In a Previous Life

All the content from the previous iteration of The Redesigned Mom. This is a new chapter for me and for this blog and so we have moved on, but I wanted to make sure all my previous content was available to those who still enjoy it. I hope you will continue to visit in our new form, there are a lot of exciting things going on.

Training for this triathlon has been a labor of discovery for me.

First of all, I’m not very organized.  I even had the date wrong.  It is a whole week earlier than I thought.  Gheesh!

But, you know what?  I am really proud of myself.

I started small and worked at it piece by piece and now I am five weeks out and I really think I am going to make it.

I had such a powerful week last week.  I ran my first 5k without walking and swam just under a mile without stopping.   It was such a huge confidence boost for me that I laid down the money for the rest of the equipment I needed.

My bike arrived yesterday (I had to order it as every REI in the area was out of my bike in my size – of course) and I felt like a little kid on Christmas walking out of there with my new bike, my helmet under my arm and a bag full of biking goodies.   I swear the smile on my face must have been a mile wide.  Some young cute guy even commented on how nice my bike was as I was walking it to my car.  Hee Hee!

I even splurged on a swim suit and a brand new nuu-muu.

In buying all this gear I have been surprised at how girly I am.  Anyone who knows me knows that girly is not a word that describes me.  Even my daughter told me the helmet with the flowers on it was too girly for me —  she later changed her mind and we agreed that it was the cutest one and in the bag it went.  I also got a purple bell and will be completing my tri in a bubbly dress.   Wow, how far I have come.

My biggest surprise is how much I am enjoying it all.  I look forward to going out for a run and can’t wait to jump in the pool.  I am making progress and reaching my goals.  Two days ago I only had a few minutes so squeezed in a short jog to the park and back.  I was barely winded and when I mapped it on google maps it was two miles.  Two miles.  I couldn’t believe it.  a few months ago I couldn’t run a few hundred yards without keeling over.  And last night I took my new bike out for a spin and went 8 miles without even blinking.

I can do this.  I have been procrastinating and giving myself outs and making excuses for months because I was terrified of failing at this and now I know I can do this.

“We believe in strong girls and women. We believe in real people, real bodies and real friends. We believe in trying really hard. We believe that moments of truth can be extended to lifetimes of truth. We believe in having fun along the way. We believe that you can too.”  — Nuu-Muu’s Girl Power Philosophy

Thanks for the inspiration ladies!

With all the research and methodologies I have tried over the last year I have become quite the nutrition aficionado and although my style of eating has changed dramatically, I still have not made the true lifestyle changes that will support real and lasting weight loss.  I do find it frustrating though that even when I am really strict about what I eat and exercise regularly I have trouble losing more than a few pounds and the minute I let up in the least it pops right back up again, like overnight.

Something is amiss, but I also accept that finding out what that is may be nearly impossible and that my only option is to buckle down and do what it takes, but that all seems so overwhelming.  So,   I am currently taking a break from trying to solve the weight loss problem and am just concentrating on one thing at a time.  See, I have a tendency to look too far into the future or see the picture as too big.  Then I get overwhelmed and end up saying “fuck it” and giving up on the whole thing.

So, for now I am concentrating on the triathlon that I am running on September 25th.  One step at a time.  I started with the swimming by taking swim lessons two nights a week.  When I was pretty sure that I could swim the half mile I needed to and had built some swimming confidence I added the running piece and last night I ran a full 5k without stopping.  I’m not setting any records but I didn’t stop or feel that I needed to.

Now, onto the bike.  This weekend I will be purchasing my first bike and adding that into the mix.  One small step at a time.

I am trying to take this approach with more things in my life as this state of ineffectiveness infects almost everything I do.

Set small attainable goals and accomplish the task.

Today I am writing this blog post.   I am not transferring this into expectations that I will write a post every day or any time in the future.  Right now I am writing this and that is good enough for now.

Never in my life did I think that I would become so paralyzed in my own skin, but I am working on it (and working on it and working on it).  I was expressing my frustration at my continuing struggles at therapy the other day.  I have licked the depression and anxiety, poof… gone.   I have battled old demons, healed old wounds and gained unforeseen perspective.  I have finally grown up and faced the real world.  So why is everything still so hard?

