Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Picture update!

 I was finally able to get a decent looking picture. At first I was going to do one wearing the same outfit, the pink one, but realized that there was no change because the shirt was too big as were the shorts. So I took one wearing a smaller shirt that fits me again and the new pair of pants I had to buy because I only had one pair. Much better! In fact, I'm going to have to either get rid of the pink shirt, or take it in a bit. Because it's quite big in the chest now... Not that I'm complaining!

I have officially hit 25 lbs lost! Actually, it's 25.5 as of this morning. Just 2 more pounds and I will be under 200 for the first time since before I got pregnant with Daniel! Over 3 years! My size 20 pants are getting loose and I am wearing one of the 2 pairs of 18's capris that fit me, and I have a pair of pants that is a tad snug in the thigh but fits in the waist and tushy. These are pants I haven't worn in 2 years! I kept them because I wasn't willing to get rid of 5 perfectly good pairs of jeans and 3 pairs of capris when I might wear them again someday. The 16's were depressing so I got rid of those long ago. Guess I have to go shopping in about 15-20 lbs!

Mark and I went to the high school track this morning and let the kids go nuts while we ran. Somehow the track is harder for me than country roads. Maybe it's because a mile on the country road is easy enough to do and then you have to still make it home. 2 miles, presto! But that's 8 laps on a track and a lot harder mentally. But considering I'm still a good 70 lbs overweight and my legs are short, I think I held my own with my tall and fit husband! Even if I can't really run the bleachers after each lap... (He's crazy, I'm telling you. "Let's do sit ups and then push ups and run the bleachers after each lap. It'll be fun!" It wasn't...)

I've come such a long way, and I'm trying to remember that I'm only competing with myself. I don't have to beat any one else's time or stamina, just my own. I can go so much farther and longer than I could when I started. I can do planks when I couldn't before between my core muscles and my wrists. I can jog for 5 minutes straight (found that out this morning...) and then continue the 1 1/2 miles in 2 minute intervals. I can look at and smell a big batch of chocolate chip cookies, and not eat one!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Touring the Gardens

 We decided to have some well-deserved family time today and drove the boys up to the campus to see the gardens Mark has been working in all year. They are so well designed, little surprise garden rooms and beautiful study spaces... The boys wore themselves out checking out waterfalls and we got to hear Daddy tell us all about his special project that his class started. It was really neat to see him so excited about the things he could tell us about. We even got to tour his favorite greenhouses!

One spot was a gorgeous waterfall and pond, with real water lilies and reeds growing. There was a flock of small blue dragonflies flitting about as well, but they didn't want to pose for a close up.

William enjoyed climbing the rocks the students made the most. I have lots of pictures of him on rocks. "Mommy! I'm on a tall rock! Take a picture!" Snap. :-)

This tree had a really neat trunk and Daniel went to investigate. 

My camera kept trying to focus on the flowers, so I let it. Love the result! He's sitting at the water's edge looking down and smiling at the bugs.

Here Oren is at the very top of the waterfall.

Climbing more rocks! Daniel ended up standing higher than my head and it's quite a drop off the backside, so Daddy had to come get him down for me. Daniel was too scared to bend over and grab my hands. Thank heavens for a tall husband!

The gardens the students planted have filled in nicely by this point in the season, and I loved how these colors all worked together. Especially the bright greens of the leaves you can see here with the deep pink florals. This garden was one that their class was asked to design. Mark's wasn't picked, but I'm sure his would have been equally stunning.

All the greenhouses I've ever been in are full of tables of flowers. Not the campus ones! This greenhouse was a tropical paradise! Yep, we're inside a building here, standing just in the doorway. There was a downhill sloped path to a bridge that we're going to walk down.

"Smell the flower!" It smelled beautiful, like jasmine, although Mark says that's not what it was. A very floral-y smell. 

Seriously, this is inside the greenhouse... A tiny stream dripping down from the hole, you can barely see it, with a pond and fish at the bottom and a little table I'm standing in front of to take the picture where you could study or eat lunch. I'd never leave.

The next greenhouse over was hotter and drier than the tropical, with cacti and other succulents. A soft blanket of bouncy ground cover is what the boys are discovering. Oren was laying on the ground using it as a pillow because it's so soft.

I have lots more photos of the boys exploring and the gorgeous plants we saw, but that would have taken all day to post and these are my favorites. I'm really glad we got to see what Mark does all day at school, the beauty that he gets to surround himself with.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How my life is changing...

You know, it's funny... last time I had a large weight loss and was working out, I didn't notice the little things as much as I am now.

Picture a turtle on it's back. Got it? Okay, now put my face on it. You're laughing right? Well, that was me trying to get up off the floor just a short time ago. I've noticed since trying to strengthen my arms and my core (abs and back) that it is so much easier. No more rocking back and forth and trying to grab things to pull up on. Yeah. It was that bad.

