Friday, December 31, 2010

My New Year's Resolutions

For Faith and Family readers, this is a preview of what you will see in my future successes.

What am I? Mushigina?! Publishing my resolutions for all to see! I must be.  But I'm gonna do it anyway.


Continue with my healthy lifestyle of proper nutrition, exercise and sleep until I reach my goals: a weight of 145, a body that can proudly wear a bikini in public (whether I do or not is another story) and can do at least one pull-up unassisted.  Along the way I will make whatever changes are necessary to keep the goal alive.
How to accomplish this goal?
January 3rd I am starting P90X/Insanity hybrid.  3 days of weight training, 3 days of cardio.This program will continue through the end of March. After that, I think I'll start Turbo Fire.

I plan to drop to a size 10 by the end of January (Can you believe I am tell you what size I don't wear yet?  I can't) Ultimately, I'd like to get into a size 6.  I've never been smaller than a 10, so I don't even know what that will be like or if it is even possible, but I'm going to take it one size at a time. I'd like to drop a size a month, but I'm not sure if that is realistic.  We'll see.


I will try to learn more about business so that I can make a real go of my Beachbody coaching.  It will be challenging because I am not a business-minded person and my own personal success in business has never been a motivating factor in my life.  But I believe in Beachbody, the people who built it, the product, my own personal achievements in overcoming sloth with exercise and I know that it is worth my time.  To meet this goal, I will read John C Maxwell books and I will spend time getting to know Beachbody.

I will remember that I want to give everyone the opportunity to accomplish their fitness dreams, just like I am.  I never thought I'd see pre-baby sizes again, and here I am wearing them and able to see that I can wear sizes smaller than these if I keep pushing myself. I want to help people boost their self-esteem by discovering that no matter their fitness level, they can do something.   Baby steps are what got me here and will get me to my goal.  Why not others?

I will remember why I want to be successful in this endeavor: to make enough money that I can take my family to Texas to see my mom and sisters and their children, to Florida to see my brother and his family, to North Carolina to see my other sisters and their families and to Kevin's family in Missouri, Massachusetts and Connecticut (not all in the same year, obviously).  Most of these places are too far to drive, and in many cases we will have to stay in a hotel because there is no room for a family of 6.  I want my kids to know their cousins and aunts and uncles.  I want to know my nieces and nephews.  This is my "Why".

I will also continue to write about my weight loss/ strength building journey to encourage others to achieve their own personal fitness goals.  It is so much more fun to do it with someone rather than push yourself alone.  I don't know what I'd do without Kevin's encouragement when I've felt hopeless. 


I will pray the Rosary every day even if it means breaking it up to a decade here and there.  I will continue to offer my workouts and sacrifices in my diet for the salvation of souls.  I will also make a solid effort to do other spiritual reading of books I already own and never read, namely, Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales and Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux.

For our family, I will find a place to make a family altar where we can go to spend quiet time with the Lord.  That might be pretty challenging since I have 4 kids who run all over the house, but I will try to figure it out.

I am considering adopting the practice of the Universal Church of abstaining from meat on Fridays, even though it is not required in the US anymore.  I think it will be a good thing for our family to maintain a little extra Catholic identity, to separate us from the world a little bit more and to awaken ourselves to the fact that Christ suffered and died for us on Good Friday by making this little sacrifice on a weekly basis.  I haven't discussed it with Kevin yet, so this is still in the air.  If we do this, then we will also make sure that Sunday is a little Easter every week with some kind of special treat.  Maybe it will be a nice brunch or dinner or maybe just a little treat.  It won't have to be big.


I will paint all the little spots that got skipped as we painted the house.  There are plenty!  No room that has been painted, except the baby's room is 100% done.  Guess who painted that room?  Also, I will paint the Master bedroom.

I will continue my quest to organize this house.  This has been a resolution I have made for 3 years running and I have kept it every year.  The house is still not organized, but I keep making progress.  Maybe by the time the baby goes to college it will be done.  I'm working against 4 kids, a pack-rat husband and my own nature, so I think I'm doing pretty well.

