Archives for September 2015

Body After Baby: 12 Months

Note: This post is about body image, weight loss, and eating. If this may be a trigger for you, please feel free to skip this post and come back tomorrow. I have an exciting announcement for that post!

Well, here we are. I had a baby a year ago. Today is actually my due date, but we all know Emma KAte was a week old by the 30th last year!  The excuse of “I just had a baby” can no longer be used. trust me, I milked it as long as I could. Honesty moment: I always used to roll my eyes when people said they can’t get rid of the baby weight. I mean really, it can’t be THAT hard right? Well, it IS hard, but it is also doable. I have realized you have to really want it more than those chips and queso, and honestly, sometimes I just really want the chips and queso, yall.

In the beginning, the weight came off really fast. I got cocky, and thought I would be back to my old weight in no time. I think I lost something like 17 or so pounds in the first few days. (I gained right at 30).

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One month postpartum

I stopped breastfeeding after a month, and I know that didn’t help matters. Between November and March I actually GAINED weight while marathon training (I always gain about 3-5 pounds marathon training), so that was really frustrating.

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end of March 2015, 6 months postpartum

I looked at myself in April/May and was not happy with my progress and knew I needed to get serious if I wanted to see changes. I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself after I got back from Disney in May and had gained weight again. I was 8/10 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight, and 15 pounds form my “happy weight.” I knew it was my eating, because I was working out plenty, but I also knew I wasn’t doing the right kinds of workouts.

I decided right then that I was going to be more mindful of my eating . There have been some ups and downs since then, but overall my attitude towards food has greatly improved. I thought when we bought Orange Leaf, that I would gain a ton of weight eating frozen yogurt every day, but I actually LOST weight because in the beginning I was working 13 hour days at the store 3-4 days a week, running back and forth, on my feet all day, with no time to snack. So yeah, froyo was my lunch some days, but there was no mindless snacking all day long. However, because of my crazy work schedule, I have only been working out 3-4 days a week since August. My half marathon training plan got completely derailed, and I started just kind of floating through the weeks.

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September 2015, almost 12 months postpartum

My new plan is to continue running 3 days a week, but I am also going to sign up for a special 6 week HIIT class at my gym that starts the beginning of November. I think the accountability will be good for me and just what I am needing right now. Between now and then I plan to do some strength training on my own 1-2 days a week as time allows. I don’t really have much of a “plan” other than that right now. We have a lot of personal things up in the air at this moment so I feel I’m not in the best place to make concrete plans far out in the future. I know  I’m rambling a bit, I guess I’m just lacking focus an direction at the moment, but I know it is just part of it, and that it will come back to me.

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12 months postpartum

With that being said, I am currently ONE POUND away from my pre pregnancy weight. Of course I would love to be AT my pre pregnancy weight, but close enough, right? However, when I got pregnant I was about 5-8 pounds over my happy weight, so I still have a little bit to go, and I’m hoping the HIIT class will give my body a nice shake up and be just what I need. I want to gain MUSCLE and be STRONG. (PLEASE note, that I understand it’s not all about the scale. I could stay at this exact “weight” but have muscle mass and fit into my clothes better and be perfectly happy, I am simply giving a range based on the past.) I am happiest with myself when I feel strong, and I think that is what I have been missing since having Emma Kate. Sure my arms aren’t that bad from picking up my 24 pound child, but I feel quite flabby. I’m not after being skinny, I’m after being ripped! I think that will help with my running, too.

So, here we are, one year later. On the right path, but not there yet. I plan to “check in” again in a few months, maybe 3, maybe 6, I’m not sure yet, to check on my progress. I hope you will follow along with me. I have a lot to learn and a lot of hard work ahead of me, but I’m excited for it! Time to get stronger and faster!

QOTD: Have you ever been in a fitness rut? Do you struggle more with food or working out?

My Go-To Look for Game Day

I am a die hard football fan (shocker, I know). I have posted many times in the past about my love for the game, even when my team isn’t doing so well….like right now. But I think that is what makes a TRUE fan right? My parents both grew up in New Orleans, and I was raised in the area as well. As you can very well guess, I am a tried and true, in my blood, New Orleans Saints fan. Oh, we have had some bad years, but that doesn’t stop me from cheering for my boys in black and gold, or from wearing my favorite Saints gear all over town.

