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Week 2 and 3 on Weight Watchers plus A Recipe!

2 Sep

This past week was slightly tougher than the first two, but I’m trying to claw my way back to where I was!

Week Two loss: 2.5 pounds (!)
Week Three gain: 0.5 pound
Total loss: 4.5 pounds

I completely forgot to track this past weekend. Life got a little stressful and I’ve learned that stress is a motivation killer for me! I also got an ear infection and some weird sickness that really threw me for a loop and had me confined to the couch for nearly the whole day on Sunday, and at the doctor for half the day on Monday. Let’s just say I ate a lot of bread and didn’t move a whole lot.

Workouts:
Wednesday: 
2 walks (3.0 mph) with Frank, total of 2 hours.
Thursday: 40 minute walk with Frank (3.0 mph) plus 30 minutes of Power 90 DVD
Friday: none
Saturday: 47 minute run with friend
Sunday: Sick, none
Monday: Sick, none
Tuesday: 30 minute walk with Frank, 30 minute treadmill run

One thing I did do on Sunday was make soup! I was feeling very awful, so I felt the urge for some chicken soup. However, I didn’t want just regular old Chicken Soup, so I decided to spice things up a bit, and the end result was amazing! I thought I’d post a recipe here (mainly so I would remember it):

Middle Eastern Style Chicken Soup

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Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts
Vegetable scraps (onion skins, carrot tops, etc.)
7 cups water
1 whole onion
1 clove garlic
1 can tomato paste
Seasonings of your choice (I used salt, pepper, garam masala, curry powder and cumin — use to taste)
3 small or 2 large carrots, chopped
2 small or 1 large sweet potato, skinned and chopped
1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
2 handfuls fresh spinach

Yield: 5 servings (about 1.5 cups each)

Instructions:
Put chicken breasts into a pot with vegetable scraps and water to cover everything. Bring to a boil over medium high heat and then reduce the heat to simmer until the chicken is cooked through. Strain off the fat floating on top, and remove chicken to bowl. Strain the veggie scraps out of the broth and reserve the broth.

In the same pot, add a couple tablespoons of oil and heat over medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, sweet potatoes and seasonings (I just added a dash of everything and added more once the soup was closer to done). Allow the veggies to cook for a while until the onions are translucent, then add your garlic and tomato paste. Stir well and add broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, allow to simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender.

Meanwhile, shred your chicken and season with salt, pepper and anything else you might like (I used garlic and onion powder). Once your soup has simmered long enough for the veggies to be soft, add the chicken and chickpeas. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add two handfuls of spinach. Allow spinach to wilt, remove from heat and serve hot. I added a small amount of sour cream (you could sub greek yogurt if you’d like) for some creaminess.

Nutrition Information per serving: Calories 226, Fat 6 grams, Carbs 31 grams, Fiber 7 grams, Protein 12 grams (5 Points Plus)

NOTE: I derived the nutrition information by plugging the recipe into My Fitness Pal, and then I used the Weight Watchers calculator to figure out the Points Plus

See you next week!

Week 1 Progress and Notes: Weight Watchers

20 Aug

One week down on Weight Watchers, and things are going well, but also could be going better! Note: My Weight Watchers Weeks start on Wednesday, so yesterday was the start of Week 2.

Week One: – 2 pounds

Workouts:
Wednesday: 
25 minute walk (3.0 mph); 40 minutes of HIIT (YMCA Weightloss Class)
Thursday: 1 hour morning walk w/ Frank (3.0 mph); PM 35 minute run outside (5 mph)
Friday: 70 minute morning walk w/ Frank (3.0 mph) followed by 20 minutes of Zumba YouTube videos in my living room
Saturday: 46 minute run (5.5 mph) w/ friends (AM)
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Sunday: 80 minute walk w/ Frank (3.0 mph)
Monday: 40 minute walk w/ Frank (3.0 mph) followed by 20 minutes of Zumba YouTube videos
Tuesday: 20 minute (rainy) walk w/ Frank (3.0 mph); 30 minutes of Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 DVD
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Biggest Challenge this Week: 

This week was the annual Rails and Ales Festival in my town and boy was it fun, but it’s no secret that craft beer is heavy on the calories, and it’s also really hard to track points when you’re just going around sampling beers, and just grabbing some food to eat along the way. Also after we were done with the festival, we were very tired and very hungry so we just went to a restaurant. The good thing is that I was well aware of this challenge ahead of time so I was sure to save up my “weekly” points and also get a good workout in before hand so I had plenty of points to work with — while still making semi-smart choices.

