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Posts Tagged ‘21 for 2021’

Greetings, dear reader! On Sunday evening, I completed a second round of Fast Burn. On Monday morning, I weighed in at 152 pounds, gaining back 3.5 pounds of the 13 pounds lost in the first round. With that being said, I did lose 1″ in my chest, and 1/2″ in my hips. My measurements stayed the same for my waist, arms, and thighs. Did I meet the goals I set back in June for Round #2 of Fast Burn? Yes and no. Clearly, I did not lose an additional 10 pounds. While I did complete another nine-week round of Fast Burn, I did not follow it as closely as I did for the first round.

So, what did I do? I continued intermittent fasting; however, my TRF schedule changed week-to-week between 16:8 and 14:10; this was based on what was going on in my life during the nine weeks. I walked between 20-30 minutes every day. I started following a run/walk schedule (see sidebar for the schedule). I continued to incorporate the Burner Smoothie, the Sumptuous Strawberry Shake, as well as lots of fruits and veggies in my eating plan. I observed the rule about waiting two hours (sometimes longer based on TRF schedule) after waking to eat and stopped eating at least two hours before bedtime.

So, what didn’t I do? I did not bike very often or incorporate any strength training. I did not eat as clean as I did during the first round (incorporated some added sugar/processed foods back into my diet). I was not consistent with drinking a glass of water before meals. I picked certain weeks in the nine-week plan and followed those weeks instead of following the weekly schedules outlined in the book.

Initially, after weighing in on Monday morning, I felt I should have waited a couple of weeks before doing another round. After reflecting on it throughout the week, I now feel completing a second round right after the first round was ideal for me. Even though I did not follow the Fast Burn plan as perfectly as I did the first round, I still incorporated many of its components. And, we all know that we cannot rely on the scale to tell the whole truth when it comes to weight loss. My body measurements dropped in two areas and stayed the same in other areas. My clothes fit exactly the same as they did when I completed the first round. Additionally, I can see the difference with how I feel when I fuel my body with the wrong foods. I do not like feeling unhealthy.

What’s next?

I want to read Clean & Lean by Dr. Ian and complete the 30-day plan in the month of September. My original goal for 2021 was to try intermittent fasting for one month using the Clean & Lean book. However, when Dr. Ian published Fast Burn: The Power of Negative Energy Balance in April and created the Fast Burn Challenge Facebook group, I could not pass up that opportunity. And, I am so happy that it has worked out the way it has because the Fast Burn Challenge group is both inspirational and supportive. It also helps me with accountability. The Cleaner Get Leaner group also provides inspiration and support. Therefore, between the two groups, I’ll continue to receive inspiration and support.

Additionally, I will continue my fitness plan that will include the run/walk schedule and as many of the exercises outlined in Clean & Lean. Maybe, just maybe, it will give me the nudge I need to put strength training exercises back into my fitness regimen on a regular basis. I do not want to slip back into bad habits. I now have plenty of resources to hold me accountable and keep me on track to live my healthiest life.

Kudos to everyone trying to eat better, getting back into shape, and improving overall health and well-being. There are so many benefits to eating well and exercising daily. It makes me happier, healthier, more energetic, and more creative. Thanks for reading, dear reader. I hope you have a fantastic weekend. Happiness!

“It takes time to see wholesale changes, so don’t obsess on a scale or a mirror. In fact, it’s a lot more likely that someone else will notice physical changes before you do.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M.D., Clean & Lean

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In order to get back on track and reFOCUS on my goals for the remainder of the year, I tracked my time for two weeks (week of 02 August and week of 09 August). Both of these weeks started out with 168 hours on Monday at midnight. Since school has reconvened after being on summer break for the last two months, my day job (instructional coach at a PreK2-8th school) and sleep take up the bulk of my time. However, the hours at my day job have been reduced this school year; I am currently working four days per week as opposed to five days when I tracked my time back in January. The reduction in work hours will ultimately allow me to spend more time on creating content and embarking on a new career path.

Week 1: 02 August – 08 August

During this week, I worked 32.5 hours at school and devoted 52.75 hours to sleep. This left me with 82.75 hours to spend in other areas of my life.

That being so, how did I spend those remaining 82.75 hours?

