Sunday, August 24, 2014

Top Ten Teacher Gifts from Dads

I am sitting at the table working on gifts for Jackson's teachers....cute little lip balms with a tag that says "You're the BALM! Excited for a great year."

Darron is laughing at all the cheesy gifts and sayings on Pinterest so he decided to come up with a few of his own.

Here the Top Ten Teacher Gifts from a Dad
by Darron Meares

10. Lip Balm   "Here's some cap stick because I know you get tired running your mouth all day."

9. A pair of underwear  "Because I know there will come a time when you need to cover my kid's butt in your gradebook."

8. A Butterfinger "Because this is only finger my kid can give you."

7. A bottle of Jack Daniels  "You're going to need this after the 3rd week with my child"

6. A pair of boots " To wade through all the excuses my son gives"

5. A bottle of wine "To go with all the cheesy gifts my teacher wife will give you"

4. A normal cardigan sweater "Because not everyday is NOT a holiday that requires a goofy sweater"

3.  A diet Coke "To 'offset' all the sugar and candy the other kids give you"

2.  A Wal-Mart gift card "Because most dads aren't as creative as me"

1. A bottle of champagne "To celebrate surviving the year with my child"

Thursday, August 7, 2014

50 shades of GREY HAIRs

No this post is not about what you think it is about.  I know that there has been a lot of buzz lately about the book and the movie.  Yes, I have an opinion about both of them. No, I will not share it with you.

OMGeeeee....the grey hairs I have discovered this week are making me crazy.

I remember the first grey hair I found....I was driving home from school a couple years ago and when I looked in my rear view mirror I noticed something shiny in my hair.  I was teaching kindergarten at the time, so I thought it could be glitter or fuzz from my pipe cleaner crown (that is a story for another day).  I haphazardly tried to brush it out.  When I got home I consulted the mirror and found the shiny speck still there. OMGeeeee....A grey hair sticking up from my part.  I remember panic and then the tweezers.  GONE.

I have had a couple more over the years...all met the same fate as the first one.
Recently I have noticed a few more but decided to ignore them.  I am closer to 40 than 30 so a few grey hairs are expected. 

This week is a different story.  I am preparing myself to go back to work so this week has meant actually fixing my hair and putting on makeup. 
Hello Mr. Grey Hairs. 

50 Reasons I Have Grey Hairs.

14 years of marriage.  People often joke and say that I am a saint for putting up with Darron.  I wish those jewels they say I deserve in my wife crown were what was sparkling on my head instead of the grey hairs.  (Darron has a tough job too...I am not saint.) Marriage is hard work.  We have a good days and bad days but in the end our commitment to each other keeps us strong.

Jackson---the 9 year old.  Being a mom is the hardest job EVER.  Jackson came into this world with his own agenda and continues that today.  I am unsure where he gets his spunk, sassiness, and ATT I TUDE but I often hear my parents giggling and whispering "what goes around comes around". I have no clue why!!!

Next week I begin my 15th year teaching.   Enough said....

3 males in my included.   I have no sympathy for the men who whine about having a house full of women. 

QSA...3 small letters that my body often curses.  I love working out with the coaches at QSA.  They push me to my limits.  It is a great stress relief and keeps me young.  I think the grey hairs are trying to tell me that my body isn't what it used to be....a reminder that I am getting older.   THEY ARE FAILING.

13.1.....I ran a half marathon in April. I think my knees and ankles are told my head to sprout a few new greys to try to convince me that I was too old for things like running. 

Pickens County Princess...PCP...3 letters.  The Pickens County Princess is my alter ego.  I have some friends with alter egos named Tawanda, Moma Bear, etc.  She is the one you don't cross.  Don't mess with my family, don't question my integrity, don't make promises you can't or won't keep, always be honest with me.  Follow these rules and you and the Princess will be BFFs. 

Now to schedule my hair appointment... Amber  and I may be discussing ways for me to dump MR. GREY.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

36 years young

Today is my 36th birthday.  I am not ashamed of my age.  I really don't think I would want to be 25 or even 29 again.   I am much wiser and in a much better place in my life today than I was back then.