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Biggest A-ha! Moment of the Week:

Turning my walks with Frank into a workout! One of my biggest challenges lately has been getting a workout in. In the morning, I feel guilty skipping Frank’s walk in lieu of a workout and after work most days I’m just wiped out and not wanting to workout. So, in addition to just forcing myself to get a workout in, I’ve turned Frank’s morning walk into a workout. I turn on my Runkeeper app and try to keep my pace at 3.0 mph or better. That means less sniffing for old Frank and more sweating for me. Walks with Frank used to be leisurely, but now I find myself breaking a sweat and huffing and puffing a bit. I’ve also started to just get out of bed earlier to make sure we get a nice long walk in. If I get up early enough, I can usually fit something else in after the walk — usually Zumba YouTube videos (which are SUPER fun and have the bonus of nobody actually witnessing my horrid dancing skills).

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Sometimes Frank gets tired because of the fast pace of our walks….

Other Random Notes:

I feel great this week! I had a few slip ups (I ended the week with a few negative points), but I still saw a loss. One thing I really need to work on (and I was pretty good about this past week) is snacking/drinking in the evening. After I have finished work, gotten a workout in, cooked dinner and cleaned up the kitchen, it’s relaxation time for me, and usually that means an adult beverage and a snack! I’ve been working hard to leave myself enough points to enjoy a beverage and some popcorn, but I really need to just not allow myself those things if I don’t have enough points. I don’t want to use up all my weekly points on indulging each morning, because I’d really like to save them! Weekends are my biggest struggle — though I have lots of time to gain activity points (and I’m definitely more active) there is usually lots of temptation to indulge.

Dinners have been healthy and flavorful this week! I also checked out some cookbooks from the library that have Weight Watchers friendly recipes (Points Plus values listed) so I’m hoping to get a meal plan set up for next week as well.

Steak, baked potato and veggies -- 12 Points Plus including one small pat of butter and 2 tablespoons of sour cream

Steak, baked potato and veggies — 12 Points Plus including one small pat of butter and 2 tablespoons of sour cream

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Chicken Scampi (Olive Garden knock-off) – 13 Points Plus w/ 2 oz of cooked Penne

My highest Points Plus meals tend to be breakfast and lunch — but I definitely need the activity points each day to feel satisifed, even when I’m eating pretty healthy.

Things to work on next week:

  1. Get to the gym more often: I’ve been pretty good about working out at home, but haven’t actually been to the gym much. Part of this is because work has been so crazy and stressful, but I need to just make it a point to pack my gym stuff and hoof it to the gym after work more often.
  2. Curb nightly snacking/drinking – as I said above
  3. Meal planning to include lots of WW friendly meals, and also doing food prep early in the week so it’s easier to eat healthy without thinking much about it.

See you next week!

Sometimes Your Lowest Point is also Your Highest Point

13 Aug

I’m going to start blogging here again. Here’s what’s up:

I have fallen off the fitness/health wagon hard. I can’t even really tell you where it started, because I’m pretty sure I’d have to go back 2 years or more. It’s been a slow progression of adding more and more bad habits and subtracting more and more good habits. I’m not back to my highest weight…..yet, but I know I’ll keep heading in that direction if I don’t act now.

Back in November (so nearly a year ago) I tried to take some steps to start getting back on track. I re-enrolled in a program with my health insurance that aims for weight loss. Basically you get a gym membership for just a copay, and you get some personal workout sessions, and somebody reviews your food logs.

