Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Time to get real.

I am kind of devestated.  It's a kind of feeling that may just wake one up from their status quo slumber.  Today I began looking at my posts here at my long neglected blog.  It was fun to see some of our old memories, some of which I would not have even remembered had they not been documented here, which totally reminds me that I need to get back to doing this as the memory maker I aspire to be for our family.  I digress....

I came upon a post from 2012 where I had finally fit into this dress I adored for my 14th wedding anniversary.  I was elated, glowing, healthy and alive!  Yes I still had a way to go, but I was doing it!!!  I was meeting goals!!!  I was newly pain-free!  My world was widening as I was able to finally go horse back riding.  It gave me a focus and much needed community at a time when I was in a new place, with no family or friends around me, attempting to make a home.

It brought me deep sadness to see how I have backslid since that time.  I had been a fitness coach.  I know, I was one of those positive thinking coaches that just knew it best to begin my coaching at the beginning of my journey so others could watch my transformation in real time and be inspired regarding their own.

These pics from just 3 years ago seem like a lifetime away as I look at them right now.
This past Summer we had my daughter's wedding.  Not only did I gain 50 pounds since my celebratory dress picture in 2012, but I had to have the dress I was measured for actually taken out 7 months after I had purchased it.  I was not my best at this monumental moment in my family's life, and in fact, even though I am normally a photoholic, I haven't even asked, begged or cajoled for a portrait of my daughter and I, or of the family shot the photographer snapped.  I am highly embarrassed over these remembrances that can never be changed.

How did I let depression, lonliness and who-knows-what-else do this to me?!  I am the one who suffers.  I am the one whose world gets smaller once again.  I am the one who pays the price.  Why did I let this happen?

I will tell one thing in my own observation.  I need social support in my life, be it in person or online. I need to be around other healthy people on a regular basis.  I need something to focus on that will bring good.  Another really cool concept is that when you are helping others, you are reinforcing your own journey.  I found myself in a really good place and felt really accountable when I had others counting on me.  When I was a fitness coach I had all of that.  Then I quit.  I quit because I had an issue that the company wasn't able to solve for me.  You see my coach became inactive, and so I was coachless myself.  There was a broken link and it bothered me.  I wanted to switch to another high profile coach that was very successful, active, positive, and actually running her coaching as a business.  I was not allowed  to do so as it would screw up the people over and under me.  So I quit. Figured I'd join back in 6 months when I could re-join under the super awesome coach I had began following.  Only I never did.  It was easy to just keep on keeping on, and not start paying the small monthly business dues again.  Then it became easy to just stop paying for and drinking my nutritionals which had benefited my husband and I so much.

Was the savings worth the cost?  Definitely not!  Look where it has gotten me.   I went from an unhealthy sedentary lifestyle, weight and diagnosis of MS to where I was just 3 years ago.  And now I am right back where I started.  The work to do it again from scratch seems so daunting.  And yet.....

How many more monumental weddings do I want to attend and cringe at the pictures of?  How many more activities do I want to turn down?  Do I want to be the grandma (first time grandma this coming February!) that sits on the sidelines or that can actually be physically active with her grandbaby? This is just reality.  This is not me beating or shaming myself.  I am mentally healthier than that.  I have become very good at finally being loving toward myself and appreciative of my life.  Because of that reason I have decided to get back to it.  It's the obvious choice for me.  The alternative is not good for me in any way, shape or form.

I will get back within a framework that supports me with my goals, motivation and socially.  I will get back to pushing play on our living room TV and to heck with anything that may make me think twice.  I don't care about those silly things any more, I care about me.  I care about my husband.  I want him to be around a great many years to come.  I don't want his body to cave while under pressure or stress because he's not healthy.  Although many things are not in our direct control, being good steward with what we've been given sure is.  Someone once said to me that it can be done without being a coach, or using a coach and proven framework.  Sure, and for those people maybe their social needs are met because they are deep into a fulfilling career, or are surrounded by family and friends.  Maybe they are naturally driven physically. For those who are not in those shoes, like myself, I am grateful for the online and local support of this organization, and I'm eager to get back to it.  I will do it the right way, the healthy and loving way.  I will feed myself nourishing food to help my body heal.  How would I treat a small child in my life that I want to nourish and help gain to fitness?  I will treat myself accordingly.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Time4learning update

I wanted to add an update to my last post reviewing Time4learning, but my ipad is being a pest and I couldn't seem to get to the end of the post and add text succesfully.  On that note, time for a new post I guess!

