Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April Showers 21 Day Fix - 10 Days In

The home scale only reflects a .4 lb loss while my official weigh in was 1.6 lbs down.  Should I even bother continuing to monitor and take a picture of the scale for my weekly posts?  What would you rather see instead - a picture of the printout/sticker from weigh in, a screenshot of the chart or table view from Weight Watchers, or something else to display my weight?

Saturday we made a trip to Goodwill.  I picked up
  • Size 10 jean (Yes, I'm in 10's now!)
  • Size 12 jean
  • Size 10 cargo pants
  • Size M wrap skirt
  • 2 size L shirts
  • 2 belts (I think they both say 38")

Benny managed to find this huge Lee Reynolds painting for $50.  We tried to hang it up but can't get the picture wire to reach the nail.  Austin and Benny picked out a couple of board games also.

I'm currently frustrated with my health insurance.  Obamacare (I refuse to call it the true name) has come down hard on what my employer can offer us.  Our deductible has quadrupled and all other costs have increased (even a deductible for prescriptions now!).  Benny was supposed to have that surgery to remove the stones from his salivary gland/duct before the end of March but that was cancelled because he drank milk that morning.  We had rescheduled it for tomorrow but now we had to cancel.  I got the average facility cost from the hospital but Anthem flat out refuses to give us any kind of idea what our final cost will be.  Will the final bill be just the deductible or will we have to pay some co-insurance also?  Benny calls this a scam for them refusing to tell a consumer how much a service will be.  He refuses to have the surgery until we know costing information so we can figure out how to pay for it all.  Has anyone had this happened before?


Day 4: Pilates Fix Lower Fix
I woke up and it was like a miracle had happened overnight!  Only a slight twinge periodically in my thighs but otherwise I was pain free.  So it was definitely the right decision to switch days 3 & 4 workouts.  Leg day wasn't as bad as I'd expected.  I see everyone posting about how they hate leg day on just about every workout program.  I'd almost say I LOVE leg day if they were all like this!

Day 5:  Cardio Fix
I alternated between the regular and modified movements throughout the workout so I wouldn't overdo it.  That worked out really well; I had the best burn of all 7 workouts...right about where I like to be.

Day 6:  Dirty 30
I didn't understand what made this workout "dirty"...

Day 7: Yoga Fix
I tried this workout before officially starting so I had an idea what I was doing.  Did that make doing yoga easier?  Perhaps.  It sure felt a little easier but I just don't do that swooping thing when you go into up dog.  It's either my lack of coordination or I'm too slow LOL

Day 8: Total Body Cardio Fix
Back to surrendering again. UGH!  I took it very slowly and pushed through without pain.  Next week I'll go a little faster and hope to not have a repeat of day 1.

Day 9:  Upper Fix
Attempted to do some of the moves with my Slim in 6 resistance band instead of the weights.  Yeah, that didn't work out so well.  I just couldn't stretch the band out with it wrapped around my feet.  It's possible that this band is just too short to do these workouts.  I do want to pick up some heavier weights though.  I'm only working with 3 lb weights so maybe just 5 lb ones next.

Day 10:  Lower Fix
Leg day again!  It only hurts doing the leg lifts on the floor.  It wouldn't be so bad if it were less than a minute.  But at least it doesn't last beyond the moves.


I really need a better blender and more big cups if I'm going to keep up with eating all these fruits and veggies!   Some days I even struggle getting the protein in.  I've always called myself the meat and potatoes kid so it doesn't make sense that I can't eat more meat LOL.  It does seem easier when I do the smoothies as dessert as opposed to breakfast or a morning snack.  Benny hates cleaning out the blender but doesn't like how I wash dishes so he's stuck with it.

My salads are a little weird since the only raw veggies I'll eat are the leafy ones; everything else has to be cooked.  So I'll have just lettuce and spinach with some turkey.  Now, one day I tried to make a vinaigrette with my rice vinegar.  For some reason I had a headache from the first bite.  The flavor was good but the headache kind of scared me.  Have you experienced this before?  The rest of the time I've eaten a salad I've just used my fat free ranch but don't know if it's 21 Day Fix friendly.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April Showers 21 Day Fix - 3 Days In

The scales keep flip flopping!  My official weigh in I was up .4 lbs but at home this morning I was down 2 lbs.


