12.19.2014

Happy.


 A random post about things that make me happy, cause maybe they will make you happy too and I think we could all use a little happy.


Cheap gas means more disposable income for me, I filled up my Highlander for 28 dollars, HOLLA at ya 2003.


You should take the money being saved and sign up for Ipsy - a monthly dose of happy. Very rarely am I disappointed in their items, do I love every single thing? No, but it's like an 80/20 and for 10 bucks that's a win.


 Babies who sleep through the night. 


 Mimi's who show up randomly on a Thursday night to make Frozen cookies with their grandchildren. 




 If you have a Christmas baby in your life you need to watch this, accurate and hilarious.  Oliver - you ain't Jesus #sorrynotsorry


Just all of this right here.


My fat little bald baby - even if he does grab on his Pee-Pee every time I take off his diaper....and then smiles at me.  I chew on those fat thighs every single day, they are pretty amazing.


Pre-pregnancy jeans.


Maybe not good for getting into skinny jeans, but this peanut brittle is like crack. Ah-mazing and I don't even like brittle!


If you've ever been on Babycenter....read this.


Polka dots and gold have me dreaming of throwing away all my dishes and starting over.... from here.


Have a wonderful day y'all!


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12.17.2014

Easy Start to IIFYM

The strugggggggggle is real y'all. I'm feeling the cut in my calories and it's hard, real real hard. Last night after my perfectly weighed out dinner of fish and potato soup I had to force myself to stay out of the kitchen so I took the fat baby and we did laundry and foam rolled :) My exciting life.  He actually loves when I get down on the floor and roll because he can crawl all over me.


While I was doing laundry I decided to clean out my pants drawer and there they were, my prepregnancy jeans. I had someone ask me if I've gotten back into them yet, but honestly I thought I still had them all packed away. Obviously I had to try them on and THEY TOTALLY FIT even though I'm about 8 pounds away from my prebaby weight. That was enough to keep food out of my mouth for the rest of the night.

 A few months ago I did a getting started post on IIFYM - you can find that here - it has lots of links on how to figure out your numbers and also how to set up MFP with your specific macros.

If you've been thinking about this diet and maybe are overwhelmed I thought I'd break it down into an easy to get started format. 
 

 But it's too much work to weigh and log all my food.

  • It is work, but if you do it for more than a week it gets pretty dang easy. Your foods gets saved and most of the time you are probably eating the same 20 food over and over again. I could probably go an entire 3 or 4 days and never input a new food, just look in my frequent list.

  • Weighing is only scary for a few days until you realize it's like 100 times easier than digging out measuring cups and spoons.  I use this scale, Ozeri Digital Scale, because it coverts from g/oz/lb/ml >>> ain't got time to be doing math.

Did you know the label will usually tell you how many grams in a serving? That's how I know how much to weigh out and eat. 

  • Be sure you are logging the correct foods, search USDA behind whole food items and put grams in the search box. If you are weighing raw then search raw, if you weighing cooked search cooked. 




 
I came across a great article that gave some of the best newbie advice - figure out your calories and your protein macros only! IIFYM is really just calorie counting broken down into macros, anyone can count calories, this is just one step further.

1. Figure out your calories needed per day - and it probably isn't 1200. 

2. Find your daily protein grams needed per day. In general it's between .7 {if you have 50+ pds to lose} and 1 // multiplied by your weight // Mine is around a .9

3. Spend a few weeks just getting comfortable weighing your food and trying to hit your protein goal.

Once you are successful at this you can really dig in and start tracking your carbs and fats, protein is usually the hardest for most people. Starting small is the best way to start anything new, getting comfortable and learning the process takes time - so do yourself a favor and make it easy!

My best piece of advice: If you don't know guess high and move on!! Do NOT let it blow your entire day! 



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12.16.2014

I Do What I Want.

Now the big question? What next?


I wore my medal all day yesterday and got a free coffee, I also was STARVING the entire day, it was nuts! 

I have a few half marathons on the calender for New Years and the Rock and Roll on March 22. I debated the CowTown Ultra, but I just don't think I can commit the amount of hours needed on the weekends to run. The full on March 1st is a maybe, but the Spring training groups meet at 7am on Saturday and that's just really late in the day for me LOL <<<< I know, I know. 

One thing that HAD to be done was lowering my macros. Bye bye all you wonderful carbs, may we meet again soon. I'm still working with Paige and we worked out a game plan that I'm excited to try! I still want to keep my running up, for some reason cardio can get a bad rap, but I think it's beneficial if it's done correctly. Plus those happy endorphins keep me from killing all the stupid people. 


