Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

This is going to be a quick post.  Mostly because it's Halloween.  Halloween in our house means:  costume preparation, school parade, home-cooked stew, trick-or-treating, and so much more.

It's a busy day!

But I wanted to pop in and say that I am SO excited that a few of my readers are going to join me in this 4 week challenge.  Lisa, Debbie, Windee, and Tracy all agreed to join in on the fun!  I can't wait to follow your progress and watch for your comments.  WE CAN DO THIS!

As you can see, I added the calendar image above.  That is where I will update each day with my highlighted (completed) tasks to stay accountable.

I know yesterday I got in my lifting and steps.  And I already read that Debbie did too...how did the rest of you do?  (Yes.  I'm calling you out!)  :)

As we move into November, I just want to let each and everyone of you know how much I appreciate you!  I couldn't have imagined where this blog would be.  It started as just a small thing, sharing my daily struggles and story.  And it's turned into such an amazing network of incredible people.  Thank you for motivating me, for sticking with me, for sharing your stories through email with me.  I am touched.

Happy Halloween to you from my family!!




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

4 Weeks of Accountability

So this morning I realized we are about exactly 4 weeks away from Thanksgiving.  4 weeks!  (Where has this year gone!?)

Because of that, I've decided I need to get my behind in gear.  I am certainly NOT where I thought I would be after having my baby.  So, what better time to start than 4 weeks before I stuff my face full of all things delicious at the Thanksgiving table.

Now.  Because I've been hit and miss on here, I've also made another commitment to myself.  I am not going to step on the scale until 4 weeks from today.  I know what my weight has been hovering at.  And I really, really, REALLY want that number to start dropping.  But then I go all psycho and self-sabotage with Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

So.  I came up with a game plan.  And I set up some rules.  Do you want to play along and take control of your November too?  Here are the rules:

Rule 1:  NO weighing in until November 27th.  None, zero, zilch.  Hide that scale.

Rule 2:  No candy/dessert/ICE CREAM.  Yep.  I'm starting this THE DAY BEFORE HALLOWEEN.  Why not?  I'm crazy like that!  But trust me, come December there will still be plenty of Reese's and Snickers and Butterfingers!  (I'm just hoping I won't want them then!)

Rule 3:  Follow this program:
Rule 4:  Return and report.  For me, this consists of highlighting the activities completed EVERY DAY.  Then I will upload the image here for you to follow along.  For you, it consists of leaving me a comment ... letting me know what you accomplished.

Now.  As you can see, Sunday's are my day off.  Other than that, my booty will be moving each and every day.  No exceptions!  Each day, I'll post this picture at the top of the blog post (or maybe I'll get all fancy and figure out how to pin a post to the top of the blog...)  Either way, you will know exactly where I'm at.

What I need from you?  SUPPORT!  I've been consistent for about 2 weeks in the past, then I've fallen off the wagon.  Will you please be my cheerleader?  (Is that silly to ask?)

Gulp.  Here goes nothing!  (and as of right now...1:48pm MST I am only at 3,262 steps for the day and still need to get in my leg lifts...wish me luck!)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ripples

Let me start by taking you back to where the ripple in the water started....

I was doing so good with my exercising and running.  I was posting here more.  The scale was moving the right direction!  It was 2 weeks full of focus and determination to hit 10k steps, and to lift weights Mon/Wed/Fri.  

Then.  Last Wednesday came.

Nothing significant happened on Wednesday.  I just made one simple decision that has caused a ripple of other effects.

Wednesday I decided I would skip the morning leg lifts in our gym, and do them that evening instead.  Only.  I didn't.  By the time evening came, it sounded a lot better to sit and relax rather than changing into exercise clothes and start doing squats.  

So I gave in.

And from there, I allowed myself to give in to all sorts of terrible food.  I allowed myself to skip runs that I had planned.  I allowed myself to wallow.

See the ripple?

I was feeling all sorry for myself as I knew the scale would be moving in the other direction.  But I sat, wallowing, and shoving anything that was even moderately sweet into my pie hole.

Bad week?  Yes.  And for what reason?  None, other than I allowed it.

Losing weight is hard.  It is so hard to stay focused.  It can be so frustrating.  SO FRUSTRATING!  It's frustrating to have been so close, and now packed the weight back on.  (Granted, it was for a good reason....but it's still hard!)  

So yesterday I was sitting there...in my sweat pants...feeling all sorry for myself.  Then I had a very powerful and eye opening moment happen.  I'd like to open up and share...

As you know, I have 4 great children who mean the world to me.  Right now, one of my children is struggling.  I'd like to say a little bit, but that would be a lie.  She's really struggling, and it breaks my heart.  She is incredibly talented, you should hear the girl sing!!!  She is beautiful, inside and out!  She is hilarious!  She is kind, and helpful.  But she is struggling with her reading.  Over the last year+ as we've worked with her, it's become apparent that reading just doesn't come easily for her.  As I sat there yesterday, watching her S.T.R.U.G.G.L.E through her book I couldn't help but think of how frustrated she becomes.  She wants to be a great reader!  (She certainly puts in the time to become one!)  Some days, she does so great at sounding out words....other days, she struggles to name the letter she is looking at.  It breaks my heart to see her try so hard, and put in all the effort, only to feel like she is not good enough!  Tears have been shed (by both of us) as she tells me she feels dumb.

So you may be wondering why I would share such personal information about my sweet girl....let me explain!

Yesterday, as I sat listening to her, it dawned on me...there are many days when she becomes frustrated!  There have been many, MANY tears shed by her when she feels inadequate.  Yet through it all, she doesn't give up!


She never gives up!

My beautiful daughter dusts herself off, and keeps trying no matter how hard it is.  Why?  Because that is what our family does!  When hard things come our way, we don't stick our head in the sand.  We don't let hard keep us down.  Sure, it may knock us back...but we always, ALWAYS get up.  

So I sat there, realizing what an example she is to me!  She reminded me that the Bowling's never, NEVER give up when things get hard.  And just as she will continue to put in the endless time and effort to learn to do what she feels is impossible, so will I.  Together, we will both keep working on the hard things in life and we will become stronger for it!

