Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Time to climb back on the....

horse? bandwagon?..

Sometimes the first step is the hardest.

Today, for me, it's the scale.

I've stayed active but umm, the food? Not so good. Since Thanksgiving I've lost my willpower. Sweets, nights out, glasses of wine, more sweets. Baking..

Time to regroup. I know, Jan is coming. Why now? Well, as I careen between binging and guilt, I've been all sorts of zen about the scale. But the pants are tight, I'm not happy with how I feel. The carbs have me so jazzed up that sleeping isn't peaceful...

Time to face reality in the form of a number.

I knew (deep down) what the number was that would pop back after a ten second delay. I'm ok with where I am. It has been FAR worse. But, it is still a number that I had hoped I had passed for good, never to return. But I'm okay. I know how to do this. I know that a number does not define me. I know that even at this number I'm okay. I can still run 5 miles at a clip and I'm not the overweight fearful person that I once was...

But it's time to reign it in.

Getting back on the horse.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Dear Republican Party.. or Dear Democrats....

Dear Republican Party: 

Or Dear Democrats: 

Or Dear Friends, Neighbors, Acquaintances.... 

I don't know who I need to address this to, but I need to get it off my chest. 

I am white. I am educated. I am a mom. I am upper middle class.  I am the vote that wasn't supposed to be for Trump. I wasn't, until about 10 days ago... but that's another post. 

In the end, I was not with Her. I do not endorse his behavior or his language, or his past sexual encounters, or his business dealings. I voted based on my hope that Trump would surround himself with people that would guide him to return to the constitutional principles that the country was founded upon. It was a hope. Nothing more. I voted based on my long held political philosophy that liberty, freedom and speech are all more secure the less government is involved. I voted for the Supreme Court, the hope of tax reform, the economy. I voted to repeal and replace Obamacare. 

It's embarrassing that this morning I feel compelled to say: I am not a bigot. I am not a racist. I do not hate. Be very careful friends that you assume that because we voted for a party that we are those things. You generalize in a way that does your intellect no credit. I believe each of you is an individual who determined his or her vote based on thoughtful consideration. Please think the same of me. Your discourse only divides us further. 

Republican Party hear this: 

You must fix this. You have control of Congress and the Executive Branch. 
You must now be a solution, not a problem. 
You must have servant hearts. You must lead by example. 
Give back, engage in the community, prove to those that don't believe it that we can do more with less. 
You must be peacekeepers. You must shake hands. 
You must not squander this opportunity to correct the course of the country. 

If you do these things, you might regain my trust, but don't think you have a blank check just cause my ballot was cast for you. 

My world is full of dear friends with whom I disagree. After Obama won, one of you commented that I was your "favorite conservative". At the time, I posted something to the effect of, we are all Americans, and I congratulated Obama on his historic win. Today, we are still Americans and no vote can tear apart the fabric of the country that celebrates diversity, individuality, liberty, and religious freedom like ours - unless you let it. Please don't. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Gosh the weight loss thing is such a journey, isn't it? Deciding to do it, doing it, succeeding, then celebrating your success and finding yourself back in the beginning. There are studies ( I won't cite them cause whatever) that show that losing weight isn't that hard - but maintaining it is the struggle. There is actually an inertia in a heavier persons body that wants to reset the body to the weight it once was -- that an overweight person has to battle harder, day in and day out, to weigh less than a person that was always thinner and never battled the bulge (of the tummy). Seriously depressing, right?

Just like those brave men in WWII, we need the right strategy and tools to fight our battle. As you know, my main tool over the past two years has been the New Direction Diet and the support I found at Arizona Health & Wellness. I'm so grateful for the hope and encouragement I received there - and I'm not done. I rely daily on what I've learned there.

But I need a new thing. I've been spinning my wheels thru the dreadful Arizona summer. Gyming it - and managing to keep most of the weight at bay, even while my diet slipped. A little this day. A little that day.. till the only constant success I was having was my daily shake for breakfast and my working out. I've been down this road before... the road where I let myself eat whatever cause heck, I'm working out, right? It's all about diet Eddy. Always was, always is.

So, it's time to address this - and with a new strategy and a new tool. I am competitive by nature. With myself and with others. I need something different and new and shiny - the running and the kettlebells, they are only getting me so far. Hubs back surgery exacerbated my situation - and brought into focus his need to change his ways as well. He has liked Tony Horton, so it only made sense to look at Beachbody. Unwilling to commit to a single program, we signed up for their On Demand service which gives us access to a whole host of programs.

In October, I completed a 21 day Yoga Retreat on top of my gym/running workouts. I was surprised by the yoga and have continued doing it beyond the 21 days. It relaxed and strengthened my body in a wonderful way.  But it's November. Time to kick it up a notch. I unlocked a new MMA style workout - Core de Force.

