Smoothie Face

This morning I woke up to a teething baby who has perfected the art of whining… not crying, whining. Since I had done all that there was to be done I plopped her in her treadmill toy and proceeded to make myself a smoothie. The whole time pretending like I didn’t want to bang my head against the counter… again and again.

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That’s right. I did what all suburban housewives are supposed to do… I grinned and bared it. I do that a lot but I do have to say that one of my best attributes is my smile. I’ve got naturally straight white teeth. In fact, the invention of braces kind of ticks me off because without it I would have an aesthetic edge over many. But instead, I look like everyone else.

Despite the fact that I have a super fussy baby I went the extra mile and actually put makeup on too. I had accomplished two things today, a smoothie and a face. I drove Bridget to school grinning away pretending like the non-stop whining noise coming from my infant was the cutest thing I’ve ever heard.

I actually kind of went over board with the whole grinning bit…

I smiled at my neighbor and gave a little wave.

I smiled at the lady who cut me off and waved her over as if I wanted her to do it.

And when I dropped Bridget off I smiled at her and wished her a great day. She  smirked, and gave me a quick hug goodbye… pssh, preteens.

When I got home and put the baby down for her nap. I walked by the mirror and flashed one more smile just to remind myself that I am indeed pretty and this is what I saw…

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Do you need a closer look?!

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Now please do me a favor and try to focus on the spinach, berries and chia seeds that are stuck in my teeth and not the dry skin, huge pores and blonde fu manchu.

I’m going to carry on with my day now. Penelope is done taking her fifteen minute nap, I’ve got a ton of grad work to do and I need to guzzle an entire bottle of red wine… Don’t worry I’ll post what that does to my teeth too.

Have a great day everyone and remember to keep on smiling!

The Little Things

Yesterday while I was driving to the gym I saw an old lady walking her cat on a leash. At first I thought it was a monkey but it indeed was a cat. For some inexplicable reason this put me in the best mood.

Manic maybe?

Since I’m in this mood I feel it is a great time to share some of the things that make me happy. The following are listed in no particular order.

1. Groundhog Day– Punxsutawney Phil is a celebrity at our house. For as long as Bridget could remember we would wake up early on February 2nd to see if Spring was on its way.

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The beauty of relying on a groundhog to do the predicting is that if he doesn’t say what you want then you can disregard it because he’s just a groundhog. What does he know anyway? He’s scared of a shadow for crying out loud!

2. Cupcakes– I know this is a weight loss blog and we shouldn’t speak of such things but moderation is the key. Cupcakes are even better when you can use them to celebrate random holidays like Groundhog Day…

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or co-ed golf themed bridal showers…

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or poolside birthday parties…

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3. Sparkly Snow- I like snow on sunny days for a few reasons. First, if it’s sunny then the likelihood of it melting before it gets annoying is high. Second, it sparkles…duh. And third, it’s probably warm enough to play in.

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I woke up to this beautiful scene this morning and this view reminded me of all of my failed attempts at a vegetable garden, which brings me to the next…

4. Gardening– I said it makes me happy, I didn’t say that I was good at it. We’ve been in our house for two summers and both times I have tried and failed to have a vegetable garden.

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The first year I managed to hoe up all of the weeds and I was just about to plant the seeds when I had to go out-of-town unexpectedly. My grandmother died that summer and I was gone for almost a month. We came back to a jungle of weeds… it was awesome.

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The second year I was extremely pregnant and hoed up half of my yard in some peasant form of nesting. My friend Cate worried about me and came over to help.

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The bulbs she planted here were the only things that were actually planted. Once Penelope came along my dreams of a garden were replaced with poopie diapers and endless breastfeeding.

But if you’ve been reading for long enough you know that if at first I don’t succeed I try and try and try again… It borders on lunacy.

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 So far I have successfully kept an herb garden in my kitchen and I’m so excited for spring this year so that I can try again.

4. Avec Eric- I stumbled on this little gem on New Year’s Eve. It’s on Hulu and I sat down with steamed lobster tails, a salad and a glass of wine and had the best time watching this show. This may have been attributed to the wine (I’m a cheap date) but I watched it again sober and have quickly developed a celebrity crush on Eric… he’s French.

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I love his outlook on food and life in general. I’ve already watched both seasons since then. I like the first season best but you should check it out.

