19 May 2015

Transformation Tuesday - July '14 to May '15

Hello Transformation Tuesday!!!
 
And a pretty important one for me... [I'm actually REALLY hesitant about posting the pic on the left. F it, who cares!? If it helps one of you find the courage to make YOU a priority, then my job is done here.] 
 
Last year, when I took this pic, I thought "Wow, I am so brave for doing this." Never even got the balls to post it on Instagram, and just left it alone. Originally, I did it to start documenting my progress. In hindsight, I wish I had taken a better pic, but this portrays exactly how I really felt about myself: not confident enough to be in proper lighting, full on, or even smiling for real. 

I think I was about 125 in this pic? Not even concerned about my weight. I was lifting weights at the gym, light cardio, and really just eating without intention. Barely covering the right food groups. In fact, everything was the smell and taste and texture and color of chicken. 

I re-started my journey back in January. Have always been a gym kind of girl for many reasons: wanting to meet like-minded people, getting out of the house, having "me" time while the kids are in child care. Some of you probably understand the life of a stay-at-home mom! But this time when I started back up, I bought workout DVDs. I drank the shakes. I started truly eating better, whole foods. I shifted my priorities back to ME. Back to my health, not my social life. (Though I met some REALLY cool people along the way.) I'm making it work at home because it is a priority to feel good about myself. "Me time" now comes when I push play.

You may turn your nose up at working out at home. Hell, I did the same thing when this opportunity was presented to me. I thought "That's a lot of $ for shakes and workouts!" and "I need to be around other people, not stuck at home!" But you know what? It is more than just those things. When I decided I was ALL in, I committed to investing in my HEALTH. What could possibly be a better investment? My eating and fitness habits morphed into this crazy-fun energetic lifestyle, I'm making awesome gains, and I can't imagine NOT doing this for myself.

The best part is that today, I am the healthiest I have EVER been. I've never cared more about my body as much as I do now. Surprisingly, I am down 9 pounds since I began this year; totally unexpected, but my efforts are proving to be SO worth it! I'm seeing REAL results!

This transformation is my trophy. My competition was on the left, and I came out like a champ on the right today. I am DAMN proud of that. So I ask you --- Would it be worth it to feel so amazing about yourself on the inside, that you can't HELP but transform on the outside? Is there room for tweaking your eating habits? Would you be willing to show up every day, and put in the time for YOU? 30 minutes? 20? Even 10? 

Can I help you? YES! Just ask
 

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14 May 2015

I Asked For It, They Delivered - Mother's Day Interview

It's 4 days past Mother's Day, though I'm just now getting my post out there into the blogosphere.  Normally I'd forget about it and move on, but this one is too cute not to share with all of my readers (and watchers, if you've subscribed to my channel on Youtube)

I sat down and asked my girls some questions and they had some of the funniest things (in my opinion) to say.  Thanks to my friend Vivian, for giving me this list of questions! 


What is the smartest thing your mom ever told you? 
What kind of stuff is your mom really good at? 
If you could change one thing about your mom what would it be? 
If you could give your mom anything in the world what would it be? 
What do you love to do most with your mom? 
What is one thing your mom should do less of?
What one thing your mom should do more of?
What does your mom do to relax? 
What is your mom favorite drink n favorite food? 
What do you think your mom was like before kids?
What's the craziest thing your mom ever done?
I know my mom loves me because...
 

 I didn't get all of the questions answered, but at least I know that I apparently I eat too much chocolate, need more socks, and I need to be blinged out.
 

What would your kids say about you?  What is so off in the video? ;-)

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10 May 2015

These Things We Have To Say

Isn't it funny how you can get so wrapped up in a moment where you don't realize something happened until it's done?  Like you are going through the motions to make it through, but it doesn't truly register until later?

Or maybe it's just me.  When there is something I absolutely do NOT want to deal with, like public speaking, I will have a mental kung fu grip on the moment, focusing so hard that there is no room for meaningless thoughts or pep talks with myself.  It will be alright.

In this case, it was a "see you later" kind of thing.  It's never a good time to say these things, especially if there is nothing you can do about it.  You can't drag it out another hour, push this thing to the following spring, or even 10 years down the road.
See You Later - Simply D Constructed
 
I had to say this thing tonight.  I was so wrapped up in the moment that my thoughts weren't in line with my emotions until I heard them pull away from my house.  I literally just stood in my office, in shock.  

"She's moving away."

For the past 5 years, she has been 3 hours way.  That's 150 miles from her drive way to mineYou can tell how often we have made that commute. That's many many trips between the two of us. 

