Another Day, Another Case of Strep

I promised to remain accountable to you and I have not, but not for the reasons you might imagine.  I had been doing surprisingly well at staying on the diet/exercise regimen.  I just haven’t had time to write about it because once again, we are battling illness here in the Just home.

Last week really was a great week, so long as you only count Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  I was doing great on my tracking, hitting my numbers and working out hard at class.  Then Wednesday, I got a call from the school nurse telling me to come get Peter.  It was strep and I was out Thursday and Friday.

Some day, I really need to learn how to be motivated to eat right, even when no one is watching.  Because I have not done great since Thursday.  Part of it is knowing the trainers won’t see my food log; part of it is feeling stressed/sorry for myself because I’m taking care of a sick kid.  And a big part of it is pure exhaustion.

It’s weird.  I have been just plain worn out all weekend long, and yesterday I fell asleep for FOUR HOURS!!!  In the middle of the afternoon!  Then I went to bed at 9:30 and was asleep by 10:30!!!  This morning, I felt good, but by this afternoon, I was so tired, I took another nap – this time for two hours, and here it is 6:15 and I feel like I can hardly stand up.

In fact, I am sitting.

But that’s beside the point.  The bottom line is that this isn’t like me, and I’ve suspected for a couple of days my body was trying to fight off the strep virus.  My fear is that my sore throat that is developing is indication that I’m losing the battle.  But I’m not going down without a fight!!!

So in other news, I weighed in on Sunday and had lost a little more weight, bringing my grand total to 25 lbs.  Not stellar given how long I’ve been at this, but when you think about what weighs 25 pounds – Brad says my Kitchen Aid mixer is 25 lbs – it brings it into a better perspective.

In other news, I’ve been encouraged to purchase a pair of pants I cannot yet fit into, as encouragement and a way to judge how much weight I’m losing.  I ordered said pants and they shipped today.  I ordered my first pair of non-plus sized pants to own in many, many years.  I even ordered down a size (14) because the ad said they run big and to order a size smaller.  We’ll see how it goes – more information forthcoming…depending on how I feel after I try them on.  🙂

How YOU Doin’?

Well.  So here we are again.  Me, at my computer.  You, well, wherever you are.  It’s destiny.  Either that or the internet – I’m not sure which.

So I actually wrote a blog post on my iPad while putting on my make-up and drying my hair today (I’m an excellent multi-tasker), then came over here to post and it and discovered that hey!  I wrote almost the EXACT SAME POST about a month ago!  So I was hit with a dilemma – do I use the old post or the new one?  Of course, being the recycling hero that I am, I knew I couldn’t just throw out the old post.  I had to use it.  So here it is – then I’ll tack the new post onto the end.  See?  Now you get to read the same boring stuff TWICE!!!  Bless your heart.

Well, here it is anyway – written January 21, 2013 and saved from the “drafts” folder:

Hi.  It’s me, Britany.  I mean, it’s really me.  Not a copy of a post I wrote back in September – I’m actually writing a REAL blog post!  In case you haven’t been paying attention, I’ve been re-posting my blog posts from September that I put on a different site, in order to sort of catch everyone up on this whole boot camp thing I’ve been doing.  So far, you’ve read all the way up to September 16th.  Which means what you are reading is pretty far removed from reality.  And since I have stopped writing posts on the other blog (my intention was to consolidate the two here), I think it’s time to be honest about how I’ve been doing now that we’re halfway through January.

The short answer is not great.  It’s been a really tough month and a half.  See, from the time I started working out until early December, I hardly missed a day.  That meant I was exercising 5 days a week and being held accountable for what I was eating every day of the week. (Despite not being at the gym Saturday or Sunday, on Monday the trainers randomly pick from Friday, Saturday or Sunday and you have to be ready to read off everything you ate that day).  But in early December, Brad got sick – really sick – with what our doctor labelled a “flu-like virus”.  He then told us that the flu wasn’t here yet (our pediatrician said he was wrong) so he didn’t actually test Brad.  I got a milder version of it from him, then one of the kids got sick so in the end, I was out two weeks prior to leaving on our cruise December 22nd.

