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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Weigh in Wednesday -- YES!!!

The scale is finally going in the right direction!

For the full update, including my latest running excitement/drama,  click on over to my new blog,
here.


Hope to see you over there!

Things I am excited about but don't want to brag about ON that blog?
I created my own banner and button and favicon.
And I figured out how to center the banner.  Those were pretty big things!!

So go on over... check it out, and while you are there, subscribe to my new blog.

Here.

(in case you forgot.)


Ciao for now!

-Meredith

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday.....

Hey everyone!

My latest Weigh-in Wednesday post is up at my NEW BLOG.

I know- you have been thinking about how quiet I have been... which is just not true!
I have been a posting maniac.  But not here.  :)

Please update your readers with the new blog address:

http://journey2authenticity.blogspot.com


Where I am learning to "own my junk,"and be AUTHENTIC,  as I have been inspired by all of you  (but especially TMB).


Hope to see you there!
-Meredith

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I did it!

I have wrestled with this decision for MONTHS.

But it just felt like the time was right.

I have merged my two blogs- this one and Crying Out to My God to a new blog.

My word?
You know...

AUTHENTIC

I may have tried every single word/phrase combination that I could think of before I finally found one that is perfect, that was availalble.

And now....


My new blog:




My Journey to Authenticity:
Where I own my journey, my faith and my flab.


I sure hope that you update your readers, and follow me over to my new blog.
I am so excited about this!!

(Oh ... and please know that you will still be seeing the Weigh-in Wednesdays, and Race Reports, and all that jazz.... just in a new place.  :)    )

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday: The Learning Curve

For the last five minutes I have been muttering to myself about writing this post.


"grumblemuttergrumble accountability grumblemuttergrumble"


You see, I was going to let this weigh-in slide. 
Nothing to report.
Why even mention it?


And then I remembered last Wednesday.
Where I am pretty sure I talked about being accountable
And owning my journey.
And stuff like that.


FINE.


Starting Weight (July 6th):  275 lbs
Previous Weight (July 20th):  269 lbs
Current Weight: 269 lbs
+/- this week:  0
Total lost: 6 lbs



Am I happy?  No.
Did I expect this?  No.
Should I have expected this based on effort? HECK YES.




Giving myself a chance to process, here are some things that I learned this week.


I need to track ALL of my calories.  I need to stop guessing how much I am eating.  I need to stop assuming I am under and that it will be fine.  Because I am either NOT under, and it is NOT fine, or I am TOO far under, and I it is still NOT FINE.


I need to expect that this is going to be a slower process than I want it to be.  I will NOT fit into my cool teacher clothes by August 31st.  I need to find a way to be okay with where I am (and who I am) right now.


I need to keep my body moving. I feel empowered when I exercise.  I feel strong when I exercise.  


I need to track my measurements so that I have something ELSE besides the scale to measure my success.


I am worth the effort and the discipline that this is going to take.


This blog is doing its job.  Here I am, instead of just ignoring a stagnant week, putting it out there.  Owning my progress, and committing to make some changes.


So here is what I am going to do:


I am going to log every single calorie (maybe a day late, because sometimes life happens) at myfitnesspal.


My username is Meredith713.
I have made my journal public.
I want you to be LOOKING AT IT.


I want you to be checking to make sure that have logged all three meals, and usually snacks.


I need you to know that I have a REALLY hard time eating all of the calories that I am supposed to.  Especially if I have exercised.  In fact sometimes, I quit on a workout because I don't know how on EARTH I would eat back all of the exercise calories.


I know that the statement above is not fair for those of you who are hungry all the time because you are not obese, like me.  (Gosh I hate that word.)  It still feels wrong to be having to eat this much.  But I have consulted with experts, and others who are actively using this plan and have achieved results.  And y'all?  I want results.  (so much so, in fact that I am apparently slipping into a southern accent that is NOT my own.)


But more than that?
I want to live my life on purpose.
And I need to realize that in order to achieve goals, I have to weigh each action.  (Every bite. Every time I decide to sit on the couch instead of get up and move.)


I want my children to see that healthy choices are a way of life, and not something to complain about.


And while I am writing a wish list-
I would love for my 16 month old to sleep through the night.
And I would love for my husband to find a job that was closer to us, or daytime hours during the school year (without a reduction in pay, preferably an increase, ha), or both.




Oh ---- and the 16 month old just said WATER when he wanted some!!
(actually, it came out more like wah-wah, of course, but he was thirsty, and he said wah-wah, and he smiled really, really big when I gave him his water and showed that I understood him!)


One more thing.
I did level 1 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred today.  It felt amazing.  It was hard, and I (mostly) pushed through.  And now my arms are jello. And I couldn't be happier!



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

a restful day, and the cough is practically gone!

Yesterday was a wonderful day on the parenting spectrum.  After the WW3 that was Sunday (picture battle, after battle, after battle) with Soccer Boy, and some other upheaval in our lives, we were ready for a day of rest.  And since my husband had to leave for work at 4:30AM, and I was facing a day alone with the stranger that used to be my adorable, compliant son, and his younger brother, it didn't seem to be a likely outcome.

However--- a day of rest it was, in many ways, even though as soon as my husband came home I had to rush to the school to teach five hours of music lessons, it was a very restful day -- free from arguing and defiance.

Ahhhhh.

