Saturday, November 10, 2012

I cannot believe I haven't blogged in almost 3 months. I guess I'll give a brief update as to what our family is up to..

--Graham is finishing his first semester as a Washington State student.. only 3 more to go! (18 months and counting...)
--Carter just turned 2 last month. Pictures are on Facebook. He is a doll, really. He is the cutest kid I know. He just learned the word "no" and "mine". Fun.
--I'm still working full-time at the hospital. Our hospital is planning on a big affiliation with a large Catholic healthcare organization in the summer of next year, so that should be interesting.
--Graham is serving as the interim Engineering Club President. He got voted in as the president, but he's not actually a student at the junior college, so there was a problem with that. So now, he's helping out until someone else steps up. He also just got a calling as the ward choir director. Super fun.
--Carter is talking a TON. He says full-on sentences and tells us stories when "reading" his books. Totally adorable. He also cleans up after us. I have a really bad habit of leaving drawers and cabinet doors open, but Carter manages to close them after me. I also left my makeup out on the table the other day, and Carter climbed up on the table, put it back in the bag, and climbed back down. Weird kid.
--I am almost down 20 pounds! Woohoo! I am also wearing pants that I'd saved from 8 years ago in college (my nice designer jeans and some slacks from Banana Republic). I've also retired some of my current work clothes and designated them as future maternity work clothes.
--Graham just applied for a co-op internship at a government naval agency nearby, which would pay for the rest of schooling, pay him for his hours, guarantee him a job out of college, and help pay off student loans when he starts as a full-time engineer after graduation. Hopefully we'll hear something soon about it (like an interview!).
--Carter is now sleeping in a twin bed. He doesn't get out of bed at night or in the morning, which is weird because he knows how to. He sometimes cries out in the middle of the night for "daddy--lie down!" to have Graham come and sleep in his "big boy bed" with him. Too cute, but not a habit we want to start.
--I am turning THIRTY next month.. And I'm kind of freaking out about it. I keep finding more gray hairs, so my birthday present will be a haircut and color. My parents are coming up to celebrate with us, but we don't plan on doing anything too exciting (besides shopping).

Anyways, we are heading down to California over Thanksgiving break, so let me know if you're in town as well because we'd love to see you!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


So, I haven't blogged in 2 months. Yikes. I've been busy. Graham has been down in Portland during the week, completing his engineering labs, so I'm a semi-single mom. Pretty much every day, I wake up early, get ready, drop Carter off at daycare, work, pick Carter up, throw something in the oven, put Carter to bed, exercise, and then it's bed time. Free time is minimal and usually I use it to take a bath after a hard work out.

As far as life goes, I cannot wait for the summer to end and for life to go back to normal. I love Graham too much for him to be away this much. Plus, Carter misses him and asks for Daddy all of the time. Work is work..

Vegetarianism has gone out of the window. Although I believe fairly strongly about its principles without getting all self-righteous about it, I just can't do it long-term. I love cooking too much, and not being able to cook beef, chicken or pork made me sad. I have a full shelf of cookbooks that I felt like were going to waste. I love trying new recipes and trying new vegetarian recipes wasn't cutting it. I still plan on eating meat more sparingly and making a vegetarian meal at least 1-2 times per week. I also bought some organic ground beef at Costco that I liked.

Fitness-wise.. I am doing great. I am almost 6 months in and still loving it. I have not missed a planned workout once. I even brought my workout videos on vacation (which my family joined me in, which was a lot of fun). Thanks to my friend Sherilyn who let me borrow her videos, I have moved on to Turbo Fire, which is the Insanity version of Turbo Jam. It is very high intensity, so it requires a lot of energy on my part. I am absolutely drenched with sweat even after a 15-minute workout. It combines high-intensity cardio with high-intensity interval training (HIIT), as well as yoga, stretching, and resistance band training. The HIIT workouts are no joke. I've never jumped this much in my life, including at cheer practice and tumbling lessons. I am in love with the music and look forward to my workout all day long.