Believe it or not, I don’t always wear running clothes and yoga pants, and that is particularly true on game day.

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I remember in the not so distant past when women were forced to wear men’s game day gear, or be forced to shop in the kids section (guilty!) Adorable women’s football gear did not exist, but thankfully that isn’t the case anymore! NFLshop.com has a great selection of fan gear, from dressed down, to heading out on the town, to going to a game day party or tailgate. They have a huge stylish women’s selection which I loved browsing through.

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Sometimes we watch the game alone at home (I think I embarrass my husband in public with my screaming and ranting), and sometimes we go to a family members home, a party, or a sports bar. We have been on vacation many times and had to seek out the nearest sports bar just so I could watch the game.

Of course, no girl wants to wear the same outfits over and over, so having a closet full of gear to wear no matter the weather or how dressed up or dressed down the occasion is very important. For instance, the year the Saints won the Super bowl everyone wore their game day gear to church. It was hysterical but also so much fun. I of course dressed up my outfit that day! It’s fun to take things up a notch instead of just wearing jeans and a t-shirt on game day. I love to pair a typically dressed-down shirt with a skirt and heels to jazz things up a bit.

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Another fun thing to do is to take a more decorative or “statement” shirt, and pair it with jeans and heels. I am all about cute wedges! In New Orleans, bling, glitter, and gold are all very important and can be found on a lot of clothing, so an adorable shirt like the one below doesn’t need something fancy on bottom to take away from it, so skinny jeans work great to dress it down a bit.

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I LOVE the laces on the v-neck of the this shirt, it’s so fun and perfect for game day. What, you don’t think I can grill?

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We still have a lot more football to play my friends. So what if the Saints are 0-3, we can still come back, right?

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If you are looking for great gear to support your favorite team, be sure to check out the stylish selection for the next game day at NFLshop.com.

QOTD: What is your favorite thing to wear to watch football? How is your team doing?

Minnie Mouse Birthday Party Details

I have had a few people ask about some of the details of the decorations and such for Emma Kate’s first birthday party, so I wanted to do a separate post and share just how we pulled everything together for a fun party.

Minnie Mouse pink birthday party, candy bar, minnie cake, kid birthday @HeathersLG

First of all, I must disclose, I am not a crafty person, and most of these items were bought from a lady who had a Minnie Mouse party for her daughter and then was selling the decorations because she didn’t want to just throw them away. I bought them all for a steal, and plan to re sell them myself!

We got Emma Kate’s cake from a local place called Lulu’s Sweet Shop here in Madison. If you are local to the area I highly recommend! Cake’s are pricey, but it tasted really good!

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Part of the large assortment of things I got from the lady I purchased decorations from were a few types of candy from a candy bar she had for her daughter’s party. I bought a few other candy types form Oriental Trading to round out the bar. I used various vases and glassware from around the house for containers and it turned our great!

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These two adorable Minnie’s came with the bundle I bought so I have no idea where she got them.

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I have newborn and six month canvases of EK that I bought and never hung up so I used them as decoration on the fireplace above her birthday banner. The highchair banner came with the bundle too, but I think even I could have made that. It was just a piece of burlap with felt letters hot glued to it, then I just taped it up under the highchair.

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For food we had a veggie tray, fruit tray, Chick-Fil-A nuggets, sandwiches, Boudin, and chips and salsa.

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I printed off Emma Kate’s monthly photos and used clothes pins to pin them to a Minnie Mouse ribbon. Then I safety pinned the ribbon to the table cloth. It was something I did on a whim, and it turned out great! I put her party invitation as the middle photo.

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More decorations from the bundle I bought. I think the two Minnie baskets were Easter baskets, they had handles on the inside.

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We had water, pink lemonade, and soft drinks. The containers are from Bed Bath and Beyond, and I love them because you can put ice in the middle to keep the drinks cold without watering them down.

