Friday, April 29, 2016

First "Fail" in the Challenge (+ Day 12)

Whoaaaaaa, we're halfway there! Whoaaaa, livin' on a prayer!

Yeah, I'm a nerd.

Regardless, today is Day 12 of 24!

Yesterday, I had a "fail." After dinner, I was over my calories for the day. I'm supposed to have ~1420 calories a day. That's before exercise.

After PiYo and Yoga, MyFitnessPal had me over my calories by almost 60 calories.

I know, I know. It's 60 calories. Not that many.

The perfectionist in my could not let that stand. I proceeded to do a 33 minute yoga sequence before I went to bed. That burned enough calories to have me at a deficit of somewhere between 80 and 90 calories.

I won! I beat MyFitnessPal. That's all I care about. I like seeing the green number.

I swear, I'm not obsessive. I just like it when I accomplish my goal. Honestly, I'm proud of myself for pushing play on just one last yoga sequence. Also, I was so relaxed after that. I slept like a baby.

This morning, I haven't felt that great. I woke up, took my MNS packet with Catalyst and ThermoPlus, and did yoga. The very first downward facing dog we did, I felt my stomach get all sloshy. Since then, I haven't felt right.

TMI: The bathroom also understands that I don't feel well. I had a small stomach issue this morning as well.

There's something going around at my school, but I don't think I'm sick. I just don't feel well (but it doesn't feel like a stomach bug). It feels like I drank too much water and then went upside down. Now, my body hates me.

We will see how I feel as the day goes on.

Also, I really struggled with my breakfast. It was a Meal Replacement Shake again. It's going to be that every day for the last part of the challenge. I just couldn't get it down. It was not what I wanted, apparently. I probably could've just gone without breakfast. I wasn't hungry.

I have no idea what Nick packed us for lunch today. I think there is a salad in there, but other than that, idk.

We're going grocery shopping at Sam's Club tomorrow. We go about once a month because the drive takes an hour, but it's so worth it. I've just got to make a list.

Well, hopefully I make it through the day. I, unfortunately, can hear the bathroom calling my name.


Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Results Are In! + Max Phase Begins (Day 11)

I finished the cleanse phase!!! That's the hardest part because of that disgusting Fiber drink. It's gone now. Woo hoo!

Want to know the results from just 10 days of hard work?

I lost 7 pounds and a total of 7.75 inches!! 

That's more than I lost last time I did the challenge. I think it's because I weighed more when I started, but Nick also pushes me to work out harder and not to give up.

As for Nick?

He lost 6 pounds and a total of 3.75 inches!

Nick is already very thin. He didn't have a lot to lose. His total goal was to get down 10 lbs and then tone up/gain muscle (which would probably result in weight gain in the long run). Those 3.75 inches have made such a difference.

This morning, we were talking about how our faces "don't feel as fat." I laughed and told him that I "don't have 12 chins anymore." Hahahahaha.

Let me wrap up the Cleanse phase with an update on how yesterday went. Then I'll get into the Max Phase that starts today.

Work was great yesterday. I was so scared to go to PLC. I just had a bad feeling, but it was absolutely fine. I don't know why I get all worked up about things that I'm totally prepared for (this is the theme of the day, just wait and see). My students worked hard (for the most part) and they're really growing and learning. 

We have been working on context clues and the impact of specific word choice. I was so proud of my classes today because they were able to discern the meaning of the word 'emaciated.' Now, context clues are something they are taught very early in school. I teach 7th graders. It's still a struggle. I know adults that still struggle with it. Our smartphones have made us less intelligent in some capacity. Rather than figure things out for ourselves, we just look it up and move on. In order to determine the meaning, they had to go back and look in the chapter of the novel we are reading - which is torture for them - and use the entire page plus the experiences of the character throughout the novel. It doesn't just come out and say "abnormally thin or frail due to hunger or starvation." They had to figure it out. The sentence said something like, "...some were emaciated, some hurt or sick, all exhausted." BUT, they figured it out! On top of that, they were able to tell me the impact of using the word emaciated versus just saying they were hungry or they were thin! By George, I think they've got it! We will see on Friday after their quiz on word choice/impact!

Anyway, I digress. Back to the challenge.

I was so sad when I got to lunch and realized that I made this lovely salad, and I forgot to pack dressing. There isn't any dressing in the break room either, so oh well. I had an apple, almonds, and a squeezable applesauce (apple pineapple blend). Good, just not enough calories.

I was also very thirsty yesterday. I didn't have time to refill my waters and thought I was going to die of dehydration (hyperbolic speech is allowed...).

Nick cooked dinner because I had my final graduate school class last night! All that's left is to graduate! Woo hoo!

I ate a lovely meal - chicken that I had marinaded over night, brown rice, and corn - and got out of class (online) at 9:00. By 10:15, I had "officially" submitted all of my assignments for both classes (my thesis class and my internship) and had received word that I passed my thesis class (called a Product of Learning at Appalachian).

