What I Ate Wednesday - Fasting Edition

We made it to Hump Day, my friends! Can I get a YAYYYYYY?!?

This week is actually flying by for me so far which is good, because I'm looking forward to relaxing and getting caught up on my stories this weekend. I'm also planning on doing some spring cleaning, which I'm not looking forward to, but I really need to clean out my junk closets.

Most people have junk drawers - we have a junk closets. As in multiple.

Before I start with my food from yesterday, I have a huge announcement to make...

I got Justin to workout with me on Monday!

I know, I'm shocked too. He keeps complaining about wanting to get in shape and I'm sick of hearing about it without him doing anything about it. So I made him workout with me after work. He whined and complained, but he did it. And he even took part in my pre and post workout selfies...

The first 3 are before our workout and the rest are after - he was trying not to smile the entire time, but I got him both before and after #sucka. We did the Cardio 1 workout from 22 Hard Corps, and I really enjoyed it. It wasn't too hard for me, which is good because it was my second workout of the day and I didn't want to kill myself. And Justin was able to complete most of it without modifying or complaining too much, so I call this a win.

Moving on, today I thought it would be fun to show you guys what I eat on a fasting day. I've talked about this in the past so some of you are already aware, but just in case you're new here, I follow the 5:2 style of eating. This is an intermittent fasting plan where I eat low-calorie two days a week and then eat normally 5 days a week. Now some of you might be like, THAT'S CRAZY, you can't starve yourself two days a week! To be clear, I'm definitely not starving myself - according to the real plan you're only supposed to eat 500-600 calories on your fasting days, but that's just not enough for me with how active I am. So I actually eat closer to 800-1,000 calories on my fasting days. Then on my non-fasting days I eat pretty normally, but try to keep it as clean and healthy as possible (during the week...). Since starting this way of eating in September, I have been able to drop 17 pounds that I had not been able to budge after having Jules. And surprisingly enough, I'm never starving on my fasting days. Additionally, I am super productive and almost manic on the days I fast - I tend to get more work done, clean around the house more, and just get shit done. The only downside I have experienced is that I struggle to fall asleep on my fasting days, but I'm usually able to get it done by reading or listening to a sleep meditation and using my sleep ease essential oil that I found on Amazon.

I am currently fasting on Tuesday and Thursday. I start my morning off around 5:00, when I wake up to do my running/ab workout. I do not lift on my fasting days - I've tried it once before and it failed miserably since I tend to be more hungry on days I lift. I always have some watermelon aminos before my workout to give me energy, so this is the only thing I consume (other than a TON of water) before breaking my fast. 

I like this flavor of aminos since there aren't any artificial colors - they use beet juice to make it pink! I've been using this for about a year or so and find it gives me clean, non-jittery energy and does not make me want to shit myself, which is what happens to me whenever I take a "real" pre-workout. On the days I take these aminos I do not drink any other caffeine, since 2 scoops gives me 160mg of caffeine, similar to a cup of coffee. Any more than that and I will be anxious and panicking all day long. 

I usually try to completely fast other than drinking a TON of water until between 12-2, when I  eat my first snack of the day. 

MadreDiem Snack Fasting 1

I used to eat just an egg when I'd break my fast, but have been combining that with my favorite protein shake the past two weeks and find it's really helping with my hunger throughout the rest of the day.

A side-note on my protein shake: I originally found this brand at Costco a few years ago. I wanted to find a plant based protein shake that I liked, not because I'm a vegetarian #steakforlife but because I try to limit the amount of meat/animal products I consume, more for environmental purposes than anything. The problem with all of the vegetarian protein shakes I've tried before this one is they all taste like grass and/or dirt and have a gritty texture. Gross.

I love the Orgain Chocolate Fudge protein shake and drink one almost every single day. On top of the protein it provides, I really love that it also provides some fiber, when most protein shakes don't have any fiber at all. 

And fiber is really important because it keeps you regular. So eat your fiber, kids!

Let me know what you think if you try it out!

Back to my food yesterday - my snack will usually keep me full until lunch, which I usually take around 2. Yesterday I was so busy I didn't stop to take my lunch until 3. Which is dumb. I am a big fan of taking a full-hour lunch and going at the same time every day and I hate being so busy that I can't do that. Womp womp.

MadreDiem Snack Fasting

While I'm heating my lunch up I always shove another egg in my face. I prefer my eggs to be prepared soft-to-medium-boiled so they're not dry. I know I always used to struggle with getting my eggs to the perfect consistency when I'd boil them, so here's how I get my eggs to the perfect consistency that works 100% of the time:

Soft-ish Boiled Eggs

  • Place your eggs in a pan and cover them completely with cold water
  • Put a lid on your pot and turn your stove to high
  • Start doing your make-up and wait for the water to start to boil (God forbid you don't multi-task, #amiright)
  •  As soon as the water turns to a hard boil, set a timer for 6 minutes
  • Once the timer goes off, dump out the water and then run cold water on the eggs for a minute or two. Done and done. 

If I'm eating the eggs immediately I will usually have them sit in cold water with a few ice cubes for a couple of minutes before eating them to ensure they reach the perfect level of cooked. 

Now onto the main meal:

madrediem fasting lunch

An Aldi's Chipotle chicken sausage, a ton of broccoli with a pat of butter and some salt and pepper, and a bunch of sauerkraut from Trader Joe's. I love this meal and hope I never get sick of it since it fills me up and is healthy as crap (mostly...I'm sure it could be less processed with the chicken sausage, but it's nitrate free and honestly IDGAF). 

After lunch I continue to drink a TON OF WATER until I can get home and get dinner prepared. Yesterday the rest of the family finished off our spaghetti and garlic bread from Monday and I ate this:

It may look bland, but it was really good. I have about 4 oz of ground turkey that I sauteed with a little EVOO, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper and topped with sauerkraut, some jasmine rice with a little butter and salt, and a shit ton of asparagus sauteed with EVOO, salt, and pepper. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

I also ate two of Julianna's potato chips that she was snacking on when we got home, because I'm not perfect and they were delish and I wanted them. I love chips. #worthit

Then I continued to drink water and brushed my teeth so I wouldn't be tempted to shove any chocolate in my face. And I didn't, so it was a successful fast day! 

Frederick the Frog

Before going to bed I walked Jax and we made a new friend. His name is Frederick. 

Look...my welcome mat is facing the wrong direction. What a huge shocker... ;-)

As with anything else, check with your doctor before you start doing any type of diet/eating plan. The 5:2 works for me simply because I know that while I'm not going to snack on chips and chocolate on my fast days, I can have them if I want them any other day. And guess what...most days I don't even crave them anymore. Plus, I'm so effing productive on my fast days that I need them so I can get shit done! Once I reach my goal weight I will cut down to one fast day a week, only adding the other back in when I go off the plan completely and shove all of the Christmas cookies in my face for 2 months in November and December...

It's worth mentioning that there are a ton of different fasting styles out there - I've also tried the 16:8 method, where you fast for 16 hours of the day and eat pretty much whatever you want for 8 hours, and I hated it. So to each his/her own. It's also worth mentioning that "they" (the experts) do not recommend trying any type of intermittent fasting if you have or are suffering from an eating disorder. So no matter what...check with your doctor before you do anything!

Have any of you tried any crazy eating methods? What works for you? Do you think I'm insane? I actually did a lot of research before trying this out and have had a lot of success with it, so I might be crazy, but it's working!

Also, did anyone notice I used the word shit a lot today? Weird. It's probably because I completely overslept by 2 effing hours and not only did I not get to work out, but I also got in the shower 20 minutes later than I should have. So my day is completely thrown off and that makes me say shit a lot. Hopefully I can work out tonight so my schedule isn't completely messed up, but I doubt it will happen because I really want to watch Dancing With the Stars. 

Have a great day!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage of the sale if you make a purchase using the links. This does not change the price of the item (at all) and is something I have just decided to start trying since I do make recommendations on a regular basis. The opinions are still 100% my own and not at all influenced by me using the affiliate links.  

Take-Out Tuesday

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope your week is off to a good start and you're not as busy and overwhelmed as I am right now - my head is spinning with all the work I have to do this week! The good news is that it makes the day fly by, but the bad news is that my evenings and weekends are also flying by. Can I please get an extra couple of hours at night to just chill out before going to bed? Please? 

Don't forget to click below and subscribe if you'd like to be notified whenever I post anything new. If you have already subscribed and aren't receiving the emails, they are probably going to your junk/spam folder, so check there!

After yesterday's heavy-ish post, I thought I'd keep things light and simple today. 

Without further adieu, I bring you Take-out Tuesday! No, I'm not talking food here (although some poke take-out is definitely happening this weekend), I'm talking about photos I've taken that didn't make it to the blog for whatever reason. I'm going to keep it simple here and just do a quick title for each picture - I hope you enjoy it!

