Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It was good

I survived Christmas. The anti-wheat diet had to take a vacation. It just had to. I ate quite a lot of very naughty food. But I can still fit into my pants, so I guess I didn't do too much damage.

My brother and his family were here from Nebraska and it was so nice to see them. Dave is one of the only people in my family (besides me) that has a passion for fitness. And it's nice to talk to someone who shares that interest. He is a P90X fan. He recently started running again but it hurts him so bad from all the running he used to do in his younger years. His knees and ankles will never be the same. He likes weight training and plyometrics so it's fun to hear the kinds of workouts he does and share "secrets" with one another. He is 46 and he has an incredibly demanding and stressful job. It wouldn't be uncommon for him to put in long hours. But he's fit. "I'm too busy to workout" is not his mantra. He makes fitness a priority. That's passion, that's dedication. I'm so proud of him for it!

I am SO excited to start my January challenge. It's always nice to have something to look forward to after Christmas because it can be kind of a depressing time. All the excitement and anticipation is over and it's back to life as usual. So, for me, it's good to know I have that coming up.

As of now, it's been about a week since I've done anything as far as a workout goes. I've been super busy running my tail off getting ready for our big family Christmas. We hosted this year and I think there were around 25 people over. It's always a lot of work to host for a crew that big, but I love it. I'm thankful to have a home big enough to fit us all comfortably. It was one of the things that drew me in when we were house hunting, I knew it would be a perfect holiday home.

My cold is almost a memory. Only a slight cough lingers in the morning hours. And thankfully my back is just about back to normal as well. My body really just needed rest. And I am giving it 100% rest this week. Only lazy days ahead! I'll be able to start up in January fresh and ready to hit it hard again. Just the way I like it!

I guess I probably won't have much to blog about during the next week. But check back January 1st and follow my next challenge! 25 days of change! I can hardly wait!

Friday, December 16, 2011

cauliflower crust pizza

Cauliflower is really my go-to vegetable. Not only is it tasty, it's very versatile. You can eat it raw, steam it, turn it into "rice" or "mashed potatoes"......even pizza "crust".

This is pizza I made for dinner tonight. The crust is made out of, yep, cauliflower. I never would have thought to make a pizza crust from a vegetable but I guess when you don't eat wheat, it forces you to get creative.

Another recipe I took from the "Wheat Belly" book. Although, I'm not going to share the recipe because I don't want to get into trouble sharing all the author's recipes. I'm pretty sure he'd rather you bought the book ;)

So much flavor packed into this meal. I put pizza sauce, red and orange bell peppers, scallions and black olives on mine. And mozzarella and parmesan cheese, of course. I think that if I play with cooking times, temperatures and the type of pan I use, I would be able to get a more crust like texture. This one resembled a frittata - more spongy. But really not bad for my first attempt.

Eating for health does require a little more effort, but these recipes have proven that it certainly doesn't have to be boring or bland!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Flax Wrap Sandwich

I have been kind of whiny lately. I apologize sincerely for that. There is nothing more depressing than listening to a whiny, pessimist downer of a person, drone on and on about their problems.

So...this post will include no whining. I promise. And I will try very hard to be more positive and upbeat in the future.

Today, I tried something completely new and outside the box for me. I made a flax wrap. In the microwave. With very minimal ingredients. I'm talking, ground flax, eggs, spices, baking powder and water. It was phenomenal! I stuffed it with avocado, alfalfa sprouts and melted havarti. Yum!

Look at the beauty that is this homemade wrap! I think next time I make this, I will add meat of some kind. Canned salmon or tuna, perhaps?

I found the recipe for the wrap in the book "Wheat Belly". I am still on a wheat free diet (5 days now!) so this wrap was almost like getting to eat a bread product! Truth is, I haven't missed bread yet. Or cookies. But I honestly feel like a hefer eating all this FAT! I'm seriously bloated. I think I'm eating too much. I'm so used to eating every 2-3 hours, and so eating all this fat, I shouldn't need to eat so often. I guess it is something I'm going to need some time to get used to.

