Fabulous by 40

opportunity each dayI’ve done WW off and on for years starting back in 2005 when I lost 25 pounds. I wanted to slim down and loose baby weight for my cousins wedding. I’m 5’4 1/2 (hey, the half counts) and I weighed 141 pounds at the end. It was most likely the healthiest I’d ever been. I worked out hard 5 times/week and was active with my family on the weekends. I’ll never forget the time the owner of the gym I attended brought a potential member over to me while I worked out and said, “See, this is what you can accomplish.” Such a great feeling.

That was 3 kids and way too many pounds ago. A twin pregnancy followed by another pregnancy just two years later, sleep-deprivation, poor eating habits, stress, and too much time on the sofa have led to where I am now. So at 38 I’m starting over. My goal is to be fabulous by 40. It isn’t just about the number on the scale. It’s about how I look and feel. I want to be healthy and strong. I learned from past success that slow & steady wins the race and thats my goal. I don’t just want to loose weight, I want to gain a healthy overall lifestyle.
I want to be strong.

Consistently inconsistent…

puppy_with_glasses_updateUmmm….yeah….

So, update from my orginal post for last year. I didn’t really get all those books read. Hardly any of them really. I did read over 100 books, just not the ones on my list. <insert sheepish smiley here>

It’s not a terrible thing though. I’ve realized something about myself. Reading is my go-to for destressing and unwinding. Most of the books on my list required me to think, when I really didn’t want to.

So this year my goals are tweaked. No book list, I’m just going to try to finish some books that I think would be helpful for me to read. For example, I’ve been trudging through “Driven to Distraction” for several years. I really think it could be helpful to finish it, since I am, in fact, ADD, but I keep getting distracted before I finish it.

In the health department I made losses and gains and ended up breaking even. I’d like to focus on that and make some real changes this year. It’s still not about the number on the scale. I really just want to be healthy and some energy would be nice.

I realize that I never did a follow-up post to the soap. I developed an allergic reaction to something. All my life my mother has suffered from hives if the least little irritant bothered her skin. I’ve been blessed not to suffer the same affliction, until now. I’m not blaming the soap. It started on vacation and could’ve just as easily been some irritant specific to the house we rented. I don’t know. All I know is that now I break-out in hives with Every. Single. Shower. I’ve changed back to my previous body products and tried several others. Nothing helps. Bathing = hives. So I backed off the natural soap products because I couldn’t figure out what started this and I didn’t want to make it worse. I will say that the shampoo bar is not for me, even without the hives.

The organization thing: I’m still working on it, and suspect that I will be for the rest of my life. It’s not exactly my strongest area. Obviously.

 

SOAP, it does a body good.

kitty_bath I just took my first ever all hand-crafted natural soap shower. Courtesy of my friend Jenn at CreativeWanderings.ca  I used the Salty Sea Dog on my body- ❤  You had me at “SEA.” I liked the scent and since my happy-place involves my toes squishing in the sand, the ocean-influence is why I went with this one first. “The Tingler” shaving soap, with peppermint, tea tree, & lavender, was my choice for all areas to be shaved. I washed my hair with the Peppermint & Tea Tree shampoo bar. Finally, I used the “Cleopatra” with Dead Sea mud to wash my face.

First thoughts: The overall feeling is “clean.” I know that sounds obvious, but it’s a different feeling from the shower gels that I usually use. We’ve all seen those commercials about soap leaving a filmy residue behind, but for me, that’s usually the case with any shower gel I’ve tried. Other soaps that I’ve tried leave my skin feeling tight, like it’s thirsty. The exception being the moisturizing bars which also leave a filmy residue for me.  So far, there’s no filmy residue and my skin doesn’t feel tight. It feels lighter. Also, the smells are not strong. All of the soaps that I used today are scented with essential oils. As I sit here there’s a subtle but pleasant after-shower scent. If I sniff my arm or my hair I don’t really get anything, but if I move my head just so or raise my arm I sometimes get a bit of mint or cinnamon. It’s nice.

The shampoo bar  is my first-ever foray into non-liquid shampoo and foregoing conditioner. It has a surprisingly rich lather that did not feel at-all drying in the shower. Right now it just feels lighter. I’m a little leery of the lack of conditioner, especially at the ends of my very-long hair. I do not have oily hair. I wash my hair every other day unless I’ve been at the beach, swimming, or sweating a lot. I’m worried about how those ends will hold up on our beach vacation this summer, under constant exposure to the harsh rays of the sun and daily washing. I may bring a leave-in conditioner, just in case. I will say that the shampoo bar that I used does contain aloe juice. I’m going to continue using it without any added conditioner for now and see how it goes.