Today I am celebrating with some goals for the 365 days.  
I wish I could remember the saying that I pinned to my Pinterest wall about having 365 and making each one count.  Yes, I am losing my old jokes :)

Goal #1:   A RED band at QSA   (to most of you this will not make any sense....let's just say that it proves that I am improving)

Goal #2:  Finish the Run Like A Diva half marathon on April 27

Goal #3: Continue with my personal weight loss/body fat loss process and become a better physical me

Goal #4  Find something positive everyday to be thankful for (especially when I am frustrated)

Goal #5 Be a great mom and wife everyday.......I know that I am going to fail on this one.  I am human, I make mistakes, and I get frustrated.  But I can always recognize when I am not being great and fix it.

Goal #6  Buy a new house :)


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Oh No...Snowmageddon

This the last week of the challenge.  Actually, the final weigh in is less than 38 hours from now.  Saturday at 10:00AM

Snowmageddon began Tuesday.   Thank goodness we got to QSA for the 8AM class.  The conditions got so bad that QSA was closed from noon on Tuesday, all day Wednesday and Thursday.

I made the comment Tuesday that I hoped the other "competitors" sat at home, ate their carb filled milk and bread sandwiches, and drank a lot of beer.
Darron and I were determined not to cheat or break the eating plan.  We succeeded. 
I will confess, I made snow cream for J on Tuesday night and ate about 1/4 of a cup of it. However, I only used 1/4 cup of sugar instead of a 1/2 cup so that only counts is a half of a cheat.

Wednesday I drank my gallon of water. And made myself run back up the hill after sledding down.

Thursday morning meant more sledding and running back up the hill.  Cardio...even in small doses is better than no cardio at all.

What a difference a couple hours can make.
The above sledding was taking place around 9:30 AM.  By 1:00PM the sun was breaking through the clouds and melting away 3 days of snow.

At 5:00PM, Darron and I backed the cars out and turned our garage into our workout area.  Thanks to QSA for posting a 25 AMRAP workout for us to do.  It was tough because we made it tough and motivated each other.

I am surprised that DSS was not called on us.  "Yes, I would like to report that there is a child running around in his snow-filled yard with no coat on playing baseball with himself.  He keeps running back and forth to the fence.  His parents appear to be in the garage doing something that looks suspicious."
And the called would have been placed by my brother-in-law and sister-in-law who drove by real slow trying to figure out what was going on.  Or by any of the numerous people driving by our house between 5:15 and 5:45 PM.

J had on layers and is always playing baseball so this was perfectly normal except for the snow filled yard.  I am sure our neighbors have seen us doing tire flips around the house before.  Just another day at the Meares House.

As I type this I am finishing the last of my gallon of water today. 

Hallelujah...QSA is open tomorrow.  9:00am class for me.  And then a repeat class with D at 4:30PM.
I want that CASH. Or spa day. Or massage.  Or the team prize. GO TEAM AMANDA!!!

The competitor in me is ready for the final results on Saturday. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

NYNY Weekly Update

My good intentions were to blog daily through out this challenge/journey.  With the realization that the reality would be every other day. 

The real reality  is this has become a weekly thing.  
I can't find the time to sit down and write. 

A picture is worth a thousand words.  
My Saturday/Sunday prepping for the last week of the challenge in pictures:

 Omelet cups--with peppers and spinach are being baked. So much easier in the morning to warm one up instead of cooking an omelet.

 Tonight's dinner is in the crockpot.  Healthy chicken fajitas.

 The weekly menu is made, posted, and groceries were bought yesterday.

  5 workouts this week = a huge pile of dirty gym clothes.  These are from the second half of the week.  Yes we do a separate load of just workout clothing in some special detergent Darron bought.

Salads with chicken have been made for lunch this week.

One more week to go....Not really.  I have finally seen success.  Small success but success.  I plan on continuing with the eating plan until I reach my goal.  Of course, to keep my sanity I will eat some carbs here and there and allow myself a semi-cheat meal. 

In 3 weeks I have lost 7 pounds and 4.3% body fat.  The most impressive numbers for me are the fact that I have lost 11 pounds of fat mass and gained 4 pounds of muscle.  
If you are not a QSA client, ask me about their wonderful programs and how you can join me on this journey to a New Me!!!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

10 things I have learned ---Half Way Point

Today marks the half way point in the New Year New You Challenge.  

