Celebrating the Little Things Can Be BIG

Today I’m celebrating a milestone in my blogging “finishing well in 2011” challenge.  This is blog post #202!  (oops, I missed day 200)  I haven’t blogged every single day this year, but with it just being September and I’ve already broken 200. . .I’m proud.  I’m not a “finisher” yet.  But I’m well on my way! 



Vacation Blogging is Tough Stuff

So today I have decided to relieve myself of all guilt and pressure and officially stop blogging while on the rest if our Kentucky family vacation. BUT I will be back STRONG on July 4, so please don’t forget about me. 🙂

June 1!!!!

It finally feels like summer is here!

Tonight I am sitting up with lists and lists of things that I want to enjoy in the next few months. . .like books I want to read and summer reading plans for my kids, goal I hope to accomplish, routines I need to evaluate, change and add, bathing suits I hope to fit into 🙂 , summer food I want to make and trips I long to take. 

Unfortunately, I only have 2 months to accomplish them all.  But I’m surely going to try my hardest.

I guess I’ll start out today by letting you in on a routine that I have recently had to evaluate. . .P90X.

P90X never once claimed to be a weight loss program.  That was fine.  I didn’t need to lose weight.  I have really enjoyed the workouts – most of all how you have a different workout every single day so you don’t get bored.  But after 4 weeks of following the P90X Doubles program I realized that I was gaining weight.  Granted, it was only 3 pounds – but those were 3 pounds that I fought hard for about a year ago and 3 pounds I have mourned the return of for the past few weeks.  Yes, I think they could be partially muscle weight.  But I also know for a fact that P90X is NOT the calorie burning, sweat producing program that my body has been used to for the last year.  At this point, calorie burn is much more important to me than muscle mass – though I prefer both.  So here’s the new plan. . .


I’m not giving up on my 90 day goal.  But I am changing up the routine.  P90X is just going to have to be a supplement to the other programs by Jillian and Bob that I know work most effectively for me.  I’m going to stick to the muscle confusion plan from P90X and simply rotate between all the videos I now have in my library. . .everything from yoga to plyometrics to circuit training to strength training, but with different trainers.

So. . .I’ll keep you informed on how the new “Amy created” workout program goes.

I’m not giving up, just making some adjustments and continuing the journey.

ALSO. . .

June 1 seemed to be a great time to add one more “Finishing Well in 2011” goal. . .a summer goal.










For the next 2 months I’m going to be doing these devotionals daily both alone and with my girls.  I’ve had them for a while now.  They look fantastic.  I think it’s time to open them up and finally get started.

So, tomorrow is June 1!  I think it might just be a great time for you to start a new routine as well.

Do you have any goals for the upcoming summer months?  What are you ready to challenge yourself with today?

Don’t Stop

This morning I woke up thinking about my “Finishing Well in 2011” challenge. . .I’m feeling a bit out of sync these last few days.  It’s time to dig deep and find a strong spark of motivation to propel me through the next phase of P90x that I will be starting in 2 more days.  But this is about so much more than finishing a workout program.  I want to be known in life as a finisher, not a P90x graduate.  P90x is just one of the tools I’m using to accomplish my greater “soul deep” goals of becoming stronger and more confident on the inside.

So, here’s to digging deep and staying focused. . .

Here’s to staying in the game and never quitting. . .

Here’s to not complaining and getting to job done. . .

Here’s to no excuses. . .

Thanks, Laura, for sharing this on your blog last week.  Everybody, check her out.  She’s becoming a finisher, too.

Decide. Commit. Succeed.

I completed my first “Finishing Well in 2011” goal. . . Ripped in 30 with Jillian Michaels!!!  She has successfully kicked my butt and I have successfully withstood the challenge.  Am I “ripped?”  Well, that’s debatable.  Do I look like Jillian?  Nope.  Was it still worth it?  Absolutely.  Week 4 especially was killer.  I’m just proud I’m still alive to tell about it.  Can you truly get “ripped” in only 30 days doing 25 minute workouts?  No.  But I’m definitely fit, I definitely succeeded AND. . .now I’m ready to move on to the next challenge.

This treasure box came in the mail this week.  I was nervous just looking at it as it stared me in the face all afternoon.  I knew opening it meant true commitment, so it took me a while to get up the nerve.

Now I have to tell you, I’m not the least bit afraid of the workouts.  I have been working out hard at home with Jillian and Bob for over a year now.  I love the challenge of a killer hard workout.  The more sweat the better.  And it’s actually really annoying to me if I try a video that is too easy. . .such a waste of good time.

My fear is in the 90 Days.

My whole “Finishing Well in 2011” challenge this year is about conquering my inability or lack of desire to complete projects, plans and ideas that I begin.  I’m trying to gain some “wins” when it comes to finishing strong and well in all different areas of life.  So far, I have chosen exercise to bring about those win column checks.  This is challenge #2. . .P90X

And I begin today!  So wish me luck.

