5 Fundamentals of Weight Loss Success

I think weight loss could possibly be one of the biggest mind games you can play in your lifetime. I have been on several spectrums of this game…

I’ve been lost.

I’ve been defeated.

I’ve been confused.

I’ve been overconfident.

I’ve been overwhelmed.

I’ve been lazy.

I’ve been successful…

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What no one tells you that there is no finish line. You. are. never. finished.

This might disappoint some of you but I’ve learned a lot through the process of struggling publicly with my weight. And the truth is there are great rewards to be found within the process. The happiest I’ve ever felt is while I’m on a journey to better myself. Whether it be school, health, motherhood… There is something to be said for the striving part of the process because your strength hides within the struggle.

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Life is full of ups and downs and unfortunately my body weight tends to fluctuate with those highs and lows. (The fact that people actually read this blog leads me to believe that I’m not alone.) In all truth, I haven’t actively tried to lose weight for about a year. I’ll spare you the long story and just say that after having lost a baby this summer through an ectopic pregnancy, I found myself slipping from my healthy ways. Add a job to the mix and the guilt of no longer being a stay-at-home mom and I’ve found the pounds creeping back on. Now, on the verge of a new year, I’ve found myself in major need of a health overhaul.

The good news is that I’ve already done this and I can skip all of the confusing aspects of losing weight and get straight to work. The bad news is that I’ve already done this…

This may be fortunate for you because I have done all of the leg work for you. Here is my opportunity to condense two years worth of weight loss blogging into a list of things you need in order to successfully lose weight.

 5 Fundamentals of Weight Loss Success

1. Get Mentally Prepared– The very first step to having a magical transformation (inside and out) is to have a major attitude adjustment. You need to abolish all self-doubt.

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If you think it is impossible to lose weight then it will be. If you think you won’t be able to have your dream body then you won’t. It’s all up to you. The most important key to all of this is to believe in yourself. I know this is the corniest, cheesiest cliche there is… but it’s true.

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Don’t sit around waiting for something to inspire you. Actively seek it out. I love looking at weight loss transformations. Find inspirational quotes. Listen to music. Read some books. Visualize who you want to be both physically and mentally and be that person.

Don’t waste time bashing yourself for where you are. It doesn’t matter what happened to get you to where you are today. You need to get over it. Quit looking for excuses, instead find ways to conquer anything that may come your way. It doesn’t matter how in shape you were five years ago or what the number is on the scale right now.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. It just means that you won’t look for ways to victimize yourself. If you screw up. You screw up. That’s all there is to it. The only thing to be done about that is to move forward. And when you move forward you will do it without bullying yourself. In other words… don’t be an asshole 🙂 <—- Do you like how I added the smiley face here. That is my passive aggressive way of saying. “Sorry, I’m not sorry.”

2. Move Your Ass- Nobody cares how cool your workout is. The key to weight loss is exercise. If you are just getting started it doesn’t matter what you do. It could be something trendy or something super lame. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Lift some milk jugs. Do some planks. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what it is as long as you move. After you’ve gotten some momentum then you can worry about planning your workouts in accordance to the results that you are looking for.

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Don’t let not having a gym membership be an excuse for not being able to work out. (I’ve tried that.) There are several at home workouts available on pinterest. There are also some really inexpensive options as far as gyms are concerned. Plus, there is always the sidewalk.

Personally, my plan is to balance lifting weights, spin class (even though it kills my vagina), running, yoga and having a dance party on the elliptical machine.

*If this video doesn’t show up on my blog the way that I want it to I highly recommend clicking on the link…

3. Nutrition- For me… this is the hardest part. I have been so confused on this topic throughout the years. There are so many diets to choose from. Crossfit people pushed me to do paleo. Old school diets say to stay away from fat. This threw me off for a long time. However, over the years I have learned how to cut the crap and get down to business.

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The simple truth is that it is all about numbers. You can eat a paleo diet but if you eat 3000 calories of organic beef and roasted nuts you aren’t going to lose any weight. It doesn’t matter how many veggies you squeezed in there. On the other hand you can eat all “diet food” and still be eating junk.

