cleanse | days 19-21

DAY 19 --breakfast: smoothie [protein, bee pollen, coconut water, mixed berries, peaches, mango, spinach] snack: none lunch: [applegate] chicken sausage, avocado, herb lettuce, wrapped in a brown rice tortilla snack: 1/2 larabar dinner: juice [2 large kale leaves, 3 carrots, 1 beet, 1 lemon, 1 pear, piece of ginger]

the thoughts of cheating keep getting stronger and stronger. everything i look at that i am not allowed to eat right now, i think about taking a bite.

just one bite. no, don't! you're so close. but no one would know. just a tiny nibble. no way!

my mind goes back and forth. back and forth. thankfully, the side that really wants to see this through prevails every time.

DAY 20 -- breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, bee pollen, water, mixed berries, peaches, spinach] snack: carrots with hummus lunch: turkey lunchmeat, guacamole, lettuce, onion wrapped in brown rice tortilla snack: none dinner: smoothie [protein, flax meal, almond milk, mixed berries, mango, kale]

i confess. day 20 and i cheated.  i had carrots at 11 PM. the closer i get to the end, the stronger the urges to cheat.  all in all, a great day though.

DAY 21 -- breakfast: none snack: none lunch: smoothie [protein, flax meal, bee pollen, fiber, coconut water, raspberries, mango, kale, spinach] snack: piece of [applegate] turkey lunch meat dinner: smoothie [protein, flax meal, coconut water, raspberries, mango, kale]

i rushed around early morning and then headed to apple store at 9:30 AM, to get my computer fixed.  i was there two hours, hence my not eating breakfast or a snack. needless to say, i was starving by the time i got back home at 12:30 PM and rushed to make a quick smoothie. so here i am now, just a few hours from being done with my 21-day clean program cleanse.  can't believe i made it. proud that i made it. feeling great.

so what's my first day post-cleanse going to be like? coffee smoothie for breakfast [water, ice, 1/2 banana, peanut butter, protein, fiber, kale] i might try a gluten free cookie, that i've been eyeing at the health food store [hope it's yummy as i've been fantasizing it is, but probably not] something super clean for lunch dinner out with a friend, which will include a beer

i'll be sharing my cleanse conclusion in a few days. i figured i'd get a couple regular days under my belt before sharing all my post-cleanse thoughts.

so happy i'm done!!!

cleanse | days 16-18

DAY 16 --breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, bee pollen, coconut oil, coconut water, raspberries, mango, kale] snack: none lunch: two applegate chicken sausages snack: none dinner: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, almond milk, water, raspberries, mango, kale]

pretty uneventful day. felt great but at the computer or running errands most of the day.  once done with the cleanse, my plan is to do a 'cleanse conclusion' post, sharing my overall thoughts regarding my three weeks of doing the clean program.  so if you have a question, please ask and i'll be sure to answer it in my final cleanse post.

DAY 17 -- breakfast: none snack: none lunch: white chicken chili snack: 1/2 larabar [i would have eaten a whole one but that's all i had] dinner: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, avocado coconut water, mixed berries, mango, spinach, kale]

i woke up at 2:30 AM, from hearing ryder struggle to breathe. rushed him to the ER, where his oxygen saturation was low and he had a 101.5 fever. ended up receiving IV, labwork, chest xray, IV antibiotics and was put on oxygen. four hours later, he was diagnosed with bronchitis and we were sent home. and all of that threw off my morning and is the reason i didn't have breakfast or snack. the chili was such a great change from my daily roll-ups.  day 17 was just weird probably because of the combination of stress, lack of sleep and not enough food.  had a lingering headache pretty much the entire day.  blah! made grilled cheese with bacon and avocado for the family and it took everything i had not to nibble on the bacon.

DAY 18 -- late breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, bee pollen, coconut water, mixed berries, mango, carrots, spinach] snack: apple with almond butter and carrots with hummus lunch: none snack: a couple pieces of [applegate] turkey breast lunchmeat dinner: a smoothie [protein, water, almond milk, mixed berries, peaches, spinach]

i'm getting kind of lazy. with my food. with my supplements. keep forgetting to take my supplements here and there. not wanting to really cook anything. although i never really wanted to cook anything just for myself. it's just that much worse now. just munching and wanting to get through these last few days. i should have eaten lunch but i had a late breakfast and then snacked a bit and lunch time had come and gone. thinking about cheating with all kinds of crazy stuff -- cookies, a coke, a hamburger. i don't even really drink coke but i'm really wanting some at the moment. these past three days have really been kind of weird.

