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Thursday, September 26, 2013

High School Gym Class

I hated it.

I was one of those girls who absolutely dreaded the whole shebang. In our high school, we had to get dressed into our specific (given to us) gym clothes first, in a locker room full of other girls. Maybe it's no big deal, but it was never really my idea of a good time right from the get-go. We had mixed-gender classes, so once we filed out to the gym, we were with the boys, too.

Then we'd start with some activity that left me feeling mediocre at best. I wasn't naturally athletic. Well, that's what I always said, anyway. I didn't ever play group sports (with the exception of volleyball and not on the school team, either). I didn't have the strength to do the pull-ups required for the state testing we did twice a year. I could barely (read: not at all) do the flexed-arm-hang either. And don't even get me started on the moans and groans when we had to run the dreaded 'mile'.

Everyone is watching you. The fast kid who runs the 5:40 mile just sits there all easy-breezy, not a drop of sweat on his head and watches you frumpily run past for only the first time, meanwhile he's done. You try to act like it's no big thing but inside you're dying and just want to walk and talk with your friends and pretend you're too cool to do this running thing anyway.

When we played group games, I hung to the back. And honestly? If there was some excuse to miss high school gym class? AWWW HECK YEA. That was a good day in my world. Bring on the dentist appointments. (and you know how much I love the dentist)

This week, we went back to our Bootcamp class at our Y for the 3rd time. I'll admit that it took a whole lot to get me to try it for the first time. I was scared. I was super nervous. Would I be able to do it? Would people be like what the heck is that girl doing here? Would I look (and feel) inadequate?

Lots of husband/wives do it together in the evening class which is awesome. Because I can kick my husband's butt and feel all amazing about it (just kidding)(not really kidding). We invited some couple friends to do it with us this week. During one of the exercises, my friend joked that this brings back all those feelings of high school gym class, and I was all, OHHhhh I know, tell me about it. Because it kind of does.

Then I told her I think that's one of the reasons I'm doing all this.

I feel like I'm conquering all my fears I had as a kid, all my insecurities, now as an adult.

I didn't think about it much when I said it at the time. But I can't stop thinking about it since.

I didn't play team sports. I knew I was missing out, but I didn't play because I was insecure and 'not athletic'.

I wouldn't dare ever go to a class, like Bootcamp, on my own goodwill. Because, WHY?

But now I do. And I not only participate, but I have the stamina and endurance to keep up.

If I had to go back and redo high gym class it would be so different. The mile ain't no big thing. I would play the heck out of those group games. I would keep up with (if not kick the butts of) some of the boys, too. Funny that I'd feel that way 10+ years after high school has ended.

Now? I participate in lots of group classes. Instead of always standing in the back, I'm ok with standing closer to the front now. I don't care about what other people may think of me, because what I've realized is,  nobody really cares anyway.

I missed out on a lot as a kid & teen because of my insecurities. But I sure as heck won't miss out now as an adult. And maybe it's a little late in life to conquer these insecurities---but at least I'm conquering them at all.


***

More people than you can imagine tell me they'd love to join a gym, go to a group fitness class, etc--but they are weirded out by working out with/in front of others. I have to wonder if it stems back to those very real gym-class insecurities.


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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Past, Present & Future Highlights

Past:

A few days ago we went to the orchards. Our weekends are completely packed from here on until, forever (it feels like), and so we're trying to make sure we get in some of our Fall Bucket List stuff on some weekday evenings. Admittedly, we're doing a really bad job at it. 

We showed up there, thinking we could pick apples at least. Well, that was closed. Then, we thought, our kid doesn't care--she'll be happy "picking apples" from the market. Except that she insisted to play on the playground first. We obliged, after all, this Fall fun stuff is for them, right?



We let her play just in time for the market to close (oops) and weren't even able to buy the most delectable homemade apple cider donuts you ever did eat. If that wasn't a complete fail of a trip, I don't know what is. The good news is? Kids are easy to please. They pretty much had an awesome time anyway. They got ice cream from the deli-store instead, and you know what? Apparently that trumps apple cider donuts in kid-world anyway.



Memories are what you make 'em, I guess--right?

And plus. I got pictures. Pictures always make things look pretty awesome, yea?