Also when trying to get up, I would close my fist and lock my wrist, putting my weight on my knuckles. Because I have carpal tunnel and placing my hand open on the ground to support my weight would hurt and make my hands go instantly numb. But not any more! It's habit now that I'm trying to break and still catch myself doing, but I can use my hand normally to lift myself now.

Even things as simple as drying my legs off after a shower... I used to have to prop my leg on the counter because I couldn't bend without doing an odd squat thing. Being able to move like a normal person is perhaps one of the biggest joys I've had since starting this journey. I can bend. I can pick up things off the floor without sounding like I'm dying!

I would normally insert a picture here, but Mark did indeed take the camera to school today. So maybe we'll get one later on and I'll post it. Maybe tomorrow. But I will post one because I promised a 20 lb shot, didn't I?

That's right! This morning I weighed in at 206.4. That's a total of 20.6 lbs lost so far! Several inches off my waist, hips, and chest are missing as well now...

And you know what's the funniest thing to me? It's not the getting up, or the fact that I can do pushups and sit ups, or even the fact that the brand new jeans I just bought are getting loose in the thigh and I can nearly fit the next size down (although that is pretty ironic)... It's the fact that I feel wrong when I get up and don't work out. Like on Sundays, it's my rest day. And it just feels weird to me. Because every day I get up early and either walk/jog, or do a pilates or other toning video, or sometimes an aerobic workout video. Some sort of exercise. That moving sets the tone for the rest of my day and I realized that I love it. How's that for a huge life change?

Boys just wanna have fun!

 Last Saturday, Mark's family met at the local zoo and park for a reunion. This is a huge group of people, with all the brothers and sisters that can make it, their children, and their children's children. (Sound familiar, Danes clan?) I took the boys to the zoo on my own before wandering over to meet up with family. There are no pictures of the zoo fun, because it was pretty much pouring down rain for most of it and I wasn't getting the camera out to get it all wet.

 But, on our way to the park section, we ran into Grandma W and some of the other grandkids in the "fun zone", a little group of rides for kids. She bought a slew of tickets and off they went! William and Daniel wanted to ride the train. The two little guys in front are their cousins, Alex and Corwin, also brothers.

"Look Mommy! I'm riding in a train!"

Some of the older kids were brave and chose to ride The Octopus. This is one of those rides that spin your car around as the ride goes around as well as up and down. Nathan had no clue that's what it would do and screamed. A lot. 

Oren with another cousin, Spencer. They're only 1 1/2 years apart, and love to spend time together. In fact, when Oren and Spencer saw each other at the park, it was "Oren!!!" - run... "Spencer!!!" - run...  

Nathan, cousin Jonathon, and cousin Brooklyn waiting their turn to get off this crazy thing!

Grandma ended up with 2 tickets left, and since there weren't enough to go around, the kids voted to give them to the youngest, who happened to be Daniel. So he opted to ride on the big horse. By himself. I couldn't sit with him without a ticket so I had to trust the ride operator to keep close to him. She strapped him on which made me feel a lot better, and we told him to hold on tight. It's not that the merry-go-round is fast, but we were worried that he'd get excited, let go, and tip over the horse. 

He did a great job holding on, and wasn't scared at all!

Then we wandered over to the family pavilion, getting there just before it started raining again. Which it did off and on the rest of the day. Kids were soaked through, but had a great time. And some of us even managed a hilarious game of volleyball in the slippery wet grass!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sir, Reporting, Sir!

I just felt the urge to sit down and let you all know how I was doing with my "new lifestyle". Diet is such a strong word with negative feelings for some people. A diet isn't going to do anything for me in the long run. But changing the way I live is going to allow me to succeed!

Things I've noticed:

1. Water is awesome! It makes you feel full. It helps your skin glow, it really does. It distracts you from the snacks when it's not quite time to eat again.

2. The wrong shoes can make just as big a difference as the right shoes, but in the wrong way. After 2 weeks of intervals, my shins started to hurt and I had to cut back to just muscle toning videos for a few days. But after doing some thinking and talking with some of you, I invested in a pair of good quality running shoes. And since I still have so much weight impacting my poor feet when I jog, I got ones with gel in the soles.

3. Abs can get charlie horses just the same as calves can (and did often when I was pregnant!). And it's not fun at all. It hurts. But they are easier to stretch out that a leg is.

4. Stability balls are hilarious! The boys bounce that thing all over the place. Sit ups are a lot easier on them, but weight training one's arms is not.

5. Pilates is hard! Especially when you add a resistance band. But it's all worth it when you notice the muscles in your upper arm look a little more defined than they used to. Even if the skin is hanging a tad under the arm because of the disappearing fat... :-)

Starting weight- 227 lbs.

Weight this morning, after 4 weeks - 210.2 lbs.

That's nearly 17 lbs! I feel great! It's a little sad that I'm back down to where I "normally" am, because I still have so far to go. But it's better than I was and I'll take it.