Counting Calories…

For me, the best way to lose weight is to cut out processed crap, eat a variety of healthy fresh foods and to count calories (not obsess over them). When I lose weight I cap my intake to 1600 calories a day. However, if I’ve had a particularly hard work out and my body tells me to eat more I will. You have to find a balance between holding yourself accountable without being a total psycho about it.

The key to successfully dieting via calorie counting without feeling deprived is to make sure that you choose your foods wisely. It’s not just the amount of calories you eat but the quality of calories you are ingesting. This does not mean that it is okay to eat a McDonald’s cheese burger even if it fits within your calorie intake. Your body knows you aren’t getting the nutrients it needs so it will prompt you to eat more. I feel best when I balance my carbohydrates, fats and proteins with each meal… (I try to make the majority of my carbohydrates come from fruits and veggies.) 1200 calories is the minimum amount of calories you can eat with out officially crossing over to starvation mode (eating disorders). I would only recommend this amount for the most sedentary person. Keep in mind, if you are looking to build your strength 1200 calories are not enough to build any type of muscle. In other words you won’t find that lean toned look you might be looking for.

Supplements…

As a blogger I have been given offers by several companies who want me to push products to my readers. But here is the truth. You don’t need any of that crap. You don’t need supplements. You don’t need pills. After seeing all of the damage society has done to us through processed crap why would you buy more processed crap to help you find your ultimate health?

You don’t have to have a ton of money in order to lose weight. The majority of your weight loss cost should be in the form of groceries… and tighter fitting clothing 😉

4. Hydrate- It is so important to hydrate yourself. Not only for weight loss but for your health in general. I could regurgitate all of the information I’ve found throughout the years but I think I’ll just skip that part and leave you this link just in case you are interested. Twelve Unexpected Reasons To Drink More Water This New Year

FYI: vodka is not interchangeable with water… I’ve tried.

After the holidays I’m going to have to go on a Starbucks cleanse… as in, I’m not going to drink Starbucks anymore. If I need coffee I’ll drink iced coffee that I make at home (because I can drink iced coffee black). If I need something warm to cozy up to during these winter months I’ll opt for tea.

I’ve also decided to give up all alcohol until Valentine’s Day. I just need to kick-start some new healthy habits. Plus, it’ll make me a cheap Valentine date which my husband will appreciate.

5. Commit- Just do it! What are you waiting for? If you have quite a bit of weight to shed you will find a comfort zone about half way through. Keep going! Don’t give up. At this point, if you did things the right way, you will have found joy in the process. You have not been deprived, you will have enjoyed tons of new delicious foods. You will have taken pride in your strength and your endurance. Why would you stop here? Make it a lifestyle. If something throws you off balance get back to it as fast as you can.

The hardest part of losing weight are the mind games you will try to play with yourself. You will try to justify why you should be able to do things that will derail you. Just know that you’ll do this, cut the crap and stay the course. It doesn’t matter if you had a bad day, or if the scale didn’t budge last week, or that you really need want a cheeseburger. You have a goal in mind and you will regret it if you don’t follow through with it.

can'tsintocansOnce you get in the right mindset, the pounds will fall off and you will find your happy place.

I’m so excited to start fresh!  I don’t have a specific number in mind. However, I have a few physical attributes I’ll be keeping an eye out for… I want a flat stomach, preferably with some muscle tone. I want you to be able to see my arm muscles without flexing. I want nice side boobs, the kind that doesn’t melt into my back fat. In other words, I want to be fit.

I can’t wait to show you! (Well, except for the side boob. I’ll keep that under wraps.)

Weekly weigh-ins are coming back on Fridays as are monthly pictures and measurements. My goal is to have made significant progress by Valentines Day… my first cheat day.

I need to prove to myself that I am fully committed so I’m pretty much going through a six week cleanse. Plus it would be nice to feel like a complete hottie on that particular day.

