Week's End Recap

Made it to the gym 5 times this week! I started this week at the gym, too. Both of the girls were sick today, so we didn't make it to church. Derek watched the girls for me so I could get a work out in. I figure I won't make it tomorrow since I need to take the girls to the doctor. I had to call my trainer and reschedule for Tuesday instead. I got my 120 reps (legs) done, 60 crunches, 30 abs/knee/chest/leg extensions, and 30 minutes on the elliptical. Still haven't been able to work out my arms. I'm afraid I've done something to my elbow. I'll talk to my trainer about it Tuesday. On the food side, I'm eating much better than before WW. I've gone over on my points a few each day, but it evens out with the physical points I've earned. However, I've found myself getting really hungry throughout the day the last couple of days. I need to find more filling foods. I've noticed the weekends are more difficult for me. Throughout the week when I plan meals more closely, I do much better. We eat out more on the weekends, too. I did try 3 WW recipes this week that were great! I'm ready to make some more! I'll plan to set my menu for the week tomorrow. Derek already has plans for dinner tomorrow. :)

Today's Recap

I have to share some of the great things I'm eating on the WW plan. In our week #1 book, there are several recipes with low point count values. YUMMY! I think my family has appreciated all the cooking, too. Wednesday was Chicken Catatorie, Thursday was Mexican meatloaf with black beans & corn, and tonight was Pineapple Chicken, brown rice, and lettuce wraps. Should have started this a long time ago!

I got an hour in at the gym this morning - 5 minute warm up on treadmill, 90 reps (legs), 60 crunches & 30 knee/extended leg/crunches - then 10 miles on the bike. Feeling pretty good! Since my parents are in town and can watch the girls in the morning, I'll add another workout to my week!

Updates and Images

It's been a great week! I had my first weigh in with Weight Watchers Wednesday morning. I'm down 3.6 pounds. With my weight loss prior to joining WW, that brings me to 9 pounds in 5 weeks. Very exciting! I also attended the 3-Day Walk for the Cure meeting in Atlanta. I'm officially registered for the event. Additionally, I have decided to do the 5k in May as a warm up to the big event. I walked it on the treadmill tonight for the first time. It took me about 55 minutes, so I've got some serious training to do!! I'm excited about it though. I'm focused and motivated. I've told a lot of people about my plans and already have several people ready to make donations to the cause. I'm totally in and there will be no backing out! Took my BEFORE pictures today. Looking forward to the AFTER. =)

Had a great Bible study this morning. Today's session was about finding rest in God. It was definitely something I needed to hear. I've struggled this week with that whole "balance" of life thing. Having added 2 hours to most days with the new exercise & studying plan, I find myself getting frustrated with not getting things done and being tired. It was comforting to know that if we ask, He will give us rest. It's ok to want rest! He wants to take our burdens. We just need to be willing to listen, obey and ask.


Got a full fledge butt kickin' from a very large black man today. LOL Translation - I started with a great new personal trainer at the gym today who gave me a great work out. :) Took all of my measurements so we can track the changes each month. We went over short term and long term goals. Really put things into perspective. I'm excited about the changes that I'm making! I think this is the most serious I've ever been about making a life change with food and exercise. I realize now that it is a life long commitment, not just a temporary fix. I'm on week #5 and feeling better every day.

So, what are my goals? I don't have a magic number I'm shooting for. Yes, I want to lose numbers and sizes, but I want to feel good in my clothes. My short term goal, as silly as it may sound, is to wear shorts this summer. I haven't worn shorts in years! I wear capris all summer because I'm afraid to be seen in shorts. But, not this summer - I WILL wear shorts and like it!

My long term goal right now is walking the 60 miles in the Walk for the Cure for my birthday this year. It's exactly 8 months from today. I think it is totally attainable from a physical standpoint. And, a bonus - if I can just lose 5 pounds a month from now until my birthday - I will almost be at my goal weight. It really isn't that far away!

I AM setting a better example for my girls. I'm so excited to see my girls playing "going to the gym". Instead of them saying "I'm going to McDonalds", they're exercising. Audrey asks me every day if I've been to the gym. She's a great accountability partner! I totally see how my actions affect them!! I am making wiser food choices and teaching the girls. We're talking more about what is healthy for our body and not. And, what some of the health consequences are if we don't make good choices.

Sunshine and Challenges

The sunshine does exist! What a beautiful day we had today. I hope everyone got out and spent a little time in it. Got a little taste of spring now I'm ready for it!

