Category Archives: Keepin' It Real

Why I’m OK with looking stupid

I did something today for the very first time ever.  And quickly discovered why I’ve never done it before.

I posted a video of myself jumping rope on Instagram.  Yesterday I added a Tabata jump rope routine on to the end of my lower body workout.  I decided to take a video of it.  I honestly don’t know why.  Curiosity, I guess?  To see if I looked as dumb as I felt I looked.  Yep.  I did.

Anyway, suffice it to say that it was kind of comical to me.  I was jiggly.  My boobs are starting to sag, and I mean let’s face it, was I really that surprised by that?  No.   I’m 41, the girls are going to succumb to gravity eventually.  I looked haggard, as it was early morning and I hadn’t showered or combed my hair or basically done anything to myself since getting out of bed.

I try to use my Instagram account to draw traffic to my blog.  Mostly.  I also post a lot of family pics there too.  But most of my posts are in some way related to my fitness journey.  There are many fitness accounts out there.  Most of the accounts I follow show perfect, hard-bodied fitness kings and queens.  The lighting is always perfect.  The muscles are plentiful and sculpted.  Their videos leave us viewers in awe of their perfect form and flawless aesthetics.  They offer lots of advice on how to achieve results like theirs.

And then there’s me.  Jumping rope like a walrus with all my stuff jangling about all over the place.  You’re welcome, Instagram followers.  You’re so very welcome.  As dumb as I may look sometimes, there are some pretty valid reasons for posting things like that.

First, it’s kind of a way for me to keep accountable.  I feel like if I put stuff like that out there, I am portraying myself as living a certain lifestyle.  A lifestyle that says my health and fitness are important to me.  And if I’m going to talk the talk, I need to make sure I’m walking the walk.

But another good reason is that not everyone out there working on their fitness is a bikini model.  Not everyone is a clone of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime.  Some of us are just regular moms and dads who are looking to improve our overall strength and stamina, but who also have jobs and families to take care of.  We don’t have professional photo shoots.  We don’t have fitness clothing line sponsors.  We have butts to wipe and dried snot on our shoulder and dinner to make and homework to help with.  Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of regular people out there like me who are documenting their fitness journey, too.  And I appreciate them.  I appreciate the perfect people too.  They all give me inspiration, which is what I also hope to give to others.  I want people to feel that they are not alone when they struggle, because I struggle, too.  I want them to be able to laugh at themselves and keep plugging away instead of feeling that they aren’t ever going to be successful.

So, if there could be a spokesperson for the regular folk out there who are just trying to be a better version of themselves, then let it be me and my jiggly jump rope video.  My skin is thick  enough to take the criticism.  I volunteer as tribute!

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When I ramble on for 7 years because I haven’t posted since Jan 11…

Soooo….I suck at blogging now, apparently.  I always mean to post more & I find all kinds of interesting things I should share, and then I don’t do it.  So yeah…I pretty much suck.  Sorry.

But, I do have lots of stuff to talk about today & because it’s Monday and I don’t want to do anymore housework, I’m going to spill it all out in one huge post that will take you 7 years to read, but you probably won’t because you’ll get bored halfway through and all my rambling will fall on deaf ears.  Or I guess eyes, since you’re reading.  But then it would be blind eyes?  I don’t know.  You’re welcome.

Well first, real quickly, we finally got moved in for the most part.  Brian has a bunch of crap to clean out of the garage so I can park in there and each day that goes by and it doesn’t get done brings him one day closer to death, but apparently he likes living on the edge, so whatever…don’t say I didn’t warn ya, B.

I have been asked a couple of times about pics of the new house, but of course I don’t have any so I’ll share those later on in the year in another boring & long rambling post, I’m sure.

When we were moving I didn’t work out for 2 weeks.  And it was pretty stressful for me because it bothered the heck out of me, but I finally got back to it, and I have to say that I was completely shocked at how quickly I turned back into a weenie again after a 2 week break.

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That face you make when you realize you have reverted back to wimpiness 😦

And here’s another picture that I’m posting for no other reason than that I look like butt in that last pic & I feel like I look less buttlike in this one, thus making me feel better. Although whatever filter my daughter used on this kind of makes me look greenish or something but whatever.

