I DID IT!!! C25K Week 5 Day 3 my first 20 minute run! By: Steph

This pose is an homage to my pal Clint. I know he caught a little flack for copying one of my poses so I thought I’d copy one of his 🙂

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Crappiest picture ever and I am so, So, SO excited to post it! I don’t even care. I did it!!!! I finished my first 20 minute run without stopping and 911 did not have to be called or anything. I really did not believe I would make it when I started out this morning. I procrastinated and tried to come up with excuses as to why I would fail but, finally just gave in and started. You know what? It wasn’t awful and I feel amazing having completed it. I have never in my life even as a child been able to run 20 minutes straight. It’s sort of an unreal feeling to be honest.

Thank you to those who have supported me along the way and told me I could do it when I didn’t believe I could. I want to specifically thank Clint my co-blogger and friend for pushing me to get back to C25K after I quit on it the first time. He has continually told me I would do it and I have pretty much considered him full of bologna. Who knew, he was right? Joe thanks for getting me out there that first day and starting me off. I know I would have made excuses and found a reason to not start if you hadn’t gone with me that first time.

I feel like I won an Oscar 🙂

I know that the changes God has allowed me to make in my life are the only reason I am where I am now. I am so grateful for a total transformation of my life and a chance to be healthy and a good role model to my kids.

Size 72 to 46 and Counting

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Hello friends. I have been the absent blogger for a while now. Just wanted to stop in and proclaim hello.

I do not really have a reason for not writing on here other than nothing excellent or interesting to say in recent days. Things are going rather well.

Today I had a simple yet awesome experience. It was take no longer used clothes to church for a yard sale day. Many very large pieces of clothing went in search of new homes. I hope someone who needs them finds them at a reasonable bargain. As a long time big dude I know big clothes cost big money.

Most of my shirts were on the ridiculous side. Loud, obnoxious and colorful. Probably not all that stylish but I would have found them to be a great addition three years ago.

My pops was also taking some clothes in. I borrowed a pair of jeans and gave them a try and as it turns out size 46 is pretty much my size these days. They will still make it to the church but will have a pit stop with me for a few months first.

One of the great things about losing weight is putting on a new size and realizing the progress you have made over the last few months. It kind of lifts you up and allows you to focus on the mission at hand.

The last time I went down in size was in December. I traded in some 54’s for the 46 today and while I feel very stupid for admitting it I might have checked it out in the mirror more than once.

Have a great day and cheers. -Clint

C25K Week 4 Day 2 = Me a little impressed with myself :) By: Steph

Hi runners, readers, and friends!

So, this morning I got up determined to get my Week 4, Day 2 run in. As I mentioned on Tuesday I slowed my pace down to allow me to continuously run in the “run periods”. Today I decided I would pick up my pace for the first two sets of runs and then go back down to the slower pace for the second sets. I wanted to try and work my way back up to the higher pace and increase my distance a bit.

Got on the treadmill and warmed up as always at a 2 incline as it’s more comfortable for me to run that way (plus Clint mentioned it made it closer to running in the “wild” lol). Hit the first run cycle and increased my Tuesday pace a little. Didn’t really feel much difference so I popped it up a couple more. Basically I went halfway between where I was in weeks 1-3 and where I ran on Tuesday for Day 1 of Week 4. This was more uncomfortable than Tuesday’s run but, manageable for me. I did the walk in between and then hit the next dreaded run cycle which is 5 mins of continuous running and the longest I have run in probably my entire life to be honest. I got lost in the music and didn’t realize where I was until my phone indicated I was supposed to be walking again. WOO HOO I felt pretty great about that. Walked and when the run started just automatically went back up to the higher pace again instead of the planned lower one. Long story short I FINISHED all 4 runs at the faster pace. While it’s not as fast as I ran last week for the shorter bursts of running, I didn’t have to stop and walk at all and I felt pretty damn proud of myself.

Still questioning any runners out there as to whether, running at a slower pace to maintain my run is better or worse than running at the faster pace and having to take breaks during the run? I would love to hear opinions from runners, which I am SO NOT! Oh and as you have probably guessed I’m pretty sure I jog not run!