  • Morning Routine: 11.25 hours
  • Travel (to/from work; to/from other places): 4.75 hours
  • Family/Fur Babies/Friends: 9.75 hours
  • Chores: 7.25 hours
  • Exercise: 5 hours
  • Errands: 4.5 hours
  • Read: 3 hours
  • Meals: 5 hours
  • Content Creation (blog; collaboration with Kelsi-YouTube): 20.75 hours
  • Evening Routine: 3 hours

Therefore, 74.25 hours were spent with family/friends, exercising, creating content, fulfilling commitments/life responsibilities, and completing household tasks. My time bank still had 8.5 hours, and those additional hours were spent on other activities, such as playing games (Trivia Crack/Words with Friends), interacting on social media (FB and Instagram), texting, phone calls, checking email, time-tracking, watching television/movies/YouTube videos, or puttering around the house.

Week 2: 09 August – 15 August

During this week, I worked 33.5 hours at school and devoted 51 hours to sleep. This left me with 83.5 hours to spend in other areas of my life.

In that case, how did I spend those remaining 83.5 hours?

  • Morning Routine: 11 hours
  • Travel (to/from work; to/from other places): 6.75 hours
  • Family/Fur Babies/Friends: 8.75 hours
  • Chores: 6.5 hours
  • Exercise: 4.5 hours
  • Errands: 8 hours
  • Read: 3 hours
  • Meals: 3.5 hours
  • Content Creation (blog; collaboration with Kelsi-YouTube): 8.75 hours
  • Evening Routine: 2.25 hours

Therefore, 63 hours were spent with family/friends, exercising, creating content, fulfilling commitments/life responsibilities, and completing household tasks. My time bank still had 20.5 hours, and those additional hours were spent on other activities, such as playing games (Trivia Crack/Words with Friends), interacting on social media (FB and Instagram), texting, phone calls, checking email, time-tracking, watching television/movies/YouTube videos, or puttering around the house.


Clearly, no two weeks are exactly the same. And, all the banked hours are not entirely spent on effortless fun. Some of that extra time gets spent on small tasks that just take a minute or two, such as writing a grocery list, a message in a card, or a check for a bill. I may be purchasing an item or researching ingredients for a meal online. I might spend a few minutes clearing off the kitchen table, reshelving books that I recently finished reading, or snapping a picture for my Instagram gratitude project. With that being said, if I take the average of both weeks, I realistically have 14.5 hours that I could be using to complete courses that I have purchased, scrapbook, read more, or strength-train (fitness). It is now up to me to prioritize my time which will ultimately help me achieve my goals. Additionally, I must adhere to that scheduled time that also includes built-in wiggle room.

Why is wiggle room important? You just never know when something unexpected will require your attention, such as getting a call back for a play you auditioned for earlier in the week. Yep, I auditioned at the Columbia Theatre for The House on Haunted Hill this past Monday evening. Surprise! I got a call back for Wednesday evening. I auditioned strictly for the experience since I had a conflict the second weekend of the show. While it would have been terrific to be a part of this production, I did not get cast which is fine because Kelsi and I have oodles planned for September and October. Happiness Boost!

Thankfully, I have only one commitment after work this week, and it is to spend a wonderful evening with my fabulous book club friends to discuss Mexican Gothic. Therefore, for the remainder of today, I will schedule my upcoming week and create a to-do list of the tasks that I need to accomplish before this weekend. As for my running schedule, I’m on Week #4: Walk 10 minutes (warm up). Run 2 minutes. Walk 1 minute (repeat this 3-minute session 5 times). Walk 10 minutes (cool down). My goal for this week is to follow this routine at least three days this week. On the other days, I will walk at least 20 minutes to keep up my walking streak and try to incorporate some strength training and biking. I did not strength train or bike this past week.

Life is unpredictable, dear reader, but that is what makes it so interesting. My hubby, Andrew, and I enjoyed breakfast this morning at Cracker Barrel, and I treasured every minute we were together just being together. I’m excited to start a new week, especially one that is practically a blank slate. Enjoy your Sunday afternoon by spending your time doing something that boosts your happiness and adds value to your life. Happiness!

