Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dancing in the Rain

Tom and Lisa are on their way here. They are in the air right now. They should arrive in two hours looking like drowned raccoons. I will love them, anyway. I cleaned my house yesterday for them with the help of the crazies (including Dave). It's messy again, but at least I know it is clean underneath. I also hired my friend to clean my blinds and baseboards. So my house is like, really clean for the moment...underneath.

Which makes me think that maybe I should hire a full cleaning crew to come in once a quarter and just really deep clean my house with toothbrushes. I wonder how much that would cost. I'm sure it would be worth it to me since cleaning really is my love currency (how sad).

Clara is potty training herself. I know that sounds weird, but it is actually true. Yesterday she has maybe once accident, but took care of it herself. I didn't even know about it until Dave told me. She had had a little accident in her underwear and just put her underwear in the laundry and put on a new pair. I put diapers on for naps and bedtime, but otherwise, she seems to have figured it out. I'm good with that. It's sort of weird because I expected it to be a long drawn out process. It still might take some accidents, but as long as she isn't peeing in the corner, who am I to complain?

I'm getting antsy to plant stuff. Like really antsy. And I technically have almost a month before I can get stuff into the ground, which is really annoying. It's Spring, but not. And driving me nuts.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Must Read Article!

5 Simple Steps to “Reprogram” Your Weight

By Steve Edwards

Your body resists change, even when it’s good for you. This irritating little survival trait has led to a passel of colloquial words that we use when referring to how to deal with it. These include survival mode, starvation mode, periodizational training, plateau-ing, and set point. Today we’ll tackle the latter, which is a term we use to explain Scalewhy our bodies impede our results whenever we get close to our target weight.

“Set point” is not a real term in a medical sense and, thus, its meaning is often misused or misunderstood. A common “definition” found on the Internet states “Set point is the weight range in which your body is programmed to weigh and will fight to maintain that weight.” While more or less accurate, its use of the word “programmed” is misleading because it insinuates that you have no control over the programmer, which is, in fact, yourself.

This is further exacerbated with the sentence “everyone has a set point and just like you have no control over how tall you will be, or what color your eyes and hair will be, you also have no control over what your set point will be. Your body is biologically and genetically determined to weigh within a certain weight range.” While this sentence has some true elements, it’s also fatalistic and sounds as though you’re doomed to live a life that’s predetermined. You have a lot more control over what you weigh than your height and what color your eyes are. If this wasn’t true, Million Dollar Body members wouldn’t be so successful at losing weight.

What the creators of the term “set point” have done is to combine the meaning of the word homeostasis with the fact that there are different body types. Homeostasis is your body’s desire to stay regulated under varying conditions. Since it’s a point your body likes to maintain, it is, in a way, a set point. Except that it’s changeable. Body type is not changeable. However, how your body looks, no matter what type, is easily altered. If that weren’t true, bodybuilding would be a sport with only one body type, and it’s not.

So let’s get down to the business of how to change your set point. Since “set point” isn’t even a real term, but more of a myth, it shouldn’t be too difficult. We change myths all the time.

Step 1: Change whatever you are currently doing. If you don’t believe that your set point can change, try Morgan Spurlock’s experiment, the film Super Size Me, and super-size all of your meals at McDonald’s for the next month. Most of you can visualize this pretty well. If you overeat like crazy, you will gain weight. By just understanding this Supersizemeone thing we’ve myth-busted the legend of the set point. You can gain weight and, therefore, you don’t really have a set point as defined.

But you probably don’t want to gain weight; you probably want to lose. So let’s look at how this works. Your body likes wherever it is right now. Even if that state is sick or overweight or out of shape, your body tries to hang on to this state because the reactionary state of your body is that change is bad. It’s a survival mechanism that kicks in because, no matter how unhealthy, we’re currently still alive and all change has some risk associated with it. But we are reasonable beings and have the ability to offset our reactionary state (that we might want to refer to as our “amoeba state”). So when we understand that something is good for us, we can force our reactionary body into doing something it doesn’t want to. The easiest step of all is to simply change what you are currently doing.

