Little Mama On The Prairie

A life and weight-loss journey.

Doing it all? Not really…

One question I get asked quite frequently is “How do you do it all?!” By “all”, they are referring to my life as the wife of a busy farmer, mother of 2 crazily busy toddlers (can I still call a 3-year-old a toddler?), housekeeper, student, photographer, blogger, Facebook addict, and crazy woman attempting to lose 100 lbs by working out and watching what I eat. Literally, I look down and watch each bite as it goes into my mouth. Sooo good. Sorry.

The short answer is, I don’t. And I don’t do it well. Today is a good example and I’ll get to that in a bit. So, my alarm is set to go off at 6am, from Monday through Saturday…7:30 on Sundays. Most days, I get up at 6, go to the kitchen table, open my laptop and start working on school. I was starting with devotions for a while but kept finding myself falling asleep in the middle of prayer so decided to move that to a time of day when I’d had some caffeine. Once mommy radar goes off saying the kids will be waking up within about 1/2 hour, I shut down school and go into workout mode. Our daughter usually joins me about half-way through and lets me know if I’m doing a good job or if “that doesn’t look like what the lady on TV is doing.” By the time  I’m done being humiliated by my daughter,  sonny-boy is usually awake and calling from his crib to be gotten.

Next comes breakfast which usually is accompanied by several frustrated and raised voice commands for my daughter to return to her chair and not leave it until that bowl of cereal is empty, to which she usually responds that she needs me to feed it to her. Seriously? Sonny-boy feeds himself with delight. He also feeds the walls around him, the floor and every nook and cranny of his high chair. By the time the kids and I are done breakfast and I’ve just about gotten everyone cleaned up, my husband will come in from checking the cattle and he’ll start his breakfast during which the kids crowd around him with their mouths wide open like a pair of little birdies waiting for their regurgitated worms…and as if they haven’t eaten in a week.

I won’t bore you with details of the entire day but suffice it to say from breakfast to bedtime, most of my time is either spent preparing meals and snacks, or cleaning up after them. Most days I don’t attempt to work on any of my schooling during day hours just because of all the interruptions that can and do occur. I clean the house…when there is known company coming. So if you ever show up unannounced, well, what you see is our “normal” for now.

By 9:30 or 10:00 at night the house is finally somewhat in order again and the kids are asleep so there is peace and quiet once again. Then I am usually faced with the choice of spending some much needed time with my husband…or working on school again. Unfortunately, deadlines often mean I have to spend the time with earphones jammed in as far as they go and foot positioned on the pedal (my rewind, play, fast forward button for dictations). I often work until 11:30-12:00 at night and then start again at 6am.

That brings me to today. Some days the exhaustion just catches up to me and I cannot pull myself out of bed. And I didn’t get out of it until 9:30 today. Even now, my eyes are droopy and my head feels heavy but I have a chapter due today and still have 8 dictations left to type before the end of the day. Patience is low today which, unfortunately, means I am less than gracious to the children, especially when they begin using their whiny voices and push each others buttons, which in turn pushes my buttons. I think it will be a good day for both of them to have a nap. I wish I could say its a good day for me to have a nap too but I have too much to catch up on during that peaceful time so I will hopefully get in my workout and then be able to finish several dictations so I won’t have to stay up until 2am doing those.

I. Do. Not. Do. It. All. I simply do the best I can with what our circumstances are right now, knowing that someday it will change and hopefully become a more manageable form of busy. I won’t hold out hope that it will ever be less busy. One thing I do that does help most of the time is prioritize. Right now, I have 3 main priorities in my day-to-day life, making sure my family is fed, relatively clean and mostly content, finishing my schooling on time, getting my health and weight under control to make the rest of my life a little easier to bear. So what that means is if I get nothing else accomplished in a day, I need to get my family fed, school finished, exercise in and be mindful of what I eat. That is a good and accomplished day for me. If anything else like cleaning a toilet or baking a batch of cookies happens, it’s a bonus and a miracle. I have let go of the fact that my house is not as clean as others’. I have let go of the fact that I don’t get to socialize with other young moms as much as they seem to get to. I have a few great friends who I text with throughout the week and they are my lifeline when my life feels like its going overboard with crazy. I spend a LOT of time at home.

So please, don’t ever read my blog and think, man, she has it all together, I just don’t know how she does it all. Because I really, really don’t. And I will try to keep things as real as possible on here to help keep you from getting that idea about me.

 

4 Comments »

Weigh-In Day, Week 14

It’s a great week. Down 2 whole pounds! Woohoo. Total of 12 pounds lost in the past 14 weeks, I am now down to 236, less than 100 pounds to go. Only 37 pounds until I’m under 200! Definitely feeling better now than I did back then.