She had a couple of words of wisdom.  First, I need to acknowledge how far I have come and accept that change is hard and doesn’t take place over night.  She also explained that not being depressed is different from being happy and not being anxious is different than being calm and centered.  These things take work too and small steps is the only way to get there.  There is always more work to do.

So, I take small steps and am thankful each day for those that love me and allow me to love them back.

Now if only I could get Ian to stop shitting his pants.  ;)

Let the anticipation begin…

Sara Bareilles has recently released the first single off her sophomore album.  The album will be named “Kaleidoscope Heart” and will be released sometime late this summer.

I am so fucking stoked is all I can really say.  It has been three years since “Little Voice” came out and I have just about played out the cd.  It is not very often that an album comes along that every song is great.  The album is so good that I hate to split the songs up by putting them on my mp3 player or a mix tape.

“Little Voice” was influential and changing in my life and has earned its place on my top 10 albums of all time list.  Can not wait to hear what she has for us next.

OK, enough gushing.

The new single is called “King of Anything” and it has me very excited to hear the rest of the album.  It is a bit of a Fuck You song, which is always great but it also has the driving piano melody, pointed lyrics, sing-a-long, dance in your car with it blaring out the windows thing that makes Sara so phenomenal.

Check it out and enjoy!

Get more info on the upcoming record and make sure to check out the “Making of…” webisodes

I was just checking my Amazon Associates account this morning and they always show you what items are selling really well in a given category on the front page. Well this morning it was Books and one of the best selling books is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

It just happens that I am reading this book right now. I just thought that was a funny coincidence, so I thought I would share it with you.

It looks like the third book of this trilogy has just come out. Ooh, I better get reading. I didn’t even know this was a trilogy. I am a total sucker for series books. I just never want the story to end.

So far I am really loving it. It did take me three times to get through the first chapter, but I knew this was coming since a friend of my gave it to me to read and she said it is a little hard to get into, but once you get past page 40 or so it is a total page turner.

I have to agree whole heartedly. It is a little dense at the very beginning, but it is necessary back-story so don’t skip ahead. Just start this one when you are in a reading mood.  I’m really looking forward to the can’t put it down moments that are sure to come.

I will come back and update this post once I have finished the book.

For now, here are links to all three books. Let’s get reading…

Book 1: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Book 2: The Girl Who Played with Fire
Book 3: The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Or, get all three books in a hardbound collection for your library.

I am not a protein shake person so I have been struggling a little with the shake days on the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet.

I do make a lot of smoothies for my kids so I just modified that recipe a little for a fruit smoothie, which is quite tasty.  I also supplement dinner and one snack with real food carefully calculated to ensure I am staying within my calories and ratios.

This morning I was feeling I might need to try something a little different.  When I started this I bought one vanilla and one chocolate protein powder.  My chocolate hasn’t been getting much use really as I couldn’t figure out what to put with it.  I am not a huge fan of chocolate peanut butter flavored things so the protein/fat smoothies are my big challenge and I also don’t really like chocolate and fruit together so you can see my dillema here.

Side Note: I use and recommend Jay Robb Whey Protein.  It tastes great and meets all the recommended quality and nutritional recommendations — high quality ingredients and sweetened with stevia.

I threw some things together this morning and it turned out pretty good, so I thought I would share my couple of shake recipes with you.

How Much of Each Ingredient?

Each one of us will have specific quantity requirements to meet our calories and macro-nutrient ratios.  For this reason I have left the amount off of anything that would add to the caloric total or affect the ratios.

There is a whole section of the diet manual dedicated to calculating your needs.  This is a very important part of the program so don’t skip over this part.

Morning Wake Up Call

Chocolate protein powder
Non-Fat Milk
Banana
1 t. instant coffee
1 t. unsweetened baking cocoa

Mix it all together in a blender. May need a little more time in the blender than other shakes to fully dissolve and incorporate the instant coffee granules.

Basic Fruit Smoothie

Vanilla protein powder
Orange Juice
Banana
Fresh or Frozen Berries (whatever you have works great – I love the frozen mixed berries)

Blend and enjoy!

Side Note: If you like your smoothies colder or thicker, add a couple of ice cubes after you have blended the ingredients together and then spin it again until all the ice is crushed up.