On a completely unrelated note, I am thrilled  to report that the nagging, lingering wheeze and cough that I had been suffering from since July 17th is almost completely gone.  My good friend, Lori, who happens to be the school nurse where I teach, had suggested that it might be allergies, but since I had suffered a similar malaise the LAST time I had a cold, I just assumed it was an asthma thing.   But when a second friend mentioned the allergy possibility again, I decided it could NOT hurt to take some of the Zyrtec D that I just happened to HAVE at home.  Can I just say that it awesome to be able to walk up the stairs and not have a coughing fit?

SO, yeah.... it's working.  Like a CHARM.  I am so happy!
But I am also disappointed, because if it had occurred to me sooner, I would have been on the mend, and could have participated in the Lobster Roll 5K (the 2nd annual!) in my town that happened on Saturday. As it was, the route passes by our house, so my boys and I watched from the window and cheered on students, colleagues and friends as they passed by.

I love my town!!


After lunch today, if the weather holds up, the boys and I are going to walk down to the Library so that I can get a new library card, and enroll in the e-book rental program!  (Thanks, MCM Mama, for mentioning the Overdrive app, and program! I  checked it out and our little library is involved! Hooray!)

On the way I plan to hit up the gourmet popcorn store.  (So excited.)  And possibly, after the library, get a treat from the coffee shop next door.  The trick to that one will be the stairs vs the stroller.  There is another cute little bakery, but the stroller would take up so much room in there, and that one is so close to our house that we would practically be HOME by then, and I would feel silly splurging when we could just have a snack at home.  (But it is about the adventure, right?)

Anyway -- fun will be had this afternoon.

If the weather holds up.
(The sky is looking kind of gray. Good for cloud cover, bad if it starts raining!)


Any tips for checking out (and correctly, safely and promptly returning) library books?


1. Cuddle Bug seriously believes that books are either snacks, or stepping stones.  I should keep track of how many times I re-shelve my books back on my book case per day.  I am happy that he is fascinated with books.  I wish the fascination help more with what was inside the book, but.... we need to keep library books safe from the little guy.


2. We, um...  misplace things. Frequently.  


3. Deadlines and I are.... not on a first name basis.


So what to you guys do with books from the library? Do you have any systems in place?  Or brilliant suggestions?  Help a Mama out!



Monday, August 1, 2011

3 in 30

In the back of my mind, and increasingly more on my mind as more and more monthly recap posts pop up, has been the thought of joining the 3 in 30 challenge.

3in30 Challenge

What does this mean?

It means that I am going to choose three goals, or areas of my life that I want to pay particular attention to.  And I already know two of them.  And they are not going to be easy.  And one of them will definitely NOT be fun.

1)  Practice guitar playing and worship leading  at least 3 times per week.  Preferably when Cuddle Bug is sleeping so that I can actually play UNinterrupted.

2) Make sure the dishes are done, and the mess underneath the high chair is swept every. single. day, and for sure right before bed.

3)  Write in my prayer journal.  Write.  With a pen, not type into a doc on google docs.  Write.  Every day.  Write to give thanks, Write to praise.  Write to HEAR.

Okay.
Those are my goals.
Off I go.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Not such a big fan....

I am not such a big fan of AGE 5 so far.

We are dealing with horrible attitudes, and defiance Every. Single. Day.

It is wearing us down.
The poor little guy....  he has such a tender heart.  When he realizes how naughty he has been he is heartbroken.  We are just trying help him think about the choices he is making.  So hard.

I am so fortunate that the good, cute, wonderful times are also plentiful, because without those, I know that I would be going crazy.

And I just want to say --  friends that stand by you, and support you, and have been there?  Awesome.
So called friends that judge?  Even when they are pretending not to?
Not helpful.  The opposite of helpful.

Just sayin'.

And because I don't want this post to be ALL bad, here is a picture of my littlest cutie pie:

Yummy pasta!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Boy Mom BlogHop!

If you are a mother of boys, then you owe it to yourself to check out the #MOBSociety (MOB = Mothers of Boys).  Imagine a room filled with other women that have rowdy, and sometimes whiny, and active boys and know exactly why you feel like you could collapse on the chair with a latte.  That is what The MOB Society is like.  And you don't even have to leave your house!!

Are you ready to connect with some other Moms of Boys? Share the laughter, the frustrations, the joy and the ..... everything that comes with our precious little men?  Then you should join up with the 1st EVER Mob Society "Boy Mom BlogHop!"


So.... Now I am supposed to give an introduction to myself and my blog.  
But I feel like I have really been doing a lot of that lately, as I am re-committing myself to a life that is lived on purpose.  So, I think I will link you up to a post from earlier in the week.  It's what I am all about.  

But --- for those who don't click over (and that's okey dokey), here is the even shorter than cliff's notes version.

My husband and I have been married 9 years.  We have two boys - Soccer Boy just turned five, and Cuddle Bug is 16 months old.   








I am the band director for the small community that we live in, and I am starting my eleventh year there.  I adore my job.  I love it.  In fact....  I know, without a doubt, that it is an essential part of my purpose.  However -- I also love my boys.  And I love being with them, and teaching them, and training them.  I am thrilled that my teacher schedule allows me to have summers off with them, and that Soccer Boy will be attending Kindergarten at MY school in the fall!!

We live in Maine, and we love it here.  (There is more to that story, too.)

