Tag Archives: fitness

You Only THOUGHT I Was Gone Forever

Or, perhaps there’s the off chance that not one of you even had a single thought about why I was not writing for a few weeks.  That’s ok, too.  I’m not sure I think about other people’s blogs except for when I’m actually reading them.

Here’s the deal.  I just all of a sudden had this urge to have my life be just…my life for a few days.  I didn’t want to think deeply, I didn’t want to try to solicit comments or wonder what anyone else was thinking about my life.  So, I stopped.  And, I waited until the feeling passed which brings me to today.

I feel a few updates are in order.

Carter is only a few weeks away from his 2nd birthday.  This is taking a while to sink in for me.  I’ve been a mother for almost 2 years and the time has FLOWN by.  I don’t even want to think how fast the time between now and elementary school will go.  I’ve been planning his party and I’m pretty excited about this one.  I’m giving a themed party a shot.  I’m attempting to have a monkey party.  I’m planning a big ol’ post full of links and photos about all the cute stuff I’m wanting to do.  My thing is, I’m artsy but not so crafty, so this is a little stretch for me.

I took Carter for his 2 year photo shoot and it went SOOO much better than the 18 month one.  Here’s my 2 favorites:

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Speaking of school, Jeff and I have had some conversations about what type of schools might be a good fit for Carter when the time comes.  Again, whole other post because I want your opinions on this one.

I’m still on a huge self-improvement kick.  Since I am someone who will not allow myself to complain about something if I’m not willing to take action on it, I’ve had to take a lot of action.  Way back when, I started griping about my skin looking old and crappy.  I made the purchases and used the stuff and I’m not sure I’m in much of a different place with the look of my skin thanks to years and years of acne.  I may just have to live with that one.

But, I have completed my 3 trips to the dermatologist to remove what I considered to be some really yucky moles from my face and neck.  The scarring hasn’t completely gone away, especially from my most recent trip, but for me it’s serious improvement.  I don’t feel so self-conscious about people looking at my face now.

Also, on a whim, I decided to spend a little money on myself and get a haircut.  Believe me, it was about 3 months past time and my hair was starting to look real “creative”.  Here’s the results:

Photo 16I like it. It’s fun and kinda spunky.  The stylist straightened it and flipped it under when she cut it, but I feel the “flip out” is more me.

I started getting a little unmotivated and unthrilled about my workouts.  I felt like I was working really hard, but not seeing much in the way of results.  So, I found the brave girl within and started taking a fitness class.  I’ve done yoga before and liked it, but I wanted more of a cardio workout.  It just so happens that my gym just started having Zumba classes.  Zumba is latin dance-based fitness.  It is so FUN even though I’m SO bad.  I’ve been 3 times now and I’m hooked.

I’m still couponing, though with much less of an obsessive feel to it.  I don’t really have a reason for it, but I’ve stopped going to CVS and BiLo each week and have stuck to getting just the basics at Publix.  I’m sure that my zeals for the steals will return soon enough.  I’m pretty psyched about having friends over next week to do some grocery and coupon swapping.  And, I could chat all day about coupons, so it should be fun.

I continue to struggle with the “working-together-married-with-children” thing, but I’m just not going there right now.

Enough for now as Carter is sitting in the floor pulling out the contents of my purse and putting on lip gloss.

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An Update on Me

So, a while back I wrote a post called The Push for Me talking about how I was going to start putting myself a little higher on my priority list.  I’m still a classic people pleaser, but I have managed to carve out some important time for myself (and my family).

First, and most important, I no longer try to work off and on all. day. long. while trying to entertain a toddler in bursts.  I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out, but if I just work for the 2 1/2 hours that he naps each day I get WAY more done.  So, welcome back sanity and peace of mind.  I am throughly enjoying my mornings with Carter.  I try to plan something each day that gets us out and into the world.  At first it was a little tricky finding free things to do, but I’ve gotten the hang of it.  I’m still not really sure about what to do on Monday afternoons while I clean the house.  It’s a very trying time for the two of us.  I’m cleaning and he’s doing all he can to wreck things to get my attention AWAY from cleaning.  I understand what he’s doing, but the fact is that our house must be cleaned once a week.  I don’t enjoy it, but it’s better than having no clean underwear and having my feet stick to the floor when I walk in the kitchen.  I feel confident that one day I’ll be able to hire back our wonderful, wonderful housekeeper twice a month.

Then, I invested in some natural products for my skin and my hair.  They are truly wonderful!  (Thanks, Lauren, for lending me your smarts on this!)  I never noticed what a difference all the “junk” in beauty products was making on my hair and face until I discovered something different.  Now, I can actually feel crappy stuff on my face and skin when they’re there.  I would take a picture with my laptop cam to show you the change, but I went to the gym this afternoon and I look like WHOA and you’d probably think “I can’t tell a difference.” so I won’t bother.  I’m also firm on taking a multi-vitamin and 2 Omega-3’s each day.

This isn’t new, but when I made this lifestyle change (about 3 years ago) it really made a huge difference to the way I feel.  I don’t eat junk.  Now, I’m not saying that I eat salads and raw veggies 3 meals a day, but I stay away from processed, packaged, crapified food.  I’ve learned to get a lot of pleasure out of shopping and cooking REAL food for my family.  I think of it as preventative medicine for us all.  Because we take the time and make the effort to take care of ourselves, we very, very rarely get sick and I believe that we’ll be in the minority when we’re older that’s not obese and not on some blood-pressure/cholesterol/heart medication that costs more than my car or house payment each month.  (WARNING: HERE COMES MY UNCOMPASSIONATE SIDE — more on that later) While I am up high on this soapbox, let me just say that people who are constantly complaining about their size and fitness level but who do NOTHING ABOUT IT are really starting to get on my nerves.  Either make the effort to get active and make better choices about what you put in your mouth or STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT IT.  “I don’t know how to cook”  “I don’t have enough time”  “I’m not organized enough” “I’m too far gone”  Blah, freakin’ blah.  Sorry.  *slap on the wrist” Bad, Mandi.  Bad, Mandi.

