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How Has Weight Loss Changed My Thinking?

How Weight Loss Has Changed My Thinking

I’ve done this before – a million and one times actually. Losing weight is something I don’t remember not doing….except when I just didn’t care about it. But, something has changed in me this time. Maybe it’s because I’m tired of losing the same weight two, three, four, one hundred times, only to put it on again. I noticed one HUGE thing the other day that I’ve never noticed before. So, how has weight loss changed my thinking?

More Confidence

There’s nothing better for your confidence than dropping pounds. It empowers you, makes you feel stronger, and you just exude confidence. Well, at least I do. I feel like I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and that’s a great feeling. I’m also in smaller clothes now and that’s freakin’ awesome!

An increase in my confidence has changed my thinking from “I can’t do that” to “Watch me knock this out!” I’m proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished already. I want to do more but I’m keeping realistic expectations. I know I’m going to slow down and even plateau. I’m preparing myself for it now so, when it does happen, I won’t let it get me down.

Seeing Food Differently

It’s no secret that I’m an emotional eater, but my relationship with food has changed tremendously in such a short time. About 2 weeks ago, I was really pissed off at my husband. I bitched about him to anyone who would listen. Usually, I would turn to food to help me feel better, but I didn’t do that this time. While I was on the phone having a bitch session with my mom, I walked laps around my dining room table. I replaced my food cravings with activity and it’s done amazing things for me.

Craving Activity

It used to be I would sit around, watching television, doing nothing. Now, I’m barely still. Some of that is thanks to my FitBit because it reminds to move every hour. I get at least 250 steps per hour, which is a little over 3,000 steps per day. I also get my workout in no matter what my schedule is like. I much prefer to do my workouts in the morning, but my schedule doesn’t always allow that. Instead of saying “eff it” and skipping it, I get it in just as soon as I can. I’m even thinking about joining a local gym!

My entire mindset has changed so much since the beginning of this year. February really, since that’s when I really got started (I wasn’t cleared for physical activity until January 23). I’ve been feeling absolutely amazing. Even the stress I’ve experienced with the hubs hasn’t been as difficult as it once was. I’m so grateful for a number of things, but, most importantly, I’m grateful for myself, my abilities, my strength, and my determination.

How Weight Loss Has Changed My Thinking

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Why Weekends are Worse for Me

Why Weekends are Worse for Me

Weekends are something I used to look forward to and I still do, to a degree. But, as far as weight loss is concerned, they’re the absolute worst for me. You see, I don’t have a set routine on the weekend; I get out of and go to bed when I feel like it, don’t have a strict timeline to follow, and generally move at much slower, more relaxed pace. That’s what weekends are for, right? That’s not conducive to my weight loss because I’m off my routine.

Sleep Patterns

My sleep changes completely during the weekends because I don’t have to set an alarm. I love waking up naturally, except when I have to pee so bad I could float downstairs! It’s just the nature of the beast; we wake up early every day and look forward to sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday, right? As it turns out, we shouldn’t do that. Why? Because it disrupts our body’s natural rhythm. What we’re supposed to do is go to sleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every day. I’m here to tell you right now – that’s not going to happen with me…unless I get to wake up naturally during the week, which I don’t.

No Routine

Yes, I have things that need to get done on weekends but I don’t adhere to a routine like I do during the week. It’s a much-needed break from the rigidity I set for myself. I’m nowhere near as productive, usually, on the weekends but the necessities get done. I do take Friday night and write down what I’d like to accomplish the next day but I don’t bust my ass to get it all done. As a working wife and mother, I’ve learned to take full advantage of downtime. The hubs and the kid visit his dad every Saturday so I have the house to myself for awhile. I use that time to workout since I don’t do that in front of the hubs, catch up on my shows on the DVR, or just chill out on the couch with a cup of coffee and a book.

Rest Day

Sunday is generally my rest and self-care day and it’s so difficult for me not to go to the comfort foods, especially during the winter when it’s so damn cold outside. While resting and taking care of myself isn’t a bad thing, I know how hard it is for me to get back into my normal routine on Monday, so I tend to fight it.

