Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm No Cheater.

A lot of thoughts ran through my head after my accident last Wednesday.  (You can read about that here.) 

We are so blessed to be ok.
That could have been so much worse.
I can’t wait to see my Jack. 
Is there a cookie anywhere?

Wait, what?

Yeah, that’s right.  I was thinking food.  In fact, the first thing I did after looking in on my sweet boy sleeping, was head to the kitchen and eat a mini chocolate chip muffin.  We never have those readily available in our house.  Someone knew I was going to need some sugar comfort. 

I don’t think any of you would be overly shocked to learn that I’ve found comfort in food throughout the years.  It’s been there for me when I was at my worst and my best.  Treats, candies and good meals have been my shoulder to cry on and my reward for jobs well done.  Eating my emotions was pretty delicious; I ain’t gonna lie.  And it also led me to the heaviest and unhealthiest I had ever been. 

You’ve heard that quote by some underweight model: “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”  Well that’s crap.  She’s clearly never eaten half the stuff I have.  But I will give her this, she was on the right basic track.  Maybe we should switch it up some: Nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels.

And that’s why I don’t diet. 

Say what?

Yeah.  You heard me. 

The assumption is that because I have lost weight that I’ve been on some type of diet to do it.  Most people think I’m on Weight Watchers or countless fad diets they have heard of.  Believe me, I’ve tried lots of diets.  And some of them have worked, and worked well.   At least for a while.  But none of them have stuck with me for the long haul.  Because none of them changed my life and how I live it.  A diet won’t do that.  I had to. 

Now I’m not knocking the big WW.  I know that it works for lots of people and I think that’s awesome.  It just wasn’t for me.  And a lot of those diets that are so popular right now are based on some good principles that can really benefit your health and weight loss goals.  Just be sure to get the facts behind what you’re doing.

Because everyone thinks I’m on a diet of some kind, they have funny reactions to the sight of me eating what they consider “normal food.”  For instance, I was at a birthday party not too long ago and I ate a piece of cake and had some ice cream.  You know, because it was a birthday party and that’s what you do.  And I love cake and eating it is what I do.  Someone said to me, “don’t worry I cheated on my diet today, too.” 

I didn’t take a offense.  I know what they meant.  But I wasn’t cheating.  I was eating.  Was the piece of cake as big as one I would have eaten a year ago?  No.  Did I share the ice cream with my child instead of getting my own bowl?  Yeah, so, no.  In hindsight that may have been the better option, but whatever.  It was a small bowl. 

Food is not my enemy.  How I used it eat it is.  A piece of cake every now and then or big ol’ slice of pizza is not going to ruin your life.  It’s when you eat those things and then take that as permission to eat nothing BUT those things from then on, that you get in trouble. 

The truth of the matter is that I don’t eat everything I used to eat.  But that’s because I made the decision that certain things are not worth it to me anymore.  If doughnuts come in to the office, I don’t eat one.  I consciously make the decision.  Or if I just gotta have one, I cut off a fourth of it and eat it.  Then I walk away.  Quickly.  Because we all know doughnuts are a gateway drug.  You eat one bite, and before you know it, you’ve downed half a dozen. 

I’ve made up rules for myself that work.  Because they are ones I can stick with. 

Some examples:

  • Desserts at work are eaten with my dessert spoon.  I allow myself one spoon’s worth so I can taste the new stuff.  If I’ve eaten it before, I walk away.  That doesn’t mean it’s not delicious.  It just means I don’t need it. 
  •  After coffee in the  morning, it’s water, water, water.  The only time I have anything else is at meals.  And then it is limited to unsweet tea (an acquired, but now loved taste), green tea (had just after every meal) and lightly sweetened lemonade (on occasion.) 
  • Every meal does not need a side of bread.  In fact, meals don’t really NEED bread at all.  Sigh.  (PS—I’m not anti-carbs.  I love carbs.)
  • Red meat, shmed-meat.  If there is a veggie or turkey version, I’m on it.  Black bean burgers are amazing! 
  • Real is better than fake.  Look, cutting down on sugar is a must.  But if you need something to be sweetened up a bit, use real sugar instead of sugar substitutes.  Just don’t use the whole container.
  • I stay away from things that give me permission to go crazy.  I know if I eat a half handful of M&M’s, I’m going to go back two, three, ten times.  So I stay away.  Be self aware.  And own it. 
  • If I have a day where I go overboard, I let it go.  No one is perfect.  Bad days happen.  Shoot, bad weekends happen.  Let.  It. Go.  Sing it, Elsa! 