Present:

Right now I'm involved in a women's Bible Study I am really excited about. It's been a loooooong time (okay, this may be the first time) since I've done that. We're studying the book, The Emotionally Healthy Woman and I love when a book challenges me and helps change me for the better. At one point this week my husband (lovingly) pointed out how different (better) I was communicating and he so much appreciated that.

It's also really, really challenging me in the area of honesty. I need to write about this more one day but to be honest (ha), I'm not even sure where to start. We lie all the time. I lie all the time. And I don't mean blatant lies either. "Hi, how are you?"...."Good". WHEN YOU AREN'T GOOD AT ALL. (as a very tiny example, and there are tons of them) So, yea. It's a good book and I'm really enjoying devouring it with a group of women I respect and love. Maybe more on that to come.

***

My mom's Momma went home to be with Jesus this week. In my adulthood we've not been close to her at all (as grandchildren), but I feel for my mom because I think losing your mother, no matter your age, would just suck. We'll be honoring her life on Friday.

***

I feel like a month into Paleo we are doing great. I feel super, I have energy. If I am feeling this desperate need to indulge in something, I do, in moderation. I think we might finally have a good balance going on. After a month I can see much more definition in my arms and my stomach is tighter. The crazy part is, I just did my measurements and lost THIRTEEN inches in one month. That's counting from hips, waist, butt, thighs, arms. CRAZINESS.

Future:

Do you ever feel like you have something cool coming up and you just look forward to it LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS? That's me right now.

My side of the family hasn't done a vacation in a long time with us all together. It's really good for us to do that, but this summer between other family vacations, babies being born, etc, we just couldn't make it work.

So in two'ish weeks, we go here:


A long weekend trip with everyone to Great Wolf Lodge. I am sooooo excited about it. My little brother is even flying in from San Diego to hang with us, so all the kids are pumped. He's got #coolunclestatus which is so unfair considering he's hardly around.

Anyway.

What ya got going on, friends? Any past, present or future highlights?

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Age of Maximum Cuteness

Lucy is ridiculous, you guys. Ridiculously adorable. I know I felt this way about Emeline, I know I did. But doing this the second time around it just feels like I stop and enjoy Lucy's cuteness more. That sounds so stupid, but really.



A long time ago someone told me that 12-18 months was called The Age of Maximum Cuteness in their house. At the time, having just one kid, I didn't really get that. But now, having a 3 year old (who lately we've been referring to as the threenager, just sayin'), I definitely, 100000000% agree that we are at The Age of Maximum Cuteness with Louie. Not that Em isn't cute. BUT.

It's just.

The baby chatter.

The chub.

Those thighhhhs.

No back talk.

The cheeks.

The baby kisses.

Loves ALL!The!NEW!Things!

THOSE THIGHS.

No backtalking. Did I mention no back talking? OR asking why? WHY WHY??? WHYYYY MOMMMM?

One of my favorite things about Lucy right now is the way she air-kisses me. She has the perfect lip-pucker and smacking-kiss-sound ever.


When I walk into the room (or sissy, or dad, anyone else) she shrieks, "HIIIIIIIIIIII _________" So, it's either HIIIIIII DISSY! or HIIIIII DA DA or HEEEYYYYYY MA. It's clear as day and makes you feel like a million bucks.

Her words are exploding recently. She has a love for All Things BABYDOLL and carries them around by the neck like it's her JOB. When I pick her up at the Y? She has a babydoll in her hand. When I come into her bedroom, she's hugging a baby doll around the neck in her crib. She walks around cuddling it and saying "Beh-beh!" repeatedly. If we say, "Go get your baby, Lu" she will go all around the house looking for her until she finds that naked creepy baby. It's ridiculously cute.

She throws food on the floor now. It sucks. Like, every single meal ends with tons and tons of food being dropped on the ground. It's SUPER FUN. I feel like we just got over that phase with Em. Nowwwww, welcome to the dark side again, suckers. (said Lucy)

Girlfriend will try anything. She's adventurous. So much so that sometimes it scares me, but whatever.



She finds everything hilarious. If she sees anything brought a reaction out of you? She will do it again, and again, and again. She loves to "bonk" her head on you. IT HURTS, MAN. She does it repeatedly and laughs every time. I think her head is made of steel. She giggles with delight as she's beating up her daddy. She's a bruiser and I love it.

She hands you something, anything, and says, "DANK YOU!"

