Eating, Fitness, Lifting, Running, Uncategorized

A Period of Pluck

I can’t believe we are still here. Alive and well.

2018 is a year I’ll never forget. Took some L’s but the good L, my Lord, is faithful! It was a long plucking period of learning lessons, about myself, my path, and my future.

Ecclesiastes 3 says there is a ‘time to plant and a time to pluck what has been planted’ and this was a plucking harvest. I was driving to work and in my thoughts when this motto for life made me smile…

Ever Onward.

Not just move on, but move.

“Maybe we can move to Arizona?!”

So, we did!

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So, I have had a very full plate this year. Not only has my family relocated to AZ, I did not wait, and jumped right into working as an inclusion para educator here, but I’ve finally reached the finish line in getting my teaching certification. One SEI class left, and I can apply for an alternative certificate. I’ll be Elementary certified K-8 and I am very excited, curious about what my new career and life will look like. Dreaming of teaching science or social studies, but I’d teach basketweaving if it got me to my full certification! Not to mention, I now have 5 teenagers and a soon to be adult in my brood… parenting, adulting, all the expectations.

I have started back, committing to my body, and health, and mind after a year of putting myself dead damn last. I had been on oral contraceptives for a year to get rid of some period ‘irregularities’ and hadn’t really been successful. I purchased a great book that helped me make the decision to pluck the pill out of my life before things got too whacky.

I’m certainly still in the phase where my body is getting back to normal, and can already pinpoint some things that had changed. I feel like the suppression of testosterone affected my desire to workout, the water retention made it impossible to lose, and the depletion of nutrients definitely contributed to bad cravings for salt and sugar. Fixing it all now, data by day and I’m so grateful for the resiliency my heart and body have shown me… period!

Even with a membership at the local rec center (that I absolutely love for my whole family), I’m starting back with the most basic of workouts at home to get my weight back to a happy place.

Deets:

I’m 207 205.6 lbs as of this morning and have a GOAL of getting under 200 lbs. before the last day of school, May 29th.

I also began fasting 16 hours, 5 days a week. No food/drink after 8pm the night before, needless to say. Next day, I drink 32 oz or herbal tea, no honey of course, and I break my fast at my noon lunch break with a massive salad of kale greens mix, 4 oz. chicken breast, 1/2 medium avocado, nuts, and feta. Also eating 2 cuties, and 1/4 cup nuts on the drive home to keep cravings way down and get my mind. Dinner is usually veggies and meat, or maybe 1/2 avocado, tuna, and a few crackers if I feel the need to.

I am doing 45 minutes of SOMETHING ACTIVE 5 days a week. I’ve been walking, running, step aerobics, 30 Day Shred, and lifting…. whatever change up works for the day. With 5 kids and a husband who I need to show up for daily, including work, track meets, basketball games, recitals, date nights, cuddle time, etc., a check in the boa has brought me much content because I am making being active and healthy on top of it all!

Overall, I am trying to keep bonafide carbs lower, and carb cycling, so to speak, on weekends with more carbs, and less meat. It’s working as far as energy, digestion, and cravings. This is 2 whole months in of this lifestyle, so it’s safe to say these are habits…. just time to really incorporate consistency in my cardio and lifting workouts.

Now, off to 5th period!

We’ll chat soon, Hip Huggers!

Eating, Fitness, Running

Returning to Blogging and the Body (Issue)

Hello Hip Huggers! Hiatus is over. I have returned to the block…

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This is certainly happening because I am 98.8% over the narrative in the fitness, weight loss, body image industry right now. I have found most of the people, places, or things I follow do not motivate me to get up and run for strong legs, crunch for a tighter core, or eat for longevity like they used to. I’ve reached a place where motivation has to come from within.

That’s why I must blog. For I am her, and she is me.

What happened to start where you are? Where are the people who are just walking 30 minutes a day? Cutting out fizzy drinks? Getting more sleep? Just trying to make it?

Success happened to me, so I thought. In 2016, I decided I was fed up with myself. I had reached my desired weight of 156 (high school weight) and was just trying to stay within that range. I was a runner, logging 100 Miles a month most of the time. I worked out at the gym several times a week and attended all kinds of Zumba, Insanity cardio classes. After all that yummy fitness, I was empty. Still.