(And one day, long down the road, if you ever read this....I hope you will know just know how much I love you Red Kitty!  You are incredible in so many ways...)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Transforming Tuesday

Daily Accountability:  Although I didn't post yesterday, I'll have you know that I did in fact run my run over the weekend...3 miles to be exact.  And I did hit my 10k steps yesterday (Monday).  (Sunday's I've decided to not focus on the NEED to hit 10k.  If I hit it, great.  If I don't, no biggie.)

Today is all about transformation.  Today, I promised I would be accountable...even if that meant I had to swallow some pride in the process.

Before I wrote this post, I knew I needed to get my work out in.  I knew I needed to have a positive to build myself up with.  So I did.  I did my 30 minutes of walk/run intervals (what I've found to be the BEST tool at losing weight...to trick your body with a fluctuating heart rate).

As I finished my workout, I logged on to Instagram (do you follow me?  If not, check the side bar so you can!)  As I was scrolling through the pictures, I came across one my sweet Aunt Tonya posted.  It was a picture she took of a snail.  I borrowed that picture and added the words she used on the picture because I think it is so relevant!


Somedays all I can think about is how fast can I lose all this weight?  How fast, how fast, how fast?

But somedays, we have set backs.  Somedays, we step on the scale and are frustrated with what we see.  Somedays, it takes all we have just to keep inching forward across the road...dodging the traffic coming in our direction.  Somedays it takes every ounce of determination to stay focused and not give up.

Just as this snail made it across the road in one piece, we too can make it.  It may not be today, it may not be tomorrow.  But we will make it, and the most important thing is we will be in one piece!  We will be stronger because of the work we had to put in.  

While the road ahead seems pretty long for my goals, inching forward is the only way I can get there in one piece...

Today's starting weight:  187.4


Friday, October 11, 2013

Do Better


Daily Accountability:  I am still holding strong with my streak!  Hit my 10k steps again yesterday.

The weekend is coming fast.  It just so happens that it is fall break around here for my kids.  I had plans to make it a fun weekend until we got slammed with rain yesterday.  I have hopes that today will be better though, the sun is shining.

The sun is shining in more than one way!

Despite being ridiculously sore, I am seeing the sun shine.  I haven't stepped back on the scale, but plan to on Monday (and I'll report it on here).  I love that after 4 days of exercising again I am feeling good.  The soreness is a good sore.  Because I know my body will start changing.

Do I wish it would happen overnight?  Yeah, who wouldn't.

But I know that it takes time, a lifetime to be exact!  You see, even when I reach my goal things will still be difficult.  I'll still have the same fat-girl inside of me...whispering for me to eat the entire carton of ice cream, followed by 3 cookies.  I will always have that fat-girl tempting me.  And I'm sure some days I'll give in, but the key is to stay strong most days.  Each day is a new day, and no matter what happened yesterday...TODAY we can do better!

So that's your challenge (and mine!).  Do better TODAY.  Find something to work on, just one thing.  And focus on it over the weekend.  We can do better!  Enjoy your weekend!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Difficult

Yesterday it was difficult to get in my steps.
Like really difficult.
I started the morning by working out my legs...I'm talking squats, lunges, leg extensions, and a few others.

My legs were jello.

Not to mention, I had a tired mom day.  So to say I wanted to just sit on the couch and veg out would be an understatement!  (And I don't even like watching TV!)

But I knew I needed to get busy.  I had about 4,000 steps to get in.  So I went back to what worked before...just in a new location.  (And with a little bigger screen.)


That's right, I stepped and stepped for hours.  I was tired.  And took a lot of breaks.  I ended up stepping during the commercials and sitting during X-factor (and one other show I had previously recorded).  Finally, after about 3 hours....and at about 10:30 at night I hit my goal.

Yep.  That is 3 days in a row. 

It may only be 3 days, but it's 3 more days than I would have had if I hadn't started when I did.  See that's the thing....getting started is the HARDEST.  Taking those first steps.  Making it through that first week, difficult.  But it gets easier!  And it feels SO GOOD to consider myself active again.  Whether the scale moves or not, I am proud that I am doing it....not just wishing it.

So what is it that you are going to do, and not just wish??? 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Finally!

I did it!  FINALLY!  I managed to hit 10,000 steps 2 days in a row....I wonder how long I can keep the streak alive?!  Keep watching and we will see.....

As for today, today I was tired...AGAIN.  And the weather is getting chillier so my bed was so snuggly warm this morning.  And I was up a lot last night with little Madison (she had shots yesterday and was very uncomfortable.) 

But as I laid in bed, I had my phone and logged on MFP and saw all you wonderful people out there getting it done.  So, I sent my girls off to school, and laced up my shoes.

I feel very blessed to have the equipment in my home to lift.  Today was leg day, and my legs are now feeling like jello!


But I want to say....you don't NEED exercise equipment to lose weight.  People, I lost all my weight (all 85 pounds of it) without spending a single day in the gym!  I didn't lift a single weight!  

IT CAN BE DONE!

I promise, losing weight is significantly about the foods we eat!  It's a lot less about the exercise than you would think.  Now, I'm not saying you don't need to exercise!  You do!  Even if it's just walking and putting your laundry away one piece at a time.  But focusing on what we shove in our pie holes is where the scale will start to budge!

I'm no expert, and I only say this from my personal experience....but I'm a firm believer in getting in tons and tons of veggies!  I know when I start my days off with my green smoothie (filled with spinach) the scale is a lot more generous to me!  

So get those veggies in!  And share with us any other tips you might have stumbled upon in your own experiences...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Accountability

As promised, here is my accountability for yesterday.  I made it to 10k steps, 10,010 to be exact...but it took some work to get there.  Because I had housework to do yesterday, I used a tip a friend gave me a while back.  I folded my laundry and put it away....one piece at a time!  It helped tremendously.  I still have a ways to go...check out the leader board:


You might be wondering what this program is...I use a FitBit to track my daily steps.  (I have the Zip)  I LOVE my fitbit.  I've used a lot of different trackers over the years.  I've tried the Nike Fuel Band, the BodyBugg, pedometers.

The FitBit is by far my FAVORITE!  

