And so it begins!

Hi guys! I’ve missed you!

Things have been crazy as usual around here but I wanted to pop in and let you all in on a few things.

1. For those of you who have requested the files for the Nanny Notebook, I will be sending them out this weekend. Also, if you could let me know why the links aren’t working on your end, I’d appreciate it so I can hopefully correct the error (unless it’s something like “I don’t have Microsoft Word”, in which case I can try posting PDF versions.)

2. Starting Monday, I am starting a workout program in the hopes to get down to my goal weight of 125 pounds by the end of the year. As motivation to stay on track, I will be posting my daily morning weight, and my workout for the day along with any great new healthy eating recipes that I make. Keep in mind that I won’t be doing any kind of crazy dieting along with it. Living with a Midwestern, Meat and Potatoes husband will not allow that 🙂

It’s going to be a Tad bit embarrassing and scary, but I think it’ll help keep me motivated to keep going! Any and all encouraging words would be greatly appreciated. Negativity will not be welcomed. Anyone who wants/needs a friendly bit of encouragement in their own health endeavors, let me know and I’ll be your cheerleader!

Side note: I’m pretty convinced that if we were all forced to work out in spandex clothing, we would push ourselves to workout longer/run farther in the hopes that the jiggly feeling will be gone sooner 😉 I might just try that….kidding, kidding…or not…

Another side note: a good friend of mine made meatless enchiladas for our dinner date last night and it was AMAZEBALLS! She’s a great cook and always comes up with creative ways to eat healthy without feeling like you’re eating healthy, you know? I’ll be posting that recipe soon.

3. We have been doing a TON around our new place and it’s turning out great! Pics and posts to come sometime in the near future, but my main focus will be on the health journey.

I’d love to hear from you all and I’m super excited to be blogging again! Keep me accountable guys! You guys ROCK!

P.S. Happy Valentines Day!! Go hug/kiss someone you love (friends, family, or cuties like these…)

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P.P.S. And speaking of my two rescue cuties….if you live in the San Diego area, the Humane Society is adopting out all adult animals to good homes for FREE through the 28th! Give a great pet a loving home! If you don’t, check with your local animal shelters. I know the one we got Atlas at in Jacksonville, FL is doing $14 adoptions for all of the pets in their care regardless of age!

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BodyRock week 1 update!

Hey guys! A quick post before I turn in for the evening (or watch some holiday movies under a blanket with my cute hubby 🙂 )

This week has been awesome in terms of my workouts. If you haven’t gone over to BodyRock yet, you are missing out! I have started the 30 day challenge, and while it is kicking my butt, I’m already feeling the results!

My abs aren’t a washboard or anything yet, but I can already feel my energy levels increasing and my general attitude being more positive. It feels great!

45 minutes a day in the comfort or my home jumping around like a maniac has been so much fun!

Go try it now!!!!

Fitness Feature: BodyRock 30 day Challenge!

Hey guys! Just a quick post before the weekend gets here and things get crazy.

I have decided that starting this Monday (December 2) I will be starting the BodyRock 30 day Real Time Challenge. I’ve been following Lisa and Sean on Facebook and have done their HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts, but have never stuck with it. The main trainer, Lisa is AMAZING. She is really great about encouraging people of all shapes and sizes to start on her FREE programs (yes, all of the videos are 100% FREE!) and shows you how to modify the workouts for beginners!

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I’ll let you all know how my first week goes next Friday.

In the meantime, check it out right here and let me know if you want to do the challenge with me!

Veterans Day Weekend Updates

Hi guys!

This weekend has been filled with all kinds of crazy events so its going to be a short post.

Yesterday, I viewed five different possible homes, but it looks like we might hold out for another we haven’t seen yet that looks exactly like what we are looking for.

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Today, Rhea got her new cone off this morning, bloodied her neck and back of her head trying to scratch her constant itchiness. Hopefully the dermatologist can fit her in this weekend. After I got her cleaned up, she proceeded to climb onto the arm of the couch and pee. Needless to say this made a huge mess, but is funny to anyone else but me 🙂 Maybe in a couple days it’ll be laughable!