Being a teacher I am really looking forward to having the summer months off. I would like to get to a point physically where I am extremely proud of myself by then. All of the hard work I put in will just be an active reminder of the good things to come.

As always I invite you to join me on Fridays for these weigh-ins.

Christmas Crack

You know you’ve gone over board with the Christmas cheer when you have to pull tinsel out of your baby’s crack.

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True story…

I don’t know how these things happen but they do. Penelope kept complaining about how her butt itched. I went to check it out and I found a shiny green piece of tinsel hanging out of her crack.

This pretty much symbolizes how things roll at our house during the season… an over abundance of Christmas goodness to the point of discomfort.

I’ve been trying to be extra diligent about trying to maintain a balance during this time of year. Throughout history my go to move has been to give up any semblance of health and just decide to give in to all of my indulgent needs. I always do this with the promise of getting back on track the day after Christmas… well, how about New Year’s Day… nope, nope I’ll do it when I have to go back to work on the 7th. The end date to this debauchery inevitably ends up getting pushed back, and in the meantime I end up wreaking havoc on my body and my self-esteem.

This year I’m on a mission to find a way to balance the good and the bad. The scale is tipping more toward naughty than nice but I’m still putting up a fight. Here is what this holiday is looking like health wise so far.

Parties and Get-Togethers: 

I have had my fair share of parties recently. On top of that a few friends and I decided to throw a girls night out into the mix where we drank copious amounts of red wine…

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These were my crossfit girls from way back in the day (pre-Penelope). So even though we were indulging in wine and chocolate cake we also discussed the health benefits of the kombucha drink our friend was making at home and selling from the trunk of her car.

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I’m not even kidding… the “Boochie Momma” took us to her car to share her goods.

I came home with a bottle of her strawberry/raspberry kombucha. I tried it the next night as I relaxed in my jammies and found it quite delightful. The only other time I had tried kombucha was when I bought a bottle from whole foods. That version had chia seeds in it making it have a really slimy gross texture. (After a few glasses of wine I told the girls what it reminded me of… but I won’t share that here. You’re welcome.) However, it turns out that regular kombucha is quite nice… unless you put chia seeds in it. Don’t do that.

Workouts:

The next morning I was a bit hung over but I still made it to the gym where I met up with my long time frenemie…

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I haven’t been able to work with a sled in a long time and felt like a warrior goddess by the time I got done with my work out. The awesome thing about being a slightly over weight 30-something mom is that people don’t expect you to be a bad ass. I’m new at my gym so when I walked passed the super buff patrons in the hardcore section of the gym, I couldn’t help but feel that they were giving me patronizing glances as I made my way to the sled.

A guy had just gotten done using it and he literally snorted at me when I doubled the weight he had been walking with. This pissed me off so I added more weight then took off running with it across the gym as fast as I could. My lungs were about to explode but it was a refreshing reminder of how strong I am… the Viking Princess was back.

TV Watching:

Speaking of Vikings… I have a new show I’m kind of obsessed with. I don’t know if it’s my Scandinavian roots or Rathgar’s enchanting eyes but I’ve found myself sitting in my pajamas night after night consuming an episode every chance I get.

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I tried to convince Brent to watch it with me. (I thought it could be our new Game of Thrones while we waited for the next season.) But I got too impatient and continued to watch it without him. The only problem with watching Medieval dramas is I feel like I need to join them when they drink wine from their goblets. Plus,  there is just something about the way they devour greasy fire roasted meat that makes me want to buy a rotisserie chicken and eat it with my hands. (But I’m kind of a weirdo so I’m sure you won’t suffer from those side effects if you decide to watch it.)

Baking Goodies:

During the weekends I tend to bake with the girls. There is just something about warming up your house with the heat of your oven and perfuming your kitchen with the sweets that you make with your little ones. So far my favorite treat is… Christmas Crack.