We've had a great weekend so far. I had a few friends over last night to scrapbook. I didn't get tons done on my own album, but I did get reorganized, caught up on my Feb/Mar calendar pages, and enjoyed time with friends. It's the first crop I've had this year. I need to get back to my monthly gigs.

Today Derek & I headed to downtown ATL for lunch and made a little stop to Trader Joes afterward. Then we picked the girls up and went to the park. It was such a beautiful day and they really enjoyed playing on the playground and walking around watching the softball and soccer practices going on. I have to say that I absolutely love where we live - if for no other reason than the abundance of great parks and green ways!

I've been doing really well on my health plan. It's going to take a little more time to get use to the point system with WW, but I think it's a great plan. Just trying to plan ahead so that I allocate my points most effectively. I find myself getting hungry about 3:00 every day and at night before bed, so I'm working on it. And, I can honestly say that I'm loving going to the gym. I've been 4 times this week and feel like I could add another day or two. I'm meeting with a personal trainer on Monday and may set up some appointments with him. That is a little scary to me because I'm enjoying doing my own thing, but I could really use some help in the weight training. I do pretty well with the cardio, but other than doing a few weight machines that I'm familiar with - I'm not very confident in my abilities there. I think a PT will be a big help.

I haven't mentioned this before, but there's a new project I may be taking on. It's a combination of heart and health. It all started last month when I found out that two people I know have breast cancer. One is a vibrant 28 year old that I coached when she was in high school. She's also the sister of a friend. I was just floored to find out about her diagnosis. She found out in July and had her last chemo treatment last month. She seems to be doing very well. (Also didn't realize that her mom is a 4 year survivor. Great lady!) Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I discovered that another dear lady was diagnosed in October. She is the mom of 3 of my former students. I had her girls in middle & high school. She and I were really close when I coached there and it just broke my heart to know she's dealing with this right now (she has a 4th daughter that is 12). So, this has weighed heavily on my heart for a few weeks now. In the midst of this I saw a commercial for the Susan B. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure that has an event here in Atlanta. I researched it, got an info packet & DVD for it, and signed up to attend a meeting (this Tuesday). I just feel led to be a part of this in some capacity. It's a physical, mental, and financial challenge so I'm praying about what part I'll play in this event. It happens to be my birthday weekend, so I think that would be a great way to celebrate! It's a 3 day, 60 mile walk. I have to raise $2300 in order to walk. I'm excited about the prospect of being part of something so amazing and giving to a great cause. So, please pray for me that I do what God wants in this situation. If He wants me to do it, He will help pave the way! He will provide.

Blessings and New Adventures

So, an exciting day today. First of all, I was blessed to spend a whole day with my 4 year old. What a wonderful day! We don't get to spend a lot of time together one-on-one. Since she was out of school, the little one spent the day with her Nana so we could go out. We played at the mall, went to Build-a-Bear, dance class, and to dinner. I'm amazed at what a great little girl she is. So mature for her age. She's so sweet and considerate. She's quite the observer - never misses a thing. I found myself quite teary eyed as I watched her play at the mall. We use to go frequently right after we moved to GA and Maddie was born. We hadn't been in a long time. So, sitting there watching her - growing up before my very eyes - I just wanted to freeze time. One day I'm going to look back and "remember when".

On a totally different note - I started a new adventure on my healthy journey. I joined Weight Watchers. Tonight was my first meeting. My workouts have been going great - today was an hour of cardio (30 min. treadmill with 2.5% incline/3.5 speed/1.75 miles ; 25 min bike at 90 rpm). Yesterday I again conquered the elliptical machine. :) I'm feeling a little stronger every day. But, I still need to do better with eating healthy - hence the WW journey. I've lost 6 pounds on my own in the last 3 weeks, so hopefully with combining the effects of WW and my workouts - I'll start to see some serious results soon. :)

Love of a Lifetime

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. People either love it or hate it. Obviously, if you have your own valentine, you probably love it. If you're single, you probably hate it. I was reading Facebook updates yesterday and you could certainly "hear" some bitterness in posts and utter joy in others. It's easy for me now to sit here and say how grand love can truly be because I'm experiencing it in my life right now. But, there was a time in my life that my heart was shattered. And, since Valentine's Day was our unofficial anniversary, it made the date that much harder. I've moved on from that, but that time in my life does cross my mind occasionally. In fact, a friend from church asked me to share my story at our Bible Study Thursday morning. Rehashing heartbreak isn't very enjoyable, but being able to use my story for the Glory of God makes it much easier. Somewhere along the way I finally learned that the one true valentine is God. It doesn't matter if you're single in this life or not. We are the eternal bride of Jesus Christ. Isn't it wonderful that someone could love us so unconditionally? If there's anything I can teach my children, it is this eternal love.

