Saturday, April 28, 2012

Saturday Weigh In - 04/28

In Arabic there is an expression, "Tie your camel and then trust to Allah (God)."  Essentially one shouldn't be neglectful of common sense, expecting God will do all the work.  We don't drive around without a seat belt praying that, in the event of an accident, we won't go flying out of the vehicle.  We wouldn't leave our keys in the car ignition and expect the car not to be stolen.  Likewise, we cannot sit around, eat whatever we want and expect to lose weight.   

I've tied my camel (healthy diet with appropriate portions and exercise) - but I have yet to thank God (Allah) for making this journey (thus far) easy for me.  In the past I was tormented by urges to binge eat/drink (soda and coffee drinks).  I would hoard my calories for the day so I could splurge in the evenings or on a special craving (usually sushi).  I'd also get terribly discouraged when the numbers on the scale didn't budge even though I worked hard and ate good.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Recipe: Moroccan Beet Salad

I just submitted another recipe for the Zuuzs Grand Spring Recipe Challenge.

I have amazing memories of my time in Morocco; I can't wait to go back!  Moroccan food is incredibly flavorful, colorful and very healthy!  This side dish goes great with roasted beef or lamb and also makes a delightful snack!   

Warning: It's a little time consuming - mostly because you're waiting for the beets to cook and then cool down.  Nevertheless, it's worth the time!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Gadget Obsessing!

When my dad does something, anything, no matter what it was, he does it 150% percent. Scuba diving? He bought the most expensive scuba gear and equipment! Metal detecting? Yep, he had a fancy schmancy metal detector. Muscle cars? He owned a 1969 Hemi Super Bee - commonly referred to as his "retirement."  His never ending "hobbies" inspired me to create a hilarious stand-up routine that lasted more than 10 minutes.

Alas, I am very much my father's daughter! My mom and I have a long standing joke: "Mirror, Mirror On-the-Wall... I am my father after all!”

Despite being my dad's twin, there is one thing I've learned from him that has always proven beneficial; RESEARCH BEFORE you buy!

As discussed here the other day, my old heart rate monitor stopped working properly.  Since this past Sunday I've spent countless hours every day researching my heart rate monitor/fitness watch options.  After pouring over the many options out there I thought I had found the perfect one (the Polar RCX3).  However, since it's a new release it would not be available for another 2 months.

Should I wait?  Should I try and find something else?  The frustration and my obsession was maddening!  I continued to do my research and ultimately discovered a major limitation with the Polar RCX3 - it lacks the ability to program intervals.  *HUGE SIGH*

I've been wanting to implement interval training into my workout routine for several few weeks.  The one time I tried intervals it was very frustrating constantly checking my watch to know when it was time to switch between running insanely fast (high intensity) and walking (low intensity).  I needed an option to alert me when it was time to switch so I could focus my attention on the workout and not checking the time!

It was a disappointing discovery, however, I'd much rather be disappointed before a big purchase than afterward!  Back to the proverbial drawing board I went and a couple more nights past my bedtime...  I believe, this time, I found THE ONE: Garmin Forerunner 610!

In fact, the Garmin Forerunner 610 is BETTER because it has built-in GPS (the Polar option requires a separate device for GPS capabilities), several programming options, customizable display, a Virtual Partner/Racer feature (you can essentially race against your previous times - which I would absolutely LOVE), as well as Training Effect (which measures fitness and also provides customizable training options for smart training).  Last, but certainly not least, is the touch screen capability!  In a word?  AWESOME!

I initially passed over this option because there were a handful of reviews indicating charging issues with the device and to be honest, it's well outside of my price range!  Since falling in love with the Garmin Forerunner 610 I've spent another few hours trying to find the best possible deal - hoping I could somehow manage to afford it... so far, I'm coming up short! 

Any of my followers happen to work for Garmin?  I'd love the opportunity to team up with Garmin to successfully increase my fitness goals and become a rock-star runner!  In the meantime I'm going to keep trying to find a way and try to stop eye-humping it!  HAHA!    

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Polar Opposite: In Every Failure there is Potential for Success

I've been familiar with Polar products since I was a kid; my dad regularly trained for triathlons and wore Polar heart rate monitors and other gizmos for his bicycles.