It's small, I wear it on my bra.  It tracks my steps taken, calories burned, and distance traveled for the day.  There is a snazzy app for my iPhone that tracks my daily progress, and also lets me compete against friends for a weekly total.

And what's even better....you can buy the zip at BestBuy for only like $50!  I love mine!  I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone serious about tracking steps and calories burned!  

And if you get one, make sure to add me as your friend!  

My goal for this week is to get that weekly total up in the 70k range...it's going to take some work.  I'm exhausted this morning after lifting yesterday and hitting my steps goal.  But I'm motivated.  It's been months since I hit 10k steps two days in a row.  MONTHS.  (Pathetic, right?)

But that is my goal for today....so check back tomorrow to see if I hit that.  

So what is it that you are working on today, what is it that you are going to be accountable for?  One friend/reader from yesterday, Marissa, stayed accountable and followed through from yesterday.  I made sure of it.  :)  

There is power in being accountable to someone, I promise!  Let's do this together!


Monday, October 7, 2013

Conversations with myself...


Today is Monday.  (Just in case you hadn't checked the calendar.)

I woke up feeling all sorts of BLAH.  I scurried the kids off to school, fed my toddler, fed the baby, sent my husband out the door.  And then I sat.

And I fought with myself.
It went a little something like this:

Me:  You should go downstairs and workout.
Me:  No.  Just go lay back down in bed.
Me:  No really, you want to start fresh this week...
Me:  Eh.  What's another day of waiting.
Me:  You won't get results you want to see if you keep putting off exercise.
Me:  Eh. Eh. Eh.  I'm going to go eat a cookie, or maybe 2.
Me:  Just get up, you will be glad you did when you are done.
Me:  But I don't want to....(in a whine-filled toddler voice)
Me:  GET MOVING, you've been playing the 'I just had a baby' card far too long.
Me:  Grrrrrr.

Do you ever fight with yourself?  Or am I the only crazy one?

I'll have you know, I did lace up my shoes.  I did get my workout on.  I lifted my chest and triceps today, and I won't stop tonight until I make sure I have 10k steps logged....check back tomorrow because I need the accountability.  I need to know that I have to "report" back.

What is it that you need accountability for?  Leave me a comment, or email me...lets do each other a favor and call one another out.  Let's help each other get the results we desire...


Friday, October 4, 2013

Defining Moments

5 years ago TODAY was a very defining moment for me.
5 years ago at THIS MOMENT was a moment I will never, ever forget.

Many of my readers know my story.  Some might not.  Either way, please bare with me today, on this defining day to allow my thoughts to travel back.

5 years ago I was over coming probably the most difficult trial of my life.  5 years ago, I was finally taking control of my life again.  5 years ago, I finally found a way to forgive the men who shattered the person I was.  5 years ago I was crossing the finish line of my past, my marathon.

5 years ago,  I found my desire to breathe again.

And maybe some will think that since then, life has been a breeze?  
Not at all!

But I found the desire to want to live my life again.  I found the sunshine.  I found fresh air.  

And while at one point, I thought I would forever hate St. George, Utah because of what happened to me while attending college there...it turns out, I have a deep love for that city.  Because after I was forced to move there once again for my husbands job, and after I was forced to open my closet and let those skeletons out, then and only then did I find happiness again.

Over this summer I really struggled with having to again move away from St. George.  The last time I packed my bags to leave St. George, Utah I was in a bad place.  Probably the worst place I've ever been in.  I prayed each day that I wouldn't wake up, that I wouldn't have to breathe.  I hated.  Everything.  And everyone.  I hated what had happened to me.

The last time I left St. George, I buried the Alisha I was.  I was certain I couldn't be happy, I was certain I didn't deserve to be happy, I was certain my life was over.  

Moving back up to Salt Lake AGAIN over this summer made me reflect on just how far I have come.  I no longer just try and get by.  I survived the unthinkable.  I survived what no one should ever have to endure.  I found happiness again.  Moving from St. George this second time was so hard.  Sure I left a beautiful home, and a neighborhood I loved, and friends I adored.  But leaving this time around, was different because I was afraid I would lose all the progress I had made.

You see, Saint George was the city I lost myself in.  But then it was also the city I regained my identity in.  

I realized how much I needed to heal in those years we lived in St. George.  I remembered how to hope again.  I remembered how to be happy again.  And now, I realize it is not tied to the city itself.  I fought hard against my past to overcome.  I fought for life.  I fought for my family.  I fought for myself.  

I am a fighter.

I have fought back after being raped to forgive what I thought was unforgivable; to recognize that I deserved all the happiness life has to offer me.

So here I am, today.  5 years after that defining moment in my life.  Here I am, proudly wearing a medal that will forever symbolize finding myself again!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Choices

Isn't it funny how life gives you moments where choices must be made? Let me explain...

Yesterday was an emotional day for me. Like ugly crying, full blown tears, feeling crappy about my postpartum, saggy body. I was being overly critical about my saggy belly, along with other areas. I cried and cried on the bathroom floor about not having anything to wear. And then I cried harder about the suggestion to go shopping for new clothes. (It was a lose, lose day.)

At one point, Jason finally was a bit direct. He told me my expectations 5 and a half weeks after having a csection were unrealistic.

He's right. 

I can't expect to be back into my size 6 skinny jeans after only 5 weeks. 

But yesterday I made the choice to start doing something actively each day to tilt the scale my way. I made the choice to make it a priority.

And just as that choice was made, it was time to make another choice.

We've been running into a few health-related things with Madison.  Without going into all the details...last week there was talk of surgery, there were X-rays, ultrasounds, medications, and weight checks. 

Today was another check-up and the doctor still isn't thrilled at what's happening.  

It was as I was walking out of the hospital that I made the choice.

My size 6 jeans don't matter right now.

Now is not the time for me to be worried about counting calories. (Let me make it clear: there are no worries with my milk supply, I have NOT been cutting calories enough to damage my milk supply.)  

What I am saying is right now, it's more important to me to help my baby than it is to get my body back.

After we've figured out things with Madi, then I will re-evaluate. But for now...what was so important to me yesterday, isn't as important to me today. 

