Tag Archives: #fitfluential

taking care of me



August has already been quite the eventful month. I decided to look into a part time job. If you are counting, this makes 3 outside of the house jobs.

  • teaching
  • cleaning, tourist changeovers
  • server, Applebee’s

And don’t forget:

  • mom to human child
  • mom to furbabies
  • wife
  • band booster secretary
  • band mom
  • and I am sure I am missing some…

I have set out to start taking better care of Jen, (no, I will not be speaking any further in the 3rd person….it s just plain weird)

I have walked every day since July 7th. This is a HUGE accomplishment for me. I did not set out to walk every day for 30+ days. But once I hit day 16 or so, I felt like I could do anything!! And, I figured I could set a goal of continuing the streak until I started back in school September 2nd. At first I kept this goal a secret. I didn’t want to jinx myself. I kept going. Adding one day at a time.

To make this goal a reality, I am having to change the way I speak to myself and out loud. I talk about wanting to get my walk in and not how I “need” to walk. I want to continue my walking streak and as long as I think about it as something I want to do then I will keep on keepin’ on. Some days are hard, not gonna lie. I tell myself to just start moving. I can walk one mile no matter what!!

Two weeks ago, my Q and I started the PiYo program. We set out with the intentions to follow the program exactly the way it is written out on the calendar which was provided. Week one we rocked. Week two took a few twists. Taking on a new job where I am on my feet the whole time changed my thoughts on working out just a bit. I want to do every piyo workout. More importantly, I want to do every piyo workout without injury. That means I must listen to my body and not that tiny voice of guilt from not doing it. Last week, I took one rest day and then doubled up the next day and that was great!! The day I doubled up, I felt strong and ready to tackle it all. The day before when I chose a rest, I was tired and my legs felt tired and heavy.

And then there was Sunday. On Sundays I clean in the mornings but this Sunday, I also was scheduled for a training shift at AppleBee’s (AB) from 5-10pm. Did I mention this was all the night before Q started band camp?!? In between cleaning and showering for AB, I walked one mile in my bedroom. I took that walk low and slow…I use my Leslie Sansone videos but to keep it low, I don’t use the normal intensity. I keep the kicks and knees lower. I wanted to walk to keep my streak alive but I knew I would be on my feet for 5 hours. Keeping it low allowed me to walk and to stretch my legs a bit.

I am learning I can walk every day. I can do the PiYo workouts. I can work a physical job. I can do it all. I think walking every day has been good for me. I am successful in  this goal and I am starting to feel my legs responding. PiYo is hard for me but I modify and I do my best and I cannot wait to see what 8 weeks of this looks and feels like. I am looking forward to the physical changes, I am already noticing the mental benefits of both of my fitness endeavors.

I have walked late at night to get it in. I walked last night at 9:30. It is a wonderful benefit of walk at home workouts….I don’t have to worry about heat, humidity, rain, bugs, dark, etc. Even on the days I have walked late, I have felt like such a rockstar for getting in my walk. I feel like I am doing this great thing for my body. I am now realizing, it is not just my body that is happy for my daily walks!!

My new fitness endeavors are new ways to take care of me!




I like pi….yo


I splurged a bit and bought myself a new workout program.

PiYo.  (click on the word for more information) Pilates, Yoga intensified but still low impact. Watch this video for a quick visual on what is PiYo.

My facebook feed is filled with BeachBody coaches and I have been seeing PiYo craziness for a couple of months. I watched videos, and read status updates of wow. I finally jumped on the bandwagon. One of my bloggy/twitter/facebook friends is a beachbody coach and since I have known her the longest, I asked her like a million questions. Nanci made me feel very comfortable about giving this program a try.

I ordered the program and tried to put it out my head until it arrived.

And then it arrived. And I saw the calendar. There are 3 DVDs with (I think) 8 different workouts. They provide you with an 8-week schedule. Six days a week. I must admit, I was a bit intimidated looking at 8 weeks all scheduled out on a calendar.

I showed my Q the trailer video on youtube and the calendar. She decided to workout and do this program with me. For real, she even cleaned her room to make enough space for us to PiYo. AND, we finished week 1, started week 2 and her room is still clean-ish.

IMG_20140729_155946 IMG_20140728_211139_719

Do you have any idea what an absolute humbling experience it is to workout with a fifteen year old?!?

My Q is a typical teenager. She spends way too much time on her bed watching, facebooking, or reading. More often than not, she is reading and this mama who also happens to be an English teacher almost never interrupts her family when they are reading. Q, however, takes after her mama and devours books. She hates to put the book (or iPad) down until she is done.