I always, always know when she needs something. I feel like she communicates that in some way, somehow, all the time. If she's hungry and wants a snack, she walks to the cabinets and points to tell me. If she's thirsty, she figures out a way to tell me. I like not-guessing and I don't feel like I have to guess anymore with her.

Thank the Lord, Lucy loves sleep. She didn't always. In fact, I always said, LUCY HATES SLEEP. But she doesn't anymore. She really likes it now. All is good in sleep world.

Oh this little girl brings my lots of joy.

Guys (ahem, girls), if you can't tell. I mean. I love my little family. A lot. I don't care if it's cliche or whatever, but we are happy. We are. We work through our own crap like everyone else and life challenges but I love these people so much. In the end I'm just thankful that God gave me all these people to love, even if I do want to rip my hair out sometimes. No it's not perfect. But what is?

Get 'em Lucy.


****


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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Ah, heck. Let's say SO WHAT.

I am so not a link-up person. But if I'm gonna do any, it'll be Shannon's. I like her. And honestly? Saying so-what is kinda fun.

SO What IF....

-I go to bed at night looking forward to my coffee in the morning, but actually dreading the whole waking up part.

-I look forward to preschool days more than my own kid does. It's not that I want to get rid of her, I love her--but I like missing her. I also like that I know she's in good hands, learning good stuff....yea. That.

-I already know that Lucy can attend the 2 year old class next Fall and I'm already imagining just how peaceful and beautiful that time alone, sans kids will be. I mean, 4 hours a week kid-free? What the heck will I do with myself?

-I drug my husband along to a Bootcamp class at our Y last night and it kicked our butts. I mean, it may have kicked his butt more than mine, ahem....(I do work out a lot more than him, just saying). But it was fun. There were a ton of couples doing the class together and it made me feel kind of awesome knowing we were doing that together. High-fives and good-game butt pats all around.

-I put a huge pile of toys in front of Lucy hoping to keep her occupied for at least 2 minutes. It usually lasts more like 30 seconds, but whatever-I try. You know you do it, too.

-I've been eating extremely well, and I honestly don't miss the foods I'm going without. I just miss the idea of them, if that makes sense. Which basically means I was/am more of an emotional eater than I thought.

-I texted some of my friends with side by sides of my two week stomach progress because I could totally see a difference and I needed confirmation. Gotta love how cutting out crap and gluten makes your bloat go down like whoa.

-It makes me sad when I have to miss my favorite classes at the gym.

-I only blog when I have something to say. Except today, obviously. Since none of this is relevant, at all.

-I'm still holding onto Em's naptime for dear life and I don't even care if it means she falls asleep way too late at night. At least she's in her bed and not downstairs. I mean, I clearly realize it's close to time to cut that, but--umm, no thanks. I like that time during the day, and I need it. The end.

-I really, really, really struggle with my dogs existence on a daily basis. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, but he is such a Bitter Betty. He got even more crazy when we brought Lucy home. He's just not been the same and he seems unhappy. He stresses me out daily with his anxiety issues.

-If anyone stopped by my house in the first few hours of the morning they'd see the scariest Katie everrrr. I mean. I am a total wreck when I roll out of bed. And it isn't much better once I put my gym clothes on and throw my hair back in a gnarly pony tail either. Basically, I get dressed about 2x a week and I'm ok with that.

-I'm not nearly as excited for Fall as anyone else. I'll say, I like leggings and boots being back in--but honestly? Fall leads to Winter and winter bums me out, a lot. Snow is gross. I really, really grew to love shorts and flip flops more this year than ever. My legs like to breathe, so do my feet.

What are you saying So What to? Join in over at Shannon's blog :)

Life After I Dew

Thursday, September 12, 2013

It's been a big week 'round here.




I literally could not be more proud of this amazing girl if I tried.

She is the coolest 3 year old I know.

***

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Things ain't no Thang

One of those things that got me all happy when I dreamed about my future with a little girl was knowing that ballet classes would likely be in it.

I get it, that is so cliche. And you know I'm against broad stereotypes. Also, I am fully aware there are amazing boy/men ballerinas and dancers. Actually, I have a few friends who have put their boys in dance and hollerrrrrrr because I LOVE THAT.

BUT I'd be lying if I said I didn't smile from ear to ear when I thought of leotards and a high bun and pink ballet shoes. Of course, I was equally as excited when Emeline started soccer last Spring, too. I guess...it's just. The New Things. They get me all giddy.