Bonus Tip: One thing I have noticed about protein powder is if you let it sit for a minute or so after blending but before you drink it, it tastes better and has a better consistency. This gives it time to fully dissolve. What I do is blend it up and then let it sit for a minute or two and then give it another little spin before I pour it into a glass. Way Better!

Learn More about the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet

When I started the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet I had never heard of BCAAs.  I am not a body builder and have no desire to be one or even live that lifestyle, but I really like what Joel Marion has to say about the science of metabolism and fat loss and my system needs a major reboot.  That is why I am completing this 25 day program.

But, not being a body builder and not know about all the various supplements they take, I had some questions.  What are BCAAs?  Why do I have to take them?  How much do I take?  Where do I get them?

As I see what others are asking about them, I also see that people are having a hard time interpreting the label and determining how many pills they need to take.

So, I thought I would take a few minute and share what I have learned and give you a few resources.  I am not a doctor or a trainer or a nutritionist or anyone with any expertise in this.  I am simply following the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet and searched out some additional information I thought some others might find helpful.  Please do not take this information as gospel.  Do your own research and by all means talk to an expert if you have any concerns.

What are BCAAs

BCAA  stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids.  Amino Acids are the “building blocks of Protein”.  Proteins are made up of strings of amino acids.  BCAA are just a specific kind of amino acids that contains a branch in it’s molecular structure.

When we eat protein, it is broken down into amino acids which are then used by our bodies in different ways.  How efficiently we absorb these amino acids varies greatly depending on the quality of the food we eat and differs in different kinds of protein (dairy vs. meat for example).

So, BCAAs are really just the basic fundamentals of proteins in a pill.

Why am I taking BCAA on my fast day?

BCAAs make up about a third of the bodies amino acids and are an essential component of skeletal muscle mass.  The purpose of taking them on the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet fast day is to prevent the loss of muscle mass that would typically go along with the giant caloric deficit we are creating on this day.

How Much Do I Take?

These calculation are specific to the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet and the amounts are just for the fast day.  If you are not using this system, please follow the dosage recommendations on the package.

For the fast day you want to take .3 grams (or 300 mg) per pound of total weight.  You want to take this total amount and split it by six so you can take it six times a day.

Let’s use me as an example…

.3 x 163 lbs = 48.9 grams BCAA per day

Six servings of 8.15 grams

Now lets look at how to determine how many pills to take.  It will very likely be unclear what amount of BCAA will be in each pill so you will need to look at the label and do some math.

On the nutritional label of your BCAA bottle it will list the total amount of BCAAs per serving.  This will likely be broken down on the label by specific amino acids.  You want to add up the amounts listed for each amino acid.  The amino acids start with an L- .    This doesn’t mean per pill though.  It will say how many pills per serving.

For example, my bottle of MRM BCAA+G 6000 says that each serving contains 6000 mg ( = 6 grams ).

There are five pills per serving…

6000 mg / 5 pills = 1200 mg per pill ( = 1.2 grams/pill )

OK, so I need 8.15 grams per serving.

8.15 /1.2 = 6.79 pills per serving

Now we all know you can’t take a part of a capsule so I take 6 pills for a couple of servings and seven for a couple of serving to make it work out.

Close enough.

Where can I get BCAAs?

I got mine at my local natural supplement store, but you can easily get them online as well.

I use the MRM brand and they are available on Amazon for a pretty reasonable price, quite a bit less than what I paid.

Amazon:  MRM BCAA+G 6000 High Potency Formula

Amazon:  Browse BCAA Supplements

Learn More about the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet – Main Website

I hope that this information has been helpful and good luck on your journey.

Well I am having a hard time figuring out if I chose the best or worst time to take this on.  Right now, life is simply lobbing me one stressful event after another.  The timing has definitely not been ideal for extreme weight loss, but it has been primed for personal growth and that sometimes is even more important.

The last several days my son has been very sick and Monday we spent the good part of the day and all evening in the ER.  He is getting better and is going to be just fine, but the stress has been profound.  Believe me, the last thing I want is excuses for why I can’t succeed at this.

This is what I struggle with time and time again.  Life gets in the way, the stress gets to me and then I eat to make myself feel better and then I feel guilty and crappy about myself so I give up.

This cycle, I only lost half a pound.  I have hit my mark in that 163 pounds is this sticking point for me.  I have not been below it since my son was born three years ago.  I try and I try and I get to 163 and it just won’t budge.  Well, here we are again after a stressful and disappointing week and I have to say I am not surprised.  I am trying very hard to look past that number and not feel defeated.

