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Still not there yet but I’m proud of the journey thus far.

Still not there yet but I’m proud of the journey thus far.

I set out on a very proud day in June 2012 to lose a breathtaking, anxiety inducing 125 lbs by my following birthday in May 2013. I’ve seen the before/after pictures of people losing over 200 lbs in a year or losing 100 lbs in 6 months I KNEW in every part of my soul it CAN be done. It was possible. I was so fired up so excited. So scared because thats a HUGE journey. Then in my gusto because my body and my mind were not operating on the same plan I threw my back out during my very first program not even 30 days in. I cried. I tried. I failed. I got back up I finished to the best of my ability. I didn’t try to control what I ate just tried to become more conscious. I eat clean it wasn’t my worry. I am morbidly obese every thing you find out there says less calories in = more weight lost. Food doesn’t control me I wanted big results without even trying my calorie intake when I would track would be right around 1000 calories a day. With a deficit like that the pounds should fly off at least in the beginning.

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They didn’t.

I switched programs. From power 90 to Les Mills Pump which is still my all time favorite program thus far. The music makes me happy. The upbeat banter makes me happy and who doesn’t feel absolutely strong doing bicep curls and clean and presses. Still the scale wasn’t moving. I was starting to see changes but I wanted people stopping me saying “WOW what are you doing and can I do it with you?” Holiday rush for Lana Bella happened. Working out was on the side line.  Must keep knitting. Must pack orders. Must sleep. I’m human it happens and its not like it was actually working right?

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After the new year I started back with Les Mills Pump was doing pretty well but you know that darn CCTI dinner was coming up and well damn I didn’t want to be the FAT person there again. I was so uncomfortable in myself in 2012 I wanted to get there and see the wives I hadn’t seen either and have them notice the progress I was making. I stopped doing Les Mills Pump and on April 1 I started doing Ultimate Reset with a Whole30 inspired food plan. You see Reset while great for most people was IMO pretty heavily grain and soy based and I don’t eat soy at all ever because of my mom’s estrogen positive breast cancer and testing positive for the gene. So I adapted I detoxed. The scale FINALLY budged but over all I FELT good, on the inside I felt that THIS would be my turning point. Surely this kicked my metabolism into high gear.

Day 1 Dinner

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I finished Ultimate Reset and earned a FREE t shirt.

From Reset I joined my friend Amy in doing a Les Mills Pump/Insanity challenge with her. Oh boy INSANITY, the program really lives up to its name. There were days I cried, I shed so many tears on that program both in struggling and in pride, in accomplishment, in I don’t even know what. I realized in talking with Amy that maybe I wasn’t eating enough I started tracking every single calorie going in I struggled to eat more. I was putting coconut oil in everything to get more calories in. I was eating spoonfuls of peanut butter to get up to even 1200 calories. Then 1500 calories.  It was slow progress my body was rejecting the food, I was feeling sick. Stomach upset. I kept pushing play. I look back and some of my favorite pictures of myself stemmed from those 90 days!

IMG_3330The Insanity fit test is no joke of a workout. I thought like I was going to throw up. I was on the floor more than I ever thought possible. I wanted so many times to just hit pause. to quit. I didn’t. Amy was watching. An entire accountability group was watching. I was NOT going to be the fat girl who gave up. Just one more. It won’t ACTUALLY kill me will it. I don’t know if I CAN do this but I WILL.

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10 days in by sheer will.

IMG_3574 Even pushing play on my birthday. Making progress. Excited to start work on my mermaid tattoo.

IMG_3607Finding out I have even more followers that I won’t ever let down.

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Starting to see muscles developing is one of the coolest things in the world.

IMG_3785I was beginning to shine. My light was sparking up with my progress.

IMG_3933We worked out together as a couple and I was able to keep up. I was able to show Steve that I was getting stronger.

IMG_4109Even when my dad came to visit up we snuck upstairs together for a quick workout, TOGETHER.

IMG_4159I DID IT!!! 90 days of Les Mills Pump and Insanity!

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Even I could see the changes if I compared images.

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and my favorite pair of pants didn’t fit anymore.

Aidan was finishing up a huge project for his leadership class we became friends with Richard Neal & we blessed with information from so many top coaches in the business.  We ordered the new program T25 that was just coming out. What working out only 25 minutes a day ANYONE could do this.

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We had a blast “fighting” over this program and who was going to do it first.

IMG_4352For someone who hates working out. Yes there  I said it me pushing play and going to work out is my biggest struggle.  I was enjoying this program.