So for today, and for the next week, and for as long as necessary....I will be on a scale hiatus. Because really, what does that number tell me anyway?

It's a measurement, and one I felt I was failing at. And honestly, I'm tired of feeling as if I'm failing.   

That number does not define me. Yet I was giving that number such power! (Power over me, and over my emotions, and over the outcome of my day.)

On the drive home today, I reflected instead on how incredible my body is! It's grown a little person. A little, adorable person, if I do say so myself!

And it continues to provide the nourishment and food for her to grow. It knows exactly what to do! It really amazes me! (And to think I've been so hard on my body lately...)

I'm sorry. I'm sorry for not respecting the incredible job my body has been doing. 

Each of us have so much happening in life, and the last thing we need is to feel we are failing on the scale.  Life is hard enough. 

Don't become a victim to your scale, you are more than the number it shows you!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Some Days

Some days you are ready to throw in the towel.
Some days it's just not worth it.
Some days you just want to give up.
Some days it's hard.  Real hard.

Some days have been coming a lot lately.

So instead of living in "some days" I have to find a way to live in today.

Today, I am determined to find the strength to do better...today I'm heading out for a walk.
Today, I'm working to clear my mind of all that is holding me back from my best self.

Today.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Easy

Losing weight is easy, right?
(Yeah, right!)

So I have a confession.  I thought after I delivered that the weight would just fall off me.  You're probably laughing, and shaking your head at my wishful thinking.  But you see, with my other babies the weight literally fell off.

Like, 4 weeks I'd be down 30 lbs.  With no effort.  And I could eat whatever I wanted.

Yesterday was 4 weeks.

I am no where near 30 lbs lost.

I cried.

Then I had to stop.  Step back.  And realize that with my other pregnancies, I had a LOT of extra weight.  This time, not as much.  (I had to tell myself that was part of the reason to make myself feel better.)

Also, I think I've been a tad bit stressed out trying to figure out a routine with all the kids...and the bigger house...and everything else that needs to get done.  (Still working on the routine...)

But I seriously thought this time around, the weight would just fall off like in past.  I even counted on it.  (Hence my post about not tracking my weight until week 6 postpartum.)  So I have been discouraged.  And down.  And frustrated.

I look at how far I have to go and it makes me want to crawl under my covers with a box of ding dongs (and I don't even like ding dongs!)

So I got to thinking....why can't this be easier!?  I mean really, why doesn't it have to take so much effort to shed weight and get fit?

That was when I had my "ah-ha" moment.

It has to be hard so that you will never, EVER want to go back!

And with that thought, I sucked it up and faced the difficult.  I laced up my running shoes, put together my new double jogger, and hit the road running.


The run/walk wasn't easy, but it wasn't as hard as I had worked it up to be in my head.  Sure, I may have had to wear 3 sports bras for support.  And sure, I was slow.  And yes, my incision had that burning sensation.  But, as usual, when I was done...I felt amazing!

If I can get out there and run/walk...why can't you?  Seriously.  Throw your excuses out the window like I did mine.  Get out there, and you will feel so much better when you're done!  How much better?  Well, if you're like me...you'll feel so great that you'll take the time to get dressed, hair done, AND make-up done all in the same day!  (A task that hasn't happened since I delivered Madison 4 weeks ago!)

Ultimately, it doesn't matter how fast you go.  Or how far you go.  It just matters that you go!  Now close your internet browser and go do something RIGHT NOW that puts you on the path to a better, healthier you!




Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Double double


Why are double chins so adorable on babies....and so ick on grown ups like me?

Just popping in to say running endurance goes away when you aren't using it.  And it stinks!  But I'm determined to slowly build up my distance and speed again! 

Wanna join me?

Monday, September 2, 2013

The beginning. Again.

Today it started again.

Over the weekend I planned out my plan.  (Yes.  I'm an over-planner.)

I made myself spreadsheets.
I took measurements.
I weighed in.

And.  I recruited my Mr. to join me this time around.

That's right folks.  Over the next 4 months, I will be reporting (good or bad) on both mine and Jason's progress.

We are doing this TOGETHER for the first time.

In the past, he's gotten motivated and ready to lose weight....and I wasn't.
And then I got motivated to lose all my weight when he wasn't around, thus coming home to a wife of a new size...

This time, we both are ready.

We opted to turn one of our rooms into this:


I've never been a lifter.  Like ever.  Ever, ever!  

But I not only want to lose the weight I put on in my pregnancy, but I also want to firm up my body.  There's a saying that I love...losing weight helps you look good in clothes, lifting weights helps you look good out of them.

That's just it, friends.  I want to be healthy and FIT!  I want definition to my body.  I want curves, but I want ripped curves.  I'm not aiming to be a body builder, by any means!  But I am aiming to be fit.

So for the next 12 weeks, I have made our excel spreadsheets and will be following a routine.  Mine and Jason's are a bit different.  But we both have our plan set, and we have both already finished our workouts for today!

We took measurements last night and I will share those with you as we have something to compare them to.  However, I'll probably be sharing the weekly weigh-in's more frequently than the measurements.  

I feel great!  I am excited, here comes a new couple...I can't wait!

(Now I'm off to find a great sports bra for these nursing boobies....any suggestions???)


Friday, August 30, 2013

Winner

Just wanted to thank Color Me Rad for hosting our giveaway.  Remember...if you didn't win, there is still time to register for the 5k over HERE!

Big congratulations to our 2 winners.....

Marchelle D. and Debbie R.

(Check your emails for the registration codes...)

In other news, I have excitingness (yes, I make up my own words) coming up next week.  More specifically....I have a plan, and a goal, and I'm gonna share it with you.  (And document it all here on the blog!)  You won't want to miss this...


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

RAD Giveaway!

*giveaway has ended, comments no longer accepted

Just when you thought your Wednesday couldn't get any better, boy oh boy do I have some exciting news to share!

Last year, St. George held their very first Color Me Rad 5k.  I was SO excited, and anxious to sign up.  Then.  I realized it was on a Saturday morning.  And ALL of my Saturday's consisted of nursing clinicals.  Sadly, I had to watch all the social media outlets of all my friends (and strangers) participating in the race I so badly wished I could be apart of.

