Posted by: nikicf | July 3, 2010

And off we go again!

Just working on the last few things on my packing list for tomorrow trip.  Yes, we are off again!  This time to Chase, in the BC Interior, for a week with my family at a house on the lake.  This is a vacation we do every year, though not always to the same location.  Besides being sick of packing, I’m very much looking forward to the trip.  Should be lots of fun with the fam!

Expecting to be able to make this a healthy holiday, and I’m excited about that.  My sister is there to encourage me and keep me on track.  She also does all the meal planning, so I know there will be good healthy food to eat.  And we’ll hopefully get some daily exercise as well.

Better not sit here any longer, as I’m running out of energy and I need to get the last few (or more!) things so we can be ready to head out in morning.  We are supposed to have internet while away, so you might even get an update this coming week.  🙂

Posted by: nikicf | July 2, 2010

Three Days Under My Belt

Three days of eating well and exercising again.  YAY! Thankfully, that is all it takes for me to see a little light at the end of the tunnel.

It will take some hard work and dedication to undo the damage (done over the 7 weeks since we started our holidays), but I’m going to make it happen.  I might get discouraged along the way.  But I will keep chugging along.  It is so worth it.  Feel so much better to be eating sensibly and sweating daily! 🙂

Off to bed now.  I’m exhausted and need a good sleep so I can tackle tomorrow.  (Another exercise session + packing for a week on a lake with my extended family.  Rough life, I know! 😉 )

Posted by: nikicf | June 29, 2010

Epic Fail!

Wow, it has been about a month and a half since my last post. Not sure if anyone even reads this blog anymore, but if you are out there, I apologize for the lack of blog posting over the past 6+ weeks.

I’ll be honest and say that there are two reasons for it.

#1 – During a lot of our travels, we’ve had shoddy or no internet access. Plus 24/7 with my little family in an RV means there is not a lot of time to spend on blog writing.

#2 – I’ve not been doing very well. There – I said it. I did not keep my with my plan while taking our month long road trip. And since then have bombed horribly while vacationing in Atlanta with my in-laws (always a struggle here).

I have exercised some, but not even close to the amount that would compensate for my unhealthy eating.  Or what I’d be doing if I were at home with my normal routine.  So my weight it up and I’m feeling it.  Mentally and physically. 😦

I’m discouraged with myself, but not writing this blog without hope. Though I am frustrated with myself, I’m ready to get back on the wagon and work to get back to my healthy habits.  The habits I maintained for over a year.  Yes, I’m taken a LONG vacation from these habits, but I’m ready to get back to these habits again.

We fly home from Atlanta tomorrow (well, today actually) and I’m going to hit the round running.  Almost literally.  I am going to hit up our local fruit and veggie market on the way home so there is lots of good stuff to eat and cook with.  I’m planning a mini super veggie/fruit detox for the 4 days we are home and then plan to eat super healthy while on vacation with my family in Chase.  (Thankfully, my sis will be there to kick my butt if I don’t!  So I’ll have to!)

Plus exercise.  Daily.

And hopefully you’ll be hearing from me more often on this and on my exercise and food journal blog too.  Even if no one is actually reading, I’ll be here and it keeps me focused and accountable.

Off to bed I go, as the wake up time to catch our flight is fast approaching.

Posted by: nikicf | May 16, 2010

The Last Supper

At home before our big journey, that is.

The goal was to use up all produce before we head out.  So dinner was grape tomatoes, ribbon zucchini and spaghetti squash all sauteed in olive oil.  Plus some “low and slow” baked yams (not pictured).  Yum! (Andy had a burger along with this feast, as he needs his meat!)

Think of me as I work hard to have a healthy road-tripping vacation with my little fam!  Off to finish packing and cleaning before bed!!

By the way, I do hope to update here a time or two while gone, as a few of our campsites have wi-fi.  And I’ll be keeping my family blog going to document our travels and adventures too, so check there for the scoop.

Posted by: nikicf | May 10, 2010

Still Here

Thought I’d better write a post, lest you all think I’ve disappeared.  And since I plan on “disappearing” in a week (our month long family road trip), I don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten about you.  Or the blog.  Or healthy living.

