Tag Archives: workout

FitBit Charge HR: One Week Update

Yesterday, I registered my son for high school.

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I must admit that I am in denial that he’s starting high school this fall. How did this happen?! I can’t believe how fast the time has gone! To me, it was just yesterday that he was a tiny baby, born weighing 1 pound and 14 ounces. The first two months if his life he lived in the NICU of the hospital and now he’ll be starting high school?!

Time really does go by fast and I’m not ready for my babies to grow up!

Lunch

I’m a little bit in love with the lunch I made yesterday and today. I was craving something different besides my normal bagel egg sandwich or veggie flatbread pizza so I made a healthy chicken finger salad with honey mustard dressing.

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I used the Applegate Naturals gluten-free chicken tenders and Bolthouse Farms honey mustard yogurt dressing. So good. The Applegate Naturals chicken is a little pricier but since I’m so picky about chicken, it’s worth it to me.

Workout

Yesterday, I did the Bikini Body Mommy workout and some triceps exercises. On my upper body, my triceps bother me the most! I just can’t seem to tone them!

Some of the triceps exercises I did included: triceps cable pressdowns, overhead cable triceps extensions, dumbbell triceps extensions, barbell skull crushers, barbell triceps presses, and weighted dips.

Today, I did the Bikini Body Mommy workout twice and then went on the elliptical and stationary bike for about 15 minutes each.

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Fitbit Charge HR 

I’ve had my Fitbit Charge HR for a full week now. If you are someone that works out occasionally and isn’t super worried about heart rate then I would recommend the Charge HR 100%. It does a pretty good job of recording heart rate during steady state exercises like doing elliptical or walking on the treadmill.

I also like that since it measures your heart rate all day long, it gives a good estimate of the calories you’ve burned during the day.

However, if you’re someone like me who is a little more serious about working out and heart rate, I would not recommend the Charge HR if you’re looking for an accurate heart rate during high intensity workouts.

I like to know my accurate heart rate and calories burned during exercise.

My Polar FT7:

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I like I like to know my time spent in the fat burning zone vs the fitness zone.

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I don’t think the Charge HR does a good job of measuring heart rate during high intensity exercises which is where I need it to be the most accurate.

So, I continue to wear both my Fitbit Charge HR and my Polar FT7 heart rate monitor which is what I was hoping to avoid by buying the Charge HR in the first place. It doesn’t really bother me to wear both because I know I’m getting a better heart rate and calorie burn reading with my Polar.

I can enter my exercise and calories burned into My Fitness Pal which then syncs with the Fitbit. This way I’m not doubling up on the exercise calories burned if that makes sense. I enter the time I worked out so the Fitbit fixes the calorie adjustment.

Even though I don’t feel like the Charge HR accurately measures heart rate during exercise, I am still glad that I bought it and I would buy it again.

I like that I can see all my stats right on my wrist, so far the battery life has been awesome, and the sleep tracker is surprisingly accurate.

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Like I’ve said before, I’m not too worried about my sleep but I think that’s it pretty cool that without putting the Fitbit into sleep mode like you have to do on the Flex, it does a good job of knowing when I went to sleep and when I woke up.

Overall, I would recommend the FitBit Charge HR but I would recommend a chest strap heart rate monitor if you are a little more serious about knowing the correct heart rate.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Did you workout today?
  • Do you use a heart rate monitor?
  • Which body part do you love the most? Which one bothers you the most?

 

 

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Dinner, Brownies, and a Workout

Good afternoon friends!

I wanted to share last night’s dinner with you because it was so delicious. I’m usually pretty boring when it comes to dinner and seem to eat the same two meals all the time – salad with baked chicken and a Greek yogurt or baked chicken with brown rice and veggies.

Last night’s dinner wasn’t too different but it was a nice change. I made broccoli slaw with green and red peppers, onions, chicken, garlic and a little bit of lite soy sauce.

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I always cook a batch of chicken at the beginning of the week to use throughout the week so this meal was super easy to make. I just added the garlic, peppers, and onions to the pan and let it cook for a few minutes. Then I added the already cooked chicken, broccoli slaw, and soy sauce and let it cook for a few more minutes. Easy peasy.