The Tingler shaving soap: Oh, where have you been all my life? There’s a loofah embedded in the soap. Isn’t that clever? My legs and underarms are smooth and soft AND no red bumps! Also, loved the refreshing mint!

“Cleopatra” with Dead Sea mud: This is not the first time that I’ve used handcrafted soap on my face. I switched to using all-natural soap on my face a little over a year ago. I have recently (a few months after switching) noticed the first signs of aging (I’m not yet forty.) I’ve always looked young for my age but I think that now, I just look my age. This could be a variety of factors though: the past few years, my diet took a nose dive.  After giving birth to twins my caffeine intake increased exponentially.  In recent years I’ve had the opportunity to spend more time at the beach and therefore, in the sun, than ever before. Even with the use of sunscreen, I’m sure that it takes a toll. So I can’t lay blame for the forehead wrinkle or lack of luster to my skin on the soap change. I can however give credit to the fact that I’ve noticed an overall decrease in blemishes since changing to the handcrafted soap.  Which leads us back to the lovely Cleopatra. After a conversation that detailed all of the above info/issues, my friend Jenn recommended this soap for my now more “mature” skin. It’s Day 1 so there’s nothing really to report about it other than that I like the smell and I’m hopeful that it will reverse time and make me look ten years younger that it will help.  I’ll be sure to post about any significant fountain-of-youth type qualities.

Back in the Saddle…

kitty_exercise Clearly, there have been some false starts. Obviously. As it is now mid-June and I am no less gravitationally-challenged than I was in January. I’m actually a little more so.

This past Sunday, I decided to start over.  I have been maintaining healthy-eating habits since, and I’m down 4 pounds!  YAY!

I came down with a cold yesterday. We had a horrible winter with sicknesses and it really presented a problem with the health-goals. I find it hard to stay motivated to prepare a healthy meal or exercise when I feel like crud.  However, I did not want this to become my excuse.  So first thing this morning I went for a bike ride, because if it didn’t happen then, there’s a high probability that it wasn’t going to happen at all.  I discovered a new bike path. I knew it was there, but I’d never traveled it before, I discovered that it is a very hilly bike path, which is good, because I wanted to work up a sweat. I discovered that the honey-suckle is in bloom. And it smells amazing! It was a nice ride.

When I came home I had a healthy breakfast. Then I made lasagna, once again because if it didn’t happen then…
and the kids need something to eat tonight as well.

It all started with sunshine…

fuzzy-sweet-kitten-2and a craving for something fruity but, you know, bad for me. I was really in the mood for a nice lemony cake with maybe some raspberries. I remember seeing a recipe a while back that used white cake mix and pudding to make some simple but delicious-sounding lemony treat.

Well, I couldn’t find that.

Instead I found these:

Special Buttercream Frosting

Click on the pics to go to recipes.

lemon chiffon cake Lemon Curd Raspberry Lemon Cake

I wanted to be able to tell the fillings by the frosting color, but I went a little too heavy handed on the purple & rose food color.  It was my first time trying the two-toned technique though, so, live & learn.

So  put all that in a mental blender and this is where I landed.

Lemon cupcakes filled with either raspberry mousse, lemon curd, or blueberry jam. Topped with lemon butter-cream frosting. This frosting recipe makes a ton and it’s dangerously good, because you just want to find things to put it on!

So that was my day. We played outside, soaked up some vitamin D, and enjoyed some fruity baked goodness.

Oh, and I made lemonade. Because it goes well with sunshine.

lemonade_2

First down

kitty_yarn_books

I finally get to check something off my list.

  • Finish one crocheted item for charity.

 My church needle-workers group has been making prayer shawls for a cancer support group run by another woman in the church. We’ve already received some heart-warming responses from the recipients of the shawls. I was late in finishing my shawl. Our group leader had been given a bag full of little packets, each one representing a woman who is fighting cancer. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Robin started at the top of the bag when giving out the shawls. Apparently one of the packets at the bottom of the bag represented a woman without much time left. She is to be the recipient of my shawl. It’s a good feeling, to be even a small part of something that touches the life of one who is suffering, to be able to bring that person even a little comfort in their time of need. I don’t know this woman, yet I find my thoughts returning to her. Is she elderly? Has she lived a full life? Is she young? Does she have children? Are they grown? Is she ready? Would I be?

I set out to bring someone else comfort; to use my ability to touch the life of another. Yet as I think of this woman today and pray for her, I find it is quite the reverse.