I play every band instrument, and many others, but my best is trombone.
(Wait... that has nothing to do with being a boy mom.  Sorry.)

Oh --- one of my blogging idols is linked up in the Boy Mom BlogHop. If you do not read her blog, you absolutely must.  Seriously.  (Shell, I am talking about YOU.)

So!  1st Annual Boy Mom BlogHop!  Let's do it up!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weigh-in Wednesday: The Ugly Truth

Two things make any kind of cold that I get incredibly difficult.

1)  I get pleurisy almost every time.  It is in the outside lining of your lungs become inflamed and every time you breathe in and your lungs touch your ribcage, big pain happens.  Not fun.  And when you consider that I am a professional musician, and play instruments ALL. THE. TIME, all of which require excessive breathing, it hurts. A lot.

2) I have asthma.  It hardly ever bothers me. I have to be careful when I am excerising -- running in particular, because it is easy to get to a place where it takes a long time to recover from, but I know how to handle it, and to be honest --- I am just not that fast. Yet.  But.  When I have a cold, my poor, compromised lungs can't handle it, and the cough hangs on forever, and makes people think that I am on the verge of death.  I'm not, because really, it is ten times better than it was three days ago.  Right now I am in the stage of -- I am fine unless I try to do anything taxing.  You know, like carry my 16 month old up the stairs for naptime.  Or into the house.  Or rescuing him from imminent danger.

SO those two things make exercising very difficult right now.
I actually took advantage of Soccer Boy being at Vacation Bible School, and Cuddle Bug being down for a nap and started my Leslie Sansone 5 Mile walk playlist on Youtube.  Yeah.  The last two minutes of every mile are jogging.  I really shouldn't have done it.  I knew that I probably shouldn't do it, but I am.... stubborn. And sometimes really... stupid.

I just made it to that point feeling good and strong. I wanted to give it my all.  It felt great to be exercising, and being back at it again.  All that changed after the two minute jogging section.  I didn't feel it completely until we were about five minutes into the next mile, and I just started shutting down.  Oh well.  I got 20 minutes in, which is really good considering that I haven't done a darn thing since.... I actually don't remember when.

So now I am sitting on my couch, regulating my breathing, and trying to decide if I need the inhaler for the asthma, or the ibuprofen for the pleurisy.  *facepalm*


HOWEVER:

I weighed in this morning--  I am down one more pound, which brings my total lost to 6 pounds so far.

And... since I am being authentic, and I did mention a couple of posts ago that I do have over 100 pounds to lose, I am going to just dig my heels in and put those numbers up there.

Ugh.
Bottom line? (This is my pep talk to myself. Feel free to stop reading for a moment. I will let you know when it is over.)  The people who love you, LOVE YOU.  It doesn't matter to them what size you wear, or what the number is on the scale.  The people that love you are excited to see that you are trying to take charge of your HEALTH, because it means that you have a better chance of being around longer.  Yes.  It is a number.  And yes.... it has a nasty stigma attached.  But it is not the number of your forever.  You can post it, and move on.  And then you can be authentic, and HONEST and be even more motivated to leave these big numbers behind.... FOREVER.

(Okay... pep talk over.  You can start reading again.)

Okay.

Starting Weight (July 6th):  275 lbs
Previous Weight (July 20th):  270 lbs
Current Weight: 269 lbs
+/- this week:   - 1 lb
Total lost: 6 lbs



There it is, blogland.
I am feeling particularly motivated at the moment.  (see? It's already working!  Ha!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Eventful day....

What a day.
Let me get the outline for you:

Cuddle bug slept until 7:45.  (unheard of.)
We had to leave at 8:30.  Not a big deal.
Vacation Bible School (VBS) for Soccer Boy at 9:00.
(Potentially Disastrous Deal)
Smooth drop-off and extrication at 9:30.
Cuddle bug back in bed at 9:45.
Up again at 11:15, to get ready to pick up Soccer Boy.
VBS ended at 12:05, grabbed food, headed to prime bike riding real estate (empty school parking lot) and had a "picnic"
Ate lunch, watched bike riding, reconnected with a student, more bike riding and stroller pushing until 1:30
Load kids in car, realize car won't start.  1:32
Call dear friend to ask for a jump. 1:33
She shows up at 1:40
Still not working by the time my husband calls on his way home from work, 2:00
Hang out with friend, talking, sharing, until 2:45, when my husband arrives.
Tow truck arrives at 3:20
Drops car off at the garage practically across the street 3:35
Boys and I head home with the other car, and arrive at 3:45.
My husband calls asking us to come back so that I can write a check for the new batter at 3:50.
Realizes he has the checks in the van, 3:51.
Home with the van, in perfect condition, 4:15.


So actually -- it was an amazing day....  Until I realized that I must have done something to COMPLETELY kill the battery.  I mean how does that happen in 45 minutes?  Really?

After that it was... challenging.
I knew it was probably the battery, but probably and my instincts are not always closely related.
My friend was really great -- even though we had to resort to the manual to actually know how to correctly jump start a car.  Haha.   Her middle daughter had came along and was keeping Soccer Boy  occupied, so that was really cool.  It gave us a chance to talk about some pretty intense things, for a few moments.

And the tow truck driver was really cool. He let Soccer Boy sit in the cab of the truck for a bit.  It was loud in their, so it only lasted 3 seconds.  I counted.  But he was still smiling.  