These past few weeks have not been my best eating weeks. Not in a long shot.  But I’m working on moderation.  And forgiveness.  And not having to be perfect.  I went for a 10K run this morning, and though it was not my best run ever (it was hard, and I felt tired), I think I was able to clear my head a bit and press my reset button.  Yay for new days and fresh starts.

The big deal these days is getting all planned and packed and ready for our big family adventure down the coast of Washington, Oregon and California.  A lot of time and energy has been gobbled up by getting prepped for this trip of a lifetime!  We are getting so excited!

One of my main concerns at this point is getting in the groove and habit of traveling healthy.  NOT going to be easy!  My willpower to make the healthy choices and stop when full has been scarce these days, and I’m not sure how to ensure it actually shows up on the vacation.  Plus, roadtrips have a way of going the junk food route, with the chips and candies and such sold at roadside stops.  Camping is not known for health-food either, with the hot dogs and s’mores, etc.

My plan? (You know, I like to have a plan. 🙂 )

Pack and buy healthy food. —> Working on a list of easy healthy meals for on the road.

Load up on fruits and veggies. —> Hoping to get lots of yummy summer fruit.  And veggies on the grill are my absolute fave!

Write it down. —>I’ve not been so good at this lately, but I want to journal EVERYTHING I EAT.  Whenever I start eating bad, I just stop recording what I’m eating.  This is NOT how this is supposed to work.

Get exercise, family style. —> Not sure I’ll be able to run (Andy gets worried when I’m off running on my own in a foreign place) but hope I can still get my heart pumping regularly.  From stuff I can do with the kids (hiking, frisbee, skipping, soccer, swimming, etc) to stuff I can work in during the day (circuit type stuff with weights, skipping, etc), I hope to be very active.

Any other ideas or suggestions for a successful HEALTHY road trip would be greatly appreciated.  Or if you have any extra motivation or stick-to-it-ness you can give or loan me would be great too! ;P

I’m off to bed, as I’m hoping to get in a decent work-out tomorrow before Kaleb goes to school.

Posted by: nikicf | May 1, 2010

Another Milestone, and a Recipe!

Yesterday I hit a new running milestone.  Since getting my nike+ (a device attached to my ipod which measures and logs my runs) for my birthday last year (Aug. 09), I have run ONE THOUSAND KILOMETRES!  I’ve said it before (getting sick of hearing it yet?), but I never imagined this is something I would accomplish.  So this makes it extra special and amazing for me.

I was talking to a friend and fellow runner and she was saying what a gift from God it was to discover running.  It made me realize/remember how grateful I am as well.  And it is beyond the physical benefits, though I appreciate those a bunch as well. My time out on the road is such an amazing time alone, with my thoughts and with God.  I love listening to audio books on my ipod and playlists of worship songs.  When I can’t go, I sure do miss this time.

Now on to the recipe.  I know I have posted about my blended cottage cheese creations before, but I have discovered a new variation that rocks my (and my husband’s) world, and so I must share it.  Last night while making some chocolate cottage cheese, I decided to try adding a little instant coffee as well, to see how a mocha cottage cheese fruit dip might taste.  All I can say is WOWEEEE!!  The stuff is downright amazing!  My husband said this just might be my best creation yet, and that I’ve solved his nighttime chocolate desires!  (That sure made me feel happy!)

Tonight we sat down and enjoyed a cup of decaf coffee with a bowl of strawberries and this Mocha Delight and all was right with the world! 😉  If you like coffee at all, you must try it.  Promise me!

The husband, giving his approval!

As for the recipe, I mostly just do it to taste.  But I’ll give you approximate quantities so you have an idea.  Last night, I tried to measure as I went so I could share it here on the blog.

2 500 ml containers of 1% cottage cheese (they were out of the 750 ml and I knew we’d burn through one pretty quickly)
~1/4 – 1/2 c. cocoa powder
~1/3 c. Splenda (do this to taste, as it depends how sweet you like it)
~1 tsp. real vanilla extract
2-3 tbsp. instant coffee (I bought some decaf just for this, as I knew we’d be wanting to have this treat as dessert or an evening snack)

I use a bamix, but the key is to blend the cottage cheese until it is perfectly smooth and creamy, without any lumps or bumps.  A food processor or decent blender should work too.  Let me know if you do try it.