Then, it was so far past bedtime....oh man. I was exhausted.

PiYo didn't happen yesterday because I seriously worked from the time I got home around 5:00 until we went to sleep at 10:30-ish. We declared it our rest day and we will just push through until our next rest day (next Friday).

So that was yesterday! I had roughly 1200 calories and burned right at 75 with my AM yoga.

Oh! And I have a wedding date! :)  I'm getting married on November 19th of this year! Places have been booked!

Needless to say, yesterday was good!

Now for the Max Phase introduction:

During the Max Phase, there is a shift in what you are doing for your body. The Cleanse Phase (days 1-10) prepare your body to absorb all of the nutrients and supplements in the Max Phase. You drink the Fiber drink. You take Herbal Cleanse pills. You change your eating to be very clean. It's strict.

In the Max Phase, that all stops (except the clean eating. That should be a lifestyle change, not a "cleanse" change.). Now, you start with the MNS system. There are three to choose from:

  • MNS-3 (the most comprehensive. It targets appetite and energy and everything. Very balanced. Advocare recommends starting here if you don't know which one to choose).
  • MNS-C (you get more appetite control here)
  • MNS-E (you get more energy boosting with this pack)
Nick and I chose to both use the MNS-E system because we stay so busy. The extra energy sounded wonderful. The last time I did this program, I used the MNS-C because I needed a little more appetite suppressant. I was worried about willpower.

In the MNS-E system (and with all of them), there are four "packs" of pills to take each day. Honestly, the best way I can describe the way the packs look is to tell you that they are all in these little tearable white packages hooked together that makes them look like a strip of condoms. Hahahahahaha, but really. Nick said the same thing this morning.

For the MNS-E system, this is what is in each pack:
  • 30 minutes before breakfast: Metabolic Enhancer (2), Thermo P (2), Probiotic Restore ULTRA (1) - This is when you took the Probiotic during the cleanse phase. I also add in Catalyst and ThermoPlus. Nick adds in Crave Check.
  • 30 minutes before lunch: Metabolic Enhancer (2), Thermo P (2)
  • With lunch (the last two packets): CorePlex (3) and OmegaPlex (1)
Here is the link to the MNS-E system. The other systems are also going to be linked below:

I've had my white packet before breakfast and all the other supplements. I've also done yoga - started the 7 Day Detox challenge - and had my Meal Replacement Shake for breakfast. The Meal Replacement Shakes are 220 calories, made with 9 oz. of water, and don't taste bad at all. We have the chocolate ones. The 24 Day Challenge requires you to use the Meal Replacement Shake at some point during the day, although it is suggested that you do it for breakfast.

I miss my Shakeology, but these are good too!

For me, the hardest part of the Max Phase is remembering to take all of those darn supplements at the right time. I am teaching before lunch, so I have to remember to take my vitamins in the middle of class. Lol. It's a struggle. Nick has reminders set in his phone and a more flexible schedule, so he will be alright.

I'll update tomorrow with how it goes!

I can't wait to see the results in another 14 days!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Last Day of the Cleanse Phase (Day 10)

We've made it to the end of the cleanse phase!

Today is Day 10!

Tomorrow starts the Max Phase of the challenge (aka the "let's take all the pills" phase). There are so many supplements to take for the last 14 days. It's very disciplined.

However, do you know what this also means? NO MORE FIBER DRINK! I will probably switch back to MetaMucil in the mornings instead. I like drinking extra fiber because I usually don't get enough, even when eating clean. We are going to Sam's to shop this weekend, and I'll pick some up there because it is much cheaper.

Anyway, onto talking about how yesterday ended up.

Yesterday morning, I was exhausted. Almost in pain, I was so tired. It stayed with me through the shower, which usually wakes me up, and followed me to work. I was tired all day long. Luckily, my students were very, very good. Yesterday was a day that I can truly say I was proud and impressed with 95% of them. They worked so hard to double check and improve their answers.

Lunch was fine - Salad with chicken breast, granola bar, squeeze fruit thing (fruitocracy Apple Pineapple).

I did need an extra Spark, though, before I went to tutor my 5th graders. Then, I had an apple for a snack around 3:15.

My 5th graders were INCREDIBLE yesterday! We "visited" the Eiffel Tower - read a pretty extensive passage, pulled out the central idea (or main idea in elementary school), did EOG style questions, watched videos, and completed our "passports" for our trip to Europe. They were so interested in it. It was amazing.

Then, I came home and cooked dinner - breakfast: eggs, turkey bacon, and peanut butter toast.

I ended up right under my calorie goal for the day.

We did PiYo: Define Lower Body (21 minutes) and I'm so proud to say that I did the whole 21 minutes without stopping. No modifications! In just 9 days, I feel that much stronger. Nick did an amazing job as well. I had to push him once to keep going. He was feeling a little off, but he jumped back in and finished strong! It's nice to be able to encourage and push each other. (He does the same thing to me whenever there are pushups involved - "Get it baby! You've got this!")