When ultra-runner Dean Karnazes made the decision to become a runner, he was in a bar. He stopped drinking, went out into the night, and ran 30 miles. At that time, his set point was that of a guy who sat in bars and not someone who would run 50 marathons in 50 days. He had to change it, which he did in sort of an extreme manner. But my point is that he did change it. And it didn’t happen on that first run, which I’d imagine was quite miserable. You’ve got to force change on your life; otherwise your body will revert to its state of homeostasis.

Step 2: Clean up your life. Step one is easy; this one takes more work. Nothing you can do will help you as much as changing your lifestyle to a healthier one. Eat less junk, get plenty of exercise, stay hydrated, eat more whole foods. It doesn’t sound all that hard, but we wouldn’t be having this discussion if it were easy.

This is a roundabout step because it won’t necessarily change your weight and, hence, your set point, but it will change you inside. It’s the most important step because your body will get healthier and run better. Eating good food changes the way your body metabolizes, especially when you add some exercise. And your metabolic process is what this entire set point issue is about. When you change your body’s foundation for the better, it will more easily accept future changes.

Step 3: Zigzag your diet. To lose weight, you generally need to eat less. But while randomly eating less can be effective, the best strategy that you can use is to zigzag your calories. zigzag

Don’t confuse zigzag dieting with yo-yo dieting; they are completely different. Zigzagging means to eat more on different days in order to keep your body’s metabolism working at its set point while you are under- or overfeeding it. It works both ways—you can zigzag down and zigzag up.

Your goal is that your overall calorie expenditure is either down or up. Most of you probably want to lose weight, so let’s use down. Say you weigh 200 pounds and want to weigh 150. Your body wants to eat around 3,000 calories a day in order to maintain its weight (or its current set point). But you want to lose weight as quickly as is safe and you’re psyched to starve yourself to do it, so you’re willing to eat 1,200 calories a day. If you do, however, your body thinks that you are starving and, over time, begins to lower its metabolism. There is some lag time in your body’s ability to react, so you may lose a lot of weight in a week or two eating 1,200 calories a day but then it will slow down. Furthermore, your slower metabolism will negatively affect your ability to work out hard, especially the fitter you become.

Instead, eat between 2,500 and 3,000 calories two or three days per week and 1,200 on the others. This way your body doesn’t have the time to react, resulting in negative calorie days that force your body to more efficiently use its stored body fat as fuel for energy. While your caloric consumption for a week is a few thousand calories higher than if you were eating less, your higher metabolic rate allows you to work out harder, exert more energy, and burn more calories. Over time, the calorie burning will increase beyond what you could hope to achieve by just eating less.

As you lose weight, your upper-end caloric consumption can drop. But be careful because your body composition is changing. With more muscle and less fat, your caloric needs increase, even as you are losing weight. There is no exact scale to use for this, but a muscular 150-pound person can burn more calories than a fat 200-pound person. So never drop your high-calorie days too much.

Step 4: Eat more! Assuming you’ve followed the above steps you will reach a point where you need to eat more in order to continually lose weight. The reason is that a 1,200-calorie-a-day diet isn’t enough to feed a highly active person of any weight. If you’re small, 1,200 calories may be fine during times of inactivity, but an hour of intense exercise burns at least 500 calories and an active body can’t live long (at least in a fit state) on 700 calories a day—it’s starvation mode central. For this reason, adding calories is probably the number one piece of advice we use on the Message Boards to get our members off of weight plateaus toward the end of their programs.

This concept throws a wrench into the original idea of the whole set point theory because if your body’s “set point” is, supposedly 160 pounds, is it 160 pounds at 15% body fat or at 30%? The difference in how these two bodies will look couldn’t be starker. It’s like the difference between Gabrielle Reece and Roseanne Barr. How you look is far more related to your body composition than your actual weight.

Step 5: Periodize your diet. In other words, eat for what you do. Food is fuel and you don’t put gas in your car when it’s sitting in the driveway. It’s much the same with your diet. You need far less food when you are sitting all day then when you aren’t.

Periodizational dieting is, basically, just planning your diet around your activities with your goals in mind. Much the way you do with your workouts. For example, Beachbody exercise programs are all programs, meaning that you do certain exercises and workouts over a given amount of time, usually 4 to 12 weeks. Then you’re “done,” at which point you re-evaluate your goals and do something different. This is exactly how your diet should work.

