Challenge, Fitness, High fat, Ketogenic, LCHF, Low carb, Parenting, Uncategorized

There are Times its Okay to Quit

Wow, what a crazy week! If you read my two blog posts last week, abnormal for me as I know that you all (and I) have lives outside of blog world, and therefore only post once a week, you know I went through a fast paced loopy loop roller coaster. The first post was excited, optimistic and encouraging. The second was completely the opposite. At least my motivation for writing it was. 

On Saturday I was excited about how I’d been doing. Not gonna lie I’m realy enjoying writing this blog. But outside of the blog I went to a swimming pool with hubby D, toddler C and baby A and not once did I worry about how I looked in my swim suit. I was fully and enthusiastically enjoying the present. It was so much fun. But then Sunday morning came around. I stepped on the scale, checked my calendar and was devastated when I realized it had been 7 weeks since I’d lost any weight. I was so deeply affected by that realization I actually give credit to Satan because it’s been a long long time since I’ve felt that horrible as a person. This wasn’t just being upset about my weight it was all encompassing. How could I be writing a blog about my journey when I was failing? How could I possibly hope to encourage fellow readers or friends? How could I hope to be a positive example for my own kids? I was nothing, worth nothing, a waste of space. See what I mean a about all encompassing?

But that’s exactly why I chose to blog about it. 

When I started this blog it was purely for me and I expected no one else to read it other than a few pity reads from family and one or two friends. But I have a few followers now. Each week I get more views than I expected to get for the entire year! And I hope that’s because people can tell that I’m honest, and that they curiously and genuinely want to follow along on my years journey. So I needed you all to see that they are not all good days. 

I did incredibly well during my pregnancy and I think I expected the same steady success afterwords. I think I set my expectations for myself a little too high. But slowly, I’m getting where I want to be. That’s exactly why I set myself a year long challenge. I knew my results will take time. And I’m starting to really understand that I may not be where I hoped I would be at the end of this year. But I’m going to be a heck of a lot farther than I would have been had I not taken the challenge. And the habits I’m creating, the whole purpose of this year (read my first ever blog post here), are slowly but steadily being formed. 

I spend more time cooking and baking then I ever have before. I’ve got an archive of go to recipes I don’t even need recipes for! Planning bi weekly meal plans are the norm of my Thursday evenings. I signed up for a ten km race in Banff, the first major commited step to my half marathon. I take specific supplements like pro biotics on a regular basis that I plan to keep taking for the rest of my life. 

So I may be plugging along. But after a whole week focusing strictly on my value as a person completely outside of my physical appearance, I recognize the incredible progress I’ve made off the scale. 

Hence my title of this post There are Times It’s Okay to Quit. Last week I gave myself a 30 day challenge to not wear makeup, or any clothing that was brand name, or of any color/fashion. I wanted to focus on reasons other than my physical appearance that spoke of my value as a human being. Sounds like a great challenge right? Well, it was. But I don’t actually think it’s necessary for me right now. I know that last Sunday was a horribly awful day for me. But by the grace of God it was only a morning. Those feelings, thoughts, worries did not even last past lunch time. During the week I did post photos on the blogs brand new FB page. Photos that described a reason I felt valuable that day. I didn’t wear a scrap of makeup, didn’t even put a braid in my hair. I wore plain t-shirts and brand-less tights or jeans. I spent exactly zero seconds worrying about how I looked that week and focused on all the wonderful things that make up who I am. 

I am pulling out of the 30 day challenge because I know I have value. I know I bring something to the table of friendship and family, to this world. But it’s important that you all see that on this journey of life there will be good and bad days. But with God, the right mind set, and family and friends supporting you, those hard days will just get easier and easier to overcome!

Here are some of the photos I shared of my week 🙂  

           

I am the daughter of a king. A grand daughter, a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. I am artistic, athletic, musical, creative, daring, loyal,  encouraging, and I hope, inspiring!!!!

Incase you were wondering, I think I had two cheat meals this week, did all three of my weight lifting workouts, but only one of my cardio workouts, unless I manage to do a second this evening. I’m plugging along, and hope you all are setting goals and seeing progress right along with me!