I am out of shape and getting back to my groove. I struggle through the workouts. And yes, they are around 20-40 minutes and I die. I sweat. I huff, I puff. I curse Chalene Johnson with her perkiness and perfect blond hair. Q just rolls through and she hardly sweats. The day after our workouts, I am tired and Q not so much.


I made a hashtag #meandmyQ – even when she frustrates me with her lack of sweat, I absolutely love working out with her. I am so brutally honest when we workout. “This sucks” “ooh, I like this one” “B***ch” “This lady is crazy” “She wants me to do what” “My belly gets in the way, I have to adjust this pose”  I have worked out without a shirt on, just in a sports bra. I fall over because my balance sort of totally sucks.

Yet, I keep pushing on. I have given up and walked away from too many “hard” things but I have also pushed through serious “hard” things. PiYo is hard but fun. Every time I do a workout, I am surprised when we get to the last five minutes. It sneaks up on me. So far, that last five minutes has caught me off guard every single time.

Working out with Q is pretty awesome. We have a calendar to know what to do on what day, but more than that we have to be accountable to each other. I can’t bluff her with excuses. And even when I am so not in the mood for working out or my joints are achy and I just want to be lazy, I don’t want to give my Q any of those excuses.

Who knew this was all going to happen when I decided to try something new?!?

getting caught up


I missed a few days on my blog-every-day challenge. My laptop totally conked out on me. And while we do have a desktop and I have my nook, I just felt the need to chill on the social media front. My cat was/is having an issue with his foot, my finances have me feeling punchy, and I am struggling to get in a groove.

August is a very hard month for me. I have no real work schedule, my teen sleeps all hours of the day away, and I just don’t know what I want to do with myself. It’s lame, I know…but its where I am at right now. I am working on it.

I started #plankaday the other day. I am counting planks as “other” workouts for my August goals. I want to be successful in my goals and a plank is not easy for me…so it is an acceptable “other” workout for me.

  • yoga 1/21
  • walks 3/21
  • other 4/21
  • blog 5/31 – including this post
  • tracking 0/31 ( a whole other post )


And now, I want to get caught up on Janice’s challenge.

Day 5 5 Foods you can’t live without

I love food. I never loved food until I started trying to lose weight. And now, I may not have lost a lot of weight (if any) but I have gained a whole new appreciation for food. I have come a long way from the girl who burnt water and toast, regularly. I had zero kitchen confidence until Big Man took me under his wing. I learned some basics and have just bloomed from there.

I love recipes! Seriously, I have a recipe pinning problem. I keep looking for new and innovative ways to eat real food, healthy food, and yummy food! I have a pinterest board titled “chicken 1000 ways” and I am on a mission to find as many chicken recipes as I can find. I have found so many winnerwinnerchickendinners on pinterest. And I think my husband would LOVE for me to fins LESS veggie recipes. HA.

I also have to keep our food budget under control. The budget is tight so I am always on the lookout to get the biggest bang for my grocery buck! I refuse to eat crappy just because money is tight. I have to set a good example for my daughter, she will be fiscally and physically responsible.

So, all that…5 foods I could not live without:

  1. sushi
  2. brownies potatoes
  3. eggs
  4. bananas coffee
  5. steak

That was hard! I wanted to cheat and put chicken, fish, fruits, desserts, eggs – but that seemed like cheating. There is always the every favorite list of Italian, Mexican, breakfasts, fruits and desserts. Again, that looks like cheating.

And there you have my list!

Day 6 Your highs and lows from this past year

Early in August of 2011 – I was training (in a less than stellar manner) for two half marathons. I was maintaining a nice weight loss of about 50 pounds.


I hurt myself running a 10-miler I had no business running.

I sprained my ankle tripping over a dog toy (I know, this is so not helping my cool-girl status) .

I had surgery to fix both.

Crutches. And a lot of couch sitting.

Physical Therapy.

more recover.




Where now??

Clawing my way to where I want to be…

As always, a work in progress!!

In 10 years….


Janice’s challenge, Day 3: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I will be 44, my husband will be 51, and my daughter will be 23. Honestly, thinking of my daughter at 23 makes 44 sound a lot older. 10 years from now I will have just celebrated my 15th wedding anniversary.
WHOA!! That is a lot to process! I am just acknowledging  and dealing with the fact that Q is a teenager. Fast-forwarding 10 years is a little bit anxiety inducing. Seriously, I am looking for ways to slow down time.
But I am playing along. I had to think about what I really want for the next decade. Truth is I am not exactly sure. I love my job. I really love what I do. Teaching at-risk teenagers is mentally exhausting, I won’t lie, but I was meant for this work. I want to do more. I don’t exactly know how but more.  I have some rambly ideas but they are in the brainstorm phase and wouldn’t make much sense here.
I want to be at a place where I am healthy and active but its all second nature. I want to be at that place where I don’t have to think about making healthy choices. I will have well established healthy habits. Daily workouts will be just a normal part of life….like laundry and brushing my teeth….I don’ know about you but I do laundry and brush my teeth almost on auto pilot.
I really hope that by the time another decade passes I will finally have learned how to play chess. My husband and daughter know how to play but I have never learned. Lame, right?! 😉