As the weeks have progressed, I’m getting better about the weekends and not falling back into old habits. I’m hoping that, once the weather ever warms up, things will be easier because I’ll be able to get outside more often. We’ve been on a few outings when the weather has been nice and I’ve gotten in some activity but it’s been hit or miss. How do you stay on track on the weekends?

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Bruschetta Chicken

Bruschetta Chicken

I’m always looking for new ways to prepare the same old foods so I don’t get bored eating the same stuff every single day. I’ve even started combining foods I like, which is huge for me because I’m a creature of habit. I made some homemade bruschetta the other day and it smelled heavenly! I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to use it for, other than just eating it as a side, so I decided to put it over some grilled chicken breast tenderloin. The result? Absolutely delicious bruschetta chicken! Here’s the recipe:

Bruschetta Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 6 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used tenderloin)
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 large tomato
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb seasoning
  • Mrs. Dash Italian Medley seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp basil, chopped
Instructions
  1. Marinate chicken breast in olive oil and Mrs. Dash seasonings for at least an hour. Grill until done.
  2. Dice tomato.
  3. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, garlic and basil and mix well.
  4. Add tomato.
  5. Spoon over grilled chicken.
Notes
Use half of the bruschetta on the chicken. The nutritional information provided is based on using half of the bruschetta.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 249 Fat: 8.7 Saturated fat: 1 Carbohydrates: 3.6 Sugar: 1.1 Sodium: 498.3 Fiber: 0.5 Protein: 38.1 Cholesterol: 82.5

There are so many things you can do with your leftover bruschetta; get creative with your options. I used some of it on a flatbread pizza and it was amazing! The recipe for that is coming soon…

I’d love to know your thoughts on this recipe. Quite a few people have asked me for this recipe so I figured I’d bump it up on the blog schedule. 😉 Bon appetit!

Bruschetta Chicken Recipe

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5 Things No One Tells You About Having a Hysterectomy

5 Things No One Tells You About Having a Hysterectomy

 

As you know, I had a hysterectomy back in November. Well, during this time, I learned a few things that no one ever told me about. Some of the things I experienced made me call my doctor just to make sure they didn’t take anything they didn’t need. My hysterectomy was removing my cervix and uterus; my ovaries were left behind. Here are 5 things no one tells you about having a hysterectomy….until now.

Hot Flashes, Night Sweats

During the first few days after my surgery, I had horrible hot flashes and night sweats. I woke up every morning soaking wet. I’ve never washed bed sheets so much before in all my life. It was cold here when I had my surgery but I wouldn’t have known it with the hot flashes. I would turn the thermostat down and walk around in shorts and a tank top. It was awful! I actually called my doctor to make sure they left my ovaries.

Uncomfortable Movements

It wasn’t until I was about 8 weeks post-op when going to the bathroom wasn’t uncomfortable. Be very, very careful having a bowel movement during the first week or two. It’s very uncomfortable; almost painful. But, it does get better as the weeks pass. I wasn’t aware of any of this and I’ve had 2 c-sections. I was kind of expecting the uncomfortable urination because the doctor informed me that they would have to work with my bladder while they were in there. But, I had no idea what to expect when that catheter came out and I peed for the first time in the hospital. Shew!

Sahara City

Although I still have my ovaries, which didn’t throw me into menopause, I still experienced some symptoms, such as dryness. My doctor told me no sex for 8 weeks and I followed her directions – it was difficult but I did it. When it was time to get busy, I noticed that things weren’t working like they did before. It was very frustrating and confusing, considering that I still had my ovaries.

PMS

Oh yes, I still have PMS every month. The bloating, the acne breakouts, the mood swings, everything. But, the symptoms aren’t as severe as they once were. Now that I’m back into living a healthy lifestyle, I’ve noticed the weight gain. I just recently made this connection because I gained weight and my face broke out in the same week. I was like wtf?! It makes sense that I would still have these symptoms because I have my ovaries, but no one gave me a heads up about it.