I really don't see myself on a wheat free diet for life. I would just miss certain things far too much. But maybe this experiment will make me change my mind in the long run. We'll see...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I think the last post I wrote was about a book called "Wheat Belly". I have since finished the book and am currently on day 4 of my own wheat free experiment. Let me tell you, it isn't easy. And that is coming from someone who didn't eat tons of wheat before. Well, I did, just not all the time. I usually would go in cycles with my wheat consumption (things like bread and cereal). Not intentionally, more this way - if I had a box of cereal, I would eat it. If I had Ezekiel bread in the freezer, I would toast it. And, of course, sometimes I would consume wheat without even realizing it. A lot of products contain wheat.

Take out wheat from your diet and you become aware of how much food it is actually in. Then it leaves you wondering - what's left to eat? Then, take out all the other starches that the author of this book says would be beneficial to people looking to lose weight or are diabetic, and you are really limited. If you think it's hard to imagine a life without bread, think of a life without bread, potatoes, rice AND oats! For me, that just isn't going to happen. And it doesn't have to because I neither need to lose weight or am diabetic. So I will continue to enjoy my potatoes, rice and oats. But I am still trying wheat free.

Like I said, I am on day 4. I can't believe how much fat I am eating. And I'm wondering if my body doesn't like it so much. I mean, it's really not used to eating so much fat (even healthy fat). Since I've cut out all wheat, I am eating more way more fat in the form of cheese, nuts, seeds, oils, avocado, etc. And yesterday afternoon I got a horrendous headache and my whole body started to ache by the end of the night. I felt like I was eating way too many calories and despite not having any starches, my belly seems to be distended. Maybe all the cheese is bloating me. I don't understand why I put my body through such extremes sometimes, but after reading all the horrible things modern wheat does to you, it seems worth a try to eliminate it from my diet. I know that what I'm going through is probably withdrawal symptoms and will eventually fade. I didn't really think I would go through withdrawals because it didn't seem to me that I ate all that much wheat to begin with. But, probably more than I was aware.

It doesn't really help that I'm not quite feeling 100% better from my last cold. I still have a nasty, phlegm-y, rolling cough that makes me sound like a 50 year smoker. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever go away. I still can't bring myself to do sprints on the days that they are scheduled because by the end of my looooong weight training session, I am just too exhausted to think of 30 minutes of sprinting. And so, this final month of the fit trainer is not going how it is supposed to go. I am finishing out the weight training portion (sans sprints) so the fat torching isn't going to happen. But I need to do something to finish out the year. Then, depending on how this wheat free diet goes, in January I still plan on attempting the 25 day fat blasting. When I am finally rid of this cold/cough, I will re-do the last phase of the fit trainer. This is my tentative plan.

The only thing that I am unsure of right now is if I am over my wheat withdrawals by January, will I be able to do the 25 day diet, with all the cheat days? Do I really want to reintroduce all that crap to my body again and have to go through withdrawals...again? Plus, I will probably have awful gastrointestinal problems when I do. That's why I have to kind of wait it out and see how it goes. If I can truly say goodbye to food cravings once and for all after eliminating wheat from my diet, I don't know why I would want to go back. Cheat day or not. Because being free of food cravings would be so wonderful. I struggle with cravings, even after eating clean for weeks or months at a time.

It seems to be a waiting game at this point. Waiting for my body to heal. Waiting for Christmas to be over. Waiting for the end of the fit trainer. Waiting for wheat withdrawals to end. Waiting for my body to stop resisting change. Waiting. Waiting.....

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wheat Belly

Have you heard of this book? I just got it yesterday and started reading it. It's quite the eye opener. If you have food cravings, chronic pain and extra weight that you want to rid yourself of, I strongly recommend reading this book!

I am not even half way through this book but already I am ready to start a wheat free diet. The thought seemed ridiculous to me at first. But it doesn't anymore.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Before I begin, thanks again to my dear friend Amanda for such encouraging words! I am not going to quit over Christmas, that would be so dumb! Muffin top gone in one week?! WOW! What kind of protein bars do you eat? I know if I could just cool it with the starchy carbs, I would see a total change. I'm trying....
Oh, and thanks for the salmon dip recipe! I tried it yesterday and even though I wasn't super crazy about it, I did discover that I LOVE canned salmon! Whoo hoo! Never tried it before, so it was a nice surprise. Something different than tuna for a change ;)

I'm almost feeling human again! Last night, after having dug into the Hershey's kisses with almonds more times than I care to admit, I decided to do sprints. I suddenly had so much energy (from all the sugar?) so I cleaned my bedroom and then thought "hmmm, I think I feel good enough to get some sprints done." And it was going to be a test, to see if I had a coughing attack or if I could handle it.

