“There are only three things women need in life: food, water, and compliments.” Chris Rock

Ugh, I am so sick of drinking water. Anyone else have this dieting problem? I always do great for 7-10 days, then I’m just so sick of it I can barely choke it down. The good news is that I am not craving pop (#dontcallthepopsoda), I just want ANYTHING with some flavor. As you all know from earlier blogs, I am a tea junkie, so I always have my large stash of teas to fulfill my flavor cravings. I will also add a scoop of my Hydrate to my water bottle 2-3 times a day. I know I need to be drinking as much water as possible to keep everything functioning properly during weight loss, but still…blaaahhhhh. I like big, bold flavors — water has none.

GREAT, great, great news from the scale this morning! I have managed to get all the extra pounds off that I had put back on since Thanksgiving. I wasn’t a ton (11 lbs to be exact), but still enough to make clothes a little tighter, make me a little more sluggish and tired, and (as always) make me want to cry. BUT THEY’RE GONE! Now, I can get back on track where I left off.

Today, I thought I’d attach a few links if anyone else may need help calculating things. As my weight changes, whether up or down, I always like to have a good idea of where I stand on my BMI (body mass index) and BMR (basal metabolic rate). Also, we all know what we should be eating on a healthy diet, but sometimes it’s a little confusing as to how much in each of the three main categories: protein, carbs, and fat. Here are the calculators I use to calculate various things:

Ideal weight

BMI (body mass index)

BMR (basal metabolic rate)

Body fat

Carbohydrate intake

Protein intake

Fat intake

*DISCLAIMER: every body is different, no one looses weight exactly the same, everyone has unique needs and medical issues, please consult your doctor on all these calculations to come up with your best diet and exercise plan!*

There are so many other calculators on Calculator.net, play around on there and see what you get!

Today, my youngest and I made a trip over to Home Depot for our annual flower shopping to fill out giant planters on the front porch. I carefully planted, adjusted, replanted, balanced colors and heights in my pot — my 8 year old threw all the rest in the other 3 pots in the amount of time I did one. 😄 Hers may not be as carefully thought out as mine, but I’m going to resist the urge to go back and dig them all up to start over, they’ll all grow and fill in just fine so I’m going to let the imperfections be.

But when we were out on the front porch, that’s when it happened. The same thing that happens every year around this time. My allergies finally hit. I’ve been taking my Claritin religiously for the last 3 weeks in anticipation of the arrival of these lovely late-spring allergies, but today there is no over the counter medication to combat them. As I was cleaning up and sweeping the dirt of the porch, I started sneezing and my throat started itching, the itching in my throat always intensifies with every sneeze. Within a few minutes I had that old fashioned feeling…like I wanted to literally scratch the skin off my face and neck…so miserable. I put everything away and ran to my bathroom to dig out my nasal spray and take my contacts out to put in the eye drops — the spray and drops took the itching down a few notches, but not 100% relief. I just wish I knew what it was that sets my allergies off, it’s not the typical pollens that most Kansans are cursing every spring, it’s something highly specific that blooms for about month, beginning late spring/early summer. Welp…here’s an itchy next 4-6 weeks for me, looks like I’ll be walking inside on the treadmill until this passes.

In 2 days, I will be in Kansas City at the Sprint Center to see New Kids on the Block, so I feel it’s only appropriate to chose a NKOTB song for today since I need to brush up on my lyrics. 😏 I’m going with the 1988 hit “You Got It (The Right Stuff)”. They better do the whole dance, exactly the same, 30 years later, or I will be so disappointed!

Tonight, I’m rewarding myself with one drink, so I need to make it count! My latest favorite gin is made right over in Kansas City by J. Rieger & Co. Let me tell you real quick why this has quickly taken over as my favorite gin. First of all, it has a mellow, smooth finish, no burn. Second, it pairs so well with my favorite tonic water, and my favorite orange juice (if I’m ever feeling the need to revisit my go-to college drink — and shut up, yes, I do have a favorite OJ). But third, and most significant, it leaves the most delicate little sweetness on your lips so that when you lick your lips after you drink, it’s like the tiniest taste of dessert. Mmm, so good, so so good. You all have a great rest of your Sunday, and I will be looking forward to my drink in a few hours while jamming out with Danny, Donnie, Joe, Jon, and Jordan.

~~ Amie

“If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years how man would marvel and stare.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Holy cow, today was a busy day! First, I had a new baby come to daycare, there was a big adjustment for my rowdy boys to have a little girl around! I have had ALL boys in my daycare since November, so much roughhousing! But they all loved on her, and then scared her with their loudness so I ended up having to snuggle her the second half of the day…not that I minded 😊

Second, I am part of a wonderful Buy Nothing community for the west side of Manhattan. We all gift things to each other, ask each other for things we need, and always offer up gratitude for it all. A kind Buy Nothing friend gifted me a huge box of fiction books (which included a lot of Shakespeare works I did not previously own). I have been able to grow my home library SO much — for free — with this generous group, I just love it.