I have a hunch this one is going to kick me into gear. But more than the workouts, I really need to reset my food intake. I took my measurements today, got back on the scale, took stock of where I am and more resigned than ever to get these 10 lbs that crept on, back off again. I have every intention of being a knock out in that LBD at the Christmas Party in December.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

An Ode to the One who Kicked my Arse

I've been on a little hiatus. Silence on this blog probably means one thing: I'm not focused. In this case, I haven't been focused on me. It is, as I have said before, a tad bit selfish to be constantly talking about ME ME ME and my WEIGHT WEIGHT WEIGHT... and all the stuff that comes with that, time, money, food, gadgets. Don't get me wrong, it is for a good cause. I think the investment is worth my health... but sometimes... life gives you.... well, something to deal with, other than you.

In this case, it was my dear Hubs. Hubs is a tall guy who used to work construction. He's a tall guy with a history of back injury. He's a tall guy whose left foot and calf have been numb from nerve damage for about 5 years. He's a guy who liked to tinker. He's a doer of the things.

On Labor Day, he over-tinkered. He tinkered himself into a massive ruptured disc at L5/S1. That big black blob towards the bottom? That's not supposed to be there... and it was hanging out in the nerve root. Pain. Lots and lots of pain.

So began a 2 week shuffle between the Mayo ER, new Drs., MRI facilities, epidural shots, various drug stores and a Hubs who could only find relief flat on his back - literally. During this, we went from normal to survival mode. With friends coming to help with kids, laundry and food.... and STRESS. Lots of STRESS. I'm not sure there is anything worse than seeing your loved one in pain and not knowing what or how to fix it.

One of the things that my New Direction Diet plan has focused on - and I really credit Amy Ingersoll at Arizona Health & Wellness is how to maintain your health when life happens. Cause let's face it, life happens. No time is perfect to diet. No time is perfect to start an exercise plan. No day is perfect. You will be derailed. The question then is: how will I cope? Will I revert to my old habits or will I forge on with me new ones?

While my diet did suffer this month - I stress ate. I stress SUGARed myself. I may have enjoyed a glass of wine or two... but I continued to need to release my extra energy. I continued to workout. I gained weight, but I didn't lose myself. I have the tools now to handle the stress without entirely coming off the rails. And trust me, this month? I could have totally come off the rails. Now it is time to reign in, get control again. I need to sugar detox and refocus. I'm on my way.

I am happy to report that my Hubs underwent a lumbar discectomy last Monday. His nerve pain is essentially gone and every day he is closer to his happy self. He's not on the heavy pain meds anymore and although he's still recovering, I can see the light back in his eyes. September may have kicked his butt as well. I pray we can find a healthy way to deal with stress and well, middle-agedness (we're not getting any younger) together in a new way. One step at a time.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Pumpkin spice and all things nice...

Can you smell it? It's the anticipation of pumpkin spice.... kids are donning their best back to school ensambles...  teasing calendars are now reading ER months.. even here, in the Valley of the Sun, temps are topping out at 102, mornings you can almost sit outside without sweating..,

I'm beginning to get impatient. When's it going to be autumn already?! Pumpkins, leaves, cooler temps, football, pies, harvest, gatherings... Ah, it seems all too good to be true.

So, what's a girl to do? Cooped up in the gym since April.. Putting in my time but losing my stamina. Adding muscle mass but losing some of that air fresh invigoration. I miss that "I'm Alive!" feeling. Aching achilles, sore knee and quad... something so artificial about the treadmill that it just makes me shudder thinking about my stunted gaint and my artifical arm movements. The stairmill? Slightly better if not for the sheer monotony of it all.

New Shoes. I SOOOOO need new shoes!!!

Kicking off another year of runners club

Since I started running as a adult (well, let's be honest - running EVER, never ran as a kid) I was fitted for and wore thru several versions of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS. It was my first fav shoes, my half marathon training shoe. So last fall, as I contemplated shifting this weight loss machine into the next gear, I ordered from Amazon (mistake one), my old fav, a size 9B (mistake two) Brooks Adrenaline GTS. Upon receipt, I happily popped them out of the box to take out on the road. Hmmmmmm.... these don't feel the same. Huh. 4 Miles in and my toes are turning numb. Come to think of it, my toes seem to be entirely too cramped in this shoe. What happened to my old Brooks?!

But I kept on running. Annoyed and concerned, I picked up a pair of Asics on flash sale (horrible color!) and started to rotate these into my schedule. The Asics felt big and boaty. The Brooks felt cramped but at least I didn't get blisters. What a mess. I've always had difficult feet. Very point heel bone (actually tore a hole the heel of the Asics shoe), very blister prone and the smell..,. whooo weee! Keepin it real!

A couple months ago, my mom had reason to go into the local specialty running store. I was along as an accomplice and the budget was tight. Out of curiosity, I had them size me into my favorite shoe. Turns out a 9.5 narrow would work. Imagine my chagrin when later internet searches indicate that 9.5 narrow only comes in one boring bland color.

Harumph. Eddy goes and purchases another cheap pair of shoes to rotate into her growing closet of craptastic running shoes. As an aside, can one ever really own too many running shoes?!