Posted by: nikicf | April 24, 2010

Days Since Last Accident

Not that I have to be “perfect” with my eating (which, I know, is a scary way to think), but I am trying to eat moderately and with self-control.  Without any out-of-control “accidents”.  This sounds easy when I write it, but it really is not always easy for me.

Daytime is always fine.   But then evening comes, and for some reason I just want to eat.  And not just a small snack either.  This past month has not been very good in regards to eating for hunger, with health in mind, and in moderation.  And I hate that.  Besides my physical well-being, feeling out of control seriously hinders my mental and emotional state.

I’m still trying to figure out why it is such a struggle.  And how to conquer this struggle.  I’m working on it.

I’ve got three “good days” under my belt now; three days since my last “accident”.  Praying for more days like these ahead of me.

Posted by: nikicf | April 14, 2010

Anniversary Tribute Post!

I missed it because of a busy week, but April 7 was my “running anniversary”!  I did my first run of the Couch to 5K program on April 7, 2009 and I wanted to remember this date here as it is a pretty big deal for me. I made myself the promise that I’d do one 5K race and I kept that promise – and kept going!  It still amazes me that I like it.  And that I started with 90 seconds and ended up running over two hours!  Crazy!

Just took a “run down memory lane”  (I’m a dork, but typing that made me smile!) on the milestones from this past year.  “They” always say to find a form of exercise you enjoy and I honestly never thought it would happen.  I’m so very thankful and happy to have “found” running.  Not that I like every minute of every run, but I’ve learned to love the sweat, the huffing and puffing and the sense of accomplishment.  And MOST OF ALL, the long shower afterwards!!

In my backyard, after my first ever 5K

After my first 7K race, the Parkinson’s SuperWalk

With my longtime friend, Leah, after our first 10K race

With Christina, after my first 15K race

Running in across the finish line after my first 21.1K race

I hope I’ll be writing another anniversary post next year, with new races I’ve run and highlights from my year in running!

Posted by: nikicf | April 10, 2010

Freedom

Thanks to those of you who read and responded to my last post, in the comments here and through email messages.   As scary as it is to “put it all out there”, I know it is good for me to be honest about my struggles.  I know God has used and is using you to speak to me about these issues I am working through in my life in this area.

I got a message from a dear sweet friend from my church that I wanted to share.  She is a beautiful woman of God, both inside and out, and shared her heart with me after reading my struggles in that post.  I asked her permission to reprint her email here, as I know it really spoke to me and wanted to share it with you.

“…reading your health blog and feeling for you. Almost without fail, as a Personal Trainer, I would recommend to my clients to have a “throw your scale in the dumpster party”. As a Christian, you have the mind of Christ. That’s what the bible tells us. You have been set free in Christ. If something is causing you to not be free – lose it. Get it out of your life. Pray about this. Seriously. You have accomplished much, you have the tools to live a healthy life, you can live in the freedom of that. Will you sometimes eat 10 cookies? Yes. Will that completely derail you? Probably not. You have made exercise and eating right a habit. Now go and be free. I’ve been praying for you. Praying your mind will spend copious amounts of time reading the Word, praying, wondering how you can influence others to Christ. And less and less time worrying about non-essential things like what to eat, how much to eat, how much you over ate, what the number on the scale tells you, etc etc. The number on the scale (as you already know) does not determine your worth. It never has, it never will. Your worth is determined by God’s love for you. Period. I’m hoping you don’t hate me for writing all of these things. It’s just hard for me to watch people in bondage.”

I got this message a few days ago and it really has taken a few days to sink in.  I think it still is.  I wish I could say I had a great week after reading this, but I didn’t.  I know that I’m still struggling with this bondage.  But the good news is that I know God is powerful to free me and will have the victory.

I went running this morning and a song I have heard a million times before (really, I don’t have enough music on my ipod so I listen to the same playlists A LOT) totally spoke to me.  I am claiming this song in my victory over this struggle and will be singing it as I work to find my worth and purpose in Christ.

