Health – 24-Day Challenge Progress Report, Day 6



Today is Day 6 of my 24-Day Challenge. I wanted to wait until I had several days under my belt before posting an update on my progress. As of this morning, I have lost two pounds, half an inch in my waist, 1.5 inches in my belly, and 1 inch on my hips. I honestly didn’t expect to see that kind of change so soon. I’ve been reading that some people don’t start losing until the Max Phase, and for some reason, I assumed I’d be one of those people.


The cleanse phase has not been near as scary as I worried it would be. I don’t know if I was eating pretty clean beforehand, but I have not been in the bathroom non-stop. And as long as it’s something that God made, I can still eat it.

Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are supposed to consist of a protein, a vegetable, and a carbohydrate (from a recommended list – we’re not talking about white bread here). I am also allowed a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack of a fruit and healthy fat. I confess, I have been cheating a little bit. Sometimes, I don’t want a vegetable at breakfast, so I eat a fruit. Other times, I want a vegetable for my snack. Usually, I don’t want a snack in the morning. As long as I’m following the big rules and keeping processed, fatty, and sugary foods out of my diet, I’m not worried.

One of the biggest challenges for me has been figuring out WHAT to eat for breakfast. I think a lot of people must purchase extra meal replacement shakes as an add-on, because in all my searching through challenge cookbooks and websites, breakfast recipes/ideas are scarce. Or it could just be that most people don’t have breakfast ADD like I do. Since it was something I had hoped to find before beginning my 24-Day Challenge, I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve been eating for breakfast.

Day 1: Oatmeal (McCann’s Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal – only takes 3 minutes on the stove) with sliced banana. You can add a packet of Splenda to the oatmeal while it cooks if you like it sweet.


Day 2: Scrambled egg whites with spinach. I start by spraying the skillet with a little Pam and wilt 1 cup of baby spinach. Then, I add 4 beaten egg whites to the skillet and scramble it all together. I think I also ate a small orange with it. That’s something else I do sometimes – use fruits as my carbohydrates.


Day 3: Green smoothie. In the blender, combine 1 banana, 1 cup baby spinach, 1-2 tablespoons almond butter, a handful of ice cubes, 1 packet of Splenda, and about ¼ cup of water. Protein, veggie, carbohydrate – bam! I was worried that I’d be hungry in 5 minutes the first time I made this for breakfast. I shouldn’t have been. It is awesome.


Day 4: Oatmeal with sliced strawberries.


Day 5: Green smoothie. See? I liked it so much, I had to have one again!


Day 6: Scrambled eggs with tomato, onion, and dill. I found this idea in an Elie Krieger cookbook I borrowed from the library. Seed and dice a Roma tomato, and chop up a little bit of onion. Spray a skillet with oil, and sauté the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato for a minute or two to warm it up. Remove the onion-tomato mixture from the skillet and set aside. In a bowl, I combined two egg whites and one whole egg. (I wanted a little bit of yellow today) Spray the pan again, and scramble the eggs. Top the eggs with the tomato and onions, and sprinkle some fresh dill on there, too. Yummy. If you don’t have a lot of time, just eat your eggs with salsa.

Those are my breakfast ideas so far. I will definitely share as I come up with more. Sorry I don’t have any photos. I’ll have to start remembering to photograph my food.

I’m excited about my Challenge progress so far. I feel good. My energy level is awesome, which I could not have imagined would have happened so quickly. I haven’t had coffee in 6 days, and I haven’t really missed it. I have been drinking my Spark, more as a precaution (in case I need it, or in case I was going to get a caffeine headache) than because I actually feel like I need it. This morning, I even woke up early, and I didn’t want to shoot myself, which is kind of a big deal.

I won’t lie and say I don’t want to cheat sometimes. I want to, but I have managed to avoid temptation so far. Even when I picked up Taco John’s for the kids after ice skating lessons and the potato oles were begging for me to eat one, I held strong. I’m not kidding. They were pathetic. Sorry, guys.

I’ll update again once I finish the cleanse and move on to max phase.



Project – Painted Toms


So you’ve got a perfectly good pair of shoes that you never wear. Maybe they’re worn out, maybe they’re not. All it takes is a little bit of time and paint to give them new life!

I actually bought these Toms from a sketchy-ish discount site last summer. They may not even be real, so I didn’t feel too bad about giving them a little character. Literally.

These shoes were my inspiration, but I wanted mine to be simpler. I stuffed the toes of my shoes with newspaper, traced a medicine cup with a pencil to make the ears, and painted them with black acrylic paint. Super easy. The hardest part was gathering the nerve to do it. I’m glad I did, because now, I have the perfect shoes to wear for my trip to the Princess Half Marathon next month.

You can find other ideas for revamping your Toms here and here. Happy painting!

Photos – This is Our Life

After failing last year’s pretty miserably, I really didn’t intend to tackle another Project 52 this year. I have, however, fallen in love with the theme “This is Our Life” that is being hosted by Paint the Moon. I’ve been keeping a list of each week’s theme, and I am collected some photos to go with them. In my own time. I’m not posting to the Flickr group or pressuring myself to get each one done. If something doesn’t happen to inspire a photo to fit a week’s particular theme, no big deal.

The first week’s theme was evening rituals. I snapped these photos of my kids brushing their teeth one night, and I love them. Both of their personalities are captured perfectly – Neely’s silliness and determination to do EVERYTHING by herself, and Aidan’s innate seriousness. And they’re just brushing their teeth! It’s too funny.



The theme for the third week was “If I could freeze time…”


I snapped this photo of the Bug just a couple of days ago. She adores tea parties and picnics. She set up her blanket in the middle of the hall and was serving lunch to her kitty cat. She doesn’t always invite me, but when she does, I know I need to make an effort to attend her tea parties. I’m sure I will miss it one day.