With my injuries becoming more nagging and the application of DoTERRA Deep Blue almost nightly, it was time to face facts. This wasn't working. That lovely autumn itch... that has me wanting to ditch my gym bag and literally run for the hills pushed me over the edge. More research, more wondering. Try a different running store. Splurged on new kicks. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16. I swear, I tried on a Saucony, and an Asics. Even an Adidas. Nothing hugged my heel like the Brooks.... I usually go for purple, so I'm turning over a new turquoise leaf...

And man did I want to buy trail shoes too! Brooks Cascadia, you will be mine before the daily highs dip into the 70s (good thing that gives me until November at least). Now, these shoes aren't made for walking... and Brooks, if you fail me now, I've got a pair of Saucony Guide 9 that fit almost as well on my short list!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Gear Review: TomTom Spark Cardio + Music

Momma got herself a new watch! I scored with an Amazon Warehouse Deal, picked this baby up for less than half off the price from TomTom directly. My fitbit died recently, literally the button you push to see your stats ceased to exist and with it, the entire back of the watch was no longer held in place. Bye Bye Fitbit. Turns out, I'm hard on my stuff. Like really hard. Like I really should have spent the $130 on some new Brooks Adrenalines, but alas, they will have to wait until the trails are really happening... right now they're just happening in my mind while I slog away on the dreadmill.... ah, summer in the desert. But I digress. I'm hard on stuff. Things don't last. Let's just leave it at that.

So, welcome TomTom. I don't know how I'll use you or when, but I'm hoping you'll fill the vacancy on my left wrist for a while. Long enough so I can use you inside the gym, and on the trail, time to organize my playlists, watch my heart rates and track my calorie burn. Long enough to motivate me into the true running season here in Arizona, enough for me to keep on keepin on.... run without my mongo huge phone strapped on some random part of my body? Yes please. And yes, I run with music. You're not going to change my mind on that front. End of discussion.

What this watch does:
- Tracks heart rate, calorie burn, sleep, activity, by day and week.
- Tracks activities:
    - Outdoor runs, outdoor cycling, and swimming.
    - Indoor treadmills, indoor cycling, gym workouts, and "freestyle"
    - There is a stopwatch function and the ability to set up interval training.
- Plays Music. This watch holds music - up to 500 songs. The songs have to be in a playlist form. So, plan your playlists ahead.

I'm now a week into wearing the TomTom. I've tried her out in the gym on the treadmill setting and the gym setting. I've loaded my old Apple playlists (wow, I need some new music!), and synced a pair of bluetooth headphones. Hello wire-free world! I think I'm gonna like you. A couple of thoughts thus far... I can't chalk these up to actual faults with the watch yet because there are probably answers to my issues, I just haven't found them yet:

1. On first charge, it took this blonde a while to figure out how to actual plug the phone into the charging cord. I had to pop the watch face out, then clip the body of the watch into the little handle of the USB cord. Ok, no biggie. But then, how the heck do you disconnect this thing? I actually had to google it - give it a hard downward pull- voila. Watch separated from cord. These seems a bit un-user-friendly but I can deal.
2. Prepare to scroll. This isn't a touch screen watch, so your big main button will be your friend.  The button seems to need a good push too. None of this whimpy pushing like on an iphone... nope, you gotta punch this thing. I'm still figuring it all out but thus far....
3. I miss my running heart rate information ala Fitbit. The only time the heart rate is front and center is when you are engaged in an "activity". Ie. you're working out. I was endless entertained by my HR on my Fitbit and so far, I miss it,
4. TomTom's My Sports web application is pretty terrible. Despite bluetooth connectivity, it doesn't seem like my activities sync to the phone app and the web app is clunky and boring. Maybe I'll like it better when I've got more info or some GPS runs logged but so far, this is no GarminConnect or Fitbit.
5. And one last little annoyance... every time I charge the thing, the settings revert to military time. Not hard to change, but WHY?

My overall impression is that this watch - for the price - gives me an amazing range of functions and for runs where my clunky Android can stay home and I can still rock the tunes... I'm in. The TomTom Cardio Spark + Music is worth a try if you are looking to go wirefree!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Not Today

When you feel out of control it is probably time to stop.


After vacation... I was feeling out of control. I lost my schedule. I lost my sleep. I lost my diet. Now granted, that is sort of the point on vacation. Indulge. Live (a little). Do a new thing. Treat yourself. You've worked hard. You've earned it, right?

 The Littlest happy at the pool

 Me, slightly less happy, at the hotel gym
Me and Hubs in the Dust storm

Maybe that's the problem. I think I've earned it more often than not. So coming home, feeling out of control, marveling at how I was so strong last year - so much will power when I was doing the New Direction Very Low Calorie Diet (VLCD). 16 weeks of nothing but shakes and meal replacements. Who WAS that girl? And now I can't even seem to get thru lunch before my cravings get the better of me.


Time to prove to myself that I still had it. I could overcome these cravings. Defeat the desire. Quash the binge. You get my point.