I am chosen, I am free

I am Living for eternity

Free now forever


You picked me up, turned me around

You set my feet on solid ground

Yours now forever


And nothing’s gonna hold me back

Nothing’s gonna hold me back

Nothing’s gonna hold me back


My chains fell off

My heart was free

I’m alive to live for you

I’m alive to live for you


Amazing Love, how can it be?

You give everything for me

You give everything for me

Everything


You washed my sin and shame away

The slate is clean: a brand new day,

Free now forever

Now boldly I approach your throne

To claim this crown through Christ my own

Yours now forever


I’m free to live

Free to give

Free to be

I’m free to love you

(You can listen to this awesome Tim Hughes song here.)

Posted by: nikicf | March 31, 2010

Loss of Logic

There is something about the scale that gives me bad logic.   This is not new news to me, but lately I’ve been facing the fact that when it comes to my weight, I can’t seem to think logically.

Pretty sure I’m not the only one, but this is usually how it goes for me.

Each morning, I tell myself I’m not going to stand on the scale.  I know once or twice a week is enough, and I am already set to weigh in Fridays (for BLAH) and Saturdays (for Weight Watchers). Skip that step in your morning routine, Niki.

But then I, somehow, end up on the scale.  Looking for some good news after a “good” day.  (Or hoping for no bad news after a “bad” day.)  And convincing myself it won’t affect my mood or the tone for the day.  But it does. (Even though I know it shouldn’t.)

If the number is up (and even by just a pound), I’m annoyed.  Disappointed. Frustrated.  And I want to eat.  I don’t want to be good and make healthy moderate choices.  I don’t want to work hard to get loads of veggies in and drink my glasses of water.  Instead, I want to snack.  I want to chow down.  I want to bake something. And eat it up all by myself! :S

It is like my logical brain goes to mush.  Niki, do you think you’ll feel better tomorrow if you over-eat today? And do you think the scale will head the right direction if you have a moderation melt-down and consume a boatload of calories?

I’m still trying to work all this out I guess.  Just yesterday, I had a day to prove how distorted my thinking is.  😦

And today I’m working to learn from my mistakes.  I’m trying not to beat myself up over letting myself get out of control.  To not be too discouraged, but to realize that this is all part of the process for me.  To focus on my success instead of my failures.

But I also want to look at what happens (happened) and try to learn from it, so I can change how I act and react in the future.  What set me off?  Why did eating way more than I wanted seem appealing or appear to be the answer?

And how can I do it differently in the future?  I remember thinking, as I chose another unhealthy snack, that I should call a friend instead.  Yes, the voice inside my head (my conscience?  God?) actually told me to do this, but I just kept going with what I was doing.  How can I change the outcome next time this threatens to happen.

And should I consider giving up the scale?  Is this what set me off, and maybe it is not worth knowing?  I have a friend who lost a lot of weight with Weight Watchers.  She stopped going to meetings after awhile as she realized she was obsessed with the scale and that it was not healthy for her.  Right now I don’t want to do this, as I like attending the meetings and having that accountability.   Plus feel like I worked so hard to have the benefits of being a lifetime member that I don’t want to give that up.

So… how can I learn to live peacefully with my scale?  And how can I learn not to let it be the complete measure of my success at this healthy lifestyle?  My goodness, I ran a half marathon!  I’ve come so far and need to be reminded of that when the scale gives me a number I don’t like the look of.

Hope I haven’t scared you all off with my ramblings.  I’ve decided to be transparent and use this space to be open and honest with my struggles, even if it does make me look like a bit of a nut-job.  😉  I’d love to have it all together and be *perfect* (so to speak), but that isn’t the case unfortunately.  I hope I’m helping somebody by letting it all hang out.  Even if it is just me!

(The above pictures were of the Cake Balls and Cake Pops my daughter and I made on a “date” afternoon.  Probably don’t even have to explain why I chose to include their picture in this post. 😛 )

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Check out the Raw Natural Mineral giveaway at An Apple A Day!  Ooooh, I wanna win!!  😀

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