Thursday, July 31, 2014

Park Play Date

Wednesday after swim practice, the boys and I went to the park with my friend and her daughter, Taylor. The weather was perfect, it's been really mild here this week plus, we went to a park that had a ton of shade. There's a splash park, two different playgrounds and several little things like a merry-go-round, monkey bars, swings, etc. to do. The kids had a blast. The boys are still napping every day and they've been napping almost every day this summer, but especially since we started swim lessons, they've been exhausted. Well, the kids had so much fun, we stayed for over two hours, well into nap time.

The boys love the monkey bars and I think these are my favorite out of any park we've been to. They're low enough to the ground that I don't have a heart attack watching them but they still get to play and climb on them.

Carter spent the most time at the splash pad. I think this splash pad is the best free one in Augusta, and that's kinda sad. But, Evan and Taylor were much more interested in the playgrounds, so Carter played over here for a long while by himself, then got bored with it.

Evan did join him for a little bit. Maybe the water was just too cold because it wasn't that warm out.

The boys spent most of the time on the merry go round. Taylor and Evan discovered it and then Carter eventually wandered over and got in on it. They had everybody and anybody pushing them on that thing--moms, grandparents, older kids, etc. Those kids were working anybody that came near them.

Then the boys went over to this thing to play for awhile. I think that they both think it's a treadmill because they kept saying that they were exercising. They've seen treadmills at the gym when we pass them and we always point out that that's the area that mommy and daddy workout while they're in the kid zone, so I guess they were listening.

We decided to walk over to the turtle pond before leaving to check them out. Taylor hadn't seen it before. Evan insisted that Taylor hold his hand.

How cute is that!? So sweet. They all went down there and saw all the turtles and fish and then we went home. On the way home, the boys were so concerned with Taylor in the 3rd row of our van. Evan kept asking "How are you doing back there" then they invited her over so they could share their pineapple with her. They each had a small bowl left and they each wanted to give her half of it, which I thought was so sweet, so Melissa and Taylor came in for awhile when we got back to my house.

Greg ended up pulling in right when we did, so the kids had their pineapple snack and then played, for about 2 hours while Greg, Melissa, and I sat and talked. We've all known each other since 1999, so we go way back and it was fun talking about old times and catching up. The boys and Taylor played so good, they basically entertained themselves that entire time. Our afternoon playdate was so much fun, it kind of makes me sad that summer is coming to an end and school's about to start.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Happy Boys

I never did a weekend recap, but we didn't do a whole lot. Friday night, we went to the pool when Greg got home. Saturday morning, the boys had a tball game and Saturday night was Parent's Night Out at the Y. Greg and I dropped the boys off, went to dinner and then shopping for school supplies for the boys.

Sunday, Greg had to do some work from home, so I took the boys to church. The church we've been going to has free coffee and cheese biscuits for everybody, so the boys each had a biscuit before I dropped them off at the kids church.

And, a car selfie on the way home from church. It's really hard to remember to be in the picture since I'm always the one taking the picture.

After church, we took the boys to the pool. The weather was nice and they had a blast.

They insisted on wearing their goggles there. I don't know how those things are comfortable, but the boys love them.

Monday, the boys started week two of their swim lessons. They go from 10-10:45. We usually run errands after swim practice, and it always requires food for the boys, like a hot dog from Sam's Club, popcorn from Target, etc.

The rest of this post is pictures from swim lessons and there's a ton! We get there a couple minutes early, and I always try and get a quick picture of the boys together every day.

I hate that this is blurry, but I love it so much, so I had to post it. I asked the boys if I could take a picture and they said yes and then I went to take one and they both yelled "No" so I made a sad face and put my phone down, so they said "ok, you can take a picture" and then when I lift my phone up again, they both yell "no" and start laughing. It has become a game and it's the reason I was able to get all these pictures of them smiling and laughing.

It's so hard to catch them both laughing and I'm just so in love with these pictures.

After swim lessons on Tuesday, I took the boys to the outdoor pool. Of course, they had to start off with a snack. I swear these growing boys never stop eating.

It's  been a lot cooler this week than it has been most of this summer, plus it was only 11, so I guess the pool hadn't warmed up enough for the boys. Evan was freezing. They ended up only playing for about 40 minutes because they said it was just too cold.

