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Adventures in grocery shopping....

Monday, June 11, 2012

First of all the most important is my daughter's birthday, a whopping 8 years old. This is my second, the middle of 3. She was my rough start baby. First she needed just a little help getting going, then her blood sugar kept crashing over and over. Finally she stabilized and now she is our wild one :). She is sweet, kind and loving unless you make her mad then watch out cause this kitten has claws! She's the one who brought home a citation from school for kicking a boy who threatened her, she didn't just kick, she kicked where it counts. When my husband and I stopped laughing (quietly, to ourselves) we had a long talk about getting an adult and telling them what happened and that it is not appropriate to kick a child at school. Later we were discussing it again and said "at least she knows how to defend herself", somehow she overheard that (she was supposed to be asleep in bed) and is still proud of the fact that she knows how to defend herself. We love our little bug and hope she has a terrific birthday (with her fave foods and a homemade cake).

Today was our long awaited grocery shopping day...we'd been "making do" for about a week. Eating from carefully planned, inexpensive meals without much in the way of extras as we waited for funds for shopping, but we made it, nobody was even close to starving although the kids thought they might-lol.

All weekend I sat and planned meals. Putting in many of the family's favorites along with a few new things. Then I sat down and planned uber-healthy side dishes for each regular meal so that my family can start being introduced to new things and maybe like them! Armed with my extensive shopping list the whole family headed out.

First stop, Sprouts, our only health food type store. Lots and lots of produce on the list. Lots of lettuce for salads, some peppers, some zucchini and radishes, and green onions and yellow and sweet onions (I really like onions and things with onions in it-lol), carrots (huge bag), celery, tomatillos and a jalapeno. Blueberries!! Those weren't even on my list, but my husband saw them for .88 a carton so we grabbed two! Don't know what we'll make, but it'll be yummy :). Let the kids pick a treat from the bulk bins and spent a total of $26.12 on lots of healthy veggies.

On to the regular market....spent a lot, I mean A LOT more there. I HAVE to find some cheap meals besides spaghetti! First, girlie REALLY wanted Mc D's for her birthday, we said no, first, really trying to avoid places like that and second, couldn't afford it no Mc D's but we told her she could have everything LIKE Mc D's, just made at home. Hamburgers, Chicken Nuggets and French Fries. Hamburger is REALLY expensive. We found a list that Win-Co (where we shop) does not put slime in their store meat. Still, just for tonight's burgers I couldn't find a good pack that was even close to the price we needed, but we did find a pack of six preformed patties made from ground chuck (not "hamburger") and was a reasonable price for exactly what we needs (just six patties, not 4 pounds (too much) or 1 pound (not enough). I make really yummy chicken strips very much like you can get eatting out, but she didn't want those, so I conceded to a pack of pre-made chicken nuggets that are fresh, no preservatives and as unoffensive as such a product can be and still be somewhat affordable. French fries are the frozen variety, but going in the oven, not a fryer. So, her desired meal is not perfect, but as good as I can get and still meet her birthday requirements.

We spent plenty in other areas....and I didn't even buy much meat. Spent a bit on a pack of two Pork roast which will become two seperate meals, but were a really good price. Some chicken, and then all the things we need for snacks and lunches for a week with 3 kids home all day. I'm not used to that grocery bill. But, I did do really well, I think. We had to stock up on a lot of basics from the baking isle so that adds up fast. My kids are firmly planted in the white bread world, so I bought a loaf of bread just one step up from there. Still white bread, but with some grains attached to the outside crust. This is the first step in trying to convince the kids that real bread is still yummy. Peanut butter, I've been buying a brand called Simply Jif or Jim Simple, something like that. It is a step between all natural and regular pb. Another step in the right direction without shocking my kids. I tried jumping into all-natural pb and they kind of balked at it, we'll get there.

Cheese, okay, here is my cheese story. I like sharp cheddar because it simply has a better flavor. Side by side in the case are Tillamook and Store brand. I pick up both and hold them side by side. I'm looking at the 2 pound block and Tillamook is $8 something, Store brand $5 something. Roughly $3 difference. I really wanted to buy the store brand and save those $3. Here's the thing though, I hadn't researched the store brand. Tillamook says right on the package every ingredient, including that the milk comes from non-hormone cows and that the rennet is not animal based and that they use Annato which, while still a dye, is all natural, not a chemical dye. The store brand did not list a single ingredient. NOT ONE. How is this possible. I guess "cheese is cheese" and they don't have to list the ingredients. I don't know how they don't have to list the ingredients. They did list the nutritional info, big whup. So, I'm standing there with two blocks of cheese in my hand and trying to decide. I've kind of always had this "cheese is cheese" kind of mentality. But, what if, the store brand used hormone milk? I have two young girls and while "studies" show no difference, there is evidence that hormone laden milk does have a negative impact on young girls. What if instead of a natural dye they used a chemical one? What if animal rennet makes a difference? Now, becoming a full vegetarian is not at the top of my priority list, but again, there is more and more evidence that an animal based diet is not the best way to go. If I can cut one animal based product out of our diet and it is an easy switch I've been tending to go with it. I'm not seeking out cheeses made with one or the other, but there were my two choices, with or without? Which one do you think went in my cart? I'm such a sucker for a brand name and an ingredients list.

We spent a bit TOO much and might be eating spaghetti twice a week for the rest of the month, but my choices were deliberate and more informed than ever before. Now, to just make everything and keep on track and see what happens. Hope my family likes at least SOME of the good stuff :).

