Orange Theory Fitness and Progress Pics

Last October a friend of mine told me about this new gym called Orange Theory Fitness that was opening up in our town. I had been searching for a gym to join that was something other than the standard. Something I would enjoy; that would keep me coming back. I had considered Cross Fit, but it seemed a bit too intense for me, especially at my current fitness level and weight. So, I set up a meeting with the owners of the local Orange Theory to see what it was all about.  As a founding member, I would get free access to the twice a week boot camps that were being held by the head trainer starting in November until the gym was complete. And then I would get two free weeks at the gym before I actually had to pay a dime.  Why not, right?  If I decide it isn’t for me, I’m not out anything but my time – and tons of sweat it turns out.  So, I signed up.

In late November, boot camp started.  In late December a different friend made me some awesome workout shirts.  One of them just had #otf on the back.  Short for Orange Theory Fitness…of course….My trainer loved the shirt and asked if she could take a picture of her and I showing off the shirt.  I told her sure, as long as she cut out my rear end if they were planning to post on social media.

In March the gym finally opened – and with it a 6 week weight loss challenge, which of course I signed up for.  My workouts were amazing and I was going 5 days a week.  On the other hand, my head wasn’t in the game for the first 3 weeks when it came to diet and nutrition.  Half-way point, I was up a pound.  Frustrating, but not as bad as I thought.  The weight loss challenge ended last weekend.  In the end, I lost almost 5 pounds and 3 inches.  Not bad, considering where I was at the half way point.

At the end of the challenge I asked my coach about that #otf picture she took back in December.  I wondered if she still had it – she did. I asked if she had cut my rear end out of it – she didn’t.  So, I asked her if we could take a new pic to compare with to December picture to see how far I have come since the start of boot camp.



IMG_8251Guys – I have lost around 10 pounds since this picture in December was taken.  Ten pounds is good progress, but holy cow – the differences here….I’m shocked.  This is why you take progress pictures.  My weight loss has been super slow because I’m not always eating the best.  Don’t get me wrong, my eating is much improved, but I still have my days where I don’t track on my weight watchers app, or I do track, but I’m way over my points for the day – or even the week.  This is my choice, because this is a lifestyle change, and something I have to be able to maintain for life.  So for me – that means a day here and there when I don’t have to think about what I eat – make sure it is a good choice, or healthy…ya know?  But these pictures tell so much more of the story than the scale ever will.  This is what keeps you motivated to eat healthy most days and to kick ASS at the gym!

Coach Mary Kate (pictured above) and all of the coaches at Orange Theory Fitness are amazing – so supportive.  And the environment of this place cannot be beat.  I can’t say enough about this amazing gym.  I have found the perfect gym!

And if you are curious about my progress pictures from the weight loss challenge only – some pretty good differences there too – even though it was only about 5 pounds lost 🙂



Life Update

So….alm17021757_1373778909310204_8644894886796336663_nost a year since my last update? Wow…time flies!  Actually, my favorite quote fits pretty well here – “The days are long, but the years are short”  This is so true, especially when watching my children grow!  B is now 7 years old and almost done with 1st grade and C is going to be 12 this summer and going into 7th grade!

B has been doing much better in school this year. Before school started, I met with the school’s principal, counselor and his 1st grade teacher to discuss his behavior issues, and things we can do to help him through the school year.  His Kindergarten teacher even stopped in and gave some input on what she found works for her.  The result? I have not received one phone call from the school ALL YEAR! He still has his good days and bad days at school, but now he is getting in trouble for things like talking, instead of running out of the classroom or school. And no meltdowns at school that result in destroying the principal’s office.  We do still get meltdowns at home, but they are less and usually less severe.

C is slowly becoming a teenager…wants to be left alone, voice deepening, chatting with girl classmates on his computer.  I’m not ready for the teenage years yet!  C’s year has been pretty uneventful.  Getting good grades, stallion band and just starting baseball. He had his first baseball practice last night and looked pretty good! I’m not ready for the hectic schedule that baseball brings, but I’m excited to watch him improve all summer long. I’m struggling on what I’m going to do with C over the summer.  He is too old for the summer daycares, but too young to stay home alone all summer.  I better decide soon though, only a little over a month of school left!

As for me? I’m still struggling with my weight and weight loss.  I’m slowing going back down after gaining almost all weight I lost a few years ago.  Finally down over 10 pounds since joining Weight Watchers in January. I’ve also joined a gym and go 5 days a week. You may have heard of it – Orange Theory Fitness.  I LOVE it and have made huge improvements in my strength.  Even down a pant size since the gym opened in March.