Right  now I’m not able to work out because of the accident.  Doctor’s orders.  The old me would kind of love that.  The me that I am now is hating it.  My body really wants to move!  But I know that moving too much could really result in hurting myself more than helping me.  Plus, I tried to do yoga the other morning—poorly—and regretted it all day. 

So, with that in mind, I’ve got to be pretty mindful of my eating habits.  I might have needed that chocolate chip muffin on Wednesday night, and that maple fudge on Friday (look out for a whole blog post on where that come from in the near future), but it’s pretty easy to fall back into old habits.  Get back in with the wrong crowd.  Can you just hear those potato chips calling, telling me that lie that I can stop at just one…bag?

I’ve gotten pretty good at ignoring the taunts. 

After all, I’m no cheater.  The only one I’d be cheating is me.  And I’ve come too far and am far too fabulous for such nonsense. 


Friday, September 19, 2014

Jesus, Take the Wheel

This week has truly been another example of mixed blessings.  I guess they all are, if we’re honest. 

After work on Wednesday my friend Mandy and I went to say goodbye to  Granny B.  I don’t remember not knowing my best friend Tiffany’s grandmother.  She’s just been a fixture in my life; always there, always smiling, so sweet.  I’ve known Tiffany since we were little kids and Granny is someone that’s woven into my past.  There was nowhere else for me to be on that night but with the people that loved her best. 

It is all very raw and new for them now.  I don’t suppose there is ever an easy time to say goodbye to someone we love.  But I did love looking at all the pictures of the life she had lived.  It was a good one.  Filled with so much love.  So many smiles. Granny can be proud of the life she lived.  And I’m sure she’s laughing where she is now. 

When Mandy and I left, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then jumped back on I-95 to head home.  We were chatting away as we always do, when I looked in my side mirror just in time to see the tractor trailer beside us switching lanes right into my driver’s side rear bumper. 

My car spun to the left, causing the front of the truck to connect with the driver’s door.  And then it began to push.  Looking out of my window, I was staring into the grill of a tractor trailer, and we were still moving.  The car began to bounce and all I could think was, “he’s coming up over us.”  It wasn’t a panicked thought, but one that made every muscle in my body brace for the roll of the car. 

And then it didn’t roll. 

My Ford Escape sort of dislodged, for lack of a better word, wiggled away, if you want more of a visual, from the front of the truck and we were able to pull over to the side of the road.  Very shaken.  Very scared.  Not hurt. 

Not hurt?  

We had just been hit—twice, really—by a tractor trailer, and we weren’t hurt. 

After we asked each other about 50 times if we were ok, we found the hazard lights on the car and began calling people.  Husbands, 911, in that order.  Then Mandy emailed her boss.  Because she’s that girl and I love her for it. 

The driver of the truck came up quickly and was just as shaken as we were.  When he realized Mandy was pregnant (Yes, 21 weeks.  Did I not mention that?) he had a slight panic attic.  But we were ok. 

The First Responders arrived and I could not sing their praises any higher.  Bless the Eastover Fire Department and the EMS crew that came and took such great care of us.  They talked to us and helped bring about a level of calm that I don’t know we could have achieved on our own. 

My sweet Steven showed up and gave me the best hug I think I’ve ever gotten. 

And no one seemed to be able to understand how we didn’t roll, how we were ok. 

