Day 7-8 of 90

Monday was the first of what will be many snow days. Rather than type it all out for you, I will post my vlogmas vlog here for your viewing pleasure. What you need to know is I ended the day with 32/27 Points, using 5 weeklies due to cookie consumption.

Tuesday I decided to venture out into the below zero temperatures (with many, many layers of clothes on) to go to a Bodypump class. It was a new (to me) instructor who mentioned a Christmas specific workout later in the week. I was curious so I struck up a conversation. Long story short, I bonded with this woman over our shared faith in Jesus, and this class on Thursday would be faith-based. Cool!! Hopefully, the weather cooperates so I can attend.

I got a Bodypump workout in and some steps on the elliptical before heading to Sam’s Club to get meat and reluctantly pump gas. Then it transformed into work day and was pretty business-as-usual.

Breakfast: Healthy Eating OTG Bar (5)

Lunch: Sam’s Club soft pretzel. I know, I know…I caved. Want to know the worst part? Jordan was right and they’re freaking amazing! $0.99 and the best soft pretzel ever. This is not good. Counted as 10 pp

Second lunch: Smoked salmon (3) and Cheetos (4)

Dinner: Velveeta Shells and Cheese 2% cup (5) and broccoli (0)

Treats: Too many cookies (10) and too many Lindt Truffles (6)

Total for the day: 43/27 (used 16 weeklies and have 13 remaining for the week)

Weekend Update | Day 4-6 of 90

Happy Monday, my friends! Okay, so clearly daily blogging doesn’t work for me, but here’s what I’m learning about myself. I don’t want to do work on weekends. Quite frankly, since I am in complete control of my work hours, I have officially decided that I don’t work on the weekends. End of story.

Since our move to MN, my weekends have become such a sacred time for my husband and I. Sometimes our weekends are just housework and chilling in front of the TV. Sometimes it’s crazy errands, a fun date night out, or some sort of adventure. Whatever the case may be, I don’t reach for social media or my vlogging camera nearly as much as I would during the week, and I rarely sit down at my computer or even go in my office, simply because I don’t even want to. I’ve finally decided it’s okay, and my weekends are now whatever level of work I feel like doing with no real obligation to do so. That being said, daily updates won’t happen on the weekends. You’ll just get a weekend update on Monday.

Friday

Sadly, I don’t have many photos to share because of the whole not picking up cameras thing, but I tracked every bite this weekend, so that’s something.

Breakfast: Quaker weight control oatmeal (4) with PEScience Protein 4 Oats (literally protein powder meant to go in oatmeal) (2) with microwaved apple pieces (0) and 2tsp real brown sugar (0). Total 6/27

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It’s A New Day! | Day 3 of 90

Guys, I slept for 8.5 hours last night and I felt like a new woman. My cold symptoms are gone, my period is no longer wreaking havoc on my system, and I actually had the energy required to do this Thursday some justice.

Praise Jesus!

Since I didn’t go to my normally scheduled doubleheader of Pound class followed by Bodypump yesterday, I looked up what classes were available today, and it turned out there was one at 9:30 am at the gym location that’s easier for me to get to. Truth be told, while I enjoy my doubleheaders on Wednesday, I don’t feel like I enjoy them enough to make them worth trecking out the other Y location. Not to mention having my 2 classes at 11 and noon really messes up my day. A lot! I might end up changing my schedule up a bit to try and find what might work a little bit better for me.

Today, this class worked well. It was jam-packed with people, which is less than ideal, but I really enjoy the teacher, so it’s worth it. The other issue was there is a “woo” guy in this class. Some man ends up doing a crazy “WOO!” Every time things get a little harder in class. It’s a weight lifting class…the whole thing is supposed to be hard. During one track this guy “WOO’d!” Six times. SIX! and that was just during 1 track. There are 9 working tracks in Bodypump. I wanted to knock him out with my weight. I couldn’t actually figure out which guy it was, but that’s probably for the best. We’ll see if “Woo guy” is there next week…

Anyway, after Pump I spent about an hour on various elliptical machines (one standing, one seated) and got to 10,000 steps. Only 7.5 more to reach my Power goal on my Step Bet.

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Well…That Sucked… | Day 2 of 90

Well, for as amazing as things went on day 1 of my magical journey to the best shape of my life, day 2 went to the same level in the completely opposite direction. 😫😖

Allow me to elaborate with a bunch of excuses.

First, I had to get up early to take my husband to the bus for work so he wouldn’t have to bring his car since he was headed straight from the office to the airport. Usually, getting up at 5:20 am isn’t a problem and is close to my new normal wakeup time, however, since we got back from Thanksgiving vacation I’ve been trying to get my body to feel normal, and usually, that means more sleep. Well, I don’t know how it got to be so late, but it turns out I ended up getting 4 and a half hours of sleep. This girl needs at least 6.5 to even consider functioning. Awesome.