“When you feed your soul by spending time on things you love, that you are excited about, your enthusiasm becomes contagious.” ~ Rita Davenport

Top photo by Juan Vargas on Pexels.com

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Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

We are at the mid-year point in 2021, dear reader, and it is time for me to evaluate the progress I have made on my 21 for 2021 list thus far. Yesterday marked the end of the second quarter, and I am pleased overall with the progress that I have made from April-June. I not only tried intermittent fasting for one month, but I also created weekly meal plans and maintained a regular fitness regimen. I joined the Fast Burn Challenge on 19 April and for nine weeks followed Dr. Ian K. Smith’s program outlined in his newest book, Fast BurnThe Power of Negative Energy Balance. Since I successfully lost 13 pounds, I am participating in a second round of the program. My hope is to lose another 10 pounds by the end of this nine-week cycle. In addition, I tried seven new restaurants (four just in Colorado) in the second quarter which brings my total up to nine new restaurants in the first half of 2021. I only have three more to go to reach my goal.

The only two goals that I did not reach during the second quarter is completing the WordPress Blogging course and Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies course. Additionally, I did not scrapbook at all during April or May. Honestly, I have had a difficult time managing my time since I returned home from my trip to Colorado. After really thinking about it the last few weeks, I have come to realize that COVID-19 restrictions started loosening up about that time and are almost nonexistant at this point since many people have received the vaccine. Like so many other people, I am doing more (a great deal more) since the first quarter of the year. Therefore, my schedule has changed dramatically because I added new commitments and summer activities to my schedule, and I am spending less time at home. Basically, this means that I will need to be a bit more strategic with managing my time, so I can accomplish both the items on my 21 for 2021 list and enjoy all the fun additions on my schedule.

So, what’s next for the third quarter of the year?

The third quarter (July-September) will essentially look similar to the first half of the year. I will continue to manage my time, eat more vegetables, focus on my health and wellness goals, and scrapbook at least two times per month. Before tackling any new items on my 21 for 2021 list, I will work on completing the WordPress Blogging course and Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies course. I have quite a few fun activities scheduled for July, and school starts back on 02 August. I want to be realistic with how I will be spending my time this next quarter without getting too overwhelmed.

In regards to the fun activities happening in July, one of them is a Summer Slasher Movie Marathon that officially starts today. Kelsi and I will be doing this marathon together and plan to chat about it. Originally, I had chosen 10 movies for the marathon; however, Netflix is releasing three Fear Street movies this month based on R. L. Stine’s Fear Street book series, so I added them to my list.

I will also be reading quite a bit during July. As many of you know, Kelsi and I started a book club, Chills, Thrills, & Kills Book Club, back in April of this year, and we really love our group. Our members are awesome, and we have had some delightful discussions. Our book club selection for this month is Children of the Dark by Jonathan Janz. It is our third selection for this year. Our first selection was Later by Stephen King (May), and our second selection was Video Night by Adam Cesare (June). Both books are terrific reads. I am 86 pages into Children of the Dark and enjoying it up to this point.

Today starts the third quarter of 2021, and I am hopeful (as always) that I will spend the next three months accomplishing some goals while having fun and boosting my happiness. With that being said, it is time to reFOCUS and get started. Happiness!

 “The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.” ~ Barbara De Angelis

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Greetings on this fantastic Friday afternoon, dear reader! I officially completed the Fast Burn Challenge on Sunday evening. On Monday morning, I weighed in at 148.5 pounds, losing 2 pounds in Week #9 and ending the nine-week challenge with a total weight loss of 13 pounds. I also lost 3″ in my waist, 2″ in my hips, 2″ in both thighs, and 1″ in my left arm (weird, I know).

I learned a great deal about myself on this challenge, and I’m pleased with my overall results. I surpassed my goal of losing 10 pounds, ramped up my exercise, tried new recipes, planned and prepped meals (most weeks), increased my water intake, ate lots of fruits and vegetables, and incorporated intermittent fasting. At the beginning of the challenge, I chose a TRF schedule of 12:12. Midway through the challenge I increased my TRF schedule to 14:10. I finished the challenge with a TRF schedule of 16:8.

What are my takeaways?

First of all, the Fast Burn nine-week program is NOT a diet, but a roadmap to a healthier way of eating. It is a lifestyle that incorporates clean eating, intermittent fasting, and regular exercise. Second, it is an effective plan IF I put in the work. I will get out of it what I put into it. Third, making good choices through planning is the key to successfully becoming a healthier version of myself. Fourth, it helps to have people in my life who support my healthy lifestyle changes. My hubby is supportive and even helped prep and prepare many of my meals during the challenge. Being a member of the Fast Burn Challenge Facebook group has been beneficial. Also, blogging weekly about my journey on this challenge held me accountable, and quite a few of my dear readers cheered me on each week.