I took the pups to the dog park today and after about 15 minutes, Rhea went to greet another dog’s owner and spooked the dog into an attack. She came out just frazzled with a couple small bites since Atlas stepped between her and the dog and protected her, but still warranted a trip to the emergency vet to get her cleaned up. She’ll be alright in the end, I’m just hoping that it doesn’t make her skittish around other big dogs.

All of this wrapped up in the fact that they’ve been getting up every day at 4 a.m. since Daylight Savings Time still hasn’t caught up with them. Phew! So much excitement, not enough time 🙂

I’ll be posting a fun Veterans Day post tomorrow so look out for it!

Healthy Living Update + Starting Stats

Happy Friday and First of November! Can you believe it’s November already?! I hope you all had a fun and safe Halloween yesterday and are ready to work off some of that Halloween candy!

Here’s the deal: I’m starting a challenge with myself today and was wondering who might be interested in starting it with me. It’s super simple, great for beginners, and doesn’t take long to complete; kind of a no-excuses type plan.

Here’s how it works:
Clock at least 1 mile of walking/jogging/running per day.

Take your little kiddos in a stroller, take a post-dinner walk with your spouse or older kids and talk about your days, or clear your head with some alone time. Make it more of a “communication date” than exercise in your head if you have to. Feel free to go longer! I take a 1.5 mile walk with “E” every day at work and then usually go for a walk with Jeff and the pups after dinner. It’s a great way for us to wind down and reconnect after work.

Choose ONE of the following challenges

Abs
Do 10 sit-ups today. I’m talking the full sit-ups, not crunches.
Tomorrow do 20, Sunday do 30, so on and so forth. Each day, add 10 more.

Arms
Do 10 push-ups today. It’s ok if you do modified push-ups on your knees.
Tomorrow do 20, then 30, and so on.

Legs
Do 10 lunges for each leg today. That means 10 with your right leg and 10 with your left
Same as above, 20 on Saturday, 30 Sunday, etc., etc,

Butt
Do 10 squats today. I want 90 degree chair squats!
And you guessed it! 20 on Saturday, etc. etc.

For all of these challenges, once you hit 100 reps for the day, choose another challenge to add to your current one. i.e. if I start with the Butt Challenge, once I hit 100 reps (10 days), on day 11 I will do 110 squats plus 10 sit-ups (or push-ups, or lunges, depending on which challenge I start next).
Keep in mind, when you get into the higher number reps, you do not have to do them all at once! Split them up throughout your day. Or go Beast-Mode and do them consecutively…consider yourself high-fived if you do it that way 🙂

Got it? Good! I’ll be here to support you through it all!

If you want to join me, post a comment below with your starting weight (if you’re comfortable sharing it) and what challenge you want to start with and check back in with progress reports.

Good luck guys! I know you can do it!

Starting Weight: 143.4
Challenge #1: Butt – 10 squats today! Lets do this!

Starting my Healthy Living Journey

Over the past four years I have been battling my want to be fit and healthy and my love for everything junk food. When I moved back home after college, my sister and mom had joined Weight Watchers and had the whole house filled with healthy eats and recipes.

At that point, I was at my highest weight, 150. Now I realize for some people, that doesn’t seem large, but for my height, it left me out of breath and feeling unconfident. Following with their eating plan, I easily lost 13 pounds without doing one bit of physical activity.

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I stayed around 137 pounds for a long time, gaining or losing 2-3 pounds at a time. When Jeff proposed, I ended up moving to Florida and started walking/running 5K races with friends. Before the wedding, I was at about 132 pounds and feeling great! My body felt strong and for the first time ever, I felt semi-confident in a bathing suit at the beach!

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On the day of our wedding, I weighed 135, but things quickly turned around as I started to allow myself more “cheats” and kept saying “as long as I stay under 140, I’m good.”

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In January of this year, I began my crazy 6-month journey while Jeff was in training, moving 3 times and living with a friend, then on my own, and all while taking care of a puppy, working full time, and not tracking what I put into my body. I stopped running, although I kept mildly active with Atlas, but my body lost all of its endurance and strength.

