Friday, July 4, 2014

Get Fit Friday - Vacation

Loss this week: 1 lb
Total loss: 4 lbs

That word strikes fear in the heart of anyone trying to lose weight, right?  Last week, we went on vacation to visit family.  I was worried before we left, because I had really started to get some momentum going with my weight loss, and I didn't want to lose that.  I did end up gaining about 2 pounds, but it could have been worse, so I was happy with it.  Here was my plan for the week:

  • Exercise - We were staying with family, so that made it a little harder to exercise than if we had been in a hotel with a fitness center.  I was able to go out three mornings and walk.  I also tried to do a lot of walking during the day.
  • Eating out - Thankfully, we didn't do too much.  We did order pizza one night instead of going to a baseball game.  I had two pieces.  :-(  Should have eaten more salad.
  • Portion Control - This was the one thing I had control over.  I knew I had to be careful, and I tried to be.
We had some really great food.  We were in Amish country in Indiana, and Amish food is the best.  (I think it's all the butter.)  Monday, we had corn chowder.  Between the bacon, cream, and butter, it was delicious.  Wednesday, we had Amish donuts.  Butter and powdered sugar.  Need I say more?  I only had half.  That right there was a HUGE sacrifice.  What I really tried to do was drink lots of water and load up on fruits and veggies.

So what to do if you're going on vacation?  Definitely plan to exercise.  Have that plan in your head before you go, even down to scheduling it if you need to.  If you don't plan it, it won't happen.  If you are the one planning and cooking meals, then it will be much easier to stick to a plan.  If you're with family, then portion control will be your friend.  :-)

All in all, it was a good week.  This week, I got back to exercising and tracking my food.  Like I said, I had gotten some momentum going, and I want to keep it up!  Hoping for a total of 10 pounds by the end of the month!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July Currently!

We went home for vacation last week!  While I love going on vacation and visiting family, it's nice to be home back in our own surroundings.  Am I the only one who spends a vacation worrying about how my kids are acting at other people's houses?  They did great, but it always stresses me out!

Now that we're home, it's time to start thinking about SCHOOL!  What?  I start back in less than four weeks!  Our first day back is July 29th, and the kids come back on August 5th!  It will be here before I know it, and I have so much to do!  Buying supplies for four kids, buying supplies for my classroom, going to IKEA for book boxes and shelving, plus spending more money on TPT.  :-)  It's hard to believe that July is here, and the summer is halfway done.

I'm linking up with Farley at Oh Boy Fourth Grade with my Currently for July!

Listening - The game has had its ups and downs just since I typed this!  There's peace right now.  I make no promises for the next two minutes.

Loving - I've tried this summer to have at least an hour every day where we turn off the tablets, the TV, the Wii, and the computer and entertain ourselves the "old fashioned way."  Some days have gone better than others.

Thinking and Needing - See above.  :-)  I still can't believe how fast the summer has gone.

Wanting - Summer in Georgia has been HOT.  We went to the pool yesterday, and even in the water it was uncomfortable.  Hopefully, it will cool down soon, though I doubt it.  August is usually hotter than July.

4th plans - While I'd love to stay inside in the A/C, we've decided to go to a 4th festival near us.  It's supposed to cool down a little (from mid 90's to upper 80's), so I'm hoping we enjoy ourselves.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Get Fit Friday - My Favorite Recipe Website

Loss this week: 2 lbs
Total Loss: 4.5 lbs

This week, I'm linking up with Bunting, Books, and Bright Ideas with Christina's "Getting Fit Friday".  Head on over there and get some great ideas for getting fit this summer!

I am seeing some definite momentum!!  My goal this summer had been 1 pound a week, and the last two weeks I've surpassed that goal!  I think that tracking on the weekends, plus exercising four times a week is really working.

I want to tell you about my favorite website for recipes.  Seriously, this past week, I think I made all of our dinners but one from this site.  Skinnytaste was created about 6 years ago with recipes that are low fat, yet still delicious.  Plus, they use tons of fresh ingredients and no "Franken-food."  So you won't see any recipes with fat free Cool Whip or Sugar Free Jello.  As someone who is trying to get the processed food out of our house and eat cleaner, this site has been a God-send!  When I'm planning my meals on Fridays for the next week, this is the place I go.  Here are some of our favorites:

Baked Chicken Parmesan:  This tastes almost exactly like the full fat variety.  It was so good, plus every single child in my house cleaned their plate.  When that happens, you know you have a winner!

