21-Day Fix – Food Log Day 1

So, as I said in my last post, I am allowed 2300 calories divided up as follows:

  • 6 Green (1 cup)
  • 4 Purple (1 cup)
  • 6 Red (3/4 cup)
  • 4 Yellow (1/2 cup)
  • 1 Blue (1/4 cup)
  • 1 Orange (2 Tbsp)
  • 6 teaspoons

My Lose It! app states that for me to reach my goal weight I only need 1786 calories, so that is my goal, but I guess I do have a little leeway if I am eating the right kinds of foods.

BREAKFAST:  (1 purple and 2 red) – 3 slices of turkey bacon, 2 hard-boiled eggs and 1/2 grapefruit – 229 calories

And then my day went kind of downhill….so really I shouldn’t even call this day one.  I ended up having to work, but I did get off early.  My BFF came over, we started to head to Thunder over Louisville (kickoff to the Kentucky Derby festivities) because it was such an awesome day, but it was already late and traffic was going to be a nightmare.  All the kids in the neighborhood were playing so we got some beer and wine and hung out in the backyard with the neighbors.  I drank way more than the 4 ounces of wine I’m allowed to have and splurged a little on a burrito and some pizza rolls.  So that is that.  Tomorrow is another day.  

21-Day Fix – Background Information

OK, here’s what I know so far about the 21-Day Fix that I am embarking on.  It comes with cute little color-coded containers to measure out your food.  The End.  So, I will be learning along with you as you learn from me….ha ha.  You get containers colored green, purple, red, yellow, blue and orange.  Based on your weight (and their little formula) you calculate how many calories you can have per day and that calorie count tells you how many of each container you are permitted. So, according to the 21-Day Fix guidelines I am to have 2300 calories per day and those calories are to be divided up as follows:

The Green container is for vegetables (makes sense, right?).  The foods I bought from this category are:  Baby spinach, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, carrots, cucumbers and celery. There are simply the foods I chose that I currently like to eat. Purple is for Fruits.  I chose blueberries, strawberries, grapefruit, cherries (dried), kiwi and bananas. Red is Protein.  I chose boneless skinless chicken, ground turkey, tilapia, eggs, plain yogurt, Chobani yogurt (strawberry, blueberry and peach – this is a personal alteration), tuna and canned chicken. Yellow is your starches.  I chose sweet potatoes, quinoa, black beans, refried beans, brown rice, corn, bagel (flat bagel thins) and tortillas (mine are spinach and herb). For Blue I have avocado, almonds, hummus (roasted red pepper), feta cheese, swiss cheese and shredded Parmesan cheese. Orange is basically your dressings.  I am strictly using raspberry vinaigrette.  This is my own personal alteration. Teaspoon items are your oils and butters.  I am using coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and Nutella. During this 21-Day Fix, your containers are supposed to be divided among 3 meals and 3 snacks throughout the day (I think the idea is to eat something every 2 to 3 hours).  You are only supposed to drink water.  But you can exchange items in certain categories for other beverages or treats.  I am going to do my absolute best to ONLY drink water, but I make no promises.  As far as the treats I bought tortilla chips (blue ones) and dark chocolate Hershey kisses (cause in my mind they are just giant chocolate chips). Here goes nothing…………………..

21-Day Fix – My Version

I want need to lose weight.  I have no real health problems to speak of.  My heart is healthy (trust me I’ve had three full heart workups because if you are sick and fat, it MUST be your heart).  My blood pressure is normal.  My cholesterol is even good.  I am just fat, overweight, obese – use whatever word you choose.  They all are correct descriptions.  Am I proud of this?  Absolutely NOT!  I have learned to love and accept myself just the way I am.  My husband loves me.  My children love me.  My friends and family love me.  That really is all that is important.  But, I don’t like being the “fat mom” at all the school functions.  I don’t like only having two stores I can shop and get cute clothes in.  I don’t like walking up the 14 stairs to my office and being out of breath when I reach the top.  I don’t like being embarrassed to have sex with my husband with the lights on.  I don’t like being worried that I won’t fit in a movie theater seat/plane seat/stadium seat.

