MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter
We are now a few minutes into Friday and with the advent of the final weekday, I note that this is my 6th day off what my friend Erin has coined "the hard stuff".
Yes. Believe it or not. Me, the serial Dr. Pepper and Diet Coke drinker, quit cold turkey on Sunday.
I have not had any of the brown liquid that I used to refer to affectionately as the "nectar of the gods" since Saturday night when Ry and I went out to dinner.
So why am I doing this?
Part of the reason was that I felt like complete SH$@ (pardon my french, but crap doesn't adequately convey how bad I felt) most days, and beyond working and running the household and taxi-ing my children to where they needed to be, I did not feel like doing much of anything else or going anywhere.
How pathetic is that?
Plus my children had conveyed that they were a little bit embarassed of their mom. All my kids are competitive athletes. They run, play soccer, or they have danced. They are pretty fit. It's just not good for them to have a mom who looks run down 90% of the time. I know all busy moms feel tired and exhausted some of the time, but all my friends at least look pulled together. I don't and that was the things that was buggin my kids, and to be honest, me too.
My friend Belinda mentioned on Facebook that they were getting a group of friends together for a challenge where group members strive to meet their individual weight goals as well as participate in weekly challenges for fun and to push us along that one step farther.
After having a really tough year last year with health problems - high blood pressure, high cholesterol, back pain, joint pain, painful and heavy menstrual cycles, sleep issues, fatigue, etc. I knew something had to change.
I am only 38yrs old. Not 78. When Ryan and I traveled to Guatemala last year, we went hiking up the side of an active volcano. We encountered a couple in their 70's who trekked it up the mountain faster than we did. How awesome is it that this couple was climbing volcanoes in their 70s? I want to be like them! However, at the rate I have been going, I would more likely be one of those older people who couldn't do much at all. At 38, I was already feeling that way because I confess that trek up the mountain was HARD!
The buy-in for the challenge was not cheap and so I talked to Ryan about it and he agreed that it was something I should do and he would stake the money, but with a provision.
I have to pay him back double for each week I do not hit my goals. The challenge works out to be $10 a week for 10 weeks so failing to meet my goals set for each week would mean I would have to pay him $20. Thus, I have an extra motivator and I don't know about you, but I do not want to potentially lose $200. I could buy something fun for that kind of money!
So what are my goals?
And having just completed day 4, I confess it has been a little tough. Soda/caffeine detox is not a fun thing. Plus, it is a challenge to stay within my 1200 calorie limit. Like for example, last night my friends and I met up at Starbucks to just sit and chat. Most everyone got a hot chocolate. Do you know that one grande hot chocolate can be anywhere from 300-500 calories depending on if you add shots or whipped cream? I love Starbucks hot chocolate and it was hard to abstain! 2 hours of activity is no picnic either. I had to ice my legs twice this week and Monday I was in so much pain, I took pain meds to help. Also, my sleep issues make it hard. It is tough to exercise running on 3-4 hours sleep. I am going to try hard to get more organized, so that I can plan to get at least 7hrs sleep each day. I also am going back to meds to help me and then wean myself off them once I hopefully get into a regular cycle.
I pray thay participating in this challenge will be just the thing to help me turn my health around, help me lose weight, and help me get to a point where I can feel confident in how I look and feel on the outside. I know and I have taught my kids that what matters most is what is on the inside. However, Heavenly Father gave us each only one body in this lifetime and it is important that we take care of it. Right?
Maybe even one day, I will even bring skinny back (but not the fashion) . . .
(That is me on the far right in the bright neon green bathing suit. I was about 16 then)
I also wanted to mention this awesome app my SIL Melissa told me about that is available for Iphone, Ipad, or Droid devices called My Fitness Pal. You can download it from the App store or Android Market for absolutely FREE! You input info about your weight, measurements, and fitness goals, and it lets you know what your calories should be each day. It keeps track of your calories and the exercise you did and lets you know how you are doing for the day. It also tracks your overall progress toward your goal when you update with weigh-ins and measurements. If you join, let me know so I can add you as a friend!
Here is week 3 complete (click on to see larger):
I used a combination of 2 templates from the Biografitti Focus Template Album and one from Ali Edwards' Words and Photos 6x12 Layered Templates.
Font is DejaVu Sans.
Loving how quickly this is coming together. I just either pick a template or make one for each week spread, drop in the pictures using a clipping mask, and type my journaling.
Cannot wait until the year is over to see the finished project!