Third, my husband snagged me a ticket to see New Kids On the Block, Salt & Peppa, Naughty By Nature, Debbie Gibson, AND Tiffany! ALL IN ONE SHOW! Just one ticket for me, I can go relive my childhood for a night. 🤗🤗🤗 I remember being so sad that my friends got to see NKOTB in elementary school, and then bummed again when I missed out on their tour a couple years ago…but watch out boys, I’m coming for you!

And fourth, thanks to a great friend I will not only be able to attend Symphony in the Flint Hills, I will actually get to be a part of it through and interactive art piece! I FINALLY GET TO GO!!! More details to come as I find out more about what I’ll be doing later.

Wow, so much good came from this day, I am overwhelmed! I didn’t even think twice about the diet, I just ate what I was supposed to, logged it, and moved on. Same for my exercise, I didn’t stress over it at all, just went down the list, did it, logged it, and moved on.

The theme for Symphony in the Flint Hills 2019 is “Ad Astra”, so tonight’s song needs to be something about stars…I searched my iTunes library and Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like a Star” came up first. 😊 This is a chill tune you can listen to while out under the stars sipping a glass of wine…nice…

~~ Amie

“Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning.” Gloria Steinem

Wooooooo! Blogging two days in a row, getting back to it! The plan is to write each day, some posts may be super short, quick updates on the diet and exercise, others may be a little longer, little deeper, more touchy-feely…I’ll just see what I can do each day. ❤️

Plans, goals, dreams…there are a lot. All of them are attainable. All require planning and commitment, but for dieting I do need to factor in wiggle room because we all know life will always find a way to interfere. I need to have much better backup plans so when I can’t stay on track I don’t veer too far off course. Holidays, celebrations, vacations, these are always guaranteed diet killers. I need to tackle these times head on when I know I won’t be able to stick to my diet foods, or won’t be able to stay on track exercising when I’m in a car driving literally for days.

Alrighty, so the diet…everything is going GREAT! I am focused, determined, confident, and have a vision of what I want to see at the end of this weight loss journey. Not a crystal clear vision, more of a blurry vision, like me trying to see myself off in the distance without my contacts in. I am realistic in this vision, though. I know that after 4 kids my hips will be curvier, the stomach will never be completely flat again, the boobs will always need underwires, my metabolism will always be sketchy. I think a reasonable goal for the whole process is to get into my medically acceptable weight range for someone who is 40 years old, 5′ tall, and has a medium frame…which, according to this calculator, is as follows:

Whew. That’s a tall order. Even getting to the top of that range, 128 lbs, is a looooooong ways away. This is about what I weighed when I became pregnant with my first baby at age 21. I was in shape and solid muscle back then, I could wear whatever I wanted from any store. Boys, other than the one who knocked me up who I married 😊, actually noticed me — that sure hasn’t happened for a long time!

To help me get to this goal, I have written down two 5Ks on my calendar — Konquer the Konza on September 22 (at the Konza Prairie Nature Trail), and the Little Apple Marathon/5K in November 2 (at Tuttle Creek Lake). Those are both so far away that I have more than enough time to get ready. Anyone up to doing these with me?!

My non-weight-related goal is to get off my ass and get my books down on my computer. These ideas and stories do me no good floating around on my head, they need to be realized, put on paper, refined, edited — and from there, who knows! Maybe it’ll just be something I knock of my list of things I always wanted to complete, maybe they’ll good enough to be published, maybe crazy kids will dress up like my characters at Comic Con someday — I’ll just have to see!

Song time! I may have already mentioned this song in a previous blog, I’m not going to go back and look it up, though, because it deserves mentioning again…Daniel Caesar’s “Blessed“….I just frickin love this song so much. I actually found a YouTube tutorial to learn it on my guitar. Have I ever mentioned how awful I am on my guitar? I’m pretty bad, but that’s not stopping me from trying. I will just say that after 30 years of my left pinky being hooked in a finger rest on a French horn, it is totally useless. Any chords requiring the use of said useless pinky are particularly horrible! Still plugging away at it though, I suppose I should add pinky exercises to the exercise routine…go put yourselves to bed listening to this song…g’night, all.

~~ Amie

“Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.” Thomas A. Edison

Since the last blog post, unfortunately there has been one more death, a family friend who I’ve known all my life, one of my parents’ friends from high school. He was the first of my parents circle of lifelong friends to pass. Sadly, I was unable to attend the memorial service they had in lieu of an actual funeral.