Beach Day Casual

alternate title: I Forgot My Beach Cover-Up

The PreWorkout Series

Photogenic Like Mommy

Tricep Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

Trying to Capture the Elusive Both-Children-Smiling Photo 

As Real as it Gets

Get in Mah Belly

Leftover Toddler Toast: Pre-run Fuel of Champions

Lucky I'm Cute

alternate title: I Kept Mommy Up All Night

Can We Leave Already?

Hanger

Building Immunities - One Public Table at a Time

Finally.

Lesson Learned

alternate title: She's a Ninja and Grabbed That Cup and Almost Spilled It 

Blog 4.jpg

Good Sport

alternate title: Jason hates Disney

Mischievous Little Elf

Check Please

alternate title: We Need to Pay Before Jules Loses Her Shit

No Make-Up, Sweaty Selfie - IDGAF

Never. Stops. Moving. 

That's all I have for today! I hope your work day flies by, is super productive, and you get everything done that you need to accomplish, and if you're home, I hope it's a nice and relaxing day. Thank you for stopping by!

How I Deal with My Anxiety

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you all had a great weekend! 

We had a super busy weekend, beaching and beering it up in the Fort Lauderdale area. Don't tell my husband that I agree with him since I always push back whenever he says it, but I really enjoy southern Florida. Jason always talks about wanting to move there and I argue that it's too expensive and hot, but I really do enjoy it there. We just both need to make a ton more money and then I'd be okay with it. Time to play the lottery.

Before I jump into my anxiety stuff, here is some weekend stuff.

Jason has family in town at their Florida condo in Sunrise, FL, which is 10 minutes west of Fort Lauderdale, so we made the trip down to see them Friday afternoon. We didn't end up leaving until 2 or so and hit some nasty traffic on the way down, so we stopped for dinner around 6:30 to try to avoid some of the rush hour traffic. The place we stopped was an Italian joint and it was pretty good, however the average patron age was approximately 70 and that's not a joke. Since we had Jax with us we ate outside and had a grandparent of some sort stop by our table every 2 minutes or so to talk about our dog and our kids. It was actually quite amusing and made me miss my grandparents a lot - my grandparents are awesome and I wish we didn't live so far away!

I managed to get a cute kid picture but failed on the group shot... #reallife

At least Justin looks good! We still had about an hour to drive after leaving the restaurant, which is no fun, and we didn't make it to his uncle's condo until 8 or so. Jules was all amped up and ended up staying awake until 9:30 or so, which is insane because it's a solid 2 hours after her bed time. But then she ended up sleeping through the night, so I'll take it! We all actually ended up sleeping until 9:30 Saturday morning, which is super late for us. We'd planned on going to the beach early in the morning, but by the time we had breakfast and got everything together, it was closer to 1 before we got down there. Oops!

As usual, the beach was absolutely beautiful. The water was warm-ish and clear and we all had a great time. I was a bit worried, however Jules absolutely loved being in the water. We bought her this float off of Amazon last year and she didn't really enjoy it last summer but absolutely loved it this beach trip. After we eased into the water (it was a little cold for us Floridians), Jason and I set her into the seat and after a few minutes of clinging to my fingers she started kicking and squealing with joy whenever a wave would rock her around. 

We obviously kept a really tight hold onto the float the entire time as this float doesn't really provide any life preserving elements - Jules was actually pulling herself halfway out of it by the time we were all ready to get out of the water. She's an insane daredevil baby. 

Then Jules and I played in the sand for awhile - throw sand into bucket, flip over to make castle, destroy castle, and repeat. I somehow managed to forget to put any sunblock on myself, but made sure everyone else was taken care of, so I guess that was a mom-win, me-fail?

By 3 or so we were all starving and since we were in the area, we had to stop off at Funky Buddha, which is our favorite brewery of all time. This was our first time going to the actual brewery - we usually just pick up their beers at the store - and we were not disappointed. Jason and I tried a few beers and we all got some food and just hung out for awhile, which is always a great time. 

I of course got a flight (always get the flight) and I really enjoyed all of the beers I tried. Jason tried a variation on Last Snow called Last Buffalo (or something like that) which is aged in liquor barrels, meaning it was strong AF. 

Still good. Still my favorite brewery.

The picture below is the best picture out of 5 pictures that I took of all of us in front of Funky Buddha... I'm going to start making everyone wear hats and sunglasses so we can get more consistent pictures together. That's essentially my secret to looking good in pictures. Wear a hat and sunglasses and smile #photogenic 

Blog19.jpg

We ended up sleeping pretty well on Saturday night too and got some donuts to share with Jason's aunt and uncle before leaving to make the drive home. Jules was awesome in the car (Justin's always awesome) and slept half of the way before we stopped to get some Subway, and then she just hung out the rest of the time. I can admit I'm pretty lucky that my kids are both awesome travelers!

I meal planned in the car while Jason drove the first part of the trip and no, I haven't forgotten about doing an entire post on that sometime soon, I promise!

I would like to talk about anxiety. 

Before I start, I do want to remind you all that I am not a medical professional or trained counselor or anything like that. I'm just someone who has been dealing with anxiety for a very long time and has some tricks that have worked for me that I'd like to share. 

I have had anxiety for almost 20 years now and for whatever reason, people are usually surprised to find I suffer from it. I've been told "you seem so confident and put together" and they just can't believe that I deal with anxiety, so I feel it is important to share my experience.

There are tons of different types of anxiety and lots of different people can be affected by it, but what I suffer from are panic/anxiety attacks. I still remember the first time I had an anxiety attack - I was 15 years old and laying on my bedroom floor watching Les Miserables on tv when my heart started pounding out of my chest at a rapid pace and I literally thought I was going to die. I ran downstairs to my mom in a total panic and she ended up rushing me to the hospital. I underwent a myriad of testing - cardiovascular tests, MRI and CT scans, blood tests, etc. In the end, the dr said I had anxiety and gave me Paxil, which I took for a couple of days, hated, and stopped. At that point, just putting a name to what I was experiencing was enough for me to feel better, and I don't believe I had another serious episode until I hit my 30's. Then for whatever reason, my anxiety came back with a vengeance and has stuck around pretty consistently since then. Here are the symptoms I experience, along with some of the things that will set me off:

Symptoms

  • Erratic or exaggerated heartbeats (heart palpitations, random large beats, etc); if this is happening to me you will often see me taking my heart rate to confirm it's fine - my resting heart rate is actually usually in the 50's because I'm in good shape, even while having an attack - but I always have to track my heart rate to make sure my heart is still working whenever I have an attack. 
  • Tunnel vision
  • I'm convinced I can't swallow which leads to me actually struggling to swallow
  • Vertigo
  • Light-headed
  • Breathing heavily

Triggers

  • Being over-tired
  • Driving long-distance
  • Driving through mountains
  • Driving over a bridge or even a tall overpass
  • Feeling constrained, like in certain roller coasters
  • Heights 
  • Elevators

As you can see, driving is a huge trigger for me, but I also have attacks at work on a regular basis. While I do have the attacks often while driving, I am fine while riding in the car. I find that I do better in the morning and as the day goes on, I start to have more issues. I don't have anxiety attacks every day, but I would say I have a few of them on a weekly basis, whether it's just the beginning of one that never actually comes to fruition, or sometimes giant, full-on panic where I have to excuse myself from what I'm doing or pull over if I'm driving. I also find that the frequency and severity can vary based on where I am at in my cycle - it gets really bad right before, during, and after my period.  

My anxiety never comes for any reason that I can quantify. For example, if I'm in an emergency situation I am always absolutely fine - in fact, I've often been complimented on how well I maintain my composure during an emergency. However I can be sitting at work having a normal conversation with a co-worker and go into a full-scale attack for seemingly no reason. 

Anxiety has no rhyme and reason and often makes no sense. 

There is one place where I never seem to have any panic/anxiety attacks and that's home. So there are times when I am really suffering when I will look forward to getting home for an entire day since I know I will feel better immediately.

If you're suffering from anxiety, the first thing I want to tell you is that you're not alone. I can almost guarantee that if you ask around you will probably have a number of friends/acquaintances who suffer as well.

I would also encourage you to see your doctor first to rule out any medical issues, as there are a number of medical conditions that can cause anxiety attacks. There were a few months in 2013 where I was having constant anxiety attacks on my way home from work, where I just happened to be eating almonds for a snack each time. Turns out, I'm allergic to almonds and was experiencing anaphylaxis - yeah, really. So go to the doctor. They'll run a bunch of tests and rule out anything medical and you can also look into medication at that time if you would like, since I know a lot of people have success with medicine. Although I do have a prescription for Xanax, I use it very sparingly - I will take 1/2 a pill an average of every 2 weeks whenever I can't sleep due to my anxiety, but that's it. I've had my prescription for over 3 months and still have over half of my 30 pills left. 

