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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Plan

Note: I am doing this in hopes of holding myself accountable. And so I can look back and be proud of myself for pursuing a goal and sticking to it.

Back in October, I put it all out there and wrote about the ups and downs of my health & wellness journey. Okay, so basically it was a reflection on how chubby I was and how skinny I became and how I am now stuck somewhere in the middle. And trying to convince myself that I am okay with that.

The look: yogas, messy hair, no makeup, screaming baby on hip
Honestly, I'm more comfortable in my own skin now than I was when I could squeeze into a size 3/4. I will say that birthing a child can do that to you. But I still stop and gaze at myself in the mirror and wonder if I could do just a little bit better.

Of course, the answer is yes. I can. And I will. I'm obviously a person who is accustomed to being uncomfortable. How many others do you know that would voluntarily move out of state to live with their in-laws just months after getting married? And then get pregnant? And go to work waiting tables in a black long sleeve and a tie in the middle of summer just weeks before giving birth?

My point is I have to push myself, and sometimes that makes me uncomfortable. But I always do it and I always overcome. And it's always a positive learning experience in the end. It is my ultimate goal to live a life that is focused on health & wellness always, so any steps that I am taking today will make a bigger impact tomorrow.

More  Less 

When I was officially 6 weeks postpartum I started doing Focus T-25 with my neighbor and friend, Susan. I loved it because it was a short, efficient workout that made me break a sweat and had me feeling nice and sore the next day. I had a hard time sticking with the schedule because I was only working out when she had the time and I always had to ask someone who was home to keep an eye on Sienna. So my workouts fizzled and then we went away for Christmas and now it's almost February.

I stopped whining and finally ordered the program for myself, and it's been sitting by the TV downstairs for weeks. So this coming Sunday, February 2 I will be going to the store to stock up for the 5 Day Fast Track which will then lead right into the program. Here are the supplies I need:

· Body measuring tape (for measurements first thing Monday morning & at the end of the program)
· Shaker bottle/water bottle (because the ones I already own keep disappearing)

And the food stuff:

· Nonfat & almond milk (I prefer just almond milk but the regular milk can be used for a little protein boost)
· Natural peanut butter (Teddy has always been my go-to, but we’ve been buying Skippy Natural in bulk from BJ’s)
· Caffeine-free herbal tea (bye bye coffee *sobs*)
· Greek yogurt (This stuff is amazing)
· Eggs (The perfect food)
· Fresh and frozen berries (whichever makes the most sense at the time)
· Low sodium cold cuts (turkey and cheese work for me)
· Whole wheat crackers (probably going to be the only “wheat” I consume)
· Plain almonds (for snacking/adding to salads)
· Baby spinach and romaine lettuce (for the perfect salad)
· Avocados (hopefully), grapes, bananas, apples
· Celery, bell peppers, tomatoes, and other produce items that sound good and will hopefully get eaten
· Lean turkey & chicken breast
· Possibly a couple cans of tuna and maybe some frozen fish filets (as long as they’re not from the Pacific)
· Olive oil, red wine vinegar, coconut oil

This tab won’t be cheap, but I'm over it. I figure what I pay in food costs I’m saving by working my butt out at home. No gym membership or fuel-burning vehicle necessary.

After this eventful shopping trip, I will make sure my workout area is clean (vacuumed) and then I will do the 25-minute stretch to get myself warmed up.

My 5-day fast track will go as follows:

Monday – cardio
Tuesday – speed
Wednesday – total body
Thursday – abs
Friday – lower & cardio
Saturday – off
Sunday – stretch

Then Alpha Week 1 officially begins Monday, February 10.

Wish me luck!

I feel like I should also mention that I have no set expectations for this program. I don't have any specific numbers in my head nor do I believe I will have rock hard abs once I complete the program. Strength and energy is what I want, and I simply need a routine that is reasonable (25 minutes is not hard to accomplish during nap or play time) and will make regular physical activity and healthy(er) eating a part of my daily life.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

It's about to get sappy

Sienna officially Loves orange foods with a capital L. Basically if it’s carrots, squash or sweet potato and it’s in puree form, she’ll hunt your spoon-holding hand down like a starving piranha. She’ll happily polish off an entire serving and then wash it all down with a nice bubba (bubba has always = bottle in my family). I always laugh to myself when I observe how much this girl truly enjoys being fed. I can only hope this willingness to eat what’s good continues as her taste buds grow along with the rest of her.

She stands straight up in her excersaucer and has even figured out how to spin the seat around to reach the toys that are directly behind her.

Poor girl is definitely teething, too. It’s been a little hellish for us all, and a not-so-subtle reminder that she is growing right before our eyes and the changes seemingly happen overnight. It knocks you off balance just a little bit. I feel like I'm racing to keep up. It’s a thing to marvel at, that’s for sure.

I realize that this very young human has at the very least a few years of innocence before the world slowly, surely starts to jade her. It’s inevitable. But I think I’m starting to understand that feeling that so many other parents find hard to articulate. Be patient and keep your eyes open. This is fleeting and if you don’t try your damndest to be in the moment you just might miss it.

Sometimes I feel that familiar anxious frustration creep up and sometimes it comes out in the form of an exasperated sigh, or cursing aloud. Then I look at her big curious blue eyes and realize that I truly need to watch my thoughts and my actions carefully, because she will be catching on.

And then all it takes is a big toothless grin and all out belly laugh… or her little head nuzzling into my shoulder when she gets sleepy… to make me forget how absolutely draining and amazingly challenging this thing called parenthood is. It's then and only then that I surrender the need to control everything and allow my daughter to teach me a thing or two about life.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Best Christmas (and New Year) Ever

There's nothing quite like going home for the holidays.

The Craig household has been looking forward to the 2013 holiday season since 2012. Not only would we have a new addition...

But we would be celebrating with family and friends in Massachusetts after being away for 15 months. Needless to say we were overly excited about this extended vacation full of good people, good food, lots of laughs, a few tears, and priceless memories.

Miss Sienna is the fifth generation on Evan's side, and we couldn't wait to capture this moment (despite the little one's expression). Check out great-great Nana Sally at 90 years young. That woman is ageless, and a feisty one to boot.

Sienna got to meet countless other great-great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and not to mention she was reunited with her GG...

Seeing all of these wonderful people love on my girl had my heart overflowing. Family is by far the most important thing in my life. It comes before money, possessions, food... I mean, we ate like kings and queens while we were back home but we could have literally eaten cereal and turkey sandwiches every day and I would have been just as happy.

Evan and I managed to snap this one family photo in between the organized chaos of reconnecting with as many people as possible. I didn't take nearly as many photos as I thought I would... too busy living in the moment.

And just like that we were saying goodbye to 2013 and toasting to 2014. A year that is sure to be filled with even more love, family, and new adventures.

Then we were buried in nearly 2 feet of snow, extending our stay for a couple more days, allowing us to soak up just a little bit more time...

Then it was back on the road. Twenty-four total driving hours. My girl barely even fussed. She's a natural born traveler, just like her parents.