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Happy Monday!

This is day 29 of our Whole30 adventure and I have to say, I’m amazed at how relatively easy it has been. Most importantly, my wonderful AH has been totally onboard with the plan – I don’t think I would have made it otherwise. We’ve also had a great Facebook group – these folks have shared recipes, given encouragement and helped us all stay on track. We’re even continuing the group after W30 is over – everyone has noticed so many positive changes we don’t want to quit!

I am eager to continue trying new recipes, looking for ways to slowly add back in some things (like…wine…not gonna lie, I’ve missed wine!) and maintaining my new healthy lifestyle.

I’d love to hear your Whole30 experiences! Please comment and let’s start a conversation!

To your health!

Lori

P.S. My music career is taking off! You can hear some of my music and see videos at: http://www.loriyearymusic.com

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Just Do It. Good advice. If you’re on the fence about starting – or continuing a diet and exercise program, why are you hesitating? What’s keeping you from losing weight? What’s keeping you from going to the gym or even taking a walk around the block? If you keep coming up with excuses you’ll waste precious time and keep going around the mountain of frustration, depression and unhealthy lifestyle.

I speak from experience, believe me. I spent a good portion of 50 years convinced that I could never weigh less than 140 pounds and was destined to me tired and frustrated with the way I looked and felt. I tried every diet program, plan and pill on the market – all without successfully taking off, or keeping off more than about 11 pounds for any length of time. The problem was this: I wasn’t motivated. It may sound excruciatingly simple, but that’s it. It wasn’t until December of 2011 that I finally got motivated to get my butt off the couch and into the gym. I was tired, frustrated, unhappy and borderline depressed. I hated the way I looked, felt and looked at the world around me with uninterested disdain.

When I finally woke up from my potato chip/diet soda/fast food haze I took a long, hard look at my diet and realized I was eating myself to an early grave. I had heard something about aspartame and how bad it is for you, but I never really paid heed to it until I started doing some research. What I learned shocked me. All those sugar free snacks and drinks (and even chewing gum) I was ingesting – thinking I was being “healthy” were actually making me tired, achy and fat. I was carrying around 30 extra pounds on a 5’4” frame and I was miserable.

My first step was a 21 day Standard Process Cleanse. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables replaced the fatty foods I normally ate and hot water or green tea replaced my usual morning coffee. At the end of the cleanse I had only lost 4 pounds, but felt better so I kept going. I’ve never been able to stick to a “diet” of any kind so I chose to count calories instead. I discovered an iPhone app that changed my life: My Fitness Pal. I started logging everything that went into my mouth and made portion control the rule rather than exception at every meal. I also started going to the gym (just walking first, then jogging, then the elliptical) 4-5 days a week. By the end of April I had reached my initial goal of 20 pounds lost. I was motivated!

The last 10 pounds took a little longer to lose, but I was feeling so much better, healthier and stronger I didn’t care. I started slalom waterskiing in June (a lifelong but unattainable goal to this point) and knew at that point I would never go back to my old way of eating. I kept watching my calories, exercising and drinking lots of water and by November I was down a total of 25 pounds. The final 5 pounds was just a bonus in January 2013.

Believe me when I say if I can do it, anyone can. No excuses. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family. But please do it. Start today. You’ll never regret it!

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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This time last year I was 13 pounds down from my starting weight in January – not quite halfway to my goal of losing 30 pounds. I remember feeling so excited about the fact that my clothes were looser, I had more energy and I was feeling better about the way I looked. In all honesty, I expected to lose about 20 pounds and not be able to lose any more. Oh me of little faith…

Like so many people, I yo-yo dieted for years. After I had my second child I lost 30 pounds and kept it off for quite a while. Then life barged in, I got busy and quit caring about what I ate. I’d finish everything on my plate, then proceed to finish off whatever was left on the kids plates. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted it. And the pounds piled on. Then I’d buy the latest diet pill and half-heartedly embark on a “diet”. I didn’t exercise aside from chasing two kiddos around and I honestly wasn’t very motivated to lose weight. When I had moderate success on a diet I would quickly get tired of the menu choices and run straight for the ice cream. Over the years I’ve probably lost (and regained) a good 30-40 pounds. That’s just sad.

