Monday, May 1, 2017

Goals - April report

April is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose three pounds each month.
    Yep, massive fail again.  The worst part is that I'm about 3 pounds heavier than I was a year ago.  Very disheartening.  
  2. Work out at least 20 days a month.
    Fail: 17 days with official workouts.  I injured both of my ankles at the same time, so I took it easy for awhile (but honestly not as easy I should have).  However, if I were to go back to counting individual workouts instead of days with workouts, I would've met the goal with 21.
  3. Hit my 10,000 steps a day average over the month.
    Success! 313,149 steps for the month - 10,438 steps average.  It was coming down to the end of the month, but with a monster 20k+ day and a few 15k days, it balanced out.  And yes, I was lazy yesterday. ;)

  4. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month.
    Failed: need to put more of a focus on healthy eating this month for sure.
  5. Make gratitude a priority.
    Met, even if some days were a challenge.
OK, well... here's where I try to be all positive and optimistic that this coming month will be the change!  And again, I really do hope that it turns around this month.  For me, I really think it's all about the calories in and less about the calories out, and I need to stop emotionally eating.  I think this month will have less temptations in it, so hopefully next month we'll see some green in that weight chart.  

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Goals - March report

March is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose three pounds each month.
    OK, well, clearly this was yet another fail.  I'm close to having regained all the weight I lost last year (but still down 70 pounds from my highest).  Deeply, deeply frustrating.  April goal: NO MORE GAIN.  This is going to be a huge challenge.
  2. Work out at least 20 days a month.
    Success: 24 days, despite more challenges and repeated fails over the month.  Not that it's helping me lose weight, but maybe helping the weight gain not be as bad?  I don't know.  Very frustrating.
  3. Hit my 10,000 steps a day average over the month.
    Success! 355,393 steps for the month - 11,464 steps average.  You can see in the chart blow, some days were terrible.  But hey, those lowest days were still 5k step days.  Need more above 10k though.  Glad I made it out ahead this month.

  4. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month.
    Failed: yeah, surprise surprise.  Yet another hard month.
  5. Make gratitude a priority.
    Well, I'm still doing my daily gratitude entries, but frankly, some days have been a huge challenge.
I'm really hoping April will be better, but I do have to be realistic - it's going to be hard, with family visiting and staying with us for over a week and several parties and potlucks too.  Aie.  C'mon, I need to get in gear...

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Goals - February report

February is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose three pounds each month.
    This is absolutely terrible.  I am truly holding myself accountable here, but this is beyond ridiculous.  Up 4.6 pounds for the month.  We did have a death in the family, and I had to do all the funeral arrangements and it was all highly stressful, and my birthday was also this month, so add more eating things there... not good for the weight loss at all.  My informal goal for March is to not gain any more weight, damnit.
  2. Work out at least 20 days a month.
    Success: 23 days, which is impressive given the issues this month.  Wish it was reflected in the scale, but I imagine the scale would've been much worse without it.  
  3. Hit my 10,000 steps a day average over the month.
    Success! 310,839 steps for the month - 11,101 steps average.  I am grateful that I was able to make up for those "off" days on other days (17k one day helped!), and hope to keep on this trend going forward.
  4. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month.
    Failed: hey, I barely remembered to cook most days, so I'm definitely cutting myself slack.
  5. Make gratitude a priority.
    Challenging, but I continue to do my daily happy and gratitude entries.
March is going to continue to be tough as we deal with estate issues and other things out of my control.  I know already of a large number of days when I won't be able to get to the gym, so this is definitely going to be a challenge.  If I can hit my 20 days of workouts, 10k steps a day, and not gaining any weight - I will be elated. ;)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Goals - January report

January is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose three pounds each month.
    Such a massive fail, I don't even want to talk about it.  I'm posting the chart for accountability, but this sucked.  Been dealing with a family emergency and it definitely reflected in the scale.  Up 1.9 pounds for the month.
  2. Work out at least 20 days a month.
    Success: 23 days, which isn't as many as I had honestly hoped for, and definitely not as many dance classes as I would've liked.  But at least I met this goal, and honestly, without it I'm sure the weight would've been worse.  
  3. Hit my 10,000 steps a day average over the month.
    Success: 335,155 steps for the month - 10,811 steps average.  But you can see from the chart, there were some really bad days in there - 3 days with less than 5k steps per day.  Hopefully next month I can not have so many 'off' days, but I won't beat myself up about it.
  4. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month.
    Met: just one, at the beginning of the month.  Gotta do this more.  
  5. Make gratitude a priority.
    Boy is this a challenge right now, with the family emergency and all - but I am definitely keeping up with my daily "happy" file, and also a separate gratitude journal.  Grateful that overall, my health is still better today than it was a year ago.
I'm going to be blunt here: February isn't likely to be better on the scale - but hopefully I can keep up on the rest of the goals.  There's a reason that I have non-scale-based goals too! :D

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Review: Go Raw Choco Crunch Sprouted Cookies

I'm trying eat "clean" foods these days - foods with ingredients I can identify.  Today's review is the Go Raw Choco Crunch Sprouted Cookies.

