Category Archives: Exercise

Glutton for Punishment

Since I’m a glutton for punishment (and because I’m going to Mexico in 31 days), I am starting a new Whole30 tomorrow. I’m going to post meal plans and attempt to keep a food log, so I created a special page on this blog for that. I was really happy with my results the first time around, but I think I can do better. And I bought a swimsuit yesterday, so that’s good motivation.


Whole30: the skinny (no pun intended)

So, y’all. I have been meaning to write this post for awhile. But I forgot. Or life got in the way, as it does. So here’s the situation: I finished the Whole30.

January 30-February 7 actualities:
-CrossFit four times. Heh, no. I was sick and couldn’t workout. I worked out the Monday and Tuesday of the end of the challenge (Feb 6-7), but NOT AT ALL the whole week before.
-Do 60 sit-ups after each workout that isn’t sit-up centered. See above. But yes, I did.
-Try to SLEEP at least 7 hours per night. Yes.
-Participate in Whole30 eating. Yes. I didn’t cheat, despite being sick. And I HIGHLY recommend the Czech Meatballs from Melissa’s site. So, so good. Dip them in olive oil mayo.

So. I lost 11 pounds. But only 2% body fat. I was surprised by that, because I thought if you had more fat to lose (and oh, holy moly, do I have a HIGH body fat percentage), the fat would come off more easily. I also lost one and a half pant sizes. Jim noticed a change in my appearance, as someone who saw me everyday, and my friend Amy said I looked smaller and my face thinner.

We had to write an essay and submit it to the trainers, answering the questions: What did you expect; what did you want; what did you get? Here’s what I wrote.

            My expectations were as follows: jumpstart weight loss, feel better, feel stronger, easier recovery after workouts, and feel happier. My expectations were largely met. My weight loss of 11 pounds was satisfactory to me. I lost one and a half pant sizes (the size two down will zip, but give me a muffin-top, and nobody likes a muffin top). I feel healthier, and when I have had cheat meals since the Whole30 end I have not felt well. I do feel stronger, and after the initial week of the Whole30 made workouts really, really hard, I felt more capable, and my recovery time was, all around, a lot shorter with a better diet. I did feel happier. I still don’t think I’m ready to give up my antidepressant, but I am ready to start cutting the pills in half to take half doses (at my doctor’s consent, of course). Endorphins really go a long way! And a healthier diet seems to make them flow more readily.

            In signing up for the Whole30, I wanted: to lose weight, to adjust to a lifetime eating lifestyle, to feel more comfortable in my skin, to, eventually, get off of my antidepressants, and to be able to keep up with my daughter. Overall, I feel like the Whole30 Challenge assisted me in beginning these goals. I did lose weight – more than I’ve lost in one month since I was nursing right after my daughter’s birth. I did adjust to a new eating style, and when I’m hungry I snack on sliced bell peppers or cold chicken breast instead of reaching for a string cheese or a box of crackers. I am more comfortable in my skin (and it helps that my husband has noticed a difference, despite seeing me every day). And I’m on my way to being able to keep up with Eriana. I can easily get down on the floor with her, and I spend most of my days with her playing on the floor, without worrying that I won’t be able to get back up.

I am NOT going to post my before and after photos. But I am really proud of everything I accomplished. And I think I could have accomplished more if I hadn’t been sick for a week. Man, croup can really knock a mother OUT. (What? I’m totally cool enough to say that.) But I will say that I am really excited at what I was able to do, and I am even more excited to keep going in my journey with a Paleo diet and CrossFit. I have lots more goals to try to accomplish.



Whole30 Week 3 Recap, Week 4 Planning

FIRST: Everyone look at my new blog theme! (No, seriously, if you’re reading in a reader, click through. Worth it.) Jen is awesome, isn’t she? I highly recommend her work. Plus, I’ve met her and she’s great.


Now on to Whole30 talk. WOOHOO! 3 weeks down. Hooray!