So, that marks three deaths for 2019. We can be done with this for this year; one is too many, three is too much. It always takes a while for emotions for upsetting events to really sink in for me, I’m sure because I don’t immediately break down and cry, people think I just don’t feel things deeply…that could not be further from the truth.

Emotions definitely affect the diet and exercise. For me, it’s tough to find motivation to run on a treadmill when someone’s life has just ended. And why is it that every memorial service, wake, or post-funeral reception is always stocked full of heavy, fatty, carb-loaded, sugar-laden dishes?! There’s an unspoken guilt, too, when you feel you can’t refuse all the free food that people have generously gifted you and your family, like you’re ungrateful and too uppity for their kindness. No, I am grateful, it’s just I would like to not send myself to an early grave after just watching another person be buried. I have way to much left to do before it is my turn to go.

There is good news, though, in the midst of all this sadness. My motivation has exploded over the last week. I got so many house projects done, and made huge progress on many more. I used a table saw for the first time ever by myself, and all fingers and eyes are still intact and functional!

The diet is full on and I have found time to exercise for several days in a row now. The step count on my Fitbit has reached over 15,000 for 5 days in a row now. I easily reach 10,000 steps every day just running a daycare, but I made sure to be up and moving even more. I keep seeing clothes pop up in my Amazon suggestions and I am sick of never being able to wear any of them, they aren’t available in my size and/or I know they’d look horrible on me. I’m just done with this. I have a dress that I WILL be fitting into to wear to my cousin’s wedding in mid-July. I even ordered new shoes to go with it. It. Will. Happen.

To expand a little on why I chose the title quote to this post…I have been feeling exceptionally restless for months now. I am certain I am not where I should be at age 40, but I am not certain of what that means, exactly. I’ve been feeling a sense of urgency pushing me every day…to get my house in order, to finish all my abandoned projects, to do more with the kids (even when my introvert batteries are already tapped out), to get my finances back on track so that I can retire someday, and mainly to get my health back. I’m not taking this as an omen, but rather a lesson to be learned from all the losses in the last 3-4 months.

We all waste time, thinking we’ll always have another chance, another day to do all the things we want — but we don’t. When I look back on the first part of my adult life, I feel I’ve wasted a lot of time. I wasted 18+ years being overweight and tired. I wasted many years trying to maintain friendships with people that I should’ve just let go. I’ve definitely wasted all those years not demanding more of myself and more out of relationships. I’ve been a huge doormat and have let myself be taken for granted and taken advantage of…

It really has made me think lately of just exactly what would happen if I were the one to die unexpectedly. What would happen to my kids, would they grow up to be good people and try to make this world a better place? How would my husband manage everything without being able to count on the fact that I’m always here, always at home, always holding everything together? What would happen to my daycare kids, would they find good providers who would care for them the same as me? In a nutshell, does my existence matter enough that my loss would matter? Have I left an mark on this world (positive, I hope)?

I’m not positive what all this restlessness and urgency means, but I’m going to find out. For my closing song today, we’re going Disney. I leave you with “Go the Distance” from Hercules. I don’t think there’s much to explain, the lyrics say it all — plus Alan Menken wrote some killer horn parts in that film score.📯

~~ Amie

“Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.” Michael Landon

I have not blogged in quite a while. Life has been truly crazy and moving way too fast. Christmas, which is normally my favorite time of year, was unusually stressful and I had a very hard time getting into my typical Christmas craziness. Teenagers throwing around teenagery attitudes were the main reason for my atypical Scrooge-ness, but the whole season just seemed off. It was the last year we would have Christmas in our house with all 4 of our kids living under the same roof, and that hit pretty hard. And it was also strange feeling I kept having, at all our Christmas gatherings I had an overwhelming feeling that this same time next year was going to be very different…I didn’t know how or why at that time, but unfortunately the last 2 months have revealed it.

We began 2019 with a loss on my husband’s side of the family. We lost his grandmother, Beverly. I never had the chance to know her when she was not bound to a wheelchair, so seeing all the slideshow pictures at her service was like meeting a new person. It reiterated to me how we all have people enter and exit our lives at different stages along our life’s journey, and that we may only have the chance to get to know a very small portion of who they are. I wish she had been able to know me before pregnancy hormones dumbed down my brain and made me stupid, before I was fat and unhealthy…and I wish I had known her, too, when she still fished and traveled, we had more in common than I realized.

2019 kept moving right along, though, and decided to keep things balanced by taking someone on my side of the family as well. Yesterday, we lost my Aunt Geri to cancer. She had already undergone and completed treatment for breast cancer over the last year, but little did any of us know there was a second cancer lurking beneath, a much more aggressive and unforgiving cancer. Things progressed and declined very quickly and she passed yesterday afternoon.

