28 July, 2011

Listening to Your Body

I didn't work out today.  I was supposed to, but my body needed a break.  And sometimes, you just have to listen to your body!

I have to admit, I really struggled with not going to the gym today.  It's become so much of my daily routine that I feel kind of "off" when I don't go.  Of course my mind went to the thought line of  If I don't work out, I'm not going to burn those calories.  And if I don't work out anything I eat today will make me gain weight and all my hard work will be down the drain.  Now obviously I know that not working out for a day will not cause me to gain a bunch of weight, but I have to admit, my mind did go there.

And that's when I had to step in and tell those thoughts to get away.  Thoughts like that aren't going to help.  I've realized that I need to start listening to my body more.  It knows me better than I think it does, and sometimes it needs a day of rest.

My typical workout is cardio on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and then strength training and short cardio on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  I always take a rest day on Sunday.  This week I did a double workout on Tuesday, my usual morning workout and then I did the Insanity Plyometric Cardio Circuit.  It was intense, and I think that's what did me in.  Last night I felt something pop in my back and I knew it was time for a break.  I've also been pushing myself harder on the treadmill, elliptical, and with weights so I think my body was telling me what my mind didn't want to hear. 

But you know what?  I don't feel "fat" because I didn't work out today.  I know that I'm not going to gain 10 pounds because of it.  I'm listening to my body, it feels right, and it feels good!

Beautiful Things

This is what I saw the other morning when I got to the gym (about 6am!)
Breathtaking isn't it?

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth... God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." Genesis 1:1, 31

Last week, a client brought in some flowers he picked from his garden.
Again, aren't these beautiful?

25 July, 2011

Monday Night Lights

It's Monday night and we're off to the softball field again!  For the past couple months, we've spent nearly every Monday night there as Mike is playing on his work's softball team.  He plays first base...

He's a really good hitter!

Overall, his team has had about twice as many losses as wins, but they end each game smiling!  It's been fun to see them grow as a team and support each other.  Tonight is the first night of playoffs...maybe they'll win!

22 July, 2011

Time for a change!

This is what I looked like this morning...

And this is what I look like tonight!
It was time for a change!  My hair was so long and it was to the point of being unmanageable!  By night-time my hair was so tangled that I couldn't even get my fingers through it.  So today was the day for a change...I got between 6-8 inches cut off!  I tried a new hairdresser today and I really liked her.  I like how my hair turned out but of course I'm itching to mess with my hair and style it myself!

21 July, 2011

Trying New Things

*Disclaimer: If needles tend to make you squeamish, please skip this blog post.  Thank you!

I tried something new the other day...acupuncture!  Two of our therapists at work are working toward their licensing.  The specific type they will be practicing is called Auricular Acupuncture Detoxification.  In order to get certified, they must practice on 40 people, I was a willing guinea pig! 

Here's some information about acupuncture from the release I signed:

Acupuncture is the world’s oldest science. It has been around for 5,000 years. Auricular (ear) acupuncture is more recent, having been created and perfected in the last 60 years by both Chinese and French physicians who were seeking new techniques. It is based on the fact that the ear has points that reflect all areas of the body and are mapped out on the ear like an infant, upside down, in a fetal position. (I think that is so cool!)

Chinese medicine holds that there is an extensive and complete energy system that flows through the body along twelve main meridians and more than a dozen lesser meridians. When this stream flows freely, the body is in balance and healthy. Interruptions and blockages in these normally free-flowing energy streams cause stagnation, illness, disease, and discomfort. Simply stated, the needs are inserted to get the energy flowing more freely and restore balance to the body. In terms of western medicine, acupuncture creates healing in the hormonal, nervous, muscular and vascular systems.

The type of acupuncture that I had is typically used on clients who have addictions, but there are various benefits from it.  Here's some more detailed info:

A trained acu-detox specialist will place five, tiny, sterile acupuncture pins of the finest filament steel available in each ear. Pins are left in place for 15-45 minutes. There may be some slight discomfort at the sight of insertion, but this will pass quickly. Occasionally, some lightheadedness may occur. There also may be some slight bleeding when the needs are withdrawn. The five points that will be used are:

• Shenmen or Spirit Gate – used for calming and relaxing. This point connects body, mind, and spirit which in Chinese Medicine are considered one. Helps concentration and attention.

• Sympathetic – used for relieving tension and pain management. It also has a calming effect on the digestive system.

• Kidney – used to strengthen the body. This allows release of fear and ability to access the body’s wisdom.

• Liver – used to detoxify the body and emotions.

• Lung – used to help open respiration. This facilitates the inhalation of pure fresh air and emotions and exhalation of impurities and release of negative emotions.

Here's what it looks like when the needles are in.  You might notice that I do not have 5 needles in each ear; that's because 3 of them fell out!  Sometimes that happens because your body rejects them.  We joked that those 3 parts must be balanced enough I needed need them.

