Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday Adversity: Routine

I've been doing a lot of thinking about routine.  Okay, not so much routine, but lifestyle.  I think one reason why I have struggled to be successful in my weight-loss is because I have not gotten to the point where what I'm trying to change becomes a habit... a system of life that needs no second thinking, or forcing into place.  Just like I mentioned in my Wal-Mart post, I want results now.  I want to wake up tomorrow and be skinny, healthy, and ready to run a marathon!  So, it is no wonder why, when I wake up, and my muscles ache so bad, that I don't WANT to get out on my bike and exercise...and thus, why exercise has not become a natural routine.

What it comes down to, each day, every hour, every minute, and even every second of our lives, we are faced with choices.  Today, I CHOSE to buy a 32 oz soda and drink it.  I CHOSE THAT!  I was faced with the option to buy it, or to just go home without it.  I knew full well that if I drink it, it was going to undo the awesome workout I had this morning.  I KNEW that I would feel like crap after I drank it... not only physically, but mentally and spiritually, because I knew it isn't doing me any good.  That is just one example.  How easily I gave in!  Oh how weak I am!  That was the literal conversation I had in my head.  Why didn't I think, "NO!  Why would you sabotage yourself!?  You have plenty of things working against you...why work against yourself?"  (I'm pretty ticked off at myself right now, if you can't tell).

So, before we can even THINK about having a routine with all of those good habits built in, we HAVE to... no, we MUST have DISCIPLINE!  I saw this quote, and I thought it was perfect.

"Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment (Jim Rohn)."

If I want to change my lifestyle, then that means I have to give up those things that are not part of the desired lifestyle... duh!  Makes sense right?  But not only that, I have to replace those negative habits with the good.  Like exercising daily, eating healthy foods, drinking water instead of soda, and spending my time where it is needed.

What I'm getting at is that this is far more than just eating right, losing weight and exercising.  This is about ridding my life of the negative things that prevent me from accomplishing the most important tasks that demand my full attention, health, life, and vitality.  My children.

If I don't make changes in myself, how can I expect them to do the same?  I can't.  I lead by example.  I don't want to feel ashamed because my children realized that I expected them to do just the opposite of what I do!

Small goals!  How about I make it through tomorrow without drinking a soda?  How about I grow a pair, and say no to myself?  How about, when I first wake up, I pull my rear end out of bed, and head out for my workout so I don't have to rush through it before Jason has to leave for work?

Sounds good to me.  After all, You Are What You Say You Are!

"Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right (Henry Ford)."

According to John M. Grohol, PYSD, it takes us approximately 66 days, or 2 months to form a new habit.  That's a long time to be consistent at changing a habit.  But don't lose hope!  He states that if you miss a day, or slip a day, it won't mean you are starting over.  That is heartening to me.  I feel like every time I slip up, or miss a day, or what have you, I am starting over.  And starting over can get daunting if you do it a lot.

"In order to succeed, you must first be willing to fail (Anonymous)."

Find what inspires you and go with it!

I hope this was helpful for you.  It sure was for me.  I find that as I'm writing, I am opened up to things about myself that can truly help me change, if I'll apply them.  I recommend that you keep a journal of your own.  A notebook, blog, or an official journal.  It really has helped me to recognize my flaws, and my strengths!

Happy losing!  You've got this!

Evelyn Curtis

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Foodie Wednesday: Green Smoothie

I posted about the green smoothie before, but I want to add a little variation.  I love the green smoothie, and the rest of my family does too.  What a great way to get a child to eat their veggies, when they would ordinarily turn their noses up at them!

Every other day, go ahead and use kale, mustard greens, or other green leafy veggies packed with vitamins.  It is good for your body to get a change up, and it keeps things interesting.  Thus far, I have ventured to the kale.  I really like mixing kale with spinach sometimes.  Kale tastes slightly different.  Its a little bit more earthy tasting than the spinach, but you get used to it.  I'm sure that my kids wouldn't touch kale in its natural form with a ten foot pole! 

Next week, Monday and Tuesday, I'm going to start a smoothie and juice fast.  I feel like I'll feel so much better if I can detox.  I'll be drinking nothing but green smoothies, beet juice, and water.  I'll let you know how it went on Wednesday!  It'll be hard to not eat anything, I'm sure... especially as I prepare my kids' breakfasts, lunches and dinners. :)



Have you found an amazing recipe for green smoothies?  We'd love to hear about them!  I'll even post them here if you want!

Happy Losing!

Evelyn Curtis

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday Fitness: Setting Little Goals

This is a little late in the day.  I typically like to post in the morning, or in the early afternoon after we've had our school time.  Today was slightly different, as the lack of bananas, milk, cereal, and bread necessitated our taking school on the go, in learning how to navigate a store, and how to pick out certain produce etc.  Life skills... that's what I'm talking about!

