Week in Review: Making Progress

At the end of February, I came to the realization that the life I was living was not the life I wanted to be living – and that changes would need to be made.
Then I sat down and developed action steps that would help me to implement those changes.

Finally, I found sources of both internal (people I know personal and interact with daily) and external (someone not directly in my circle of influence) of accountability.

Last week, was the first time that I put all the pieces together, so you might be wondering how I did?

Faith

Each morning, I stayed up after getting my husband off to work, and used that free time for prayer journaling, Bible reading, and reflection on my personal beliefs. On Saturday, I met my MIL and SIL for an early morning Bible study that left me feeling liberated, excited, and renewed.

Family

One of my goals is to spend more time with my family. Over the weekend, we hosted my niece for a sleepover with my daughter, and took the girls out for bike rides. On Sunday afternoon, the hubby and I enjoyed a “mini-date” by snuggling on the couch and chatting. Both were wonderful ways to reconnect with the people who matter most to me.

Food

For the first time, in 6 months or more, I used my weekend to meal plan, shop, prep food, and managed to eat 95% on plan instead of opting for fast food or heavily processed food to feed my family.

Fitness

Given my pregnancy limitations, I have changed my fitness goal to simply 30 minutes of intentional movement on most days. I enjoyed several long walks, a few aerobics classes with friends, and some prenatal yoga. Nothing felt forced or uncomfortable, even on days where I was tired, I wanted to move. This is a HUGE change from just a few weeks ago where I wanted to just blow off ALL my workouts – simply because I couldn’t workout at the same intensity level as pre-pregnancy. Krissie, my fabulous coach, had suggested that I just focus on moving – and giving myself permission to change my plans by listening to what my body told me. And she was right. That subtle shift in attitude did WONDERS for how I felt…and it is how I will approach fitness going forward.

Blogging

My posting is still sporadic at best. However, that is because I working on some fun and exciting changes that I hope to be sharing with you very soon.

The week wasn’t perfect – there were still too many hours of television watched, take-out pizza consumed, and not enough sleep. However, I felt as though I was living my ideal life.

And that is great progress!

Your turn – Tell me about your week!

Pregnancy Update: 22 Weeks

Bump Pics

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What’s Happening with Pumpkin?

  • Pumpkin is 11 inches and almost 1 pound, and starting to look like a miniature newborn.
  • Her eyelids, and eyebrows are becoming more distinct, and she’s even developing tiny tooth buds beneath his gums.
  • Her eyes have formed, but the irises (the colored part of the eye) still lack pigment.

What’s Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 25 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes.
  • Best moment this week: Hearing Pumpkin’s heartbeat at our visit with the nurse.
  • Food cravings: Almond Butter Sandwiches and Lemonade
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • Stretch Marks? Nope
  • What I miss: Being able to roll over with ease. The bump makes rolling over at night far more difficult.
  • What I am looking forward to: Big Sister Joycie’s 4th birthday party

What’s Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy has been working a job near Mama’s office, so he often joins her for “picnic” lunches.  When he is not at work, he has been tending to the blueberry fields.

Asking for Help

Last week I shared with you how I had come to some realizations about where I was on my journey. I had identified how I had gotten off course and the action steps I was taking to get things back on track.

And I started with the best of intentions….

And I failed again.

Finally, after a good, long cry in the shower, I came to understand what was missing in the equation.

Accountability.

I need someone checking on me to make sure I’m following my meal plan.

I want someone to ask me what obstacles are in my way.

I long for someone to tell me when my excuses are just plain bull.

So this week, I reached out and asked for help. I have found both an internal and an external source of accountability.

Internally, I am working with my MIL and SIL to form an accountability group – we’ve each set a faith, food, and fitness goal for the upcoming week. We will check in each day to see how we are going.

Externally, I have signed up to work 1-on-1 with Krissie at Committed Coaching.

I’m excited….

I’m eager……

I’m ready to get down to work and make lasting change!

Your turn – Are you someone who needs outside accountability to implement change?

Pregnancy Update: 20 Weeks

I thought I posted this last week….

Wow, 20 weeks. That means I am half-way done with this pregnancy. Time is sure flying by….

What’s Happening with Pumpkin?

  • She weighs about 10 1/2 ounces now.
  • She’s also around 6 1/2 inches long from head to bottom and about 10 inches from head to heel .
  • Pumpkin is swallowing more these days, which is good practice for her digestive system.

What’s Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 20  pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes – almost exclusively.
  • Best moment this week: Choosing a name for our baby girl.
  • Food cravings:  Snickers Bars (not the healthiest craving, so when it hits I nibble a fun size)
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • What I miss: A full night’s sleep. Over the past week, my sleep has been horrible! I am hoping that this is temporary phase and that I’ll settle down again soon.
  • What I am looking forward to:  A shopping trip with Joycie and my Mama – we were scouting items for Pumpkin’s nursery.