Two years ago I started exercising in an effort to lose weight and get fit. I immediately purchased a Polar heart rate monitor because I wanted to make sure I wasn't wasting my time by not working out in my target zone(s). I settled on an entry-level monitor, the F7 model as it was affordable and fit my needs at the time.

Unfortunately, due to unexpected health problems, I ultimately quit exercising. Sadly, I sat idly by as my weight sky-rocketed from medications and compulsive eating. Eventually, after 2 failed attempts at getting back on track - I succumbed to the false believe that I would be obese for the rest of my life.

 Several months passed before a little spark inside me was ignited. On February 4, 2012 I made a commitment to myself to lose weight and get fit (regardless of how long it was going to take). I refused to accept or believe I would forever be incarcerated in a fat body. That little spark has now grown into an inferno (I've now lost 31.4 pounds in 11 weeks and I've exercised more than 3,000 minutes so far)!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

GIVEAWAY: Extreme Amazon Giveaway $100!

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Clearing the Hurdle

Although I'm a wonderful cook, "eating out" has always been one of my many guilty pleasures.  Thankfully, due to {religious} dietary restrictions my options for eating out are quite limited...  and of course my three kids complicate matters further by making it a little less enjoyable and more expensive.  Therefore, eating out has become a rare treat for them (I still made an effort to go alone or with a friend).

However, since I started my journey 11 weeks ago I haven't had the desire to go out.  The temptations have presented themselves unsuccessfully; friends inviting me to go out, the kids nagging me to take them out to eat... The answer remained, "No."  I just haven't had any enthusiasm to go (which is a good thing)... 

Yesterday, my daughters were longing for a "Mama and me day."  I told them MONTHS ago that we could have a special day - just us girls (without little brother).  Apparently my oldest daughter claims I promised to take them to Souplantation.  I almost never make promises unless I know for certain I can keep them... I seriously doubt I promised to take them to Souplantation - but I'm sure I did mention going.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Saturday Weigh In - 04/21

As I stepped on the scale this morning for my weekly weigh in I was anticipating another good week; I put in the hard work after all... 5 days of jogging/walking and 2 days of strength training              .  I have continued to eat delicious, healthy food while maintaining portion control and my daily food journal.

There were a couple hiccups the last couple days.  Thursday night I was a couple minutes from finishing my jog/walk when my treadmill suddenly turned itself off.  The jolt took me by surprise, immediately followed by panic!  OH NO - please don't let there be another problem with the treadmill! 

I have an ongoing love/hate relationship with my treadmill.  I'm currently in a "love phase" - so the realization that I might not be able to exercise on the treadmill anymore was defeating.  This isn't the first time I've had issues with the treadmill - a couple years ago I was tempted to buy a new treadmill because the repair costs were so high but couldn't find another treadmill with the same features in my price range.  I had the walking belt and a damaged roller replaced to the tune of $400+ - ummm, yeah - I wasn't happy about the expense and how long it took to get repaired either!  A month after the treadmill was "fixed" and I attempted to use it it ran noisily for a couple minutes and ultimately stopped altogether.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Recipe: Chicken & Artichoke Rice

I just submitted my recipe for the Zuuzs Grand Spring Recipe Challenge. This dish is one of my most favorite meals - fairly quick & easy, very healthy and super delicious (in my biased opinion, of course)!

I'll be sure to keep you posted if I make it to the voting stage - I hope I can count on you all to help me out and vote! *wink*wink*

Chicken & Artichoke Rice

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


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Monday, April 16, 2012

Little Girls and Curls...

I LOVE hair! Since I was a little girl I have {almost} always had incredibly long, thick hair. I'd like to believe my girls have inherited their beautiful hair from me - however, the ladies on my hubby's side of the family all have amazing hair too.

With that said - my oldest daughter most definitely has my hair. The color and thickness/texture are identical to mine (although my hair has darkened over the years so it's not quite as honey colored anymore).

My youngest daughter has fine, but incredibly long hair! She refuses to let me cut it... she says, "I don't want to look like a boy." She's tender-headed and insists the hairbrush GIVES her tangles and this is why she doesn't like her hair brushed (I have yet to convince her the tangles are NOT from the hairbrush).

Sunday, April 15, 2012

GIVEAWAY: April Extreme Cash Giveaway!

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Weigh In - 04/14

I had one of “those weeks.” I don’t usually get PMS symptoms, for the exception of cramps, however this week I was on a never ending emotional roller coaster! Extreme irritability, anger/rage, frustration, hopelessness, depressed, resentment, sensitive, I believe you get the idea...