Then, to top it all off, the day I have been anxiously awaiting finally came and I got my period. 🩸(why yes, I did just use the blood drop emoji). My natural cycle always, without fail, comes a day or two after my app actually says it will. Well, this month was an extra special month and while PMS and all of its glorious symptoms came right on schedule, the event that comes to relieve me of said symptoms came especially late and hit me like a brick wall.

I was beyond exhausted. A trip to Target and to my PO box took literally all of the energy I had in me. I managed to get to my step goal by discovering a new season of Younger on Hulu and told myself I could watch it only if I was stepping. I ended up binge-watching the entire season!! Yes, I got to my 14.5k steps, by I also sat on my butt a lot. I didn’t vlog, I didn’t write up this blog post, heck I didn’t even go upstairs more than twice the entire day because my legs were so tired. UGH!

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Here We Go! Day 1 of 90

Date: 12/3/19

Well, here we go. Day 1 of this whole laser-focused effort on getting into the best mental and physical shape of my life. Yes, mental plays a huge part in this, and while I have definitely made some huge strides even in recent months, consistency of mental strength and health in this journey is equally as important as the consistency of tracking and working out. Thus, I am focused on both.

I wrote my intro post this morning, but I want to go into more detail now. Today I took new before photos and measurements. Oof that felt like a wakeup call. I give myself major kudos for deciding to take pictures and measurements in the height of my PMS symptoms, which guarantees I bloat up like a balloon. Oh well, it means there will be a better looking transformation, right??

Here are my starting measurements (in inches):

  • Smallest part of waist, just below ribs: 33.5
  • Belly Button: 36.5
  • Love Handles: 40.5
  • Hips: 44
  • Right Thigh: 25
  • Left Thigh: 25
  • Right Arm: 12.5
  • Left Arm: 13 (seriously? Couldn’t keep it symmetrical??)

Okay, there’s a starting point. My last weigh-in, was 173.0 so I’m going with that as my starting weight, but again, I won’t actually weigh in until my PMS has gotten under control and my bloating reduces a bit simply because I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

Food

Of course, the day I actually planned ahead was the day my eating didn’t go as planned in the best way possible. I ended up skipping lunch entirely. I’m not sure if it was because my breakfast was so filling or if the dose of decongestant I needed caused me to lose my appetite, but all of a sudden it was 3:30 and the only thing I had was an extra cup of coffee. Hooray!

Breakfast:

1 egg (2pp), 9 Tbsp liquid egg whites (1pp), a crap ton of kale (0pp), seasonings (0), Thomas’ Cranberry English Muffin (4pp), I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter (1pp) Total: 8pp/27

Dinner:

My original plan was to have the Trader Joe’s chicken potstickers (5pp for 7), but because I skipped lunch I added in 7 of TJ’s mini chicken cilantro wontons as well (2pp). The bowl is all cauliflower rice (0pp) and I used 3 different sauces: Reduced sodium soy (2 tbsp for 0pp), 2 tbsp Coconut Aminos (1pp), and 1 tbsp Soyaki (1pp). 9pp total. Daily Total: 17/27

Treats:

10 Points left for dessert. TEN!! I don’t remember the last time that has happened. I used it as the perfect excuse to dive into a sweet (literally) package from a subscriber who sent me a whole box of Canadian goodies to try. I’ve been waiting to film a taste testing video with my husband, but this was the perfect opportunity to try a treat, so I ate a Mars bar, as they came 2 in the package. 1 bar was 5pp, so I still had 5 to spare

This is how I used them. The sugar cookie Yasso bars are BOMB! They have real cookie dough bits in them and everything. 3pp

I ended the night with a Lindt truffle in the mint chocolate cookie holiday flavor. It’s perfect. 2pp. Daily total: 27/27

Not a single weekly used!!! That hasn’t happened in a really long time. I’m proud.

Fitness

The step goal is a bit tougher today, as I’ve been sitting at my desk working a lot. If it were a normal day, I’d have my step goal all done, but since I am in the middle of a Step Bet, I need at least 14,500 steps to not cost me my rest day. I still have 2,000 to go…it’s 9:21pm. Yikes.

I did end up doing a 20 minute Turbo Fire workout on Beachbody on Demand, so at least I did an official workout, but now I’m going to go make my herbal tea (apple cider flavor), turn on The Star (the movie about the little donkey who goes to the Nativity scene. Haven’t seen it yet and have heard good things), and get the rest of my steps in by walking in place.

Overall, it was a good day, and I am pleased with how this turned out. Day one is in the books. Only 89 to go!

Cheers!