[copy-ING this format from my friend Amy's blog]
After all the hoopla and everything with Christmas celebrations, our own (not so) little family has made it a tradition to escape to the snow.
Not to break with tradition, we tried to make an attempt last year, only to be thwarted by a winter storm which was impassable, making it impossible for us to drive up to our cabin and trek into it.
Not to break with tradition, we did make the attempt this year, only to discover upon our arrival that Mother Nature must have seemingly forgot that it is the middle of winter and has yet to grace the mountainous landscape of southern Utah with blankets of powdery white.
Upon arriving to the cabin, we noticed many rock landmarks all over the meadow showing through and that the snow was so shallow that you could see the rock road which leads from the highway to our cabin. It was so shallow we drove all the way up to the front door of the cabin. Normally, we park just off the highway and it takes either snowshoes, sleds, or a snowmobile to make it to the cabin because the snow drifts are usually at least chest deep. This year we were lucky to have snow even come up to our boot tops.
Being it was their P-day, my in-laws got special permission from their mission president to stay and visit with us for a couple of days. We enjoyed looking at the pretty sunset, reading books, talking, playing games, and working on puzzles. The kids favorite new game was Monopoly Deal. We battled many times with that game.
The lack of snow did not deter us from trying to play out in it. The kids tried to tube down the hill but because the rocks stuck up in many places and the consistency of the snow was not great, it made for a pitiful go of it. The kids would tow the tube up the hill and then would try and pull each other down it. No one could quite get going enough. They would get a couple of feet and then they would be stuck. Zack was a really trooper hauling Grandpa and his sisters down the hill.
The girls attempted to also do snow angels . . .
With the snow so shallow, it made it impossible to snowmobile all over the meadow and up and down the mountain. We just settled for taking turns going up and down the road and the service road. And throwing lame powder balls (we couldn't get the snow to pack to make decent snowballs). The kids were a bit bummed that there would be no snowforts and bunkers or caves.
And if lack of snow wasn't enough of a bummer, Ryan came down with a stomach bug on Tuesday. I will say that a certain very popular place was likely the culprit. Let's just say that their sweet pork was looking way suspect. I didn't hardly touch my salad because it was so "wet". The other possibility was he got the bug that hit so many families pretty hard following the Christmas holiday.
And so rather than staying the week like we normally do, we made the decision to come home early, leaving shortly after Mom and Dad left to return to their mission.
And because we Jenkins can't do anything normally, we had a bit of an adventure on the way home. In between Cedar City and St. George, all of the power in the Yukon just shut off and the engine killed as we were driving along the highway. A bit scary as we were on the road and towing our snowmobile behind us. We managed to pull off to the side of the road. We read that we should let the engine rest for a few minutes before attempting to restart. Graciously, the truck started and we were able to get back on the road. Shortly after Mesquite, Ryan and Zack both needed to go pretty bad due to the stomach bug and so we pulled off to a truck stop.
And then the Yukon refused to start again, giving us the click click noise. The jumper cables were unfortunately not in the car as we had used them for something and had forgotten to put them back in. Thankfully, the truck stop had cables for purchase and so we were able to flag down another traveler to give us a jump.
The truck started up right away and we thought "Yay! we are on our way and if we can just get home we can get a new battery then!"
It was not meant to be because as soon as we put the Yukon in gear, the engine killed and refused to start again. Since we were only about 20 miles outside of Vegas, Ryan called my BIL Dave to drive out to help us. They pulled the battery and took it back to the nearest auto store since the battery was just over a year old and in warranty. The kids and I waited in the truck for the just over an hour it took for them to get into town and back with the new battery. They got the new battery in and got the truck started. The rest of the way home, the truck was still running pretty temperamentally.
We ended up taking it in for repair the next day and it turned out that we needed a new alternator and new brakes. It was so expensive! I pray everyday that the truck (which is 12yrs old) will make it to next year, just until we are able to afford to replace it.
Despite the lack of snow, Ryan getting sick, and our car problems, our family still managed to have some fun and a good visit with my inlaws. I wouldn't say this adventure will go down in the books as the best trip ever but I know for dang sure it will forever go down as quite the memorable one.
Project Life/365 is a long-term documentary project in which you take pictures or ephemera from everyday life and you organize into a 52 week format. The idea is to shed some light and get a glimpse of the day-to-day happenings of your life.
Before I launch into a oratory about my approach to Project Life for 2012, I would be amiss if I wasn't forthright with the following confession . . .
I am a Project 365/Life dropout.