Graham says I've become an annoying person who talks about working out a lot now, but that's ok. Both of my co-workers work out a lot, so it's something we all share now. I love feeling the endorphins after exercise and feeling sore after a new workout. I am beginning to like what I see in the mirror. From June 1st-August 1st doing Turbo Jam and Bar Method, I only lost 2 pounds (out of a total of 10) but I lost more than 10 inches. Man do I wish I measured myself in March when I started! Anyways, since I started Turbo Fire July 30th, I've lost 2.5 pounds and 4 inches, including a full inch off my waist in only 2 weeks! I found my measurements from October 2008, and I'm actually smaller than I was then in my arms and waist! My goal is to get down to my waist measurement from my senior year of high school--only 4.5 more inches to go.. If I keep going at this rate, I should be there by October, when we take our family photos for Carter's 2nd birthday! I've lost almost 12 pounds so far, and it's dropping more rapidly with the new workout.

Anyways, hope you all are doing well and enjoying your summers. It's been in the high 70's and 80's, which is unbearable up here. Thank goodness I live in the Pacific Northwest because I am now heat-intolerant.

Monday, June 11, 2012

My journey back to fitness

I say "back to fitness" as if I've ever been truly fit.. but I really haven't. When I've worked out in the past, like on an elliptical machine at the gym, it was never like it is now. I was involved in all sorts of activities and sports growing up, like soccer, dance, softball, cheerleading, and gymnastics, but somewhere along the way I stopped really trying to improve. I was fine with where I was at the moment, which was nothing really special. I was never thin, but not fat or overweight. I was just normal-sized and adequately trained in the sports I participated in.

In high school, I took advantage of my metabolism and activity and really started eating like crap my senior year. I started to gain some weight, and I probably weighed 135 pounds or so when I graduated in 2001. I am only 5'3" (I think?), so my BMI was within the normal range, but I was heavier than I would've liked. I went away to college and went down to 130 pounds within the first few months. I worked out like a fiend, but ended up gaining the weight back after the winter.. which ended up being my life story for the next few years. One summer after I lost my winter weight, my grandpa even remarked, "Oh Sherri you got skinny again".

I have no idea what I weighed when I graduated college in 2006, but I was smaller than when I started going through grad school. I again started eating like crap and went up to ~140 pounds before I got married. Then, after I got married in 2007, I probably gained 15 pounds. I only started weighing myself in 2009 when I thought I would try to lose weight. My mom bought me a scale (man was I scared of the number on the scale), but I stopped trying to lose weight when we started trying to have a baby. After having a baby, I dropped to 6 pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight, but couldn't drop those pounds until I stopped breastfeeding. I lost a few pounds when I went vegetarian, but I ended up gaining about 7 pounds within 5 months. Seriously.. yikes (and I'm not sharing my weight because I'm way too embarrassed). I cried when I saw the number on the scale and decided I needed to actually TRY at something. I hated looking at myself in the mirror and still have this habit of stepping outside the bathroom, even when brushing my teeth, so I don't have to look at my body.

I used to exercise regularly before I met Graham, but we liked being with each other so much that being apart for an hour felt like an eternity. So, exercise went down the drain, and pretty much stayed there until March of this year. I had my moments of attempted exercise regimens, but I never put the full effort in. So first, oddly enough, I had to do something that would help me commit to exercise again.. I had to do something regularly that I absolutely HATE...

Flossing my teeth.

I know.. that's weird, but once I flossed every night for a month straight, I knew I could commit to exercise. I hate flossing so much, and I've never been good at doing it, so if I was able to do that, I could exercise, which I don't hate.

Anyways, I set a goal of mine for 12 weeks of fitness, based on an inspirational quote I spotted on Pinterest:

It takes 4 weeks for you to notice your body changing,
8 weeks for your friends to notice,
and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice.
Give it 12 weeks.
Don't quit.

So, I exercised 4 days a week for the first 4 weeks, and increased it to 5 days a week after that. I like to alternate between The Bar Method videos and Turbo Jam videos. The Bar Method sculpts my muscles like no other exercises, and Turbo Jam helps me get my aggression out. It's a great balance!

