Monday, August 11, 2014

Working On My Self

I've followed the first 2 weeks with Sasha, and after a binge-induced weight gain of 2 pounds at the very beginning, I got down to 159 for the end. So while I put those 2 pounds on, I managed to take them and another pound off. I also lost an inch or so on my waist and hips.

Let's analyze.

The workouts:

I enjoyed the workouts, and found myself motived to keep going. I even managed to get a good workout in with a migraine, just fewer reps and moved slower. For this new set, I have 2 longer days and 2 shorter days. On the short days, like today, I can do a half hour of cardio before doing the workout. Today, I ran the 3 mile track with pup, then did a core workout in the grass. On the longer days, I'll warm up with some cardio and then try to get in beast mode. Friday went well, working on my upper body. I was nice and sore for my bike ride Saturday.

I'm still putting long rides in on the weekend. Only 2 weeks until the Hotter'N Hell Hundred. I signed up for 100 Kilometers (62 miles). This weekend I did 40 miles. Next weekend I'll do 50, or just over, and then I'll tackle the 62. I'm told the route is very flat, which makes it a little more boring, but maybe I can maintain a good average speed that way.

The foods:

The food, oh the food, is always my downfall. Part of the problem is that I want to use up foods I have in my house before replacing them with healthier options. That means I ate instant velveeta shells and cheese cups, and other horrible for me foods. Now those are getting gone and I'm working on replacing them with healthier, fresher options. Going grocery shopping after lunch today.

This next 2 weeks, I got some meal ideas from Sasha to help me with menu planning. No microwave or fridge at work, so packed meals need to be the kind I can eat without heating up. My lunch box does well with a blue ice to keep things cold. Sandwiches and salads are mostly what I'm eating at work. I'm a little sad that I don't get any leftovers. I have some tasty corn chowder and some vegetarian shepherd's pie (doesn't make sense, but it's oh so tasty) in the fridge.

I did better with cycling nutrition this week. I cut my peanut butter bar in half, and it worked out well. half a bar is the right size to shove in my mouth on the bike and not end up with sticky fingers. I also used Nuun instead of my Osmo active hydration. Nuun is going to be my go-to again. Flavor options, no sugar, and very few calories. I do still like the Osmo recovery stuff. It has protein and other things to help me get back on my feet faster after a hard run or ride.

The mental:

I have managed to stress less about the upcoming move. I got some questions answered, and wrote out others. Just having a list, a source I can turn to for my questions, my to-dos, has calmed me. I'm still working on some basic Italian. I can count to 19, but you have to pay for numbers 20-100. Lame.

I'm also mentally prepping for my cousin's wedding at the end of the month. I was Zach's nanny for 2 summers as a teenager (he was a pre-teen), and how he's getting married. I'm super excited to go to Denver for this. I have my clothes picked out, bought new makeup since apparently the packers in TX stole mine (still seems so weird, to take used makeup), and finally found some dressy flats that fit my feet.

I still struggle with mental food issues. I eat when bored or emotional. Easing the stress helped, but unfortunately my job can be pretty boring some days. It's hard to avoid the vending machine. But we are moving this week, and we still don't really know how everything will work out since my place is combining with a bar/restaurant, but the food side of things isn't open all afternoon. At least it's not now. Oh well, not my problem. I just check out equipment to Soldiers.

So that's my world as of today. Time to eat some soup and go grocery shopping.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Stitch Fix The Perfect (I Mean, Third)

This is my first Stitch fix in a while, and first since starting work again. It's also the first one in which I'm buying the whole box.

Yes, it is perfect. This stylist, named Jin, totally got me. My colors, my styles, and everything fits!! I will be incorporating probably all of these pieces into my long weekend in Denver at the end of the month. My cousin is getting married, and these pieces are great for travel and dress.

I got some sad news today, so this was a needed pick-me-up.

Here you go, pics aren't the greatest and I apparently need to dust my full-length mirror.

Gilli Maxi Dress with Pomelo Cardi (pockets!)

Gilli Maxi Dress by itself

Pomelo tank with Chris&Carol maxi skirt
Renee C cross-front top and same skirt (my own cami underneath)

detail of the Pomelo tank

detail of the Renee C top
 Wanna give it a try? Please use my referral link.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Che Si Dice?

