Gadgets

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! This week is flying so far!

For anyone who is interested, this last weekend went ok with my daughter being away. It was helpful to know she wasn’t too far from me…and estranged husband thing seemed to be as kind as possible during the whole thing.

I kept myself busy of course, and started off the weekend after dropping her off on Saturday with a 2 hour workout and gadget test! I had been lusting over owning a Garmin for a little over a year now, and when I found a deal too good to pass up on eBay, I finally took the plunge! I bought a Garmin Forerunner 305. It’s a bit ancient, as far as Garmins go, but I was so excited! I knew it was a great device (if Runsforcookies used it, it has to be good!) for a beginner at least, and the biggest reason I bought it was so that I could start monitoring my heart rate better. I bought the watch and heart rate chest strap, as well as a foot pod to use, since most of my runs right now are indoors on a treadmill.

I went to the YMCA for my run on Saturday, and even though it took me a while to get suited up (I put the foot pod on my shoe backwards the first time, of course), I was pleased with the results! The run wasn’t too bad – it had been a while since I ran since I had had the racing heart issues and was using the elliptical a lot. The chest strap didn’t bother me at all, which was great, and though it took me a while to get the watch to stop beeping at me (it had been set to go off with certain heart rate zones), once I got it a bit figured out I really enjoyed it!

The watch itself is a bit bulky…so it was nice that since I was running on a treadmill I could just take it off and set it on the treadmill itself. I would have left it on, but going through the silly menus while running was a bit hairy, lol!

My first forerunner run!

My first forerunner run!

Now, the truly awesome part was that I was paying so much attention to the heart rate and such, that I never even bothered to look at the run time for the entire 5k I ran. It wasn’t until several hours later that I bothered to look, and was so surprised! I had shaved nearly a minute off of my previous PR!

All in all, the first run with the Garmin was a success!

After the run, I did 15 miles on the stationary bike. I’ve been watching Sons of Anarchy while working out, and that definitely helps the time go by faster!

As luck would have it, also over the weekend, a good friend of mine who has dropped a ton of weight and has also been a great inspiration to me was selling one of HER gadgets. She has used a Nike+ Fuelband for over a year, and credits it with helping to keep her on track. For Christmas, she bought herself a new one, and wondered if I’d like to buy her old one. The cheapest I had found used ones online for was around $150, and she would sell hers to me for $60! So I jumped on it, and started using it Monday.

So far I’m really enjoying it! It’s not a hugely complicated device that can track a million different options like the Garmin, but what I’ve found these last two days is that it’s an excellent motivational tool to make me get up and move each day. It’s only been two and a half days, but I am definitely motivated to get that little LED reward:

Move or be shamed! :P

Move or be shamed! šŸ˜›

It may be silly, and of course you set your own goals, so cheating is always an option…but it’s a challenge, and challenges are part of what’s kept me going this last year.

The Nike+ Fuelband can’t be used for swimming, and probably would not be very accurate for biking, since the accelerometers inside are pretty much calibrated to make it a very fancy pedometer, but for elliptical, running, Zumba, etc…it’s a great tool!

So the last few days have been about learning gadgets, and adding tools to my arsenal on the assault against fat. So far I’m pleased and it’s helped to re-motivate me. Now if the scale would jump on board I’d be very happy…she has not budged for me for 2 weeks!

Grrr.

What about you? Have you used these or other gadgets to help get you going? šŸ™‚

 

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Noodles

This week has been a bit crazy, as I’ve felt like I’ve been hungrier than usual! It’s been kind of confusing and annoying…and the scale has been stagnant.

I kind of expected it would…I had a good loss a couple of weeks ago, and my body seems to lose on a 2 week cycle of lose, maintain, lose, maintain…so I’m trying to not focus on the numbers too much. I have started a habit of having a serving of this delicious sinful delight nearly every night…so I’m wondering if I need to cut that out a bit…but it’s so good!

But otherwise, this week has been a bit about noodles! First I had an avocado I needed to eat up, and after looking at a bajillion recipes on pinterest, I found one that I wanted to try. It called for spiral noodles…and I would have made it with zucchini noodles, but I didn’t have any zucchini in the house…but I had some egg noodles, so that’s what I ended up using. It was really tasty, and I ended up eating the leftovers for lunch today.

Avocado and Egg Noodles

Avocado and Egg Noodles

Avocado creamy goodness

Avocado creamy goodness

And then following the noodle theme, last night I made a recipe called Pumpkin Alfredo with Sweet Potato Noodles. I had been looking forward to this one, and I wasn’t dissapointed! The hardest part was figuring out how to cook the sweet potato noodles (the recipe calls for all raw and cold, and I’m not that far in to any kind of “raw” journey yet, lol!). I finally found a website that tells you to steam them, so if you try the recipe and don’t want raw crunchy noodles, just put the noodles over boiling water in one of those steamer thingies for about 10 minutes and they’ll be soft and tasty!

