Is My Stress Making Me Fat?

Last week I started the Fit4Mom L.E.A.N. Mommy program.  It is an 8-week nutrition and weight loss course.  L.E.A.N. stands for Learning Eating Awareness and Nutrition.  It isn’t a diet but a course designed to specifically work with the emotional/mental aspect of weight loss and nutrition.  L.E.A.N. Mommy

Our first week had a great discussion on stress and what stress does to our body.  When  you experience stress your body dumps hormones (mainly adrenaline and cortisol) into your bloodstream.  Ideally you would be prepared to fight or take flight.  In our modern world, these two options are typically not valid.  Instead we take a fake it until we make it attitude and try to stamp down our feelings.  We can do nothing about the released hormones.  The best situation would be to use exercise as a way for your body to work through its feelings so to speak.  Again not always possible in our world.  For instance, last week Baby Bug was sick again with a very quick high fever.  She kept hovering between 101 and spiking quickly up to 105.4.  Since she has had a seizure before from a fast rising fever, I am a complete wreck when she gets this sick.  I have to constantly hold her and check her temperature.  It is rounds of bath treatments, breathing treatments, medicine, occasional sleep and lots of cuddling.  I do not have the option to go for a run or any other exercise while caring for her.

What happens to the body when we are constantly stressed and have no outlet for the hormones?  We can develop long-term chronic conditions including but not limited to:

  • High blood pressure
  • frequent illness as a result of lowered immune system
  • digestive disorders
  • weight gain, especially in the stomach area
  • depression
  • tension in the head and neck, and back aches

Hmmmm…I suffer from all but the first two.  I think I can sufficiently deduce I suffer from long-term issues from my stress.  I do feel constantly stressed.  I have for so long I don’t remember what it feels like to not be stressed.  The L.E.A.N. Mommy Program appears to really focus on helping to deal with stress.  The first technique we are taught is how to meditate.  Mediation is a technique I could use when I can’t exercise while stressed.  I’ve tried doing mantras, saying prayers and since I’m Catholic I have done the Rosary all to some form of success.   I’m looking forward to learning more about how to handle my stress.  Tonight is our second weigh-in and I’m ready to find out if I’ve had some loss yet.

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Off to drink my enormous amount of daily water.

Do you think you have issues dealing with stress?  Have you come up with some great techniques for dealing with it especially in situations when you can’t use exercise?

Non-Edibile Treats For The Emotional Eater

My therapist gave me a little assignment last week.  Make a list of non-edible treats for when I’m feeling the urge to munch.  It feels like all the world revolves around food and when you are an emotional eater even more mindless eating happens.  I know some people think it can simply be a case of willpower but my body is broken.  It constantly thinks it is hungry even right after I eat.  My mind knows I’m not hungry but my body is screaming for more food.  But I can only deal with one thing at a time and this week it is my emotional eating.  When I get emotional I reach for food as an knee jerk reaction.  I’ve made a list of possible solutions.  My basic parameters were it needed to be something I could do for free or cheap and preferably at home.  There are some exceptions but for the most part I kept to these guidelines.

A foot soak and pedicure at home

Make a glass of water infused with lemon, lime or frozen fruit

A manicure at home

A cup of tea and a good book

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A cup of tea in my grandma’s china.

A little yoga at home

Study essential oils and find some aromatherapy to use perhaps in the forms of oil, lotion or candle

Work on a sewing project

Long bath with bath salts and candles

Get out of the house and check some thrift stores for treasures

Watch a movie

Create a new workout playlist for my phone

Go for a run

Take my daughter to a playground

Get on Pinterest

Sit on my back porch(change of scenery from my office) and look at some old magazines

Search Etsy and Amazon making reward lists and occasionally allow myself to buy something

Turn on some favorite music and dance around

My awesome trainer made a great suggestion.  Get a mason jar and every time I am feeling hungry or struggling I can instead think of something positive, encouraging or inspiring to write and drop in the jar.  Every now and then I can read them or just keep writing them.

After making my list I thought about a plan this week.  Every day at 3, which happens to be one of my worst times of day for mindless eating, I will make myself a cup of tea and read a book for an hour.  It may seem weird but I think a nice self-soothing act every afternoon will be a perfect thing for me.

I would love more suggestions!  Do you have non-food related ways to treat yourself?