only three more days. monday tuesday wednesday. monday tuesday wednesday. monday tuesday wednesday. that's all. three days. and i'm DONE!!!!!!

as confident as i am that this cleanse absolutely was the right thing for me to do, i absolutely cannot wait to be done!

cleanse | days 13-15

DAY 13 --breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, bee pollen, coconut oil, water, mixed berries, mango, carrots, spinach] snack: carrots with hummus lunch: lettuce, spinach, chicken, avocado, mustard wrapped in brown rice tortilla snack: larabar dinner: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, almond milk, water, raspberries, mango, kale]

pretty much blah day because of the day before. was tired the entire day. feeling so ready to be done.

DAY 14 -- breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, bee pollen, coconut oil, water, mixed berries, mango, carrots, spinach] snack: none lunch: [applegate] chicken breast lunchmeat, herb lettuce, hummus, mustard wrapped in brown rice tortilla snack: half a larabar dinner: smoothie [protein, fiber, coconut oil, coconut water, peaches, raspberries, carrots, kale]

felt back to normal on day 14, but was really hungry by late evening [probably should have been in bed].  i think about quitting multiple times every day, this day included. just really ready to be done, but then also i've come this far and so why quit now. but yes, i'm so darn excited about day 21 being only a week away. wondering how i should celebrate the big day?

DAY 15 -- breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, bee pollen, coconut water, raspberries, mango, carrots, spinach] snack:  apple with almond butter lunch:  [applegate] chicken breast lunchmeat, herb lettuce, hummus wrapped in brown rice tortilla and 1/2 larabar snack: 1/2 larabar dinner: you guessed it. a smoothie [protein, fiber, flax meal, coconut water, mixed berries, mango, kale]

man i woke up hungry on day 15 and stayed hungry most of the day. late night, i was so hungry that i couldn't think straight. it's funny how the days vary so much [not in my eating, but in my level of hunger]. besides being hungry, i felt great.

i know my lunches are boring and repetitive but i have no desire to really cook anything different or special. and i'm really not a very big vegetable eater ever. i tell myself every day that i'm going to make a juice, but that seems to never happen. maybe tomorrow. i have beets, carrots, apples and ginger waiting for me. i really need to juice more.

six more days and i'm DONE! cannot wait, cannot wait, cannot wait. kiele asked me today what my first meal was going to be post-cleanse...a donut? ummm...no, not a donut. but what IS my first meal going to be? it's kind of exciting to think about.

you can find my original post regarding this clean program cleanse here.

cleanse | days 10-12

DAY 10 -- breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, bee pollen, water, almond milk, raspberries, pineapple, spinach] snack: apple with almond butter lunch: [applegate] chicken sausage, lettuce, spinach, mushrooms, avocado & hummus wrapped in brown rice tortilla snack:  none dinner:  smoothie [protein, fiber, coconut water, raspberries, mango, kale]

while i was so hungry the previous three days, day 10 brought something different -- i was actually full after lunch and stayed satisfied the rest of the day.  well, i stayed hungry until we went to a 10 PM movie and oh...the smell of movie popcorn.

HELL YEA -- HALFWAY THERE!!!!!!

DAY 11 --

breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, bee pollen, flax meal, coconut water, mixed berries, pineapple, spinach, kale] snack: none lunch: smoothie [protein, fiber, bee pollen, flax meal, coconut water, mixed berries, pineapple, spinach, kale] snack:  none dinner: grilled chicken with side salad and 1/2 larabar [at restaurant at the polynesian hotel, disney world]

today was supposed to be disney world but the parks were so crowded, we decided not to go to any parks.  but we did go visit our friends, who were in orlando, from pennsylvania.  since i wanted to eat dinner with everyone, i decided to do a smoothie for breakfast and lunch and dinner at a restaurant [with our friends]. all went well with no cheating but i sure did want a sip of steve's jalapeno margarita and a bite of his white chocolate cheesecake. oh yea, i really wanted some of the fresh right-out-of-the-oven hawaiian bread too; it smelled amazing.