Disclaimer: 2 Sweet Potatoes makes a TON of noodles.

Disclaimer: 2 Sweet Potatoes makes a TON of noodles.

I was a little hesitant if this would be good or not...but it was SO tasty!

I was a little hesitant if this would be good or not…but it was SO tasty!

Finished product! It looks a little less "noodly" after the sweet potato cooks, but to me the texture change was worth it!

Finished product! It looks a little less “noodly” after the sweet potato cooks, but to me the texture change was worth it!

Like I mentioned in the photo, there were a TON of noodles created with this, and with the leftover sauce, I think I’ll be able to eat on this 2 more times at least. I only steamed noodles to eat last night, and I stored the rest in their raw state, that way they don’t get all mushy and weird.

I made it to the gym twice this week, and did a Zumba DVD on Tuesday evening, so I made my 3x during the week goal. My daughter is going to her dad’s apartment (for the first time overnight…I am nervous and conflicted and confused, but that’s another post!) this weekend, so I know I’ll get workouts in on both days. I feel like I’m doing pretty well this week!

Workouts are still with a goal of a lower HR, so elliptical again...this is as interesting a photo of workout results as I could think of, lol!

Workouts are still with a goal of a lower HR, so elliptical again…this is as interesting a photo of workout results as I could think of, lol!

So that is my weekly roundup! Anyone with toddlers…do you have any good meal suggestions for keeping their food as healthy as possible? My dear darling one turned her nose up at both of my noodle creations this week…so I did end up with frozen french fries and chicken nuggets as a meal for her a few times this week. I don’t mind it every once and awhile…but I need more ideas!

She doesn't look picky at all, right!? :)

She doesn’t look picky at all, right!? šŸ™‚

So tomorrow starts the weekend…and dropping my darling off with the estranged husband thing…wish me luck!

Change in the Making

Today at my weekly sanity check (counseling), it was nice to get a lot of things out and off my chest. I won’t go in to details here, because it’s not only my story to share, but suffice it to say it was just another step in this crazy road of trying to figure out who exactly I am now and who I want to be.

I never thought my life would be starting over at 33…I never thought that I would be staring down a fork in the road where one trail leads to divorce and one leads to…well, not much of a marriage I guess, and trying to make a choice.

All that to say, afterwards, I scarfed down some sushi (always a treat and a reward after being declared sane for another week!), and this song kept playing in my head. Apparently it’s nearly 4 years old or so, but I had never heard it until the other day at Zumba. Long story short, the class is taught at a Christian university, so several of the songs are Christian-based, which I rather enjoy. Anyway, when this song played the other day…I literally had to keep from crying right there in class. It’s definitely a mixture of happy and sad tears. I am mournful of some of the things that I feel I’ve lost…and of what I thought of as future certainties that Reagan may be losing…but also fearfully excited of the woman I think I will become as a result.

So anyway, yeah. This.

Like a Boss

This weekend was quick and uneventful – a nice combination when I had both planned no events and was single-momming my 22 month old. I started off on Friday night with a new recipe. I decided to try Mushroom Kale Lasagna Rolls, and used this recipe from SkinnyTaste. I won’t bore you with step by step details, as I’m not a cooking blog, but needless to say it ended up being not too hard to make (though it dirtied more dishes than I expected!), and delicious! The recipe makes 10 rolls, and so I’ve got leftovers to last during the week!

It is so green, but so good!

It is so green, but so good!

Saturday I Zumba’d at a class at my college Alma Matter, taught by a wonderful friend, Ruthie, who has an inspiring story of her own! I have been so surprised by Zumba. I am able to follow the moves fairly easily, and I am constantly surprised by how much easier it is to keep up and move my body now that there’s 70 pounds gone from it. I talked to Ruthie after and told her that though I took ballet for 10 years growing up (hence the ease of following the moves), I don’t think I ever truly enjoyed it. I was always the biggest girl in the class, and constantly spent my time looking in those damn mirrors comparing myself to the other girls. For anyone who’s never taken ballet or other dance class…one half of the entire room is made of mirrors…so you can constantly check your body positions, etc. For me, it was a constant and consistent reminder of how big I was – and of course now I look back and can say I wasn’t even that big!

But now. Now that I’m older and (ha!) wiser and have lived…and have developed a lot of self esteem, I could care less what I look like while dancing at Zumba…and I’m having so much FUN! I can keep up with the instructor, I can think about the music and the movement and just enjoy it! And I do.

Sunday started off a little rough. I had woken up at around 5:50am on Saturday, and cursed as I desperately tried to fall back asleep, wasting all those precious minutes as Reagan kept sleeping until nearly 7:30am! On Sunday, I was in a dead tired sleep…and of course she then decides to wake up at 5:50am.

And she woke up with plenty of energy.

And she woke up with plenty of energy.