Day 1:  Total Body Cardio Fix
I did the first move after the warm up during Jillian Michaels Body Revolution but it was later in the workout so my legs were ready to go.  Autumn says she put this move first because you have the most energy at the beginning of the workout.  Well, I'd have to agree with Jillian's placement over Autumn's....It's not good to SURRENDER at the beginning of a workout!
  1. Holding a pair of light dumbbells, raise your arms straight above your head, keeping your elbows loose but straight.  Your arms will remain in this position throughout the move.
  2. Drop down on your right knee, keeping your left leg at a 90 degree angle.
  3. Lower your left knee to the floor; both knees are on the floor as if you're surrendering.
  4. Raise your right leg so that it's at a 90 degree angle with your foot on the floor.
  5. Straighten your left leg and stand up.
  6. Repeat steps 2-5 for 1 minute.
  7. Complete the other moves in the circuit.
  8. Repeat steps 2-6 starting on your left knee.
OMG My thighs were KILLING me after doing this!  I haven't been able to move properly since the workout.  It's difficult to stand up and sit down as well as pretty much anything else that involves bending my legs.  Benny has been laughing at me not being able to walk.

Day 2:  Upper Fix
A lot of weights and ab work involved with this workout.  There were a few moves where your leg was supposed to be bent but I couldn't put my legs in the proper position.

Day 3: Lower Fix Pilates Fix
My thighs are still hurting this morning so I went with Pilates Fix instead of Lower Fix (AKA leg day).  Only a few moves I felt the pain so I think it was a good choice to switch.  I'm hoping to be recovered enough do the Lower Fix tomorrow.

Nutrition Plan

The first thing you have to do is determine your calorie level (based on your weight).  I'm at the 1500-1799 calorie range.  From there, you'll know how many of each container food group you're to eat each day.  I created handy dandy graphics to help people know what goes into each container and how much you're eating.  Check out my 21 Day Fix board for the details.

Follow Cassandra Schmigotzki's board 21 Day Fix on Pinterest.
Just from these three days I've determined (besides the fruits & veggies issue) that I'm heavy on the carbs and light on the protein.  It's a major adjustment for me on all fronts!  Just remind me to never again use raw carrots in a smoothie! BLEH  It has overpowered today's smoothie but I still drank it all.

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

75 lbs Officially Gone

Scales are definitely weird creatures!  This time my home scale shows a .6 lb gain.  I weighed in last night at Weight Watchers down 2.4 lbs, making me weigh only about 2 lbs more than Benny.  They gave me my 75 lb charm as well as the Live Life Active running man charm (same one as last year).

My March Shakeology Challenge is complete.  I tried to make a different recipe every day but ran out of ideas.  Either I didn't have the other ingredients or I wouldn't eat them.  I absolutely loved all the recipes using peanut butter.  Austin enjoyed the Reese's knock off recipe with me.  Benny didn't want to partake in any of it.  When I did the sampler pack this fall I didn't like the flavor but felt full.  This time I liked the flavor but was still so hungry.  I think drinking the almond milk instead of skim milk has adjusted my taste buds because that's what the Chocolate Shakeology flavor reminded me of this time.  I'm still interested in trying the new Strawberry flavor so I've booked it to receive a bag late May to do another challenge in June.  Would anyone care to join me?

I continued working out with Jillian Michaels through Friday.  Since Saturday I've been doing a beginner's belly dancing DVD.  Is there any way to loosen up my hips so my moves will be more fluid?  On the DVD there was a move called the Egyptian Walk.  I guess that I expected it to be something like what you do to Walk Like an Egyptian but it wasn't anything like that!
Next week begins my 21 Day Fix.  I read through the eating plan yesterday and do have some concerns about my eating.  As you well know, I don't like many fruits and veggies.  It's a struggle for me to get in 1-2 per day total.  On the 21 Day Fix for my calorie range I need 4 veggies & 3 fruits (or maybe the other way around).  How in the world is a picky eater like me going to survive these 3 weeks?  There is a food list for each container but still my selection is very limited.  Yes, I know I'm only limiting myself but I don't want to waste the food either.
I am still looking for stories of people on Weight Watchers who've tried the 21 Day Fix.  Please direct anyone interested to complete the form so that I can share their experience.
Benny's surgery Friday was cancelled.  He ignored the rules and drank milk when he got up.  Not because he was hungry but because he was thirsty.  They finally called yesterday to reschedule it for the 7:30 AM!  Oh, that is too early when we have to be there at 6 AM! LOL  I told Benny that when we got home we'd both take a nap and I'd do my workout when I woke up.
All year I've been spotting pretty much all month long.  I'm thinking it's either my fibroid or perimenopause.  The gynecologist is leaning towards the fibroid and wants me to have another ultrasound (I had one back when I first saw him).  So I'm going to try to schedule it during Benny's surgery so I'll have something to do.

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Massage Anyone?

My home scale shows a 1.4 lb loss from last week!  I'm probably going to Weight Watchers tonight rather than tomorrow and get my official loss recorded.