Oh!! The BEST UNEXPECTED BLESSING!   It forced us to clean out the PT Cruiser.   Oh my word does that husband of mine collect garbage.   Yay for having trash bags in the Van, and nothing but time while waiting for the tow truck, right?

So, we are home, both cars are functioning, and life is just fine.  Because of lessons that I taught yesterday, we have exactly the amount of money that we needed for the new battery, and the equipment check, and the installation.   And just for the record, I do NOT believe that to be a coincidence.  ;)


 Check out his new bike!!  He has a super awesome Lightning McQueen helmet too.

If you have never tried Diptic, and you have an iPhone or iPod with a camera, then I would highly recommend it.  It has completely changed the way I take pictures.  I used to be so disappointed that Soccer Boy wouldn't actually smile, or would keep making silly faces.  Now I love it, because I can make a collage like this!!

And this picture collage of Cuddle Bug is not from today, it is from Sunday evening, and he is eating some of my Aunt Rita's delicious cookies!  Eating and wearing them.   It's about a 40/60 split, I think!!

I just wanted to include some recent pictures of the littlest, as well.





All is well that ends well. :)



Mish mash of meanderings...

This is my life in general blog.
I keep forgetting that.
I feel like I can only post if I have something to report on the exercise/ weight loss front.
But....
It is my blog.
And I can write about whatever I want to write about.


I think that I have figured out a way that will make the TITLE of my blog fit the theme of my LIFE.


Hebrews 12: 1 b:


 let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...


I Corinthians 9 :24


 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.




Now -- if we are speaking only of running, then the thought that I might win a prize for it is laughable.
Ha ha ha.


But ---
Since I am talking about my life in general?


THESE are the races that I am running:


- Raising my children to love and respect and fear God.
- Staying consistent in prayer, and in Bible study, so that my life reflects the glory, and the beauty of the amazing God that I serve.
- Exercising discipline in all areas -- fitness and housekeeping... you name it.




So -- how about a Race Report?


Raising my children to love and respect and fear God.


Soccer Boy (now age five!!) has so many questions.  But at the same time, he has such tremendous faith.
We are doing a lot of things right in this area -- but a lot of it is because he  is driving the conversation.


In my own study, I am realizing that my husband and I need to be more intentional about what we share about God and when, rather than just waiting for him to mention it or ask questions.  Cuddle Bug may not be as attuned to things of the Lord.  We need to establish the patterns now.


Prayer/ Bible study.


This area is going quite well right now.  I am reading (and blogging) through the Bible in 90 Days through a challenge hosted at Mom's Toolbox.  Over 900 people are reading together!!!


I am blogging my reflections at Crying Out to My God.


I am also reading One Thousand Thanks: A Dare to Live Fully, Right Where You Are, by Ann Voskamp.    This book is amazing.... it is challenging me and inspiring me at the same time.


Oh -- and this is the biggest deal.   It is summer vacation.  I am a teacher.  I do not work in the summers. I just hang out with my adorable children, and teach a few lessons.  Summer was ALWAYS the time that any prayer or bible study routine that I had would fall to the wayside, because I simply refused to wake up earlier than my children if I didn't need to.   This summer, since my husband switches to daytime schedules in the summer months, he is up in the morning at 3:45 AM.  Are you ready for this?


I have been getting up WITH him.  There have been TWO exceptions to this -- and one was when I was quite sick and had to play a concert that evening, and the extra two hours of sleep were amazing, and the other was when Cuddle Bug decided that an all night party would be a good idea.


I mean right now?  I am writing this post at 5:22AM.  Legit.  5:22AM.  In the summer time.


(okay. Race report on this topic is exhausted.)


Exercising discipline in all areas:


um....
Well, I was doing really well with the exercise, even though I had a terrible summer cold.  And then it got hotter than....  well, so hot that I was dripping sweat after mopping my kitchen floor and baking a cake (even with fans trained on me the whole time) on the birthday of my five year old.


Now that the weather has cooled off, I am intending fully to get back into some exercise, although my lungs are still not 100%, so I know that I have to be careful.


Food --  I have not been tracking since last Thursday.  Just lazy.  I am large, large person.  I have 100 lbs to lose, which means that I have a LOT of calories to eat.  Sometimes, in order to make sure I am not under-eating, I have to make not great choices, just to get the calories in.  I hate doing it, because I am actually trying to make healthy choices.  But....  there it is.  Honesty.


(Just for the record, being authentic for the whole world to see... is sometimes... um... really hard.)


Housekeeping --
No comment.  Now that the weather has cooled off, I am hoping to finally get the laundry beast under control, and perhaps find a system so that my kitchen counters might see the light of day for more than one hour at a time.




-----
Well there you have it.
My very first "race report."


And my first attempt at being my real self, and not just one slice of myself, on this blog.




Things to come:  Weigh in day tomorrow, and a possible ACTUAL race (that involves running (and walking intervals) on Saturday!!


Things to arrive in the mail:   Still waiting on the amazing bracelet that I won in a giveaway at Joggerslife.    It is a bracelet with a handstamped word of my choice (AUTHENTIC) on a silver plate, with a leather (I believe) cord.  I am so excited.  :)



Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good start....