For me personally, starting a journey to better health requires the right mindset. And, my mindset is naturally affected by external factors. I am an emotional eater. Sugar, junk food, fried food, and processed food are what I reach for when I’m stressed, overwhelmed, or unhappy. I have been down this weight-loss road numerous times as an adult and have tried many plans and programs to lose weight and get physically fit. I am successful for a little bit, but at some point I fall back into my bad eating habits and abandon regular exercise. The COVID-19 pandemic derailed me this last time. I had adopted clean eating habits and lost 13 pounds back in September 2019 after reading Dr. Ian K. Smith’s book, The Clean 20. He had been a guest on Molly Kimball’s podcast, Fueled: Wellness + Nutrition with Molly Kimball, and they were talking about the benefits of intermittent fasting and his Clean & Lean program. Weeks after listening to that podcast episode (“Intermittent Fasting, Explained: 18 July 2019), I bought his book Clean & Lean and joined the Cleaner Get Leaner Facebook group. Instead of starting that program, I opted to read The Clean 20 first to develop better eating habits with the intention of adding intermittent fasting at the beginning of 2020. Then, the pandemic hit, the world shut down, and I ate my feelings. I gained back my 13 pounds plus some.

On 23 March, I started walking daily for at least 20 minutes per day. Many days it was longer because there just wasn’t much to do with everything shut down. In April 2020, Dr. Ian published another book called Mind Over Weight which I read in May and completed the written exercises with the intention to start my weight loss journey using the Clean & Lean program on the first of June 2020. June came and went, as well as the rest of 2020 and the beginning of 2021, and I never started my journey. I did NOT have the right mindset. Try intermittent fasting using the Clean & Lean book found its way on my 21 for 2021 List. I was determined to try it during the second quarter of this year; however, Dr. Ian published Fast Burn: The Power of Negative Energy Balance in April, so I bought it, joined the Fast Burn Challenge on Facebook, and started my journey to better health on 19 April 2021. And, here I am now, 13 pounds lighter with the desire to lose more. My mindset has shifted, and I’m determined to stay on this path to better health. It is a choice, and my future self will thank me.

There are so many benefits to eating clean. I have more energy and no longer feel sluggish throughout the day. I do not crave sugary, fried, or processed foods. There are days now that I crave a veggie plate with a cup of brown rice. That’s not to say that I will not indulge from time to time. However, planning for that occasional “treat” works best for me.

I have proven to myself that I can make good choices when dining in a restaurant. If I want to eat chili cheese fries once in awhile, I will eat them and enjoy them. Dr. Ian states on page 250 of Fast Burn: The Power of Negative Energy Balance, “It’s completely fine to have a good steak and French fries and even a slice of double chocolate cake (my mouth is watering just writing that!), but it’s important that you add these foods back in moderation, not just in their frequency but also their quantities.” Basically, make good choices the majority of the time, so you can periodically enjoy your favorites without guilt or negative consequences.

What’s next?

I have decided to complete another nine-week round of Fast Burn. I love this program! I love the variety it offers as well as its flexibility. Currently, I am on Week #1 and doing the 16:8 TRF schedule. That schedule may change the week in July when I am in Utah and possibly when I return to school in August. I will continue biking a couple of days a week and walking daily (at least 20 minutes). I would also like to add a day or two of strength training each week.

I’m excited about my new goals for this leg of the journey. My weight loss goal is to lose another ten pounds which I hope I can exceed again this round. My fitness goal is to start running again when I return from my trip to Utah. I follow a run/walk schedule for about 10-12 weeks that eventually allows me to run for 30 minutes. I bought a running magazine for additional motivation. When I can run for 30 minutes, I can run a 5K race. If my 52-year-old body can handle it and with more COVID restrictions dissapating, there may be a 5K road race in my future.

Well, that’s a wrap, dear reader! I won’t be writing every Friday about the second round of Fast Burn; however, I’ll update my progress every so often. Once I start my run/walk schedule, I’ll include that information for anyone who may be interested in starting a running habit of their own. In the meantime, many thanks to everyone who has cheered me on during my journey to better health. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Happiness!

“You now know what it takes to win. Take the lessons learned, keep your mind focused, and be confident as you stay in the fight!” ~ Ian K. Smith, M.D.

