and letting guilt in has done nothing but further my issues and confuse me because I end up feeling like I’m a lost cause which leads to more destructive behavior. Being honest-including with myself, my husband, and others-being intentional, and allowing myself to be human, have been the best gifts I could’ve given myself. I have been healthier in mind and body for it.

    So that’s where I’ve been and that’s where I am at. I appreciate your patience with me as I am human and imperfect and a striving good enoughest. And if you find yourself struggling with any of these same tendencies and want someone to chat with, I’m happy to have a conversation–please reach out anytime.

    PS: In my blogging absence I’ve still been somewhat active on Facebook and Instagram {@healthconfessions}, so make sure you’re following me over there, too!

  • KNOWLEDGE=POWER…DOESN’T IT?

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    Have you ever experienced a period of discomfort when you realize something has to change in your life? Maybe it’s your health, your finances, your attitude, a relationship, or a career move. That’s been me for the past couple months. I’m 75 pounds lighter than I was in high school and college and because I’ve been able to basically maintain that loss for a period of over 10 years, I find myself getting pretty comfortable-even arrogant-at times. But lately I’ve had this nagging feeling. Because I still recognize and know some areas that need changing, habits that need broken and created, and attitudes that need adjusting.

    I grew up believing that knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss.

    I’ve learned over the past several years though, that having knowledge does not equate to having power. If simply knowing things made us powerful, we would all be unstoppable and none of us would ever struggle with personal weakness. We would identify a weakness, study up on it, acquire the necessary knowledge about that weakness, and it would suddenly & painlessly become a strength.

    We do ourselves a disservice when we say that knowledge is power. Knowledge is a commodity-we can access and gain it easily. There is a plethora of information available at our fingertips and it’s easy to learn what we need to know.

    But knowledge isn’t power. Applied knowledge is power. This means we take action with what we know. We DO something with the knowledge we collect. Without application, knowledge is worthless. In fact, I’d rather live in blissful ignorance than to know something that could be helpful to my personal growth and not apply it in my life. {IE-it was MUCH more fun to eat an entire pan of lemon bars before I knew what I know now about balanced healthy eating!}knowledgeisntpowerEnter the discomfort I’ve been feeling the past couple months. I KNOW what I need to do. I KNOW what needs to change. I have so much knowledge about all things regarding health that I even coach others on their journey every day….but that knowledge is really nothing to me personally if I’m not willing to actually take action and apply it in my own life.

    So I’ve been doing. I’ve been stopping to think about what I really want. I’ve been challenging myself about why I do certain things or why I resist doing others. I’ve been choosing activities, habits, and options that will take me toward what I want most instead of what I want now.

    And it feels good! And I’m empowered, because I don’t simply know things, I’m applying the things I know. THAT is the sweet spot. That is where the real power lies.

    What knowledge are YOU going to apply today?

  • THE SKINNY MYTH

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    Confession: I thought when I got closer to my goal weight-that illusive & magical number on the scale-somehow everything would be different and I’d suddenly be everything I ever dreamed of.

    I know, it sounds ridiculous now that I put it into writing, but I seriously thought some permanent mental shift would occur and suddenly I’d be left with no confidence issues, no feelings of lack, no questioning my worth, no enormous problems in my every day life…everything would just somehow work out. 

    That’s not been my experience, though.  I’m still me and my issues are still my issues.  Imagine that!

    Last week I attended a health coaching convention in Anaheim and had an incredible time.  On the plane going there I began reading a book called Cold Tangerines, by Shauna Niequist.  She eloquently said exactly what I was feeling about this topic:

    “I thought a lot of things would get easier instantly.  And some have.  But many haven’t.  I thought, of course, that this was the key that would turn all the locks inside me, that would set in motion all the parts of my life that seemed stuck and stalled.  I thought seeing that magic, fabled, dreamt-of number on the scale would turn me into a person who revels in her own skin, who dances in her underwear, who walks into every room fearlessly and shamelessly.  I thought that number on the scale would protect me from the vulnerability I had always felt, that it would secure me, once and for all, a place at the cool kids’ table at lunch, my very own place in the world of successful, happy, confident people. 

    What I found, though, is that if you’re not chasing one fantasy, you’re chasing another.  If it’s not your body, it’s your bank account, and if it’s not your bank account, it’s your resume or your nose or your boobs or your car or the perfect marriage or the perfect vacation or the perfect child.  For two decades, I believed that if I could just get this one thing under control, then the whole of my life would magically bloom like a perfect, lush flower.  But to my great dismay, I realized that my life was still my life, and I was still myself, just in smaller pants.”

    My personal mental shift is in the works.  I’m focusing on enjoying the scale & non scale victories as they come; fitting into my size 8 American Eagle jeans that haven’t fit in YEARS, doing a double take when I walk by a mirror or see a picture of myself to realize that yes-that’s really what I look like, setting a good example for my clients, having more energy to play with my kids on a daily basis, losing 5% body fat in 15 weeks, saying no to the donuts I crave because I really desire the feeling that comes from health more than the feeling that comes from indulgence, and wearing a swimsuit-WITHOUT a cover up!-to swim with my boys in our little 3 foot pool.  And slowly, I’m coming to grips with the fact that while being close to goal makes certain things simpler, more enjoyable, and fun, it is not a fix-all.  If I don’t change the inside-my mental focus and attitude and habits-the outside will just be a shell, and more likely than not, the weight will come back anyway because the changes I’ve made will be temporary. 

