Friday Faves!

*It’s fall, y’all!  Let’s just pretend we don’t have a high of 92 today.  In my mind, fall is here.  Not to mention that we have MUCH cooler temps coming next week.  I am so ready.  I’ve moved all of my summer clothes to the back of the closet, I decorated our front porch with mums and pumpkins, and I bought (well, technically Matt bought for me) my first bag of candy corn.

*My Lily Pulitzer After-Party Sale order finally came in last week!  Too bad I only got to wear a couple of things before it all got moved to the back of the closet to hibernate with the rest of my summer clothes.  I really scored this go around and everything fits perfectly!  I always get a little nervous because the sale items are “final sale only” so if something doesn’t fit, you’re out of luck.  Thankfully I’m familiar enough with the brand by now that I know what sizes to get in different styles, but I got a couple new styles with this order that thankfully all fit perfectly.  I picked up several “Essie” dresses, which are definitely a go-to in the summer.

*Matt and I have a little date night tonight.  His parents are in town and are graciously keeping Asher Wade for us so we can sneak out for a few hours.  We are even trying a new (to us) restaurant that we’ve been dying to check out.  I also had a little get together with some R+F ladies the other night.  Cocktails on a Wednesday night at one of my favorite restaurants is A-OK in my book.  I absolutely loved this La Crema chardonnay.

*I finally got in on the “grape craze.”  Seriously, it’s kind of hilarious that stores have all these fancy, hybrid grapes, but I’m not complaining because we are a little obsessed with the cotton candy and moon drop grapes.  Found both at Publix.

*Some recently read books that are worth sharing: The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza is a serial killer, whodunit, murder mystery, and also a really good page turner. The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis is told from the perspectives of two main characters, one in the 1950s and one in 2016, and it’s set in NYC, which are all things I LOVE. This is a really different story and I enjoyed the characters, although I will say that the ending got a little bit slow. Love Warrior is Glennon Doyle Melton’s memoir (who you probably follow on social media). I actually couldn’t put this down, and although I had some issues with it, I definitely think it’s worth a read. I cried in several parts, but I also got annoyed in several parts too, lol. Sometimes her writing got a little too wordy and confusing. Some parts were a little too heavy on the feminism for me and a little too light on the God, if that makes any sense at all. She has an amazing story to tell and she’s all about empowering women and self, which is great, but I felt like it strayed a little too far from what I believe to be God’s message. I’d be really curious to hear what others have to say.

*And finally, the most exciting news (that you already know if you follow me on IG)…we are adding another four legged fur baby to our family!  Cody will be joining our family around mid October.  He’s a Labradoodle (like our sweet Riley was) and he’s already got a place in my heart even though I haven’t met him yet.  I absolutely cannot wait until we can go pick him up and bring him home.  I literally go to the website everyday and look at his picture:)

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Mid-Week Shakedown and our Sarasota Trip

Wednesday is my least favorite day of the week.  Always has been.  Probably always will be.  I don’t even really know why, other than that I am always so tired on Wednesdays and I know I still have another two full days until the weekend is here.  Once I get over the hump, I’m fine, but man, sometimes getting over it feels like I’m sprinting up a mountain.  It’s just a challenge.  It doesn’t help that I’m currently still trying to get adjusted to being back to reality.  I just can’t get my mind right and I’m pretty much convinced that I should still be on vacation.  Whaa whaa whaa, I know.  Get it together, Leanne.

We had such a great time in Sarasota last week.  Saturday to Saturday is the way to do it in my opinion…I truly felt like I took a vacation and got away from work and responsibilities.  Not to mention how nice it is to have some extra sets of hands to help with Asher Wade.  My parents are so good to babysit and entertain him so Matt and I can sneak away to exercise, grab dinner or meet up with friends, and we definitely did all of the above.  Just being able to take a spontaneous date night (and not pay for a sitter…can I get an AMEN to that!) is such a treat for us.  We got lots of family time as well, visiting the beach, pool, splash pad, Mote Marine, Big Cat Habitat and our favorite restaurants and ice cream shops (duh).  We even had some family pictures done! Oh, and I got to attend a surprise retirement party for my mom!  We were B.U.S.Y.  It was awesome though, and we were so blessed to be able to stay down there for a week.  I love Chattanooga, but man, Sarasota will always have a special place in my heart…

Like I mentioned above, we also had some family pictures done by the very talented Alisa Forbis of Alisa Sue Photography.  I actually went to high school with Alisa and she is such a warm and sweet person.  This is the second time she has done our photos, and she is incredibly talented and has such an eye for photography.  I cannot wait to receive all of the pictures, but here are a couple she posted right after the shoot:-)

 

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday

{Thought I’d do a little iPhone photo dump with pics from the last week or so. Lots of randomness!}

Feeling proud after a back-to-school haircut

Breakfast with daddy one morning

When you have no clue who you’re going to vote for come November…

Sweet Annie…getting so big

Date night last weekend…finally!