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I bought a helium tank at Wal-Mart and we did our own balloons. Honestly, we only did a few, I wanted to do more but we ran out of time and I just kind of didn’t care anymore.

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I put the wreath that we had on the door at the hospital out front, along with a huge inflatable Minnie that I got in my bundle (you can find it online.)

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I bought balloons from Amazon because I knew I wanted pink, and the ones that come with the helium tank are multi colored.

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In addition to cake, we of course also had Orange Leaf frozen yogurt. I was trying to figure out the best way to distribute yogurt of different flavors, so I decided to put stickers on each one, and the different colors were for different flavors. Worked out well!

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We also had sidewalk chalk and bubbles for the kids so they could play outside, but it was pretty warm that day.

I was happy with the way everything turned out. I think I decorated just enough to make it fun, but not so that my entire house was pink/Minnie Mouse. We had just enough food, and I’m trying to refrain from eating the rest of the candy from the candy bar. Winking smile

QOTD: What is your favorite party theme for kids? Favorite cake flavor?

Emma Kate: Month 12

Well, here we are. It seems so surreal that a year ago yesterday I gave birth! Looking at Emma Kate now, I can’t believe she was ever tiny enough to be in my belly. She’s such a sweet happy girl, and this year has been quite the ride!

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There were times when I never thought I would make it through this year, and times when I wanted it to slow down. Each stage has been very different, and more fun than the last. Life is certainly different than it was a year ago, but I can’t imagine her not being with us now. Let’s take a look at what this little girl has been up to the past month.

This kid loves to sleep like her mama. No lie, two nights ago she slept FOURTEEN HOURS! She had never slept till 9:00 before, and I was about to go in and poke her when she finally woke up. The birthday princess just wanted to sleep in on her special day apparently. This is not the norm, she usually sleeps 12 hours at night from 6:45-6:45 or 7:00-7:00. She is still napping twice a day, usually one nap is about 45 minutes and the other is 1.5 hours or so long.

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Emma Kate loves to explore and is in to everything. Locks are on the cabinets, and everything has been taken off table tops and end tables. She loves pushing our furniture around the room, every char and table is fair game. She recently in the past two weeks started standing up on her own from sitting without holding on to anything. She will stand for a few seconds and then sit back down. Just waiting on those first steps! She zooms around the room behind her push toys and is a lot more stable moving around.

Emma Kate eats her baby food and snacks but also eats whatever we eat. She loves cheese, turkey, yogurt, crackers, beef, and cheerios best. She is taking about 18 ounces of formula a day now, give or take. (usually 3 bottles). We are weaning her down as she eats more and more solid food.

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She is still into everything that ISN’T one of her toys. Paper, household items, boxes, plastic containers, curtains, etc. She can get up the stairs FAST, but isn’t sure how to get down.

She talks and sings a lot, and her new favorite word is “uh oh!” I didn’t realize I was saying it so much (when she would fall or drop something) and now she will throw something on the ground then say “uh oh” over and over.

She waves bye bye, will clap her hands, give hugs, play peek a boo, and dance to music.

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Emma Kate Loves:

-To eat! Just like her daddy

– Standing

-Clapping

-Talking

-Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

-walking in her stroller

-pushing furniture around the room

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Emma Kate does not like:

– Having her diaper or clothes changed

-Being redirected from something she isn’t supposed to be playing with

-Taking medicine (she has a double ear infection Sad smile)

-Broccoli

-Wearing bows in her hair (sad mom)

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We just moved her up to size 4 diapers, but honestly I think she could still fit in 3’s but I ran out and had 4’s in the closet so we just started wearing those. She is in size 18 month clothes almost exclusively except for a few dresses and onesies. When she went to the doctor for her ear infection she weighed 23.5 pounds! Her official one month appointment isn’t until October 1 so I will come back and update her stats on here then.

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This time last year I was pretty scared and had no idea what to expect, or how I would “know how” to be a mom. People kept telling me I would figure it out and instinct would kick in but I wasn’t so sure. However, they were totally right. You just kind of go with the flow and learn as you go, and boy has there been a big learning curve! We have done some great things, made some mistakes along the way, but our little girl is alive and well and thriving so we must be doing something right!

