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losing love handles

It has been 2 weeks since I started seriously working on a healthier me. I am happy to report I have lost 4 pounds. I am also happy to report that I have lost almost 3 inches, mainly from my love handles and hips (my hips are the biggest part of me, thanks to my heredity!)

Sidetracked by snow and ice

I did great with recording everything I ate for the first week, but the second week we had a snowstorm which turned into ice. Hubby went to work late and got home early every day, my older kids were hanging out here since they couldn’t drive all around, which means I had to cook meals they would eat too. I think I could’ve lost another pound or 2 this past week if not for that, but I digress.

I have actually increased my exercise, other than a few days last week (which caused me to get stiff and achy in my back again!)  I am doing what is called High Intensity Interval Training. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is about mixing high intensity bursts of exercise with moderate intensity recovery periods. It’s brutal but has incredible advantages. It’s the quickest way to get in fit, lose fat and build stamina.

High Intensity Interval Training

When we do aerobic or cardio exercise, we were always taught to stay within 60-80% of our target heart rate. When you utilize HIIT, you work at the lower heart rate for a specific period and then you do a short, high intensity burst, pushing your heart rate to close to its max.

I use a treadmill for now. When the weather gets nicer, I will go outside some, but for now, I like to be able to control the workout with the treadmill.

treadmill High intensity training intervals

I can tell a HUGE difference in my stamina. I can walk up a flight of stairs without huffing and puffing, and 2 weeks ago, we went to a local mountain for a hike. While I didn’t do fantastic, I could tell my body was in better shape than it had been. I am looking forward to climbing to the top of our little mountain very soon!

There is lots of info on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) online. I am going to show you how someone who was horribly out of shape put this to work.

A workout for an overweight, out-of-shape 40 something woman

A few notes- 30 minute workout, base speed is determined by you, mine has increased as I have gotten in better shape, I usually drag out the last slowdown and cooldown a few minutes. And this workout can be for anybody, lol*

*I am not a doctor or medically licensed individual. Please check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program!

Interval timer Intensity Speed Incline
1- warmup 0-4 min 4 base speed 0
1st hill 4-6 min 6 base speed 6
slowdown 6-8 4 base speed 0
1st speed burst 8-10 6 base +.4 0
slowdown 10-12 4 base speed 0
2nd hill 12-14 9 base speed 8
slowdown 14-16 4 base speed 0
2nd speed burst 16-18 9 base speed +.8 0
slowdown 18-20 4 base speed 0
3rd hill 20-22 9 base speed 8
slowdown 22-24 4 base speed 0
3rd speed burst 24-26 9 base speed +.8 8
slowdown 26-28 4 base speed 0
cool down 28-30 3 base speed -.2 0

This is basically 2 minute intervals of lower intensity and higher intensity. The better shape you are or move into, the higher the levels will need to go. I am actually in the process of moving my intervals to 3 minutes on, 1 minute slowdown, but not quite at it yet, more like 2.5 minutes high intensity and 1.5 slowdown. Download a printable copy of HIIT workout.

What progress can you expect?

FYI- when I began walking on the treadmill for 15 minutes a day in November, my base speed was 2.5. I could not do 2 minutes at an 8 incline. My base speed is currently 2.8, my max speed is 3.5. It is not quite a jog, but almost there! I also do one interval on elevation 6, the other 2 on elevation 8. I like to hike, so speed is not my only goal. I need to be able to climb hills, so using the elevation on the treadmill really helps with this.

For someone who is an athlete, this may not look like much, but it has made a huge difference to me. Whenever I exercised before, I never really felt a difference or saw something I could measure, but by using the HIIT and monitoring my heart rate (I just use what is on my treadmill, although I would like a fancy, schmancy one!) Because I can see the difference, I am motivated to stick with it, unlike ever before.

I believe that by continuing at this rate, I will be able to reach my goal of losing a total of 25 pounds by April!

My Journey to Balance

While working on the body, I am also working on my emotional and mental health over at my other blog. If you feel overwhelmed with your life, I encourage you to come on over and participate! It’s FREE!

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I have been overweight for years. I weigh more (just a little!) than I did when I delivered my youngest daughter (she’ll be 18 in April). I have weighed even more than I do now, but lost weight over the past 2 years due to stress. And that is really odd, because I am a stress eater normally. I can throw down some carbs when I am stressed/depressed!

I went through an extremely stressful past 2 years, with a job that worked me 80+ hours a week and I literally did not have time to eat. Or exercise. Or do anything healthy. I lost a total of 25 pounds over those 2 years. (oh, part of it wasn’t the job, part of the stress was my hubby having a brain aneurysm 2 years ago.) My life has changed quite a bit over the past 4 months. I had a nervous breakdown and went on medical leave.