We finally made it to Spring Break! I cherish breaks from school. As a homeschooling mama break-time means I get a bit more free time to read, visit with friends, and/or catch up with projects. Unfortunately it was probably one of the worst weeks I’ve had this year (given my aforementioned mood swings coupled with the kids refusal to listen to me and their incessant fighting).

On the positive side - I didn’t budge when it came to my eating this week. I’ve always been an emotional eater. However, I managed to keep it together this week without burying my face in a bag of chips, a half-gallon of ice cream, 3-4 rolls of sushi and gulping down 3 cans of Coke, one after another! The fact I didn’t even have the desire to - is a HUGE accomplishment, in and of itself!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

NO Excuses!

Today was a bad day. From the moment I woke up I wasn't feeling myself {PMS = cramps and irritability}. Additionally, the kids failure to listen to me repeatedly resulted in another broken mirrored closet door... it was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

Honestly, I probably screamed for 10 minutes straight. I then put myself in a mental time out for a couple hours - I just couldn't look at my kids without being so incredibly upset and wanting to cry. Again, today was a bad day.

I felt physically and emotionally drained all day. I REALLY didn't want to exercise today - I didn't have any energy or motivation. I thought I would try to work out in the afternoon but didn't. I took a nap instead.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Binges and Cravings

I used to have intense cravings for Coke, Starbucks, chips, cookies, cinnamon buns, cake, sushi, etc... I always had intense urges to eat - just for the sake of eating, not because I was hungry. I rarely bought "junk food" because I didn't want my kids eating it - but I also knew if it was in the house then I would devour it. However, my cravings were always so intense I would make random trips outside to end the misery of my obsession - a package of cookies, 3-4 rolls of sushi, a venti Carmel Frappuccino, an x-large Coke from McDonalds for $1 (or a 24 pack of Coke which I would hide in the garage so I could secretly drink 3 cans without anyone knowing).

I've been eating "clean" for 9+ weeks now. I quit drinking soda {cold turkey}. I also decided I wasn't going to drink diet soda or {generic} Crystal Light because I know artificial sweeteners are not healthy. I used to abhor drinking water - so much so that I would go DAYS without drinking any water (I'd drink coffee, tea, soda, "flavored water"- anything but plain water).

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Monday, April 9, 2012

GIVEAWAY: 4 Kindle Fires!

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Weigh In - 04/07

Today marks 9 weeks on my journey... In a word? WOW!

Since I've been doing remarkably well I've been taking peeks on the scale quite regularly just to "see" how I'm doing. Ordinarily I would strongly advise against this because weight does vary from day to day (some days you just weigh a bit heavier than you really are). It can be a major discouragement to see no loss (or worse a gain) when you've been eating very healthy and exercising religiously! In fact in my previous weight-loss attempts in the last 3 years I had given up because I wasn't losing according to the scale and I was working sooooo hard (probably too hard if I'm being completely honest).

This week I noticed my weight wasn't budging from day to day; I immediately knew the problem. I was working out just a little harder than in previous weeks but wasn't compensating by increasing my nutrition just a little. My calorie deficits were too high so my body did the compensating for me. I made it a point to eat just a bit more on a couple days {all healthy calories - such as an apple with almond butter - my new favorite snack)!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Muslim Monday: Straw vs Log

As humans we tend to be very judgmental of one another. From the way we dress, the cars we drive, the foods we eat (or don't eat), our education (or lack thereof) - it never ends.

We all make assumptions and pass judgment based on our perceptions - which are oftentimes wrong (we have no way to account for another person's inner thoughts/struggles). More importantly, however, is our inability to spot our own shortcomings.

The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, "A person sees a straw in the eye of his brother, but neglects to see a log in his own eye." {Ibn Hibban}

Once a friend whom I hadn't seen in a long time asked me, "What happened to you? You got big!" (Using hand gestures to indicate I have expanded width-wise... and no, I'm not exaggerating - this actually happened)

I gave a partial explanation for my significant weight gain (medication). I also respectfully explained her comment was inappropriate. Amusingly, this person has weight issues of their own - a classic case of straw vs log!

We easily notice and sometimes comment on {myself included} the faults of others - but what about our own faults? The next time we find ourselves being judgmental let us take a moment to reflect on our own imperfections!


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