The first year is so amazing because the rate of change is so fast, faster than at any other time in their lives. I know technically Emma Kate is now no longer a baby, but she will always be my little baby girl.

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HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY EMMA KATE! Mom and dad love you forever.

QOTD: Were you sad when your baby turned one? Has this year not flown by? Didn’t I just have her?!?

Meatless Monday Night

Ah, football season. I have waited six long months for you to come back! One thing I was NOT looking forward to though was being tempted by all of the unhealthy snacks that come along with watching football. I have really been trying to watch the unhealthy snacking while in front of the TV. I hate feeling sluggish the next day when I am working out or running because I ate poorly the night before. I knew I needed a challenge to help me get through it, so enter #MeatlessMondayNight!

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While I was trying to think of something I could snack on during a football game that was semi healthy and meatless, I knew one of my main problems would be finding something I could eat “mindlessly”. You know how it goes. You are watching the big game and your hand is constantly in the chip bowl and you don’t even realize it. Or, your team goes into overtime and you keep nervously taking sips of that sugary margarita because you don’t know what else to do. I happened to look at the back of a carton of Silk almond milk, and that’s when it hit me…a smoothie!

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Not only are smoothies meatless (ew that would be weird) and yummy, but it’s something I can mindlessly sip on during a game without the guilt. I decided to whip up one of my favorites instead of a big bowl of cheesy and bacon dip like I normally would make. Check out the recipe below:

Meatless Monday Fruit and Protein Smoothie:

  • 1.5 cups of almond milk
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • half of a banana
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • handful of baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Blend well and enjoy!

This smoothie recipe is also great fuel pre workout as well, I love it! Silk is lactose free, plant based, and contains no high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors or flavors.

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Hits the spot! I also have recently been thinking a lot more about milk because Emma Kate is ONE today! How crazy is that? I know she will be needing some good whole milk in her diet, and we love Horizon Organic whole milk! If you aren’t an almond milk fan, you can add this to your smoothie instead. Yum!

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Be sure to check out Silk’s website for tips and recipes for your #MeatlessMondayNight, and to win a giveaway! I hope you will join me! Have fun watching the big game!

QOTD: What is your favorite meatless football watching snack?

This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.

Admitting Defeat

I made it over two years without having to go to the doctor for being sick. Back in August, I caught a cold because I was running myself ragged after we bought the local Orange leaf, but I managed to bounce back with no doctor intervention. This time, I had to admit defeat and found myself at the doctor’s office at 8:15 this morning.

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I started feeling not myself on Saturday after Emma Kate’s party but didn’t feel sick just yet. Sunday morning we rested and hung out with family, and by Sunday night I was feeling really crummy.

Monday I still felt bad but powered through with Tylenol and even went for a walk with EK and my sister. Apparently it al made my body very unhappy, because I woke up in the middle of the night with fever, chills, a terrible cough, and no voice. My sister was nice enough to take the baby to daycare this morning and to drive me to the doctor where I was given a Z pack, nose spray, Claritin, cough medicine, and two (very painful!) shots in the rear. I was able to rest and nap on and off all afternoon, and while I still feel really crummy, I am not feeling as bad as I was last night or this morning. I haven’t had a sinus infection in years and forgot how they knock me on my butt.

I hate how being sick puts me so behind, as if I don’t feel behind enough right now as it is. Hoping I can bounce back quickly and get back on track. I haven’t run in almost a week! Time to go eat some soup and drink some Sprite. (PS- I know there is nothing scientific about drinking sprite when you are sick, but it’s what I always did growing up and it just makes me feel better! anyone else?)

QOTD: When is the last time you were sick? Do you fight going to the doctor? Ever had a steroid shot?

Emma Kate’s First Birthday Party

Over the weekend, we had friends and family come into town to celebrate Emma Kate’s first birthday! She officially won’t be one until Thursday though.

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It was a very hot day which was a bummer because I was hoping we could hang out in the backyard but no such luck. Bobby grilled boudin in the blazing hot sun.

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We of course had some Orange Leaf frozen yogurt with our cake!

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We also had a candy bar and plenty of food.