I rested yesterday, but decided to meet up with the girls for our 5am run this morning, 6 flat easy miles and I felt pretty dang good! My back is really what is the most sore, the blisters on my feet a close second. I need new shoes, my Newtons are trashed, but it's Christmas and they are crazy expensive so I just ran in a old pair of Brooks.

Paige wants me to try carb cycling - so higher carbs on the 2 days I run - and lower on the days I lift. Whew, keeping track of two different numbers is going to be a challenge for me, but I feel like I have a good handle on tracking my food right now so I'm willing to give it a chance. Never hurts to try!
I'm also starting the PHAT: Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training 5 days a week. This is all pushing me out of my comfort zone and that's why I need Paige, she's awesome!

Now while I share what I'm doing that is probably not the right program for a lot of you, so please don't take what I'm doing as the only route to go. Paige is offering $5 off a consultation or 10% off long-term coaching until the end of the year with the code SKINNYMEG5 - here is her email iifymcoachingbypaige@gmail.com if a personalized plan is something you want OR even if you are curious about flexible dieting. I will be sharing some easy tips on getting started for you super newbies tomorrow, so stay tuned. 


I'm not one to let drama affect my blog, I have enough of it in real life to keep me busy. Over the years I've gotten pretty good at ignoring what some people say about me because honestly - it doesn't matter. Everyone has their personal opinion on what is ok to say about someone based on what they share online, that's fine, but I also don't have to answer to anyone except myself. The reason I ignore what is being said about me is because I don't want to feel like I need to come on here and defend myself - who wants to read that? 

I opened up MFP diary after I had a ton of requests and I was happy to share the good and bad with most of you. Did I get anything out of that? No. I purely did it to be transparent. After a comment was left questioning my vegetable intake, I thought, this is ridiculous. I'm worried about hitting my protein numbers and these people are counting how many plates of vegetables I'm eating a day. I can pretty much guarantee that comment was a recap of many other things being said. 

If I share a dessert then all I'm doing is using IIFYM to eat junk.
If I share a bowl of broccoli then I'm fooling everyone because that's the only vegetable I ate that day.

You see - this is the beauty of flexible dieting - I can have both if I want. Does it work for everyone, no, but I personally wished I had tried this diet years ago. I could have saved myself many a nights of going to bed hungry. 

Would I lose weight faster if I was on a clean whole foods diet? I dunno, maybe or maybe not, but I really don't care because when it comes down to it I am VERY happy with my progress and VERY happy with my diet. I don't feel deprived or like it's unmanageable. I just fueled my body enough to run 26.2 miles so I'm ecstatic. 

But - when it comes down to it I don't want comments on my food so I am keeping my diary private and I'm sorry for those that like to see what I ate. I will still be sharing daily food 'days' or even a weeks worth on here. 

Crack leggings found at PinkSlate. Uberrrrrr comfy!

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12.15.2014

My First Marathon


Last year the Dallas Marathon was canceled in a freak ice storm that lasted for 3 days - so many people who trained never had the chance to run. This year the race sold out quite early and I'm glad I got there pretty early because it was packed!  Finding friends was hard, I'm grateful I found my girls because my nerves were shot, I was literally shaking when I was waiting to start. The weather was pretty crummy - 100% humidity, warm, and just super muggy.


Of course I obsessively checked the weather all week and they PROMISED no rain until the afternoon. Freaking liars - I swear all the news anchors got together and said 'Oh lets just promise them no rain so they don't freak out'. I wore pants in an effort to keep my KT tape on my calves and IT band and a dri - fit top with sleeves to help minimize any chaffing from my hydration pack.


 I decided to take my pack because it was so warm and I wasn't sure how many water stops there would be, plus it holds a ton of running fuel. The Dallas Marathon actually had more than enough water stops - super impressed! In hindsight I should have worn a belt for easier access to my fuel, I lost my running partner around mile 8 and once I had to ask a stranger on the sidelines to get it out for me and three times I saw friends who helped me out.


 My friends. Y'all seriously, seeing so many friendly faces on the sidelines was the biggest help!! My Rockwall running girls were at 3 different miles, it was so awesome as you can tell from the pic :)

I wore my Garmin in an effort to keep my pace where it needed to be, but the start through mile 4ish was pretty crowded and I didn't want to expend extra energy trying to weave in between people so I kept a steady pace some where between 10:30 and 11. 

I didn't wear any headphones because it's really isolating during a run, but I did turn my music out loud for the first 10 miles or so. The drizzle started around mile 15 and I decided to take off my backpack and put my phone in the Ziploc - so no music and no one to talk to.