WDWRUNDISNEY_WDWMARAHALFMEDALBACKDROP1_20170226_7961626009I also ran a half marathon through Disney World in February.  Well ran is a strong word…I completed a half marathon in just under 3.5 hours.  The last 3 miles were rough, but I finished.  Check that off my bucket list – never need to run a half again.  Hubby and I got to take a nice Florida vacation alone for the run, so that was a wonderful added bonus.  It was so nice to get away, just the two of us!  I’m ready for another one!

So, that in a nutshell is our family’s update since last July. Maybe I’ll post more now….just maybe…

Planning at its best!

Meal planning is a necessary evil in my house. I dread it every week. Last week I discovered two amazing tools to help me make this task so much easier.

img_6695First I purchased 100 Days of Real Food‘s 6 week real food lunch plans. This guide is amazing! Five lunches for 6 weeks that I can pack for my boys (I have to pack a lunch every day for summer daycare). The guide makes your shopping list and gives you a step by step guide on what to prep and when. The bonus? One of my goals this year is to go 100% whole foods by the end of the year. Most of the time at least.  I’ve explained to my boys that their lunches are going to be different, but I promise there will always be food they like in their lunches. But I want them to try everything. They were pretty excited about this weeks’ menu! Here is Monday’s lunch. B ate it all gone!  C was with me all day for our annual mommy & son birthday celebration day, so he didn’t get this lunch. We are almost through the first week and the boys have done pretty well.  They have tried foods they know they didn’t like, and that’s all I ask at this point.  And the daycare teachers confessed that they love my kids lunches and always check out what the boys bring.  Proud mama moment here!

When I downloaded the meal plans I got a free trail to the website Plan to Eat*. Guys, this is the Cadilac of meal planning! I can have my recipes, shopping list, and meal plan all in one happy place.  And I can drag and drop recipes onto my meal plan, and it will automatically add all the ingredients to my shopping list.  Shop at different stores? No problem, you can make a list for each of them.  Need to add more? Simple click of a button.  Favorite recipe on a website pinned on your Pinterest board? There’s a button for that! You can print the meal plan, or add it to a digital calendar. Click here to see my meal plan this week. I’m on a free trial right now, but I can guarantee I will pay for the service when the trial is over!  The only drawback is, there isn’t a mobile app, but there is a mobile friendly website, which makes it easy to take the list to the store and cross items off as you put them in your cart.

I’m already planning next week’s menu, a chore I usually leave for Saturday morning!

This review of the Real Food Lunch Plans and Plan to Eat were written by me. I was not asked to write these reviews by 100 Days of Real food or Plan to Eat.  I have not been compensated for this review.  

*Affiliate link

Weekly Menu – July 17

Ah – the dreaded meal planning again! Why dreaded? It is all self-imposed. I’m not a person that likes to eat the same thing week after week, so I’m always looking for new menu items to add to the list. I also have some semi-picky children that add to the fun. To top it off – I don’t really enjoy cooking, so it has to be tasty and easy.

So, what’s on the menu for this week – nothing new that’s for sure…

  • Sunday – End of baseball grill out with the team. Hotdogs, chips, etc. I will eat a salad before we go
  • Monday – Chicken stir fry. Not the boys favorite, but we keep feeding it to them. They get some veggies and protein, so it works
  • Tuesday – Taco Tuesday of course
  • Wednesday – Spaghetti & Turkey Meatballs – I will use zucchini noodles
  • Thursday – Mac & Cheese for the boys, Cauliflower fried rice for me
  • Friday – Cheeseburger Roll-ups 

13731440_1130227513665346_184123870511245375_nLast week I made the most amazing salad that I will make over and over again until I get tired of it. It is better than most restaurant salads, I swear! It is called BLT Chopped Salad and OMG it is amazing.  So full of flavor and it kept me full for hours!  And so satisfying, I wasn’t even craving anything sweet after I was done, which is the norm for me!

Fat Loss Fast Track-Week 1 Update

One week down in my Fat Loss Fast Track (FLFT) program and I’m doing great! Our only official goal for the week was to track everything we ate and how we felt throughout the day.  I journaled every day and really ate pretty healthy, even though that wasn’t part of the goal.  Something about having to write down that I ate 20 cheese & cracker sandwiches, stops me from eating it – usually.