After dinner, Jaden and I made these brownies by Now Foods.

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Don’t let the fact that they’re organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free scare you. I snuck a little piece and they were delicious! These are a great treat for Jaden since he’s allergic to dairy.

And most of the Ghiradelli brownie mixes are dairy-free so I buy those for him too. Most people think chocolate is dairy but there are quite a few chocolate products that are dairy-free. There’s cocoa butter in a lot of chocolate products which used to throw me off but cocoa butter is actually dairy-free.

Today’s Workout

I went to the gym this morning and did the elliptical, the bikini body mommy day #15 workout, and shoulders.

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I am actually quite proud of myself for doing the bikini body mommy workout every day for 15 days. Usually I like sticking to my own workout but the bikini body mommy workouts are great. First, I like that they’re short because I can do then in addition to my normal workout. And even though they are short, they are killer! Each week get progressively harder and today’s workout was 50 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for ten different exercises.

Let me tell you, 10 seconds of rest is nothing. After the ten minute workout, I was dying! I love that these workouts really get my heart rate up. I think my highest heart rate during today’s workout was around 170 bpm!

My right quad/leg continues to be a little sore but I have been a lot better about icing it.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have any food allergies?
  • Do you ever do high intensity exercises?
  • Favorite dinner?

 

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At Home Workout

School was canceled again today, which means the kid’s room at the gym is closed, which means another workout at home.

I have some workout equipment at home but I really prefer working out at the gym. At home, I’m not as motivated, I have a small space, and I can’t workout for five minutes without having to yell at the kids to stop fighting.

It’s hard to do burpees. It’s even harder to do burpees while yelling at your kids to please just let you get this workout in so your don’t turn into Crazy Mom. Sigh.

Today I did the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge Workout Day #4. It was a cardio day and since the workout is short, I did it twice.

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One way to get the kids to not fight is to have Jaden do the workout with me.

Lots of jumping and burpees. There are ten exercises and you do each one for 60 seconds, resting for 30 seconds in between. It really gets my heart rate up!

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I noticed that I am so much more inactive when I’m stuck inside because of the cold. Yesterday, I only walked about 4,000 steps compared to Tuesday when I walked 12,000 steps!

Please go away winter. At least it’s supposed to warm-up this afternoon!

Lunch

Lunch was the same thing yesterday and today. Kind of random food items but still delicious!

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English muffin with two egg whites and a little bit of cheddar cheese, teriyaki turkey jerky, celery with peanut butter, and unpictured strawberries. The whole lunch had 385 calories and approximately 31 grams of protein.

My sweet husband was nice enough to brave the cold yesterday to go to the store for a few groceries. I really have been loving the new Yoplait Greek whips yogurt so I asked him to get me a few flavors. He texted me with the flavors and I just had him get me one of each.

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It took a couple of tries for me to like this yogurt. The consistency of the whipped yogurt is so different than the regular Greek yogurt and I wasn’t sure at first if I liked it. Now, I love them! It’s very thick and mousse-like.

I tried the vanilla cupcake flavor for breakfast and it was delicious!

I’m glad it’s supposed to warm up a little this afternoon because Danny and I are donating blood for a blood drive at the gym tonight and then we go straight to a family night for high school! (I’m still in denial that Jacob will be starting high school later this year).

Have a great day and stay warm!!

  • If you have kids, what grades are they in?
  • Do you prefer working out at home or at the gym?

 

 

 

 

 

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Christmas Eve Circuit Workout

Happy Christmas Eve!!

The kid’s elf, Nick, is very excited that it’s almost Christmas!

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Yesterday, we had a busy day. Jacob had a dentist appointment to get a tooth pulled, I had physical therapy, and then we ran a few errands. When we got home, the kids wrapped their presents for Danny.

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I also baked a ton of cookies yesterday. I made my favorite, Butterscotch Reese’s cookies.

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I also made Peanut Butter Blossoms.

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And regular chocolate chip cookies.

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As much as I love the holidays, I can’t wait until they’re over so I can get back on track with eating. I have been sampling too many delicious cookies lately!