OH!!! The real coup and it may not seem huge and really I haven't read the label so I'm not certain what we've actually got here, but this is what hubs did....The kids wanted a juice box type drink...they were asking for Mondos which are kool-aid in a plastic bottle with a twist off top. I told him he could decide on that and went to the bread isle. When we started loading the stuff on the belt was the first time I saw his choice...Minute Maid flavored water drinks. Okay, good pick over the Mondos....I'm impressed :). They might not be perfect, but they are much better than what the kids were asking for. It's wearing off :).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANEL_BABE 6/19/2012 2:14PM

  Sounds like your excellent example in making good food choices is paying off with your kids.

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NEW-CAZ 6/16/2012 1:22PM

    Sounds like you're headed in the right direction Heather!
Patience is a virtue emoticon

Have a good weekend emoticon

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SLEEPYDEAN 6/12/2012 12:38PM

    I think that would be so hard to be a parent and not laugh when your kids do something funny but not "appropriate". I guess my little nephew grabbed his uh umm boy part and stretched it and said look its blue in front of other boys in the bathroom at school and of course my step-brother had to try and keep a straight face while the teacher explained. My SIL couldn't handle it and had to walk away.

Great steps you are taking to keep meals healthy and affordable. Sounds like all your research and planning pay off.

I really am trying to become more aware of the chemicals in my food, cosmetics and household products.

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 6/12/2012 11:43AM

    Sounds like you are moving in the right direction. You will get there. Be patient with your family and they will get there too.

My son works in the bakery at Walmart. The other day I made homemade rolls to go with our dinner. He came home from work to the fresh bread. He picked up 2 rolls and held them by his nose breathed in deep and said "Ahhh real food." We are making more of an impression than we think.

We had a mom come to Relief Society and talk about eating balanced and cheap meals she said it is with the sauce. She makes homemade white sauce and flavors it with different spices to give it a different feel. I must confess I use cream of mushroom soup or some other cream of soups. Sparkmail me if you want some of my ideas.

You are doing great. I hope things get better for your family soon.

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WISLNDR 6/12/2012 8:57AM

    It's so much work to be make healthy choices and economize at the same time and you did a great job! (And that your able to influence other family members into making good choices!) I love produce bargains and I love the fact that we're heading into fresh produce season!

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BUTEAFULL 6/11/2012 11:37PM

    good for you, I would have picked the cheaper cheese just for budgets sake but you had some real eye opening facts about hormone milk and such

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SARI_GIRL 6/11/2012 5:30PM

    I don't have anything to say other than I found your blog entertaining- thanks for not being boring, lol emoticon

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SKYRUNHER 6/11/2012 4:57PM

    wow.. that's really impressive. I started to do my grocery shopping in that manner. You are doing an awesome job.. and little changes will bring your children in line to healthy eating. For healthy, inexpensive meals, look into using beans. You would be surprised on what you can do. Ground beef is expensive but you can make it last longer by adding red lentils to it. Little changes like that will help a long way!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 6/11/2012 4:55PM

    Sounds like you are armed with the best weapon - KNOWLEDGE! Good job on making better choices!!! :-)

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ENDUROVET 6/11/2012 4:52PM

    That's why I don't take my kid grocery shopping ;-)

(just kidding; actually yes I do, as often as possible & I think he's getting even better at reading labels than me!)

Good job, but [heavy sigh] I don't think there's any such thing as a "cheap meal" anymore - you're either gonna pay for higher-quality foodstuffs, or you're gonna "pay" in terms of your health & well-being...

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 6/11/2012 4:51PM

    Awesome! We are noticing how much more we are spending on groceries now too with the girls home during the day. Yikes! Good thing we all like spaghetti! I try to read labels, but I get slack sometimes. Lately, I've just really been pushing fresh fruit and vegetables for snacks. It works sometimes, so I call that a win!

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A shift in thinking....

Friday, June 08, 2012

First, sorry, I haven't been around much this week. It is the first week of all the kids being off school for the summer and we've been playing lazy emoticon. Several kids stayed in jammies all day off and on throughout the week. The house has been pretty thoroughly trashed. Yesterday was our first effort to actually get things done and last night through tomorrow morning the kiddies have all gone off to Camp Grandma's House emoticon. That gives me some good alone time and some time to get things back in order for the long, hot summer.

When I say we've been playing lazy I did exaggerate a little. We haven't done any "chores" and the kiddies have pretty much had free reign in t.v. and computer usage. I'm calling it "vacation". Chances are we aren't going anywhere this year so this is our major break from reality, Monday things go back to "normal" except no school. I, however, have not been completely slothful!! Check out my fitness tracker and you'll see... Monday=JM 30-day Shred and additional Strength Training. Tuesday=went for a run/walk and JM 30 DS. Wednesday=30 DS and ST. Thursday=run and 30 DS. Today, nothing yet, but will be doing ST and probably 30 DS.

