What did I do?

In yet another “Do all the things you really want to do, no matter how scary and/or absurd they seem to other people” move that I am getting really, really good at these last few months, I finally committed to a  program I have been wanting to try for a long time.

Like, a super incredible long time.  I first stumbled on the folks over at GMB Fitness when I was looking for hip stretches on youtube.   I’ve had hip issues since I had my first child six years ago.  I have an amazing chiropractor who helps immensely, but there’s still a lot of weakness and I’m always really tight through my hips and groin.

I was impressed by their programming, but even moreso by how fun it looked.  You know I’m a huge fan of play, I don’t shy away from my weirdness!  I firmly believe that adults should have fun alongside the kids at the playground, and we all know there’s never been a mud puddle I could resist.

So as I clicked through the videos, I was like, “YES! I NEED TO DO THIS!”

But I’m a mom, and at the time I couldn’t justify spending the time or money on something that was so selfish.  HA!  By couldn’t, of course, I mean wouldn’t.   I struggled with investing in myself, in acting on what I desired, in spending money on something that wasn’t for the house or the kids.

And then I made the biggest, bravest, scariest decision of my life.

And now all of these other things, all these 37 Before 37 goals, they seem easy.  They seem fun, and important, and absolutely worth investing in because I AM worth investing in because I’m fun and important.  Ya know?


So what is the GMB Fitness Elements Program?  I don’t really follow because you’ve been rambling, Michelle.

Right?  I do that, don’t I?

Elements is an 8-week online training program that uses locomotive exercises and targeted mobility work to build your strength, flexibility, and motor control.

The program focuses on 3 movements, The Bear, The Monkey, and The Frogger.  (Click the links to view videos of the movements)

They look fun, right?

Fun and intimidating.  I’m like an eighty-seven year old with hip issues and like no mobility, remember?

The program includes a 45 day money back guarantee, and multiple times says that it’s open to ALL fitness levels.

So am I scared? A bit.  But I’m crazy pumped to start tomorrow and take the assessment!

Will you all do me a huge favor and randomly scold me into actually committing to the program?  Some Suggestions:

Growl at me, throw bananas at me (I almost said feces because monkey, but eww, no!) make croaking Bud-Wise-Er sounds in my general direction, or just flat out tell me to not be a lazy ass.

I’m so grateful for all of your love and support through all of my crazy ideas!  I can’t wait to share the results of this program with you all.  Love love, kiss kiss!

#Goal Skin That Looks As Good As A Snapchat Filter

Skin that looks as good as a Snapchat Filter.

Yeah, you read that right.   I said that out loud, and now I can’t take it back.  (I mean, I guess I could just not do it, but where’s the fun in that?)

You know exactly what I mean, and judging by the number of my fellow thirty-something closer to forty-something year old friends who post photos on Facebook and Instagram of them with Snapchat Filters, we’re in good company.

No matter how much of a mess I look, I know I can login to Snapchat and take a photo where I’m kinda ridiculously hot.  I have about a .0000784% chance of ever learning to kill the makeup application that accompanies so many of the filters, but is it really about the makeup?

Nah.  It’s all about the flawless skin!  No one looks bad with a Snapchat filter.  #Science 

As part of this whole 37 Before 37  goal list I’m undertaking, I decided I should really learn how to take care of my skin and this face I have while it’s still aiiiight looking.  I have forehead wrinkles now, I have crows feet and smile lines and eye bags and fat pads under my eyes.  If I walked into a surgeons office, he’d have a field day with my face.

But really, that’s bananas.  I have all of those things because I walk around smiling on a near constant basis.  I’ve earned those things, man.  And I’m not about to let some fictional surgeon I just made up take those away from me.

On the other hand, because well obviously, I’m also just a tiny little bit vain, and like, aren’t we all?

So when a bunch of my female friends of a similar age started going nuts over these  K-Beauty Routines, I was all in.  I had a gift card from Sephora for over a month that I somehow managed not to spend, and the lovely Skin Care Consultant managed to compliment me and say my skin wasn’t “That Bad” and I “have a great face to work with”   (Pretty sure she was a VH1 level pick up artist and she totally negged me, but whatever, it worked! Haha!)