My favorite part was the fact that I went 1/4 of a mile further today than I have at any other point during this program so far. I know it’s not much to some of you but, to someone who has never run and never wanted to honestly, it’s a huge stepping stone to where I want to be. I don’t want to give my actual numbers yet as far as speed/distance because, I would feel crushed if you all told me your 5 year olds walk faster than that backward on their hands. I just want to revel in my continuous run cycles and my extra 1/4 of a mile for a little bit.

Threw in a mini workout on top of it with my day-care kiddos trying to assist me by singing and running around me in circles. 10 mins of bag work kicks/punches, 100 weighted squats, 50 modified push-ups (still sissy style lol hopefully 100 by days end.), 100 weighted rows, 50 bicep curls and triceps either 25 or 50…honestly can’t remember as I was giggling at one of the kids singing in the background to Maroon 5 songs 😛

workout Okay, anyone who has known me any length of time would be shocked that I just put this pic up but, this is me in all my disturbingly sweaty glory after my workout this morning. I lose the shoes for kicking the heavy bag 🙂 I figured I’d be daring and show that I am now proud of the fact that I get all gross and messed up for my workouts. I never would have left my house with no sleeves, no makeup and that hair and here I am posting it on the internet! I’ve come a long way baby!

I have to tell you all that I had the oddest craving yesterday morning. I got up seriously HUNGRY at 5:30. Went to the pantry and dug out peanut butter and old fashioned oats. Measured out 2 TBL (I never eat 2 anymore) and 1 TBL of oats into a tiny dish. Grabbed my spoon and stirred them up and ate it like a freaking bear fresh from hibernation. I swear if it were like a deer, I would have eaten the carcass too! Never had pb and oats like that but, it was delicious and totally hit the spot. Just never thought to have that combo before. I have now found like 500000000 recipes for energy balls involving those two ingredients. So subconsciously I needed energy and God directed me to pb and oats? Hmmm…never know! I did want to smack my 17 year old who kept saying, “Well that’s it, your pregnant!” over and over yesterday. Nobody in this house better be pregnant! Plus she just needs to stop speaking for a while! 😉

Hugs and would love some input,

~Steph

P.S. Input on the running not the smacking of the 17 year old.

Recipe for Turkey & Beef Meatballs and then a round two recipe :) By:Steph

Hi All, just wanted to share my meatball recipe that is a hit in our house. (We all know I take the term “recipe” quite loosely. I just sorta throw stuff in until it tastes good to me and ta-da it’s my recipe.)Then I took the basic meatball mixture and used it for a second meal that is more something just my husband, oldest daughter and myself will enjoy tonight. The little ones would think I’m trying to poison them with zucchini! Death by veggies..scary stuff!

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I should title these turkey meatballs my husband actually LIKES! But, I will go with the more simple:

Basic Turkey & Beef Meatballs

20 oz. Lean Ground Turkey (I used the Italian Seasoned Jenny-O because, it’s pretty yummy)
16 oz. 9% lean ground beef (I have used 4% but, it’s such a small calorie difference and leaves the mixture more dry)
1/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
3 TBL parmesan cheese grated
1 TBL minced garlic fresh (or the jarred kind works too)
1/2 cup grated onion (just use a cheese grater and grate directly into the bowl you will want all that juice it creates)
2 egg whites beaten
salt, pepper, granulated garlic, pizza seasoning (I love this as it is basically Italian seasoning with red pepper already in it) to taste

(A tip to see if it’s well seasoned is to grab a little dab and cook it up so you can taste it.)

2 1/2 cups Marinara sauce (I love Victoria’s White Linen Marinara from Costco it’s really fresh tasting)
Olive oil cooking spray to coat frying pan

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In a large bowl combine all ingredients except Marinara and cooking spray. Mix lightly until everything is combined well. Do not over mix and when you form meatballs don’t pack them down. If you are worried about portions and calorie count then grab your kitchen scale, and a 1/4 cup measuring cup. About 3/4 of that 1/4 cup measurer filled loosely with the meat will equal about 1.2 ounces. This is a nice golf ball sized meatball. Roll out and it should form 34 roughly 1.2 oz. meatballs.