I thought that Jillian was insane when she said do the program every day...but it's doable. I added additional ST because I just wasn't feeling lasting effects and I've been increasing the amount of weight I use on almost everything, even just for one set, because I'm not getting SORE. Just to be clear, I'm not seeking to be so sore that I can't move, but I know what worked muscles feel like and I can add a little weight here and there so that I can just barely squeeze out the last two repetitions of any given exercise. I see it as a good thing that when I am done I am worked, sweaty and tired, but when I wake up in the morning I feel ready to go again. I am not going above 5 pounds on 30 DS since I do it every day (except Sunday and occasionally I do listen to my body and decide that I am actually tired and deserve 1 additional rest day, but those are farther apart then they used to be). Thursday's "run" was the first one in a long time that was more run than walk. Instead of being too much this regimen of exercise has given me more energy. My shift in thinking is that many of my previous "I'm too tired" days, were really just "I'm too lazy and/or I'm not really ready to commit to a firm schedule" days. Now, even when I'm feeling a little too tired I make myself do it and I CAN.

I've been bit by the Pinterest bug and have been spending some time (not too much) browsing blogs and pinning away. My "Food, Glorious Food" board has WAAAAY too many pins to keep it straight any more and I'm in the process of dividing it up into multiple boards. "Drink Me", "Very Veggie", "Breaking Bread", "Mighty Main Dishes (or something like that) and "Special Treats". Oh, and "Feeling Dippy"-lol (I kind of like that title). Very Veggie has a lot of pins in it and I am always pleased to find another healthy side dish I can add to Very Veggie. This morning my husband made oatmeal for breakfast. Instead of the Steel Cut I make for myself he made the Quick Oats that everyone eats when we have oatmeal. What I discovered is that I PREFER the Steel Cut Oats. They simply taste better and I can add less (much less) sugar. Has anyone noticed that quick oats can be slightly bitter? I haven't noticed that in steel cut (maybe it's me though). Today I was browsing through some recipes and my family loves Chicken Pot Pie and I am always looking for a better recipe than the one I have. This one post had "Easy Chicken Pot Pie"...okay I recipe is kind of complicated and a bit time consuming maybe an "easy" recipe will be better. I started looking at the ingredients....Pillsbury refrigerated crusts was first. Okay, no problem I would probably still make my own. Now that I have a food processor that will do the "cutting in" of the butter making a crust is no problem. I've used my share of Pillsbury crusts and probably will again in the future. I usually use them when I'm making pies for special occasions just so that there is consistency in the crust (I'm by no means a crust pro and my crusts can be inconsistent). So, while spending extra for a pre-made crust isn't for me, that was an easy to look past item. Down the list a couple of items though was the deal breaker....2 cans Campbell's Condensed Cream of Chicken soup. I stopped reading the recipe there and moved on. After clicking away I realized that in the past this would not have been a deal breaker. In fact I have several cans of Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom in my cupboard. But, I don't know what I'll ever do with them. I should just take them to a food bank and donate them. There is only one recipe we still make that uses Campbell's anything...Souper Burgers using condensed tomato soup. Those condensed soups are horrible. BPA lined cans, sodium through the roof and more chemicals than I can count. When did my bias against Campbell's happen? I grew up eating Campbell's. I've made numerous casseroles coated in cream of chicken. The cans in my cupboard have been there over a year untouched. Souper burgers are just a version of sloppy joe, bet I can find a good recipe for that too. Shift in thinking...REAL food simply tastes better than chemical food or overly processed foods. Steel cut TASTES better than Quick Cooking. No matter how easy it is Chicken Pot Pie should be made with REAL Chicken simmered in a pan with real herbs to create a sauce based in reality rather than chicken bits that are dehydrated and mixed with MSG and a bunch of other chemicals. While I am FAR from perfect and don't even consider myself a "clean" or even a "whole foods" eater, I'm shifting my thinking.

Today, on FB a friend in a group who all do 30 DS posted that she hasn't been on a scale since starting the program 6 weeks ago and was disappointed to see a GAIN in weight even after all her work. Now, I'm not privy to her eating habits, but she also posted her husband's response. He told her she was definitely more toned now than 6 weeks ago and reminded her that she had mentioned that her clothes were fitting better. I posted that I would bet that had she weighed in between she would have seen a drop that would have gone up again due to the muscle she is building. This is the rest of what I posted "One thing I have to tell myself OVER AND OVER is that what you can accomplish with your body is more important than how much it weighs. Six weeks ago how much of Level 1 could you do without feeling like you were dying? How much of Level 1 can you do now? Do you have more energy to spend on the things that are most important? Before you stepped on the scale did you feel better about yourself? Those are the important things. Weight is only a portion of the puzzle and one that will fall into place the more you keep with this. All that muscle you added is working hard every minute of the day to replace any fat you might have. Keep it up and you'll keep seeing the most important changes in how you feel and how your clothes fit." And I believe every word. I've had more than my share of ups and downs and disappointments and failures. Somewhere in all of that there was a shift in thinking. "What you can do with your body is more important than what it weighs." Now, a bit of a clarification, there is kind of a big Catch-22 here for lots of us. Being too heavy can certainly impede what you can do and that sucks because really, being fit is not all about size, but some equipment and rides and airplanes and such are all built for a certain sized person, so there are limitations here. But, I truly believe that what you can do is more important than what you weigh. Now, the goal is to get the weight to a point where it doesn't interfere with those abilities. That's the catch, I do HAVE to lose some of this weight in order to do some of the things I want to do. For me the statement isn't entirely, 100% true, but true enough to keep me on track. I've done my share of "I can't ever...". In order to get to the point where I will work out no matter what I had to experience the shift in thinking that resulted in "what you can do with your body is more important than what it weighs." The part that goes on the end is the key to the whole thing...."Keep it up and you'll keep seeing the most important changes in how you feel and how your clothes fit." Those changes, the energy level, the clothes fitting, how I feel about myself, are the most important changes. I still want the scale to move, but I have come to accept that the scale moving is a side-effect of everything else and not the catalyst. The catalyst for change is ME, not the scale, it doesn't have that much power.

