About Simply Sidney

I’m a daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother x2…I’m also a reader, dancer, project manager, procrastinator, gardener, lover of food and cooking, neat nick and pack rat…

Summer 2013 – Finding My Glow

Hello. I last posted last July. Where have I been?

Oh, I’ve been crazy busy. Have you heard that one before?

Since I haven’t posted in a year, you might think I’ve fallen out of the healthy journey. You might be right if we talked anywhere after last September.

I let the busy times chip away at my workout schedule. For a long time, I kept to my good food choices and my water schedule. By Christmas, I’d gained 4-pounds. Not bad, I thought. I can lose those 4-pounds. The real problem: instead of losing the last 5-pounds, I’d now gained several. I was going in the wrong direction.

After Christmas it got worse. I let some bad food choices sneak back in and started drinking a class or two less a day. Over the next few months, I started to feel like crap. I was officially out of the healthy journey.

By the end of May, I’d gained another 6-pounds. Ugh. Combine that with bad food and not enough water. I felt like shit.

I wanted my glow back. I wanted my healthy journey back.

I came back here to this blog actually. I read through this page: https://simplysidney.wordpress.com/creating-your-own-healthy-journey/

I read my own journey and it helped me to find my way again. In early June, I started with one step and then another. I’m still struggling a bit.

This isn’t easy 🙂 but it’s worth it.

Each day I workout, choose the right foods, and drink enough water, I feel fabulous.

I’m getting my glow back.

My body is starting to change. I see muscles coming back. The scale isn’t moving a lot yet, but it will. I will stay on this journey. I have 10-pounds to lose before I get back to where I was LAST year.

I’ll do it. I will.

Scale Day v43.0

I have not posted in several months, but I have not gotten off the healthy journey. I’m posting today to give you an update and let you know where life is taking me.

My weight loss journey has had its hiccups since early March, it was easy to see in my posts around that time. Each week I tried to find the same gusto I started this journey with and I just could not get there. I let go of the crazy exercise pace and things started to fall apart. It’s been hard to get back on track as life finds its way to over take the journey.

Working out every day has its benefits. Your energy level stays high, making it easier to get everything done. But sometimes we need a break, maybe not a physical break, but a mental one. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves and it’s exhausting. Problem is without the daily exercise your energy stores get depleted and then other things start to slip.

Pull back, full stop.

Decision time: give up OR get back on the journey.

What do you think I chose? It took 27-weeks but I finally lost another 5-pounds for a total loss so far of 34.9 pounds. Today I weigh 129.7 and my BMI is 23.7.

So what now? It’s time to lose the last 5-pounds. Oh boy 🙂 I’m going to try to do it in far less than 27-weeks, lol

What else have I been up to? I’ve been writing, a lot. I finished drafting a novella, currently in edits, and have started another. I’ve been writing flash fiction with a group of published authors (fun to be surrounded by folks doing what I want to do!!) and lining up beta readers. I’ve been working on my query and synopsis for that first novella and hope to start shopping it by the end of the summer. eek.

There has also been the evil day job. My youngest starts preschool this fall and I was somehow convinced to be the Treasurer again there. yeah. Summer activities, family reunions…

How are you doing in your life journey? Are your eyes facing forward or do you need to tweak it a little?

Scale Day v42.0

Forty-Two weeks on the healthy journey has led to many ups and downs. Some have been harder than others and some have answered the famous question. What does it take to get healthy? The answer is simple, right? Eat less and exercise more. But it’s really not that simple, is it? Nope. It’s a journey of endurance, persistence, passion, change…acceptance. What ever your reasons for starting the journey may not be the reasons that drive you to continue or keep you going on dark days, and it may not be the reason you keep going 42-weeks later.

I started because I was sick and tired. Sick of being over weight and tired by the weight of it. Today, one-pound away from my 1st goal weight, I’m sick of the weight of the journey. It’s hard, sure, but it at times has pushed my self-acceptance further away. When you know for certain you’ve come along way, but that the last bend may take double the endurance of the first four, I begin to falter.

