Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Wheat Belly Wednesday - {1.5}

I say 1.5 because, well... Wyatt's sick. There is a strong possibility I am also sick, but I refuse to accept or fully come to terms with that so we'll just pretend I'm not.

Anyways, I have the lion cub at work with me today and a doctor appointment scheduled for this morning, so I'm short on time.

I'm on day three of no grains of any type. Overall, it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it would be -- so far. I do think it helped that I cut back considerably for the couple of weeks leading up to the big jump. It is a bit more challenging today as I'm sick err... perfectly healthy. I will not be sick. I will not be sick. I want all the carbs and all the comfort foods! But I'm determined to trudge ahead. 

Since I'm only a couple days in, there isn't too much to report yet. I'm just getting into the swing of things at this point. Hopefully, next week, I will have more insight.

At least he can still be a little comedian on only 2 hours sleep and feeling horrible.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Motivation Monday - Cardio

It's another Motivation Monday! Come link-up with us and hop around to view other's ideas.

This week's top is "Favorite Cardio". I've been looking forward to this topic because it's one that I feel finally applies to me. However, some unexpected family things last night took over my planned post writing time. So, last minute post for the win!

I love all things fitness. I can't choose just one...

 Lift all the weights! Running is the best! HIIT is a love/hate relationship. Circuit training is awesome for fat blasting and long term calorie burn. I could go on and on. My favorite type of cardio (or any workout for that matter) changes daily. Sometimes several times a day. It just depends on my mood. 

If I lived in a warmer climate, where I could be outdoors year round, this answer would be ridiculously simple: Hiking.

The above photos are from an overnight backpacking trip we took this past summer. We were around 12,000 -14,000 feet altitude. Hiking uphill, over boulders and creeks. It was roughly 3 miles in and 3 miles out with a 30+ pound pack on your back. It.was.awesome! I love the mountains. I love the peacefulness. And I love that it's an amazing workout that is completely enjoyable, yet challenge. 

I love having all this in my backyard, but it is Wyoming. Meaning, we are stuck indoors nearly 6 months a year and roads to these beautiful sights are closed down until the snow melts. So, until we can get back up there again - I have to improvise.

Runs are few and far between right now due to minimal day light, frigid temps and frozen sidewalks and streets. HIIT (high intensity interval training) has been my best friend throughout the winter. It's short and incredibly effective. Perfect for a busy day. 

I've put together a couple HIIT in the past few months using some of my favorite moves. There are great, free interval training timer apps out there. 

Give it a shot and let me know how it goes if you do!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wheat Belly Wednesday - {1}

It's Wheat Belly Wednesday - Edition 1!

The Background

I started my weight loss journey last April after a year long battle with various illnesses. In the beginning I counted calories and was doing Jillian Michael's Body Revolution. Pounds and inches were falling off and I was addicted to my new lifestyle. By the end of summer, and shortly after completing JMBR, I hit a plateau. Now, I'm no stranger to weight loss. I'd lost roughly 50 pounds before I got pregnant with my son. It was easy then and I never experienced a true plateau that time around.

September came and I was completely frustrated with the scale. I struggled to stay motivated when I wasn't seeing the results. October rolled around and I, once again, was hit with illnesses that I just could not break. On top of being sick, my body has been hurting daily. I started experiencing constant fatigue no matter how many hours of sleep I got. Plus a host of other symptoms. It was clear that I was in another Lupus flare up. You can read my Lupus diagnosis story HERE.

Until the past 18 months, I've been very fortunate with my Lupus. For about a 5 year period, I had virtually no symptoms. It was a great time and made it very easy to put myself in a state of denial about my health. I managed to get through Fit 4 Christmas in a fairly healthy state and started to see results again. My motivation was back and I was ready to kick things into high gear. By January, I got a bad case of bronchitis and a chronic sinus infection. I was put on steroids and a host of other antibiotics. Steroids always make me balloon up and I felt so defeated. The combination of medications, no workouts, and a poor attitude, I almost completely gave up my healthy lifestyle. The scale has been creeping up every since and I've struggled to get my mind in the right place.

With my Lupus being more "active" as of late, the doctors recommended I get back in with a Rheumatologist and begin a treatment plan. Lupus is not curable. All they can do is try and help the symptoms themselves. Which is fine and dandy, but it has awful side effects. One of which is weight gain. I'm just not ready to take that step. 

Before taking drastic steps, I wanted to see what I could do for myself to help my immune system and the pain. Some Google searching lead me to some theories that a grain free diet is helpful in some cases of Lupus sufferers.