I suppose one positive I can take away from both of these losses is that we knew they were coming. We had time to process and come to terms with both, and we had the chance to say goodbye. That’s not something we were able to do on my side of the family about 20 years ago when we suffered two big losses with no warning, those two are still hard to think about most days.

I have also been struggling with a difficult daycare situation for several months. Every Monday through Friday, week after week, month after month, I ended my work days 100% drained — mentally, physically, emotionally. Sadly, this situation resulted in me loosing that daycare child very abruptly with no warning. It hurts my heart trying to navigate tough situations with little ones, especially when I know the best things for them are things I can offer…stability, predictability, consistency, education, and simply allowing them to be kids. It also makes me beyond angry to be a punching bag for people who are struggling with their own issues outside of my business, things that have nothing to do with me. Just so there’s no question out there, let me say this– yes. Yes, there are good daycare providers in this world — in fact, most of us are. It’s unfortunate the world only hears about the very small percentage who are not, as we see on the news occasionally. There exists an army of bleeding hearts in this world who will do whatever it takes to do right by a child, even if it means dealing with difficult parents and taking insult after insult, blow after blow — simply because we want what’s best for those kids. This is the part of this job that breaks my heart and makes it tough to keep subjecting myself to this year after year.

So as for how this has affected my diet — NOT. GOOD. There have been so many emotions flooding my life for the last 4 months, it has been extremely hard to shut them out and just focus on what I’m putting in my mouth and trying to scrap together any amount of energy to work out. My weight is exactly the same, I look no different than before. I am so incredibly disappointed in myself than I have let yet ANOTHER year come to an end, and I look no different than I have for the last 18 years. Another big blow in all this — I turned 40 in December. I swear to myself over and over again that I would NOT be entering my 40s overweight and out of shape…but here I am…

As for what I’m going to do about this — I’m not sure yet. I need to get through this next funeral first. Then, I need to find a way to lessen stress with daycare. Then, I need to find a way to lessen stress with my own children.

*HUGE SIGH*

I can’t end this blog with all stress and sadness, so I’ll tell you some good things that have happened since my last post.

The day after Christmas, we were gifted two guinea pigs who needed a new home! Charles (silver/white, age unknown) and Brownie (Black/white/tan, age 8 months). My youngest may love on them a little too much, but everyone is enjoying them. They each have their very own distinct personalities, and it’s very cute how they move and interact with each other.

We also babysat a hamster for a family while they moved. They ended up offering her to us to keep permanently. Now we own Minnie the hamster, too!

I will end my blog as I always do, with a song choice. I don’t think I can find a song to bring all these negative feelings of the last several months all together, so instead I’m going to simply off you all a feel-good tune that I just like listening to. Most people know that I am a big fan of Stevie Wonder. I mean, the dude has his own playlist in my music library — an honor only bestowed upon a very select, lucky few. Today I offer up one of my favorites that not many people here too often, “Do I Love Her” off the For Once In My Life album (1968). It’s mellow, lovey-dovey, and one I can easily listen to every day and never wear it out. I found a YouTube link to share since not many of my other music links have worked, so just click on the song title and have a listen. 😊

Hopefully, I can get back on tomorrow and catch on more on my diet failures and try and figure out why I haven’t made this weight loss happen yet! Later, all…

~~ Amie

“When you wake up every day, it’s like a new birthday: it’s a new chance to be great again and make great decisions.” Poo Bear

Long time no see! My jam-packed month of October is finally over, now onto my mostly jam-packed month of November — the chaos never stops! Today is a significant day — it is Election Day. I live in the beautiful state of Kansas, where political change is a very, very hard to come by. I already cast my paper, mail-in ballot weeks ago because I could not let my vote go unheard — rarely ever do I not vote, but our state is broken, things need to change now and there is a lot riding on this election. I am cautiously optimistic to watch results roll in tonight, but still very excited for the possibility of HUGE changes to bring my home state out of the dark ages! GET OUT AND VOTE, PEOPLE!

Today also marks the first day of a new round of the 28-Day Detox that many of us PURE-ophiles are starting all across the nation together. It is insanely helpful to have a huge support network in our Detox Facebook group, we are all checking in on each other daily, posting helpful hints, and non-stop encouragement. Total strangers all cheering each other on across the country, it’s fantastic. Our fearless leaders are always posting videos to engage everyone, I just love it. ❤️❤️❤️

I am already facing two challenges here in day 1 of 28: the beginnings of a UTI, and having to smell the crockpot on my countertop slow cooking some from-scratch ham and beans all day for everyone else to eat for dinner tonight (of course I won’t forget the buttermilk cornbread, I’m making it later).