First day of preschool…be still my heart

After much deliberation, Asher Wade finally picked out a Spiderman backpack and lunchbox, but was a little jealous when he saw his neighbor’s Paw Patrol ensemble;)

Friday Faves

*This new album, Love Remains, by Hillary Scott (of Lady Antebellum) and her family is so great. She took a year off to make a Christian music album and it’s full of some new songs and some older hymns (with a bluegrass twist).  I love every song on it and have had it on repeat.

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*Stranger Things on Netflix. You guys.  This show is something else.  Let’s sidestep how awesome the 80’s cinematography, outfits, set design and music are, because they are exactly that…awesome…but the storyline and plot are unlike any other show I’ve watched.  It’s honestly like a cross between ET and The Goonies, which we all know are two of the greatest 80’s movies of all times, but also way scarier (yes, scarier than Sloth, who used to scare the bejeezuz out of me).  It’s totally sci-fi, not at all realistic and you need to go in with an open mind, but I’m telling you, it’s really good.  We finished it in one week (just 8 episodes).  Which has now got us looking for a new show.  Any suggestions??

*Caroline Banks Jewelry. I’ve probably mentioned my sweet friend’s jewelry line before.  She’s local here in Chattanooga, but you can order from her website.  I have several pieces, and love them all.  They are made really well and different from the usual pieces you find in other mainstream stores.  Plus she’s a mom of three littles, running a small business, which I think is awesome.

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*I’m trying to get all my wear out of my summer Lily before fall gets here. Even though it will likely still be warm through September, I have this weird thing about wearing “summer clothes” once September 1st rolls around.  I like to pull out my fall outfits, even if that just means fall colors.  For the time being though, I’m loving all my Lily brights!

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*On that note…48 days until fall, but who’s counting?!  I do like summer, but man, once August gets here I am itching for some cooler weather and changing leaves. I picked up a few things from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, all of which were definitely fall esque’ and it really got me in the mood.  Then I randomly bought some pumpkin spice flavor K-cups for my Keurig (I know, I know, way too early for this) and it made me all warm and fuzzy inside.  Then I noticed some potted mums at my local market and it was almost too much.  I did refrain myself from buying the mums, but I did not refrain myself from a creating a new board on Pinterest called “Fall porch decorations.”  Because, balance.

*You guys, Matt sent me flowers for completing Whole30. Matt has always been pretty good at surprising me with flowers at work (I absolutely love fresh flowers), but this was particular out of the blue and thoughtful.  Here’s the funny part though…when I opened the card it read “Happy 30th Birthday!  Love, Matt” (my birthday is in December, and I am 34).  I was literally so confused and kept trying to rack my brain to see if it was some sort of inside joke I had forgotten about.  Or I just assumed it was a mistake and I had received someone else’s beautiful flowers.  I called Matt to see if he had sent flowers and after he confirmed that he did, I told him what the card said and with exasperation he informed me that the card was supposed to read, “Happy 30th Day!”  As in, happy completion of Whole30.  We got a laugh out of that, but still, the flowers are beautiful and it was incredibly thoughtful.  This was even after I totally dropped the ball and failed to finish the #loveyourspousechallenge on Facebook, which I had forgotten about until this morning when I saw someone else’s post.  Looks like days 5-7 will all be happening today.

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*I had a bagel this morning. I feel like this was my first, true splurge post-Whole30, and it was really good.  I got cream cheese and everything.  It was glorious.  That is all.

 Happy Friday, y’all!

When the cat’s away, the mouse will….