This Is Our Life - A 52 Week Lifestyle Photo Project by Paint the Moon Photoshop Actions

Run – Magic Mile

1 mile mark on red running track

As you know, I have been using Jeff Galloway’s plan to train for the upcoming Disney Princess Half Marathon, and I learned a new term this week. “Magic mile.” It popped up on my calendar to do one after today’s four-mile run, and I had to do a little searching to figure out what it is! Essentially, after your regular run, you run one mile as fast as you can. You put that time in a fun little formula to guesstimate what your actual pace will/should be on race day. If you want to see more details, click here.

I ran today’s magic mile in 8:47. No kidding. That’s the fastest mile I’ve ever run. I worked hard for it. Multiply that by 1.2 for a half marathon, and you get 10:30-ish, which is AWESOME! Because that’s the pace I’m shooting for. I have a few more of these magic miles on the schedule before race day. I’ll average them all out and will hopefully have a good idea of where my pace will fall, and pray that the warm weather doesn’t throw me off too much.

Project – Stenciled Hoodie


I got a really cool new gadget for Christmas this year – the Silhouette Cameo. For a couple of years now, I’ve been watching all of the projects other bloggers make with their Silhouette and wishing that I had one. I finally asked for it this year.

It has taken me this long to decide what to try first. I had this navy blue hoodie I bought a while back, just chilling in the closet. I’ve never worn it, because I always intended to applique it or something. Why not paint it?


I used the Silhouette to cut a stencil out of Contact Paper. Then, I used fabric paint and filled in my design. I was a little too eager, though. I realized on the second coat of paint that I didn’t get my stencil laid down perfectly flat, and there were some bubbles around the edges of the letters. I tried to hold them down while I painted to prevent it from bleeding outside the stencil, but I didn’t do the best job. See?


The “u” is especially drippy. In hindsight, I should have also made the word smaller and left off the period. It looked great lying flat on the ironing board, but a little funny once I put it on. No worries, though. I can wear it to the gym or as a hidden layer on super cold days.

Next, I think I will be trying heat transfer vinyl. I’ve ordered some for some t-shirts I want to make. They look really cute in my head. I hope they turn out well. I’ll share once all my materials show up and I get them finished.

Run – Fighting Weight

Although this is a popular topic in January each year, my choice to discuss weight has nothing to do with a resolution and everything to do with the fact that I have a race coming up in a little under six weeks. My weight generally fluctuates within about a ten-pound range (five pounds under and over what I should actually maintain).

Right now, I’m at the five pounds over mark. This is pretty common for me during the winter. It’s cold. I’m staying indoors. I’m (usually) less active. I eat more comfort foods. I’ve been making a lot of excuses, too. It’s been the holiday season, and it’s too hard to resist all the wonderful food. Once Christmas is over, I’ll eat better. I also like to tell myself that the extra weight I’m carrying is muscle, because I’ve been training for a race. Ha! I wish that were true, but I know I’m delusional.

It’s time to get back down to my fighting weight. I’m putting myself at a disadvantage before I even cross the starting line if I’m running five pounds heavy. I have read that 10 pounds can affect your pace by 20 seconds per mile. For a shorter race, meh. It doesn’t add up to much. In a longer race, it can make a big difference. For me, it could mean the difference in whether or not a set a new PR. (I’m trying to beat 2:37:44)

This is a light week for me mileage-wise, so I chose Sunday to start counting calories, eating more whole foods, and focusing on being healthy for the race in addition to having trained.

In the same vein, very soon the man and I are both going to start something new, and hopefully awesome. We’re going to do the Advocare 24-Day Challenge. We’re hoping to lose weight, tone up, and just feel better. And in a totally unplanned move, we also signed up to be Advocare distributors. If you decide you’d like to try it along with us, let me know! If you click that link up there, it’ll take you to our website. Please don’t judge too harshly. We don’t really have a “story” yet, per se, so the site is really generic with no personal information about us.

Run – Sometimes it’s hard.


I wish I had seen this yesterday morning. I was due for 12 miles on the ol’ training schedule yesterday. Well, if I’m honest, I was supposed to do it last week, with this week and next week only having 4 miles on the long run day. Since we were still away from home, I postponed it. No big deal. I didn’t need two short weeks anyway.

But I goofed. I felt really weird on Monday morning, so I pushed my maintenance runs to Tuesday and Thursday. Then, I decided to go ahead with the long run on Friday without a rest day beforehand. Add to that the fact that I slept HORRIBLY on Thursday night. Our room gets too hot at night. I’m pretty sure it hinders good sleep, but we can’t figure out how to fix it, short of opening the window and letting too-cold air in.

I wasn’t pumped when I started my run, and I had a time limit. I drop Neely at school at 9:00 and have to pick her up by 11:30. By the time I got on the treadmill, it was 9:10. I knew I’d need to stop by 11:10 to cool down, stretch, and allow myself to remove the snow from my car and still make it in time to get her. I dislike doing a long run on the treadmill. I’m never sure where to set the pace, and I always end up running slower than I should. So in two hours, I only made it to 10.5 miles. It’s crazy, considering that when I ran 10 miles before Christmas, on the track, I finished in 1:45. It was discouraging. I did what I could, but the anxiety of trying to finish with a deadline nearly did me in.

Next time, I’ll have to do the long run in the evening when John can keep the kiddos, and I can take as much time as I need to.

I am thankful, however, that I didn’t feel nearly as bad as the first time I attempted 12 miles last March. I didn’t want to cry. I just felt tired, and stressed out. Life goes on. It wasn’t my best run ever, but at least it wasn’t my worst. I’ll do better next time.