03 July 2014

Photos by James

I finally downloaded all the photos from James' camera.  Here are some that I like!

Healthy Challenge

A few months ago my sister talked me in to doing this healthy living challenge thing.  I'm not really into healthy, but it actually turned out to be a good experience.  My sister is diabetic and tries to be fairly healthy anyway, but after months and months of working with a personal trainer and changing her eating habits, she still wasn't dropping any weight.  I, on the other hand, have slowly gained weight over the course of my adult life, but slowly is exactly what it has been, slow.  I tend to be just active enough to maintain my terrible diet.

She needed a "buddy" to check in with every day and because she is still my tell-me-what-to-do older sister (even though we really do get along great), I just did it.  I was at the bottom of the competition every week until the end, when I finally moved ahead of two others, finishing third from the bottom.   My sister finished a very disappointing non-first, though she was very close to the top of the list and I thought she did great.

Here are my thoughts after completing the challenge:

  • I ate more fruits and vegetables than I ever have in my life.  This was probably the hardest part for me.  After trying a few new vegetables at the beginning, I actually had a student tell me that "you just have to find the right vegetables."  He was right and I ended up eating a lot of salad.  I still just don't really like vegetables that much.  I also added fruit smoothies to my diet.  At my sister's suggestion, it is much easier to drink your fruit than eat it.  Plus, my kids both really like this new habit.
  • Water.  I wasn't opposed to water before the challenge and drank a fair amount, but I was pretty inconsistent.  The challenge required 64 ounces a day.  This wasn't particularly hard for me to do, but by doing it, I realized that I didn't crave crap as much.  I think that when I am thirsty, I tend to eat instead of drink.
  • Coke.  I'm about 90% done with drinking Coke.  I used to have a can a day, but because of the no sugar part of the challenge as well as keeping my calorie intake in check, Coke went away.  I've never been able to stand the taste of Diet Coke so for a while I was drinking Diet Dr. Pepper and then I just decided that if I couldn't have the real stuff I wasn't going to have it at all.  I had headaches for a while and then I just started having more energy and feeling better.  It could have had something to do with the fruits and vegetables, but I think this was one of the biggest changes to my lifestyle.  In the last few weeks I have still had a real Coke, but not very often, probably about 1 every 10 days.  Yes, they are still delicious.  No, I'm not getting headaches from them anymore.  No, I don't think I'll ever pick up the one a day habit again.
  • Myfitnesspal App.  I believe that this could have single-handedly changed my lifestyle, but because part of the challenge was to keep a food journal, I downloaded this app and kept track of everything I ate.  Oh my!  When you honestly tally the calories of every piece of crap that goes in your mouth, it can be quite shocking.  I set a weight goal and it gave me a calorie number.  Even on days I failed the no sugar rule, I still tried to stay within my calorie goal and that helped me a ton!
Overall, it was a good experience.  My sister continued to accuse me of cheating the whole time because I would admit to failing at the no sugar points.  I didn't cheat.  I wasn't winning, but I wasn't cheating.  I came in 3rd to the bottom for heaven's sake.  What I did do though was find some extra energy that I didn't think I had and I actually lost about 8 pounds over the course of the 12 weeks (all together I lost 10, but then I gained a couple back).

I am taking this week off.  I've eaten crap and not kept track of it and I've had an extra Coke.  My sister and I are going to talk about how we want to modify the challenge and then we want to start it up again in a week or so.  

Anybody want to join us?

01 July 2014

Summer Lovin'

It's summer!  Some days my kids drive me crazy, but most days we have a great time!  Here is some of what we have been up to since school got out!

We went to the zoo and we are so glad the train is back open (we've actually been twice in the last 2 weeks and have had fun).

We had a West Fest Fireworks Party!  Grandma Judy made us all go to get milkshakes at the new Arctic Circle in Magna.  It was new, but was still . . . .  the Arctic Circle in Magna.  After, we went to the church park by my mom and dad's house to watch the West Fest fireworks.  It was fun!

We've played at our neighborhood park a couple of times.  Molly is pretty brave at the playground.  Jack wants to do whatever she does (and a little bit of his own thing, too).  On our second trip to the park, Molly lost her grip climbing up a mountain to the slide.  She fell and had a scrape on her side.  In true Molly fashion, she was quite a wreck for at least and hour.  She was scared, but luckily not too hurt.

James put up a flagpole in our front yard!  It true James fashion, I don't think that pole is going anywhere.  Who knows how deep the hole is.  He dug to China for a whole Saturday.  Once the sleeve was in place, he put rebar and mortar inside the pole.  It should be arctic tundra wind resistant.  In addition, he didn't like the initial solar lights he put up, so he rewired (and dug a pretty long trench) to hardwire in a spotlight.  It is now steadfast, immovable, and bright.  I quite like the flagpole!  I am grateful that James has sweet skills to fix, repair, and make just about anything happen in our house and yard (even if it takes him until 2:00 a.m. on a Monday night digging a trench to do it)!

By the way, this first flag was the Lithuanian flag.  Several neighbors wondered what it was and just assumed it was a World Cup thing.  We since have replaced it with an American Flag to celebrate the 4th of July!

The kids have been taking swimming lessons.  Last year Molly cried or tried to run away from the pool most lessons.  She is still super nervous and needs some coaxing to be fully cooperative, but there have been no tears and no running away (except for the one lesson when she had to go to the bathroom), so I call this session a success!

Jack, is a maniac.  He and I have been doing a class together.  It's a good thing I decided to do this because I don't think there is anyway I could keep him out of the water during Molly's class.  We are looking forward to a second session starting next week.

We have lots of fun playing outside nearly every day.  On Saturday Jack was sleeping so I let Molly play outside with Asher, the neighbor boy.  They decided to draw all over their faces with chalk.  It's ok.  It washes off.  They had fun.

Jack loves to ride his bike and if he throws a fit, it is usually because he wants to go outside and play and we won't let him OR we are trying to get him inside from playing.  He just loves to be outside.

On Monday, we went on a last minute grand adventure with Parker and Meranda.  
We drove to Little America, rode Trax to City Creek, walked to the D.U.P. Museum (which was a bit longer of a walk than I had imagined it in my head), walked back to City Creek for lunch, visited Aunt Cindy at her office, rode the train back to Little America, and crashed at home.  Phew!  It was quite a day.  Jack did great.  Molly had a couple of meltdowns and her legs were broken, but also had moments of being really good.  Parker, Meranda, and I were very well-behaved too!  They were very helpful and great company.  Meranda has a new job working as a dietician for LDS Hospital.  She has to work every other Sunday, but gets other random days off.  We will have to take advantage of some of her days off to go on more adventures.  We've really missed Uncle Willie the last couple of weeks, but that's ok.  We're glad we still have Parker and now have Meranda back to hang out with in the summer.