Monthly Archives: January 2011

Weekly Goals Jan 31st- Feb 6th

So how did I do over the past week??  GREAT!!!!

The Goals were:

  1. Two strength training/core work: 1 Yoga, 1 Pilates at least 30 minutes each! – switched this up a bit by doing one pilates for 30 minutes and then two 30 day shred workouts! (So I added an extra core/strength!!)
  2. Running 3 days- complete Week 4 of C25K program and track distance/times…complete each program-no stopping! DONE and with flying colors.  Significantly cut out walking times and upped the speed!!
  3. Track all food and do not use activity/extra points DONE and even blogged about how I had left over points+ on my ‘treat day’ I ended up with the following point totals left over for the week (my daily value is 29) Weekly Extras– 49 (none used) Activity Points -20 (non used) Extra Daily Points- 43 (never carried over anyways).
  4. Journal/Blog everydayDONE- made sure to address any issues I had, write about them, and try to find a good balance!!

So now for the new goals!!!

  1. Read my daily teachings everyday to help keep me calm and more relaxed
  2. Complete C25K week 5- even though the last day seems  a little hard
  3. Enjoy a FULL day for my family, having fun and enjoying each other’s company
  4. Do 2 Shred workouts, 1 yoga workout
  5. Practice my moderation eating, don’t police myself too harshly!

What kind of goals do you set for yourself?  Are you able to stick to goals you set, or are they too hard to attain?  What is one weakness you would like to overcome?

Sleep through the static…

…Or at least live through it and learn from it!

So weekends are hard, I usually mention that I get one day a week to hang out with my Hub!  He has officially become totally adjusted to the 12 hour night shift which means he is up all night and then needs to sleep half of the day in order to function.  It is great he is adjusted, but it makes it really hard for us to hang out because I feel so badly for making him stay awake!  Saturday night I was really tired and just felt worn out.  The Hub wanted to hang out back because night is when he has his energy (it was too cold for me) and I wanted to lay down to watch a movie because my 4am wake-ups leave me with NO energy at night.  It was a battle of the sleep routine and it ended in a battle of the wills :(  Luckily, this is the last week for night shift so this weekend will be A LOT better (not to mention we have our ‘Pancakes and UFC‘ this coming Sunday)!

I woke up at 4:50am (of course I did!) and tended to the Youngin’.  James and Eric had a sleep over in the tent they put up in the backyard (no, thank you…again, way too cold).  I cleaned, did dishes, started laundry, scrubbed the floors and then had the Youngin’ back down for a nap by 6:55am..what a pathetic energetic start to a relaxing Sunday!  I made some gluten free pancakes and an egg beater omelet for fuel before the gym.

I woke the boys outside to let them know I was on the way to the gym for my run (C25K Week 5 Day 1).  I was given grief about ‘making them come inside’ but I felt I deserved a trip to the gym since I was up through out the night with the Youngin’ AND up at 4:50am with him….so, I went.  It was great!!!!  Although freezing, I warmed up and then went to it.  I cut down walking time again so I did 15 minutes of running with only 2 minutes of walking in between.  Still small to others, but BIG for me!!!  It felt great!!

The next part of ‘me time’ was meeting a friend for breakfast at a really nice little restaurant: “Rose Garden”

Rose Garden

We were meeting up to talk about life, lessons, learning and most importantly, how I can learn to clear the static from my head and just relax.  Disclaimer: This next part is not to impose on others, give others advice, or imply that what I believe is right.  We talked about Buddhism. Creating the life around us and enjoying what we create, good or bad.  This is something I feel applies to me so this is the path I follow.  I know that others do not stress me out, that situations do not stress me out and that I am the one who causes whatever turmoil might be taking place…that is not a negative thing.  It is just my belief that I am IN control whether it is positive or negative that surrounds me.  I just need a good reminder and sense of refreshment, so off to the Rose Garden we went for some good venting/readjusting!

The view from where we cozy!

