April 22, 2014

Absence

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder so how much do you love me now?

I think that this month has officially been the least amount I've blogged since starting this blog like 5 years ago.  I would like to thank my second child for that.

Life with James hasn't been easy.  The transition to two children has been difficult in more ways than one, for me.  At first it was perfect.  I loved it.  I felt like I had this all under control and I was going to prove everyone who said, "one to two is HARD" wrong.  Thankfully I have posts like this to remind me of the early days because right now I'm singing a completely different tune.

James is a difficult baby.  There, I said it.  He cries. A lot. He cries if he can't see me. He cries if he can't touch me.  He cries if I hold him and sit down.  He cries on the floor with a bunch of toys.  He cries in the jumperoo.  The only time he's not crying is if he's in the highchair with a lifetimes supply of Mum Mums, if he's sleeping, or if I'm holding him standing up.  That's it.

He's slept through the night since he was about two months old, so we've got that going for us. But he's an awful napper. He calls a 15 minute car nap on the way home from preschool drop off a nap.  He doesn't transition well from car to crib so some days that is it.  I think a lot of the crankiness is because of his awful napping but then there are days he rocks naps {like yesterday} and he's still miserable.  So what gives?

He had an ear infection so I thought, "GREAT! An answer. Now maybe he'll get better.".  Not that I wanted him to be sick but at least there was an explanation and hopefully an answer.  Not the case.  He's done with his prescription and he's still a mess.

I switched formula.  No difference.

Tried the amber teething necklaces.  Not it.

Acid reflux meds made no difference.

So I guess this is just how he is and I just have to deal with it.  It's hard because he's not my only child, obviously.  And I do let him cry, trust me.  I have to.  Today I was sitting on the floor, beside him, he could see AND touch me and he cried the entire time I got Kendall ready for school.  As soon as I picked him up he was fine.  My mom thinks he's spoiled but I just don't see how that is possible because I do not hold him all the time.  Yes I pick him up when he's upset, I'm not that big of an asshole, but I do not just hold him to keep him happy all day.  Ain't nobody got time for that.

And then there's the idea that Jimmy and I might sneak away for a kid-free weekend this summer.  Laughable.  Who is going to want to keep this kid overnight let alone for a whole weekend.  So there's that.

I'm not looking for answers, trust me I've heard them all, I'm just venting.  If there are other moms out there going through this, you are not alone.  I have cried, I have yelled, I have locked myself in my bedroom, I have asked for help so I can have some quiet time because this is by far the hardest thing I have ever dealt with.  Top it off with the fact that each of us is sick and I'm one day away from a Britney Spears head shaving incident.

Not how I intended my first blog post in over two weeks but such is life.

April 3, 2014

A Day Of YES

I've seen other moms talk about a day of yes before and I have always thought it sounded good.  A day where you say "yes" to your child more than you say "no".  Want to play with Play-Doh?  Sure!  Fruit snacks before 11?  OK!  A snuggle on the couch before bed time?  You betcha!  Yesterday I decided it was going to be a "Yes Day".  

Now, don't get me wrong, it's not like I let Kendall drink a two liter of Mountain Dew and jump off the roof or anything crazy.  We still had rules to follow.  But you know what?  I barely had to enforce them.  There was no yelling, no reprimanding, no time outs, no threats.  Just a happy happy day.

She asked if we could make pink cupcakes when James took his first nap.  Who am I to resist that?  I love that one of her favorite things to do just so happens to be one of mine, baking.  So we baked cupcakes.  We ate the batter, we licked the icing, we made a mess with sprinkles and, most importantly, we had fun.  There was no stress {on my end} about making a mess or cleaning up right away.  It was just carefree.

I let her chose her dinner and guess what?  She ate every single bite.  No bribing her to take "just three more bites".  She ate her whole plate in one sitting.  It's been far too long since I've been able to say that.  Meal time is a real battle around here, one that I hate fighting, so it was so nice to have it just flow yesterday.

Kendall has never been the kid who can play independently very well.  It's something I always try to work on with her because I think it is important that she can entertain herself.  But she just always wants {needs?} someone to play with her.  It can be very frustrating at times, especially with an infant that still requires a lot of my attention {save that story for another day}.  Yesterday?  Girlfriend rocked solo play time.  She used her imagination, she had fun, and she was happy.  As I was cleaning up from dinner I could hear her, talking and playing with her ponies, and all I could do was smile.