Enter Wheat Belly

I have read about Wheat Belly many times - mainly from Gwen over at Against the Grain. If you haven't checked her blog out, you really should. Gwen has lost over 60 pounds and looks amazing. I am constantly amazed by her self control and determination. She has embraced the Primal life and has seen awesome health benefits from doing so.

About 3 weeks ago, I decided to go grain free to see if it will help my health problems. I did some research online, but not enough. I have struggled to jump in, both feet. To fully embrace something, I need to understand it completely. Not just "stop eating wheat and I'll feel better". But to understand the hows and whys behind it. So, I bit the bullet and ordered the book. 

I'm not far into it (but plan to finish over the weekend) and I'm already blown away by the facts. It all makes sense and I hope that it will continue to pull me in and change my life. I'm starting a Beachbody Challenge (hybrid, as I'm changing a few things) on Monday, so I'm going completely grain free starting Monday. This will give me time to finish the book and feel ready to get to it.

I'll be sharing my journey every Wednesday on the blog. It's an "experiment" in many ways. I don't know if it will help my Lupus, but time will tell!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Motivation Monday - Wheat Belly

It's Motivation Monday! Come link up with us and be sure to hop around and check some other blogs out.

Today's theme is Healthy Valentine's Dinners. Truth is, I'm one of those people that feels Valentine's Day is a bit ridiculous. I make a big deal out of every holiday for Wyatt. There will be goodies and fun things for him. But, we don't really go all out for each other. So, this theme doesn't apply to me too much. I'm excited to see what you all have in mind though!


This past week has felt a bit like Christmas. I've had plans to get a HRM for months and months. I finally caved and ordered one last week. I am in love! Picture below is my calorie burn for T25 Cardio. I never would have guessed I was burning that much in 25 minutes. I've found that having the watch really pushes me to work even harder to get as big a burn as possible, so big win all around here. 

I also got the foot pod so I can track my runs with it as well. We are finally supposed to have some decent weather this weekend and I plan to get some miles in and test it. Maybe that groundhog fibbed after all...

As I've mentioned the past few weeks, I'm working on the switch to a grain free diet. Honestly, it's been challenging. I love my carbs! In fact, I didn't realize just how much I ate them until I started working on this lifestyle change. I did some research before beginning the process, but was struggling to fully commit. I know there are studies showing it can help my autoimmune diseases, but I didn't know how or why. A lack of knowledge has made it difficult to fully jump in.

Enter Wheat Belly:

I'm only about 50 pages in (I need more free time!) but am already completely amazed by all the facts in this book. My plan for the blog is to turn Wednesday's into all things Wheat Belly. I'll be sharing what I'm learning, what I'm trying and most importantly how it affects my overall health, especially Lupus.

And last, but not least, in other good news: I finally have a working laptop again after 6 months without. This should mean more organized posts from now on. Knock on wood!

I have even more plans and changes coming soon. It is a lot all at once, but my health is incredibly important. Now more than ever. It's time to make not only weightloss a priority, but the whole big picture.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Operation Make Someone Smile

Years ago, life knocked me down a few too many times. Prior to these events, I was a positive, happy person. Each time I'd pick myself up, dust it off and go forward with faith that God had a plan. That there were lessons to be learned and I could handle it. For a long time, I carried these burdens alone and eventually it took its toll and it became too heavy to carry. For a period of time, I had severe panic and anxiety attacks as a result. The once positive and happy me became very bitter and angry. At everyone -- and everything.

I'm not proud of that time, but it's the truth. I finally chose to let others in and the weight lifted somewhat. But, I've noticed a lot lately that the bitter and angry side of me is coming out more and more. I don't like that person. I don't want to be her. I'm not her.

This journey I'm on is not just about losing weight. It's also a journey to become a healthier me on the inside. Emotionally and mentally. I don't believe you can achieve long-term success in weight loss if you don't address all areas of your life. Not only for myself, but to be the best possible mother. Children learn by example. They become what they see from their parents. I don't want Wyatt to grow up with a poor attitude.

I fully believe we are 100% in control of our own emotions. Sometimes it's easier said than done, but if you want to be happy -- be happy. No one else can do that for you.

I'm saying goodbye to Negative Sally and Hello, Positive Patty!

Instead of focusing on my mistakes and my failures and coming here to whine about them, I'm going to start looking for the things I'm doing right. For the things I'm proud of. My successes. Life is so much more enjoyable with the right attitude.