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Happy Fast Burn Friday, dear reader! I am currently in Week #9 of the Fast Burn Challenge. On Monday morning, I weighed in at 150.5 pounds. I lost .5 of a pound in Week #8 with a total loss of 11 pounds since 19 April. I attended a scrapbooking event last weekend and did very well with both my eating and exercise goals. My friends and I did not go to Bud’s Broiler, so I did not splurge on chili cheese fries. I am only a couple of days away from completing this challenge, and I could not be more excited about my progress.

This week has been much easier than the past two weeks. I can eat three meals and three snacks (100 calories or less) per day. Last week was tough with only two meals. Thankfully, my hotel room had a refrigerator, so I packed healthy foods for my scrapbooking weekend.

My friends and I ate at a restaurant together only once while at the scrapbooking event. We went to Mano’s where I ordered grilled fish with veggies and a side salad. The meal also came with french fries, rice, or mashed potatoes, but I did NOT get any of the three sides. Honestly, I didn’t miss the additional side.

Drinking one cup of lemon water per day has been added back to the guidelines for this week. I drink my cup of lemon water in the morning. My IF schedule has also changed to 16:8, and surprisingly, it has not been hard adjusting from 14:10. Frankly, I kind of prefer it.

Now, I will be totally transparent. I did splurge this week, and I do NOT feel one ounce of guilt. It is the first and ONLY time that I have splurged on the Fast Burn Challenge. Two of my fabulous friends, Michelle and Maria, drove to Hammond on Wednesday to visit with me. We went to Streetside Market for lunch, and I ordered the Sautéed Beef with Broccoli (sautéed beef stir-fried, mushrooms, broccoli, onion) on a bed of Golden Rice along with an eggroll. IT WAS SCRUMPTIOUS! And, I ate every bite.

Sautéed Beef with Broccoli

Needless to say, I did not need to eat a third meal or two of my snacks on Wednesday. I felt totally content with my decision because I knew that one “treat” would not derail all of my hard work on this fast burn journey. It was a conscious choice that I had planned for ahead of time. I think it is perfectly fine to indulge from time to time. Key words, “from time to time.”

Kudos to Me for…

  • meeting my daily water intake goal.
  • meeting my TRF 16:8 goal.
  • continuing to eat more veggies.
  • meeting my daily exercise goals.
  • planning my meals and snacks for the week.

Challenges

Well, this week I made a poor decision concerning dinner on Tuesday night. I had planned to eat black bean soup for dinner, but did not have time to consume it before leaving for my improv class. Since my class is an hour away, I packed two Frosted Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts with half a pint of milk and ate my dinner on the way. My meal was planned; however, my time was not planned very well. This also happened to me once during Week #3. As I have mentioned before, planning is the key, not only the meals and exercise, but also my time. I woke up late on Tuesday morning and fiddle-faddled for a couple of hours even though I had plenty of tasks to complete on my to-do list. When I have a scheduled evening activity in the future, I need to get up on time and not procrastinate or postpone a task until the next day. Another solution could have been to pack a turkey and cheese sandwich to eat on the way to my class.

It is hard to believe, dear reader, that my nine-week journey participating in the Fast Burn Challenge is coming to an end. While the challenge may be ending, my journey to better health is really just beginning. I’m eager to see my total weight loss when I weigh-in on Monday morning. I’ll publish a post next week revealing my total weight-loss, any changes in my body measurements, my overall thoughts about this plan, and my future goals concerning my health and wellness journey. Happiness!

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” ~ Greg Anderson

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It’s Friday, dear reader, and we know what that means! I am currently in Week #7 of the Fast Burn Challenge. On Monday morning, I weighed in at 152 pounds. I lost more pounds in Week #6 with a total loss of 9.5 pounds. I am literally .5 of a pound away from reaching my weight loss goal of 10 pounds which I realistically set when I started down this path to better health. Of course, I will certainly be happy with losing more by the end of the nine week challenge.

To be sure, my weight loss journey will NOT end when the Fast Burn Challenge ends. This challenge is just the beginning of a healthier me. Truthfully, I would like to lose 30-35 pounds by the end of the year which I feel is doable if I continue following Dr. Ian’s guidelines. His programs are effective, easy to follow, and focus on choosing a healthier lifestyle that emphasizes clean eating, intermittent fasting, and daily exercise.

Even though Week #7 is proving to be a challenging week, I am still managing to have some success in most areas of the program.