Matt took Asher Wade to Kentucky to visit his parents for a few days, but since it wasn’t a good time for me to take off work, I held the fort down in the ‘Noog.  Some exhausted wives/mothers may look at these 3.5 days of solitude as an opportunity for spa days, movie binges, shopping excursions, eating Ben & Jerry’s by the pint, and most importantly, sleeping in, but I guess I am not like other wives/mothers (although I AM exhausted 99.9% of the time) because I packed my days with exercise and outdoor adventure, and I did not sleep in.  Now granted I did go get a pedicure, and I did walk around Belk for 30 minutes, and I may or may not have watched like seven episodes of Parenthood, but I also got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to run in the Chattanooga Heroes Run and then again on Sunday morning for a downtown kayak tour.  I did not touch a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, because, Whole30.  This is just what I prefer to do when I have time to myself.  I love being outside and I love being active.  I would prefer to have some Ben & Jerry’s post outdoor activity, but that’s neither here nor there right now.  Ask me again in 15’ish days.

 In all seriousness, I love being a wife and a mother more than anything in the world, and nothing makes me happier than weekends where Matt, Asher Wade and I are hanging out together, but I definitely have some introverted tendencies (particularly as I’ve gotten older) and sometimes it’s nice to have a little “me time.”  I felt guilty about this for a long time – I think because I’m already away at work 8+ hours per day – and I still struggle with making myself check out every now and then, but then when I finally do I’m reminded how good it is for me mentally.  Taking some time to let go of mothering duties, do things on my own time and recharge my batteries…it really gives me a renewed sense of energy.  When Matt pulled in Sunday afternoon I was rested and refreshed and so ready to hug and kiss my guys.

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The Heroes Run was an incredible event to be a part of.  Saturday was the one-year anniversary of the shooting at the Marines/Navy Reserve Center that happened in Chattanooga last year that took the lives of five servicemen.  Five servicemen that simply showed up to work one day, never in a million years thinking it would be their last.  The shooting happened just a few days before I drove over to Chattanooga for my interview with Unum.  I wrote about this on Facebook the other day, but I just remember feeling a little weird and guilty that this interview was still taking place.  I just knew that the community had to be so hurt and angry and confused over what had happened and it just seemed hard to me to assume that life was going on as usual, in spite of what had just happened 72 hours prior.  I guess I felt guilty to think that my business agenda was going on as usual.  I was so surprised when I arrived in Chattanooga and saw how much the community had come together.  It was evident in the people I met that day, the signs all over the city and in front of hundreds of businesses.  The community was strong and the people were proud to live there and support one another.  It was incredibly humbling.

It was so surreal to be running in this race on Saturday, considering the fact that one year later from that awful event, we now call this city home, and we too are proud residents.  It was also surreal to think about the reason why we were running and to think that something so awful could happen right here in our sweet, Southern hometown.  There’s so much darkness in this world and so many scary things happening around us, but there is also so much light and so much good.  It was evident the day of the run when I looked around and saw just how many people came out to participate, whether they were running or volunteering their time.  It was so encouraging and I was so honored to be a part of it.

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On a much lighter note, I don’t know if it was the adrenaline, or the enthusiasm, or all the people, or the Whole30, but I ran better than I ever had. I don’t think I’ve ever run five miles without a single walking break, but I nailed it that day.  It was hot as Hades too, but I pushed through and was so happy to cross that finish line.

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 On Sunday morning I got up and headed to the river for a guide-led kayak tour. I have never kayaked before (at least that I can remember) and I really enjoyed it.  Thankfully we were out in the morning before it got super hot and it was so peaceful on the river.

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After my kayak tour was finished I finally went and checked out the Chattanooga Market. People can never believe it when I tell them we haven’t been to it yet, and now I can see why.  It was amazing, and huge.  I had no idea there were so many vendors and tables, with everything you can imagine from farm fresh fruits and veggies, local meats and dairy, clothing, candles, soaps, jewelry, fresh flowers, home decorations, baked goods galore, literally anything you could want.  There was also live music and tons of food trucks.  It was quite an event and now I’m mad we haven’t been going all season.  We will definitely be back next weekend and you better believe we will be back when Whole30 is over so I can sample some of those treats.

Meanwhile in Kentucky….

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This little boy LOVES his cousins!

 

 

July 4th Weekend

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. There’s just something about the patriotism and pride that’s always so present and alive throughout our country and communities. Not that we shouldn’t feel patriotic every day of the year, but it is nice to have a day where everyone seems to come together and salute this great country and the men and women that have selflessly given their lives so we can live in the land of the free. Freedom is certainly not free, and we get to live in the land of the free because of the brave, and for that, I am thankful.