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Challenge, Fitness, High fat, Ketogenic, LCHF, Low carb, Parenting, Uncategorized

This is My Ugly Broken Hearted Truth

Did you read my post on Saturday? It was happy, excited, hopeful. 

What changed between Saturday night and Sunday morning? Nothing physical, but everything spiritually, psychologically and emotionally. 

I did something I said I wouldn’t do. I stepped on my scale again and saw no change. I would have measured every area of my body to see if maybe I had lost inches, trading fat for muscle, but have no measuring tape. So instead I took progress pictures. Wearing nothing but little booty shorts and a sports bra I stood infront of my bathroom mirror and took pictures of every angle. I then lined those pictures up to my last “progress” pics and stared in horror as I saw. . . no change. I quickly grabbed my phone and opened my calendar. 7 weeks?! It had been 7 weeks between those photos and I had lost no weight on my scale and saw no change in my photos. 

That was it. Literally nothing. But my entire person instantly shattered. I don’t know if you reading this believe in the epic battle between Christ my Lord and the dark Prince of this world, but I do. And the moment I stepped on my scale, Satan found his foothold. 

Instantly I hated myself. I was fat. I was ugly. I was a failure. I was a fraud. I had nothing to offer this world. I hid in the shower and cried. And cried, and mentally abused myself, and cried. An image I had seen on FB Saturday afternoon came to mind.



This was exactly me. In that moment I was a little girl again. Hating my body. Desperately wishing I was capable of cutting away my excess belly skin. This is a powerful image is it not? Please take a moment to just let this image roll around your brain. It is a depressing and hopeless place to wallow. 

This is my heartbreaking reality. I am that little girl. 

BUT I AM NOT THAT LITTLE GIRL. 

I was able to quote some scripture while in the shower. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful I know that full well.”  Psalm 139:14 It didn’t help. 

I told myself that my body has NOTHING to do with my value. That my husband LOVES this body, exactly as it is. Just the other night I told him to not touch my belly, and he grabbed a big roll instead; he proceeded to make love to me the way all men should make love to their wives. Even that was not enough to change my headspace. 

So then I started repeating what I am. 

First and foremost,

 I am the DAUGHTER OF A KING. 

He desired me, me exactly who I am so much that he says to me “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart….” Jeremiah 1:5

I am a daughter. A grand daughter. A great grand daughter. A sister. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a friend. 

I got out of the shower and texted a very dear friend. I told her I was struggling. That I needed prayer. She responded “That would feel very defeating, and feeling how you are I think is very understandable and ok! Just let yourself and don’t judge or shame just sit in it, and God will speak into your heart what he needs you to hear. I love you and I think your doing amazing, Satan knows that to, and this is him trying to stop you from changing and growing. I will be praying friend, I love you!” Thank you friend. I decided to just sit in what I was feeling, and expect to hear from God.

And oh did I hear from God!!!

In no audible voice, merely thoughts upon waves of thoughts. Ideas and understandings. 

I started to do what I often do when I am feeling disappointed with my appearance. I chose what clothes I would wear to church, I put on a full face of great makeup. And I made myself look as best I could on the outside. After changing my outward appearance, I immediately realized that this was my full body mask. This was me making the problem worse. My problem was with my outside body, but it came from inside. The realization of what I had done came too late to change before leaving for church. But God spoke to me in church. 

The sermon today was in Acts. And although it was not speaking exactly to my situation, the message was absolutely applicable. A few words came up on the screen. I kicked myself for forgetting my phone at home, I needed to remember these words! They are not Scripture, but they are TRUTH. So I repeated it multiple times in my head in hopes that I would remember.  “Nothing smothers and quenches the Holy Spirit more than hypocrisy and pretense.” I had dressed myself in hypocrisy, my smiling face and answers of “I’m fine” were pretense. 