DAY 12 --

breakfast: smoothie [protein, fiber, bee pollen, flax meal, coconut water, mixed berries, pineapple, spinach, kale] snack: none lunch: salad of lettuce, avocado & black beans [at mexican restaurant at epcot] snack:  none dinner: a couple of beers

yes, you read right, i had a couple of beers at dinner. we spent the day with friends at epcot center and ended up at 'the house of blues' in downtown disney, for dinner. we sat on the patio, listening to awesome live music. we ate [well everyone except me], we drank and the kids played and played and played. we didn't get back home last night until about 10:30 PM and exhausted, i went right to bed. so it's now the morning of the 13th day and i'm back at it but feel pretty much like shit. i'm tired and way, way dehydrated right now.  but it sure was an awesome day and evening spent with our friends, who had flown in from DC. hoping to get my body back on track today.

you can find my original post regarding this clean program cleanse here.

a couple of iphone photos...

retouching | what is too much?

my earlier blog post regarding redbook's faith hill [2007] cover photo seems to have gotten quite a bit of attention -- both positive and negative.  while i really do appreciate all comments, i feel it necessary to clarify and expand upon a few things... first, my parenting was questioned in a comment. and while you can attack almost anything about me, please don't question my parenting abilities [or my children] because you don't know anything about either. no, i DON'T let my kids read redbook or any similar type of magazine; however, they DO see these types of magazines every time we go to the grocery store. or maybe they're on the table at a friend's house. magazine covers can be seen all over the place. and it doesn't take my 8-year-old very long to read the messages on those magazine covers. i work very hard to actively parent and educate my children -- to the best of my ability -- which happens to include such concepts as self-esteem, confidence, health, inner beauty, etc.

regarding retouching...i do touch up people. i push love handles. i slim women's arms. i soften wrinkles. i lessen double chins. i'm absolutely NOT against retouching. but i do so within limits. i do so within reason. and i think that's really my point with faith hill's cover photo -- they went to excess. they gave her the arm and waist of a 10-year-old. is it really necessary to go to those extremes? is it necessary to make jada P's skin lighter, as someone commented? i guess every artist [or editor] has their own take on what is considered within reason. and i guess ultimately, as a fellow artist, i should respect that. but it doesn't mean i can't be bummed out that so many of our magazines are showing women, whose bodies and looks are absolutely unattainable.

why am i so sensitive about all of this?  because i am a woman who has greatly struggled with self-esteem over the years, especially as a teenager. and so yes, maybe that makes me a bit more sensitive to the messages that our magazines are sending to women, to men, to our children.

as a teenager and young adult, i very secretly suffered from both bulemia and anorexia [at varying times]. i wanted to look like the women i saw in these magazines. i wanted a tiny waist and big boobs. i had photos plastered all over my closet door -- longing to be thin and beautiful and sexy, like the women i saw featured in these magazines over and over again.

i'm not sure where i'm really going with all of this. and i'm not saying my opinion is the right opinion. but i do feel that media impacts our society more than many even begin to realize.

curious as to what others think about how much retouching, tweaking, liquifying, etc. is too much, i decided to pose the question on facebook.  here's a few of the responses [selected at random]:

i try not to unless a client requests it. Sometimes there's just a little something that is distracting so i'll clean it up. or for Boudoir shots, I'll do more retouching. But if i have it my way, i do none to minimal. i don't have a problem with retouching...it is a personal preference...but you can look at a photograph and see over-smoothed skin and over-processed eyes and it makes the person look all creepy..and i think most people, if they are being completely honest and objective, would agree that there is a 'too far' line and when it's crossed, it's really obvious.

I think that is the beauty of being an artist, deciding how you want to finish our canvas. For some the natural speaks to them and for others they love the heavy photo shopping. Clients are not forced to hire us, they hire us because they like our style. That's why it's great there is so much diversity so we can all choose what makes us happy. The second someone tells me what I should be doing, takes away the whole idea of being an artist!

I guess it's up to each of us as artists and to balance that with what our clients are expecting (if we're talking about portraits). But, my personal feeling is that I want to show true beauty and real folks in my work, not what I deem a 'perfected' version of them. I am not against PS for blemishes and such (things that aren't always there anyway), it's just not my thing to make people look different than they would in real life. But, to each their own...

Unless its a photo manipulation to create surreal things but with photography I do very little editing too unless you ask me to do a lot of editing but I like models to look natural if you use photoshop do use it to where you can't noticed its been use people over use the tools

after 2-1/2 months away

i did quite a bit of traveling this summer, which factored into my 2-1/2 month break slacking from crossfit and eating like shit.  i am huge into the routine of working out and when things got thrown off, they REALLY got thrown off.  and i had a hard time getting back into the swing of things.  i really have no excuse for not working out because i could have visited any crossfit gym across the country or i could have created my own body-weight workout.  anyways...i'm now officially back at it.  i did crossfit this past friday and monday (i try to get to crossfit every M-W-F).  monday's workout was... 1000 m row 50 thrusters 40 hand release push ups 30 1 arm snatches (15 each side) 20 burpees 10 pull ups 1000 m run

i about died. so, so hard.  i could barely move yesterday, let alone walk. today, i am still crazy sore. so i decided to give myself another day to recover (as i'm still walking like an old lady) and didn't go to crossfit this morning.  instead, i'm planning to do friday's crossfit workout and sunday's yoga class.