I learned the hard way if you don’t deal with the empty, food will fill the space again.

So, recently,  I have started reclaiming my mind and my fit. I am an honest 216 lbs. wearing XL shirts and size 18 jeans, 16 in pants. My goal is (still) to get under 200 lbs and under 35-inch waist. I am eating normally (mindfully: eating when hungry, snacking minimally, staying hydrated), yet not tracking calories, not eliminating food groups, and working out a few days a week.

Cycling is my love and has taken the place of running… in this season. I look forward to hopping on and getting better because cardio is my mainstay and although lifting and cross training is vital for the gains I like to see, cardio is freeing to me, and the sense of accomplishment is both gratifying and uplifting to my spirits. Endorphins, yes I know. But, he cares. It works for me.

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Right now, my old faithful salads and kombuchas are the constant every day. I know, I know, they get old quick, but I have danced this 2-Step before and know the overhaul burns out just the same. I literally have only committed to 30 mins of something most days and intuitively eating. I would love to adopt an 18 hour fast but still need to research (read: convince myself) if it’s the best thing for me.

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But let us not forget the real work, the internal work that is even more in need of discipline and renewal. Because the reason I believe I am even revisiting these goals is that I was consumed with checking the boxes, but not checking in on myself.

I have forgotten myself. I must admit, I stopped making myself a priority in my own life. I was reminiscing the other night about who I was when I lived in the city. Before the weight, and food were even on my radar of thing to concern myself with. I would practice lots of self-care with 5 little ones at home and didn’t even bat an eye. Nails, pedis, an array of shoes and always on the prowl for cute earrings, I took advantage of opportunities to do something that made me smile. I refused to lose myself in parenthood, as a helpmate, and even as a church member. I was going to be me!

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Fast forward 10 years to home ownership, suburban life, teenagers and a husband who works ALL the time, I have found fewer and fewer things bringing me contentment. A clean house folded clothes, and a fridge full of food began to be the joyful things… I know, lame. But, I am on a path of enlightenment and all things are considered on this one. Shopping, meditating, praying, purging, and even purchases… all the things that let me know Pamela is still in there and has a full life she’s ready to live again.

So, this is the state of me. Physically and psychologically focused, I am taking responsibility for both my body and my (well) being.

 Are you too sharing the same struggles while adulting?

 

 

Eating, Fitness

Easy Peasy Taco Sque… Salad.

Hello Hip Huggers and Happy Friday!

Taco salads have become a staple over these last few months of getting back to a healthy balanced lifestyle. I wanted to share the recipe and pictures form the fabulous one I made today. With all the fixings. Consider yourselves loves, blog readers – my IG’ers only got the naked version.

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You will need:

2 whole chicken breast

1/2 pack taco seasoning

One 16 oz. jar medium salsa

1 bag romaine (Italian) salad

1/4 cup pico de gallo

6-8 blue corn tortilla chips, optional but highly suggested

1/2 avocado, sliced, optional but read above about the chips

Ok, here we go:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take breasts and after rinsing and patting dry, place in 9×9 casserole dish. Season both sides of chicken with taco seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper. Pour 3/4 of jar of salsa all over chicken. This is the one I always see to have on hand, thick and chunky and organic.

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Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes. Once finished cooking, take 2 forks and begin shredding chicken until it’s of a stringy consistency, the pulled chicken effect.

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From here, you’re either going to prep you meals by simply dividing chicken evenly into however many dishes or portions you choose (to put salad together later) or pull about 1 cup of chicken mixture out for preparing now and store the rest.

In a bowl, grab about a handful of romaine salad. I use Italian salad because it has so much big chunky chopped romaine, and a bagged salad will surely get eaten. The remainder won’t turn into a science experiment from being forgotten about in the crisper, which I am notorious for doing. So are you.

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Next, I add the scooped chicken on top of the lettuce. It shouldn’t drown the lettuce, as it is a salad, but it should be hearty. I think 1 cup is the perfect amount but you decide. I then top that with already chopped or homemade pico de gallo, whichever is on hand. I’m not fancy. I also don’t have a picture, because I didn’t plan on posting but you get the idea, right. Just think moderation. Here is the pico I use when I haven’t made it to La Azteca for their pico or haven’t made in of my own. Aldi finds….