My thinking is shifting and I'm hopeful that it is the kind of shift that results in lasting and positive changes that will last a life time.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 6/11/2012 11:33AM

    Definitely a great way to shift your thinking! You have been on a wicked crazy workout streak! Good job!!!!

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    Added you on Pintrest

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NEW-CAZ 6/9/2012 2:54AM

    Great blog and I love your attitude towards food and how it can alter how you feel and how your body reacts. It really is a no-brainer isn't it
Have a good weekend emoticon

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 6/9/2012 1:39AM

    Great Job in changing your thinking the new attitude will take you a long way.

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 6/8/2012 4:52PM

    Awesome blog! Man, I need a week where getting out of my jammies was optional! Really should have been a teacher! Oh, wait, I can't teach. Strike that! Oh well. Anyway, great blog. couldn't agree more than the scale is a dside effect of everything else and not a catalyst! You're tho thmart! :) Have a great weekend!

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    Sometimes it's nice to get a break from the kids!

I totally agree with your shift in thinking. Things like energy level, general mood, how we look in our clothes, how we feel about our bodies--all of that improves when we're practicing healthy habits. I like that I can now run up two flights of stairs without needing oxygen, or haul groceries upstairs into my home without feeling like I might keel over. I like that I can hike for two hours and that even though I still have weight to lose, that I'm looking more toned.

It's all good!! Best wishes.

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I made it through the week and looking forward to the weekend.

Friday, June 01, 2012

I was a busy, crazy, hectic week, but I made it through!! Yay me :)!! School is now out for the summe and I'll have my hands full with 3 kids 9, 8, and 5 all day long, but it's a good thing :). I'm busy making big plans for the summer and we'll see how much of it we do. Morning picnics at the park (because evening picnics are just too dang hot), continued studies for the kids (they won't like that, but one just barely made it through the 2nd grade and staying up on her studies over the summer will go a long ways), swimming in the pool and crafts and games. Hoping it'll be a great summer.

I did finish the aprons for the teachers, they turned out great and the teachers all loved their gift. The pics aren't awesome, but here they are...I took them at 12:30 last night after finishing ironing them (which I burned my hand doing). Still on the ironing board...this was the last one are all four neatly folded and ready for gift bags. . The pink in the upper left corner didn't show up very is the same light pink as one of the blue calicos and the trim is pink and white gingham.

So, it was SO NICE to get those done and delivered. Since my cutting board and table were already set up I made progress on my next race shirt quilt!! I thought I was still a long ways from being able to get it done, but I've been cutting shirts like crazy and I'm only a few shirts from having a 20 square quilt (4 squares by 5 squares). I'm putting strips of cloth between each square so the finished size will be pretty big-about 60" by 74". Plenty of room to snuggle under (maybe even enough room for two) and plenty big for a picnic in the park if we want. I originally thought that I would need to use the backs of the shirts to utilize some of the space, but I guess I have more shirts than I thought-lol! There are three shirts left to cut (in the wash pile or hiding in a drawer..if they aren't in the two loads in progress I'll have to empty the drawers to find them-oops) and four that I won't be cutting, but I have a plan for that too. For the four I won't cut I'm going to use the computer transfer paper that is available almost everywhere and scan either the design on the shirt, pull the design from on-line if available or scan the bib from that race and transfer the design to fabric to create the square for the shirts I won't cut. I refuse to cut them because they are all tech fabric and a) I love them for running and working out and b) I've never worked with tech fabric and I'm a little worried what will happen to it when I start cutting (I'm sure it would work fine, but why ruin a perfectly wonderful shirt to find out). All of that together, the ones I already cut, the three I have still to cut and the four I'll be representing with the transfer gives me 18 shirts. Tomorrow I get shirt 19, that leaves only one more shirt to obtain and that will happen in November if not sooner. I'm really enjoying working on this project and can't wait to see the finished quilt...I'll post a pic when it is done :).

So, obviously I have a race tomorrow. It's Idyllwild, this will be the third year doing this one and I'm not going to PR or anything, I just want to use it as a training run and have a good day :). The race in November is one I'm REALLY looking forward to. It's called The Color Run. Has anyone heard of these? It looks like such a BLAST.
Basically, every Kilometer you are pelted with colored powder (page says basically colored corn starch, completely non-toxic, you could eat it, but it is not yummy). By the end of the race you are a colorful mess :). Can't wait for that one :)

In between tomorrow and November are a couple of races I hope I get to do. We'll see.

Oh, quickly, back to tomorrow's race. SO....couldn't really afford it, my mom is covering the cost and we aren't even camping like we usually do, just headed up the mountain tomorrow, just for the race. Anyways, we've been discussing this one around the house for a few weeks and my daughter, K, the darn near 8 year old (10 days away), kept asking if she was going to be able to run it. I kept telling her that the answer was "probably not". So, today, my mom was over for piano lessons (she is teaching my two oldest) and we were discussing plans for tomorrow and finally came to the conclusion that mom would pay for the two girls and we would car pool up so everyone could attend and the girls could run. The youngest said she wanted to run if her sister was. I am SO proud of my little runner, basically demanding that she get to run this one. She and her sister ran this one last year as their first race. Now it will be their 5th!! Wow!! So impressed with my little runners.

