14 to Lean – Week 1

I’m not even going to lie, this program has been hard!  Like every other weight loss challenge, it tackles what you eat and how you exercise.

The meal plan is more of a list of what you CAN eat.  Anything not on the list, should not go in your mouth.  For me, the initial battle with any clean way of eating is just the feeling that I’m missing out.  And starting on April 15th was pretty insane on my part.  Every year we have an end-of-tax-season party with great food and lots of libations…but I held strong and didn’t have ANY of it.  Ah, those onion rings smelled AMAZING!  But the key is to pack healthy lunches and snacks to get by.

Baked tilapia with edamame and salsa

Baked tilapia with edamame and salsa

I’ve continued to do well, even making it through Finley’s birthday party with no bites of pizza or cupcakes.  Believe me, it wasn’t easy.  And I have her actual birthday ahead of me this week with more cupcakes and goodies on the horizon.  But I figure this program is only 14 days so I should be able to stick with that, right??  Pretty sure at some point, I looked like Lily and Kelsey waiting for a crumb to fall though…

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The workouts are so intense and time-consuming that I have to break them up into weight training in the morning and then the cardio segments at night.  I couldn’t stand the thought of heading out for a run after the girls go to bed so I’ve been doing the Wii Dance Party games at night with the girls.  It’s a LOT more fun AND I seriously work up a sweat.  The morning weight training has me close to puking most mornings but I keep pushing through them.

I can’t tell you how excited we all were to have Thursday off from working out.  We were just so exhausted!   Truth be told, we’ve been a lot more exhausted this week than normal.  I think Shannon and I haven’t been eating enough so we’re going to add more to our meals this week.

So, at the end of this first week, it’s been tough, but I have lost 7 lbs since Monday morning.  I am pretty darn excited about that!  But don’t get me wrong, I’m looking forward to when I can add back small cheats – a bite of cupcake or glass of wine.  After all, there has to be some fun in life!

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You are Beautiful

Funny how we, as women, never really think that about ourselves.  We look at other women and see beauty but when we look in the mirror, we see flaws.  I’m just as guilty as the next.

I’d heard about the Dove Real Beauty video floating around where they asked women to describe themselves to a sketch artist.  They then asked those same women to spend 5 minutes with a stranger who later also described them to the same sketch artist.  The difference between how the women saw themselves versus how the strangers saw them was astonishing.

I avoided the video…until today.  A dear friend sent it to me so I had to watch it.  I got the message.  Why are we so hard on ourselves?  I would never, ever allow my girls to think they are anything less than beautiful!  We should learn to love ourselves for who we are.

Besides, these two beauties are looking to me to show them the way…

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Now what?

Yet another tax season has been put to bed – my 16th one overall.  It’s hard to work as hard as I do for 3.5 months and then slow down so abruptly.  It’s usually during this time that I realize just how exhausted I am and how bad my sleep deficit is.  When I slow down, I get SO very tired so the trick is to keep moving.

But today, as I sit here on April 16th, what would normally be a day of relief, I find that my heart is heavy.  The terrorist attack on Boston yesterday is beyond belief.  I kept the television on in my office all day, just hoping to hear that someone has figured out who the people are behind this violent act and justice will be served.  I guess it was silly to think that it could happen so fast but I have faith that it will be solved in the end.

However, that does nothing to ease the pain that so many people are feeling now.  My 9 year old has seen the news and it has affected her too – miles and miles away from where it happened.  It seems every few months there’s some other tragedy that tears away at our hearts and our sense of safety, bit by bit.  There are no answers, no words that can make anyone feel better in this moment, so for now, I will hug my babies and my husband a little tighter, give extra kisses throughout the day and look them in the eyes when we leave each other and make sure they KNOW that I love them “more than anything”…

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14 Days to Lean

Today I start the “14 Days to Lean” program that my trainer suggested.  It’s by Gunnar Peterson and we all know he’s a big fitness guru.  We’ve been waiting until tax season ended to start it.  So we’re starting on 4/15, TAX DAY…so the one day of the year that I’m supposed to let loose and indulge, I’m actually starting a crazy program has me doing insane workouts 6 days a week and cutting anything and everything indulgent (including adult beverages) from my diet.  EXCELLENT PLANNING!  Luckily Shannon is doing it with me.