I’m about a week or so in, and I’m loving the results.  My skin feels so soft, and is crazy hydrated and dewy looking.

 

I mean, hello?  

I’m not going to cross this one off the list just yet, but dang, it’s doing wonders for my skin and my confidence.

I’d love to hear more about your skin care routine, and any products you absolutely recommend!

That happened.

Yesterday I got to have a fun, much needed afternoon lunch with some of my favorite mom friends.  I’m incredibly lucky to have the support system that I do, and so grateful for these ladies.

While at said lunch, I jokingly said I should go get a tattoo.   “Yes!  Seriously yes, let’s do it!”

An hour later, this happened.

And then I had this:

It is likely the most spontaneous thing I have ever done.  It is for sure the most spontaneous thing I have ever personally initiated.  

The artist tried to get me to turn it the other way, but no dice.  This is for me, dude.

A reminder to love myself, to always choose love, to respond with love, to appreciate and accept all the love the universe is hell bent on bestowing on me.

I think my response was, “Nah.  I kinda hate everyone though.”

I don’t, obviously, but I tend to make jokes rather than getting too real.  I’m working on that too.  That’ll take some time, though, I can’t unlearn it over night, right?

So here’s to doing all the big scary things, to not overthinking, to trusting the process without knowing the outcome.

To smashing that quiet voice inside that says “You can’t/shouldn’t/won’t.”   To loving and accepting that other, braver, more authentic voice that wants to shout out “Yes!  Seriously let’s do it!” and then does it.

To doing the damn thing.

And loving it, of course.

This is my face after being told to stop giggling. 

I don’t know what to do with my face if I’m not laughing.  

 

Cross that one off!

If you’re playing along at home, I just knocked one thing off my list of 37 before 37!

To be fair, I said I’d learn to juggle…not that I’d learn to juggle well.

I am going to keep practicing because well, it’s fun as heck,  and I don’t want to half arse it, ya know?

Also, it’s a really great way to kill time waiting for Bree to get off the bus from school.

Yes, I live on a main road and no, I do not care that I’m the neighborhood weirdo.

Living the dream, y’all.

What should I tackle next?

I’m kinda the worst, right?

So much has changed since my last update.  I’m still crushing it with keto, and it’s so easy that it almost feels unfair.  The scale seems to be holding steady at about 180, but I’m still losing inches and feeling awesome.

I’ll be real honest for a minute, and say that my focus right now is really on improving my mental health.  I’ve got the fitness, food and sleep parts down, and right now I’m all about my mindset.  My brain and I, we aren’t the best of friends at the moment.  I’m overthinking everything, questioning myself, driving myself insane.

My life has been messy and complicated, but that’s life right?  Sometimes you just have to trust in the plan and step bravely into the unknown.

Things have been weird, different, and wildly wonderful.  It’s a strange mix of emotions at all times, but I feel like the Hot Mess Express will be pulling through the tunnel at any moment.  I’m not sure what the destination is, but I’ve decided to trust in things larger than me and see where I end up.

Do I sound like some weird new age version of a random positive meme generator, or what?

The kids are amazing, of course.  I have no idea how I got so lucky, but I swear my two favorite people on the planet just so happen to be MY kids.  Funny how that works out, right?  I wouldn’t trade those two silly, messy, thoughtful beings for anything in the world.

I just celebrated my 36 birthday,  and I’ve decided to take on a new list of 37 challenges I’d like to master before turning 37 next November.  Even though last year’s list had a bunch of things left to finish, I’ve decided to scratch that and start anew.

Here’s to new beginnings, and to maybe finally figuring out this whole life thing??

Nah, probably not.  But mazel tov to new beginnings at least!

 

Literally every post ever.

Seriously, every post. Every single one, right?

This time though I’m here with a happy update. Back in February I talked about starting keto. And then again in March, and April, and May, and June and you already get where this is going because you know the months of the year.

In August, me and my hustle got taken down by the flu, which then turned into pneumonia. It was miserable and I slept for basically a week straight. I lost like 10 pounds. My body was mad at me, and was like, “Rest already!”

I finally started when I got back on my feet on August 31st. Except, I’m a sugar addict and surrounded by chocolate and ice cream all day at work. I cheated. That’s how I roll.

Or rolled I should say. After a week, I felt bad and dove in for real.