5. Sum Sum Summa Time– Summer is by far my favorite season of the year. As soon as the Christmas decorations are taken down I pine for the day that summer will begin. It’s just made up of so many of the little things that make life enjoyable like riding your bike to the pool…

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evenings spent sprinkler hunting…

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backyard campouts…

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and hiking of course…

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6. Tacky Holiday Decorations– Speaking of which I STILL need to get the Christmas lights down from my roof. Whenever the weather is great I’m home with the baby alone, then when I do have someone to watch Penelope the roof is covered in snow. Plus, I have a bad track record with roof tops. You can ask my brother-in-law Bryce, his neighbor had to rescue me one time because I was laughing too hard to get down. Then there was this other time when I had to borrow a ladder from my brand new neighbor so that I could climb on my roof in my purple bathing suit… in November… (long story). My lights are red and white so I’m tempted to play it off like I’m celebrating Valentine’s Day with lights. I did say TACKY decorations after all…holiday

7. Library Treasures- There is nothing like just randomly grabbing a book off of the shelf at the library only to find that it was the best read you’ve had in years. I don’t know if it’s the fact that you have no expectations going in that make it so great or what, but here are a few of my favorite library finds…

Angry Housewives Eating Bonbons by Lorna Landvik

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That led me to Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik which was even better…

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Then, I found the rose trilogy by Jennifer Donnelly. (She wrote back to me on Facebook one time… I was star struck.) I happened to pick up The Winter Rose first which is actually the second book in the trilogy. The next book I read was The Wild Rose which is the last one. Finally this winter I read The Tea Rose which is supposed to be the first book. If you love strong female characters, mystery, scandal and a dash of sex with a lot of romance you will LOVE this series. Each book highlights a different female character. What I love about it is the fact that 1) they are strong enough to save themselves and 2) they’re lives are connected so you get to check in on the characters that you’ve come to love.

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8. Hot Air Balloons– We are fortunate enough to live close to a popular hot air balloon launching spot. There are many times I’ll be sitting on my back deck drinking coffee and one will fly overhead. Bridget loves it when they are close enough to see us wave at them.

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9. Music- I especially like to find music that no one else has found yet… Okay, who am I kidding? I’m not cool enough to discover this music but my best friend is. She’s that cool “aunt” who climbs Machu Picchu, founds a television festival in Austin (ATX) and discovers awesome music. She then passes it along to me. It’s my life line to the person I was before kids. (Not that Radio Disney isn’t awesome.) Because of her I have been introduced to numerous artists of all kinds of genres and through this music I get to experience all kinds of perspectives.

10. Long Runs With My Dog– Sir Scout is our knight in shining armor. Sure he interrupts my running occasionally to sniff a butt or two but he’s a great running partner. Plus, he kind of pulls me along when I need a little encouragement.

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11. Old Ladies Walking Monkies Cat’s on Leashes– I’m just as baffled as you are as to how this could make me so happy but for some reason it does.

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It really is all about the little things in life… What makes you happy?

The Pee Pee Dance

I’m so confused… after having two not so great weigh-in’s in a row I told myself that I was going to up my calorie intake to what is recommended for my current weight to see if my metabolism has slowed down. I did that for about two days. Then, I got a big slap in the face this weekend when Brent hung up my Lululemon hoodie and turned to me and said, “Are you ready for this?”

For those of you who haven’t read Operation Lululemon, my husband and I have a bet as to whether or not I can zip my jacket up by Valentine’s Day. If I can, then I get to go shopping for more Lululemon attire. If I can’t then he get’s something. I’ve only got two weeks to win this challenge. Now is not the time for science experiments!

What do I do?! I can’t plateau anymore but I don’t want to waste time trying to figure out what is going on. This is so weird because a few months ago I would have jumped at the chance to have an excuse to eat more. But I’m on a roll and don’t want to screw that up. Most importantly, I want to kick my husband’s butt!

Speaking of butt kicking…

I met up with my friend at Crossfit Bodywerx today for a round of “Brent is mad at me for stealing the covers last night so I must suffer”. Take note… if you can help it NEVER let your spouse be your personal trainer. My problem is that my husband is just so blasted good at it that I just can’t help myself.

I tried to get Brent to take pictures while we worked out but he told me he was my trainer not my photographer… Well excuse me Mr. Big Trainer Pants!

Here is the workout and the terrible pictures that he did manage to take…

Warm-up:

(The following were done down one end of the gym and back again.)

Toy Soldiers

Spider Lunges

10 air squats

Using a medicine ball as a spotter to help you focus on form

3×5 barbell back squat

Once again going light and focusing on form

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Holding the bar hurt Morgan’s shoulder so she did it with a kettlebell behind her back.

