Monday, April 30, 2012

It's ON!!! 2 5K's Next Month...

Have you ever heard the theory that if it's really important for you to do something, something else will always try to get in the way? Well, that's how it's been trying to schedule and keep scheduled our first family 5K. First, I was excited and even my husband was excited about particiapting. Seriously! :) Then life happened and schedule conflicts came up, it looks like it's going to rain and there are a few projects that have to get done this weekend.

But I AM STILL RUNNING! Why? Probably because a couple weeks ago, I learned that a friend of mine's mother has recently been diagnosed with diabetes. Hearing her sadness and fear in that short email touched my heart. I would feel lame sitting this one out when I could add a little help towards helping find a cure for this condition that effects so many...
Did you know that:
•T1D is an autoimmune disease that comes on suddenly and strikes both children and adults at any age?
•T1D has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle?
•Those living with T1D must carefully balance insulin doses with eating and daily activities throughout the day and night?
•Those living with T1D must test their blood sugar by pricking their fingers for blood 6 or more times a day?
So PLEASE check out and donate (even your extra change, your savings, or something in the middle :)) to help fight diabetes!

On a side note, I also believe things happen for a reason. Since we aren't doing the 5K together this weekend, that frees us up to particiapte in a local 5K called the Angel Walk. This event is being held for a second grader at Sophia's elementary school who has cerebral palsy. You can read more about the event here on page 18 of the Idaho Press Tribune. I also noticed that there happens to be an interesting article on diabetes on page 15...SO check out this link!

If you can donate toward's our family goal of $100 for this cause too please email or message me.

I ran my first and last 5K over 4 years ago. I think I stopped partly because I ran alone and hadn't signed up for one that had a cause that mattered to me. Well, families matter to me. Health matters to me. Supporting those who are struggling matters to me. If they matter to you too please donate as much as you can! Again, here is my Walk to Cure Diabetes link or you can donate toward our family's 5K walk on the 16th for another family's welfare, by contacting me. Thanks and make it a great day!!! -Eva

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Learning So Much!!!

So, I am at BYU Women's Conference. 16,000 women are here learning and growing- it's crazy and amazing! I am learning so much. One of the classes I went to was about living well, exercise and eating right. I am so excited to share some more amazing tips and perspectives that were shared with me. I chose to have Subway for lunch and a good salad for dinner which was great. I walked a ton! And then I had Dairy Queen's brownie sundae for dessert. The good news is I allowed myself to have some balance and enjoy a treat. It's also good that I didn't feel like I HAD to finish it. Once I told myself it was OK, my view was guilt-free and balanced and feels wonderful. The best thing I heard was the fact that our bodies are gifts. Whether you believe your body is from God or not, it is an incredible gift to be able to have a body to get around in, jump in and run in. Be grateful for the gift. Don't complain about it. We are not all meant to look the same. So, from now on if I have to think about my body or talk about it, I'm going to call it my "gift." Right now my "gift" is tired, so I need to get some rest. But first, some push-ups and balance exercises. Yay! Life is good! Write more soon! Love, Eva

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just Checking In...

YAY!!! That's over 12 lbs lost, although someone told me today they thought I'd lost 30! Thank you! I don't take that in an offensive way at all. I know I am changing the way I treat my body and it's changing the way it's treating me. :) Now, off to finish dinner, wash and fold my 6th load of laundry and start packing for my weekend away at BYU Women's Conference. I hope I can still have fun and fit in some exercise and healthy food choices...we will see! No. I KNOW I CAN! :) Luv, Eva

Monday, April 23, 2012

(Continuing) Healthy Food Ideas...