You know those $1.99 weekly magazines where some woman is interviewed for losing 200 pounds, and she says some variation of “I don’t know what was different this time. Something just clicked and I finally stuck with it. If I can do it anyone can!”

I get it now. I always thought it was some BS fluff, but now I totally understand.

It’s been easy. I’m no longer a sugar addict. My glucose numbers are normal. I’m turning down chocolate lava cake, ice cream, peppermint patties easily. Like, I don’t even care or feel like I’m missing out.

We even attended an event with a cheesecake bar, and I was totally cool just drinking my coffee with butter.

Who the heck am I even?

Right now I’m down to 195 pounds. 10 more and I’ll weigh what I did in middle school. Middle school. That’s bananas.

And totally awesome. I can’t believe how easy this way of eating is. I never feel deprived or hungry, and weight is literally falling off.

Have you tried Keto? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear more!

I promise some day I’ll figure out how to line these photos up right.  Maybe, hopefully.  

Maybe I’ll even get a photographer who isn’t 4 or 5 years old.  😂😂😂

Oh, hey! I’m getting good at these “I’m back!” posts!

It’s been almost a year since I’ve posted.  I’m fairly confident that like 1/8 of my posts are posts where I claim, “I’m back!  I’m totally going to crush it, now!  I’ve got my head on right, no more Fake It Til You Make It!  I’m for real this time.”

This isn’t one of those posts.  I mean, obviously I’m back.  But I’m not here to lie and talk a big game where I know there’s going to be minimal follow-through, I’m not here to post all the BS Motivational Monday Memes I can find, to wax poetic with quotes about how I’m a winner, full of fire and determination.  I’m here, and that’s all I can promise right now.

See, three weeks ago I started doing a ton of research on Keto.  As I always do, I dove into podcasts and books, blogs and facebook groups.  I found all the popular people, I followed them.  I researched recipes, planned meals, and went shopping.

I wrote a little journal entry praising myself and my newfound lifestyle.  Talked a big game, about how I was going to stick with this and change my life.  For myself, for my family, for all of us.

 And then I started.

Except I didn’t.  I kind of did.  I made it three days before deciding that I needed a drink.  And then there was that party.

So I started again.  The Next Monday.  Another Journal entry:  Day One Again.  Big game talk, and then realizing that the actual Big Game (remember when you couldn’t say SuperBowl?  Why was that?!) was this week, so why not wait until next week so I can eat whatever I want?

Can you guess what I did today?  Another Journal Entry:  Day One…Again.  For Real.

It’s almost comical right?  I’m going to run out of qualifiers, and I’ll still be writing random Day One journal entries.  Just 200 pages of entries titled “Day One _____, _______:_______.”  An entire journal full of nothing but excuses, fake outs and blatant lies I tell to myself.

No, I have to be honest.  I know myself well enough to know that I’m not speaking my truth.

What do I need to do to actually do it this time?  I have to really want it, and I’m only 87% sure I do.  There’s this part of me that says, “Maybe you’re not worth it.  You’ll fail, and you’ll have to admit that all this time has been wasted.  You don’t deserve this.”

That was the scariest, most honest thing I’ve ever shared here.  People who know me can attest that I am full of confidence. I’ll get up and speak in front of any group at any time, I’ll dance my heart out knowing I can’t dance.  I know who I am, and I love who I am.  But there’s always been this part of me that’s terrified to fail, to get hurt.

If you don’t try, you can’t fail, right?

I’ve spent 35 years with my feet firmly planted inside my comfort zone.  It’s snuggly here, and I’m surrounded by my favorite people.  I know what to expect.

But I’m tired of feeling like I’m stuck here.  I don’t want to wake up in ten years, with a journal full of “Day One” entries.  I don’t want to find out that the feeling of regret that comes from “What If?”far, far, far outweighs the current fear of failure.  And I’m 100% sure that it will.

I’m not a math genius, but even I can see that 100% is greater than 87%.  (Though I had to delete my first draft sentence there, because I put the less than sign instead of greater than…and then remembered PacMan, and that I should stick to words because numbers require me to google.  Don’t tell.)  Maybe I should just focus on doing the scary things, and see what follows?