For example, each of the above four steps could be a “period” of dieting. Each time you change what you were doing before, you go through a period of adjustment as your body resets its set point to reflect your new lifestyle. Once it’s reset, you again change what you are doing until you get your body to the point where you want it. At this point, your set point becomes your friend because, due to homeostasis, your body always wants to maintain the point it’s currently at.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Keysha's Tree - I'm going to either find one for my backyard or dig hers up in the night. Just kidding. But I like it.
The sideyard. I am going to put stepping stones through here as a path leading to the backyard. I am also going to get pots so that I can have clusters of annuals to make it pretty.
The new yard with the big square spot for the pool. Our plan is to build a kind of short tumbled paver wall around the edges. Then we will fill it with rounded gravel. We will do the pool during the summer, and our fireplace during the Spring/Fall.
My greenhouse strawberries and salad bowl lettuce.
Tomatoes, Basil and Peppers - waiting for when it is warm enough to plant in the Square Foot Garden boxes. Another few weeks before the danger of frost is over.

Last summer this contained weeds about as high as my waist. I am blissfully happy.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

30 Days

Today Coach Keysha measured me. It's been 30 days since we started P90X. I can't believe how fast it has gone! NOT. :) Well, it sorta has. In a nutshell - I am down 6 lbs. and overall 6 1/2 inches. I am pretty happy with the results. I wish that I would have lost a little more weight, however, with all of the weight training that I have done, I am sure that I have gained a bit of muscle in this process. So - 30 days down. Bring on the next 30 days!

No Really, You DO Need Sprinklers

About four years ago we got four loads of dirt and sod and put it in the backyard.

"No, I don't need a sprinkler system. I'll just go out and water with the hose."

I could hear the snickers and laughs from everyone I shared THAT idea with, but hey - my mom did it in Phoenix for 100 years, I figured I could do it here for 4 months out of the year.

I was wrong. The grass died (laughing all the way - ho ho ho) and we were faced with a monumental decision about the next step in our journey through yardwork. We were still facing the sideyards - clearing out the massive amounts of weeds, putting down weed barrier, filling with gravel. Still facing the front yard - island all torn up. See where I am going with this?

We hired someone. Someone who will do the side yards, redo the backyard (leaving space for our pool), reconfigure the sprinkler system so that it will still water the yard, but also allow for a drip system through the flower beds both front and back. Bless his heart - he is outside with his crew working like a dog to get it done. I'm astonished every time I walk back there. I have a renewed hope in my yard and what I may be able to accomplish this year.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fairy Godmother

A month ago for Clara's birthday, my dear friend, Erin, agreed to be the Fairy Godmother at the birthday party. She went to D.I. and bought a fancy dress and a tiara. She was the hit of the party. Last night in a "I HAVE TO GO ON A DATE WITH DAVE" fit I asked Erin if she could babysit. She agreed (yay!) and so I told Clara that her Fairy Godmother was coming over to babysit.

Clara, was thrilled. Did I say thrilled? I meant overjoyed. She danced, sang, twirled, and all that girly stuff.

A little while later Erin knocked on the door. Clara shrieked and ran to the door saying, "It's my Fairy Godmother!" We opened the door and...

Erin walked in. In jeans and flip flops.

The look on Clara's face could have frozen ice. She looked Erin up and down from head to toe with disdain. All of a sudden we realized that she expected this:

Fast forward to the end of the night. We got home from our date (yay!) and Clara had obviously forgiven her Fairy Godmother for over clothing oversight because she was snuggled up with her on the couch. Josh had been asleep for hours. Erin reported that Clara called her nothing but "Fairy Godmother" or "Fawy Godmudda" all night.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Word Up

I know I said I wouldn't post a lot about my Transformation that is going on, but I just have to say that I am falling deeply in love with yoga. Since P90X uses yoga in every DVD, I am getting the gist of it, and also getting really quite good at it. Or so Dave tells me. I think the combo of weight training and yoga is phenomenal. It's giving me ideas for later when I come up with a maintenance program. After I lose 50 pounds, that is. :)

So if you haven't done yoga before and are terrified, don't be. It is tough and when you start you feel like a big idiot, but as you get more into the stretching and poses your body becomes familiar with it. Even Dave grumbles less as he gets more flexible.

And I'm about two inches from being able to do the splits again. Now that is sayin' somethin'.