The problem with this program is that I get frustrated when I turn in my food logs. The person who makes notes on our food logs isn’t somebody I ever speak to, so I can’t talk to her about her notes. Furthermore, her notes are frustrating. Once I logged a Chickpea Salad and she said to be careful about chicken salad because of the mayonnaise…what??

Regardless, it’s nice to have a gym membership for cheaper than I’d usually pay, and I know that the motivation and willpower to lose the weight I’ve gained comes only from me, so I can’t really let that discourage me. If the pounds were coming off, maybe she wouldn’t be as critical of my logs, but it’s not coming off. In fact, after 3 weeks off of weighing in (gym shut down week, followed by vacation week, followed by me being scared to step on the scale week), I’ve actually gained 5 pounds since my last weigh in.

I spent the whole workout class yesterday feeling terrible about myself. I was doing the workout, but I was just thinking over and over again about the habits that lead me to feeling this way. It’s so hard because you constantly hear how people are saying to “Throw out your scale!” and “Just eat mindfully and exercise!” and I DO believe that your weight doesn’t tell the whole picture, but I know there is something wrong when I feel like I’m trying (sort of) and the scale just keeps creeping up. Why is it that it’s so hard to see the weight gain until you’re so far from your goal?

Anyway, I just feel like this is a very low point for me, but I also feel like it’s a high point – in motivation. I started counting Weight Watchers points again yesterday, and by the end of the day I didn’t have much leftover in points. I know that I have an indulgent Saturday ahead of me (my town’s annual beer festival is on Saturday), and I want to save my weekly points for that, so even though I made a pot of yummy homemade macaroni and cheese, I skipped that (except for a small taste) and loaded my plate with veggies and fruit along with my grilled chicken. I had a couple points for a snack, and I chose between popcorn OR a beer, and I stuck with that choice.

That’s only one day, I realize, but as they say “One Day at a Time” right? So wish me luck! I’m making a goal to try to blog here at least once a week. I don’t think I’m brave enough to put my weight on here, but I’ll blog after my weigh ins to be kept accountable for my progress.

Wedding Recap #2: Formal Photos/Ceremony

20 Dec
Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Well, hello there! Again, I’m pretty sure nobody reads this blog anymore, but these wedding recaps are mainly for my own reflection. Let’s get right to it, shall we? After our “first look”, we took the formal photographs. I tire of taking photos pretty quickly, and I was pretty excited to make a lifetime commitment to the love of my life, so we kind of flew through them (plus, it was hot, and I was wearing crinoline.) 

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

This first part of the formals was so nice. It was just after our first look, and both of us were very giddy. We just talked, walked where they told us to walk, posed like they told us to pose and smiled really big. We were so excited! I’ll never forget that energy between us. It was very sweet and just amazing.

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Life was good! Next, we did the group photos with our bridal party:

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

….and our families:

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

There are some shots we didn’t get — for example, for some reason there is no shot of my family with me AND Zach — but I really don’t care. Our photos are amazing, and I wouldn’t change anything about that day. I was so incredibly low stress (ok, I had a few bridezilla moments, but they were fleeting), and it was wonderful. Before long, it was time to head to our ceremony!

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

We had our ceremony and reception in the same place. This was my wedding vision — Zach and I don’t belong to a church, and since I had so many out of town guests I thought it would be nice for them to just be in one place. So our ceremony and reception took place at the hotel where everyone stayed. My family raved about this decision! They loved being able to have everyone in one place and not have to travel around much. I gave everyone maps in their rooms with directions to certain places they may need to go, and it seemed to work out very well. 