Place meatballs in a frying pan coated with olive oil nonstick cooking spray, heated over medium heat. Lightly brown on all sides and then pour Marinara over the top and cover with lid. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 mins.

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You can serve them alone with sauce and a sprinkling of mozzarella cheese, on a toasted French roll, over whole grain pasta, really any way you enjoy them.
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Recipe makes 34 meatballs:
65 calories, 2 carbs, 3 fat, 6 protein, 0 fiber, and 1 sugar

This next recipe isn’t really a recipe either. I keep seeing a picture of different baked zucchini with toppings all over Facebook and thinking it looks delicious. So, this is my take on it.

Italian Style Zucchini Bake

8 uncooked meatballs from above recipe
3 medium to large zucchini
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup Marinara sauce
3 slices reduced fat Provolone

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In a frying pan crumble meat and brown lightly.

While meat is browning, wash and lay zucchini on a cutting board lengthwise. Take your knife and hollow out the center of the entire zucchini. It should look like a canal down the center of it. Dice up the zucchini you removed and add to skillet with 1/4 cup of diced onion. I added a bit of salt, pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and cooked until onions were translucent.

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Season the zucchini boats with salt, pepper and garlic and then place in a baking dish coated with nonstick spray. Fill zucchini with meat and veggie mixture, top with marinara sauce and lightly cover with foil. Place in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with provolone and broil just until cheese is melted.

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Serves 3
257 calories, 14 carbs, 12 fat, 24 protein, 3 fiber, and 6 sugar

Ok so we had the Zucchini Bakes for dinner and while very tasty my husband informed me that you can’t cut through the provolone without it all coming off. I guess we will survive 🙂

Enjoy,

~Steph

C25K update, eating, losing weight, family time and Salad in a Jar update. By: Steph

First thing I have to start with what is on my heart. Moore, Oklahoma is in pain today and my prayers are with them. I can’t imagine what they are waking up to this morning, if they were even able to rest last night. There is so much to be said and yet, I find myself lacking the words so, I will just PRAY.

I am officially into Week 4 of C25K and completed day 1 this morning. It’s a big jump from last week and I was very worried about my ability to complete the run. I chose to slow down my pace to allow myself to stick with the run and not have to stop for a walk. I am pretty sure that I was passed by turtles and snails this morning but, thankfully the garage was semi-dark and I didn’t have to see them whizzing past my treadmill. I totally kicked the sloths butt though so, at least I can brag about that 🙂 I am trying to not feel guilty about lowering the pace to maintain the run. Anyone with advice on whether this was the right move or not, is welcome to chime in. I will say that my heart rate stayed up nicely and I can definitely feel the extra running in my legs. Those are positives I am happy with. So, come on people give me input. Did I totally mess up by slowing down? Is it better to go faster and have to stop running and walk a few seconds before returning to the run portion?

I have been participating in small daily challenges with the lovely Clint. My favorite workout last week was basically me trying to “guess” what our surprise challenge would be for the day. So, I did 100 (on the exercise ball modified) push-ups (yes I have sissy arms and they hurt for 3 days after), 100 jumping jacks, 100 weighted squats, 100 sit-ups, 100 crossover crunches (that ended up being the challenge), 100 weighted lunges, 50 bicep curls, 50 triceps extensions and 200 kick punch combos to the heavy bag. It was fun playing around trying different things and mixing my workout up plus it was a quick little workout since I had snoozed my alarm WAY too many times that morning. Today’s mini challenge is to watch an online workout video that you’ve never done and complete it. I chose some weight training for my upper body coupled with squats. Who needs to be able to lift their arms the next day? Not me apparently 😛

Blessedly I am doing pretty well with eating better and getting back to the workout thing. Last week I may not have been perfect in my food choices but, I made a lot more good ones than bad ones. That’s the path to maintaining weight loss for me.

I have lost several of the pounds of regain. Still working towards having a clean slate and getting back to real loss. I have to admit though that I just feel so much stronger and motivated when I am working my plan. It boosts my self esteem and it keeps me focused on the right things.