Turns out, I could handle it. Not only handle it, but totally ROCK it! I did 30 minutes and it felt easy. I could have gone longer but I didn't want to over do it. It has been two days since I've done any weight training. But only one full day of absolutely nothing. That isn't so terrible. Today, mom and I are going to squeeze in a gym workout between her doctor and hair appointments. It will be odd being there at lunch time.

My back is still a bit sore from Monday but not nearly as bad as I feared it would be. So everything seems to be falling into place again. I still have a rolling cough of course, but I have energy again and feel more like myself. Now, if I can just keep my hands out of the candy dish....

I've been wearing the same pair of jeans all week. It's a pair that I have never been able to wear comfortably. They were always so tight. Now, they are one of the most comfortable jeans I own. I have had them probably 10 years and just now can wear them with ease. It seems so unreal to think that right now, I am the smallest I've ever been in my adult life. My body has a different composition though. I can tell that my butt is different...slightly rounder. Because pants that I used to wear when I lost tons of weight after my 3rd child still fit me, but seem tighter in the butt area. And I'm ok with that, because the last thing I want is a pancake butt.

As far as measurements go, I don't know what it is, but I never feel they are very accurate. They seem to stand still, YET I fit into my clothes better. So I must be doing something wrong. I like to use my jeans as a measuring tool. Weight....haha. This is another strange tool of progress measurement. I was complaining of being at 107 not long ago. A couple days ago I was 114. That's a 7 pound fluctuation! I'm used to seeing 3-5lbs difference, but 7???

Anyway, I'm happier today since feeling like I'm "back". And I'm comforted to know that the last time I did sprints at the gym and it nearly killed me, I was getting sick. So, it was good that I took some time off.

I have faith that I will reach my goal by summer. Faith is trust. I trust that God will give me the knowledge and strength I need to get there.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." - Hebrews 11:1

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Making my mama happy

I took a "sick day" today. And I'm taking one tomorrow too. My mom couldn't be happier. She has been trying to convince me for days to take a break from working out. She even called me this morning to tell me that she wasn't going to pick me up and take me to the gym because she thought I needed to rest. She is driving lately because #1) my van won't start - engine troubles #2) it is the surest way to get her to the gym every day.

It is reeeeeally hard to do nothing. I have rested ONE day and already I feel as though I'm setting myself back. I even feel fatter. I know it's all in my head, but still, the mental part of this game is just as big a player as the physical part. I'm wondering if I should just take the rest of the week off and start over with week 10 next week. I will be all screwed up if I don't. Plus, then I will have a good chance at getting over this bug. Actually, I've even toyed with the idea of scraping the rest of phase 3 until after Christmas, seeing as how it's been so difficult to stay out of the Christmas goodies. No matter what I decide to do, after Christmas this house is going to be completely devoid of junk food. I'm going to have 4 major sugar addicts going through some serious withdrawals, BUT, it's necessary. It'll do them good.

I plan on doing Joel Marion's Extreme Fat Loss 25 day diet when I'm done with the fit trainer. I know it's super hard core with shake days and fasting days, but it's on 5 day cycles and every fifth day you get a cheat day to eat whatever the heck you want. Sounds like heaven! I'll gladly go through a fast day to get a cheat day ;) The training that goes with it varies depending on the type of day. So like on the fast days, the training focuses on lactic acid for maximum calorie burn (or so I've read in reviews). I haven't actually read the manual yet. Anyway, it sounds scary but I want to try it.

The fact that I can hardly stand to take a day off from exercise without extreme guilt and worry really proves the grip it has over me. I would almost call it a sickness. I'm sure a lot of people would agree that it's a tad unhealthy from a mental standpoint. But I just can't help it. I know I'll never be able to stop because just one day off sends me into a hole filled with self loathing and despair! I'm powerless to stop caring about body image. There are people who don't care at all about sagging body parts and their expanding waistline. They just figure, it's all part of aging. For some reason, I just can't not care about it. I don't feel ready to look like I'm "aging" yet. My soul is still so young and I figure my body should look as young as I feel.