I love the ingredients list - 4 ingredients, all organic: coconut, sprouted sesame seeds, dates, cacao.  That's it.

"Cookies" isn't a good title though - these are more like slightly sweetened crackers.  They're not at all a traditional cookie (no flour, no egg, etc), so if you're looking for something traditional, this will definitely disappoint.  (I wish they would call them something else!)

However, if you're looking for something a little sweet to much on, this is a good option.  The bag is 3 ounces and 1 ounce is a serving - I should've measured it out to get a more realistic scope on the serving instead of eating them straight from the bag. ;)  The chocolate flavor is not very pronounced, but it's subtly there.

They're a bit pricey, but I love the ingredients list and it's something different than my usual snacks so I will pick this up again (especially if it's on sale!)

Nutrition Facts 
Calories 160
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 5 g
Trans Fat 0
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 10 mg
Carb 17 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugars 11 g
Protein 2 g

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Review: RXBAR Chocolate Sea Salt

Let's kick 2017 off with a food review, shall we?  I need to start doing these more often!

RXBAR is a brand I came across when I was doing my detox last summer.  Very simple ingredients - and dairy free, soy free and gluten free.  These chocolate sea salt bars have only 7 ingredients: "Dates, Egg Whites, Almonds, Cashews, Cacao, Sea Salt, Natural Chocolate Flavor".  Gotta love that.  

Dates and the nuts aren't exactly low calorie/low fat, so you do see those reflected in the nutritional stats.  I'm trying to think positive because it's all natural ingredients, but it is still 200 calories for a small bar.

How's the taste?  I've tried other flavors in the past, but this was my first try of the chocolate sea salt flavor.  It wasn't overly chocolately - if you hadn't told me it was chocolate, I might not have picked that out.  I did enjoy the few grains of big sea salt crystals on top.  It's a dense bar, and a bit more sugar than I'm looking for traditionally when I'm looking to add some protein as a snack.  I'm torn right now as to if I should recommend it!  I like this company and their product line, I'm just not a raving fan of this particular flavor.  Blueberry was a bigger hit for me.  They're on the pricey side too - $2 per bar at Trader Joe's.  I do appreciate the natural ingredients though... ;)

Nutrition Facts 
Calories 200
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
Trans Fat 0
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 240 mg
Carb 22 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugars 12 g
Protein 12 g

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017 Goals

Happy new year, everyone!  Let's get this party started, with my goals for the coming year:
  1. Lose three pounds each month.
    This is a big one for me, and I'm scaling it back from last year's goal of a pound a week since I didn't even meet that one halfway. ;)  I should be able to do three pounds a month - it's 50% more than what I achieved last year, and I think it's attainable.  It will be a lot of work though, and I need to break through this year finally.  
  2. Work out at least 20 days a month.
    I'm changing this up for 2017.  Last year, my goal was 20 workouts a month, and on 29 days, I did two or more workouts for a total of 316 workouts.  Awesome achievement, but I think I need to go for more consistency perhaps?  I'm still going to count the number of workouts though, because I'm a data dork. ;)
  3. Hit my 10,000 steps a day average over the month.
    Now that I rejoined the land of the pedometer, I've been keeping track of my steps again.  Frustratingly though, it's not a perfect measurement of my activity, especially when dancing.  (I typically earn around 6k steps during a 60 minute dance class, but would walk more steps in 60 minutes usually.)  If I work out 20 days in the month, that will help but it will still require more activity on the rest of the days too!
  4. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month.
    Need to keep expanding my culinary horizons, and add more healthy options to my mental cookbook.  
  5. Make gratitude a priority.
    Gratitude: "the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness."  The past two years, I've kept a "happy" file on my phone where I write something that made me happy each day.  I'm going to keep doing that, but overall I want to put more of an emphasis on sharing gratitude daily.  I'm very blessed and want to help share love and smiles and health to others. 
Here's to a happy and healthy 2017 for us all!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 in review