Other than the minimal medication I take when I need it to sleep, here are the other things I have done to help minimize my anxiety:

Reduce your caffeine intake

If I drink more than a cup of coffee (or the caffeine equivalent), I will have terrible anxiety and panic attacks all day long. If you are suffering from anxiety I highly recommend you cut out caffeine and see if it helps improve your symptoms. I do actually plan to quit caffeine completely one day in the hopes it will help my anxiety issues even more, however I have cut down my intake dramatically and it's made a definite difference so I'm okay right now keeping my one cup of coffee in the morning. 

Exercise

I think the benefits are two-fold for me with exercise - it's time I take for myself on a daily basis and it gets those good endorphins pumping. A word of caution though; whenever I do a seriously intense program like Insanity, my anxiety actually gets worse for a week before it settles back down. So I would recommend skipping the super intense stuff if you're really suffering.

Limit your alcohol intake

I try not to drink any alcohol during the week and really try not to drink excessively at all anymore (except for the occasional out-of-control date night with my husband or crazy girl's night out). This is just my experience, but I have found the more I drink the worse my anxiety is, even if I just have a glass of wine with my dinner. 

Meditation

I will be honest and let you know that I have not been meditating very often lately (or at all), BUT I have had a lot of success in the past with meditation helping my anxiety and I find that the more I do it, the more it helps. There are two apps that I've used on my phone, and when I practice I'll take 5-15 minutes after my workout in the morning to sit quietly and listen to a guided meditation. The apps I have used are Headspace and Insight Timer - the second one is actually my favorite, but I know a lot of people really like Headspace when they're starting out. 

Diffusing oils

First and foremost, I'm not trying to sell you anything so don't skip through this part thinking that's what I'm doing. I had read that oil diffusing helps a lot with anxiety and after having several really bad weeks in January/February, I bought some oils and a diffuser from Amazon. First off, my diffuser is pretty and the lights are very soothing. Secondly, I love the way the oil blends I use smell and I have found that I can minimize or eliminate an attack if I feel one coming on by breathing in the anxiety blend deeply. 

Whenever I'm at work my diffuser is on and pumping. It might be a placebo effect, but my anxiety has lessened a bit since I've started using it. In fact, I like it so much I even bought one for home and use a blend that's supposed to aid with sleep and guess what...it does seem to be helping me sleep better! Here are the items I personally use for anxiety; most often at work, but if I know I'll be driving long distance I will take my oil and breath it in deeply if I'm feeling an attack festering. 

Finally, I also take some supplements for my anxiety

If you are considering supplements please discuss with your doctor first as some supplements can interact with medications - plus, you should really talk to your doctor about anything health related! Here are the supplements I use, which can also be found under my favorites page. 

This magnesium drink is the number 1 thing I recommend. Not only do I feel a difference in my level of anxiety on the days I take it, it also has the added benefit of helping you stay regular! As such, if you do decide to get this as a supplement, start of with a 1/2 teaspoon and work your way up to a full dose.

Trust me here.

I dissolve a teaspoon or so into 2 ounces of hot water before leaving for work in the morning, let it sit for a minute or two, and then swish the water around to make sure all of the powder dissolves. I also add my next supplement to the hot water, which is Inositol. 

Inositol is supposed to help with anxiety and is also supposed to help alleviate PCOS symptoms. I discussed this in another blog, but I was diagnosed with PCOS and suffer from many of the symptoms of this disorder, including anxiety. I haven't been having as many of the PCOS symptoms since having Jules, but I would prefer they don't come back and as such, continue to take this supplement in the hopes it will stay away (PCOS really sucks - look it up). 

That's all I have in regards to my anxiety and what I do to try to alleviate it - do you have any issues with anxiety and panic attacks? If so, what have you tried to fix it and/or do you have any tips for me? I am always open to more ideas since it's still something I struggle with almost daily. 

Thanks for stopping by!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a percentage of the sale if you make a purchase using the links. This does not change the price of the item (at all) and is something I have just decided to start trying since I do make recommendations on a regular basis. The opinions are still 100% my own and not at all influenced by me using the affiliate links.  

Food & Fitness Friday

YAYYYYYYYYYYYYY we made it!! I don't know about you, but I'm so happy it's Friday. It's been a really busy and really crazy week and I'm ready for some relaxation. We're actually driving down to Fort Lauderdale and spending the weekend with some of Jason's family, so I see some beach days and some delicious Puerto Rican food in my future - YES!

Before we start, please don't forget to subscribe if you'd like to be notified whenever I post something new.

I also highly recommend you follow me on Snapchat - the only reason you shouldn't follow me is if you are easily offended and/or don't like funny shenanigans. 

No one can blue steel as hard as me. No one. Actually it almost looks like I'm blue steeling and smizing here. America's Next Top Model. 

Speaking of modeling and kind of piggy-backing off of what I talked about yesterday, one thing that has helped me with my body image recently is knowing that people who look perfect probably don't look like that all the time. Let me expand on this - the media sets all of us up for failure. There are very few people in the world who look like the people you see in movies/tv/magazines/Instagram. In fact, most of those people don't even look like that in real life. It's all about angles and editing, my friends. 

Before I show you what I'm talking about, I want to clarify that I don't always sit around slamming my body or thinking bad thoughts about myself. I was a bit worried my post yesterday might make it seem that way. I do have those thoughts sometimes, but more often than not, I'm proud of my body and what it can do - mommy apron and all. 

Work those angles...

These pictures were taken seconds apart and the first thing these pictures show me is that I really need to clean the mirrors in the bathroom - gross. I am actually quite happy with the picture on the left - my stomach is pretty flat and my butt is pretty high and lifted. The picture on the right looks AWESOME but it makes me laugh because that is so not how I look in real life. When you do that twist, lift up a butt cheek and suck it in like your life depends on it, anyone can be an Instagram model! 

The whole point of these pictures is to show you how deceiving a picture can be and not to let the pictures you see all over of these super fit, perfect-bodied people get you down. They probably don't look like that in real life all the time. And even if they do, it's their job to look that way. Also, high-waisted shorts/leggings are life if you want to look thinner AND they hold everything in. 

Now onto some quick happenings this week before I do a review of my food and fitness this week. 

First, I'd like to formally thank Moana for allowing me to eat dinner last night. I always start feeding Jules while I'm getting dinner finished up and recently she never sits still or let's me eat without throwing a huge tantrum. You know, since she's in her terrible two's at 14 months. Last night I was able to put her down in front of the tv and eat all of my dinner! Thanks, Moana!

 

 

Jules has also gotten really into "helping" with everything and helped me make fish tacos the other night. When she's not being insane she is super cute and sweet. <3

I want to show you guys my new contouring trick I learned last night for my eye makeup!

All you need to do is fall asleep while reading and drop your iPad on your face. Hurts like hell and it may not look like much now, but a shiner is forming! Yes, I do constantly have crazy shit happen to me. No, I don't know why. But I always have good stories to tell!

Onto food & fitness

This was a pretty good week! Not perfect, by any means, but I ate pretty well overall. 

As I mentioned in a prior blog, I am back onto the 5:2 train, which is a eating style that involves fasting 2 days a week and then eating normally the other 5. I do eat on my fasting days and actually eat more than the plan recommends, since I'm so active. My fast days this week were Tuesday and Thursday - I ended up stress eating a bunch of cereal and chocolate Tuesday night after taking Scooby to the vet, but yesterday went pretty well and I managed to drop 2.5 pounds of water weight from last week's craziness, so woohoo for me! Here are my dinners for the week:

  • Sunday - Wings and pasta salad
  • Monday - Steak, mashed potatoes, and asparagus and mushrooms
  • Tuesday - Chicken drumstick (or 2), rice, broccoli
  • Wednesday - Fish tacos
  • Thursday - Chicken sausage (chipotle from Aldi's), rice, asparagus, and sauerkraut

Breakfasts varied from a 2-egg sandwich on normal days (with a slice of bacon, gouda, and little butter on an English muffin - the triple health kind) and fasting on my fast days. I typically break my fast on fasting days between 11 and 1 with a soft boiled egg or 2. 

Lunches were either pulled BBQ chicken or pork from Trader Joe's with rice and broccoli or a chicken sausage with broccoli on my fast days. I may go get a poke bowl for lunch today because I'm an addict #dontjudgeme

Look at the two food pictures I took this week. I'm the worst, but I promise I'll get better about taking pictures. On the left you have my pre-workout snack before leg day and on the right you have a typical fast lunch. Still plenty of food!