See, I was super duper shy as a kid (don't laugh). I always had my thumb in my mouth and kinda hid behind everyone else. You couldn't get me to try these things. I didn't want to. I stayed inside my little comfort zone of little sister and being close to my momma, and I didn't do any of these things as a kid. I didn't play a single sport. I'm pretty sure I never attended a ballet class.

But I LOVE that my kid wants to do all these things. I love that she is legitimately excited, and has no fear (at this point) when it comes to new things (watch her cry tonight now that I'm saying this out loud on the Internet). It's FUN.

She wore her ballet slipper pajamas in anticipation for this day.

Her messy hair excitement this morning should give you a small glimpse of her sheer glee when it comes to trying new things.


I want to be like her.

I know that sounds dumb, but I want to have half the courage she does to walk into a new place and own it. To know that she has the same potential as anyone else. That new things are just new things and doesn't hurt to try is her motto. For being 3, she's brave. She's super duper brave and independent and while those characteristics have grown on me as I've aged and matured, I wish I possessed them more as a kid like she just naturally does.

It helps my mom heart a lot to have my firstborn be so fiercely independent. I can say that now with a few years under my belt. I may not be the mom who's got a leg clinger and a crier when I leave her presence---and sometimes, yea, it may suck a little when she waves all happily and basically forces me to leave, "YOU AND LUCY CAN GO NOW, MOM" at preschool. But, I know it's better that way, for us. For my heart. And ultimately she's just waiting to shine, independently, on her own, without being under the shadow of anyone else.

I guess that's a good thing.

So ballet, bring it. High buns and tights, here we go.


I hope my heart can take it. 'Cuz, wow. 

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

In full disclosure.

Last night I found myself pulling up my 'before' pictures to show a friend. You know, like, my before-before pictures. The ones that are embarrassing to think about, to look at....the ones that make me cringe a little. The 55+ pounds ago pictures.

since everyone likes to mention my stupid mean face in the before, I just covered it up. The awful thing about before pictures is you don't KNOW if you're going to ever see a successful after. So you kind of are...skeptical? Mad at yourself? whatever. you get it. 

You see, she never knew me like that since we're newish friends within the last year. And we were talking about weight loss and stuff, and I was trying to explain my history a little bit. How I really struggled. How I was large. Like, not just 10lbs overweight. A lot overweight. It's my hard-knock story and sometimes I feel like it's kind of a big piece of my past that helps explain my present, if you know what I mean.

Seeing those pictures still shock me. It's a hell of a difference and I know people do quadruple that (I watch Extreme Weight Loss, guys), but it was a huuuuge feat in my life, and still is. It's something I work at on a daily basis and sometimes, while I wish food and fitness didn't have to be a top priority in my life, I'm actually glad it is most the time.

It helps me practice a form of discipline, keeping myself in line--in check, when it comes to healthy choices and getting myself to the gym.

It's been over two weeks since we've revamped our household food choices. It's insane what just two weeks of that will do to your perspective (and your body), but seriously. I cannot look at food the same, I just can't. I'm almost wrecked when it comes to all the good (bad) stuff. I've been diet coke free for over 2 weeks, which was a habit I just didn't know I was capable of breaking, among other things.

What's crazy is how my body already responds poorly to the very few cheats ('treats') I've had. Just a few days ago Declan and I had a date night. At dinner we both made really decent choices, but we had white potatoes (mashed) as a side, and then a latte for 'dessert' (mmmm starbucks). We went into it knowing that this would be our first time straying a bit, and that it was ok. Everything was delicious and felt very worth the small splurge at the time.

But when I got home, my whole body broke out into a fiery itchy light rash. Something, whether it be the dairy from the drink, or the potatoes made my body respond and be all NOOOO you don't eat this, anymore, fool. Declan ended up feeling nauseous and on-edge of puking the entire night. It kinda sucked, actually. Especially because I've never been 'allergic' to anything before.

It's almost weird to me that I'm now one of those people who actually wants to avoid those foods, who wants to exercise. Like, I feel antsy and irritable if I don't get to the gym or my favorite classes. (Don't get me wrong, I still think about pizza errrry day.)

