Saturday, November 29, 2014

My First Body Back Challenge

In February I joined Fit4Mom and religiously went to Stroller Barre classes with Emma twice a week. I saw some good results, more importantly felt more energized and we have made some wonderful friends. Joining this group has been the best thing for us! Still, I wanted to be more fit, healthier and working out more than two days a week, so I decided to try an 8-week Body Back session in October. This was our last week of class and wow, what a difference it has made!

This class was without the little ones and included six days a week of workouts, training for a 5k and daily challenges (for example, time how long it takes you to do 150 burpees...what?!).

Now being at the end of the session, I have some regrets about not pushing a bit harder, falling off track and frustration at my seasonal allergies that flared up halfway through. But, overall I improved tremendously and slimmed down too! I lost 5 lbs, 6 inches total (4.5 inches just in my hips and waist), cut off 1:16 from my mile and successfully ran a 5k in 36 minutes without stopping! These are huge accomplishments for me, someone who always wanted to love running but truly really hated it. 

On Thanksgiving morning I signed up to do the mile turkey trot and took Emma with me. It felt so great to be active right before having a giant feast, I want to make it an annual thing...maybe do the 5k next year (there was no way I was going to attempt two 5k's three days apart!).

Since class ended and through this holiday weekend I've lost my way a bit. I'm so ready to get back into the swing of things this next week. I don't want to lose the momentum! As far as food goes, I feel like I'm in a fruit and veggie rut and in desperate need of inspiration. I struggle cutting out dairy, even though it's clear it doesn't agree with me. I was so good for so long without it, but it's so hard to avoid over the holidays and while eating out...and we've been doing a lot of that lately. Because of this, I've decided to commit to the Whole 30, starting in January (because how impossible would that be over the holidays?!). It's 30 days of pure, clean eating and no dairy, gluten, grains of any kind, sugar or anything processed. The goal is not to lose weight but to clean out your system by reducing inflammatory foods and get you started on a healthier lifestyle. I'm really excited about it and hope it helps!

As far as running goes, I hope I can keep this up and work my way up in mileage and down in time. I haven't been this fit since my high school volleyball days and even then I never ever ran three miles straight. Yay to new accomplishments!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Family Pictures 2014

We are so in love with the pictures that Ashley Whalen Photography took for this year's family pictures! Here are just a few of our favorites, I will post our Christmas card once they are sent out. Eventually we'd like to get some of these framed and printed on canvas to hang in our home (gasp! something on the walls finally!). Thank you for the beautiful pictures, Ashley!

3-year Glutenversary

This fall marks three years since I decided to go on an elimination diet and figure out why I was so sick every single day. I've since become gluten free, the best decision I made for my health! I suddenly wasn't sick every day, my complexion changed, I lost a lot of weight, didn't feel foggy/exhausted all the time and so on. I'm still not 100% better, but it's a pretty dramatic change.

Last spring I also went dairy free, to help clear up Emma's eczema, but ended up finding I also felt much better by doing that! For some reason I really struggle with the dairy free. It's tough to have so many restrictions when eating at restaurants or at people's houses. We try doing dairy free at home and are more relaxed about it while out and about, but it is tough.

Every year I like to acknowledge my "glutenversary" because I feel like it started me on my journey to better health. It seems I really kicked it into gear when I went dairy free last spring, Emma starting solids and started going regularly to Fit4Mom classes at the park last February. This past October I started an 8-week class with Fit4Mom called Body Back. It's a super intense bootcamp that focuses on fitness and nutrition. I have to say, I haven't felt this healthy, fit and in shape since my high school volleyball days! I truly enjoy running now, which I never have liked…ever. Part of the finale of the class is a 5k run, which is next Monday. I'm nervous about it, but have more confidence now that I can mentally and physically do it. Wish me luck, this is my first big run ever!

Last week I came across a picture of myself at Thanksgiving three years ago – just a few weeks into my gluten free journey. I couldn't believe the difference. It seems I just look so tired, bloated and unhealthy…and I was! I recently was telling this to someone I just met a few weeks ago and she didn't believe me until I showed her the comparison. I'm a bit nervous to share it, but here it is:
A healthy and active lifestyle has now become a passion of mine and it's become a lifestyle change for our family. I feel like I'm constantly learning from friends, Facebook groups I'm in, my Body Back instructor and from my own body how to live a happier and healthier life. I'm so thankful for those wonderful influences and their support!

Halloween 2014

This was Emma's first repeated holiday, it is so crazy to think how small she was last Halloween compared to now! We were a little late on picking out pumpkins (definitely learned for next year!) so we went to Vertuccio Farms and had some fun finding the perfect pumpkins to carve and paint.

Grandma and Grandpa came over that evening, Grandpa loves trick or treating and was so excited to take Emma around for her first time! Our neighbors had the 2nd annual potluck dinner before trick or treating. It's always a fun time to catch up with neighbors and meet new ones!

Emma went as little red riding hood this year. She hates anything on her head, so finding a costume that didn't involve a giant head piece and wasn't going to be too warm was a challenge (I was lucky to get this pic with the hood on, I think she was reaching up to take it off, ha!). My mom made the adorable poncho and I made the bow (yes, it took us the same amount of time, she's pretty amazing!). Thanks mom!

First Dentist Visit

Right before Emma turned one we took her to a pediatric dentist since she has a few teeth (and a lip tie that we wanted a second opinion on). The dentist is actually free under 3, great deal! She absolutely loved the dentist office, until he had to check her teeth out. She pretty much hated that part, but all was better in the end when they gave her a balloon. Everything looks great with her teeth, but we are just keeping an eye on the lip tie. Thank goodness for balloons, right?! ;)

Backyard Landscaping

Not the best quality pictures, but after two years of dirt we finally got our backyard landscaped! A few of our trees died in the summer heat so they will need to be replaced, plus some more plants added (our garden has already taken off!).

We've since hosted Emma's birthday party and a neighborhood progressive dinner in our backyard. We are enjoying it so much and are excited to finally be able to use the fireplace. I've even learned how to grill a little better and enjoy it so much. We're looking forward to adding more plants, pots, new furniture and other decor.

Emma is One!

Oops, I've been slacking on keeping up with blogging! I'll be catching up with a few posts of happenings over the past few months starting with Emma's birthday party.

Emma turned one on September 3 and we celebrated by having a family dinner with grandparents. It was fun to get that time to celebrate and watch her devour her cupcake on her actual birthday! The following Sunday we hosted a big birthday party for her with friends and family.

The theme was a garden party and we served BBQ pork sliders with three different salads - quinoa, lentil and cobb. The party favors were tomato seed starter kits and we had a water slide in the backyard for the older kids (it was a hot day!). My mom made the carrot cupcakes and Emma's cake (gluten, dairy and sugar free!) and I made the coconut cream frosting for her cake. It wasn't as messy as regular frosting, but she loved the taste of it…and no allergic reactions at the party!

We were so blessed to have so many friends and family come to celebrate our baby turning one! She loved opening her presents and all of her new toys, books and clothes. Mom and dad were excited that family helped us start a college fund for her!

Stats: 18 lbs (25th%), 29.5in (50th%) – taken at 13 months

Sleep: We still hadn't gotten that solid 12 hours of sleep at night! Usually waking up once to feed between 3am-5am. Fighting the afternoon nap SO MUCH.

Feeding: Breastmilk and solids. Eats what we eat.

Clothing size: 12 month size – she moved up!

Teeth: two top, two bottom