Sex is Different

Sex is completely different for us now; not good or bad – just different. Part of me still believes it’s because I’m still nervous about it. I’m scared it’s going to hurt or rupture something. But, even without that worry, it’s still different for us. It feels different. Now, the doctor did tell me that vaginal shortening could happen, which is when the vaginal wall shortens as a result of surgery. She said that it could be resolved during physical therapy (don’t even get me started on how THAT would work) and it would also stretch the “more it was used”. Just picture the look on my face during this conversation. I’m telling you – it was priceless!

If you’re thinking about having a hysterectomy, it’s important to know what to expect before, during, and after. I’m now almost 3 months post-op and there’s no discomfort using the bathroom, my nervousness about sex is decreasing, and I believe it was the best decision I made for myself. The healing process itself wasn’t bad at all. I felt back to normal, for the most part, after 2 weeks. The first week I didn’t do anything or go anywhere without my pillow for protection. If I had to do it all over again, I’d make the same decision.

5 Things No One Tells You About Having a Hysterectomy

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My Updated Morning Routine

My Updated Morning Routine

 

The last time I wrote about my morning routine, it was during the summer and my kids were on summer break. Once they went back to school, I had to update it accordingly, and, now that I’m back on the weight loss wagon, I’ve had to update it again. Here’s what my updated morning routine looks like. Some things haven’t changed, while others have changed quite a bit.

5:00 am: Rise and Shine

During the school year, my youngest has to get up and in the shower by 6 am. When school first started this year, I was getting up at 6 with him. But, things have changed a bit since then. I saw my doctor for my 6 month check up last month and was disgusted with my weight. Since then, I’ve started getting up at 5 am so that I have an hour to myself. During this time, I enjoy my coffee, take the dogs out, catch up on some news, and update my Filofax as needed.

6:00 am: Mom on Duty

I get the kid up so he can get a shower, have breakfast, and get ready for school. He’s usually done by 6:30 and we sit back and watch Here Comes the Boom on the DVR. It’s what we do. We watch about 30 minutes a day so it takes us a few days to watch it in full. But, it’s our bonding time together and we look forward to it every day.

7:15 am: Let the Housework Begin

The kid is on the bus between 7:13 and 7:15 am each school day. When he’s gone, I get started with my housework. This tends to vary depending on my DVR. If I have a show that recorded the night before, I’ll watch it when the kid leaves before I get into my housework. My cleaning routine in the morning is as follows:

  • Unload dishwasher from the night before & add breakfast dishes
  • Start laundry
  • Take out what we’re having for dinner, if we’re not having leftovers
  • Wipe down kitchen counters
  • Make the bed

8:00 am: Getting Physical

Once I’ve completed my cleaning routine, I usually have my breakfast and another cup of coffee. Then, it’s on to my workout. I’ve been doing Denise Austin’s Fat-Blasting Cardio Walking Workout for Beginners on YouTube, but I’ve since moved on to Denise Austin’s Kickboxing Cardio Burn Workout, also on YouTube. There’s no need to spend money on a gym membership or workout plan subscriptions when there are plenty available on YouTube for free.

9:00 am: Me Time

I’m just starting this part of my morning routine and it’s where I sit down with my book to read for about 15-20 minutes, update my Filofax, take a shower, and get ready for the day. I say this is new to my routine because it’s scheduled. I’ve always showered and gotten ready for the day, but it’s way more structured now. This time used to be a free-for-all in which I would get very little done.

10:00 am: Off to Work

I log on to work at 10 am every day and start handling email and other tasks. Each day brings about different things so it’s important that my Filofax is updated each day.

So, that’s my updated morning routine that’s been working very well for me. I’ve found that following this routine has “given” me more time in the morning to get everything done and still have time to sit down and enjoy myself before I start my work day.

My Updated Morning Routine

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What Lies Ahead in 2017

What Lies Ahead

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

We’re officially in a new year and what lies ahead is completely up to you. I took some time over the weekend to create an action plan for the year. My hope is that following that plan will allow me to achieve my goals. Notice I said hope? If I learned anything in 2016 it was to never have expectations. I’ve learned to go with the flow a bit more (so freakin’ hard for me) and I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff. Sometimes, shit just doesn’t go the way we think it should. Guess what? That’s ok! I’m not sure I entirely believe that right now, but, hey, I’m a work in progress.