We knew. 

It wasn’t my driving.  I didn’t drive.  As soon as that truck hit us, my feet came off both the break and the gas and one of my arms went to Mandy.  Funny, she did the “Mom-grab” to me, too.  I eventually had both hands on the wheel, but really, I let that car go where it wanted.  I didn’t drive anything.  But someone did. 

We didn’t scream or yell when we got hit.  We were quiet actually, except for two things.  Mandy saying, “we’re ok,” over and over.  And then saying, “Lord help us.  Jesus help us.”  And that’s exactly what happened.  God took care of us.  Made sure we were ok. 

People keep saying that it could have been so much worse.  The truth is that it should have been. 

But it wasn’t.  And it’s because that was not His plan.  There are no mistakes.  What happened, happened for a reason.   Exactly what it is, we may not know yet.  Or maybe it was just so I would write this, and tell you about our amazing God, that let us go toe-to-toe with a tractor trailer in a little SUV and walk away. 



P.S. As a little public service announcement, please take a look at the below diagram.  It shows blind spots that Tractor Trailer drivers have to deal with.  Give them space and be mindful of where you are.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Becoming wanna-be “runners”

Ok, so in case you were wondering who is the trouble maker behind the scenes here at C&C- it is so Jessica! I know, I know, I know- you all thought it was me but boy were you WRONG! That woman has so much motivation and is always thinking of the next challenge we can do!

About a month ago she emails me and asks what I think about running a 5K the weekend before Thanksgiving. Of course I reply to “sign me up”! So then our discussion quickly moves to the slight issue being that neither Jessica nor I have ever run and we should probably start some form of training ASAP as we only have about 12 weeks before we hit the pavement for this 5k!
Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she can conquer the world. -Marilyn Monroe #doactiveproducts #doworthy
So as of right now, we are all signed up and attempting training by walking with occasional bouts of running. Today we went for a run and ran about two and a half miles (running one and a half min. and walking a min.). I think we did pretty good! There is a good possibility that we will be able to run the entire 5K in November!

And this is where we need help from you…. We need encouragement and all the tips/advice you can offer as we are fish out of water!

*****RUN 5K************From Couch to Completion Line: How To Train For a 5k | Her Campus

Here is a training schedule that we found on Pinterest! If you are interested in training with us!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Up & At 'Em!

The main question I get now that I've lost some weight—and now that it’s enough that people have really begun to notice—is, “how did you do it?”  Well, there’s the short answer:  “Eating better and exercising more.”  And then there’s the long answer.  Which I will spare you.  You’re welcome. 

But when people do want to talk about the real ins and outs, they mostly want to know what I’m doing physically.  What’s the secret?  What have I changed?  Plenty.  But if I had to pinpoint the big thing I did, the major change I made, in my exercise routine (which is laughable in itself since the one I had before was, well, not one) it is that I now get up and work out in the morning.  It’s the first thing I do everyday, even on weekends.  And when I tell people this, mostly I’m met with a look of pity or disgust and the words, “oh, yeah, I couldn't do that.” 

Well, yeah, you can.  But I know where you’re coming from, because it’s exactly where I've been.  Below is a list of tips that help me get up and get going in the morning.  Things that make is easier for me to make working out a first priority instead of an afterthought.  None of these are rocket science and I’m sure you've heard of them before.  And, in the end, you have to do what works for you.  If afternoons are better, keep at it.  But if you’re looking for ways to get your booty moving in the wee hours of the morning, take a peek at what works for me. 