Weight-loss can be a very VERY long term goal.  We establish how much weight we want to lose, and we make strides baby steps toward that goal.  It can get overwhelming and frustrating to get to that goal.  Heck, I've had to start over twice now.  Its not easy.  We've established that.

But what about those little goals?  I'm not necessarily talking about losing five pounds in two weeks.  Like I mentioned yesterday, I think it can be debilitating to be so dependent on our weight.  I'm talking about the fitness goals that we can see ourselves achieving.  A new runner might find it hard to run the full length of a block, or a track.  When I was running, I had a predetermined point that I was sure I could reach.  I would start out, and I can't tell you how many times I wanted to stop before that point... and there were many times that I did.  But the point is in setting goals.  As you consistently work at reaching that point, you will find it easier and easier, and then you will be surpassing that goal!

For me, I am not running just yet.  But I do have my bike.  I've set myself a goal to peddle 3 miles.  That doesn't sound like much... but for me, that was quite the achievement, especially since last Tuesday (my first ride), I barely made it 2 miles without dropping on the floor when I got home.  Oh wait, I may have.

Each day has been easier and easier.  I've been very VERY sore, but that is the feeling of progress!  My little goal this week is to bike that 3 miles in less time than I did it today, which was 25 minutes pulling Baby K.  Yesterday was faster only because I did not attach the trailer.  After I got home, I drank a lot of water (it was hot out this morning), and I did a great ab workout!

Well, my new activity has me beat, so I'm sure I'll be in bed in no time!  My second little goal is to get up earlier each day, and go to bed earlier as well... You kind of need to do the latter in order to do the first.

How are you doing?  You sore?  What do you like to do to mix up your workout?


Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday Weighing In

When weighing in, I suggest doing it first thing in the morning.  Try not to obsess over your weight.  But measure your thighs, upper arms, waist, bust, and hips.  Many times if you didn't lose weight for the week, you might have lost inches.  It can get really easy to get hung up on the weight on the scale.  While, yes, it is important, but try to limit your weighing to once a week... if you are feeling like you need to weigh, I suggest you only weigh in once a week!

Good luck!

Evelyn Curtis

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Adversity Thursday: Wal-Mart World

Instant gratification.  That's what a "Wal-Mart World" is.  I am just as plagued by the next person with the "need it now" mentality.

I want to read a book?  Sure, I'll go buy it so I can read it now.

I have a craft idea... Oh boy, I need to start it now.

I want to lose weight?  Let's take it off now!

How many crash diets are out there, because someone wants to see instant results?  But the question that we need to ask ourselves is this: Will these results be lasting?  Will they benefit our lives for good (question2)

I could take a pill, stop eating carbs all-together, or I could join something like LA Weight-loss, and I could lose weight.  I've known lots of people who have lost weight by doing all of these things.  But let's talk about natural, healthy weight-loss.  I don't pretend to be an expert.  But one thing that I have learned from observation and common sense, is that those things will only temporarily take the weight off.  I have to change my whole lifestyle.  I have to change the way I eat.  I can't be going to restaurants everyday to eat, with the consumption of soda and expect a pill to help me lose weight.  Just like the dishes won't do themselves, and the laundry won't fold itself.  SOMEONE has to do it.  I have to do it (technically, I have to do all of those things).

So, last October, I started my life changing quest.  I started out great!  I lost 20 pounds in 4 weeks, I felt good, but then my knee started swelling up (due to a previous surgery).  I got discouraged, and I stopped writing on the blog.  I gained back the weight I had lost, and I became disappointed in myself, and gave up... well, I didn't really give up.  Losing weight is something I know I need to do, and it is something that I really WANT to do.  But it isn't easy, and it doesn't come off all that fast.  Add into the equation of frustration, the fact that my knee was not performing healthily.  I could hardly walk without there being severe swelling.  I had no other means of exercise!

At the end of January, I made myself an appointment to go to an orthopedic surgeon.  I was very worried that I'd need another surgery.  Since we are still paying off the old surgery, I knew another would not be very good on our bank account.  So, after an MRI, x-rays, and a few consultations, the doctor diagnosed me with arthritis in my knee (to be expected with someone who has had half of their lateral meniscus removed).  After that diagnosis, I asked the question that I had been wondering for months... "Is this going to prevent me from running?"

The doctor's response?  "Yes."  He did not believe that I would have a healthy running experience without inflammation and pain (believe me, if you have not experienced severe knee swelling makes life very hard).  But before I left, he gave me a steroid shot in my knee to help with the swelling.So I went home with a heavy heart...since my goal is to be a runner!

I have to say, that shot did wonders for me!  It took it a few weeks, but the swelling went down.  When I do a lot of walking, it will swell up a little bit, but the swelling always decreases.  Before, I had a grapefruit sized knot of swelling on my knee from October to January!  It helped me out quite a bit.