I was in church! Wasn’t this the place where we as Christians are supposed to come for fellowship? Community? Knowledge both spiritual and mental? And yet I was smothering the Holy Spirit by hiding the turmoil my very soul was experiencing that morning. 

But the Holy Spirits words whispered louder in my ears than the devil had yelled at me that morning. You are mine. You are loved. You have value because you ARE.  We worshiped to a song with lyrics about living in His deep love, and I was! I was deeply immersed in his ocean of love. Though the waters above we’re high and stormy, I was being rocked by his never ceasing all encompassing love. 

And so, I am beginning a new challenge today. For 30 days I am giving Satan a great big “up yours!” and stripping away ALL forms of outward beauty. No more succumbing to pressures from social media, Hollywood, fashion magazines, or the Joneses. For the next 30 days I will put absolutely zero thought towards my outer appearance. I will wear no makeup. I will wear no brand names. I will not do my hair. I will wear plain white t-shirts, one pair of my old and baggy in the butt maternity jeans, one black pair of no name tights and one grey, and one grey no name sweater. This will mean more laundry as I have two young kids and seem to get spit up on, or grease stains, or food spatters on my apparel every day. 

Now I want to make this clear. I LOVE makeup. I enjoy dressing in flattering, stylish clothing. I am in no way saying any of these things are negative, or should be shunned by anyone other than myself right now. In fact, I think God created us women to be beautiful and to thrive among beautiful things (art, nature, fashion, music etc.) but obviously my head is not in a healthy place. So this is strictly between me, Satan, and God. 

What I WILL be doing in the next thirty days is posting a picture a day of myself, or something I have done or experienced that expresses either something about myself that I love (that has nothing to do with my outword appearance), or a gift/experience that God has blessed me with that shows my worth as his beloved child. 

This blog post is absolutely NOT about getting views, shares, likes or comments. 

Instead of you who are reading this doing any of those things, I would like to ask you to join me in this process of discovering and embracing your self worth. I want no comments that have anything to do with me. I want no likes. What I want, is for you to share a picture of yourself, if you’re able to in the moment you are reading this, and comment on where you find your value! Tell me something you LOVE about yourself! Tell me a skill God has blessed you with!  I have decided to create a fb page in affiliation with this blog where I will be posting my 30 photos every day (so that I’m not blogging every day) and asking you to share yours! I started this blog “morethantheskinnyfriend” as a written account of my year long journey making healthier decisions. Although up until now it has been mostly about  my nutrition and fitness, I am taking it in a new direction for the next 30 days. Please join me in learning to love yourselves no matter what your thoughts or feelings of your physical appearance may be. You can find the new fb page here.

I am stripping down, in order to let my real self take the spot light for a while. When you next see me, I want you to see a woman confident enough in herself to go without makeup or clothing to hide behind. A woman who knows she is deeply loved, and incredibly valuable. 



Let’s be a community of people who see each other for who we REALLY are, not just the fiftieth photo we actually like enough to share!!

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Challenge, Fitness, High fat, Ketogenic, LCHF, Low carb, Parenting

Opportunities, and living life to the fullest! #liveuntangled

The supplements are working!

In regards to sleep and energy at least.  In regards to weight loss, I will just have to wait a little longer for those results. I did lose the five pounds I had gained eating off plan for a week by the midpoint of this past week. But that seems to be pretty normal for me. To gain up to five pounds and lose the same all in a matter of days. I will keep taking a few of these supplements for the next three weeks and hopefully over the course of a month I will be able to see some change in regards to my weight.

Like I said, they’re helping my sleep and energy for sure! It started the first night I took them all. Baby A was waking on average every hour and a half. I was up so often at night that I was starting to not even be able to fall asleep inbetween her wake ups. I would lie awake for hours after she was finally sleeping and my brain would just be racing! That would drive me insane and keep me up even longer. Now, after the first day I took all the recomended supplements, baby girl also happened to sleep a straight six hours. That makes me think that the benefits helped her as well. That continued to happen all this week although her sleep started around 7pm each night which is just too early for me to go to bed. So this week I hope to push back that bedtime and maybe I will get to benefit from it a little more.  But, what did help me a ton, is that I no longer lay awake for long periods of time! When I lay down I’m down for the count. Didn’t seem to affect my light sleeping though, I still woke up every time A stirred. Which is good, I didn’t want to suddenly be dead to the world!