So, I did my exercises, rewarding myself with small presents (a cookbook, eyeshadow, etc) with every 3 consecutive weeks I worked out, with the goal of getting a new pair of workout shoes after 12 weeks (because my Nike Shox are terrible for my high arches). After the 11th weeks mark, a woman at work asked me what I was doing because I was looking so trim. It was one of the first times I've received a compliment about my body in years, and I was seriously so happy I could've cried.

As far as diet goes, being a Registered Dietitian and all, I know that being severely restrictive in my diet would not work out for me. So, I set a goal to eat salads 2 times a week for lunch, and to eat less calories at breakfast (I often eat a small amount of Kashi cereal with a protein shake). I still eat dessert, as well as chips and salsa. I know that if I cut out eating those things, I would probably lose weight faster, but that's not realistic for me. I will never give up dessert or my salty snacks, so I couldn't cut them out completely.

So, where am I at now? What are my goals?

After 14 weeks, I am currently down 8 pounds, but I feel like I'm down 15. I didn't measure myself before I started working out, which I should have, but oh well. I can look at my body in the mirror again. Yesterday when I looked at myself in my workout clothes, I said "wow".. which has happened, oh hmm... like never. My legs and butt are muscular again (thanks Bar Method), and I'm beginning to see definition in my arms (thank you Beach Body hand weights).

My goal is to be healthy. I will never run a marathon, nor will I participate in a triathalon.. so those aren't what I will be working towards. I want to lose more weight, and get down to a healthy BMI (which is 140 pounds for my height). Sure, I will never be skinny or thin, but all I want is to be healthy and to feel better about myself. I have made myself a fitness chart with a planned monthly exercise regimen. I will still be doing Turbo Jam and The Bar Method videos, but I will be trying out some of their more advanced videos within the next few months.

What have I learned? (if you're even still reading)

Losing weight is hard. It requires lots of dedication, time, and mental commitment. The physical aspect is just an aside to the mental preparation I have to do every night I press play on the DVD player. Fitness is a goal everyone should aspire for. It's not just to look good. It's to feel good, to test your body and your mind, and to learn what you are truly made of. Even if nobody ever reads this, writing this blog has made me proud of what I've accomplished so far.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Vegetarian Update

So folks, I figure you all deserve an update as to how my vegetarian challenge is going.

As far as dinner and breakfast goes, I've been doing awesome. The last meals I've made with meat were ham for Easter, beef stew for Valentine's Day, and turkey for Christmas (I didn't make it). I've been enjoying lots of beans, although it admittedly has been a little stinky around our house lately, if you know what I mean.. I've been utilizing different cookbooks, like Pasta Revolution, Bean by Bean, and ATK's Healthy Family Cookbook.

However, I did start to feel deprived at work. They recently changed their cafeteria to a quick-service style cafe, so there are no daily specials, just constant, never-changing menu items. Instead of having something different to pick from every day, I had limited myself to just a few vegetarian items (with some of them not being healthy at all): tofu stir-fry, cheese quesadilla, veggie burger, grilled cheese sandwich, make-your-own salad, and veggie wrap. I was getting SO sick of the food (and I wasn't going to start bringing my own lunch because I get free food), I considered ditching the whole vegetarian concept. Plus, I started gaining back the weight I'd lost when I stopped breastfeeding. Scared at the number on the scale and frustrated at my self-imposed diet restriction, I decided to make my own compromise: I can eat meat at lunch only. So, now I eat salads with grilled chicken breast and deli meat sandwiches. Believe me, it's all made all of the difference. I don't feel as deprived, and I'm losing that weight (but that's a different story anyways).

Graham and I have come to the conclusion that we don't even really feel deprived with our dinner choices, which has definitely been an adaptation. We've made the change to "mostly meatless", which I am absolutely happy about. I eat less fast food, I try to choose more organic and natural forms of foods, I only eat hamburgers twice a year (which is definitely a big thing for me), and I feel like I'm making a *small* impact on a food system that is so corrupt and flawed. If you want to know which movies that have changed the way I view food and health, watch the videos Food Inc and Forks Over Knives. At the very least, you'll be more mindful of what you eat, especially when you visit a fast food restaurant.