Something clicked in my brain in December of 2010. I finally saw, really recognized that I had a problem. I was overweight, out of shape, borderline depressed and generally unhappy with life in general. I was still relatively healthy (a heart scan came back completely clean) and my doctor didn’t tell me I had to lose weight. But I knew. I’m 5’4” and was wearing a size 12 – and quickly headed to a size 14. I know that’s pretty normal for a woman in her early 50’s, but it was too much for me. I decided – no determined-to lose weight and get in shape. And I did it.

My initial goal was to lose 20 pounds. That would probably have been plenty, but the more I changed my lifestyle, exercise and eating habits, the better I felt. So I kept going. The next goal was 25 total pounds lost. It took from April to August to achieve that goal and was well worth the effort. I started running in August and since then have lost the remaining 5 pounds. And it feels so good.

If you had told me this time last year I would be 30 pounds thinner, had run three 5k races and be wearing a size 2 I would have said you were crazy. But I did it. And you can too.

LY Before

4.1.13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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December 2011 to October 2012 – What a difference in just 10 months!

 

This has been a year of “firsts” for me. First time to lose over 20 pounds and keep it off longer than a few months. First time to slalom water ski. First time to run a mile, then two miles. First time to run 3 miles. Ever.

This past Saturday was a huge milestone for me. I ran my first 5k race. My first goal was just to run (no walking) the whole thing. As I gained strength and confidence during training I decided to challenge myself. I wanted to run the entire 5k with an average of less than 12 minutes per mile. I’m happy to say I did it! 11:45 was my official time and I’m thrilled with that number! I finished the race number 104 out of 545 runners, so that put me in the top 20%. Not bad for a woman who was so out of shape this time last year she didn’t want to walk around the block!

I could not have made it through the last 10 months without the love, encouragement and support of my awesome husband, amazing daughters and dear friends. It has not been an easy journey, but there is nothing I would change, and I certainly would never go back to the way I was. It’s hard to explain the difference in the way I think, look and act. I’m a stronger, more confident woman now than I’ve ever been.

The sense of accomplishment is huge – I actually ran – and finished – a 5k race. My next goal is to run a 10k next spring. And soon I’ll begin training for a half marathon. Seriously, who am I? I have discovered that I can run – and I actually kind of enjoy it. Now on to the next challenge!

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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I didn’t want to run today. I woke up with a headache. It was foggy. And cool. And I didn’t get enough sleep. I almost went back to sleep. But I didn’t. I knew deep down inside that I would regret it if I didn’t go. So I got up, took some Advil, put on my running clothes and ran. 2.64 miles (without walking!) – a personal best.

What’s keeping you from exercising? What keeps you from going on that diet, eating healthier, drinking more water, improving your quality of life? For me it was the fact that I hated to run and wanted to eat what I wanted without thinking about it. That all changed last January. I finally got tired of feeling tired all the time and looking at my overweight, out of shape body in the mirror. So I got up, put my workout clothes on and went to the gym. I started counting calories (thank you, MyFitnessPal!) and being aware of everything I put in my mouth. And gradually I started losing weight. It didn’t happen overnight, but I didn’t gain that extra 25 pounds overnight either. By May I had lost 25 pounds – and looked and felt better than I had in over 25 years!

It’s difficult to adequately express the changes I’ve experienced over the last 10 months. So much about me is different – and it’s not just the size of my clothes. I think differently now. I’m very aware of everything I eat – not obsessively, but just in a “do I really want to eat this” kind of mentality. I am more motivated to exercise than I ever thought possible and enjoying more than I could have imagined. I actually arrange my daily schedule to make sure I have time to run. Weird. My husband and daughters look at me and ask “who are you”?? It’s funny, but they are all very proud of me – which feels so good.

In just a few days I’ll be running my first 5k. And I do mean running. My goal is to run the entire race – no walking. Someone asked what my goal was after that. I’ll definitely run another 5k, maybe two, then I want to train for a 10k. The ultimate goal is to run a half-marathon (13.1 miles) before I turn 55. Wow. To go from not running at all to even thinking about running a 5k, to even considering running a half-marathon is nothing short of amazing.

I can do this. I will do this.

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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Well, here we are, 9 months out from the beginning of my weight loss/healthier living/new me journey. My weight is holding steady, I have way more energy and I’m looking forward to running my first 5k in October. It’s amazing, really. Just one year ago I didn’t even want to get off the couch. Now I’m rearranging my schedule so I can get some gym time before work! Seriously, who am I?