I have started the project at the beginning of each year, starting back in 2009 and each year, I found myself fizzling out halfway through the year because simply life gets busy or I end up getting overwhelmed or I forget to document a few days because I did not have a camera with me.
According to Chase Jarvis, a photographer,
"the best camera is the one you've got with you"
and so since I always have my phone with me, I have vowed to document something even if it is just with my phone camera.
2011 was my best year yet and I did managed to complete 8 months ending with the month of August. Yes, I did quit the project, but I am determined to finish the 8 months I did complete. I still have the daunting task of printing all the photos and filling in all the journaling cards, but in time, I WILL get it done. Last year, I did Project Life with the Becky Higgins project kit. As soon as I get it complete (which is looking more like maybe the end of February - you have no idea how many projects I need to get caught up on!), I will share some excerpts from it.
With 2012, I wanted to take a little bit of a simpler approach to Project LIfe. I have always been a fan of coffee table albums and books. I have made some for clients and I think they look quite stunning. And so, this year I decided to do Project Life designing each page digitally and building the book using the Booksmart software from Blurb. I have had several friends make family histories, blog books, and photography books using Blurb. The books have high-quality printing and binding. and they look like a book you would purchase from a bookstore. They are beautiful.
Reasons for going this route are:
Some of the items that I am using for the book are:
Here is a look at what the cover will look like:
It will be a hardcover, image wrapped book with a matte finish.
Here is a look at the title page:
The title page will be followed by interview pages which will feature a current photo of each individual family member and answers to interview questions based on this found at 30 Handmade Days:
I haven't had a moment to interview my individual family members but will add these pages when I get a moment.
After the interview pages, the documentation of each week will begin.
Here is week 1:
and here is week 2:
Hopefully with this new approach, I will make amends for my Project Life dropout history and actually become a Project Life graduate, completing a book for 2012 which will be treasured by Ryan and myself, my kids, and future generations.
On the 29th of December, Ryan's sister Jackie and her family came to town visiting us from Utah. We had planned to have a sibling adult dinner outing before Christmas. Lee and Melissa were supposed to be here also but they went back to Arizona early because everyone in their family got sick with a flu bug.
Ryan was not feeling all too hot either but did not want to bail on his siblings and so he went to dinner with all of us. We left all the kids under the watchful care of their older cousins.
Last time everyone was in town, we ventured out to tapas. This time we chose to go to Lindo Michoacan up on Horizon Ridge. The restaurant has a great view of the city . . .
And the food is delicious. I could just go for the fideo and their chips and bean dip. Love their bean dip!
After dinner, we rushed backed to our house. Ryan was in pretty bad shape. He hadn't been able to keep any food in his system for 3 days. He had his BILs give him a priesthood blessing and I left him and my BIL Dave with a supply of Gatorade and water while they watched the game.
The rest of us headed downtown to the Fremont Street Experience. If you have never been to Vegas, make sure you make it a point to visit downtown. It is definitely people-watching at its best.
Right when we got there, you could hear loud music blaring. They have several stages where cover bands play music. There was a group of grannies and grampies getting their groove on. They were having a good time rocking out to the band. One grannie was stylin' with her pink cowboy hat and boots. My SIL Jo decided to go out there and shake it with them.
One really cool attraction they have downtown is the zipline which runs the length of the Fremont Street Experience.
I am going to have to go back and do it some time. It may not be as exhilarating as zipping through the jungle but I still think it would be pretty cool as you watch all the chaos going on below you.
I like art. Love it. And love to see it created with all different mediums. I was quite fascinated with this guy who was creating these really cool graphic pieces with spray paint. It was insane how fast he could create these pieces and with such precision.
We then continued walking our way down Fremont Street quite amazed at the people we found hanging out downtown.
Did you know that Elvis lives? And he has managed to clone himself in all shapes and sizes and different levels of hairy-ness?
The man of Steel hangs out downtown too but has apparently lost his ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.
We also saw a couple guys from Kiss rocking the platforms, Marilyn, devils, and angels . . .
Tell your girls to stay in school! Found it a little sad to find a mother and daughter trying to work it for tips. There was also a showgirl with a great rack in full costume whom upon further inspection was a guy. And there was a lady pirate wearing a shelf-less corset with bazongas the size of jumbo watermelons covered only with pasties. Fascinating. Scary! And only in Vegas. Now I can say I have seen everything. Well not really.
This dude could contort himself into a human pretzel. It was insane because he was a big dude.