One thing I want to talk about is the sweetheart table. This is a new (?) thing people are doing, where instead of a big head table with all the attendants, the bride and groom sit by themselves at a little table and let the bridal party sit among the guests. While it was important to me to have the bridal party be able to sit with our guests (I didn’t want the bridal party’s spouses and significant others to have to sit alone), I was very opposed to the sweetheart table idea. I just found it to be…weird! Well, the day we came to set up the reception hall, Shelley (who is the coordinator at the Ramada and amazing!) had a sweetheart table set up for us and I just liked it! So I went with it. It turned out to be a really fun idea, but I’ll talk about that more in the reception recap. Which at this rate will be in a few months 🙂 

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography (can I just tell you how annoying it is that somebody put that brochure on the guest book table and it's in the picture?)

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography (can I just tell you how annoying it is that somebody put that brochure on the guest book table and it’s in the picture?)

After photos, the bridesmaids and I went up to my hotel room to wait until it was time to go down for the ceremony. Zach and the groomsmen went to the room to greet/seat guests. This worked out very well. Us girls had time to relax (and in the interest of complete honesty, I had to air out my undercarriage, haha. The dress and the crinoline + warm weather meant sweaty legs), and the guys were able to get the guests situated.

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Soon, it was time for us girls to head down.

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mismatched bridesmaid dresses for the win! If you are planning a wedding, please consider this trend. Not only did it make my wedding look super chic and adorable, but it was so easy. The girls just browsed on their own and sent me ideas along the way. Easy peasy!

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

My nephew Nick was Zach’s Wingman. He is too old to be a ring bearer, and he didn’t like the idea of wearing a bear suit (that’s what he thought it entailed), so we changed it to Wingman. It was in the programs and everything. He took his duties very seriously and did a great job. 

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

My cousin’s daughter, Ava, was the flower girl. I bought her outfit roughly a year before our wedding, estimating what size she would wear and I’m so glad it fit. Isn’t she precious? Basically, she walked into the door and threw all the flower petals onto one spot and ran away from my mom, which is exactly what I wanted her to do. I think it’s adorable when flower girls just do their own thing.

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Ok, so I just want to talk about the ceremony for a minute. I never could have guessed how amazing the ceremony would be. I knew it would be important, but I had no idea how much I would feel its weight (does that make sense?) I definitely felt the gravity of what we were doing, and I could tell that Zach felt the same way. It was awesome!! 

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Our officiant was a good friend of ours, Adam, who did such an amazing job. He worked with us a few times on our ceremony, and it was just perfect. I had several people come up to me after and say how nice it was. We also had two very close friends participate. Mandee, a close friend, read “I Like You” by Sandal Stoddard Warburg  — a common wedding reading, but I knew it was “the one” after it choked me up every time I read it. Another close friend, Patrick, sang “This is the First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes — and it was better than the original. Definitely teared up. 

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

After the reading and song, it was time to get hitched! 

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

You guys, I’m totally crying as I post this. That was the best day….

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Next up (in a few months): The Reception (aka the dance party to end all dance parties!)

Question of the Day:
Tell me about your wedding ceremony! 

Wedding Recap #1: Pre-Wedding

8 Nov

I don’t know if anybody will read this because I’ve basically abandoned my blog. I’ve been thinking about my blog — I wanted to change direction with it for some time now (I still do), but once I decided that, I kind of got stuck. Now that I’m married and settled into my new home, I really would like to start again, and I hope you’ll join me.

What better place to start than a wedding recap? I’ve started getting the professional photographs back, so let’s get to business on the first wedding recap, shall we?

Disclaimer: Most of the photos in this post were taken by the fabulous Mark Webb (please see his website here) and edited by the even more fabulous (sorry Mark) Courtney Bell (aka my sister-in-law — see her website here). 

I barely slept the night before my wedding. My best friend and bridesmaid, Allison, slept over that night. We watched Bridesmaids and then we got into bed. I tossed and turned all night, and popped right up at 5:30 AM for coffee and reflection. I wrote two letters to my husband-to-be: One letter telling him how excited I was to marry him, and a to-do list 🙂

Before I knew it, it was time to head to the venue. Allison put together all of the centerpieces that morning and I was to meet Courtney there to head out for hair and makeup:

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I took this picture

I realized that I was completely starved, so I hopped over to the gas station and got the bridal breakfast of champions:

Obviously not a professional photo :)

Obviously not a professional photo 🙂

My wedding day was pretty surreal from start to finish. I can’t even describe how I felt. I was excited, a little nervous and just kind of….floating. I wasn’t worried about things going smoothly — by that point I didn’t really care — I was just nervous because I was about to do something huge. Courtney and I headed to the mall where I got my makeup done by the fabulous Cassie Denkins at the MAC counter — seriously, she’s an artist:

Doesn't my makeup look incredible? And it stayed on all night!