A problem for many people who desire virtual learning for multiple children is the lack of electronic availability.  For instance we are teaching 3 children, and only have one laptop in addition to my ipad.   For the first two weeks, they were actually taking turns doing school which is not sustainable by any stretch of the imagination.  I know a lot of people believe that school cannot be accomplished on an ipad due to needing flash capabilities.  I've got good news for you!  For $9.99 there is a flash app called "Photon" you can purchase one time and have flash forevermore on your ipad.  You open up the program, simply type the address in the browser bar, and then click the lightning bolt to the right:  Voila!  Flash.  Simultaneous learning going on in our one laptop household is a beautiful thing.  :)  Hope this helps someone out there make their day more manageable.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

My thoughts on Time4Learning

Hello friends,

It's been way too long.  I began home schooling again this year.  You may remember that I had done that previously with the littles and then sent them back to school after a health crisis.  This year, they came back home where they belong.  :)

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning is an online educational program that can be used in many ways including as a homeschooling curriculum or afterschool tutorial. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

This time I have 3 that are of school age, and it was tricky to be teacher to a second, fourth and sixth grader.  I was stretched pretty thin.  I tried to stage the work that they needed one on one so that they would not all need me at once.  It was a long day and required a couple of hours weekly to plan it all.

By mid year I was in a rut, or feeling near a melt-down.  LOL  This brings me to how I came to try Time4Learning.  I had heard it mentioned a few times, and I loved the idea of a virtual or online home school.  The problem is that most of the options I checked out were quite costly, and it was not an option for one, much less three children.  I decided to check this site out that I had heard about without too much hope to be honest.

I signed the boys up on a whim when I found it was only $19.95 for the first child, ad $14.95 for subsequent students.  For $50.00 per month, I could have all three children using this online source for their home learning.  I was pretty happy to find something that was actually affordable.  As a side note, there is a satisfaction guarantee with this company.  You can try it and cancel within two weeks paying nothing if you decide this is not the curriculum for you, so there is really no risk.

It's been two weeks now that we have been using Time4Learning, and it's been a life saver!  Not only is the planning done for me, but it also keeps records that can be printed out easily for portfolios and the like.  That alone was a relief.

You choose the subjects you want your child to do daily.  We chose from Language arts extensions, Language Arts, Math, science and social studies.  We had been really lacking with the science and social studies before trying out Time4Learning, as I was overhwelmed with everything else in our prior curriculum.  Now I feel good that they are getting lessons in these subjects as well.

The icing on the cake is that the children actually like it!  I have listened in on a majority of the lessons and they really are learning!  We were reading so much with our previous curriculum, and none of the boys really remembered much of it despite all of our laboring.  This gives information in digestible amounts, and exercises their reading and comprehension skills without being over-burdensome.  There are worksheets, projects, tests and quizzes and the parent decides which of these go onto their child's activity calendar.  We have been using them all.  It takes approximately 2 hours to complete daily, which is a good thing as we only have one family computer.  I'm hoping to have a second one by next year.  The rest of the day can be spent pursuing child-led interests, or co-op activities.  This is so nice as my 6th grader is interested in computer programming and spends time doing that daily along with reading his dad's success books.

If you find that a particular subject is too far advanced, or below your child's level, it is easy to go into the account and change it with a click of your mouse.  Within 24 hours the adjustment you make will be in effect.  I can't say enough good things about this curriculum.  I signed up with the intentions of just trying it out so I could take a break for a week or two, but seeing how much they enjoy it and the pressure it's taken off of me, I am going to stick with it.  The only real downside is that it only goes to 8th grade.  ;)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Time4Learning review coming up tomorrow, stay tuned!

I've been invited to try Time4Learning for one month in exchange for a candid review. My opinion will be entirely my own, so be sure to come back and read about my experience. Time4Learning is an online educational program that can be used in many ways including as a homeschooling curriculum or afterschool tutorial. Find out how to write your own curriculum review for Time4Learning.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Celebrating 14 years

Hello friends!  It's been awhile!!  We changed our wedding anniversary plans.  Each year we go out to a dinner or a movie and dinner......boring!  This year since we have been working on our fitness I had the idea to schedule a photo shoot, to give us a tangible memory as well as celebrate our weight loss.