Now, that we understand the most important love of this life and the next, I have to reflect on the earthly love that I do have. Derek and I met on a blind date in September of '03. I was in what I call "self destruct" mode having just gone through a difficult time (see above). So a serious relationship was not at all what I was looking for. But, when I met Derek, he seemed to bring me back to reality. I started realizing that the life I had been living the past few months was not me at all and I needed to snap out of it. I started focusing on the Word more and seeking out God's plan for my life. I asked Him to forgive me for the short detour in the road I had chosen to take. I still fought the fact that I did not need a man in my life. I was finding "me" and still had some growing to do. But, by Christmas, it was pretty clear to me that God introduced me to Derek for a reason - I was to be his wife. We were going to live the life that I always dreamed of. For our first Valentine's Day (even before we were engaged), Derek bought me a Bible with my name (and his last name) engraved on the front. How's that for a romantic gift?! :) We were engaged the next month and married two months after that. We wasted no time! Six months after we were married, we discovered we were pregnant with our first child (had a miscarriage the month before). Audrey was born 6 weeks after our first wedding anniversary (she was a little premature, too). Two years and 5 months later, Madelyn was born. Talk about true love! There is no love like that a mother has her for her child! So, now I understand even more that love that God has for me. I can't imagine making such a sacrifice!

Thank you, God, for blessing me. Thank you for the hardships you brought to teach me your true love for me. Thank you for a beautiful family and blessing me with wonderful friends. You are good all the time!

The Balance of LIfe

Does anybody else struggle with balancing every day life? There are some people that really seem to have it together and I just wonder how they do it?! Try as hard as I might, there are days where I feel like I accomplish very little. Today was one of those days. Derek is sick, so I really had no "break" today. Ya know, I've been working so hard to be consistent with working out and spending more time in the Bible. Seems so difficult to add that to the every day routine... but it's so important!

Our day went like this.... after being woken up at 4:00 (Audrey had to potty), 4:45 (Maddie was screaming), and 5:45 (again, Maddie screaming), we were up at 7 to get ready for school. After dropping Audrey off, it was back home to feed Maddie breakfast and shower. Headed to the Women's Ministry Bible Study. Back home for lunch (and put away the clean dishes, sweep the floor). Then it's time to pick up Audrey from school. Home... start dinner (at 3:30), throw a load of laundry in, serve dinner (5:00), load up the girls and head to the gym for a quick work out... back home, put girls in the bed, put a few dishes in the dishwasher, and take the trash to the curb. Now it's time to veg out in front of the computer for a bit before going to bed and doing my Bible study. Shew... I didn't even mention the numerous times Maddie had to be put in Time Out for utter disobedience. She has officially hit the Terrible Two's and pushed every button I had today. Guess I was just too busy today and she didn't get enough attention from me.

Anyway... how do people do this effectively every day? Especially single parents? (My heart goes out to those precious people that have to do it alone.) I feel like my house is a disaster today. There are toys all over the living room floor, dirty dishes in the sink, bills need to be paid, floors need to be vacuumed again, and my bathroom desperately needs a bath of its own. My To Do list appears to be growing exponentially day by day. I feel guilty when I don't get enough one-on-one with the girls. I feel crazy when my house is not up to par. I feel guilty when I fall asleep before getting in my Bible study. I'm afraid of missing out on work outs because I don't want to lose the momentum. But, seriously... how do you balance it all?

Blessings and Busyness

What a day! Got to sleep in til 7:30 -wootwoot! Maddie was at her grandparents last night and Audrey had a dr appointment this morning,so our schedule was different today. Got a good report from the neurologist. She had an EEG done in December. Although she isn't seizure free, he still called her "one of the lucky ones". The EEG showed seizure activity (only once), so until it is completely normal, she has to remain on medication. Thankfully, she is on a very low dosage and no major side effects. She is doing very well in school, which is a good sign. So, we'll continue what we're doing and check back in 4 months.