I did 4 days of shakes last week. I started Monday morning with the highest number I had seen in over a year (it wasn't terrible in the grand scheme of things but not a number I want to start seeing all the time). By Thurs morning I was down 8 lbs and feeling MUCH MUCH MUCH better. I did sort of hit a wall since I continued to work out at a pretty strenuous level and by Thursday lunch needed (there is a difference between need and want and if you haven't felt that difference ever, you've never truly been hungry) to eat. So I did.

But I faced my demons and I've still got it. Sometimes that is all you need to do to reboot. Look straight in the mirror and know, I've still got this. In the wise words of Syrio Forel of Game of Thrones:

Nope. Not Today. Today I may not make the best choices but I will make better choices than I used to make. This, this is a new thing I am doing.
Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

2006 vs 2016

Ten years ago I was 29. You'd think this would be been a stellar year for my young adult self. It was a great year in terms of being a newlywed, being young, being in love...

Being trapped in my body. That's what I felt, trapped. I didn't feel that my body allowed me to do the things I wanted to do. I distinctly remember shopping for this Disney trip. Nothing fit. Nothing I wanted to wear was even remotely close to working out. Even shoes were a problem. The skin on my heels were literally cracked from the weight I was carrying. Walking around Epcot was slow and tortuous, even as we assumed what my Hubs likes to call "Disney speed".

I came across this album as I unpacked some things in our new house last week. I don't have a lot of BEFORE photos. My big girl photos usually involved me hiding behind something - a person - or just cropping my body out entirely. Who needs to see THAT? But these two pics... these are gems in the BEFORE world:

Needless to say. I was a big girl. I ate. I just ate whatever whenever. There was no effort to restrict my behavior at all. Part of it was as a result of quitting smoking (yes, dear readers, yours truly might have an addictive personality - ESTP anyone?), and replacing that habit with food.

But what was I getting at? Why wasn't I able to control myself? This and other questions swirled in my head this week as I lamented this BEFORE pic and bantered with my New Direction Diet support group at Arizona Health & Wellness about addiction generally and food addiction specifically. Yep. I have an addictive trait in my personality. I can see the pattern  - when I phase out one crutch... cigarettes, food... other anxiety activities sneak back in... the evening glass of wine, my chewed up finger nails.

For me, the thing that keeps me sane.... keeps me under some control is to harness the nervous / anxious energies into exercise. Some days I'm better than others. But if I've worked out, I seem to have a better sense of calm to my day. Which leads to the 2016 AFTER pics. I'm not one for full body selfies (how the heck do people take these gracefully?) but really, it was time.... I mean, 39 is the new 29, right?!

XJL is photobombing this selfie this morning, she asks me: "Mommy, why are you taking a picture of yourself?" and I said, "Well, Mommy has some friends that have supported me while I was on my diet, and they want to see how I am doing." Apparently that was satisfactory. I don't want my kids to worry about what they look like. I want them to be healthy, active and joyful. The best way I can make that happen is be healthy, active and joyful myself. And maintain my sanity, which apparently involves a lot of planks and kettlebells.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Until further notice: Celebrate Everything

I put a new cover photo up on my personal Facebook page today. It is a saying I also have above my kitchen sink:

Until Further Notice: Celebrate Everything

This saying really jumped out at me this morning as I had, in my own mind, every reason to start to get very downward spirally --- like - you know, that moment when you realize your going to be spouse-less next week with the kids due to spouses business travel, and missing the spouse for possibly a week out of each of the upcoming 4 months... and that fellowship you're hosting on Sunday afternoon in 105 degree desert heat when your ice maker is lacking and your floor is covered with juice box straw wrappers and crumbs from Smart Food and graham crackers. Little girl underwear are donning the floor in most of the rooms you enter and your husbands wrinkled shirts are forgotten in the dyer.... you know, that kind of thing. ... every reason to be downward spirally.

So, yeah.... Celebrate. That's what I've decided to do.

In other meaningless randomness, I happened upon a video today on Facebook. One of the fitness sites posted it. It was an interview with a gal who had lost 100lbs, and she talks about how, even after she lost the weight, she was still the same in that she thought she couldn't do stuff. It wasn't until she allowed herself to try... allowed herself to accept herself... that she was able to celebrate her body and all its strength and in her words, worth.

Celebrate your body. 

I've certainly been careening between pride in my bodily accomplishments and realism in that, well... it's just my body. But my body allows me to experience this life, in all of it's glory, and I feel so much stronger, so much healthier, so much more Eddy now that I am not afraid. Afraid of not fitting.. afraid of the muffin top... afraid of the huffing and puffing.. afraid of what I can't do.

Celebrate that you can. 

My cleanse went well. I'm done with it of course, and I wish I could say I've been good since. I haven't. Last week was tough. The kids were home during the first week of school which kept me from the gym. I picked up the kettlebell and made myself sore with that. I was having cardio withdrawal by Saturday and rode my bike to the gym early - it was closed. Go figure.

Celebrate good intentions.

This week is going better. I've gotten to the gym and gotten my cardio fix for the past 3 days. Running, stepping, rowing. Planking, squatting, lifting. I still sporting my momma belly but it's smaller and overall I feel pretty darn strong these days.

Celebrate strength. 