I haven't mentioned this on the blog because I didn't want to Jinx anything.
But... if I am being authentic, and I am owning my journey.... then....  there are some risks involved.

Since I recommitted myself to my healthiness journey:

Weigh in after one week: 3.5 pounds lost!
Weigh in after two weeks: 1.5 pounds lost, for a total of FIVE POUNDS!!!

Yay!

And the part that I am hesitant to talk about?
I am not dieting.
I am tracking.
I am hardly ever hungry... I sometimes have to FIND things to eat.

My dear friend mentioned several times in my previous struggles that she didn't think that I was eating enough calories, but I was afraid to try eating more.  What if it didn't work?  It's a scary thing when you are trying to DIET, and it isn't working, to consider EATING MORE, because I was so afraid that rather than standing STILL, the scale would start moving the WRONG WAY.

But, this time around, when I was really ready to listen, she pointed me in the direction of the fat2fitradio.com website.  So far, I have read some articles and used their calculators, but I am downloading some of the podcasts, because it is very interesting.

Well- there you have it.
Accountability.
:)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weddings and Competitions

One of my favorite cousins got married yesterday. We loaded up the boys inthe car and headed out on the five hour drive. They were both awesome.

Random Tidbit:  Stephen is really good at Angry Birds. He calls it Grumpy Birds.  Isn't that cute?

We were able to check-in at our hotel, relax, hang with Mimi, Grampie and Auntie, and change into wedding finery.

Image source: Wikipedia

The hotel was located at The Towers, in Narragansett, Rhode Island.  The wedding ceremony was in the left tower, which looks right out to the ocean. The dining was in the middle section, which is over the busy Ocean Road.

Amy and Dan have been together since they were in 8th grade. Isn't that amazing? They went to college separately, and did internships separately, and through it all, remained completely devoted to one another.  They were adorable.  And she was radiant.

The boys were both fantastic at the wedding. We had a frightening moment when we realized that the caterers did not have ANY milk that I was hoping to use for Cuddle Bug's bottle.  But that disaster was averted, when they offered to water down some half and half.  Done.  Crisis averted.  A very thoughtful Mimi brought her grandboys toys to help keep them occupied.  Soccer Boy got to build a Lego airplane, with the assistance of my cousin Mitch (who was the ring bearer at our wedding, 9 years ago!).  Cuddle Bug got a new truck to play with.  And by play, I of course mean throw it down to the ground so the Mommy can pick it up, over and over, and over again.

A fantastic day.

Now....
One of the ladies in my group of online Mommy friends (we met during our pregnancies with our Cuddle Bug age children) has thrown the gauntlet.

She started a Biggest Mommy Loser challenge.

I resisted.
I wrestled.
And then I thought about all of my friends getting skinny because they are working hard and motivating each other, and I realized....  Yes.  I have to do this, even if the weight doesn't come off on the scale.  I have to do this.

So I signed up, and I took the horrible before pictures (horrible not JUST because of the subject matter, but because of a lack of a full length mirror, I was taking them into the window out to our deck. If you look closely (which I will NOT be giving you the opportunity.... SORRY) you can see the hint of one our patio chairs.  Ha!  And because our scale is one of those dinosaur non digital ones), and actually admitted my weight to people.  Even on myfitnesspal you are allowed to keep it to yourself!

UGH.
But it is done.
We will be weighing in monthly, and the challenge will end on New Years Day 2012.

So I guess it is time blow the dust off of the 30 Day Shred.  :)

And.... just for the record?  Pleurisy is no fun.  No fun at all.  I get it almost every time that I get a cold.  Ugh.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Update. :)

I am happy to report that:

A) I have logged every single that I have eaten since Wednesday of last week.
B) Exercised every day but Sunday.

C) I went RUNNING again!  I found a pretty good road that is very low traffic, and has plenty of flat places!  I logged two miles with a 2 minute run/ 1.5 minute walk interval, and felt really strong.  Physically and mentally!  (That was on Saturday.)

D)  I did 20 consecutive push-ups!

E) I made up my own mini circuit training routine, and did EVERY.single.part of it.  I fought harder for myself than I ever have for Jillian.  (That surprised me.)

F) I have been logging my activity pretty much anywhere that I can think of... trying to generate LOTS off accountability.  :)

G) Lots of other things are falling into place. :)

Life is good.

We just got home from a sweaty 90 minute walk around town, up hills and down hills, sometimes pushing both of the boys in the double stroller.  My arms are FEELING it. :)  My friend and colleague contacted me about going for a walk so she could break in some new hiking boots, and was game to have the kids along!  She held hands with the big boy, and at another time pushed the little boy in the stroller... even BOTH of them in the stroller at one time!

It is amazing what a difference ONE day can make.


:)






Friday, July 8, 2011

New Leaf, episode 1

I am extremely happy to report that:

I finished out the day on Wednesday like a rockstar.
I logged every bite, and was under my calorie goal.

Thursday was another fantastic day:
Leslie Sansone 2 mile walk for abs. (if anyone wants the youtube link, I can share the playlist I made with you.) It is no P90X, but it is a good workout.  My legs and arms feel the burn toward the end.

I ate with intention, and thought of food as fuel.
I logged every bite.

Today?

Leslie Sansone video

20 pushups -- the days workout called for 5, 6, 4, 5 with breaks in between.  I didn't take the breaks.
So, essentially, with the exception of the maybe 2 seconds in each interval to switch to the next screen, I did 20 consecutive pushups.  (I can feel it in my shoulders. My left especially.)