We just returned from a week-long vacation in Missouri and I actually achieved some 2012/2013 goals ahead of schedule. When I learned to slalom waterski back in June (has it just been three months??), I determined that I wanted to be good enough to need my own waterski by early 2013. Well, my AH decided the time was NOW, so we bought a new ski! I also wanted to graduate to a shorter rope (which means I ski A LOT faster) – boom! Done! I never thought I would love waterskiing enough to want to ski in cool weather, but I bought a wetsuit before we left and actually used it on our last morning at the lake. 3 pretty big goals reached in one week. That’s amazing.

I have, in the past, been really bad about setting out to do something, keeping it up for a while and then slacking off. My weight loss experiences have pretty much been that way. I’d lose some weight; keep it off for a couple of months and then wham! It went back on – plus some. I’d decide to let my short hair grow out, last a couple of months and then whack! I’d cut it all off. I’ve not been too good in the “stick to it” department. Except in my marriage!

This mindset change has kind of taken me by surprise. I’m more determined to keep up this weight loss/fitness journey than ever in my life. I can’t wait to get to January 1, 2013 and celebrate my weight loss success! I can’t wait to get to June 1, 2013 and celebrate keeping off those 25 pounds for a whole year. I told my AH last week this is the first time in a VERY long time I can honestly say I’m proud of myself about something. I set some goals, persevered and accomplished them.

AH asked me what the difference was this time. I have to say it’s that I finally decided to make changes for myself. I wasn’t trying to please anyone – not my family, friends, whoever. This was for me – I made the decision outside of any other consideration. I also “went public”. I started blogging about my journey from day 1 so it was out there for whoever wanted to follow along. It’s definitely kept me accountable, even though I’m not even sure how many people actually read this thing.

I say all this to encourage you today. What is it in your life that’s always seemed just out of reach? What have you always wanted to do, but never had the courage to try? Believe me, you’re never too old to do something totally new and different! Pursue that dream. Lose the weight. Take that trip. Set some goals and get moving! You won’t regret it – and your life will be much richer on the other side.

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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This will be a multi-part blog, so bear with me. There’s a lot of ground to cover!  Parenting is an interesting proposition. It is at times wonderful, challenging, harrowing and seemingly impossible, but always, always worth every ounce of effort you invest.

When Awesome Husband (AH) and I started talking about having children, we had very specific ideas about how to raise them. We had watched other parents (good and bad) and determined that our kids would not be perfect (duh!), but they would be well-behaved, respectful and relatively well-adjusted. We acknowledged that it wouldn’t be easy, but we agreed – which is the first key to parenting well.

Agreement is critical to raising good kids. Critical. It is also imperative. As parents, your job is to come to an understanding early on (preferably before you have children) about how you are going to discipline, encourage, edify and help your children grow into responsible adults. I created an “ABC’s of Parenting” that I believe served us well. I think our grown daughters would agree – we weren’t perfect, but we were pretty consistent when it came to raising them!

So, let’s get started.

AAccept your children for the awesome individuals God created them to be. Acknowledge that each child’s personality, learning style, and emotional makeup will be completely different than their siblings. Appreciate those differences and celebrate them. Be Aware of how each child addresses challenges and problems. Help them understand that God created them to be who they are and he doesn’t make mistakes! Be ready to Apologize when you, inevitably make mistakes. This one was really hard for me, because it had not been well modeled by my own parents. It took me a while, but I learned to say “I was wrong” when I really messed up with my kids.

BBelieve in your child’s abilities and inherent goodness. Bless your children daily. Whether it’s a simple “I love who you are”, “You are awesome” or praying over them before they start their day, blessing your children will set them up for success. Balance your life so that you have time for your kids. Every day. No matter how busy you are, be available if they need to talk. I remember there were days when we were so tired the last thing we wanted to do was listen to elementary/middle/high school drama, but we knew it was important so we set aside time for each of the girls. Don’t hesitate to set Boundaries for your kids. Even if they rail against it, every child really wants boundaries. They need to know what the rules are, and that the rules aren’t situational. Make a rule and stick to it. Draw a line in the sand and don’t waiver. But think it through, carefully, so you don’t have to reverse yourself later!

That’s probably enough to chew on for now. I’d love your feedback – and if you have questions, please let me know! I don’t pretend that we are/were perfect parents. Far from it. Just two human beings doing the best we can with the experience God gave us on this journey. Hopefully it helps.

Up next: CDE

Taking joy in the journey,

Lori

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