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I’m talking about the buttery toffee like treat, not the tinsel that you pull out of your toddler’s ass (???) I’m going to attempt to share the recipe with you even though I just put that image in your head. (I am way too inappropriate to ever consider being a food blogger. Remember the slutty street tacos I tried to share after a particularly painful spin class?)

Anyway, I love this treat because it’s cheap and easy. This makes it the perfect gift for teachers and neighbors because it’s tasty, it doesn’t take a lot of time or effort and doesn’t break the bank.

Christmas Crack

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter

1 c. brown sugar (packed)

1 tsp. vanilla

2 sleeves of saltine crackers

2 C. chocolate chips

Optional:

Sprinkles

Nuts

Chopped M&M’s

Marshmallows

Cheetohs

(You are only limited by your imagination.)

Directions: Preheat your oven at 350 degrees. Line 32-40 saltine crackers on a foil lined cookie sheet. (The amount depends on how big your sheet is.) In a sauce pan melt your butter and add brown sugar. Bring the two ingredients to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for three to five minutes, stirring constantly until it thickens and has a caramel like consistency. (Don’t Burn it!) Remove from heat mixture and stir in the vanilla. Pour it over the saltine crackers spread evenly and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Once you take it out of the oven sprinkle the chocolate chips on top and let them melt. After a few minutes spread the chocolate out evenly. Then add whatever additional toppings you want.

After “taste testing” several pieces of Christmas Crack I tried to cook healthy things throughout the week. I was only partially successful.

Healthy Food:

I’ve been trying to balance all of the decadence with healthy home made treats but the closer Christmas comes the harder it gets. I conveniently forgot to take pictures of the take out pizza I ordered and those sugary lattes I’ve been drinking but I did manage to take pictures of some of the healthy goods I’ve made.

I went to my go to move of making Iowa Girl Eats Kale Chopped Salad with Maple-Almond Vinaigrette

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I also made Pinch of Yum’s Crockpot Chicken Wild Rice Soup

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I was so proud of myself when I chopped up the vibrant organic purple carrots that I had bought. But it turned the whole soup a weird lilac color. This was awesome until I had to reheat it for left overs. What was supposed to be creamy looking looked grey and weird. I ate it anyway because it was tasty and I used it as an opportunity to secretly pretended to be eating mush from a Charles Dicken’s novel.

I had also tried to make Ellie Krieger’s healthy green bean casserole

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It was so good!

In between the home cooked meals we ordered pizza, drank beer, slathered butter on bread and indulged in a few other unhealthy recipes found on pinterest.

We did this all for the sake of being festive. I blame society for my love handles… it’s my culture.

Now as the days creep even closer to the holidays I find myself caring about the nutrition content less and less. I’m this close to not giving a damn and saying, “Ah screw it! I’ll take care of the after math when Christmas is over!” But I’m not quite there yet.

In the meantime, I’m going to not stress over it and just enjoy this time with my family and friends. I’ll drink some hot chocolate, lifts some weights, eat some cookies, and go for runs. It’ll all work out in the end. Just don’t ask me for any pictures of me sporting my heinous before and after outfit any time soon.

*** What is your strategy for finding a healthy balance during the holidays?***

My Face Got Stolen

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I’m gonna be honest with you…

I’m not really in the mood to write a blog post tonight. I’m all snuggled in my bed, sleepy time tea in hand, ready to delve into some much needed trash TV.

BUT my face got stolen and now I have to do something about it.

The other day my close friend happened to come across a picture of me and my two children. The problem was that picture was not on my blog but on some weird diet scam website. She asked me if I was going by an alter ego.

This wasn’t an easy question to answer because I’m always going by an alter ego… her name is Coco Robicheax. But my friend wasn’t talking about the goof ball that dances in the mirror when nobody is looking.

She was talking about someone named “Betty” who has taken photos of me and my children and is claiming to be their mother. You can click on it here too see.

This is the photo she used…

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My friend shared the link to me and I almost puked in my mouth when I saw the caption that read, “The Terrible Trio” that they added to it. Even worse if you scroll down you will see that they took another picture of me (one of me and Penelope at the zoo) and used it as their profile picture to answer comments.