Here are 10 things that I have learned or rediscovered in the last 14 days:

1.  I can survive on a clean eating diet and no carbs.
  •   Nutrition and eating well have always been a struggle for me.  I have survived 2 weeks eating lean protein and veggies.  And eggs.  And cottage cheese ( I still hate it).  Thank goodness for the awesome meal ideas and recipes that QSA has provided.  During our warm up on Thursday, several of us were talking about food and creative recipes.  "I am so tired of chicken and fish" too pal :)

2.  I can be like June Cleaver.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner have been cooked and prepared in my home for 2 WHOLE WEEKS.  With the exception of dinner this Thursday night....QSA, D's meeting, and no time = McAlister's Deli.  I had a salad and only used a portion of the balsamic dressing.  
  • Time management and preparation are key.  Weekly planned menu that hangs on the fridge, pre-prepped as much as possible, using time on the weekend makes it so much easier through out the week.
  • Bonus....I don't have to order lunch on Fridays with my co-workers. I have will power and my salad I fixed the night before. 

4. Waking up and checking the WOD is not a smart idea.
  • Why do I torture myself through out the day?  Isn't the WOD torture enough?
5. I can sacrifice sleeping late on Saturday morning for a workout.
  • 2 Saturdays in a row at the 9AM class.  I am most impressed with myself.  
  • Who comes up with the Saturday workouts anyway?  Some evil trainer that is locked up in the back room?  
  • "How bad do you want it?" is the new motto on Saturday.
6. The scale is not my friend.
  • I obsess with my weight and body fat.  (You can't tell by looking at me)
  • I have educated myself to know how to read that crazy printout with all the numbers.  
  • Today was the first time I have not had a loss in body fat. FRUSTRATED.  Thanks to Vaughn I learned.....
7. My half marathon training can be affecting my body fat.
  • And not in a good way.  I am burning muscle. Eating less calories and long runs are partly responsible.   
  • I have 13 weeks until my race and 2 more weeks of this challenge. If I want to win that cash and help Team Amanda I need to limit my run to only 1 long run on the weekends for the next 2 weeks.  And add in the interval cardio blueprint.  
8.  I often hate the encouragement of Darron, others who are working out with me, and the trainers.
  • Encouragement is what is meant by it.  Giving me a push. Telling me I can do it. 
  • I am trying my hardest.  I know I can do 1 more. Or finish strong.  Don't you people see my struggling.
  • When I am struggling I hear "don't quit you weakling", "I am done so hurry up and finish", "your form sucks and you can squat deeper than that",  "keep moving"....blah, blah, blah
  • I need an attitude adjustment when the going gets tough.
9. I will not float away drinking a gallon of water a day.
  • Truth...I have only actually had a gallon of water on 3 days.  I try really hard everyday to drink that much.  
  • Kindergarteners are okay for the teacher to leave them and take a restroom break.  No, I don't leave them alone. I have an assistant.  Yet one little boy insists on knocking on the door and asking me a question at least once a day.  Just like being a mom at home :)
10. QSA is full of great people.
  • Vaughn has hired the BEST STAFF on the planet.  I adore Amanda and love working out with her at 4:30pm.  She knows just the right buttons to push to motivate me.
  • All of trainers care about the clients.  Everyone is encouraging and wiling to help and answer questions. Thanks DJ and Alex---your were my support staff today.  Jason--I miss working out with you. Come visit us at 4:30 on day.
  • I love my QSA family.   My Apex buddies, my ladies, my 4:30pm peeps, the Saturday crew.... a smile,  a facebook post, a "hey, I read your blog", a "you look great".    Each of you have a quality that I strive for. Thanks for being my friends.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Playing catch up--Days 6,7,8,9

I have been is crazy right now.  With an iPad distribution happening, I have been out of my classroom more than I have been in it. My free time has been playing catch up and planning for the times when I am out of the room.  Sometimes being gone is harder than being there.

Thursday was an exercise day off for.  I am giving myself one of those a week.  My old body can only take 6 days a week of work.  God rested on the Sabbath.   I did not food cheat this day...jsut no exercise.