Workouts this week were pretty awesome - again, not perfect, but I'm proud of myself:

  • Sunday - REST
  • Monday - P90X Chest & Back
  • Tuesday - Run 3 miles and Ab Ripper X (which destroys me - abs are my weak spot)
  • Wednesday - P90X Shoulders & Arms
  • Thursday - The schedule was to run 4, but I didn't want to. So instead I ran 2 miles of sprints, jogging the short (top and bottom) and sprinting the long (left and right) in my neighborhood. See the picture? Our neighborhood is essentially a 1/4 mile track. I also did a 5 minute plank workout
  • Friday - P90X Legs & Back
  • I plan on running tomorrow morning, but kind of doubt it will happen. If it doesn't, I'll try to do it when we get home from SoFlo

I love my before and after workout pictures. Too bad I'm not as good at taking food pictures as I am workout selfies! Maybe one day.

So that about does it for me today! What about you guys? Do you have anything fun planned for the weekend? Did you meet your goals for eating/workout out? 

Have an aweseome weekend!

Throwback Thursday - Body Image Edition

For today's post, we're going to take a walk down memory lane, Throwback Thursday-style.

But first, I wanted to give a Scooby update since I mentioned him yesterday and don't want to leave you hanging. He's back home - yayyyyy! The preliminary tests are pointing to a urinary/kidney infection - he apparently had blood in his urine, was straining, and one of his kidneys are enlarged. So I'm giving him antibiotics twice a day for a week and hoping it clears up and he starts gaining weight. I've done some research online and these types of infections can be kind of difficult to clear up even with antibiotics, so I also found a supplement on Amazon that is supposed to help support his kidney health.

One thing that concerns me is they found what appears to be a small mass on his enlarged kidney while they were doing the ultrasound, so they want to see him again in a few weeks. I'm hoping it ends up being a cyst or nothing serious. So happy thoughts are still needed, but we're trucking along for now. And no need to fear - Scooby is just as spirited as ever. See exhibit A (this is me, post workout this morning):

What you don't see in this picture are the other scratches on my right wrist and the giant gouge he gave me on my left pinky finger that went into my finger and around the bone, causing my hand to go numb and to swell last night. Super fun stuff. Lesson learned? Wrap a towel around your cat when giving him antibiotics no matter how chill and happy he is to see you, because once you try to pry his mouth open he will try to kill you. 

Onto today's subject, which is...

Body Image

This is such a trigger subject for so many people and like most women, I struggle with my body image on a regular basis. I have times where I feel pretty good and I strut around and take a million selfies, and then there are times where I threaten to cut my stomach off with a knife because I hate it and it's so floppy and gross. Does anyone else totally hate the saying on the right? I just disagree with the fact that it wasn't really having babies that gave me these tiger stripes, it was eating everything in sight and being lazy AF while pregnant that gave me these stripes. And regardless of what I post here, I do intend on cutting them off one day, since I would love to be able to get dressed without having to tuck my stomach in (for real, I have to tuck my stomach into whatever I'm wearing now). Sometimes when I'm feeling super down on myself I'll try to convince myself that there are probably people out there who would be happy to have a body like mine, but that never makes me feel better, just guilty for not being happy with my body. 

With that being said, I feel it's so important for me to try instill a positive body image in my kids and I know the best way to do this is by being a good example and not talking negatively about myself in front of my kids. Unfortunately I think I've failed with my son, at least up to this point, since he has seen me complain about being fat when I definitely wasn't fat. He's recently started complaining about the way he looks and says he's fat sometimes, which I hate hearing and being who I am, immediately blame myself for. Due to this, and knowing that now I have a daughter who has so much more societal pressure to look perfect than my son does, I'm really trying to work as hard as possible to improve the way I talk about myself and the way I feel about myself. And I'm hoping if I do that it will not only help Jules to have a positive body image from the get-go, but will also help Justin improve his. 

First things first, a picture that I swore would never see the light of day.

Shoot, I even blogged a couple weeks ago about my results with Chalean Extreme and that I wouldn't post this picture because no one wants to see it...if you don't want to see it, keep scrolling and close your eyes for a second or something.

Here are two of my results pictures from a couple weeks ago when I finished the program, in all of their unedited glory #forrealnofilter:

As I mentioned when I blogged about this before, I wasn't super thrilled with my results and these pictures are partially why. What did I see when I first looked at them? Stretch marks, droopy belly button, muffin top, upper thighs that are touching #mermaid, dirty mirror, bags under my eyes, and the right picture shows a pretty awesome view of my stomach shelf from my c-section that is the current bane of my existence image-wise. And when I saw these pictures and started picking myself apart I immediately felt bad about myself and how I looked, and it kind of ruined my day and took away from all of the awesome things I was able to do physically during the program. Looking at the pictures now a few weeks later, I'm able to actually see some positive stuff - I have upper ab definition, my stomach is pretty effing flat (other than that damn shelf), and I have a pretty great butt. Not to mention I can bang out a million push-ups, do several unassisted pull-ups, and I can throw around some pretty heavy weights. I just wish I had been able to see that stuff from the get-go and appreciate the NSV (non-scale victory) accomplishments more, so I wouldn't have felt so bad about myself that day. 

There are tons of different things I've heard people mention when they talk about body image and how to improve it, but there are two things that I am focusing on right now to improve mine.

First, I need to remember that there will be some point in my life where I will wish my body would be like it is right now

I have been trying to lose weight basically from high school on. Prior to joining the military I never exercised. Ever. I was lazy AF. Even after joining the military I was still pretty effing lazy. Then I got pregnant and gained a ton of weight - 60-ish pounds - and I ended up over 200 pounds. What, you don't believe me? Here are two pictures that I'm pretty sure no one other than my mom has seen to prove it...

Look at how cute newborn Justin was - he and Jules look so much alike!!

I'm not going to say anything about these pictures, other than this is what happens when you get pregnant and eat supersized McDonalds, ice cream, Christmas cookies, and mashed potatoes like it's your job. Oh, and you get preeclampsia and end up on bed rest for the last trimester of your pregnancy. However I didn't let that get me down for too long, and even though I had never worked out before I knew I wanted to lose weight and started working out and eating better. Within a year of having Justin I was able to lose the baby weight and then some. I even ended up being a Physical Training Leader in the Air Force and was in charge of all of the health-related initiatives at my work. By the time I separated from the Air Force I was in such good shape, yet I still always wanted to lose 5 more pounds and could not stop hating my stomach for being so stretched out and "gross". 

I remember when the above picture was taken and I took a look at it I couldn't stop ranting about how "gross" I looked. Looking back on it now (and ignoring the awful hair color), I see a ridiculously tan mom playing with her son in the sand and some pretty amazing abs. I mean seriously, I can see my abs/obliques. But all I could see at the time was a tiny flap of skin overhanging my swimsuit that was just so gross (and I'm sure Justin heard me complaining about it too...) and that I just needed to lose 5 pounds (I weighed approximately 125 there).

Let's fast forward a couple of years and see if we notice a trend here...

It's the summer of 2008 and I had just finished the entire Insanity program and I was in such good shape. I weighed approximately 126 here. Guess what?

I still "needed" to lose 5 pounds...

All of the above pictures were taken within a year or so of each other, and they're in order from the oldest on the left to the newest on the right. During each of these times I can very specifically remember "needing" to lose 5 to 10 to even 15 pounds because "I just need to do it" and "I hate the way I look" and "blah, blah, blah..." I believe I weighed 128 to 135 here, from left to right. 

In the picture on the left, I was training for a half-marathon that ended up being a new PR for me (at that time). In the center, I was training for another half-marathon (my 2nd in 6 months). And the picture on the right was a month after that half-marathon and right before doing another round of Insanity.  

Finally, in what should have been the happiest day of my life, I couldn't stop talking about how I was the heaviest I'd ever been without being pregnant (I was 136, which is now my goal weight) and if only I could just lose 5 pounds I'd finally be happy. Looking at it now, I see some serious toned arms and I had ran a half marathon 3 months prior that is my current PR (personal record, if you're not in the lingo-know).

Did you pick-up on the trend yet? No matter where I currently am, I am always wishing I was back to where I was. I remember being so embarrassed by how much I weighed and what I thought was a tummy pooch on my wedding day that I complained about it incessantly to my mom and my friend Lucy. I would kill to have that "pooch" back instead of this crazy shelf thing I'm dealing with now from my c-section but guess what?

There will eventually be a day when I will wish I looked like I do right now, mommy apron and all!