Ok, these are my resolutions and goals.  They are measurable and achievable.  I hope to publish my successes every Thursday under Small Successes with Faith and Family Live

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Insanity: My Story

My Shaun T autographed Insanity workout calendar.

I completed my final Insanity Fit Test on Sunday!  I cannot believe I actually finished this program!  What a butt-kicker!  It took me longer than 60 days to finish because of traveling and Thanksgiving, but I finished strong!

The first time I tried Insanity, at the beginning of last summer, I did it for a week.  Every day I ended in a pool of my own sweat and laying flat on the ground while tears streamed down my face.  I was literally sobbing from the effort of pushing myself to finish.  After about a week I decided I was clearly not ready for Insanity. It took a round of P90X to get me there.

Even though I was physically stronger from all the weight training in P90X, Insanity was still extremely challenging.  I had never done anything like it in my life.  But I ended the workouts on my feet, still in a pool of my own sweat, but dry-eyed.  

So what did I lose? I lost about 10 pounds and a size. The more important question: What did I gain?  Agility, speed, determination, cardiovascular health, self-confidence and a love of pushing myself to my limit. (Are those crazy sounding achievements for a mother of 4 who could barely walk 2 years ago? Agility & speed-for crying out loud!)

It is amazing! Every little goal I meet, I can see that I can do more than I thought possible.  My goal was to get into pre-baby clothes from 8+ years ago.  I was a size 10 and I was happy with that size.  I look at pictures and I looked good.  I'm fitting into a 12 now, which is my pre-baby fat size.  I'm thrilled to wear them, because I haven't been able to do that since I started having children.  I'm still heavier than I was at that size before kids, but I am getting so toned that all my clothes are loose.  I just wonder what size will I wear when I have lost all the fat I can lose? Size 8, or 6 even?  That seems like a fantasy, but I'm starting to think it might actually be possible.  If I keep working toward improving my health and fitness with healthy diet and exercise, well, only God knows what is possible!

I still haven't mastered my diet and there are days I really don't feel like getting up at 5:30 to exercise, but I've overcome so many temptations to quit by offering up my sacrifices as gifts for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and I will keep plugging away because I know it makes a difference, both in my body and in the souls of those for whom I'm sacrificing. 

So, here are my Fit Test Results:
                               Test 1                  Test 5
Switch Kicks             50                       65
Power Jacks              40                       57
Power Knees             82                      114
Power Jumps             49                       60
Globe Jumps              8 Walking           10 jumping
Suicide Jumps            8                         20
Push-Up Jacks          17                       40
Low Plank Obliques  60                       71

I say those are amazing results!!!

So, what's next? Right now I'm taking it a little bit easy trying out my Shakeology: The Workout dvds. I'm seriously considering entering the Million Dollar Body Game.  I need to see the rules to decide.  But right now the plan is come January, I will start a P90X/Insanity hybrid.  3 days of P90X and 3 days of Insanity, alternating.  I'm kicking it up a notch by adding on that 6th day, which was always there, but I didn't do. 

What are my new goals? I will keep working out, pushing myself to succeed, drinking my delicious Shakeology and I WILL shrink into a size 10 and do one pull-up unassisted. We'll see how long it takes me to get that pull-up, but size 10- I think I can get it in a month. Whaaaaaaat! You heard it here! It's a personal throw-down! Check in and help keep me accountable!

Hey, if you'd like to buddy up with me or if you are looking for someone to guide you through your own personal fitness goals, I am a Beachbody coach and I am a rawther gifted encourager, even if I say so myself!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook: Third Week of Advent

 Outside my window... is dusk, snowy and freezing cold!!!!

I am thinking... about entering the Million Dollar Body Game through Beachbody. Right now, I might win the $50 Body Game.  That means I've got some serious thinking to do.

I am thankful for... Beachbody workouts, especially P90X and Insanity.  These to programs are giving me my life back.