It was then, I decided that one day I would run that race.  And I would include my girls in it too....
(I mean look at this mom and daughter, how cute is that!?)



Alas, this day has come!

Yep.  You read right people!

Color Me Rad 5k is again coming to St. George, Utah on September 28th and I'm going to be taking a trip back down to the city I love in order to make that race my first post-baby race.  I am SO excited!

My girls are THRILLED at the idea, especially after I showed them pictures like this...


I'm a little nervous getting back into the swing of exercising again...but I need it.  I need it not only for my physical well-being, but for my emotional and mental health well-being!  Exercising makes me a happier person, a better mommy.  My body is aching to get started and I can't wait for this fun race!

From what I was told last year, the race is a TON of FUN!  Imagine color, lots of it!  I mean, seriously...just look at the pictures for yourself!


What I love most is that there will be people of every size, age, and fitness level participating.  There will be moms with strollers, friends running in groups, couples running together!  It looks like a big RAD party.

So mark it on your calendar SEPTEMBER 28th, and head over to their website to check out all the details but more importantly GET REGISTERED!  Come meet up with me and lets have a Rad Run together!  It is definitely not too late to sign up!

When you register...make sure to register under my team!  (In Progress for Good, last name Bowling)  I'm doing the 9am heat and would love to have you join me!

Want to know how your Wednesday just got a little more exciting?!  The people over at Color Me Rad 5k have offered to give TWO of my local readers an entry into this race!!!  Yep.  You read that right.  The giveaway starts today and will end on the 28th at midnight so you don't have much time.  You have a few options to enter:

First entry:  leave a comment on this blog telling us about a Color Me Rad race you ran....or if you haven't ran one, why you are excited to run in this one!

Second entry:  click the link on rafflecopter to "like" In Progress For Good's Facebook page

Third entry (and mandatory one):  click the link on rafflecopter to "like" Color Me Rad 5k on Facebook.

It's that easy!  Friday morning I'll announce our winner!  So spread the word, lets all GET REGISTERED for Color Me Rad 5k in St. George and make it a big ol' party!

While this post and giveaway was sponsored by Color Me Rad 5k, the thoughts and opinions in the post are solely mine.  
Want to learn more about the Color Me Rad races or worried about if the color is safe for young kids?  You can get all those details HERE.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Accountability.

Here I am.  2 weeks postpartum, ready to face the music scale.  

I'm not going to sugarcoat anything.

I did not maintain the diet I hoped to for this pregnancy.  I resorted to fast food and quick, easy meals.  A lot.

I did not move as much as I would have liked either.  (Read:  I did not exercise basically at all.)

I was busy, and tired, and full of a lot of other excuses.

I was afraid of the scale for months.  I originally was trying to stay at the 180 mark for the pregnancy.  That didn't work.

And when I passed 180, I stopped stepping on the scale.  Because lets be honest...if I'm not stepping on the scale, it isn't happening.  Right?  Right?

So wrong.

A day before I delivered, I finally gained the courage to get a weight.  I knew it wouldn't be pretty, but I knew I would want to know where I ended the pregnancy at.

So, without further stalling.....198.6 was my delivering weight.

That puts my pregnancy gain at about 43 pounds (from the day I got the + sign on the pee stick).  Dang.

I'm not really weighing in yet.  And I think at the 6 week mark is when I'll officially start tracking the weight loss.  I figure that gives me 6 weeks to allow for all the fluids to drain off and give me an accurate weight.  Typically, I lose a decent amount in those 6 weeks with very little work needed.  So it wouldn't be accurate for me to be jumping up and down with excitement to get on here and say I lost 7 pounds last night.  And another 5 the day before....you get my drift.

I have my 2 week check-up tomorrow.  I'm finally starting to not be quite as sore.  I'm still sore, just not needing to down the percocet's any longer.

My plan for the next month:  eat well.  I am breastfeeding, and it's important to me.  Drink lots of water!  And slowly but surely up my daily steps.  By my 6 week appointment, I'm hoping to be ready to start running again.  (After all, I have a lot of races planned and scheduled!)

So there's the honest truth.  And here goes losing the pregnancy weight....and more!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Birth Story

I realize because this is a blog mostly about getting healthy, some of you might not be interested in reading this.  But because this is a blog about my life, I feel I must include important moments like these to remember.  So read on...or skip this post...

Also.  Note that because I think it's always easier to read LOOONG posts if they have pictures, my pictures will be randomly placed as I tell her story...

The week of August 4th was a busy one for our household.  Out of all weeks, this was the week that I knew would be difficult to arrange if our baby girl decided to come on her own.  I had previously been scheduled for a c-section on August 13th, and as uncomfortable as I was...I knew it would easiest for our family if this baby stayed "cooking" until then.

Children have a plan of their own.

On Wednesday August 7th, I woke up to some pretty intense contractions.  I had been feeling contractions on and off for the past week.  But I knew they were Braxton Hicks.  Wednesday morning, that changed.  These became crampy, and painful.  They would take my breath away.

I didn't say much to anyone...after all, I didn't want to be the girl who cried wolf!  So I just endured them.  Kept an eye on the clock to notice if they were getting closer together.  By afternoon, they had become about 10-12 minutes apart.  But I wasn't sure when the on-call doctor (my doc was out of town) would want me to come in with the risk of uterine rupture and all.  So I made a call.

The nurse called me back almost immediately.  She told me to head over to labor and delivery, they wanted to monitor me.

Luckily, Jason was home by this point.  He called his mom to come be with the other kids as I packed a hospital bag...just in case.  On our way out the door, I stopped for one last pregnant-selfie...



I sent a quick text to my parents (they were vacationing on their annual Lake Powell trip) and we headed over to the hospital.

Once we arrived, they put me in an evaluation room, hooked me up to monitors and told me to sit tight for an hour.  By the time the hour was up, the contractions were coming about every 8 min.  The nurse paged the doctor to decide what to do....but I had a feeling our baby was coming that night.

