Friday, September 28, 2012

Skinny Rules

" order to lose weight and keep it off, you have to have a routine to live by."
-Bob Harper, The Skinny Rules

As I've watched my belly grow and the scale climb higher and higher during this pregnancy, I've been doing some research on losing weight afterwards.  I honestly did not pick the best time to work on that since the baby will be born right before Christmas!  I am giving myself a few months before I start any sort of program and also seeing how nursing goes when I do start out on a plan to lose whatever extra pounds I have hanging around.  I was lucky with my firstborn to only be 4 lbs.  from my previous weight (and I was probably underweight to begin with at that point) when I became pregnant with number two, but we'll see how it goes after this birth and all the Christmas celebrations that follow!

My plan is to start the Couch to 5k program on my elliptical machine once I am cleared for exercise and have caught up on sleep enough to know that I won't kill myself.  However, I know exercise wouldn't be enough and that I will definitely have to change my eating habits...peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at 12 am will not be doable anymore!  I wasn't really looking for a specific program, but when I saw The Skinny Rules on the new release shelf at the library I picked it up just to see what it was about.  I brought it home and read it all in one day!  It's not the most amazing book ever in terms of writing style (what diet books are?) but Harper is motivational and critical enough at the right points that it really got me thinking about what I eat, how I eat and when I eat it. Each chapter is very brief and outlines 20 rules he follows in order to stay thin and be healthy. There are also a lot of good recipes and a 4 week meal plan included to help you on your way to losing weight or just eating healthier.

Harper's first rule is to always finish a glass of water before starting every  meal or snack.  That one was really hard for us.  I had never seen Hubs drink an entire glass of water at a meal (he is following the plan more closely than I am since I need extra calories.  So far, he's lost 6 lbs!)  But once we started following these rules (with a lot of whining on both of our parts!) we realized how much better we felt during the day.  I no longer have Braxton-Hicks contractions due to the fact that I am drinking way more water than I was previously to reading The Skinny Rules. Hubs is feeling better at work during the day and not hitting that 2:00 slump because he is drinking more water and has much  more lean protein in his diet.  We are eating way less carbs (no carbs after noon is one of the rules...and that's a tough one too!) and incorporating more vegetables, fruits and proteins into our meals. 

It was about halfway through the second week that I realized we weren't really dieting-we were starting to eat healthier.  We were all making a conscious effort to understand how we were fueling our bodies all because of a simple routine.  Even though I am not completely following the Rules right now since I am still pregnant, I've really appreciated how they have helped me change up our eating habits to be a lot healthier.  I'd encourage anyone who wants to lose weight or even just wants to eat healthier to read this book. I should probably get myself a copy so I can get into shape after this baby is born...I need and want to have the energy to chase my little ones around now AND be around to harass them for grand babies in the future!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My Summer Reading List

The kids in our school district had their first day today and I bought a pumpkin latte from Dunkin Doughnuts this morning.  Summer is officially over.  It's been a busy one for us, filled with fun events like weddings, birthdays, family reunions, a couple weeks at camp (which I as a pregnant woman survived with no air conditioning during some of the hottest and most humid days of the year) and lots of visits with family.  I was able to squeeze some reading in during all these adventures and thought as a kick off to the fall I'd share some of my favorite books I enjoyed this summer.  Amazon links are attached if you want to find out more or pick up some of these books for yourself!

1.  The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex by Sheila Wray Gregoire.  The author is one of my favorite marriage bloggers, so when this book came out this spring I bought it for a friend as a wedding shower gift.  I of course *had* to read it first to make sure it was good!  I can't recommend this book enough if you are a recently married or soon to be married woman.  The author writes from a Christian perspective and along with great practical chapters (ex. what to expect on the honeymoon, different "Good girl dares" sprinkled throughout the book, etc.)  this book really showed me how vitally important this area of marriage is to husbands.  The physical, spiritual and emotional aspects of sex are all covered in this book and left me with a greater appreciation of what it means to be a wife.  I'm planning on buying a copy of this for myself for future reference (it would make great Wifey Wednesday material!) and for any other girlfriends who are engaged.

2.    The Greener Grass Conspiracy by Stephen Altrogge.  I picked this book up at the final sale for our church's book table.  My husband told me he wanted it since it addressed finding contentment in life, something that we both struggle with.  I really enjoyed Altrogge's sense of humor and his ability to blast through many of the facades we can use in life to find contentment.  The chapters are short and have application questions at the end, so this book would be perfect for devotions.  It really helped me in my journey to find contentment in what Christ has done for me instead of dwelling on my own circumstances.

3.  The Ultimate Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  I read this during the two weeks were were away at camp.  One of my husband's co-workers had given it to him to borrow and after he read me a few chapters out loud I figured it would be a fun one to finish!  There were a few times I laughed out loud while reading this, which doesn't happen often when I'm reading (or watching TV for that matter!)  Adams has a fantastic writing style and I really didn't want to put the book down when I had to, even though I'm not a huge science fiction fan.  That being said, I'm sure my husband would enjoy this book more because some of it went over my head (it is British humor and science, after all!) but it was a fun read nonetheless.

4.  Fearless  by Eric Blehm. I found this at the new release shelf in the library and finished it yesterday.  It's a biography of Adam Brown, Navy Seal Team Six operator.  I also really enjoyed this author's writing style and the way he weaved together Brown's life story, covering his childhood all the way until his death during a mission on his last deployment.  Most interesting and heart wrenching for me was the glimpse into his family life and the love he had for his wife and two small children.  Blehm also it very clear how much Brown's faith motivated him in his life and work, especially his hope in Christ's resurrection.  It was a really good read and made me appreciate our military and their families that much more.

  That's the summer reading list.  What am I reading now, you ask?  On the nights when I can't sleep (either because the baby in my uterus is partying, my hormones are raging or I am freaking out about taking care of two small children in the very near future) I crack open Know the Truth: A Handbook of Christian Belief by Bruce Milne.  It was one of my husband's theology books he studied in school.  It's academic, but not to the point where I don't understand what's going on and I always feel a sense of worship towards God and peace when I'm done reading a few sections.

I'm hoping to blog a bit more regularly this fall before the baby comes, but in the midst of freezing meals, possibly making another effort to potty train my daughter and getting everything set up for baby, some things may fall through the cracks.  Nevertheless, I will shoot for one post a week.  As hectic as my life is, I can't go long with reading or writing in some way, shape or form!