Since I have much more time on my hands, and because I am trying to take care of myself overall, body and soul, I thought it would be good to try to learn to eat healthy and begin exercising. Since I have been at home I have put back on about 10 pounds and I don’t want to gain even more.

However, I will say, that this is NOT truly about weight loss. If I even stayed the same size as I am now, but were healthy and strong, I’d be okay with that. I thought I would join up with a challenge though, to help me keep motivated! A girl likes to have friends encouraging her on, right? So I am joing the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans challenge!

So, what are my goals?

-To exercise for a minumum of 15 minutes at least 5 out of 7 days a week- I have a treadmill and do speed and hill intervals
-To do a yoga/pilate routine at least 5 days a week (20 minute routine from Amazon)
-To go to bed by 11 pm each night
-To track my food intake by using Sparkpeople.com, EVERYTHING I EAT!

What is the weight goal? I’d like to lose 28 pounds by April 1st. Since this challenge goes through February 28th, I’d say I’d like to lose 18 pounds by then. But like I said, this is about feeling healthier and stronger. That is why I am also incorporating the yoga and pilates, for strength and flexibilty.

I FEEL old. My joints ache. I want to be YOUNG when I am 60, but at 45, I FEEL old!

My Journey to Balance

While working on the body, I am also working on my emotional and mental health over at my other blog. If you feel overwhelmed with your life, I encourage you to come on over and participate! It’s FREE!

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I’m all over the place!

This week, I was allowed to guest post at 40 Moms Club, a great new blog for moms in their 30s, 40s and 50s. My post is Are you a graceful swan or a sinking ship?

Also this week, my first post as contributor on Life Your Way was published. I will be writing for the Productivity Your Way category. My post this month is called Defining your priorties for the holidays.

Living the Balanced Life  I have also been writing on Living the Balanced Life. My latest posts there are:

   The Walking Wounded
   Waiting for Perfect
   I’d love to have you come visit me there!  You can also join me on Facebook and follow me  on Twitter!

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I have been struggling with writing the past few days. Definitely not feeling it. This morning I was reading through some older stuff on my computer and came across this essay that was written by my now 17 year old daughter. She wrote this a little over 2 years ago. Be sure to read thru to the end as there is amazing insight there.

 

Where I’m From….

By L Wood

 I’m from the same place still that I came from,lyz and snow

Lived in the same house my whole life,

I’m from memories that always flow through me,

Every time I’m home I remember happiness and strife,

I’m from dancing in the mirror and singing in the hairbrush

To playing with momma’s hair and daddy’s big bear hugs

 

Lyz and butterflyI was the little girl next door that couldn’t come out and play

And the girl who thought she was a boy until about 13,

I’m from the bridge over our favorite creek

That’s surrounded by pretty flowers in the spring

I’m from the top of my horse, lyz and geronimo

Who is my best friend and keeps all my secrets,

I can trust him

 If you fast forward a little you’ll see,

I’m still from the same cute, little house,

But no longer a little girl walks out the front door,

But a young lady trying so hard to make her parents proud

 

elevate I’m from The Church at Covington and Elevate Youth Group,

I’m from frustration coming out of my Algebra 2 classroom,

I’m from a place that gets confusing,

But in this place God is able to use me

 

I’m from a small town,lyz dance (2)

Where it’s impossible not to see to see someone you know when you go out,

I’m from a dance studio were I’ve thought through so many problems,

As I let my feelings through in the way my body moves

 

lyz I’m from a place were most people don’t go,

That’s deep in my mind,

A place that I don’t ever really show,

I’m from trying so hard to be myself,

To learning it’s always possible… If you’re brave enough*.

*This is such a sweet line for me to remember. She loved the Chronicles of Narnia and Aslan says this to Lucy in the movie, which had come out some time before she wrote this

Such insight from a 15 year old!

There is a place in all of us, a place that we never really show, the place that we keep hidden because we are sure that people could not possibly like us if they knew ‘that’ person.

I know that she is still working on this herself, but I hope she is able to find some success while she is young. It sucks to be 45 and not be comfortable in being who I am, of not even being 100% sure of who that is yet. I know that I am getting closer to discovering me, that I am becoming more and more brave and digging deeper and deeper within to those areas within that I have locked away for so long.

So, even now, at 45, I am trying so hard to be myself,

as

     I

        discover,

                          one

                                 step

                                         at

                                              a

                                                 time,

                                                          who

                                                                  I

                                                                     really

                                                                                am. 

What about you? Are you comfortable with who you are? Do you know who that person is? Did you always know or did it take some time to figure it out?