Life is not easy or without worries but I am happy. I love my family. We may not be the richest in monetary means but we have love and kindness and happiness with each other. Q is a teen now and on the go as often as she can but some nights, like last, she simply wants to play cards with us old people. We had fun but tonight she is at a sleepover. In 10 years those family card nights may not happen very often.
I am cherishing today and not rushing for future predictions. As long as my family still finds time for one another, I need nothing else.

Where do I see myself in 10 years?
Preparing for a Sunday night dinner with my favorite people. The place doesn’t really matter, as long as AJ and Q are with at the table!

goals, music, and food (Updated)


August Goals.

  1. Blog every day for Janice’s challenge
  2. Yoga every day 21 days of yoga. {After I fell asleep on the couch after posting, I realized every day may be too much. So, I updated this goal. EVERY day is more of a challenge than I want right now. My goals are to be gentle and accepting – not strict and unreachable}
  3. 30 minute walk, minimum 21 walks (inside or outside)
  4. 21 other workouts – I have a pinterest board full of workout ideas and I have a ugifit and access to kettlebells and I have dvds.
  5. track – my food, my activity and how my belly feels (I am terrible at tracking but doc wants to see if we can pinpoint what might be causing my bellyaches PLUS, I am a Weight Watchers member so I should use the tools. )

Just decided to reward myself. Not sure what the reward will be…something cheap…maybe something yoga related or new headbands.

Click the pic above for info about Janice’s challenge,

Day 1: Your 5 favourite workout songs and why?

This is sort of a hard one for me for a variety of reasons. I have very eclectic taste and some days I feel like No Doubt, some days its Snoop Dogg (who is now Snoop Lion), some days its Pink and some days its The Band or some days its Iron Maiden or Green Day or…or…or.

And usually when I work out, I just pick whatever album I am feeling. Or I just listen to the radio. Music becomes background noise and if I am really into my workout – I don’t even “hear” the music. Sadly, it has been a long while since I worked out worked out. And my current workouts of choice, as I fight and claw my way back to a regular fitness routine, are walking and yoga.  Walking is usually with the dog or husband so I don’t listen to much music, and I just decided to give audiobooks a test drive. I will have to keep you posted about my entrance into the world of audiobooks.

Ok and on to the food portion of this blog post:

I love foodie pen pal.

What is better than food in the mail?!?

Wait, don’t answer that question…unless your mind is in the gutter, like mine.

My new friend, Stephanie, who doesn’t blog, sent me a fan-freaking-tastic box of goodies. Wisconsin-Local goodies. I never knew Wisconsin had maple syrup. I haven’t had much of a chance to dig in to this box but I am looking forward to it!! Husband is too! He can’t wait for pancakes!!

tuning, toning, and shaking it up


It has been a LONG time since I have participated in a Shrinking Jeans weight loss challenge.  I decided to join in on their June Tune Up challenge because I definitely need a kick in the ass to get back into a groove. I have not been losing weight and for the last 3 weeks I haven’t really been working out.

I want to get some of this weight off me.  I could list all the reasons my body deserves me to work on this but I won’t. Honestly, I feel mushy. I liked feeling leaner and toner like I did when I was training last summer. Pre-injury. Pre-surgery. Pre-weight gain. Not only did I gain the weight but my muscles went mushy. I don’t feel like my best self. I don’t feel comfortable in my skin.

I have not been taking care of myself properlike.

So, I decided to join SJ’s June Tune Up Challenge. I could use a good tune up (I don’t know about y’all but the second I wrote that sentence I giggled ’cause I know that could be taken in a naughty way but I am leaving it anyway). My body and mind need a shake up.

If I am being completely honest with myself, I have not been putting my all into my journey. I have let my head and overthinking get in the way of making progress. The way I have been doing it has not been working. I am not working out or eating well and my body (and mind) are trying to tell me.

This challenge is a team challenge and I have the BESTEST partners in the whole world. Officially Ann, from She’s Gonna Blow, is my partner. Ann is the greatest cheerleader and friend anyone could hope for. Ann and I have become really, reallygreat friends and we have been trying to encourage the other but really I think we are kinda enablers but we try. We have vowed to truly commit to this challenge and to support and encourage not enable each other for the entire 30 days.

I am committing to kicking ass this challenge. Not literally, but I want to push myself but also do right for me and my body.