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Chic-Fil-A nuggets, fruit, veggies, chips and salsa, sandwiches, pork, crawfish, and shrimp boudin, and of course cake.

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I printed off a picture of Emma Kate from every month and used them as decorations.

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She was not a huge fan of the icing on her smash cake and didn’t like how it felt on her fingers.

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It was organized chaos with all the kids but we had a great time with about 30 people in the house.

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I plan to do another post with more pictures of the decorations etc. so stay tuned for that if party planning is something that interests you. I seemed to manage to catch another cold so I am feeling pretty crummy and am going to try to lay low for the next couple of days. I hope everyone has a great Monday!

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QOTD: Favorite flavor of cake?

5 Things Friday II

Happy Friday! Today is a very happy Friday indeed. We have lots of stuff going on this weekend, but it’s going to be a lot of fun. Let’s dive right in to 5 things Friday:

1.) My parents are coming in town tomorrow because…Saturday is Emma Kate’s first birthday party! Oh. my. gosh. This year yall, it’s just flown by. How do I have an almost one year old? I can’t even. but whether I like it or not, it’s coming, as are a lot of people to our house tomorrow! My guest bedroom has been the “staging area” for the past few weeks and I am hoping to get everything set up today while EK is at daycare. I will be glad to have this room back to normal and not looking like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse threw up in it.

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2.) KT tape is hosting a photo challenge through September 21st at 11:59 PM PST. All you have to do is use a sharpie to write a motivational saying or doodle on your tape, post it on Instagram and hashtag #KTtape and #MYkttape to win some tape of your own! I sported my “finish strong” tape on my run on Wednesday.

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3.) Now that EK is almost walking, we have a lot more fun at the park than we used to. We met a friend and her daughter there yesterday and the girls had so much fun! I see a lot more park visits in our future. I also got to run 5 miles with another friend and I pushed EK in her stroller. Man my calves were burning! Oh, we also took the babies to Orange Leaf. Emma Kate was not prepared for how cold the froyo was going to be.

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4.) I am playing in my churches’ kickball league, and my life group (Sunday school class) has it’s own team. We are having a BLAST! We played a group of high schoolers on Monday night who called us OLD TIMERS! Oh, we ended up beating them. Ah, sweet victory! I have been bringing Builder’s bars to the games as a team snack and everyone loves them.

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5.) We still have some hot days ahead of us (in the mid 90’s tomorrow for the party OF COURSE) but it is slowly starting to cool off in a general sense. I busted out my pumpkin Yankee Candle and bought a couple pumpkins for the front door. That plus football has me so excited for fall. Now, if Kroger would just get it’s act together and put out some pumpkin spice coffee creamer I would be a happy girl. Speaking of pumpkin spice, I just got some Advocare meal replacement shakes, they are SO GOOD! You can order some of your own HERE. Tastes like fall!

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QOTD: Do you like pumpkin spice coffee creamer? Do you use KT tape? any exciting weekend plans?

5 Fall Races in the Southeast

I am in the middle of my fall half marathon training plan, and I have heard many others say that they are beginning to ramp up their mileage as well. For us here in the south, half marathon and marathon season is VERY short. It won’t really start cooling down here until October, and most distances races are over by March, so we have to cram in as many races as we can.

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Training in cooler weather! Yes!

I am honestly still undecided about my race season and thought many of you may be as well, so I decided to compile several fall races you may want to check out if you live or plan on running in the southeast. Some I have run myself, and some just look like a lot of fun! Hopefully some of you can give input on the ones that I haven’t run that look fun!

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1.) Gulf Coast half Mandeville, Louisiana: This is a fun, flat half marathon in my hometown! Just a short drive to New Orleans, you can run a race and still visit the city without expensive city hotel prices. This course is beautiful and goes through old Mandeville and along the beautiful lakefront. October is a great time to race in Louisiana, too! I haven’t signed up yet, but really hoping to run this one with Bobby this year! I had just had Emma Kate last year so I missed it.