My goal is to find one small, random act of kindness every day. Whether it's holding the door for someone. Letting a mother with her hands full go ahead in the grocery line. Shovel a neighbor's side walk. Anything at all to brighten someone else's day.

So, Operation Make Someone Smile is in affect! Who's with me?! Make someone's day brighter, and in turn, yours will be made even greater.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Wake Up Call

It's no secret that I've been struggling since Christmas. By the end of the Fit 4 Christmas Challenge, I had finally broken through a very long plateau. I was looking and feeling great. Then I got sick and just couldn't beat it. It really took a toll on me both mentally and physically.

I took the dreaded meds and I got better. But I just have not been able to get my mind back where it needs to be. I have been struggling to come to terms with the pounds I put on in January. Struggling to accept it, own up to it, and get back to work. Instead I've just been angry with myself and unable to to move past it.

I'm in the process of getting ready to get a new phone (iPhone or Galaxy!?! Someone help me!). Last night I was going through weeding out some photos and came across my "afters" from Fit 4 Christmas. I was blown away by the difference from that photo to my T25 "before" photos. It hit me like a ton of bricks and was the wake up call I've desperately been needing.

I ate a healthy, grain-free breakfast this morning. My lunch is packed. Dinner planned. Water bottle filled and I'm ready to bust out of this ridiculous pity party.

While I'm owning up to my struggles, let's dig a little deeper. My biggest challenge is food. I have no problem with the fitness side of things. I love my workouts. I crave them. I look forward to them. For me personally, that part comes easy. Are there days where I just want to sit on the cough in my pjs? Yes, of course. But those moments are few and far between. However, I struggle with food. Not just every day... but at every meal. It does not come easy to me. Far from it. We all find different methods that work best for us. Whether it's Primal/Paleo, Low Carb, Weight Watchers, Calorie Counting, Intuitive Eating... There's no set rule for any one person. And, I've done them all and still fail to fully get this part of the health game down.

I was approached to be a part of a Challenge Group for a new BeachBody program and will be starting that in another week or so. Here's what I love about it: it's all about portion control -- my biggest struggle. I can still go grain-free on the program and I don't have to count calories or points. I feel that this is exactly what I need in order to train my body how to properly eat and keep things in check. I will have more on this as I get going, but I'm feeling revived and ready to get things into check. There's no antibiotics or illnesses weighing me down now. There are no excuses. It's time to get out of my head and do something about it. I'm starting a month late, but lets do this 2014!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Motivation Monday - "Healthy Treats"


Seriously. I don't even understand what happened yesterday. Honestly, I thought it would be a close game with the Broncos coming out on top. As it turns out, the Broncos didn't even show up. It was just painful to watch, and I'm not even a fan of either team. Now that football is over, I can concentrate on my true love: Baseball!

Moving on... it's Motivation Monday and today's theme is Healthy Treats. 

Here's the deal - I'm a snacker. That is my biggest down fall. Mindless eating throughout the day. So, when I'm on track I try to avoid snacking and treats as much as possible. It just takes me down a slippery slope. When I feel I really need something in between meals, my fall backs are usually a boiled egg, slice of cheese or a little bit of fruit. I used to eat a lot of wheat thins as snacks, but I'm experimenting with cutting grains out. 

I'm going to get off topic for a quick minute. I've had some questions and negativity around my decision to cut the grains. I will go further into this in another week or so, but a quick Clif Note verson: For me personally, weight loss has nothing to do with me dipping into a Primal/Paleo lifestyle. Although, I won't complain about any lost pounds in the process. For me, this is all about my health. Trying alternative, natural ways to help my immune system and lupus before taking drastic pharmaceutical measures. (This coming from a girl with a pharmacist as a brother, ha!) It may help, it may not. But it definitely can't hurt and I feel it is best for me at list time... Okay, back on topic...

My sweet tooth really kicks in after dinner. What I've found works best for me in terms of eating a week's worth of calories before bed, is to workout before dinner. It pushes my dinner time back further, and I'm never overly hungry after a workout. If I feel that I absolutely have to have something, I love to slice an apple, sprinkle some cinnamon on top and microwave it for a bit. It cures my sweet craving without completely derailing my work. 

As I've mentioned before, I'm not a believer in "low fat/non fat" or making some crazy version of a brownie full of veggies etc... If I just can't get said brownie off the brain, I'll eat one and get right back on track. As long as it's not a brownie a day, or even a week, it's not going to derail your efforts. But, I know that we are all different and just do what works best for ourselves. 

What are your favorite healthy treats? What works best for YOU!?

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