This morning, I headed to the gym at about 8:00 am to get my workout in before we go to my grandparent’s house later this afternoon.

Crazy hair, don’t care:

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I started with 12 minutes on the elliptical to warm-up and then I did the following circuit workout. I did each circuit three times, resting 1-2 minutes in between. (Use weights you’re comfortable with.)

Circuit #1: 

  • lateral raises with an alternating knee raise x12 each leg
  • ball wall squat with a biceps curl to overhead press x15
  • seated stability ball overhead triceps extensions x15

Circuit #2:

  • kettlebell swings x20
  • chest flies on stability ball x15
  • straight arm overhead reach on stability ball x15

Circuit #3:

  • woodchoppers with medicine ball x12 each side
  • plank/side plank (45 seconds each)
  • heel touches x20 each side
  • donkey kicks with weight behind knee x12 each leg

It was a good Christmas Eve workout!!

When I got home I started getting things ready for tonight. I am making one more batch of cookies. Jacob asked me to make Nutella cookies and he never asks me to make anything special for him so I decided to try them out. I just made regular chocolate chip cookies, added a little Nutella, and then I will do a Nutella drizzle on top of the cookies.

The dough is chilling right now, so we’ll see how they come out! I am also making a buffalo chicken dip for my grandparent’s house tonight. We’re supposed to be getting snow soon but I hope the weather isn’t too bad because my grandparent’s live about an hour away. And then Santa comes tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Christmas! 

  • What are your plans for tonight and tomorrow?

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First Christmas Weekend

Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming! I can’t believe that it’s Christmas week already! Are you all ready for the holidays yet?

Saturday

On Saturday morning, I took a yogalates class at the gym. My physical therapist thinks that Pilates would be really beneficial to my hip recovery but my gym doesn’t offer a just Pilates class only yogalates – a mixture of Pilates and yoga.

The class went good and I had no pain doing anything. We did a lot of balance and core work. A few years ago I was taking yoga classes regularly. While I know that yoga has so many health benefits, it’s the only class where I find myself constantly checking the clock. It’s very slow, and I am so used to my faster paced workouts.

I will try to add it into my regular gym rotation but it might not be a favorite. :)

Saturday afternoon, we celebrated Christmas with my in-laws.

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Christmas is always so busy and my brother-in-law has to work On Christmas day so it worked out that we got together a few days before Christmas.

My loves:

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Side note: Before we got to my in-laws, Jaden bought that stuffed bear at the Dollar Store and refused to let it go. I always used to think stuffed animals were a waste of time…until I had Jaden. He loves his stuffed animals – he makes them food, bones, and beds out of paper. He feeds them, plays with them, and puts them to bed. Sometimes, I have to put them down for a nap while he’s at school. Obviously, the poor kid is screaming for a real life dog but unfortunately he’s allergic so his stuffed animals get the best care in the world.

The kids had a lot of fun playing and opening gifts.

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My in-laws know me too well because I got lots of coffee!!

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Sunday

Sunday morning, Danny and I went to the gym. I started out on the treadmill for about 15 minutes. I ran for five minutes by my Achilles tendon still hurts so I run so I had to stop. Grrrr…it’s annoying!

After the treadmill, we did some shoulder exercises including: upright rows, plate front raises, cable lateral raises, barbell overhead press, and the overhead press machine.

Then I did a few of the calf exercises that I do in physical therapy – calf raises on a step and single leg touchdowns. I was diagnosed with compartment syndrome in my calves a few years ago and my physical therapist wants me to work on strengthening my calves.

Danny and I finished up our workout with some jump roping and stretching.

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Today

I’m heading to the gym this morning and then I have some Christmas cookies to bake! I’m making cookies for the kid’s room at the gym, my physical therapist, and for Christmas Eve.

Have a great day!

  • Are you ready for Christmas?
  • What’s on your Christmas wish list this year?
  • Growing up, did you play with stuffed animals?

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Food and Working Out

Good afternoon! Exactly one week until Christmas! Who’s excited?!

Today, my morning started out with a McCafe k-cup!