So, I probably shouldn't even try posting on the weekends. With dates, long runs, and family activities it just doesn't happen! But better late than never, right? So here's the post I've sat down to write three times...also, they changed the blogger site and the formatting is not agreeing with me, so plz bear with me as I figure out how to get the program to listen to me and format how I want it too! :) First, I want to post some internet sites I found recently at the request of a friend... These are diabetes-friendly recipes that are healthy options even for people not suffering from diabetes. Eating like this now can prevent getting the disease later.,,20307365,00.html Flipping though these tasty-looking recipes reaffirmed to me my belief that there is a healthy option for every food you love. That truth is what has helped me stick with this change in lifestyle. Love omelettes? Great. Make them with egg whites or egg-substitute and pile on the veggies and low-fat cheese (mozzarella or provolone are lighter options! Love chocolate? Fine, whip out some sugar-free alternative and start baking. Crave mexican? Cook some ground turkey up with taco seasoning. There is always a healthy way to cook the same food! I don't even think about what "I can't have" because all I think about is what "I can have..." The options are endless. Here are some more ideas of low-calorie food options I've come to love... 6. Egg-White Skillet- It's basically what it sounds like. I cook up some eggwhites (which are only 20 calories per egg) with onions, tomotoes, mushrooms and freshly chopped garlic. I don't cook it in butter, but just give my non-stick pana quick spray of vegetable oil. Mrs. Dash helps me season my tasty creation without salt. So yummy and filling!
7. Veggies With Dip or Veggie Sandwiches- I know there are some vegetarians out there so this is a double option. Sliced cucumbers, tomato, celery with a little low-fat peanut butter, sour cream or hummus is a great snack option. For me, the protein is what really makes me feel full, so I also recommend string cheese with veggies, or lean deli poultry slices or tuna. Put it inbetween two veggies for a cute, healthy little veggie-sandwich! 8. A Bowl of Cereal with Lots of Milk (it DOES do a body good!)- Cereal is something else I used to eat four bowls of before feeling full. Now I know to choose cereals with some grains to fill me up faster, but even more important, I finish my milk! Chances are you will be getting most of your protein from the milk so give your body a chance to take that in and digest before filling that bowl of leftover milk with more cereal. You probably don't even need it. :)
9. Popcorn- One of the reasons I felt frustrated and put off healthy eating habits 100% of the time was because I didn't want to feel like I always had to be eating something different from the rest of my family. Popcorn was one of the first foods where I felt like I could make a healthy choice and include my family too. There are tons of light, low-calorie options for this snack. Just look at the label above to see the difference when you use a lighter oil. You can buy portion-sized packets, pop it yourself over the stove and omit the salt, or just use a little I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray for some flavor. Best of all, with this food choice you can enjoy your movie and still stick to a healthy lifestyle. 10. Creamy Goodness and Desserts- What else have I filled our fridge with to satisfy our sweettooths? Sugar-free puddings and jello cups, Greek Yogurt, light popsicles (some are only 15 calories), Fat-free cool whip to dip fresh fruit in...really there are SO many low-cal options I couldn't list them all. I can't say that I will always use sugar substitutes, but right now getting my waistline down is what's most important for my heart and health and eating fewer calories is part of that process. I'm finding that while the flavor isn't always quite tha same (although sometimes it is- I LOVE Greek Yogurt and Sugar Free popsicles and chocolate pudding) I'm satisfying a craving for something sweet without indulging and loving it SO MUCH that I have to have third and fourth servings. In other words, in a way I'm satisfied sooner because it's good but not so good I want to have the whole package. :) I hope these ideas for enjoying more fruits and veggies in your diet and ways of swapping out high-fat and calorie foods for lower sugar and lower calorie options make their way into your meal-planning. Again, I just have to mention that I am no a doctor or nutrionist. These are tips I've picked up from reading, watching The Biggest Loser and trying out myself and they are chainging my life. Have a great day! Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I love hearing your ideas too. Love, Eva

Thursday, April 19, 2012

It's Happening, I'm Living My Life...

It's happening. I'm actually turning into someone who is living her life more than she's thinking about food and exercise. Don't get me wrong. The healthy choices are happening, but because they are habit and without nearly as much effort as it used to take.