Fast forward to today, I am between 142-145 pounds and looking to get down to 125-130. For me, weight loss is less about the numbers and more about how I feel in my clothes. I’m tired of being too self-conscious to go to the pool. I’m tired of being tired all the time. I’m tired of my clothes making me feel like a sausage 🙂

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My biggest challenge, however, is that I’m a big foodie. I love food! I love fatty, flavorful, and fried foods. I especially love ice cream and sweets (see below). When I was at my best before the wedding, I didn’t allow myself any cheats and constantly felt deprived. I gave myself such a hard time when I’d give into my cravings and eat something “bad”. I won’t do that this time.

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Here’s my plan:

1. Clock in at least 5 miles of activity daily. I have recently started taking a mile and a half walk with my little one at work each morning. Jeff and I also take about a mile and a half walk with the pups each night before bed. That means I need to fit in another 2 miles of movement in my everyday movement or with additional walking. I’m not promising that ill be running all of the time, but I figure 5 miles is still 5 miles in working my leg muscles and getting my heart rate into the “fat burn” zone.

2. Eat what I want, but within reason. If I want something fried, I can have one piece. If I want sweets, I can have a low-cal option (like Skinny Cow!) or eat just one portion. I’m not going to give myself grief because I won’t be “falling off the wagon”. I also plan on increasing my produce, whole grains, and lean proteins and keeping healthy snacks around the house/at work so I’m not tempted to eat those bad foods.

3. Weigh myself every 15 days instead of every day. That way I won’t obsess over the small daily changes.

What do you do to keep yourself on a healthy track?

Leave me a comment or “like” this post if you want to join in on a healthy living journey with me!

Fitness Feature: Meet Danielle!

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!

Today I wanted to share with you an inspiring story of an amazing young woman whom I was lucky enough to meet while in college at Ohio State.

Danielle is an inspiring person. She has been on a healthy living journey for the past few years and was gracious enough to share her story with all of you today.

I hope her story inspires you as much as it does me, to continue living healthfully.550358_575369182494273_1332945567_n

Lisa: Tell us a little about yourself.
Danielle: My name is Danielle, I am 26 years old, and I am getting married in September to my high school love. I have been overweight my entire life and I strive daily to live a healthy lifestyle.

Lisa: You look amazing! What inspired you to begin your healthy lifestyle journey?
Danielle: Thanks for your kind words, I feel amazing. I began my lifestyle change almost four years ago when I graduated OSU. I was gearing up to start my master’s program in Europe and I wanted to be less than 300 pound before doing so. At this point in May of 2010 I weighed 320 pounds at 23. When I arrived to Holland, Netherlands in August of 2010 I weighed 295 and I was ecstatic, but still wanting to lose more I continued to exercise daily with a goal of burning 340 calories a day, accompanied with healthy eating. I had gave up beef and pork years ago, but I was conscience of what I ate making sure it was lean and nutritious instead of carb loaded and negative on the body. Within the first year of changing my life for the better I had lost 101 pounds and became a vegetarian. 3 years later I am 120 pounds lighter, still a vegetarian, a runner of half marathons and various races, and a healthy individual.

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Lisa: What keeps you motivated?
Danielle: By 23 I had experienced my first round of mammograms in which they found a lump in one breast, had been diabetic for 10 years and my health seemed to be declining at a rate that was alarming. At 24 years old right after completing my graduating my master’s program, I underwent a double lumpectomy due to the increasing number of lumps growing in my breasts. Although, I had turned my life around and was the healthiest and the lightest I have ever been my body was still enduring the consequences of my previous lifestyle. I woke up one morning after surgery much smaller in my breast region, sore, without the possibility to breastfeed, and begged God to allow me to live a healthy life going forward. This prayer and decree to myself is what motivates me. I love what being healthy has done for me. I no longer have to take my diabetes medicine, which I had been on for 10 years because I can now control it through diet and exercise. I love running now, something I never thought I was capable of doing. Most importantly, I am a living health story for my family. Yes, bad habits can be broken, yes, you (of course You reading this) can turn your life around for the better, and it will feel amazing! It is hard work, and trusts me, there will be moments when defeat reins your head, but remind yourself of this, you didn’t gain that weight overnight, and so it won’t fall off overnight. You’re not a failure because at least you’re trying to change and believe me, you have. Give yourself time and be patient with yourself.