BLOGmas 2019? | The Beginning of a New Journey

BLOGmas?! Yes, Blogmas!

I already knew I was going to start a new series on here (more on that in a second), but then I saw a blogger and Youtuber I’ve followed for years, Pretty Neat Living, post about Blogmas and I decided that was the just the thing I needed to help get this little project of mine started.

What’s the project? Oh just a little something fun: Going all-in on getting into the best shape of my life!

Okay, so it isn’t a “little” project at all, but that’s what I’m here for. I stumbled across a youtube video by another creator who I followed years ago but has sort of fallen off of my regular viewing, Cassey from Blogilates. She recently did a full video update on the results of her 90-day journey of getting into the best shape of her life both physically and mentally, and the results were great. Not only did her results catch my attention, but the way she did it is what inspired me. She went back to her blog, which she had lost touch with, and documented the entire thing every single day like a diary. How is that for accountability??

I loved the idea so much that I am here to do the very same thing. I need that extra push; that extra missing piece to really get this thing moving in the right direction, and this might be just the ticket. I think it’s a combination of the fact that I feel absolutely no obligation to stick to some set of rules set by the general public for fear of feedback (Quite frankly while I do value constructive feedback, I have gotten to the point in my life where truly, other people’s opinions of how I choose to conduct my life really don’t bother me anymore. If you have a problem with me, that’s YOUR problem, not mine.) paired with the fact that this journal will be visible to the public is empowering me to be bold, honest, and laser-focused on this 90-day journey.

If we’re being honest, this is probably the absolute worst time of year to be starting a project like this because things are so up in the air with various travel obligations that many things will not be consistent, but I’ve decided because of that very fact, there is no better day to begin than right now. There will always be some sort of excuse for me to try and justify why now is simply not the right time and I will do it after our next trip or interruption of everyday life. I’m married to my husband….there will always be a trip or interruption of my everyday life. That’s the point. If I can’t figure out how to work around them, I won’t succeed in staying in the best shape of my life. Weight maintenance will be just an impossible dream that many long for but few achieve. I refuse to be held down anymore. It’s time to get serious.

Another reason to start now is simply that I am a deadline and reward-driven person, and the end of this challenge will put me finishing right when a fancy cruise to Mexico is set to happen. If I succeed, I’ll have even more energy and strength for excursions as well as a bit more confidence to rock some super cute summer clothes after the Minnesota winter has had me bundled up in 50 layers for so long. It’s a solid short-term “why” to help motivate me to get moving. We paid the balance on our trip yesterday, so it’s happening. How I show up for it a few months from now is determined by my actions from this point forward. Bring it ON.

So, here’s the plan: I am not going to set specific weight goals or anything just yet because this is simply an intro to my ultimate 2020 goal of being in the best shape of my life anyway, so more details on what that means will come with time. Right now, my goal is to basically log my day on here every single day. What I’m eating, how I’m feeling, etc. This website is going to be my diary for a while, and if any of you are choosing to come along for the ride, welcome! While this journey is for no one other than myself, my hope is that maybe one of you finds what you need out of my openness about this. Typically, my hope with every piece of content I put out is one person being impacted in some way. It means I did my job. Since this particular string of content is just for me, it will be an added bonus if this Blogmas/90 day adventure has any impact.

My last weigh-in was 173 lbs. I plan on weighing in every day that it’s possible (not sure of the availability of a scale on Christmas vacation, etc) but I’m waiting until my monthly friend shows up before hopping on the scale, because I just don’t need that sort of negativity in my life today, and I will take measurements a bit later today.

I have no idea what’s going to happen or what this will look like, but something major needs to happen, so here we go!

iTrackBites Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

The holiday season is here! It’s time for joy, merriment, and food. Lots and LOTS of food. While this time of year is in fact (in my opinion) the most wonderful time of the year, the reality is the holiday season can strike fear into the hearts of anyone trying to lose weight. I am here to tell you that all it takes to make it through our holiday meals is a little bit of planning ahead. My friends, just because you’re on a diet does not mean you can’t have your favorite holiday dishes. I firmly believe in “everything in moderation.” The first major day of eating is right around the corner, and we need to get our hearts, minds, and plans ready to embrace the day feeling empowered to stay on track.

One of the most important things you can do is to have an idea of the Bites values of what you’re eating. Today I have a Thanksgiving cheat sheet for you which gives you the general Bites values for some Thanksgiving dinner table staples.