And even more importantly than how it looks, there will eventually be a day where I will wish my body would just function as well as it does right now. Because some day I won't be able to get up and run 7 minute miles and set a new 5K PR. There will come a time when I won't be able to dance like a fool around the living room with my daughter or run up the stairs two at a time without losing my breath. I'm actually in some of the best shape of my life right now. So even though I'm still 9 pounds from pre-pregnancy weight and 13 pounds from my ultimate goal, I need to appreciate where I am right now. 

Which brings me to the next way I am working to improve my body image. 

Focus on what your body can do, not what it looks like. 

Guys, since having Jules I have survived an awful c-section recovery that included a hematoma and a 2-unit blood transplant, I helped pack and move our entire house across town 6 weeks postpartum, and I've completed a round of Insanity, ran a half-marathon, gotten first place in my age group in a 5K, and completed a pretty intense strength training and running program. And I've done all of this while working full-time and trying to be the best mom and wife I can be.

My body is so much more than what it looks like.

I took this picture last Friday - you know I'm feeling pretty good when I have to stop and take a bathroom selfie. 

I took this picture last Friday - you know I'm feeling pretty good when I have to stop and take a bathroom selfie. 

The good thing about constantly pushing myself to do more and get stronger/faster/better is that I'm finally starting to believe it. I honestly cannot remember the last time I said I was fat - it's been at least a few weeks and possibly a month or more. That may not seem like much, but I used to complain about myself daily or even several times a day - I am my biggest bully. Do I still look at my stomach in disgust or hate the way I look in clothes sometimes? Ummmm yes. But I've also gotten really good about forcing myself not to dwell on what I don't like and focus more on what I am proud of - for instance, my arms and shoulders are looking super cut right now and I like to flex my arms in the mirror after my workouts to look at them #noshame. I also like to strut into the bedroom and flex for my husband, who raves about how toned I am #teamworkmakesthedreamwork

Am I saying that I won't slip up and call myself fat in front of my kids or complain about my floppy gross stomach again? I'm sure I'll do it or some variation of it here and there. But my hope is that by appreciating my body for what it is right now and what it can do, I will be able to minimize my slip-ups and negative body-talk. And in doing that, I hope to be able to really love my body regardless of what it looks like one day, since I really do believe life is too short to be worried about my floppy stomach all the time. I do have the feeling I'll always want to get a tummy tuck since having so much extra skin is actually a discomfort physically. However if I don't learn to love myself before having surgery I'll come out of the tummy tuck with a flat stomach, but with something else to pick apart. 

TBT - I found this while looking for pics for today and had to share it. Justin would always RUN into my arms whenever we were apart when he was younger and I loved the feeling of his sticky little hands wrapping around me and squeezing me as tight as he could. I'd also like to point out that we were blondes. WTF?

Do you struggle with body image issues? If so, are you working to try to fix them? What has worked for you to fix them? 

What it is Wednesday - Part 3

We made it to the halfway point, my friends! Doesn't it feel good? Or do you just feel completely wiped out like me? 

Don't forget to subscribe so you can be notified when I post anything new!

It's time for another round of What it is Wednesday, where I talk about anything of note that I feel should be mentioned - good and bad. Today's post will be more picture-heavy and less word -heavy than past posts because I'm dealing with some personal stuff that I will talk about later on and I'm feeling off today. 

These two seriously make my heart so happy. As I mentioned in a prior post, I was really worried that they might not have much of a bond due to their age difference, but Justin is such an awesome big brother and Jules simply adores him. 

This breakfast that I had on Saturday morning after my run was so amazing. It's a flour tortilla #gluten, 2 eggs scrambled in a little butter with 2 slices of Applegate Farms turkey bacon, a handful of monterey jack cheese, half an avocado, and some spicy salsa. Served with some french press coffee with half&half and sugar.

I don't do low-fat and I don't do fake sugar.

This was seriously so amazing and I hope to eat it again soon. 

Can we also take a moment to appreciate my amazing photography skills? 

Just kidding...I know I need to work on that but first I need to work on taking more pictures since I never seem to have the pictures I want to talk about what I want to talk about. 

Speaking of food...

I was finally able to go to the new poke place in town on Sunday and it was worth the wait. So. Good. I have no clue what's in that bowl since I went a little crazy, but it's a lot and it was the best one I've had since Hawaii and it was cheaper than where I usually go. If you're ever in Orlando go to Big Kahuna's. 

Does anyone else think my arms look huge compared to my head in the picture on the right? I look like Arnold Schwarzenegger about to crush that bowl like a tiny little ant. #swole

I bought this onesie at some point during our girl's night out last weekend and forgot about it until I received the shipping notification.

I have zero regrets.

Zero.

I hope you all have watched the above creepy animation guy's video that's been on Facebook all week and if you haven't, look it up. It's amazing. Then scare all of your friends with snaps using his face. Just make sure you listen to the entire video with sound since it really gives you the full experience. 

This was me before and during my workout on Monday morning. I had to go into work early and this required me to wake up at 4:45 to get my workout in. Hence me looking even worse than usual in my before picture. But I was pretty happy during my workout and even had to get a selfie with the man himself, Tony Horton. I know some people who do these workouts can't stand him because he talks and jokes around the entire time, but I love it!

Speaking of knowing famous people...

You may not know this about me, but I'm pretty much friends with The Rock. He, Jack Black, and Kevin Hart were in Hawaii filming Jumanji 2 at the same time as us AND they were in the same jungle, probably less than a 1/4 mile from us while we were hiking one day. 

Yes, we may have tried to do some stalking and find him, but it was impossible to track him down. Which made me sad. But since we were in such close proximity to each other, I have decided that makes us friends. So I'm friends with The Rock. Don't be jealous. 

At one point we were driving from going snorkeling and drove past Turtle Bay, which is a pretty common place for movies to be filmed in Hawaii and we saw the sign in the picture. After seeing it a couple more times we realized that it was code for where they were filming that day. 

#imsocool

The toddler tantrums are real and constant in our house right now. As I've mentioned in the past, I'm pretty sure Jules is already going into her Terrible Two's, and since she's only 14 months old, this means she's super advanced for her age. So I'm going to go online and brag about it and make other mom's feel bad that their kid's aren't already being assholes at 14 months.

Or don't take half of what I say seriously because what the crap? Where did my sweet baby go and can I have her back? I'm sooooo not ready for the constant tantrums. She even tried to smack my face while pissed off the other day! WTactualF?

Now onto the sad stuff...

My cat is sick and I don't know what's wrong with him. We actually have 2 cats, but this is my OG cat that I got 8 years ago to keep my dog Sebastian company. Scooby is such a cool cat - seriously. First off, his name is Scooby Doo, so he had to be super cool and he has certainly lived up to that expectation. He is more like a dog than a cat, he's super affectionate and vocal, sleeps on or around my head every night, and loves me unconditionally. Except for when he wants me to stop petting him; then he tries to kill me. Just like my dog, Scooby has been around for a lot of crazy life stuff and never hates me or judges me for anything other than leaving his food bowl empty.

I'm terrified that something bad is wrong with him, so please say some prayers or send me some happy thoughts if you don't pray. 

I'll be heading to the vet after work to find out what's wrong with him, and then I hope I get to take him home and it's not anything serious. So think happy thoughts. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Quick & Easy Weeknight Dinners

Hello, friends! For the first time ever, this will not be a picture heavy post, because I apparently don't ever take pictures of my dinner - again #iamtheworstbloggerever

Look at me, I worked out this morning. Not even just a normal workout but I ran this morning, which anyone who has read my blog semi-regularly will know I've been struggling with recently. I just don't have the motivation to run right now - every other workout is fine and dandy, but running is dumb. But I did it! I even kind of enjoyed it when I wasn't hating it! I also did Ab Ripper X, which is the hardest ab workout of all time. Go me!

Today I am going to post some of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes. Some of them are actual recipes and some of them are things I just came up with that happen to work. I'm not going to include calorie counts, since I honestly don't count my calories, but if you really want to know what the calories are in a recipe you can go to myfitnesspal and input the information there. To add the information you will click on food --> recipes --> and then input the recipe information or URL. When you do the method where it pulls the information for the recipe from the URL, you do sometimes have to change out the ingredients because it will pull over wacky things that don't make sense. So make sure you review what gets pulled over. And also be honest with yourself on how much a serving size should be since I know I usually eat 1.5-2 servings of anything I make #keepingitreal

Now when I am planning our meals for the week I typically look for two things - they need to be healthy to semi-healthyish and they need to be quick. 

I'm talking food is ready in 30 minutes or less quick

There was a period of time where I would Google and/or Pinterest easy meal ideas/meal plans but those recipes always ended up being way more complicated that I like during the week. When I say quick and easy I mean minimal ingredients and as little prep time as possible.

So without further adieu, here are the most used quick and easy weeknight dinners in my rotation.