We did a craft and we got messy again.  James was asleep so we got out all the little sprinkles and glue, things I don't usually like to deal with because "Oh my gosh! The mess!  What if we forget a little piece of glitter on the floor and James eats it?!"  It's just something I'd rather not deal with.  But yesterday?  We went for it.  She loves making crafts at school and it's something we used to do a lot of but haven't lately and it was so fun to see her get creative.  She's such a smart girl and to see her brain work is such a joy.  And?  We didn't leave any tiny pieces on the ground ;-).

Yesterday was glorious and really opened my eyes.  I realized how just giving a little can go a long way.  I wish every day could be a "Yes Day" because it was so easy.  I think Kendall and I really connected yesterday and we needed that.  Unfortunately we have real life to live and every day demands and stresses that keep us from being able to say "yes" to {almost} everything.  I do plan to incorporate more "Yes Days" into our lives though.

I'm not sure who needed the "Yes Day" more, me or Kendall, but I know that it was good for both of us.  I would encourage you to try a day of yes with your kids too, you'd be amazed at what a great feeling it is to just be free for a day.  I bet your kid{s} will love it too.


April 2, 2014

SO WHAT! Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...
Life After I Dew

I became a Beachbody coach before I have my beach body.

I was contacted back in January by my sweet coach. She told me how much she loved Beachbody and what it had done for her, phyiscally, mentally, & monetarily.  She was very convincing but I wasn't ready.  I was 30lbs heavier than I am now and kept thinking, "who would listen to ME?".  I mean that's like an oxymoron or something.  So I waited and did my research.

Upon reading {I read lots over the course of a month} the whos, whats, wheres, whens, and whys of the business I found an article that talked about coaching while you are going through your weight loss journey.  Ding, ding, ding.  That's me!

Coaching while still losing weight and getting fit is so beneficial to people out there going through that exact same thing.  When people can watch you getting in shape from using the Beachbody products they can see that it works.  They can know that you are authentic in your story instead of just seeing these amazing before & afters and trusting that you got there by using Beachbody and/or a Beachbody coach.  They know that it's true because they have been following your progress from day one.

So, that right there, sold me. I signed up immediately.

When I joined I still had 30ish lbs to lose to reach my goal. I had only been doing the treadmill {randomly} and/or at home DVDs {randomly} with the occasional group fitness class on Saturdays.  Since becoming a coach I have been working out {hard} with T25, 6 days a week.  On my rest day I do the treadmill because I am training for a 5K that I am running in May.  Becoming a coach has motivated me beyond belief and the support I get from my team, other coaches, is incredible.  Last night when I just wanted to plop down on the couch after the kids went to bed, I checked my teams FB page and was instantly motivated to put my shoes on and break a sweat.  And I'm so glad I did because the only workout you regret is the one you didn't do.

I want you guys to see me doing T25 and the crazy results I'm getting from it and trust the process. As much as I cringe when I post my pictures I know that it's worth it because the afters speak for themselves.  I want you to know that the results you see on the infomercial aren't just a marketing tactic and that it's real because I have witnessed it first hand.

For me being a coach is so much more than money.  Yes, you can make money, but even if I never made a penny I'd still love it.  Motivating people and encouraging them throughout their journey makes me feel good.  When I get an email saying that one of my IG pictures got someone off the couch and on the treadmill is so empowering.  Encouraging people to live their best lives is so much more than a paycheck.  You get to make the world a healthier place and that is awesome.

So, no I do not have a beach body but yes I still coach.  You can too.  If any of this sounds appealing to you please email me and I'd love to tell you more.  If you are interested in any products let me know and I'd love to be your coach and help you reach all of your fitness goals.  I also have a FB page for coaching where I post more of this kind of stuff, you can like it here.






April 1, 2014

Food! I Love Food!

A long time ago I promised you guys a food post and then I never wrote it.

When I lose weight I tend to be very boring when it comes to food.  I tend to eat a lot of the same stuff for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  Even my snacks are the same day in and day out.  The reason being, once I know what works {aka how many calories each thing is} I stick to it because it's easy.  It's annoying to track your calories sometimes, ok all of the time, so when I already know that THIS bread is 110 calories it saves me a lot of time figuring out what I'm going to eat for breakfast.

The last time I wrote a post like this I was eating a lot more packaged stuff.  Lean Cuisines, cans of soup, Jell-O, etc were a big portion of my diet.  I'm proud that to say that this time I've cleaned that up a little.  That's not saying I'm perfect and eat clean all of the time because I don't but I have learned a lot about the stuff that goes into our bodies and I am trying, every day, to make better choices for me and my family.