As for energy, I got 6/6 workouts done this week and they were kick butt workouts too. Three weight training sessions and three bike rides.

(The pic of me on the left was taken while I was making an incredible chocolate mousse pie after my Swerve sugar came in the mail, no guilt licking the spatula haha)

I would also like to add the wonderful ness that is moms helping each other with our kids to create time to workout. My good friend T and I get together Monday and Friday mornings and take turns taking care of each other’s kids while the other works out. It is a great set up that is mutually beneficial, and afterwords we usually sit around and drink coffee while our kids keep playing!

This Friday I was particularly grateful for both her and my supplements. I woke up sooooo tired. Was about to text her that I would only be participating in the coffee aspect of our date, when I was all of a sudden hit with the energy I needed. I got dressed in my workout gear, made myself a coffee protein shake and packed up the kids. I got an amazing leg workout in and the added benefit of feeling accomplished, proud and successful. Thanks T!!!!

This week the weather was awesome. We did multiple trips to the park which meant baby A in the carrier while I pushed C on his push bike to the playground.

Added bonus,  they were both so tuckered out by the playing and fresh air, that C took a nap (first one in almost five months!!!) at the same time as A and for the first time since A was born I got time to watch an adult tv show during the daylight!! It only lasted 40 minutes but they were golden precious minutes haha

Now for something different, this is super exciting for me 🙂 I was approached by a new company in the States and asked if I would be willing to try out their product and write a review! This may not seem exciting to others, but I am so flattered that they read my blog and thought I would be a good choice to act as a way to get their product out there! As it’s a product that has to do with the fitness aspect of my blog I was willing to check them out and got back to them with an enthusiastic yes! I present to you Cordskinz!

(I snaked this pic off their website, hope they don’t mind!)

Cordskinz are a brilliantly easy way to accessorize your headphones. They sent me two sets of colors to try, I chose sparkly pink and lime green of course. They’re easy to put on, take off, and do their job which is to keep your headphones from getting into a hot tangled mess.

These were my headphones when I went to go find them in my room, no joke, I thought it was pretty perfect considering what I was about to try lol

And this is not even a bad knot compared to how they are sometimes. What Cordskinz aims to accomplish is keeping your headphones tangle free while adding a splash of color!  So here’s my review:

Cordskinz are awesome! They do what they claim, come in 11 different colors, only cost $9.99, and are easy to put on and take off. They still wrap around your phone easily, so they’re pretty flexible. And they hold up in our cold weather, although I’m not hard core enough to go out running in -40! Lol

Who doesn’t like matching their gear to their outfits?! Lol Can you tell I love lime green?

An added bonus of this company, they have a higher goal than simply adding color to your fitness wardrobe. In their About Us section of the website you can find their mission:

Our Mission:

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13
It is our mission at Abba Daddy LLC to give back to the world. We believe it is important to lift one another up and express the love of God in action. Below are some of the organizations that we will be supporting in their efforts to help people “Untangle their Lives” with their specific callings.”
 
They have chosen The Humane Society of the United States, Out of the Darkkness (a centre helping women escape the streets), Paws and Stripes (helping dogs and heroes), Pacers National Bullying Centre, and Grace Ministries International. Now on their website they don’t go into detail about how they plan to help these organizations. So I emailed the company and asked. I got a swift response from one of the founders of Abba Daddy and she graciously answered my questions. 
 
“Hi Stephanie,
 
Thank you for your email.  My name is Priscilla Paquin.  I am one of the founders of Abba Daddy LLC.  
 
I understand you had a question regarding how our company plans to help people “untangle their lives” with the organizations that we will be supporting.
 