So that’t the new plan.  Stop bullshitting everyone.  Be authentic, and just do the scary things.  Like sharing my actual weight, and measurements and pictures.  Share the photos of my bad angles, the ones with the double chins.  Don’t hide the “bad” foods and slip ups.  Stop hiding behind this screen, and let the universe know what’s up.  

I mean, anyone who sees me can see this, so “hiding” it and not sharing doesn’t make it any less true.  So let’s share!  (I’m on a roll here, two super scary arse things in one post.  Eeeeek!)

Day One (*Maybe):  February 13, 2017

Photos taken by a 5 year old, don’t hate.  

Height:  5’5″

Weight:  224.2

Measurements:

Waist- 45.5

Hips- 50.5  (this includes my lovely hang from two c-sections)

Bicep- (L) 14

Bicep- (R)  14

Forearm- (L)  10

Forearm- (R)  10

Thigh- (L)  22

Thigh- (R)  22

Calf- (L)  16

Calf- (R)   16

 

I know I’m not alone in this.  If you’re like me, if you can relate in any way, send me a message or comment below.  I’d love to chat!

 

Breakfast + Me = BFFs

Are we friends on social media?

If we’re not, then you should go click those little links to the right, because then you’ll start to understand how much I love breakfast.

And if we are then you already know how much I love breakfast.  My list of loves in life pretty much goes 1) Kids/Husband 2) Breakfast 3) Everything Else.

Specifically I have a love for Breakfast Salad.

breakfast salad

Yup, it’s exactly what it sounds like.  Slap an egg on it and enjoy!

I know it sounds weird.  A few months back I would have thought it sounded weird.  “Salad?  You mean like lettuce, tomato, cucumber? That salad?!  Salad isn’t a breakfast food!” seems like something I would have said had I had a fake conversation with my past self.

But what are the benefits of breakfast salad?

I’m so glad you asked because I’m actually doing a bit of research right now!  Well, not right now right now.  Right now I’m writing this, but you know what I mean.  (You’re smart like that!)

I spend so much of my free time researching nutrition, it’s almost bonkers and I’ve come across some amazing facts that I can’t wait to share.  I’m not a doctor or a scientist, and I don’t pretend to play one on TV or the internet, but the amount of studies and information available to us is astounding.  

There’s just so much information I’m going to break it down into a few parts.  The word count about the benefits of eggs alone has got to be close to 1,000.

I don’t want to leave you totally hanging though, so I’ll leave you with this study from Purdue University.

“Wayne Campbell, Ph.D., Professor of Nutrition Science, Purdue University working with postdoc fellow Jung Eun Kim, Ph.D., R.D., conducted a study to assess the effects of egg consumption on carotenoid absorption from a raw mixed-vegetable salad. Sixteen healthy young men ate three versions of the salad — one with no egg, one with 1.5 scrambled whole eggs, and another with 3 scrambled whole eggs. Those who ate the highest egg amount with the salad of tomatoes, shredded carrots, baby spinach, romaine lettuce, and Chinese wolfberry increased absorption of carotenoids 3-9 fold. This is a very significant effect, said Campbell. The carotenoids found in the salad include beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, the latter two being found in egg yolk as well.

The research grew out of his group’s previous study showing that by adding certain oils to mixed raw vegetables, the consumer experienced enhanced absorption of carotenoids.”

 

Breakfast Salad is legit, y’all.  And I’ll be back with even more awesome benefits that will have you piling your plate high with leafy greens before 9am every day.

Shhh…Just Listen.

I’ve spent my whole life blissfully unaware of how certain foods effect me.  I was so out of tune that I could ignore things, and just consider them normal.

I have a confession:  I’ve taken a head first dive off the wagon straight into a chocolate swimming hole, surrounded by fried foods and take out.

See, I have a really fun, amazing job that takes over my life from March until October every year.  I’m lucky that the kids come with me, and someone actually pays me to plan fun theme weekends and make sure that our guests are having fun.  The days are long, and it’s an adjustment from the winters when I have all the time in the world to cook and food prep.  I’m tired and cranky and I just don’t wanna!

I still make 90% of our meals, and I make sure that everyone is getting in healthy nutrient dense foods mostly.  But we are literally surrounded throughout the day by a food truck, candy, cupcakes, ice cream…all of those things that I’ve found myself sneaking the last three weeks.