Last week:
January 23-29 goals:
-CrossFit four times. YES! Barely. Lots of life conspiring against me this week. I awoke with a stomachache one morning, and then one morning my trainer slept through his alarm. BUT! I still was able to squeeze in 4 workouts: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday. And I’m still sore from Friday and Saturday.
-Do 60 sit-ups after each workout that isn’t sit-up centered. NO! I did on three workouts, but not on Saturday. I forgot, truthfully.
-Try to SLEEP at least 7 hours per night. HA! No. Eriana was sick, and, apparently, Zyrtec makes her stay awake and angry, instead of knocking her out. So that was a fun night. The rest of the week was fine, though.
-Participate in Whole30 eating.  YES! I did. And I survived another week.

Aaaannnddd this week to the end:
January 30-February 7 goals:
-CrossFit four times.
-Do 60 sit-ups after each workout that isn’t sit-up centered.
-Try to SLEEP at least 7 hours per night.
-Participate in Whole30 eating.

-Shepherd’s Pie (didn’t get to this last week)
-Meatza Pie (didn’t get to this last week)
-Maki Rolls
-Rogan Josh (not a person)
-Egg Foo Yong and vegetable stir fry (made with stir fry sauce)
-Machacado & Eggs with Avocado Relish
-Czech Meatballs with Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

For breakfasts I got fruit, eggs, bacon, and sausage.
For lunches I got tomatoes, mushrooms, artichokes, ground beef, Italian sausage, and onions to make hot plates.


You guys. I’m ALMOST DONE. 30 days. I feel good! My clothes fit better. I still haven’t gotten up the nerve to try on my pants that are 2 sizes down from where I started, but the ones one size down are loose. I’m on a new hole on Jim’s belt, and I might get to wear MY belts again soon! I started swimsuit shopping this week for our trip to Mexico in April, but I’m going to wait until late March to buy anything, because I feel like through Paleo and CrossFit, I have no idea what size I’ll wear in just 2 months. CRAZY.

So. That’s that! HOORAY, ALMOST DONE!

*All recipes from Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan. Links for recipes go to her blog.

Giving and Running

Hi, Friends,

My friend Kelly is running a half-marathon soon, and has joined a team that pledged to run $15,000 for The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a non-profit camp for kids with terminal diseases. Kelly has pledged to raise $1,000! If you are looking for a cause to support, and a great gal to help out, go visit Kelly’s page and pledge a gift!

Thanks, in advance, for any generosity you can provide!


I feel like I sometimes give the wrong impression about my life, whether here, or on various social networking sites. The wrong impression about how things work around here. I give the impression that Eriana’s not sleeping or her tantrums or the way she behaves bothers me or is a problem. I give the impression that because we have stresses there might be problems in my marriage. I give the impression that because I have weight issues I am unhappy with who I am. I give the impression that because I couldn’t find a good paying job, being a SAHM was a last resort. I give the impression that the things I want to change about our house make me want a different house. I give the impression that because my hometown was our last-but-only choice that it is impossible for me to be happy here. I give the impression that my depression makes my life awful. I give the impression that the financial problems we’ve experienced have made life unmanageable or put us into a hole so deep that we won’t recover.

Here’s the truth, Internet. Life sometimes sucks. Life is sometimes hard. With the issues and problems of daily life, there is sometimes a need to vent, to whine, to let out some frustrations. And since I pay for this domain, this is a space in which I can do that. And since I sometimes need some advice from various people on the Internet, I vent or whine or ask advice on social networking sites. And I open a Crappy Day Present and I hug and kiss my husband and I snuggle my baby and I pet my dogs and cuddle my cats and curl up under my favorite blanket on the couch and I get ready for a new tomorrow.

Eriana’s not sleeping is not a problem. I have tried so many sleep theories that I can’t even remember them all. I have tried CIO, I have tried going in every 5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40-45 minutes, I have tried everything. EVERYTHING. And you know what? She usually gets tired and grumpy, sleeps or doesn’t, and then is fine after about 30 minutes of awake or however long she wants to sleep, and is her happy, sweet self again. Her tantrums are not a problem. I am fully aware that she is smart, that she sometimes is manipulative, and that I cannot cater to her every need. And I don’t. She is an only child, likely forever, and has a lot of freedoms. But if she whines and cries she gets ignored or told to stop, depending on the situation. If she falls and tries to overreact to a situation, we shake it off. If she throws her cup or bottle on the floor, she gets it back twice more and then it’s gone. If she throws all of her food on the floor, she doesn’t get more. She is NOT spoiled, despite being an only child. And she’s wonderful. She’s happy, she’s independent, she’s content, she’s smart, she’s amazing.