WOD

(workout of the day)

 Part 1: The Butt

 3 rounds of 20 walking lunges and penguin walks

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You look really special while doing this but it KILLS your butt.

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Here I am lunging… well, that actually looks more like the pee pee dance. Let’s try that again.

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Oh brother, that seriously looked so much better in my head.

This is the point where Brent informed me that he was not the photographer. After looking at the pictures I’m pretty sure he just knew he wasn’t any good at it. But Penelope thought it was rude…

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At this point I was too tired to care and we weren’t done by a long shot.

Part 2: The Tummy

Tabata Intervals

planks

flutter kicks

twisting med ball tosses (5 burpees for each time you drop it)

Part 3: The lungs

Three rounds of shuttle runs and 15 russian kettle bell swings

We had to do these as fast as possible. My times were 28 seconds, 25 seconds and 24 seconds.

After that workout I didn’t care how many calories I ate just as long as I got some food in my belly. I’m still a little confused but I’m going to try not to overthink it. If I’m hungry I’ll eat a little more if I’m not I’ll eat a little less. All I know is that I better be able to zip up that hoodie without looking like a ten pound sausage in a five pound casing.

The Secret Elixir of Success

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After nine months of pregnancy, six months of breastfeeding and three months of still trying to figure things out I managed to get a babysitter for the first time and go out for a night on the town. We went to see our friend Chase “Prison Stare” Hackett fight at the Paramount in Denver, also on the ticket was Chris “The Hammer” Holland. We’ve been waiting for weeks for this fight and I was so excited to go.

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From left to right: Chase Hackett, Chris Holland, Wade Brinkman and Nick Macias

In Fighting Shape I introduced you to Factory X Muay Thai/MMA  and the world that I never thought I would be introduced to. When Factory X first came into business Marc, the owner, asked my husband if he wanted to be the conditioning coach for the fighters. Brent agreed and suddenly we were immersed in the fight world. Before I knew it we had dudes with scary looking tattoos coming to our house for cookouts. (Nick if you promise my husband won’t get drunk when you come over then you are invited for dinner… we kind of miss you.) Since then the conditioning coach position has been switched over to our good friend Wade Brinkman. (Wade you can come over too but the same rules apply… oh and you have to bring your wife.)

The crazy thing is that once you get to know these guys they somehow manage to worm their way into your heart and you become invested in their success. Every fight you go to is an emotional roller coaster and you cheer until your voice is hoarse or you cover up your face and try not to cry if the fight isn’t going your way. It sounds emotionally exhausting and it is… but it’s also exhilarating.

Over the years Factory X and it’s fighters have made a name for themselves and they are selective about who they let represent them. Not only do the fighters have to be well-rounded in their skill set but they have to be decent people as well. Factory X is like a family and in order to be invited in you have to be courteous to the other fighters and uphold the utmost in professionalism through the art of sportsmanship. After all, they have programs for kids as well, many times being taught by the actual fighters. These guys are role models. If you are embraced in this family of sorts Jarah “Factory X Mama” (Marc’s wife) will even make you her famous chocolate chip banana bread to reward you for managing to cut enough weight for another weigh-in.

Last night Factory X had two of their fighters on the card, which means more bang for your buck as far as I’m concerned. The first fighter was Chris Holland who I don’t know personally. But since he’s a Factory X fighter I couldn’t help but feel the pit of my stomach jump when he walked into the cage. Once the fighter’s touched gloves the fight was underway.  They exchanged a few leg kicks and jabs and before I knew it Chris was getting punched hard over and over and I wanted to close my eyes as my heart sank. But it wasn’t over, Chris stumbled and fought to stay on his feet and managed to return the favor by knocking his opponent with his signature “big right” fist. Chris had managed to hit his opponent so hard he stumbled and leaned against the cage for support. Chris charged after him but the round was over and the opponents made their way to their corners. As the fighters sat in their corners you could see Chris recuperating and his opponent sagging on his stool.

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The second round went under way and Chris didn’t waste any time finishing what he had started. I screamed so loud the guy in front of me turned around to see who the banshee sitting behind him was but I didn’t care! Before I knew it the ref was waving his arms to signal that Chris had won by technical knock out. I was so happy I wanted to hug the weirdo in front of me… but I didn’t.