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Another photographer friend of mine informed me that I can click and drag any of my photos into the images tab of google and see what websites that picture has been posted on. When I did this I was horrified to see that my pictures had been used on two other websites.

Every site “Betty” claimed to be the mother of my children. However she was a different age, had different last names and claimed to live in different places in the U.S.

I posted the first website I came across on facebook and several of my friends wrote comments that prompted the owner of this site to take my picture down.

Here are the other websites where “Betty” is claiming to be me: (If my photos are no longer there then I was successful at verbally kicking Betty’s ass along with the help of my friends.)

http://www.synedrexcentral.com/synedrex-reviews/

http://www.beyonddietcentral.com/reviews/

The second one is particularly disturbing because she took my before and after photos, doctored them up, and claimed that I lost a lot more weight than I actually did.

To top it off “Betty” has a google plus account, check it out… https://plus.google.com/105159366383979501871/posts

Guess who will be staring back at you when you click on it?

The reason I am writing about this is because I’m hoping some of you will take it upon yourselves to leave comments on these websites in an attempt to force whoever has created them to take my pictures down. The other reason is because I wanted to warn you to be skeptical of all of the greedy forces out there that are on the prowl. They are sifting through all of your insecurities and feeding off of them in an attempt to sell you bogus diet solutions.

Recently I wrote the post Time To Remove My Clark Kent Glasses in response to thousands of people who had been led to my blog under false pretenses by a company selling Garcenia Cambogia and a cleanse sort of thing.This was along the lines of how that went…

“To the company who is trying to use my content to take advantage of my readers.

GET THE FUCK OFF OF MY SITE!

We’re not buying it. I don’t want your traffic. I don’t write this blog to make money. I write this blog to connect with people… not trick them.

So until you stop utilizing me for your shady ways I will virtually kick your ass in every post I make until you unlink yourself to me… because until then every person you send to my website will know better than to spend their money on the bogus shit you are trying to sell.”

I immediately wanted it to be known that I was not connected to the company that was pushing people to look at my blog with the claims that my success had anything to do with what they were selling (crap).

It took them over a week to realize that I had caught on to them and had called them out. Thousands and thousands of people were visiting my blog based on some link from Facebook that they had set up. There was no telling what they had said to people… I couldn’t see it.

Then suddenly like a switch it had been turned off. The thousands went away and my hundreds were back, my loyal readers and friends that I write this blog for in the first place. I had conquered one evil force and now I have this other one to attend to.

I used this weird experience as a lesson to my middle schoolers who are currently in the middle of a feature article unit. I showed them the webpages that I was featured on to show them that you have to be a critical reader of non-fiction. There is no telling who is writing the content you are reading. For all I know Betty could be a convict named Burt.

The lesson that I was trying to teach was not to believe everything that is put out there. You have to be skeptical because people will trick you if you aren’t. I also used it as a lesson on internet safety. Once a picture is put out there on the internet there is no taking it back. This is one reason why I cried so hard the first time I posted my awful before pictures for all to see. (Thanks a lot for making it look even worse Betty!)

However, I have not told my students that I am a blogger, nor will I ever. I don’t want my kids reading my blog because then I would have to edit what I say. Plus, there is something fun about having an alter ego of sorts… Clark Kent glasses and all 🙂 but rest assured that Betty is not her name.

© The Prude Cowering In The Corner

Since the beginning of time I dreamed of that moment in my life when I was supremely organized and put together. This vision of myself usually involved getting up before the crack of dawn and working out before anyone else in the world was awake. To me this symbolized the greatest amount of self discipline around. This is probably due to my youthful obsession with Rocky and the Karate Kid…

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From these movies I learned that waking up and training hard meant winning. After we returned from our Thanksgiving vacation in St. Louis I felt that I needed to kick things up a notch. This could have also been triggered by the fact that I felt like a walking water bed due to the indulgence of the week #notwinning. I’m not entirely convinced it was the Thanksgiving feast that did me in but the munching that took place during the 14 hour drive there and back that did it. Penelope watched Frozen no less than ten times during this trip and I was trying to drown it out with my munching before I felt the urge to punch Olaf in the face.