I’ve Applied for Mamavation Mom Bootcamp

I’ve thrown my hat in the ring once more for Mamavation Mom Bootcamp.   I could go on and on about why I did it but you can simply watch the video.


I’m mortified I forgot to take off the horrible wig.  Even more mortified by my horrible impression.  Oh well, life goes on.

If you want to help me out, give a shout out on the Mamavation Facebook page telling them you support me becoming a Mamavation Mom.  I would love you lots!

Fitcation 2013 Traveling with Girlfriends in Paso Robles Part 3

Disclosure:  The costs, swag and perks of Fitcation were covered by sponsors in exchange for a summary about our experience.  These opinions are all mine.

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My road trip buddy, Alyssa of Double Chin Diaries.

The dawn of the 3rd day was damp and foggy much like my mind.  Due to various traveling arrangements, I hopped in the car with Alyssa, Ana Lydia and Deb for a fun ride over to Hearst Castle.  So much was learned in the truth mobile that morning.  No, I won’t share except to say two of us have very different opinions on owls.  My opinion is less warm and fuzzy.

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I have been dying to see Hearst Castle most my life.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it is the writer in me who attended journalism camp in high school or the actress in me who wishes she could’ve have lived in the golden age of Hollywood or the part of me which has loved architecture.  None of me was disappointed in the grandeur of the Hearst Castle except for the very small time I was able to enjoy it.

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I loved the ceilings in the living room.
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Look at the view!  I can see why Mr. Hearst pick this spot. IMG_1748

I adore the angels clinging to the outside of the castle so bohemian.  IMG_1907

I would be swimming here every day.  How gorgeous!!  I want to dive off that platform.

I have a little vacation quirk.  I love to pose like statues.  I think statues are amazing but to just take a picture of them is pointless.  I can never quite capture their essence but copying them makes very funny photos.

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Bad Hair Day

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Do you smell something?

And for fun several of us filmed a quirky little video to pay homage to the Hearst home videos we saw during our tour.  I love these fun ladies!!


Next we drove down the coast to Cambria and stopped for a healthy and yummy lunch catered by Robin’s Restaurant at Leffingwell Landing.  I was skeptical when I read to bring some warm layers because I have found living in the South most people are kind of wimps when it comes to weather.  I was wrong.  I needed layers.  It didn’t stop me from enjoying a lovely lunch where they had set up tablecloths on the picnic benches and treated us to such luxury.  I was indeed spoiled – shivering but spoiled.

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Deb of Weight for Deb took this of me on the beach.

After lunch we moved down to the beach for some yoga with Kia.  Namaste!  I love me some yoga.  It was much warmer down on the protected beach.  I could have laid there in corpse pose for the rest of the afternoon.

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There was a ton of bucket list check marking happening that day because next we drove down to Morro Bay to go kayaking with Kayak Horizons.  It was NOT the perfect start but I’m going to save that story for another day.  I will say after a bumpy start I plopped off the dock into a single kayak and proceeded to have the time of my life for the next hour.  I was in a single but my kayaking buddy, Caroline, was awesome!  We saw seals but never found the otters.

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Afterwards we were treated to a small reception by Morro Bay Tourism.  While hanging out at the Yacht club I captured the most perfect picture of the trip.  Pamela, The Renaissance Woman, and I were goofing around and taking photos.  I think this picture captures the day.

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Our final stop of the trip was an evening in San Luis Obispo.  I could not get enough of the food at Eatz.  The final wine of the trip was Tolosa Winery.  We wondered about the shops and detoured down Bubblegum Alley – which was not on my bucket list – Yuck!

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I can not thank Mamavation, Sip The Good Life, Travel Paso, Earth Footwear and Visit San Luis Obispo enough!!  I had a blast, tasted great wine, devoured delicious food and made new best friends for life.  You know the trip was good when you come home and simply from your social media posts all your friends are begging you to take them with you next time.  Darn good sign of travel triumph!

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Me and my buddy Ana Lydia of Cabeza de Coco.

A few more of my new friends:

Deb of Weight for Deb

Erin of PositivE by Erin Bassett

Jeanie’s Adventures in Spider-Webbing

Jasmine of Healthy Jasmine 

Stephanie of Food and Fitness 4 Real

 

Fitcation 2013 Traveling with Girlfriends to Paso Robles Part 2

Disclosure:  The costs, swag and perks of Fitcation were covered by sponsors in exchange for a summary about our experience.  However, no matter how hard my mother tried to get me to do exactly what she wanted I never did, I have a stubborn opinion and if I wouldn’t change it for my mom I won’t change it for some free stuff therefore the opinions are my own.