I had egg whites, an English Muffin with sugar-free jelly, and a coffee (I even brought a little container of skim milk so I wouldn’t have to use cream).  I felt a lot better after our relaxing chat and about making a plan to get back into meditation through Soka Gakkai International.  It is nice to have people surround you who bring you a sense of peace and calm :)

A lotus sheds it seeds at the same time it blooms- cause and effect just like any thought or action will cause an effect in our lives

Afterwards, I went home to three sleepy boys!  I did some more cleaning, baked some tofu, grilled veggies for the week, made a tofu/chicken mixture, tofu pudding, and then sat down to relax!  Before I knew it I was hungry and needing  lunch/snack, so I whipped up a multi-plate!

Pita, hummus, chicken w spinach, eggplant, peppers, and some grapes

At this point I was feeling really tired (more laundry, dishes and cleaning were done).  I laid on the sofa for a lovely nap, but it was short-lived because the Youngin’ decided Sunday was not going to be a napping kind of day.  We hung out, played, practiced walking along the coffee table, and watched some Baby Einstein.  Eric woke up in time to hang out a little while I made my lunch for tomorrow, and then he was off to work (again, I hate 12 hour night shifts).  When the boys were settled I decided to bust out the Shred…ahh, hurt so good!!!

Busted out some skipping and jumping jacks afterward to up the calorie burning!

Then it was time for dinner.  I was not in the mood to make anything and did not have my daily Peanut Butter intake so I went with some WW bread with 3/4Tb Peanut Butter, a sliced apple and 1/2c FF ice cream with 1/1tsp coconut for my treat (all in moderations :) ).  I still have 7 points+ left for the day!!!

Turns out the boys are feeling just as burnt out as I am at this time, so we are all going to hit the hay early.  I am going to read my “Buddha” by Deepak Chopra, and try to sleep through the night and sleep through whatever static has been keeping me up…let’s see how this goes!!

How do you unwind when you are unable to sleep?  What calms you when you feel overwhelmed?

Changing the ‘Treat Day’ Mentality…

Oh yes, we all love a good ‘Treat Day’…admit it, you know you have had one or have a weekly one.  I usually have one on Saturdays….or it starts with a Friday night treat and then leads into the full ‘Treat Day’ on Saturday.  So what could be wrong with allowing yourself a day to truly indulge in the tasty wonderfullness (not really a word) that you deny yourself the other 6 days a week?????  My answer to that is based on my experiences, this is not to say what others should think…..the answer is moderation!!

Today I have to learn to eat in moderation.....Oh, no!!!

Oh moderation, I loathe you, I struggle with you, I have a hard time keeping up with you!  I usually start out with the best ‘moderation’ intentions, but then my belly starts doing the thinking and it usually ends up with the inner monologue that goes something like this “Really, what is it going to hurt if for one evening you want to eat 12 girl scout cookies?  Having 4 bowls of cereal is not going to make you gain 10 pounds.  Eating those spoonfuls of peanut butter and then devouring Ritter Sports like they are going out of business is not that bad…it is only once”WRONG, so wrong, so so wrong!  I realized that in past weeks, I would do my little go ‘all out’ Saturday night.  That included me standing in the shoppette wondering what I wanted to ‘treat’ myself with.  I would usually go for Peanut M&Ms everytime, then some twizzlers, then a single serving bowl of Froot Loops and probably have some sort of fast food as well.  It never once made me feel good, in fact it made me sick for a couple of days.  It would make the number on the scale JUMP and it would make my stomach a complete mess.  It was never satisfying because I was not taking the time to enjoy the treats, I was just inhaling them as if someone was about to snatch them away.  All in all I decided to make one of the goals for this past week to NOT use my extra points+ for the week, and NOT use my activity points that I earned.  I would stick to my daily allowance, give myself treats in moderation and then see how I felt.  So here is how it turned out!

Woke up super early (are you really surprised?) and decided to make a fried PB and Banana sandwich…it was like French Toast, with cooked bananas and then melted PB on top.  All of this was 4 points+

Sooooo yummy!!