Doesn’t my makeup look incredible? And it stayed on all night! (photo by Mark Webb Photography and Courtney Bell Photography)

After makeup times, it was off to my bridesmaid Susie’s house to get dressed:

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

After we all got dressed, I wanted to take a minute to have a drink of champagne with my ladies and give a toast. That worked out as well as to be expected for an emotional bride:

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

So, basically at this point, I was an emotional mess. I cried when I saw myself in the mirror, I cried when I talked to my bridesmaids — it was ridiculous! However, I didn’t cry when I got lipstick on my dress for some reason:

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Oh well! Let’s get this show on the road! But just for a quick FYI, a quick dab with champagne was able to get that stain right out. Well, mostly. After getting dressed, it was time to head to our photo location for the First Look and formal photographs. Earlier in the day, while I was getting my makeup done, I realized that the wedding was the same day as Homecoming for a couple of the local high schools. We had originally planned to do the first look/formals in the park, but knowing that is where all the kids go before formals, I decided to change locations last minute. Honestly, I wasn’t fazed. Not too long before the wedding, I saw some photos that Mark had taken for a wedding at Marshall University (Zach and I both graduated from there), and I loved them, so I quickly spread the word. No big deal. We headed over there, and it ended up being the perfect location for the first look. The Student Center has two entrances: One faces out toward the main road, and one faces in toward the fountain (where we planned to do the photos), so I got dropped off outside the doors to the main road while everyone else went over to let Zach know I was there. Then when they were ready for me, I walked through the student center and out toward the fountain:

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Can I just take a minute to rave about the First Look? Best. Idea. Ever. I know some people are traditionalists and want the “first look” to be coming down the aisle, but I guarantee you, he will be just as blown away by how you look both times! I can’t tell you how much calmer we both were after our first look. We both had nerves, and remember the emotional bride crying every second? She was gone after that first look — I was just ready to marry him and then have a party with my friends and family!

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

The other great thing about the first look is we were able to go right into the formal photos and family photos, so all we had to do was the ceremony and go straight to the reception. There was no waiting around for our guests, which was really important to me.

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

When we got done, we realized only the boutineers had made it to the photo site, not the bouquets:

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

…but again, it was no big deal. We just took a bunch of pictures without the bouquets until my dad showed up with them:

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography

Speaking of the bouquets, beautiful, right?

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Mark Webb Photography/Courtney Bell Photography. Flowers by Jenni Roberts at CK Florist

My next wedding recap will be the formal photos and the ceremony!

Also, I’m going to work on some blog posts to put up next week in the interest of writing more often.

How Crossfit has Transformed my Body Image

6 Aug

Happy Tuesday!

I hate to be anxious for time to pass more quickly — life is short, people — but, I’m very anxious for the next few weeks to fly by because we have some exciting events coming up! Not only is our wedding in just a month and 22 days, but we move into our new home in just 10 days, and we leave for our annual friends beach trip in just 19 days! What a month August will be for us 🙂

I haven’t really been blogging here lately, mainly because as I mentioned last time I posted, I’m thinking of changing up the format of this blog a tiny bit. However, today I am going to talk a bit about fitness!

Since I’ve joined Crossfit Thunder in July, I’ve noticed some pretty amazing changes in the way I look at food, my weight and my body in general, and I wanted to share that with you today. Prior to joining the Box, I said I would never:

– Join a Crossfit box (I did)
– Eat Paleo (I’ve been trying to keep paleo a bit lately)
– Stop weighing myself daily (I weighed myself this morning for the first time in weeks)

Obviously, I’m eating my own words!