After a fun-filled morning of me trying to wake up while she destroyed the living room, we both took naps (thank goodness!), and then afterwards I took her on a walk to the park. The park is right next to our apartment, so we were able to walk straight from our front door, which was nice. It was really windy, but we had a lot of fun!

Finding bottle caps

Finding bottle caps

Feeding these...bird things

Feeding these…bird things

Blowing bubbles...or attempting to.

Blowing bubbles…or attempting to.

Happy Face!

Happy Face!

Discovering that bridges cover water.

Discovering that bridges cover water.

Drinking juice - like a Boss!

Drinking juice – like a Boss!

I love taking these walks with her and re-discovering the world through her eyes. Even though it’s annoying to keep her away from the water the whole time, and even though she stood on that silly bridge for 20 minutes longer than I would have liked and kept telling me there was water underneath us…I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Oh and my daughter’s hair is crazy, in case you can’t tell. I think it might turn out to be curly…and I have no experience in that arena…add to that the fact that she hates having her hair or face messed with, and it is a constant battle in which she is the victor 99% of the time.

Besides…I say the longer you can go without fussing with hair or wearing shoes…go for it!

So today was back to the grind, but I did make it to the gym for a lunchtime workout!

Proof of my elliptical exploits!

Proof of my elliptical exploits!

So there is my weekend/Monday recap. How was your weekend? What workouts have you discovered that you actually ENJOY, rather than endure?

Seventy

If you turn the way-back machine to 2011, I lost 60 pounds.

I did it by pretty much being an idiot…stupid restrictive eating and liquid diets and over-exercising. I became totally obsessed. It worked really well at the time…it was a time in my life where I needed something to be obsessed about for a while, and it was the first thing that ever had even “worked” for me.

I lost 60 pounds in 6 months…and promptly became pregnant!

And then I gained back 30 pounds…and then had the most beautiful baby on the planet…but then gained another 30 pounds.

One day reality hit me like a biotch in the face. That was the day I (again) saw a very scary number on the scale.

262.2

That was my starting weight in 2011 when I lost stupid weight. I had gone all the way back. To the 10th of a pound, I had gone back.

Since then, I’ve developed some really awesome habits on this latest weight loss journey. It wasn’t about being fast, it was about making changes that I knew I could live with all my life. I have basically cut out all sweets and sugary drinks, but I still have a soda every once in awhile, because you know what? I don’t want to give them up for all of time. I just have to learn to moderate…that is something I have to live with for all of time.

So, the weight came back off, slowly, but steadily and I wasn’t starving myself and developing obsessive habits this time. It took me a year verses 6 months this time, but I was happy with the progress…not to mention I had some giant personal hurdles that should have sent me back to the loving arms of food in a heartbeat. I persevered. But still, there was that magical number hanging over my head…60.

Now don’t misunderstand, I’ve lost over 60 pounds…I’ve had that beat since October or so. BUT, for some reason, I still wanted, yearned to reach that next decade of weight loss…so that I could…I don’t know…FOR REAL be passed where I had gone in 2011.

This morning, I saw a magical number on the scale…down to the 10th of a pound.

192.2

Today I’ve reached 70 pounds lost…exactly! I wish I had taken a picture of it, but I think I was too busy doing a little happy dance in my bathroom.

2011…bad habits…obsessive behavior…stupid marriage issues…turning to food (or wine) for coping…jeez, ALL of 2013… you all can bite me! I so own you.

This is my mean face...or an attempt at one. Do you feel intimidated yet?

This is my mean face…or an attempt at one. Do you feel intimidated yet?

A Week in the New Year

Well 2013 is over – THANK GOD!

Last year I buried my father when he passed away suddenly, found out my marriage was not strong enough to withstand temptation, and found that I had to start over mentally, financially…everything. But there were some good things.

  • I found out that I am 10 million times stronger than I thought I was
  • I grew stronger in my relationships to my daughter and my family
  • I found a voice of my own
  • I got a tattoo!
  • I lost over 60 pounds
December 2012 vs December 2013

December 2012 vs December 2013

Unfortunately things in marriage-land aren’t going so great. After seeing that as of right now my husband is either unwilling or incapable of wanting to work on our relationship, and that he wanted to continue to blame me for his parts to play in the whole thing, I had to ask him to leave.

To his credit he does claim that he needs to work on himself and such. I am trying to be as non-pessimistic as possible about that. Technically I guess this is a separation, I don’t know what the end-game is, and in this moment, I don’t know what I want it to be anymore.

My job is going in a different direction, and I am being asked to do some different tasks than I previously did on top of my regular duties. I am a bit terrified, but also not NOT excited about it either. Again, we’ll see what happens.

The new year…we’re a little over a week in, and I am cautiously optimistic. I will never again in my life say that things can’t get worse, so I won’t curse my 2014 with such nonsense…but I will say I hope with all my might that they are drastically better this year.

Bring it. But please bring it with happiness and kitties and flowers!

Bring it. But please bring it with happiness and kitties and flowers!