And now, Indiana is where they will plant their roots.

The military lifestyle is a hard one for so many reasons.  But the one area I have the most trouble with in this lifestyle is the one where we have to say these things when our time is up.

So there I was, in my office.  TOTAL disbelief.  I didn't act appropriately.  All I could do was hug her.  There were so many other things I wanted to say to her, to comfort her.  If I uttered more than a full sentence, the plug holding in my emotions would have blown off the top and I would have been a mess dealing with those things for myself.

I found myself trying to grasp at and cling to every single memory I could, as if I were falling down a hole and every one of them was flying past me.  She has been around for most of my kids' lives.  She's been my emergency contact.  My road-tripper.  Gallivanting side-kick.  She's been there for me.

Very fitting that it happened to be raining on the day we had to say these things.  I'd hate to otherwise wake up with a sunrise and despise it for being so beautiful, when I feel like I had a hole punched in my chest the sunset before.

I'm typically not an emotional person at face value.  There's always something brewing on the inside, whether it's pure joy or utter despair and sadness, or everything in between.  Happiness is easy to share, though all of the icky emotions stay right where I like to keep them.  It is possible that I became so amazing at keeping the lid on tight in these moments where we have to say these things that make me so uncomfortable in every way.  It is very likely that this has become my defense mechanism in dealing with these things that make my heart ache.

This too shall pass.



I'm not very good with these things that we have to say.  Maybe I'm a little inappropriate and awkward.  Everything rushing to my heart after the moment has passed, and there I am alone with a rolling replay in my mind of what just happened.  If there is a sunrise to look forward to tomorrow, let it bring positive vibes and warmth to my heart.  For I'm aching something awful right now.


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05 May 2015

Lifting IS for Women Too!

Picking up the pace a bit with my fitness.  It has been a while since I have been inside a gym, lifting weights.  It's hard to make it anywhere with three kids, who may not always want to go when I want to go.  And then let's not forget the part about the gym holding special hours for child care, which aren't always conducive to my needs.  And if there is one tiny trickle of snot or bad diaper, my entire session is d-o-n-e.  (Yes, I understand they aren't certified for that kind of childcare - not their fault.)


All these things make it apparent as to why I have to practically climb and scrape my way over obstacles to get my butt over there.  So, I cancelled my membership months ago, much to my dismay.  It wasn't worth it to pay for something I hardly ever used.  Kind of like cable...

So, this was a nice way to ease back into lifting.  I've been doing my workouts at home and loving it.  I've completed 3 programs so far, and now - this.  


THIS is my new jam.  I have been doing it for 5 weeks now.  At the time of this video, it was 3 weeks, but things haven't changed much since then, except maybe the size of my biceps, and I'm 4lbs lighter. (haha)

To give you a clear depiction of my thoughts, because I'm not a very good "public speaker" on the fly, I will say that this is a GREAT program for beginners, as well as those who are experienced with weight training.  I missed several talking points in the video so it's important that I touch on them now.

1)  Lifting weights will not magically make you look muscular. (Ahem-ladies)
2)  It does require equipment, but not much.  Build your gym as you go, which is financially reasonable for me.
3) I mentioned "just lifting dumbbells" which is NOT all that this program is about.  There's more than just dumbbells, but regardless, you won't get that bulky look in 90 days.  

If you have ever wanted to give weight-lifting a try, but the gym and all its rats intimidated you, this is the program for you.  Do it privately, with guidance from Sagi (the professional trainer in the program), and get the support and motivation from me.  I'd be SO happy to help you reach your goals.


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28 April 2015

Fitness Face Lift & Putting It Out There


My excitement over where my blog and life are headed is sometimes overwhelming, but in a really really good way.  I am like a kid in a candy story.  I feel so ALIVE and inspired and motivated!!!

Big news: I am re-branding my blog.  At least some of you knew this.  It will be more focused on health and fitness, and everything that ties into this new lifestyle change that I am making.  Face lift will be happening soon. 

In the mean time, my fit page is below.  I won't tie it into my blog.  I will just share my posts on it, or embed events and things going on with that side.  

Coincidentally, I already have something I want to put out there.  There is a boot camp starting soon which I will be running and if you or someone you know might want some help, encouragement, accountability with their fitness, you need to be in this group!  I am going to pour my heart and soul into this fitness boot camp to help you achieve the results you want.
Nothing comes close to feeling amazing and sexy in your own body. Making your goals to reach that point is one thing,...
Posted by Dee Constructed - Health & Fitness on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

My hope is to continue encouraging and inspiring others with my posts.  Let me know how I can help you!
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23 April 2015

Pan-Fried Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Pizza is a staple in this house every week.  You know, every Friday is movie night here.  We can't start it without a box of cheesy, greasy pizza, right?