The nurse came back to inform us they were prepping for surgery and within 15 minutes I had an IV, antibiotics on board, name bands, had met the doctor on call who was to perform the surgery, was gowned up, and ready to walk to the OR.  They took me back first, had Jason wait in the eval room all bunny-suited up and said they would call for him after I received my spinal.


I was nervous.  Sure, this was my 4th baby...and my 3rd c-section.  But I was scared.  I remembered all too well the puking that happened after both my other c-sections.  Imagine puking for hours and hours and HOURS after having your abdomen cut open.  I would get so sick that I couldn't even open my eyes to see my babies.  I started to tear up just thinking of what was to come.

As I entered the OR, the anesthesiologist came in to talk to me.  Hands down, best anesthesiologist I've ever had.  I told him my concern about getting so sick.  He sat and talked things through with me.  Eventually, we decided to forgo the morphine in my spinal.  He cautioned me that I would feel more pain, but hoped it would help me not to get so sick.  I told him I would take the pain every day over the 10+ hours of throwing up.  And I'm happy to say, it worked!  I felt amazing during and after the c-section.  No sickness.  Thank you Mr. Anesthesiologist for making this go-around the best yet!

Once Jason came in, he took the obligatory photos and I was told surgery was about to start.


As the doctor began, things seemed great.  I kept asking Jason if she (the doctor) was getting close to the uterus.  He couldn't tell.  I listened to the staff tell stories and find suitable "birthing music" on their iphones.  I wasn't throwing up.  Things were great!

Then.  I could tell something changed.  I could tell something was wrong.  The doctor kept asking the anesthesiologist if the table could drop any further.  He told her it was as low as it goes.  (She asked another 3 or 4 times.)  I looked up at Jason to gauge what was happening.  I couldn't tell.  I was told to brace myself for some pressure...that was an understatement.  I literally felt as if I had both doctors kneeling up on the table on top of me pulling me open.  Tugging and yanking, more asking to drop the table.  This wasn't normal.  This wasn't the same "pressure" I felt in previous c-sections.  Something was wrong.

I heard the doctor who was assisting say "I can't get her, I can't get a grip on her."  The entire table shook.  Hard.  This was the point I was really wishing for MY doctor...you know, the one I had to say good-bye to, Dr. C.  This doctor ended up being very calm and great, but I trust Dr. C, he knew me.

Jason said afterwards that they literally were on top of me, pulling my stomach open wider...and fast.

Everything happened so fast.  They were yelling for the nurse to get the vacuum ready.  I looked to my left and saw them hooking everything up.  As they ran it over, the doctor said she didn't need it.  I could feel as they took Madison from my belly and waited for her to cry.  Nothing.

I knew sometimes it takes babies a little bit to become stimulated and release that first scream.  I told Jason..."make sure you get pictures."  (He kind of forgot he was on camera duty with Connor.)  But I didn't realize all that was happening in that moment.

Normally, when I've delivered c-section babies in the past, the doctor will hold the baby above the blue screen for a second to let me get a peek.  I'll hear the baby cry.  None of that happened this time.

Jason and I have always had an agreement...he is to always go with the baby.  No matter if I'm sick and throwing up, no matter what....he promised me he would always go with the baby.  This time was no different.  

I kept watching Jason for a clue as to how serious things were.  I could see the worry begin to grow in his eyes.  He quickly bent over, kissed my forehead and was gone.  That's about the time I heard the doctor say, "keep listening mom...you should hear a cry anytime now."  

Nothing.

I could feel the situation get serious.  I looked up to now watch the anesthesiologist who was no longer paying attention to me.  Instead, he was intensely focused on what was happening with my baby.  That is when I felt the tears well up.

Silently I sat with hot tears rolling out of my eyes and I looked to the door and saw the code team rushing in.  I couldn't talk.  I couldn't swallow.  I had no idea how bad it was.  My doctor was staying calm, taking care of me.  But my world was spinning.  I just wanted to hear my baby cry.

I watched as 4 staff (who I now know was the neonatologist, and NICU nurses) ran in, with another 5 out in the hall gowning up.  

I felt helpless.  I felt alone.  I prayed.  

Jason later told me that he was basically dancing from side to side as they all rushed around, trying not to get in anyone's way.  He described how her little body was completely limp, no muscle tone at all.  She was completely blue, not breathing.  Her APGAR was a 2.  Not good.  (Again, I had no idea of any of this...just that something was wrong.)

Finally, after what felt like an eternity, I heard the soft sound of what I thought was a cry.  I looked up and asked the anesthesiologist...'was that her?'  He looked down to see my tear streaked face and nodded.

Things from that point got incredibly better.  She gave us quite the scare those first 5 minutes of life.  I will never forget the feeling I had, being strapped to a table...uncertain about what was happening, not able to help.  It was one of the worst feelings I've ever experienced.

It was about this time that Jason came over and explained they were taking her downstairs, she needed an IV placed for fluids.  I asked if I could see her first.  He brought her over to me for a quick kiss and she was on her way.  


(My first glance at my poor bruised baby)


Not quite the birthing experience I hoped for.

I stayed upstairs for about an hour in recovery.  Jason was downstairs with our new baby.  I hated it.  Finally, I wasn't sick after a c-section...yet I STILL couldn't hold my baby.  I sat in my recovery room alone, tearing up.  Worried.  


 (Before they took her away...)

 Jason came up once to check on me, to make sure I wasn't puking in my room all alone.  He explained the IV, said she would receive a bag of fluids and then be re-evaluated.  I kept asking my nurse when I could get downstairs.  (I'm sure she loved me for it...)  All I can say is thank heavens for facetime!  Jason got on and finally gave me a good look at my baby.  Oh how I wished I was there with her.

I thought I was handling things pretty well until my parents called.  They had no idea all that was happening.  Jason simply sent a picture with her weight after they got her breathing.  When my mom called to ask how she was, I choked up.  I couldn't even get the words out.  Finally I explained that I didn't know, she wasn't with me.  I hadn't even seen her yet.  Oh how my heart ached.

(Getting fluids through her little IV...man I'd hate to be the nurse that had to place them in babies!)