1. Food

Before I started Crossfit, I was constantly eating and/or thinking about food. I was obsessed with it. It really started to weigh on me because I knew I was eating too much, but I was obsessed with getting my next meal. I think I definitely overestimated my caloric needs based on my activity level.

This is a paleo (ish) breakfast spaghetti that I invented yesteday. It was so good! Zucchini "noodles", peppers, onions and ground breakfast sausage topped with spaghetti sauce. Yum!

This is a paleo (ish) breakfast spaghetti that I invented yesteday. It was so good! Zucchini “noodles”, peppers, onions and ground breakfast sausage topped with spaghetti sauce. Yum!

Since I’ve been Crossfitting, I haven’t been nearly as obsessed with food. I’m not really sure why that is, other than I have noticed that I’ve managed to start looking at food for what it is: fuel. I no longer feel the need to snack between each meal – I’ll still have a snack in the pm sometimes, but not nearly as often as I used to. I honestly don’t know if this is due to Crossfit, but it happened right when I started going, so I feel like the connection is valid. I can’t express how exciting it is to me to be able to let go of my food obsession!

2. Weight

I have always been a compulsive scale watcher. Well, always meaning since I’ve lost the majority of my weight. Prior to losing the 70 lbs, I was a compulsive scale avoider! But since I’ve started Crossfit, I’ve completely lost interest in the scale. My goals have changed, and I’m more interested in improving these:

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…than seeing movement on the scale. In fact, I weighed myself this morning and realized that I’m 3 lbs heavier than when I started Crossfit! This realization may have brought me to tears before, but now I’m just assuming that I’ve been building muscle. I know I’m eating well and working out regularly, and that’s all that matters. It helps that I’m wearing a size 6 now, when previously I was in an 8-10!

3. Fitness Goals

One thing that has definitely changed is my fitness goals. Even when I first joined the Box, I was determined to get those miles in running and always, always tracked every mile with my phone. I would never take walking breaks, and I was obsessed with my pace.

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Now, 90% of my runs are with Frank, sans phone or tracking device of any kind, and I let him stop to check out the squirrels whenever he feels like it. My goals are to get stronger and faster, but I realize from doing Crossfit that I don’t have to log a million miles and constantly work out to do that.

4. My Attitude

Exercise has been my hobby for some time now. I’ve always enjoyed it very much, but now, it’s more fun than ever.

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I love looking at the WOD for the next day and saying, “That looks awful! I can’t WAIT to try it!!” It’s so fun trying to out do yourself every week (and I’ll reiterate that I’ve never felt as if I was competing with anyone except myself). Plus, nobody takes themselves too seriously at CFT — you’ll just as often see one of the newbies giving tips to a veteran than the other way around. It just makes sense — you can’t see yourself doing the moves!

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…but just as often as people are being silly, they are being serious. We’re doing Olympic lifts, and it’s easy to get hurt if you’re doing something wrong, so it’s not all fun and games.

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But it’s all about being “Stronger than Yesterday” — not stronger than your neighbor — and having a blast while you do it.

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Question of the Day:

Do you think of exercise as fun, or just a necessity? 

Misguided.

30 Jul

I’m not 100% sure where I want this blog to go. I love blogging, and I especially love blogging about fitness, but to be completely honest I’m getting a little bored with the fitness blogging “formula” — post about every workout and every meal. Lather, rinse, repeat. 