Wrong.  

For me at least.  I can't quite get the kids to convert to a cleaner-foods meal plan, but at least I will be sticking to it.

So.  To avoid missing out on pizza night, I've made awesome pizzas in the past from scratch.  We're talking dough, sauce, sometimes the veggies.  Though I am not gardening much this year.  (so sad)
Pan-Fried Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Last week, I tried making a cauliflower crust from an idea I got on Pinterest.  Of course.  It was a cheese crust, cooked in a frying pan with the toppings.  I posted it on my Facebook feed and wrote something along the lines of it becoming a new challenge for me to make it healthy.
Pan-Fried Cauliflower Pizza Crust
 Guess what?  I succeeded. It was the bomb.

 Give it a try and see what you think.

Printable Version
Ingredients
1/2 head of cauliflower
2 egg whites
1 tsp seasonings of choice
1 tsp garlic
1 crank of pink Himalayan salt (or choice)
Toppings
1 1/2 tbsp sauce
2 tbsp cottage cheese
Choice toppings
Pan-Fried Cauliflower Pizza Crust

(Not pictured) Place cauliflower in food processor and blend until fine.
Spread on a baking sheet lined with 2 layers of paper towels.
Top with additional paper towel layers or kitchen towels, squeeze out the excess water (very important).  I even let it sit for a few hours.

1.  Mix together the eggs, and seasonings in a bowl or mixer. 
Heat your frying pan on medium-high.  Spray/drizzle with choice of oil (I have used avocado and olive)

2.  Place a small scoop of cauliflower mixture into the pan and flatten gently to form a personal-sized pizza, about 1/4" thick.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes.  

3.  It may bubble up in the middle and that is okay.  Just leave it be.

4.  Using a spatula, gently lift the crust to check how the bottom is cooking.  It is nearly done when the top doesn't look so raw, and the bottom is browning.  *no need to flip*

The tricky part:
Gently slide the crust off of the pan, and onto a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper.  I've used both.

5.  Top each pizza with the 1 1/2 tbsp sauce and 2 tbsp of cottage cheese, and any other toppings you like.

6.  Broil on high for about 7 minutes, keeping an eye on it, long enough for the cheese to melt.


Pan-Fried Cauliflower Pizza Crust
I drizzled some balsamic vinegar on it afterwards.

Inspiration for this recipe came from a fellow rock-star foodie blogger whom I follow like she is a religion:


Broke & Bougie's "Clean-Eating Cauliflower Crust Pizza"


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11 April 2015

A Good Head Band Is Like a Sports Bra - Review: Bolder Bands



*This is not a sponsored.  No products or monetary compensation were received for reviewing this product.  Additionally, I am not in any way affiliated with the product and/or company.  All opinions are my own based on my personal experience.

Head bands are like sports bras.  When you pick one out, it has to fit.  It has to stay put.  It has to be cute. 
 
Hunting for the right kind of head band is the same headache as picking out a sports bra.  I've grown quite the collection too, though none of them really make me jump for joy over the amount of money I spent.

My head bands need to:
A) Stay put
B) Keep my glasses on my face
C) Survive an intense sweaty workout
D) Be cute


I was using a Target weave-design band but it was too thick and would not stay put. 

Then there's the over-sized hair-tie ones that I bought.  Goody's brand, I believe.  And those would just roll back, which was seriously annoying.  I had to use hair clips to make them stay put.

I have another head band that has been working well enough.  It's the weave-design but not as wide as the Target one.  I have to use clips to keep those in place, and even THEN those needed to be adjusted.


What is a girl who often wears glasses to do?
I started thinking "What if my head is just funny-shaped?  It's possible, right?  I might need a CUSTOM band..."

That was until someone told me about Bolder Bands. 

I looked them up and bought a band immediately.  TOTALLY different concept, with the bandanna width, but it's thin and just stretchy enough.  You need to get the proper size (small, regular, large) so that it fits correctly.  Kind of like a sports bra!

The day after I got it, that bad boy went right on my head.  I did an intense workout and it held!  I even got a little sweat relief - no sweat rolled down into my eyes.  Ouch!

I'd recommend Bolder bands for more than just the fitness type.  These would be great for moms.  Anyone who wants to leave the house and look a little put together.  They have all kinds of fashionable designs. I chose the arrows and they are so much more cuter in real life!

If you want to get your OWN Bolder Band, use the code below!



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