Beyond the Bus Stop

Thanks to my Team Beachbody website, I discovered another fun little site called Beyond the Bus Stop. I have many many friends who are moms and trying to balance being a mom and still being an individual. I have long thought that the best example that I can be to my kids, especially my daughter, is to still be myself. My mom taught me to be independent because she was herself independent.

One of my major goals with raising children is to teach them how to stay strong in this world. They are going to face challenges that I haven't even dreamed of. I want them to know how to be strong because they see ME being strong. I love being a mother and I am grateful for my two beautiful children, but at the same time I always need to remember that they will have their own journey that will someday not involve me on a daily basis. I want them to someday leave home well equipped to handle their world because they have seen me handle MY world. It does them no good if I am off-balance because I am focusing completely and totally on them. I don't want to ever use them as an excuse to not accomplish what Heavenly Father has in mind for me. That sounds like a selfish statement, but it isn't. I do a lot for my kids and I try to do as much service as I can for others. But I am a much much better mom when I am also taking care of myself.

During these 90 days of P90X (which is by far my favorite workout program EVER) I am trying to focus on mind, body and spirit. I'm challenging myself by reading passages of scripture that I normally don't (i.e. Isaiah and Revelation). I'm focusing on learning the balance of nutrition and exercise in order to be fit. Not THIN, but fit. Healthy. And finally, I am trying to discover what I really want to be as a wife, mother, daughter, friend, cousin, and niece.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


On Sunday I held up a picture of Jesus and asked Clara who it was. She said enthusiastically, "That's my own friend, Jesus!"

While up to bat at baseball practice my cute Josh turned around to look at me for encouragement. He paused and said, "Mom, can I come snuggle with you?" I said, "No, Josh. You are playing baseball."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Easter Bunny Came!

A couple of years ago we started the tradition of doing Easter baskets on Saturday morning instead of Sunday so that we can leave Sunday for what Easter is truly all about. Last night Dave and I put together the kids' baskets and left a trail of jelly bean filled plastic eggs from the hallway to the kitchen table.

Clara woke up first and wandered into the living room with two eggs in her hands and a perplexed look on her face. I said, "Clara! Follow the path!" Then I started following the eggs. She paused, grabbed another egg, and then bolted to follow me. When she got to her basket she immediately reached out for her little sleeping beauty figurine and said, "Mom! It's my seeping booty!" Greater thrill hath no three year old girl. She also got Princess Playclothes (they have the Disney princesses and I am hoping that she wants to wear that instead of a princess dress all day long), a stuffed bunny, and sidewalk crayons.

A few minutes later Dave woke Josh up because we are impatient about these things. We were up doing our workout so we were up before him. He got a little remote control car, which he has been wanting since Christmas, so he was thrilled. He also got some new pants for church, a kid sized baseball bat and ball to practice, and two Easter books. I suspect that both kids have their bellies full of jelly beans this morning.

In a couple of hours we are going to our neighborhood Egg Hunt, and then we will go to Kneaders for our Easter Brunch where I will diligently get a salad. Last night Dave boiled some eggs so that the kids can dye them later today. They have those weird spongy 3-D stickers that they can use to decorate. I love creating little traditions for them from year to year. I love listening to them happily play with their new stuff. Josh is guiding his car all over and Clara has changed Sleeping Beauty several times between her blue and pink dress. She randomly bursts into singing, "I know you, I walked with you once upon a dweam!"

And just for fun, there is a nap in my plans for the day.

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Room with a View

About a year ago one of our neighbors did something totally and utterly bizarre. He removed the ugly tan vinyl railings on his front porch. I gasped in shock and awe. What?! That shakes up the Stepford look!

Last night in a bold move, Dave and I copied him. We need a high powered saw - the kind you can rent from Home Depot - to finish the job. But, I LOVE IT. Dave sort of shrugged and said, "I liked it better the other way." Why do I love it? Because now I can sit on my front porch and SEE. I can sit on my front porch and look at my (non-existent for the moment) landscaping once I can start planting again. I can leap over the flower bed to haul my small children out of the street when they ignore my Mommy yell. I can reach the hose without walking all the way around the railing.