Even though there's a part of me that wants to wear a shirt to the gym that says, "I used to be fat" (ok, maybe worded a tad bit better than that) or, "I've been there, sister!", something, anything that (barely touches the surface) shares my story so I'm more relatable to other women, so they don't just think that this lifestyle came easy to me or something. But, this is me now. And I need to move on from those before pictures, you know?

Yea, they're good for a motivation boost. Yea, they're a testament to my hard work. Yea, they may even inspire people that hard work pays off and whatever.

But the me-now doesn't have to live in that past picture anymore. I'm just...different. It's definitely part of my story, but it's sure as heck not all of it.

****







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Friday, September 6, 2013

if it ends in an air-kiss, that's good.

Kids ask a lot of questions. Ok, sometimes 3 year olds can dictate your entire day with questions. Okay, they do. I get it, they're learnnnnning you say. They're taking it all in, you say. They're processing about the world around them, you say. 

But, when you're knee deep in the questions, it can be--well, kind of....exhausting? I mean, it's great. It's super duper awesome when I can teach her something and I can see a little lightbulb goes off in her head. Like the time she asked about this big, huge tower and what was it there for. And I could tell her it's the reason why cell phones work which make the world go round. See? Quality education right there

Sometimes it's stuff about school, or daddy's car, or bugs, or whyyyyy can't I have juice at lunchtime, or whatever else she feels like interrogating questioning for the day.

But sometimes she asks a good one. A really, really good question that I feel is an opportunity for my Mom Love to shine. You know, the times where I hope she'll look back on and be all mushy gushy and  fuzzy-warm-heart just remembering how deeply loved she is. 

This morning she slept in a little bit. Since Lucy and I had been down here, hanging out for about half hour before she decided to wake, I thought I'd get ahead of the game and have her breakfast all ready before the questions of, Mommmmmm can you get my breakfasttttt I'm hunnnngwwyy begun. 

Lucy was all done and toddling around in the living room holding her beh-beh (baby) by the neck. I was enjoying the quietness of the morning. When I hear it. 

"Disssyyy!! DISSY! (sissy) dissy!!!!!!" and I see bouncing Lucy legs and a chubby finger pointing up the steps, where a big-sister-wrapped-in-an-ugly-dora-blanket stood at the top landing.

Good morning, lovey. I said. 

Hiiiii Mom! Hiiiii lucy girl! she said. 

When she saw her breakfast was all ready she came into the kitchen, climbed up into her chair and smiled. We had small talk about how she slept last night, what she dreamed about, you know, the usual stuff.

She paused.

Looked at her breakfast, and said...."Mom, did you make me breakfast?"

(I thought, ohhh no, here it goes. The barrage of Ask The Obvious Questions begins.)

"Yes, baby. I did"

        "Oh. Thanks!..... (the pause called, thinking of another question for mom...I know it so well)....................Mom? Why did you make me breakfast?"

(Ummmmmmmm. Why do I make you breakfast every day? Every.single.day, child? I mean---it's my duty as your mother to make sure you're nourished properly, for starters. Because you're hungry, for starters. And because you'd harass me until I made it anyway so why not get ahead of the game?)

((I said none of the above))

Instead I simply said:

"Because I love you."

                    ...and then....she let's out a cute little smile....and says....
                                     
                               "Why do you love me?"

Armed with years of ammunition as to why I love this little 3 year old, who tests my patience daily, has her momma's side-eye, and reminds me more of a teenager than a preschooler---so I shot back at her with my answer faster than a speeding bullet. 

"Because God gave me you. You're like a gift to momma. You're so special and unique, and you're a nice, kind girl who's sweet to her friends, you love your family so well, you're a beautiful big sister, and you're the best Emeline I could ever ask for...." 

She smiled, big. I could see her little love cup running over inside and I really didn't even say that much.

She air-kissed me from her seat (it's kind of our thing...she puckers up, and does a kiss-smack-sound, especially when she's feeling super lovey-dovey, and happy).

I air-kissed her back double-time & she smiled a face full of strawberries at me.



***

It feels good to be reminded why we're loved.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

sister, sister.

From the moment I laid in that ultrasound room and found out Lucy was a girl, I had dreams of sisters prancing around my living room in dress up clothes. Of pulling each other along in the wagons around the block. Of "sleepovers" that weren't really sleepovers at all, just sisters sharing a room and loving it in the process.