Okay, that's enough babbling for now...time for dinner. :) Have a great weekend everyone :)!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARINGR8LY 6/5/2012 1:46AM

    I sooooooooooooo love the aprons. They are beautiful. You did an awesome job.

I haven't read anything about the race from you yet but I'm sure you did great.

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DMBEECHAM 6/4/2012 6:00PM

    My 9-year old daughter and I are signed up to do the Color Run in Philly on 6/17/12. We already have our white t-shirts and shorts.

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 6/4/2012 12:02PM

    I love the idea of your quilt! I wish I were crafty and could make my own! I have a lot of races to run before I'd have enough, but what great thing to do. Hmmmm maybe that would be a great Christmas present to myself someday :)

I love that you've inspired your kids to run! How awesome is that? Paying it forward big time!!! Mom of the year award right there!

Have fun and I think the color runs look like a blast!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 6/4/2012 11:45AM

    You did a great job getting those aprons done and having a good plan for summer!!! Woohoo!!! Keep it up!

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    What an amazing present. You are amazing.

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NEW-CAZ 6/2/2012 3:28AM

    Heather I love the aprons, you are so talented! Sounds like you're going to be busy with your new project.

Have fun with your race and it's nice to see your kids following suit- you're a shining example to them Heather, a great mum.

I seem to remember the last time you camped you had trouble with the bed; falling out or not being able to get back into the sleeping bag.....if memory serves me. I know I was ROFLMRO at your blog that day.

I love your newsy blogs emoticon

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 6/1/2012 9:57PM

    That is awesome that your kids want to run too. Hope the day is great.

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Thank you and sooooooooooo busy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Okay sparkers, here's the scoop.

I am SO thankful for everyone's comments on my last blog, your support and comments mean SO much to me. I felt like an evil hag for "unfriending" someone who was never a good friend to start with and through her actions showed that she had no interest in actually being a "friend". So....onward...that was DAYS ago.

Saturday was kind of a rough day, but after an okay run and blasting out some 30-day shred I felt a bit better. Sunday was just a nice relaxing day.

Monday....Monday was great. Some of you have already read about the challenge I'm doing right sis 4everadonegirl has already mentioned it twice in her blogs, for those of you who haven't heard...I just started a challenge that will last all summer.

My sister, myself, my mother, one of my nephews and his wife, another niece-in-law, a friend of my sis' and Angela (AWEISE) all started a challenge. Several of us have been doing a biggest loser type challenge among us that was weight loss based and had a points system that could give a player a SLIGHT boost. I lost every time :(, kind of a bummer and one of those things that just doesn't help you move forward.

So, as the most recent challenge was ending my mom, sis, Angela and I took a nice hike and while we hiked we chatted about the next challenge we would do. We all agreed that doing a challenge based on points only might be a good idea. And so, the challenge was born. We discussed several ground rules during the hike and after several weeks of e-mailing ideas and thoughts back and forth we came up with a plan that has all of us beyond excited about this challenge. Here's the scoop...

There will be three "tests" throughout the course of the challenge, at the start, mid-point and end. The challenge will run from Memorial Day until Labor Day, we are calling July 4th mid-point. The test was pretty basic. We listed several items to choose from and each participant just had to choose one item from Cardio, Lower body, Upper body and Core. For example Cardio you could choose a timed mile to run, walk or ride a bike, run stairs up and down for 1 minute counting how many steps were covered, or do jumping jacks for 1 min.

Personally, I did the mile (17:34...really slow and shin splints slowed me down even more-ack), Upper body I did two choices, but only one counted towards the challenge. I did biceps curls with 5 pound weights (42 in 1 minute) and triceps extentions using 10 pounds (32 in 1 min.). Lower body I also did two choices, step-ups (38 in 1 min.) and squats (37 in 1 min.). For Core I did a plank for 62 seconds.

It was a FUN morning doing the testing. Most of us gathered at the college track to do the testing. Unfortunately, the track was LOCKED, that's never happened before. Luckily the parking lot was nice and empty and we were able to track out a mile and do all our testing despite the track being closed.

After testing the idea was to evalutate how you did and set goals for the end of the challenge. They had to be measurable and challenging.

The goals I came up with were to increase my biceps curls to 8 pounds and keep the number of curls the same. I figure I could go faster, but probably at the cost of form, increase my number of step-ups from 38 to 43 (an increase of 5), reduce my mile time to 16 minutes, and increase my plank time to 1 and a half minutes.

At the half way point if any of the goals are too easy I have the option of reevalutating and increasing the goals.

So, that is part one....the rest of the challenge consists of earning points. Points are earned as follows: Max 5 points per week for cardio (1 point per session 20 min and over). Max 3 points each week for strength. Max 7 points per week for water (one point per day at 64 ounces or more). If you earn 10 points doing any combo of the above you are eligible for extra credit. Up to 5 points per week for a variety of tasks. Some choices include going for a swim, play in the park, run a race or review a healthy recipe. Different activities carry different point values. You can mix and match for up to 5 points.

Person with the most points in the end wins. In the event of a tie there will be a fitness face-off. An activity will be drawn from a jar and whoever outlasts the other in that activity triumphs.