2.) Rock n Roll Savannah: As a member of the Rock ‘n Blog team, I am partial to Rock n Roll races, and while I haven’t run this one, it’s on my bucket list and I have heard nothing but wonderful things about this gorgeous course in such a historic city. It sounds like a great November weekend racecation to me! (enter code LOOKINGGLASS15 for $15 off registration!)

3.) runDisney Wine and Dine half and 5k: This race is sold out for this year, but listen to me, SIGN UP AS SOON AS YOU CAN for 2016! It’s SO MUCH FUN. It’s a nighttime race, in the happiest place on earth! Plus, it has an amazing after party in EPCOT celebrating the race and the food and wine festival. This race is typically held the second week in November.

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4.) Space Coast marathon and half: This is another one I have heard nothing but good things about. This is Florida’s oldest marathon, and is run along a beautiful waterfront course on Florida’s east coast. The entire event revolves around the space theme, which is pretty awesome. Race is November 29th!

5.) Thunder Road marathon, half, and 5k: This race weekend is in Charlotte, North Carolina. There is a whole weekend of fun with a marathon, half, and 5k option. This is a fun weekend in mid November and celebrates stock car racing. Plenty of family friendly fun and music, this weekend is for the everyone. I have also heard the course is very scenic!

QOTD: Any favorite fall races in the south?

Having a Training Plan

I have discussed training plans a couple of times on my blog lately as we move into the fall season, so these tips from Jeff Galloway came at a great time! I hope you find them as helpful as I did.

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WHY SHOULD I HAVE A TRAINING PLAN? When using a proven strategy, a runner gains control over fatigue while improving motivation. Those who follow the right training plan, for the individual, tend to improve more, with less injury risk.
WOULD BEGINNERS BENEFIT MORE FROM A PLAN Unfortunately, most beginners “run as they feel” or follow conflicting advice. This leads to confusion and more aches and pains. The right schedule will systematically increase the type of running needed for a goal, with strategic rest for rebuilding.
KEY TRAINING ELEMENTS:

1) A longer run builds endurance, 2) a hilly run builds strength, 3) Scenic or social runs insert fun and keep you coming back for more.
WHAT IS ADDED TO A PLAN IF THE GOAL IS TO RUN FASTER? The right training plan will gradually increase the speed repetitions needed for the individual goal. Easier days and rest days must be inserted before and after speed workouts. To avoid injury, the pace and the increase must be realistic for the individual.
EVERY OTHER DAY! Most runners—especially beginners—run best when they run every other day. This allows for the “weak links” to heal. The very slow long run is usually on the weekend, when there is more time available. Hills and fun days can be run on the short runs during the week (for example,Tuesday and Thursday)

SHOULD I EXERCISE ON NON-RUNNING DAYS? While you don’t have to exert yourself on non running days to improve your running, exercise will energize your mind, and improve your attitude and vitality—while burning some fat. So I recommend any exercise that does not fatigue the calf muscle, such as recreational walking.
DOES VARIETY HELP? Changing things a bit can improve motivation. You don’t have to change the “mission” on specific days, but alternating some of the courses or running with different groups can make each day more interesting.

WHAT ARE VARIOUS MISSIONS, FOR VARIOUS DAYS? Each type of run bestows a different benefit. Hill runs build strength. Drills that work on cadence, gentle acceleration and gliding will improve your running form. Long runs produce stamina and endurance.

WHAT SHOULD I DO THE DAY BEFORE AND THE DAY AFTER LONG OR FASTER RUNS? Take it easy on these days. Do little or no exercise, don’t over-eat, drink 8 glasses of water/sports drinks, and focus on how you will enjoy the next run.
SHOULD I SKIP THE REST DAYS—TO IMPROVE MORE QUICKLY. Not Recommended! It is during the days off from running that the running body rebuilds and improves. While some runners can get away with running short and slow runs on rest days for a while, these “junk miles” can compromise recovery and lead to injuries.

IF I DON’T LIKE A WORKOUT CAN I SUBSTITUTE? Following a consistent plan is more likely to lead to success and improve motivation. Those who pick various elements from different schedules experience more burnout and injury.

QOTD: Anything you would add to this?

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*As a Jeff Galloway blogger I receive these tips to share with my readers.