Kudos to Me for…

  • meeting my daily water intake goal.
  • meeting my TRF 14:10 goal.
  • continuing to eat more veggies.
  • meeting my daily exercise goals.
  • choosing wisely (Vegetable Sandwich) when eating at a restaurant.

Despite not planning and prepping my meals on Sunday evening, I am doing pretty well overall with my food choices. Actually, on Tuesday morning I made Sumptuous Strawberry Shakes for Andrew and me for breakfast and prepped Burner Smoothies for me for the remainder of the week.

Since I’ve been out of school, meeting my TRF 14:10 goal has been much easier. And, I’m having no problems following the guideline of waiting two hours after waking up to eat breakfast.

Yesterday, I had lunch with my friend Kimberly at Brady’s in Hammond. She recommended the Vegetable Sandwich which consists of lettuce, tomato, cucumber, carrots, alfalfa sprouts, red cabbage, and cheddar/swiss cheese with mayo on a special oat wheat bread. I decided to try it minus the alfalfa sprouts, light on the mayo, and added avocado. It was perfect!

Challenges

My biggest challenge this week is having NO snacks. Unfortunately, I cannot make it through the day without snacks. Now, with that being said, I do not need to consume three snacks per day. For the most part, I am choosing healthy snacks and keeping them between 100 and 150 calories. It is too hard for me to skip them, especially on the days I need to reach 12,000 or 14,000 steps.

My other challenge this week is not getting enough sleep. I am going through menapause which makes it difficult to sleep through the night in general; however, my geriatric dog Sophie (13 years old) and my cat Puar have also contributed to disrupting my sleep this week. Since Monday night, Sophie has woken me up at least once during the night to use the bathroom, and Puar keeps waking me up 1-2 hours before my alarm. They have both done this in the past, but not the two of them consistently in one week. Naturally, I know they are not being nefarious. Needless to say, I am dragging this morning. Today will definitely be a REST day (20 minute stroll after dinner). Thankfully, I am on summer break, and I can always take a nap.

Well, dear reader, another week of the Fast Burn Challenge is wrapping up. Only two more weeks to go until this part of my health and wellness journey is complete. Every week, I have learned new health and fitness related information, have tried new recipes or foods, and have gotten plenty of inspiration from the Fast Burn Challenge community. Happiness!

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” ~ Arthur Ashe

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Happy Friday, dear reader! I am currently in Week #6 of the Fast Burn Challenge, and I’m flying by the seat of my pants. On Monday morning, I weighed in at 154 pounds. I lost pound last week with a total loss of 7.5 pounds since starting the Fast Burn Challenge on 19 April. My week has been a bit fractured and all over the place since officially starting my summer break. I’m already out of my routine which entails going to bed late and waking up later in the morning Thankfully, I have been on this program long enough to know what to eat and when to eat, so all has not been lost.

Week #6 begins the third and final part of the plan (Acceleration) with four weeks left to complete this challenge. While my week feels slightly willy-nilly, I am still hitting most of my goals for the week. I tried two new recipes that were both delicious. One saving grace for me is having the right kinds of foods in the house. If all else fails, I can throw together a salad or fix a veggie plate with a serving of brown rice.

Kudos to Me for…

  • meeting my daily water intake goal.
  • trying the Sumptuous Strawberry Shake. Yum-Yum!
  • trying the Gramma’s Old-Fashioned Scratch Pancakes. Delightful!
  • continuing to eat more veggies.
  • meeting my daily exercise goals.
  • choosing wisely when eating at a conference.

Challenges

Unfortunately, I did not plan or prep my meals this week. So far, Monday has been the only day that I followed the food plan for the entire day that is outlined in the book. On Tuesday, I attended a Teacher Leader Summit in New Orleans. While I ate the catered lunch (salisbury steak, green beans, small lemon square; declined mashed potatoes and bread), I packed water and healthy snacks to consume throughout the day and ate a decent dinner.

My TRF for this week has not been consistent. I have either been on the IF schedule of 14:10 or 16:8. My body feels the inconsistency. For the remainder of this week, I will stick with 14:10. Fortunately, I am waiting two hours after waking up to eat breakfast and going to sleep at least two hours, if not more, after eating my last meal.

Earlier this morning, I felt a slight twinge of disappointment in myself because I had the expectation that this week would be perfect because I am out of school for the summer. Thank heavens, those feelings dissipated quickly, so I can get back on track and enjoy this beautiful day. My family and I do not have any set plans this weekend, so my hope is to reorganize, finish this week strong, and plan for next week. Happiness!