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I am excited that McDonald’s is now making k-cups! I don’t like McDonald’s food, but I love their coffee. Before my Keurig days, I drank McDonald’s coffee almost every day.

For breakfast, I had one of these Dannon salted caramel Greek yogurts. I found them at Wal-Mart yesterday and had to pick some up to try. Delicious!

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This morning I went to the gym and started out on the elliptical for about 15 minutes. I’m still not running yet because my Achilles tendon still bothers me. Super frustrating. I worked on chest and triceps exercises today and finished up my workout with about five minutes of jump roping.

I’m starting to do some jumping exercises at physical therapy  so my therapist said I could incorporate about 10 minutes of jump roping into my gym routine twice a week. I haven’t really done high intensity cardio in awhile so I was pretty much out of breath after jump roping. I jump as long as I can in a row and then rest a few seconds before continuing.

I ended up burning 574 calories!

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My chest and triceps exercises included:

  •  incline chest press machine
  • decline chest press machine
  • chest press to single arm chest flies
  • chest press machine
  • overhead dumbbell triceps extensions
  • cable triceps pressdowns
  • overhead cable triceps extensions

Lunch

I am back to eating grilled veggie pizzas for lunch.

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I typically eat the same thing for lunch for a couple of weeks in a row and then switch it up. It’s just easier when I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat for lunch everyday.

This afternoon, I have a few more presents to wrap and then I have to get things ready for Jaden’s holiday party at school tomorrow.

Have a great day!

  • What’s your favorite body part to work out?
  • What did you eat for lunch today?

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Christmas Tree!

It’s December!! 

I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by! Time always seems to go by so much faster when you’re an adult. 2015 is right around the corner!

Saturday

On Saturday, we went to a tree farm about an hour away to cut down a tree with my family. My dad rode with us because my stepmom had to work.

IMG_20141129_102659We saw Jared Allen from the Chicago Bears at the tree farm with his family so that was exciting for the boys.

At the tree farm, the first thing we did was visit with Mrs. Claus.

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I actually loved the idea of having Mrs. Claus rather than Santa because sometimes Santa is a little scary for small kids. Mrs. Claus explained that Santa was at the North Pole and she would let him know what the kids wanted for Christmas.

Then they got to put their names on the very good list.

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After visiting with Mrs. Claus, we waited in line to have the horse drawn carriage take us out to the Christmas tree field. Choosing a Christmas tree is hard work. You cannot pick one right away. You must find one that is exactly perfect. You’ll know it when you find it.

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Our tree:

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I tend to be attracted to fat Christmas trees. Sometimes, they are a little too fat because we have a small living room. This year, we found the perfect semi-fat tree that fits just right in our living room.

After we all cut down the perfect tree, the kids rode the ponies, and we had some hot chocolate.

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Danny set the tree up when we got home and we let it sit overnight so it’d be all ready to decorate the next day.

Sunday 

Sunday mornings I try to go grocery shopping as early as possible. We always grocery shop on Sundays, but if I go in the afternoon, it’s always crazy crowded so I go early. After grocery shopping, Danny and I went to the gym.

Yesterday was one of those days where I just wasn’t feeling it at the gym. I felt blah and tired and not in the mood to work out. I did run for 10 minutes on the treadmill and then we did some biceps and triceps exercises.

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Usually I feel great working out, but lately I haven’t been sleeping great and I have been eating out of control for the past week and that’s really affecting how I feel. I am so happy that not only is today Monday, the beginning of a new week, but it’s also December, the beginning of a new month. The perfect day to get back on track with my eating.

Sunday afternoon, we decorated our Christmas tree. This is my absolute favorite thing to do. I love how close my family is and how many traditions we have that I hope to pass along to my kids. Family is important no matter what. You might drive each other crazy sometimes but in the end none of that matters. You have each other.

Anyway, back to our Christmas tree. Danny put the lights up and we started decorating it! About 90% of our ornaments are ornaments that we’ve made, picked out as a family, or have special meaning. I love them all.

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I recently started collecting hippo ornaments because I love the song “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.” I have four hippo ornaments all from Target because hippo ornaments a little harder to find than might think.