My next conclusion was, "if every person took the doctor's diagnosis as "bible" health for themselves, then many people would not have lived as long as they could have, or many would never recover from their own struggles."  I have decided that I will be able to run...after I drop some weight.  Why not?  If a paraplegic can defy all odds and wiggle his or her golly, I can work hard and get to a point where I can run!  I am too hard headed of a person to take that as defeat.  It never would have stopped me before (just ask my parents and my husband).

So, no.  I won't be able to run today, or tomorrow for that matter.  But I do have hope to be able to run...maybe next all depends on how willing I am to put in the work.

How about you?  Are you willing to let go of your bad habits to change what needs to be changed?  Today I am.  Today I did.  Let's see what tomorrow brings shall we?

Today's goal:  Drink at least 8-16.9 oz bottles of water throughout the day.  And not one soda (which we have in the that will be the challenge).

What's your goal today?

Happy Losing!

Evelyn Campbell Curtis

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Foods: Pumpkin Soup with Roast-

As a kid, I grew up eating pumpkin soup.  My mom made it in the fall.  I have since come across some other versions of pumpkin soup (no offense mom), but I like them better.  So even though we are still pushing into the 110's, my body and mind can feel fall coming up!  I love fall!  I think it is the best time of the year... but I say that about every part of the year.  But really, fall is the time of year where I get an excitement to start decorating my house, and fill it with wonderful fall-ish scents.  I'm not sure how fall will be here in our new town, but I'm sure it can't be too different from we moved only 2 hours away.

Here is a recipe that I made up as I cooked it.  A good friend of mine has a husband who is an amazing cook, and after tasting his pumpkin soup, I was inspired to come up with my own.  Let's see if I can remember it!

Pumpkin Soup with Roast

3-4 Cups Left over roast cubed (I just use what I have left over from another meal).
1-2 TBS Olive Oil
1/2 red onion diced
1-2 TBS minced garlic
3 full carrots sliced (medium sided)
1 Cup zucchini squash diced to bite size
1/2 bag of frozen corn (not sure..probably a smaller size)
2 cups pumpkin puree (about 16 ounces..I'm not sure how much comes in a can)
2 potatoes cut to bite sided pieces
3-5 cups of water (depends on how thick you want the soup)
1 cube beef bullion



Heat olive oil over medium to medium-high heat.  Once hot, saute onions and garlic.  After those are sweating, put in the carrots, zucchini, corn and let them saute (you may add or omit any other veggies that you wish.. ie celery, peppers).  After a few minutes, add the diced up roast, make sure to stir-fry the ingredients until they begin to tenderize.  Add the seasonings (season to taste.  I use a pinch of each of the seasonings listed--but you might like more), then add the pureed pumpkin, potatoes, water, and bullion.  Bring to a slow boil, and let simmer until the veggies are tender and a fork pierces the potatoes easily.

-You might need to add more beef bullion depending on how much water you add, and how much of the beef flavor you would like in you soup.

-Usually when I fix something like this, I do not follow a recipe.  So, feel free to omit anything that you wish.  If you were seeking a vegan meal, just omit the beef and the bullion!

-I puree my own pumpkin.  So mine will be slightly more runny than a store bought or canned version. You'll have to make your own adjustments.

This is a very tasty dinner that everyone enjoyed!  Serve with whole wheat toast (homemade is best).  I look forward to making it again this fall!  Maybe sooner than later!

Happy losing!

Evelyn Campbell Curtis

PS  I'll post a picture once I've made some!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Fitness: Starting Small

This was just after my Baby K turned 1 in February
Here I am, starting from scratch...again.  Weight gained back, frustration at its peak, and just enough irritation with myself to get me going.

Sometime in February, I got a bike!  I may have posted that before...but its been great!

We also recently moved (just over 1 1/2 months ago).  So my bike tires were deflated from lack of use and up-keep, and it was covered with cobwebs.  It took me two weeks (that is how long we have been settled in to our house) to get my bike tires filled up and take it out on the road.  I did that last night, and this morning?  I took it on its first cruise in our new town!

I was originally thinking of biking 10 miles.  I have the distance figured, and it would take me just under 30 minutes I believe.  But as I got out on the road, the 4 months of not biking hit me hard!  I am out of shape... so I didn't feel bad at all to cut my ride down drastically!

My workout today:

4 mile bike ride
Random Abs workout of the day
=Approximately 30 minutes

I didn't overdo it.  So I am more than able to continue with my busy day of homeschooling my three children!  Off to the races!

He really enjoys his ride in the trailer!
Tomorrow I'm going to bike about the same...but to a sports park that is about that same distance away.  There I will do some circuits like I've done before to see how my knee holds up!  I love doing those... Just looking at the post brings back nostalgic memories! :)

What was your workout?

Happy losing!

Evelyn Curtis