i've also started eating well again (at least much, much better than i was).  i'm determined to get back to how i was feeling before -- mentally and physically.

i took these this morning. i had gotten ready for crossfit but after walking the kids (painfully) to school, i decided i was going to skip today and just did these pictures instead.  here's my previous update (pre-working out and april 2011 photos), for comparison.

since i was so anxious to share my crossfit progress, i thought it equally important to share my falling off the wagon.  i'm SO READY to start feeling great again!!  i miss that feeling.

spreading goodwill

Traditionally, prayer flags are used to promote peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. The flags do not carry prayers to gods, a common misconception; rather, the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras will be blown by the wind to spread the good will and compassion into all pervading space. Therefore, prayer flags are thought to bring benefit to all.

- wikipedia

when i was in wisconsin, i stayed at my dear friend, julie's house.  shortly after arriving, we had gone outside to look at julie's incredible garden and i noticed the prayer flags hanging from her front port.  later in the day, i mentioned how awesome it would be to have prayer flags at the fischer family's session (thinking maybe we could pick some up before the shoot).  the next thing i know...the prayer flags are down and ready to go with us to the shoot.

i absolutely love that we were able to have prayer flags with us at the fischer family's session.  i love it even more that they were worn from their days of dancing in the wind at julie's house.

i now long for prayer flags, to grace the front porch of my own house... prayer flags to flutter in the wind... prayer flags to bring good energy, luck and happiness... prayer flags to spread blessings and goodwill to those around.

i've been asking friends what they know about prayer flags and looking around.  while i'd love to make my own flags, i just know that that's not happening anytime soon.  so far, i've found...

these tibetan prayer flags, sold on amazon and here. or these prayer flags on etsy.  i'm a bit partial to the happiness-themed flags.

if you know a great place to purchase prayer flags or have any additional insight, i'd love to hear about it.

also, i just came across this PDF article on prayer flags, which i plan on reading later tonight.  seems like a great read.

ETA:  for anyone that might be offended because the prayer flags touched the ground, please know that at the time of these photos, i had no idea that prayer flags are not to touch the ground.  i had the absolute best of intentions in bringing them to the session and photographing them, with the fischer family.  i will never let that happen again, now that i am aware.

also, my friend, wendy, just shared this with me:

i do prayer flags with mighty girl...their flags fly to encourage the girls that come after them. i ripped an old white bed sheet into squares and give them fabric markers. http://mightygirlart.blogspot.com/2010/05/wind-horses-arriving.html

and after seeing this flag, created by nina beana, on the mighty girl art site... i'm feeling the strong need to make my own flags. a family project. designing, dreaming, gathering, creating, sewing...together as a family. my new (year old) sewing machine has been waiting for something like this, to finally make it's presence, from out of the box.  YES, our august pre-school project -- prayer flags.

dear 16-year-old me

dear 16-year-old me...i'm proud of you. keep doing what you're doing. don't give in to peer pressure. and...watch this. (actually EVERYONE watch this!!)

at age 16, i tanned on my house roof, laying on a silver mat, to attract as much sun as possible. and sometimes i added baby oil to the mix. often, i tanned until i blistered.

in my 20s, my cousin was diagnosed with melanoma on his chest. major, massive surgery. he lived. and thankfully continues to do well today.  but, you're never totally cured from melanoma.

as a nurse, melanoma scared the shit out of me.

today, i'm 41. i avoid the sun and use sunscreen. tampa is brutal; the sun here is vicious. i also get skin cancer checks every year by my dermatologist.

wish i never laid out in the sun like i did. wish i saw this video when i was 16. hoping to spread the word.

dear 16 year old me... you really shouldn't have followed the poofy hair trend; it wasn't very flattering on you.