My 30 day goal is to find some other activity other than snacking after dinner. I have found that sitting idle in front of the TV or Computer = high risk unnecessary sacking at night.  Added bonus to this – a sense of accomplishment when I complete some small task I would have ignored in the past.  Fold a load of laundry, clear the dishwasher, take a walk…etc.  Since this isn’t the main focus of our week this week, right now I’m just working on awareness.  Asking myself before I eat something – Am I hungry? It is worth it? My answer to both of these are almost always no. Sometimes that was enough to stop me, sometimes not.  If I ate it, I wrote it down.

I know every week won’t be this easy. At some point, I’m going to get tired of what I’m eating and I’m going to want to fall back into old habits.  This is where the skills I’m learning now with FLFT are going to become super important. Not to mention the amazing support our group has with the other members and our leader, Elizabeth Benton at Primal Potential.

I joined a Diet Bet challenge with a few co-workers the same day FLFT started – so week 1 down on that too.  Guess what?!?!  I’ve already hit my goal weight! I’ve lost 6.8 pounds in one week! I was eating terribly for about 2 weeks before this started, so a lot of the weight is probably water weight, but I still feel amazing with this progress! Now just to maintain, which I know I can because I have the amazing FLFT program to help me through it!


Fat Loss Fast Track


13615380_1127860453902052_8247594300613495127_nThis week I started a new 90 day program called Fat Loss Fast Track, which is led by Elizabeth Benton at Primal Potential.  If you haven’t heard of this lady, you need to check her out NOW! She has tons of free info on her website to help you on your weight loss journey.

You notice I didn’t call it a diet program? Because it isn’t.  It is a program to help you work towards a life style change.  Something I have known I have needed for years. No special or restrictive diet to help you lose a bunch of weight – and then once you hit your goal – you fall right back into old habits, devouring everything you have denied yourself the entire time you were on the diet.  Yes, this program does talk about nutrition and the best foods to eat to get the best fat burning results. But the magic food, amounts, combinations, etc. are different for every person.  This program teaches you how to track not only what you eat, but how it makes you feel, your energy level, your mood, your cravings…it teaches you to pay attention to what your body is telling you.

This program also focus on adjusting your mind-set.  Instead of I can’t eat cupcakes they aren’t on my diet – you say I choose not to eat that cupcake because it will not get me closer to my goals.

I’m only into week 1 of this program.  Our focus this week is to just focus on the journal I mentioned above.  Journal everything you eat, how it makes you feel and any extreme changes in mood/hunger/cravings/energy.  That’s it! We were also asked to create a 30 day goal. I wanted my goal to be no eating after dinner – a big, bad habit of mine. But Elizabeth suggested a more positive spin on the goal (See the I choose to, instead of I can’t above). So my 30 day goal is – After dinner I will fill my time with an activity other than unnecessary snacking. Other activities might include – post on our program’s Facebook page, take a walk, crochet, read a book, do a puzzle, exercise, get a glass of water, ask myself if I’m hungry, ask myself if this snack will get me closer to my goal, clean something, write a blog post….

I’ve done better this week with eating after dinner, but I have not perfect. And that’s OK.  We are working toward progress here…not prefection!

I will continue to post on my progress with the program, so check back often!

No more dishes for me!

While I was in California I decided to log in and check my bank account one night.  And I noticed an iTunes charge. Huh don’t remember doing that, but OK.  Then another one, and another, and another… $92 worth of iTunes charges to my credit card!  I sent a text to hubby to do some investigating. Turns out C decided to make a bunch of in-app purchases for gold and buy 4 new games.  C says he doesn’t remember what he was thinking, if he knew it costs money….nothing.  I’m in trouble amnesia or something I guess.

So, we have decided that C needs to work to pay back all the money he charged.  At minimum wage, he has to work for 12 hours to make $92.  How do we enforce this?  No internet on any of his devices until he does his chores.  I haven’t had to do the dishes for a week!  And once he completes a chore, he gets internet on one device only.  What it on another one? Better go vacuum the living room!  What, you want to play Xbox? I see socks that need to be folded.

I’m loving the help, and let’s face it. He is almost 11 years old – he needs some chores!  I think we will stick to this plan even after he has earned his $92 back.

On a side note, when I mentioned what C did to an attorney I work with, he told me his son did the same thing when he was about C’s age….except he charged about $7000!! Made me feel much better!

Weekly Menu

Every weekend we attempt to make a weekly menu before we go grocery shopping. This started years ago when we didn’t have much money and needed to buy only what we needed instead of wandering down the isles and picking up whatever looks good that day.  We don’t always follow the plan exactly, but we try.  I don’t like to eat the same thing over and over again, so I’m always hunting Pinterest for meal ideas.  My ultimate goal is to get my family over to almost completely whole food by the end of the year.  This would probably be easier if I did some or all of my meal prep on the weekend…but I hate cooking, so spending hours doing this on a Saturday or Sunday sounds like pure torture to me.