How about you? Have you had any results or setbacks you’d like to share?

8 Comments »

To my 12-year-old self…

I observe the people around me. Do you do that? Observing is not the same as judging though it can quickly change to that. I observe whether the women and girls around me are slim or not-so-slim. I wonder how the slim ones stayed that way their whole lives, if they did, or if they were once overweight like me. I wonder what got the not-so-slim ones on the path to not-so-slimness and if they’re happy or if they wish they were different. I never, never, ever think of another woman in the “Oh look, she’s going back for seconds…maybe she should just stick to celery” kind of way. I have felt judged about what I eat my entire life and I will never pass that judgement on to someone else. No way.

BUT…when I see people around me heading down the same road I’ve gone my whole life, especially loved ones, I do want to stop them and shake them and yell for them to turn around! Swim away! Don’t do to yourself what I did to myself! But I know I can’t do that. Because I would never have taken that warning from anyone when I was at the many crossroads that got me here. It has always felt “too late” for me and it took me until I was 30 years old to realize that it is never too late and I never had to doom myself to being overweight for life.

If I could go back and tell my 12-year-old self things I know now, that I wish I knew then, this is some of what I would say:

1. It is NEVER too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Someone told you a lie that if you didn’t lose weight by the time you were in your 20s, then you would probably be fat for life because metabolism slows down as you get older. Maybe it does, but that was no reason to give up, metabolism doesn’t stop altogether until you’re dead…and you’ll probably get dead faster fat than not-fat.

2. As hard as they are to give up, those cookies, chocolate bars and cheeseburgers? NOT worth the temporary pleasure they give for the long term self-loathing they leave behind.

3. Diabetes, high blood pressure and a number of other health issues are real and if nothing else scares you, lose weight for these reasons alone.

4. Someone WILL still love you, even if you are fat. Stop worrying about whether you’ll ever find that someone and just live your life.

5. How you look on the inside matters way more than the outside. But its no excuse for not looking after your outside too.

6. Getting yourself in shape by yourself is possible, but extremely hard. Its way more fun and doable if you have a friend who can do it with you.

7. Its ok to challenge your Mom, Dad and siblings about healthy/unhealthy eating habits, but you can’t make the change for them, only yourself. Of course it would be wonderful if the whole family got on board and everyone helped everyone along but no one can be forced to do it. It just doesn’t work that way. Don’t let their choices decide your choice. And I bet, if you had shared some of your fears and hopes with a sister or two, at least one of them might have helped you get on the path to a healthier you.

8. When you get older, married, and are pregnant, you won’t have the same cute baby bump as your slim friends. Some people won’t even be able to tell you’re pregnant when you’re a week overdue. And some doctors are going to treat you like you have a horrible life-threatening disease because of all the extra risks associated with being overweight and pregnant. Your body will ache even more than the normal aches and pains of pregnancy and over all, what should be a very joyous time in your life will become a rather depressing one. Recovering from a c-section when you have a big belly isn’t very fun either.

9. You will be a beautiful bride. Slim or not.

10. Even though it seems like so much of your life is out of your control, you do have the ability to choose today which direction your body is going to go…and your 30-year-old self is wishing you would have made a better choice. But she’s making that choice now and its all going to be ok.

Blog photo

Do you have things you wish you could go back and share with your younger self?

No Comments »

My Own Worst Enemy…

Ugh, I am sooo sore. I won’t lie, I didn’t even make it through all the jumping jacks or other cardio segments – I got more in than yesterday but I am definitely having to ease myself into this a bit! And here I thought I’ve been exercising for the past 3 months. Sheesh. What a joke.

You know though, this makes me think about the way I approach things, both past and present. I really am my own worst enemy when it comes to weight loss and fitness. I justify “bad” foods that I eat. I pat myself on the back for a half-hearted work-out when deep down I KNOW I could have done more and better. I sweet talk my way out of success and deceive myself into thinking I’m doing great. I need people like Jillian Michaels in my life on a regular basis. People who tell it to me straight and don’t shy away from the ugly truth.

Let’s face it, the whole “take-the-stairs-instead-of-the-elevator” and the “park-at-the-far-side-of-the-lot” thinking has gotten a whole bunch of us thinking we’re getting “active” when really all its doing is getting us to the base point of where we should be anyway. And yes, that is still a good thing. It is still better to get in tiny amounts of exercise than zero exercise total. Please don’t misunderstand me. But I think we tend to let ourselves believe that these “small” steps are going to get us some great big results. The only way parking away from the door is going to actually help us get FIT, is if we park on the other side of town and sprint to the store. The only way taking the stairs is going to help us get FIT, is if its a 10 or more story building and we are running up those stairs, pushing ourselves to the limit of our physical ability. If we’re not pushing ourselves past what we’ve already achieved, how can we expect results different than what we’ve already achieved?

