Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Home Matters: Progress

One of the reasons I wanted to post BEFORE house pics was that I knew, and hoped, and knew, and hoped, that once the paint was on the walls, cabinets, trim and doors, that my memory of the colors that were there would fade.... fast......... hopefully.

It's been a week and those finishes. Those colors. They are a fading memory. Hallelujah!

Here's where we are  - a week from our move in - with plenty of activity going on! Forgive these photos - the lighting is pretty bad!

PAINT! Glorious Paint:

Master Bedroom / Fireplace - SW Contented / SW Black Fox. The wall color is in fact the same despite how different it looks.

Living Room Accent Wall - SW Bamboo & BM Edgecomb Gray. Wainscott in the dining room yet to be done - will be painted SW Distance.  (Straight visual from front door)

Girls Bedrooms - SW White Dogwood. Lots of DE Whisper doors!

KITCHEN - Getting put back together. Cabinets - SW Dovetail. Beveled subway mesh backsplash. Walls not yet painted - BM Edgecomb Gray. Grout will be white when done. New frosted white glass pendant shades with stickers still on lol! Hardware! WOOT!

Hall Bathroom - Vanity top just got installed - Vanity painted - walls, trim, tiling yet to be done. I just picked up more accent tile. We're going to see a lot of changes in this room in the next couple days!!

Now add light fixtures and all our homey wonderful stuff and smiling happy laughing kids and it'll be a dream!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

AFTER (again)

One of my most popular blog entries is the AFTER photo shoot from 2011. It isn't a narrative, just pics after my year long journey to lose 100 lbs.

You can see it here.

When I posed for those pics in August 2011, it was after a year of hard work, daily diligence and perseverance. I had logged it all and most of it on this blog- calories, pounds and miles.

And well, here I am now.

Scurrying out the door to get the kids yesterday. Grabbed a jacket - and sort of chuckled when I grabbed this blue one... cause well, there was no way I could fit in it:

And yet.....
The same jacket I sported in some of those 2011 AFTER pics. In some ways I don't feel that I've earned this body yet. I haven't toiled. I haven't cried. I just followed directions and sort of melted away.

And arrived here:

About 18 pounds off my 2011 goal weight.
Beginning only now to log miles
feeling accomplishment but also shock
wondering if all this outward change does anything inward..

And so the days continue and so do the choices. Choices to be destructive or constructive. Choices to be gluttonous or healthy. Choices that little ladies watch and learn from. Choices....

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Home Matters: Before Pics

If you've been keeping up with my stress levels  - that I've been documenting ad nauseum on here for the past couple of months, you know that we've bought a house, and now we are understaking what is - for us - a big renovation. Hubs & I have done some projects in our prior houses, but those were in our time and without kids and maybe just didn't live up to this project in the stress department. So - what are we doing you ask? Well, let me tell you... 

The house we bought is lovely. It is big house for the neighborhood and has a room for each Lewis lady and then some. Over 2800 sq. ft of Phoenix ranch custom built in the mid-1980's. The house has had updates over the years and was well loved by the prior owner. The bones are good. What we are undertaking is largely cosmetic.... here are the rooms that will see the most transformation. 

Paint - Everything! Ceilings, walls, cabinets, doors, trim.... 

We went with Sherwin Williams Livable Lux palette. I literally blitzed thru the house before my last business trip and put color chips on walls - all from this palette! Little did I know (until I just did a Google search on this) that our choices were the colors used in the 2014 HGTV Dream Home. Well, look how trendy I am! We have deviated somewhat and are using a Benjamin Moore gray as our "field" color (isn't that a super cool term I learned from my new favorite friend of my husband who is an interior decorating and affirmed my choices in haste!) We are also using Dunn-Edwards Whisper as our trim color: 

Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray

Sherwin Williams Livable Luxe Palette (has since been updated but these are the colors I am using):

Of the palette, we are using:
Dovetail: Kitchen / Bath Vanity Cabinets
Silvermist: Living Room / Hall Bathroom
Contented: Master Bedroom / Office Bathroom
Serious Gray: Master Bathroom
Bamboo Shoot: Formal Sitting Room Accent Wall / Pocket Door to Laundry Room
Distance: Painted Wainscott in the Dining Room / Interior walls in Laundry Room
Black Fox: Stucco Fireplace Wall in Master Bedroom
Edgecomb Gray: Interior walls not accent / Formal Sitting, Upper Dining Room, Eat in Kitchen, Office. 

And for my 3 little girl rooms: 
Sherwin Williams: White Dogwood
(cause, well, pink....)

So, with that in mind, here are the BEFORE pics:

The Kitchen / Eat In: 

These are the kitchen cabinets we are paining Dovetail. Stepped half wall removed. All trim will be white. We are using a small white beveled subway tile on the backsplash. The eat in area cabinets are being painted trim color. We've removed a half wall in the eat in space. We're replacing all the light fixtures. New white glass replacement pendant shades will go on 4 pendants over the two tiered corian counter top bar.

