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Moving

Hey, what up?

So…. I started a new blog. It’s nothing personal. I have been having some frustrations with WordPress for a while. There are some limitations on what I can do without shelling out the moola to do it. I’ve been quietly snooping around for a different hosting site, trying to find one that is still free for my cheap self, but gives me a little more freedom with the blog.

I have also always felt a little awkward posting non-H related stuff on this blog and I find myself wanting to write about more things that I am interested in. I have dearly loved HSquared, but it is time to move on. It’s not you, it’s me. No, really. It’s totally me.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, please hop over and follow my new baby. I think it’s going to be even better.

Thanks, WordPress. It’s been real.

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Wow, writing this second post has been really challenging. I guess it’s just proof, right? That it’s so easy to complain and be negative, but to talk about the positive stuff, to compliment yourself (and mean it!) is so hard. I have been struggling to find the words I want to write because this second part has been the most important to me, it has made such a difference in my life and I want to make sure I represent it correctly.

Around the time I decided that I needed to change my habits (e.g. not working  out, eating fast food at least once a week, sometimes more if Ken was working a lot) Cassey Ho at Blogilates.com announced that she was going to be holding a 12 week new body makeover challenge. I know I’ve mentioned her website before and let me tell you why I decided to go for it: Cassey makes it so easy to start the ball rolling. She personally designs a monthly workout calendar. A free calendar. She’s a free personal trainer who is positive, motivating, and does what she tells you to do. For the 12 week challenge she also paired up with a nutritionist to design a meal plan. Which was also free. All the tools were right there, I didn’t need to think about it, to plan, I just had to do it. The only hurdles I had to jump were the mental ones, which, let’s face it, are the hardest. I started on January 1st, praying that I would stick with this program and not fizzle out like I had on so many others.

January 1st stats:

Weight: 145lbs.

Body fat: approx. 26%

Waist: 30.5 inches

Hips: 38 inches

~

I did the calendar which was an hour of pilates 6 days a week and followed the meal plan which consisted of three meals and two snacks a day. I drank 8-10 glasses of water a day. I did not starve myself. I pushed through exercises when I wanted to quit. I tried oh so hard to not feel guilt when I didn’t finish a workout or ate something that probably wasn’t the healthiest.  I was not perfect and it was definitely a challenge. I don’t really consider myself a sweet tooth person, but the cravings have been intense! Especially when Ken brought home three boxes of girl scout cookies three weeks into the program! I don’t even want to talk about it.

I started to research nutrition in February and I am completely fascinated in the the food as medicine aspect of eating. If you follow me on Instagram (hsquaredblog) then you probably saw the pictures I posted from some of the books I was reading. I still have so much to learn, and more I want to know, but I find it incredible that people who are on medications for high blood pressure, heart disease, even diabetes, can free themselves by changing their diet. It blows my mind. And it makes Ken really nervous that he’s never going to see steak in this house ever again. It’s everything in moderation here right now, but to get the girls started on the idea that having broccoli for a snack is totally normal now? (And yes, they do ask for it on their own) To set them up to have a healthy relationship with food and not use it as an emotional crutch like I did? It means everything to me. This doesn’t mean that we’re better than anyone else, or that we’re snobs. The H’s and I still love nothing better than a big ol’ basket of french fries, but we’re working on making that something special, not the norm.

 

March 15th stats:

Weight: 135lbs.

Body fat: approx. 21%

Waist: 28 inches

Hips: 37 inches

~

I am so thrilled with the changes I have seen in the last three months. The weight loss even isn’t the best part. Guys, I have muscles now. It’s really exciting! Before when I use to work out I would just do cardio with maybe a couple of biceps curls and some crunches, but I was totally clueless about how to use weights. Doing pilates and following women on Instagram who lift has changed my view of weights. I love my muscles and I love the change in my body fat because that means it’s easier to see the muscles. If I’m going to work my butt off to shape these babies, then I want the world to be able to see them. And for the world to be able to see them means I need to pay attention to what I am putting in my body. I also am working on my booty. Genetics have given me a very flat butt, but squats, man. Squats can raise up even the most concave butt there is and the curvier my butt gets the more I dance in the bathroom. 🙂

More important then the weight loss: I have more energy, I’m sleeping better, I have more patience with the girls, and I am stronger. And I’m not done yet. My fitness journey has just began and I can’t wait to see what new changes I can bring.

BEFORE

March 27, 2012

March 27, 2012

AFTER

 

March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

 

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March 31, 2014

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Last November I was not in a happy place.

If anyone who use to read this little blog is still around, then you will remember that I was participating in NaNo and trying to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Creatively it was great for me and got me over the non-blog writing hump I had been stuck on, but I wasn’t feeling great about myself in general and I could see it seeping into the quality of my writing. What didn’t I feel great about? My body. I know, it sounds so typical, but let me give y’all some back story and maybe some people will think I’m being silly, but if I can offer any inspiration to anyone else then it is silliness well spent.

I have never been a small person. I have been heavy ever since I was in middle school. It came about as a result of hating school. I would go and be stuck in the same room with 30 kids I didn’t like and who made it very apparent that they didn’t care for me. I was bored in school and made fun of and the way I handled it was to come home and eat two bagels smothered in cream cheese or three bowls of cereal or whatever food made the last 6 hours of the day fade a little bit. This pattern continued into high school and even though I did swim team all four years and dance, my eating habits out reached any physical effort on my part. I wanted to be smaller, to not have as much fat on my body, but not enough to let go of the food I had come to rely on to comfort me.