For example, I was exercising with my heart rate monitor tracker and thought I was way under my range for optimum calorie burning. Turns out I was right there, but my body is just more used to working at that level. That felt great to see!

Before I was hungry an hour after eating. Now my mind and body are accustomed to eating every three hours. Even if I do start feeling hungry a little sooner I get a drink of water and know I can wait and I'm fine.

Best of all, I had a slight weight gain mid last week (less than a pound) which I figured could be due to it being that time of the month. Before I would have been frustrated and given up for at least a couple days, just making the situation worse. This time I recognized that I need to just trust in the process and not stress. I stuck with my eating habits, fitting in exercise where I could and...

Even better, I don't feel like I have something I have to prove anymore. Before I was really sad and frustrated about not having any more children. I just felt all the time like I HAD to have one more. I felt like I would be a failure if I didn't have four kids, which I feel silly even typing right now. I think a big part of that was the weight, as in if I had four kids I could justify being this size. Or that idea of having to compensate in some other way since I couldn't beat this. Well, I don't feel that way anymore.

Yes, there are still some girl names I would have liked to use :) but my little Sophia is more than enough girl and energy for any family. :) I FINALLY am donating my maternity and baby things without feeling guilt or disappointment and I'm embracing the chance I have to parent the children I do have. I'm so grateful for that opportunity.

Basically, I feel like I'm starting to really live my life. There are definitely still setbacks and problems to work through. But at least the load of feeling huge and out of shape isn't one of them, because I'm working on making progress. I am on the road to being who I want to be...and that is a great place to be.

Check back tomorrow for more healthy food ideas, good recipe websites and info on how to support our family's first Walk for Diabetes! I got the official go-ahead from the Hubby last night so it's ON! Love, Eva

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cooking With Kids: 10 Easy, Healthful Food Ideas

I've been wanting to write this post for a while and maybe I'm finally doing it now because yesterday ended up being kind of a food splurge. I didn't feel that great afterwards, even while watching my portion sizes, because the food was high in fat, oil and sugar.

I don't remember where I heard it, but I once heard that the body is so much more adaptable to change than we give it credit for. It's the mind that struggles with the addction- the body can adapt and be done with something long before the person is mentally. Smoking is a great example of that. The body wouldn't generally seize up and die if someone quit smoking cold-turkey. Yes, it would be extremely uncomfortable, but the body would adjust and move on. Yet, how many people wish they could quit but "just can't." It's the mind that's addicted, the body will adapt. Clearly, that's true for food too. My body is already reacting adversely to having these fatty, oily foods in its system again. It's used to eating light and feels better running on this new "cleaner fuel" after only a couple of months. To me, that's incredible.

So what stops us from choosing what's better for our waistlines and arteries? Time? Money? Convenience? Taste? Well, here are 10 options where I don't feel like I have to sacrifice in any of those areas, and best of all MY KIDS EAT IT TOO! Check 'em out...

1. Fruit- It's hard to find a snack that's cheaper and more convenient than a banana or apple. I used to snack on crackers or toast but now I reach for fruit and veggies, easily saving myself a couple hundred calories a day. I say the same thing to my kids, "if you're hungry, eat some fruit." If they don't want it they probably aren't really that hungry (same goes for me.) They love fruit salads and sometimes we'll even mix in some light cool whip for a special treat. This is a great dessert option for summer- you don't even have to turn on your oven!

2. Protein Salads- Notice that word in front of salad? I mean it! Get some protein on your veggies and you will be loving life! I could eat three bowls of salad and not get full but one bowl with a couple ounces of lean poultry or light cheese and I'm set. The kids love some croutons on theirs and that's fine with me if it's helping them get through a healthful salad. Darker greens have more vitamins. Be sure to throw in lots of tomatoes, cucumbers, olives...any veggie you and your kids like. Also, don't waste your calories on the dressing. Go light or use red wine vinegar to make the most of your meal. :)

3. Turkey Pepperonni Pizza- I know, you might be able to taste the difference. But you will also feel the difference and see the difference on yourself by swapping out the fat stuff for a more lean, healthful meat. If convenience is still a must buy cheese oven pizzas and then top it with your own veggies and turkey pepperonni. These usually have thinner crusts and less cheese than delivery, and they are less expensive too. But you can still see the grease dripping off of them, so use sparingly...