Something I've always wanted to do was ride horses, so we opted to change our plans from the photo session, which would have also cost a lot more also in the end, to an adventure date consisting of a night at a bed and breakfast of a working horse ranch, followed by a breakfast, a 20 minute lesson,  and 90 minutes of trail riding.

Our cabin for the night

We arrived in the dark, after Mike's full day at work, so we couldn't appreciate the beauty of the drive or the ranch until the next morning.  We did arrive armed with some organic dark chocolate and wine to see us through the evening.  ;0) 

The next morning at 9am we showed up for breakfast which was set up outdoors on the porch of the main house.  A nice long table with pitchers of water was set up and then another area where the food was lined up, covered.  There was cereal and milk, yogurt, coffee, a ham, cheese and egg casserole as well as pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream.

Beautiful boy

Some of the horses

A couple more beauties

We then walked down to watch the horses be prepared.  We had our short lesson, practiced in the arena and the lined up in formation to take to the trails!  Mike was third in line and I was behind him.

I rode Blade
Mike rode Casey

 What a wonderful memory we made that day.  I much prefer activity like this to the same 'ol same 'ol.  This is something I have *always* wanted to do but could never afford as a child or young adult.  Then, I simply was too heavy.  It is a wonderful freeing feeling to be able to have choices and not be held back from doing what I really want to do!  I still have a way to go with my weight loss, but I would not have DREAMED of doing this last year.   Correction:  I could have ONLY DREAMED of doing this last year.  This year after gaining some fitness I was able to DO IT!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Progressing Right Along...

Where to start?  Where to start??  I guess at the beginning.  Ok, I bought this dress in April of 2011 for my cousin's May wedding.  I ordered it online and when it came from David's Bridal, I quickly found and later confirmed that their sizes run small, so I couldn't squeeze into the size 16.  NOT.  EVEN.  CLOSE.

No problem, I'd wear it for my 13th anniversary in August, surely by then it would fit.  Ummm.....NO.  Not only didn't it fit but I actually gained 30 lbs between then and Feb of 2012.  How did I do this?  By eating any crap I wanted, when I wanted it and by not working out.  Plain and Simple.

I started my fitness journey Feb 26th of 2012.  In the first 8 weeks I ate perfectly clean without a hitch,  and did the Turbo Jam program as well as half of the P90X program.  Then in the last 6 weeks or so (losing count here) I have done well but with a few hiccups along the way of missing workouts for a week at a time or eating off here and there.  I've lost 36 lbs total and 17" despite all the hiccups.  Even though I've felt like I've stagnated, my dress proves otherwise.

I tried it on weeks ago, and I actually got it on.  I was elated!  I couldn't zip it up AT ALL in the back, but it was on and I could actually believe that it would fit me soon.  :)

Today for ha-ha's, out of feeling kind of blah about my progress and effort as of late,  I tried it on.  I had to take steroids last week and gained a few lbs, and ate some junk to make it a complete pity I am feeling off kilter and behind as I get back on track.  SOOOOO the news is that IT FIT!!!  Not only did it FIT, but I could ZIP IT ALL THE WAY UP!!!!!!  Now, it was very tight, not wearable out yet.  If i had bent down, I could have split the seam.  BUT IT actually FIT!  Wow what a gift of motivation to wind myself right back up and stop messing around.  WOO Stinking HOO.

Oh I've got a way to go but I am getting there.  Beachbody fitness programs work.  They don't concentrate on one aspect, but the whole person.  Fitness, yes, but also nutrition and mind/spirit.  4 more sizes to go to be at my ideal BMI.

8 more weeks until my 14th Anniversary, and no doubt that I will wear the dress this year.  I just wonder if I will need it tailored by then....EEK!  Hubby also rented a limo for the night, which was quite surprising, unexpected and just insane.  YAY.   It will take us to our photo shoot and back, as well as whatever else we come up with.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Fitness and Health Progress with Menu!