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We finished our Christmas tree with candy canes – I think we ate about half the candy canes in the process! There are so many crazy candy cane flavors these days but my favorite will always be plain peppermint candy canes!

The kids topped our tree with the angel from my childhood:

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Today

This morning was back to school for the kids! After the kids went to school, I went to the gym. I felt a lot better working out today. I started with a 20 minute walk on the treadmill followed by some shoulder and core exercises.

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have a favorite ornament? What Christmas traditions do you have?
  • Any workout today?
  • What are you looking forward to most in December?

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Thanksgiving 2014

Good morning! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday

On Thanksgiving morning, I went to the gym. Yes, I’m one of those people that works out on Thanksgiving. I am up to seven minutes of running.

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My stepmom and sister-in-law ran the Turkey Trot and since I couldn’t run it this year, I ran my seven minutes at the gym.

In the afternoon, we went to my grandparent’s house. They just got a brand-new baby puppy named Abby and she’s adorable.

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The kids loved her but I think Jaden wanted to try sneaking her home. He carried her around all night like she was his baby. Unfortunately, we can’t get a dog because he’s allergic but he seemed really good when he was playing with the puppy.  But the next morning when he woke up, his nose was stuffy and his eyes were red and swollen. Poor guy. He loves animals. Once we bought him a dog balloon that you could walk around and he loved that thing like it was a real dog.

The kids: Jaden, my niece, and Jacob.

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Dinner was amazing. This was the first year I’ve had turkey in a long time and it was really good.

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The cranberry sauce is my favorite. My cousin and I always fight over which is better – cranberry sauce or green bean casserole. One day she’ll accept that I’m right and she’s wrong. Cranberry sauce is the best.

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As much as I loved dinner, dessert was incredible. There are no words to describe the pie/cake my grandma made. Well, there’s one word besides amazing – pumpecapple cake.

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It’s crazy – a pumpkin pie, a pecan pie, and an apple pie all stacked and baked into a cake. This can only be eaten once a year on Thanksgiving when calories don’t count.

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How amazing is that cake?! And it was delicious. Great job, Grandma Marlene!

When we got home on Thanksgiving night the kids elf, Nick, was waiting!

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Friday

On Friday morning, I did go shopping at about 6 am. I will not go shopping on Thanksgiving. I think it’s crazy that stores are now opening at 5 or 6 pm. But I did wake up early on Friday to go to Meijer and Target.

The one good thing about shopping that early is that it’s actually late because all the sales started 12 hours ago and the stores were dead. I mean there were a few people out but I as able to find everything I needed, hardly had to wait in line, and was home early.

On Friday afternoon, we celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom. We don’t see her on Thanksgiving so we started the tradition of doing Thanksgiving again on Friday and I cook. This was the first year that I actually made a turkey and I was so nervous.

Last year, I bought one of those turkeys in a bag that can go from frozen in the freezer right to the oven. They are double the price of a frozen turkey so this year I bought a Butterball turkey to roast. I just took the basic route and thawed the turkey, seasoned it with salt, pepper, brushed it with butter, and cooked it. The easy route.

It did take a lot longer than I thought to cook. It was 15 pounds so it should have took 3-3.5 hours but it took  closer to 4.5 hours before the meat thermometer said it was done, and you don’t want to mess around with under cooked turkey.

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I din’t get too many pictures but the turkey turned out perfect and I was really happy because I was so nervous. I should have been more nervous about the rolls because I ended up burning those.

It was a great dinner and it was our third Thanksgiving dinner! The past few weeks I have been overindulging and I am can tell I have gained a few pounds. I have said this many times on my blog – I can workout all day, everyday but sometimes I struggle with eating. It’s all mental and it’s hard to overcome bad habits that you’ve had for years. I’ve lost 30 pounds in the past and have been at my “happy weight” so it’s hard to see the pounds start to creep back especially when it’s my own fault.

The holidays are hard – there’s always parties and family and food and drinks. And let’s face it – I love food. But it’s time for me to get back on track with my eating and I’m going to try hard.

Today 

Today we’re going with my family to cut down a Christmas tree. We have gone almost every year since I was a kid so it’s a family tradition.

