Saturday, January 9, 2016

A New Start

The last few months have been turbulent, at best. I had surgery done this past October, and something went wrong, and I had a very hard recovery. I haven't been able to get on my feet until recently. I was couch-bound for weeks on end, and it's been really difficult for me to get back into my normal routine. By Christmas, I was back to normal, and now I'm back to working out at a moderate level. 

It's been really, really difficult to get out of bed early to workout again after 3 months of sleeping in an extra hour or two. My muscles REALLY felt the difference! So although I'm back to working out regularly again, I feel as if I took about 2 steps backwards.

Being January, I wanted to make a fresh start and begin working on my bikini body. Work has slowed down a little bit, being right after the holidays, so it's a perfect time for me to buckle down and get my workouts and food back on track. I know so many of us make healthy resolutions this time of year, and I'm no exception. I tend to call my "resolutions" GOALS, though. I feel like resolutions has such a stigma attached to it. Resolutions are what many think of as a temporary thing, usually lasting until the 3rd week of January. I don't want to go into my goals with that frame of mind, because they are really important to me. 

You can't lose this much weight, and expect to quit after 3 weeks into the new year. I updated my new weight loss pictures to go with my new start!

I've been on the hunt for a new workout program to try, but I can't seem to make up my mind. I'm really drawn to Hammer and Chisel, but have yet to take the plunge! For now, I've been running, getting my food back on track, and getting back into my Bob Harper workouts. What was easy for me 6 months ago is now winding me, so I'm making sure that I work really hard to get my fitness level back up.

One of my goals for this new year was to revive my fitness blog, and start interacting more with my readers. It's been so long since I've updated, I wanted to get back into writing and blogging again. I love seeing the progress some of you have made! 

So what would you like more of? Recipes? Workouts? A group challenge? Let me know in the comments below! 


Thursday, July 9, 2015

21 Day Fix

I posted on my Facebook page a few weeks back that I was going to try The 21 Day Fix. We've been traveling a lot recently, and my body just wasn't handling it well.

My husband and I went on a little retreat, by ourselves, and had a ton of fun! We went hiking together in the Ozarks. We had a blast! I was so worn out!

The bad thing about going to a resort, though, is that they had nothing that I could prepare in our suite. Not even a microwave. We were forced to either dine there, or go out in the town and eat. We found a Bob Evans not too far from the resort, and ate brunch there for most of our stay. They have a new lighter menu that was able to accommodate to whatever I wanted! I had egg whites, turkey sausage, and fruit every day.

We did more traveling after that, and in the following weeks. We've been to Kansas City and St. Louis recently. We're trying to be more active this summer with our kids, plus see the local sites while my husband is stationed at Fort Leonard Wood. I've had a rough work schedule in between, and the high stress causes my weight to go on a roller coaster!

Now that we're back and things have settled down a little bit, I decided to give The 21 Day Fix a try. I'm trying it mostly because it's highly nutrition based. I researched it, and it's very much like Bob Harper's Jumpstart program, but you get to have more carbs, and it's more flexible. Instead of set approved meals, it's a list of approved FOODS. It's almost like the point system of Weight Watchers, but with Bob Harper's modified food list.

I'm on day 4 right now. I'm adding in running/jogging with the 21 Day Fix workouts because they are just not long enough for me, and I need the extra calorie burn. I'm so used to high-intensity workouts for a long duration. It seems to be a good combination. I'll have my before and after pics ready to go! I can't wait to see my results. I think this is a program that could easily translate into long-term nutrition for weight management, too.

If you want to follow along my journey and see pics of what I'm eating, go here ---->  CLICK ME

Until next time,
HarperGirl AKA Mandy

Friday, April 24, 2015

Skinny Enchiladas (Weight Watcher Friendly)

My family really wait....LOVES enchiladas! Anything Tex Mex in general usually is a favorite in my home. As we all know though, enchiladas are notoriously filled with calories. On average, a beef enchilada can cost you 600-1,000 calories! OUCH! 

I really wanted one, though, so I decided to "health up" one of my family favorites. 

First, instead of the regular, flour tortillas, I swapped for one of these:

After that, I sprayed a non-stick skillet, sprayed with olive oil,  and lightly fried it for a few seconds on each side. 

I filled my tortilla with 4oz (1/4 cup) of lean ground beef  (I recommend 90 or higher)seasoned to our liking (personal preference on the seasonings), and topped it with 1tblsp of cheese. I wrapped it up, our our regular enchilada sauce on top, and topped it with one more tablespoon of cheese.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes and dinner is served! 

I had mine with a small side salad and fruit. Total points: 6 per enchilada! 

It was filling and satisfying! Yum!!!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Inferno & Jumpstart Round 2 Results

I recently stepped out of my comfort zone again and tried a new workout. It's a 3 week program, and I have completed day 7 today. 

I subscribed to Daily Burn about 6 months ago to try out Bob Harper's new Black Fire program. I LOVE Daily Burn. It's got a ton of amazing workout programs all for the same fee. I did 3 rounds of Black Fire, and I wanted to do something different. I gave Inferno a try this week, and oh my goodness. Anja Garcia put my body through the wringer. Inferno is high intensity and more for advanced workout levels. It's amazing, though! Check out this video! 

It's hard, but I love it. I was dripping in a pool of my own sweat almost every day this week. LOVE!!

Jumpstart to Skinny is now COMPLETE! Can I should that from the rooftops?! 