I indulged in some Blog browsing, laundry folding and dish washing before it was time for a snack.  I used the Youngin’s’ colorful little plastic dishes so it would brighten up snack time (it was raining outside, I make my own sunshine).  Snack was a sliced apple with homemade trailmix: 1/3c Total Raisin Bran, 1 tsp raisins, 1tsp mini chocolate chips, 14 almonds and then I made a Cherry Chocolate Smoothie (1 packet SF FF cocoa packet, 1 cup frozen cherries, 1/2 banana, 1.2c water).  Oh yes, I was hungry at this point…my whole snack was 4 points

Love the crunch!!

"I get my sunshine where ever I can!!"

By this time afternoon is rolling around so we need to get our daily errands done, grocery store, post office, fresh market.  I got tons of produce and then Eric got some banana bread.  Note: NEVER go out shopping for food when you have not eaten lunch.  By the time we got to the market and the Banana Bread was bought, my hunger signals were in over drive…so I broke off a little piece and ate it nice and slowly…..oh luscious nutmeg, banana, and cinnamon!!! 

It looks like a warning label..."Back OFF, Amanda!"

It held me over until I got home and made what I was really craving a new take on some southwestern egg rolls I had at Chili’s last week.  I included: chicken, egg-plant, tomato, yellow pepper, green pepper, spinach, corn and cumin!!  I put it all on a Low Carb Whole Wheat Tortilla, so good!!!

My Southwestern Wrap that I whipped together

I decided that “treat day’ also meant another kind of treat that I love, naps!  I took a nice nap after reading some of my Oxygen Magazine and woke up in time to see the grill being fired up for Shish-Kabobs!  I love some good, grilled, juicy shish-kabobs!  We had chicken, acorn squash and some yummy yellow carrots that we picked up from the market!  I ate all of my food, but I just could not get down the acorn squash…not sure if it was a texture thing or a taste thing, either way 1/2 of it stayed on the plate.

The yellow carrots and chicken in the background

My wonderful grilled dinner

I was very satisfied after my meal (with the chicken and yellow carrot), but I was getting a kick from my sweet tooth.  I had 10 points+ left over for the day!!!!  So since the Hub decided to make a fire in our fire pit outback, I decided to whip out the skewers for a good ‘ol s’more!!  I got creative here because I was really wanting a Girl Scout Thin Mint, but I didn’t want those AND hershey, so……I used the thin mint (1pt+ ea) as the chocolate in the s’more.  For 2 s’mores it was 5 points (graham crackers 2 pts, 2 marshmallows 1 pt, 2 thin mints 2pts).  They were SO delicious, I savoured every bite.  I let myself enjoy the gooey goodness rather than just shoving it in so I could quickly have another.  I stopped for a good 10 minutes in between and then felt completely satisfied after two.  I felt I had treated myself, I had eaten what I wanted as a treat instead of just gathering whatever was around me.  I even had points left over afterwards!  The one thing I learned and really tried to focus on for the day was to see if I could really tap into what I was ‘wanting’ instead of going with the idea that I better get all the junk in that I can for one day!  Being able to say that I was satisfied and not over-gorged at the end of a ‘treat day’ made me really happy.  I think I might just be  starting to learn a few new things on this journey!!

Do you have ‘Treat Day”?  Do you struggle with eating in moderation?  How do you keep within your limits?

“Cause, Baby you’re a firework!!!!”

..I swear I am going to have that on repeat when I am feeling like I just don’t have it in me to run!! 

It was a long day today…the Youngin’ and I have been experimenting with insomnia and we are realizing that maybe it is not for us!  Let’s see if we can kick that new habit to the curb tonight!