Yesterday I left work about 2pm and went home to wait for Benny to finish getting ready.  We headed up to Heidelberg Haus.  I ordered Kassler Rippchen (Cooked, warm smoked pork chop, homemade German potato salad, bread & butter).  Benny ordered the Currywurst (Two fried sausages smothered in curry ketchup, homemade German potato salad, bread & butter).  Now, I've tasted potato salad before (many, many years ago) and didn't like it so I figured that I'd give mine to Benny.  Well, their potato salad looked like mashed potatoes so I went ahead and tasted it.  Besides the sour taste (assuming pickle relish) it wasn't bad so I ate mine.  We walked around the shop while we waited for our food.  For dessert I had a slice of one of their tasted kind of like a dry version of Boston Crème Pie.  Benny had a cheese Danish.  He bought some bread and a copy of Das Boot.

For the massage I went to see Anna Waggoner of Therapeutic Massage Indy.  When I arrived she greeted me and had me fill out an intake form (for lack of a better term) with my information and pain issues.  She led me to the room and left me to undress and get on the massage table.  I didn't see a stool but surprisingly I didn't need anything to climb on it.

Anna had me start out by laying on my back.  I think there was a lavender scent in the massage cream she was using.  She began with my shoulders and neck.  Anna was immediately able to tell that my right side was tighter than my left.  My arms were next followed by my legs and feet.  The pain that I've been having in my thighs from Jillian's workouts didn't manifest while she worked them.  Once the front side was done she had me turn over on my stomach with my head in the headrest.

At this time my allergies decided to toy with me.  Almost immediately my sinuses started closing up making it difficult to breathe through my nose.  I didn't say anything to Anna but I'm sure she could hear it in the nasal sound of my voice.  Again she started with the shoulders and neck from this side.  I was doing OK until she hit a spot on my back next to my right shoulder blade.  I'd say the knot is between the size of a clementine and a small apple....or at least that's how it felt.  I kind of jumped when she got there.

Image Courtesy of Ambro |

At some point I mentioned that I had foam rolled my legs because of long term pain but never said what side it was.  Anna was massaging the hip and thigh area on the right side and moved to the left.  She asked if I had hip problems on my right side because she could feel the tension there too.  Even though I only feel the pain periodically during TOM Anna could feel a difference right away!  What is with my right side having all these issues?  I think it's been that way all my life....pain/injury starts on my right/dominant side.

When we were all done she gave me a little bottle of water to drink.  I didn't think that I was thirsty but took a sip anyway.  Anna said she could see that I looked more relaxed at the end than I did when I walked in the door.  (A coworker said I looked more relaxed today also!)  We got home and both were hungry again.  I'm not sure what Benny ate but I had an apple and that took care of me for the night.

I fell asleep on the couch while Benny was watching Das Boot; I just can't watch a movie where I spend my time reading the subtitles the whole time and miss out on whatever they're doing.  This morning I woke up feeling a little more rested than normal.  If I could I'd have a massage every day then maybe my sleep would become restorative again!

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Banana Bread

I can eat banana bread more frequently than I can bananas themselves.  I could eat few slices a day every day while only one banana every other day.  It's been a few months since I made some but had the ripe bananas from my March Shakeology Challenge.  Austin loves doing all the prep work and of course eating the banana bread.  Benny doesn't like bananas but loves banana bread!  I adopted this recipe from the 125th Anniversary Edition of The Good Housekeeping Cookbook.

Makes 1 Loaf, 16 Slices, 5PP
2 Cups Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Margerine (or butter)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs
4 Ripe Bananas (Although I think I had 6 this time)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Cinnamon (to taste)
This is how the cookbook says to do it.
  1. Preheat oven to 325.  Evenly grease your 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" loaf pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, with a wire whisk, stir flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, with a mixer at medium speed, beat margarine and sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Reduce speed to low; alternately add flour and banana mixtures, beginning and ending with flour mixtures, occasionally scraping the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Beat just until blended.
  4. Pour patter into prepared pan.  Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 1 hour).  Cool loaf pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
This is how we do it.
  1. Preheat oven to 325.  Evenly grease your 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" loaf pan.
  2. In the bowl with a mixer at the first speed, add each ingredient one at a time (usually bananas first), occasionally scraping the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Beat just until blended.
  3. Pour patter into prepared pan.  Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 1 hour).  Cool loaf pan on wire rack 10 minutes; remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack.
Doesn't that make things simpler?  I never grasped the whole keeping the dry and wet ingredients separate.  To me it's a waste of time and dishes! LOL  Everything still turns out wonderful and people come back for more.

I've had the banana bread warmed with additional margarine.  I've spread peanut butter on a slice.  Austin has put Nutella on his before.  This time I tried something different - a slice of pineapple.  It wasn't bad.  Would you eat your banana bread plain or top it with something?