I haven’t had a full-blown UTI since my postpartum recovery from my first baby in 2000. This dang thing started to creep up on me about a month ago, I got it under control and thought I had kicked it to the curb, but it slowly reared it’s ugly head throughout the day yesterday. Last night I was in so much pain I barely slept 2 hours. LACK OF SLEEP IS NOT GOOD ON A DIET! Ugh, so I will be off to the urgent care place later this evening after daycare closes up. I feel tons better today, but I’m not taking any more chances. I feel kind of weird that I see the urgent care place more than my regular primary care physician, if only Dr. Duff was available after daycare hours, then she’d see me for more than annual checkups…!

As for the ham and beans in my crockpot and the impending cornbread, it’s just a damn shame I’m missing out on it today of all days. In Manhattan, KS today it’s cold, dreary, raining, and we’re all going to be cozied up in front of our TVs tonight watching election results (well, I’ll switch over to election results during commercial breaks during my beloved Hallmark Christmas movies ❤️🎄). It’s just darn good comfort food — and no, it isn’t all the bad for me at all, but just not allowed on the detox regime. My first assigned cheat day is scheduled for day 17, which just happens to fall on Thanksgiving! (I’m pretty sure it was planned that way, we usually don’t start detoxes on Tuesdays.)

Let’s talk goals! For the first round of my 28-Day Detox, I have a goal set to loose 15 lbs. Now hold up, no one freak out! Yes, that is a lot of weight to loose in just 28 days, but we all know the first month of shocking your body with new eating and exercise routines shakes things up quite a bit. In fact, my goal may be 15 lbs for month 1, but I see myself loosing more. Then, each month the goal for weight loss will be scaled back a little. My body will acclimate to the changes and things will slow, but also I will be gaining muscle while loosing fat. We all know muscle weighs more than fat, BUT more muscle also helps burn fat more efficiently and quickly.

Another goal — to get my family to get a move on their Christmas lists! I know we still have 49 days until Christmas (shut up, you all have been told repeatedly that I am a crazy Christmas person, of course I am counting down!), but my shopping days are extremely limited this year. We are scaling back Christmas a LOT this year, we’re trying it the 4-gift system of something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read. So far, I love it, it has forced me to really narrow down my absolute top choices in each category and figure out what I really, really want/need. Here are all the lists taped to the kitchen wall…notice who’s the only one with hers complete. Are you surprised? You shouldn’t be. 😘🎁

*sigh* I just want to be done with all this dieting crap. The weight loss, the being out of shape, having my kids look embarrassed that their mom is “the fat mom” out of their group of friends’ parents. Done with always pulling my shirt down to cover my abdomen as much as possible, dreading trying on clothes (and don’t even get me started with swim suits), having people watch every bite you take and comment about how you can’t complain about not loosing weight if you’re going to eat that! I just want to feel good about myself again, to be able to run a 5K and collect ridiculous shirts and cheap participation medals at all the runs, to be able to walk in any clothing store and not worry about whether or not they’ll have anything in my size. I’ll will get there, by March 2019 I WILL be there. I’ve got a dress in my closet waiting for me…

Alrighty, motivation is bursting through the roof today, so we need a positive song to end today’s blog! I had a crazy dream that I wrote several books that ended up being published, and the publisher wanted me to move to Philadelphia to be closer to the offices — crazy, random dream but very empowering and inspiring! And why Philadelphia??? I’ve never been there before, I have no clue why it was Philadelphia in my dream and not some exotic, dreamy place like Maldives! In my dream, for some reason just my youngest child and I moved to Philly…no clue why it was just us, dreams are weird, but there we were setting up a new home in a cute little brownstone! So today’s song will be “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, maybe I will get those books written sometime soon. Each day brings endless possibilities, it’s up to us what we do with them. Welp, here’s to hoping me next blog isn’t a month out! Later, y’all!

~~ Amie

“Especially when you have a lot going on, you must find a way to unplug and focus on yourself.” Mandy Ingber

Our schedules have packed since school started mid-August, and I think the month of October has been the worst so far. Every weekend has been filled with football games (high school and Chiefs), concerts (high school choir, Sam Smith, Billy Joel, Ed Sheeran), parent-teacher conferences for four kids at three different locations, fun runs, making pre-game meals for cheerleaders, brunch with the gals, we even squeezed in a Sporting KC game. As fun and fulfilling as all these events have been, they’ve left zero down time for this introvert to recharge. By this morning, I am really feeling to effects of non-stop stimulations and interactions. November will slow down a little bit…December will be packed again. I think I need to ask for some assistance from the grandmas and try really hard to get just one weekend alone sometime in November, I’m feeling strained!