And yet to do?

1. Squats/ Jumping Jacks/ Lunges/ Jumping Jacks   -- my own circuit training!!
2. go for a walk/run later in a much quieter traffic area

And not related to the fitness front -- I am going to do some laundry today if it kills me!
:)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today is the day.

Last night was the turning point.


I reached out for help.
I emailed friends asking for support, and information.


And this morning?


Leslie Sansone Walk Away the Pounds for Abs 2 mile walk (using 3 lb weights)


Finished before 7:30 AM.


29 Push-ups, using the Push-up app for my phone.
34 Squats, using the Squat app for my phone.


Finished before 9:30 AM.


And then I was challenged by a friend on one of my facebook groups to add lunges, so I upped the ante even further, and added jumping jacks.


4 sets of:
20 side lunges, 20 jumping jacks -- all weighted with 3 lb  weights)


Finished before 11:30 AM.


AND --
I have tracked my food and exercise on MyFitnessPal.


-----


Then -- as if that wasn't enough...


I read this amazing post by TMB.  (one of my all-time forever favorite bloggers. Just for the record.)
It's all about being comfortable in your own skin.  With who you are, wherever you are, no matter what is going on around you.


Highlights from her post:


Confidence is beautiful.
Strength is beautiful.
Pride is beautiful.

Express yourself however you'd like. Then, own it.
Understand that it doesn't matter what's on the outside. Then, own it.
Be who you are, even if that's not what everyone wants you to be. Then, own it.



Thank you, TMB....  that was so much affirming the changes that were already in progress in my heart of hearts.




And then I read this post by Lindsay, another Prior Fat Girl.


And it's not so much that I related to where she is right now -- because y'all -- she is happy.  And you know -- I love my life. I love my family, I love my job, I love my Savior.  Things are amazing.  We moved to an awesome home (that is having a new furnace installed at this very moment, thank you Mr. Landlord) in a quaint town that I love being in.


But I am miserable with myself.
I hate looking in the mirror.
I hate feeling out of breath when I do things that I could do easily a few months ago.
I hate that I am not fitting comfortably in my clothes (or my own skin).
I hate that I have lost all of my endurance and stamina on the running front.
I hate that I have lost all of my confidence.


And you know what?
I am finally to the point where I am doing something about it.
Again.


How many times in my life am I going to LET MYSELF  get to that point?


My fervent prayer is that the answer will be NEVER AGAIN. 


Last summer-- I was running.  I was Shredding. I was eating healthy things.


I was losing inches, but not losing ANY weight -- according to the scale.


I got so fed UP WITH IT.


So now ---  I am scared out of my mind to commit to eating 2000 calories a day, and exercise again, because if the scale doesn't move again, I will probably throw it off of my deck.  (And unfortunately, be filled with self-loathing.)


But the alternative to not trying is no longer acceptable.


So here I go.
Half -way through the day of my turning point.


It's GO  time.


-------------------------------------------------------


I desperately need community, and accountability, and friends along this journey.
Please... consider becoming my cheerleader/friend.... I'm really good at being that for people, too!


Email me, or comment on this post, or tweet me.



Sunday, July 3, 2011

Open Letter to Google

Dear Google,

I have flirted with other web-based blogging platforms.

In my heart I have been completely unfaithful to Blogger.

But what it all boils down to is this:

Google Friend Connect, when it works is completely awesome.

When it is not working?
A colossal bummer.

But -- ease of publishing?  Ease of editing the layout?
The best that I have tried.

So....
Google?
I love you. I love your browser. I love your extensions.

PLEASE FIX THIS.

Okay.  Thanks!

-Meredith

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's Time to Face the Music

I won an amazing giveaway.
Seriously.

Elisabeth, of A Jogger's Life, had a very cool giveaway.  Up for grabs?  A beautiful bracelet made by HardWear Designs.


The challenge was coming up with the perfect word.

It took a while, but I finally found it.

Authentic


It is perfect.  It describes my journey -- both where I aim to be, and where I am beginning to be.

Authentic.
Owning my journey.
Every step.  (Every sit on the couch.)
Every bite. (Hmm.)

Okay... so upon further reflection, I am doing really well on being authentic in ONE area of my life.

One little corner of my life.

I blog daily (multiple times, sometimes) at Crying Out to My God.  Every morning (weekdays definitely, weekends sporadically) I am Blogging Through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.  It has changed my life, and deepened my faith.

When we were looking at our current home, and waiting to find out if we would get it or not,  in the six days in between, the Lord gave me wisdom, assurance, peace, and patience.  It was unbelievable.

But....
I feel safe talking about it there.  The followers that I have for that blog are like - minded individuals, all on their own faith journey.

But....
This is my blog.
I don't have to censor myself.
When it comes down to it, I am doing this for myself.  Goodness knows I am not a witty enough writer to have masses of followers....

Google Friend Connect is cool.
But...
I think that I have let it run my blog, and the content that I put out there for the world a little bit.

So.
If I am really going to be

Authentic

then it appears that I have some work to do.

 I am going to own my journey,
and I am going to blog about it.

Will I keep the blogs separate?
I don't know.

I could see Crying Out to My God becoming my daily study, giving thanks blog, and using this blog for more reflective posts.