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And so I’m back in the swing of it now & feeling super sore, which is awesome.  I recently purchased the New Rules of Lifting for Women & it’s really changed the way I look at lifting.  Most importantly is that I have more active rest days, which is great because before I was working out 5 days in a row & I’m not gonna lie, sometimes that was a little overwhelming.  So on my active rest days, I always walk my dog for 30 minutes with The Spinster, but I also will throw in a short HIIT workout or a 5 minute Tabata jump rope routine or even just a 30 minute walk/jog session.  I like to use the Couch to 5K app for this.

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If you are new to strength training or been doing it for years, I highly recommend this book.  It appeals to me because it teaches a sensible & long term sustainable approach to eating and exercise, which is totally up my alley and what I’ve been practicing for years.  No crazy dieting or restrictions.  Moderation & movement, and that’s what I encourage my clients to strive towards because it’s realistic for most people.

Also, since we’re heading into Spring/Summer, I’m loosely tracking my macros again.  I like to be leaner when it’s shorts/swimsuit season so I don’t always feel like a busted can of biscuits like I do when it’s cold out and I’m a little more lax with my eating.  This combination seems to work well for me.  I don’t track anything from about Halloween through Christmas.  I like to enjoy the holidays without worrying about it too much.  I still eat what I consider to be healthy probably 75% of the time through that period, because that’s how my palette rolls these days & I actually enjoy a healthy diet, but I don’t sweat the treats too much either.

But now that Spring is approaching, I’m tightening the reigns a little and it always amazes me at how quickly I can start leaning down when I just start paying a little more attention to what I’m eating.

If you aren’t familiar with macros, it’s basically just tracking your carbs, fats, & protein (and some people do fiber too, I don’t) and keeping them within the limits you set based on your goals.

You need to figure out your TDEE, which is basically just the amount of calories you need to consume to maintain your current weight.  Then, depending on whether you want to put on muscle or lose fat (or both) you either aim to hit higher than or lower than your TDEE.  You can use this handy calculator  to determine your needs.  You can also hire a macros coach if you are really wanting to dial it in, but I just kind of go with my gut and pay attention to how my body reacts to what I’m eating.  If I was a competitive body builder or fitness model, I’d definitely need to get it more exact to hit my goals, but I’m just me & all I really want is to be healthy and feel good in my clothes.  And be able to pick up heavy stuff. 😉

I’m currently weighing in at around 126, so I’m not really looking to lose weight, but I would like to lower my body fat percentage some & put on some more muscle.  So I will start with cutting a little on my macros & will gradually up them as I go and as I start lifting heavier weights.

I think eating clean means different things to different people, so I hesitate to use that term too much, but what it means to me is just eating healthy fats like olive oil, egg yolks, coconut oil, nuts, seeds, etc.  And protein in the form of lean meats, some cheese, and protein powder in my smoothies when I have trouble hitting my protein goals.  And of course carbs in the form of whole grains, rice, and fruits.  And A LOT OF WATER.

I like the fact that my kids have been raised to have a healthy relationship with food.  They are allowed to have junk food sometimes, it’s not taboo in our house.  But they’re also growing up in a house where healthy and nutritious meals are cooked the majority of the time, so it’s nothing for them to have 2 and 3 helpings of vegetables without batting an eye.  I love that.  It lays the groundwork for healthy body image & food relationships when they are older.  It literally takes the drama out of food and meals at our house and it may not be for everyone, but it’s worked wonderfully well for us.  When my daughter texts me & asks me to bring her an apple to have after practice or my 11 year old is begging for roasted broccoli for supper, I know that I have done something right.  And because I believe in keeping it real, yeah, sometimes they have a pop tart for breakfast – And I’m totally ok with that, too.

I have to mention that meal planning is so very important for me to stay on track with healthy meals for the fam.  When I don’t take time (and yeah, it does take a little time) to plan everything out and then get myself to the store…bad things happen.

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Here are a few examples of some of the things I eat when I actually meal plan and don’t have to eat coffee:

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Spinach omelet w/feta cheese & apple

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Eggs w/ frozen italian veggies sauteed in coconut oil

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Whole grain toast w/natural peanut butter, banana, chia seeds & cinnamon

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Baked potato w/roasted brussels sprouts & 2 slices bacon

So, those are just a few examples of how we eat the majority of the time in our household.  And then sometimes we have pizza, or enchiladas, or whatever else we want, but the bulk of our food is what I consider to be healthy.  It keeps us healthy, happy, and balanced.