*warning* this is basically a rambling, stream of consciousness type post

That's Italian, basically asking, "What's up?" I downloaded a couple Italian language apps on my phone, but only kept one. I felt like it was easier to navigate and that I was learning easily. I have a long way to go. BTW, that app is called Learn Italian - Molto Bene. (Yes, I've been dieing about all the molto benes and the Doctor Who reference that they don't even realize they are making.)

I suppose some of you might not know why I suddenly gave up my love of German (well, set it aside, really) and took up Italian. Here's the news bomb: we're moving to Italy.

When I got the email with J's RFO (that's like, pre-orders, so there's a small chance the Army could still change it's mind) saying we were headed to Italy, I was so excited I wanted to scream and bounce around the room. I couldn't because I was at work. Then the shock started to sink in, and is still very present.

Italy was only given as an option about a week or so ago. It wasn't on my radar for the past couple months, then suddenly presented, and now becoming reality. I've never even imagined living in Italy. I've been there, but only spent half a day in Venice. I don't know the culture, the language, or much of anything, other than the fact that I will have a hard time not getting fat there.

I've only ever PCSed twice, and both times, obviously, it was stateside. So now I'm getting ready to PCS overseas. Holy crap. OMG. My brain is going to either explode or implode. Or it will explode and then immediately implode that explosion, sucking all the force back in on itself like a crazy sci-fi move.

I've started some online research. Fortunately, the base we are headed to has a great website with lots of information. I also got in touch with another army spouse I know who is currently stationed in Italy, actually not far from where I will be. I also plan to have a chat with my MIL who did a move to Italy around 16 years ago.

I found out that there is no quarantine for the pets, which is awesome. I just get forms filled out by the vet, make sure their shots are up to date. We should be settled in Italy before any of their annual shots are due. Maybe I should learn some of Rem's basic commands in Italian and start using both languages with him. That's a fun idea.

The hard part about this move is what come between here and there. J has a TDY assignment en route, which often means the spouse/family either stays in the previous location or heads to the new one. We have been planning on me going with him. It probably means leaving our stuff in storage for a few months and living in a furnished apartment. Ok. I can handle that. Then I start thinking about things, like what do we take with us, and what do we go ahead and let them pack up, and if we take stuff with us will they pack it and ship it from there, and, and, and...

*big sigh*

No wonder I'm on day 4 of a mild migraine. I don't know how to not stress about this. I'm constantly thinking about it and coming up with more questions and not many answers. UGH. Like, what about my christmas cactus? It hasn't bloomed, but I haven't killed it yet, and that's pretty amazing for me. Can I take it with me? Do you fly with a plant? Or should I leave it in the knowing hands of my sister and brother-in-law until we someday return stateside? I held off on my venus flytrap starter kit, and I'm glad now. I can start it in Italy, where it's humid (they like humidity), and let it get a good foundation before moving with it.

This is all rather overwhelming. Especially when I realize it's already August. OMG, where did the summer go? July was a blur as I was working both jobs. J is still very busy doing 2 schools at once, so that means I need to step up and take care of some of this, what little I can. I can get the pets taken care of. I can try to sort and organize our house (I suck at that).

Ok. Enough for now. I'm going to distract myself on the internet for a little bit while I finish my cup of coffee, then I have to go grocery shopping. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Plated: A Food Review

I got caught by one of the facebook ads that look like a post. However, I’m rather enjoying it so far.

Plated is yet another shipped box of goodies. This time, it’s ingredients and recipes.

For my first box, I ordered 2 plates each of 2 meals. We had Pollock with marinated cucumbers and dill yogurt sauce the night the box arrived. The recipe card is a full sheet that has easy to follow instructions and pictures for each step.

You supply the dishes and a couple basic ingredients like olive oil, salt, and pepper. Read through your recipe before doing it, then just follow the steps, and voila! Dinner.

The Pollock was very delicious. It had Israeli couscous, which I had never had before but enjoyed. We loved the yogurt dill sauce, and Pollock is often used for fish and chips, so it brought back fond memories for me, without the breading and grease.
Pollock, marinated cucumbers, yogurt dill sauce and Israeli couscous
We just had the other dish, Green Goddess roast chicken, tonight. I love it. J, not so much. Green Goddess sauce is a combo of basil, chives, lime, buttermilk, and anchovy. It’s the anchovy that we think threw J off. He said it tasted fishy and he really did not like the sauce. I might try it again someday without the anchovy and see if he likes it then.