Plus, I love any excuse to don a red, white and blue color scheme;)

In all seriousness though, it’s important to me that Asher Wade start to understand the importance of these holidays and the reason why we celebrate, and I like planning outings and activities to make the holiday feel special and important. We enjoyed our little 4th staycation and a 4-day weekend. Other than spending lots of time outside and at the pool, we also attended a birthday party, attended the firework show on the river, spent the night in a hotel downtown, visited the local children’s museum, and just generally had a lot of family time.

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LOVE our beautiful city!

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On the afternoon of the 4th we delivered cupcakes to our various neighbors that have served our country. We have quite a few veterans in our neighborhood, and we are certainly very proud to know them.

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Hope you had a wonderful July 4th as well!

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery. ~Galatians 5:1

Motivation Monday

Woke up SO EXHAUSTED this morning. Like, would have given anything for it to still be the weekend. Even more than that, I would have given anything for it to be a day where I could just say, “nope, not doing it today.” Not working, not mothering, not cleaning, not doing laundry, not working out, not doing anything but lying in bed and watching Netflix and getting my nap on. Life has just been such a rat race lately, and I can’t really figure out why. I don’t necessarily feel like we have more on our plates than normal…we’ve always been crazy busy and are pretty much used to that. Even Matt turned towards me this morning when the alarm went off and said he felt completely exhausted as well. So obviously it isn’t just me. I guess that’s just the season of life we are in right now, and hopefully it will pass soon. Or at least we will adjust to this new season.

 I know this post is supposed to serve as my weekly dose of motivation, and the above pity party doesn’t sound like I have much motivation to offer, and I’m definitely going to need some motivation of my own this week, but I guess if I have anything to offer this morning it will come in the form of wise words spoken by a cartoon fish. “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming.” (Asher Wade is on quite a Finding Nemo and Finding Dory kick lately.) Seriously though, if you feel like you’re in a rut, or running a race where you can’t quite keep up, just keep swimming. Just keep running. Just keep pushing. Just keep doing. You’ll get there.

 Stats from last week:

 Monday 6/6: 15 minutes on the treadmill (6.0 mph) and a 45 minute Sports Drill class (cardio intervals followed by strength training exercises)

Tuesday 6/7: 30 minute step class and 15 minutes of core exercises followed by 15 minutes on the treadmill walking on an incline (4.0 mph at 9-10% incline)

Wednesday 6/8: 10 minutes on the treadmill (6.0 mph), 45 minute power yoga class AND 30 minutes of Tabata with Matt for a full body workout

Thursday 6/9: 1 hour walk outside along the river

Friday 6/10: 15 minutes on the treadmill (5.8 mph) and a 45 minute Sports Drill class (circuit set-up moving between cardio, upper body and lower body exercises). We also walked A LOT at Riverbend Festival that evening….I hit 20,000 steps!

Saturday 6/11: 60 minute Orangetheory Fitness class

Sunday 6/12: 50 minute walk outside, working in some serious hill intervals. My legs were on fire!

Even though it’s been hot as blazes this week, it was still gorgeous out during my walk.


 

Update on 2016 Goals

Figured it was high time to check-in and see where I stand on meeting my goals for 2016. I posted them back around the first of the year, and I also saved them in the Notes section of my phone so I could easily access them and hopefully remember to keep myself accountable. This is the first time I have looked at that list since I originally made it. Whoops. However, I was pretty happy to see that I have been checking things off! Still though, there are definitely a few things that need some serious work and I’m going to have to get my butt in gear if I want to accomplish them. Here’s where I stand. Thumbs “up” means I’ve either accomplished it or it’s in progress and should be accomplished. Thumbs “down” means I haven’t taken any steps to accomplish it, or haven’t been diligent enough thus far to ensure it is accomplished by 12/31/16.

 So I guess I’m right on par considering I’ve accomplished half of them and we are just about halfway through the year. Definitely still have some work to do though!