Hopefully I will actually do what I say and start blogging more & sharing more recipes periodically instead of unloading a humongous post every couple of months.  That’s the goal anyway but since most of you probably clocked out long ago & never made it to the end of this post, there won’t be anyone to remind me of my shortcomings when I don’t hold up my end of the bargain. Either way, I win. 😉

Keepin’ It Real – November 2011

I cannot believe it has been over 6 months since I’ve done one of these, can you?  I’m becoming quite the lame blogger, aren’t I?   I’m gonna work on that.  Really, I am.

Well let’s see…where shall we begin with this installment of Keepin’ It Real?

Oh, I know!  Here we go.

1.  I am either extremely lazy or extremely old-fashioned.  Or perhaps both.  I sit here and lament on my blog about how I can’t keep up with my housework because I’m too busy subbing/volunteering and yet there are people, lots of them, that have to work every day outside of the home and they still have to make time to take care of their houses and not let them turn into pits of despair (like mine) because of it.

2.  Last week I walked around school all day (or at least most of the day) with my pants unzipped.  Why do I do this with such frequency?  I bet if I looked back through the archives of this blog, I would find at least 10 posts that mention me walking around in public with my pants unzipped.  And why does no one tell me?  Maybe they don’t notice?  Or maybe they do notice and think I’m some weirdo that never zips her pants up?

3.  The weather is getting colder and in the mornings I have taken to putting the leash on the dogs (it’s one of those long retractable ones), letting the dogs out the door, then shutting the door while I’m still standing inside holding the leash.  I just let them pull it out as far as it will go while I stay inside warm & cozy.  How lazy is that?

4.  I ate one whole row of double-stuff oreos with milk the other day.  In one sitting.  A WHOLE ROW.  What is wrong with me?

5.  See yesterday’s post.

6.  Today I showed up at school an hour early to get my kids.  Yes, I am THAT stupid parent.  I set all of the clocks in our house back, but forgot to do my watch.  I went to town today to run errands and lost track of time.  I looked at my watch and thought, Oh crap!  I’m gonna be late!  I rushed to school and didn’t see any kids standing outside, so I went to the front office and saw Katie’s teacher from last year in the hallway.  I asked where my kids were and he was like, um…it’s not time to go home yet.  I’m sorry, but can I get any more idiotic? Seriously, can I?

I guess that’s about all I got for ya on that subject.  Have a great day, peeps!

Having Faith During the Hard Times in Life

Something has been making itself crystal clear to me lately.  I think that this is something that I have always known, but something that my sinful pride has kept me from fully grasping several times.

Namely, it is that there is nothing, NOTHING, that you can’t endure when you put your faith and trust in Jesus.

It is so very easy during the easy and happy times of your life to say, oh yeah, I have faith, everything is great, God is so good to me.

And it is another thing entirely to be able to say it when you have to go through something that seems unspeakable.  Something that feels totally unfair and undeserved.  Something that makes you question everything that you thought you knew.  Even those things that cause people who you think you know to behave completely opposite of what you believe them to be.

There have been many times in my life where I have tried (in vain) to get through the hard times on my own.  Those times left me exhausted, frustrated, angry and shaken.  There have also been times in my life where I have surrendered it all to Jesus and said, I can’t do this on my own, Lord.  Please help me.  I just can’t do it.

While it may be hard and even scary to surrender it all.  Once you truly do it, there is a peace that comes.  It does not erase the problem from existence.  In fact, the problem may grow and get uglier, however it becomes bearable because you know that you are not alone.  Friends and family will let you down, no question.  Jesus will not.  If you can truly give it all to Him, you will feel Him with you.

I am not a theological expert.  I cannot instantly quote bible verses to fit specific situations.  I know from my own life’s experience though that life is pointless and hopeless without Jesus and with Him there is no bad situation or problem I cannot conquer.

“And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8

For I, the LORD your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.” – Isaiah 41:13

These are the verses that I will remember in the coming days as we struggle through one of those hard times in life.  I am not fearful, but rather I have peace knowing that the Lord strengthens me.

You Might be a Redneck if…

…the zipper on your favorite jacket breaks and you resort to using a twisty tie from a bread bag in order to zip it up.