I have tried several times (some more valiantly than others) and have been semi-successful but something always happens to knock me back down and I go eat a cupcake.  I mean I’ve already messed, so what’s the point, right??  WRONG!  I really really want this time to be different.  I want it so bad I am blogging about it.  I want it so bad that I hope people will hold me accountable.  I want people to email me, text me, post on Facebook whatever it takes to motivate and encourage.  I do not, however, want someone like Jillian Michaels yelling in my face.  I promise you, that will have the opposite effect and I’ll be curled up in bed with a book and a pan of brownies in no time.  If that is what worked for you, great.  But that is not what works for me.  Positive encouragement and stories of amazing results is what encourages me.

A friend of mine did the 21-Day Fix a few weeks ago and lost 16 pounds.  So, since she had all the books, containers, food lists and information, I decided to just borrow them and formulate my own plan.  She did Shakeology with hers.  I am skipping that part (mostly because it is expensive and out of my budget right now).  So I sat down and calculated (based on their formula) how many calories I am allowed to have based on my weight.  It said 2300.   But I am also using the Lose It! app and when I enter my current weight and my goal weight, it tells me 1737.  So that is my daily goal.  I have a looooong way to go to reach my goal weight (estimated at almost two years according to Lose It!), but I have to do this one step at a time.  Looking at that huge number of days is overwhelming.

This definitely has to be a lifestyle change for me, but this is a huge thing so I have to do it in baby steps or I will most definitely fail.  I lead a pretty sedentary lifestyle considering I work from home typing at a computer for 16+ hours a day at least six days a week.  So this is my plan:

  • First 21-day cycle will be strictly about the dietary changes.  I will work on eating more of the right things, portion sizes and finding that things that work and don’t work, foods I like and don’t like and how to prepare them so I not only feel full but that I also enjoy them.  Plus finding items that are on the required lists of foods but yet fulfill my cravings for things I love.
  • Second 21-day cycle will incorporate light exercise (30 minutes a day – walking or bike riding).
  • Third 21-day cycle will be where the real change begins.  That is when I plan to start P90X.  I bought the program two years ago and it is still sitting on a shelf gathering dust.  That is going to change.

Based on today being Day 1 of the first cycle, May 3 will be the end of cycle one, May 24 will be the end of cycle two and June 14 will be the end of cycle 3.  So for those you who don’t know, if I do this as planned, I will have completed all three cycles as well as P90X on MY BIRTHDAY!!!  What a gift to myself, right?!  There is a slight possibility of doing the 5K Foam Fest in Indianapolis on my birthday as well, but those details are still being worked out, not to mention I am trying to decide if my very first 5K should be a crazy one, or if it should just be a straight run/walk with no obstacles.  We shall see.  But I most definitely will be doing the Run With All Your Heart in  August in Jamestown and this year I WILL be doing the 4 miles!

So, daily I am going to log my food (and exercise in cycle 2/3) to keep me accountable.  All words of encouragement are more than appreciated.  If you’re a texter and don’t have my cell phone, let me know.  I appreciate all texts, emails, Twitter posts and Facebook comments.

I will be back tonight to log my food diary for the day.  Thank you in advance for all your love!!

2012 Presidential Election

I didn’t vote. Voting is a right and I have the right to choose not too. I also don’t complain about who gets elected. I honestly don’t care who gets elected. From an early age I have always hated politicians. I think it comes from Ronald Reagan interrupting my TV shows on every channel when I was little. But whatever the reason I hate them all. I hate all the slanderous television commercials. I hate the ridiculous conversations between uneducated voters on Facebook and Twitter. I was so glad when Tuesday arrived so that the election would finally be over……………….