After 2 weeks of dealing with sick people, all my resolve to eat well and exercise on the cruise went out the window.  (I did try to run on the track once, and actually accomplished 2 miles of darting around people taking pictures from the most scenic place on the ship.  I think it was something like 17 times around equaled 1 mile. And there was a mini-golf course in the center of the track, so it was like running the school track during a football game.  Not my cup of tea.)

I thought I would get right back into the swing of things upon our return, but in the car on the way home from Galveston, Samuel started having coughing fits that were so bad, he even threw up at one point.  So we got back on Saturday and were at the doctor bright and early Monday.  This time our doctor said Samuel had the flu – even though he said it was pointless to test him since his symptoms matched.  He was sick the entire week of New Year’s, but since Brad was home, I was able to get back to the gym three days that week.  However, I didn’t have my food because, if I’m completely honest, I didn’t want to admit that I was not back on track with my eating yet.  We didn’t even make a trip to the grocery store until the kids were back in school!

(Corey, our trainer, gave me grace the first day I told him I didn’t have my food.  The second day I did 50 push-ups and the third day I did 100.  By Monday, my food journal was up to date and ready to be checked!!!)

With the kids back in school, I was ready to really get serious about losing weight again.  Then Matthew got strep and was out for 3 days week before last.  Last week, the nurse sent him home from school with similar symptoms but the doctor said it was allergies.  Still, I missed a day for that.  And finally, last Thursday Brad came home from work sick – again – and this time tested positive for the flu.  Yesterday, Samuel started running a fever and that brings us up to today (we have an appointment for him this afternoon.  They want to see him because his fever was spiking at almost 105 in the night.)

Honestly, I think the last time we were all this sick was when Peter started Kindergarten.

Regardless of how sick we have been or are going to be, however, the bottom line is this: I’ve been using it as an excuse to eat whatever I want.

If you’re wondering why it ends so abruptly, see the part where I wrote Samuel had a 105 degree fever.  In case you’re wondering, he had the flu as well.  Then I got it. And then I slept and so I don’t remember much except that I haven’t been exactly stellar at working out and eating right.  Which brings me to the post I wrote this morning:

I have something to confess.  I have been avoiding you.  Not you literally – I’m actually not even able to tell who you are.  McGee on NCIS would know everything about you, down to when you took your first step and where you were when you got your first kiss.  All in the time it takes Gibbs to say “McGee!” and McGee to answer “I’m on it boss.”.

But I digress.

What I was trying to say is that I have been avoiding the blog because I don’t want to admit out loud that I’ve fallen off the UBS wagon.  UBS, for those who may not know, stands for Ultimate Body Studio – not Unlimited Boy Solutions, like I first thought.  No, I didn’t really think that.  I actually couldn’t remember the name at all for the first few months.  I have always just called it the gym, because my mind can usually find that when searching for it.  UBS is too hard for it to dredge up usually.

I’m clearly still avoiding. {Deep Sigh}

Here’s what happened.  I joined, with a real goal in sight – our Princess cruise over Christmas 2012.  And I lost 20 pounds plus a lot of inches and gained a tremendous amount of energy and confidence.  Then I came home.  And found myself without any kind of goal, and a whole lot of sickness in the house.  Then the sickness left the house, but I didn’t start back at the gym regularly.  And I didn’t start eating right at all.  I just couldn’t seem to make myself care.

I mean, the trainer/owner of the gym, Ron Lyons, keeps telling us to imagine swimsuit season, imagine being at the pool, etc. And I’m all like, really?  Because the only pool we will be visiting is the community pool, and I couldn’t care less who sees me in my swimsuit there.  It’s usually just some neighborhood kids swimming unchaperoned anyway, even though the sign CLEARLY STATES children are not to swim without a parent in the vicinity – and sitting at your kitchen table drinking sweet tea is not considered in the vicinity!!!  Just had to get that off my chest.

Also, I don’t mean to seem ungrateful but after I lost 20 pounds, I sort of stopped and thought about all that HARD WORK and began to wonder if it was really worth it.