There were also giant creatures of childhoods past and celebrities back from the dead . . .
And street preachers informing us of the impending end of the world.
We finally made our way to Mermaids, a little dive of a casino where you can get all kinds of fried concoctions for a $1. We all shared the deep fried Oreos and frozen chocolate dipped bananas.
And then we ventured back to our car through the sea of tourists and odd creatures.
I confess I have never been downtown to Fremont Street at night. I have now. Check that one off the bucket list.
Happy New Year!
It's been a bit crazy around here at La Casa de Jenkins and yeah, I know, we are only two weeks in but that is just the way it goes in the life of a busy family.
We just finished our first full week back at soccer. With the New Year, Ryan has now taken on more coaching responsibility and is now coaching both our twins' U14 team and is assistant coaching Zack's U11 team. Ryan runs 4 practices a week, plays 1-2 pickup games a week, and we currently have games on Saturdays for our girls with upcoming tournaments until Zack's team begins the Spring season. Plus he is still busy with work and his church calling. It has been a bit of adjustment as we are now having to eat dinner at 4pm and we are having to be a bit more organized so homework and everything else goes smoothly. Madison will be back to 6-day practices on the track right after mid-terms next week.
We have had a slew of projects including notably this one Madison had to do for physics . . .
She had to build a balanced mobile out of stuff around the house with 4 levels with hanging objects at various distances. She had to build it based on a blueprint and calculations. Despite 3 semesters in college and taking it in high school, I still have to say I really am not a fan of Physics. While it is cool to understand the principles as to why things work, engineers we are not.
I also have been busy setting up databases, upgrading software, and organizing files on this . . .
Right before Christmas, my old computer had about had it. It was freezing in the midst of editing sessions and Photoshop would crash. The wireless card would go out in the middle of uploading stuff to my website. It would take 20 minutes to edit 1 image. Santa understood my plight and was very good to me this year.
Last Sunday, we went over to my parents' house for dinner and to say goodbyes to my cousin Cristina. She and her family were visiting the United States for the first time. They traveled all over the west for 3 weeks. It was nice to meet family I have never met. They live far far away in Qatar and I only have communicated with her via facebook.
I helped my mom cook up a feast and we also got to have lichon (roasted pig). I haven't had it in forever.
While at my parents' house, Zack challenged Grandpa on the PS3.
Typical boy, he smoked all of us.
On New Year's Day, we trekked over to Aunt Judi's for the traditional Honey Baked Ham and a little birthday celebration. Cousin Paula and her family were here visiting from Uzbekistan. It was good to see her and her family as we don't see them often with them living overseas.
New Year's Eve . . .
I am sad to say that I barely made it to midnight. I was so tired and couldn't wait to get to bed. Ryan and I stayed up until Madison got home from the New Year's dance and then trudged upstairs and collapsed immediately.
Per annual tradition, we stayed in (there are too many crazies out on the streets in Vegas) and hosted the festivities at our house. Everyone brought party food to snack on as the adults and the cousins played games throughout the evening as we waited for the ball to drop. The whole ball dropping thing really didn't happen because our local stations decided to pre-empt the rebroadcast of New York festivities and so we didn't get to see much. The local broadcast = extremely lame. We were watching the Carson Daly New Year's show (my BIL Davis works for him and was there in NYC) when it cut out to the local broadcast. He seriously has a cool job. One day we will have to venture to New York for the experience. Gotta cross that off the bucket list.
Bubbly was poured . . .
we did our toasts . . .
some of us chugged . . .
and then it was over.
Earlier in the evening, the younger cousins hung out and played and danced "Party Rock"
and the teenagers left to parties . . .
Earlier in the day . . .
I took the teenagers to Town Square to do a little shopping with the gift cards they got from Christmas.
And that brings us back to December 31st.
I think the one thing that really has struck me with the commencement of the new year is how so very quickly time flies. I have 3 teenagers in my house (how did that happen?!) who are almost as tall as I am. My oldest will start her senior year of high school later this year. Wasn't it just yesterday that I graduated high school? Where does the time go? With this realization of time gone, I really feel that I need to take time to focus on the moments. We all do. Remember what we did. Remember what we felt. And cherish it. The good and the bad.
Is anyone still out there reading this?
1st off. Happy Happy New Year!
The holidays were incredibly busy with both work and with all the friends and fam celebrations. I will hopefully get back into the swing of regular posting soon.
Til then, I will share an image from one of the last sessions I shot last year. Look at all that hair! I have never seen a blonde baby with so much of it.