My nurse finally got a clue and allowed my bed to be wheeled downstairs.  I was able to hold Madison's little foot (that's all I could reach) for the first time.  She looked like she had been through a war.  Her poor face was bruised, all up her ear and head.  But, she was peaceful.  She was perfect.

The pediatrician came to talk to me, explained that 'something strange happened from the time I was being monitored before the c-section to delivery.'  It was unusual to have a delivery like this when the strip she was being monitored on looked so great just an hour before.  (In my head, I said a silent prayer...I was SO thankful they didn't opt to send me home earlier...heaven only knows what the outcome could have been!)

After Madison got the fluids, she began to perk up.  Things were looking good.  They opted to keep her IV in, just in case.  But felt she was doing much better than before.  I was taken to my room and told they would bring my baby to me when she was done being monitored.

Again, I was frustrated.  But understood.  I was just anxious.  I wanted my baby!

Finally, about 10pm that night I got to hold my baby for the first time.  The NICU nurse was so cute, trying to teach me about safety and go over everything with me....I couldn't tell you a thing she said, I was just ACHING to get my hands on my baby girl!


(FINALLY, getting my hands on my baby!) 


Words can't describe how relieved I was to hold her, and nurse her!  I have to be honest, I was a bit worried about bonding with this little lady where she wasn't planned and I had a hard time getting excited about the pregnancy because I was so overwhelmed.  I can assure you, bonding was no issue:


Daddy was proud as can be, and I finally was willing to hand her over to him.  (Not going to lie, I didn't want to let her go once she was finally in my arms!)




Shortly after they brought me Madi Jo, our 3 other children were brought to the hospital.  I probably should have recorded their excitement, it was electric!  Since Mikayla is the oldest, she had the privilege of being the first to hold her sister...


The girls kept 'ohh-ing' and 'ahh-ing' over her, it was fantastic!


Kaitlyn couldn't stop grinning at her.  She didn't want to even look up for a picture...


And Bubba.  My sweet Bubba, he sat by me the entire time.  Once Madison was brought over he kept saying 'hi baby' over and over again!  He instantly fell in love with her, we all did!


It was an emotional night, and one I don't think I'll forget.  I can't say how grateful I am that everything turned out beautifully.  And now, we are a family of 6....whoa!















Monday, August 19, 2013

Baby Arrival!

Before I start, let me say:  the transition from 3 kids to 4 was not what I expected, has been emotional, has been difficult, has been different.  (Maybe that is because when I delivered Bubba, my older girls were just that....older.  They were pretty much self sufficient.  I mean I had to supervise, but they could entertain themselves, they knew to listen...or else!  That is surely not the case this time.)

Secondly, to say things have fizzled out on this blog over this pregnancy would be an understatement.  I've neglected it.  And there is a part of me that feels bad about that...but only a part.  I needed a break.  I have had a difficult time adjusting to all the change in my life from school, graduating, becoming a real live nurse, to moving away from the place I call home...the place I found myself again, to an unexpected pregnancy, to trying to be a mom and a wife, to just finding time for me.  Yes.  I needed a break.  I needed to figure out what I was doing.  And I realize I may have lost a lot of readers over this decision.  

I'm okay with that!

Really, I am.  Because you see, I've never written for readers.  Sure, I love motivating others to become their best self...but it's never been about becoming a blog celebrity.  (Is that even a real thing?)  Don't get me wrong, I was flattered...absolutely heart felt FLATTERED by the outpouring of love and support when my blog was in the running for the big HealthLine contest earlier this year.  And I was speechless when I had reporters calling to run stories on me....ME!  But as fantastic as that is, this blog has always been about one thing...real life.  And for the last several long months, real life was swallowing me whole.  

So thank you for allowing me a blog-hiatus.  I needed it for me, and for my family.  And now, if you are still reading, I hope you'll enjoy picking up with me now as I work on figuring out life as I know it now!  

There are many things over the last few months I'd love to share.  And eventually I probably will reflect on those times here.  But not today.

Today, I'd like to introduce the newest member to our family.....

Madison JoAnn



born August 7th
7lb 1oz
18.5 inches long

(check back tomorrow for her birth story...didn't want to overwhelm you all in one day!)


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hiding out.

Yes, it's true.  I have been hiding out now for quite some time.  And in that process, I have been OVERWHELMED by the love and support I've received in comments left on old posts, and emails sent directly to me.

Thank you.

I wish I could give you all a good reason on why I've been MIA.  But truthfully, I think I needed a break.

As I mentioned before, this pregnancy was quite the surprise.  It came at a time I would not have planned.  It came when I was at my healthiest, working to get even more healthy.  It came when I was working on finishing my last semester of nursing school.  It came when I was alone for a lot of the time, with my husband working out of town and coming home on weekends.

That is when I entered survival mode.

And who really wants to hear about someone being in survival mode?

But I'm here, today, saying thank you.  Thank you to each of you who have reached out....wondering if I'm okay.  I am working on being okay.

I'm not going to lie, it's been hard to see the scale go up, up, up.  Yes.  I know it's for a fantastic reason. But this is my ONLY pregnancy I have ever gained the amount of weight that I have gained.  (All other pregnancies I have been excessively overweight or obese.)  I feel as if my body image is distorted, and for a while all I could think was about all the work I'm going to have to put back into my health after this pregnancy was done.

Add to that the emotions of a move, and yeah...it hasn't been easy.

But I'm still swimming.  I am working on getting refocused.  Especially since this little girl will be making her official debut soon.

I have much more I want to share.  But for today, know that I am here.  I am well.  I am me.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Can this be?!

Remember how back in March I said I was back?  Well, apparently I was lying.

It's been a tough semester.  And I've had to keep my head in the books to stay focused.

But today, TODAY is May 2013!

I literally had to stare at my calendar for a long while this morning in disbelief.

Why?  Because you see 2 years ago I knew I was starting one of the hardest programs out there....the nursing program.  But not only was I starting the program, I knew I was starting it alone.  I knew for the next two years I was going to be alone....a lot.  And I have been.  I knew I was going to have to carry pretty much all the household and children responsibility on my shoulders as my husband was going to live away from us for much of the next two years.

I knew that 2 years sounded like pure hell....but I was willing to go through hell because I knew the payoff would be great.