Then we meal prepped for day (lunch and dinner), watch 1/2 an episode of Buffy, and we were done. Asleep.

Side note: Christian goes to bed around 8:00. At about 8:15, he got back up and cried because we were going to do PiYo without him. Good habits pay off! He used to do it with me (during the summer) and he loves to exercise. He also really enjoyed his dinner. He's been eating healthier foods and he doesn't even realize it. #winning

Now today:

Woke up at 4:30, just like I have for the past three days. It's really not that bad, although it sounds like it sucks.

Spark + Probiotic Restore + Catalyst + Thermoplus for me.
Spark + Probiotic Restore + Crave Check for Nick.

Day 30 of the 30 Day Yoga Challenge - Full Body Flow. Only 14 minutes, but it felt great.

Shakeology for me.
Oatmeal for Nick (he also grabbed a granola bar on his way out. Must be nice to be able to eat 1100 more calories a day than I can....sigh)

He left at 5:15 and here I am. I love my quiet time in the morning.

Today is going to be a little insane. Teaching all day, because that's my job. We have PLC during planning and that can take anywhere from 45 minutes to the full 1.5 hours of planning. Hopefully it's on the shorter side today so that we can get some planning done. I/E starts on May 2nd (school-wide remediation) and we have to take and present our materials today during our meeting.

After that, I have Beta Club until 3:30. Just going over convention stuff. No big deal. Informational meeting. I'm also going to talk to my animal shelter kiddos about Saturday.

I have to come home and finish up putting together my final portfolio for my internship - LIB 5910.

Then, I have my final class meeting for LIB 5525. This is also my final class for my Masters degree! (6:00 - 9:30, though) I'm giving my final presentation on my Product of Learning...essentially a thesis.

Nick is going to take care of dinner and get Christian all squared away. It's so wonderful to have him here. He really does a great job of taking care of us.

Is it bad that I kind of just want to stay here? I can feel my anxiety becoming an issue already. Panic attacks are absolutely no fun.

Last little note: Tomorrow, I get to weigh and measure as soon as I get up. You aren't supposed to weigh until Day 11 (until the cleanse is over). I hope I see results. I'm so nervous. Last time, I lost 6 lbs and 5 inches. I do have to remember that I can't compare myself to Nick. Men lose weight and their bodies change faster and differently than women. My progress is MY PROGRESS. I need to remember to be proud of what I've accomplished.

I'll update tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I'm sleepy (Day 9)

I'm tired. I want to go back to sleep.

Yesterday, waking up at 4:30 was fine. I felt productive.

This morning, it sucked. I took my supplements, did yoga with Nick, ate breakfast....and now I want to go back to sleep.

But, alas, I'm awake.

Let me update you on how yesterday turned out:

Well, the day played out as I had anticipated. A few exceptions, of course...
  1. Yesterday was my best friend's birthday. He's 29. His mom wanted to surprise him by having people over. We went and Christian got to play with Ryan's nephew, Aiden. (FYI: I went back and forth between Aidan and Aiden for like 2 minutes straight before I went with the latter...sigh).
  2. At this little get-together, there was pizza. Nick and I refrained, but I think he got a little drooly. ;) It's hard not to eat it when it's there and you can smell it...and your son is eating it/inhaling it. He was so happy to not be eating healthy food.
  3. I had class at 7 - a group meeting, I guess, not actual lecture. I had to run through my final presentation for my degree. Because of this, dinner ended up being at like 7:45. Wayyyyy later than I had anticipated, but what can you do?
  4. PiYo wasn't even started until 8:45 and it was one of the longer ones last night - Sweat. 37 minutes of pure hell. The 11 minute lower body party sucks so bad. After about 2 minutes of it, my butt hurts. After the full 11, I feel it so much. I was shaking. (But of course, that's the 11 minutes in the middle of the workout. Chalene does sooooo much more.)
  5. We were so tired that we forgot to take our last supplement of the day - the Herbal Cleanse pills. Oops. (Ummmm, I was so tired that I didn't want to watch the last 30 minutes of an episode of Buffy. That's how you know I'm tired. We finished it, but I was drained.)

So now, on to Day 9.

Nick had to all but push me out of bed at 4:35. I was very sad to leave those comfortable sheets.

Spark + Probiotic Restore + Catalyst + Thermoplus for me. Spark + Probiotic Restore + Crave Check for him.

Yoga: focusing on the IT bands for 16 minutes (and some seconds...)

Breakfast after a rest for a few minutes - Special K with Almond Milk.

And now here I am. Trying to convince myself that a shower would feel great. In all reality, I just keep thinking about how much I don't want to wash my hair because that means I have to dry it. Then I have to straighten it...or curl it. I don't wanna. It takes too long.

I'll get over the whining after I shower, I hope. We will see.

Also, Nick packed my lunch last night. Wonder what I

Monday, April 25, 2016

Monday, Round 2 (Day 8)

I am so proud of Nick (and of myself, but for two different reasons).