  • Put your alarm across the room.
    • If you’re like  me, having your alarm within arm’s length isn't going to do much for you. Listen, that snooze button is the one that will get the workout if I can reach it. So I put my phone across my room, making it necessary for me to crawl out of bed to turn it off.  Once I’m up, it’s easier for me to push myself to getting ready and working out. 
      • Extra tip: Put your alarm with your workout clothes.  Once you’re that close to them, it’s harder to walk away.  Which leads us to…

  • Lay out your clothes, Elementary School style!
    • Do you remember when you were little and your mom or dad would lay your clothes out for the next day?  Go back to those days.  If you don’t have to think about what to put on, you’re more likely to get going quicker and not talk yourself out of working out and right back into your warm, comfy bed. 
      • Extra tip:  Be sure to take the weather into consideration.  If you’re headed out for a run at 5 am in October, it might be a little chilly.  Plan for longer sleeves so you don’t hit the pavement only to turn around because you were unprepared. 

  • Set out your water / food the night before
    • I have to eat a little something before I work out.  And the last thing I want to do is take the time to prep something in the morning.  I’m already tired and, if it’s one of those days, I’m already looking for excuses to skip this whole early morning workout junk all together.   Having my pre-workout food ready to grab and eat is a must for me. 
      • Extra tip:  Don’t gobble your food and guzzle your water like you’ll never be able to eat again.  You don’t want to end up feeling sick—especially if you’re about to get into a particularly strenuous workout.  I eat something really small, like a Belvita breakfast biscuit, while taking a minute to check out the Daily Motivation on  It keeps me from eating so quickly and gets me pumped for my workout.  Double win!  (Don’t know about the Berry?  You should!  Go check it out and put the app on your phone.  Warning:  it’s highly addictive!)

  • Have a plan.
    • Look, I’m not a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl.  I need to know what I’m going to be doing in the morning or else I spend a lot of time trying to figure it out.  Which is a waste.  And why waste time standing around in workout pants, when I can do that in the comfort of my bed?  If I’ve already got the morning workout planned I’m much less likely to skip it, because it doesn’t leave the door open for as many excuses.
      • Extra tip:  If your workout calls for printed materials, go ahead and have them ready and set out for yourself.  Need to do a video?  Have it ready to go or at least know exactly where to find it on your phone / computer / DVD player.   

  • Go to bed at a decent hour.
    • Here’s the deal.  If I don’t go to bed early enough, I don’t get up early enough.  Mind blowing, right?  I’m going  to go out on a big, fat limb and guess you’re the same way.  Sometimes life does not let you go to bed early.  I get that.  I’ve got two guys at home that I want to spend crazy amounts of time with, too.  Not to mention the endless responsibilities that come with being a Wife, Mommy and Grown Up.  But here’s the deal.  Pick your battles, set your priorities.  TV can wait.  Social media can wait. Some of those dishes and deep cleaning the carpets?  Yeah, it can wait.  Getting healthy is important.  Sleep is important.  Rest your body.  Go to bed.    
      • Extra tip:  Give yourself a bedtime and stick to it.  “I will be in bed no later than ___.”  You know when you need to put your pretty, little head to pillow in order to function well the next day.  Make a promise to yourself to be in bed by that time and then do your best to stick to it.   

  • Have a partner in crime. 
    • I have to say this one is my favorite.  There is no better motivator than having someone else willing to drag tail out of bed at some unholy hour and sweat like a beast with you.   My sister and I both get up in the morning to work out and then text each other when we’re done.  When it’s 5 am at my house, it’s 5 am at her house and I know both of our alarms are going off at the same time.  We’re pulling on workout clothes and sneakers at the same time.  We’re running and doing squats, dreaded burpees and tricep extensions at the same time.  And that makes it feel like we’re doing them together.  And that helps me keep going.  She motivates me without having to be right there.  And that’s huge
      • Extra tip:  If you’re lucky enough to have someone that lives close enough to you to meet with you, that’s great.  If not, you can still recruit a buddy to send encouraging texts, emails or even call you.  Lift each other up!  Be in this together!
Need a challenge for the next eight weeks to get up for?  Rachel and I (and my sister) are doing Tone It Up’s Frisky Fall Challenge. Check it out here.  We’re only about four days in, so that leaves you about seven and a half fitness-filled weeks left to wake up to.  

Go get it, girl!