Anyways, I promised a while ago to post a recipe for amazing corn muffins, so I'll do that next time, along with the story about me getting healthy and physically fit. I think I just used that phrase because I heard that song on Madagascar, "I like to move it move it". Until then.. I'll see you later.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Things I detest...

Just for the sake of ranting a bit, I am making a list of things I absolutely detest… without good reason. I just can’t explain my hatred of these items, so I’m just putting this list out there. Sorry if this list includes you or something you do. I can’t help it.

--Cars that look like toasters.

--The stickers you put on cars that indicate how many members of your family you have (I’ve seen turtles, flip flops, etc); little cartoon drawings of your family members (I’ve seen one of a family that the 3-year old boy is throwing a football. Seriously? The kid is just learning how to write letters, let alone play football.); or the Disney family stickers with the family wearing Mickey Mouse ears. Gag. Oh, if these stickers are put on a toaster-car, that means we could never be friends. Ever.

--Along with the last one, Disney freaks.

--Those shoes with separate holes for each toe. I think they’re called Vibram Finger something? They’re like a combination of 2 things I hate: toe socks and Crocs.

--Two-piece bathing suits for babies and little girls. I also strongly dislike topless or naked baby photos. Unless the baby is being born or in a bath, it’s just kind of weird to me.

--Hawaiian leis or graduation tassels hanging from a rearview mirror.

--The use of excessive exclamation points and capital LeTTers!!!!

--People who constantly update their status on Facebook. I try to limit mine to 2 posts per week, 3 on a busy one.. but seriously.. do you need to update more than once in a day??

--Stuffed animals in car windows. Just a simple question.. why?

I'll probably add to this at some point.. but it had to be said.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Carter's going to be a big brother!

Hahaha.. just kidding. I was just trying to catch your attention! I thought with all of the pregnant women I know right now that I'd fit right in.

Anyways, no, not pregnant. Not in the plans for a few years until Graham is done with school..

I’ve been slacking about blogging about our family’s activities way too much! Since most of you live far away and have little chance to see Carter in person or get to know him, I’m going to try to describe his personality so you can feel like you know him a little bit.

--Carter is a mischievous boy. He loves to do things that may “get him in trouble”. He knew he wasn’t supposed to press the cable box buttons, but he would stand in front of it and pretend he wasn’t going to touch anything. Then, he would crouch down and sneakily touch the buttons and pop back up, laughing hysterically. Graham ended up putting a clear Plexiglas cover over the cable box, so the joke is on you Carter.

--Along with the first trait, Carter loves to play and has a good sense of humor. He loves to be chased and sneak up on mommy with dad. He once was hiding behind the door in his room, playing hide and seek with Graham. When Graham poked his head around the door, Carter hit him in the face with a dirty diaper that was on the floor.

--Now that Carter is walking, all he wants to do is walk. No playing with trucks, no puzzles, no stories.. just walking. He does laps around our kitchen and living room, stopping along the way to open cabinets and cupboards and exploring the unknown.

--His favorite words now are “thank you”, “uh oh”, and “amen”. He finally says mommy!

--He semi-folds his arms for prayers, which is adorable. He knows baby signs, like “want”, “more”, “all done/gone”, and walks to the fridge if he wants some milk.

--Carter is actually a cautious child, which is strange considering he is Graham’s son. He will army crawl up to the top of the stairs and peer down, never letting go of the top stair with his hands. I guess his caution is why he didn’t walk until 14 months old!

--He loves to drink the water from his toothbrush every night, which is kind of disgusting.

--When he is tired, he is DONE with everything. He will fuss, close the book we’ve been reading, and point to his bed. No singing or humming is allowed once he’s done this.. believe me—I’ve tried.

--Morning Carter is my favorite Carter. He’ll play in his crib usually until we get him, mumbling in his crazy baby talk or sometimes repeatedly calling out “daddy”. He is all smiles, and will sometimes play tag in his crib (i.e. he will run/crawl from us when we try to pick him up). He also likes to pretend to go back to sleep. He’ll lie down, grab his blanket and turn on his sound machine giraffe.