Lisa: How did/do you deal with setbacks?
Danielle: I deal with setbacks by allowing myself to feel what I feel and validate it. Then I jump back on the horse and continue to work out and eat healthy. I just remind myself of how far I’ve come, and that anything worth having is worth working hard for. Sometimes, I groan about how unfair it is that some are naturally small and do not have to work out or eat well. But then, I come back to reality and out of self- pity and realize how grateful I am to be alive, and able to do the things I need to do to live an active healthy lifestyle. Lastly, I have to remind myself not to be so hard on myself, because failure is not me falling back into eating a few more fries than I should or not working out for a couple weeks. Failure is me never trying, and letting those bad thoughts and comments about me win; those that tell me I am not capable of being the very best me I can be, which is a happy healthy and active me.

Lisa: What is your favorite workout?
Danielle: My favorite workout is running. Although, we have a love hate relationship, there is nothing like running off a set of feelings, or the feeling of finishing your first race, albeit, a 5k, a half marathon, a marathon or any other distance when you never thought you could. And of course, reaching that runner’s high makes me feel like superwoman, and I feel happy and free.

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Lisa: What is your favorite healthy meal?
Danielle: My favorite meal is salad! I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Lettuce is one of my favorite foods, and I crave salads. There’s nothing better than a fresh salad with tomatoes onions and vinegar and oil based dressing to fill up the tummy!

Lisa: What advice would you give to people who want to start a healthy lifestyle journey?
Danielle: Take it one day at a time, and celebrate each milestone reached, not by eating but by a new physical activity. With each new milestone I added a new activity I wanted to do, but was too afraid to. I would take a new dance class from bachata to belly dancing. I started spinning, running, water aerobics, riding horses, and even hiking. When I was at my heaviest I thought I could never do these activities, not because I was too heavy, but the fear of others seeing my body move paralyzed me. However, I realized that I too deserve to live the life I want regardless of my size or how it may offend some. Guess what happened? I realized, I love to dance, I love to spin, I love to hike, I love to run, and I love to stay active. So, my rewards all became things I can’t see my life without now.

Lisa: What is your ultimate goal for your healthy living journey?
Danielle: Ultimately, I just want to stay healthy and active. Size and numbers will become less important and the joy of living healthy will become the most important.

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Lisa: What is the secret to being successful in healthy living?
Danielle: The secret to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to have FUN! If you’re having fun doing the activities you are more inclined to stay with it. I love to dance so taking dance class wasn’t to lose weight but to have fun. It just so happened that I lost weight in the process.

Lisa: Who has helped you the most in your journey?
Danielle: The most influential person throughout my journey has been my fiancé. He loved me at my heaviest and has always made me feel beautiful. He keeps me grounded and relaxes me when I feel manic about achieving a certain weight goal. He rubs my calves after each half and he’s always my number 1 cheerleader. Most importantly he loves me exactly how I am and that’s a feeling that doesn’t come with a number.

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“Like” this post or leave a comment for Danielle!
(respectful and encouraging posts only – we are positive here at The Wife Life!)

A big THANKS goes out to Danielle, again, for sharing her story and being an inspiration for so many people out there starting and living a healthy lifestyle!

If You Are What You Eat, Then Consider Me Bacon

I love bacon. I truly believe that it is one of God’s greatest gifts. Apologies to any vegetarians…I could never give up bacon.

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(Mmmmm…brown sugar bacon biscuits…)

But seriously, now, I’ve been seeing a bunch of posts from friends and acquaintances lately that have been talking about their weight loss goals. Most of them are starting some “wonder diet” that will get them down 30/40/250 pounds down in a month…like, really, guys?

Now I’m not bashing their want to get fit and healthy, but I feel like so many people are quick to jump on a drink/frozen meal/pill regiment and then get disappointed when the results reverse quickly after stopping the plan.