If you have the time, you can make these cute english muffin pizzas. These are great because you can buy the wheat or low-calorie bread, and it's easier to watch your portions (especially on the cheese!) Just cover with toppings and cool for a few minutes on broil. My kids love helping make these and eating them too!

4. Smothered Veggies- This is the name I came up with for the following...take one of those Shake n Bake seasoning packages (in the deli section, with cheese...)and use it on zuchinni, tomato, really any veggie of your choice! I love these because they are baked, not fried, and they really get you to want to eat your veggies. Of course, try to choose one that's lower in salt but if you're just transitioning into eating more vegetables, seriously, just be glad you are eating vegetables! :) I made this for the first time a month or so ago and now I can use less and less of the seasoning per veggie serving because my family is more used to eating veggies! It's great, yummy and quick! Gotta love it...

We always do some with the chilen too...

This is the one I used. And no, I am not getting paid to mention their product. :)

OK, since this is turning into the longest post ever, I'm going to write it in two parts. Here is the last suggestion from Part 1...

5. Smoothies- I used to look at smoothies as high-calorie drinks, which they can be. That's probably because I used to always put (just a little) of ice cream in my smoothies. No more! Now it's just ice, fruit, low-fat milk and high protein yogurt. My kids love 'em because they feel like they're part of The Fresh Beat Band and they help create their own recipes by choosing the fruit and logurt flavors. I've found Greek yogurt to be the highest in protein while still being low-cal. I love 'em because we're all eating healthful fruits and dairy. If you don't do dairy, try some low-calorie juice in there too. This is a great oppotunity to mix in some soy powder or protein powder too.

I hope these suggestions are helpful for you today! More on the way tomorrow...thanks so much for reading!!! You all keep me going!! luv, Eva

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tearing Up At The Sight Of My Daughter's Kindergarten Class Picture, But Not For The Reason You'd Think

My 6 year-old recently brought home her first class picture. I remember the day I sent her off in her pink wool sweater with a hint of argyle in the pattern, her sparkly blue jeans and silver shoes, and her bright white bow in her dark curly hair. We practiced smiling and I took a few pictures at home since we weren't going to order the individual shots (the always seem so sterile to me...) She knew to listen to the grown-ups, stand still and smile big when her class stood together for their small moment in time to make their history.

Well, she looked beautiful, smiling big and holding up the end of the top row. I was happy to see her there with the funny-at-times-awkward kids I've had the privilege of getting to know a little. But I couldn't help but notice someone else...

He was standing on the end of the front row, his longer hair slightly covering his face. He was not smiling, or if he was I couldn't tell because he looked so sad. His eyes were staring at the camera, but they were wanting, empty. He was obese.

It's SO hard for me to even type that word, I hesitated and thought a long while before doing so and placing what feels like a judgmental label on someone. In reality it's a medical term, but it's hard to think of it that way. Is this why in the year 2010 two-thirds of our nation's adults were overweight? Is this why in the same year one-third of our children were overweight? Because we're afraid to talk about it unless someone is being teased?

I learned those statistics the day before I saw my daughter's picture while watching "One Nation Overweight." I'm scared to think of what it might be now, two year's later. In that documentary it was also stated that for the first time in recent decades the life expectancy of children being born was less than the adults birthing and raising them. Can you imagine that? Can you believe that we've created a world with so many unhealthy bombardments that are children are expected to live shorter lives than us? That our kids are more likely to get diabetes than to graduate from college? That is so's heartbreaking really.