Next up was Chase, if you don’t know him he’s quite the character. He’s known for his good looks and the creepy mustache he donned during his stint on TUF 15. If you are a UFC fan then you know what that is. (Since this is a weight loss blog written by a woman who complains about lactation I’m assuming you don’t.) All you need to know is that he’s a pretty big deal and his success means a great deal to us. Oh, and he can rock a pair of skinny jeans like no other… or whitey tighties.

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My anxiety was mounting as he walked onto the stage to the music and made his way to the cage. The fight got under way at mach speed. It was so fast paced that it was hard for my brain to register what was going on at first. They were both landing punches and jabs but it was such a blur I couldn’t tell what was going on. Then Chase got hit hard and his legs buckled a bit but he gained his composure again and fought back. Then he got hit again, and again. Each time he got up and kept fighting… he just wouldn’t stop. He started to stagger and I was pretty sure I was going to cry when he got knocked again and the ref waved his hands to indicate that Chase was too hurt to go on. But Chase wouldn’t have it, he tried to reassure the ref that he was fine as he stumbled to the ground. Even then he got back up and continued to try to convince the ref to let him fight. But it was over, Chase had lost. I sat there with my hand over my mouth and tried not to cry. As the ref held his opponent’s hand up in victory Chase applauded him and patted him on the back.

This morning I woke up and saw that Chase had posted this picture on his Facebook page with the following message…

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“Well I came up short tonight. Hats off to Tony Simms for a hell of a fight and clearly coming out as the better looking man! Thank you for all the support, this just makes me more hungry.”

The creeper in the background is Nick, (normally it’s Chase with the knack for photo bombing) I can’t stop getting distracted at how Nick’s left eye keeps peering at me over Chase’s shoulder.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the fights this morning. I was so proud of the way Chris Holland fought back and won in his fight and I can’t help but be inspired by Chase’s heart.

You only see one side of a person when they win but the true test of character comes with loss. Loss comes with the sport and in order to be successful at it you have to get knocked down again and again and again. Every time that happens you have to come back even stronger. I like to go to the gym and punch the bags and pretend like I’m a badass but I’ll never go through what these guys go through.

At the same time I can’t help but learn from these guys as I watch them tumble and triumph. I was more inspired by Chase through his loss than I have ever been through his victories. If I could bottle up that passion and drive I would have the secret elixir of success right there in my hands. Defeat is inevitable in all aspects of life. We all get knocked on our asses and sometimes we just stay down and whine about it (okay, so maybe that’s just me) but that doesn’t get us anywhere. What I’ve learned from Chase and all of those fighters is that you can’t quit no matter what.

Find what inspires you, what drives you and fight for it!

Week 4 Weigh-in and Month 1 Progress Pics

Ugh… there’s nothing quite like putting on tiny shorts and a too tight tank top first thing in the morning and taking pictures for all to see.

This fun little tradition started the day after Christmas to record just how out of control my weight had gotten. At the time nobody was reading my blog so I posted them on my “secret” weight loss blog to remind myself of where I’ve been. (Two people knew about it.) Now a month later I’ve got actual readers and I’ve opened myself to the scrutiny of others. Over the course of a few weeks I feel like a completely different person.

In a month I have lost a total of 14.6 pounds.

When I stepped on the scale today I weighed in a 210 lbs. Shortly after, I took these pictures…

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I don’t know if you’ve noticed this but my butt doesn’t grow. Everything else around it does so it gives the illusion that I’m squeezing my butt cheeks together… it’s hot.

I also took my measurements this morning and I am happy to report that I have lost a total of 7 inches. They will be posted in the measurement portion of this blog.

I have to be honest, I’m a bit disappointed in my weight loss the past couple of weeks. I know that I’ve made progress and that I should be happy with what I have done but I have a feeling something isn’t right. The amount of exercise that I put in coupled with the way I’ve been eating doesn’t really match up with the weight loss. I would expect this to happen much further down the line but since I’ve just begun to lose weight I don’t see any logical reason for it.

This article on weight loss plateaus goes over many reasons for what may be causing this. I don’t know if I’m eating too many calories or not enough so I’m going to take a week to eat the amount of calories it should take to sustain my weight. I’m going to stick with clean food and working out but I want to see where my body is and what its up to. We’ll see what my weight does after this week and we’ll reevaluate the next course of action.

This will be a good practice at maintaining, which is the hardest part.

I’ve only been on track for a month but I feel like I’ve made so much progress from the inside out. I’m not meant to be in this body, it isn’t me. I look forward to finding myself again…

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So, here we go. Round 2.