But it is in my weakness that I realize that I am just human, doing my human thing. We all fall down. We all fail. We all lift ourselves back up and keep on keepin on. There is no person that can deliver us from all the crumbs and wrinkled shirts and worse... God's strength is made perfect in weakness. He is the only one who can deliver us from this life.

Celebrate Him. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


It's the season for business of life. Not the fun business, the businessy business. Like.. dentist yesterday, jury duty tomorrow.. that kind of business. Oh, and tomorrow I get to take my 29 month old for her 2 year well baby visit that I, umm.... never scheduled until now. Did I mention I hadn't been to a dentist in Arizona before? Yeah, that....
So, the business. I get the feeling, just with that intro, that you, my fair readers, might get a glimpse of the little bit of delinquency in my life.

It had also been a while since I had an appointment with my "Diet Dr." at Arizona Health & Wellness when I showed up last week. Overdue might be the word. I've been pretty faithful in my weekly group meeting attendance, making probably 2 times a month. But faithful in my adherence to the LCD (low calorie diet)? Let's put that in the not-so-much category. I've been faithful in exercise, faithful with my morning shake, but come 3pm my willpower and cravings and mommy survival mode kicks in and good food choices go out the window. 

Let's face it ladies, sometimes life is survival mode. But every day can't be survival mode! My Hubs mentioned something to me this morning... something about finding purpose in our everyday lives and how we shouldn't just live to die another day... that our days should be more. But I digress, my diet days... well, they certainly could be less. Less sugar, less carbs, less wine.

On my drive to the "Diet Dr." I went thru an internal assessment about where I am. Hmmm. Coming up on my one year anniversary of the VLCD New Direction Diet, how am I feeling? In all honesty, the euphoria of losing the weight is gone. I've gotten out of the habit of even trying to replace two meals a day with shakes or New Direction food. I haven't bought new clothes in a while. My measurements are the same. The scale fluctuates a couple pounds up over the weekend, and back down by Friday.  My running is on the "dreadmill". Sum total, I feel kinda blah. 

                              Blah like a selfie after the gym with an air conditioning vent. Lovely. 

Part of me wanted to declare a new amazing goal - Diet Dr. had previously mentioned losing another 20 lbs. My best high school friend is getting married in September - how about I try to lose 20lbs before that?! How about I go back on shakes? How about I do something? Anything? I just need to break my current mold...

But Diet Dr. in all her wisdom saw, what I know in my heart -  this is the new norm. My body, I told her, is pretty happy at this weight. I work out hard on most days. I chalk up some impressive numbers on the FitBit. All said and done, I can still nibble a bite of a chocolate chip cookie and enjoy a glass of cab and maintain... I just can't eat cookies and drink wine all the time.

Diet Dr. gave me a calendar, she said, two grades for each day. A color for nutrition - green, yellow, red. A color for exercise - green or  red. Mark each day, when you see a string of reds in a row, it's time to do better. I know that feeling. The yuck. The stomach is full. The carbs have settled in. One week into my new visual calendar on the fridge and I could see why I was feeling pretty blah. Lots of yellow, a couple red. Blah.

So, we cleanse. This isn't a traditional cleanse. It's a New Direction Diet reset if you will. I need a couple of green days. I need to prove to myself that I can control my cravings. I have willpower. I am strong. I may be up a couple pounds but I am not up 75 pounds! I need to get over my little mental blahs.  The Diet Dr. gave me this idea so I feel vindicated. A couple of days on shakes does the body good.

Cleanse Day 1 - Yesterday
How it went:
Breakfast - Coffee w/ drop of stevia
      New Direction Chocolate Shake made with ice coffee
Workout - 3 Miles on Dreadmill

Lunch - 2 X New Direction Peanut Butter Bars
Snacks - Lemon Luna Bar
                  Raw Almonds (24)
        Pure Protein Bar
Dinner - New Direction Chocolate Shake
Water - LOTS more than usual
Total Calories in: 1,262 Total Calories Out: 3,194

The scale showed a nice dip this morning, but that feels mostly like inflammation. Time will tell. 

Cleanse Day 2 - So Far
Breakfast - Coffee w/ drop of stevia
      New Direction Chocolate Shake made with ice coffee
Workout - 20 Mins Stairmaster w/ some Kettlebell
Lunch - New Direction Chilli w/ Jalepenos

 Snacks - Apples w/ Peanut Butter
Water - Lots and some with lemon juice.

This isn't about the weight. This is a resetting - a grounding if you will. I've been out past my curfew (so to speak), and this is a little bit of discipline for the body and the soul. Hubs reminded me last night that I wasn't fasting and as I complained about my stomach growling, he also noted that when I was doing shakes before I wasn't training like I am now. So, I ate that Pure Protein bar. I don't want to be dumb about this, I just have something to prove... to myself.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A 5 Egg Day

So, I wasn't truly diligent in my chicken blogging... As of May, here is where we find ourselves.

Our little girls hatched on November 2, 2015. We raised them up in a cardboard box in our garage and shortly after the first of the year we moved them into the big girl coop.

