Monday, November 30, 2009

10 Months

Carson has been so fun this past month. He is no longer a baby and is well on his way to toddler-hood. I am so NOT ready for it but at the same time I love watching him grow and learn. I can tell he understands some of what I say and it is so fun to feel like we can communicate just a little bit.

He started saying “Dada”, loves climbing/standing on things, loves to play with/in the newspaper, loves books, waived for the first time on the airplane to a complete stranger, has 7 teeth, and is so so so active. He definitely gives me a run for my money.

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Saturday, November 28, 2009




                              Credit: My clever BIL

By the way, COUGARS WON! Too bad for you Utes...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fitness Friday

I hope you all had a very Happy Thanksgiving. I know I have much to be grateful for and among the many things on my list, my health is close to the top.

I hope you are grateful for you health, too. I believe that if you are truly grateful for something, you will take good care of it and nurture it. I also believe that enjoying good health is a choice we can all make. Sometimes it is not an easy choice, as it takes effort to be healthy. It is not always fun. In fact, sometimes it flat out sucks. But, making choices that will add years to your life or give you more energy to run around with your kids and grandkids, or getting the body you have always wanted is worth it in the long run. I promise.

So, when you wake up tomorrow, choose to be active. Choose to cherish your health. Choose to fuel your body with food that will help you perform your best.

Be grateful.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Get ‘er done.

I absolutely HATE cleaning but I love a clean house.

Growing up, I was lucky enough to have someone come to my house every week to do the gross stuff, namely the bathrooms. The only cleaning I had to do was put my clothes away that were sprawled all over my bedroom floor. Now, my life is less glamorous and I am my own nitty gritty cleaning lady. Basically, I clean just to get ‘er done.

Luckily I married a man who not only knows how to clean, but really doesn’t mind it. Here’s the problem though: there is really no reason why he ever should have to clean much, at least at this point in our life. I am home {almost} all day. I do have downtime. I actually think about cleaning the bathrooms several times but instead I sit my butt down to read or surf the net.  Before I know it 30 minutes has passed and I think “I COULD HAVE been done cleaning.”  But no. It still awaits me. Haunts me, is more like it. 

So, In attempt to ‘enjoy’ it more I am looking for the latest and greatest cleaning products, tools, gadgets, etc.that make cleaning easier and more fun. I have yet to find any.

I am curious. What do you use to get ‘er done?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Yes, please.

‘Leaves’ scent from Bath and Body Works.


                                   Pottery Barn. Need I say more?




My boys.

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Fitness Friday

In under two months time, it’s going to be a brand New Year – 2010.

And a lot of you are going to make that most famous of New Years Resolutions.

I am going to lose weight.

And, most of you are going to fail…miserably.

Here’s why.

There are 3 Main Types of Weight Loss Plans
  1. Eat Less Food
  2. Eat Less of Specific Types of Food (most commonly Carbs or Fat)
  3. Get More Exercise

And of course, most of the so-called “diet-experts”  mix and match these three main plans to come up with their proprietary “miracle” weight loss program.

So, how come, year after year, millions of people:

  • Start a new diet
  • Quit that diet
  • Try another diet
  • Quit that diet
  • etc, etc, etc…

Don’t they have any will power?

Of course, they have will power. Just as much as anybody else. Just as much as that skinny guy or gal that can’t quit smoking or gambling or watching too much reality TV.

Problem is, will power isn’t enough for most dieters.

Not when you consider the following list of factors that make dieting a can’t-win proposition for most people.

List of Diet Killers

When dieters eat less food:

  • Their metabolism slows down
  • Specific brain chemicals increase appetite
  • Their “obesity” hormones join with those brain chemicals and appetite becomes an insatiable hunger
  • Neural pathways created by years of poor eating habits are abandoned (that’s good).
  • New (diet-friendly) neural pathways are created (once again – good)
  • Unfortunately, the old pathways are designed like super-highways while the new ones are more like bike trails. One bad meal and the old pathways come back online and the diet is broken.
  • Psychologically, the elimination of their standard diet results in feelings of loss & punishment.
  • Emotionally, dieters feel like they are being punished.
  • Socially, friends & family members often (unconsciously) try to sabotage the diet.