Tacos

We have some variation of tacos at least once a week. We will usually make 2-3 pounds of the meat and then have leftover tacos another night that week and sometimes Jason and/or I will eat the meat for lunch as well (with cheese, veggies, and rice or potatoes, for the win). 

I like to use ground turkey for the meat - I think it's tastes better than beef and it is lower calorie/fat. This way I can add a ton of avocado, cheese, and sour cream and not feel like I'm gaining 2 pounds from one meal. I don't like to use the seasoning you get in a packet since it has tons of added crap on top of the spices, so I use this recipe. It's super easy and you can make it in bulk if you want to have extra on hand! 

I typically pick up some crunchy shells, sour cream, fiesta blend cheese, avocado, and tomatoes and we all chow down. This is Jules and Justin's favorite meal and bonus - Justin can make it so I don't have to!

We've also recently started eating fish tacos, which we all are seriously loving as well. We use tilapia (dirty fish, but cheap) or cod, use the same seasoning and toppings, and then make this sauce for the top. Oh and we use soft shells for the fish tacos because we all like soft better for fish. YUM!

 

 

Air-fried chicken breast/thighs/drumsticks

Guys, do you have an air fryer? If not, you need to get one. This thing has changed the way we make dinner and made our lives so much easier. Living in Florida, it gets super hot. And we don't leave the air down except at night, so turning the oven on at all makes the house so much hotter. Not only does the air fryer make it so we don't have to turn the oven on, but it also makes our food taste so much better.

My favorite thing to do during the week is to take the chicken breast/thigh/drumstick, lightly brush on some mayo, dip in seasoned panko breadcrumbs and throw in the air fryer at 380-ish for 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temp of 165. We usually serve with rice or macaroni and cheese (Annie's that I buy in bulk here) and usually broccoli or normandy mix veggies. Super easy, fairly healthy, and delicious. 

Chicken sausage

I love chicken sausage and usually eat it several times a week for lunch and/or dinner. I will usually pan fry 1-1.5 links and serve with rice, broccoli or asparagus, and Trader Joe's sauerkraut on the side. The sauerkraut is key. 

If you are thinking about doing this, I highly recommend you get chicken sausage that doesn't have nitrates or nasty fillers. Aldi's, Walmart, and Trader Joe's all have an awesome selection that are priced really well and taste delicious. My personal favorites right now are the Chipotle chicken sausage from Aldi's and Garlic chicken sausage from Trader Joe's. Yum yum in my tum tum. 

Spicy chicken thighs 

Chicken thighs are my favorite cut of chicken since the flavor and texture are way better than chicken boobs (in my opinion). I will often melt some butter (3 tablespoons or so), use an equal amount of Frank's hot sauce, add a ton of minced garlic (like 2-3 heaping tablespoons), mix together and dump over some chicken thighs, and then bake at 425 for about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165. 

I will usually serve with rice or macaroni and cheese, broccoli or mixed veggies, and sauerkraut. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy (which movie is that from?!). 

And when I'm super lazy...

I make my son throw some chicken nuggets in the air fryer and we eat them with macaroni and cheese and a veggie of some sort. This usually happens every 1 or 2 weeks when I just cannot even that night and it gets the job done.

Do any of you have any quick and easy weeknight dinners I can add to my rotation? Quick and easy are the key words there...being somewhat healthy-ish is a bonus!

I would like to conclude by making an announcement.

Jules is... 

apparently entering her terrible 2's. What the crap?

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I don't remember what she was screaming about in the above picture, but I'm pretty sure it was something ridiculous. Like she couldn't get the finger puppet to stay on her finger. Or I took my cell phone from her. Or she didn't like that we wouldn't let her roam the downstairs freely with a sword or throwing stars or something like that.

I did manage to get her to calm down and color for a bit before she lost her shit again when she didn't like dinner. #weareinsomuchtrouble

 

 

I hope you all have a great day!

Thanks for stopping by!

Being a Law Enforcement Wife

Happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend. I don't know about you, but my weekend seemed short as a mother! Short like this mother, anyway - I'm 5'4", which I guess isn't really that short, but it sure seems that way when Jason or Justin put something on the top shelf in our kitchen and I have to climb onto the counter to get it!

Before I jump into the topic at hand, I thought it would be fun to do a quick weekend check-in. Jason was working this weekend, which means we ended up having a pretty low-key weekend, which was nice after having a pretty crazy past 3-4 weeks. 

First things first, I was not a hypocritical bastard on Friday!! I actually ended up doing my workout Friday around 7:30 after putting Jules to bed.

*virtual high-five with myself!*

That filtered-to-all-hell-post-workout-glow though #sohot

I'd also like to share my pre-workout snack from Friday with you guys, since I'm sure you've noticed that I'm a pretty big health freak...

Yes, that is Cap'n Crunch with Crunch Berries cereal. This crap is filled with all of the artificial coloring and flavoring, and I'm pretty sure there are even trace amounts of trans fat in there. Still, I love having a small bowl of cereal before a workout and Friday's workout was a leg workout so I knew the sugar would help me have an awesome workout.

PSA:

It gave me heartburn, so I don't recommend Cap'n Crunch pre-workout.

 

Saturday morning Jules and I woke up bright and early for a run, but had to take the dog for a walk first. Our dog is a 7 pound Shihtzu/Maltese (Shitese? Maltshit? Not sure what the designer dog name for him is...). Jules loves walking Jax and while he's not a huge fan, he tolerates it. 

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Jax is the perfect sized dog for her and he never pulls her or knocks her over. He's a really good boy when he's not being a jerk. 

Now if only Jules would help me pick up his crap too. 

After walking Jax we went on a 3.5 mile run and then kept it pretty easy the rest of the day before going to Jason's aunt and uncle's house for dinner (I forgot to take pictures of the food, but trust me when I say it was delicious) #worstbloggerever

We had nothing planned on Sunday (WOOHOO!) so Justin, Jules and I got up early to go to the grocery store, making a quick stop at the park for some swinging beforehand. Speaking of grocery stores, does anyone else go through phases with the stores they go to? Right now I'm on a pretty serious Trader Joe's kick, which is fine because I love Trader Joe's and they have awesome food. A few weeks ago I was hitting up Aldi's on the regular and before that it was Lucky's. I always go to Walmart for the bulk of our shopping, but hit up these other stores for meat and the random cool crap they have because I have a snack addiction and need all the chips. 

This brings me to the subject at hand, which is being married to the law. 

First off, if you had told me 20 years ago that I would be married to a cop, I would laugh in your face and walk off shaking my head. Shoot, if you'd told me 5 years ago that I'd be married to a cop I would have laughed at you. I'm a bit of a rule breaker and cops terrify me. 

But then you fall in love with someone and get married and that person just happens to want to be in law enforcement and now look at me, I'm the wife of a law enforcement officer.

He looks smoking hot in uniform, btw.  

We are only in our first year of this career change, but I can tell you that it's been a huge learning curve for all of us as a family. Working full-time with a teenager and a baby certainly don't help (although I'm sure it's just as crazy for SAHM's, just a different crazy). That being said, here are the tips that are keeping us afloat-ish. 

Be flexible. 

One of the things I learned almost immediately is that you have to be flexible. Jason works the night shift and his schedule is different every week. He's supposed to get off of work around 6, but sometimes doesn't get off until 8 or later, depending on what happened while he was on shift. When he does come home on time, he can help me get the baby ready for daycare and get out the door to go to my job but I can't rely on that happening since we never know what his shift will bring. 

Additionally, Jason has worked almost every holiday in the past year except for Christmas. We celebrated Thanksgiving the Saturday after the actual holiday and I got crunk while playing Guitar Hero with my kids for New Years Eve. Jason worked both Justin's and my birthday, but we made a point to celebrate both on a different day. You can't get stuck on the date itself - you have to be flexible and celebrate the day, not the date.

Have a schedule. 

I really enjoy being spontaneous sometimes, but with Jason's schedule we really can't do that anymore. Almost everything is scheduled based on whether he's working or not. Our weekend plans and vacations have to be more thought out than they've ever been, and our daily routine has to be scheduled almost to the hour in order for things to work. We even have a shared family calendar on Google that we are all able to access and change, so we can keep track of shifts, extra duty, appointments, dates, etc.  

To make things a bit easier I always go to the grocery store one morning of the weekend to get everything we need so I don't have to make any stops during the work week, and I plan all of our meals for the week prior to going so we get exactly what we need. I know that I have to be awake and out of bed by 5:20am (preferably by 5, but I'm a snoozer) in order to get my workout in before work. I know that I won't be able to do my workout after work, so getting it done in the morning is key.