All of this non-stop on the go has not been great for the diet and exercise. A lot of eating out, eating while driving, huge lack of exercise, lots of sitting, and even less sleep than my normal 5 crappy hours. I am semi-happy to report that — as of my weigh in this morning — I have not gained any since school began. So, beginning this morning at 5:30am I began a round of my 7 Day Detox to reset my metabolism. There is no way I could possibly express how grateful I am to have been a part of the pilot group that helped in the development of this detox program. To finally have some dieting ammunition in my pocket that I can fire at my sluggish metabolism whenever I need has been life changing. Never before have I had something guaranteed to work for me, my body. I had hoped to loose more by October 20, that’s when I will return to my alma mater, Emporia State University (stingers up!), for our homecoming to participate in our band reunion and play at half-time. This will be the first one I’ve been able to play with a group since 2013. Over 5 years.

This post hasn’t offered up too much other than “hey, I’ve been super busy and literally nothing has happened with my weight”, but I want to go more in-depth with specific foods, plans, goals, recipes, and how to manage life while dieting as we go throughout the week.

Of course, I will still offer up a music selection for today! Saturday night my older two girls and I went to see Ed Sheeran at Arrowhead Stadium. He. Was. Amazing! His two opening acts were Lauv and Snow Patrol. At first, we had no idea who Lauv was (btw, you pronounce his name like you’re saying ‘loud’, but replace the d with a v) until he started singing the opening lines of his hit that’s currently all over the radio (“I Like Me Better”), but THEN he immediately transitioned into another song, “Paris in the Rain.” I really, really liked that one. A mellow, relaxed tempo with a simple beat, sweet lovey-dovey lyrics, nice chill chords. Go give the kid a listen, if he can stay focused and not get swept up in all the glitz and glamor, he has the potential to do some big things in his career.

Also, this is the view I started my day with from my living room windows…we all get a fresh start every morning, mine just happens to be exceptionally pretty today in Kansas 😊 Seriously, look at those clouds!

Until tomorrow…

~~ Amie

“It is a rough road that leads to the heights of greatness.” Lucius Annaeus Senators

Before delving into my ongoing diet and exercise endeavors, let me first fill you all in on what I’ve been doing these last several weeks, and revelations that I have made.

First, SO MUCH PRACTICING! My Alma mater — Emporia State University (stingers up!) — is having a reunion for anyone who ever participated in marching band there. It’s taking place homecoming weekend, October 20. I cannot show up there with my chops all weak and out of shape! So, I did what all good brass players do, we dig out all our trusty technique books and rebuild. I’ve already become pretty strong again, I never really stopped playing so my technique was never completely lost, but without regular groups to play with it makes it tough to keep up. My endurance is what has suffered most. Today, however, I made it through a solid hour of non-stop playing, woooo! Nothing intense, and not all the way up in the stratosphere (just up to some high A’s and B flats), but I’m getting it back.

Second, I’ll discuss a revelation I’ve had over the last 2 weeks…I have not lived a hard life. My baby soft, smooth hands are proof of that. Not a callus, not a patch of rough skin, only a tiny scar on my left thumb from when I sliced my thumb cutting a watermelon. Yes, I am thankful I have had it pretty easy. Growing up, I didn’t have to work, except if I wanted to during the summer. I have never done hard, manual labor like all the men in my family. This has become painfully, and I mean literally painfully, obvious since I have been relearning guitar.

I restrung my guitar a few weeks ago and have been trying to relearn enough to be able to play along with my preschoolers next fall. Oh. My. Fingertips. Ow, ow, ow! I’ll admit it, I’m soft, I have very pampered hands — these strings are torture! But, on the guitar front, I have already made great strides. I have found that I am the queen of one finger chords! One other problem for me with this instrument is the fact that I have small hands. Playing full chords is a stretch for these short fingers — not impossible, but I’m having to build up some serious finger strength. Also, after 30 years of playing horn, my left pinky is absolutely worthless! It’s spent 3 decades hooked on a finger rest, and now that I need it to do some work it’s being a whiny little brat and refusing to do what I ask! I’ll get there, though, I know I will. It’s not like I’m relearning guitar because I think at age 39 I might try my hand at singer-songwriter stardom, I’m just doing it for the kids, y’all. 😍

Alright, enough about me and my weak chops and soft hands, back to the diet! My Fitbit has been instrumental in this process lately. I have made it a goal to light up all of my points of data: minimum of 10,000 steps, floors, miles, calories burned, and minutes of cardio exercise. This has been a huge motivator to keep moving throughout my day. Running a daycare in which I care for small infants, it’s tough to keep moving when I sit so much feeding babies and rocking them to sleep. I can go an hour sometimes without hardly moving, but my Fitbit will buzz at me and remind me to get up and move. I haven’t lost a ton of weight over the last few weeks, but I have lost a little — most importantly, I haven’t gained any weight back!