This morning, we both got up at 4:30 (why I'm proud of myself) and started our day. We drank Spark, took our supplements, and began our day in a very nutritionally sound way.

Yoga happened next! Nick worked through a whole flow of Sun Salutations with me (why I'm proud of him). It was 14 minutes, but still, that's 14 minutes he wouldn't have done otherwise.

He says that he does it for me...but then he texted me about 15 minutes ago: "I really do feel better." Yes, starting your day with yoga really does help! Even if it's a short sequence, the stretching just makes you feel awake and alive.

We ate breakfast afterwards: that nasty Fiber drink (just two more times, we can do this!) plus some cereal with almond milk. Nick also had a banana.

Nick left at 5:15 and I went ahead and did another one of Erin Motz's videos: Learning Dancer Pose, which was about 12 minutes.

I feel very stretched out now.

Here's the plan for the rest of the day:

--Fold the laundry that's in the dryer
--Shower and get ready for work
--Work from 7:30 - whenever the faculty meeting is over

  • Snack: Fruit (either the apple or banana...probably the banana)
  • Lunch: Salad with chicken, other fruit, maybe almonds
  • Trying to avoid needing the 2nd Spark.
  • Snack (around 3:30 or 4): almonds (if I didn't eat them already) or rice cakes
--Home with Christian
--Cleaning a little and cooking dinner: Fish + Oven Baked Brown Rice + Green Beans
--Finishing a few reflections
--LIB 5525 Group Meeting at 7
--Christian goes to bed at 8
--PiYo: Sweat with Nick
--Then, I'll probably be ready to sleep myself.

We're one full week into the challenge. Today, I'm feeling a little bloated, but it will pass. Just gotta make sure I stay hydrated!

I'm excited for Day 11!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

First Weekend on the Challenge! (Days 6-7)

This was supposed to be the hardest part.

This was supposed to be the "make or break" moment.

It's the weekend. I'm at home, where the food lives.

But it wasn't hard! 

Here's how the weekend has been so far:


We woke up around 8:30, but didn't actually get up until around 9. Laziness at its finest.

Spark + Probiotic Restore, Catalyst, and ThermoPlus for me.
Spark + Probiotic Restore and CraveCheck for Nick.

Then, I was able to talk him into doing yoga. Trust me, he was not happy about first. After the 20 minutes was over, he said "Wow. That was actually pretty good. I'd do it every day if you'd wake up earlier and do it with me." Of course, that makes me want to get up earlier and do it with him. I guess that means I'll be up at 4:30 during the week now. What's 30 more minutes.....sigh.

Breakfast was simple. Even better, Nick made it for us. I had two eggs and some oatmeal. Delicious.

Then, we made the big to-do list. Christian had his own list, as did Nick and I. Christian and Nick had 5 things to do, each; I had 12, surprise surprise. I always give myself the most.

Cleaning began. Christian went off to clean his room, and I got to work. At the same time, Nick went to mow the lawn.

Ok, ok. One of his 5 things was pretty extensive.

I digress.

I made lunch at 1 - Christian had a cheese sandwich. I had Shakeology with almond milk. Nick had ramen with shrimp...and some other things. He was starving.

Christian went down for a nap and we used that time to get ready for the day (because at this point, we were both gross and needed a shower). Plus, we'd promised Christian we would take him to the park.

Once he woke up, that's exactly what we did. We were at the part for about 40 minutes and then these high-school aged kids came out. I don't like it when there are "big kids" at the park...especially when those big kids are being vulgar, so we left. 

We decided to continue our play date at Freedom Baptist. Luckily, our Church is one that is open and welcoming. We've gone to play there a lot, and they don't mind. Christian played with his action figures on the playground while Nick and I played basketball. (Not gonna lie, I totally beat him ;) lol).

Then, we needed to head to the store. We had eaten so much salad and so much fruit that we needed to restock. Not a bad problem to have.

After that, we came home and I started dinner. Honey Mustard Turkey Burgers on Whole Wheat Buns and "Healthier" Mashed Potatoes. So worth it. This meal was still pretty butter, no processed junk, no dairy...but it was kind of like a "cheat" meal. It was absolutely delicious. The burgers were grilled on the George Foreman...they were amazing. I'll definitely be making those again.

Christian ate 1.5 burgers himself. That's how good they were.

After that, Christian had a bath and went to bed. Nick and I did PiYo - Define: Lower Body (21 minutes of "Oh gah, my butt hurts" and lunges, lol) and then we went to lay down and watch Sherlock Holmes.

Oh yeah, we cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom in that time as well.

We only made it 1 hr into Sherlock Holmes before I was so sleepy that I wanted to cut off my skin rather than stay awake.

And then I was asleep until 9 AM Sunday.


We woke up at 9. I had vowed that we would make it to Church today, since we didn't make it last week. Honestly, we haven't been doing very good at making it lately. We have to do better. This is the "age of accountability" for Christian and we need to be there for him. That strong Christian foundation is very important for me and I want him to have one as well.