Sunday we decided to have a much needed family day and headed to the lake. My mom drove the kids while I got chauffeured around on the Harley by my handsome Big Guy. We hung out at the lake and then headed to a nearby town for some lunch. I made good choices and focused on protein for snacks and lunch…then I had about 1/4 cup of “homemade” Huckleberry ice cream which was so worth the splurge by the way!

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Came home to find my oldest home from a day swimming and taking more senior pictures. She was having trouble breathing (oldest and youngest have asthma…another perk of California’s Central Valley) and we headed to the ER for breathing treatments, steroids and Mommy/Jessie bonding time until the wee hours of the morning.

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Monday was a blur and I find it very hard to believe I was actually awake for it after a day in the sun and no sleep on top of it.

The salad in a jar experiment is over. I tested it with only the lids in place without creating the vacuum seal. I just ran to the fridge because, I realized I had forgotten there was still one in there. One week later and lettuce was still crisp and looked great. I didn’t however try it because, it also had week old chicken in it and I am a sissy about stuff like that. I would say that Salad in a Jar is a huge success 🙂

Headed to the kitchen to make up some chicken salad for this week and to cook the day-care kids some lunch before they revolt and order pizza with my cell phone.

Have an amazing week and hug your loved ones tight. Give them a call and tell them, “I love you.” if they aren’t close enough to grab.

Hugs to you all,

~Steph

Salad in a Jar is kind of adorable and handy! By: Steph

Ok so, I came across several different sites featuring salads in a jar recipes. I am pretty sure no one really needs a recipe for a salad but, it’s nice to have the proper order to layer the ingredients. Here is my first attempt at them and I’m hoping they are as tasty 3 days from today as they are on day 1.

My oldest daughter Jessie, requested I try Taylor Farms BBQ Ranch Chopped Salad Kit. I bought it as a serving is 130 cals and that isn’t awful. I decided to add in a bit of protein and some extra veggies to bulk up the yummy factor a bit.

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I layered the ingredients as follows; dressing in the bottom of a jar, red onion diced, shredded carrots, diced tomato, grilled cubed chicken breast, BBQ sauce (only used half of the packet provided), shredded cheese, cabbage/lettuce/veggie mixture, some torn romaine leaves and finally a small zip top bag with the bacon bits, and lime tortilla strips that came with the salad kit. I took the bag of toppings, sealed it and placed it into the top of each jar as I didn’t want it getting soggy.

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Seal the jars with a lid and here is where sites vary. Some sites vacuum seal the jars and others say they will keep nicely just with the lid in place. I am trying it the non sealed way with just the lid screwed on. We will see how this works out. I must say the salads look tasty and adorable in the pretty canning jars. Shake it up to distribute the dressing and voila…you have your salad in a jar. Ok some of you are totally rolling your eyes at me thinking…ok crazy lady it’s just a salad in a jar. Why are you so excited?…Well, because, I can be! Because, I like the visual appeal of my jarred salad and the idea of grilling extra meat up at the beginning of the week and making these jars to enjoy all week. I will be even MORE excited if they actually stay crisp and lovely like they are now! Updates to come…

OH WHATEVER…you know you’re on pins and needles to see if they are crisp or not! You don’t fool me 🙂

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Recipe for this salad jar (Yep a salad recipe, you knew it was coming!)

1- Taylor Farms BBQ Ranch Chopped Salad Kit
2- 2 cups romaine leaves rinsed, dried and torn
10 oz. grilled chicken breast cubed
1- tomato diced
1/4 red onion diced
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup Mexican Blend shredded cheese

Divide equally and Layer ingredients in your jar in the order detailed above (Not the order listed in the ingredients). Put lids on and refrigerate. Btw…I purchased 24 0z jars to use for these and they look about perfectly sized for a lunch or dinner. (I will probably only eat half at a time because of my limited capacity but, I intend to use the other half as a snack so it won’t waste.)

Makes 4 salads.

Nutritional info
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256 calories, 16 carbs, 12 fat, 22 protein and 8 sugar

I will probably skip the tortilla strips and bacon bit topping but, that’s just because, it doesn’t sound very good to me currently. The calories include everything that comes in the salad kit and all the extra ingredients I added. I also think next time I will use my own light salad dressings to save on the fat and calories a bit.