I will be honest, I was totally pulling  fake smile and giving a huge show of fake enthusiasm for my run today.  Yes, I know it is still miniscule and that what I am running is probably as easy as taking an extra breath to some people, BUT it is hard for me.  This is my 5th day running, and I have jumped from starting at week one on C25K to starting at week 4…the week they say it gets hard….I have already noticed a difference with my breathing, it was not bothering me today at all (I was also on a treadmill because it was pouring outside, but still).  My legs are always an issue, they hurt.  Bad.  Annoyingly Bad!  As I left work today (a huge thank you to my amazing students for really just being my 8 year old best friends, and always being happy just to see me!) I made my 30 minute drive to the gym.  I listened to some good music and told myself I would not let my ‘gym phobias’ bug me while I was running.  I could care less if someone judges me for running slow or talking walking intervals, I am going to Zone in on my goal, I am going to do this and do it as hard as I can because Sunday is a new program!

Image from source

Enter: Katy Perry!  I looked at the marathon playlist from and got a few of her tunes this morning.  (What a motivation just to look at her site, races and amazing attitude!)  I cut my ‘walking’ down 2 minutes, and the walking breaks in between the running.  THEN when I was getting the same ‘ol dead leg, Katy Perry’s “Firework” came on my IPod….I have heard this song, sang along and all of that, but let me tell you, I got an instant JOLT of energy.   I was on the last ‘run’ session and I had been running at 5.2…yes, it is slow, but I just got so much energy I bumped it up to 6.0 and could honestly not stop smiling while I was running!!  Was I crazy? Was I really way too excited over how a song was getting me pumped up? Or was I really feeling the message of the song, and rather than energy, I had gotten a jolt of pride and confidence ~ BINGO!!!  I felt good, I felt like a ‘runner’, I really liked one particular lyric (listed under the picture) and that is really what this whole journey is about!  Don’t let your self-doubts stop you from ANYTHING, you can reach your goals and you can change the direction of where your thoughts lead you! 

It’s always been inside of you, you, you…and now it’s time to let it through!

So since I got that boost and really saw an improvement today, I realized that I want to keep this going!  So….I am going to do the Earth Day 5K run on April 16th (about 3 days before we leave here) and the 10K Susan G. Komen for the Cure on September 25th in Frankfurt.  I am trying to see if there is anything in Wisconsin while we are there in April and May, but all the races are far from where we will be.  In Germany I am going to plan on doing whatever the base is offering in July or August as well! 

Only 5m30sec of that was spent walking!!!

So there you have it…one lyric from a song was all it took to really get me to see what I am capable of doing.  That song made me jump my speed and got me to go an extra 1/4 mile (which is a lot for this newbie)!  That lyric got me to vow to run races that I never would have done before, and that lyric really made me stop and realize that…”Baby, I’m a FIREWORK!”

Have a great FRIDAY!!!!!

What do you want to do with your life? “I wanna ROCK”

Well, I don’t really want to rock in the musical sense but I do want to ROCK!  I want to be a ROCKIN’ mama and wife!  I love to make ‘to do’ lists just so I can cross things off.  If I did something that was not on the list, I will write it on there just so I can cross it off!  I told you, I have a touch of OCD…I get it from my Dad who is obsessive about making lists and being on time.  Can I just say, on a side note, that if I am driving to work and not at a certain point in traffic by they time they do a certain morning announcement, I have a mild panic attack….I am so weird! 

Anyways…so back to lists.  I think it is important to make ‘to do’ lists: as a mother, as a teacher, as a PTO president (for my son’s school, not my own), as a grocery shopper, as a person who is very forgetful and easily distracted, AND as a person who wants to be able to scream “ACHIEVED!!!”

Image from source

I stumbled upon a great way to get organized and set goals that matter!  I was looking for head bands on the website of a store I love to visit and drool over, Lulu Lemon!!  They have a whole strategy to get you started on making goals that really matter to you and embrace what you want from life!  Click on the link above and it will lead you right to the site so you can get to ‘goal planning’!!  It is so rewarding to cross things off of an everyday kind of list, so think of how great it will be when you achieve a life goal!!