Then the questions begin to rise.

What if getting started and getting this far is all I can do. I’m famous for starting a project and not finishing. Should I just add the healthy journey to my long list of incompletes.

Asking these questions is a test, one I’m sure to fail if I do not push through. There has got to be other questions I can ask, right?

A year ago what did I think of my chances of working out each week, or eating less, or losing any weight at all, and keeping it off for even a couple of months. Did I think I’d ever get back into the normal BMI range? No, no, no and no. But, I did all those things. I did. Thinking back at how my mind worked a year ago I can see how far I’ve come and then the light bulb comes on. I’ve come a long way. The girl from a year ago could not push through dark days. BUT the girl from today CAN.

To date I’ve lost 34-pounds, I’ve lowered my BMI 6.2 points and I’ve lost 6.5 inches off my waist (another 1/2 inch in the last month! and another 1/2 off my bust, and 1/4 off my hips, thigh and calf). I may have been 5-pounds away from my goal weight for the last 15-weeks and I might have gained 0.2 pounds this week, but I’m still losing fat and GAINING muscle.

The healthy journey is a head game. We know a ton about our bodies, but there is also a ton we can’t see and it’s our job to insure our heads are screwed on right. Because of the unknown it is our job, our duty to be honest with ourselves. Am I drinking enough water, yes. Am I getting enough sleep, yes. Am I eating enough vegetables, NO! Am I getting enough exercise, YES!<—These last two have been my biggest problem in the last 15-weeks. Better food choices and more exercise. Veggies may always be a problem for me, but exercise has been my addiction since last July. I had not had a week of over 200-minutes of exercise since early March. I’m happy to say that in this last week I got 341 minutes. Oh yeah 😀 do you see that grin, that’s how my whole body feels about that turn around.

Of course I may be full of crap. Yes, probably, literally too. I may actually be under my weight goal right now, but will never know if I don’t get veggies in and the crap out. Sorry for the dirty talk, but this is nitty-gritty business.

Okay, to summarize: I choose to keep moving forward and this week I will keep moving and start eating more veggies.

What do you choose for this week?

Scale Day v41.0

Almost there, but not quite. Three weeks ago I was 130.5 and I’m almost back there. Now I’m 130.9. Geez louise! Since mid-January I have been less than 5-pounds away from goal (130.0). Why is it taking so long? Could it be that I have not averaged over 300-minutes of working out in a week since 2011 or that I have not averaged 200-minutes of working out in a week since FEBRUARY!

It could also mean that I’ve struggled a little bit with moderation, but I’m pulling that one back into place.

The NOT working out IS my biggest problem.

When I am active everything else seems to fall in place. I drink more water, I eat better and I get to sleep on time…so I get up on time and workout again…

Sure it’s possible that this is just a cycle that I needed to go through to test my limits, but I don’t have to like it.

Maybe by changing my path I’ll start a new path that will actually get me to my goals. I’ll start again with new knowledge and refreshed respect for the journey. Positive thinking at its finest.

I’m not sure how long it will take me to get to goal weight, but I also suspect I’ll make a new goal once I get there…this journey is not about to end, it’s about to transition and aren’t transitions the hardest!!??!!

Alright, so what are the facts from this past week? I averaged 100 calories over my limit, I made my water goal every day, got enough sleep everyday and got 170-minutes of exercise with 4-workouts. That’s really not bad, but it only gave me a 0.2 pound loss. 700 extra calories and missing workout isn’t going to get me to goal.

Okay, for this week I want to see 5-workouts, calorie and water limits and good sleep. I can do this.

Scale Day v40.0

Did I get back on the exercise horse or have I stayed down? Did I gain or did I lose? Did I do my best or something less? So many questions, but these three I will answer.