Spring sprang here in Phoenix and with it so did the crowing of our favorite "hen" Penny. Showing her true colors as a, well... more of a Pat than a Penny, we waited it out a couple of weeks to make sure that the crowing wasn't an aberration.

Penny, er, Pat started crowing in earnest towards the end of March. Within hours of putting up the Craigslist ad, off Penny went to a new home. We miss him/her but our little backyard flock wasn't designed to have a rooster.

The first week of April, Cookie, one of our Buff Orpingtons graced us with our first egg. Here's Cookie and I taking a celebratory chicken-selfie.

Then our second Buff Orpington, Zoe, came on line about 10 days later.

Then Red, our larger Welsummer showed us her first spotted offering, a lovely dark speckled egg pictured left.

Then Charlie, the smaller Welsummer sang us a super loud and energetic "Egg Song" and before we knew it, we had two nice dark speckled eggs in our nesting boxes.

Last week we had our first 4 egg day. WOOT!!

I figured it might be a while before we saw a 5 egg day, but our nutty Ameracauna, Lucy, gave us our first green egg over the weekend - and lo and behold, all 5 hens laid an egg yesterday! A 5 egg day!! And I might just put up with Lucy's nuttiness for those gorgeous green/blue eggs she's giving us!

The hens will lay the most eggs their first year of laying. I've been happy to share half dozen here and there with teachers and friends - we've eaten quite a few, and I'm happy to have more arriving every day. Nothing better than farm fresh eggs. Now, how to combat those black flies.....

Sunday, April 17, 2016

You Can Learn to Surf

Can't stop. Won't stop. Just learn to surf. 

We went to church today.  We go most Sundays. Putting aside the most fundamental spiritual nourishment I get from attending, church serves a very human function for me as well. Fellowship. Child free time holding my husband's hand. Oh, and I get to dress up. Sorta. Kinda. For a gal who works from home, Sunday morning my old prep school dress code kicks in, and well, in my world, you just dress for church. It is what I've always done and what I continue to do. It's in my DNA. 

Each week it becomes a bit of a joy of mine, deciding what to wear on my new to me frame. I pulled my size 12 Ann Taylor navy ruched dress out of the closet on a number of Sundays, most times I don't wear it. Maybe I needed to do laundry, maybe I was feeling bold... but today I donned the dress that hides nary a bulge. It didn't. Hide a bulge that is. 

Several ladies complimented my glasses. 
These ones modeled by Miss P:

One lady pointed out that perhaps I had gotten too much sun. I had. I need to do a better job with SPF all around. Duly noted. 

One lovely lady (I say this cause she really is a wonderful lady and I know she had no idea how this would impact me) asked me if I was pregnant. Take a moment, let that sink in. 

The whole thing struck me as rather hilarious but it is lingering with me nonetheless. 

And in case you are wondering, no, I am not pregnant. That WOULD be a miracle. 

But the comment made me realize something.... we never really know where a person has come from. If I was a 120lbs this time last year and my current weight now, people would murmur about how I let myself go. The flip side is, of course, that despite my belly... a remnant of 30 years of abuse to my short torso frame, 4 abdominal surgeries including 3 babies, and a genetic propensity to carry my weight in my middle section (Hello Apple!), and my inability as of late to cut back on my wine consumption.... 80lbs lost can still leave a girl looking, well, pregnant. I wish I could blame the dress!

Words do matter and I am going to just tuck that little comment back in my brain. I'm going to visit it when I get cocky, like now, when I've allowed myself too much leeway... too many meals that have gone on the side of indulgence rather than prudence. To remember that there is no amount of running that forgives a two week binge... 

I am not going to make my goal of being 165lbs by the end of this month. It's okay. 

What I can't allow to happen is to let go of where I am... by allowing the wrong voices to control my thoughts. So while I will revisit that  pregnancy comment for motivation, I will not allow it to derail the work I've done and who I've become.... a gal who looks forward to her morning run, who has changed her outlook, taken control of her health. Along with that comes a hefty helping of grace for the small failings along the way. They are just moments, I'm in this for the long haul. 

Let's go surfing now!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Let's go outside!

Recovering from a week of birthday overdose! Cake! Champs! Spa! Friends and fun! And, happy day, the chickens gifted me our first egg!! That IS worth celebrating! So, I'm buckling down - feeling the sluggish metabolism of too many carbs and too much alcohol... but lovin life right now. Trail running, sun and fun. Can it get any better? I'm maintaining but need to get my carbs and sugar back under control (this may forever be my refrain).

 Phoenix Preserve from Cholla - 6 mile loop

 Lucy & Red free ranging under the lemon tree!

 Don't you just adore that Palo Verde? Running at the Dreamy Draw. 

 @ the Omni  - Montelucia  - Joya Spa

Our flock's first egg! Way to go girls!! 

Happy Birthday to Me! Family picnic selfie!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Sexy like meow

Man, my life is unsexy. The dishes... the laundry.. the dust... the dirt... the toenails! There is just something wholly unsexy about motherhood sometimes. Packing lunches, picking up dirty little girl underwear all over the house (am I alone in this? Do other people's children drop trou all over?), stinky socks, boxes of stuff that never got unpacked from moves ago... bare walls, piles of picture books, piles of wrapping paper, bills, recipes, a whole wing of the house that smells like a diaper pail, but I digress... where does all this stuff come from?!