I love that this challenge is focused on us getting healthier as opposed to simply lighter. Healthy is the main goal anyways, right?

So, the challenge is keeping me jumping (literally-lol). This week is also the last week of school. I've been spending my days in the kids' classrooms helping with all the end of year activities. Kindergarten had "field day", which doesn't so much involve the field, but does involved all six Kinder classes rotating through different activities hosted by the different teachers. 2nd grade has their ice cream party tomorrow and Kinder has promotion. So it's been a crazy week.

On top of ALL that I've been regretting that I couldn't afford a good end of year gift for our teachers, then yesterday I was talking to a friend before school and she suggested I make aprons for them. MONTHS ago we were chatting and I mentioned that I had made the girls some aprons and was thinking about trying to make a little extra money making and selling aprons. That's a GOOD friend right there. She remembered something I said in passing.

AWESOME IDEA so I rushed home, pulled out the fabric and started sorting, washing, pinning and cutting. Several years ago, when my husband's grandmother died, I inherited her fabric stash, so I had several options and that was good, because these are the full aprons and use A LOT of fabric, my stash is MUCH smaller now. But, I am halfway through all the aprons. I only have 3 kids, but 1 of them has 2 teachers, so that means 4 aprons. I should be done by Friday though. If I quit typing and get back to work-lol.

So, I'm a busy, busy girl, but I'll be back doing some reading and another post on Friday after I'm done sewing. (If I post 3 times this week it is worth 5 extra credit points-lol.)

Hope everyone is having a great week and enjoying the last bit before summer starts in earnest. Be back soon :).

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DARINGR8LY 6/5/2012 1:42AM

    You have dropped off my notifications. Anyways glad to see you here. That Monday was great to do our fitness day. I think all of us will come away from this challenge healthier and hopefully fitter.

Thank you for your support and encouragement on my blogs too.

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RITEEBEE 5/31/2012 2:05PM

    That sounds awesome! It's always nice to have group support!! :) emoticon

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 5/31/2012 12:16PM

    Your group challenges sound so fun! How awesome it must be to have a great group to encourage each other. I love your idea for teacher's gifts. I couldn't afford nice gifts this year either, so I wrote them each a nice letter and had my children do the same and we put $5.00 Dairy Queen gift certificates. Not much, but the best I could do. I wish I had talent like you to make gifts! Those are always the best!!

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WISLNDR 5/31/2012 7:07AM

    I really like your group challenge and also your creative inspiration! It all sounds like FUN!!

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NEW-CAZ 5/31/2012 2:43AM

    Heather, sounds like a fun challenge! emoticon

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WENDYWITKOSKI 5/30/2012 8:39PM

    Your challenge sounds fun and motivating. YOU can win it!
I love the aprons for the teachers idea!

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VERGE_OF_ME 5/30/2012 8:29PM

    emoticon job, go for the WIN the challenge....and when you us your aprons! I'm feeling slightly ridiculous to confess that the thought of Mardi Gras beads came to mind after I typed that, LOL! emoticon

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4EVERADONEGIRL 5/30/2012 7:53PM

    You ARE a busy girl...but for all the right reasons! Way to go!!!!! :-)

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Bullies always find a way to justify their actions and it is NEVER okay.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Please tell me, is this funny?

Here's the story.

There is this person on Facebook who has been my friend. I don't really know her all that well or remember her, but we have quite a few friends in common (we all have those, right?). This was her post today. I saw and thought, you know, really, not that funny, but I chose to just go forward with my life and brush it off, much as I do for many posts that are supposed to be funny, but really aren't.

Well, another person commented that she didn't think it was funny. The posters daughter started chiming in with quite rude comments and it was kind of going back and forth, so I decided it was time to chime in and point out that this kind of post is bullying in disguise. It is intended to be funny, but somewhere an overweight young woman has just been wounded because the high school bully posted it to her page (with the express intent of doing harm).

There are all kinds of things out there like this. Things that are intended to be funny, but then someone uses it as a weapon and we can see that it isn't funny at all. Just like a super realistic toy gun is funny until a cop accidentally kills someone because he thought it was real and it was just kids playing. Weapons come in all kinds of packages some of them are blatant some of them are very covert and sly.

Still, I wasn't that offended until.....and I really wish I hadn't already unsubscribed and unfriended this person so I could directly post exactly what she said, but you'll have to take my word for it.

She responded with the idea that people just need to learn to laugh at themselves, that it is just a joke.

I responded with my very heartfelt and tearful/emotional reply...that having been called a whale to my face that NOBODY ever does that as a joke or to be funny. It it ALWAYS inteded to be an insult. I explained about being a happy person and how I've accomplished so many things that other people my size don't even try.

She came back again with it was only insulting because I CHOSE to take it that way and that if I learn to laugh at myself I'll be a happier person.

Guess what...I a happier person because she is no longer my friend. Oh, if you want to send her a FB message her name is **** ********( decided to remove the name) and she lives in SAN JACINTO, CALIFORNIA (did I just go too far...okay, don't send her any messages.)

I did go on to post on my FB page that Bullies always find a way to justify their actions.