I’ve spent a lot of my life in denial. I really don’t want to live there anymore. I want to see results. I want success on this weight-loss journey and I need to stop kidding myself and do what it takes to get those results. For myself. For my family. For those who are watching my journey and wondering if they can do it too.

WE CAN DO THIS!

 

*WEIGHT LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

If you’re going to take the time to exercise, get your heart rate up! Yes, any movement is good. And if all you want is good, then fine, just do good. But if you want GREAT, then kick your own butt and get moving for real. Make it hurt (in the good, my legs are burning, hurts to breath kind of way, not the physical injury way), and make it count.

P.S. I just want to know others are being tortured at the same time as me.

1 Comment »

Shred or Dead?

Oh. My. Goodness. I just completed my first workout from the 30 Day Shred DVD. I have apparently just been under the illusion that I’ve been working out for the past 3 months. Yikes. OK, if this doesn’t get my results moving, then I know nothing will. Note to self: wear as many bras as possible before attempting any jumping jacks tomorrow.

Did I just post that on my blog?

IMG_0165

Not the greatest photo but the kids wanted to be in one with me too after last night’s photo. Aren’t they just so darn cute?

It’s the start of a new week folks! The snow has melted a few more inches…lets melt a few inches off our bodies too!

2 Comments »

Weigh-In Day, Week 13

Hey! I am here! Busy day yesterday and I forgot to update you on my progress. Didn’t lose any weight this week but lost another 1/2 inch from waist and bust…not that the latter necessarily needs to lose any more…I still get disappointed when the scale doesn’t budge but I am feeling good about my progress, slow as it is.

Wore my size 18 dress pants to church today and it felt good to close them without sucking my tummy in. I also dropped off a pair of jeans to be hemmed yesterday because my current jeans are both wearing very thin and getting baggy. So yes, my poundage numbers are not moving particularly fast but my efforts have been paying off and my body is changing.

I’ve started getting a little bored with my bike so Friday night, I popped in the only work-out DVD I own: Jillian Michael’s Extreme Shed and Shred. I’ve been scared to open it til now. For good reason apparently. I made it through the warm up with her…then I did my squats while watching her do the crazy stuff. My hubby walked in right about then, gave me a funny look then proceeded to inform me that what I was doing was not the same as what they were doing on the DVD. Thanks dear, I wasn’t aware. Just like I’m not aware that I’m short and always appreciate when someone takes the time to let me know. Anyway, I was able to borrow the 30 day Shred from a friend instead so I will be starting that this week instead of biking, just for a little something different.

If my hubby gets in while there is still some daylight left, I’ll get him to take a photo of me and update this post so you can see where I’m at now.

Little Mama as of April 21, 2013

Little Mama as of April 21, 2013

Let’s keep doing this friends!

 

5 Comments »

Baked Eggs!

When I fall in love with something, I usually fall hard and fast. Just ask my husband. A while ago, I fell in love with baked eggs. This week, I fell in love with them all over again. Don’t worry whipped oatmeal, I’m still in love with you too.  So I am going to do a bit of a recipe post for you today and share the few forms of baked eggs with you that I know, and maybe you can comment back with some ideas of other varieties!

First off, I have tried both baking at a lower temperature and broiling. At the moment, I am preferring broiling since I’ve had more success at getting the whites cooked but keeping the yolks runny this way. And I like runny yolks.

I first tried Italian baked eggs from the Weight Watcher’s website. The recipe is simply to place about 1/2 cup of pasta sauce (use a “light” version if you can) in the bottom of a small oven-proof dish. Make 2 wells in the sauce and crack an egg into each, or just one well and one egg if you don’t want two. You can keep the same amount of sauce though. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1-2 Tbsp of grated parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, until the whites are almost set. They will continue cooking after you remove it from the oven. You can also add fresh herbs to the sauce before adding the eggs like basil or oregano. Basil is really nice.

Next, I tried a more southwestern baked eggs variety, substituting salsa for the pasta sauce and topping with a light sprinkling of cheddar cheese. I have tried with both baking and broiling and I preferred the broiled ones over baked. To broil, place your salsa in the bottom of the baking dish, place under the broiler for just a minute or 2 to heat it up. Crack the eggs into a bowl then gently pour over the salsa, careful not to break the yolks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cheese. Broil 5-6 minutes until the whites are almost set and remove from oven.