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However, fitness and healthy-living is still a big part of my life, even though life has sort of gotten in the way recently. For example, I pledged to run 600 miles in 2013, and I’m still not even to 300 (although I’m convinced if you add up my Crossfit mileage and walks with Frank I’d be much closer): 

not enough

 

…but hey, all I’m saying here is that I have other interests! For example, raising my sweet puppy, Frank, to be a well-behaved young gentleman: 

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Decorating our new home-to-be (which is all in my mind at this point because we STILL haven’t moved in!): 

home

 

Planning a kick-ass wedding to the man of my dreams: 

us

 

…and my newfound addiction of Crossfit, which definitely fits into the “fitness” category but has also become a fun sport/pasttime/hobby recently: 

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So, I guess what I’m saying is that I’m going to try to blog here more often, but I’d like to change directions a tad and start a more diverse “lifestyle” blog. I don’t want to feel pigeonholed into one genre, and while I don’t want this blog to be all over the place either, I think I have more to offer if I can talk about a variety of things. 

Question of the Day: 
Tell me about your hobbies and interests! 

Finding the 25th Hour

12 Jun

I googled “The 25th Hour” after writing this post, and it seems this idea isn’t as unique as I thought. But I will clarify that all ideas in this post are mine, or at least I thought they were… 🙂 

Almost everyone I know is aware that I’m a fitness buff. I actually enjoy working out, and I’m as busy as anyone else I know (not including people who have kids, but I definitely think you could use this system even if you have kids), yet somehow I manage to find a time to squeeze in my workouts. How do I do it? Well, I’ll let you in on a little secret…I’ve discovered a way to find an extra hour in every day. I’ll call it the 25th hour.

You guys, this is a million dollar idea, but I’m going to share it with you for free! Thank me later.

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1. Get out of bed 15 minutes earlier. (15 minutes)

I know, I know. I just jumped in with the hardest one, didn’t I? Sleep is very, very important — I definitely don’t want you to skimp on it, so since I started hard, I’m going to add an extra 15 minutes into the 25th hour (making it 25.25, but that’s just not as catchy), so you literally will not lose any sleep. I would say a vast majority of people I’ve talked to about sleep admit to hitting the snooze button more than once. “It’s a ritual!,” they say, “I feel like I’m getting more sleep!” — well, you’re not. You’re actually getting less sleep than if you just set your alarm to the time you are actually going to get out of bed, and it’s much less restorative sleep. I’m not going to pretend like I’m not guilty of this — I definitely am way guilty of this from time to time, but actually fighting that urge to hit the snooze button and actually get out of bed isn’t as bad as you think it’s going to be. I immediately busy myself with the task of getting caffeine into my system as quickly as possible, and that always makes everything better.

2. Shorten your shower (15 minutes)

I do not know what people do in the shower. I can be in and out in 10 minutes or less, even if I have to shave my legs. I can appreciate the need for a long, hot shower sometimes! Trust me! But YOU’RE the one who said you were busy, so get in and get out.

3. Condense your lunch hour (15 minutes)

Bring leftovers to work with you to reheat, or prep your lunch the night before. Figuring out what you’re going to eat, cooking it or even going for take out takes forever. Just have your lunch ready to go.

4. Have your workout clothes ready to go. (15 minutes)

No matter when you workout in the day, lay out the clothes or pack a gym bag. Perhaps you can use those extra morning minutes to do this?

5. Delegate night time chores. (15 minutes)

If you have a husband, wife, best friend, roommate, kid, fiance, dog or cat, give them something to do to help clean up at night! You don’t have to do everything yourself, girlfriend! (Ok, maybe leave the cats out of that. You’d waste 15 minutes trying to convince them that they should do anything at all for you).

There you go! An extra hour! My gift to you. Perhaps you should get that run in now.

Question of the Day:
How do you find the time to work out? 

Snapshots from the Weekend

10 Jun

Sometimes I feel like the weekend is over before I can blink, but when I go back and look at the photos on my phone, I am surprised at how much I did. So, let’s recap, shall we?

I stayed home from work on Friday to be with little Frank. He was neutered on Tuesday, so Zach and I took turns staying home with him to keep an eye on his incision. He can’t play with other dogs or do a lot of jumping, so needless to say I had a very bored puppy on my hands:

Can we please go for a walk?

Can we please go for a walk?