IMG_4373Brenna came to visit with Elise. I can honestly say I do not regret for one moment not working out and falling off the train so I could hold that precious baby girl.

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Look at us. I ‘m so grateful for all the work I put in before her visit for the glow I had in myself.

However. I do regret not starting back up after their visit. Though I did get sick. Really sick. Food was not my friend. Food who I should be able to trust to nourish my body was fighting against me. I spent WEEKS trying to eat. Trying to not have stomach spasms every time I did eat.  Anxiety was taking over. Ulcers were taking over. Stress was winning.

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I finally got to meet Amy Mecsko at the Miami Super Saturday event. Every single time I wanted to quit I didn’t because of her. So many times she reminded me to BLOOM where planted. That I could and was doing this. I don’t know if I have ever, could ever thank her enough for how much I have learned about myself up to now. THANK YOU AMY!!!!

IMG_4715Steve, Aidan and I also got to meet the CEO of BeachBody Carl Daikeler. Aidan got up and shared his story in front of over 300 people.

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After talking with Amy at Super Saturday, I had mentioned how much I missed weights and how I might just give Body Beast a try. There were tons f women starting it at the same time I’d have heaps of online support. Plus I saw the changes in Steve. He had lost so much and looked better than he ever had in our entire marriage.

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I started Day 1 of Body Beast smart I went very light on the weights not knowing what to expect knowing it had been close to 2 months since I had worked out at all. I could do this. The banter from Sagi while for most guys was probably ok and amusing to them even. From my stand point I didn’t care for it I even mentioned it to someone who said they didn’t like it either so they just muted the tv and put on music. Ok  I could do that.  LEG DAY. I was stupid. A complete idiot. I put the same weight on my bar that I had ended Les Mills Pump with 2 months earlier thinking my muscles and my body would be ok with it. I did so much damage It took 2 2 hour massages and nearly 10 days before I could really walk again. My back was spasming uncontrollable, which made my stomach join in for the fun, my legs I don’t even want to go back there to that point of pain to remember it was bad. I cried tears of pain. Such a dumb move really.

I quit. again.

But in that time something else happened. While I was at such a low. Rock bottom. Back against the wall. Rory started. It was lighting a fire with a rock and a twig just little sparks. Just asking questions, struggling against myself. What my brain was saying against what my heart was longing for. Books upon books were bought I didn’t want to tell him wrong. I didn’t want my beliefs and struggles to get in the way. I didn’t want my anger to cloud things. He was asking about God. He asked to go to church. I said no. He didn’t give up he kept asking. We kept reading. He kept believing. I kept listening to Him to Rory he was guiding me not so gently either. I had audible credits. I ordered a book. It had me on my knees in tears, sobbing, longing, breathing, agreeing. I texted Amy, Ann, Gigi. I had to share. I went and found Rory, I said I was ready. I would bring him to church on Sunday if he still wanted to go. He did. We went. He loved it. I can’t even explain the light I saw in my boy that day. He was quiet. still. absorbing. He told me Jesus had the same hair as him. I cried. I still cry. I cry now just remembering him it wasn’t in a way I can even describe it was factual, it was in a way an old soul remembers things that have happened before have come before, there may not be many things I can trust in but in Rory’s unwavering faith I believe.

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He is who guides me. I can see him. touch him. follow him. we kept going to church. Each and every single time he says things does things that I can’t ignore. On our second visit he asked if he could shake the priest’s hand when we were done. I agreed. He asked the priest if they could pray together. then he blessed the priest. he is friends and prayer buddies with a nun. he memorized the entire rosary, the apostle’s creed, in 3 days. the sound in church doesn’t bother my super sound sensitive kid anymore. he sings. he prays. oh he prays. he has a prayer list. he builds mine craft rosary worlds. he prays for people he doesn’t even know because he says to say a hail mary for them is like giving them a hug because the world needs more hugs, because some people don’t have enough love and he has plenty. he is changing all of us.

IMG_5129he wanted a visual, I bought him one.

IMG_5132Hanukkah Happened. Rory delights in the customs of old.

IMG_5200We even lit  candles with friends and a virtual Steve giving our blessings.

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Advent happened. Rory said we didn’t need presents because we get presents all the time but other people didn’t have much and we should help them. We chose 3 names off the church advent tree. all the kids got involved.  It was the first time in a long time i celebrated Advent for he season it is Rory reveled in delight every day as we would read stories and sharing what he thought Jesus would do today. He fell in love with Pope Francis.