Lemon Feta Chicken:  I made this one as directed with drumsticks, but next time, I think I'm going to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  First, because I think the feta will stay on better, and second, because taking the skin off of the drumsticks is an incredibly messy job.  Either way, it was a hit too!

Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas:  I made this for dinner this week.  There weren't any blueberries when I was grocery shopping (criminal, right?), so I used some frozen strawberries.  Still fabulous.  My two youngest scarfed it up.

So, if you're in a rut looking for fresh, low-fat ideas for dinner that still taste delicious, this is the website for you!  She's also got a cookbook coming out in the fall.  (Mine's already pre-purchased at Amazon.)

See you next Friday.  Next week, I'm talking about how to stay on track while on vacation!  Eek!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Get Fit Friday! - Weekends

Loss This Week - 1.5 lbs*
Total Loss - 2.5 lbs

* I think I need a new scale.  When I stepped on it this morning, it said I hadn't loss anything.  Then, I tried again after lunch for curiosity's sake, and I'd gained 2 1/2 pounds.  A couple of hours later, I'd gone down 4 pounds from lunch.  I've been on it a couple of more times just to see what would pop up, and it's stayed pretty consistent, so I'm going with that number.  I feel like I'm on The Biggest Loser with the scale numbers popping back and forth.  :)

On to your regularly scheduled programming:

Am I the only one who struggles with weekends?  During the school year, I spend so much time making sure I'm eating right and tracking while still doing everything else, that on weekends, I just want to relax and not think about it.  Unfortunately, I think that it's really sabotaging my weight loss.  So this past weekend, I decided I was still going to track over the weekend.  I was going to be more relaxed about what I ate, but I was going to keep track of everything I ate.  I discovered that just keeping track helped me not eat mindlessly.  I still didn't eat perfectly, but I was more mindful of my choices.  I went over my allotted points both days, but not by much.  Weight Watchers gives you extra points for the week, so I didn't feel as guilty.  I even found a great recipe for a light Fettuccine Alfredo that was made with milk, chicken broth, and Parmesan cheese.  Delicious.  I'm trying to eat pretty clean too, so I'm staying away from fat-free or fake foods.

As I planned out my meals for the next week, I'm also being more mindful of what I'm serving on the weekends.  That's our time to eat those comfort foods (think cheeseburgers and hot dogs), but I'm trying to make sure we've got some good for you stuff in there too!  I seemed to work last week, and we'll see how this week goes!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Monday Meet Up!

I'm linking up the The Teaching Tribune's Summer Bloggin' Linky Party!  Last week, was all about introducing a buddy.  I didn't get it up last Monday, so I wanted to introduce you to my buddy today!

This is Jean!  She's an Aussie blogger.  (I've always wanted to visit Australia)  She blogs at The Teacher Gene, and she's just started, so head over there and give her some love!  She's also on TPT, and she has some fabulous products!!

This week, we were supposed to share about us, so here goes!

I'm starting my 16th year teaching next August.  Boy, that sounds like a really long time.  I should be pretty good at this by now.  ;-)  Next year will be my 9th year in second grade.  I absolutely love teaching second grade.  They're old enough to "get" the whole school thing, but they're still pretty innocent.  Seven is such a fun age to be!  I got my masters degree three years ago, and last summer, I finished up my ESOL endorsement.  Last school year, I had all of the second grade ESOL students in my class.  All 20 of them.  It was one of my hardest years ever teaching, but they were probably my most favorite group ever.  They were so sweet and so hard working, and they made SO much progress.  Seriously, I was almost in tears reading with them at the end of the year because they had gotten so much better.  I'm missing them.

My favorite TV genre is probably crime shows.  I've watched every episode of CSI ever made (even the really bad Laurence Fishburne ones).  I also used to watch Criminal Minds until it got WAY too freaky for me.  Probably not a good thing since my husband works nights.

Since summer started, I've done some serious reading.  I've read biographies of Queen Victoria, Catherine the Great, and Elizabeth of York (Henry VIII's mother).  I've also read The Lady in the Tower about Anne Boelyn, and I'm working my way through a biography about Queen Anne, the last Stuart monarch.  I love to read, and I hate that I can't get enough time for it during the school year.