Is being skinny a guarantee of being healthy? No. I was at my skinniest and most fit when I started making poor food and fitness choices. For me "health" was all about pleasing other people, looking just right and being the right number- and not just a small one. I actually started putting on weight at huge amounts because I was afraid of being so small. But you can't lean either way completely. There has to be a balance, a balance with the sense of reality that there are different body types. There are different personalities. There are people who prefer watching TV and eating cake to taking a jog and eating lean meats and salads. I think most people would probably prefer that! LOL But there is a healthy balance and healthy weight for everyone.

So looking at that class picture, thinking about kids all over our country, makes me teary, makes me worry. But it also makes me hope. I know that every day we can start making healthier choices that will immediately affect our mood, energy, and health. I hope every day that the people reading this will try harder to love themselves and their families by taking care of themselves, so they CAN be there for their families now and in in future years. I want everyone to feel the joy I'm feeling of being able to wear clothing that was too tight on me just a month ago. It feels SO GOOD to be living life in a body that is healthier, I wish everyone felt this way

In honor of this experience I had last week I'm signing my entire family up for a Walk for Diabetes this May. We are going to try to raise $200 to go towards research to fight against this terrible epidemic. I will post details soon on how you can support us and contribute. Just pack a lunch instead of going through the drive-thru one day and you can save yourself the money and calories and contribute $5 to a great cause. :) If you can't afford to help that way, then sign up to walk! I'll post more details soon...

I hope you have a fun, great weekend! But I hope it's fun and great for the right reasons, like because you're making healthy choices with your family that will enhance your life and the lives of all you love. I'm thinking of everyone who has expressed to me that they are trying to lose weight and live well. You CAN DO IT! Happy Saturday! Luv, Eva

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Hey Mama, Welcome To The 60's! Whoa, Oh, oh, Oh...

OK, I hope some of you know what movie musical my posting title is from...Hairspray, people! The scene from that song seriously makes me teary every time I watch it. In case you haven't seen it it is literally about a teenage daughter welcoming her mother to the real-world. The mother's obeseity and fear has kept her homebound, just cleaning and wearing muumuus for decades. During the song they enter the colorful 1960's city streets, dance, shop, sing, dance more (the end is better than an Old Navy commercial!) and together they overcome the fears that were holding them back. You gotta love a good musical moment...

Well, this Mama has entered the 60's too, the 160's...

The video component on my computer is having issues, so I was only able to take a picture to use yesterday, but there it is! I was still at 171 late last week and I wanted SO bad to finally be in the 160's this week. So I EXERCISED HARD!! Jillian, Bob and Kim would be proud. I ate right and BAM! my body was ready to lose those pounds. I am learning that some weeks our body will go with us to that place, and some weeks it won't, but either way I have to believe in the process. I am and I am feeling and (according to my hubby) looking great!

I'm so grateful for your encouraging words that have helped me not give up. I've been on this journey for 5 weeks, have lost and kept off over 9 pounds (almost 25% of my goal.) I am stronger physically and emotionally. Like my high school friend Taryn said, "I got this."

If you want a fun pick-me-up, I'm including links below to my two favorite and (to me) motivational songs from Hairspray. Please remember this movie is rated PG-13 and it's comedy is tongue-in-cheek. :)

Here's (Hey Mama) Welcome To The 60's. My favorite moments are at 5:11 and 5:40- GO John Travolta!

And a must for any runner, jogger, dancer, housekeeper's sound library... "You Can't Stop The Beat." It's beat is fast and keeps you going! WARNING this song uses the D word :) but if there's anything I feel strongly enough about to hear the D word, it's the theme of this song. No one should ever put someone else down for their color, body size or type. Those qualities should not stop us from dreaming, doing and becoming. I know I've put myself down for my size and it was wrong to. No more. No more calling myself names or giving up and giving in because "I'm fat anyway."

People through out time have overcome SO MUCH! This movie clip covers TV and relationship integration, racial intolerance as well as judgements according to our size. Well, I'm going to be strong and overcome too. I'm going to over come being lazy. I'm going to overcome giving up. I'm going to overcome being overweight by not selling myself short and trying anyway!