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I found hope. I found changes under the surface happening emotionally. I retreat into myself. I’m still processing. still absorbing. I’m in a chrysalis state. I don’t know where I’m being led, I am content in just believing, in hoping in following, in not having to bear the burdens alone in my own hands. I’m tired to my  bones from carrying those burdens alone.

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I celebrate little moments. Celebrate Jack turning 10. Celebrate life.

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And because I’m just that crazy and a friend showed some love by sending the the Fast Metabolism Diet book with a very from the heart letter attached I decided it was ONLY 28 days and totally worth a try. SO much food. So many delicious things though. Who knew I’d love tuna and apples together! The first week I didn’t workout. couldn’t. I was eating so much food I thought I was going to explode. The 2nd week I added in 1 day each of the workouts to go with the diet. It felt good. Week 3 the plague hit our house. Week 4 I’ve honestly been falling off track. I’m not eating as much. Skipping meals again.  Ignoring those signs of hunger that were so new in the past few weeks. I need to get my head back in the game. Stop seeing food as the enemy. Find a common ground where I’m not obsessing, not forcing, I don’t know where it is. I know at this point its going to take a massive brain reset. I’m going to have to stop reading. Stop with the me against food. I’m having stomach spasms again. Stressing again. When eating in general causes stress, I don’t know. I NEED to lose this fat. I need to be able to go hiking with my kids.

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I need to back up stain order. Celebrate. We had an amazing Christmas just the kids and I and a couple friends who stopped by and I really need to thank Ashley & Diana for sharing their time with us to help us feel festive while Steve was underway (deployed) for the holidays! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

IMG_7036In their Christmas jammies.

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So I battle internally with accepting slow progress and desiring more. Wanting to just be below 200 lbs. Not knowing how to get there. terrified that I’ve damaged my body to the point that its going to take 10 years. Every single day crying when I input my food into my fitness pal and it telling me that if every day was like today in 6 weeks my body would be 20 lbs lighter knowing its been saying that for a YEAR. a YEAR over a Year. struggling to lose 3 lbs a MONTH. I’m morbidly obese I should be losing much more. I see the pictures. Struggle with the why not me. Wondering what the hell I’m doing wrong. Rory hugs me, prays for me, tells me there is a reason for it and I will find it. It is a seven year old boy who gets me through almost every single day who cheers me on when I think I can’t eat another bite of food. Who makes deals with me if I finish I can go knit, go hide.

IMG_5390I have goals. Dreams. BIG SCARY HAIRY DREAMS. Dreams that take my breath away. And even more scary some of those dreams are contingent upon me losing this damn fat. Not being 200+ lbs anymore. Being uncomfortable. Being weird. Being Public. Sharing all those really scary things I only think to myself. Sharing my struggles. Sharing my tears. Sharing my heart.

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So I read. Surrender. I pray. I cry more. I pray more. I feel layers and layers falling aside. I believe. I trust. I hope. I put those dreams to paper. I struggle. I pray for guidance. I plan.

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Image from http://www.olympicpeninsula.org/destinations/port-angeles

We are moving from Miami to Port Angeles this summer. I have dreams. Desires. Goals. I reflect. I share.  I don’t know how I am going to achieve my dreams. Only that I will.

What are your dreams? Will you join me? If you want more information please just fill out the contact form below! I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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I’ve been knitting, and knitting, and knitting.

I’ve been knitting, and knitting, and knitting.

I know I’ve been knitting a little here and there for a while now. In the past few months I’ve really fallen in love though. I’ve gotten good enough that I don’t have to look at my hands constantly while knitting anymore, I’m comfortable knitting flat or in the round, I’ve even added a ton of new skills like  cables, short rows and even the provisional cast on. Sorry for all the pictures (I did mention I’ve been knitting lots right) I’ve been a busy girl. Clicking on the links after the photos you can read more about the patterns and yarns used.

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Doesn’t this basket full of yarn make you want to knit?

finnmonster

It started back in October when I started knitting to make sure I had a jumpstart on the busy birthday/holiday season with this monster for Finn. Meet Maddox as you can see Finn loved his birthday monster.

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Next up Lexi had requested a black cat ear hat. I was so excited to use my new stitch markers.

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Isn’t Lexi so pretty with her ear flap cat hat?

tracyhat

When Lexi went up to Connecticut for the holidays my sister saw her hat and asked for me to make her one too. Rory modeled it for her.