The Girls / Hall Bathroom:;

I am, sadly, not keeping the lovely basket of flowers on the existing bathroom tile!

The shower is getting demolished as we speak, and we are re-tiling the surround in a glossy white 3x6 subway tile with white grout (something like the pic below). We are framing in some shower nooks in the seat area in the middle picture. We are re-surfacing the steel tub to be white rather than ivory. We are keeping the bronze fixtures. We are using an accent tile Lucente Luzzaro Linear by Emser Tile seen here - but we don't have much of it as I scored a deal of 3 sheets for $5 each (retail is $25 a piece!).

The hall bath has a 9ft long double sink vanity that we are painting SW Dovetail. My contractor scored a deal on white carrera marble for our vanity top with undermount rectangle sinks. The bronze fixtures, mirros and light fixtures are staying. The white subway tiles will run as the backsplash on the walls, the walls will be painted SW Silvermist. Medicine cabinets will be painted trim color. 

I imagine the the finished product will look something like this maybe? Hopefully? God willing?

(This pic for tile over vanity)          (This pic for paint and marble top)

What else? Oh well, light fixtures galore! White fans in the kids rooms, Yosemite Home Decor rod iron chandelier in the dining room, Pratt Street Pendant in the eat in area. All interior doors are being painted white - nor more mid-80's dark oak! I'm kinda losing my mind about it all if you haven't notice - I can't wait for the after pics! Stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


I've been eating actual real food now for about... 10 days. The switch from the Very Low Calorie Diet to the Low Calorie Diet has been a welcome but anxious shift. Decisions, decisions. What do I eat? I am acutely aware of my cravings now - in a stronger way that I was before. The carbs - the non-food pantry stuff - the stuff my kids shove in their mouths without a thought - it is just there and I want to shove it in my mouth too.

But I don't.

I have been working my way thru a Costco sized box of baby spinach. Each day adding some hard boiled egg, grilled chicken, cucumber, grilled asparagus or other veg with 2 tbsp of lite or homemade dressing. Small portions. Real food. I can feel my body respond with every fiber screaming - FEED ME- and my gut holding on to whatever crosses my lips.

It's an adjustment.

Not seeing the scale move half a pound a day.

It's a little sad.

The scale is still moving just not like before. I've been okay so far, keeping the calories below 1600 a day. Being active. I am trying to exercise off the stress rather than eat my way thru it. It is kinda working.

But the stress is getting to me. There are a lot of balls I am juggling right now - we - our family is juggling right now. Our new house has been disassembled and is being put back together again. It's like an operation - and it feels like it. The prior state wasn't bad - it was just old - and after we take it apart and put it back together again, it should be good as new, but it is just intense and stressful. I am not the surgeon, all I can do is wait it out and hope for the best. I am surprised how vulnerable I feel in the process. How out of control. How stressed. I have faith - I have to. I don't really have a choice at this point.

Like my own personal weight loss journey, the house is undergoing a transformation. While the outside may change - the inside - the heart - may it stay the same, may it thrive, may it find peace. There seems to be some much change going on that I have to find constancy where I can. The body, it is just the wrapping for what is going on inside my heart. The house, the paint, the trim, it is only a stage for the real work - the rearing our our girls - the love of our family & God - the home for our memories - to be acted out. THAT is the big picture. That is the real deal. THAT is where I've got to keep my focus. The minutiae - need not derail me or stress me - if I know where to keep my focus. 

Mary & Martha - As for Me & My House

Weight Lost to date: 62.5 lbs
Weight to next goal: 8.5lbs

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Goodbye New Direction VLCD and Hello Salad

It's official. I have completed my 12 weeks of weight loss boot camp. My doctor appointment confirmed what I already knew:

I have achieved my initial goal. I lost a total of 58lbs, I halved my total cholesterol, my blood pressure is 104/62 and my resting pulse is in the 60s. Hello Onederland!

A Before and After. 

Now the real work begins. Life. Imperfect life. And Eddy, making choices again. 

I will continue to eat two meal replacements a day. I think the breakast shake made with cold coffee will become a staple and I happen to like the chili doctored with jalepenos and hot sauce so that might be a lunch or dinner option...

and then, after that. I have choices to make. Dreaded choices.

4-6 oz of protein and a vegetable
and some portion of fat...

and a healthy snack.

It is all so overwhelming. I haven't had to THINK about what to put in my mouth since June 1. Now I need to structure myself into 1200 - 1400 calorie days.

The Dr. says this will get my metabolism going again. Maybe we'll do another round of shakes after 6 weeks... I'm 25 lbs off my skinniest adult weight which involved me running 5 miles a day to reach.I think another 15lbs would be amazing and sustainable. Beyond that is like the great abyss and I'm sort of afraid.

Imagine my liberation today at lunch. The family stopped at Subway to grab a sandwich. I couldn't believe it - I could eat lunch! I had a salad with entirely spinach - peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, pickles, olives and chicken breast. Added salt & pepper with heavy vinegar and a dash of olive oil. Chopped up.  It tasted divine. And I was full.  It was a good choice and a good feeling.