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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There are always areas of our lives that we want to work on or improve. We all don’t necessarily have the same things to work on, but we all something we want to improve. And we usually complain about those areas in our lives quite a bit, but don’t end up doing much about it anyway.

As I am preparing for some major changes to my blog in near future, I came across some great 31 day programs! There are 8 different areas of focus, I encourage you to take a peak at each and see which ones reach deep in your heart and go for those! Do NOT try to read and implement these 8 blogs over the next 31 days! You cannot effectively change that much at one time. Good news is, they will be archived, and once you work through one or two areas, you can come back to a different one to work on next!

I appreciate the time and effort these talented women are putting into these projects!

31-Days-550x344

Emily is the hostess for 31 days of Grace :: Chatting at the Sky

Kendra is hostess for 31 Days to an Inspired Table :: My First Kitchen

The ‘Nester’ is hostess for 31 Days to a Less Messy Nest :: Nesting Place

Emily is hostess for 31 Days of Living Simply :: Remodeling This Life
31-Days-1

Melissa is the hostess for 31 Days of Autumn Bliss :: The Inspired Room

Jennifer is the hostess for 31 Days to More. . .With Less :: Beauty and Bedlam

Darcy is the hostess for the 31 Days to a Better Photo :: My 3 Boybarians

Sandy is the hostess for the 31 Days to Stress Free Entertaining :: Reluctant Entertainer
31-Days-2

Once you decide which programs you are going to follow this month, leave me a comment here so I know who I will see and where!

I have written quite a bit about several of these subjects as well. Feel free to check out my archives to read more about my journey!

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And where are you going?

road travelledAs we look back behind us, at our life, we can see the path that we have been down.

We see where we’ve been… what we’ve done.

We see the good times… and the not-so-good.

We are proud of the good choices we made… and would like to forget some of the poor ones.

We see where others we met and interacted with along the way have given us much joy… or brought us much grief.

Many times we would like to go back and change where our path took us

To avoid some of the negatives and the pain.

To end up in a different place than where we are.

These things are not possible.

All we can do with the past, positive or negative, is to embrace it, learn from it, and (this part many people don’t realize!)…

decide which way we want to go from here

Are we content with where our current path is leading? Or do we want to end up somewhere totally different?

The choice is yours. You get to decide what direction your life takes. You can make course adjustments. Did you know that pilots (and the autopilot) are constantly having to make minor course corrections? Being off by 1 degree can make a huge difference in where you end up. By the same token, making adjustments of 1 degree can totally alter your journey.
road less travelled

It doesn’t necessarily take a MAJOR life decision or change to get different results!

I met a wonderful lady this weekend, Laurie Smithwick, co-founder of Kirtsy.com who made a statement that inspired this post. She said…

“We are creating our future by deciding where to step.”

Awesome! You get to decide which direction you take your next step. A little to the right? A little to the left?

But, what about…

I know that we all have been dealt some tough stuff. There are some things out of your control. However, there are a lot of things YOU do have the ability to control, and you need to learn what those things are.

  1. Your thoughts
  2. Your Attitude
  3. How you take care of yourself (eat right, drink water, exercise)
  4. How you manage your time (saying No, turning off TV or PC, choosing family time over outside obligations)
  5. Learn to live in the moment

Even if you are at a place in your life where a lot of your time is committed to things that ARE important to you (children, family, career) determine even those small things that can make a shift toward the direction you want to head.

this way that way signFor example-

  1. Drink water instead of soda
  2. Go to bed instead of watching ‘just one more show’
  3. Take a 10 minute walk rather than vegging out. If you still want to veg when you return, go for it!
  4. Read a book on a subject you want to know more about, even if it is just 15 minutes on your lunch break
  5. Research that business idea floating in your head and start creating a plan, even if it is a 5 or 10 year plan
  6. Get a new haircut/style that better reflects you
  7. Go through your wardrobe and do your best to wear only the clothes that you feel good in, that make you feel confident
  8. Spend some time in reflection determining who “you” really are, and where you want your path to eventually lead.

What are some of the little (or BIG) changes you have made to point yourself in the direction you want to be going?

I will be expanding on some of these ideas over the next couple of weeks. Be sure to subscribe HERE so you don’t miss out on any of my posts!

If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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I am participating this week in a challenge for Get Back to Blogging and Jumpstart Your Blog. I will be redoing and reposting some of my earlier posts to improve them and also share with some of my newer readers who may not have seen them.

Below the first line is my very 1st post. Take a quick glance and then scroll down past the second line to see the updated version. In the beginning, I didn’t know anything about formatting or pictures! Very BORING, LOL!