I'm sure that there are different things you can do to make a healthier banana bread.  The recipe I saw on Weight Watchers used whole wheat flour but it only saved 1PP.  So I'm happy to have that extra PP.  It's something everyone likes so why mess with a good thing?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Staying Healthy After 40

There have been a lot of studies and statistics on aging over the years, and one thing that people have noticed is that they are more prone to gaining weight, and becoming unhealthy after they turn forty. Does this mean that anyone over the age of forty is unhealthy? Absolutely not. All this means is that there is a greater chance for someone to become unhealthy after forty because of natural causes. For the most part, these things are all physical. One example of this is our metabolism – it tends to slow down after a certain age.
So, if you are over the age of 40, how do you stay healthy? What are some things that you can do in order to keep yourself in the healthy zone?
Let’s take a look.
Image Courtesy of tungphoto |

Stop Smoking
This is one of those things that’s a lot easier said than done, and it certainly no small task. However, it is also one of those things that can significantly improve your health (at any age). How does it improve your health? It has been proven that smoking can cause cancer, cardio issues, and skin issues. If you stop smoking, you can improve the way your skin looks, limit your chances of lung cancer, be healthier, and look younger overall.

Eat Right
People talk about this all of the time, yet not a lot of people actually make the commitment and go through with the decision. This partly has to do with the fact that eating right is not easy (by any means), and partly because sometimes it becomes easier to just go buy fast food.
One thing is for sure – if you begin eating right now, it won’t be difficult to continue doing so later. Eating healthy provides benefits such as losing fat, having healthier looking skin, and putting a stop to certain diseases/challenges.
Don’t underestimate how much younger you will feel by substituting unhealthy foods with healthier ones!
Image Courtesy of Ambro |

Exercise 5 Times A Week
It can be easy to say that you are too busy to work out, but the truth is that we will always be too busy. If you don’t make time now, you never will. It’s time to fully commit to maintaining a regular workout schedule. Taking five hours out of the week to work out five time a day (that’s one hour a day) can significantly improve your health after 40.
One of the best ways to ensure that you are going to stay committed to working out is to create a workout schedule for yourself. You are much more likely to do something if it’s already planned out and ready to go. So, make a schedule for yourself. Maybe you want to work out a different muscle group every day of the week, or maybe you want to do different cardio exercises every day of the week. No matter what your goal is, stick to it!

Take A Look At Your Family History
It can be extremely beneficial to take a look at your family history. Why? Well, first of all it is always better to know if you might be prone to something ahead of time because then you can do something to prevent it. Also, it can definitely be beneficial for you to know past conditions because you can pass on the knowledge to your kids.
Photo Credit: madelineyoki via Compfight cc
Consider Cosmetic Procedures
Cosmetic and Plastic surgery procedures become relevant after forty because the benefits can be incredible. Certain procedures like the tummy tuck, liposuction, or breast augmentation can really improve certain areas of your body that naturally begin to sag, droop, or loosen.

About the author:

Anna Inslee currently resides in Florida and spends her time writing about the benefits of liposuction Toronto, and other health/fitness relatedsubjects.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Journey Year One - Nearly 75 lbs Lost

I weighed in last night down 3.4 lbs...that's just .2 lbs shy of having lost 75 lbs since starting my journey a year ago today!  I would've liked to have the full 75 lbs directly coinciding with the anniversary but I'll take it anyway.  Might as well go ahead and call it the unofficial 30% loss.

Weight Watchers Journey

This is where I started one year ago.
This is where I started the second 16 weeks.
This is where I started the third 16 weeks.
This is where I started the fourth 16 weeks.

Beachbody Journey
It all began with Tai Cheng in May.
I enjoyed the whole experience so much that I came to the realization that the thing I'd been hiding from essentially my whole life was my passion, my purpose for life.  I'm supposed to be helping others on their journey to improve their overall health and wellness.  So I signed up to be an Independent Team Beachbody Coach.  I'm exploring the variety of certification programs so I can expand beyond Beachbody and Weight Watchers to be a true Health & Wellness Coach.
Slim in 6 round 1 was next.
Then came Body Gospel.  Too bad Beachbody discontinued the program last month.

Slim in 6 round 2 led me into the holidays.
I was sidelined a while dealing with the vertigo.  Never did I dream that I'd miss working out!  It's pretty much gone now but I do have the occasional spin when I'm laying down for the night.

Rockin' Body was my way to start working out again.
I'm anxiously awaiting the ship notice for the 21 Day Fix.

To celebrate my first year on this journey I am happy to announce that I'm getting a massage!  Now Benny said that he wants to come with me so he needs something to do while I'm relaxing.  Afterwards we'll go out to eat or something.  He said yesterday that he'll hang out at the Heidelberg Haus so I need to find a place near there.  Benny's having surgery next Friday to remove a stone in his salivary gland/duct so I need to schedule and go before then.  Such a lot to cram in a week!


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