Started the day similarly to yesterday: Spark + Supplements + Yoga.

Breakfast was rushed. I have no idea what Nick had, because I was in the shower. I had Shakeology. I'm almost out, which is devastating.

We hurried and got ready, and then we were out the door for Church. 

Lovely service. Great sermon on suffering as a Christian. I've heard similar messages before and they are 100% true. Everyone suffers in this world. As a Christian, we should be prepared to suffer. Christians are called out for being Christians. Judged. Persecuted. It's not an easy road, but it's one we take up to defend and fight for our Lord.

After that, we came home and made lunch. Christian had a cheese sandwich and an apple, per his request. Nick and I had Turkey Sausage and Egg Muffins. 129 calories each, thank you! We also threw in a banana, for good measure.

We finished Sherlock Holmes. Nick has been trying to get me to watch that movie for weeks now and I kept coming up with excuses as to why we couldn't. It was great!! I want to watch the 2nd one now, but I'm sure I'll make excuses as to why we have to put it up. I'm complicated. (I'm a woman....)

Then, we did PiYo - Define: Upper Body. My arms are feeling it.

Now, Nick is cleaning his guns and torturing me with music that I really don't want to listen I'm about to work on stuff for graduate school. Christian is finishing up a nap.

After that, we are off to my parents' house for dinner - Grilled Chicken and something....idk what.

Back here for some well-deserved pampering (face masks, for sure, - yes, he does them too. Men have to take care of their skin as well - a bath, and maybe I'll paint my nails, who knows?).

Gentle, relaxing yoga before bed...and then a good sleep before we start yet another week of work.

If this was supposed to be the hard part, I think that Nick and I can conquer any challenge presented.

We're even starting to make a plan for after. We're going to follow the 80/20 eating plan (80% clean/20% other) and finishing PiYo. We should finish the 8 week program on June 12. After that, we're thinking about picking up the 21 Day Fix. We'll see what happens. After that, maybe The Masters Hammer and Chisel? Not gonna plan that far ahead.

I'm so excited for our lifestyle changes. It's so much easier to do this when you have someone you love doing it with you. :)

We can do another 24 day challenge at the end of July (90 days is up on July 17 and you're supposed to wait that long between challenges). I know I'll do one more, at least, before we get married. They really do help reset everything! :)

I'll update again tomorrow!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Day 5

Yesterday was bad. To take a quote from Buffy, it..."sucked beyond the telling of it."

I walked into work yesterday and felt like I might cry. My anxiety is at 700% for some reason and I don't know why.

Or, maybe I do and I'm not admitting it to myself.

You never know.

Regardless, it took everything I had to get through my work day yesterday. To top it off, Tuesdays/Thursdays are my long days because of my second job at another school.

Everything was much better as soon as I picked up my son, made the drive home, walked in, and saw my fiance´. Nick and Christian always make me feel better. Grounded and centered. More like myself.

I went to bed very happy and at peace last night. That's what I needed.

As far as the AdvoCare challenge goes, here's what I did yesterday:

**Pre-Breakfast/Breakfast were in yesterday's post.
**Snack - banana at about 10:30
**Lunch - salad, tuna, and an apple at 12
**Spark at 2:50
**Snack - Grapes at 3:20
**Dinner - Eggs, Turkey Bacon, and Whole Wheat Toast with Peanut Butter

This brought me to about 1300 calories for the day.

Then, of course, Nick and I did PiYo: Define Upper Body. It's only 18 minutes and MyFitnessPal says it only burns like 61 calories, which makes me laugh. It's got to burn more than that, but oh well.

Nick weighed himself yesterday. He has already lost 3 lbs (he weighed without clothes on). I told him you aren't supposed to weigh until Day 11.

The temptation was too great, so I weighed myself too. The first time I weighed before the challenge, I was naked. I weighed myself in my clothes from work yesterday afternoon and it was right after dinner. I've lost 2 lbs so far...but that's in clothes and after a 500-600 calorie meal.

Not too shabby.

No more weighing until Day 11! Gotta make it through.

Today, so far, has been just like the others:

  • Pre-breakfast: Advocare Spark (Grape today...which I'm not a big fan of, honestly) + Probiotic Restore, Catalyst, and ThermoPlus
  • Yoga: DoYouYoga 30 Day Challenge, Day 24: No Sweat Morning Yoga
  • Computer time for a few
    • Christian woke up at 5:39. Whaaaaaat?! So much for my quiet time in the morning.
    • He got dressed, put his shoes on, found his Relay for Life money, and asked for breakfast.
  • Breakfast: Shakeology for me, Poptarts for little man
  • Blogging (while Christian is on his iPad)
Now, it's time to get ready for the day. One more day of tutoring today (I wish I got to keep her every Friday. She's progressing so well.)

Happy Friday! :)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Oh, the crash...

It happened.