_______________________________________________________________________________

How did I end up here? Are any of you asking yourself that question?  I know that I am.  On one hand, I can’t believe what I HAVE been able to accomplish, and on the other, I say, “Is this all there is?”

I am proud of what I have done. I have raised 4 amazing kids (with the help of my dedicated husband and by the grace of God!). I have 6 beautiful grandchildren, with another on the way (can’t wait to meet Kenley Grace in September!) My children put us through some rough times, and I will say that, as teenaged parents, we put THEM through some rough times. 

We were two messed up teenagers from two messed up homes, trying to create a family, a home.  I feel that we did a pretty good job with what we started out with.  Don’t get me wrong, as my kids have grown up I am sure they will be the first to point out mistakes we made!  The thing is this, we sincerely had their best interests at heart. We wanted more for them than we had, and I am not talking about “stuff”.  I am talking about love and security and connection, a sense of belonging.  The cool thing is, that as they get older, we able to talk about how they felt growing up.  About the mistakes we made and they made.  And, as they take issue with some of what we did, and they see us as the imperfect parents we are, they understand that we are not perfect, we are human, just as they are, and they begin to understand why we did what did and still do what we do. 

I just pray this, that they will carry our successes and learn from our failures to the next generation.  Will they be perfect parents?  No, there is no such thing.  But, maybe, just maybe, they have learned that the most important things are not things at all. It is about relationships, about connecting, about experiences, about loving one another and being loved in return. 

Is our family perfect now?  How boring that would be!  I have 4 adults/young adults who are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be when they grow up, and how they want to live their lives.  It is an exciting journey to watch.  In my generation, you were supposed to know “what you wanted to be when you grew up”.  I want my children to know, and I want you to know and understand this, that that journey began when we were very young, and it will continue till the day we leave this earth.  The parents of our generation were taught to get an education, get a job, and settle in for their “life”.  This generation is SO different!  I think that so many of us in my generation feel discontent because we don’t feel right settled into our “life”. 

I will be writing more on this subject as it is close to my heart, but let me leave you with this question?  Have you settled?  Are you still settling?  This doesn’t mean you don’t love your husband, family, children.  Just think about it.  The first step to finding ourselves is to admit we are lost. As we begin this journey, I would love to hear from you and read your comments.

______________________________________________________________________________

Revised Post

How did I end up here?

Are any of you asking yourself that question?  I know that I am.  On one hand, I can’t believe what I HAVE been able to accomplish, and on the other, I say, “Is this all there is?”

I am proud of what I have done. I have raised 4 amazing kids (with the help of my dedicated husband and by the grace of God!). I have 6 beautiful grandchildren, with another on the way (Kenley Grace arrived on Labor Day!). My children put us through some rough times, and I will say that, as teenaged parents, we put THEM through some rough times. 

family picture

In the beginning…

We were two messed up teenagers from two messed up homes, trying to create a family, a home.  I feel that we did a pretty good job with what we started out with.  Don’t get me wrong, as my kids have grown up I am sure they will be the first to point out mistakes we made! 

The thing is this, we sincerely had their best interests at heart. We wanted more for them than we had, and I am not talking about “stuff”.  I am talking about love and security and connection, a sense of belonging. 

The cool thing is, that as they get older, we able to talk about how they felt growing up.  About the mistakes we made and they made.  And, as they take issue with some of what we did, and they see us as the imperfect parents we are, they understand that we are not perfect, we are human, just as they are, and they begin to understand why we did what did and still do what we do. 

I just pray this, that they will carry our successes and learn from our failures to the next generation.  Will they be perfect parents?  No, there is no such thing.  But, maybe, just maybe, they have learned that the most important things are not things at all. It is about relationships, about connecting, about experiences, about loving one another and being loved in return. 

Perfect family?

Is our family perfect now?  How boring that would be!  I have 4 adults/young adults who are trying to figure out who they are and what they want to be when they grow up, and how they want to live their lives.  It is an exciting journey to watch. 

silly family pic

Here they are being their 'true' selves!

In my generation, you were supposed to know “what you wanted to be when you grew up”.  I want my children to know, and I want you to know and understand this, that that journey began when we were very young, and it will continue till the day we leave this earth.  The parents of our generation were taught to get an education, get a job, and settle in for their “life”.  This generation is SO different!  I think that so many of us in my generation feel discontent because we don’t feel right settled into our “life”. 

I will be writing more on this subject as it is close to my heart, but let me leave you with these questions? 

Have you settled?  Are you still settling? 

This doesn’t mean you don’t love your husband, family, children.  Just think about it.  The first step to finding ourselves is to admit we are lost. As we begin this journey, I would love to hear from you and read your comments!

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