My commitments for the next 30 days:

1. #saladaday – I mentioned on twitter that I needed to add more veg to my life and Karena tweeted back that I should try the #saladaday challenge – well, I am giving it a whirl.

2. MOVE my body every day (those SJ Sisters are always thinking!! – they even came up with a daily exercise commitment calendar called the June Tone-Up – this will give me the very minimal amount of moving but since I have been pretty slacked, I’d say this is a good place to start)

3. Get back into #NROLFW and restart Stage 2.

4. Experiment with Wheat Free – I have been reading about things I am noticing in my body and possible causes and also about the benefits of eliminating wheat as a relief to these issues. 30 days is not long to go without pasta or bread

5. Track it all – all food, and activity using WW online.

I think that is enough! They all sort of work together and nothing is too over-the-top to cause stress. It’s 30 days!! I can do anything for 30 days.

Oh yeah, did I tell you about my parters. No, I only told you about my official partner, Ann. Ann and I make up the team called Kick A$$ WIPs (WIP = Work in Progress). Unofficially, my husband has decided to join me in the no-wheat thing and the saladaday thing (well at least on work days) – he figures if he can’t have a sandwich or pasta what can he ha

ve but a salad for lunch. This is a huge step for my husband and, really, for me too. I talked to him the other day and told him how I was feeling and I wanted to make some food changes.  He was wonderful, he listened and then he told me he would join me because he needs to make some changes too.

Last night, to get prepared for this upcoming challenge, I spent about half an hour cutting and prepping veggies for salads and hardboiling eggs. There are two pictures below..the left is my fridge and all the salad prep on one shelf (spring mix, spinach, and 2 heads of romaine all cleaned and bagged up; a huge cucumber peeled and sliced; a couple red peppers cleaned and diced; homemade cucumber & tomato salad; diced up lunch meats (ham, turkey, provolone) portioned out; and 8 eggs hardboiled and peeled)….and the pic on the right is my salad and hubby’s salad all packed up before work this morning.



I decided it was time for a challenge. Time to challenge myself and make a real commitment to feeling my best!

Here’s to June!!


P.S. So far Day 1 has been great. Having salad stuffs all prepped and waiting to just be put together in my bowls was a huge helper.  I am making conscious choices as I go through my day. Day Ones are always awesome…aren’t they?!?

faking it, fighting it


I am so over this funk.

I hate being miserable.

I am not naturally a grumpy person, I prefer to be giggly and silly and happy and energetic and cheerleady. I hate the way this funk makes me feel. So I am going to fight it.

I am gonna fight to get to where I like to be. The place where I am my happiest me! I am going to work on me. I know I feel better when I am not stressing about losing weight but still working on it. I know I feel better when I am exercising regularly but not stressing it.

Ah-ha! I am seeing a pattern. I start with something that makes me feel better but then I somehow turn that same thing into something stressful. Stress leads to a funk. Funk leads me into a not-so-nice place. I came across this quote on pinterest (yep, I am pin-addict) and I was drawn to reading it over and over again.

I need to change this cycle I have been trapped in.

I am only human, so mistakes and emotions (emotions are not the mistakes, but mistakes compound emotions) happen. I always tell my students the only real mistake is to not learn from said mistakes. Emotions are meant to be felt. I have to let myself feel them, but the mistake I have been making is to let those emotions dictate my actions.

I can learn from this; I know a few things and I will build upon that which I know!

I know I do better with a plan but monthly goals of x-number of whatevers always gets me off track. I must STOP doing this. 

I do great when I make a daily to-do list. I need to do this every night before I go to bed. Its a way of seeing what the day looks like and keeping it all straight. I must write things down. It just works for me!

I know I feel better with regular exercise, so my new plan is no plan. I am going to get my ass to the gym! I like the gym, I feel better after I workout. So, my non-plan is to have a gym bag with me every day and after school I will do something. I will elliptical or lift weights or take a yoga class or some combination. I must JUST DO SOMETHING!!

I know I feel better when I am eating good-for-me foods but not being ridiculously restrictive. I also know, sometime I need to tough-love myself because I do have the most ridiculous sweet tooth and no control when it comes to brownies or goldfish. I know if I force myself to slow down and breathe a bit before I eat mindlessly, I can talk myself into better choices. As long as I have a menu plan I keep dinner rather balanced and as long as I pack lunches I keep them balanced. My biggest problem is snacking before and after dinner. I will make a conscious effort to make better choices than I have been making. I will also go back to tracking and counting my points.

It is time to find my happy.

Find my balance.

Do what feels better.

And while I figure it all out, I will fake it and fight it until it all works itself out!

It is all part of the process…the journey!