I even made a striped version for my other sis (aka my little brother’s long time girlfriend Kristin) alas, I forgot to get a picture of it.

scarf

My very first cable project was a scarf for Lexi in hindsight I should have used a different yarn and my stitch markers much more because cabled rows are harder to count than I realized.

aidanhat2

Then I started to panic. Aidan was leaving in Mid November to go to Baltimore for Thanksgiving and he had no hat and I only had 2 days so I had to use whatever yarn I could find at the local craft store at 8pm after a slight mishap with his first hat being accidentally felted in the washer. This slouchy hat was perfect and super quick to knit!

mitten

From October til about 10 days into December in between all projects I had a pair of these little mittens on needles.

babyhat

A pregnant friend having a little boy needed a little baby shower gift. So onto the needles went this adorable little hat.

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Isn’t it adorable? I still can’t get over just how small this newborn sized long tail hat is.

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My mailbox had a happy, happy, joy, joy day when all this arrived one day.

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And, I kept knitting mittens.

gloveprogress

I started knitting Lexi a pair of gloves.

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I finished one cat in the hat glove. Though currently I’ve also taken it back apart because the thumb was funny on it. Its a back burner project for now.

monster I started Jack’s birthday present.

jackmonsters

Loving monsters.

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I love, love, love the super long arms on these monsters, and I can’t wait to get my hands on that colorway yarn again either.

mittens

finally finished the mitten advent calendar garland.

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I started a cable rimmed hat for my little brother in the same green yarn from his scarf I made him last Christmas.

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Thankfully this cable hat it was also a pretty quick project and I will be making these for the whole family if we ever live where we need hats again.

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Cast on Rory’s creeper. If you or your kids play the game minecraft you know what a creeper is. Rory loves/hates them and its the ONLY thing he wanted for Hannukkah/Christmas so it HAD to happen. Even if that means knitting til 2am on Christmas Eve to pull it off.

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And, pull it off I did. Here is Rory dancing with his Creeper.

basil

Finn requested a dinosaur vs. another monster so a dinosaur he would get. The yarn for this is even called dino-RAWR.

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Spent some time playing with my Christmas gifts, my ball winder,

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and, swift.

slippers

Took a quick dinosaur break to knit myself up a quick pair of slippers because we were having a cold front and my toes were cold.

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Went back and finished Basil the Brontosaurus who loves to give Maddox rides.

softkitty

Then my girlie was coming home after a month in Connecticut and I knit her a little soft kitty as part of her Christmas gift.

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You get a bonus picture because I think Lexi looks so beautiful in this one.

I haven’t stopped knitting I’ve been knitting a pair of socks. Socks take a long time but they will get a separate post I’ve been documenting their progress via instagram quite a bit.

Do you knit? Whats on your needles right now?

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Why I workout WITH my kids.

Why I workout WITH my kids.

I saw on Facebook this morning someone was asking “What is your BEST tip for busy parents to be able to find time for their own #fitness? #parenting” most of the responses were the usual get up early or stay up late responses I’ll tell you why that doesn’t work for me at all. You know besides the whole I love sleep and have 5 kids and a usually deployed spouse or even when he is “home” that usually still means he is 3.5 hours away from us. Okay seriously that is a MAJOR reason because I never know when I’m going to have a kid who gets a stomach bug or has leg pains and I’ll end up having to survive on very little sleep for a up to a week.

 

MODELING  no not the kind with super models the kind where parents behave and do the very things they want their children to do. I am honest because I want my kids to be honest people. I work hard because things don’t always get handed to us. I buck up and get out of bed and try to have a positive outlook on each new day handed to me. I eat a very balanced diet, not too much junk food, lots of veggies because I think that is a healthy way to eat. So when it came to starting a fitness program why would I hide that away? I WANT them to see me exercise. I WANT them to see me struggle. I WANT them to see me sweat. I WANT them to be by my side. I want these things so hopefully they are NEVER in a position to need to lose 100+ lbs. I do this because I DO have a child who has come so far in 13 months but to whom good diet and exercise weren’t modeled to him as a younger child and he is now back to an unhealthy weight.

 

I LOVE LOVE LOVE working out in my living room with my kids coming in asking me a question and moving on, or when a kid hops in place next to me and works out along with me for a bit. I love that they smile and cheer me on telling me how much fun this is or even a simple “you can do it Mom”, that reassurance so often has come at points where I’m pushing harder, digging deeper, telling myself to get up and keep going. Those voices, those smiles So often keep me going.