Last day of the year, so time to look back at everything.  Here's the list of goals I set at the start of the year:
  1. Lose an average of one pound a week.  I did not meet this goal, unfortunately.  Just shy of 25 pounds lost for the year, which I must admit, is not too bad.  It's under half of my goal had been, but hey... at least it's over 20 pounds gone, despite the 7 that came back in the last few months of the year. That big drop in the middle of the year was the detox, which I think I should do again in the coming months.
  2. Work out at least 20 times a month.  I killed this goal.  316 workouts during the year.  The best part?  3 of those were U-JAM Fitness classes that I TAUGHT. :)
  3. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month.  I did this, and want to make this a continued focus in the new year.  Need to keep experimenting with new foods too!
  4. Make an effort to eat clean and healthy the majority of the time.  This one is a hard one for me to judge.  I didn't eat out at restaurants as much as I used to, so that's good.  But I can make poor food decisions at friends' houses and even my home too.  Not sure how to balance this one better for next year.
Overall, I'm proud of my accomplishments.  24 pounds gone is good.  316 workouts is great.  Becoming a certified U-JAM Fitness instructor and finding a place to teach is AMAZING.  I also met my informal goal that I mentioned at the first of the year of going to a health spa for a few days, and that was most wonderful.  I need to make sure to keep the good trends going for next year, and let go of some of the bad.

Goals - December report

December is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose an average of one pound a week - fail - up 1.1 pounds during the month.  Ugh.  It was worse in the middle of the month, but what can I say?  It's the holiday season and I failed to lose weight.  At least I only gained 1.1 pounds?  Unfortunately, it's 6.3 pounds up from my lowest in July.  
  2. Work out at least 20 times a month - absolutely smashed!  31 workouts!  Several days with 3 workouts even (which is when the weight trend pulled down).  Good month for moving my body!
  3. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month - met.  Even took a cooking class this month!  Yippee!
  4. Make an effort to eat clean and healthy the majority of the time - fail, due to the holidays and way too many treats at too many social events.  At least the damage wasn't too horrible.
Let's just post this and then take a look at the year as a whole.  Glad I got so much exercise in this month, but wish it had reflected better on the scale.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


OK, so we know the weight loss isn't going well these past few months - and it's gotten even worse the past few weeks.  I'm about back where I was six months ago.  UGH.

I looked at my weight tracking app and realized that I'm only down 25 pounds for the past year.  And I was really upset and frustrated about that, mentally beating myself up about it as I drove to the gym to work out this morning.

And then I started realizing, after class... that's obviously really, really stupid to do.  25 pounds is nothing to sneeze at!  So when I got home, I dug up my old post with the big weight graph and then found the spreadsheet to update it.

Yep, it's not good that the number is going back up again, but overall... damn!  Look at that progress!  Each horizontal line is 20 pounds (and that highest point is when I gave birth - not sure why the date isn't matching up perfectly, but I know that number!).  So I need to stop beating myself up on this.  Yes, I am not going to make my goal of losing a pound a week this year, and that's terribly disappointing.  But I will set a new goal for 2017 of 3 pounds a month I think - 36 pounds for the year - which is more realistic than 52 pounds.

It's crazy how easy it is to be hard on yourself, but I need to keep perspective - and to keep working on this, of course.  The next few weeks will for sure be a challenge, but I know that January is going to be a month of rededication.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Goals - November report

November is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose an average of one pound a week - fail - big super massive fail.  This is so frustrating, but I know it's because my healthy eating is flying out the window these days.  Ugh.  The only good thing to this graph is that the moving average is only up 1.5 pounds for the month.  Unfortunately, that's also 5.2 pounds over the past four months.  No bueno.
  2. Work out at least 20 times a month - met!  24 workouts, but too many days with no workouts unfortunately.  I looked at today and learned that last month I took 338,313 steps and climbed 272 floors.  Neato! ;)  I did take a new class this month too!
  3. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month - met.  Gosh, I think five or six this month?  One of the hits was this roasted pumpkin and sage soup :) with some of the incredible turkey stock I made a day or two earlier.  Yum!
  4. Make an effort to eat clean and healthy the majority of the time - failed.  I felt like I did okay at Thanksgiving, only to completely fall off the wagon at a friend's birthday party (TATER TOTS!).  It's so deeply frustrating at how fast I can gain weigh but how long it takes to lose it.  
OK, so to be brutally honest, I am really frustrated with how the weight loss has been going - since I haven't been losing weight! ;)  Looking at my calendar for December, I know this is not going to be good for the scale.  Too many social events focused around food, and honestly some of them conflict with my workouts - but I need to find balance.  I get lonely at times (being a stay-at-home mom is difficult!), so I will just have to find ways to get in some other exercise!  My goal for December is to not gain weight.  Let's see if that can happen...