I don't know yet.
But, I am going to figure it out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Insert Cheesy Sentiment, yet Not Cheesy Title Here.

We have moved.
We have settled.
School is out for the year, so I am no longer driving over an hour each day just to pick up the boys from daycare.

Hubs is on his summer work hours -- 5:30AM - 2PM, so we are actually seeing each other in the evenings.

On Friday I ran.
(Pulling up my garmin stats so I get this right.)

1.83 miles in 31.52 minutes.
I was following Week 3 of C25K.

Five minute warm-up, 90 second run, 90 second walk, 3 minute run, 3minute run, repeat the run intervals, end with cool-down.

It went really well.
Things I have noticed.
There are SO MANY MORE HILLS here.
But -- I can run near the ocean!

There are SO MANY PEDESTRIANS and tourists and TRAFFIC.
But--- I can run near the ocean!

And -- this is the super cool part ---  my SLOWEST running average was 14:18!
That is still quite slow, and I know that... and I own it.  But-- it didn't feel overly difficult, so it was very encouraging.

I tried to focus on my breathing, and my core muscles during the longer running sections, and what do you know, Danny Dreyer?  It really helped!

On Monday I tackled the running segments of Week 4 of C25K.

The break down is this:
Warm up walk (5 minutes)

Run 3 min/ Walk 90 sec
Run 5 min/ Walk 2.5 min
repeat

Cool down walk.

The details:
1.91 miles in 32:59.

I am not disappointed with the run- even though I wasn't able to actually run all of the portions.  The hills and the humidity were CRAZY.  My mind wandered a bit, and I had to focus quite a bit on oncoming traffic, weaving around other pedestrians, and such.

The highlight of the run? Stopping at the end of the footbridge and seeing one of my favorite past students EVER. :)  In fact, this student is one of my most major inspirations when it comes to running.  So it was great to see him!  (I love being back in the town I teach in!!!)

Yesterday and Today are the WindJammer (tall ship) Days here, so the Community Band (that I direct) had a concert last night, and are in the parade this afternoon.  I am hoping to get a run in this evening, but we will see.

I am making my second public appearance as a sousaphone player.  (Scroll to the end of the page on the link for the full effect!)

That's all for now!  :)
Hope everyone is having beautiful weather!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Graduation Day

I have been a mess for the last three days.
I am losing 8 seniors, 4 of whom have been a part of my life since they were fifth graders.

Last night, after watching another one of my band students receiving an award, I realized that I have been so selfish about all of this.

Yes, I am going to miss them.
Yes -- I adore them.

But.... it's time for me to be excited for them.

But for one last time....
My tribute to them.

Emma- My sweet, caring, dedicated, compassionate friend. It has been a pleasure and a privilege watching you grow.  I am so proud of you. I'm stopping now, before I start crying. :)

Nate- My heart could have BURST with pride last night at your accolades.  You deserve them all.  Thank you for your steadfast presence.  You have been my rock many times.

Maya - I am so proud of you.  I am going to miss you so much.  You have held the upper woodwind section together for years. Kahla is ready to step into that role, and I know that you have helped make that happen.

Andy - Oh the memories...Thank you. You are contagious. I am going to miss all those moments of trying not to laugh at your antics. You are a tremendous person, and I am so grateful that I got to be a part of your life for the last 8 years.

Eliza - Sunshine came into my life when were in 7th grade and decided to take a chance on that crazy lady on the stage.  I have watched you blossom musically and personally, and I cannot wait to see where you land!  Thank you for caring for my children numerous times, and for sharing your heart with the little ones in our community.

Drew-  I cannot explain how proud I am of you.  In the six years that I have known you, you have quietly become the backbone of our ensemble. You have no idea the whole that you leaving behind.  I will miss you tremendously.  I am thrilled that you are going to be a Marine, and I cannot wait for visits from you, in full uniform.  It has changed the way I view Memorial Day, and I thank you for that.

Calvin -  I handed you a clarinet four years ago, and you went with it. You never gave up, and soon you were half of our bass section, on bass clarinet.  It has been a joy to be a part of your life, and I look forward to playing with you as an alumni of BRHS.  Thank you for your hard work, and for sharing part of your life with me.

Spencer - It has been a joy getting to know you all over again this year.  You have become a fine young man, and I am so grateful that I got to be a part of your senior year.  Good luck to you!!


*deep breath*

Well.....
Maybe by doing this now, I will be able to survive the day!!
(I am still taking TWO packages of tissues!!)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's a special kind of crazy....

The end of the school year snowballs out of control.
Always.

This year is different because it is not just the school year....

In the midst of:

Two different end of year concerts (back to back -- was I crazy?)
Preparing 60 kids for marching/playing in the Memorial Day Parades (yes, plural)
Graduation preparation (pomp and circumstance-- one more time with feeling)
And getting the community band ready for Memorial Day
And getting the community band ready for Grand March (graduation night, seniors dressed in beautiful white tuxes and white gowns)

I am losing EIGHT seniors.  I have never had a class like this before....  they were the ones that changed the whole dynamic of band in our schools. When they were fifth graders, I was beginning my 3rd year teaching.  Now they are leaving, and I am finishing my 10th.   I have had these 8 seniors for 8 years.


AND....

I am MOVING. Packing up my belonging and schlepping them to our new place...