  1. We have definitely been doing a good job of eating less sugar and more whole foods versus packaged foods, particularly as of late. While we are definitely not doing Whole 30, I get a lot of meal and recipe inspiration from blogs and social media accounts dedicated to the Whole 30 plan. Meal prepping has been key. If we prep our meals the night before, and even some on the weekends for the upcoming week, we eat a lot cleaner (and don’t spend money eating out). It’s those times where we haven’t prepped anything that we grab meals on the run, which aren’t always clean. We are eating out less too, which always helps (our waistlines and our budget!). I may try and do a separate post dedicated to the changes we’ve made to our diets, including some tips that have worked for us.
  2. I did a short juice cleanse a couple of weeks ago, and while I would still like to do a longer one at some point this year, I guess I technically met this goal. I did not enjoy it, lol. By the end of the second day I could hardly swallow the juice, which is funny, because normally I love the juices from the local shop I regularly buy them from. Something about having them all day that did me in though. My energy was pretty low during those three days as well and on the second day it took all I had not to climb in bed as soon as I got home from work. I remember feeling like that during the first trimester of my pregnancy. I will say that by the third day I was feeling better, less tired and just generally in a better mood. Still didn’t enjoy it though…
  3. Haven’t committed to Whole 30 yet. I definitely still plan to make this happen before year-end. I don’t eat/drink much dairy, but I do love my carbs and sweets, so this is definitely going to be a challenge when I finally commit to it, which is probably why it hasn’t happened yet;) My other worry is that with me being a vegetarian, I feel like I am going to be even more limited as far as protein goes (beans are not allowed on Whole 30, nor are most meat substitutes since they tend to be processed).
  4. Not doing great with practicing yoga consistently. Well, maybe consistently isn’t the best word, because I do consistently take a yoga class every Wednesday, but I know when I originally added this as a goal, my intention was to do it consistently 2-3 times per week, which isn’t happening. This doesn’t mean I need to go to an actual class, which isn’t exactly convenient, but simply practice at home. I have no excuse not to practice at home a couple times per week, even if just for 20 minutes, so I need to focus on this over these next 6 months.
  5. Haven’t lost 7+ pounds. Not even sure I’ve lost 2, lol. I lost 5 pounds during my juice cleanse, which wasn’t surprising given my limited calorie intake over those 3 days, but I gained them back within a week, so I don’t think that counts. Guess I need to get more dedicated to this goal. Honestly though, I kind of struggle with whether this should even be a goal. While I may not be dropping pounds, I am definitely gaining strength and muscle, and I feel like I am healthier overall. Maybe I should be focusing more on inches lost? Jury is still out on this one.
  6. Nope, not knocked up yet. I could write a whole post on this, but maybe some other time. The short version is that we still aren’t sure if and when we want to add to our family. We are having a very hard time with this decision, and let’s be honest, mama ain’t getting any younger over here! We are just so content and settled right now as a family of three. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love another baby and I honestly can’t imagine not having another, but it all comes down to what makes sense for us, and of course, what God’s plan is for us. I’m praying and listening, but so far I’m not getting any clear answers. More to come on this:-)
  7. We have been cooking dinner at least 3 times per week. It’s the “as a family” part that’s kind of throwing me off. I know where I was going with this…I wanted dinner time to be a family event. While we do usually eat together, more often than not Asher Wade is playing independently (or let’s be real, watching cartoons) while Matt and I cook, or one of us is playing with Asher Wade while the other cooks. AW is not exactly interested in the cooking process yet, which is understandable given his age. Still though, I’m giving a thumbs up on this one because we are cooking at home 3x per week and eating together, which is definitely progress considering how much we ate out last year.
  8. We joined Bridge Christian Church here in Chattanooga. We love our church and truly feel like we have a church family, which was really important to us, especially being in a new town. It’s a very small church considering what we came from back in Birmingham, which has definitely taken some getting used to. However, one of the benefits of this is that we’ve been able to get more involved, meet more people, and build relationships. Besides attending services, we’ve joined a Community Group (just like the small groups we had back in B’ham) and we volunteer in the kid’s ministry and the youth group, and various other church sponsored events. It’s been really great for our family and for our individual walks and I’m so thankful we found a church that encourages us to grow in our faith.
  9. Definitely haven’t reached our $10K goal yet yet, but still working towards it…
  10. Done! Disney cruise was a success!

 Did you make any 2016 goals? How are you coming along??

Toddler Tuesday

We’ve started summer early around here, although I tend to think of Memorial Day has the official kick-off of the summer season anyways. Our neighborhood pool is officially open for business and we have been spending a lot of evenings there. We are so lucky because we just walk out our back door, through our yard and out the back gate, and we’re at the pool. This was a huge selling point of our lot and home. Basically we have a pool in our backyard, without the responsibility of having a pool in our back yard, ha!

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This little boy would stay outside all day if he could


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They see me rollin’…


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Love these sweet, fleeting moments

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Pizza at the pool!