There are no problems in my marriage. Jim and I are more in love now than ever. He is the light and love of my life, my soul mate, my everything. I love him more than life, more than anything. He is my biggest fan, my best cheerleader, my favorite person, and so, SO supportive of me. I give him as much support and love as I am physically and emotionally able to exhaust. I am so appreciative of him, and I am in awe of him everyday. Just because there are stresses in our lives does not mean there are problems with our marriage. Marriage is hard, some days harder than others. But it’s worth it.

I am in a constant battle with the outside criticisms of my youth that try to tell me I’ll never be pretty or thin enough, that I’ll never be good enough. But I’m happiest now with my body and my looks than I’ve ever been, and as hard as I’m trying, things can only get better. I’m PROUD of myself.

Being a SAHM was always my first choice. When I was pregnant with our Angel, I had planned to be a SAHM. This was not possible when Eriana was born, and so I worked for 7 months. And then I had the opportunity to come home, and here I am. Someday I might have a career. But being a full-time mother was always my FIRST choice.

I adore our house, our home. We picked it. Just because there are things I would change, and other homes I admire doesn’t mean I would want a change we might not be able to afford. Most people want to change some things about their homes, and being a homeowner is not easy.

Coming to this town was the only way to leave Tokyo when we did. I couldn’t bear to be there anymore. It was all too much. Having to see the babies of people whom I was pregnant alongside, and having to tell people what happened to our Angel, and having to walk past the closed door of the nursery that would have been hers in our apartment, and knowing it was another year of that, plus Jim being unhappy at his job, made me need to leave. And coming here was the only place the military would allow (well, to this area, not necessarily this town). I am happy to be going to school at OU, and I am happy that Eriana is getting to know her family, my family. And I have lovely, lovely friends for whom I am so, so thankful. But Jim and I have never thought this would be forever. And we’ll see where his job and my prospects and my studies take us in the next few years.

My depression is manageable. I am back down to one anti-depressant, and CrossFit has helped my moods immensely. I have so much for which to be thankful, and I’m glad to be able to count my blessings and to work through my depression. There are so many people that struggle with greater chronic depression, and I am thankful that mine is manageable.

Our financial situation is none of your business. I realize that I may have overexerted my explanations, though I’ve never given anyone specifics. It’s not hard to imagine that a basic, entry-level salary in Oklahoma plus freelance work over a year’s time that included having a baby and 8 weeks of maternity leave would stretch us. We are doing fine. We are doing well. We are paying all of our debts and our bills each month, and we have long-term plans for savings. We are going on vacation in April, and hopefully in September. And I am hopefully going on vacation in October and November as well. Things are fine.

So, Internet. I apologize if I’ve given you the wrong impressions about my life. My life is grand. Some days are grander than others, but it is always grand.

How could it not be?

Whole30 Week 2 Recap, Week 3 Planning

I’ve successfully finished 2 weeks of Whole30! HOORAY! Almost halfway there. (Actually, since I’m posting this late, I AM halfway there!)

Last week:
January 16-22 goals:
-CrossFit FOUR times. CHECK! Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday! Monday was really difficult, but I finished the WOD, and I did much better the rest of the week. And even though Monday was hard, I didn’t quit, and I didn’t cry.
-Do 60 sit-ups after each workout (that isn’t sit-up centered). CHECK!
-Try to be in bed for at least 8-9 hours a night. Um… I was in bed for at least 7 hours a night. I think that’s pretty good progress. I think I got at least 6.5 hours of sleep each night.
-Participate in Whole30 eating. CHECK!

My biggest test, since I started this challenge, was going to dinner last night with my family at my favorite Mexican restaurant. It was for my little brother’s birthday, and I just couldn’t say no. But I did REALLY WELL! I had NO chips, NO tortillas, NO queso, NO cheese, NO sour cream, etc. I didn’t even eat any salsa, because I didn’t want to have the temptation and want chips with it. I drank unsweetened tea and I ate the best ceviche in the world. I even tore tortillas apart and dipped them in queso for Eriana and didn’t sneak any. The worst part was when my older sister and her family ordered sopapillas after dinner. That was SUCKY to see and smell. Thankfully I was separated from them by a few people. Eep!