On a similar note, I got active.  Not walk down the street and back active (though there’s certainly nothing wrong with that), but seriously butt-kicking active.  Peak Fitness had (or has, not really sure) a special for $9.99/month with free childcare and free classes.  I joined without really having a CLUE about how I’d find the time to get in there, but I am my mother’s child and I worked it out.  3 or 4 days a week (depending on what we have to do on Saturdays) I guard one hour for this workout time like a MAD DOG.  This hour that I take for ME is spectacular.  I have read 3 books while doing cardio so far and the time FLIES by.  Carter has a great time playing and I’m changing right before my eyes.  This week the LIGHT came through my legs and that was a big WIN for me.  You people that have been skinny all your life don’t get this, but I hold weight in my hips, butt and thighs and with that curse comes legs that rub together when you walk.  This era is coming to and end because I SEE THE LIGHT.

I really don’t even recognize my marriage today from what it was just 2 months ago.  I made knowing, serving and trying to understand Jeff something like a job in my life and now, although I may not always agree with him, I feel like I know how to love him better.  I’ve gone from wanting to trip him when he walks by and kick him in the butt on the way down to actually enjoying spending time TALKING to him again.

I don’t want to say that my life is perfect, because that’s a heavy word that means different things to different people, but my life is perfect for me.  I am happy and content in all that I have, and though we’re still not sure how we’ll make that looming house payment each month, miracles continue to happen for us and we’re just fine.  I still believe that the big miracle is still out there for Jeff’s level of business.  He keeps telling me that he’s turning a corner and I believe him.  I trust him to leave us each morning and use all the knowledge God’s given him to provide for our family.  For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am not worrying about it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing something about it, but I’m not worried.  I work as hard as I can each week to earn what I can for our family.  I manage each dollar that comes in and spend them wisely.  Two weeks ago I turned into a couponer (more on that later, too) and have cut our grocery budget nearly in half each week.

I turned 32 last week and on that day I had the hope that this year is going to be my best yet because of the blessings in my life and because of the hard work and good decisions I’ve made for myself and my family.


The Push for ME

I’m really doing this.  At a time in my life where I feel like I have no extra time, I am actually going to FIND time for me.  I have to because no one else will do it for me.  It’ll be 15 years from now and I’ll have droopy skin and bad teeth and a huge butt and I’ll think back to the time when I should have done something but didn’t.  I don’t want that kind of regret.  

I blogged a little about my skin looking old a few days ago and Lauren came forward in all her research and wisdom and has recommended some natural beauty products that won’t give me cancer from using them.  I can’t wait to try them.  I have oily skin, so here’s what I’ll be purchasing when I get paid this week:

Castile Liquid Soap from Dessert Essence (facial cleanser)
A Gentle Facial Scrub (once per week)
Calendula Hydrosol flower water (toner)
Rosehip Seed Oil (small amt. for moisturizing)
Cream with Alpha Hydroxy (haven’t decided which one yet)

I’m very psyched about this and I imagine my face looking like porcelain in only a few days.  I know, not very realistic but VERY motivating.

I’m a firm believer in doing something, moving forward and making a decision even if it’s wrong. Mistakes can be fixed, but doing nothing can be a huge source of regret that you can do nothing about.  Tuesday after lunch with my parents, I asked my Dad to go by Peak Fitness on Pelham Rd to check it out.  I’ve had my eye on them since the beginning of December because they have free child care and because they’re only 9 miles from my house.  They had a great special of $99 for a year.  But, when I went I found out that was over at the end of the year.  The deal I ended up signing up for was even better, I think.  $99 enrollment fee and $9.99 per month for as long as I’m a member.  Wow.  I hadn’t planned to join that day, but at that rate I no reason to say no.

I knew that if I didn’t go ahead and start going, I’d talk myself out of it.  So, Wednesday afternoon I had a ton of excuses not to go–I was tired, I was scared, Carter needed to eat a snack, I needed to start dinner, there was laundry, I had my period and felt gross.  I went anyway.  When I got there, I got the child care hours wrong and had to leave, go to Wal-Mart for 45 minutes and come back.  I was determined to get it over with.  I get back, put Carter in childcare and hit the cardio deck (as they call it).  15 minutes cardio, some upper body work, some lower body work and out comes the child care lady.  Carter is crying and he can’t stay.  So, after 30 minutes we’re leaving.  It felt like a big waste of an afternoon, but I still felt pretty accomplished because I did it.  I went back this morning and got in a full hour’s workout and all I have to say is “Ouch”.  The pursuit of a hot body is extremely painful.

Aside from taking care of myself physically, this time at the gym 4 days a week will also benefit my mental health.  One of my very favorite things to do is read.  I love to read books that teach me something, take me somewhere, make me laugh, make me think, and help me let go.  Reading is something that I haven’t been able to do much of, aside from blog reading.  Now, I’ve bought myself an entire hour to read while I work out.  I found out today that reading makes the time FLY by.  I’m not staring at the time on the machine…tick, tick, tick.  And, you can really get a lot of reading done in an hour.  Those four books on my shelf will be knocked out in a month.

It feels good to be doing a few things for me.