Next week I am thinking taco salad jars sound delish!

Enjoy friends,

~Steph

P.S. If you look really closely you will see that these salads look so good that a tiny yellow rescue helicopter flew in to get a closer look in the final picture! That doesn’t happen everyday now, does it?
P.S.S. The joys of a home with kids and running a day-care to boot!

Mother’s Day and realizations from last week… By: Steph

First off I would like to mention that my daughter went to her Senior Prom on Saturday. She looked lovely and it was kind of “sigh worthy” seeing the kids get into the limo and take off. She’s moving at breakneck speed and I miss the little girl she was yesterday. Luckily as you can see from the photo she’s still in there somewhere 🙂
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Last week I went to two different support groups. They were both really great and really different. We have a new nutritionist at the first one and she is shaking the whole support group up and making it more fun and interactive, yet leaving us with a lot of information at the same time. I admitted my weight regain and told everyone about my plans to reverse it. Went home and felt ok about it. At the second one I was sitting in group listening to several ladies and gentlemen telling their stories of people sabotaging or judging them because, they knew they had surgery. I spoke up to say that I really felt that my issues were more internal than external. I again admitted my regain and then it happened, the tears came and I blurted out, “Since I went public with my surgery it’s like I am trying to prove all the critics right. Like I wanted to reinforce their preconceived notion that this was going to fail like everything else.” It stunned me and the tears started flowing. I had no idea that was going to come out of my mouth. I had no clue that, that was the trigger for my spiral out of control. I’m not sure what made it surface or why it happened at that moment but, it was freeing and defeating at the same time. It isn’t the bad anniversaries that are all starting to hit, it wasn’t just lack of self control, it was genuine fear of success and people knowing about my hard work to find it. When I finished speaking several of the group were in tears and the therapist who runs it started directing helpful information my way. It came down to crossing boundaries. I have a fear of people getting too close and of people knowing me too well. Go figure as I blog away…even though I feel as though I’ve conquered much of it, that is on the surface allowing me to do stuff like blog or meet with others to discuss my story. This fear was deeper inside and more crippling. I needed to establish boundaries within myself. I needed to stop allowing my mind to mistreat me and to convince me to fail.

I’m not sure how I will go about this but, as I begin to recognize it I am becoming more and more aware of how easy it is for me to allow it. It’s going to be a long road and I’m sure you’ll hear more about it in the future. Right now I have to figure myself out and manage to stay on track at the same time.

Mother’s Day was an excellent day. We woke up got ready and headed out to church. But, not before I received two of the cutest presents from two of the cutest elementary school kids I know. My Ebby made me a construction paper portrait of myself complete with blond highlights in it’s hair and uplifting statements of the reasons she loves me and the things I do for her. My Jo-jo made me a sweet dancing flower in a pot and a little note. Later the family (meaning my incredible husband) brought out a beautiful oval vase for the flowers he brought home on Friday, a drink dispenser for parties and entertaining, and a pair of workout pants which were a bit too big! It’s always nice to have things be too big instead of too small 🙂

We had my Mom, Brother and Grandma (Mom-mom) over for a healthy lunch of salad, grilled steak or chicken pesto sandwiches with fresh watermelon slices. We had freshly sliced (by Ebby) strawberries and light Cool Whip for dessert. It was a light, healthy and fabulous lunch and time with family. Clean up was easy and after lunch the kids hit the pool as it was 102 degrees here. That evening after company had left I changed into my swimsuit and hit the pool with the kids. I swam 100 laps for my workout challenge of the day. I had no idea how many actual “real laps” that would equal but, it felt great and I was good and tired afterward. We also did our segment on the radio show Sunday evening and then called it a night after making up lunches for today.

I am truly blessed by the family that God has allowed me. I am also blessed with the opportunity He has given me to change my life. Maybe it was never His intention that I only lose weight but, His plan also included the ability to let go of the things within myself that hold me back in life. I’m working on it and praying about it. I have great faith that it will happen.

Thanks for reading and please leave a comment if you have any questions or advice.

Hugs,

~Steph

P.S. I am on Day 1/Week 3 of C25K and feeling good about my progress. I’m glad I was pushed (CLINT) to get back to it!