Wednesday, the boys decided to play their same "yes/no" game with me on pictures, so I was able to get several of them smiling and happy.

So cute!

The boys are doing really good in their swim class. They can both swim 5ft unassisted and that's the requirement to be moved up to the next level, so that's exciting. We're going to sign the boys up for the next level swim lesson that will start in a couple of weeks. They only have two more weeks of tball, and the next swim lessons will start after that's over, so it shouldn't be too much going on for them. I want them to be able to build on these skills they've learned these past two weeks. The boys start school next Friday (the 8th) so we'll get done with these daily swim lessons tomorrow, have a week off and then school starts, summer is flying by.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Diet Bet

I mentioned Dietbet on my blog a week or so ago and said I'd do a post about it, so here it is. About the middle of June I decided to start getting serious about losing weight. I started trying to eat healthier and then about a week into it, I saw something about Dietbet on Instagram and decided to join. Since, I was already trying to eat healthy and lose weight, I figured that I might as well get paid for it. There's two different options on Dietbet, you can do a 4 week one with the goal of losing 4% of your body weight or a 6 month one with the goal of losing 10% of your body weight. There's several different bets going with different buy ins, but most of the 4 week ones are around $20-$25 and most of the 6 month ones are around $100-$150. I decided to do a 4 week one and then about a day later, I found out that you can do up to 3 bets at the same time, so I joined another one that started the same day. I paid $20 to join one and $25 to join the other. It wasn't that much money, but for some reason the thought of winning a little extra money and having that deadline with a set weight that I had to be was so motivating to me. I can't explain what it was, but I had my eye winning some money. I knew it wouldn't be very much, but it was enough to get me in the mind set to lose some weight.
I started trying to follow Weight Watchers on my own, but then started using My Fitness Pal. I thought using My Fitness Pal to track calories would be such a pain, but I ended up loving it. It was so much easier than I thought it'd be and it's been so helpful with keeping track of what I'm eating.
In the beginning, we'd usually have chicken and a vegetable and sometimes so couscous or quinoa for dinner. I measured and weighed everything.
For snacks, I've been trying to eat fruit.  
4th Of July happened in the middle of the dietbet. I made Skinnytaste's  Red, White and Blue Trifle and allowed myself to enjoy that day guilt free. I ended up indulging a couple times that holiday weekend. I definitely indulged a little too much, this was before I was keeping track of my calories, so it was a little easier to lose count of how quickly it all adds up, but Monday morning after the weekend, I went back to eating healthy. I ended up gaining a couple pounds that weekend, so that was a pain having to lose them all over again. I decided to rethink how I do my cheat meals so that I can indulge without gaining weight.
After a couple of weeks of trying to eat better, I started going to they gym and doing cardio. Once I started going, it was easy to get motivated to go, but it's just those first couple of times that are really hard. I pretty much have the same breakfast and lunch every single day. I love strawberry and spinach salads, I've had them almost every day for the past month and I'm not tired of them. I replace the strawberries with blueberries sometimes. I know exactly how many calories are in one, I can whip one up really fast and the goat cheese, almonds, dressing, and fruit make it taste so good--almost like a cheat meal, but it's not.
I've also been eating a lot of watermelon, my parents have a ton in their garden and they bring it over bowls of it. So, we've all been eating a lot of watermelon, but nobody's getting tired of it yet. I'm going to be sad this winter when all the yummy fruit and veggies that we're used to aren't in season anymore.  

After gaining a couple pounds over 4th of July, I was much more aware of what I was eating and very "strict" with my diet. I went out with the boys for pizza one day for lunch and instead of having my two slice combo that I wanted, I had a salad and slice of pizza. Little changes liked that helped me stay where I wanted as far as calories, but I was still able to enjoy pizza.

After a couple weeks of chicken/veggie/carb for dinner, I started trying some new recipes, the chicken/veggie combo was easy but I wanted to make sure we didn't get too bored with dinner and we had some healthy vegetables from my parents garden that we wanted to use. I made a spaghetti squash bake that turned out really good. I also made a corn and tomato salad.