Mexican Baked Eggs in the cutest mini cast iron skillet you've ever seen.

Mexican Baked Eggs in the cutest mini cast iron skillet you’ve ever seen.

 

On the same note as Mexican/Southwestern baked eggs, I decided to it using leftover chili one morning and that was super yummy. There was only about 1/2 cup of chili leftover anyway, not really enough for any of us to enjoy as a meal so it was perfect to use with the eggs. Just use the same steps as with salsa.

The latest version of baked eggs I’ve tried is Herbed Baked Eggs. First, in a small bowl, combine 1-2 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese, 1 small clove of garlic, minced; Chopped herbs of choice (I used rosemary and loved it). Place 1 and  a 1/2 tsp of cream + 1 tsp butter in the bottom of your baking dish. Place under the broiler just until bubbly. Swirl around to combine. Crack your eggs carefully into a bowl and gently pour over cream/butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese mixture. Broil for about 5-6 minutes, until the whites are almost set and remove from oven.

Herbed Baked Eggs.

Herbed Baked Eggs.

So try some baked eggs today! Come up with new varieties and share with all of us so we can enjoy your creativity too.

 

*WEIGHT-LOSS TIP OF THE DAY*

EAT BREAKFAST! It is a well-known fact that people who skip breakfast gain more weight than those who eat a healthy breakfast. Fill up on protein and/or whole grains and watch your morning go by without hunger pangs or major temptation for every donut that walks past. For myself, I know if I have a hearty, healthy breakfast, I can make better food choices all day long.

1 Comment »

Weigh-In, Week 12

Well folks, you’ve been travelling along this road with me for 12 weeks now, how does it feel? Have you had any successes you’d like to share? I know I’ve had my ups and downs…and I hope that by me sharing both my ups and my downs with you encourages you more than if I just shared my ups. Because none of us live a life of just ups. We all have downs sometimes.

The last number of weeks have been kind of down ones for me, emotionally, in the weight-loss department but I am glad to report that I am on an up! Ok, this is starting to get confusing, especially since I’m about to tell you that I am down 2.5 lb since last Saturday! That is the same weight I weighed myself in at on Monday of this week, but I am also slimmer by another 1/2 inch around my waist. I would call this a good week. Now let’s hope this plateau has been broken for at least another 5-10 lbs before getting stuck again. Those crazy plateaus. They’re unavoidable.

Some of the things I’ve done differently this week include making a conscious effort to drink more/lots of water. I have an 18 oz cup on the go all the time. I’ve been eating mangos like crazy, well, 1 a day usually. At first I thought this might not be such a great thing, thinking that they were loaded with sugar and might affect me negatively, but turns out, mangos are apparently a weight-loss power house according to information found through google. Sweet. Literally. I also switched up my exercise a bit and added squats to the mix. And stopped eating whipped oatmeal EVERY morning for breakfast…now I have it every other morning and eggs in between.

 

WEIGHT-LOSS TIP OF THE DAY

I don’t know which, if all or any, of the above contributed to my dropping the last 2.5 lbs but it is a constant puzzle to find the right balance of what keeps me feeling full, happy, satisfied and losing weight at the same time. There’s no one right formula that will work for every person. Keep tweaking your methods until you find what works for you, beginning with the basics of eating well and exercising. And I really do stress the combination of both. Some people want to eat well, but not put the effort into exercising. Others think if they exercise they don’t have to pay attention to what they eat. You really have to do both.

4 Comments »

Inches and such

Just thought I’d pop a quick post to say since March 12, I have lost 1/2 inch from both bust and hips, a full inch from my waist. Thigh and calf are still measuring the same, as are upper arms (though that is a really tricky measurement to pull of by oneself so I’m never completely sure).

The area I notice shrinking the most is the midsection between bust and bellybutton. I’ve been doing “pinch tests” there all along and have definitely been able to tell there is less to grab hold of there now than there was in January.

So yes, silly me, its not ALL about what the scale says. Though I really do wish that thing would just hurry up and get with the program too.

1 Comment »

Switch Up

OK, not really serious about this but I think I’ve found a way to change my results. Switch my weigh-in day to Monday instead of Saturday. I’ve been weighing myself on Mondays just for kicks for several weeks to see what the difference is from Saturday to Monday and all but once I have been 1-4 pounds less Monday morning than I am Saturday morning.

This morning I weighed in at 237.5, a low I have not yet achieved no matter which day I weigh in. Saturday I was 240.

I feel a little better about myself today and am going into this week with good motivation to do my best and hope for a good result to share with you at week end.

By the way, how close do you have to be to a bullet to actually hear it whiz past you?

5 Comments »