Am I right here? Because, really, I do laugh at myself A LOT. Ask anyone who actually knows me. I am a very funny person. I say that somewhat faceciously, but really, it is one of those things we were talking about just the other day. A very dry sense of humor runs throughout the family and I would say things I didn't think were really that funny, but my co-workers were constantly laughing and we had a blast at work because we all shared a similar sense of humor. I would totally dead-pan a comment and every head would whip around and then everyone would crack up because of the statement and because it came from me...the most conservative member of the staff. In addition....I am a very clumsy person, I always have been, it's just one of those things, and yes, I spent enough moments simply mortified because I had once again done something rididculous in public. Well, eventually, I did learn to laugh at myself and being clumsy is really funny lots of the time, mostly because it never results in more than a bruise. I guess God determined that if clumsy was going to be a weakness, strong bones would have to be a strength.

However, being fat...I really have a hard time finding anything funny about it. We all know the problems, the cost (economic, emotional and physical), the stress, the feelings....We all know what we go through and we all know how we each got here. Everyone's story is different and every story is valid. Nobody (well, with the exception, recently, of some stupid trainers) sits down one day and decides they are going to get fat. For the majority of us there was a moment, for some of us several moments, when our lives changed and part of the result of that change was being overweight. Everyone here struggles with changing that part of their lives and everyone here knows that it is not an easy battle.

This particular topic is very sensitive right now....a very large part of why I wasn't here for so long was a personal battle with my own fight. I feel very much right now that I will NEVER be able to effect the changes I am looking for. It seems no matter what I do, what I try, how hard I work, it makes NO difference. Being hypothyridic makes it even harder. It's that demon I've been battling lately.

So, when someone posts something specifically insulting to fat people I do tend to take it personally and I can't laugh at it.

Am I wrong? Do I need to lighten up? Is this actually funny and I'm way off base?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RITEEBEE 5/31/2012 2:03PM

    I have to agree with you. After you telling her it bothered you she should have immediately apologized, not tried to jusify herself. Good job for blocking her! :)

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VERGE_OF_ME 5/30/2012 8:25PM

    NOT funny. Having been on the receiving end of such hateful and degrading comments at many instances throughout both child and young adulthood.....I have no choice as to be offended or not offended....just seeing it was instantaneously hurtful. There is a difference between true humor or laughter at the expense of my opinion, the only people who find the latter to be appropriate in any way are trying to turn attention away from their own insecurities by highlighting those of others...and/or just pitifully ignorant. You are a person of high value and deserve to be surrounded by the same....good riddance, I say. emoticon

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KENDRACARROLL 5/30/2012 10:28AM

    Tasteless to say the least.
Don't let it get you down. You WILL be able to effect the changes you're looking for.
(Personally I think facebook is EVIL.)

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JUSTLIKEALICE 5/29/2012 10:16PM

    I appreciate your blog.

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 5/29/2012 9:16PM

    Glad you stood up for yourself. I am happy that you said that it was not funny. I am not sure that there would be any situation where that would be funny. I hope that someday the person understands what they have done. Move on and have a great life. You deserve it.

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 5/29/2012 3:04PM

    You hit the bullseye, my friend. People will nervously laugh, because everybody just wants to "get along." I say...B*LLSH*T! If it's wrong, then somebody needs to say it. Too much of my life I've often thought that "somebody should do something about that." Then I realized , I am somebody. Kudos to you! Your life is richer without that bully in it.

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4EVERADONEGIRL 5/29/2012 1:26PM

    You are definitely right on...whether someone *chooses* to be offended by it or not is beyond the point. Once someone IS offended by it, and the action it caused is not considered it is no longer funny and is now insulting. That whoever this person was *chose* to be a total douche, I find equally offensive!!! ;-)

We all laugh at ourselves at times, but it doesn't mean that we are inviting others to laugh AT us...we are asking them to laugh WITH us. Good job on being courageous and taking a stand!!!

Now I just need to know - do I have this person as a friend too???

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    There is a trend in our society, probably others as well, to make other people feel badly about themselves. It is supposed to make you feel superior, and it seems to work for a lot of unlikeable people, bullies. The interesting thing is that they can and will find ANYTHING to make fun of, no matter how benign or inflammatory. Your either too fat and can't control any aspect of your life, or so insecure you exercise and eat well just to make people THINK you have your life together though you are obviously hyper controlling and crazy. You can love your kids too much, or be pushing them too hard. You can either spend too much money on clothes because your vain, or you dress like a slob because your lazy and cheap. They are people with whom you just can't win, and luckily you don't have to. Well done, with the unfriend. It is like honking at a dangerous driver, they will assume the problem is always yours, but you will be happier and safer for pointing it out.
I think it is much easier to ignore this abusive trend in our society, and yes you are choosing to acknowledge and address juvenile and cruel behavior in an adult. I have seen people abuse others, and it does hurt my heart and soul. I can't seem to turn off empathy, glad to hear you can't either. I think living life with a certain level of conciousness is a good thing, though it doesn't always feel good.

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MOCOHOLO 5/28/2012 11:20AM

    I don't think it's funny and I applaud your courage for confronting your former friend. It's easier to ignore it, but instead you took a stand. Good for you! You're inspiring me in so many ways!!

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LIBRATAH 5/28/2012 10:56AM

    You are right on! This was not funny!

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DOKEYOKEY 5/28/2012 8:45AM

    I think you're right on to tell her how her actions affected you -- that is, how they made you feel.

Another person doesn't have the right to tell us how to feel. That person may believe that we should be feeling/acting/believing a different way -- which is fine, since I don't think we shoudl be in the business of telling other people how to think -- but the simple act of her *denying your perspective* is evidence to me that she is not someone you can yet trust to be in your circle of friends.