...or the sunglasses fad.

rosie, you ARE a young genius.  sorry i missed you in utah.  next time, for sure.  thanks for the share.  xo.

eight month update

the reason that I can be 38 and have two kids and wear a bikini is because i work my ass off. it’s not an accident. it’s not luck, it’s not fairy dust, it’s not good genes. it’s killing myself for an hour and a half five days a week, but what i get out of it is relative to what i put into it. that’s what I try to do in all areas of my life.- gwyneth paltrow

although i have to say...gwyneth paltrow does have some pretty damn good genes. have you seen this photo of gwyneth and her mother?

i haven't posted a crossfit update in a while so i thought now is as good as time as any.  it's been almost eight months since my first day at crossfit jaguar. i remember so clearly walking in, nervous as hell, thinking what the hell am i doing. but i did it...telling myself over and over again, what did i have to lose; if crossfit isn't for me, i don't have to go back.

since my last update in january, i've lost a couple pounds (no, i'm not trying to lose weight) and about 1/2 inch everywhere. i've also dropped about three percent body fat.

i crossfit four times a week and do my best to eat well -- high protein, low-glycemic. but some days are just off days and i waiver, like this past week. but i WILL get back on track.

a couple weeks ago, i tracked my daily food intake.  i quickly realized that i just don't eat enough food and how very easy it is to eat a lot of carbohydrates.  i've never been a big eater and i don't like vegetables that much, so i really have to work hard at this eating well and eating enough thing.

here i was, pre-working out, may 2010.

and here i am today.  proud to be a 41-year-old, mother of three, fit, healthy and stronger than i've ever been in my entire life.  when i started crossfit, i could maybe do one military style push up.  the other day, i did 100 (no going to my knees).  can't wait till the day that i can share that i did one unassisted pull up.

there was no editing, retouching, tweaking or anything done to any of these photos.  i wanted to be honest and real, with everything i posted throughout this journey.

i share these continued updates to hopefully inspire.  you CAN do it!! it's never too late to get fit and be healthy.  i truly haven't felt better and i keep getting stronger and stronger.  it's really been an amazing journey and i never thought i'd say this but...i actually look forward to working out; i crave it. i know and completely understand that crossfit isn't for everyone, but i hope that you will find that thing that works for you!!

you can see more photos and read more about my getting fit journey here.

i pinned this today (via pinterest) and it says it perfectly (couldn't find original source to give credit)...

lastly, check out this amazing video of crossfit women.  blows my mind!!

if you have any questions, please ask!  i'm no expert, but i can offer my personal thoughts.

ETA --

Q: is it a class or did you have to get a personal trainer? A: personally, i started out with a personal trainer three times a week.  and did that for three months,until i got to the point that i was comfortable to go into a class.  however, depending on the gym, you might be able to go right into a class (many gyms are now requiring a fundamentals or foundations course).  for me, i wanted to get a good understanding of the workouts and make sure i knew how to do the lifts properly so i wouldn't get hurt.

Q: where do I find this workout? i admit Im out of shape and have a few health issues..i need to get fit!!! how often do you train? A: you can read all about crossfit here. that website has everything -- workouts of the day (WODs), demo exercise videos, etc. you can also google crossfit in your local area, to find all the crossfit gyms around you. i researched all the gyms in tampa, before deciding which one to go to. i wanted to find one that was a good fit for me. while the fundamentals of each crossfit gym are the same, the gym personalities (feel or vibe of the gym) can be very different.

i started out training three days a week. some days it was 20 minutes. other days it was an hour. now that i'm in classes, i crossfit four times a week.

and this awesome momma shared about her journey, doing and managing her own personal crossfitting.

Q: i am still finding it hard to get specific exercises for my waistline. do you have any that you have found that worked particularly well? A: my waistline was my HUGE trouble spot and in the first five weeks of crossfit, i lost three inches in my waist. with that being said, i think it was the combination of all the exercises (so many of them work my core) and changing my diet. i really don't do that many sit ups (or ab specific exercises) at all.

i just googled and found this crossfit article regarding exercises for abs and i love working out with a kettlebell.  i'm sure there's plenty more articles out there too.

Q:  as a previous carb-addict, what do you eat for breakfast now? A:  i typically have a protein shake in the morning (water, 1/2 banana, spinach or kale, almond or peanut butter, flax seed, protein powder and ice).  if i don't have a protein shake, i'll have eggs and/or bacon.  i don't eat until after my crossfit workout, so that's around 10:30 AM.  if i'm really hungry in the morning (pre-workout), i'll have a clementine and some almonds.

it's my party

today is my trainer / crossfit gym owner's birthday and it's my party was the name of our workout of the day (WOD) this morning. 51 deadlifts 51 bench presses 51 squats

and so i dedicate this post to paula! thank you for inspiring me so, teaching me that strong is beautiful and that 50s are fucking fabulous.