I'm wrapping things up with the words of my favorite verse that Ms. Maybell (in the movie Queen Latifah) sings (which Queen Latifah recorded in 1 take- WOW! It's at 8:19 in the clip...) When I hear this I can't help but sprint...

Oh oh oh
You can't stop today
As it comes speeding down the track
Child, yesterday is hist'ry
And it's never coming back

'Cause tomorrow is a brand new day

And it don't know white from black

Tomorrow is a brand new day! Keep going! Keep it up!

In the words of Christopher Walken's character "Do it now or forever wish you had! Show 'em baby!"
(6:11- 6:22 in the song- again John Travolta is too funny!)
Only you can choose to "stop the beat," but don't! :) Love, Eva!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Repurposing Things Around My Home, Including Myself...From "Birthing and Feeding" to "Raising and Teaching"

It seems like every Easter weekend, along with the egg decorating (I HAD to share a pic of my happy pink egg) and ham dinner, our family does home improvement projects. They don't usually involve buying something new due to our budget :), but are more along the lines of repurposing or improving something we already have, which I think totally fits the themes of Easter and spring anyway! Last year we pulled out the old barn floor we had been using as a deck and moved our swing set there, a much safer spot than where it was before by the cement wall ( I was always nervous the kids would swing too hard and smack their head).

The old barn flooring was good to use as a deck for a little while and had served its purpose in that respect, but was good to use for firewood at this point.

This year I painted some old frames to give them more color and life, hung them and designated that spot as the place to hang my children's best art pieces.

These frames have housed everything from wedding pictures to magnetic boards before, but are doing a great job of reminding me of the talent, life and creativity my kids share with me every day. Their art really cheers me up- how can you have the blues looking at those drawings?!

Last year, with my very garden-able in-laws over, we also planted flowers. I have a black thumb- I kill anything that began innocent and green. But it was so much fun to get our hands dirty, be outside together and make our home a little more beautiful!

After that great experience with our kids and their grandparents we specifically decided to start a tradition of planting flowers each Easter weekend. It just seemed like an appropriate time to nurture new life. This is us this daughter did the second one all by herself.

Just like the deck that became firewood and the picture frames that became an art gallery, I've learned that as a mother I am being "repurposed" (but not as firewood...) So far my body has had to do everything that entails carrying, growing, birthing, nursing and feeding my kids. I'm officially calling it the "Birthing and Feeding" stage to keep it short though. Up till now that has been, in some cases, my primary purpose. This is me last Easter, about to pop at 5 months!

With the help of saltines and toast, my body has done the job of pregnancy, although it has been scary how difficult it's been. We really never even thought we would be able to have a third, but we did our best to fight the extreme depression and morning sickness and now here we are with three beautiful kids. I am so lucky. I am so grateful and proud for that. I may not have a Graduate degree yet, but I am more proud to be the mother of my 3 kids. And the Graduate degree will happen someday...

This is me this Easter. Now it is time for the next phase of my mothering-life, the "Raising and Teaching" stage. I believe to do this well I still need my body, but in a different way. I need to be fit so I can chase after them, keep up with them and play with them. I'm tired of saying "I'm too tired" every time they want to play tag. I'm so glad we are exercising together more now by playing tag (I play in a sports bra and running shoes to make sure I'm sprinting), soccer, basketball, climbing all over the playground...even just dancing in our kitchen!

I'm glad that I'm educating them about healthy snacks, that even though ice cream is yummy it's not an option for breakfast :), and that healthy foods can be delicious too. The most important values we can have, respect, love, and integrity can only exist toward others if we have them for ourselves first. Being healthy is not just about calories and push-ups, or about fitting in that little black dress. When I overeat and indulge, I am not treating myself with respect. I am being unhealthy and mentally in a sad place where I can't be the best teacher and nurturer for my kids. I know as I treat myself with more love and respect, I will be teaching my children how to have love and respect for themselves and others.