I mean, yeah, sure I climbed that RIDICULOUSLY TALL pyramid in Belize, and conquered a major personal fear in the process (climbing a pyramid in front of a bunch of people watching.  What?  Did you think I was going to say heights?).  And yes, I wore my swimsuit in front of a LOT of people on the ship when I took Samuel swimming one day.  That was all nice, but was it worth it?  And what if we don’t go anywhere or do anything this summer – which is totally normal for us.

So it has taken some time and introspection, but I think I’ve found my true reason for going through all this pain everyday.

Simply put, it’s because I’m supposed to.  I can’t explain all the theology behind it – well, I could actually, but it’s not important – but for me, it’s about simple obedience.  One foot in front of the other.  Once choice about what I’m going to eat.  Then the next one.  One step, then another, never worrying about all the other possible things that could happen or question all the whys every day.  It’s just. about. doing. it.

So, with that, I’m going to commit to you that I will try – really try – to be honest and keep a better record of what’s happening with all that in real time here on the blog.  I will consider you my accountability partners.  Whoever you are, wherever you are and despite where you were when you got your first kiss. (Mine was standing before God and man at the altar on my wedding day.  Not really, but I can pretend.)

So.  There it is – the good, the bad, and a whole lot of ugly all laid out for you to read at your leisure.  And so I will end this with one final thought.  I had my cheat meal yesterday, so I can’t have another one all weekend long.  And now that I’ve put it here, I have to stick by it.



Week 3 Is IN THE BOOKS!!!

[Originally posted September 14, 2012]

I don’t know what’s wrong with me.  I feel giddy – and I never feel giddy.  But just a few hours ago, I survived completed my 3rd week of boot camp.  AND I just finished texting Brad on the plane – he will be home in just a few hours!!!  WOOHOO!!!  AND a cold front has come through, and we are FINALLY cool enough (yes, it is September 14th!!!) to wear pants instead of shorts!  I’m actually not sweating, which is awesome.

Oh, and did I mention that it’s the weekend???  ‘Cause IT’S THE WEEKEND!!!!

Okay, so I actually am not posting just to celebrate how happy I am.  I’m posting because something very, very strange has happened regarding hummus.

In July, when Ryan and Jillian were staying with us, I think they were a little horrified at the way we ate (as well they should be, since I’m a little horrified in retrospect).  At some point, Jillian offered me and the boys hummus on a cracker.  Some of us tried it, including me, just to be polite, but honestly, it was tasteless.  Not one of us even finished our cracker.  I remember thinking at the time, why would anyone eat something like that when they could be eating any number of things that taste so much better???  Like a plate of tortilla chips, loaded with refried beans, melted cheese, and hot sauce???

Fast forward to the first week of this program.  It was Wednesday, and I HURT all over from the exercising.  I was also feeling a bit sorry for myself, so I made myself a plate of nachos exactly like the one I described above.  And I ate it, thoroughly enjoyed it, then washed it down with 2 cans of Coca-Cola.  I decided that would be my “cheat meal” for the week and almost had to do sit ups for not planning it in advance.

Well, I have not touched nachos since then (obviously), and frankly would not consider wasting my precious cheat meal on them again.  I guess they just don’t sound so delicious anymore.

And – here’s the main point I’ve been getting to – I decided to try hummus again this week and LIKED it.  So much so, that today for lunch, I spread it on light flat bread, put some turkey on top and sliced up 1/4 of an avocado and rolled it up into the most delicious sandwich I’ve ever tasted.

I knew my taste buds would change over time, but I never dreamed it would happen so fast.  I am truly amazed.

So tonight is my cheat meal night (PLANNED) and you know what I’ve been craving for 2 weeks???  One of Scotty P’s salads with buffalo chicken on top.  Is that crazy or what?  That’s what I would have considered health food just a few weeks ago, and now it’s my CHEAT MEAL!!!  Loving.It.