I have a goal. And it's set pretty high. Having a goal like mine requires a lot of extreme behaviors. I guess in a way, it has to have a grip on me in order for me to reach that goal. It might really torture me mentally at times, but I look at it like a job. There are a lot of career driven people in this country. People that want to rise to the top have to work long and hard to get there. And there are sacrifices along the way. For the career driven person, the sacrifice might be time with family. For me, the sacrifice is certain foods. But the reward at the end will be so sweet. You are willing to work for whatever is important to you. As the saying goes, if it's worth having, it's worth working for. And that saying is part of what keeps me sane. My mind may be a mess of doubt, frustration, longing and cravings but the one thing that keeps me going is the image of what I'm working toward. And it IS worth it.

Call me sick. Call me vain. Call me selfish. Call me shallow. Call me stupid.

Then add...

Dedicated. Committed. Devoted. Strong-willed. Passionate.

Monday, December 5, 2011

sick :( - Week 10 day 64

Turns out, I'm not as invincible as I thought. It took a lot of guts for me to admit that. Really, it did. I actually said that to my husband last night and he said, "Yeah, and it's nice for the rest of us to know it too."

I don't know if I never really got over my last cold or if Emma reinfected me, but this one is bad. I wake up at night drenched in sweat. I have a deep terrible cough and when I do any exercise which gets my heart rate up, my chest seems to just burn. I have little energy, yet I drag myself to the gym because I am so afraid of a setback. Although I know better. I know I need to give my body a few days to heal and get well. I don't think I'm really doing any good at the gym anyway when I can't give it 100%.

I did go to the gym this morning and tried my best. I had quads and calves. But since I did calves yesterday, I skipped them. The rest of the day I'm just going to relax. Really.

Yesterday I did shoulders/triceps/calves. I didn't feel well then either, but I went. Didn't go until about 2pm. And when I got home about 4, I felt even worse.

It's a low carb day today (officially). I'm going to try my hardest. I forgot to weigh and measure this morning. Will do that tomorrow.

I also messed up my lower back today. First exercise of the day. Leg press. Not sure what I did. But I think it was when I was pushing the weight to the very top of the machine and I lifted my butt and back of the cushion to get it up far enough to put the safety on and BAM. Who knows how long that is going to effect my workouts now. I'm a mess, huh?

Because it is the Christmas season, and I seem to be so focused on what I sometimes feel are selfish petty things, I want to turn my focus on Christ for a moment. I've found a lot of comfort in the words of the Bible lately. "Do not be afraid; for see - I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people; to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord." Luke 2:10

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


This past week sure didn't go as planned. I'm feeling a little bummed about it. Low calorie/low carb for me is SO hard. Tomorrow I should be stepping on the scale to find that I've lost a pound, or see some smaller measurements. Instead, I fear that I will be unchanged. And I know exactly what I've done (or not done) to make it an unsuccessful week.

This time of year is THE WORST time in the world to be on the strictest portion of a training plan. I'm supposed to be cutting calories and carbs while baking holiday treats.....right. In a way, I guess it helps being on a rigid plan during the holidays if nothing else, to prevent weight gain. But I would like to enjoy my holiday goodies. I am so torn between the baker in me and the fitness freak in me. They seem to have a tug of war so often. Most of the time the fitness freak wins.

Since I already knew this week was shot, I indulged in some freshly baked gingerbread cookies today. And I had to put the Nutella on top of our cabinets, waaaaay back in a corner where I could only reach it if I got out a step stool and where I couldn't see it. I have been into that jar more than once this week. I was doing SO good for such a long time and now I'm back to wanting sugar. I know why too. I haven't been drinking my green shakes. I've been lazy. They really do work. Low carb just wasn't a success this week either. I've been eating carbs in the evening, even right before bed which is a no-no.

I wish my husband would be a source of support during these difficult times, instead of telling me to eat up. No matter how much I beg and plead with him to try and understand how important it is to me, he just doesn't seem to care or think it's necessary that I put myself through these extremes. This can be a lonely journey. That is why this blog and my online support system is so important to me.

Mom called me at 10am this morning to see if I was ready to go to the gym. We had decided the day before to go a little later. But I was still in my pajamas, sitting on the couch, coughing and trying to summon enough energy to get dressed. So she told me she thought I should just rest today. I have a cold, and it wouldn't hurt me to take a day off. Fine. I will relax today. HAHAHAHA! Want to know how I did at relaxing? I cleaned the house all day. I don't know what's wrong with me. Even when I plan a day to relax and just lay around and take it easy, I can't. But right now, it's 8:30pm and I am listening to Christmas music in a dark room filled with cozy candles and Christmas lights twinkling. The house is clean, the laundry is done and I am completely at ease. The only thing that could make it better is if I had a fire going and it was snowing out.