Our sides tonight were purple potatoes and roasted scallions (green onions). I was surprised at how much I liked roasted scallion. It didn’t have much onion flavor at all, and was actually quite sweet. Just spray with olive oil and sprinkle on a little salt, roast, and enjoy.

Green Goddess roast chicken with roasted scallions and purple potatoes
All in all, I think I will use Plated again. One of the biggest selling points can be summed up in their Manifesto, so I’m copying and pasting.

We believe food should be really fresh and really real. For us, living well means eating healthy, high quality foods that are fresh and full of flavor. We keep our ingredients whole to ensure everything arrives in nomnom-worthy condition.
We like knowing exactly what is going into our meals by seeing, holding, chopping and cooking the raw ingredients. We avoid processed foods because we prefer our mashed potatoes without a heaping tablespoon of carcinogens.
We use local and seasonal produce whenever possible and source our meats from local, family-owned purveyors. We partner with responsible companies like Sea to Table to make sure that our fish is always fresh, and wild-caught when possible.

Why did I fall for this? I am trying to move away from processed foods and use more whole produce in my cooking. This month I barely had time to get to the store, let alone cook much. I saw this as a chance to get at least 2 dinners delivered to my door and all I had to do was cook it. Healthy dinners, with fresh ingredients. 
The box was delivered overnight and fully insulated with 4 ice packs (which you can keep and reuse). The food is portioned and labeled so you know what's what. It really makes it rather simple, and I think someone who struggles to cook could learn a lot from this. I didn't use it, but they say they have some how-to videos on the website as well. 
I won’t be using Plated all the time, but once a month might be a nice treat and help us build a clean recipe collection using all fresh ingredients. If you want to check it out, please use my referral link!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Workin On My Fitness

I tracked 5 days of food for Sasha and she came back the next day with a nutrition and fitness plan. I have a list of good foods and a list of suggestions for swaps and healthy cheats. She also included some herbs that can help migraine, so I picked those up and will be giving them a try. One helps calm you when you're anxious, the other works similar to aspirin (anti-inflammatory). 

Now, Thursday and Friday didn't go so hot. I ate too much. Ugh. 

Saturday was the Dehydrator bike ride in Duncan, OK. Jason did the full 80 miles. I, however, hadn't been on my bike in 2 weeks, and not much before that either, so I only did 25. I tried to push my speed a little and managed a 16mph average pace. That's good for me. I felt like I could have gone farther, but not 50 miles, which was my next step up on approved routes. 

But I finished strong and felt good. J finished a little over 4 hours. I tracked all my nutrition that day and noticed that I was eating more than I was putting out. I can see a few easy adjustments I can make that will keep me fueled on my ride, but still give me that calorie deficit needed for weight loss. I also have to remember to not always listen to that little voice named Jason that wants to tell me how to fuel a ride. What works for him won't always work for me. 

Sunday was our rest day, but I still did pretty good and watched what I ate. Today (Monday) I got up and hit the gym. It was rainy, so it was a full gym, but I had plenty of room for a lower body day according to the plan from Sasha. I added one exercise to it and it rounded out to 6 total, so I split them in half. I did the first 3 in a row for 3 sets, then the next 3 for 3 sets. It worked. My legs feel worked, even now after grocery shopping. 

I think I will be going to the gym on strength days, even if it's stuff I can do at home. I find myself more motivated at the gym. I think I push myself harder there. She wants me to do 15-20 minutes of cardio first, and I can set the treadmill at a higher speed and push myself on there, or I did the bike today and tried to keep the MPH setting at 15-16. (Now if only they would let me use the nicer spin bikes.) Tomorrow I'm going to run. I might do the 5k track twice, or I might try a different route and just watch my time. Have to go for an hour. And I'm still walking the dog at least once a day.

I'm trying to really push myself to eat lots of fruit and veggies. I tried to buy fruits that I can eat as snacks during the day. I need to find sugar snap peas, but they didn't have any at the commissary today. I love those things. I like smoothies, but they work like a laxative. Not always feasible. 

I'm only working at the RecPlex now, so I have mornings to work-out. It's helping. I tend to do opening shifts as well, which I like; it means I'm home to have dinner with J and walk the dog in the evening. 

Still no news on where we are headed next. It makes me anxious, but there's not much I can do about it. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Busy Busy

I have been busy.