Only it wasn’t over! The minute Obama started to take the lead, my news feed on Facebook started to be overrun with hatred. Not just disappointment but absolute hatred and ignorance. What’s worse is that all day long these same people were all over Facebook telling everyone to go vote. Now they are griping and upset about the Electoral College and how they were furious with the United States for making such a stupid decision. One person on my page went on a rampage cussing everyone out and dropping F-bombs over and over. He is a very educated person with a great job and an upstanding citizen, and I was embarrassed to know him. Another friend made a statement about hating the Electoral College because he was tired of “urban liberals and Latinos” deciding who will become president. I just feel like there is so much ignorance in that statement. I felt like they were saying “get out and vote but only if you vote like me”. How is that a democracy?? At that particular point in time, Obama was leading in the Electoral votes but Romney was leading in the popular vote. By the time it was all said and done Obama had won the election to become the 44th President of the United States of America by both electoral votes AND popular votes. I didn’t know a lot about it so I did some research and found out that only four times in history has the person who won the election lost the popular vote. Four times in all of history. 1824, 1876, 1888 and then 2000. So only one time in our lifetime has this happened. I don’t agree that one state’s votes mean more than another, but the reality is that the Electoral College has not made that much difference in the outcome.

Now, I will say that I have not researched either candidate but I have listened to a lot of what people have had to say about both candidates. Basically for me what it came down to is that as a middle class citizen I couldn’t afford to have Romney become president. I am not part of the 1%. The end. But, remember I did not vote. My opinion is just that….an opinion. I feel like America is moving in a direction where everyone is being accepted for who they are. With Maine and Maryland voting for marriage equality, Washington and Colorado legalizing recreational marijuana and Wisconsin electing an openly gay lesbian to the Senate I think voters are speaking out. This country needs change. People need to be more open minded and accepting. Do your thing and let everyone else do theirs.

It seemed that the majority of Christians were backing Romney based on the fact that he wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade and didn’t believe in gay marriage. Romney doesn’t even believe in God. Our country would be taking a huge step backward if Roe v. Wade was overturned. Do people really want to go back to the days where women were dying in back alleys from botched abortions? Making them illegal isn’t going to stop people from getting them. Not to mention how many more teenage mothers and unwanted pregnancies there would be. But the reality is, it would be almost impossible to overturn something like that. The president cannot just come in and make changes like that. All of his decisions have to go through Congress. Politicians and elected officials need to focus on the real issues. I can’t make decisions for anyone else and the President shouldn’t make personal decisions for anyone else either. It does not matter whether you are pro-life or pro-choice. Be whatever you want to be. Don’t believe in abortion? Don’t get one. But don’t try to tell someone else what they can or can’t do with their own bodies. The government has no business making those kinds of decisions.

Gay Marriage. Gay, straight, lesbian, bisexual. They are all human. They deserve to love and be loved. Some of the most successful relationships I know are between gays or lesbians. Two men and two women can also make excellent parents. Two parents are always better than one, which happens frequently in our country. We have a lot of single mothers/fathers as well as teen mothers/fathers. A successfully employed gay/lesbian couple have the resources to give a child a life just as good if not better than a single parent or teen parent. But again, this comes down to the fact that they deserve the same rights as we do. Whether you agree with their lifestyle or not, they deserve to be treated like human beings. It wasn’t all that long ago that interracial marriages were against the law too. Just let people be and love them for who they are!! I am a Christian and what I learned in church was to love everyone and treat others the way you want to be treated. There has not been much love going on from what I’ve seen, that’s for sure. Christians are usually the first to say it is “sick” or “immoral” or it goes against God or (my personal favorite) they made this choice, they weren’t born that way. OH REALLY??? As far as sick and immoral, I am sure those people have some skeletons in their closet too. As far as being immoral and against God, well their relationship with God is none of your business. You are judging them and I’m pretty sure that’s against God too. Sin is sin, isn’t that right? But as far as whether they are born gay or it is a conscious decision they made, here’s what it comes down to. I didn’t wake up one morning, look in the mirror and decide to be straight. It is just who I always was. Just like I have blonde hair and hazel eyes. Just like I have a tiny birthmark on the back of my neck. It is just part of who I am . Not only did a gay/lesbian person wake up one day and decided to be gay, if it were a choice it would be something people could turn on and off. If you are one of those who honestly believe it is a choice, why don’t you pick a day (tomorrow would be good) and choose to be gay, just for a day. YOU CAN’T DO IT! What more proof do you need?