I did take him for a few walks, but a mere walk is not enough for this pup. I can’t wait until he can play with his puppy cousins and get back to the dog park! When Zach got home from work, I hit the treadmill to do a quick run to keep up with the Runner’s World Run Streak, then went to Crossfit, where we did a fun and quick WOD followed by a partner ab workout:

friday wod

 

…and then on Saturday I got to attend my first 2 hour Boot Camp Class of the season! This is something that is put together by two of my favorite group fitness instructors at the gym, they do it a few times in the early and late summer, and it’s so fun! We start at 8:00 AM on Saturday, and we run from the gym to the park, where we go through a bunch of exercises, then we run to another location to do some exercises, and we repeat that cycle in a big two mile loop that ends up back at the gym for hour two, which is indoors. It’s a super intense and fun workout that I get excited for each time we do it. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos of it, but trust me, it’s a blast!

Later on Saturday, Zach and I decided to take the pup for a nice long walk to get out some of his puppy energy:

Photo Jun 08, 8 20 30 PMHe had a blast, and so did I. There isn’t much I like more than taking long walks with my two favorite guys 🙂

Sunday was a pretty lazy day. Despite trying to stick to the Runner’s World run streak, I felt like my body desperately needed a rest day after two pretty intense workouts on Friday and Saturday, so I took one! No shame in that. Zach and I did some cleaning and I whipped up some chili.

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I guess most people don’t see chili as a summer food, but I’m very into a nice veggie chili in the warm weather, especially on dreary and rainy Sundays!

Despite all of my seemingly healthy choices this weekend, I still overdid it a bit in the eating department. I fear this month’s Diet Bet won’t turn out as well as the last one did, but I’m back on track today!

Question of the Day:
Do you have trouble making healthy choices when the weekend rolls around?

 

Back?

21 May

I have seriously put this blog on the back burner, and it bums me out on a daily basis. This month has flown by, and I’m not surprised. I’ve been in my new position at work for about a month now, and it is non-stop busy. Not to mention I’ve been training my new assistant and the girl who replaced me in my old position. By the time I get home from work, I just want to forget that computers exist!

So, for now I think I’ll catch you up with what’s been going on with me, health and fitness wise, and then I’ll try to post here at least three times a week. Deal?

So, one thing that has not been suffering is my workouts. I’ve managed to do something almost every day, and it feels great. My mileage for May is right on track to have a great mileage month:

mileage

 

…and I’ve managed to make it to Crossfit a bunch AND get in some regular strength workouts at home. Also, since I’ve been trying to lose a few pounds, I joined a Diet Bet and have been following Weight Watchers, and as a result of the healthy eating and exercise, what do you know, I’ve managed to lose almost six pounds!

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…I’m ramping up my efforts a bit in this last day or two to get that last 1.2 pounds off, because I really want to win the money! If I do win the money, I’ll most likely join Sarah’s Fourth of July Diet Bet as well. I’ve noticed that being a part of this bet has really motivated me to make better choices. In fact, last week Zach joined a friend at one of my favorite local restaurants (featuring huge burgers and beer-battered fries), and I skipped out in favor of a protein bowl, water and a Women’s Health magazine! I’ve also discovered my new favorite food:

A whole wheat/corn blend tortilla topped with goat cheese and raw veggies.

A whole wheat/corn blend tortilla topped with goat cheese and raw veggies.

So amazing!

Other things I’ve been up to:

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Running outside! I finally crossed paths with my favorite water fountain, which is located about two miles from my house on a recent long run. I look forward to that stop every long run.

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I had my first bridal shower, and got the best gift: A Kitchenaid mixer!! I used to to whip up some of these two-ingredient cookies that the internet is crazy for (bananas and oatmeal are the two ingredients, but I added peanut butter as well).

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Yum!

And of course, I’ve been hanging out with this rapidly growing puppy, which includes frequent visits to the dog park:

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Using the “Beautiful Mess” app, I edited the above photo for a little #dogshaming:

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…because that, sadly, is very true!

Question of the day:
Have your health and fitness efforts been ramped up due to the warm weather, or is the opposite true?