Since my vacation back in early March, I’ve had a hard time getting back into the daily routine of working out. I’ve been trying to do too much. Do you have that problem too? Over the last 9-months it has became very obvious, if I want to workout in the a.m. I need to get to sleep on time. No staying up late. No getting lost in my books for hours at a time. Get my butt to bed on time so I can read for a bit and then lights OUT. When I went on vacation my normal schedule went out the window and when I came home it stayed out the window. These last couple of weeks I’ve slowly talked myself back in line.

My weekly goal is 300 exercise minutes over 6-workouts. Last week I got 50-minutes and this week I got 170! 3-workouts is not 6 but it’s better than the week before. Slowly I’m getting my grove back and it feels great!!

I did pretty good on my calorie limit, except for Sunday. You should have seen the spread at my Aunt-in-laws and my moms, wow. It could have been so much worse. I was 1/2 expecting another gain this week, but to my surprise it was a loss. A 0.7 pound loss and I’ll take it very happily. I have 1.1 more pounds to lose before I hit my goal and that makes me very, very happy 😀

So I’m getting back on the horse, I lost weight, but I can do better. That’s my truth. Have you told yourself the truth today?

Scale Day v39.0

Oh boy am I in trouble.

This past week could have gone so many different ways. I was just 0.5 pounds away from my goal weight. I needed to simply follow what had been working for me in the previous 38 weeks: sleep, drink plenty of water, good food choices and exercise. This week was a reminder that half assing your way to you goal weight does NOT work.

I got plenty of sleep this week, did well with the water. Calorie limit was kept, but I could have made better food choices. Above all else this week had one MAJOR problem. Besides a couple of slow bike rides with the family I got zero minutes of exercise. You read that right. I did NOT get up one morning this week and workout and I was unable to get in any afternoon workouts. I typed pathetic, but I just erased it. Yes, not working out is NOT good and yes, we all need a break every now and then. So is that what I needed? A break. Didn’t I just have a vacation?

Do I still want to reach my goal weight?

Yes!

So, what am I going to do about it?

Did I workout this morning? Do you see my head hanging down all sad? No, I did not workout this morning. But I do want to reach my goal weight. The healthy journey IS important to me. It’s not past tense, it is present. Failure is only an option if I do not move forward and I WILL move forward. I have come too far not to see this through. I deserve to see it through.

It has been weeks since I worked on my Nia studies. Nia had become a passion for me and without it in my life I feel blah. Could that be what I need? A dose of passion? To move and feel free sounds real good right now, especially since I gained back almost everything I lost last week. Last week I lost 1.4 pounds and this week I gained 1.3 pounds. I am now 1.8 pounds away from my goal.

OK, so I’ve laid out what happened and an idea for kicking my butt back into gear. If not today, than tomorrow morning I WILL get up and do a Nia routine. In the mean time I’m going to continue with my water and GOOD food choices. Oh, and I need to put the books down a little earlier in the night and get a good nights sleep so I CAN get up earlier and workout. For the love of all things healthy, I want to workout!

Scale Day v38.0

Hello loves. Isn’t it a simply glorious day. The sun shines so bright in the sky and spring is here to stay. I am in a pretty good mood, but I’m also trying to shift my mind to all the bright things. You know, cup is 1/2 full, not 1/2 empty, which is my preferred state of mind. I see a new morning ritual forming. Do you have a morning routine that helps you get into a happy mood? Sometimes for me it’s the workout, seeing my kids happy morning smiles or that first cup of joe that gets me in a happy mood for the day. But what if the happy mood occurred regardless of what was to happen, wouldn’t that be nice!

How about the morning you wake up expecting the scale to be all cruel and give you a gain and you someone how you let that slip right off your shoulders, because regardless of what the scale has to say you are going to keep pushing forward.

