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Stacy’s challenges

New Workout Challenge – Day 8, trying new things

New Workout Challenge – Day 8, trying new things

I finally went to the library to peruse their exercise videos and brought some home, but they just sat there for a few days.  I think I’ll return them and see if I can manage only You Tube videos this month. Many thanks to Carol for giving me a recommendation.  I plan on trying her Pilates suggestion next week 🙂

When I started the month I had in mind that I would do hardcore workouts without taking into account that I’m overweight and completely out of shape!  So, I’ve had fun allowing myself to choose shorter videos and to try things that are not all kill-me-cardio workouts.  The point is to make this a habit and keeping it fun and easing into it are important.  As is finding a way to get these in earlier in the day!

I am not bendy, so I thought I’d give this a try.  This is not a cardio yoga workout like many of the others I’ve tried. It really is relaxing and forced me to bend (well, attempt to bend) into new and deeper stretches.  Gage was in the room with me doing his own 30 minute workout so I’m sure that I didn’t get the full relaxation part, but it was good. I’m not all that interested in doing it again or more like it, but it was fun to try.

Okay, this is going to sound a little crazy, but after doing this tai chi workout I felt myself breathing better all day long. And correcting my terrible posture (although I credit this to the yoga videos too).  I told Jason that I may be willing to get up 15 minutes early every morning just to do this.  Not too difficult and very centering.  I will definitely be trying more of his videos.  Go ahead and give it a try 🙂

Thought I’d try something new and this was fun.  It’s possible I’d do this again. Trying to mix in some easy kickboxing moves might spice up an exercise rut. I am 100% sure that I was doing most of these moves wrong, but that’s the beauty of trying these in your own home.  No one but maybe your kid sees it 🙂  Gage sat out this workout and actually got a pillow and blanket so he could snuggle up and watch, lol.  The instructor is Kelli from an earlier video where I complained about her adjusting her pants a lot.  She must have heard me, not one adjustment 🙂

I’m always entertaining video suggestions!


New Workout Challenge – Day 5

New Workout Challenge – Day 5

I really need to get these workouts in earlier. I’m not a morning person so getting up at 6 is not something I’m interested in, but maybe first thing after breakfast with Gage.  Yesterday was busy with two pool parties, Despicable Me 3 and fireworks, and today I just kept putting it off.  But I prevailed!

Yesterday I needed something low impact for my foot and although the one I found was only 15 minutes, I was happy with it.  I liked that they had the leader and two others, one to show moderated moves and one to show advanced.  It was good for my time constraints and my still swollen foot and I had no problem following the modified workout.  I don’t think I’d do this one again just because it wasn’t all that fun.

Tonight I tried one that I’ve seen on infomercials.  You know, the one with the bubbly woman walking?  Well, I found out her name is Leslie Sansone and she made a video for the American Heart Association.  The three mile walk was great and perfectly low key for a late night workout.  I loved that she added moves in to make it more of a cardio workout  but stressed that always going back to just walking if you needed to was okay too. I did have to stop it once when I heard Gage upstairs (he had left his bed to go to his play room), but I really liked this one, even if the excitement level wasn’t there.  I think it would be easy to listen to an audio book while following Leslie.  At 46 minutes this one takes some time.

Firsts Challenge Wrap Up

Firsts Challenge Wrap Up

With Gage being home for the summer my optional time is limited.  I wanted to do posts on this months firsts, but didn’t keep up. I did manage to post most of them on our Facebook page and I’ll recap them here.

Although I managed to complete the challenge, I’m disappointed that I didn’t have more big, bold accomplishments.  But, as I said at the beginning of this challenge, you can make this as big or small as you need it to be to fit into your life.  I’d like to try this challenge another month and do some better planning.

June 1st-Visited a skeleton museum

June 2nd-Family trip to Sea World Orlando

June 3rd-Flew Spirit Airlines and almost missed the plane!

June 4th-Read The New Yorker cover to cover (this needs to become a weekly thing.)

June 5th-Explored Richfield, where Gage is at camp.

June 6th-Ate chocolate covered espresso beans.