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Goals - October report

October is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose an average of one pound a week - fail - but shockingly, when you look at that scary graph to the right... my moving trend is only up 0.2 pounds for the month.  So I guess that's a positive?  I don't know.  Very frustrating overall though.
  2. Work out at least 20 times a month - smashed!  27 workouts, with some rest days in there too.  I did some more walking this month, including over 19,000 steps yesterday (14,000 were before trick or treating!).
  3. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month - met.  Several new recipes, including finally trying mini cauliflower pizzas which were good but don't call it pizza. ;)
  4. Make an effort to eat clean and healthy the majority of the time - I'm going to say no on this one.  Overall I feel like I'm doing okay-ish, but clearly I'm not or the scale would be moving in the right direction.  Even when I work out a bunch, I still gain a ton of weight if I eat too much. ;)  Sucks!
I'm really hoping things will settle down this month and I can get back into a ton of GREEN on those charts and start losing weight again.  I need to religiously track all my food again too.  Whee. ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

U-JAM Fitness Instructor!

Hello, blogland!  ;)  Late last month, I completed all the steps to officially become a credentialed U-JAM Fitness Instructor!  WOOHOO!  I've written before about my love of U-JAM Fitness and I'm thrilled to join the instructor family.  I've even taught my first class, but that was a one-time situation, filling in last-minute for someone who was injured.  It was thrilling to get that first class out of the way though, and I realized that I have a LOT more to learn. :D  

Apparently this year is about me pushing out of my comfort zone - and hopefully the rest of the year will see my weight loss get back on track, and maybe even see me start teaching regularly somewhere... :)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Goals - September report

September is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose an average of one pound a week - wow, stunning fail here.  Despite how bad the graph is overall, I'm actually only up 1.8 pounds for the month when you look at the trend.  Of course, I was up about that last month too, so I have four pounds that have got to go, just to get back on track.  Frustrating, for sure.  I was out of town for a couple of days and that was the big spike which I still haven't recovered from yet.  Ugh.
  2. Work out at least 20 times a month - almost met - 19!  This was a tough month, and I felt poorly physically for a week (not coincidentally the week of that massive weight spike!), but I am glad that I nearly met this goal. ;)
  3. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month - met.  A couple of new crock pot recipes, but unfortunately I didn't like them so I won't be repeating them. ;)  
  4. Make an effort to eat clean and healthy the majority of the time - fail.  Honestly, I didn't eat a lot of crap, I just ate too much and on repeated occasions.  So not a massive fail but clean eating doesn't mean unlimited clean eating. ;)
Man, September kicked my butt.  I hate to have two bad months in a row.  I'm higher now than I was three months ago even, which is miserable.  Still 36 pounds less than a year ago, but c'mon... gotta kick it into gear.  I have a free month of MyFitnessPal calling my name to start on Monday, and I really hope to make all that red go away for next month's graph.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Goals - August report

August is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose an average of one pound a week - big fail!  Happy Scale says my moving average is up 1.7 pounds for the month, which is being generous.  The red at the back of that graph shows how much higher I am this month from where I was a month ago.  We were on vacation for part of the month, and you can see how that reflected in my weight!
  2. Work out at least 20 times a month - met with a caveat.  I did 16 traditional workouts, and gave myself credit for 6 days of my vacation where my fitbit said I had more than 60 active minutes.  
  3. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month - met.  Right now I'm drawing a blank on which recipe, but I know I did a few new things at the start of the month.
  4. Make an effort to eat clean and healthy the majority of the time - fail.  We were traveling for 12 days, and that threw everything off.  I did not eat healthy most of that time for sure (but I did walk a lot more...).
August was a challenge, but at least I'm only 1.7 pounds up for the month?  I have two big challenges ahead this coming month, including another trip (but it's only about 48 hours), so hopefully I can get my eating and my exercise in line again and see some big patches of green on the graph next month ;)  I still weigh 42 pounds less than I did a year ago, and that's a great accomplishment.  

Monday, August 8, 2016

post-detox life

Checking in to say hi. ;)

I've been spending a LOT of time working on my U-Jam Fitness instructor next steps, and have sadly neglected the ol' blog here.