So, this week, here we go!
January 23-29 goals:
-CrossFit four times.
-Do 60 sit-ups after each workout that isn’t sit-up centered.
-Try to SLEEP at least 7 hours per night.
-Participate in Whole30 eating.

-Chicken Fajitas
-Zucchini & Red Onion Frittata
-Tex-Mex Tuna Salad
-Cinnamon Beef Stew w/ mashed cauliflower
-Meatza Pie
-Scotch Eggs
-Shepherd’s Pie (the link goes to a Cottage-Flower Pie recipe by the same blogger, mostly the same recipe)
All recipes are from Well Fed by Melissa Joulwan.

For breakfasts I picked up some sausage, eggs, bacon, mangos, avocados, oranges, and a pineapple.

For lunches I picked up a few cans of tomatoes, artichokes, ground beef, Italian sausage, and some peppers so I can mix tomatoes, meat and veggies.

I also picked up some Larabars to eat before I workout and to keep in my purse for emergency eating.

Whole30 Week 1 Recap, Week 2 Planning

Well, you guys, I’m on day 7. I’m done with approximately 1/4 of the Whole30 challenge. Here’s what I accomplished (or didn’t) this week:

January 9-15 goals:
-CrossFit four times: FAIL. I worked out three times. I missed Friday because my alarm didn’t go off, and meant to make it up Saturday but… didn’t.
-Do 60 sit-ups after each workout (that isn’t sit-up centered): SUCCESS! There were 2 workouts that included sit-ups and I did sit-ups after the other.
-Try to get 8 hours of sleep: FAIL. Ha, this was just a pipedream anyway, right? Eriana is going through a KILLER Wonder Week, and teething, and I just am hoping to get a consecutive night’s sleep, without being awakened by my child’s mid-sleep cries.
-Participate in Whole30 eating: SUCCESS! I did really well with my food goals, and am happy with the way things are going so far.

Um. I bought a LOT of food last week (and spent about two weeks worth of our food budget). So I’m pleased to report that we have about half of our food left and I will be able to stretch it another week (thus, getting our food budget back on track… I know you were worried).

I was REALLY unhappy with my start weight for this challenge, and though I’m not supposed to weigh myself, because weight loss is not the only goal of the challenge, one pair of my pants is significantly looser (I have only worn the one pair since I realized), and another fit over my thighs much more easily.

So. On to week 2!

January 16-22 goals:
-CrossFit FOUR times. (FOUR times, Tara. FOUR!)
-Do 60 sit-ups after each workout (that isn’t sit-up centered).
-Try to be in bed for at least 8-9 hours a night.
-Participate in Whole30 eating.

Meals we have left for this week:
-European Hot Plate
-Chocolate Chili (I froze half, so we have some left for another meal)
-Middle Eastern Hot Plate
-Greek Hot Plate

Then we have wiggle room for a night of takeout, and a night of leftovers. I also have a roast in the freezer, so I am going to make pepproncini beef for one night (beef and pepproncinis in the crockpot). And we have LOTS of leftovers for lunch.

School, Whole30, CrossFit, House, Family

-School: I bought a t-shirt from the School of Library and Information Studies that says “Just A Bunch of Know-It-Alls” on it, and I LOVE it. It’s comfy, and it makes me really excited to start school next week. Speaking of school, I decided to carry a full load of courses, despite originally signing up for just 6 hours (9 is full-time for graduate work). I changed my mind last night when a new course offering came to my e-mail. I just couldn’t resist a course entitled Digital Information Ethics. I’m such a nerd.