Tomorrow was supposed to be a rest day but hopefully I will feel well enough to use it as a make up day for today. I would really hate to miss a shoulder workout!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Day 61

I have got a cough....again. I just can't believe it. As soon as I felt that "feeling" in the way back of my throat, I started taking zinc daily again. I am always taking vitamin c, so the combination of the 2 should give me a little defense. And hopefully it doesn't get worse.

Yesterday was a training day without sprints. I had hamstrings, glutes and calves. Today I had back, biceps, abs and sprints. However, I thought I would save myself some of the agony and left sprints for tonight. Maybe I will do them, maybe I won't. Or maybe I'll just do 20 minutes instead of the whole half hour. It all depends on how I feel. On one hand, I want my body to focus on healing. On the other hand, I only have 2 weeks of sprints (6 more sessions) so I really don't want to miss any.

Today at the gym, a gentleman that we see just about every morning, came up to me and asked me if I was a professional athlete or competed. HAHA! I laughed and said NO! "Because you do some pretty rigorous workouts. You do it just to keep in shape?" And I said, yes. It was a nice compliment. Although I would love nothing more than be within reach of competition shape. Because if I was, I would compete!

When my mom watches me at the gym, she thinks I'm killing myself. To her, and almost every other single person who knows me, I'm in good enough shape already, so why torture myself with these grueling workouts and deprive myself of things I wish I could eat? But they don't see me undress in front of my mirror, with the sun shining in on every lump and bump. They don't see my sagging butt or the saddlebags that exercise just doesn't seem to touch. They don't feel the hopelessness I feel at times, knowing how hard I work, the effort I put into my workouts, how hard I try to eat right, yet STILL have the same issues I started with years and years ago. Nothing frustrates or saddens me more.

True, I have seen changes in my body. All that I've done to improve my fitness and the look of my body HAS worked. It's just so painfully slow and the changes seem so small, that it sometimes makes me wonder if it is worth the trouble. This is what I go through, again and again. Self doubt. Frustration. It's an old reliable friend of mine that's always by my side. And it's just one more thing that I have to work hard at: squashing it. Even now, in the midst of some good changes, I allow myself to feel that doubt. I need to quit examining myself in the mirror every single day - that's what it is.

It seems like such a small and easy task, losing 4 pounds of fat. But it's nothing short of a miracle for me, seeing as how I have been trying to do it for months! I have lost, but I'm not entirely sure that it's been fat, since I see no improvement in the condition of my thighs. Sigh...

I saw a picture on Facebook the other day of a person holding a big blob of blubber representing 5 pounds of fat. The caption on the picture said something like: you could add this to your body over the holidays. It was pretty disgusting. And it was a LOT. More than I had imagined 5 pounds of fat to look like. And as I look over my flabby thighs and butt in the mirror, I try to judge, based on that picture, how much I would have to lose to see nothing but definition - no more jiggle. And it doesn't seem to me like it's even 5 pounds. Of course, the problem is that I can't pick and choose where the weight is going to come from when I lose it. If I could, I would have met my goal ages ago. No, it comes from all over. A little here, a little there, but never much from where I've got a lot to spare.

And as I get smaller and smaller, weigh less and less, my calorie demands also get smaller and it seems as though I wouldn't eat enough to keep a bird alive to be in a calorie deficit. I know EXACTLY what they mean when they say the closer you come to a goal, the harder it becomes. I wish that excess fat would fall off me like it did after my 3rd child. Once I started exercising and eating better, the weight melted off me faster than I ever could have imagined. I loved stepping on the scale week after week and seeing the number get smaller and smaller. What a feeling! And I wasn't working near as hard at it as I am now.

I know I am on the right track. I'm training religiously. I'm eating the best I can (being human means I slip up now and then). I'm taking supplements. I'm getting sleep. I'm consistent. Sooner or later, that bitch I like to call the universe, has GOT to cut me some slack. I think I'm deserving of it. I think it's about time. There isn't a whole lot more I can give to this cause. But believe me, I would give everything I own, if it would help me get there.

Today was a "down" day for me, could you tell?? haha...