What’s Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy has finished the farm books. Now, he is keeping busy cleaning out our blueberry fields in preparation for the harvest in a few months.

Developing Action Steps

In my previous post, I shared with you 2 major realizations that I had reached with regards to how I was living my life – and the impact that was having on my overall health. Additionally, I shared a few actions that I was going to take to realign the life I’m living with the life that I want to be living.

Since pushing publish on that post, I have been pondering on how I could create a concrete list of actions steps that expounded upon the ideas in that post.  After 24 hours of thinking, discussing with family, and bending the ear of a few friends, I have my list. I thought I would share it with you.

1. Rid our home of junk food –  Last night, my husband shared with me that he has to come to realize that his diet is 75% clean but that percentage is not getting him to the places that he wanted to be.  I went on to share with him how I was learning that I couldn’t out-exercise a bad diet.  We committed to each other to not bring processed junk food into our home.  This morning, I bagged up all the boxed cookies, bagged chips, valentine’s day candy, and other foods that do not fit into our new eating plan (more on that soon) and threw it away.

2.  Using MyFitness Pal to record my meals –  When I was living what I term my healthiest life, I was keeping a food journal – not because I was tracking calories or macronutrients, but as a visual way to understand the food that I was putting into my body. Often knowing I would have to track that candy bar or slice of cake at the office party was enough motivation to say no.  I am going to strive to record my meals daily and share those with my husband as a method of accountability.

3. Use my weekend afternoons to meal prep –  On Saturday afternoons, I will prepare my weekly breakfasts (egg and ham cups), lunches (mason jar salads), and snacks.  If I prep the meals ahead of time, I have no excuse for not making SMART choices.

4.  Do T-25 workouts 4 days a week, complete 2 upper body workouts a week, and 1 long walk on weekends. All of these workouts will be considered training for the 5K’s I will complete before baby arrives in June. - I will be joining my college roommate and hubby to complete the  Pi Mile Road Race in April and my running group to finish the Blueberry Festival 5K in June.

Four actions steps that I feel are going to go a long way in helping me to get my health (and life) back on track.

Bringing it All Together

Last week I was cleaning out my book collection when I stumbled across this…..

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It was my story that was featured in Caitlin’s book Operation Beautiful. As I read the words of the 27 year version of myself, I realized that somehow my life had gotten vastly off course.  Granted, I am 4 years old with a child, a second on the way, and a career with more time demands. But reading over that, I realized that while the life I am living is blessed it is NOT the life I wanted to live 4 years ago.

So I began to think….HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

As I thought back to those days before my daughter’s birth, I had a two  important realizations.

1. My life has become very compartmentalized.  

- Back then there were no clear lines between my work life, my family life, my fitness or my blogging. I routinely shared my work struggles or blogging adventures with family, I used my blog to share about more than a desire to lose weight, and my husband and friends were my closest workout buddies.

-Now, I don’t discuss work at home. I don’t share a lot of family stuff on the blog.  And I’ve been working out solo more — and it isn’t working.

- So I am doing a few things to change that and to bring more unity to the various areas of my life.  The biggest is that I am working on unifying my 2 blogs (family and healthy living) into a single site.  There will still be separation for those who want to skip the stories of family but this feels more natural to me.

- Second, my extended family and I are beginning to follow The Daniel Plan (more on this is another post).  This means that we are planning healthy meals each Sunday afternoon, shopping together for the ingredients, and preparing the meals together each evening. Last week was a test run – and I loved it. Not only did I eat better in the evenings the stress of preparing meals was greatly reduced as I shared the responsibilities with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.

2. I used my workouts to train for specific goals….not a number on a scale.

-I am pregnant so weight gain is inevitable. However, even prior to pregnancy I had begun to view my workouts as a way to get my weight down.  Four years ago, my workouts were my way of training for 5K races and to prepare for a healthy delivery of my first daughter.

- It is a shift in thinking but I am starting to view my workouts as a way to train to “walk” 2 upcoming 5K races, and to prepare my body for the delivery of my second daughter.  In just a week of thinking of workouts that way, I have started to truly enjoy my workouts again.

I am excited about the insights that I have gained in the past week and the changes I am implementing to get my life back on the course I want it.

Your turn – Any major realizations for you lately?

Pregnancy Update…..19 Weeks

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What’s Happening with Pumpkin?
  • Pumpkin now weighs around 8.5 ounces and measures around 6 inches head to bottom.
  • Her arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of her body now.
  • Her kidneys continue to make urine and the hair on her scalp is sprouting.
  • Her brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch.