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Then, to finish it off – a tablespoon of sour cream, slice 1/2 of an avocado and crush up the tortilla chips for crunch and the taco salad vibe. If you want a more clean version, sans the extras – trust me you’ll enjoy it either way. The finished product should look as yummy as this, in natural lighting that is…

Naked Version…

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All Dressed Up and Ready for a Good Time Version…

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I am at a stage with my kiddos where I am teaching them a lot about cooking. Which is super beneficial to me, as I am learning easier ways of making quick healthy meals, that are delicious, right along with them. They could do this, easy peasy. And I have the confidence they’re eating well and my house isn’t being burned down in the process.

Win, win!

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Eat, eat!

Did this recipe inspire a taco salad for dinner? Let me know!

Eating, Fitness, Uncategorized

Old Programs, New Potatoes

Hello Huggers, hope your Thursday is going swell.

It’s nearing the end of winter break (for work at least) and am already bracing for the staff development day Monday – yeah, the day AFTER New Year’s Day. This year will be a very conservative celebration for NYE, to say the least. Maybe even a 12pm turndown because I’d rather wake up for a run than an aspirin before returning back to school to finish out the next half of the school year. Yay!

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The food program has been great as of late. Mike turned me onto potatoes o’brien (sic) this week and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since. Literally have eaten them everyday. I’m a hash brown kinda gal so, this is a big deal! I made them myself this morning with some oven fried bacon (turkey for Mike) and a fried egg. I am by the way, very proud of the portion control! One egg, 2 strips of bacon, and just about a cup of potatoes. I did fry the in grape seed oil, but I am a noob and didn’t want to ruin them.

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The workout program was fantastic today! I went on my first sorta long run in a really long time. I remember when I would gear up to run a 10k, 6.2 very real miles. I would never make myself run a 10k. In fact, most of my successful 10ks actually began as planned 5 milers that morphed into a mental mind game of running half of the most intimidating mileage I feared to go, the great 13.1. So, in a sense this one was no different. I planned just a 3 mile run, my old usual run.

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Before I knew it, I was 3 miles OUT instead of AROUND. I got caught up in my music and bargained with myself that I would just walk back. I kinda wanted to see if anything on my familiar route from once upon a time had changed. Nope, all still there. Including the muddy ditches I was reminded – because apparently I have forgotten the lost art of jumping over one and instead ran right thru it.

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I’ll probably never run again in these shoes anyway. I seem to have also forgot how vital having a well fitted running shoe is. I need to try and find a good pair on sale this weekend. Speaking of sales, Tom Thumb has a huge sale on their Organics line on teas and coffee, so I have stocked up as I am getting back to my daily intake of green tea.

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Hip Huggers, I really am focusing on being mindful of my meals, in the coming year. I bombed it so bad in 2016, y’all. But I know I need to get back my old program in weight loss: consistent tracking, calories, macros, whatever. So, I’m off to research a what my favorite weight loss peeps are using. See you in the last post before the New Year!

Question: Loose leaf or bagged teas? 

Eating, Fitness, Running, Uncategorized

Talk About It Tuesday

Hello Hip Huggers,

Here is an interesting Transform(ATE)tion Tuesday to end the year….

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Jan. ’15 (left) Dec ’16 (right) – 2 year and 20 lb. difference. And yes, ate a sista did in 2016!

The picture on the left is from January ’15 and the other is today, December ’16. Almost 2 years apart and although I can clearly see where I’ve GAINED weight and hair in the new picture. There is about a 20 lb difference between the 2 pictures and you guys, I don’t feel bad about that at all! In fact, I think I look surprisingly great for having an anything but active year, complete collapse on eating in moderation and mindfully, and really allowing stress and self loathing to rue the day all this year. But anyway…

Lets talk about: Goals.

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Really, I did!

My fitness goals for 2017 are pretty simple: 15 miles of running/walking a week, 3 liters of water a day, and a loss of 20 18 lbs. by June 2017. I really want to get my portions back under control, cut out bread & cheese a bit (y’all, I’ve been doing really good with the cheese) and train of a race – all secondary achievements I plan on acquiring this by summer as well.