The initial insertion of the needles was relatively painless.  Some I couldn't feel at all but others felt like a mosquito bite--nothing too painful!  Typically after the needles are inserted, you'd sit in a quiet meditative atmosphere for 15-30 minutes.  However, since I had it done at the same time as another co-worker, there were 3 women in the room and it's difficult to be quiet.  As a result, I'm not sure I experience the full effect of the acupuncture.  Though I am not struggling with an addiction, there are still benefits from the procedure (see above).  Our other therapist will be "practicing" on me next week and I was told that it sometimes takes 2-3 sessions to feel any benefits...maybe I'll be able to share more later!

18 July, 2011

Friend Makin' Monday--10 Random Questions

Can you believe it's the middle of July already?  Where has the summer gone?  I wish I knew...time has just flown by.  I've been so busy, but I don't know what I've been busy doing...not blogging, that's for sure!  Hopefully I'll have some time to catch you up on some of our summer activities soon, but for now it's time for...
If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section over at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers.  If you join in, share  your links there too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!
 FMM: Ten Random Questions
1) What do you like most about yourself? I get along really well with others.
2) List three characteristics that you like to have in your friends. Loyalty, humor, love.
3) How often do you brush your teeth? Twice a day--in the morning and before bed.
4) If you could travel anywhere today, where would you go? Romania.
5) Have you ever met anyone from the blog world in person? Yes, but it's more like meeting real-life-friends in the blog world.  We're friends in real-life and discovering each other online.  I do have a few blog friends I would love to meet!
6) What is the last show you watched on TV? We watched Law & Order last night.
7) What kind of perfume/cologne do you wear? I rotate a lot but, my favorite go-to is Pink Fresh & Clean.
8) How long ago did you complete your last workout? At 6:50 this morning!
9) What will you eat for dinner tonight? I have a meeting at church so dinner will be quick tonight. Probably leftovers from Saturday night (chicken for me, steak for Mike) and a baked potato.
10) Share something fun that you did over the weekend. Date night with Mike on Saturday!  We went to the Trestle Stop for dinner and then came home and caught up on our DVR'd shows!

07 July, 2011

Accountability Adventure

I've recently embarked upon an adventure--an accountability adventure.  It's basically a group of women who are trying to make healthier lifestyle choices, support each other, and engage in some friendly competition at the same time. 

There are 6 teams, of 3 women each, that are participating in this adventure. Each week we have the goal of getting 26 points.  You can earn points by
*Working out 5 times a week (1 point each time, max of 5 points)
*Doing strength training exercises 2 times a week (1 point)
*Journaling what you eat each day along with the calorie count (1 point each day, max of 5)
*Eating 2 servings each of fruits and veggies a day (1 point each day, max of 7)
*Drinking 6 glasses of liquid a day, at least 4 of water (1 point each day, max of 7)
*Weight loss (1 point)

We weigh in each Friday, and then over the weekend the team leaders report their team's score for the previous week.  Out of a total of 78 points possible, my team got 75 last week.  We all lost weight, a combined total of 11.2 pounds!  I lost 5.2 pounds the first week!  Tomorrow is our next weigh-in day, I think I'll be down again, but I don't know that I'll be able to pull the number I did last week!

I still have about 10 pounds to go before I reach my goal. I'm not sure why this program is working for me when doing it on my own hasn't.  I had been tracking my calories, as well as exercising 6 days a week, and eating all my fruits and veggies before I started this adventure.  I wonder if maybe the water is doing the trick, I used to struggle to drink 1 bottle of water a day and now I can easily drink 3!  I think having some competition is also beneficial as well as making sure I get all my points so I don't bring my teammates down.  This accountability thing really works! :)

05 July, 2011

4th of July

I hope you had a great holiday weekend!  We spent a lot of time working, and a lot of time relaxing!  We had a quite a bit of things we wanted to get done around the yard and the weather was perfect for it.  I'll post some pictures of what we did later (my camera battery is currently dead...)

We celebrated Independence Day by going to Allendale's parade.  It's been a few years since I've been able to go and it was especially neat because we met up with Alecia and Ovi and their family and this was Ovi's first 4th of July experience!
Everyone stood up and clapped in honor of the vetrans in the parade

You know you're in Allendale when half the parade is tractors!

 I thought this was a neat float from a local church.

I loved this float!

This little line of trucks all had signs with some very important messages for us!

And then, the float we'd all been waiting for...Altar*d Life!  Our church's praise band!  It was really fun to see them performing on the float.  I did make a movie, but the sound quality is really bad! 

I hope you had a great 4th of July weekend!

03 July, 2011

Grow Garden, Grow!

The rain last week sure did great things for my garden!  I took this pictures about a week ago, after all the heavy rain.  Since then my strawberries have a few flowers, my beans actually have a few tiny flowers/beans, my cucumbers are huge and threatening to take over the garden, my lettuce is blooming, and my tomatoes actually have a few tiny green tomatoes growing!  Unfortunately, my watermelon plant doesn't appear to be growing, and only 2 of my 4 snap peas are still alive, but they don't look very strong.  We'll see what happens, but I'm sure excited about the rest of my garden.
From left to right I have: strawberries, Carson Golden beans, cucumbers, lettuce, watermelon (in the very back), snap peas, and tomatoes.
The cucumber plants are about twice this size now!

I can't wait to start eating all the fresh veggies from my garden!
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