Here’s some advice about goal-setting – make sure your goals are attainable! Don’t you dare set goals you know damn well you aren’t going to achieve. I created a 3 month goal setting worksheet (free download below!) to help me break down the year.

Goal Setting Worksheet

I have a lot of goals for 2017 and breaking them down in smaller increments allows me to narrow my focus. Now, will it keep me from looking ahead? Yeah right….but, at least my main focus will be on the current quarter. This is my first time using a system like this so I’m not sure how it’s going to work for me, but I’ll keep ya posted.

A Few of My 2017 Goals

Like I said, I have a lot of goals for this year and I’ve tried to prioritize them in order of importance to me. Just like I do with my top 3 tasks for the day, I have my top 3 goals for the year. While these goals will be listed in the first quarter, I’ll be working on them all year and still may not achieve them. That doesn’t mean that these goals aren’t attainable – it just means that they’re BIG goals that require more than 4 quarters to complete. Here they are…

Stop Overthinking

If you’re an overthinker, you know damn well that this ish is hard to stop. My mind is constantly thinking about things; sometimes when it shouldn’t. How do I plan on conquering this? Well, I’ve been reading a lot about how getting thoughts out of your head can help reduce overthinking so that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to start journaling my thoughts; randomly and without worrying if it makes sense. If it works, just imagine how much mental space I’ll free up…holy cow!

Get & Stay Healthy

This is something I’m always going to work on and I’m ok with that. I’ve gained back all the weight I lost when I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and I can’t begin to describe how disgusted with myself I feel. Ah, oh well. All is not lost. I’ve learned that I have to always be vigilant with my food and exercise and to track every single thing!

Say No…without explaining why or feeling guilty

Ha…this is probably the hardest one to achieve. Each time I have to tell someone no, I feel compelled to explain why I can’t blank and I always feel bad that I wasn’t able to blank. People even ask me why I can’t do whatever when I’ve tried just saying no. I really need to get a handle on this one.

What Lies Ahead…

I have other goals as well, such as lowering debt, practicing self-care daily, finding happiness, and so on. So many things happened in 2016 and I’ve come to the conclusion that what happened in 2016 STAYS in 2016. I am worried that a few things from 2016 are going to trickle over into this year but I’ll deal with them if/when it happens. I have a few major decisions to make this year and I’m a bit intimidated. But, life starts outside your comfort zone, right?

What lies ahead for you this year?

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2016: A Year in Review

2016

As we’re winding down yet another year, I’ve paused to reflect on the goings on of 2016. I had such promise for this year because I was at a fairly low point in the beginning. Little did I know, that “low point” would be the highlight of my year. Looking back on this year, I’ve realized that I’m not the same person I was when it started.

I’ve had countless conversations with friends whose year has been somewhat similar. They’re all just as over this year as I am. At least I’m in good company. Some relationships were lost, some loved ones didn’t make it, and some relationships were forged. I’m not going to go into details about my year; just know it was challenging. BUT – I’ve learned quite a few lessons.

What 2016 Taught Me

Although this year has been a huge pain in the rear, it did teach me some valuable lessons; lessons I’m certain I’ll never forget. This year has taught me, once and for all, that I unequivocally cannot be trusted with food. I’ve gained back almost every ounce of weight I lost after I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Talk about being disgusted with myself…ugh!

I’ve also learned the very valuable lesson of letting go. I had to let go of a few relationships this year and, sadly, my grandmother. I learned that not everyone has the same heart I have and that’s okay. Unfortunately, I experienced the agony of learning that even people you trust will use you the first chance they get. That should make me more cynical than I am, but it hasn’t. I refuse to let the actions of others change who I am.

Finally, this year has taught me that I’m much stronger than I originally thought. Granted, the events of this year have all but broken me, but they didn’t. I’ve managed to keep my faith and sanity intact. That’s a feat in and of itself!

What’s Next?

Well, I’m hopeful that 2017 is a much better year but I’m not expecting anything at all. Here’s how the new year is going to go for me:

So, tell me, how did 2016 treat you? What will you do differently in the new year?

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