This summer I have the added challenge of packing lunches every day for both boys and planning around baseball games and/or practices almost every night!  So this week’s plan is:

  • Monday – C baseball game at 5:30 – Homemade Lunchables. C will eat in the car on the way to the game; B will eat during the game
  • Tuesday – B baseball practice at 6:15 – Tacos.  Taco Tuesday is non-negotiable in our house thanks to The Lego Movie.  If I pre-cook the meat this should be doable
  • Wednesday – C baseball practice at 5:00 – BLTs when we get home.  Again, should pre-cook the bacon to make it super easy Wednesday night
  • Thursday – B baseball practice at 5:30; C baseball practice at 7; me meeting at 6 – Mac & Cheese and Hotdogs.  B will eat after practice, C will eat before
  • Friday – Spaghetti and meatballs

The boys’ summer program is nut free – so no PB&J for lunches.  This is what C lived on last year so this has been an adjustment.  This week I am planning:

  • Pizza rolls
  • Meat & Cheese skewers
  • Ham & Cheese sandwiches

They always get a fruit and veggie in their lunch too.

Do you meal plan and/or food prep on the weekends?

Life in LA

My trip to LA was amazing! I had two wonderful hosts that cooked for me, took me to great places to eat, drove me to see amazing sites and drove me to the office every day and the airport – twice

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Working in the LA office was seemed so much more enjoyable than working in my normal location.  The people were wonderful and the view was spectacular.  Heck, I don’t even have a window at my normal office!

Mickey Mouse Tote

I was lucky to be able to stay with a co-worker (G) and her hubby (C) instead of staying in a hotel.  They were great hosts – and a bonus – C is a chef.  G has no idea how lucky she is to come home to the smell of dinner cooking every night!  And since I don’t drive in the big cities – they carted my happy ass everywhere!  Work, dinner, and even the beach for a run.  I really can’t express how much I appreciate them taking me in.  I did make this cute Mickey Mouse bag as a small token of my appreciation.  (Pattern can be found here). One night when G was busy doing homework, another co-worker (L) took us to Chinatown, where we got to see all of the fun little shops and ate at one of the highly recommended restaurants there.


I loved LA, but as much as I hate to admit it, I was missing Iowa. By Sunday, I was ready to go home. But the universe had other plans for me.  My flight out of LAX was delayed so much, that I wouldn’t have been able to make my connecting flight, so after spending half the day in the airport G & C picked me up again and took me home for another night.  Then before the crack of dawn Monday morning C got up and took me back to the airport for a 6AM flight!  Bonus to the situation? I wasn’t getting home at almost midnight and I got to see the sunrise from the plane.


Flying is not my most favorite thing to do, but it truly is amazing that we can fling this giant metal thing in the air and fly at super speed above the clouds. I love looking out the window…I’m equally amazed and a bit freaked out all at the same time.

When I finally got home, everyone was so excited to see me – kids, dogs and hubby…. and the crazy picked right back up where I had left it. Got home, showered, picked up and kids and headed out to a baseball game.  It’s been a little difficult getting back into the normal swing of things, but I’m getting there.

I think they missed me

Weekly Menu

This week has the special challenge of me planning a menu that I’m not going to be here to prepare.  I will be traveling for work to LA Tuesday – Sunday (yay!!) so running it household is being left to my mom and my husband.

Monday – C Baseball game at 5:30 – Home made lunchables.  C will eat on the way to the game.  B and I will have a picnic at the game.  My dad will be joining us and will be eating a Lunchable too 🙂

Tuesday – B baseball practice 5:30 – C batting practice at 7.  Tacos between practices.  Leftover taco meat from last week, makes this a quick and easy meal.  And again – Taco Tuesday and all….

Wednesday – C baseball practice 7 – Mac & Cheese & Hotdogs

Thursday – B baseball practice at 5:30 – Grilled cheese & green beans after practice

Friday – NO ACTIVITIES!! – Spaghetti and meatballs and lettuce salad

Saturday and Sunday – Hubby is on his own.  I’m sure he’ll come up with something. He is more of the cook of the family than I am!

I’ll be interested to see how the week goes with my hubby having to do drop off and pickup for 3 whole days.  In almost 11 years of having children, he has never done both in one day.  I’m a little nervous he is going to forget them.