So, I'm gardening this spring. I've planted seeds in my mind and my heart. I'm eating healthier. I'm exercising again. I'm excited to see the fruits of my labor. I will reap a joyful harvest. My body has been repurposed and is in a new phase of life, with new needs and expectations. Are my mind and body up for the challenge? Definitely. :) Luv, Eva

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Week Of Gains, Losses, and Reflections (in the Mirror and Within!)

Where do I start? Do I start with the pain in my stomach from my breakfast binge? Or the soreness of my throat from this cold? Maybe the burning sensation in my eyes from waking up three times a night...ugh. I have been fighting this cold for more than half the month. We had to unexpectedly buy another car, which means for the first time in years we have monthly payments on a vehicle, something we hadn't planned on in our budget. Double-ugh. Moving-in projects that I thought I'd have finished weeks ago are sitting half-done. And the depression I thought I was finally over is back. It's back...

I think of depression as a cancer of the mind. I'm sure you've passed people on the street who had cancer or depression and never even knew it. Maybe they didn't even know it, but it was still there slowly eating at them and destroying them. And it's scary. It's scary because people can't see it like a broken leg, so they think to open the door for you and you can get some help. They treat you like everybody else and you're expected to function just like any other day. It's scary because the same mind that is the source of all ideas and intents is suddenly giving you awful ideas that you wouldn't even want to udder aloud. Sorry to be a downer, but it's been the reality of my past week and I had to get it out somewhere. I love my family, I love my God and I'm going to keep going, but it's been much, much harder...

I'm used to being the cheerleader. Even as an athlete I would be awarded the Team Spirit award when playing community sports. And the year I was actually a cheerleader in college, I was the one cheering US ON during our grueling workouts. But all of those were very public, relatively unimportant events so it was easy. Now, with this challenge of living healthier, making time for me, and fighting against this depression that I usually hide so well from others, the stakes are much higher. I'm scared that if I don't lose the weight and change things now I might give up trying.

A week ago I had SO MUCH CONFIDENCE! I felt different. I felt stronger. I felt slimmer. I felt happy looking at my face in the mirror, which I hadn't felt in a long time. I even got our family pictures done and I usually avoid pictures. Things were going great. Then I got the relapse of this cold, stopped working out so much because I felt EXHAUSTED, gained a pound,(which I know can just be water-weight, muscle, whatever, but SITLL...)

got bad news about a few different areas (grad school options, the car, friends, other bills...) and here I am, worse than ever...well, maybe. For a couple days I've crossed over to the other side where I used to be, and maybe I'm not really worse than ever.

I stopped eating healthy for a few days, and you know what? All that snack food that I thought I'd sacrificed to give up, didn't taste as good as I thought they would. The desserts were too sweet. The chips tasted like salty tissue paper and salty cardboard. And it just wasn't as satisfying to eat something so full of calories. It's like shopping. It's not nearly as fun to buy something at full price than it is to find it on sale and save the money. It's so much more satisfying that way, and I've found that I feel that way with food now. It's much more enjoyable to find a healthy, yummy way to cook food that lets me save calories.

Also, my hubby bought me a gift, a heart rate monitor. During the one workout I used it I learned that what I thought was a decent workout was only getting me up to 90 beats per minute. The target range for a woman my age is actually between 120 and 140. WOW. I've been way under! I think that level was a good start before and where I needed to start. But if I want to continue seeing progress I'm going to have to really step up my workouts, which I want to do, as soon as I can breathe more easily and stop coughing.

As I wrap up this post I remember the most depressing, FUN cheering experience I ever had. It was an away-game which was always more challenging because there was only a handful of people from SVU in the stands to cheer at. Also, we had the other team's guests to try to ignore (they usually tried confusing us, yelling that our signs were upside-down, etc.) Besides that it was FREEZING and rainy. We had these super-cute ponchos to wear over our uniforms, that looked like huge trash bags and went down to our knees. Since it wasn't raining a lot to start I just felt dumb wearing it. BUt soon the rain fell so much we were slipping in the mud with every kick and not even able to stunt. But it was fun! It was a crazy, rainy, messy, fun time. But that's because we weren't playing the game.