I I told you that I got a job here in OK. Did I mention I got 2 jobs?

At the very tail end of June, I started working at JoAnn’s and at the Fort Sill RecPlex. The RecPlex is a place for Soldiers to hang out. It’s only open in the afternoon and evening, so I’ve been working mornings at JoAnn’s and afternoon/evenings at the RecPlex. This lead to 40+ hour weeks for the past couple weeks.

I decided I will not be staying on at JoAnn’s. I’ll stop working after this week, along with the other temporary employees.

I thought this would set me back on my fitness and weight loss, but I was wrong. I am on my feet all the time at JoAnn’s, and even do some heavy lifting. I get in a run or ride when I can, even made it to the pool for some laps. And I’ve been sticking to the calorie goal that the Wellness Center gave me. I’m down 5 pounds. Go me!

Now to keep this up. In August, I’ll have mornings free to workout. I was researching and looking for programs to follow, because I like having guidance in my strength training, when I remembered that I have a couple friends going to school for that kind of thing. Ok, one going to school and one just finished school. Turns out the one who just finished is looking for some people to personally train so she can build up a client base and reputation.

So I have a personal trainer now! My friend Sasha is going to help me with both fitness and nutrition. She understands my fears about losing it all during the move, since she is also an Army wife and just moved. She has a blog over at

The other day, we talked on the phone about where I am and what I want. We talked about how often I work out, what I like to do, and what kind of things I have access to. We talked about food, what I do and don’t like, and what I struggle with. I’m going to keep a food journal for 5 days (track on myfitnesspal) and send that to her so she can see my habits. From there, she’ll work with me on a nutrition plan and we’ll set up a fitness schedule and exercise recommendations for me to start on. The goal is to get me into a routine that I can keep up during the transition to our next location.

I’m rather excited. I get a personal trainer, that I like, for free. I’ll weigh myself once a week. I also need to get back into the Wellness Center for a body comp test. It’s been a month and a half. That’s ok. Life was rather busy this month.

Here are some “before” pics, taken Saturday morning. Let’s see if I can remember to take new pics after a month or two and compare.

I don't know what I was looking at

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Stupid Obstacles…

J and I were having a discussion while running a couple errands this afternoon. I’m on day 2 of a migraine that gave me signs it might be coming for a week.

Yesterday I had a queasy stomach that only felt better when I was eating. It felt worse when I moved around, so I mostly sat on the couch watching old episodes of Supernatural on Netflix.

Today felt better when I woke up, but I could still feel some pressure. I took pup for a walk and went to the farmers’ markets. This afternoon, I started getting pain. J drove for our errands, because I’m having brain fog, too.

So, our discussion—

My migraines are a huge detriment to my fitness. I can’t workout. Sometimes even just walking can trigger a pain spike. And if my heart rate goes up, I swear I can hear my pulse echoing in my head, and feel the whole thing throbbing. Not fun. So I basically can’t workout when I have one. And then I have migraine hangover for at least a day. I can workout, but not too hard. Let’s not even talk about the food issues for now.

J was saying that he doesn’t know how I can overcome this. I said the truth: I can’t. I cannot stop having migraines. There is no magical cure. And with multiple triggers, including weather changes, I can’t just eliminate or limit exposure to my trigger. Sometimes, like with this one, I can’t really pinpoint a single trigger for the migraine. I’m not very stressed, there’s no storm moving in. I just have a migraine.

The reason J worries is that a break in a regular fitness routine or training regimen is a big setback. Whether from injury, sickness, or laziness, once you stop working out, it’s harder to get back to where you were before. You lose fitness faster than you gain fitness. That’s why being fit requires a lifestyle change and not just a “for now” change.

Now, to touch on those food issues. I think I’ve mentioned my usual bottomless pit that replaces my stomach when I have a migraine. I just can’t seem to eat enough. I’m always hungry, and I crave things that aren’t good for me: junk food, especially cake and cookies, chocolate, fast food, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes… yeah. All those.  Other times, I am not hungry and don’t want to eat at all. The thought of food will make me queasy. More rare are days like yesterday, where I’m not so much hungry, but my stomach is upset and only feels better with food, so I nibble all day.

These are all issues that may change with time, since my migraines change as I age. I highly doubt they will ever go away on their own. Instead, I will do all I can to avoid migraines, prevent migraines, and get over them as quickly as I can. This one is welcome to leave any second now.

this guy understands