This is not, in any, saying I won’t involve myself in a plethora of other fitness activities. I’d like to run the Hot Chocolate 15k in Feb, which will require much more than 15 miles a week. I also can’t neglect how vital lifting weights and cross training are running, and I enjoy all of the above. But, to get myself motivated, I want to go back to what I know can easily be a part of my everyday with working, being in school, and having a huge family to take care of. Putting things into perspective: Just run the world day, Pam.

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Speaking of, today’s run ( first since June) was balmy and nice. The weather is so fall like here its crazy. We actually didn’t even get out for a run until well after 12, a sure no-no any other time of the year here in Texas pretty much. We just lapped it around the park here until we got 30 minutes so I have no idea the distance. That, thanks in part to an upgrade in FitBit. I got a FitBit Alta for Christmas. Lovely, however it doesn’t allow for you to manually start a workout on the watch – there s no button. I’m I missing something? Besides my old Charge HR….

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Merry Christmas to me. FitBit Alta, swapped out the black for the purple band, because like Nas, ‘my state of mind is purple’ in 2017.

I’m kinda bummed because I did want a FitBit that was a little more stylish, and more comfortable to wear around the clock so I can get accurate data of my sleeping. But I didn’t want to give up so many of the little things I wanted I a fitness watch. I can always return this and buy another, I just wish I’d done a little more research before adding this particular one to the Christmas wish list. I definitely didn’t trade up, but I’ll give in a little longer before I revert back to old faithful, like I’ve done with most meals…

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Fried chicken breast in grapeseed oil (was on sale), and lightly sprinkled with grated parmesan cheese while piping hot! Then, paired with plain jasmine rice and roasted skinny string beans.

Note: when making really flavorful (read: fried) protein, I always stick to plain rice, preferably jasmine. The chicken has plenty o’ seasoning and the plain rice balances it all out so the meal is sans unnecessary salt and oil (I sometimes stir fry my rice if just making chicken breast to add a little moisture to the meal,  but its really not necessary. I myself am cooking for 7 and they don’t all, or should not all, have to eat like me every night. Food is fun, don’t forget that! Meal down the hatch, and am currently trying to get down these last 20 oz. of water! Good night, Hip Huggers!

What are your 2017 resolutions and/or goals? We can encourage each other! Comment below!

Eating, Fitness, Running, Uncategorized, Yoga

Swinging By, Stress Free

Hello Hip Huggers and Happy Friday!

Just swinging in to share with you all my week on this lovely Friday afternoon. Since reading Eat, Pray, Love –  my enthusiasm for things feels anew, to say the least. The stress of getting it all done, has gone. I’ve adopted a ‘will do my best’ approach for living, just like that. Everyday, I have gotten out of bed, with an attitude of DO! My husband has been working long hours these last few weeks so I have had to step it up even around here and I have done so… willingly(?) Albeit, I am very proud that I have gotten up and out of bed everyday with purpose and have hit the floor running, figuratively at least.

 

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 Unready for a run, but ready for the day!

These last few weeks, I have tracked my eating and water intake about 80% of the time.  Mindful of fiber and side eyeing simple carbs. I have started journaling again and its been absolute therapy in dealing with falling back, and stepping forward in fitness. I have made it to Zumba twice a week and have ran at least 2 miles most days. All without feeling like I am overhauling my life or depriving myself. Getting it in where it fits in and focusing on the small things I can do to reach my goals, without overthinking it. Some days salmon, some days salad. All day delish.

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Kale salad with chicken, cheese, salad topping and tahini dressing, yum!

One big delish thing on my ‘To Do list of late is to attend at least 2 classes at my gym. I have been LOVING going to Zumba with my friend B, but the classes are in a different city 20 minutes away, and they start at 7:30 pm. The classes at my home gym vary, but evening ones start at 7pm, a little earlier like I like, and only 5 minutes down the road from home and across from Starbucks. Again, it’s at MY own gym – a place where I need to be swinging by regularly to better familiarizing myself with anyway.

 

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Going to check out the cycling, yoga, and Zumba classes these next couple weeks!