What can I say?  I really like this jacket and I’ve only had it for like 2 years.  I don’t like wearing jackets unzipped, it just bugs me.  I usually wear my clothes until they fall apart, so I had to come up with a way to still be able to wear it.  😀

Keeping It Real – Rainy Day Lazy Edition

I have been neglecting my blog lately.  Nothing personal, blog.  Please don’t be offended.  But I seem to have nothing blogworthy to say these days.

Maybe it’s because we’ve been rather busy lately.  Soccer practices and games.  Softball practice starting next week.  Trying to decide whether or not to refinance the house and add on a 3rd bedroom or just put it up for sale and ride out the current housing market.  Then there’s subbing at school, volunteering at school, helping Katie with science fair project, the list goes on…

Anyway, since I have nothing at all important to say, I decided to just keep it real for today, so here goes:

1.  It’s a poopy rainy day outside.  Poopy rainy days make me want to bake.  Donut muffins, banana bread, cookies, brownies.  This is not good.

2.  I overslept this morning.  So, instead of getting up at 5:00, doing my workout, eating breakfast, taking a shower and walking the girls into school, I did this: got up at 6:00, ate breakfast, read the paper, got the girls up, ready and fed, then dropped them off outside of school because I was still in my jammies and looking like Don King on a bad hair day.  What does all of this mean?  Well, it means that I want to bake.  Again, not good.

3.  Once I got home from dropping the girls off, I felt guilty about not doing my workout.  So, I half-heartedly did it, gaining a big fat zero in the healthy living department.  I am such a champ.

4.  After said wimpy workout, I decided to reward myself with a healthy snack that I clearly did not deserve.  I made a favorite of mine.  Oatmeal with banana, peanut butter and cinnamon.  I put in way too much peanut butter and tried to pretend like it was an accident.  Again, a champ, I say.

5.  Still sitting on my butt after the lackluster workout.  Need to get in the shower, but I prefer to sit in my own stench instead and dream about baked goods.

That’s it for today’s Keeping it Real post.  Tune in next time where hopefully I will have something worthwhile to say.

Keepin’ It Real

Today was terrible.  I mean terrible.  So terrible, in fact, that there is no way I could let it go by without a Keepin’ It Real post.

So here it is, friends:

1.  I did an upper body workout this morning and ended up suffering a Noulder (neck/shoulder) injury later in the day that I’m pretty sure is directly linked to my inability to do the exercises properly and/or the fact that as I said in my previous post, I have completely lost the Funk.

2.  I made 14,000 trips into Columbus today taking Katie to the ortho, then the dentist, then back to the ortho.  Anyone who knows how miserly I am knows that I hate wasting that much gas and will also know that that alone was enough to make this day bad for me.  Oh, but there’s more…

3.  Forgot to put on deodorant.

4.  Walked around for the first half of the day with my pants unzipped.  Wow, I am so cool.

5.  Got a bad headache (from the noulder injury, I think) and didn’t make anything for supper.  Instead picked up some food for the girls from the cafe and ate 4 grapes and about 3 spoonfuls of brownie batter for my own supper.  Healthy lifestyle, I own you!

6.  Speaking of brownies, I was supposed to send brownies into Katie’s class tomorrow for her birthday.  Everybody knows that I love cooking from scratch.  I especially love making cakes and brownies and stuff like that from scratch because they are so delish, but due to the kind of day I was having, I opted instead for a cheap ol’ box of brownie mix.  I needed to make 2 batches.  In the first batch, I left out the water completely.  These brownies came out like bricks.  In the second batch, I forgot to spray the pan.  So these brownies were delightful, yet stuck to the pan for life.  Brownies mixes call for like 3 ingredients, people!  I didn’t think it was possible, until now, to actually mess them up.

7.  I actually walked downstairs to the basement TWICE  tonight looking for my cell phone.  The first time I went down there, I completely forgot what I was doing.  I went back upstairs and then promptly remembered that I went down there for my phone.  Went down the second time, found no phone, walked back up and then realized it was in my pocket.

8.  It is only 7:40 pm and I’m seriously considering telling my girls that it’s 8:30 so I can put them in bed then crawl into bed myself.  I am very afraid of what the rest of the evening holds for me.

That’s it for this latest installment of Keepin’ It Real.  I bid you all a good night!  I am quite certain that I hear the Tylenol PM’s calling to me.

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