After her appointment this morning I took her to school, came home to finish a craft for her V'day party, and catch up on some much needed phone calls. An hour later, after talking with two insurance companies, I may have fixed the "balances" on our medical & dental bills. I get a little confused as to why insurance companies do things the way they do - make mistakes that they make - and unless we find the problem ourselves and bring it to their attention, we could be paying out hundreds of dollars we don't really owe in the first place!! Anyway, after my productive morning, I headed back to Audrey's school for the big V'day party. I was in charge of crafts and I have to say they were a big hit. :) We made "Pockets full of Kisses". I'll have to post some pics later. But, I cut out pockets from old blue jeans, glued ribbons on (kinda like a purse), and let the the kids decorate, stuff with tissue paper, and fill with Hershey Kisses (and a card with a cute little poem) to take to their mom or dad. I was pleased with how it turned out. Anyhoo - after the party I took Audrey with me (she loves getting to leave early while the other kids are still in class - lol) to pick up Maddie. Then we headed to dance class, picked up dinner, did baths, and bedtime. Derek was at his culinary club tonight, so it was just me and the girls.

So, today was suppose to be weigh in day for me, but with the hectic schedule, I couldn't fit a trip to the gym in. Definitely tomorrow though! I'm not looking forward to the scale though. Being sick last week kept me out of the gym 3 days... and if you had seen the junk I ate today... well, let's just say I may have blown every workout I did this week. I very rarely ever eat fast food any more. We've limited ourselves to only eating out once (occasionally twice a week) for any meal. So, to eat 3, YES, I said 3 meals from fast food restaurants today... I feel quite disgusting. :(
Oh, well... tomorrow is a new day, right?

On the mend

Nothing terribly exciting, but enjoyed a great Saturday. I'm still feeling pretty rough - just can't get this awful cough to go away. But, I did manage to make it to the gym for a 7 mile bike ride. That's all I could handle today. Felt good to move though. I'm starting to find that my body is really craving the exercise now, so that's good!

The girls had a sleepover with their grandparents last night, so I was looking forward to sleeping in. Unfortunately, I woke up with a nasty coughing fit at 6:30 and was up for the day. Got some things done though with the girls not being here. I was a cleaning machine. LOL

I'm enjoying a great Bible study right now. It's a Beth Moore study - Breaking Free (new edition). It's a little more difficult read than the last one we did, but a wonderful study. I'm also looking forward to our new Sunday School class in the morning. We're doing an interesting study in Ezekiel. Kinda sci-fi-ish. lol

That's it for today! I'm off to read and then to bed.

A small block in the road

So I was on a roll last week and started out strong this week - then the sick bug hit our house again. :( Both the girls and myself have come down with something - headache, earache, sore throat, coughing. I've felt pretty rough the last few days, which ultimately means I haven't been to the gym in 3 long days. I'm praying I feel a lot better tomorrow so I can get back to it.

On a positive note, I'm hoping to get my website launched tonight. I'm no web designer, that's for sure! But, I had someone do the basic outline and I've learned enough over the last few weeks to make some pretty significant changes. I've got a few minor things to fix, but at least the bulk of the information is now ready and available to view. Very exciting!! www.thecolorguardacademy.com

The girls are having a sleepover with their grandparents tonight. I'm looking forward to a quiet evening, working on the website, and hopefully sleeping through the night. Even though the girls are 2 & 4, they still don't sleep great. Makes for long days and nights.

Looks like our family will be joining the new church we've been visiting several weeks now. We were so sad to leave our last church. But, the difficulties with attending such a small church is meeting the needs of everyone. We tried almost two years to make it work, but in the end our kids were really missing out. So, we've found a place with an incredible preschool program. I love the worship service and am looking forward to getting involved in the music program. I miss singing so much!! One of the greatest times in my life was when I sang in a quartet. We had several opportunities to sing at churches (in addition to our home church) and I loved it. Anyway... back on topic. Derek & I think we found "the" Sunday School where we're going to fit well. That was our last step. So - if we can get everyone feeling well enough to go to church on Sunday, we'll make it official!

And so the journey begins. . .

My name is Kim. I'm a 34 year old stay-at-home mom to two beautiful little girls (Audrey, 4 1/2 and Madelyn, 2). I have a wonderful husband, Derek, and I live a pretty happy life. Can't really complain about much. At least, I'm trying not to. :) I'm not one for making "New Year's Resolutions", but I have committed recently to making a change for life. What better way to document my efforts than to jump on the blog train and make myself accountable to the whole wide internet world?!