But, I reeally, reeeeally want to get back in full swing with running 20 miles a week again before the REAL Spring heat up and the scorching heat of an impending summer get the best of me.In the past, jumping in a 5k has always sparked a little something in the running spirit. I have been browsing a few races and have all but hit enter on one in particular, the 2016 5k for Human Rights in Dallas in May. But, I’m not 100% in it heart and soul. Even though I am certain I can manage a 5k on little training, I do NOT want to get out there, ill prepared and end up shelving running for year, again. I have to be smart and focused on the long term: weekly running, for fun and fitness. STRESS FREE!

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Forward me my mail, B… I’m outta there!

 

What are some goals you’d like to get checked off before summer? I’d like to hear ’em below!

Eating, Fitness, Lifting, Running, Yoga

Health Check in the Box

Hello Hip Huggers, hope your morning has been swell.

I was reading thru old journals this morning and came upon some rich entries from a couple years back and realized something; I haven’t had a legit fitness goal since I ran 100 miles in a month back in summer of 2014! 

I mean, I literally wrote about goals to run, walk, lift, stretch, lose, drink more water, drink more green tea, eliminate processed food, eat out less, veggies with ever meal, upping my protein, cutting back on cheese, and my God to stop sweating the small stuff in life! 

And the key in every entry was, I had a strategy! 100 miles in a month? Join a Nike challenge. Lift 3 days a week? Set up weights in room night before. Eat more protein? Meal prep on Sunday’s. I was on IT!!!

One just can’t have a goal of losing weight… we must implement the ‘How?! What specifically can we do to reach that goal? What’s it going to take? What will we have to sacrifice? What is our mantra? Who is our accountability partner? We must make it plain and write it down but further more, take action! We can only plan so much! Eventually, we must put one foot in front of the other and make things happen. 

In life, and often fitness, I overthink way too much. I can make 5 grocery lists and not leave the house. Sometimes, it’s throwing on clothes, sitting in front of Kroger and making it right then and there to get it done!

Sometimes, it’s putting on workout clothes after clocking out from work, driving to the gym and making a B line over to that leg press, before talking myself out of it.

Sometimes it’s walking into that yoga class, being the heavier girl, or the one with ashy feet, or the one who sweats a lot and saying, “forget these bougeious  chicks, I need centering! 

Sometimes, it’s walking past those neighbors you never talk to. Or getting over the fear of an encounter with a stray dog wild animal, or sweat spots between your legs and pits and just getting your dang stroll on! 

One word comes to mind, courage! Courage is the ability to do something that frightens one; strength in face of pain or grief. Sometimes not hitting those health/fitness goals is less about lack of time, lack of finances, lack of motivation… but lack of courage. Waiting too long to jump back out there after previously overcoming the anxiety of judgement in the first place. Constantly sitting yourself back down too concerned of what others “might” be thinking. Forgetting, how courageous we once were when we write out goals in the stone, not the sand. If that is you Hipster, let’s get back to that!

I have refocused my goals since gaining weight about losing weight, this time: 

If I can manage 30 minutes a day of walking and 10 minutes of some strength training, and just 5 minutes of stretching afterwards, I get an earned check in the box. 

That’s it! Some days, I’ll run an hour, did last week! Somedays, I’ll strength train 45 minutes, did last week! I’ll even get thru a full yoga session without losing my focus 15 minutes in and ending up in savasana, did that too! 

But especially food. If I can track more meals than not a day, check in the box! A couple days, I’ve hit 1800 cals and hit my macros. A couple, 2200. Some days I tracked my water intake, only. Seriously. 

But it’s been 2 weeks of something!  I may not have lost a lb. but I’m creating once again good daily, healthy habits and that will catapult my progress. When my body is ready. 

Today’s workout was perfect! 3 rounds (err, 1 round) of 20 kettlebell swings with a 20/15/10 squat superset found, as fast as good form allowed. Took 5 minutes, but quads were so worked! Then hopped on the ol’ treadmill and walked 30 minutes at a 5% incline. Stretched a good 10 minutes, to make up for the short strength training.

  
Done. This is progress, Hip Huggers! What did you press thru to get your health check in the box today?