    So I’m keeping my ego in check, focusing on the things I can change, and working on shifting the necessary gears in my mind and my daily habits so I can stay at a healthy place regardless of what life stuff I’m going through.  fishinsideandoutsideforwebAs always, I’d love to help you!  If you’re unhappy in body, mind, and/or finances, let’s set up a one on one meeting {phone/zoom/in person} and chat.  {Picture on the left was taken just over a year ago before birth of our third son, picture on the right was taken this past Monday.}

  • VISUALIZATION

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    I’m a huge fan of visualization.  Seeing something tangible helps me stay motivated.  I have a dream board in my kitchen office & I glance at it several times each day.  I keep a pair of goal jeans that I try on regularly to measure my progress.  I write daily affirmations, to do lists, goals, just because cards, and keep a meticulous food journal.  I like to see my progress on paper as much as in real life.  Does that make sense?  Can anyone else identify with that?twograndI was recently introduced to a new app by my BFF.  It is changing my life!  Seriously though, I am loving it.  It’s called TwoGrand and it’s a visual food journal.  Log everything you put into your mouth in pictures {preferably before it’s in your mouth!} and caption if you’d like.  After a while it gives you a real look into your eating habits, as well as keeps you accountable to anyone who follows you.  For some reason it was a LOT harder for me to cheat on my plan when I knew I’d be taking a picture that others would see than it is for me to just write it in my food journal.

    It takes food journaling to the next level.

    In their weekly email, Peter-one of the co-founders-says, “Food journaling is at it’s best when we log everything.”  I cannot agree more!  When I realized I would have to take a picture of every bite, lick & taste, it was easier for me to choose to walk away.  I only ate what I was willing to document.  Those little things add up and it’s easy not to take accountability for them, but with this new form of journaling, I adhered to my plan more closely & when I chose to have a cheat item, I didn’t go overboard like I would likely have done in the past.

    I wholeheartedly encourage you to download the app, follow me {username: healthconfessions, comment that you found me through my blog & I’ll follow you back!}, and start being accountable with your food.  I know it makes a huge difference!

  • MIND OVER BODY

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    I had two experiences last week that helped me realize I’m stronger & more capable than I know.

    Last week during one of my workouts, box jumps were one of the exercises.  I’ve been too chicken to try anything higher than the 14 inch box because even that feels like a big jump to me {this girl has NEVER been a jumper}, but I decided to try the 18 inch…and I did it!  Then I tried the 20…and I did it!  Multiple times!  It was a huge confidence booster and now I’m not as scared to try the 24 & 30 inch boxes…eventually! (;boxjumpThen, this Memorial day, the husband and I did something new.  We participated in the Murph Challenge WOD. 

    “[Michael P] Murphy was the leader of a four-man SEAL reconnaissance unit that secretly infiltrated into the Hindu-Kush mountains on June 27, 2005. Ambushed on the 28th by overwhelming Taliban forces, Murphy valiantly climbed into the open onto high ground to make an electronic call for rescue. Wounded, he fought on, allowing one member of his squad to escape, before he himself was killed. Murphy’s remains were found during a combat search and rescue operation, July 4, 2005.” {taken from HERE}

    Murphy loved Crossfit and his favorite WOD {workout of the day} was called Body Armour.  After he was killed, the workout was renamed Murph in his honor and every Memorial day, Crossfit gyms around the world host Murph WODS and raise money for his cause. 

    We had a blast!  The WOD is this:

    1 mile run
    100 Pull ups
    200 Push ups
    300 Squats
    1 mile run

    I had butterflies in my stomach on our drive over, but was so excited.  We were in the first heat and headed out for our first run when the timer beeped.  I was stoked after getting in and seeing my mile 1 time was 9:09 because I haven’t run an under ten minute mile since middle school!  I know that’s not a fast pace for most runners, but for me, it was so exciting!  I got right into the workout with husband by my side & it was tough!  We separated it into 20 rounds of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 squats and went to work.  I used different widths of bands for my pull ups {husband did strict pull ups the whole time! He rocks!} and did a mixture of pushups on my knees & hand release push ups.  By the time I finished my 20 rounds I was beat, but headed out for the second mile run.  I was slower this time-and walked about 1/4 of the mile, but got back & finished for a total time of 54:50.  I was stoked and felt awesome!  Husband gave me a big hug and we celebrated with others who were finishing. 
    krunwebk&zwebz&kmurphwebThis type of feat isn’t easy and my body often tells my mind I should be done.  I knew it was for a good cause and I was loving working out side by side my honey and other like minded health enthusiasts, but there were times my body wanted to say I was done.  But, my mind kept reminding my body it can do hard things! 

    Afterward I had such a sense of accomplishment at doing something I thought might be too hard for me.  I encourage you to go out today & try something {healthy} your mind doesn’t think your body can do.  If you need someone to be accountable to, I’m taking a few new clients through the end of May.  Contact me at: zkyoufit@hotmail.com or 541.216.2018

    {murph pictures taken by Andrea-a great photographer at the gym}