Friday, I did not ordered out lunch with my co-workers.  2 of us are "being good" so it helps to not be the only one.
QSA workout at 4:30 and then a 12 minute cardio set to finish off the day.  WooHoo!!!

Saturday workouts at QSA will now be known as "how bad do you want it" workouts.  PJ enjoyed inflicting the torture on us.  Alex, Ryan, DJ, and Jason all keep popping in the room to witness the torture. Secretly they were laughing at us. 
Who starts a workout with 50 burpees, 50 renegade rows ON EACH SIDE, 50 thrusters, and then 50 kettle bell swings?  This wasn't even the first half of the workout.  AND the kicker was...a 35 minute cap.  I finished all but the last 48 superman jacks in the time limit....and then finished the superman jacks. 

Meal planning and shopping were done on Saturday.  It is the little things like BOGO chicken breasts at BiLo that excite me.

Sunday we hit the track as a family.  I got my 45 min training run in, D did an interval workout and bleacher runs, and J played football with some people who already playing on the field. 

As of Friday afternoon, I am down 6 lbs and 3% body fat.  The best stat is the loss of 9 lbs of fat mass.  This is working.  The clean eating and the workouts are making all the difference.  My jeans were loose this morning.  My ultimate goal is to wear this one particular white and black dress again.  I would love to be able to wear it in St John on March 8. 

How bad do I want it?  That is the question...

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Day 5-Dedication Day

Short, sweet and to the point...

I didn't have anything but a bottle of water in my meeting this Coke, no chips, no candy

I didn't have any snacks at the faculty meeting this afternoon.  Only my water.

I did my training run at 4:45 this afternoon in 30 degree weather with a ton of wind.  (I hate cold almost as much as I hate cottage cheese).

Dedication Day!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

NYNY Day 4

 First Tuesday weigh in and I have lost both pounds and body fat %.  Not sharing how much because this is a contest and that $500 is worth eating more cottage cheese (maybe).

Breakfast was my omelet cups.  I posted a picture on my Instagram.  You put your veggies in a muffin tin and pour your eggs over the top.  Any omelet recipe from the book will work. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes (make sure the middle is done).   Simply reheat them in the microwave when you are ready to eat them.   

Lunch was a Cobb Salad.  My coworkers were laughing at my lack of dressing. They know how much I love ranch.  Actually my dressing spilled in my lunch bag and I had about half of the 2 TBSP left.  I resisted the urge to go ask for some dressing at the salad bar in our school cafeteria.  MAJOR WILL POWER (almost as much as it took NOT to eat a Hershey's kiss that my kiddos earned today)

For dinner we had grilled chicken and a spinach salad.  I love the dressing from the book for the Spinach and Strawberry salad.  I only added 1 TBSP of sugar instead of the amount it called for.  Trying to be good....

Amanda is an awesome coach.  She pushed me tonight.  She gave me a 44lb kettle bell and told me to use it.  I had no choice.  And then for 1 and 1/2 sets she was in my face pushing back down on the kettle bell.  This sounds harsh and it was.  But I needed it and she knew that to get the maximum out of me she needed to push...literally.
I often think that I am weaker than I really am.  The coaches at QSA and my fellow 4:30 people give me the encouragement I need. 

I keep reminding myself of the little engine that could....I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Of course no one got to be that little engine while sitting on their caboose. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

NYNY Day 3

Day 3 has been great....for the most part.

For breakfast, I stepped WWAAAYYYY out of my comfort zone and attempted to eat some cottage cheese for breakfast.  I cannot begin to explain how much I hate the texture of cottage cheese. I bought small curd this time hoping that would help.   The recipe in the book is called Wonder Bowl.  My was a not so wonder bowl....1/2 cup of cottage cheese, 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, 2 tsp of flax meal, and 4 strawberries sliced.   I hated it.  I imagine my face looked like a baby when he/she is eating rice cereal for the first time. If I could have spit it out I would have.  I finally figured out that to tolerate it I could eat the berries out...even though they were covered in the wonderful stuff.

Lunch was another cobb salad...awesomeness.