“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.” ~ Voltaire

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Happy Friday, dear reader! I am currently in Week #5 of the Fast Burn Challenge and at the halfway point of the challenge. Even though there are guidelines to follow this week, it is less restrictive. On Monday morning, I weighed in at 155 pounds. I lost another .5 pounds with a total loss of 6.5 pounds. This week’s weigh-in followed another Mother’s Day celebration. My hubby, youngest son, and I took my mother-in-law out to lunch at Murphy’s Seafood Restaurant to celebrate Mrs. Billie, and YES, I made another wise choice. I thought this would be harder than last week since my favorite meal and the only one that I order at Murphy’s is Eggplant Sarah (fried eggplant medallions over angel hair pasta topped with crawfish cream sauce). Instead, I ordered Grilled Catfish with a baked Sweet Potato which was quite tasty. I only ate one piece of catfish and my entire sweet potato and saved the other piece of catfish for dinner with veggies on Sunday. Except for this meal, I followed all my guidelines outlined for that day. Planning and moderation working well together.

Grilled Catfish served with a Baked Sweet Potato

Kudos to Me for…

  • meeting my daily water intake goal.
  • meeting my TRF 12:12 goal.
  • trying the Blustery Banana Shake. Yummo!
  • trying the Knockout Brussels Sprouts. Delicious!
  • continuing to eat more veggies.
  • meeting my daily exercise goals.
  • planning my meals and snacks for the week.
  • choosing wisely when eating at a restaurant.

This week, Dr. Ian allowed you to choose your IF schedule, so I went back to the 12:12. It is my last week to report to school before breaking for the summer, and the 12:12 schedule allows me to eat breakfast before leaving for work which is more convenient for me. Since this week is less restrictive, I ordered a Michelle Roll for dinner on Monday evening. It consists of snow crab, crabstick, boiled shrimp, avocado, asparagus, and cucumber wrapped in soybean paper with NO rice. I had a serving of the Knockout Brussels Sprouts left over from Sunday night’s dinner, so I ate that as well.

Michelle Roll

It’s a good thing that I am in this less restrictive week because I ate out again on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate my friend and co-worker’s retirement with my team. We went to a Mexican restaurant where I consumed a few chips with salsa, a scoop of guacamole, and a shrimp quesadilla. The only stumbling block is I ate the entire quesadilla. I should have eaten half and taken the other half home because I felt a little uncomfortable. Thankfully, we ate earlier in the evening, and I walked when I got home, so by the time I retired for the night, I felt much better. However, I did have a little tummy trouble the next morning. I suspect the salsa may have been the culprit.

Challenges

My only challenge this week is managing my stress. I’ve been a bit overwhelmed at work trying to wrap up my duties before summer break, and feeling a bit overwhelmed at home dealing with my geriatric dog Sophie. She is not sleeping well at night which is causing me to not sleep well. When I’m tired, stressed or feeling overwhelmed, I want to eat all the wrong foods. I have been VERY good and have not caved, but it has not been easy. I keep reminding myself that this is temporary and will pass. I keep reminding myself NOT to undo my progress. I keep reminding myself that the bad food choices will only make me feel better for a moment, and then immediately afterwards, make me feel worse. Therefore, I feel my feelings until the overwhelming moment passes. I’ve also had to take quite a few deep breaths and drink more water.

All in all, dear reader, I am proud of how far I have come on this Fast Burn journey. I am making progress, eating better, and exercising more. I really think being a part of the Facebook Fast Burn community has helped me stay on track. The people in the group, along with Dr. Ian, provide so much valuable information, support, and inspiration. My summer break officially starts this afternoon, so I am looking forward to stepping it up a notch in the exercise department and finishing this challenge on a high note. Happiness!

“At the end of the day, the rule of moderation is still the cord that can tether us to a food life that is well lived and positive, a vital part of who we are.” ~ Ian K. Smith, M.D., Mind Over Weight

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Happy Friday, dear reader! I am currently in Week #4 of the Fast Burn Challenge, and Dr. Ian’s words rang true for me at the start of this week. On Monday morning, I weighed in at 155.5 pounds. I lost another 2.5 pounds with a total loss of 6 pounds since I started the Fast Burn Challenge on 19 April. I am both proud and delighted with my progress, especially since this week’s weigh-in followed Mother’s Day weekend. My hubby and I took my parents out to lunch at Perrin’s Restaurant to celebrate my momma, and I am happy to report that I chose my meal wisely and absolutely enjoyed it. I ordered a Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Sweet Potato Fries. I ate half for lunch and the other half for dinner. Except for this meal, I followed all my guidelines outlined for that day. Planning ahead is the key!

Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Sweet Potato Fries

Kudos to Me for…

  • meeting my daily water intake goal.
  • meeting my TRF 14:10 goal.
  • continuing to eat more veggies.
  • meeting my daily exercise goals.
  • prepping most of my meals and snacks for the week.
  • choosing wisely when eating at a restaurant.

One of my favorite meals to eat is a veggie plate with a cup of brown rice. This veggie plate had sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts that I air fried. I sautéed the mushrooms and spinach in olive oil with minced garlic. For the brown rice, I buy a package of Minute Brown Rice that contains two microwaveable cups. Since I do not really enjoy cooking, this is one of the easiest, quickest, and tastiest meals to prepare.

Challenges

So far, I have NOT encountered any challenges this week. On Sunday, I created my weekly schedule which included attending the 8th Grade Graduation at my school on Wednesday night. Next, I scheduled all of my exercise for the week. Then, I planned all of my meals. Afterwards, I made my Burner Smoothies. I already had prepared food in the freezer from last week thanks to my sweet hubby, who also grilled me some carrots and broccoli. It is also terrific that three of the seven days called for plant-based meals. I happen to love salads, so prepping for this week was pretty easy. Again, planning is the key!

My Fast Burn journey continues to not only be exciting, but also enlightening. I am learning new ways to challenge myself physically through exercise. I am learning new ways to properly fuel my body. I am ultimately learning how to transition into a healthier way of living. Furthermore, I am not missing the sugar, processed foods, or that pregnant whale feeling that comes from overeating. Better choices make for a better me. Happiness!

“To keep the body in good health is a duty…otherwise we shall not be able to keep the mind strong and clear.” ~ Buddha

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Happy Mother’s Day to my momma, Mrs. Billie, and ALL the wonderful women in the universe that take on the role of mothering. Even though it can be a tough job at times, mothering is worth every moment. I am grateful for the gift of being a mother to my two sons and my three furbabies, and being a Godmother to my niece Emma and Mr. Mike.

Yesterday morning, my hubby and I drove to the south shore to visit my parents. We all went to eat lunch together to celebrate my momma. Since she was the guest of honor, we asked her to choose the restaurant. She selected Perrin’s Restaurant located on Hickory Avenue in Harahan. I was excited because my hubby and I had never eaten there, so this counts as trying a new restaurant (#18 on my 21 for 2021 list).

Since we arrived at the restaurant early, we were seated right away. My momma ordered the Bub Burger with Sautéed Veggies. I ordered a Grilled Shrimp Wrap with Sweet Potato Fries. My Daddy also requested a wrap, but he chose the Southwest Chicken Wrap with French Fries. Barry decided on the Mini Seafood Platter with French Fries. We were all pleased with our choices. I ate half of my meal, so I could eat the other half for dinner. Yum! I give Perrin’s two thumbs up, especially since there are healthy options that taste delicious.

After lunch, we drove over to our favorite coffee shop PJ’s in River Ridge and hung out for a little bit before heading back to my parents’ house. We had a terrific day, and I am so grateful for the time I spent with my parents, especially my mother. I am very blessed to still have her in my life. She has always been a hard worker and did her best to care for my sister and me. My momma took on a second job selling Avon, so my sister and I could attend Catholic School from Kindergarten through 8th grade. She stayed up late many nights making my wedding dress. And, she always lends a helping hand whenever I need it. I have so many fantabulous memories of my momma, and I hope I have many more years to make new memories with her.

As for me, dear reader, I plan to spend today with my two boys. My hubby will grill us all steaks for lunch. Later this evening, Andrew and I will go to the movie theatre to see Godzilla Vs. Kong. And, we cannot forget Mrs. Billie, my awesome mother-in-law. At some point during the day, we will visit with her. How will you be spending your Mother’s Day? A shout out to all the mothers out there who provide care, love, and protection for others and remembering all those who are watching over us from heaven. Happiness!

Barry, Jr., Kat, Andrew, and Barry, Sr.

“A mother is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness.”  ~ Proverbs 31: 25-26

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