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Some serious bed head


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Three generations of McWilliams guys:)


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So, we are in the midst of potty training. I use this term very loosely because like most aspects of our parenting style, we go with the flow and aren’t exactly hard nosed rule followers. We’re just kind of following his lead, which often means he’s peeing in the front yard;)


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I was going through pics from this past weekend and couldn’t believe how old he looks in this one. I swear he’s just growing and changing right before my eyes…


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Checking out the boats on the river


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Love these boys:-)

Motivation Monday

Happy Monday! I am so sore this morning and literally just wanted to stay in bed. I hadn’t been to Orangetheory in a couple of weeks, and I went Saturday morning, and oh my word…it was a tough one. Our instructor told us the workout was called “Death by Burpees” so needless to say, it was a lot of burpees. Add in some hill sprints, a lot of rowing, and even more weight exercises, and my arms still feel like putty today. I can’t even straighten them out all the way, and it’s been 48 hours since my workout. All I did was walk around the neighborhood yesterday, and I was hoping to get in a good full-body workout today, but now I’m not so sure. It may end up being a cardio only day.

 I had to get a biometric screening and health assessment this morning as part of my health benefits plan. I was pretty pleased with my results. It’s easy to look in the mirror everyday and make determinations about your state of health based on what you see on the outside, but it’s not easy to know what’s going on with your health on the inside. When I look in the mirror I definitely still see flaws, but I also see more firmness and muscle definition that used to not be there, so I know I’m making progress with my diet and exercise. However, it was really encouraging to learn that my HDL (good cholesterol) is up, my LDL (bad cholesterol) is down, along with my overall cholesterol and triglycerides being down, my blood pressure was good, my glucose level was low (even though I forgot I was supposed to fast and had orange juice and coffee this morning), my BMI was at a good level, and my body fat composition had improved, which means I’ve gained more muscle! Yes! It’s so encouraging to see real results like that, and while I tend to focus more on what I see in the mirror, and ultimately pick apart, these health screenings are the things that really determine your state of health.

 Stats from last week:

Monday 3/30: Spent most of the day in the car driving back from Seaside, but I did do a little routine that evening – 1 mile jog followed by a 4 minute Tabata in our driveway, and then repeat all of that 2 more times. It was tough.

Tuesday 3/31: 15 minutes on the treadmill (5.8 mph) and then Matt and I did 30 minutes of Tabata for a full body workout. I ended with a 10 minute incline walk on the treadmill (3.8 mph at a 10% incline). This was a killer workout!

Wednesday 6/1: 15 minutes on the treadmill (5.6 mph) followed by a 45 minute power yoga class.

Thursday 6/2: 45 minute cardio interval class and then 15 minutes on the treadmill (5.8 mph).

Friday 6/3: 1 hour power walk outside along the river.

Saturday 6/4: 55 minute Orangetheory Fitness class

Sunday 6/5: 45 minute walk around the neighborhood…slow and steady:-)

 As for diet, Matt and I both did really well this week with our meal prepping. That is key for us. If we prep the night before, we tend to eat much cleaner. I’ve been making a huge pot of breakfast quinoa (lots of variations on Pinterest, but I keep mine pretty simple with quinoa, cashew/coconut milk, chopped apples, maple syrup and a handful of raisins) and dividing it among containers to take for breakfast each morning. To prep our lunches I’ve been buying these chopped salad mixes (found in the produce section of the grocery store, with all the bagged lettuces) and doctoring them up with extra chopped veggies, garbanzo beans or black beans, pine nuts, raisins, tuna, avocado, basically whatever strikes my fancy. I add everything to a Tupperware container and then at lunch I drizzle in some light dressing (oftentimes just olive oil, vinegar and a squeeze of lemon juice) and then shake it all up. Add some fruit on the side and a handful of pretzels or baked chips, and it’s a good lunch. Snacks have consisted of almonds, Quest Bars, apples, granola, and my favorite, a plain rice cake with almond butter and sliced banana. For dinner we’ve been limiting the starches and focusing more on a protein with veggies, maybe some brown rice if we really want the carbs. Breakfast and lunch are relatively easy, but dinner has been a struggle since we’re usually tired when we get home and are so used to mindless snacking. If I’m not careful, I can easily devour 500 calories between when I walk in the door and actually sit down for dinner. I try to remember to eat a Quest Bar around 4 p.m. before leaving the office so I’m not so famished when I get home. It’s a struggle for sure though!