I definitely suffer from a lack of organization. Even when I'm organized I operate in piles. I think I get this from my Dad. I remember going into the basement of the Physics Building at IUP (Indiana University of Pennsylvania for those non-PAers) as a child... it smelled medicinal, somewhere thru double fire doors, my father's windowless office was ensconced. If you found it - and you were lucky if you did - my father's office was full of piles. Piles of papers, piles of books, piled on desks, piles on bookcases, extra chairs had piles of things. Chalk ramblings of a mad scientist scribbled on black boards... and piles.

But Dad knew where stuff was. And heck, at the end of it, you just needed to move a pile to be hospitable. Today's syllabus and homework? This pile right here! Next years textbooks? That's the pile over there!

Hi. My name is a girl called Eddy. I have pile-itis. 
Grab a seat, oh, hold on, let me move that pile of stuff for you!

So after a week in our house, with our kids, our piles and our stress. What's a girl to do to make her feel better? To find some forgiveness for too many chocolate cookies and glasses of wine on spring break? Missing workouts and feeling bloated?! Stress over adult things like taxes and the kids summer plans...

Date nite, of course. And sexy selfies, cause man, 38 is still thirty-something and I got to find some love in there for moi... some remembrance of - this day too shall pass - and let's face it, even the makeup is in a pile so I might as well dig in and use some of it! I'll have time to deal with piles when I'm forty. Not particularly sexy but meow, this may be as good as 38 gets considering the clock ticks 39 in oh, like 2 weeks. Boo Hoo!

and the man who puts up with all my piles of ... well, you know what I mean:

Friday, March 11, 2016

Trails Trails!

A whole new world has opened up to me. Frankly, it's kind of embarassing really because this whole new world begins only about 1/2 mile up the road from my front door.

It's the Phoenix Mountain Preserve baby, and bam it happens to be right, umm, well, over there (she points).

Happy day to realize I live within easy walking distance to such a nice recreational outlet.

I'm a solo runner. I like to run alone. I like my music. My time. My pace. These happy runners chatting as they lope along... these people are anathema to me. Talk and run? Who does that. Huff. Puff. So, with that being said, I tend to stick to the same routes...

Thankfully, I had my brother to drag me out of my comfort zone and into this brave new world of running, off road. Turns out, my brother and I, while being 8 years apart, are for the first time (probably ever) about the same in our fitness levels. And heck, we're Eddy's... so we're a tad bit competitive... and he's a hiker. So, having been in town before, he said let's go.... and we went.

First near my house... for a 3 mile in and out... then the next day for a 6 mile run/walk... and a last minute slog up a long hill... and then into Dreamy Draw and another 4 miles with good elevation there, and well... I'm hooked.

The best part yet? Even the girls loved it!

Happy spring friends! Get out there and do something amazing!! Do what you love!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Let's face it, I'm a flatlander

A strange thing happened to me a couple years ago. Having just moved to Arizona, we decided to adventure out to Sedona. Speeding along, Hubs driving, me riding, kids crying.. you know, the norm. Let's take the scenic route.

Winding, rising, narrowing... along route 89A from Sedona to Flagstaff we went. Hair pin turns, RVs coming the opposite direction, Eddy feeling like she was going to fall off the road...

Hello Panic Attack.

It was unlike any feeling I've ever had before. I knew, in my rational brain, that we were fine. So why couldn't I breathe!?! I couldn't even look out across the mountains. I was having a full on meltdown and just wanted it to be over. Hubs realized I was losing it and told me to look down and breathe, don't freak out the girls. So I did. I also resigned myself to something that has plagued women in my family in their post childbearing years - fear of heights. I've never had a problem before, but over the past 5 years or so, there has been a new nagging fear there and I've avoided heights when possible. Motherhood, YAY!

I'm reconciled with it now. I've lived in the Midwest too long. Now I live pretty much at sea level. Honey, let's face it, I'm a flatlander.

That's why, when considering with new fitness activities to try climbing anything is pretty much at the bottom of the list. So, when a friend said, let's climb Squaw Peak, I was like, ummm, okay. Consider it a challenge. Consider it a bucket list thing that wasn't on my bucket list. Consider it another post weight loss to do... whatever... it didn't really occur to me that heights might be an issue. I texted my friend - "I don't like heights, am I going to be okay?"

So, we went. We climbed. The path is pretty much stone stairs, wide enough for traffic to go up and traffic to come down. The range of people doing this climb on President's Day was pretty astounding. All sorts of folks - fully outfitted - or just with a baby strapped to their chests, up and up they all went! All ages, all colors, all fitness levels.