--Carter is a skinny little guy! At his 15 month appt, he was only 19.2 lbs (<3rd percentile) and 31 inches (50th percentile). He gained enough weight that he doesn’t need to see a Dietitian (like I would go see one anyways hah), but he’s just a little guy. His head circumference continues to be in the 50th percentile, so Graham calls Carter a balloon, like Mr. Mackey on South Park.

--Carter’s favorite foods: cheese, chocolate (of course), beans, and bread. Dislikes: deli meat, pork, and pasta (I mean seriously, what kid doesn’t like pasta??).

Anyways, I’ll keep updating as much as I can.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pure Humiliation

So, I had a pretty embarrassing experience last weekend when my family was here to visit. They fortunately were not witnesses to the event…

Background: Carter doesn’t nap well when we get off our schedule or when family is visiting, so he was kind of being a turd Saturday afternoon at my sister’s house. He was tired, cranky, and getting over a cold. He still had a runny nose, so he managed to wipe some snotty patches on my shirt and pants. I put on a sweater hoping to hide those snot patches when we went out to dinner.

We went to a family-friend BBQ place for dinner, thankfully, but Carter wasn’t having it. He wanted to be inside, outside, up, down, whatever.. he just wasn’t happy. He also managed to get some smears of BBQ sauce on my clothes after eating. Finally, he found something that distracted him—little packs of flavored coffee creamers. I was holding him as he chewed on one of those, relieved that he’d finally stopped fussing.

The quiet we enjoyed for a few moments was short-lived. As you could probably guess, he managed to pop open the hazelnut-flavored coffee creamer, which squirted all over me and Carter. So now, I had snot, BBQ sauce and coffee creamer all over my clothes in little patches. I probably did smell delicious though..

Even though I had these patches on my clothes, I decided that I still was going to stop by Macy’s to get some much-needed makeup powder. I took off my sweater with the hope that my shirt looked better, and that I would still be able to get service at the makeup counter. Graham took Carter home, so I went to the store by myself. If Carter had been there, these things would be explainable to a salesperson.

At the Benefit makeup counter, the girl kept giving me weird looks. I thought it was because she was a Shiseido makeup girl. When she brought the mirror to look at the different colors of powder on my cheek, I gasped. I had a large smear of BBQ sauce on my cheek. I tried to wipe off my cheek as best as I could, but the damage was already done. I bought my makeup powder and decided to try my luck in the Impulse section with a couple of new shirts.

In the dressing room, I turned to face the mirror as I put on my first shirt. To my horror, I had a huge piece of meat stuck in my front tooth! (Yes meat, I do eat it occasionally.. BBQ was too irresistible.) Anyways, I swallowed my pride (and food) and went to the shoe department and bought 2 pairs of shoes.

Monday, January 30, 2012

My new favorite vegetarian recipe

So, Pinterest hasn't been too good for my diet. I've tried wayyyy too many sweets and delicious stuff. However, I found a vegetarian taco soup that freaking rocked. We tried it tonight and it was awesome. I mean seriously, we raved about it. I've totally missed my ground beef taco soup with crushed tortilla chips, so this is a good substitute. Plus, this got Graham to eat brown rice, which he has sworn off forever!

Go check it out: Vegetarian Taco Soup

You're welcome!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yeah, about that..

Let's just say I've gotten behind in my blogging.

I know, I've received hundred of e-mails from devoted fans asking me to return to blog about my life with my delightful stories and insights.. Please, Sherri, just one more blog entry..

Anyways, this is a short one as Carter has awoken from his slumber.. But I shall return.

Here are some picture of Carter to pacify you in the meantime..

 Carter opening his Christmas Eve present.. which was...
Christmas pajamas!
 Carter and Brynn playing.
Carter really does have the cutest smile..

Ch ch ch ch ch ch Changes

One thing is for sure about this home building process.. There will be changes! Quick Update : drywall is nearly done. Our project manager...