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All the wining and dining we did the night before would make you think we would sleep in before rolling out of bed for mimosas and a plate of bacon but not at Fitcation.  We were up early to be taxied over to the local park for a bootcamp style workout led by the vivacious and energetic Erin Kreitz Shirey of Dig Deep Play Hard.   She is pregnant but it didn’t slow her down one ounce.  She kicked our butts.

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A quick shower and little drive later we were dropped at our first winery, Castoro Cellars Winery.  It was a wonderful setting and perfect for hosting the Earth Day Food and Wine Festival next year.  We walked up to the winery under an arbor burdened by big juicy bundles of grapes into this calm comfortable courtyard.  I wanted to grab a glass of wine, curl up in a chair overlooking the rolling hills of vineyards and laze away the day.  Alas!  I was there to learn.

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There was a delightful box lunch followed by a lesson in using our olfactory senses for tasting wine by Unlock Wine.

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You would think when discussing something as old as olive oil there wouldn’t be much to learn.  Wrong!  I learn so much about the process and the benefits. First of all, do not try the olive straight from the tree.  Second, there are all kinds of olive oil flavors.  I tried regular, tangerine, rosemary and lemon.  I brought home 3 bottles and a container of truffle salt.  I will from now on be a self-proclaimed Olive Oil snob.  You’ve been warned. Pasolivo has changed me. I’m going to have to join their club and get fresh olive oil twice a year.

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For our final stop we journeyed over to what is quite possibly a dream location, Halter Ranch.  Growing up I loved Falcon Crest.  Set in the wine country of California every Friday night I pretended I walked among the vineyards with Robert Foxworth.  I have a thing for bearded men.  I blame Kenny Rogers.  Most women fawned over Lorenzo Lamas but he never did it for me.   I need a hairy older man.  I’ve said too much haven’t I?

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Back to my Fitcation review and out of my mind.  Needless to say I felt I was living my dream of being one of the sophisticated Gioberti family members as I walk my vineyard.  Especially since we got the special perk of hiking the vineyards up to the Ancestor Tree, a perfectly romantic spot for trysts with a member of the arch rival family like the Channings.  Sorry!  Can’t help it.  I loved Falcon Crest.

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This is a perfect example of what makes a SIP certified wine different.  The garden in the middle fenced off is purposely designed to bring in the right critters for balancing the eco-system.  There are good bugs and bad bugs for grapes.  There are good rodents and bad rodents.  SIP certified vineyards are dedicated not only to the concept of organic farming but going the extra mile to support the land and the people.  In these vineyards you will find numerous examples of habitat conservation, pest management and water conservation.  In addition, the vineyards focus on economic stability of the farm and human resources.  I was truly impressed with the dedication I saw to the principles of SIP at Castoro and Halter Ranch.  IMG_1687

After the hike and tour of the winery, we were transported to an intimate enchanting affair in the barn.  I’m not going to lie.  I shoved my way to the front and was first in line for a foot massage.  I sat there chatting with the gentleman massaging my foot and accepted the glass of Halter Wine and divine bacon wrapped date hor devor.  I could get used to this kind of living but my mind soon was riveted to the table of shoes.  Earth Footwear out did itself with this presentation.  The atmosphere, the reflexologists, the food and the shoes were beyond description.

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 I loved my new shoes.  It is not very often a pair of shoes will fit and be comfortable on the first fitting but I’m happy to report my Teaberrys fit perfectly!  We were able to puruse the current line and the upcoming Spring line.  I picked out two shoes I’m thinking about as a Christmas present for myself.  Which one would you choose? The Alder on the left or the Redwood on the right?

IMG_1641Here is my favorite picture of the vacation taken in the cellar of Halter Ranch.  I can be a little silly.

IMG_1685A few more of my new friends from Fitcation:

Karen from Random Thoughts From a Suburban Mommy

Shannon and Caroline of The Mommy Files

Greta of gfunkified

Fitcation 2013 Traveling with Girlfriends in Paso Robles Part 1

Disclosure:  The costs, swag and perks of Fitcation were covered by sponsors in exchange for a summary about our experience.  However, no matter what former dates of mine might say, no amount of wining and dining me will make me do or say something I don’t truly believe in.