But really, I love it because I spent all of my summers in Utah at my dad and step-mom's house and some of my best memories with my dad include sitting out on the front porch swing, looking at Mt. Timpanogos, and talking. Particularly in the evenings. It's where 90% of our summer bonding went on. So I picture the front porch as a place where Dave and I can rock the summer evenings away while chatting with neighbors. Having the railing gone gives us more space, and the whole reason why I wanted this house was to have a front porch.

Years ago my friend Doug Pennock said, "The downfall of society was when we went from front porch people to backyard people. Front porch people allow us to keep tabs on each other and keeps us more honest." I agree with that!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Here Comes the Sun!

I have a morning ritual. I wake up, grab my zone bar or whatever I am choosing to eat prior to working out, and head for the computer. I open the blinds to see what the day will be like. Prior to starting P90X it was light outside in the mornings. Now it is dark, but I can at least see if it is snowing. Yesterday morning there were 3 inches on the ground with more snow falling. Today there is nothing on the ground and the sun is out. Welcome to Spring.

I'm ready for Spring, but not in a I-am-sick-of-the-snow way. Yesterday I was bugged about the snow because I think Saturdays should be reserved for Sunny days year round. Plus I had hoped to get a few more Spring crops in the SFG box. Alas, it was not to be. Maybe I will sneak out there today and plant. Is it working on Sunday if you poke a hole in the ground and drop a seed in it?

Today I am also happy that it is sunny because we are headed to my cousin's baby blessing after the morning session of General Conference. Then we are headed down to Springville for dinner. Food fest! I must bring my portion control plate. :) It's always nice to be able to drive in pleasant weather versus snowstorm. Don't you agree?

Friday, April 3, 2009

Cloudy Day Cookies

I'm on a quest to make healthy snacks for my kids that don't come in a box. This is a challenge! But today I found an already "healthy" chocolate chip cookie recipe that I made even healthier. Ready....set....go!

3/4 cup rolled oats
1 scoop protein powder
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 cup butter (most recipes call for at least a stick)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 T. ground flax seed plus 3 T water in place of the egg
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 and coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray
2. Grind oats in a blender or food processor. Add the protein powder and mix in blender with the oats. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir flour, baking soda and salt.
3. Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until fluffy. I put it in my kitchenaid. Add coconut oil, sugar, brown sugar, flax seed and water, and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. With the mixer running, add the dry ingredients, beating on a low speed until combined. Add the chocolate chips.
4. Drop the dough by heaping teaspoonfuls at least 1 inch apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake cookies, 1 sheet at a time until firm around the edges and golden on top. About 10 minutes at higher altitude. Cool for a few minutes and then transfer to wire racks.

Typical chocolate chip cookies that you bake are around 200+ calories and 12 grams of fat.

These cookies are around 95 calories, 11 carbs, 5 grams of fat, 1.5 grams protein, and 1 gram of fiber. Or 2 weight watchers points.

They have a dense, nutty flavor and my kids loved them!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Mystery 19th Century Literature Theater 3000

Do you remember that show that was on several years ago called Mystery Science Theater 3000? It was really quite dumb, but occasionally funny. Anyway, last Friday night we had one of our mid-week enrichment activities at my friend Kiley's house. We waited until 8pm, donned our pajamas, and wandered to her house to watch "Pride and Prejudice". Not the long version, although we talked about someday doing that in installments.

It took us a while to start the movie because we were all chattering and munching on munchies. We finally settled in and the sweeping music filled the room. As the movie progressed, it got louder since we were all giggling, swooning, critiquing and comparing the two Mr. Darcy's from each movie and who we liked better. So Kiley would pause and rewind as we repeatedly missed the various nuances of the characters. It was both annoying and hilarious at the same time.

I love my neighborhood and I love how when we have a girls' night out we leave the stress of children and keeping houses clean at the door and just have fun and enjoy each other. All of us love to eat, most of us love movies, most of us love to read. But mostly it gives us the opportunity to share the ups and downs of motherhood and feel not so alone in this journey. When I was single my girls' nights were mostly spent talking about boys. Either way, single or married, I love to spend time with the girls.

I'm grateful for a husband that recognizes that need and never hesitates to shove me out the door if something is going on. He knows it is my outlet. His is probably actually watching MST3000 or something equally strange (Dr. Who), and it is also time that he can go into his cave. I'm glad that we figured that out about each other early on.