I was waiting on it, and it happened.

I crashed.

I got home from work yesterday around 4:15 or so after what can only be described politely as a "trying" day. It was trying in every sense of the word. My anxiety was through the roof. It wasn't anyone's fault but my own. I know that my anxiety is a response within me that occurs when outside stimuli is just too much. I needed space to calm down, but couldn't have any because of the requirements of the job. It wasn't something that could have been controlled by an anti-anxiety medicine; it was going to happen regardless.

Anyway, after the situation had played itself out, I took my anxiety medicine - hydroxyzine. Something you can take on demand when you're experiencing anxiety or a panic attack. It works quickly to mellow you out (and, added bonus, it's also good for nausea, allergies, and several other issues!).

However, with the 24 day challenge, adding in something to mellow you out must just make you exhausted.

I could not motivate myself to do anything. I felt worthless.

I did get off the couch to cook dinner - Tilapia (made on the stove with lemon juice, salt, and pepper), Brown Rice, and Corn.

Funny enough, as I'm doing this, Nick has passed out and is snoring on the living room floor. Because of this, I'm not 100% sure it was the hydroxyzine that knocked me out. It could have been my body still adjusting to clean eating and the challenge.

Christian took a shower around 7:50. I took this time to put on PJs, take out my contacts, and wash my face. PiYo wasn't happening tonight. It was Upper Body, only 18 minutes, and I can throw it in with something on another day.

After we got Christian to bed, I just went and got in bed. Not to sleep. It was only 8:10. I just wanted to be cozy and play on my phone or something until Nick came in. Maybe, then, we'd watch Buffy.


I woke up at 5:10 AM.

Nick said he walked in last night and I was knocked out. He took my phone from me, put it on the charger, and went to bed himself. We were asleep before 8:30 PM.

That's insanity.

Still, upon waking this morning, I felt like I could sleep more. Really, I could have slept until 8 or 9 AM at least. It's crazy. I'm an insomniac. I've been put on medication before to help me fall asleep and/or stay asleep.

Anyway, I'm still a little tired, but I have to get up and get going. I have morning bus duty today and will have kids in my room by 7:30 -_-


Day 4 of the challenge starts today. It began like every other:

**Spark and Probiotic Restore (plus Catalyst and ThermoPlus) at 5:20
**Yoga (10-30 minutes depending on what I do)
**Check e-mails, Facebook, and whatever else.
**Breakfast between 5:50 and 6:00 (whenever I get off the computer long enough to make it)
**Blogging at 6:00
**Getting ready for the day after that.

Nick got up earlier today and packed our lunches. He didn't do it last night because he saw me asleep and wanted to lay down with me. He's a sweet guy. Couldn't let me sleep alone. (Also, I'm pretty sure that's romantic and sweet talk for "Well, if she's sleeping, I'm gonna sleep too. I'll work on stuff tomorrow when she does." Hahahahahahahaha)

I'm going to make myself a to-do list at work. I'll take it everywhere with me today. I absolutely have to make myself do things today. I'm going to need to take an extra Spark (I only had one yesterday. That could have been my issue too).

Hopefully, the crashing part is over and now I can move on to the living part :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Woo hoo! Day 3!

Day 2 and 3 of the challenge always seem to be the most difficult.


The headaches.

I'm a huge coffee drinker. By that, I mean I drink coffee from the time I wake up until about 11:30 AM every day (on the weekends, maybe longer because I can be lazy) - so a huge amount of time - AND I drink large quantities. HUGE coffee drinker.

I don't really drink soda, so that's not an issue.

No coffee, though? Oh gosh. Yesterday at about 4 PM, I thought I was going to die. My head was killing me. I toughed it out, but it was hard. I didn't take any ibuprofen. I just stayed hydrated and told myself, "This is what coffee does to you. Caffeine is a drug. You can beat this." Positive self-talk, if you know me, is not easy...but it helped!

Anyway, here's how Day 2 played out:

Snack during planning, after a parent meeting that was cancelled, was an unripe banana. It wasn't bad, just not as delicious as ripe ones.

Lunch (12 PM): Salad, Lite Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing, Tuna, and an apple. Lots of water.

Snack (3-3:30 PM): Spark (30 minutes before) and then a 100 calorie pack of natural almonds.

Then, I tutored at another school until 4:30. I look forward to this on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I love those 5th graders.

Dinner was at Nick's parents' house in Aberdeen. I got to meet my new nephew for the first time. He was only 4 days old. So little. I hogged him the whole time (Yes, I am that person). But, hey, to be fair, I think I was helping. I fed him and gave his mommy a little break to rest her arms and relax! Babies usually like me, so he was pretty calm most of the time. He's adorable.

  • Oh, and as far as food goes, DeAnn (Nick's mom) was nice enough to make brown rice, baked chicken (she modified her recipe for me), and green beans. Still something healthy! I love that she will go out of her way to accommodate others. Very selfless.
By the end of the whole day, I ended up taking in under 1200 calories. (1179, I think) I was a little thirsty, but not starving. I can do this.