i've now been crossfitting for 5-1/2 months and couldn't be happier. it's addicting, i tell ya. my weight and measurements haven't budged much since my initial loss at the 5-week point, but i know my body is getting stronger, toner and hopefully leaner.

i recently weened myself from private sessions, which i loved but are expensive, and am now attending four group classes a week (M-W-F-S). i love, love, love it...and can't wait to see where this crossfit journey continues to take me.

here's my pre-photos and then a few update pics from this morning...

may 2010

today ((i had just got home from crossfit, drank a smoothie and was freezing)

i hope my updates will continue to inspire others.  remember that it's never too late. find what works for you and do it.  you CAN do it!!

and if  you have any questions, PLEASE ask!! i'll either answer in an ETA section below or another blog post.

and a few photos, just for fun, from my it's my party series.

12 week update

hard to believe it's been 12 weeks since i started crossfit.  and i still absolutely love it and long for it!! i remember when i started and was absolutely scared to death.  i remember the day when i was so excited to bench press using the big girl bar (as we called it).  or the day i was able to do five military style push-ups (not on my knees). and today, i bench-pressed 55 pounds and deadlifted 110 pounds (almost my body weight) -- both personal records. i also did squats with weight but i can't remember how much. all were 5 reps x 4 rounds.  oh...and monday, i pulled, flipped and rowed a big-ass tire and pushed a jeep.  yes, i pushed my trainer's jeep.  so hard!  i thought i was going to die but it felt oh-so-amazing when i was done!  needless to say, i'm proud of my own little accomplishments as i've pretty much always been a weakling.

i fricken love, love, love having a personal trainer, who arranges workouts specifically for me and pushes me. she pushes me so much farther than i could or would ever push myself.  i actually am still trying to wean myself from her, which has proven much tougher than i anticipated.

i keep sharing updates because i hope to inspire others to keep going. and pushing.  it's never too late.  i want you to find that thing you love as your workout -- that thing you so love that you can't help but keep doing it!!

you CAN do it!

here's photos from...

may (pre-anything)

september (5 weeks post-crossfit)

and today (b/c i was wearing the same clothes, and it's almost 12 weeks)

i haven't lost a pound since my 5 week point but surely i must have gained some muscle.  while i could easily obsess about my weight, i try and focus on getting strong and being fit and healthy.  i threw out my scale long ago and only weigh myself occasionally at the box. i also had a rough couple weeks of not doing anything in san diego and then coming home and getting sick.  but no excuses!!  my goal is to wear a bikini this summer -- something i haven't done since pre-kiele (about 14 or 15 years ago).  i'm proud to be 41 and feel more real than i have ever felt in my entire life (that's a whole other blog post).

let's keep pushing and inspiring one another through this holiday season filled with the yummiest food, cakes and cookies.  everything in moderation is my motto!!  i WILL eat cookies but only in moderation. :-)

let's do this...together!!

p.s. i try to take pictures in the exact same position but it's damn hard.  i guess i'm getting close enough though.

congratulations

anyone who follows my blog probably knows that i'm now doing crossfit and so loving it.  :-) and a few weeks ago, i photographed a bunch of women at my box, for the deadlifts and dresses 2011 calendar competition. today, i found out that three of the crossfit jaguar women were selected for the calendar! woot woot!! and i have to say...after two weeks of traveling, getting sick, not working out and eating like shit, i'm so happy to be working out (crossfitting) again. today felt amazing.  thanks paula (last set of photos below)!

meet the the three selected...

to stress or not to stress

i received an email this morning from my dear friend, crystalyn, with the below attached. she and i have been talking a lot about stress and ways to deal with stress lately. and i absolutely  love what she shared...

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"

Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g.

The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long you try to hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance. In each case, it's the same weight...but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."

He continued, "And that's the way it is with stress management. If we carry our burdens all the time, sooner or later, the burdens will become increasingly heavy, to the point when we won't be able to carry on."

"As with the glass of water, you have to put your burdens down for a while and rest before holding them again. When you're rested and refreshed, you can then carry on with your burden(s)."

"So, before you return home tonight, put the burden of work down. Don't carry it home. You can pick it up tomorrow."

And here are some additional great ways of dealing with any burdens in your life --

Accept that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

If you can't be kind, at least have the decency to be vague.

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.

It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to be kind to others.

Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance.

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

You may be only one person in the world, but you may also be the world to one person.

