Thursday, July 17, 2014

Busy...

The last two weeks of my life have felt like a whirlwind.

I told my Sioux City family I was moving away and ever since I've been busy.

Busy learning to love kale and quinoa... (I'm not kidding...it's SO delicious!)


Putting my cute little house on the market and having a showing at least once a day since...


Finishing a BEAUTIFUL quilt I had barely started 4 years ago in record time with one of my dear friends...

 
Then throwing a party underneath of it, because it was late and we were delirious and we could, so why not!?! 


Baking for my favorite co-workers one last time...

 
I may or may not have outdid myself this time. Just sayin...
 
And semi-breaking the "no halter top" dress code at work because I'm a rebel like that... ;)
 
 
I'm moving back home to the farm and starting a new adventure.
 
And it really hasn't sunk in until this week that it's happening.
 
It's all so bittersweet.
 
I'm stressed.
 
I'm sad.
 
I have moments where I have a dramatic meltdown and think to myself "What have I done!!?!?! I had a great job, an awesome house, I was surrounded by people who loved me... WHY did I do this?!"
 
But then I think about what is to come and I get really happy and excited.
 
Because it will be so great to be closer to family and the farm that is so near and dear to my heart.
 
I've cried...a few times.
 
And probably will a few more times in the weeks ahead.
 
Because a house is just a house that can be replaced by another one.
 
And I can be happy in any career I embark on.
 
But it's the people who make this whole "moving on" process so much more messy.
 
Because I'm overwhelmed by just how much these people mean to me.
 
I'm going to miss them so so much.
 
But it's not goodbye...it's see you soon, Sioux City!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

New Chapter

 
I've always had a dream to move back to this place and be involved in the day to day happenings there. Because when I'm there I can...
 
 
...check cows whenever I want...
 

...run seed to my Dad during planting season...



...and be a part of harvest, not just on the weekends.

On Monday I found out that dream will become a reality.

I'm so excited.

But I can't ignore the fact that there are a lot of changes about to happen in my life over the next few weeks and some of them are going to be hard. 

Because change is hard.

It means saying goodbye to people.

And leaving things that make you happy.

And selling your cute little house on Willow Street.

And facing some unknowns.

But change is good.

Because it means I can spend time doing other things that make me happy.

And I'll get to be around my family more.

And my boyfriend won't live 3 hours away from me.

And I can start writing a new chapter in my life.

So while it will be hard to leave my current life, there are so many good things to look forward to.

I can't wait to start this new chapter of my life back on the farm!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Detox Update


You know whats better than swinging back and forth in a hammock chair on a humid summer morning at the farm without makeup because the cows don't care what you look like?

Losing 12.4 pounds in a week!!!!

You guys, I am ecstatic.

Not only did I drop a significant amount of weight this past week, I had a few amazing things happen that I want to tell you about...

I went back to the farm and didn't ravage cupboards to find the Wheat Thins, nor did I have a cookie for dessert with my Dad after almost every meal. I did decide to indulge in 5 bites of the most beautiful apple pie and homemade cinnamon ice cream, but after 5 bites I was satisfied and I walked away. The next day I got right back on track. And the best part about all this? It wasn't even that hard because I wasn't having cravings for any of the bad stuff!

I wanted to wear a particular pair of black dress pants this week that at one point in my life were ridiculously tight on me. I got them out and put one leg in, the other leg in, pulled them up, buttoned the pants, and they fell back down. Did you hear me screaming? Because that's exactly what happened at that moment and I swear you could have heard me in China... I had to pinch myself to make sure it was real life.

I went to the store to find new black dress pants, in a smaller size, and while I was there I saw the most adorable maxi dress. They were out of my regular size so I almost didn't even try on the smaller size, but I thought what the heck, I'll give it a go....and it fit! And it looked awesome. I bought it, of course, and proceeded to wear it like a boss all weekend. My body is changing and it feels SO freaking good!!!!

They say you're not supposed to workout much during the detox, so I took it easy this week. I know I always tell you on this bliggity blog of mine that you can't outwork a poor diet. But, I am going to be very honest with you right now and tell you I didn't practice what I preached. Because I am an idiot. No other reason. But you guys, I don't remember the last time I took more rest days in a week than workout days and to have my body change as much as it did? Craziness. I am now truly a believer. Losing weight and getting healthy is 80% about what you put in your mouth and 20% about burning calories. Not the other way around, which was my mentality for years.

On Friday morning (this was 3 days into the detox) I got on the scale to check my progress and I distinctly remember looking down at the number on the scale and thinking to myself, "Is this real life?!?!?!" with my jaw on the ground. I got off the scale, then got back on to double check it wasn't lying...same number!! I hadn't seen a number that low on that scale since probably high school. High school. Amazing!

And the most awesome part this week? My trainers face and reaction when I stepped on the scale this morning and had a 12 pound loss. I'm not even going to try to describe it in words... It was priceless!