I was expecting a gain this morning and for good reason. I was on average 200 calories over my daily limit and I got in 163 minutes of exercise, not the hoped for 300. I was preparing myself for the gain and convincing myself that it would be ok. Not because I have become complacent with my weight, quite the contrary. I am finally at a point in my journey where I feel confident that I CAN keep going, that I CAN move forward and that makes me happy. I am happy to believe.

So a gain was NOT going to spoil my mood this am. What am I supposed to do now that I didn’t gain, nope I lost 1.4 pounds!! Not only has a new zero entered my life (I now weigh 130.5) but I entered the 23s in the BMI (my BMI is now 23.9). I’m now only 0.5 pounds away from my goal weight!! Oh holy cow!! 34.6 pounds are gone!!

How am I going to celebrate? Well I don’t want to get ahead of myself, I do still have that 0.5 pounds to lose. But I see new goals in my future. I’m tempted to set a new goal weight, but I’m not sure. Maybe my next goal will be more activity related. hmmmm…

What goals are you setting for the spring?

Help, says the Plant. Save Me!

Plants are so easily fooled by the weather. It’s sad that they can’t be bothered to carry a pocket calendar. That’s silly? Well so are plants trying to bloom in mid-March in Michigan!! All you southerns are probably giggling, but this is some serious business for the plants up here where it is still supposed to be chilly and it’s up to us to save their pretty season.

Sure we are setting all kinds of new record high temperatures but problems are looming on the horizon!! We may not get our typical last snow of the season this year in early April, but it is a safe bet that several frost will visit my town and yours between now and Memorial Day.

What to do? The lilac buds are already appearing, but the pretty flowers are not yet here…it will frost before they bloom…no lilac blooms this year…and that scenario gives me the ugly face.

There are several options actually. I’m going to give you the 3 I am familiar with: bring inside, cover or water. These tips are important this year, but keep them in mind for anytime you have vulnerable plants and frost decides to visit.

  • Bring inside: easy if your plant is in a pot, not so easy when your plant is in the ground. Simple solution: don’t plant in your pots until you are sure frost is done for the spring. If you want to pot early prepare for some lifting or continue reading for the other two options.
  • Cover: burlap works best but a sheet will do. Be careful with the sheets. Do not allow the sheet to touch the delicate new life on the plants, since the harsh gold will seep through and still cause damage. Use polls, sticks or what ever you have to keep the fabric up and off the plants.
  • Water: I’ve had great success with the water option. Water the plant the night before the expected frost and BEFORE the sun goes down. Watering when the temperatures are still warm will keep the warmth in your plants. Be sure to cover the plant and the soil around the plant with a water.

If you forgot to bring in, cover or water the night before a frost you do have on last chance. WARNING: this may or may not work. Before the sun shines down on your frost covered plants drench them in water, rinse away signs of the frost and cross your fingers that while the frost was on your plants it didn’t do any lasting damage.

Good luck plant lovers, now I’ve got to go weed. It’s only March, gosh this is so weird.

Scale Day v37.0

Oh vacation how I miss you. You were good to me when I needed you, but now you’ve up and left me, boo hoo hoo 🙂 just kidding around. It is however a bit of a shock to the system getting in and out of vacation mode. Knowing spring (actually it’s mid-summer right now in Michigan, expected high today: 86!) is right around the corner is keeping my mood light.

It was about this time last year when I started my slow roll into my healthy journey. It took a few months to get a steady roll, but this is where I began. Seeing pictures of me during last years vacation was a sock to say the least and the final straw in my unhealthy coffin. 

Lots of changes in my routine, nutrition and activity level all together helped me to take this years vacation 32.6 pounds lighter. But would you see the changes in the photos? We all know pictures, when not touched up, are pretty blatant.

Is that the same girl? Yes, that’s me. If you look close in the first picture you’ll find another inter-library-loan book with the same blue paper down the front. I’m not sharing any beach pictures here, yuck, I’ve still gots some work to do!! But I think I look healthier and that makes me smile.