For exercise, we did PiYo. This is so my soulmate workout, and Nick loves it too. We did Define: Lower Body. It was much easier tonight than last night, but we both were sweatier. Weird how that works out.

AND NOW: DAY 3!!!!!!!!

Today is a Staff Development Day for my county, so students are off from school. I have to be there at 8, which gives me about 30 extra minutes to relax in the morning. Even still, I woke up at 5 with Nick. He gets up at varies depending on how tired he is...and then he gets ready. After he is all ready, he wakes me up so I can spend 15-20 minutes with him before he goes to work. I don't mind. It actually helps me wake up in a better mood and get a better start on my day. I like having about an hour to 1.5 hours to myself in the morning.

I drank my Fruit Punch Spark and took Catalyst, ThermoPlus, and Probiotic Restore.

Then, I did Yoga for Shoulder Strength and Yoga Headstands. It was a little under 30 minutes of yoga, but it's so nice to start my day that way. My shoulders are already a little sore from it!

After that, it was breakfast time. I have Shakeology this morning and I drank that nasty Fiber drink. It gets easier to drink that every day, but dang. It's disgusting.

The real test is going to be lunch today. My principal is so wonderful. On days like today, he feeds us lunch and provides enough for any other teachers in the county that come and plan with us. It's usually delicious - fried chicken and southern comfort foods, barbecue plates, Japanese buffet style cuisine - but I'm not eating it. I'm taking my lunch (salad and whatever else my fiance´packed me last night...should be an interesting smorgasbord of different foods). Sigh.

I also have my Occupational Therapy evaluation visit at 4 pm today. I'm really not looking forward to this. I have PIN syndrome (or PIN compression syndrome) in my right arm. When I called to set up therapy, as my orthopedic surgeon suggested, the therapists didn't even know what PIN syndrome was.....which makes me a little nervous. Plus, if the treatment plan is going to be expensive, I'll do the therapy on my own. Idk what they can do for me and my arm that I just can't do on my own (but I'm stubborn. I think stretching, yoga, and PiYo fix everything. I don't take prescription medicine like that either. I'll tough it out for the longest time.)

I'll update later today (or, more likely, tomorrow) on how it all shakes out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Update on Day 1 and Day 2

I thought yesterday would be a lot tougher than it really was. I wrote a post yesterday morning about beginning the 24 Day Challenge. I'll admit, I didn't start off 100% on the right foot. I should have done extensive meal planning on Sunday before I started. I didn't. I should have had good lunch foods in place. I didn't. All I really did before Monday morning was look at the Daily Guide.

Well, let's talk about how that went.

I got to work around 7:30 yesterday morning. I still wasn't really hungry or anything. Shakeology does a good job of keeping me satisfied for a few hours.

I made it through my first class and into my planning period.

Around 9:40, I had a Granny Smith apple for snack.

Then, I taught another class at 10:50.

Lunch came at 12, where I ate tuna, peanut butter, and mandarin oranges. I was pretty satisfied from that, actually.

I went back upstairs with my students and taught my last two classes. 3:05 was finally here. At this point, I wanted another snack. I didn't have one...

However, I did have another Spark packet ready. I figured that I would drink that, go get Christian, and make it home within 30-40 minutes so I could snack. That's what you're supposed to do. Spark, wait 30 minutes, then snack.

Then, I called Nick.

We decided to go grocery shopping. We needed fruit and salad stuff, lean meats...etc.

We were at the store until 4:40. This means I drank my spark at 3:30 and it had been over an hour. I was sooooooooo hungry. He gave me some almonds to eat, which helped exponentially.

After we got home, we had a lot to take care of before I could cook dinner. Eventually, I ended up baking chicken breasts (which turned out to be really delicious - tender and juicy), corn, and we had a big salad. We were both satisfied, which is impressive because Nick usually isn't after just one plate of food (heck, neither am I, if we're being honest). I think having such a colorful meal helped us get full faster. All of the fiber helped! (We also took our OmegaPlex, of course.)

Christian went to bed at 8 and then it was time to workout. PiYo: Define Lower Body for 21 minutes. This is the first time I've done PiYo since my arm started hurting. It wasn't bad, but my hand did swell a little by the end. I think that, if I keep working and I go to Occupational Therapy like I'm supposed to, I'll be able to keep going.

All we had left to do was take the Herbal Cleanse pills and go to bed!

All in all, it wasn't that bad. I only had one time where I was actually hungry, and it was completely my fault.

I still had about 1300 calories yesterday, so I wasn't starving. Just much healthier choices.

Now, Day 2 and 3 were the worst ones last time. I ended up with a caffeine headache and a bad temper. This makes me a little nervous, because I'm going to meet my newest nephew - Nick's sister's baby, Jackson - this afternoon. Plus, I'm working at another job until 4:30 (tutoring at another school). Not a lot of time for that afternoon snack.