Pounds Lost: 4
Inches on Waist Lost: 2
Inches on Hips lost: 2

I love how Jumpstart to Skinny leans me out. It's the hardest, most demanding nutrition program I've ever been on. I hate it, but I love the results. It's so hard to explain my feelings. Let's just say that I'm ready for summer, and I've worked REALLY hard for that. On top of owning my business, my family, being a wife, mother, my fitness routines, etc., it's not easy. 

Is it worth it? Absolutely. 


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Playground Workout

It was gorgeous out today. I've been in Missouri just under a year now, and it seems like I've been sick more than I've been well since we've arrived. I am constantly sick here, as are my kids. Something in the air just doesn't agree with us. Today, I feel like I'm making progress on the latest wave of sickness. My throat burns like fire, but I can breathe today. Progress.

Well, I had plans today. My husband and I are down to only 1 vehicle right now, which means that I have to walk my oldest to school. Thankfully, it's just a half mile down the street. I got in my 45 minute workout this morning, and then walked him to school. I got in an extra 1 mile, which burned about 75 calories according to my new HRM. On the way back, my youngest and I stopped at the playground for a few minutes. I had work to get done for my shop though, so it was a short trip before we headed back. 

Honestly, who can say no to that face? We spent our walk back talking about the trees, the birds, and making wishes on "wishing flowers". 

This afternoon we went back down to the playground for a longer play session. 

Whoever says you can't workout with kids is a liar.

I got in a second full workout today at the  playground. Tricep dips on the park bench, lunches, squats, push-ups on the stairs, monkey bars for pull-ups....get creative! At one point, I put Jake on my shoulders and lunged around the playground with him as my weight. Of course, we were being safe about it. He had a blast, and I burned another 300 calories. 

Be inspired to take your kids out today and "play" at the playground! It's fun, it's free, and you're doing it with your kids. I fully believe that it's important for your kids to see you working out and taking care of your body. Jake even did dips on the bench with me, because he wants to be strong like mommy, he says. 

I'll be talking more this week about my new workout system, it's amazing. It's difficult. I'm only 4 days into it and guys are going to want to see this!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

JumpStart, Meal Prepping & My New Fitness Toy!

Back in 2013 I went on Bob's (then) new nutrition program, Jumpstart To Skinny, and I lost a good amount of weight and inches on it. I loved and hated that program. It was 3 weeks of no sugar, carbs, or anything processed...including my beloved coffee creamer. It was so hard, but I did it, and I got amazing results. I like to fall back on this 3 week program when I feel like my body needs a "tune up", and going into summer soon, I need that tune up. Normally, I eat on the Weight Watchers program, but we've been eating a lot of junk lately, and I have felt "off", and wanted a fresh start for summer. Tank top season all year round, people!! <-- as Bob says. So last Monday, I started the program again. 

The first 4 days were sheer hell. I won't sugarcoat that. I had a headache, I was sluggish, and I just wanted to have a donut. I pushed through those 4 days, and now I'm coasting. It's not easy still, but I'm making it and I'm not wanting to eat the entire bucket of Easter candy that my kids received last week. Well, at least not ALL of it...

I'm on day 10 this morning. This time around, I have been trying out recipes I didn't before, and it's been much better! Last time, I tended to stick with a few choice meals that I really liked, and I didn't explore the others that much. I really took my time reading the book last week and I've found a few new breakfast meals that I really enjoy. Today I had a bowl full of fruit, yogurt and flax seed. It's one of my favorite quick meals. 

I have learned that one of the biggest ways to ensure my success as a working mother and wife is meal prepping. Meal pressing is absolutely essential to my success on this program, and in general. In my fridge right now, you'll find a ton of already chopped veggies, bags of pre-portioned diced chicken breasts (ready to cook), and cooked quinoa set for the microwave in the morning. This is the number one factor for my success on Jumpstart to Skinny. I do all of my meal prepping on Sunday, and organize the fridge. Monday morning, I know my game plan. I write everything down in my planner, and the week usually goes smoothly. I take this a step further with my family dinners, freezer meals, and I also make my 2nd grader's lunches for the week and store them in the fridge. Monday morning, we grab and go! 

With the weather warming up, my legs were itching to go running outside. I wanted a new heart rate watch, but I wasn't sure which brand to go with. I knew I didn't want the FitBit, or any of the ones being marketed over the holidays this past year. Too many bells and whistles. I finally settled on the Polar FT7. It's easy to use, straightforward, and I don't need to plug it into the computer. It also jsut takes a watch battery, which I found very convenient. The chest strap isn't annoying like my last Garmin, and I don't even notice it. I tracked my run yesterday with it!

It was an awesome run, even though I was slower than usual with having a cold coming on. Gross. 

I'm going to test out a new fitness program starting next Monday, so I will disclose details on that next post. 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Contest for my Shop!

Hey everyone! Would you like to win a wall decal from my new shop? Of course you do!

I have several best sellers up for grab to help me celebrate the relaunch of my shop, Amanda's Designer Decals. I've been working really hard on it for you all, and I think you're going to love it!

What's up for grabs, you ask? Well take a look!!

 Our best selling children's decal is up for grabs! Perfect for any elephant themed nursery! I absolutely adore this little guy!

Another gorgeous option is our "Every Love Story" quote! It's perfect for a bedroom wall decal. I imagine this would be so cute above a headboard or surrounded by wedding photos.

So what are you waiting for? Go sign up right now for our e-mail list (don't worry, I never spam!), and get in on this amazing contest! There are more decals up for grabs, these are just 2 of the options. Contest ends on April 18th and will be announced via e-mail!!

I know, I know, you want to know where to go!

Go Right Here -------->

Put your name and email, and that is it!!! Although, you can like us on Facebook, too.



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