One thing we have cut out completely is fast food.  I watched Food Inc and, man, were my eyes opened.  I was completely repulsed by not only the food industry but our government as well.  My weekly trips to the supermarket have also changed, the way I look at food has changed.  There is some stuff that I just can't anymore, I just can't.  I don't want to go into details because some people are like I was and just don't want to know.  That is fine because I've been there. When you are ready you should watch it, I promise it will change your food life.

OK, now on to what I DO eat.  Keep in mind I'm at a 1200 daily calorie allowance right now.  I try to make breakfast the least amount of calories and each meal gets more calories as the day goes on, does that make sense?  When I workout I burn calories which technically means I can eat back whatever I burn but I don't usually do that.  I will sometimes at some of them back but not all of them,ever.

Breakfast:  Listen, I love breakfast foods.  All of them.  Breakfast has always been my favorite meal of the day.  Sometimes I try to be a smoothie for breakfast kinda girl but the reality is I love to EAT at that time of day so smoothies don't really work.  Typically I have eggs of some sort.  I'll do an egg white on a slice of whole wheat toast sprinkled with a bit of cheddar, that's probably the thing I eat most frequent.  When I have the fixings I'll do an omelette or some scrambled eggs with salsa and avocado {yum!}.  When I'm in a hurry {preschool days} my go to is a Luna or Lara bar.  I love them.  They fill me up, taste yummy, are easy and {relatively} good for you.

Lunch:  Lunch is probably my least favorite meal of the day.  I just find it so boring.  In fact, I don't even buy myself lunch food when I go grocery shopping.  My most frequent lunch is a Morningstar Farms Spicy Black Bean Burger with steamed veggies.  I eat the veggie burger bunless and spread some hummus on top.  It's under 300 calories for that lunch.  It's quick and easy, I love it.  Sometimes I'll do a sandwich and some fruit and I've switched my mayo out for mustard {this is huge b/c I've always been a mustard hater}. Lately I have really loved having a Shakeology for lunch.  I stay full until dinner time and it keeps me from reaching for snacks or even thinking about them.

Dinner:  I am guilty of not cooking dinner much these days.  I'd say I cook dinner about 3-4 days a week right now.  I've been using the Skinny Mom site to find lots of low calorie dinner options.  I love that you can search by beef, chicken, clean eating, paleo, Mexican, Italian, etc and they are all low in calories.  I have yet to have a meal I didn't like from there.  Then there are old stand-bys like bubble up enchiladas and crock-pot chicken stroganoff that I know like the back of my hand and can make when I have no idea what to cook for dinner.

Snacks:  This seems to be the area I get the most request for, guess I'm not the only one who loves snacking!  I've found these delicious little snacks by Special K called Moments.  They are only 70 calories and come in yummy flavors.  They are the perfect little "treat".  I love love Goldfish.  It's about 140 calories for 55 pieces so I feel like I'm getting SO much {hello 55 pieces is a lot!!!}.  I have been snacking on cantaloupe  like it's my job lately.  I was randomly like, "OMG cantaloupe sounds soo good!!!" and bought it and have been eating it for like two weeks now.  Skinny Cow ice cream bars are good if you are an ice cream lover, like me.  I get the cookies and cream {my all time favorite} and they're only 110 calories each.  Not as good as a Dairy Queen extra Oreo blizzard but it does the trick.  We love the Stretch Island Co. fruit leather too, all of us eat them all of the time.  They are 45 calories and you feel like you're eating a Fruit Roll Up, kind of.

We usually eat out on the weekends.  It's crazy that we do because I spend 5 million dollars at the grocery store but it is what it is.  When we do I usually ALWAYS look up the menu and nutritional info {if available} before we go.  It drives Jimmy nuts because I always know what I'm going to order before we even leave the house but you gotta do what you gotta do.  That has helped me from falling for the "healthy salad" that's 1400 calories vs the grilled chicken with steamed veggies and a sweet potato.  It's not as "fun" to go out to eat when you are counting calories but it doesn't have to be sabotage either.

I try not to have cheat days or even cheat meals but it happens and is unavoidable at times.  Since January I can probably count on one had the amount of cheat meals I've had.  When I'm in the thick of the losing weight process I think it's important to be very disciplined and stay on point.  I also don't reward myself with food when I hit a goal or feel great about an accomplishment.  I'll reward myself by working even harder to get to the end result even faster.  I'll reward myself with smaller pants in the end!

