The last few days I've gotten plenty of emails , letters in the mail, and notes home from the kids schools and coaches with the updates on their Spring sporting events and other activities. Letting me know about practice schedules and game days.
Madeline, my almost 15 year old, currently has track practice 5 days a week, and her first "meet" is this Thursday. She is also an avid equestrian, and takes riding lessons, and just registered for two horse shows coming up in June. Additionally, she competes in a "tetrathalon" with her horse, which is a two day event, consisting of four separate phases: she swims, she runs, she shoots an air pistol (target shooting), and she then rides her horse over a combination of 12 or so jumps. Swimming and shooting practices will be starting up soon, too! She also participates in Polocrosse, which is "LaCrosse on horseback". Yeah, its crazy!
Patrick, my almost 14 year old, currently has baseball practice every Friday, and has his first game this weekend. Once school gets out, practices get bumped up to 2 or 3 times per week. He also takes guitar, and starting in June, will begin football practice five days a week for the freshmen high school team. He got so busy, he had to give up tennis.
Eloise, my 5 year old, has ballet/tap dance every Monday, Bible school every Wednesday, and Girl Scouts on Thursdays. And she is starting soccer, with her first practice this weekend, and games starting in two weeks!
So as I look at my calendar, and update the days of each child's practices, games, lessons, etc. it reminded me of why I wanted to be an "active.com" participant. I had written to Michelle that I was the chauffeur for my children, toting them around to all their various activities, and also had the role of the " cheerleader" on the side lines, yelling "You can do it!" "Good job!" and "Way to go"!
My goal was to get active myself! Not just sit on the side cheering, but "get in the game".
I feel now that the mission has been accomplished. I looked at the calendar and saw the entry for April 18th. It said "KIM" : Run for Water in Chicago.
It brought a smile to my face at the realization that "I'M" on the calander. Thats right, ME! I HAVE AN EVENT TOO! And it will be great when my family will be at the finish line, this time, cheering for ME!
Thank you active .com for helping me reach my goal! I am getting off the sideline, and getting in the game!
Well, I am back home to the Windy City, after spending a week in North Carolina visiting with family. If I could sum up the week, I would say it was "VICTORIOUS!". Each day brought new adventures, challenges and SUCCESSES! The weather was gorgeous and we spent as much time out doors as we possibly could. The week was filled with daily walks for me, and bike rides for the kids as they tagged along behind me. We visited several different local parks and forest preserves. and one day even went hiking and climbing where we saw some awesome waterfalls!
Our favorite park by far was located in Summerfield, and it had EVERYTHING that the outdoor enthusiast could possibly want. Bike trails, walking paths, big open areas for flying kites (which we did!) , a fishing pond, playground equipment and even EXCERCISE EQUIPMENT! I have never seen a park that had an "outdoor gym!". What a blast! Not only was I able to do my walking training, but use the "equipment" too, for that "complete workout " experience! I've attached some photos (and I'll try to attach video too)
Dining out for lunch and dinner every day was not as hard as I thought it was going to be. I made the best decisions I could for meals, opting for water to drink (instead of the calorie laced "sweet tea", and ordered fresh fruit plates as often as possible. One of the most rewarding days came at the end of the week, when I needed to borrow clothes from my cousin. Since I had only packed "cool weather clothes", the 84 degree day took me by suprise, and my long sleeve shirts and jeans just weren't going to cut it. When I was able to fit into my cousins shorts, (which were TWO SIZES smaller than the size I wore!!)Then I knew that all my training was paying off! But the best part of the the trip, is the fact that nobody asked "what are we going to do today?" They had all been conditioned by then, they knew we were headed to the park to excercise. It was more like "which one do you want to go to today?"
We got home last night, and yes it was great to sleep in my own bed again. This morning I stepped on the scale and I was ecstatic to find I was down 2 and half pounds!!!!! I was hoping just not to gain any weight, but
actually losing weight was incredible. Sweet sweet victory!