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That’s me on the left when I was 17.

College was better. Socially, college was an entirely different world, but by that point my relationship with food was pretty firmly established. Also, I didn’t know jack about nutrition. I mean, obviously, I knew an apple was better for you than french fries, but the french fries tasted better and came with ketchup. Which, I think we all know, is a gateway drug to harder condiments.

I battled with my weight and my food intake off and on through college and then moving back home after I graduated. I slowly started to get in shape after I met Ken, partly because I was biking around Portland to get to work or rehearsal, and I also started taking dance classes. Ken and I joined a gym and would sporadically go workout. But guess what, nothing really changed. Are you sensing a reoccurring theme in this journey? Let me give you a little snippet of something I have learned in the last 12 weeks. Your diet (as in the type of food a person habitually consumes, not a temporary change) is 80% responsible for how your body is shaped. 80%! Exercise and genetics are only 20% of that equation. Isn’t that wild? But I digress.

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1.5 months postpartum

Fast forward four years and the details you all already know (engagement, marriage, pregnancy, and twins) and you’ll find me sitting on the couch at 6:30 in the morning last November staring down at the skin on my belly. Skin that has been stretched past what I ever thought was possibly. Skin that has miraculously helped carry two babies to 38 weeks and change. It is skin I am grateful for and that I don’t regret for a second. But it was also causing my self esteem to go down the drain. I tried to change my clothes in the bathroom because I was embarrassed for Ken to see my stomach. I didn’t like going out in public and taking to people. I just wanted to hide. But I have two beautiful daughters who I want to spare this horrible insecurity, if it all possible. I don’t want them to grow up with a mother who is ashamed of her body. And as I sat on the couch mulling all this over in the dark, my mom’s voice came floating into my head:

Don’t be a victim.

It’s something she has always told me, quickly followed by the insistence that if I don’t like something I have it in my power to change it, to make it better. So, I did.

 

Stay tuned for part two!

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#1. I am seriously on the fence about whether or not we will have more kids. There are times when I can easily picture another child in the mix and I imagine how sweet the girls would be with a little brother or sister. However, the further we get out of the baby phase, the more reluctant I become to go through the newborn process again.

#2. It’s only a week into December and I have already watched A White Christmas three times.

#3. Haley will call out “love you, Mama.” when I leave the room at nap/bedtime. Melts my cold, wicked heart every time.

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#4. We discovered at Zoo Lights that the girls are highly suspicious of costumed characters (they had a some people dressed as a penguin, otter, and a cow). Now I’m nervous about taking them to see Santa. Anyone have any tips? I’ve been talking up Santa for a while now and they recognize pictures and Hazel says “ho ho ho” when she sees him.

#5. It’s been in the 30s for the last week or so. Cold weather makes me cranky. Is it wrong if I combat the crankiness by sitting on the floor with the girls eating candy canes all afternoon?

#6. Hazel now knows the words to Jingle Bells! LOVE!

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#7. I need to start a workout routine again and Ken wants to as well. We are toying with the idea of saving up to buy a stationary bike. Does anyone have any recommendations?

#8. I am missing my April like crazy. This is her favorite time of year and I have her Christmas card up from last year. It has a collage of pictures of her son on it and now every morning the girls will point at it and yell “Caden!” Why is St. Louis so far away???

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#9. I am brainstorming goals for next year. I finally feel like I’m ready to dive back into being Emily instead of just being Momma. It only took me two years, people!

#10. It’s not until next summer, but I am so excited that So You Think You Can Dance got picked up for another season!

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So, I know my blogging during the month of October was pathetic and neglectful and I am sorry to inform you that it isn’t going to be any better in November, actually it will probably be worse.

Prior to kids I would participate in National Novel Writing Month, affectionately referred to as NaNoWriMo. But I didn’t do it in 2011 because I was 5 million months pregnant and just slept and ate and couldn’t summon any creativity outside of what I wanted on a cheeseburger. And I didn’t do it last year because, um, yeah, twins. But this year I feel like I have the creativity and motivation and I would really like to do something just for me. So, you basically take on the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. Which means I need to average 1,666 words a day. This is going to be my first priority, so I don’t know how much I will have left over for blogging.

But I promise I will be back strong in December with a long, wordy, photo-heavy update on both girls and lots of posts with cute pictures.

bubblesWe will be back!

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Some Days…

I fantasize about running away to Argentina and becoming a world famous Tango dancer.

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But I guess I’ll just have an extra glass of wine instead. 🙂

 

I hope everyone has a happy weekend with lots of giggles and lots of snuggles!

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I am issuing myself a challenge for the rest of the month.

I am going to commit (fully) to working out on a regular basis, not just sporadically. Why?

  1.  I always feel better after I work out. I mean, who feels like they just wasted their time after working out?
  2. When I’m working out regularly I have more energy, more stamina, I can play with the girls for longer before I’m a puddle of exhaustion.
  3. Even on crap-tastic days, if I’ve worked out that day, at least at the end of it I can say I’m a little bit stronger than I was at the beginning of the day.
  4. I know I’ve said this before, but I want to girls to have a strong momma. I want them to know what it looks like to be strong, to take pride in taking care of the bodies they’ve been given. What better way to teach this then to do it?

My other challenge is to write for at least 10 minutes every day. And blog writing does. not. count.

I will be reporting how the rest of the month goes. I’m relying on you guys to help me be accountable for this. Wish me luck!

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