I have also been wearing my Fitbit to sleep, which has brought on more revelations about my crappy sleep habits. I know that I need 7-8 hours a sleep to feel fully rested and refreshed. I typically get a little over 5 hours. 😕

I have GOT to figure out how to fix this. I have a suspicion that if I were to actually get the amount of sleep I need each night, the weight loss will come a little easier. It sounds as easy as just putting my butt to bed earlier, but there’s always too much to clean up and put away, the hubs and I barely see each other except in the late evenings so we hang out and watch tv after the kids go to sleep, and the biggest thing is that even if I do force myself to sleep early I usually lay there awake for hours. Last one to sleep, first one up…*sigh* I don’t mind being the first one up though, introvert mom likes her mornings quiet while sipping my coffee. But this lack of sleep is still killing me, I don’t know how to fix it and keep everyone from getting pissed at me thinking I am trying to avoid them or ignore them. I JUST NEED TO SLEEP, GUYS!

I’m still thinking on the pictures and videos, uuuuuggggghhhh. We’ll see, folks, we’ll see. I need to build up some courage for this, I’m not someone who takes endless selfies and constantly updates my profile pictures. I just figure, I don’t feel the need to look at myself all the time, so it’s hard for me to understand why others want to look at me all the time. But maybe… eventually… I might start posting some pics of me.

Music for tonight…my 7 year old is completely obsessed with The Greatest Showman right now. Now I have it stuck in my head, too! Tonight’s selection is “A Million Dreams” from the soundtrack, I love how it transitions from the little kids into the adult versions of them. I hope no one ever stops dreaming, we all need things to work towards no matter how big or small, and most importantly no matter our age. It’s never too late.

G’night, all!

~~ Amie

“I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.” Jack London

I had planned on a blog yesterday, but Monday got off to a horrible start. Not with the diet or exercise, just the little part about me finding out one of my neighbors hates me so much that she won’t allow her youngest child to play with my youngest child, and refuses to let her even come anywhere near my house. Did I take this personally? Hell yes I did! The part that is most infuriating is that I have absolutely no idea why. Her child actually told mine that she’s not allowed to play with her, she’s not allowed to go our house, and that she can’t tell her why because her mom told her not to tell us. Is it because we don’t go to church? Is it because I am one of those peace-loving, all-accepting, artsy, hippie liberals? Is it because I’m scatterbrained and my mom-brain never allows my mouth to actually say what I’m thinking and I come off sounding like a moron most of the time? Is it because we’re one of the very few families on our street who are not military? Is it because I stay in my home caring for little ones all day and don’t have what others view as a “real job”? Is it because I’m the only fat, unattractive woman on our entire street? I don’t know, but it broke my heart that, for whatever the reason, my child is being denied a friend who she really likes and gets along with great for a reason we’re not worthy of knowing.

So, my youngest is telling me this as we’re walking past this neighbor’s house on our way to the bus stop. As always, it takes just a minute for my emotions to sink in, by the time I turn around to see this neighbor’s kids running up the street as the bus pulls up, the tears start flowing. As I walk back down the street with my daycare kids, this neighbor is pulling out of her driveway and smiles and waves a me. Well, me still being nice little ol’ me, wipes the tears off my face with my sleeve and still gives a half-ass wave. It was very obvious I was crying, and she had no idea why — in fact, I had no idea why since apparently I’m not worthy of knowing why her kids aren’t allowed to have anything to do with us.

After that, I’m not gonna lie, I did not want to jump right in on the responsible, healthy eating when I got back home. But I did. It sucked, but I did. I really wanted a brownie, or a Philly cheesesteak, or some taquitos (can you tell the food cravings are consuming my every thought right now?!), but told myself that every time I put something in my mouth that I know I shouldn’t, I only delaying my own progress. Someday, when I have lost all the weight, when I’m in shape enough to adequately burn off all those excess calories, then I can have the occasional brownie for breakfast if I feel like shit some morning. Someday, one cheat day won’t set me back an entire week. I’m no where near there yet, and it is a struggle every damn day.

Let me tell you, though, the rest of yesterday went off just fine…despite the crappy start. My daycare kids had a great Monday (Mondays are typically the roughest day of our week), they learned how to say “where is the bathroom?” in Spanish! And since I don’t speak Spanish, I learned right alongside them. I got dinner ready on time for everyone else, but still ate my own diet-y dinner. I got in my 5K walk.