My life has changed quite a bit over the last decade. I truly believe I've made some of the biggest changes within and continue to work on that pretty fiercely. I'm no where near perfect, but each day is a new day to do a little better. I like myself and the person I am. I try not to complain too much and be grateful for all that I have. And, I do believe that God has truly blessed me. I've been through my share of heartache, heartbreak, and disappointments (that I may share with you one day), but God has carried me through it all. I'm learning to trust Him more day by day.

So, what exactly is it I want to change about myself? I'd say one of my worst qualities is lack of "follow through". I have lots of ideas, desires, and intentions - but I'm not the best at completing such tasks. I'm one of those that loves to start things...it's the finishing part that gets me every time. SO, I'm here today to tell the world, I'm working on that - tomorrow. :) Seriously though, I'm taking it one task at a time. Granted there are some things that can never be finished. Like laundry - can you ever really finish the laundry? Do the clothes that you're currently wearing qualify as clean once you put them on? Anyway, you get my point. I want to stop procrastinating and get things done!

Commitment, like follow through, is another hurtle in my life. I don't mean commitment as in relationships, but the "sticking to it" kind of commitment. Consistency. Like going to the gym (see below), staying organized, not skipping class (or Bible study)... those kinds of things. I've been trying to teach Audrey about commitment. She's been kinda blah about her dance class lately and not wanting to go. We've talked about sticking it out to the end of the season and the importance of not giving up. Prime example - she has been asking for weeks to go to gymnastics. We had the opportunity to go to a place this week. She just sat there the first 15 minutes not wanting to participate, just watch. At the break she came to me in tears begging to go home. We had a heart-to-heart about holding on to the end. I told her to just make it to the end of class, give it a good try, and then we could talk. Turns out, she jumped in and loved it! When we got in the car she said, "I love gymnastics. I want to do it for the rest of my life." That's the kind of commitment I'm looking for. And, the best way for me to teach it is to live it.

One of the greatest obstacles in my life has been my health and weight. I come from a long line of unhealthy individuals - by choice. My parents are overweight and don't take the best care of themselves (sorry Mom and Dad if you're reading this!). Growing up we were never really taught to eat healthy - there was a lot of junk in the house. Exercise came in the form of sports that we participated in, nothing more. So what happened when I grew up and didn't participate in physical activities anymore? I got fat. Plain and simple. I eat what I want and don't exercise. That's how weight gain works. This started for me in college, but got worse in my early to mid 20's. I admit I had some crappy things happen in my life that made me turn to food for comfort. There was one point about 6 or 7 years ago that I finally did lose quite a bit of weight, but I don't recommend the method. Divorce. I was physically sick every day for months. Not a good way to lose weight, but it happened. I did eventually wise up and start walking a few miles a day to tone up - especially since I had nothing else to do with my time but concentrate on ME. I have to admit that I started liking the responses I was getting. I was looking a little hot if I do say so myself! I was 27 and feeling great!

So, how did I gain back all the weight? I fell in love, got married, got pregnant (twice), and got comfortable. I wouldn't trade my life for anything, but I would trade my body in for a new one if given the chance. Don't know why it has taken me so darn long to get myself motivated enough to actually do something. Guess I was always looking for the easy way out. But, if there's one thing I've learned in this life - if it's easy, there's a catch! As we like to say in the colorguard world, "no one said it would be easy, that just said it would worth it."

I officially started my weight loss challenge last week. I actually joined the gym in November and went 2-3 times a week for over a month with no results. I got sucked into the "I don't have time" phase during the holidays. Then our house got hit with the stomach bug. But, this time I'm actually ready. I went to the gym 4 times last week (twice already this week) and really feeling good. I even lost 4 pounds!! Funny story though - the first time I weighed I actually thought that either 1) I don't know how to work the scale or 2) the scale is broken. I told my husband with all sincerity that this was the case. After all, it read 5 pounds more than our home scales (that have a crack down the middle and the readings vary by 5 to 10 pounds every time you get on them) and the number was 9 pounds heavier than the doctor's scales read 9 months ago. Did I seriously gain a pound a month over the last 9 months? Yep, apparently. How scary is that?

So, here's my first official blog entry. I'm not quite ready to post my actual weight for the whole world to see, but I promise I will one day - probably after I've lost it all. :) But, I will post my challenges and progress along the way. Hope you enjoy the ride!

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