I know, I know--of course it was all the happy-go-lucky stuff I dreamed of. But having had a sister 2 1/2 years older than me, I know exactly what it's like. And I mostly LOVED it and still love it. And obviously wish that same bond for my girls. 

I can say that one of the best moments in my life was when Emeline met Lucy. I know you all remember that, since I shared a video that makes even the hardest heart cry (come onnnn).

The truth is, many days are filled with hair pulling, screams of "she stole my _____", and pushing and shoving. There are constantly shrieks and shrills when someone-did-something to the other one. It is not all perfect, all the time. There is constant redirection from me, sometimes, just letting them work it out on their own, timeouts for doing x,y, and z to sister, and removing sticky fingers from mangled, bed-head.


But despite all that, as they're growing older I can already see their sweet sister bond forming. When I'm not 'paying attention' (or they don't think I am), they're off in the corner quietly playing minnie-dress-up together. Emeline's practicing her doctor skills on Louie. Or they're pushing one another around the house in the shopping cart. Taking turns and being all sweet.

When Emeline sees Lucy in the morning and squeezes her proclaiming, "you're my bestest sister in da whole wide world! you're the cutest, louie girl!" I actually feel her love. When Lucy's eyes light up and she claps when Em comes down the steps from naptime. I see that she adores her big sis.

Everything about parenting is an ebb & flow. One moment things are up, then they're down. The second you feel up to your eyeballs in time-out's and directing "I'm sorry's" and "I forgive you's", the next second they're loving one another so well my heart could pop because it's exactly what I always pictured.


Exactly. this.



Tuesday, September 3, 2013

the back story on the front story ((health stuff & more))

For the last few months Declan and I have been talking about cleaning up our diets a lot. Getting rid of the processed junk we eat, really being mindful of what we put in our mouths to have healthier insides and to feel better. I've been thinking about it since I began working out harder, really--back in March/April.

Why?

Because I was sick of not really seeing the fruits of my labor. I mean, workouts are workouts. But I was  (and am) doing a lot of strength training & toning and it'd be nice to see the changes, versus just cancel them out with my crap food choices all the time. And that's what I'd been doing. It was kind of a big waste of time. I was getting stronger. I could tell there were abs underneath some jiggly belly, and my arms and legs were getting strongish. But--what next?

You've seen this quote flying around pinterest, yes? Well, I want to look good in clothes AND naked, how about that. 

So we started getting serious. We did our research and I started realizing the health benefits, too. I had a few friends who've been Paleo for a good long time who helped me through the process. Declan and I buckled down and decided that we were making this change and planned accordingly with our weekly meal schedules and groceries.

We didn't decide to do this for weight loss. My husband can't afford to lose much, at all. So clearly that wasn't our drive for doing it. If I hear that we're on a "fad diet" one more time, I'll scream.  I don't mess around with stuff when I commit, and I know how to mesh things into my lifestyle pretty well. Our drive is health. My husband has a serious fire inside to be healthy, having a dad who struggled much of his life with health, and passed away in his 60's. He wants to do everything in his power to be around for his family, and I love that about him. I want that, too, and selfishly, I'd like to see the results of my workouts eventually and not be covered in a layer of bloat. Not to mention, what ARE some of those ingredients we've been putting into our mouths for so long?? yuck.

'Cuz really.

So what exactly have we been doing? 

We've been eating a paleo-type diet. I'm not even fully sure how to say it. We're paleo? Eating paleo? Whatever. I don't care about terms. 

Broken down, here it is.

We're eating fresh foods where we know where they've been. We basically only shop in the produce section and meat section of the grocery store. Of course we munch on almonds and eat almond butter as a treat on our apples and such. We eat fish, meats, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, healthy oils like coconut & olive oil (used for cooking). We don't eat grains/wheats (so bye-bye bread & pastas--all kinds), or dairy, and of course, no sugar, and no legumes (beans/peanuts/etc). The drinks we do have are water and coffee. Coffee is a necessity of life and there's debate on whether it's paleo or not from what I read. I could care less, I'm still drinking coffee. With coconut milk creamer which is actually delicious (to me). 