June 7th-Tried a charcoal mask and scared my kid.



June 8th-twisted my first balloon animal.


June 9th-Made it 20 minutes in Jason’s tortureous massage chair.

June 10th-signed up for online Master Class with James Patterson

June 11th-Tried picked carrots. They were okay.

June 12th-Applied to work at the elections.

June 13th-Painted pottery with G for Father’s Dats gifts.

June 14th-New doctor for G and took my mom to hear Temple Grandin speak.

June 15th-I was a model for G’s first painting.


June 16th-Attended my first political meeting to learn about gerrymandering.

June 17th-Administered 2 different medicines to our cat Sammi.  She’s recovered so I must have done it right.

June 18th-Dyed my hair blue but it didn’t really take because my hair is so dark.

June 19th-Went blind for an hour and a half.


June 20th-Tried a recipe out of Better Homes & Gardens for Orange-Braised Carrots with Raisins.

June 21st-Tried a new Japanese wine with unknown fruit in the bottom of the bottle. It was tasty.

June 22nd-Cute G’s hair and it was horrible!


June 23rd-Made a scavenger hunt at the art museum for G-man.

June 24th-Tried sushi.

June25th-Used a hedge trimmer.

June 26th-Hosted a dinner party for strangers from Nigeria, Uganda and South Africa.


June 27th-Purchased a membership to the Natural History Museum.

June 28th-Reached out to get signatures on my gerrymandering petition. Got two signatures but need 54 more!

June 29th-Put money on all the parking meters along the street outside the art museum.

June 30th-I’m a pretty strict mom but for the very first time I caved to G and am letting him sleep in our bed with us tonight.  He had a bad dream last night and is pretty much terrified of his room right now.  I’m sure I will regret it.

A month of Firsts

A month of Firsts

“Better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.”    -D.H. Lawrence

disney5 IMG_0091 IMG_0170

This month (and possibly beyond) my challenge is inspired by the book I Dare Me by Luann Cahn. I read Leann’s story of a year of firsts and loved the idea of changing your life by doing one new thing, big or small, every single day.  The idea is to always be looking and open to the new opportunities around you every day.  I think she had a bit of an advantage because she was a reporter and things were open to her more easily, but there is still no reason why we all can’t do this on a scale that fits our own lives.

I started on June 1st but was on vacation so I’ve been keeping up-to-date on our Facebook page, My 30 Day Challenges.  I hope that you’ll follow along that way too.  Since we were on vacation those first few days the firsts were easy, but since then I’ve had to search them out a bit. I looked through the book for ideas and brainstormed when Gage was at camp this week.  I do want to push myself, but since Gage will be with me for the summer even the small things ( a new recipe, a new food…) will do the trick.

This may turn into a two month challenge.  We’ll see.  Anyone want to join me?

June 1st-Visited a skeleton museum

June 2nd-Family trip to Sea World Orlando

June 3rd-Flew Spirit Airlines and almost missed the plane!

June 4th-Read The New Yorker cover to cover (this needs to become a weekly thing.)

June 5th-Explored Richfield, where Gage is at camp.

June 6th-Ate chocolate covered espresso beans.


The Juice Diet – Wrap Up

The Juice Diet – Wrap Up

This 30 day challenge wrapped up early and since tomorrow is G’s last day of kindergarten and we’re leaving for Orlando in three days I think I’ll just get this written now.

I truly juiced – only juice and water – for five days and for nine days I had some raw veggies for a meal or two plus juice.  By the end of that time I’d lost 9.5 pounds.  I felt good.  Amazingly good.

Food had (has) too much leverage in my life.  I was a glutton with no self control.  By giving my body a break and allowing it to detox and heal I felt good.  And it wasn’t just physical, mentally knowing that I was putting my health first made all the difference.  That part has stuck even though I am eating again.  The detox itself wasn’t too bad for me.  I had a headache and got lightheaded that first day, but that first week the only big difference was that I needed a nap every day.  And by the second week I couldn’t take a nap even when I tried. I was alert and it was great.