Back to my stepson. Aidan has made AHH-MAZING progress in the months he has been with us. He came to us this kid who was about 25-30 lbs OVER his recommended weight for his age/height, who didn’t/wouldn’t eat vegetables, and ate servings that were 5-6x what a serving really was, he was ashamed to be around any of us without a shirt one even in the pool. Thirteen months later he is a kid who LOVES fresh veggies, who lost the 25 lbs in a few months mostly from diet who now gets teased by his siblings for being “team jacob” rarely wearing a shirt. However in those months some of those old habits have snuck back up on him while he wasn’t looking. He has gained back most of the weight, his shorts he was overjoyed to get because they were regular sized not husky barely fit, and his portion sizes have gradually increased again. Unless he is sitting for a meal or a snack he has noticed he often even forgets about eating it, and was recently shocked when he realized he ate an entire family sized tart vs just a few bites while playing on his computer that upon investigation was about 7500 calories, so much for a quick snack. To combat it and to fit back into his clothes better he started tracking his food a little better using an app on his phone, and he started yesterday with Beachbody’s fitness program geared towards teens Get Real with Shaun T when he was done he even made a you tube video about it.

PSSST hey Aidan I’m really proud of you!

This is why I think it’s really important to let our kids see us work out because if they don’t see us it’s not as real to them and they think why should I and THIS is why we have the obesity problem in America that we do. To really END THE TREND we need to prevent it not just reverse it.

We went to the zoo… day two

We went to the zoo… day two

Rory and Finn had so much fun at the zoo it was all they talked about. Steve was coming up for the weekend from Key West and I mentioned that maybe the following day we could all go to the zoo. The kids LOVED that idea. I also decided to bring my telephoto lens instead of my standard lens on the second day. I’ll spare you the eleventy billion animal pictures (except a few I can’t resist) that I took.

I thought a picture with the peacock would be a nice tradition. Then we rented one of those pedal car things they have here. It really was a nice change from the day before when the boys & I walked the whole zoo.

We also went backwards from the way we went the day before so the giraffes happened very early on. I just loved the interaction between the mama giraffe and her baby. The kids fed them too but I wasn’t up on the platform this time because there was also a classroom up there.

The Okapi was trotting in circles too which Finn loved.

Another new tradition with the post lunch kids in front of the pot o’ gold.

I was so excited when this butterfly landed right in front of where I was standing.

I was really admiring the lions when that butterfly had happened past. This guy saw me and gave up quite a few poses for me. Thank you sir.

Of course we made sure to be over near the chimps and the gorillas for feeding time. The boys had even more questions today and even answered a few of their own. This is JJ and his daughter Alice getting ready to have some snacks.

We ended the day once again with some dippin dots and home we went. I being tired forgot to get a dippin dots picture today sorry. I was too busy capturing images of the flamingos/

So what is your favorite thing to do at the zoo?

January Recap

January Recap

I didn’t take a ton of pictures in January so you are saved from a post with eleventh billion pictures in it again. 

Lexi got a kindle and this was how we found her (and often still do) for hours on end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then I spent a bazillion hours on the couch watching the 1st season of Game of Thrones and part of Homeland and talking with my Dad who was still visiting while I knit Jack up this new friend from this pattern.

Then even though it seemed like we had just gotten healthy again we were all sick again. BOOOO.

We became obsessed with brussel sprouts. Our favorite way to prepare them a little butter & oil some sautéed garlic and bacon bits. We are currently going though about 6-10 lbs of sprouts per week because we love them so much.

Then I cut fabric for quilts for the boys! I was so excited Finn’s is so fun! Jack’s is so orange. Rory picked out most of the fabrics for his by himself I was so proud. Aidan’s is blue blue blue. Its actually quite hard to find blue quilters cottons not in florals who knew?

  

I brought the kids to the dentist. It was Finn’s 1st time he did really great! Rory and Aidan were paired and Rory was able to ask the hygienist 84,000 questions during Aidan’s cleaning before it was his turn. I’m pretty proud I brought all five kids to the dentist and we walked out with ZERO kids with cavities! I also walked out with appointments for Lexi and I to see the in house orthodontist the following month.

To wrap up the month our mugs arrived from the wonderful Brenna (a different one) each kid got their own mug so they would leave mine alone! Rory also added this beautiful tea pot to his collection he named her Cassie.

 

 

 

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