I made a cheese enchilada quinoa for dinner one night. It turned out really good, Greg and I both want to have this again soon.

I'm working on cutting out diet soda, crystal light, etc. So, some nights, I'll have some hot tea with a little honey in it. It's perfect for giving me something to sip on besides water.  
 For breakfast, I have overnight oats almost every single morning. There's been a couple where we've run out of an ingredient, and when that happens, I'll have egg whites with salsa and some ham slices.

There's a couple of different recipes that I try, but I almost always go with the brown sugar oats with one tablespoon of mini chocolate chips. It keeps me full all morning and it sweet enough that I don't feel deprived and almost feel like I'm getting a fun treat every morning.  
After going to the gym and eating healthy, I made my weight for both my bets!

I was so excited, I ended up winning about $77.00. Might not sound like a lot, but it's very exciting to me. I can't wait to buy something fun with it to reward myself.

 I loved being in a Dietbet, I can't explain how it motivates me. I don't know if it's the money or the deadline or if I'm just finally ready mentally, but whatever the reason, the Dietbet is working for me. So, I signed up for two more Diet Bets, one 6 month one and another 4 week one.

After weighing in for my Dietbets on Monday Morning, I had the rest of the day before my other 4 week bet started the next day. I knew for weeks what I was going to have for dinner the night after weighing in--Tomato Cobbler.  We have a ton of fresh tomatoes from my parents garden and I've been wanting to try this recipe for a long time. After eating it, Greg said we needed to change the name because "tomato cobbler" sounded gross to him, so we renamed it "Cheesy Biscuit and Tomato Bake" It's sliced tomatoes, covered with a cheesy, sour cream layer, covered with sliced cheese (real cheese, not kraft singles) and then topped with homemade biscuits. It was amazing. I enjoyed every bite. It wasn't an expensive dish to make, so we threw away what we didn't eat that night. It was the perfect cheat meal, well planned out and was something I got to cook. We enjoyed it and then the next day, I ate my overnight oats for breakfast and was back to eating healthy.

Greg and I even order healthy dishes while we're on our date nights. Those used to be our excuse to go all out, but we've been trying to be better about that. We still enjoy our date nights and don't feel deprived.  
This was the Saturday after 4th of July and I was trying to stay on track after gaining those couple pounds back and just had to include this picture--after our date night, Greg got a vanilla cone. I got a diet sprite with diet cherry added to it, no ice cream. I was so proud of myself! I insisted Greg get one, he was going to skip it because I wasn't, but I was completely fine with him getting one, it didn't bother me at all.  
The other big part that's really helped me stick to the goals of the bet and to losing weight has been exercising. I try and go 4-5 times a week. I try and do at least 40 minutes of cardio while I'm there. I even offered to cut the grass for the first time EVER a couple of weeks ago. I burned a ton of calories doing it, go some sun and the yard looked better afterwards, so I'm hooked--it's one of my favorite things to do now. I can spend as much time on the elliptical and not have anything to show for it, but if I mow the grass at least something is getting done AND I'm getting a workout in.  
I got a Polar Fit as a reward to myself for going to the gym and keeping up with everything as long as I have and I LOVE it. It tells me how many calories I'm burning and it's very helpful. I actually wear it while I'm cutting the grass. :)

Greg's been going to the gym with me a lot too (the boys beg us for gym days because they LOVE the play area there--the play, do crafts, hang out with other kids, etc) I'm starting to add in weight lifting, but since I'm on a deadline for losing weight, I may stick to cardio until my next 4 week bet is up on the 18th. I'm going to give it a few days and see how it goes.


 I didn't mean to write such a long post about Dietbet but I've mentioned it a couple of times and will probably mention it again. I have the 4 week one ending on the 18th but then I'm also in the 6 month one to keep me on track over the holidays and it ends January 15. Also, trying to eat healthier and go to the gym has been a huge part of my life the past 6 weeks, I feel like it'd be weird not to mention it. I feel like it sounds like I'm trying to sell it, but I'm just excited that I finally found something that motivated me. I don't get anything for anybody signing up for Dietbet, they have no idea who I am. I'll probably be including little updates in my posts about how it's going, but that's an overview of how the past 6 weeks have been.