It’s amazing how little food I actually need.  I’ve been eating food again for over a week but I’ve still managed to keep 7 pounds off.  Generally, I’ve been eating one meal of fruit or a juice and one small meal and one regular meal.  I’d like to clean it up a little more, but am giving myself a little slack this week as I plan a major vacation for the family.  I’ve spent almost 4 hours this week trying to coordinate what G can eat at Disney (not much).

So, why did I stop early if it was so great?  It was Mother’s Day and I took my mom to the Chocolate Bar.  No other reason really, except that we deserved it.  I do plan on doing a 3-5 day juice detox once a month.  Honestly, I’m actually looking forward to it – how crazy is that?!

Okay, let’s break it down.  The good stuff – you’ll feel better fairly quickly, you’ll lose weight, you’ll be able to give things up by going cold turkey (I’m off Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper for reals and wine is no longer in the house), you will fell better (it’s worth saying twice).  The bad stuff – loss of energy that first week, resenting people who eat (especially if you were cooking it for them), extra time in the bathroom the first few days, not being able to go out to a restaurant socially.

This was an excellent challenge and although I only made it 13 days I consider it a success. If I can do it, anyone can!  Before you do it make sure to watch  the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.

Day 1

Day 4

Day 11

Juice Diet – Day 10, no problem

Juice Diet – Day 10, no problem

Okay, it’s been a few days since I checked in and I want you to know that I feel fabulous.  For the first 7 days I drank juices and ate fruits or vegetables once or twice a day.  My favorite was mashing up an avocado, dicing a tomato and some onion and eating the guacamole with carrots.   I think that week of actual food helped the transition to straight juice successful.

Monday morning I started with juice only, so I’m on day 3, but I am so surprised at how good I feel!  Really!  I thought I’d be sick and napping in bed (last week I had to take a nap a day I had so little energy) but I’ve tried to snooze during the day this week and haven’t been able to fall asleep.  I actually have MORE energy than when I eat food.  It’s weird.  And I’m not even that hungry.  Sure, at a few points during the day my stomach will rumble, but nothing serious.  Physically, this challenge has been exactly what I’ve needed and I’ve lost 8 pounds.

Let’s talk about what I’m learning about myself and my relationship with food.  I love food and eat during emotional stressful times, this is not news, but this challenge has brought into focus that I don’t need it.  I won’t say that after 10 days of fruit and veggie juices that I don’t crave pizza or a good buffalo chicken sandwich, but that’s just an emotional craving, something to make me feel better.  Is my unhealthy relationship with food changed forever?  Of course not, but the fact that my body feels great and my mind feels good because I know I’m doing something good for my health, should be something that sticks.

The hardest things at this point are the smells and watching people eat.  I fixed bacon this morning for Gage and just the smell made me want to scarf the whole thing down.  I think that if you are the cook of the family it does add and extra layer to the challenge.  It’s hard to smell and touch something yummy and then put it on a plate so you can watch someone else eat it.  Yesterday, I cooked baked potatoes and even a boring potato with no salt or butter stirred up a wanting for food, any food.

That’s enough babbling for now.  Here are a few pics…Obviously, drinking the juices in a big wine glass makes them taste better.

juice1 juice2 juice3


Juice Diet-Day 4

Juice Diet-Day 4

So, I’m on day 4 of my “juice diet”.  When I was reading Joe’s reboot diet he recommended at least 2 juices a day, 16 oz. each, for the first five days.  I’ve done that.  I have eaten vegetables or fruit twice a day too.  I’ve had a cup of herbal tea once a day and the rest?  Water.  I’m probably not drinking enough.

I made a nice beet juice that first day and then again the second day and the smell alone almost made me sick.  I’m having a problem with the juices! Since I’m mainly eating veggies twice a day (peas, squash, carrots) I don’t mind if my juices are on the sweeter side, as long as they still have at least one vegetable.

I hesitate to call this a juice diet since I am eating a small amount of vegetables and fruits, but according to the parameters in the book I’m legit 🙂  Plus, if I still only do 2 juices a day and only eating fruits and vegetables until the 27th  I will consider this a win.  My body needs this detox.