It's been interesting seeing how my body is reacting to post-detox life.  I'm definitely even more of a food snob - but still, several birthday celebrations have added some pounds back.  Very frustrating, especially because my husband gained too but already lost it!  Stupid male metabolism ;)

I am feeling, overall, a bit more crappy than I was during the detox.  We've got some things going on this month that keep me from going back on the full detox but I am trying to get back into less-carbs more-fat more-protein in general.  I know I'm not likely to meet most of my goals this month, but that is okay.  Gotta be realistic!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Goals - July report

July is done! Let's review the goals:
  1. Lose an average of one pound a week - met!  The moving average trend from that nice graph here (thanks, Happy Scale!) says I'm down 5.2 pounds over this month so I'll take that. 
  2. Work out at least 20 times a month - smashed!  28 workouts, with some rest days in there too.  I do need to make more of an effort going forward to cross-train though, and not just do my beloved U-Jam Fitness classes ;)  
  3. Cook one new (and healthy!) recipe a month - met.  One of my favorites is this squash rice casserole from Cooking Light magazine.  I really like to make this with quinoa instead of the rice, and I skip the breadcrumbs and parmesan.  Big hit around this house :)
  4. Make an effort to eat clean and healthy the majority of the time - met, though not at all met for the end of the month with birthday celebration.  Finishing up the detox made me happier, but you will notice the big jump in my weight up there when bread came back for a visit. ;)
August is filled with challenges, and honestly, I know the pound-a-week will be a tough goal.  Hopefully I can make it!  :D

Monday, July 25, 2016

U-Jam Fitness Instructor Workshop!

This weekend, I did something completely crazy and out of my comfort zone. I took the instructor workshop for U-Jam Fitness, the cardio dance workout that I love.

Over the past few years, I've met some incredible people who are U-Jam Fitness instructors, and two of them in particular really encouraged me to take this workshop. I thought I'd take the workshop later in the year, but one was scheduled nearby this month and the trainer was the fantastic instructor who really ignited my passion for U-Jam back in 2011 - so I knew I needed to take this particular workshop.

It's a full two day workshop, which kicks off with an hour-long "Master Class" taught by the trainer and open to the public.  I was delighted that both of the instructors who nudged me to take the workshop were both able to attend!  What a great and supportive way to kick off this weekend!

After the Master Class, day one is filled with learning more about the fundamentals of U-Jam Fitness, including two "choreo jams" where the trainer broke down each song into the core moves and helped us fine tune every movement.  I've been doing these songs for five years, and I learned something new about each one - crazy!  One of the songs was designated as the one we'd have to teach the next day, so we spent a lot of time working on that one (and some folks stayed late to keep on practicing).

Day two started off with a written test covering the materials in the instructor manual that we had received after signing up for the workshop (and discussed during the first day).  After that, we all got to practice our class introductions and then do our "practical" exam of teaching that song from the prior day!  I had lots of fun with that.  Later on, we did two more "choreo jams" to master a total of four songs over the weekend.

However, this doesn't mean I am a credentialed U-Jam Fitness instructor yet!  I need to film a video of myself teaching three of those songs in front of a class of at least five students, and submit that video for evaluation.  Nerve-wracking!!  I hope to do this in the next few weeks, though we do have 60 days to submit it.

I had a great time at the workshop and learned a lot, and am now on my journey to become a credentialed U-Jam Fitness instructor.  Looking forward to seeing where this adventure will take me!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Detox, day 46: finished

OK, that's enough of this for me. ;)  I technically should still do a cow's milk reintroduction and I should retry bread, but I am calling this challenge complete.

Overall, it was definitely an eye-opening experience for me.  I definitely crave sugar and sweets, but I can survive without them.  ;)  I didn't like the total depravation portion, so I don't think I'm going to be doing a Whole30 every month or anything like that.  I do see myself trying to eat along these guidelines for many of my meals though.  I feel like my metabolism has adjusted to this, though, so I need to jump start things and vary it up more often.

I do like that this detox did help accelerate my weight loss for a few weeks - and I'm glad that I've kept that weight off as well.  The true challenge will be to keep it off and lose more over the next year! :D

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Detox, days 44 & 45: peanuts

I'm not the world's hugest fan of peanuts, but I can appreciate a good peanut butter every now and then.  Now that we're near the end of the reintroductions, I went ahead and had peanut butter yesterday.  Thankfully, no reactions!

I think I'm nearing the end of all of this detox excitement.  I'll give gluten another try and do milk at some point by itself, but otherwise, I think we are coming to a close on this. ;)