Friday, July 05, 2013
I have not been as active here on Sparks as I initially was - but, that's because thanks to Sparks, we have been waaay more active as a family and not sitting around home in front of the computers much any more! Here is our campsite near Glenwood Springs the weekend of June 14th - 16th. There were 7 of us on this trip. It was a hike-in site with winding trails up a fairly steep incline - and it was 100% worth the workout. Gorgeous! We also did a tour of the caves, which I would have missed out on in the past trying to avoid that 127 step climb down into the bottom of the caves and then back up. I didn't have to miss out on anything this time!
Last weekend, June 28-30, we went here, to Guanella Pass in CO: This time it was back country camping at +10,000 ft. with 11 people, no established campground, tons of hiking in every direction and the most incredible scenery. We explored, built a bridge across a fast-running stream and even heard growling (or elk snorting) in the night (that was a tiny bit scary!) My entire family has the bug now after seeing our pictures. Our next wilderness venture will include another 7, giving us a total of 9 adults, 9 children (ages 1 - 14) - 18 people on the "get moving this summer" wagon! Gonna need a bigger supply tent!
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
April, May and June are big birthday months in my very-close family! We get together for any excuse, and birthdays are no exception. I made it through three birthdays in April without going over my daily calorie limit! Last weekend was my babygirl niece's 1st birthday and we threw a huge party - and I managed to love every minute of the party, and skip on cake for the fourth birthday in a row! The very next day - this past Monday, was MY birthday. What a fantastic birthday - and what a fantastically supportive family I have! They made me a "cake" out of a fruit and veggie tray, with candles and all. They got me the Fitbit Zip that I have been wishing for since I started this journey, and an adorable little lunchbag for carrying my lunches to work (no more plastic shopping bags - yay!)
For anyone who is just starting out, look for people who love you enough be your cheerleaders along the way. It makes all the difference in the world.
I am one year older, and I feel 10 years younger. Loving life!
Saturday, April 27, 2013
I keep trying to explain to people how completely different it all feels this time. I have done the diet-and-fail thing countless times. I would set a weight goal, spend a few weeks to a couple months denying myself everything I perceived as "bad", or trying to deny myself and stumbling until I would finally give up. Why? Well, because I was "trying" and didn't see progress. That's because the only gauge I gave myself for progress was that one number - that weight goal that was way off in the distance and I couldn't seem to get to fast enough.
This time, I don't really have a specific weight goal. I put a number in, but the real goal is to become healthy and active enough to keep up with my own desires! To be able to live life to the fullest. That's my fire. But, I have learned that you don't get to just snap your fingers and have your fire. A roaring fire takes time and work.
So, this time I am measuring progress in a realistic way. Each healthy choice is a piece of kindling. Each walk, each ten minute workout, each cardio session is a gust of air igniting another spark into a flame. Each successful week is another flicker of those flames catching the edge of a log. If I stumble - that's just an opportunity to re-position the foundation of the fire and keep it going. Sure, the end goal is the bonfire of life - but, I have discovered that I am really proud of myself for figuring out how to build a fire and keep it going. That's the real long-term reward.
Monday, April 22, 2013
So, yesterday I sat and entered in our old taco recipe into the recipe maker. Yikes! At 387 calories and 27.6 grams of fat PER TACO, it's no wonder I have an extra person to carry around! I was eating for two for years! Haha...
I transformed the recipe with some really easy substitutions. Lean ground turkey instead of 80/20 ground beef, cut the meat amount in half and add more lettuce (exchanged iceberg for a mix of romaine and spinach for flavor and nutrition sake), more diced tomato, switched to 2% shredded cheddar and cut the amount of cheese down to 1/4th of what we used to use and finally - swapped out sour cream for Chobani plain greek yogurt. 186 calories and 8.3 grams of fat per taco. Delicious!
They will still be the once-in-awhile treat they always have been, but much like my boys and I, they are a new, healthier version with more life to them now! It is just as easy to transform your life with healthy substitutions as it is an old recipe that needs a change.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
So, week one down - and wow, what a week! It was a week ago today that I saw a photo of myself and didn't even recognize myself. A lot has changed in just a week. The biggest change is in my mindset. When I look in the mirror, I don't see the woman in that horrific photo. I see a fit, active, healthy woman. And, she is buried in there - but, I was pretending that she was enjoying the happy life she wanted, when in reality she was trapped. It was rather a shock to get punched in the gut with the reality in picture form! But - boy - did that mirror of lies need to be broken!
Like so many people I'm sure, I have always approached weight loss from a mentality of restriction, focused on what I would be "denying" myself. Not this time! This last week has been one happy whirlwind of new flavors, discoveries.
Breakfast doesn't have to include three courses and a swing through drive-thru - who knew!? I *like* salmon and greek yogurt (not together, eww)- who knew!? A salad for lunch IS enough - who knew!? Healthy food actually DOES have flavor - who knew!? My muscles do still have the ability to burn - who knew!? I can say 'no thank you' to the marketer at work walking around handing out breakfast burritos and she won't be offended - who knew!?
I was terrified that this would end up like every other time. It won't; I know that now. I have my boys and the Healthy Family challenge to thank for that, in part. But - this is a whole new mindset. This isn't a diet. This isn't about a pair of jeans or a swimsuit. This is me, discovering that I really, really LIKE living a healthier lifestyle, that I miss being active a LOT and that this really is not that hard if you run straight at it with excitement and enthusiasm. Life is all about how you tackle the obstacles.
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