From the kitchen...
Gingerbread Marshmallows I made for teacher gifts.  They are delish. *no more of those if I enter this contest!

I am wearing... a green turtleneck sweater, some jeans in a smaller size that fit(!), Uggs. Warm and cozy.

I am creating... a hectic life...Christmas programs, cookie exchanges, parties...All good.

I am going... to sit in front of the fire in a minute.

I am reading... The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

I am hoping... for a slim body in a short time! :)

I am hearing... the sounds of Wii

Around the house... is the perpetual mess.

One of my favorite things... sitting in front of a cozy fire with a hot drink

A few plans for the rest of the week: Christmas programs, hair appointment, cookie exchange, Mass.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing..
Kevin and the kids stacking wood a couple weeks ago.  Today I'm burning it!

Visit The Simple Woman's Daybook to share your day!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Small Successes (Vol 19)

1. I seem to have found the key to keeping a colicky toddler happy: cuddling on the couch watching TV. She wants the appearance of my undivided attention.  Right now she is mad that I'm writing.  Gotta make this quick!

2.  Kevin is completely supportive of this plan because I can't get anything done  when she's screaming anyway, so he says he'd rather come home to a messy house and a happy wife than a messy house and and an angry wife.  As a result, I'm relaxed and catching up on Hallmark Christmas movies and Psych.

3.  I added 2 weeks to my Insanity workout.  I should have been done at Thanksgiving, but, you know how it is.  Would you like to know how my weight loss/ fitness plan is going?  Well, since you are so curious, I will tell you.  I can now fit into a size pants I haven't fit since before Emma was born 8 years ago!!!!!!!!!   As a matter of fact, they are my pre-kid fat size!    What's crazy is I am still 20 pounds heavier than I was last time I fit this size.  All my P90X and Insanity workouts have tightened up my body to the point I'm starting to think that I am going to be able to surpass my clothing size goals!  I cannot tell you how happy I am and how good I feel about what I am accomplishing.  I never thought I'd get this far!

By the way, because I have gotten so much out of my workouts, I am now a Beachbody coach.  If you would like more information or a buddy to encourage you, drop me a line!

Let me cheer you on!  Share your small successes on Faith and Family Live!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

How to Overcome the Bah-Humbug

I remember when I was a teenager (I could drive, so I must have been 16 or 17), I drove myself to confession at Good Shepherd Catholic Church one Saturday during Advent.  I remember kneeling behind the screen and bawling my eyes out about how Christmas was so commercialized and how I couldn't find the special feeling that is supposed to come at Christmastime.  I was just distraught.  I was so upset that halfway through the confession, I jumped up to come around the screen and face the priest.  He thought I was leaving and called out to me, "I haven't given you absolution yet".  I think I surprised him.  I can't imagine what he was thinking, to see a teen so upset about Christmas.  Sadly, I don't remember what he told me.

Over the years, I tried and tried to get that special feeling. I couldn't seem to find it.  Christmas started at Thanksgiving and concluded with a tremendous letdown after the last present was open on Christmas day. Oh, but wait! There's the stocking. Open that and it's over again. Bah-humbug.

As I grew older, my family started to drift away from the church for a while. I went to Mass alone most of the time. I’m not sure I could’ve articulated why I felt it was so important to go, my faith wasn’t so deep. I just knew I needed to be there. I continued searching. 
I understood what Christmas is about and I loved it.  But where was that much desired special feeling?  I sought it out at parties and the mall, with Christmas movies and carols, but, not surprisingly, it eluded me.

It wasn't until I had my own children and sought to give them what I was missing, that I FINALLY figured it out! Advent is not Christmas.  I had been spending my whole Advent shopping, decorating, working, studying, doing all the stuff you do to get ready for something, thinking it was Christmas season.  All that time I'd kill myself to make a nice Christmas only to be let down when Christmas day was over!