The second best part of my day happened during my walk. First off, it felt fantastic last night, perfectly warm temperature with a strong wind. Then, I saw the BIGGEST meteor I have ever seen. The brightest, red ball of fire soared across the entire sky and broke apart into 3 pieces before it burnt out. It lasted at least 15 seconds, in the grand scheme of things, that’s not a lot of time, but considering the meteors we usually catch barely last a split second — this was huge! It really made my night. I took in a deep breathe and let out all the frustrations of my morning, and I knew I am going to be just fine. I’m not filled with hate, I am sensitive to people and things around me, I want better for this world, and I am getting back to all the things that make me happy.

As for the thing that was the best part of yesterday…sorry, I’m keeping that one to myself this time . 😊

Song time! I went to see Sam Smith in Kansas City on August 18. He was simply amazing, the artistry of the show was phenomenal. If you have paid attention, most of my favorite artists are those who what you here on their albums is what get at their live shows. There’s nothing more disappointing than spending all that money on concert tickets only to get there and finding the voice you hear on the album has been so heavily altered that the music isn’t even close to what you know. NOT SAM SMITH! And ladies, back me up here, don’t we all just love to hear a man with a British accent? Yes, yes, we all know he is very openly gay, but we can still listen to him talk allllllll day, right? One of my favorite songs he performed that night is “One Day At A Time”. He said he wrote for all his closest friends back home and how he misses them so much while he’s on tour. Please, please, please go listen to this song…it’ll just make you feel good…❤️ Later, all!

~~ Amie

“Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.” Theodore Roosevelt

From 4:25am to 5:20am, I was laying flat on my back in the middle of my driveway. You may be asking why in the world I was doing this? Well, I answer your question with a question — why weren’t YOU?!?! The Perseid meteor shower was in its peak early this morning, I lost count of how many shooting stars I saw in that hour! So many wishes you all missed out on, but not me…I got all the wishes this morning. Maybe I saved some for the rest of you, or maybe I kept them all for myself…you’ll never know because you all were asleep! As a bonus, this mama got in some pretty sweet alone time to start the day. Ahh, me and space stuff…am I going to be exhausted today? Yup. Was it worth it? Always.

💫⭐️🌟✨⚡️💫⭐️🌟✨⚡️💫⭐️🌟✨⚡️

While I’m already up, I’ll knock out today’s blog early. I ran out of a few of my PURE supplements all at once, but my auto ship order was all set and processed all on its own. I will be restocked Tuesday morning! I did not eat all that healthy the last few days, but I’m not going to get too down on myself about it. I just need to focus on getting back on track quickly before I put any pounds back on. Resisting snacking is going to be SO much easier in just a few days, all 4 of my own kids will be back in school and the house will not be filled with all their tempting kid foods.

I’m getting back to my new exercise plan this morning, too. I was so incredibly sore last week that I quickly veered off track. Part of my plan is to do my sweatiest, hardest part of my workout at the end of the day, mainly for logistical purposes. I am never guaranteed time to take a shower in the morning unless I’m awake at like, well, some extreme early time like I am now. But today, I was only awake at this insanely early hour to appease my inner space nerd. It’s for science, people, health has to wait until sunrise! Anyways, in a house of 6 people, it’s much easier to score a late night shower time. The grueling exercises will be done later, for morning I’ll do my 5K walk and all my strengthening routines. I already completed my walk this morning and watched the meteor shower fade into a beautiful Kansas sunrise. Great way to start my Monday.

Come Wednesday, stress will be reduced greatly with 4 fewer people in the house. School begins that day and all of my own children will be back to the grind, I now officially have a senior, a freshman, an 8th grader, and a second grader! As for my stress load, it’s not that my own kids cause me so much more stress, but just the congestion of having all the people in the house on top of all my daycare kiddos — most of the summer I’ve had 12-13 people in my home every day. That’s a lot of bodies in my house. That’s a lot of people demanding my attention, asking me questions non-stop, climbing on me, bickering, not to mention the DISHES! Good frickin’ god, the piles and piles of plates, bowls, cups…and not to mention, where the hell have all my spoons gone in the last 2 months?! I ate rice this last week with a baby spoon because all my silverware is MIA. 🥄🥄🥄

As I close this out for today, I’ll let you all know that I have had much interest in me posting more pictures of myself and possibly even videos, and to those requests I say — I’ll seriously consider it! I absolutely HATE taking pictures of myself, especially my full body, but I do understand the importance of me actually being able to see my progress in my appearance and not just the numbers on the scale. As for videos, this is going to require me building a crap ton of courage to do that…but I’m open to it and I will keep thinking on it, I promise.

Ah, now for my song of the day…keeping with my space theme for the day, I’ll go with Jamiroquai’s “Cosmic Girl”, it shuffled through during my early morning walk and helped keep up my walking pace (I have a minimum tempo requirement for my workout playlist, I tend to fall in step with the beat so I need to keep it fast!). Hopefully, I’ll get my blog in early again tomorrow morning! Later, y’all!

~~ Amie