Let it goooo… munch munch munch… Let it goooooo… crunch crunch crunch

When we returned I went gym shopping. We have friends who own different gyms around town but I needed a place that was open at 4 in the morning… Yes, that’s right, I said 4. Luckily for me the 24 hour fitness near my home and work was having a black Friday sale and I was able to sign up fairly simple. Plus they had a space designated for the types of work outs I used to do with Brent back in the day when he wasn’t burned out on training people. IMG_2580 1175494_10201934710910216_495527545_n  Oh how I miss that!

Since Brent is officially Mr. Mom while I’m away at work he refuses to train me anymore, but I’ve learned enough from him to develop my own workouts.

I got the membership on Sunday and woke up at 4 on Monday for the sleepy trek to the gym. My biggest concern about working out in the morning before work was figuring out how I was going to manage to fix my hair.  It goes down to my waist and takes forever to dry. I had no idea how I was going to be able to fix it in time for work when I was done working out.

I don’t wash my hair everyday because my hair stylist friend told me that it will break and dry out my hair. So I usually wash my hair every other day. Working out poses a threat to this routine because… well, sweat.

I asked Amanda, my hairdresser friend what she does. She also has long hair that looks perfect all of the time despite the fact that she works out sometimes twice a day. I asked her what her trick was and she said… “Dry shampoo.”

So that’s what I did. I washed my hair the night before and went to sleep with it wet. Then when I went to the gym I tied my hair in a bun on my head and worked my water bed butt off. I was sweaty but not too super sweaty thanks to the humongous fans that were blowing down on me from the ceiling.

After I was done with my work out I made my way into the women’s locker room for a quick shower to rinse my body off and wash my face.

Now, can I make a confession?

I usually avoid the locker room. There is just something about public pubic hair that really bothers me. So of course as soon as I walk in the first thing I see is a lady standing in her bra and nothing else.

As a rule I think your underpants should be the last thing to go. If I were to write out a locker room etiquette book this would be number one.

Locker Room Etiquette Book

1. If you are limited to one item of clothing that piece of clothing needs to be your panties.

2. Being topless is acceptable but only if necessary.

3. Public pubic hair should be avoided at all costs.

4. Seriously… nobody needs to see that.

© The Prude Cowering In The Corner Trying to Avert Her Eyes

After surviving the shower I blow-dried the rest of the lingering sweat from my hair. When I was done I sprayed a little more dry shampoo and proceeded to curl my hair. It turned out perfect. (Which is weird considering how gross the whole blow drying your sweat thing sounds.)

Today I woke up with my second day hair. I was afraid it would be gross thanks to the sweating that occurred the day before but surprisingly it was still perfect. My second day hair tends to be braid day. As far as Penelope is concerned this means it is dress up like Anna and Elsa day.

As soon as she saw my “Elsa hair” she had to have her “Anna hair”. This entails pigtail braids and arguing with a two year old on whether wearing a princess dress to her babysitter’s house is considered appropriate or not.

Needless to say, she won that argument.

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I tried to take a picture of my hair to show you how perfect it looked on day two for this post before we left the house. But by the time I had chased Penelope down, wrestled her out of her pajamas, fought the tooth brush battle, packed her things for the day and then repacked them again after she unpacked them, I was left with a pulsing headache and pulsing forehead veins to go with it.

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But forehead veins aside, my hair still looked pretty good 😉

The point is I can mark the “I won’t have time to fix my hair at the gym” excuse off of the list.

Now, we just need to decide whether it may or may not be beneficial to stop taking selfies at the age of 34 due to the forehead veins and wrinkles. But that’s a post for another day.

P.S. For any reader who just so happened to stumble upon my blog by typing the phrase “Public Pubic Hair” into the search engine… I’m not so sure I’m comfortable with you reading my blog. Weirdo.