That being said:

Make time for yourself

Jason works long hours and sometimes picks up part time work on his days off, meaning he's not home anywhere near as much as he used to be. This means a lot of the daily activities to keep the house up and running fall on my shoulders, which can be a huge responsibility sometimes. In order to keep my sanity I have to take time for myself. This includes my workouts in the morning, but I also try to take time a few nights a week to sit down and veg out on the couch for at least an hour after putting the baby down for the night. I also make it a point to take time to paint my nails once a week, since this makes me feel like a lady... 

Let it go (you're singing it now, aren't you?)

This applies to so many facets of our life. Jason and I both like certain things in the house to be clean, but different things (he hates clutter and I leave clutter all over my side of the bed/night stand, but I hate clutter on the kitchen counter and loathe dirty floors and toilets). We have both learned to just let things go when it comes to the house being spotless all the time. We clean when we can and when we can't, we can't. 

This also applies to fighting. Jason and I get along 95% of the time, but just like anyone else we do fight sometimes. However I never know for sure that he will come back from his shift when he leaves for work - that's the reality of the gig. So when he leaves we always make it a point to kiss and say I love you and in doing this, we tend to get over whatever we were upset about sooner. 

Make time for each other (we're still working on this)

One of my goals for 2017 was for Jason and I to have a date night once a month. I know we never made it out in January, but we went out a couple of times in February so I think we're on track to average a date a month so far this year. We've both acknowledged that this is something we need to make a bigger priority though. When we don't make time for each other, we start to nitpick and argue with each other more and that leads to insecurities and issues that probably don't even really exist. With all of life happening it can be really hard to find time, but once the kids are out of the house and we've retired we will need to be best friends and it's imperative we still like each other in order to do that!

Enjoy the time you do have together (put the phone down)

This is something I've gotten really crazy about myself and after nagging Jason enough, he's started to see the importance as well. I make it a point to put my phone down and away when we're spending time together, both as a couple and as a family. I may even have my phone more than he does now since I'm always trying to remember to take blog pictures (and failing 50% of the time, SORRY!). That being said, I try to snap a few pictures and then I put my phone away, since I want to remember the experience of what we're doing, not the pictures of the experience. I even force my teenage son to give me his phone when we are all hanging out so he gets in the habit of being present. 

If you need it, get help.

They say the divorce rate among law enforcement officers is higher than the average population, and I can definitely see how it's more difficult being married to the law than a regular citizen. However Jason and I both agree that we're in this for life and will fight for our marriage as hard as we need to, including going to counseling when/if we feel it's needed. Don't be ashamed to get help!

(don't judge my amazing outfit in these pics - aka, don't be jealous of how awesome it is)

Be each others #1 supporter

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I think this is important in all marriages, but especially important in ours. Jason knows that I support him in his career and that I want him to be happy and successful. Even more, he knows I believe in him 100% - he can truly be/do whatever he wants and I am proud of him for doing such a difficult job. And I know that he appreciates all of my contributions as a wife/mom/boss lady and he makes it a point to tell me he appreciates me/what I do on a regular basis. 

I remember when Jason first told me he wanted to go into law enforcement on a city/county level and I went online to look for some resources and experiences and all I could find were people griping and divorce statistics - SCARY! I hope this post is able to help someone out who's finds themself in the same boat as I did. I'll probably update this as I learn more and we get better

That wraps things up for me today. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

 

 

Fri-yay - Flashbacks, Fitness, and Food

Happy Friday, friends!

As I'm sure you'll all agree, TGIF! Please hit subscribe below if you'd like to be notified any time I post anything new!

A lot of my posts in the past week or so have required me to dig through social media and find some old photos, which has led to a lot of reminiscing on my part. So I thought I'd do some quick Flashback Friday stuff which will consist of some really old flashbacks along with some more recent stuff and then end with my fitness and food thoughts for the week. 

Look at these young kids! I was only 30 (he was too)! This was taken in NYC a little over 4 years ago, when we went to see Mamma Mia for my wifey's birthday and brought our men with us to torture them with ABBA songs - it was a test of their love. Jason and I had only been dating for about 3 months and I was getting ready to leave to move to Florida soon after and our future was kind of in the air at that point. How cuuuuute. Oh how life has changed in the past 4 years! (for the better, obviously)

My skirt on Monday. Rocking the raw hem look - it's a new trend, look it up. Orrrrrr I was running late and grabbed it because it was on the floor and forgot that I'd noticed the entire hem had fallen the week prior and threw it on the floor so I wouldn't try to wear it before getting it fixed. But I wore it anyway and faked like it was a trend and pointed it out to everyone just in case they thought I didn't know it had happened. No one cared but me, but that's usually how it goes, right? #myownworstcritic

So there was this one time in 2010 during my last semester of college where I had just donated my eggs and was having a bit of an existential crisis (not because of the egg donation itself, but probably related to the hormones they pump you up with). So I decided Justin and I needed a break, booked us a flight to Orlando that left several hours from when I booked it, and we went to Disney World. For a day. Just one long and craaaaaazy day in Disney. Justin being the awesome kid he is just went with the flow and we actually had a really great time. I remember being shocked by how expensive Disney tickets were that day and they are probably $20-30 more a day now. 

Regarding the egg donation(s), I will post an entire blog about that soon, since I'm sure it's something people might be interested in finding out more about. I am a 6-time egg donor!

Moving on to banana face...

Ridiculous.

Now for some Flashback Friday Shenanigans, featuring Justin and me!

Some quick thoughts on the above shenanigans

  1. There is booze in a lot of my pictures *shrugs*
  2. Can my arms please look like the picture from Lollapalooza again? Sure, I was like 25...but come on. 
  3. Rock and roll!!
  4. How straight can my haircut possibly be? Also, go Cubs!
  5. Yes, Justin wore just his underwear for the majority of his life from 4-10.
  6. Awwwwwwwwwwww <3
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How about that time I ran a 5K when I was 24-ish and got 2nd place in my age group compared to running a 5K when I was 34 and getting 1st in my age group while stomping my 24-ish aged time in the face? So suck it, age!! Like a fine wine, I keep getting better...ish.

This is the evolution of emotions I experienced yesterday morning before/during/after my workout. I was sad because I was tired and didn't wanna do it. Then I was mad because I actually got my non-running-butt outside and was ready to run 4 miles for the first time in months when it started to freaking thunderstorm 10 minutes into my run (homie don't do lightening, kay?). However I decided not to let it ruin my workout and finished my workout with 25 minutes of HIIT and a 5 minute core workout, which made me happy. #endorphins

Enough with the flashbacks. I don't even know if anyone really cares about them other than me, but unless someone says something, Imma keep 'em coming!

Fitness & Food

Workouts this week:

Sunday - rest day

Monday - P90X Chest & Back

Tuesday - 3 mile run, 5 minute core workout

Wednesday - P90X Arms & Shoulders

Thursday - 10 min run, 25 min HIIT, 5 min core

Friday - SLEPT THROUGH MY ALARM >:-/ I'm either going to do my workout tonight (fat chance OR I'll have to make it up on Saturday)

Saturday - P90X Legs & back, 3 mi run, 5 min core

Food this week (just dinners, since breakfast and lunches were all over the place)

Sunday - Corned beef & cabbage

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Monday - Mexican after Disney

Tuesday - Steak, macaroni salad, & asparagus that my dad and Tracy made #yummy

Wednesday - Burger & tator tots from Oblivion Taproom (best tator tots on Earth)

Thursday - Fish tacos that were so good and pretty effing healthy, so 1 out of 7 ain't bad, right?

Friday - Pizza night

Saturday - We want to get wings, but looking at my eating all week has me second-guessing that idea...

Wow, I've eaten like crap this week!! This was one of those weeks where pretty much nothing went right food-wise. My dad was in town Saturday - Wednesday morning and we went to Disney World on Monday, so I knew that time frame was going to be a loss. And I had a going-away party Wednesday night, so I knew that day wasn't going to be perfect. But I ate really well yesterday and will be careful not to go crazy this weekend. And guess what, I still managed not to gain anything since I ate well the times I wasn't eating like crap (don't think about it too hard...it makes sense). Having a lot of fun with food the past 3 weeks or so due to having people in town nonstop has been great, but I'll be happy to get back into 5:2 next week and start really working to get this last 8 pounds of baby weight off. And if you've been reading regularly you may have noticed the "x" pounds of baby weight changes on the regular. I've been hopping between 5-10 pounds that I still need to lose - right now I'm at 8. Not sure why I felt the need to explain that, but I did and you read it. So there. 

That about does it for today, folks. I hope you all have something super fun planned. Or not, if you want to be lazy like I plan on doing. We have had visitors for the last 3 weeks, so I'm looking forward to lazing around, getting some cleaning done, and catching up on my stories. 

Have a great weekend!

Thursday Truthin' & Pregnancy Workouts

Alternate title - that time I was almost 18 weeks pregnant but didn't know it...