Back in 2011, May of 2013 seemed like a joke.  It seemed like it would NEVER come.  It seemed like a far off dream of a beautiful day.

And today, it's here.

Today is May 2013.

And for two years of my life I have been dreaming of this month!

The month I graduate nursing school, the month we sell our house, the month we buy a new home....one where we will be living together as a WHOLE family again!  The month we pack to celebrate in Hawaii.

All of those things have been being planned for the last 2 years of my life.  And now, it's here.

Today is May 2013.

Despite all the hard, ugly, lonely, frustrating, and difficult times....I made it.  My kids made it.  And it looks like even my marriage made it.  (That may not seem like an accomplishment to some, but you should try living apart from your spouse for the majority of two years!!!)

We have a lot of reconnecting to do as a family.  And we plan to start that on the beaches of Oahu.

While this may have been the hardest, loneliest two years of my life....it was also two years that I realized my potential.  I realized I could most certainly face hard in the face and kick its ass.  Because that's what happened!

And while I would probably question ever turning the clock back and doing it again, I can stand here today and say I am so glad I didn't know just how hard it was going to be!  I am glad I just put my head down and went to work.  Because look where that has gotten me now!!!

And you may be thinking, 'that's great Alisha...brag about your life, it doesn't really apply to me.'  If you are thinking that, you are wrong!

We all have choices to make...in life, in weight loss, in marriages, in friendships.  We all can choose our path.  And sometimes we want to choose a path that is hard, and sometimes we don't realize just how hard hard is!  The lesson to be learned is this:  No matter the path you are on, no matter the goal you have for yourself....put your head down and get to work!  No hard work is ever left unrewarded!

Let me repeat....

No hard work is EVER left unrewarded!!!

Not in weight loss, not in relationships, not in life.  Maybe the reward doesn't end up being what you intended, but there will always be a reward for the effort and hard work you put into life!

So make May your month too!  Take May 2013 by the horns, and show it who's boss....

Monday, March 18, 2013

Look who's back...

That's right folks, I'm back.  (At least, I hope I am!)  It's been a long few months.  I bet some of you thought that my pregnancy swallowed me up and kidnapped me, right?

Well, I guess that is sort of true.

I had yucky bouts of pregnancy sickness.  And even worse, I have had zero energy.  Zero!

Mix all that together with the added, enormous stress of 4th semester nursing school....that gives you the answer of where I've been!

But I'm alive.  And the baby is kicking.  (Yep, totally feeling the baby kicks now.)  And what's even better is it seems I've found my 2nd trimester energy.

I kid you not when I say I haven't ran since my half in January.  That's almost 2 months ago people!  I've been feeling down.  I called it the winter blues, but really...I think it was the non-exercising blues.  I've missed the endorphins.  My body has punished me because it's been craving them.

I've told myself for the last 3ish weeks that today, TODAY was going to be the day I started moving again.  And each day passed, and no movement happened.

Finally, enough is enough.  I needed some good stress relief.  So I downloaded a new app.  It was one I've heard incredible things about from my dear friends Marcee and Denise.  I knew a lot of people used it.  I just never could swallow the steep price of it.  ($15 is a lot for an app to me.)

But I swallowed the cost and downloaded it anyway.  Today I broke it out and gave it a try.  Honestly, I realize it's only day 1, but I loved it!  And even more, I love Jeff Galloway's thoughts behind a run/walk race to avoid energy and finish strong.  I had done a lot of reading about the concept and knew it was something I wanted to try.

I thought today was going to suck.  Like suck bad.  (Remember, it's been 2 freaking months since I laced up my shoes!)  But I was surprised.  Don't get me wrong, I dreaded it.  Like full on tried to talk myself out of it.  But I turned on my treadmill and did it anyway.

You see, I have been putting this off for weeks (maybe longer).  I knew I could continue down that road and it would take me somewhere I don't want to be.  I don't want to gain a million and a half pounds in this pregnancy.  Pregnancy is NOT a reason to get fat.  So I knew I had a choice.  We all have this choice!

You can choose to give in to those excuses you make for yourself, or you can choose to push them aside.  Let me tell you, I've done both at times.  And after today, I remember just how damn good it feels to finish a work out!  How accomplishing a measly 1.82 miles can be.



So for you, yes YOU!  The one who is thinking of your own list of reasons to put off working out for today.  The one who keeps saying you are too busy.  Or that you'll start tomorrow.....tomorrow is not a day of the week!

Start today!  I swear to you, as much as it will suck when you begin...you won't regret it!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Announcement

Yesterday was an exciting day for our family!
Ultrasound...gender reveal day.

My mom made the trip down, she wanted to see the ultrasound and be here for the big reveal.
It was sure fun having her around for a few days...
although I think we might have bored her with the early bed times.
But she was a good sport, and the kids LOVED having her here to spoil them!


Yesterday (Monday) morning was my doctors appointment...bright and early.
We had decided that we were not going to find out at the ultrasound what the gender of this baby was.
Instead, we had my amazing doctor (yes, he really is THAT amazing) write it down in a sealed envelope.
We then took that envelope to a yummy bakery.  
Thank you to 25 and Main for your help in making this happen!!!

25 and Main baked me a dozen cupcakes...
vanilla cupcake, vanilla frosting.
Then they took my envelope, opened it up and put a filling of the appropriate color 
(based on the gender we were having)


It was a long 2 hours...I was anxious to find out.
The girls got home from school early yesterday, which ended up being the same time the cupcakes were done.

As we got home, we all put in one last guess for this baby's gender:

Jason:  boy
Alisha:  girl
Mikayla:  boy
Kaitlyn:  girl
Connor:  just wanted a cupcake ASAP
My mom:  girl


And then just like that, we let the kids dive in to the cupcake!


BOY!!!
It was so fun to see their excitement!!

After the cupcakes were eaten, we opened up the envelope to reveal the ultrasound pic...


The funniest part of the afternoon happened a little later.
While sitting in the living room, I would say to Connor:
"Connor, it's a baby boy!"

EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. he would make this same face!


It was priceless!

Needless to say, we are very excited about this addition to the family.
Now...if only we could come up with a name!
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