Like I said, I'm not perfect.  I am not a dietitian or nutritionist and what works for me may not work for you.  This is what I've been doing and what's been getting me the results I want and hopefully it'll give you some ideas for your meals/snacks.

March 31, 2014

The Results Are In...

"Shannon Dew, since you started your 30 day/300 ab challenge you have lost 10lbs for a total percentage of 6.6%, you are still competing for Biggest Loser."  -Alison Sweeney

That is what runs through my mind each time I step on the scale or look in the mirror to see my progress.

So the 30 day/300 ab challenge went a little bit differently for me this time, than it did last time.  Last time I had already lost all the baby weight and was just trying to get my tummy firm.  This time I am still in the process of losing weight with 15lbs still to go.  Also, a huge difference, the last time I did nothing else, no other exercises, just the challenge.  This time I've been doing T25 since the 4th day of the challenge.  I think the T25 is more responsible for my transformation that the ab challenge but the combination of the two has definitely been kicking my butt.  For reference I am currently in week 4 of 10 in T25 so I might consider these my halfway progress pics.

The before isn't pretty guys, at all.  I took the pics with my old phone and didn't realize how crappy the quality was until I got my new phone.  So I apologize for the blurriness and just awfulness.  Not to mention my before body.  YIKES!  But you guys know I like to always be transparent {sometimes too much} and honest and post baby bodies aren't pretty.  #truth


I told you.  The belly, the BOOBS, the booty.  I mean my bathing suit hardly fits.  Not to mention I need a tan and obviously a shower {that hair!}.  I wanted to edit these photos in a bad, bad way.  But, I didn't.  No retouching, filters or thinifying here.

But thankfully my afters are drastically better because no amount of photoshopping can make you feel good.  I am down 10lbs from the first of the month thanks to counting my calories with My Fitness Pal and exercising with T25, 6 days a week.

I notice the most change in the front view.  Yes I still have stretch marks.  Yes my belly still has loads of extra skin.  But overall I am thrilled with the transformation thus far.  I think in another 15lbs I will be exactly where I want to be and will be feeling great.  I would not go out to the public pools at this point, in a bikini {why not I put it all over the world wide web...} but I feel much more comfortable than I did 30 days ago.

And for the sake of comparison, here's a side by side.

I notice that my face is a lot thinner and my frame seems much smaller now. My boobs aren't popping out {I think they might finally be getting smaller!!!} My booty is still {has always been} bootylicious but it's getting smaller and firmer.  My muffin top is not nearly as bad, though it's still there.  That belly still needs to be much tighter so I will still keep up with the ab challenge {and T25, obviously}.  You won't see me in a bikini again until I've hit my goal and have finished T25.  Hopefully then I will have pictures that I just cannot wait to share.  But for now, progress, not perfection.

How'd you do with the challenge this time?  Did you make it all 30 days?





March 26, 2014

SO WHAT! Wednesday

This week I'm saying SO WHAT if...
Life After I Dew

I'm skipping SWW again.  Ha!

I know, my own link up and I suck at it these days.  Oh well, it is what it is.

Instead I want to tell you all about my very first DietBet!  I have been wanting to try this "game" out for a while now.  I almost signed up for one in the fall, when my baby weight was falling off, but thought I wouldn't win so didn't want to risk losing my money.  But now?  I am determined!  I know that I can win this thing and if losing money won't keep you motivated, what will?  Ha!

If you are new to DietBet, here's the low down.  It's a game where you and a group of others looking to shed a few lbs put money into a pot {$25}.  Then {starting next Tuesday, April 1} you have 28 days to lose 4%. For me that is 5.72lbs, totally doable!  You have to submit before/after pics of you standing on the scale and of the scale's readout.  Don't worry, these pictures are private, no one will see them.  You can upload them right from your phone with the DietBet app.  Easy peasy!  Then if you win, losing 4% or more, you take the pot {or part of it if there are multiple winners, regardless you will at least get your money back if you win}.  How cool is that?

So I want you all to join me next Tuesday, won't you?

Want to lose those last 10lbs before summer?  Need a little push to kick your weight loss into high gear?  Like the thrill of a challenge?  Then DietBet is for you!  I'd love for you to join me and the others who have already signed up, here, and really get our bodies ready for bikini season {yes, I fully intend on wearing a bikini this summer}.

They say money is one of the biggest motivators, which I believe is true. However, I think looking and feeling your greatest is even more motivating and rewarding!  That is my motivator and I want it to be yours as well.  And remember, summer bodies are made in winter.

So what are you waiting for?  Sign up, now!