This next part is important: The values presented below are general guidelines and might not be completely accurate to the specific recipe that you are consuming. Obviously, if you want the most accurate representation of your Thanksgiving feast it is your job to plug in the recipes to the iTrackBites recipe builder, use the nutrition information from your specific ingredients, and measure your servings. If that’s what you want to do, that’s wonderful. Go for it! I do know for many people, the thought of putting so much work into tracking their Thanksgiving meal is pretty much the last thing they want to do. That’s where my cheat sheet comes in handy. While it might not be accurate down to the Bite for your dishes, having a generalized idea about the Bites values of your food gives you a much larger advantage than having no idea at all.

Using the list below you can roughly plan out your plate, add things to your tracker, and at least put a solid effort into staying on track this Thanksgiving. I firmly truly that some effort will always be better than no effort at all, so take a look, track accordingly, and have a healthy, balanced, and enjoyable Thanksgiving meal.

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2019 Christmas Card Exchange

Oh hey there! Don’t mind me while I take a few seconds and wipe the dust off of this old blog here. It hasn’t been used in awhile…

There, that’s a little better, isn’t it? Now, let’s start this blog resurrection off with something fun.

It’s time for my Christmas Card Exchange!

Yes, it might be the beginning of November, but Christmas music launched on the radio and we’ve got below freezing temperatures, so it just feels right, don’t you think?

Why a Christmas card exchange? With 98% of all our snail mail being bills, advertisements, and people trying to scam us, I wanted to bring a little bit of joy back to our mailboxes. You know that feeling you get when you see an envelope with a handwritten address on it? I want to fill as many mailboxes with that joy as possible. I did this exchange on a whim last year, and it was wildly successful, so I want to do it again.

I have all I need to get started and I can’t wait to start filling mailboxes with my beautiful cards with personalized notes for everyone. The Diva and the Divine community has grown so much this past year that I feel I know you all better than ever. I know names, I know stories, and it makes me feel so good to know we have such an incredible community.

So, here’s how it goes. Anyone who sends a holiday card my way gets one back. It’s that simple. You can be from anywhere in the world. I have international stamps at the ready! I only ask that you make sure there is a return address on your card somewhere so I know where to send my response. That’s it! It’s that easy!

And with that, consider the Christmas mailbox OPEN!!

How To Achieve Any Goal

I’m one of those people that can end up feeling overwhelmed by a daunting task rather easily. While it’s true in many areas of my life, where this overwhelm most often expresses itself is in homemaking tasks, specifically cleaning and home organization.

When we were unpacking our boxes after moving into our new house, there were many times where I simply looked at the utter disaster of boxes around me and rather than feeling inspired to get everything unpacked, I wanted to curl up on the couch and do none of it. For whatever reason, this is how my mind works. Any sense of overwhelm automatically results in my wanting to shut down completely.

The other day I was finishing up the cleaning and organizing of my office, and my technique was to take everything that was still out and put it on my desk. The result was everything else looked great, but my desk was piled high with a bunch of random things that still needed a home. Cue the overwhelm! I found myself wondering how I was going to actually accomplish this task, but then I actually said outloud “Just do one item at a time. Just one!”

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Just Write SOMETHING

That title is me literally convincing myself to write this post. It doesn’t matter what it is, Brianna. Just WRITE!

The mojo for getting back down to business has definitely not been here lately, I tell you what. Everyone thinks that working from home is super fun and easy, but guys I am here to tell you it is absolutely not. The fact is that because I work from home, it’s really easy to get distracted by everything else that needs to happen around the house.

As many of you know, we just moved. We’ve got a two-story house now and my office is upstairs, which in theory makes it a lot easier to separate work from life, since the kitchen, living room, main television, and bedroom are all on the first floor. Oh, how I wish that was the case. The problem is that we’re in that awkward stage of moving where all of the boxes are unpacked, but there is still clutter lying around and tasks that need to get done. Pair that with not having new routines in place and that is literally my recipe for “reasons Brianna can’t get any work done.” If I know the kitchen is a bit of a mess or my office still has things that need to be unpacked I am 100% completely unable to work. I can’t get inspired or motivated, and while I am all about doing things with discipline rather than motivation, it’s kind of hard to create any sort of content when words or ideas won’t come. Last week I literally spent 3 hours at the computer and could come up with nothing.

I know, I know, it’s all just one giant excuse and I should be able to have the self-control to not let that situation stop me, but be honest with me for a second. If you had laundry, clutter, a messy kitchen, and a home to-do list that’s a mile long, would you seriously be able to focus on content creation when you can see all of the things that need to get done?

I didn’t think so

Even now, as I write this in real-time, I have gotten distracted and done something else 4 times. FOUR! 🙄 Come on, Brianna. Get it together!

Basically, my goal for this post was to simply write something. Anything.

So you got a rant. If you made it this far, congratulations. That’s all I’ve got for now.

Don’t worry. Legit posts about action plans, goals, and how I’m adapting to life here in MN are coming, I promise. In the meantime, here’s a video about some things my community is working on.