The amazing stuff is only beginning friends! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Detox


I told my co-worker yesterday that I was starting a detox today.

He quickly replied, "I didn't know you were addicted to anything?!?"

Why yes, witty co-worker, I am highly addicted to something.

That something, would be sugar.

And the scale would be a true testament of that.

Because the bitch hasn't budged.

Turns out when you deprive your body of things and don't eat balanced meals your blood sugar gets all out of wack and you stop burning fat and in my case I ended up eating more sugar, too! 

And the worst part?

You can kill yourself in the gym and run 9 miles on loose gravel but you're still not going to un-do what that pint of Ben and Jerry's did to your insides.

So, thanks to my friend Kim, today is the day I get back on track.

It is day 1 of detox which means a few things...

Today is day 1 of not feeling like my bloated show heifer back in 2002 when she ate too much hay. Poor Sally girl...that wasn't pretty.

It is also day 1 of getting my blood sugar back in check which means I'm going to have more energy and burn more fat! *Fist pump!*

And finally, today is day 1 of eating good clean foods, again.

For you curious minds this detox isn't anything crazy. I'm simply eating food (one ingredient foods) and very carefully watching my portion sizes. Yes that means I bought a food scale and now weigh everything that goes in my mouth.

I'm fully prepared to have a headache the size of Texas and Oklahoma combined for these first couple of days due to the lack of sugar and sodium my body has become accustomed to.

I'm also fully prepared to feel like the petite little pile of  dog poop I stepped on on my run this morning. Someone wasn't being a responsible dog owner............................

And I know that I will have little to no energy the first few days so I spent over 3 hours in the kitchen last night getting all my food prepped for the week so there will be no excuse to go off plan.

With all that being said, I'm excited to reset and refocus. 

Because I know as a result the scale will move and I'm going to feel healthy and fit again.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

NYNM...Or Not?


I went into 2014 with a quest to become a "new me."

It sounded good.

You know?

So romantic...promising...fulfilling...hopeful.

It's June.

I've been at this almost six months.

I've managed to shed 35 pounds.

My body has shrunk allowing me to get rid of old baggy clothes and buy new fun ones.

I have muscle definition when I look at myself in the mirror.

I can cross my legs like a lady now.

And I walk with a little bit more pep in my step and confidence in my stride.

While I'm happy with the changes that have been happening, I have to ask myself, have I really changed who I am these last six months?

Am I a new person?

A different Michelle?

I had a moment yesterday where I was forced to think about the idea of a "new me."

And the more I thought about this, the more I just felt silly for thinking that in 2014 I could become her.

Because lets be real for a minute.

When I think about a "new Michelle" she is a healthy and fit person who can't wait for her next workout and can eat whatever she wants, whenever she wants it, and she will never, and I mean never gain a pound.

See why I said romantic...promising...fulfilling...hopeful???

Because when it comes down to it, six months into a mission to change myself, I am still struggling with the same things that I've struggled with my whole life.

I still love desserts.

Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

And I still sometimes can't make myself stop eating them. 

When I'm exhausted I still find myself wanting to throw in the towel and forget that I care about being healthy.

Sometimes when I'm so sore it hurts to move, I find myself pressing snooze too long and have to cut my workout short, or I miss it all together that morning.

Some days I go home from a stressful day of work and I just want to order a pizza and eat the whole thing. Then make cupcakes. And instead of eating one, eat three...or four.

I still drink beer.

I love working out, but there are times when I would rather give up my left arm to not have to drag myself to the gym.

I sometimes still find when I'm feeling overwhelmed, bored or sad (to name a few emotions) I want to eat anything and everything contained in the 4 walls of my kitchen so I can forget about those feelings, just for a little bit.

On the weekends, I still find myself wanting to eat everything. And by everything, I mean everything. If it has chocolate in it, I'll have double.

You see, I'm still the same girl I was six months ago. And six years ago. And sixteen years ago.

The last six months haven't changed who I am.

They've just forced me to dig deeper and push harder when I felt like I couldn't go anymore.

They've taught me that I don't need to drink at every social outing, because sometimes beer just isn't worth undoing the workout you did that morning.

They've made me realize that when I am overwhelmed with emotions and want to turn to food to numb the feelings, that making it through the day without turning to food is the best way to cope. Even if it is so, so, SO hard in that moment. And to have a few things in your arsenal to keep you busy for when it's so hard you could scream.

So, long story short, this new year has brought me a leaner more toned body, but I'm still a mess. 

And will probably always be a mess.

Because these things I struggle with are never going to go away.

They will always be there no matter how fit, healthy, skinny or toned I am.

But these last six months have been precious.

Why?

Because I've learned to have grace with myself and to love myself through these struggles. And when I have a bad day, or days, to pick up the pieces and put them back together to make tomorrow a better day.