I write ‘life letters’ to myself and seal them in envelopes.  They are set for 5 year goals.  I have one from April 2007, I will read it in April 2012.  After looking through the above link I decided to write another letter!  Once I complete the worksheet I will post it here…however, the letter I write will stay sealed ;)

image from source

To address my goals that I had for today: I ate very well, I drank a ton of water, I blogged (obviously) and I did my first 30 Day Shred workout…whew!  I was literally shaking during the shoulder raises, but I loved it!!!  I checked my HRM afterwards and am kinda wondering ~ is this possible?

465 calories from my 26 min 30 Day Shred workout...could it be?????

That would be awesome, because it sure felt like I was working my arse off!!  I really hope I can move tomorrow because I have my last run for C25K Week 4 before the running time jumps up.  I am hoping the weather warms up because it is cold (for Okinawa, that is)…note that on Sunday I was posting pics of my run in the sun along the beach, now it is in the low 50’s and raining everyday.  C’mon sun, come back because this weather is CRAP!  Alright here is my after workout, happy to be done, look at my drooping eye because I am so tired picture :)

'V' for Victory (it is a victory to me that I stayed awake long enough to do a work-out!)

Cheers and sorry if this post is ‘blah’ but I think I might be sleeping…..

Two Birds With One Stone

Happy Wednesday!!

So, I have always had a complex about running in the gym or on the track…especially when there is a unit PT going on.  (Military Physical Training with a large group of people running fast, and working their butts off).  I have always been self-conscious to ‘walk’ when they are running and huffing it.  Well, despite it being cold and rainy and me being sick and clouded, I decided to hit the track.  It is Week 4 Day 2 of my C25K and I had a sneaking suspicion my body was going to try and get the best of me…..but before we see how the run went, let’s start at my 4:36am wake-up call.  the Youngin’ wanted to wake early, so I also woke early…in a fog and utterly exhausted.  After getting ready for work I decided to make a nice breakfast for myself!

Cooking up a storm at 6am

French Toast with Nutella/PB and banana, Egg Beater Omelet ~ 4pts+

It was VERY yummy and filling!  I could not believe I was able to modify and substitute in order to make such an amazing breakfast for only 4pts+…BONUS!

I also have my lovely bento that I packed last night (I already have tomorrow’s packed, hee hee)  I had: salmon with grilled broccoli and asparagus, yogurt with grapes, pita with hummus, and a salad!

Yum, yum, yum!!!!

The day was a little rough!  I was freezing cold, sneezing and could not stop my nose from running.  I absolutely REFUSED to let that throw me off course, or get me down!!  On my way to pick up the Youngin’ I stopped at the track (here the story of my phobia continues…) there were two separate units doing their PT.   You can bet I sashayed my butt into the gym to take the run to the treadmill….BUT, they were all full!  C’mon, Really????  So outside I went, and like a movie or some sort of perverse joke, it started to rain.  Nope, don’t care…I am going to DO this run!  I did my walking warm up and smiled even though people literally ‘dodged’ me.  There are 5 lanes, but I guess they had to be in the lane I was using, perhaps to make a point, OR perhaps to be my motivation to say “Meh, I am learning and going at my pace so I do this RIGHT!”  I did my run, and although my foot started shooting pain, I huffed through it.  The breathing was alright, the dead legs were the only thing making it hard.  I did it though and that is what matters.  I did not stop, and I even passed TWO guys that had to keep stopping!!  It made me feel good that I could keep up and that I was just as deserving to be on that track!  I gave a little extra walk at the end to enjoy the drizzle and the fresh air!

4th day running- C25K Week 4 Day 2...517 calories burned!

After getting the Youngin’ I came home in time to see my Hub off on his last night shift of the week (YAHOO!!!) and then began making my Tofu Parmesan…new recipe.

Cooking the Tofu....James took this picture for me :)

before the oven...I added eggplant on the bottom and spinach on top

Hot and bubbly out of the oven!!

Warm and delicious….ready for my belly!!!