Perhaps in time she will understand that her actions may have consequences that she did not intend, and she will be able to take responsibility for having hurt other people.

I hope so.
In the meantime, I support you in having spoken up in a way that not only let her know how you experienced her actions -- and that also modeled better behavior for her.

None of us is perfect - I know I am not, for sure - and yet the inability to acknowledge when we have created harm is a dead-end street.


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NONIE_C 5/27/2012 11:40AM

    I am completely on board with you.
In general, I subscribe to the belief that we should all live lighter and everything should be mocked b/c humans tend to take things way too seriously, but when it comes to cruelty and laughing at the expense of someone's feelings, I just don't see the humor in it. I'm glad you unfriended this ignorant woman. Go you!!!

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LOVESLIFE48 5/27/2012 11:33AM

    No, it's not funny. I too am a happy person and laugh a lot. This did not even make me smile. Yes, I'm overweight but I don't need reminders like that ignorant person just made!! You did right by de-friending them!!!

You are a beautiful person in and out and don't you forget it!!!!! emoticon

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GOEGIRL 5/27/2012 8:07AM

    Yep, just like those folks who don't step in to help a kid who's being bullied because 'it will make him stronger in the end.' Ugh! Good for you for saying something and I'm sorry you didn't get a gracious response from your 'friend.' It's always better to stand up and refuse to be the bystander in situations like this. Kudos.

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JILLIANPRNCSS 5/27/2012 6:40AM

    Life is to short to have to deal with those types of people unless you really have to. Good idea to unfriend her.

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NEW-CAZ 5/27/2012 3:28AM

    It's cruel, plain and simple.
People with weight issues do not need reminding that they need to lose weight in such a fashion.
Bullying should be stamped out, especially on FB

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WENDYWITKOSKI 5/26/2012 9:22PM

    I don't think that funny's and wonder if your DONE cow photo offends some people.
I love your blog title and know a bully (my sister) who can justify all of her mean psycho behavior but never thought of it that way. She would love that whale pic.

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BLUE42DOWN 5/26/2012 9:14PM

    Ultimately, many jokes out there involves a target that is being mocked. Every "a priest, a rabbi, and a .." joke or "a blonde ..." joke depend on mocking a particular prejudice held or a common belief or behavior of the group to create their humor. Some people love "dead baby" jokes and others find them vile and hurtful.

She is right that we, individually, chose what we are offended by or what we consider bullying. I have seen people who practically seek out ways to feel hurt and insulted. (Some have a level of paranoia where a common answer given to a question becomes a personal attack and they feel harassed and bullied.) I have also seen others not even catch on that they're being directly mocked, either not getting a joke or chuckling at the humor of it.

However, our ability to choose our response does not negate the consequences of her own choices. She may lose friends, she may look petty. She may also find that at some future point when the joke's on her, no one still connected to her will care that their humor hurts and she's not happy with it - after all, it's just a joke and she's just choosing to be hurt.

Definitely glad you removed her name. While it is completely fair for you to choose your actions - removing her as a toxic friend - to encourage that anyone should seek her out just to tell her she's wrong is just bullying in a different form.

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CRISSA1669 5/26/2012 8:39PM

    I think I'm going to have to agree with you on this...NOT funny. I suppose it could be funny were I not fat or have been actually this is more of a skinny people's inside joke so big mistake posting it on TRACEBook(oh yeah Facebook lol). I had something similar happen to me today. Long story short, I went to pick up my son and a friend from a party. The host Mom asked how I was...I said great, ran 3 miles and did a cardio workout and that I was about worn out. Her response back was "Hey, you better watch out or you'll get smaller than me...." Uh, ok...but trying to be gracious I said back "it's hard work and you did have a baby a year ago, my baby is 15 so......." THEN she said, "well I hope you get pregnant!!".....What...not that I would ever mind getting pregnant but the rest of the thought of the comment was 'I hope you get pregant so you can get fat again......UGH...I know sometimes people don't think about what they say or before they say it....but really...I have struggled with weight for the last 25 years....sometimes it's best to just be quiet. lol

I am glad you unfriended her and that you got to make that response because sometimes we just need to let people know...everything is not always funny!!

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RAIN_SIS 5/26/2012 7:51PM

    Not funny
The person who posted it - Not nice.

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JLPEASE 5/26/2012 7:41PM

    Wow, how cruel. Maybe your ex-friend truly didn't realize that she was hurting people, but her response to you individually was completely out of line. You are so much better off without her. Nobody needs "friends" like that.

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    I have no problem responding back to people who post crap like that or defriending them. If someone blatantly posts something like that, it shows me what kind of person they really are and I've had a relative or two do email forwards of people who were smaller than I was at my largest and I emailed back saying "wow, that girl is smaller than I am. I'd hate to see what you say behind my back!" *crickets* and I never get another forward like that.

That girl sounds like a self righteous idiot and just because you have some friends in common doesn't mean you need someone like her popping up on your news feed. What brilliant advice..."lighten up and laugh at yourself." Yes, smile and laugh at the degrading, self esteem popping comment...I mean after all aren't fat people supposed to be jolly? *rolling eyes*

It IS bullying, make no mistake and what you did and said was perfectly fine. It's your opinion and your page so she can suck it. I've never thought stuff like that was funny and even when I'm finally...some goal weight, I will make a point to defend that it is NOT funny.

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