Last year’s tree cutting:

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Luckily, the weather isn’t supposed to be too cold today so it’ll be the perfect day to cut down a tree!

Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Do you have any plans for the rest of the weekend?
  • How was your Thanksgiving?
  • If you celebrate Christmas, is your tree up yet?

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Back to the FitBit

Good afternoon! 

Workout

This morning, I went to the gym. Pre-workout, I had some Cellucor C4 in strawberry margarita. I’ve tried a few of the C4 flavors but the icy blue razz is still my favorite.

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I rode the stationary bike and did a quick shoulder workout since I had physical therapy this afternoon.

My shoulder exercises included:

  • Arnold presses
  • Upright rows on cable machine
  • Mac raises with an overhead press (from Bodypump!)
  • Rear delt rope pulls
  • Lateral cable raises

My leg is still a little sore after the 4 miles I did on the treadmill on Monday. The pain is usually the worse in my quad which is where all my pain started almost two years ago. It’s frustrating that I still have quad pain after surgery but I guess my quad was overworked for so long that it takes a long time to get back to normal.

 FitBit

I recently started wearing my FitBit again.

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I took it off because of my hip surgery but Danny recently got a FitBit from his brother so I decided to start wearing mine again. I like that it keeps me accountable with getting enough steps and it syncs to MyFitnessPal so it tracks calories in vs calories out.

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Snack

Before physical therapy this afternoon, I had a thinkThin dark chocolate peppermint bar.

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This is the best thinkThin bar I’ve had! So far, I’ve only been able to find it at Whole Foods but I’m hoping I can find them somewhere closer to me!

Well, I’m off to eat a late lunch and pick up Jaden from school. Have a great afternoon!

 

 

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Two Miles

Can you believe that tomorrow is Halloween and the last day of October?! It feels like this year is just flying by!

Although I love Halloween time (but maybe not as much as my dad), I’ll tell you a little secret…November 1st is my favorite day. It kicks off the start of the holiday season!

I love the holidays and I love Christmas. More than Halloween. Sorry, Dad.

I love the months of November and December. I love making turkey crafts with the kids, eating on Thanksgiving, and putting up Christmas lights (or instructing Danny on where to put the lights). I love cutting down a Christmas tree and decorating it. I love seeing Christmas lights, baking cookies, and watching Christmas movies on tv. I love Christmas shopping and spending time with my family. I love seeing that magical look on my kid’s faces on Christmas morning. I love it all.

I know that Christmas can also be stressful and hard for some people too. We always participate in food drives and buy presents and items for those in need. Christmas is the giving season and I love it.

So, tomorrow is Halloween and the end of October, but the start of the holiday season!!

Today, at the kid’s room at the gym they had a Halloween party. My niece dressed up as a puppy. A puppy with wings, so we’ll call her a puppy princess. :)

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While my niece enjoyed the party in the kid’s room, I walked two miles on the treadmill. My farthest distance since my hip surgery!

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It might not seem like a lot but considering the fact that I was in a hip brace and couldn’t walk without crutches just three months ago, it’s progress and I’m happy with it. I am slowly building my distance and we’ll see what the doctor says about running when I see him in a few weeks.

Physical therapy has started to get more aggressive and I’m happy about that. Yesterday was the first time I ever had to stop and get a drink of water because I was working up a sweat!

Yesterday, I did walking lunges, squats with a kickback, and standing planks on the TRX suspension trainer. TRX are straps that leverage gravity while you use your bodyweight to perform exercises.

My gym doesn’t have a TRX suspension trainer so I’ve never used it before and it was hard!! I always thought I had pretty decent arm strength, but after using the TRX, I think I’m wrong!

I’m glad that I’m making progress at the gym and at physical therapy.

After the gym, I stopped by Whole Foods to look for the new limited edition thinkThin bars and they had them!

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I picked up a couple of each flavor to try – pumpkin spice and chocolate peppermint. I can’t wait to try them!

In some random news, I’m in the this month’s issue of All You magazine! Fun stuff!

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Have a great afternoon!!

  • What are your plans for Halloween?
  • What’s your favorite holiday?
  • Have you ever tried TRX?

 

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