It was so good.  I think I would have cooked up the tofu a little more before putting it in, but for my first attempt, very yummy!!!!  I added a salad with feta and FF Balsamic vinegar on top just to get some extra crunch in my meal!  The rest of my evening has consisted of: laying things out for tomorrow, packing the bento for tomorrow, doing laundry, planning breakkie for tomorrow, and taking a quick warm bath as I read my SELF magazine!  Overall a good day… achy body has NOTHING on my determination :)

Here's to a successful day :)

I said “Baby, it’s 3am and I must be lonely…”

Excuse me as I sing along to one of my favorites from my first time in Korea (2001).  A classic MatchBox 20 song….however, not so classic when it is ringing true to me!  I have been waking up earlier and earlier, for no reason and today was the worst yet.  I tossed and turned a while before even allowing myself to look at the clock, when I finally gave in the number 3:26am were flashing at me…”You have got to be kidding me!”  Another long day for this mama!

Yummy pancakes with Nutella, PB and banana, plus a delicious omelet

Luckily I prepared my pancakes and the toppings for my Egg Beaters omelet last night, so it was all ready to go for me.  I even had my clothes laid out, the  clothes for the Youngin’ laid out and things placed strategically around the house so I could grab them as I moved through my familiar morning routine.  (I actually do all of the ‘laid out clothes’, ‘pre-placed items’, and OCD prep every night, not just last night).  I also had my bento already packed from last night.  For those who are unfamiliar, a bento is a style of presenting lunch or dinner in Japan.  The food is given in smaller portions, divided and there is always a lot of time and thought put into them! Click on bento to learn more about it!!  Here is mine that my Hub got me for Christmas!

Sukiyaki w/ asparagus, toasted pita w/ hummus, yogurt, and fruit

They all pile on top of one another and fit in here!

They all pile on top of one another and fit in here!

It goes in a carrying case that comes with a spork and has pockets on the front to hold other items.  It keeps things BOTH hot and cold.  This thing is amazing!!!  I will do a whole other posts just on Bentos since I make some cute ones for my son as well!

So here I am awake super early, I eat my delicious breakfast, get out the door and cannot escape the massive headache that is making my eyes want to pop out.  My yummy lunch and snacks got me through the day, but here I sit ready to crawl into bed (I am literally about to go crawl into bed and pray the Youngin’ stays asleep).  I wanted comfort food….that means cereal and chocolate.  What I have learned is that I can have those things in moderation, so no need to fret!  I started off with a nice salad of lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, shredded salad mix from the Japanese grocery store I stopped at and then some Fat Free Thousand Island dressing.

Salad with FF Thousand Island Dressing

Then I made a nice mix of 1/3c Total Raisin Bran (yes, I am addicted to this stuff), 1/3c Total Bran Flakes, 1/3c Kashi Go Lean, 1 tsp of additional raisins, 1/2 banana and 2/3c skim milk.  So satisfying and delicious!!

Comfort in a bowl!

Now, I am very greedy…but, I decided to share a few nibbled of the Kashi with the Youngin’….he loved it!

More, please!!

I have the comfort cereal craving completed now for the chocolate!  I decided to go for the “No Pudge Brownie Mix”.  I took 2Tbsp and mixed it with 2Tbsp water, and 2 Tbsp heated cherries.  I topped it off with 1/4 cup of FF Breyers Chocolate Ice cream and 1/2tsp of coconut!  It was so yummy for 4pts+

A closer look!


So delicious!!!!

The last and final thing I needed was love from my babies!!!  The Hub would not let me take his picture because he was in uniform and on his way out the door (boo, 12 hour night shifts).  But, I got some love…

Kisses for the Youngin'

Me and James!

Even some love for my first baby, Meiko!

Lots of lovin’, got my comfort food (and am still 6 points under for the day), now I have my cozy jammies on and it is time to hit the hay!! 

Oh, and just incase you were wondering….I have the bento packed and my stuff all laid out in their respective places ;)