I don’t know a lot about the whole higher taxes. But I know there was a lot of “why should I work for something just to give it to someone else” kinds of comments. Well here’s my thought on that – you should be taxed to help people in need. I don’t mind paying higher taxes to support the less fortunate. I believe that is what a good person does. I have been a single mother who needed government assistance and I have also been in a position that I have been able to help others in need. If I can help someone out, I will. That is just the kind of person I am. If I have something you need and I can, I will loan it to you. If you need a place to stay, I have an extra couch. Need to go somewhere and don’t have a car? I will take you. I have been fortunate enough to have friends and family who have helped me out and given me a step up when I’ve needed it and the only way I know to show how much that meant to me is to pay it forward. Helping another friend, or even stranger, in need is just the Christian thing to do and makes you look like a very good person. That is what Jesus would have done. Plus, on a side note, remember that Romney has put has hidden millions outside of the US to avoid paying taxes like a “common man”. Christian or not, just ask yourself if the decisions you make help to make you a better person or are you just out for yourself?

In all of the bashing, I saw comments that were just so completely ridiculous that I had no words. Did you know that if you voted for Obama you are lazy and only looking for a handout, or you are a single woman who is looking for a way to sleep with multiple partners while the government pays for it? I mean seriously?!?!? Do people really believe the things they are spewing out of their mouths? I have friends that voted on both sides of the ballot. The majority of my friends are employed, married and educated. Some have children and some don’t. But none of them are lazy sluts who just want to live off the government and pop out babies they can’t support. Ignorance!

So, in summary I believe there should be separation of church and state. I believe government should stick to the real issues regarding policy if they want to see changes made. I am pro-choice. I support gay marriage. I have never registered to vote therefore I do not identify with either the Republican party nor the Democratic party. I did not vote in this election, but I do believe the better man won. However, in all honestly I feel like we were choosing between the lesser of two evils.

I am sure I have offended people with this post, and for that I apologize, but my hope for this country is that we can find a way to be more open minded and accepting of differences. United we stand, Divided we fall. I am proud to be an American, are you?

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The First One

June 4, 1996…..a day that changed my life forever. The day began like any other day for an almost-21-year old home on summer break from college. I was living with my dad and stepmom. My best friend, Tabby, lived nearby and we had been running the roads. When I woke up, my dad and stepmom had both already left for work. I ate some breakfast then went to the tanning bed and shopping at Target. I needed shampoo and body wash. I also wanted to buy a card for my boyfriend, Eddie. As I was headed to get shampoo the aisle with the pregnancy tests caught my eye. I did some quick math in my head and grabbed a test. I’d been home from college for close to a month and hadn’t started yet. I was a little nervous but not concerned. I came home, took the test and before I could flush and pull up my pants it was positive. Yes, that’s right positive. OMG!! I thought to myself (only back then we didn’t text so it was actually “oh my goodness”). What the heck am I supposed to do. I’m in college. I have no job. I am not even 21 yet?!?! Eddie lived in Massachusetts and his dad worked late so I wasn’t allowed to call his house before 2:00. So, of course Tabby was the first call. She was slightly more excited than I was. I was terrified. I mean not only was I going to have a baby, I was going to have to tell my mother. My mother was NOT going to be okay with this at all. There was going to be a lecture….and it would probably last nine months. Keep in mind, my mother and I have always had a somewhat rocky relationship and we weren’t even on speaking terms at the time. In fact, I was living with my dad that summer because my mother told me I couldn’t come home to her house for the summer. Shortly after I spoke to Tabby, my stepmom came home for lunch, so I told her what was going on. Her response still shocks me to this day, “I already knew that. I told your dad this weekend.” Excuse me? I just took the test an hour ago, how did you know??? Apparently she had been watching the trash for evidence so she could tell me not to flush tampons down the toilet. I’d been there almost a month and she’d seen no evidence. Sneaky, she is. She’s a mother, that explains it.