Today was weigh in day! I record my weight every Monday morning . I was pleased with myself to find I am down a total of 9 pounds since the beginning of this "who wants to get active" challenge! I realize its not a lot of weight, but I think that the 1-2 pounds a week slow weight loss, will help it become permanent weight loss. So, that means since this was the end of week 4, and I met my personal goals, I get my reward! ( see original blog called "incentive needed) I am going to schedule a massage for later in the week!
And, at this pace, by race day hopefully I will be down a total of 15-20 pounds! I'm happy not only about the weight loss, but just in general, my overall mood and disposition has changed. I feel happier and healthier, and I actually WANT to excercise, and I make it a priority. Its been great having my kids walking with me. We were at the zoo last weekend for a few hours and walked ALL OVER! The best thing that happened recently, is that my 5 year old daughter Eloise brought home this picture that she colored at school. A couple times a week they do this assignment called "write and draw". They get a piece of paper, which mostly is blank, but has a few lines on the bottom. The idea is for them to think about what they did recently, write a few sentences trying to sound out the words, and then color a picture to illustrate their sentences. (this is kindergarden, mind you)
Well, her previous papers had been " I went to grandmas house" or " we made pizza for dinner". The one she just brought home though is the KEEPER!. It says " I WENT FOR A WALK WITH MOMMY, MADI AND JAKE!. She was referring to last weekend when I took her to the nature trails, along with my older daughter Madi, and her boyfriend Jake. We walked on the trails for about an hour, and Eloise must have enjoyed that time spent together so much, it was on her mind when it was time for the "write and draw" station at school. I am so excited to see the change not only in ME, but in my little daughter! So, I scanned her coloring page. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did (I'm the one on the far right with the dark hair) Notice that we all have big smiles on our faces!!! (We are walking on a blacktop path by the way) I LOVE THIS PICTURE! (click on the word "permalink at bottom of post, and then "attachment " to see it! Its called "walk001"
OK fellow "who wants to get active 2010" participants!! Do you know what today is! Thats right, its MARCH 18!!!
That means we have ONE MONTH until our Run for Water Races! Keep up the training! You are all doing GREAT!
One month in to this program, and I feel so energized! My clothes are fitting better, I've got a spring to my step, and someone even told me that "my face looks smaller!" (which I am going to take as a wierd compliment??!)
I know today was a "rest" day, but I was out in the yard this afternoon with my husband, son, and daughter, and we actually played soccer for about a half hour or so! The weather is getting so nice, I just want to be outside ALL THE TIME!! I might actually purchase a pair of shorts sometime soon! My legs are getting so much excercise now, then don't look like tree trunks so much anymore! And I might actually seem some definition from where my calf ends, and my ankle begins! It won't be a "cankle" anymore! Oh, Dare to Dream, huh?
Well, I will be at the CHICAGO race one month from TODAY! Give a shout out! Where will YOU be??
A while back I took the time to meet with a nutritionist twice a month for about six months. She helped me analyze my food intake and make adjustments that improved my energy and balanced my diet. One of the most important things I learned is that people in general need to eat more greens and grains. So everytime I sit down to make my meal plan, I ask myself if I have enough greens and grains. One of my favorite grains is quinoa so I wanted to share some tasty quinoa recipes with you all. Enjoy!
Cajun Corn and Kale Salad
1 sweet onion minced
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 bunch of Kale--steamed, cooled and drained (you can squeeze excess water out of the kale once it is cooled)
1 can of corn (or 2 ears of corn, cooked and cut off the cob)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
cajun seasoning - if you do not have any you can make it by mixing the following ingredients together: salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, crushed fennel seeds, thyme
1 1/2 cups quinoa cooked and cooled (I'm not sure if this is the right amount for the recipe so just make a bunch and mix in the appropriate amount)
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and enjoy. This is great to eat as leftovers so make a lot and eat it for lunch throughout the week.