I think, “No biggie!  I’ll just do better tomorrow.”  And tomorrow the cycle continues.  And then I feel guilty because I know it’s just me making bad choices even though I know better.  It’s a mess, and I’m a mess.

And you know what’s happened?  My body is revolting.  When you eat poorly all the time it’s so easy to miss the warning signs, because you just feel bad all the time and don’t even know it.

 I promise you it’s true.

In the last three weeks alone, I’ve experienced:

Acne on the back of my neck

Eczema (This is totally new for me)

Joint pain (Mostly in my hips, making it hard to walk)

Increased irritability (Sorry y’all!)

Trouble Sleeping

High Blood Sugar

 

And of course!  I’m stressed, feeling overwhelmed at my suddenly tight schedule.  I’m feeling guilty because I’m not being the best version of myself in my family relationships because I’m stressed.  I’m turning to comfort foods and take out to “reward” everyone because I feel guilty about not being the best version of myself right now.  Do you see the pattern, too?

Stress and guilt, refined carbs and sugar, not sleeping well?  Of course my body is screaming for more attention and to be carefully cared for and fed!

seymour

More Vegetables, Please!

I can’t ignore the signs now that I’m healthy enough to recognize them.  I’ve tried, but it’s not pretty.

It’s time to buckle down.  Dial it in.  Take the bull by the horns.  Do the hard yards.  Be about it.

And other random sayings that basically mean “Stop being stupid, and just do it already.”   

Sleep Smarter Book Review

I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of “Sleep Smarter” written by one of my absolute favorite people in the world of health and fitness, Shawn Stevenson.  You may know Shawn as the creator of the number one rated Fitness and Nutrition show on iTunes, The Model Health Show.  Along with his co-host Jade, Shawn shares an insane amount of knowledge in all things health and wellness each week, topped off with an enthusiasm that is sure to motivate and inspire.

I’d go as far to say that he is the single most motivating person I’ve ever listened to, and y’all know I love podcasts!

So when the opportunity to review the book came along, I jumped at the chance.  I may even have broken out some old school cabbage patch/running man hybrid dance when I read the email.  Ok, I totally did.  For like a solid minute, at least.  Have I mentioned that I’m a huge fan?

sleepsmarterbook

Time to dig in!  Breakfast Salad and Sleep Smarter. 

 

Sleep has been a major struggle for me for the last four years.  Neither of our children are what you’d call “good sleepers” or even decent sleepers.  I’ve spent the last four years walking in a fog, supplementing my lack of sleep with caffeine (and chocolate, no doubt) and wanting nothing more than to wake up feeling refreshed.

I’m not even slightly exaggerating that I lost my keys at least four times a week.  Do you know how stupid that will make you feel?  Once, twice, or six hundred times it’s funny.  Nine hundred and fifty-two?  That stops being a cute quirk and becomes a real problem.  I’m surprised no one forced me into an MRI machine for a brain scan.

But how could this book help with that?  How could this book possibly help a sleep deprived mother?  It’s not like you can change the way your kids are sleeping so you can sleep better in turn, right?

Wrong.  The tips and tricks in the book aren’t just for adults they can be applied to help everyone in the family sleep smarter, and wake up more rested.  (I mean some are, but I’m fairly sure most of our kids aren’t hitting the booze bottle before bed!)

kids

Look at these well rested, happy faces!

Today is the last day to pre-order the book and receive some amazing bonuses:

  • $25 Thrive Market Gift Card + 1-Month Free Membership
  • Free one year (10 issue) subscription to Men’s Health or Women’s Health Magazine
  • Free Sleep Smarter Video Series ($49 value)

Check out the full list of bonuses for purchasing more than one copy, and give a copy to a friend or family member who needs better sleep.  That’s all of us, right?

Bottom Line:

The book is well-written and comes across more like a conversation with a friend than a “How To” book.   If you know Shawn, you’ll hear his voice in your head as you’re reading along…and if you don’t know Shawn you’ll still enjoy the jokes and stories.  The information is concise, practical and applicable.  The 14 Day Plan included is a game changer, and will help you to improve your sleep and in turn improve your life.

Buy it.  Buy it now!

 

 

I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”