What’s Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 25 pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Mama is wearing lots of maternity dresses – that are comfortable and stylish.
  • Best moment this week: Deciding on a name for Pumpkin.
  • Food cravings: Nothing specific
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • What I miss: Being able to lie flat on my back. The position is just not as comfortable as it used to be.
  • What I am looking forward to: A weekend with no plans.

What’s Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy likes talking to Pumpkin at night, telling her silly jokes, and telling her how much he loves her.
    Daddy has become a pro at rubbing Mama’s back/feet/legs or anywhere else she seems to get cramps these days……he takes good care of Mama.

Review: The Walk App

During the 8th week of my pregnancy, my doctor placed me on modified bedrest – which meant that I could go to work, sit at my desk for 9 hours, then return home to lie on the couch till bedtime.  It was a miserable time for someone who was so use to being active.

However, I knew her recommendations were a precaution due to the subchorionic hematoma I was suffering.  When the bleed resolved at 13 weeks, I was certain that I would get the green light to return to my regular routine of running and Crossfit. Instead, I was told that I could walk, and if I tolerated that well then we could add in low impact aerobics in 4 weeks.

While I was not happy with the news, I was grateful just to be able to move again. However, the winter weather, and early sunset made walking outside nearly impossible so I was relgated to the walks on the treadmill.  Two walks in and I thought that I would die from boredom.  No amount of good music, reading material, or television show could distract me from the mind-numbing boredom of the “dreadmill”.

Then I found an app called “The Walk”. The Walk is an app very similar to Run Zombies.  Users complete a certain amount of exercise in order to unlock the next

How the App Works

The plot of this story features you as an average person who has been mistaken for a spy and been given a package that a group of terrorists desperately wants to get their hands on.  In Episode 1, the train that you were going o be on is blown to pieces and the terrorists begin to chase you.  You have no choice but to walk to your next destination.

To find out what happens next, get walking. I absolutely loved how the app rewards my movement with the next piece of the story. It was definitely motivation to keep walking. Additionally, you can receive points for completing tasks such as finishing an entire episode in 1 day or finishing an episode without being inactive for more than three
hours.

If you like, you can have the app to run all day in the background, then keep your phone with you at all times to track your movement and progress you further throughout the episode.  While this is a nice option, I don’t use it much as I reserve the episodes for dedicated orkout times.
There are 65 episodes with 800 minutes of audio. The amount of time it takes you to walk to the end of the story should equate to about three months of daily activity. That means that  should finish up the app about the time that baby #2 arrives.

Final Thoughts

The app is designed for someone on a low-impact exercise routine. You will be unlocking new content, even if you don’t take dedicated walks. The app tracks ALL of your movement. It will track all of your movement – even trips to the office water cooler and back Even count toward your progress. So if you aren’t big into high-impact exercise  but could use a little motivation for getting off the couch, this app might do the trick.

Pregnancy Update…18 weeks

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What’s Happening with Pumpkin?

  • Pumpkin  is about 5.5 inches long and weighs around 7 ounces.
  • She is busy flexing his arms/legs – which Mama is beginning to feel.
  • Her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place.

What’s Happening with Mama?

  • Total weight gain/loss: 20  pounds
  • Maternity clothes? Yes – almost exclusively.
  • Best moment this week: Finding out that our Pumpkin is a BABY GIRL!!!
  • Food cravings:  None
  • Belly button in or out? In.
  • What I miss: Having a stronger bladder. This week it seems if I even think about water I need to visit the restroom.
  • What I am looking forward to:  A relaxing weekend with family.

What’s Happening with Daddy?

  • Daddy is busy trying to finish up the farm accounting so that we can file taxes.
  • When Daddy is not working on the books, he is either on the farm on in his shop working on furniture for Pumpkin’s nursery.

Pregnancy Update: 17 Weeks

Bump Pics

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What’s Happening with Pumpkin?
He/she is now the size of a turnip – which is about 5 ounces and he/she is around 5 inches long.
His/Her skeleton is changing from soft cartilage to bone. The umbilical cord is growing stronger and thicker.
Pumpkin move his/her joints and is starting to develop sweat glands.

What’s Happening with Mama?

Total weight gain/loss: 20 pounds
Maternity clothes? Yes, although I am still wearing pre-pregnancy dresses and leggings.
Sleep: Sleeping is GREAT!
Best moment this week: Feeling the first flutters of movements
Food cravings: No real cravings this week
Belly Button in or out? In.
What I miss: Being able to get dressed in just a mere 5 minutes. Now that my wardrobe is dwindling, it takes longer to put an outfit together.
What I am looking forward to: Our Gender Reveal ultrasound on Monday.

What’s Happening with Daddy?

Daddy is busy with multiple projects at work that have him traveling all over South Georgia and North Florida. He is also starting to work on the furniture for baby’s nursery.