“Before”: Taken August 2012

After 3 weeks of UBS

After 3 weeks of UBS

Not A Good Sign

[Originally posted September 13, 2012]

I was feeling very down about this whole process, especially since learning on Monday that the diet I will be on for the next infinite number of weeks is basically a modified Atkins Diet.  The Atkins Diet is my worst nightmare – high protein, very little carbs and fats.  I have, for most of my life, survived on pretty much nothing but carbs and fats.  And I have always disliked meat.  Sooooo, how will I make this work, you ask?  The answer for the moment is Protein Shakes.  Around 4 a day, if I’m doing it right.  Ugh.  Reminds me a lot of that summer I was in college, doing Slim Fast with my best friend, Kim.  Remember Slim Fast?  A shake for breakfast, a shake for lunch, and a sensible dinner?  I did lose a LOT of weight that summer, but I think it had more to do with the fact I was taking Tennis in the middle of the hot Texas summer and snacking on only fruit and drinking tons of water.  But one thing I remember more than anything was how sick I got of drinking those shakes and watching everyone around me eating whatever they wanted for dinner, while I tried to enjoy Sbisa’s salads.

So as this week has progressed, and I have worked and worked to get enough protein into my diet while keeping the carbs and fats at bay, I have become pretty discouraged about the whole thing.  Then this morning I woke up with a pretty big case of the “poor me’s”, and I know myself well enough to see this as a big danger sign.  When I start to feel sorry for myself, plus feeling trapped like I do by the restrictions on my eating, I start to rebel.  And that’s a pretty scary thing, given who our trainers are!  People who rebel do lots of extra exercises, and that’s the LAST thing I need right now!!!

So what to do?  Well, first I need to own the fact that I CHOSE THIS.  No one put a gun to my head and made me sign up.  And no one is forcing me to go to class today.  It’s a choice, I’m a grown-up, and I can choose not to go if I want to.  That’s number one.

Second, I am going to have to keep in mind WHY I chose this.  I am not doing all of this – changing my eating, working out, etc. – for anyone else but myself.  I am doing this so that I will have more energy, be able to climb stairs without getting winded, be stronger overall.  And that’s not just about exercising – it’s about eating better and embracing the entire program.  I need to trust that these people know what they are doing, regardless of the fact that I have only lost 2.5 lbs as of today.  After 2.5 weeks.

And please don’t tell me that muscle weighs more than fat.  I know.  It’s just that after making SO MANY changes – drinking lots of water, eating so differently (healthy foods) and doing these ridiculous work outs 5X/week, I expected the scale to show some sign of change.  I know I’m changing because my energy level is starting to increase oh-so-slightly and my clothes are fitting a tiny bit better.  And I climbed stairs on Sunday and wasn’t as winded.  And really, it’s not about the numbers.  I am not THAT NUMBER.  I just have to keep reminding myself of that today.

And perhaps tonight would be a good time for me to reinstate the gratitude journal I started last week.  🙂

Water Smater

[Previously posted on 9.2.2012]

I was just reading someone’s Facebook update and ran across a link to a blog called Preventative Patti that I hadn’t heard of before.  Since I’m still in the early stages of my health food journey, I thought I would take a quick look.  Something I read was astounding, to say the least:

Drink a lot of water, more than you think! Our body is made up of mostly water and so many times we mistake hunger for thirst! Drink at least half your body weight in ounces per day (or more than that if you are super active).

Let me start by saying, I knew our body is made up mostly of water, and I knew we needed a LOT of water to be healthy, especially when we were exercising.  In fact, I have been drinking more water in the first hour after I exercise this week than I used to drink in an entire day.  I carry a 16oz. bottle with me – I take 2 to class – and down 64oz per day pretty easily (4 bottles).  I thought the formula was 8X6 (48, if my math is correct) or if you were breastfeeding, 8X8 (64).  So I was shooting for 64, even though I am MOST CERTAINLY NOT breastfeeding.  I thought 64oz was being generous.  And one day, I drank 80oz and felt extremely self-righteous about my achievement.

But half my body weight???  Is she kidding?  Again, my math skillz aren’t great but I think that is 130 oz.

130 oz. is approximately 8 of my 16oz. bottles.  EIGHT. BOTTLES. IN. ONE. DAY.

I think, just for kicks, I’ll try it.

I may have to camp out by the bathroom, but if I feel better afterward, I might decide she’s right.

I doubt it.