About 2/3rds of the way up, I started to realize that getting down the mountain might be more of a challenge than getting up. We reached a good stopping place after a challenging section. It wasn't the heights so much - here, on my own two feet, I was in control. But as I saw the climb get steeper I knew that I didn't need to prove I could do it - that stopping here was good enough. I settled into some nice reflection and prayer and waited for my climbing friends to return from their trek to the summit. I actually enjoyed the view! 

I'm not going to become a mountain climbing warrior. That's just not my style. But I trust my fitness enough now to know I am capable and that's something. From the perspective of my cardiovascular fitness, I kept pace with my 20-something guides! I didn't feel in over my head, but maybe just a tad bit out of my element.

So I returned to my neighborhood jog - happy to be a flatlander. Feeling better for having challenged myself and happy to chase that shadow of a girl -  getting stronger every day. 

79 lbs lost. 12 to go by the end of April.
Switching it up! Running while it is still cool enough, gym, and pool when it's warm enough.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Lunch Time Meanderings

I'm sitting here, scarfing down some New Direction Vanilla Pudding and figured I'd share some of my challenges and successes as of late.

For what it's worth, the pudding is far less satisfactory than it was last July. I am trying ---  every day --- trying to get off the sugars, the carbs, the alcohol.. man, I sometimes wonder how I did this at all last year. I feel so weak to my cravings. I'm a rock star from 6am - 2pm and then BAM! Hello cravings. I feel like I could eat everything in the house. I am mentally beating myself up about it, every morning resolved to do better than the day before - and that goes for today as well. It is so hard not to feel down about it, but rather to face each day as a chance to do better....

But despite that challenge - I saw, just now, the lowest number on the scale during the current weight adventure. I can't say with certainty that I've broken thru my plateau, but I really WANT to get to 165lbs by the end of April and so, seeing that scale move is an encouragement in a way that I can't explain. I know my self worth isn't defined by a number. I know that. It still doesn't lessen how easily buoyed or deflated we are to see that number move....

So, I'm a data person, stick with me.... current vs. lost to date

Weight: 178.5lbs - total 77.5lbs lost
Waist: 33 inches - lost 21 inches total - OMG, that's almost 2 feet around of person.
Hips: 42 inches -  lost 11 inches total
Chest: 36 inches - lost 15 inches total
That's a total of 47 inches lost. Wrap your head around that one. I think I have a kid or two that aren't even that tall.

Size 12 from 22.
I'll spare you the sad state of my undergarments but let's just say, it's sort of embarrassing.

I am turning 39 this year. I am the mother of 3 girls, all delivered by C-section, all under age 8. I have an underlying heart condition and a family history of high cholesterol. I have a sugar addiction and struggle with binge eating. I have, probably a mild depressive tendency that makes me a little cyclical and self destructive. I (still) have a belly. Other jiggly bits that may never go away. Lets be serious, I'm never going to look like Jennifer Aniston.

But, I am me. Fighting the good fight. Day in an day out. Running, several miles at a clip. Training for a 10K. Moving my body in ways I never dreamed I'd be strong enough to. Convicted by God to change my ways both spiritual and earthly....

That's me. No makeup. No filter. No fuss. Just a real person really struggling with every bite, every sip, every step, and finding joy in the journey.

Feb 3, 2016 selfie

Monday, January 25, 2016

Doing my Why

Last June, I wrote down a list of reasons WHY I wanted to lose the weight.

It went a little something like this (I feel like I should have a drum roll or at least back up music playing...)

And just for the satisfaction of striking things off the list - the bold strike through!

12.  Wear heels comfortably

Not a massive heel but one of many I'm sporting theses days!

11. Not see the eyes groan when someone has to sit down 

next to me on the plane

10. To cross my legs again

 My most liked picture on Facebook in 2015. Me, on a plane, legs crossed in Size 14 jeans. I'm wearing Size 10-12 now!

9. Shop in normal sizes

8. To rock my "skinny" jeans

Not only do I rock my favorite Banana Republic "skinny" jeans, they are now my comfy baggy jeans!

7. Run... by myself and with my girls

The running thing is a big one for me. When I bought our jogging stroller in 2013 I laughed. I never dreamed that I'd run again, let alone pushing a jogger. But here I am -  most every weekend - and as long as Ivy will let me! And true training starts tomorrow - time to crank it up and add some distance, speed work and tempo training to my weekly workouts. 

6. Horseback ride with my girls

This weekend I was thrilled to take XJL on her first trail ride and to ride with her! Riding is something that always reminds me of my youth and it also takes some effort for me to feel confident and capable on horseback. I can even report that other than my knees hurting immediately on dismount, I wasn't even sore! Apparently my legs, core and back muscles are able to handle riding without a problem! (I have NO idea what I am doing with my hands in this photo - judge not!)

I am going to put the following in the category of - partially completed or not yet attempted!

5. Sit comfortably on a Disney ride

I look forward to attempting and photographing this one, Hubs? Should I start the planning?

4. Allow my body to be a testament to my stewardship of the

 gifts God has given me.

"In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

3. To be healthy

The struggle is real. 

2  To be fearless


1. To give myself a future for whatever it may bring. 

I don't know what 2016 will bring but I pray that I face each challenge with confidence, perseverance and hope.