We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

- author | source unknown

in closing, i wanted to share a few more photos of my cherished friend, steph, who always handles life and stress with such beauty and grace.  her third baby is due in two weeks, while her husband is deployed (home mid-december).  and i'm so very, very excited to have been invited to photograph her family upon his return.

i am a crossfit woman

adding onto yesterday's post... I am a CrossFit Woman I sweat I grunt I curse I bleed

I am a CrossFit Woman I will not shy away from failure I will not hide my emotions I will not hold back I will not quit

I am a CrossFit Woman I am a competitor I am a daughter I am a mother I am a friend

I am a CrossFit Woman I am confident I am healthy I am beautiful I am strong

I am a CrossFit Woman

- adpated from the 'i am a crossfit woman' poem written on the wall at the jaguar box

shawna shared this in a comment yesterday, on my blog. she's accomplished amazing things and does crossfit on her own, at her regular gym. i, like her, will never be the strongest. or the fastest. and i'm okay with that. crossfit can be very competitive but the only person i'm in competition with is myself. i compete with me, in an effort to achieve and hopefully exceed my personal goals.

and...courtesy of crossfit jaguar.  me, at the box.  doing swings. it ain't pretty. but it's real.

crossfit is the toughest...most amazing thing i've ever done.  i do a lot of cussing.  and saying, "i can't".  only to be quickly reminded that I CAN!!

5-week update

yesterday was exactly five weeks since my start of crossfit and my pre-crossfit measurements.  i decided that i would love to post a 5-week update and so asked my trainer if she would do my measurements (so that i could include with my update).  she said that normally she doesn't do them this early but if i wanted them done, she's game. and so we did... i started crossfit because i truly believed (from what i heard from others) that it would be a perfect fit for me and my personality. i've been doing crossfit for the past five weeks, with a trainer (paula), every monday-wednesday-friday. after the first workout, i could barely walk. and i've been sore almost every day since, but it's a comfortable sore, if that makes sense. today is actually a little worse but that's because yesterday was a workout filled with squats, deadlifts and bench presses.

along with crossfit, i have also tried to just watch what i eat a bit more. nothing crazy...just opting out of carbs a bit more than i did previously. if i want dessert, i eat a bit of dessert. i still drink coffee and have soda, when i want it. in recent years, i haven't been a terrible eater and i've never been one that eats a lot. my husband has always joked that kiele (our now 13-year-old) eats more than me. but i just eat when i'm hungry. and stop when i'm full.

i've worked hard. and am especially proud because much of the past five weeks, we have eaten out (living here, there and everywhere).

i've lost four pounds, four percent body fat and two inches in my waist. my arms are the same. my thighs are  3/4 inch larger.  my trainer couldn't believe my results, in such a short time.  and neither could i.  i couldn't be happier!!

PRE weight (with shoes): 123 pounds body fat: 27.6% waist: 31 1/2 inches

POST weight (with shoes): 119 pounds body fat: 23.5% waist: 29 1/2 inches

without a doubt, i will continue crossfit although i'm probably only going to do one or two days with a trainer and do the other days with the group. my original goal was simply to get my body fit and in shape.  that goal remains the same -- but fitter and stronger.  i long to wear a bikini this summer, as i haven't worn one since 1996 (pre kiele). i didn't think i was overweight prior to crossfit, but i knew i was out of shape (or as i called it, fluffy).

i'm a firm believer in everything in moderation. and sometimes i worry about others, who lose weight with the aid of crazy diets, drastic measures, etc. remember that different strategies work for different people. find the strategy that is a good fit for you, your body and your personality.  like anything...do it right and do it well.  do something you can stick with long term.

i feel so great -- healthy and strong(er). and can't wait to see what the next five weeks has in store for me.

here's my pre-photos (taken may 12th, when i told myself that i was going to start getting fit, but i didn't) and post-photos (taken today). i tried to get in the exact same position. and did nothing to either of these photos.

i'd love to hear about your getting fit | getting healthy journey. please share in the comments. lets keep inspiring one another.  i waited till 40.  i hope that you won't wait that long.  find what works for you and...go for it.  what's stopping you?

have a question?  please ask and i'm happy to answer in another blog post.

let's do this together

i was reading max's blog today and came across this post and especially loved this part, written by max's dad:

I'm not bitter when people decline to participate because they aren't available, can't afford to, or even just don't believe in the cause. Long ago I chose not to take it personally when someone declines to contribute, participate, or otherwise engage with our cause - life's too short to worry about that kind of stuff (and there's so many people who DO want to help if only you ask and show them how, so that's time better spent anyway!).

But what gets me are the excuses. "Oh sure, I care Andy, just make it easy for me to care, and I'll show up."