But first...

BABY SELFIES!!

I gave Jules my phone to keep her busy while I was making myself breakfast this morning, and this is the result #drool

Today we're going back in time - to the spring/summer of 2015, to be exact.

In the early spring of 2015 I went off of my combined hormone birth control (Yaz, which I loved) and got an IUD. The reason why I stopped taking Yaz is because I would get hormonal migraines with aura, which are extremely dangerous and greatly increase your chance of having a blood clot if you're on the combined pill. Soon after switching birth control I noticed I was gaining weight, having increased skin issues (zits), hair loss, melasma, dry/itchy scalp, and my periods were no longer regular and due to this, I ended up having the IUD removed in early April and started the mini-pill in May. I also went to my OB/GYN and PCP to get full exam, since I knew this wasn't normal - plus, I was really upset with the weight gain - I'm talking 10 pounds in 6 months, even though my eating and exercise were on point. So this is early May and the doctors both run blood tests and my lady bits doctor does an ultrasound - the ultrasound showed that I had what looked to be PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is the #1 cause of infertility in women) and the blood test results "confirmed" this, with increased testosterone levels. So my OB/GYN and PCP agreed that I should continue the mini-pill and take metformin and progesterone supplements to try to manage my symptoms. And they both told me that I would have a difficult time trying to get pregnant again in the event I ever did want to have another baby, and it is highly likely that we would need fertility treatments. My husband and I talked things over and decided we were okay not having any children of our own (plus Justin is pretty dang cool) and we could just travel and have lots of dogs and we were fine with this being the hand that was dealt to us. 

By this point, I was already pregnant. 

However I had no clue - the doctor did not catch it on the ultrasound, I'm assuming because I was only about 3-4 weeks into the pregnancy when I had it and it was too early to get caught by the blood tests. I only had about a 2 week gap between my IUD and the mini-pill where I was birth control-less...and it was enough. 

So Jason and I traveled and had a ridiculous amount of fun that summer.

We took an epic road trip all over the Midwest and New England, stopping and staying with most of our family along the way. We went to a Cubs game, had a wedding reception with my family and friends in Illinois (since we eloped), went hiking, eating, drinking, running, etc. I had stopped taking the metformin due to it making me sick (little did I know it was actually morning sickness), but I took the progesterone supplement as prescribed and even had a what I thought was a period in early July. 

I was working out like crazy and seriously watching my macros, but could not lose any of the 10 pounds I had put on. As noted above, I had some slight morning sickness May/June, which led me to stop taking Metformin and I could not stand the smell or thought of brussel sprouts. Finally I had bloated up to the point I could not suck my stomach in and after breaking down to Jason, I decided it was time to go to the doctor to confirm it wasn't anything serious. He even said that if I'm having such awful symptoms, maybe I should look into getting a hysterectomy (some women with PCOS do this, but it's not a cure by any means). I even took pictures and posted it to an exercise group I belonged to on Facebook, asking if anyone had experienced this and thought maybe it was a food allergy/intolerance or something (I was 16 weeks pregnant). 

Being pregnant never crossed my mind, since I'd been on birth control, was told I wouldn't be able to get pregnant without intervention, and all of the symptoms I was having can be caused by having PCOS. My OB/GYN totally freaked me out when I got to my appointment and stated she was worried it might be ovarian cancer and wanted to do an ultrasound. As I was laying down in the ultrasound room, she came in and said "I'm happy to tell you that you don't have ovarian cancer - you're pregnant" - they did a dip stick when I first got there. And my entire world flipped upside-down.

I called my mom first, since I didn't want to tell Jason over the phone and of course, she was thrilled. Then I told Jason and was so happy to see just how thrilled he was. We even picked out Julianna's name within the first 2 hours of finding out (we thought all the other "J" girl names either sound like strippers or mean girls). As I mentioned in another blog, Justin was not thrilled to find out, but I knew it would be fine. 

Except then I started thinking...

I had been living my life like someone who was definitely not pregnant. I'd been doing intense HIIT workouts/running/lifting extremely heavy weights and actively trying to lose weight. I had been eating sushi and ham and oysters and hot dogs all summer long and had been drinking beer and tequila almost every weekend. I was already 17 weeks pregnant and knew this was potentially a devastating thing and started beating myself up immediately. 

How could I not know I was pregnant?

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What if something went wrong with Jules? It would be all my fault (and yes, I still think this sometimes and worry, but she is 100% healthy and striving so far so I try not to worry about it too much). Due to my cavorting around and the fact that I had pre-eclampsia with Justin, my doctor classified my pregnancy as high-risk. We had a super intense ultrasound called an anatomy scan with the high-risk OB/GYN scheduled for when I was 20 weeks pregnant, and in the meantime I was told to eat well and stop exercising until our appointment. Meaning I had to wait around and "what-if" for 2.5 weeks without any outlet. I was so worried, I didn't tell anyone at work or friends and family just in case something was wrong. During this time I started really feeling Jules move around (I'd felt her around 16 weeks but thought it was just indigestion, you know...since I didn't know I was pregnant yet). I was really starting to feel the love for this little lady and I was terrified something was going to be wrong. And then we went to Sanibel Island for a long weekend when I was 18 weeks pregnant and Justin and Jason got to feel her kick, which got everyone a little more excited about her. However I couldn't enjoy myself until I knew she was okay. 

The relief I felt after our anatomy scan at week 20 cannot be described - I was finally able to enjoy my pregnancy as much as one can enjoy a pregnancy, anyway. I'm pretty sure I'm the opposite of the glowy, happy pregnant chick - I just sweat and complain the entire time. And with the blessing of the high-risk doctor, I was able to start working out again - woohoo!

So now we move on to the workouts I did, with my doctor's blessing, while pregnant. 

I am not a personal trainer and this is just what worked for me. You need to speak with your doctor and get cleared before doing your own workouts/routines, whether pregnant or not. 

Unlike the rest of the time, I did not follow a workout schedule while pregnant - well, once I found out I was pregnant anyway. I seriously listened to my body and if I was too tired, I didn't workout. However for almost the entire second half of my pregnancy I did a mix of different workouts 3-4 times a week. 

First, I bought this workout, based entirely on the high ratings and number of reviews on Amazon. I did it fairly regularly for a few weeks, but started noticing that I was having a lot of hip pain and back pain during/after the workout. I ended up going through the 1 and 2 star reviews one day and found that a lot of people had the same issues with this workout, so I stopped doing it and felt better immediately . 

After stopping that workout I ended up buying this barre workout from Suzanne Bowen. I absolutely loved this workout and did it through my 39th week of pregnancy (the picture on the left is me after my workout while 39 weeks pregnant) and I also did it a few times postpartum. I would do these barre workout 2-3 times a week, again, just depending on how I was feeling. 

I absolutely loved doing barre workouts and actually did them (just not pregnancy-style) 3-4 days a week for about 6 months postpartum. I should probably start doing them again...what's another workout to add to my schedule, right?!

I also tried to do cardio on the regular while pregnant, incorporating both T25 and Turbofire workouts 1-2 times a week. Again, I'm not a beachbody coach - I just like their workouts. And yes, that is my 6.5 month pregnant self doing a kick of some sort while trying to look all cool and badass. I wasn't really feeling the cardio as often while pregnant, so I didn't do it as often as I usually do. That and all of the Oreos I ate are probably at least part of the reason I managed to pack on 40 pounds (oops). Oh and don't forget about the Christmas cookies. Oh, and the Publix chicken wings, which were my #1 craving...along with watermelon Sour Patch Kids. And blackberries with a heap of whipped cream...

I know a lot of people will walk for a workout while they're pregnant, but I honestly did not do a lot of walking. I had some sciatic nerve pain that would rear it's ugly head in my left ass cheek/lower back whenever I'd walk for any extended period of time. Plus, I was traumatized fairly early-on in my pregnancy by people at work making fun of me for waddling - probably around 5 months pregnant, way before I was actually waddling.

Moral of that story?

Don't comment on anything potentially negative to a pregnant woman. Don't do it. The only thing you should say is they are glowing and look much smaller than "X" months. Take this advice, my friends. 

Moral of my entire blog?

If you are feeling super weird and having issues with weight gain and nausea and are of a child-bearing age, take a pregnancy test. Even when the doctor says you won't be able to get pregnant. Just in case. 

Now I want to know from you, what's the worst thing someone said to you while you were pregnant? Everyone made it a point to tell me I was huge and looked tired as often as possible. Like daily. So that was fun.

Have you ever known anyone or experienced finding out about pregnancy as late as me? Please tell me this constant guilt will go away...? Or is feeling guilty and worried all the time just the whole being a mom thing?

Thanks for stopping by!