So far, I've had Spark, Catalyst, ThermoPlus, and Probiotic Restore. Then, I did an 18 minute full body yoga flow. Finished up with some oatmeal for breakfast (and that delicious Fiber drink that just makes you want to *vomit*) and I'm ready to start my day!

We are having dinner with Nick's parents tonight, but they are being accommodating and cooking foods that everyone can eat. I just love them for that!

I'll update as I continue! :)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Day 1 of the Challenge!

And we're off!!!

Today is Day 1 of 24.

Last night, Nick and I took measurements and our weight. We prepped our lunches. We put out the supplements we need. Then, with a little anxiety on my part, we went to sleep. Why in the world was I nervous? I've done this before. I was successful with this before. It's doable. I can do this.

Nick started new hours at work today. He went from working from 8 AM - 5 PM to working from 6 AM until 3 PM. This means that instead of getting up after I do, he now wakes up way before I do. The good part about this is that he wakes me up before he leaves. He's so sweet when he does it - talking me out of whatever dream I am having.

Then he says: Hey! Since you're up, you can start your morning with yoga.

Sigh. Yes, yes I can. I have no excuses.

So that's exactly what I did.

This morning, I took my Catalyst and ThermoPlus. I added in the Probiotic Restore. Then, I did a Yoga Twists class. After that, it was time for the dreaded Fiber drink. Nick described it as chugging wood chips and saw dust. That's about accurate. For breakfast, we both drank Shakeology, which is, by far, my favorite shake!

Now, it's time to get ready and conquer my work day. I have a bomb lesson plan and materials ready for my students. I'm excited.

I'll update again later tonight! :)

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Advocare - Round 2 + Mini Life Update

About a year ago, I embarked on the journey that is the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. It was amazing. I lost 15 pounds in 24 days. I worked my butt off to do it. I completely changed the way I was eating. I stayed true to the supplements and let the program work for me.

Then, life happened. I had a birthday on which my boyfriend, at the time, decided not to celebrate with me. His narcissistic tendencies tried to turn my birthday into a night that I would spend moping about him, and instead, my friends made sure I had fun. I spent the next few days exhausted, bloated, and a little sick.

From there, I finally got back on the wagon and finished my first round of PiYo. This is a Beachbody program by Chalene Johnson that combines Pilates and Yoga into this perfect workout that is both strengthening and relaxing. I ended up losing a total of 20 pounds by the time the program was over. I was about 10 pounds from my goal before the kiss of death happened:
  • The narcissist I was dating ghosted out, forcing me to break up with him (because, duh!)
  • Summer vacation. For teachers, this means lots of down time
These two things combined = weight gain.

Honestly, I stopped caring. I could have kept going. It's all on me. I'm a highly-sensitive person, though, and I let outside influences weigh me down...quite literally.

So now, here I am, one year later. Things have changed, totally.

First of all, I'm ENGAGED! Yay! I met the love of my life about 1.5 months after that horrible relationship ended. We started dating in August. He moved in mid-December and we got engaged in February! 

Second of all, I'm almost done with graduate school! I graduate on May 13. It's a Friday the 13th too, which just so happens to be my favorite day (I always assumed that since it is considered to be "unlucky," all of the good luck is just waiting to be claimed. I'll claim it!!!).

Third, my fiance´ (oh, that's still fun to say...or write) has decided to join my health/fitness endeavor. We are going to do the Advocare 24 Day Challenge together! That's really what this post is about. I'm reintroducing you guys, and myself, to the challenge.

So, let's get into it.

Here is what the challenge looks like. Keep in mind, this is enough for two people:

Included in the challenge are the following products:
  1. One box of Herbal Cleanse + Probiotics
  2. One box of a Fiber drink
  3. One canister of Spark (we got fruit punch and grape as our flavors)
  4. 14 servings of Meal Replacement Shakes (we both got chocolate, because yum!)
  5. The MNS system of your choice (we both got MNS-E for appetite control + energy)
  6. One bottle of OmegaPlex
We each got a supplemental product:
  1. He got Crave Check (because he gets bad cravings).
  2. I got Catalyst (aka "Liposuction in a Bottle").
Because we ordered during a promotion, we also both received an additional box of Spark. We were both sent green apple. I kind of wish that they had sent two different ones, but alas. Beggars can't be choosers.

One of the most important pieces of this challenge is the Daily Guide that you are sent. It tells you what to eat for each meal, when to drink that disgusting fiber drink, and when to take each supplement throughout the whole process. It is key. It is life. We both have one!

We are starting this process on Monday, April 18th. Our last day will be Wednesday, May 11th. We are very hopeful and can't wait to change our lifestyles.

I'll update tomorrow with goals for the challenge and meal planning for the first week!


**Here are the links to my previous Advocare posts:

Starting the AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge
AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge - Cleanse Phase Wrap-up

You'll notice I don't have a Max Phase Wrap-up. Laziness happened ;)**