Advent is NOT Christmas!  Advent is the new year in the Church and the time to prepare for Christmas.  Prepare not just our homes and our shopping list, but, most importantly, our hearts. How did we do it? Well, we started small by celebrating St. Nicholas day, teaching the kids who St. Nicholas really is and that his purpose is to bring us to Jesus.  We added traditions like making a soft crib for Jesus with our good deeds (1 piece of straw for each sacrifice), we lit the advent wreath at dinner. We did a lot of little things.  Every little act we added to our family tradition made our hearts more open to the coming season of Christmas.  It began to feel holy.

How to fix the Christmas day letdown, though?  All that work for one day seemed a bit much.  It suddenly dawned on me that Christmas is a SEASON, not a day.  We began to celebrate the entire season, and what a difference it made!  On Christmas day, we replaced the Advent candles with white candles and lit them every night, we talked about the feast days of the Holy Family and all the Saints of the Christmas season.  I made special dinners and read about these holy people who are there to bring us to Christ.  We put on a play at Epiphany with Kevin playing King Herod and the kids as the 3 Wise Men.  Last year, I played Mary and Anne-Marie was Jesus.  We held back gifts at Christmas for the kids to bring to baby Jesus at Epiphany and then they got to open them.  We kept our decorations up and watched Christmas movies and generally kept the season until after the baptism of the Lord (the first Luminous mystery of the Rosary) and technically we could keep them up until Candlemas, the Presentation of the Lord at the temple.
 Did it make a difference?  Undeniably! When the whole world turns back to regular life the day after Christmas, or New Year's day, at best, there is no more music, clearance sales galore, taking down of the lights and decorations, the Bah-Humbug starts to show itself in full force. Coming home to a decorated house and continuing to share in the joy with our family makes all the difference in the world.  It becomes special and holy.  That elusive feeling of joy and warmth continues to grow and take it's rightful place in our hearts.  The Bah-Humbug has no room to fester or take root.  The joy of the season lives on and sustains us through the cold, gray days of January and February and gives us momentum to keep holy Ordinary time.  We come closer as a family and snuggle up around its Center, Jesus, that sweet, precious baby. We give thanks that our Lord humbled Himself to be born a baby in a stable on a cold night in Bethlehem to ultimately give His Body and Blood for our salvation, if only we will continue to choose Him above the world.

Oh, how I love Advent and Christmas!  How much I love our Lord, Jesus Christ!  May His peace be with you and may you find that special connection with Him this wonderful time of year and carry it with you all year long.

Resources I like:
Catholic Culture
Catholic Icing
Women for Faith and Family

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Simple Woman's Daybook: Second Week of Advent

Outside my window... Is sunny and snowing at the same time.  All afternoon it has reminded me of the end scene of A Christmas Carol: The Musical.

I am thinking...about watching that movie.  It's one of my all-time favorites!

I am thankful...that I finally understand the difference between Advent and Christmas.  I wish I could teach everyone how important Advent is.  If people understood that they are not one and the same, the Grinchiness of the general population, the sadness and the let down after Christmas day is over would be drastically reduced.

From the kitchen... St. Ambrose Lasagna from Building the Family cookbook.  Today is his Feast day.

I am wearing...a black, long-sleeved 40 Days for Life t-shirt and track pants, socks and no shoes.

I am creating... clean laundry.

I am going... to Mass this evening for the Holy Day of Obligation: Feast of the Immaculate Conception
By the way, the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary in her mother's womb, not Jesus.  Mary was conceived without the stain of original sin and remained sinless her entire life.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. Amen

I am reading... nothing, but I have a whole pile of books from the library to throw you off my scent.

I am hoping... for a nice long nap from the baby.

I am hearing... only the hum of the computer.

Around the house... is looking very Christmasy right now.  I love it.

One of my favorite things... Below freezing temperatures and a roaring fire in the fireplace

A few plans for the rest of the week:  A Christmas program put on by my 5-year-olds preschool class on Thursday night.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Share you day at The Simple Woman's Daybook.