You know those chick flicks where the group of women go to the wine country or Italy to drink wine, laugh, shop, learn more about themselves and build deeper bonds of friendship?  I lived out one of those fantasies last weekend at Fitcation 2013 in Paso Robles, CA.  Other than the fear someone would pinch me and wake me up from my wonderful adventure, I had the time of my life.

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 Alyssa and I enjoyed some yummy Pea Soup and kitsch at Pea Soup Andersen’s on our road trip from LA to Paso Robles.

Fitcation13 is a healthy vacation for women to exercise, sightsee and learn about healthy initiatives.  This year we were hosted by Sip the Good Life, Earth Footwear  and the area of Paso Robles, and San Luis Obispo.  The itinerary they provided for us was nothing short of perfection.

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Upon arrival in Paso Robles on our first night, we were whisked off to explore downtown Paso Robles.  There was wine tasting at The Pithy Little Wine Company, cookie tasting at the Brown Butter Cookie Company, shopping at General Store Paso Robles followed by some wandering around while we waited for our next event.  It was a nice moment to get to know some of my fellow bloggers.

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 The souvenir t-shirt I got for Baby Bug at the General Store.  I wanted to get these adorable beeswax candles shaped like mason jars and other old jars. Must go back!

Our meal for the evening was catered by Fig Good Food and served in Studios on the Park.  We were treated to several Sip the Good Life certified wines and the atmosphere rivaled my own imagination of what I thought it would feel like to wine and dine as one of the Sex in the City ladies.

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SIP certified wine was free flowing at dinner.   SIP certification is a through process wineries can complete to certify their wine is not only orgainic but follow sustainable farming and business practices and more.  You can trust a SIP certified wine is safe, delicious and good for the environment and the employees.  I’m going to talk more about SIP in Part 2.

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I loved the lentil and quinoa meal in the right corner. I puffy heart lentils.

On the way back to my hotel I got sidetracked by a little bar.  We educated some cowboys on this whole blogging thing and heard some great music by Kenny Taylor and the Optimistic Banjo.

I fell asleep happy and ready for another adventure in the morning.  You won’t believe how we started the morning.

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My dreamy view on the flight to LA. Not sure I ever left the clouds.

Have you been to Paso Robles?  If you could go on a trip with your girlfriends anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?  My friends are already begging me to take them with me when I return to Paso Robles.

I would like to introduce you to some of my new friends:

Alyssa of Double Chin Diaries was my awesome road trip buddy!

Monica of Life is a Journey

Kristin of Little Mama Jama 

Ana Lydia of Latina Lifestyle Bloggers – She has an amazing Lifestyle Bloggers Conference coming up next March.  I’m told you don’t have to be Latina to participate.  Check it out.

Mamavation #2WeekChallenge Results

Two weeks ago I started the Mamavation 2 Week Challenge.  After a few days I was slowed down by back pain.  I’m pretty sure the back pain was not from the excersices.  I have a toddler.  A heavy 27 pound toddler.  She is short but compact and you feel every ounce of that 27 pounds.  Her latest trick is to be holding my hand and then go limp into a meltdown.  Happy Happy Joy Joy!!  Every few feet she will meltdown and wrench me to the side.  No bueno for my back.  After a weekend of pain, which meant I would not be running in the mud run, I gave in and saw a new chiropractor.  I felt better instantly.  My back is still not back to normal but it is way better.  I hope weekly adjustments will have me sorted out shortly.

While I did not get in every single aspect of the 2 week challenge, I did everything I could.  Lunges and squats were ok but burpees hurt way too much.  I was surprised at the results!

I lost 6.5 pounds.

In inches: I lost 1 inch off my waist, hips stayed the same and lost 1.5 inches off my thigh.

I have to say I think the 2 Week Challenge was quite the success despite the obstacles I faced.

What a great way to start my Monday – with Awesome News!  How is your Monday going?

Travel to Paso Robles with Girlfriends

I am more than excited (What is more than excited? Thrilled? Elated? Aroused – nevermind that one just sounds wrong.) Anyway!  I’m all of those adjectives about getting the opportunity to travel to Paso Robles with my Mamavation Girlfriends!  Paso Robles is hosting Fitcation, a special wellness themed event for bloggers in October.   Sadly I wish all my girlfriends could join me but for those who have to play along at home we are hosting a #TravelPaso Twitter Party on Wednesday, Sept. 18th from 7-8:30 pm PST or for my local EST girlfriends 10-11:30 pm.  We will be chit chatting about traveling with girlfriends and giving away some awesome prizes.