So when I tell you that things are a special kind of crazy up in here....
you will now understand.

Three more nights in this house!


And.... all this stress and anxiety is taking a toll on me physically.
My back has been bothering me.  A lot.  Great timing, huh?  I have been blaming it on my mattress.  I think its the tension I have been trapping along my spine.

And my heart has been doing strange extra beat or skipping beat type things.

I don't think I am dying... I think that life is just a little bit too much for little old me to handle right now.


After my two school concerts last week, I deserved a chance to relax. To reflect.... to take a break before the crazy end of year madness.

Nope.  No relaxing for this Mama!  Pack, pack, pack....  Schlep, Schlep, Schlep...

(We are so grateful that we have been able to bring things over to the new place whenever we want to.
It is making the packing much easier.)

And now the end of a beautiful chapter in our lives is ending....  The last three years in this town, in this house, making lifelong friends is drawing to a close.

We are beyond excited about what lies ahead.

And in the meantime, you can often find me singing "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming."

See you when the dust settles . . .

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our future home!

We brought our first load over to the house today, and we showed Soccer Boy. He was pretty excited!






Moving! in T - 18 Days!

We are MOVING!
We found a place that we loved, that we had to crunch the numbers (just a little bit) and commit to really, actually buckling down on our finances in order to make it work, and we met with the landlord yesterday, and we got it!!

It is a two bedroom house attached to a dentist office right in the heart of town!

The paint is new, the layout is great, and we fell in love with it when we walked into the kitchen-- and that isn't even the best part of the house!

The bedrooms have built in drawers -- so cool, and lots of closets.

The bathrooms are TINY -- we have been very spoiled by our bathrooms in our previous places, but it's okay.  Bathrooms are not a deal-breaker.  :)

So-- Saturday, May 28th is MOVING day!
And then on Monday, I will be with my band kiddos for the Memorial Day Parades.  But I won't have to go far!!

Things that are falling into place?

-- We can start moving things in now.   Basically-- every single day, I could load up the van/car and take stuff to the house.

-- Internet and electric are all set up, and we are getting a great deal on just internet!  Woo!  (Which reminds me..... need to call hubs and double check that)

-- My parents are sending us $$ to pay for the U-Haul truck!! Wow! We so weren't expecting it, but really, really appreciate it!

-- Our pastor is going to round up some guys from our church to help us on Moving Day!

-- My husband is taking the Friday before AND the Tuesday after Memorial Day off for packing/unpacking purposes.




SO yeah.
That's what's going on in MY 'hood.  

Peace out,  Yo.

 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Quiet moments

As I relax on the couch after getting home from church, Cuddle Bug is entertaining himself with his still new birthday toys. Soccer Boy is playing upstairs with tractors and trains, and not whining.

I don't ever not feel grateful for my boys and my beautiful life, but it was just really special today.
Such a community sense of support and gratitude of mothers from all walks of life, and of all shapes and sizes. Maybe a year of being a mother of two has made me more accepting of what I always referred to as a greeting card holiday. Maybe the increased connection that I feel with my own mother makes the holiday more meaningful this year.

I don't know. But what I do know is this. When you are trying really hard to raise your children in a way that gives them boundaries and expectations, it is sometimes a rough road. A pat on the back, a hug, and a carnation in church on sunday end up meaning more than you could imagine.

To the elders and deacons at churches everywhere: Thank you for making a point to appreciate the mothers out there!

To my boys: I love you with all of my heart, a big as the ocean and the sky.

To my mother: Thank you for having high standards and expectations, and for filling our lives with love. I love you so much. I have an excellent example to follow!

To mothers everywhere: Don't grow weary in doing good! Enjoy your day, and kiss your babies, even if they are taller than you now!

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Friday, April 29, 2011

Gah!

By all accounts, this should have been an amazing week.
My parents gave me my birthday Garmin on Saturday, and I was all set and scheduled to start rocking my C25K workouts like NObody's business.

(cue violins)

Somehow, while standing and teaching, or walking, or doing something equally NOT STRENUOUS, I wrenched a muscle in my back.

There has been some serious discomfort.

And then, while I know we have nothing to complain about,  the weather has been rainy, rainy, dreary yucky, until this morning.

Well, hello, Mr. Sun!  I had forgotten what you looked like.

Oh, of course there is the cold from h  that has decided that it will NEVER. LEAVE. ME.

Add in leftover desserts, easter candy, and a general feeling of malaise or angst, and you have the recipe for a seriously overwhelmed mama.


Oh.... I forgot to mention that the real root of the STRESS is that I have scheduled the concerts for my school bands and now I am freaking out because...  it's what I do. *shrug*

--------------------------------------------------------------------------


I need to do something.

I have been toying with the idea of eliminating sugar from my diet.
I won't lie - that idea scares me to pieces.
(Which is part of the reason that I think I might have to do it.)

It will take planning.

Serious sweet tooth?  check.
Must have an alternative on hand at all times.
Oh goodness.


Hmmm.....

There are other options:

Counting calories at http://www.myfitnesspal.com again.

Eating intuitively.

Portion control. (more like Portion POLICING)

There have to be other options....

Cutting white flour?  (oh no.....  that is one that I SHOULD do, but....  how do I even begin???)

ACK!

-
I have no idea what to do, or where to start.
I have to go organize something.