-Whole30: My challenge, so far, is going well. I think the hardest thing to deal with is not tasting Eriana’s food! That sounds silly, but if I tear up cheese for her I usually sneak a piece, and when I put cheerios on her tray, I will grab a few for myself. I’m doing okay without sweetener in my coffee, and I have been pouring almond milk into it instead. And drinking a lot of tea. Here are my meals so far (sorry, Shalini, i could only find 2 recipes online!):
—Chocolate Chili served in a bowl of spinach
—Italian Hot Plate (ground beef with Italian Sausage Seasoning, bell peppers, onions, garlic, tomatoes) served with spinach
Moroccan Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles Aglio Et Olio
—Meat and Spinach Muffins

Tonight’s dinner will be The Best Chicken You Will Ever Eat. Ever. and creamy cucumbers.

-CrossFit: I will do a comprehensive review of my week at the end of the week, but I have been to the gym three times this week, thus far, and plan to go again tomorrow. That will make up my four days. I have had pretty good workouts this week, and have felt strong and capable. This morning’s was a little rough, but I think I did it to myself. There are several new women who have been coming to my expedition time, and while I got used to being the only female, I feel like I’m competing with these women, which is ridiculous, because CrossFit isn’t a competitive sport (well, not for us mere mortals who don’t compete in the CrossFit Games). These ladies are super nice, and, obviously, were working out before they started CrossFit. I am doing a great job. They aren’t competitive toward me, so there is no need for me to get a competitive spirit in my head. Anywho, that’s what’s been going on at the gym this week.

-House: Our dishwasher began leaking awhile back, but it was only intermittently. Well, it started being more consistent this week, and Jim determined that it wasn’t draining, hence the water leaking all over the floor. I took it apart yesterday, cleaned it completely, and put it back together. But I wound up with an extra piece, so I took it apart and put it back together again today, and now it runs, but no water flows into it (even though we didn’t turn the water off). So, with much sadness, I called a repair company and they will be here tomorrow. Note to all of you building houses or buying newly built houses: construction companies cut corners. Our house is beautiful, but not super sturdy, as it turns out. They, quite obviously to us now, used bottom of the barrel components. So: if you’re building a house or buying a new-construction house, have some savings set aside for when crap breaks.

-Family: Spending time with my family has been lovely. Eriana was sick last week, and cut a new tooth this week, and has been a bit whiny, but super snuggly. Jim has been wonderful, as always, despite being sick last weekend. (We were all sick last weekend, but his man cold lingered a bit, and even though many men with a man cold are useless, Jim was not; he let me sleep in on Saturday morning, helped me with Eriana, put the Christmas decorations in the attic alone and of his own volition, and helped around the house.) I just love my family. It’s comfortable with them.

The girl helping me out by taking her pajamas out of their box (that I just put clean pjs into, of course). Good thing I vacuumed today!


Whole30, Week 1

As I’ve mentioned before, my CrossFit gym is starting a healthy living challenge tomorrow called Whole30. It’s 30 days of a super strict Paleo diet. I bought a new cookbook (designed by a girl from here, with whom I went to high school; need design work done? Call Kathleen!), which has many, many recipes, all but one of which are Whole30-approved. The author of the cookbook suggests doing most of your cooking/prep one day a week, so making meals takes very little time throughout the week. The meals will consist of recipes*, hot plates**, and snacks/breakfasts I throw together on a whim. Since Eriana is SO! BUSY! these days, I am going to give this a try. My mom keeps Eriana all day on Mondays, and I am going to do as much prep/cooking as I can on those days so that I can have just a bit to do for before meals the rest of the week. Jim has consented to do the challenge with me (at least for his at-home meals… which is just dinner, unless he takes leftovers for lunch). I have planned our first week’s worth of meals, and thought, for extra accountability, I should post my menu planning, my goals, and my reflective thoughts each week.

Long-term (through Paleo, CrossFit, and All-Around Dedication) Goals:
-Be stronger/build stamina for workouts
-Run long distances
-Lose weight and/or sizes
-Keep up with Eriana as she grows
-Feel more comfortable in my skin
-Get off of anti-depressants

January 9-February 7 Goals:
-Jumpstart weightloss
-Feel stronger
-Recover from workouts (in general) more easily
-Feel happier

Monday, January 9-Sunday, January 15 Goals:
-CrossFit four times
-Do 60 sit-ups after each workout (that isn’t sit-up centered)
-Try to get 8 hours of sleep
-Participate in Whole30 eating