 It really started to rain around mile 19 just when I was hitting my wall, thank GOD one of my soccer girls was under a bridge at mile 20 with beer. I guzzled that thing so fast and felt so much better - next time I'll have a second! 19-21 was really hard for me, I had to keep the tears at bay mostly so I could breathe. The rain was just pouring down on us, my worst fear realized, but I didn't let it hold me back. My feet were KILLING me and I was sure I lost a toenail on one side. I started to keep track of my time for the last 5 miles, I REALLY wanted to come in under 5 hours.


 My two love bugs waiting for me at the finish!

So around mile 21 I realized I had less than an hour to get to the finish, in the pouring rain, with soggy shoes and blisters everywhere. I literally chanted to myself  "Do not screw this up now! Do not screw this up now!' I thought of all the text messages I got and all the posts to my Facebook and I just. kept. running.

The rain started to come in sideways and all I could do was laugh. OF COURSE it would rain on Marathon day! My stupid Garmin was wrong, pretty much the entire race it told me my pace was around a 10:50 {I was really closer to an 11:20} and the miles were off by at least half a mile. It's really screws with your mind to hit 26 on your watch, but not see the finish line yet.

The last 2 miles took everything inside of me, I had nothing left to give, but somewhere I dug it out. I have NEVER EVER pushed myself so hard. THIS is why people run marathons, to push your body so hard, just for you, no one is telling you to - you can quit if you want - but to really dig deep and do something so hard is indescribable. That feeling is the best feeling ever. Prideful. 


My finish time was 4:55 just under my 5 hour goal, by the damn skin on my teeth! I also realized my goal of having a baby and running my first marathon in the same year - not a bad way to close out 2014!!

I couldn't stop crying at the finish line, I have held in the tears for so long and it felt good to get in that celebratory cry.  I could barely limp, my feet were a mess from running in wet shoes. The runners walk to the family reunion area was the longest of my life - I got both my medals {one for the half I trained for last year at 27 weeks pregnant and never got to run!} and some snacks and of course a beer. Then I met up with Oliver and Madison for the longgggggggggggggggggggggg mile hike to find my car killmenow. Next time I'm requesting the stroller be brought, I ain't too proud.


After the longest hour ride of my life home, most of which was spent moaning about my stomach cramping up, I got a nice hot Epsom salt bath and put on my best sweats. It was 3pm and I had been running for 5 hours on a Cliff bar, 5 Advocare Rehydrates, and Skittles. I needed some real food - and by real I mean REAL DAMN GOOD.

As you can see from Madison's outfit I was not in the mood to argue over clothing - just put something on and lets go! I had a burger and onion rings and it was AHHHHHHHHHHMAZING - Oliver just thought it was just ok so obviously I was just hungry. The rest of the day was spent with Aiden on the floor icing and stretching, I skipped the gym today. I'm sore, but it mostly my back and abs and the blisters on my feet. 

Will I do it again? Totally. I learned a lot and I feel like I have room for improvement, but no plans for another 26.2 just yet.

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12.12.2014

6 Gifts for the Men in your Life


 I'm about to give all your single ladies some good advice - don't marry a December baby because it will cause you undo stress during the holidays. I don't know why, but buying for my husband is incredibly difficult and coupled with the fact that his birthday is 2 days after Christmas, yikes. The worst thing for me is spending money on items he really won't use so I try to find items that he uses daily, but is a higher quality that he normally wouldn't by for himself or even something unique. 

Here are my top picks for this year:

1. Under Armour Jacket: He's a fan of the Old Navy Fleece pullovers, but I'm sick of looking at ratty fleece on the daily. You can never go wrong with Under Armour and he LOVES drifit fabrics all his clothing.

2. Me Undies: 24 bucks for a pair of boxers is high, but the fabric is outstanding and Oliver has sensitive skin. Check out the fantastic prints as well, hard to say no!

3. Mission Belts: Besides being good looking these belts are super functional - no holes means they fit a wide range of sizes, interchangeable buckles, and easy on and off. Plus they last FOREVER.

4. Zepp Golf 3D Swing Analyzer: Oliver's obsessed with golf, his swing, his clubs, his desire for me to start golfing. This gift could be great or a pain - he probably will want to analyze my swing!

5. Anywhere Table Tennis: We just don't have room for a ping pong table, but we could totally set this up in the dining room for a few rounds of ass whooping. Probably mine.

6. Custom Scrabble Art - I got these for Oliver a while ago and put them up in his office and we still love them so much! He's a huge Scrabble fan so this is the perfect item for him to look at while he's working so hard at home.


What's on your man's list this year?