No worries…besides, if I hadn’t been indulging for the entire month of March, maybe I wouldn’t need this.  🙂  You’ve heard me say it before, I’m a stress eater and March is my most stressful month so you put the two together and it’s a recipe for disaster.

It’s been a great weekend to get back on track.  Shannon and I took a Bootcamp class Saturday morning in the park.  This lady was a little crazy – like Drill Sergeant crazy.  Every time she caught one person pausing for more than 2 seconds, she made the entire group do 5 burpees with a push-up at the bottom.  Most of us were strangers to each other and the last thing you want to do when you meet a group of new people is be the one to cost them a 5-burpee penalty.  NOT COOL!  But the class was great and I’m still sore.  Today I walked the water tower trail twice for a total of 4 miles.  I’m pretty sure this means my body will not be in the best form to start a new intense workout regimen first thing tomorrow morning.

The diet on this program looks pretty similar to what I’ve done on other “challenges”.  The plan is 5 small meals spaced out every 3-4 hours consisting of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and whole grains.  The goal is for your meals to be 40% lean protein, 40% complex carbs and no more than 20% fat.  And of course, drink plenty of water.  I guess this means I’ll have to use my food log app again to keep track of all this.

Pretty sure none of this is on the meal plan:

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Wish me luck and let’s hope I see some progress!

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Spring has Sprung!

Such a beautiful weekend!!!  I had plans to spend all day Saturday outside but a funny thing happens when you work 65-86 hours a week for 3 months…you’re body becomes depleted and longs for sleep when you finally sit down for 2 seconds.  So, after a 2 mile walk with Lily, haircuts for the girls and a trip to Target, I slept for 3 hours!  And yes, I felt guilty!  But it was something I really needed to make it through the rest of the weekend.

One of the great things our family loves about Spring/Summer is all of the great produce.  My girls can eat a watermelon in one sitting.

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We did spend some time outside enjoying the beautiful day (which is probably why my allergies were killing me that night).

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And Gracie attempted to break the hula hoop record – she’s pretty awesome at it!

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Meanwhile, my house looks like we’re about 2 episodes from the show Hoarders so it is my goal to get it whipped back into shape by the end of April…one room at a time!

I hope you all had a great weekend!

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Two more weeks…and Happy Easter!

First and foremost…only two more weeks until April 15th!!  I guess I should start working on my own taxes at some point!

Second, I took Sunday off and it was my first day off since January 5th.  It was amazing!

Third, what a wonderful Easter it was!  I usually go all out and cook a huge lunch but I just didn’t have it in me with Easter being a week earlier this year than last.  For the first time ever, we went out for Easter Brunch.  It was such a load off of my shoulders that I’ve decided it will be our new family tradition.

We also had some friends over for an Easter Egg hunt and the kids had a blast.  It was so nice just to be outside in the fresh air for a change!

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And what better way to end your day than eating the ears off of a chocolate bunny!?!?

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Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

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Three more weeks….

Until this happens!

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It’s been a long one…but then again, they all are.  It’s three and a half months every year – the time never lengthens or shortens but when you’re in the middle of it, it feels like forever.  Gracie asked me on Friday how long tax season was.  When I told her it was only 3 1/2 months, she said it felt more like 6 months.  After 3 weeks with very long hours (80, 77.3 and 86.1), it feels more like years to me.  🙂

However, I love what I do and it really is only 3 and 1/2 months a year.  This is my 16th tax season so I’m pretty used to it by now.  And although it is nothing like childbirth, I like to say your feelings about it are – it’s painful while you’re in it, but after some time passes, you forget exactly how painful it was.

So, only 3 more weeks and my family is super-thrilled that another one is coming to an end.  In my mind, I’m making plans for all the exciting things we’ll do and how we’ll spend our evenings and weekends again.

But for now, here are a few pics of my life lately…

Margarita Friday Night

Margarita Friday Night

Taylor Swift = 18 semis + 8 tour buses

Taylor Swift = 18 semis + 8 tour buses

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