The good stuff – I’ve lost 4 pounds.  Yay 🙂  I haven’t had a headache since day 1.  I mostly don’t even feel hungry (although when I made the guys bacon on Tuesday that was pretty tough).  Considering the crap that I was putting in my body before I know I’m doing something good for my health.

The bad stuff – I’ve needed extra sleep.  I have less energy.  I did get lightheaded that first day, but not since.  I do not want to make another juice 🙁  I’m sick of making them already. This week has been a slow while Gage has been at school, so I’ve been able to nap.

My yummy juice from yesterday morning…

IMG_0362Apple, 2 pears, a few carrots.

Next time I’ll show you my cool juicer!

Juice Diet

Juice Diet

So, after a successful and relatively easy April challenge I’ve decided to kick it up a notch this time around.  I started a juice diet today, being inspired by the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (it’s on Netflix).  Essentially, I’ll be eating only fruits and vegetables this month, with most of that coming from juicing.  All juices, all day until one meal of veggies and fruit only.  Today, as a transition day I did two meals (carrot sticks and a banana for breakfast and sweet corn on the cob and green beans for dinner) and two 16 oz. juices.  This was my favorite…

IMG_0355[1]This is about half.  It’s only one beet, one orange and one apple.  It was delicious!  You can make it without the fuzz on top too.  I might have pretended it was a very earthy wine 🙂

My mom and went to West Side Market today and I came back with this…

IMG_0353[1]I do need to pick up a few more things tomorrow.

I will keep this short and write more about it tomorrow when it’s earlier and I feel better.  I admit that I don’t feel so well right now.  I’ve had a headache since this afternoon and have felt yucky all over since dinner, even a little light-headed. All things that can expected for the first few days.  Joe does allow a cup of herbal tea before bed so I’m getting ready to make that and head to bed.

This is going to be a hard challenge, and to be honest if I can make it 15 days (what Joe recommends for newbies) I’d be happy, but I really want to make it until the 27th when Disney World will be calling my name.  It’s no coincidence that I chose this one on a shortened month!



Letter of Appreciation Wrap Up

Letter of Appreciation Wrap Up

Well, it’s come down to the wire but I did get all 30 letters done.  It was actually a harder challenge that I thought it would be when I started.  When you sit down to write a letter it feels so much more important, so I got picky with my choices and had a hard time coming up with anyone.  So, that was the challenging part.  It was easy to write the letter to those people that you had a connection with or something that you really wanted to say, but more difficult near the end as my choices were less personal.

Here’s the last pile.  Sorry I didn’t keep up with  challenge on here like I wanted to, but I was doing the A-Z Challenge on the book blog and I got really behind.  This was a fun and enlightening exercise and it might be one I consider revisiting every year.


(Judy Blume, Dr. Andrew Weil, Susanna Kearsley, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, Michael J Fox, Joe Cross, Joanna Gaines, Dr. Robert Sears, Fareed Zakaria, Shepard Smith, Diana Gabaldon, Martin Short, Samantha Bee, Jake Tapper)

I’m happy to have a completed challenge behind me!  I think you are all going to want to come back tomorrow and check our new challenges.  They are both going to be challenging for sure.


Letters of Appreciation Catch Up

Letters of Appreciation Catch Up

I’ve been writing my letters, just not getting them on here.  Last night I took a picture of the four I’ve written over the last several days.


Mr. Chris.  Do you know Mr. Chris, the special education from Florida? You can watch this and follow these kids on Facebook.  This is what the world and exactly what these kids need.  I wrote him a letter telling him that I wished we lived in Florida 🙂

Thich Nhat Hanh.  I’ve talked about how much I love this guy over the years, so I took the time to write and tell him how when I read The Miracle of Mindfulness after college, it changed my life and the way I see the world.

Robert De Niro. I wrote to  thank him for being outspoken about the damage vaccines can cause and being vocal in his opposition to Trump.

Greg Iles.  I heard Greg Iles speak at a Cleveland library last night and he is quite a storyteller.  Inspiring speaker and story and I let him know I appreciated it.

Sorry this is so short but Gage has the day off and I’m late for a play date!