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12.09.2014

Weight Loss + Marathon Training

7/22 Start of Marathon Training 180 pounds >> 10/3 164 pounds

 Now that marathon training has come to an end I thought I would give you some insight on what it's done for my weight loss. I knew going into this that I was kinda making a choice to work on my speed and endurance rather than worrying about the scale, mostly because when I started training I was almost starting from the beginning because I stopped running for about 5 months when I was at the end of my pregnancy. Running can absolutely help you lose weight, long distance running however is another story. 

There are many reasons this can happen all of which I read up on to try to prepare myself for 20 weeks of training.

1. Over estimating your caloric burn: sometimes when you are out running for 2,3,4 hours at a time you feel like you are just killing it, but actually you may only be burning 80 to 100 calories every mile. It just feels like more so you eat more.

2. Glycogen Stores: {a substance deposited in bodily tissues as a store of carbohydrates} So you carb it up, it's stored in your muscles, and used for energy when you run. For it to be there you have to eat carbs days before you need it {hence the unnecessary need to carb load the night before}, but the glycogen can cause the scale to creep up due to water retention. 

3. Overestimate your activity level: Lots of runners will kill a run and then become couch potatoes for the rest of the day. One sure fire way to prevent that is to have kids who don't let you sit down for long - although I'm teaching them otherwise!


I think my biggest feat during the last 20 weeks, besides all the running, was keeping my eating in check. I'm so thankful for whoever it was that suggested I look into IIFYM on Instagram that day cause it literally saved me! Having a plan where I can work in more carbs and still lose weight has been a lifesaver. I'm not saying I've been perfect, but I would say 95% of the time I stay close to or under my macros. The days I really struggled were my 14+ mile days mostly because I was using 100+ carbs to fuel my run and that was all before I even ate a meal. 

Asics 12 Days of Christmas Sales!

My biggest fear with all this running was that I would lose my muscles, I religiously took my Catalyst before and after my runs. I continued with weight training 3x a week and scaled back my in gym cardio when my running got to more than 20 miles a week. I didn't follow my training to a tee - I think that 5 days of running is too much for my body {and knees} so I followed a 3 day running plan with my weight training mixed in, oh and soccer. I've come so very far in the last 2.5 months!

Overall I lost 14 pounds which is less than a pound a week and my measurements >>

Chest: 37 to a 35
Legs: 25 to 22.75
Hips: 45 to a 40
Waist: 35 to a 31
 
 Total of 13.25 inches lost!

Shirt via PinkSlate
I hired a coach to help push me past a plateau I was on for weeks and she's been wonderful - adjusting my macros to help me reach my goals and having me weigh in 3x a week along with measurements and pictures once a week. It was nice to be accountable to someone else for a change instead of  ***all of you*** and it gave me structure when I wanted to say eff it. That scale is a damn hooker I'll tell you, when you are putting in so much effort with your food and your workouts you expect a little bit of a return on the scale, but WE ALL KNOW it doesn't work that way. Many a days I would even be up a bit and I would want to say screw this I'm eating WHATEVER I want today and I'm not tracking a damn thing. Then I would drive to work, sit down, and realize that by giving up I'm not going to make anything better. I won't feel better that's for sure! I would jump on my Challenge groups and see everyone posting about their NSV's or their pride in doing something good for their health and it would help. 


Even if I didn't lose all the weight I wanted I still am damn proud of myself for getting up at 4:30am every Saturday to tackle those miles - I didn't miss one training run! I logged over 425 miles since September and come December 14th I'm going to put all that hard work to good use - You never run your first race again so I plan to give it everything I've got!


 
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12.08.2014

Always Be Envied Giveaway


This super cute elbow patch cardigan is from Always Be Envied, the blue and brown combo is perfectly paired with a little pop of pink :) 


This tunic is long enough to cover the booty too - I get asked so many times where to find these and the glitter gives it a little hint of glam. 

Always Be Envied is offering all my readers 20% off their entire purchase with code HOLIDAYS20 and a chance to win a $50 Gift Card to their shop! 

Drawing ends this Saturday - good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Confessing


Scarf via SugarLove Boutique
Confession: When I've been up for at least 2 hours in the middle of the night and I still manage to get to the gym, wash and do my hair, and put a smile on my face before an 9 hour workday, I feel like a bad-ass. It can be hard, some days harder than others, but giving myself a few pats on the back helps! Honestly I don't think men get it, I've gotten to where I handle it all so well that it's expected of me, but I get tired and I do wish I sometimes got to sit down and relax for more than 10 minutes. Every time I do sit down all I can think about it what still needs to be done, Oliver doesn't live with that kind of thought process and he certainly doesn't get why washing and doing hair deserves a back pat!