When dieters restrict food groups:

  • Metabolism may or may not slow down - metabolism is mainly affected by caloric intake and, to some extent, the amount of protein consumed.
  • The brain chemicals and hormones cry out for the restricted food.
  • Neural pathways are affected in the same way as above.
  • Psychologically, we see similar feelings of deprivation.
  • Same emotional response
  • Same social response amongst family members.
  • Amongst casual acquaintances, the social response can be even worse. In social situations (parties, restaurants) dieters who avoid carbs or fats can be perceived by others as being “difficult”
  • Low-fat dieters can suffer in a myriad number of ways. Impaired hormone production, damaged hair, skin & nails, alleriges, systemic inflammation, etc…
  • Low-carb dieters often suffer at first from the lack of readily available sugar as a fuel source. Over time, this problem resolves itself.
  • Unfortunately, the lack of fiber in the low-carb diet often doesn’t resolve itself. And we all know what a lack of fiber can do to a person’s bathroom habits.

When exercise is the sole weight loss method:

  • Exercise does all sorts of great things for your body – (improves mood, body image, strength, flexibility, general health, etc), but as the saying goes, you can’t out-train a bad diet. It is way too easy to eat 500 calories of delicious chocolate cake than it is to burn off 500 calories of body-fat.
  • And, to make things worse, studies have shown that exercise increases hunger.

And the problems get even worse for repeat dieters.

After numerous failed attempts at weight loss, these poor souls have created super-thick neural pathways dedicated exclusively to dietary failure.

They just don’t believe they can succeed.

Seems pretty grim, doesn’t it?

So, what are we going to do?

Here’s what I do for my clients.

  1. Choose a diet/meal plan that keeps their metabolism humming along.
  2. Choose a diet/meal plan that meshes well with their personality & their lifestyle
  3. Create an exercise plan that boosts metabolism and makes them fitter, stronger & lighter.
  4. Prepare them mentally and emotionally for the challenge that they face. Let them know that their hormones and neural pathways and brain chemicals want them to stay fat. But that with diet and various psychological tools, they can overcome their physiology.
  5. Help them re-frame how they see their diet. Instead of eating for convenience, they’re eating for nutrition. Instead of missing out on ice cream, they’re upping their sex appeal. Instead of being normal, they’re becoming better – healthier, fitter, stronger, sexier.
  6. Make them understand that this is a challenge that they can win. Others have faced the same challenge and have succeeded. I lend them my confidence. Every day I see people succeed & fail at weight loss.  I just need them to believe that I believe. Weird, but true.

So, come this January, what are you going to do?

Buy the latest bestselling diet book?

Thursday, November 12, 2009


I am new to the whole parenting thing so I need some input from you 'seasoned’ parents. I need to leave Carson next week for 3 hours. THREE HOURS. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, does it? Well,  he seems to think otherwise. We are battling a huge case of separation anxiety where he won’t let anyone hold him besides Joel or me, even if he can see us.

Yes, it is flattering and all that he loves us so much. I love him too. But a mom needs a break every once in while. Is it too much to ask for the said break to be stress-free for mom? I think I will feel more sorry for the babysitter when I do indeed have to leave him.

Any ideas?

{btw: I still need a babysitter. Anyone up to the challenge? I didn’t think so!  ;)}

Friday, November 6, 2009

Fitness Friday

Good music can make or break a workout for me. If I am in a spin class and the music is slow and quiet, it is darn near impossible for me to get into the workout and get what I want to out of it. And running? I am a lost cause if I don’t have my tunes. So, I know that if I want to have an intense workout my music must follow suit and literally pump me up. Music’s beat, tempo, and melody is what carries me thru the most torturous exercises and workouts.

Apparently I am not the only one.

--------Article from MSNBC-------------

Several recent studies try to chase down the connection between our ears and our feet.

For the last 20 years, Costas Karageorghis, a sports psychologist at Britain’s Brunel University, has been setting the research pace for understanding our need to groove and move.

In addition to his lab research, Karageorghis has helped create a half marathon in London that tries to find the perfect music mix of live bands based on his research of human reaction to rhythm. The second annual "Run to the Beat" event was held a few weeks ago with 9,000 laboratory rats, er, runners either enjoying the live music or listening to their own mix of tunes on their MP3. Karageorghis even offered a scientific selection of songs based on his findings.

According to Kargeorghis, there are four factors that contribute to a song's motivational qualities: rhythm response, musicality, cultural impact and association.

The first two are known as "internal" factors as they relate to the music's structure while the second two are "external" factors that reflect how we interpret the music. Rhythm response is tied to the beats per minute (bpm) of the song and how well it matches either the cadence or the heartbeat of the runner. A song's structure such as its melody and harmony contribute to its musicality. The external factors consider our musical background and the preferences we have for a certain genre of music and what we have learned to associate with certain songs and artists.