Almond and Fennel Salad
1 C quinoa
1 C seedless, red grapes
1 fist-sized bulb of fennel, finely chopped
1/2 C silvered almonds, lightly toasted
1 T fresh thyme
1 T fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
2 T red wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
fresh pepper, to taste
Wash the quinoa until water runs clear.
Cook quinoa in large pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
Drain the quinoa and rinse with cold water
In the same pot bring 1/2 inch of water to a boil, place the colander or sieve that was used to drain the quinoa in the kettle. The quinoa will steam in the pot-covered-for 10 minutes without touching the water. The quinoa is ready when it is fluffy and dry.
When quinoa cools, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Greetings WWTGA Teams! I'm back from the Caribbean and ready to rumble. I've enjoyed reading your blog posts and getting to know you. Thank you for presenting yourself to the world and telling your stories. I believe the very first step in making change is identifying where you are. Blogging about it somehow makes it more real. So, here we go!
Just a few tips before we get officially started next week. Gwen, I admire you in many ways. Being in the service industry is a challenging career and one that requires constant output (giving). This is the perfect time to learn to set aside some you time and give back to the one who gives so much to so many (that would be you). Scheduling your workouts for 7pm before you go to work is a great idea and like brushing your teeth will soon become a regular part of your day. Just 30 minutes a day will make a significant difference in reaching your goals to Get Active and Run It Off! As you have written, the healthier you are, the better role model you are for your kids, your husband and your co-workers.
Remember Rome wasn't built in a day and changing habits happens over time. But stocking up with healthy food choices so you have access when you need them is a great way to get this party started. It never fails, whether I'm home or on the road traveling, if I plan ahead and have healthy food choices, I eat them. If I don't, I end up struggling to find foods that aren't on the Super-sizing list. If you haven't done so already, plan a trip to the grocery store in the next few days and consider the following tips on your journey through the maze of options.
Make a list and check it twice. It takes a few minutes up front, but pays off in dividends in the end and really reduces the stress levels. Look through websites and magazines for healthy recipes. Some of my favorite resources are Cooking Light and Eating Well. Research has shown that eating at home is a solid strategy for managing the portion size and quality of the food you eat. Find a few easy to make 30-minute recipes for the week and you're set. You'll feel good preparing them and even better after you eat them.
Eat before you shop. If you shop when you're hungry, your cart will soon be filled with food choices that may not be on the healthy list.
Variety is the spice for life. We tend to eat the same foods (and wear the same clothes) but the key to eating a balanced nutritional diet is to go with seasonal foods and mix it up. You don't have to reinvent the wheel, however mixing up veggies and grains in yoru dinners or salad ingredients for lunch will earn you major nutrient points!
Invest your time in the produce section of the store and buy a variety of colorful fruits and veggies. These foods have the least amount of preservatives and chemicals and they are the best for you. Frozen fruits and veggies are a good alternative this time of year (winter) and will keep longer during the week.
Look for the least processed foods with the least amount of ingredients. If you can't pronounce the ingredient, it isn't natural. For example, brown rice has three times the fiber than white rice and is an easy change with lots of healthy perks. Breads with 100% whole wheat are more nutritional than the processed alternatives. Consider weaving other healthy grains into recipes like quinoa, bulgur and barley.
We all know a good way to lose fat is to lose fat in our diets. A good way to do so is to go with lean cuts of meat, poultry, and fish. Ask your butcher for the leanest cuts and tell them about your challenge. They will be a useful resource when developing your new menu. Stick with healthy options like avacados, nuts, olive, sunflower and safflower oil (mono and polyunsaturated fats are good).
Shop the perimeter of the store where the freshest foods are found. You'll be less likely to invest in those trigger foods and more likely to graze on more natural food selections.
I know we're all budget-conscious these days. Click here to learn about ten healthy foods for under a $1.