So sometimes I just congratulate myself on another great day, even before 8am!


Madison is playing indoor for the first time and I was able to make her game Saturday, I should just go ahead and apologize to everyone around me cause I'm over excitable and I yell.... a lot. It's the first time they've played with a goalie and they are also playing in a U7 {she's 5} so the girls are older and faster, but dang if my baby girl wasn't holding her own as goalie! I love soccer, but I make the worst goalie so I was pretty impressed with her. 


I got the itch to repaint my bathroom, but decided I REALLY wasn't awesome enough to fit that in so I got my brother to do it. I found the most beautiful color via DecorChick and I loveeeeeeee it so dang much!! I have plans to stencil the wall over the tub, but I spent yesterday trying to get this shimmery gold color to work and it just won't so I painted over and it I'm on to plan B. Hobby Lobby has the cutest black and gold decor right now and I want to do gold accents so I made a trip there Saturday. During Christmas. With both kids AND Oliver. KILLMENOW> never ever again. 


I'm using a peacock stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils- it's going to be so darling! 

 
He cracks me up - he can literally be screaming his head off, but if I turn the camera on him he smiles :) I've trained him a little too well! 


I had an easy 12 miles on Saturday and it was actually really hard for me to run at our training pace, I wanted to go all out which I hope is a good sign for my race. Sunday I did a full body weight session at the gym and 3 miles on the treadmill, I'm feeling really strong and my body feel s good. My knee isn't hurting, but I have an appointment to get good and KT Taped up before the race. Taper week kinda sucks - holding back is not my strong suit and I'm resting Thursday - Saturday which I know is going to be very hard for me! Gotta look at the big picture though - 26.2 miles!

 
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12.05.2014

9 Month Old: Favorites

Disclosure: I'm a Similac StrongMoms Ambassador and am a sponsored blog partner, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.”


 

Baby Aiden is 9 months old, time is literally flying by lately which usually happens during the holidays. Here are a few of my favorites for him:

1. Freshly Picked: Now 60 bucks is a crazy amount of money for baby shoes, I get that, BUT these suckers last for a while and he can't pull them off so his feel stay nice and warm. Nordstrom's sells them now which is nice because then I don't have to measure and guess his size or pay shipping. I bought a knockoff brand and they ain't the same - take my word for it.


2. Baby plaid and striped tops paired with cute boy leggings: Wrapables Baby Leggings, man plaid, and Carter's Baby Boys' 4 Pack Striped Bodysuits I try to make it easy for Oliver to dress him, just pick out plaid or stripes :)


3. Evenflo Symphony Elite Convertible Car Seat  God blessed this guy with the chunk and I was SO over trying to lug around that dang baby car seat, but with our situation we potentially needed 4, YES FOUR, car seats so I wasn't keen on something crazy expensive! I'm very please with this car-seat, it's very durable and safe, lasts up to 65 as a car seat and up to 100 as a booster, and it has great features like the cooling fabric {hello Texas!}, cup holders, and the dang straps stay untwisted!! At 190.00 with free shipping off Amazon I'm very happy with this purchase!


4. Foam puzzle mat: He is obsessed with tearing it apart and chewing on it - then Madison gets to put the puzzle back together. Win Win.


5. This isn't a favorite of his, but mine, a Ninja Kitchen System Pulse . I got a great black Friday deal on it at Macy's and I love the smaller version of the big one because it's easier to use and easier to clean up. I've been baby food prepped for the first time on Sunday, and with this ninja it was a serious breeze! That prepping wasn't the problem, the baby was...


A while ago I was browsing old posts on my blog and I saw that Madison was really eating a lot of regular foods by now. Aiden will chow down on some pureed baby foods and he will eat the crunchy little toddler things from the store, but he's not really chewing on much else. I gave him a frozen waffle one day and he threw it on the ground, I'm like, seriously kid?! You shove anything and everything in your mouth, but thrown a waffle on the ground. OK << Also he hates avocado and banana, we might have a defective kid ;)

We are still sticking with loving the Similac Stage 2 {you can sign up for their Mom's program here and get coupons which are a lifesaver!}  to make sure he's getting everything he needs. You can use their helpful formula finder to find the right kind for your baby and I enjoyed this article on bottle and nipples << be sure to size up as your baby grows!

Maybe for Christmas he'll get some new teeth and it will encourage him to want to actually chew food. Anyways if you are using bottles or formula full time I highly suggest the following items to make it easier:

Similac partnered with bloggers such as me for its Similac StrongMoms Ambassador Program. As part of this program, I received compensation for my time. Similac believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Similac’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.


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