Hello Friends,

Thought I would share my new menu.  For 3 months now I have been eating a much more "clean" diet.  What that means is minimal processed food, eliminating refined sugar and white flour products.  The way this is possible for us, a large family living on one income, is that I do not buy organic (much as I would like to), and I shop at the big discount grocery store, or the farmer's  market when that is an option, for just about everything other than the occasional supply.  We have been eating mini-meals rather than the traditional 3 heavier meals, to keep our metabolism burning steadily and more efficiently.
In the last 13 or so weeks (since Feb 26th) I've shed 37 lbs and 16-1/2",  and he's gotten rid of 30 lbs in addition to his building some muscle.  Our energy levels are better without a lot of the dips we experienced before.  We do not have a lot of $ for vitamins but do take OTC cheap brand Vitamin D3 (required due to my severe deficiency...and this supports neurological function), calcium and fish oil along with a one a day multi-vitamin.  I used to be one of those snobs who refused to take vitamin pills and insisted I ate a good enough diet (was fooling myself) that I shouldn't need them.  Then I came down with an auto-immune disease and opened my eyes to research on things like Vitamin D3 and Omega 3.  There sure was a time we existed on white flour products and the like, as we had no choice, but it is a goal and priority to do better when we are able to.  A good investment if you ask me, as this body is the only one we will get, and it carries us through this life, enabling us to connect and enjoy, or not so much, depending on the state of health we are in.

1-Greek yogurt
2-apple and 12 raw almonds
3-turkey avocado & veggie wrap with whole wheat tortilla and chilled cucumber yogurt
4- 3 bean salad
5-hard boiled egg on a bed of baby spinach with balsamic dressing
6-Grilled lemon salmon (for Omega 3) with honeyed carrots

1-homemade oatmeal with 1/2 banana, 1 TBSP pure maple syrup and 1/8 C walnut
2-celery stalk cut in small strips with 1 TBSP natural PB and 5 raisins
3-an entire red pepper cut into strips with 2 TBSP homemade hummus
4-hard boiled egg on bed of baby spinach with balsamic dressing
5-strawberry yogurt with a sliced kiwi
6-Herb roasted chicken with roasted root veggies

1-Greek yogurt with orange
2-banana with 12 walnut halves (omega 3)
3-small baked sweet potato with dash of nutmeg and 1 tsp honey on top
4-chicken lettuce cups with homemade asian dressing
5-red cabbage and apple salad with walnuts (Omega 3) and cranberries
6-parmesan crusted tilapia with syrian green beans

1-veggie omelet
2-orange with 12 walnut halves (for omega 3)l
3-greek yogurt
4-apple with 2 TBSP natural peanut butter
5-simple spinach salad
6-chicken and shrimp stir-fry with brown rice

1-homemade oatmeal with 1/2 chopped apple (skin on), 2 TBSP pure maple syrup  and 6 almonds (added at end)
2-strawberry yogurt with sliced kiwi
3-baby carrots with 1 TB hummus
4-hard boiled egg
5-zucchini pasta bake with some ground turkey and mozzarella
6-protein shake with 1% milk and peanut butter

1-protein shake with 1% milk and peanut butter
2-greek yogurt
3-apple with 12 almonds
4-hard boiled egg with sliced red pepper strips
5-turkey burger on whole wheat bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion and a tad of BBQ sauce with sweet potato fries
6-whole cucumber, peeled and sliced with hummus

1-protein shake with 1% milk and peanut butter
2-hard boiled egg & green pepper strips & hummus
3-apple with 12 almonds
4-simple spinach salad
5-3 bean salad
6-panko crusted baked chicken with dijon sauce made with non-fat yogurt

Shop List:


baby spinach
bean sprouts
green peppers
red peppers
2 small beets
1 small turnip
2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes
red cabbage

almonds 3.99
walnuts  3.99
dried cranberries

1% milk
8 greek yogurts
2 strawberry yogurts
1 large tub vanilla yogurt for kids
grated parmesan

turkey meat for sandwiches
roaster chicken
chicken breast

3 cans green beans
2 cans canellini beans
2 cans chick peas
1 can kidney beans

frozen salmon portions $4
frozen tilapia portions  $4
frozen cleaned raw shrimp $12 but will last for months

whole wheat tortillas
sandwich bread for kids

Already have in pantry:

peanut butter



maple syrup



soy sauce


brown rice



I still do love collecting my vintage cookbooks and booklets.  LOL  My mom just asked me about that yesterday.  My bookshelf is lined with them.  I told her when society goes BOOM and we are still kicking, I will know how to make some cheap meals and survive.  ;0)