[Originally posted 9.1.2012]

I have been thinking about how to get in shape and lose weight for a long time.  I’ve tried a variety of things: Curves, Weight Watchers (both online and meetings), various online “bootcamps” and memberships.  Over the years I have been a member at a variety of gyms, including Lifetime Fitness and Lady of America Fitness. I have tried the Couch to 5K app, I’ve tried interval work outs, I’ve tried walking the dog every morning, going to a nutritionist, weight loss pills and doctor supervised weight loss.  I’ve even tried Wii Fit.

Clearly, nothing has worked – at least, not long term.

I had begun to  feel like some sort of anomaly, someone who simply can’t lose weight through the “normal” avenues.  Then I read a book last year that caught my eye at Mardel’s.  It’s called “Made To Crave” and the author is Lysa Terkeurst.  It’s the story of how this woman – a public speaker and head of Proverbs 31 Ministry – tackled her own battle with food addiction and getting healthy.  Reading that book made me realize that 1) I’m not an anomaly and 2) the battle is mostly in my head.

I think that’s was where God begin to make some headway in me, in regards to this issue of my weight.  Prior to reading that book, I was in some sort of denial.  If you could have convinced me to talk about my weight and nutrition (or lack thereof), I would have told you the lie I was telling myself: I’m okay with how I am.  It’s my life, it’s my choice and I’m good with that.

Deep down, though, I knew I wasn’t good with that.  For one thing, I have always been very judgmental of women and their bodies – which seems strange, I know, coming from me – but it’s true.  I have always had a pretty ugly internal dialogue going on with myself in regards to my body.  No matter how I tried to suppress it, it was always there.  And anyone who judges themselves harshly – no matter how they look on the outside – usually judges others just as harshly.

So at some point – about a month or so ago – I read a blog entry from Lysa Terkeurst in which she challenged her readers to take the time each morning to read one Proverb a day for a month.  I decided I could do that much.

Wow!  What an eye opener.  Day 1, I read this:

(Wisdom is speaking:)

“For the waywardness of the naive will kill them,

And the complacency of fools will destroy them.

But he who listens to me shall live securely

And will be at ease from the dread of evil.” Proverbs 1:32-33

I was so moved by this – especially the part about complacency – I wrote it on a piece of paper and taped it on my mirror in my bathroom.  I read it every morning, and it says the same thing to me every time – complacency destroys.  I have been complacent about my weight my whole life, and it is destroying me.  Little by little, it is lowering my life expectancy.  It is wearing out my internal organs and destroying the cartilage in my knees and ankles.  In time, I will not have the ability to do even the little I do right now, and I’m already impaired.

Plus, my parents are taking all of us on a cruise over Christmas, and having just been on a cruise to Hawaii over Thanksgiving last year, I know a little bit about what to expect.  Cruise ships are big and require a LOT of walking.  There is a lot to do, and it can be a blast if you have the energy to do it.  The beds are already small and uncomfortable, so being big and tired all the time isn’t exactly compatible.  The food on our cruise was a disappointment, so if you are going on a cruise to eat, you should just stay home and go out to your favorite restaurant.  The best part about a cruise is being with people you love, but if you are tired and feel sick from overeating the whole time, you will not be able to enjoy them, and that will become a huge regret.

Not to mention we are going to a cruise in the Caribbean, so a lot of what we will do will involve swimsuits.

So I am going through a pretty major life change.  I’m getting honest with myself about my choices.  I’m “breaking up” with food.  Food and I have been in a long-term relationship, but it’s been an unhealthy relationship and I’m ending it.  It’s not going to be easy, because I love food and food has been my source of comfort for most if not all of my life.  But not anymore.

And I’m also taking the health of my muscular system seriously and if that means spending an hour a day pushing myself past where I was the day before, then (deep sigh) that’s what I’m going to do.

Even if it does hurt.  A LOT.

Today is Saturday and I decided not to go to the “extra” work out, but I know I can’t go three days and then expect to pick it back up where I left off on Tuesday.  I’m going to have to do something besides just watching what I eat between now and then.  I’m going to have to (another deep sigh) exercise.

Just thinking about it hurts.  Better go start before I change my mind.