I saw a great quote the other day that said “Abs are made in the gym and seen in the kitchen.” How amazing is that?! It’s so true! Eating is the number one ticket to weight loss.

As I said before, I have a (probably unhealthy) obsession with bacon. It’s one of my all time favorite foods. With that being said though, I don’t eat it all the time. Mostly, I eat awesome things like this Rosemary and Garlic Salmon with Roasted Veggies…

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Can I share with you a secret to weight loss without feeling like you’re depriving yourself of your favorite foods? Everything in Moderation. It’s that simple. If you want ice cream, eat ice cream; but only have 1/2 cup or try for some low-cal frozen yogurt instead. You want chips? Great! Eat them! But follow the serving suggestion on the bag and stop there! Know your calorie intake and stick to it. Try keeping a food journal or tracking your intake on a cool app like My Fitness Pal. Splurge every now and then, but within limits. Yesterday we had takeout Chinese for dinner. Yummy? Definitely! Good for my health? Noooo way! But I went for a serious uphill run yesterday and ate consciously the rest of the day to make up for it!

Eating healthy and exercising consistently is hard work. I will not, for one second, downplay the strength and willpower it takes to succeed at this. It will be difficult. You will have to be conscious of everything you put into your body. But with time and hard work comes results!

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Do you have a favorite food that you could never give up? Tell me about it! Starting a new weight loss goal? I want to hear it! Looking for help or suggestions of healthy and delicious recipes? Get at me and I’ll send you some!

Happy weekend-ing! Eat well and deliciously!

Week-Long Recap

I had great ideas for every post this week.

I was going to post each morning and knock your socks off with my amazing, witty posts.

I was going to have ten million comments and twenty million new followers.

..that might be a little exaggerated…

But, I was going to do it, and I got busy.

Doesn’t that happen to everyone? You get so caught up in all the cool, fun things you’re doing (or laundry, and dinners, and other chores) and you just run out of time in the day! Before you know it, your good intentions turn into its-5-minutes-until-10-and-Im-thoroughly-exhausted-from-today and you choose to go to bed instead of completing the task you planned on.

So here’s what you missed this week (the abridged version):

Monday – Wardrobe Weeding
T
his one I did on time! Woo-hoo! But in case you missed it, check it out here

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Tuesday – 3T: Grown Up Fun
I know many of you have cute little ones running around your home and I normally post about fun things to do with them during the summer, but I wanted to focus this week on the Adults of the group. If you’re like Jeff and I, you’re still enjoying being just the two of you. We want kids, just not right at this moment. I think we both want a chance to be totally selfish and on our own schedules a few more years. I found this list of 41 Things To Do Before You Have Kids on The Nest and I love it. Some are practical, some are a little racy, but all are great ideas!

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Wednesday – Master Bath Before & After
Inspiration Post: Dream Master Bath
How it Turned Out: A little less “WOW!” when you walk in than I’d like, but it’s serene and nature-like.

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Thursday – Pinterest Post: The Best Rum Punch EVER!
Tried it. Loved It. Will DEFINITELY make it again!
Strawberry Blood Orange Rum Punch from The Bojon Gourmet

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Friday – Building Endurance as a New Runner
I’m trying guys, I really am. I want to be one of the super cute, fit, easy-to-watch runners in San Diego. I just have zero endurance right now! I found this awesome article on fitsugar that I think will really help! Check it out here!

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So….yea! That was this week. Next week is going to be hella-busy, too, as I’ve got my cupcake tasting at the apartment to promote the cupcakery, and I start my new job full time on Thursday, but I will do my best to post every day!

Love you guys!

Friday Fitness: Incline Treadmill

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have been hitting your fitness regularly and are feeling great!

Todays workout is a butt-kicker: literally!

Set your treadmills to as fast as you can walk comfortably (mine is 3.5), and your incline to 7.0. Now your only goal is to walk as far as you can! Really, that’s it! Aim for at least a half hour if you can, but up to an hour on this workout will leave your buns-a-burnin! 🙂

Short, sweet, and to the point today guys! Let me know how your workouts have been going!