What I've learned is that everyone who adopts this lifestyles has their exceptions. They have to make it fit their life. It's not about calling people out and saying, "THAT'S NOT PALEO" on their instagram and being douchey like that. If Declan wants a beer on the weekend when he's watching football, then so be it. If I decide to eat a small piece of cake at a birthday party, so be it. Those are considered treats. And paleo is not against a treat here and there. Plus, you have to make this lifestyle work for you. Control the situations when you can. When you're in a situation where you have little to no choice, make the best choice. I am not about religious stuff. So do what works for you.

So for us, overall, we're pretty strict, I'd say. There's a few things we fudge on, and I'm ok with that. Because our overall lifestyle is healthy and full of good changes. Huuuuge changes from where we were. I might still use a tad bit of butter here and there (rarely). I might splash a little kefir in my smoothie for the probiotic factor. I will let myself have a piece of dark chocolate when I need it. I will not be a crazy-face. I get PMS, people. A woman needs a piece of chocolate sometimes, amiright?

Obviously I have no street cred. Living a 'lifestyle' change only a little over a week is nothing to shout to the rooftops. I know that. Everyone knows that. I'm not claiming to know a ton, and I'm not hopping on some bandwagon. Besides, I'd rather hop on a more fun bandwagon if there was one. You know, like, eating-popcorn-and-chocolate-chips if there were such a thing.
I will say, though, I feel better. I feel great, actually. In fact, I'm not sure I realized how crappy I felt until I started feeling really good. The first week brings some weight loss, of course, because this is kind of drastic and your body's all whicka-whattttt are you doing, fool? But I'm told that will level out. Especially because I do muscle-building stuff. I don't care about the scale. 

What I'm realizing is, it was fairly easy to lose the weight. To cut calories and count weight watcher points (been there!) and it totally, completely helped me lose nearly 50lbs. I'd never discount calorie counting or programs like weight watchers to jump start your weight loss and take you far. Food portion control was everything back then for me and it taught me a ton. The problem (for me) was that I could still choose a whole lot of crap calories over good calories. So, a bag of chips instead of fueling food--food that's actually good for my insides. I could be thin, fine. But I have a new desire to be FIT. I really, truly want to look fit, be lean, let my workouts show, and I will--I'm getting there.

Do people have opinions about this lifestyle? Heck yes they do. Do I care? Not really. I've adopted the water on a duck mentality. You gotta let it roll off. People will say you're looking skinny (why does that word sense shivers down my spine?), when really, you know you're actually healthy & fit. You know you're consuming plenty of food, tons of delicious, good-for-you-stuff, actually. Everyone has to roll with their own food-convictions. Their own choices. This is ours.

 So far it's going super. 


Besides, does any of this delicious food make it look like we're suffering? I've never eaten better. (just a sampling of some random iphone food pics I've snapped this week)


1. favorite snack, idea credit goes to Jess. Cut up strawberries, bananas, some paleo trail mix (just a nut mix, find it on her blog), and a sprinkle of cinnamon. SO GOOD.

2. tuna mixed with homemade mayo, avocado, bacon on lettuce wraps.

3. my favorite SIMPLE lunch. we keep grilled chicken on hand, a fresh tomato, and shocker, more avocado. yum. salt & pepper on top, of course.

4. grilled chicken & avocado salad (can add bacon & hardboiled eggs even for a cobb-like-feel)

5. declan takes these for work--almond flour crusted chicken fingers (fried in coconut oil). they are soooo good. 

6. a fiesta-taco-like salad. This had steak & chicken,  a ton of guacamole, and fresh-tomato salsa.

7. breakfast. eggssss! add fun stuff on top or inside to hearty-it-up!

8. sauteed shrimp, zucchini, and homemade sweet potato fries---delicious!

9. we've been to at LEAST 4 events where food was out of our control in the last 9 days alone. When asked to bring a side dish, we always offer to bring something that WE CAN EAT. Selfish, maybe? So this is a raw veggie tray we brought to his Gram's 80th party this past weekend. At the labor day picnic, we brought a big, huge, green salad. see? no big deal.


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(For those wondering, my kids are still eating pretty normally--still consume whole wheat bread, and dairy, but they eat mostly the same dinners as us since it's some kind of meat and vegetable, and it's delicious. We're making small switches in things over a gradual period of time for them. For instance, almond butter instead of peanut butter, etc. Switching out some of the crappy, processed snacks for better options.)


*****OMG I am an idiot. I deleted (all)(most) the comments on this post COMPLETELY on accident so if you see yours deleted it's just my own dumb fault. *sob* ******