Disclaimer: I am continually working on this and by no means have I mastered this skill. It is a day by day journey for me. One day at a time. One hour at a time. One minute at a time.

And that is all I could have ever hoped for in this new year. To love myself a little bit more, strive to do better and be better every day, and learn to be a little less messy.

Cheers to the next six months...six years...sixty years!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rhubarb Crisp

If you even remotely like rhubarb you should keep on reading this.

My friend gave me this recipe years ago for peach crisp.

And because its spring and rhubarb is my favorite I decided to make it into a rhubarb recipe!

I promise this will be hands down the best rhubarb dessert of your life.

Yes it is full of butter and sugar and all things wonderful in life.

But just live a little and give it a try! 

 
The Best Rhubarb Crisp Of Your Life
 
Crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
6 tablespoons butter
 
Rhubarb:
3 cups rhubarb chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 cup water
 
Topping:
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
 
Combine flour, brown sugar, salt and cut in butter to make the crust. Put in a 9x9 inch baking pan, greased, bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Bring to boil in saucepan rhubarb, sugar, cornstarch and water, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes or until thick. Pour into crust. Mix oats, brown sugar, flour and cut in butter. Top rhubarb mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 35-30 minutes.
 
Because there wasn't enough fat and calories in it already, I enjoyed my rhubarb crisp with a healthy dose of ice cream. Hey, June is Dairy month, so I'm just doing what I can to support my local dairy farmers!!!!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

How To Burn 8,125 Calories In 5 Days

Remember that goal I had last week to burn at least 7,000 calories?

P.S. 7,000 calories = 2 pounds. 2 pounds is what I always strive to lose each week. I promise there is a method behind my madness!

And remember how I was an idiot and took not only Sunday but Monday off meaning that I had to accomplish this in 5 days?

Well I nailed it.

And by nailed it I mean I far surpassed my goal.

Curious how I did it?

Let me tell you what my week of workouts last week looked like!

Sunday: Rest.

Monday: Rest.

Tuesday: 5 am leg workout with my trainer, then 40 minutes on the step mill and 20 minutes on the elliptical. (1480 calories ... The step mill you guys, I'm not kidding when I say I'm glad I don't really know people that well at my gym. Because that thing is covered in my sweat when I'm done and I probably look like something terrifying when I get off that thing. WHEW!)

Wednesday: 6 am spinning class at my gym. Then after work I went back to the gym for a back and triceps workout followed by an hour of kickboxing. (Spinning class: 720 calories. Lifting and kickboxing: 1250 calories. I love punching and kicking the crap out of a bag!!!)

Thursday: 5 am shoulder workout with my trainer, then 30 minutes on the step mill. After work I went back to the gym for kickboxing class. (AM workout: 810 calories. PM workout: 635.)

Friday: 5:30 am bootcamp followed by a 2.5 mile run. (950 calories)

Saturday: 8 am (because I'm an adult now and I can never sleep in...annoying!) chest and bicep workout. It was too nice to stay in the gym so I headed outside for a run. I ran about a mile then found my favorite hill. And by favorite hill I mean this thing makes me want to die, but I know its good for me so I have learned to embrace her. Said hill is about a quarter of a mile long and steep! The picture doesn't even do it justice.

 
It is no secret that there is no better way to burn calories, get your heart rate up, and tone your butt and thighs simultaneously than when you run hills. And because I'm a gluten for punishment and was feeling like a badass at the moment I decided to run this hill 5 times. Yep, FIVE TIMES, guys.

 
My heart rate got as high as 187 at the top of the hill the 5th time, but I was too busy gasping for air/slightly dying that by the time I recovered a little bit to take a picture, by heart rate had already fallen a bit. 

The secret to hills (especially long ones like this one) is to stagger your intensity. I like to jog the first third of the hill, run the second third of the hill, sprint the top third of the hill, then walk for about 30-45 seconds at the top before jogging back down the hill. We called this fartlicking in cross country, and it's a good time!

I then ran another 2.5 miles.

Then mowed my lawn for an hour as a cool down.

Most would not consider mowing their lawn as a workout, however, most have a self propelled push mower. Me? Absolutely not. That would be too easy! :)

Result? 2279 calories.

 
#killedit.
 
You may be wondering why I spend so much time at the gym or why I make myself run up hills until I almost can't breathe.
 
Simply put: I love the way exercise makes me feel. I feel tighter, toned, muscular and like I could take on the world. The soreness afterwards makes me feel like I accomplished something great. It makes me happy. And the best part about exercise? I get to eat more than I would if I didn't workout. Because I really, really like food. More specifically? Good food. Like really good food. And really really good food is worth busting your ass for!!!!!
 
And on that note: I can't wait to tell you about one of my most favorite desserts. Which I indeed made and had on Saturday afternoon! :)
 
I'll give you a hint: it involved butter and sugar and more butter and a little more sugar and maybe a little rhubarb, too! YUM!!!!!