Picking the right music can have several benefits.

Syncing beats per minute with an exercise pace increases your efficiency. In a recent study, subjects who cycled in time to music found that they required 7 percent less oxygen to do the same work when compared to music playing in the background. Music can also help block out the little voice in your brain telling you its time to quit. Research shows that this dissociation effect results in a 10 percent reduction in perceived effort during treadmill running at a moderate intensity.

In the current study, published in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 30 subjects synchronized their pace to the tempo of the music which was 125 bpm. Before the experiment, a pool of music was rated using a questionnaire tool (the Brunel Music Rating Inventory) which then selected the most motivational pieces for the treadmill test. The subjects were given a choice of either pop or rock music.

When compared to a no-music control, the motivational synchronised music led to a 15 percent improvement in endurance.

"The synchronous application of music resulted in much higher endurance while the motivational qualities of the music impacted significantly on the interpretation of fatigue symptoms right up to the point of voluntary exhaustion," Karageorghis reported.

Matching the beats per minute of our music with our exercise heart rate also takes an interesting non-linear path, according to research.

Karageorghis found that when our hearts are performing at between 30 and 70 percent of maximum, we prefer a somewhat linear increase from 90 to 120 bpm. However, when we reach our anaerobic threshold between 70 and 80 percent of maximum, we prefer a jump in rhythm from 120 to 150 bpm. Above 80 percent of maximum heart rate, a plateau is reached where even faster music is not preferred.

Another new study by researchers from Liverpool John Moores University, and detailed online in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, looked at the tempo angle differently. Instead of a mix of different songs at different tempos, they asked a group of cyclists to pedal to the same song over three different trials.

What the subjects did not know is that the researchers first played the song at normal speed, but then increased or decreased the speed of the same song by 10 percent. The small change was not enough to be noticed, but it did have an effect on performance.

Speeding up the music program increased distance covered/unit time, power and pedal cadence by 2.1 percent, 3.5 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. Slowing the program produced falls of 3.8 percent, 9.8 percent and 5.9 percent. The researchers concluded that we increase or decrease our work effort and pace to match the tempo of our music.


Pretty interesting, right? But not surprising at all.

So, if you are feeling less than inspired in your workouts you may just need to bust out your favorite song to keep you focused and motivated. You know, the one you jam out to in your car when you think no one is watching?!

Right now my number one is ‘I Gotta Feelin’  by the Black Eyed Peas.

What is your number one???

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

Weekend Warrior

Whew. We had such a fun and busy {Halloween} weekend. I feel like I need another weekend just to recover. Oh wait, I don’t work so every day is like the weekend for me. Man, my life is tough!

Friday night was our annual ward Chili cook-off.  I have submitted chili every year (5 years) and have failed to win anything, so this year I gracefully bowed out of the competition. Instead, we were in charge of an obstacle course for the kids.  I think that suited me better than cooking. Anyone who knows me, knows that is the truth!

Saturday we headed to Madison for the Badger football game. Right before we left we realized our camera battery was almost dead, so we don’t have any pics. Boo. It was fa-reee-zing but so much fun to be at a college football game. 003

After the game we ran home to get our Lil’ Monkey all dressed up for trick-or-treating with the Callister’s. Yup, that is right. We dressed up our 9 month old and took him trick-or-treating. As if he eats candy. I am pretty sure that we enjoyed it WAY more than he did. Nonetheless, he was a good sport and even shared the royalties. What a kid.

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After trick-or-treating, we put the kids to bed enjoyed a delicious pumpkin-baked stew at the Callister’s with the Green’s and Patten’s. The girls chatted while the boys watched football, then we got a little crazy and topped off the evening with a game of UNO. I have to say that the best part of the night was a surprise appearance by David Beckham! He is soo dreamy.

Sunday we headed up to Green Bay. My brother was supposed to fly in to watch the ever-coveted game of Packers VS Vikings but he was unable to make it and gave us his tickets. We weren’t able to take Carson in due to the lame rule that all children, regardless of age need a ticket, so Joel met up my brother’s friend and headed in the game. Carson and I enjoyed the festivities outside the stadium. They had big screens up all over and you could watch the game in parking lot- pretty ingenious for the avid fans who can’t get tickets- and there are many! I didn’t feel like I missed out on the experience of a Packer game at all, besides seeing Brett Favre in person. Those Packer fans are quite a sight, though. WOW.

{For some reason I can’t upload pics of the game so those will have to come later.}