Thank you for asking and it is my pleasure to share with you our hope.  We would like to be a company who gives to those who need a helping hand.  The founders (my husband and I) have decided to donate 10% of our share in the company to the organizations listed on our website.  We chose these organizations specifically because we feel they do a great job of reaching out to people (and animals) who cannot help themselves or are having a difficult time helping themselves.  
 
We are very excited about this part of the business and cannot wait to see how it grows to help others.
 
Sincerely,   

Priscilla
 
This is definitely a company I would be willing to support 🙂
 
They have a couple videos linked on their site, showing you how to put them on, you can find one here. So if you’re interested, check them out!! And know that at the same time as accesorizing you’re also contributing to some great ministries! 
How am I living my life to the fullest? I’m finaly sleeping, I’m eating 100% clean for health, I am embracing the beautiful weather and getting outside with my kids every day, I am literally embracing my kids while doing my best to promote their health, and taking opportunities to reach out to strangers and motivate, encourage, and come alongside others who want the same!! #liveuntangled
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Challenge, Fitness, High fat, Ketogenic, LCHF, Low carb, Parenting, Uncategorized

Tired Tired Tired

Baby A, who was a marvellous sleeper to begin with, has just given me a pretty tough month. For this entire past month she has averaged about an hour inbetween wake ups. And yes I have tried everything. Swaddling, not swaddling, swing, swing not swinging, crib, bath time, massage time, essential oils, humidifiers, fans, sleep sacks, with me in bed, with me on the couch. None of it has produced a sleep longer than the big one around 7-10, and then never longer than an hour and a half. 

I am bringing this up here, because it has been affecting every area of this challenge. I’m averaging about 3-4 hours of sleep a night. I’m awake so much at night that when she does have her hour long cat nap, I’m often too awake already to sleep for that precious hour inbetween. My workouts have been scattered at best. I have at least one coffee a day, usually two (which isn’t much for you coffee addicts out there, but I generally try to keep it to one cup a day, and often can go a couple days inbetween without feeling I need one). I’m a big giant grouchy bear all night and have to put so much energy (that I don’t have) into being happy when both A and C get up in the mornings. But if hubby D mentions that he’s tired when he gets up to go to work I just want to … Well, you get the idea I’m sure. 

So when we got to the beginning of last week, and we were running out of some pretty important food staples I just gave up on both exercise and nutrition. I went into survival mode. Poor a bowl of cereal, kraft dinner for lunch, “Oh honey you’re home, I don’t have anything planned for dinner, can you make something?” Or simply leftover kraft dinner. 

And you know what, I’m not even mad at myself, or disappointed. It’s just the name of the baby game. However, I need to get some sleep. Weight loss is much harder when you’re not sleeping. All sorts of hormones get out of whack. 

In search of sleep, I chose to purchase one of Maria’s weight loss Supplement Plans. She basically sends you a PDF file that gives you a list of twenty or so different supplements, a break down of what they do, how they work, and the times of day to take them. It would be crazy costly to attempt taking them all. But she does say you can pick a few based off what you want most and start there, adding and replacing as your body heals. 

I’ve picked ten, a few I already took on my own. Daily greens, pro biotics, and vitamin D. All the supplements I chose focus on metabolism, energy, cravings, and sleep. I NEED to stick to my healthy eating plan as supplements on their own can’t work if your hormones and cells are being altered, blocked, or broken down because of what I eat. I can’t waste this much money on supplements if I’m not going to use them properly. 

I’m also all over the whole preparedness buisness 🙂

Here are my two week meal plans, and grocery list. 



And here are my breakfasts and  so far one of my lunches for this next week. For the first time ever I made quiche! It’s delicious by the way and the crust I can use for pies and cheesecakes as well by adding a little sweetener. 

I weighed in this morning, which is something I blogged about earlier. The fact that I want to break up with my scale. But as I am trying something new I pulled it out again this morning. I will only step on it at the beginning of each week, just this month to see if the supplements are helping with my weight. But I am very much hoping my energy levels and amount of sleep will be affected positively within just a couple days here. I will keep you posted! Back to my weight, I’m up five pounds, although I know enough now to know it’s just water retention and inflammation from this past week eating junk. As for my measurements, I’ve been wanting to take them again the last couple weeks, but sadly, C found an edge that was tearing and ripped my tape up into bits. So I still need to replace that. I will get around to it one day!