For dinner I made the fiesta chicken from the book.  It was delicious.  This will be a staple meal for us.  So simple yet so good.  And I am full.

QSA WOD was tough.... "Bear" with 3 rounds at 55lbs and 2 rounds at 65lbs.   I remember when the 45lb bar was a challenge for me.  I am feeling a sense of accomplishment today.
Next came the 10 min AMRAP....with hurdle hops.  Feeling so proud of myself after the weights, I chose on the "taller" green hurdles.  Hurdle hop number 4, I kicked the hurdle, it flipped and popped me in the leg, and I fell.  My parents should have named me Grace.

I switched to the baby green hurdle for the rest of the reps. Ain't no shame in my game :)

First weigh in is tomorrow....

Sunday, January 19, 2014

NYNY Day 2

Breakfast was an IsaLean shake with a TBSP of natural peanut butter this morning.  I hadn't been to the grocery store yet....

My total at Publix was $120 and some change.  I first I thought OMG this is going to be more expensive than I thought.   Then I remembered that I usually spend an average of $75 a week at the grocery store, plus eating out 2 times a week, plus lunch out on Friday, and a Coke here and there thought out the week.  So in the end, I am actually saving money this week :)

For lunch, D and I had the Cobb Salad from the new recipe book.  I bought chicken at the Public deli...this will make my life easier this week.   Salads are harder for D than me....he doesn't eat tomatoes, cucumbers, or avocados.  
I must admit that I was worried about this salad.  I LOVE RANCH DRESSING!!  This salad's dressing was 1 Tbsp of olive oil and 1 Tbsp of sherry vinegar.   It was REALLY GOOD...I was wrong about this being too dry.  I did miss my ranch, though.

For dinner we had the steak and green beans from the book...minus all the garlic.  We are not fans of garlic and I am feeding a picky 9 year old.  It was more than we could eat.  And delicious.

The first 2 meals were a success and I am not hungry.  That probably has to do with the gallon of water I have had today.  I think I might float before the end of this.  (On the plus side,  the more hydrated you are, the less body fat you have when you step on that evil scale at QSA)

My only complaint for the day is that I can't get my Nike app to sync with my half marathon training app.  I have no idea the distance I ran today. 
The training app I am using is from Zen Labs...the couch to 5k people.  I chose this trainer because it is based on the principal of run 4 mins walk 1 min.  I am has been 10 years since I ran a half marathon and I know that I can't run the entire way.  
The downside to this app is you aren't training based on distance.  You are running times.  Today it was a 35 min run. 

The longest run is a 4/1 pace (5 mins) for 27 segments.  This is 2 hours and 25 mins...which should be how long it takes to run the half.
All the reviews online said you could sync it with the Nike App. I guess I need to figure this out.

Happy Day 2 to my fellow challengers.  GO TEAM AMANDA!!!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Year New You---Transformation Challenge

QSA....the place where 35 3/4 year old mommies like me Train Like An Athlete!!

Today began the New Year New You Transformation Challenge.    A 4 week contest to see who can lose the most Relative Body Fat.   With a $500 prize for the winner.  (I could get some pretty awesome new shoes with that cash)

And my next challenge.....

3 BeastFit workouts a week (at least),  at least 1 prescribed cardio workout (shouldn't be hard since I am training for a half marathon...I know most of you who are reading this are in shock right now), and a nutrition plan that is SER-I-OUS

I seriously need to get my nutrition in check.   No cheating for 4 weeks.  I am grateful for the meal suggestions and plan that I was given today.   I might be floating by the end of this with all the water I have to drink...

I plan on blogging daily through this journey.  Sharing  my thoughts  regarding  this journey I am on for the next 4 weeks.  On the workouts, my running, and the food/recipes/meals that D and I liked. (and possibly didn't like....I must get over being such a picky eater)

This is another accountability portion for me.  I have my teammates....GO TEAM AMANDA.... and the challenge checklist on the wall at the gym. 

My hope is that at the end of 30 days I will have results that will encourage someone else to step out  of their comfort zone and make themselves better in 2014.  (QSA is a great place to train and I would love to have some non-QSA peeps join me in the gym)

Off to plan my meals for the week....