Finally it came time to call Eddie. He was a little shocked to say the least, and we began discussing how to get him to Kentucky. We had already talked about him moving and my stepmom had said no, but now the circumstances had changed. But I told him if that was what he wanted, he needed to be the one to call and ask. Eddie’s mom on the other hand was not happy. She actually doubted that I was pregnant. She wanted me to send proof, a statement from my doctor, showing I was actually pregnant. She probably would have asked for a paternity test at some point too. Apparently Eddie had an ex-girlfriend who faked a pregnancy to try to keep him from going away to college, so because of her actions she didn’t believe me. We eventually convinced her (without a doctor’s note) but then she started the “have you weighed all your options” talk suggesting that we think about adoption and/or abortion. Eddie brought up the topic and I changed the subject. That was that. I told him he could do what he wanted but I was having this baby.

When my dad arrived home from work that night I told him. He’s pretty laid back so he basically said “oh no, ok”. End of conversation. I mentioned that my mother and I weren’t on speaking terms so I wrote her a letter and left it at her house when I went to visit my sister. I actually had to leave the note in the grill where she had left my birthday present, because I wasn’t allowed to go in her house. (I’m serious, I can’t make this stuff up.) When my mom opened and read the letter, she called my dad. She yelled at my dad because I was pregnant. Like it was his fault or something. He told her to add it up, I was pregnant before I got there (true, but barely). I think his point was I didn’t get pregnant living in his house.

Eventually my mom came around. Eventually his mom came around. I got excited and scared and excited and scared every day. When I was 7 months pregnant, we moved in with his parents in Massachusetts. We got married about 5 days before we moved. I lived in Massachusetts 18 months. My divorce was final when my daughter was 2-1/2 but that’s another post altogether. The week before our daughter was born, we rented our first apartment. We actually moved in the day before she was born.

Labor was 22 hours. Long and exhausting. She was face up and had to be turned. My mom wasn’t there. Eddie was useless in the delivery room. His mom was there but only because she got there first. You could only have 2 people in the delivery room & you couldn’t change once they were in there. So my BFF Shannon arrived not long after we did and waited in the waiting room for 22+ hours until the baby arrived. She was beautiful. Olive skin. Green eyes. Full head of dark hair. I was in the love the minute I saw her. I knew from that moment on I would never be the same. I knew that she would always be more important than anyone else. I knew that if someone tried to hurt her I would come after them like Chuck Norris. I knew that it was going to be me and her against the world.

That little bundle of joy that graced the world with her presence on February 8, 1998 weighing 7 lbs and 7 ounces at 6:16 pm is now 14. She is tall and thin. She is beautiful with long dark hair, beautiful olive skin and big green eyes with the longest eyelashes I’ve ever seen. When she puts on makeup and fixes her hair she looks 18 and my heart breaks. She will be in high school in less than a month and as happy as I am for her, it doesn’t seem possible that I would have a child in high school. I feel like I was just there roaming those halls flirting with boys between classes.  I am proud of the young woman she is becoming and look forward to guiding her future.

After all, I want her to be successful so she can get a job with good benefits, preferably one with psychiatric services cause she’s gonna need a lot of therapy to undo the damage I’m sure I’ve done!!

She was my first.  I call her DramaTweenie.  Someday I will tell you the stories of the other two……Miss Priss and Lil Man (aka Lucifer).  They are quite interesting in their own ways too 🙂

Come Walk With Me

Over the past couple of years, I have become an advocate for human trafficking. I have a BA degree in Human Services and Counseling and am working toward a M.Ed. in Counseling and Human Development. In 2009, while working on my undergrad degree, we were given a presentation on human trafficking and the needs of the victims that have been rescued. I live in a small, rural town in Kentucky & remember thinking “How does this affect me? That kind of thing doesn’t happen here”. I was wrong, very wrong. Cases of human trafficking (sex & labor; child & adult) have been found in every county in our state, and in every state of this country. It is under reported and perpetrators are hard to catch. It is in my nature as a counselor to immediately think of the needs of the victims (protection, clothing, shelter) and I developed a business plan for a project I called The Lifeline Project which would provide housing for victims who had been rescued as well as give them access to community agencies and organizations to help them either establish a new life in our country or to be returned home, wherever home might be. I presented my plan as a class project and received overwhelming feedback. I have communicated with local human trafficking task forces and hope to someday see this plan become a reality.