March 24, 2014

The Haps...

Hello.  Is this thing on?

Oh hi!  I'm Shannon and I used to blog here.  I'm still alive and very well.  I wish I could say I was making blogging a priority these days but truth be told, as evident by my lack of blog posts, I'm not.  I feel like the days get ahead of me and when I get a free moment I just want to plop down on the couch and catch up on Housewives.  But I'm going to try to be better so here's the haps.

***
I'm still doing and loving T25 six days a week.  I am an at home workout DVD junkie and of all the ones I've tried this one kicks my butt.  Jillian has nothing on Shaun T. I have had a few people ask about it and so I'll share the info with the masses.  It's a 10 disc/DVD program.  It's broken up into two phases, alpha and beta.  Each phase lasts 5 weeks.  In each phase there are 6 different workouts and you rotate through those workouts each week, doing a different one every day.  It's awesome because your mind never gets bored and your body never gets used to the same workout, preventing plateaus. It's intense, not like Insanity or P90X, but it's do-able.  Jimmy started doing it a week after me {so he's on a different schedule} and he's loving it as well.  Some days I'll do my workout, according to my schedule, and then do his with him at night.  Talk about a calorie burn.  On average I burn about 350 calories per 25 minute workout.  Not bad, right?  I'm already seeing amazing result {3 weeks in} and you'll get to see a peek into my progress when I post my 30 day/300 ab challenge pics on the 31st.

***
Jimmy and I want to take a husband/wife only trip this year.  Our 5 year anniversary is in October so let's just say it's an anniversary trip even though it'll most likely happen this summer.  We haven't been on a trip, just the two of us, since our honeymoon and we are really craving some kid-free time.  We want to go somewhere relatively close, no flying, and so we have been looking into a few places here in Ohio.  Problem is?  I want to go now.  Problem #2?  It's too cold, still, to go anywhere of interest to me.  So we wait.

***
Kendall is on spring break this week and, ironically, the weather is going to be anything but springlike all week.  So any plans of going to the park, or even playing outside in our yard, are out the window.  Some spring break.  I'm hoping to get all Pinerest-mom and come up with some fun things to do but with James being so little we are limited.  I asked Kendall what she wanted to do, her answer?  "Go to Target!".  That's my girl!

***
I found a new website for recipes, Skinny Mom.  I have tried just about every recipe on Kraft and Skinny Taste and I love trying new things, we rarely eat the same dinner twice.  So when I found Skinny Mom I was in love!  Tons of delicious recipes and all that I've made have been easy too.  You can search by gluten free, clean eating, Paleo, you name it.  And they have an app!  Bonus!  I have yet to explore other areas of this site {fitness, health, lifestyle} but I'm sure they're bomb.com too.

***
I have to tell you about the most amazing, will make you feel like a skinny mini, shorts I found last week.   If you follow me on IG you already know about these babies but for the rest of you, you need to know too.  Old Navy's boyfriend shorts are it.  I ordered a pair to be my goal shorts this summer {meaning I ordered them in what size I hope to be this summer} and to my surprise they fit when I got them, SAY WHAT?!  So there went that idea.  So this weekend I exchanged them {and got another pair} for an even smaller size and that size I can get on and zip and button even.  I mean, I wouldn't wear them in public fitting the way they do now but still!  So run, don't walk, to your nearest Old Navy and make yourself feel skinny getting a size {or two} smaller!

***
My IG is full of brand new babies.  No, seriously.  Off the top of my head I can think of at least 4 babies that have been born in the past week.  Y'all I just had my baby!  Right?  I mean wasn't he just born yesterday?  Seeing all these brand new squishy babies makes me realize how big he's getting so quickly and it's making my heart sad.  He's sitting up now, becoming very vocal, he's been pulling his knees up {OMG!} and really starting to develop quite the personality.  I cannot believe he is already seven months old and that we're closer to planning a first birthday each day.  It's true what they say about 2nd babies.   And before you go saying, "it's time for another!" just remember, be kind or be quiet.

***
A few people on IG have asked me to share my food diary.  I will, promise.  That is a post all on it's own and I need lots of time to dedicate to sharing that.  I'm hoping that sometime this week I will have all of that info up.  I wrote a post about what I ate to lose weight after Kendall was born so in the meantime you could check that out, here.  Now a lot has changed for me in that time, I was eating lots of packaged stuff then, but maybe it'll help give you some ideas until I come back with a more updated list for you.

***
Happy Monday friends!  It feels good to be putting my fingers on the keyboard again.