Our team was losing 40-something to nothing by the end of it. It wasn't easy to chant "Go! Fight! Win!" but we kept cheering anyway. It was our job. And those football players kept playing anyway, even though there was no chance of victory. Why did they keep playing, away from their friends and fans, in the rain and wind, in a losing game? Because they had started something and they cared about who they represented. And it's the same for me now.

I've started something. I feel like I represent so many other low-income, struggling mothers out there. Not only do I need to keep cheering, even on days when my team is losing, I need to keep playing. I need to put forth healthy efforts anyway, and just let the chips (no pun intended) fall where they may. It's made a difference before, and it WILL make a difference again.

I've heard that admitting you have a problem is the first step towards solving it and changing. Well, I've admitted that I struggle. I've taken that step. Hopefully my next step will be in my running shoes.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Messes? Stress? Kids? Exercise ANYWAY...

I can recall severall times, just in the past few weeks, when I've tried making a healthy choice and something else has gone wrong.

On my first early morning run it was FREEZING outside. I ran back in my house to find something to bundle up with quickly because I only had 20 minutes before my husband left for work around 6:15 AM and I wanted to get in a decent jog. I grabbed the first warm things I could find: my son's Lighting McQueen beanie and my daughte's bright magenta, glittery scarf. Throw in my husband's hoodie which I was already wearing and I looked like a candidate for What Not To Wear. Good thing it was pitch black. But because it was pitch black (there wasn't street lighting on country roads) I could only jog as far as our floodlight on the driveway and back over and over again. On the second lap I woke up our dogs who wouldn't stop barking at me. Not my finest exercise hour. :) But I still did it!

Other times, while safely exercising inside to a DVD I've had to deal with my youngest (who is crawling) overturning a trashcan that had been left out and emptying and playing with the insides of an entire brand new box of Cheerios. On that second one I let him have at it while I finished my workout. And I am getting stronger.

Last night I sat to type and found out after blogging that a plate with ketchup had landed face down on the carpet. My kids had decided to keep watching their show and not tell me about it until I walked in the room. By then Sam (my crawler) had found it and had given most of the mess a good rub down with his shirt, pants and face. Not my finest mommying hour. But I was happy I posted and we cleaned it up and learned together.

There have also been great times. On Saturday as I jogged with my 4 year-old in the stroller he was thrilled to hear "Beat It" and then "Everybody Dance Now" on Pandora (definitely earning me some points on the mommy-coolness scale.) He danced and I danced while I pushed him. Good times!

Another day I was jumping on and off my exercise step. My daughter faced me while standing on the other side of it and jumped on too every time I jumped off. I didn't even ask her too but she was there for me. Her grin kept me going for WAY more jumps than I would have gone on my own.

My point is there are going to be challenges. There are going to be days that we want to give up. Even just writing this post I've been interrupted and have had to stop three times to take care of my family. The day that Michael and I heard those songs when we were jogging I almost didn't go out because I was feeling so sad and just didn't want to. But I knew inside that I wouldn't regret it, because I'VE NEVER REGRETTED A WORKOUT. But I have regretted missing one.

That same jog ended with him grumpy because I told him to not ram his toy sword into the front wheel of the stroller and he didn't like that... :) But I exercised anyway and I have at least one good memory from it. Even if I hadn't, I would know that I had done something for my health and my family which is more important than if I'm enjoying it. So exercise anyway! Eat healthy anyway! Keep trying anyway because you may not get where you want to as fast as you'd like to, but at least you are still on the journey...

I heard this song for the first time years ago, but it still gets to me so I thought I would share it with you. Make it a great week! I love you for reading and keeping me going! Gotta go be Mommy now. :) Love, Eva