-Breakfast items (will vary each day): eggs, nitrate-free bacon, turkey bacon, sausage, avocados, tomatoes, oranges, mangoes

-Snack Packs (suggested by Melissa, I will pack these, varying in contents, at the beginning of the week, and grab one when I’m hungry): snap peas or baby carrots, olives, bell peppers, cucumbers, chicken

-Lunches (I figure I’ll have leftovers, especially because Jim will eat dinner leftovers or out with coworkers, so I didn’t choose a lot):
–Tex-Mex Tuna Salad
–Meat & Spinach Muffins
–American Hot Plate – ground beef, jicama home fries, bell peppers
–European Hot Plate – ground pork, apples, cabbage, spices

Chocolate Chili & Spinach
–The Best Chicken You’ll Ever Eat with Middle Eastern Cucumbers
–Moroccan Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles Aglio Et Olio
–Italian Hot Plate – roasted spaghetti squash, ground beef, tomato, bell pepper
–Middle Eastern Hot Plate – cauliflower rice pilaf, ground lamb, okra
–Greek Hot Plate – ground lamb, tomatoes, eggplant
–Thai Hot Plate – grilled chicken, green beans, red bell pepper, mango, Sunshine Sauce

Tomorrow morning I will be weighed and have my body fat measured (yikes!). And then tomorrow I have to send photos of myself, dressed in a two-piece bikini, to the female gym owner; photos of me from the front, both sides, and back. I’m terrified of this part of the challenge requirement. I am comforted a bit that only the female trainers will see these photos. Knowing that in 30 days my body can change enough to make a difference in the before/after photos helps, too.

Meanwhile, I made spaghetti for dinner, and am drinking as many glasses of wine as I responsibly can tonight. :) And I ate quite a bit of my Christmas candy, but will ask Jim hide it from me after I’m asleep tonight. 30 days! I can do this for 30 days.

*All of my lunches and dinners this week are from Well-Fed by Melissa Joulwan.
**A Hot Plate is a simple meal that the above-named/linked cookbook author cites that can be made from a few Paleo ingredients, most of which can be prepared and/or cooked ahead of times.

Love/Hate Tuesday

Oh, you guys. The last few days have been ridiculous. Some things I can’t talk about here, and my thoughts will have to be in bullet form because I can’t really form sentences very well. Actually, I’m going to do a Love/Hate list a la K, because I have a mixture of good and bad things in my head.

-Yesterday I kept running into a Japanese family at Target, and I had to make actual effort to speak English when I said things like, excuse me, I’m sorry, you’re okay, thank you, etc. Apparently it’s easy to remember things you’ve learned when you’re immersed. (I didn’t want to speak Japanese because I didn’t want them to think I was nuts.)
-My last two workouts have been crap. I cried today, for the first time during a CrossFit workout, because I was so disappointed and so frustrated.

-All of our Christmas stuff is back in boxes, and our house is back to normal.
-It’s all in boxes in our living room because I can’t put it into the attic by myself, and I don’t know when Jim and I will be able to put it away together.

-Eriana had a great day at Mother’s Day Out today at her new day school. No crying, and she napped.
-Eriana will not nap for me now, even though she’s exhausted.

-Eriana’s one-year well-check is Thursday, and she’s big and I’m excited to see HOW big.
-I really, really don’t like her pediatrician, and also she has a raging diaper rash that won’t go away and I’m probably going to get lectured about it.

-My CrossFit gym is starting a Whole30 Challenge on Monday, and I’m really excited to start it. I’M GONNA WIN! Well, I’m going to give it my best effort.
-I have to take pictures of myself in very little clothing to submit for the challenge, AND have my body fat measured.

-I am super excited about the new cookbook I bought for the challenge.
-I just found out that I can only have coffee for this month if I drink it black, which… no. Crap.

-I got to have lunch with my lovely little sister today.
-Our families have a lot of drama, and that was our primary topic of conversation.

-My family has one more Christmas celebration, this weekend.
-Somehow I got put in charge of contacting everyone to organize food bringing/buying, and I hate that so much.

-I ate some delicious, delicious chocolates yesterday.
-I only got the delicious chocolates because I had to open a crappy day present.

This makes me smile through the frustration:



How are YOU this week?


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