We all need to challenge ourselves about something we need to improve.  What challenge do you need to tackle?  Why aren’t you going for it?

Day 20 of Ripped in 30 AND 80 Days of Blogging AND a New Recipe

I’m doing a bit of premature celebrating here today because I have made it to day 20 of Jillian’s Ripped in 30 workout.  Yay me!  I’m very, very close to accomplishing my first “Finishing Well in 2011” goal. (Here’s the post if you are wondering what in the world I’m talking about)

Keeping up with this goal has been surprisingly easy.  The workout series kicks butt.  That’s for sure.  But I can do anything for 25 minutes a day, no matter how intense.  This workout is significantly harder than her other similar video, 30 Day Shred.  Yet, I have to admit that 3 weeks into it, I’m starting to feel like this workout isn’t enough and I’m adding in some more yoga and cardio, too.  I am taking one day off/week for recovery and plan to be done and onto new goals in just a few days.  Stay tuned to see what’s next.

AND Celebrating 80 Days of Blogging!!!! 🙂

As far as a new recipe goes. . .I’m always trying to figure out how to eat more vegetables.  I’m very, very bad at it.  But the other day while having lunch with Kevin I discovered the yummiest treat.  It seriously made eating vegetables seem like eating dessert!  And who wouldn’t go for that?

So here it is. . .“Cinnamony” Butternut Squash Spread

1 butternut squash

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon low fat milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375

Cut off stem of squash, cut lengthwise and remove seeds.  Put squash face down in a baking dish.  Add 1/4 inch of water.

Bake 20 minutes with cut side down and then 20 minutes with cut side up

Allow squash to cool enough to handle.  Remove peel and cut in 1-2 inch chunks

Put pieces in food processor along with other ingredients and puree until extremely smooth

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or longer

Spread on crunchy bread or any other bread or pita you like.  (Pretend it doesn’t look like baby food)

Top with Agave, honey or fig spread and salty nuts like pistachios or peanuts

Sweet, salty, savory and vegetably all in one!!

I had mine for lunch with Great Harvest Golden High 5 bread, granny smith apples with almond butter and lavendar/rosemary hummus.

I wonder what it would be like on oatmeal??  Hhhmmmmm. . .Veggies for breakfast anyone? 🙂

Random question. . .

Anybody out there make a New Year’s Resolution this year that they are still sticking to?

Finishing Well in 2011

Most of you know by now that I spent the majority of 2010 working hard to transform my eating/fitness/health.  People will say that it takes 40 days to instill a new habit.  For me, it has been a process that has taken much longer than that to unfold, but I think I’m finally there.  I’m not only taking care of myself well, but I’m actually enjoying it.  It’s not a chore to eat well.  I crave it.  It’s not punishment to workout.  It’s my special treat for the day.

So, when 2011 started I wondered what I should tackle next.  Nothing came to mind at first, BUT. . .

There has always been this thing about me that creeps up at the most inopportune moments.  I’m not sure how to explain it in any other way than just saying that I’m a great starter but a terrible finisher.  I’ve always been full of grand ideas.  I get excited about something like painting or knitting or planning a party.  I go buy all the tools. . .all the stuff I “need,” only to go strong for a few weeks and then pack it all away in the closet until spring cleaning day.  Then I organize it all and close the door again.

This “habit” has caused me even relationship troubles over the years.  I invest genuinely in a relationship only to let it fizzle for no good reason.  Kevin asks something of me that he needs.  I agree and go for it whole heartedly, only to look back and see that I bailed on the agreement somewhere along the way.  Again, no good reason.  I never plan to dismiss someone or hurt anybody.  I’m just bad with follow through.

During a conversation that Kevin and I had a while back he said, “what it seems is that you really just need some  ‘wins.'”  I guess I had pretty much just resigned myself to the fact that a terrible finisher is who I am.

Months later, that conversation came back to my mind and this time it grabbed my heart.  Funny how God does that kind of stuff.

So. . .bottom line.

I’m starting to tackle yet again.  This time, I’m choosing to create space and opportunity for me to discipline myself enough to achieve some finishing wins.

Blogging is one of this year’s opportunities for me to finish well Goal?  Blog something every single day for an entire year. I don’t blog because I want you to think I’m something special.  I blog to record mine and my family’s days.  AND I blog to stick with something and finish it well.

My other current Goal?  Ripped in 30 – do this video every single day without a day off for 30 days. Exercise I love.  Like I already said, it’s a treat for me.  BUT I’m random in what I do.  And even though I exercise at least 4 days/week always, its a huge stretch to say I’m going to do something EVERY day.  Doing anything EVERY day is tough no matter what, right?  But this is a goal that I have the ability to finish well.  So I’m going for it.

And at the end of the year, what’s the hope?  Not to be perfect – just to be a better, more confident and committed finisher.  I need some good “wins.”  And I’ll keep you posted as they happen.

So, what’s God challenging you on these days? Are you listening?