Talk to you in a week!

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Challenge, Fitness, High fat, Ketogenic, LCHF, Low carb, Parenting, Uncategorized

I I I, I workout!!! (Love Me Some LMFAO)

This past week has had no crazy new situations to deal with. No major cravings, no mental funks, no obstacles to overcome. At least in regards to the nutrition side of things.  It was however, my first real week of training for my half marathon. 

I did manage to get one run in, it was a beautiful day and I could have even stripped down to a tank top to run it. 



My pelvis did actually hurt, like it did at the end of my pregnancy. But I remember that happening during and after carrying C, so hopefully I can just work on tightening up my pelvic floor and that pain will lessen with time. It’s both a positive and negative I guess then that the snow came back the day after this run. My following three workouts ended up on my bike, which is sad to not be running, but probably good for my pelvis’ sake. 

I recieved a very thoughtful iTunes gift card for Christmas. A bunch of it went to buying two of the Game of Thrones books to read while I was spending so much time doing night feeds with A! But I also bought a bunch of new running tunes! I LOVE working out with pumping music. Even at the end of a workout, if a great beat comes on it can pull that last extra push right out of me! One of the tracks I downloaded was Titanium (feat. Sia) by David Guetta. You’ll know the song if you’re female, or have watched Pitch Perfect 🙂 



I actually enjoy this picture, as it so perfectly captures what my fitness journey looks like right now! I’m workin out, at home, surrounded by evidence of my kiddos 🙂 my three bike rides  looked a little different from each other. The first I was super pumped up and rode hard straight through listening to my tunes, the second I did more of an interval ride, and the third which was the longest at 12.8km I did while watching a movie with the hubby, so a slower steadier pace. Hopefully this week I’ll be able to get out for at least one actual run 🙂 I found my old Yak Tracks in my parents basement while I was going through some stuff, so now I can’t really use snow as an excuse!

On a different front, I got one leg and back workout in at the end of the week. My husband took his power block weights and barbell/weights out to Canmore with him last spring and left them in the hotel gym! Well, some buddies were back there working and he asked if they’d try to pick them up for him and thankfully they did, and the hotel had moved his stuff into storage! If I had been an employee there and saw that stuff lying around unclaimed for almost a year I’m pretty sure I would have taken it haha. SO! That means my weight lifting workouts can be much more well rounded now and I can thoroughly hit each muscle group!! 



Excited! Now I’ll be able to see some steady growth 🙂

So for my workout, back and legs I did:

Leg press: 4 sets of 6-8 reps (unfortunately these weights on the home gym aren’t labelled so I don’t actually know how many lbs) as heavy as I was able to max out at 8 to begin with and 6 to finish, 6 plates

Leg extensions: 4 sets of 6-8 reps, 3 plates

Squats: with barbell at 45lbs 4 sets 15 reps (which I recognize is waaay too high a number of reps, but I didn’t feel like racking more weight haha, lazy)

Dumbbell rows: 4 sets 8 reps 35 lbs

Lat pull down: 4sets 6-8 reps 3 plates

Barbell dead lifts:  4 sets 8 reps 75lbs

This was my first legs/back workout in a while, so other than the leg press (I was curious about what I could get of this new home gym) I took it pretty easy. Didn’t want to be so sore I couldn’t move the next day. But two days of weight lifting is still such a small amount to do a good full body workout! Even though I might be tired, I’m going to try to stick to my old routine of three days a week Push/Pull/Legs&Abs Push: chest, triceps, shoulders. Pull: back, biceps.  

On the food side of things, before I forget, I made cauliflower rice for the first time. Made myself a bowl of Creamy Mexican Chicken on top of the “rice” and my son devoured it!! He asked for two more helpings of rice lol Just goes to remind me that just because I didn’t like something as a kid does not mean my kids won’t. I should at least let them try! 



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