The other question was how crazy did I go with the eating during vacation? And did I get in any exercise?

The week started off like a shot, oh hells bells, it wasn’t looking good on the exercise front. Not until Thursday did I get a chance to take a walk/run on the beach. I planned my walk with the 1st week advice from couch to 5k. I was nervous to start my 60-seconds of running, I mean wouldn’t my back side bounce like crazy (like it used to) and would I be able to run for a whole minute?!? Surprise, surprise I did it and it was so much fun that I kept going and going and covered twice as much beach as I thought I would. In the end I spent 45-minutes on my walk/run, I little long I know and my calves paid for it the next day too, but I felt friggin fantastic!! Saturday I got another walk/run in, with a more respectable 25-minutes. Not sure how I’m going to fit running in at home, but I must find a way. I want the challenge. I’m craving the challenge.

On to some eating admissions. I got in my water on vacation, thank goodness too because on average I had 500 more calories a day than I normally do, holy cow. No, I didn’t eat a cow, but at some times I felt like it and that I did NOT enjoy. What I did enjoy was the coconut shrimp, yummy.

So what did I do the day after vacation ended?

I got up and worked out and stopped at my calorie limit and did the same yesterday, but today I had to face the scale.

Expecting a gain, I was shocked when I found a loss? What? I have no idea how, but in the last 2-weeks, with a 2-week total of 295 exercise minutes & the crazy vacation week eating I lost 0.6 pounds. I’ve hit a new low of 131.9 pounds, BMI 24.1!

I survived vacation with a loss, amazing, and a new challenge. First Priority: lose that 1.9 pounds and FINALLY get to my goal weight. I’m back to all my goals here, calorie limit, water, sleep, 300-minutes of exercise a week, I needs it all!! I must also fit in walk/run time, I’ll let you know next week if I find a way.

Vacations are good, re-charged I am.

Now, have you seen the teaser for Breaking Dawn part II?

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Homemade Taco Seasoning

I’ve been spending a lot of money on taco seasoning lately. Love taking several pounds of meat (chicken, turkey or pork) from our bulk store, little water or stock, taco seasoning, and putting it all in the crock pot!! I’m a cook and freeze kind of girl and when a large part of our meal can come from the freezer the evenings become all kind of easy.

What was I writing about? Oh, right, taco seasoning…

I also love taking what I actually like in prepared foods and making them fresh myself. Not sure why it took me this long to figure out my own Taco Seasoning, it really is simple. I started with several recipes and now I’ve found what I like. Below you’ll find the inspiration recipes and my final tasty choice.

#1

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

#2

3/4 cup dried minced onion
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. each cornstarch
1 Tbsp. crushed dried red pepper
1 Tbsp. dried minced garlic
1 Tbsp. ground cumin

#3 (from the same page as #2)

1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

#4

1/2 cup chili powder
1/2 cup cumin
1/2 cup oregano
1/2 garlic powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup minced onion
3-4 Tablespoons cayenne pepper
4-6 Tablespoons sea salt
3 Tablespoons arrowroot powder (optional)

#5

1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground dried hot red pepper flakes (or more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped fine (or substitute 2 teaspoons onion powder

Since my kids are eating the meat I’ve left out the heat. After trying the recipes above I tried: less chili powder, more paprika, more oregano, less cumin, LESS salt, less pepper, pinch cinnamon, cloves & a pinch of nutmeg…ding, ding, dong, yum that’s tasty!!

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg

I put everything in a coffee bean grinder (I have one that only grinds my herbs, although some coffee grounds might be good here too, but not herbs in my coffee, yuck!!), pulse for a couple of seconds and that’s it! Use it all within about 6-months. Most sites talked about putting a couple of tablespoons of seasonings for each pound of meat, you probably could lower this a bit, but that’s for you to figure out. Isn’t that great, you can find out what you prefer and do exactly that.

Happy TASTY cooking!!