In researching for this project, I came across two foundations that I became interested in. The first is a foundation established by Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher called the DNA Foundation. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.  The second is an organization called SCTNow (Stop Child Trafficking Now).  You can find them on Facebook and Twitter as well.

This second organization is the one I am currently involved with.  They actually come at human trafficking from a different position.  Instead of providing help for the victims, they go after the perpetrators.  The idea is that if you rescue a victim, you’ve saved one person.  If you catch a perpetrator you’ve saved countless victims from ever having to be perpetrated against.  While it is my nature to want to help the victims, and that desire will never go away, I love the angle that SCTNow is coming from.

SCTNow is a grass roots organization based in New York.  They literally started from the ground up working along with law enforcement to help where they couldn’t.  Three years ago they began a National Walk Campaign.  Last year I found out about this campaign about a week before the weekend of the event.  The event closest to me was a 3-hour drive.  So, I took it upon myself to find a way to get my community involved.  I am now a Community Ambassador for SCTNow.  I am now in a position to advocate for this wonderful organization and encourage community involvement.  Of course, the largest event is the walk campaign.  This year, I am coordinating a 5K Run/Walk to raise money and awareness for this issue.  The walk will be in Columbia, KY at Lindsey Wilson College‘s Raider Field on Saturday October 1st.

I would love for as many of my friends and followers as possible to get involved, whether it be by volunteering your time, registering yourself and/or a team, or by becoming a sponsor.  There is no registration fee and individuals and teams are encouraged to participate.  Every participant who raises $100 will get a free t-shirt.  There are other great prizes available as well.  To register or make a donation, go to events.sctnow.org/columbia.

For more information regarding sponsorship opportunities or if you have any questions, please contact me via email columbiaky@sctnow.org or on Facebook

I will add that it is a goal of mine to make this an annual event, bigger and better every year.  I want everyone to know that this is a serious issue.  This is my passion.  I hope someday to make The Lifeline Project a reality.  My dream is to present it to Demi & Ashton (so if you know anyone who can make that happen, I’d be forever indebted to you).

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The Peanut Butter Punishment

Have you ever been so fed up with your child’s behavior that you are literally fed up? You’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work? Well then you understand where I was that day.

Tweenie (in 1st grade at the time) had been in trouble practically every day that school year for talking and/or not staying in her seat (not that she takes after me in any of those behaviors, mind you). The teacher would stamp a color in each student’s agenda at the end of the day to communicate the child’s behavior that day. Green = Good, Yellow = Some minor problems, Red = Multiple issues. My daughter was on “red” basically every single day. I had tried every punishment I could think of….time out, early bedtime, no dessert, no TV, taken away toys….nothing was working, she was still getting red dots.

So, I got creative. She HATED peanut butter. Ever since the first time she tried Reese Pieces around age 3, she has hated peanut butter. So I told her the next time she was on red for talking she was going to have to eat a spoonful of peanut butter, thinking surely that would deter her.

Needless to say, the following day she came home with another red dot. True to my promise (while she was kicking and screaming) I made her eat a spoonful of peanut butter then sent her into her room to do her math homework. The sobs and boo-hoos persisted for the next 10-15 minutes.

Little Tweenie: Mom, my throat hurts.
Me: Of course it does, you won’t stop crying. I’ll get you some water. Now stop crying so you can get your math homework done.
Me: Here, come get this water so you will calm down.

When she walked into the living room, the first thing I noticed was how red her face was from crying. Then I realized her face was puffy and swollen. “Are you having trouble swallowing?”, I asked, to which she replied “yes”.

Oh crap!! My daughter has a peanut allergy and I have just given her peanut butter!!!!

A dose of Benadryl and out the door we went to the Emergency Room. I am sure the doctors there definitely thought I deserved votes for Mother of the Year!

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