But a couple of really good things have come out of this cycle and right now I am celebrating the littlest of victories.  I am still here.  I haven’t given up, I haven’t blown my diet.   I am sticking to the plan, despite all the obstacles.  I will finish what I started and push past my fears.

I also started exercising again.  There are still many things that I can’t do with my thumb as it is, but I went for a run and biked as well.  I also tried out some of the bodyweight exercise routines, which I totally love.  There were several of the exercises that I couldn’t do as I am unable to put my full weight on that hand, but I either modified, substituted or skipped the moves I couldn’t do and kept going.  Tonight I am going back to swim classes for the first time since the accident.

The biggie though has been gaining some control back over the food.  The fast days have been so pinnacle in this.  Yes, I get hungry but I embrace that and I have control of whether I eat or not.  And that gives me more control over the rest of the days when I have to choose what I will eat, whether I will stick to the plan or give into the little gremlins in my head.

Through all the last few weeks of craziness with family in and out of the house and two major medical events, I have stuck to the plan as much as I could.  There have been moments of weakness and moments of circumstance, but I didn’t let them affect my resolve.  I just kept going.  This may not seem like much to you, but for me it is a pretty big deal.

I have two more cycles to go and I hope that I can get it together enough to lose a little weight in the process.  But even if I don’t, I have gained a lot from this and I will be completing the program again in July before my husband and I take a trip to Sonoma.  So, I will have another chance to make it happen for me.

I have updated the Xtreme Fat Loss page with the latest.  Not much to look at though…

Don’t let my lack of success deter you from this program.  My results have nothing to do with the program.  I have no doubt that it works and that you could achieve significant results.

Learn More at the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet Website

Don’t let your fears or reservations stop you in achieving your goals.  When we fall all there is to do is to get up and keep going.

This week we are celebrating being healthy and small victories. This thing with my thumb could have been so much worse and although it has kept me from being as hard core as my heart would like right now, I am thankful.

I will take my one pound and rejoice it. I am also looking forward to rocking it this cycle. I have three to go. That is plenty of time to do some serious damage.

Wow, I sound cheezy.

Anyway, new stats and even a new photo (eek!) have been posted on the Xtreme Fat Loss Page.

Despite my obstacles I am dedicated and feeling very positive about this program.

Joel Marion’s Xtreme Fat Loss Diet

I have finally set up a facebook page for The Redesigned Mom.

I’m not sure exactly how I will utilize it. I definitely need to do some research and thinking on how to create a valuable experience there. In the meantime it will be another way to follow me and a place to post special site updates and such.

Check it out and make sure to “Like” me.

The Redesigned Mom Facebook Page

Well, here we are on protein day of cycle two of the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet. This week has been a struggle with me because of my thumb.

I have not been able to work out at all. I tried to do some lower body work, but any bouncing of my body is painful and any significant increase in my heart rate starts it throbbing.

I also just generally don’t feel particularly well with a feeling of general wooginess. When part of your body is dealing with trauma it is like the rest just functions at half mast.

I have been pretty good about sticking to the food plan though, with a few minor exceptions. I couldn’t fast entirely, but I did manage to keep it to three small bites of food corresponding with when I needed to take my medication.

I didn’t have a chance to plan as well as I would have liked and grocery shopping got pushed out a couple of days so I had to wing it a little. I found myself very hungry yesterday during moderate carb day. I assume that had something to do with not planning and therefore not eating enough of the right things at the right time. Hunger is not something that has been an issue with this program at all, except on fast days and that is to be expected and easily managed.

All of this makes me a little nervous for this cycles results. I am just hoping that I can really dig in next cycle.

Joel had a bodyweight workout made to accompany the program and I am really excited about that. I am a huge fan of bodyweight workouts and much prefer them to weight lifting. Included is a booklet explaining everything and with logging sheets. Also there are instructional videos for each exercise as well as follow along videos for each type of day. I am really excited to give these a try next go around.

My new cycle starts tomorrow and once again I have family coming into town. I have definitely had my challenges with the program and ultimately I am impressed that I am still motivated and dedicated to making it happen. Big step for me.

Learn more about Joel Marion’s Xtreme Fat Loss Diet