As Melissa and I have started giving more and more of our time to fighting neuroblastoma and other causes, a constant theme has emerged for me, and that is when giving is easy, you get less out of it. Giving in a manner that challenges the giver, also helps the giver; it helps them appreciate the sacrifice of their giving more. It makes the giving mean more to the giver. Altruism is a funny concept (quick refresher: altruism being an act that benefits someone else other than the actor). Altruism doesn't align well with biology and evolution.And while I know that evolution exists, I also believe in God. Perhaps that's where love enters the equation. Maybe God's love makes it possible to see past our own selfish interests and limits. To extend ourselves past our comfort zone. Take risks on behalf of someone else, but get something unattainable otherwise in return.

and of course, i noticed the MAX RUN, which is taking place in san diego on september 11th, to raise money for pediatric cancer.  my initial thought was,

oh how i wish i could be there to participate in the run.

but why can't i run? and participate?  why can't i encourage people to sponsor me (donate) and just run here?  and why can't i encourage others to do the same?

so  you think you can dance did it with their july 31st national dance day, where people all across the world danced together on the same day.  okay, so maybe running isn't exactly as fun as dancing but...let's try it.  let's try to run one mile on september 11th -- together -- no matter where you are.  and let's, together, spread the word and encourage others to donate to fight pediatric cancer.  and while your donation can't help max or sam,  it could possibly help children like will or talia, who are both currently battling neuroblastoma.

so...

on septemeber 11th, at 9:30 AM, i am going to run one mile.  can you please sponsor my run -- simply click on the Chip In button below to donate to fight pediatric cancer ...

p.s. steve is going to be in iraq at the time, so the kids and i will be doing this one mile together.  i hope you'll join me.  think about it!!

ETA:  i'm so excited that i've already had a number of people share that they will be running the MAX RUN with me on september 11th -- from all over the country.  but my real hope is that along with the physical support and encourgement,  i can help gather financial donations for max's ring of fire.  if you're running or simply want to support in any way, please donate...any amount will help.

and please spread the word!  if everyone shares with a few friends, who also support and donate, we could together make a huge impact!!

sharing my favorite image of max and a tree at his school on the day of the celebration of his life.  do you see the angel?  i do. © deb schwedhelm | tampa children's photographer

on a mission

my mission:  get in shape!  i long to be physically fit and healthy.  i'm not overweight, although i could stand to lose a few pounds.  but i really want to get tone -- especially my mid-section.  and i'm determined.  i feel like i've talked smack quite a few times now about being ready, moving forward, etc.  but, shall i say...i'm really serious this time!!  i have no excuses.  all three of my kids are going to be in school this year.  in the past, my free time revolved around photography and the computer.  but not anymore.  my free time is going to revolve around my workout.  once that is scheduled, everything else can be scheduled and take place. i've signed up for 12 private crossfit sessions, to learn the exercises and ensure proper technique.  i've always felt crossfit would be a good fit for me.  everyone has their ways -- their ways to lose weight, get in shape, etc.  for me, the bigger the challenge, the more i love it.  i've also been trying to eat healthier.  no crazy diet or anything, as i'm a FIRM believer in moderation when it comes to eating.

saturday was my first crossfit session.  so fricken hard.  sunday, i could barely walk and squatting to the level of the toilet was beyond painful.  this morning, my quads are still killing me.  but i'm going to the box (as the crossfitters call their gym) and i'm ready for whatever my trainer throws my way.  we're also weighing, taping and taking pictures today.  and i'm hopeful that i'll see some results, even after just four weeks.  too optimistic?  maybe, but who cares.  dream big, right?

i also wanted to share with you a new blog that my local friend, heather, told me about.  i'm really loving it...a momma blog that focuses on fitness, healthy recipes (even desserts), workouts and more.  check it out -- trainer momma.

and here's some food blogs that i love, which i think i've shared before, but never hurts to share again. real food. good food. smitten kitchen cafe zupas

i hope i can encourage you to make a health goal for yourself.  and together, let's encourage one another and stick to it.  i'll be facebooking about my journey and will occasionally share here on my blog.

in closing, i decided to post some before photos i took of myself on may 12th (a time where i was talking smack).  like i said, i'm not overweight.  but i am fluffy (or puffy or squishy or out-of-shape or whatever you want to call it)!!

and off i go...to my morning crossfit session.

ETA:  i survived workout two.  measurements:  5'5", 122 lbs, 31 inch waist and approximately 27% body fat.  i didn't care so much about the other measurements.

oh yea, i also got the number to a milk co-op, where i can get fresh milk, butter, cream and eggs.  i am so darn excited!!