In my free time, I volunteer for a great organization for moms called The Mommies Network!  They have online chapters in almost every state.  The great thing about it is that TMN has online forums, and local chapters where you can meet other moms face to face.  I've been a member since 2007, and have met some fabulous friends!

Head on over to The Teaching Tribune to meet other great bloggers!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Getting Fit - Exercise

Loss for the Week: 1 lb
Total Loss: 1 lb

It's "Get Fit Friday Sunday!"  (Hey, it's summer.  I'm having a hard time remembering what day it is.)  I'm talking about exercise today.  I'll be honest.  Finding time to exercise (and actually exercising) is something that I continually struggled with.  A few years ago, I joined a gym, and I really enjoyed the classes and watching TV while I walked on the treadmill, but once my youngest was born, it was almost impossible to find time to go after school, between working, nursing, grading, and keeping up with three older boys.  So, I ended up donating my fee to the gym for almost a year.  I would do really well in the summer going to the gym, but once school started, it was back to missing more than I went.  I got tired of wasting the $40 a month, and cancelled my membership.  I still miss the classes, but I know that I wouldn't get there as much as I should.  Maybe when my kids are older, and I don't need to be home as early I can go back.

I decided that since it was so hard to go out to exercise, I'd find something that I could do in my house.  I got Jillian Michaels's 30 Day Shred, but I never made it much past the first phase.  I was trying to get up in the morning before work, but I am not a morning person.  If you're interested, I have a barely used DVD for sale.  ;-)  Then, I got the Wii Fitness Coach, but again, it was just hard to get up in the morning to actually do it.  I wanted to exercise in the morning when the house is quiet, plus, with four kids, actually getting the TV for a half hour or so to play an exercise DVD is close to impossible.

So, I gave up for a while, but I need to exercise in order to lose weight.  It doesn't matter how much I restrict my calorie intake, if I don't exercise to boost my metabolism, I don't lose.  I knew that this summer I needed something I could actually stick with.  Here's my plan:

Morning:  I have the free 7 minute workout app on my phone.  I downloaded it during the school year, and it's something I can actually do in the morning.  Seven minutes is easy, plus it doesn't require any special equipment or clothes.  I try and do it five mornings a week.

Evening:  It's summer in Georgia, which means it's hot and humid.  That means that you can't go out and exercise at all during the day.  I walk at night (around 7 pm).  Supper is done and cleaned up, but it's light enough outside.  One trip around my neighborhood is about 3/4 of a mile, and I I do two trips.  My neighborhood also has some killer hills, so my thighs get quite the workout.  Twice around is a 30 minute walk.

Before Bed: 15 pushups and 15 situps  (Having four kids has killed my abs, so I need to get in as many situps as I can.)

That's my plan!  Free, and easy to do even when school starts back.  Hope it encourages you!

Monday, June 2, 2014

June Currently!

I have never done a "Currently", so I'm pretty excited about this!  I'm linking up with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade with this month's Currently.  So, here goes!

Since the kids are in bed, it's my turn to get the television, so I'm watching Rachel Maddow.  Love how smart she is.  (And how excited she gets about geeky stuff.)

The weather has cooled off here in Georgia, so I'm able to have the windows open today!  Unfortunately, June will return tomorrow with its tropical moisture, and we'll be back to A/C and sweating.

I go back to work 8 weeks from tomorrow!  Crazy, right?  So, I'm already starting to think about my themes for next year and what I need to do to get prepared.

My ten year old is off to Boy Scout Camp this week!  It's his first time away from home for this long, and I'm pretty nervous.  We haven't gotten a phone call yet to come and get him, so I'm thinking he's probably having a good time.  He'll be home on Saturday, and it can't come soon enough.  My twelve year old leaves Sunday for the same camp (they're in different troops).  He went last year and had a great time, so I won't worry quite as much about him.  :-)

I was able to get out and walk around the neighborhood for a half hour, but now I need some water.  I'm too lazy to get up off of the couch, though.

I've decided that this summer is the year I finally get my house organized.  We're thinking about moving next summer, and we all know how busy the school year is, so if it doesn't happen this summer, my house will never get organized.  I'm also trying to lose 15 to 20 pounds.  Hence the walking today.  Hoping that next fall, I'll go back to school at least two sizes smaller!