I’ve never been to Paso Robles but I love to travel and always do tons of research before I visit an area.  It gets me more excited about my trip and I learn tricks which might help me enjoy my time even more.  Tonight’s party shows some great places to explore.

The grand prize is a 2 night stay at Zenaida Cellars in Paso Robles.  This place is a 36 acre oasis with 22 acres being rolling vineyards.  A great girlfriend’s weekend has to include some wine!  I’m pretty sure the simple act of me walking about a vineyard will up my sophistication factor by 300%.

I’m not exactly the most sophisticated woman.  Basically I would fit in more in a Roseanne-type group than an Guiliana-type group.  However, I still enjoy my girlfriends and getting away pretending I’m a girly girly.  Could visiting Central Coast Lavender Farms be any more girly?  I puffy heart lavender.  This place is high on my list to visit when I hit Paso Robles next month.

Hop on over the #TravelPaso Twitter party tonight and find out more about Paso Robles.  Have you ever been?  Suggestions of activities or businesses to frequent?

Fitness Update!

I’ve been doing the Omron Pedometer 10,000 steps a day challenge for 20 days now.  My highest daily step to this point has been 12,049!

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Positives:

– I’ve lost another 2 pounds for a total of 8 pounds since starting the challenge.

–  I’ve still made it to 10,000 steps every single day.  A few days were by the skin of my teeth but I made it.

– I am feeling like it is getting easier and easier to get in my 10,000 steps.

–  I had a major breakdown last week during a run.  My time was so horrible!  I felt like I should be improving after starting my 1/2 marathon training a month ago.  I sobbed most my run.  However, this morning my time finally improved by about 5 minutes per mile since that breakdown which puts me where I used to be.  I feel like I can improve even more now and have the chance of finishing my 1/2 marathon in November under 4 1/2 hours.

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Some days I’m a little sluggish.

Not so great:

– My knee is hurting.  I am using Arnicare cream on it and it is helping!

–  I’m actually sad it is about to come to the end.  I don’t want it to end.  I love the motivation it has given me.

Have you ever broken down during a workout?  Do you find a good or bad workout can help you break through some emotional blocks?

My FitU Review and Giveaway

A Sponsored Post –

I can’t give it too much of a review yet because I just started but I can tell you about some of the bits and bobbles I am liking so far.  My FitU is an online (or mobile app) which allows a person to receive a custom plan for them by Daniel Meng.  Daniel Meng, is fitness trainer to the country stars, including Kenny Chesney(Did a nice job there!), Jake Owen, Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts, up-and-comers Krystal Keith and Patrik Wayne.  MyFitU.com is used by his celebrity clients when they are on the road to keep them in shape. The program acts as a personal trainer, healthy eating mentor and weight loss coach all in one. And all inquiries are handled by Daniel Meng directly. MyFitU.com is designed for the everyday woman or man (affordable, simple and convenient), and is just like having Daniel as your own personal trainer right by your side 24/7.

I always said Oprah didn’t lose her weight until she could afford a personal trainer and private chef.   Perhaps this is a chance for me to have my own personal trainer and food advisor.  I thought why not give it a go.  I signed up today and started to poke around.  There are hundreds of exercise videos which is awesome because I bore easily with the same routine.  Loads of healthy recipes to compliment your goals with personalized meal plans and shopping lists.  <-loving the idea!

I put in my goals and all my personal information.  Now, I will receive a weekly plan to help me reach the goals I have set.  There is an educational section and a safety section to ensure you are doing everything properly.

You can hop over to MyFitU.com and give it a 14-day free trial.  You don’t even’t have to put your credit card information in for the free trial!  I love that!  It always bothers me when I have to put my credit card information in for a free trial so I always walk away at that point but not with My FitU.  Yea!  I’m, also, giving away 1 Year Free Subscription to My FitU.  Isn’t that awesome?  A whole year free!!!

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Disclosure:  I was provided this opportunity to test the My FitU program through the BookieBoo Influencer Network and Mamavation, a disease prevention campaign for moms.