Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Still here, life goes on!

Who would have ever imagined my face would be on the cover of my book?!?

So I took some time off in January and February to write a book about our goats, my weight loss, our little farm, and our goat milk soap and bath products business.  It was a long time coming.  I had loads to get off my chest.  I had started the book (two chapters) three years ago on the plane ride to my month long stay at Biggest Loser's Fitness Ridge.  It was a good start, but the last three years have really been the best three years of my life.  The book basically wrote itself!  It's about overcoming a few terrible obstacles in my life and my period of getting it in gear and moving on.  You know, when we purchased Athena, I would have never dreamed that she would change our lives so much for the better.  Since then we have hosted almost 70 college interns on our farm, I have lost 55 lbs and kept it off for three years, my goat milk soap and bath products business has far exceeded my expectations of what a great business it could be, and I have returned for three visits to Fitness Ridge.  This fall 8 of my girlfriends and I will be trying out a new fitness facility in Tennessee.  Tennessee Fitness Spa.  It's a lot closer to me and we want to see what is out there that is more cost effective.  Since I like to recommend places to people I meet from all over the country, I know this would help if they are East Coasters, or just don't have the funds to go to Fitness Ridge.  I'll keep ya posted.  In the mean time if you would like to purchase a copy of the book, go to www.amazon.com and type in The Thankful Goat.  I loaded it up with lots of cool pictures and there's a chapter dedicated to my weight loss journey.  Have a great summer and look for my new book out next Spring called, The Thankful Goat Cooks.  I'm photo journaling some yummy recipes to share with all my peeps out there.


Friday, October 25, 2013

Familiarity makes us comfortable.  Many find strength in it.  It is like a warm blanket, soft couch, comfort food, and a good movie.  It’s a loving spouse you feel perfectly at ease with.  Fitness Ridge is like that for me.  It’s like coming home at Christmas after being away at college all semester and finding the house decorated and family there to meet you.  I have cried there, vomited there, felt overwhelming joy there, rejoiced with others there, and laughed there, a lot! Next week, I will be heading back to Biggest Loser’s Fitness Ridge to spend a week in Ivins, UT.

 In May 2011, I got on a plane bound for Vegas with a suitcase full of clothes ready to spend a whole month. I was scared to death.   I had lost 25 lbs before my trip, dropped three clothes sizes, and was ready for anything they could throw at me.  I dropped 15 more lbs in that month, and an additional 10 when I got home.  Nothing could have been harder and easier at the same time.  Harder, because I was reining in the only thing that was out of control in my life at that time, my weight.  Easier, because I did it with some of the most amazing, encouraging people I have ever met who were all doing the same thing I was.  We sweated, laughed, talked, and overcame together.  When I got home is when it became hard.  Of course I knew it would, but I wasn’t ready for what happened.  I didn’t have a problem with eating right.  When I woke up each morning I would immediately panic, thinking I had gained all the weight back.  I would jump out of bed and run upstairs weighing myself.  Still the same, but there must be some mistake!  I would try on several outfits.  They still fit, but it couldn’t be true.  Surely while I was sleeping all the weight must have slipped back on.  Finally I confessed to my husband what was going on and he told me to call Jen our Fitness Ridge shrinkJ  She assured me that it was perfectly normal to feel this way as it would take my brain longer to catch up with my body.  I think this might have something to do with why people who lose so much weight immediately put it back on.  Their mind tells them they have gained it back, so they just give in to it.  I refused to give in.

In April 2012, I went back.  I had become that forty something mom that ran 5ks and mud runs.  I had trouble with my left hip, but wanted to see if I could push myself like the year before.  I could and I did.  I had kept most of the weight off, so the six lbs I lost while there that week, put me back in the black.

Now it’s October 2013.  A whole seventeen months later.  When I started this blog in 2011, I would have never imagined I would have so many followers.  I have had around 11,000 hits on here.  I’m glad so many people are interested in what I’ve been up to, but for me, this blog is so much more than showing people my journey.  It has become my memory.  There are so many things you forget if you don’t write it all down.  Good things, funny things, and most importantly how I felt.  The emotional part of this roller coaster is key to finding yourself.  With that being said, I think I can truly say I have found myself again.  I had lost myself through pregnancies, childbirth, and uncertainty.  Here, I have found myself and although the person I found is quite different than the one I lost, I love her.  I imagine we all find ourselves wishing we could be or do something else in life, but right now, in this time of my life I am perfectly happy.  I traded a high stress job for being a goat farmer, owning my own business, and continuing to home school my two kids.  My husband works from home.  That’s the bomb.  He doesn’t always like his job, but he always gets to spend time with us.  He too gave up a high stress job.  Since the last time I was at Fitness Ridge, I have hosted 50 interns on my little micro farm.  That has been amazing.  We have had some beautiful people come through and help us with our continuing project.  How has my weight been?  Well, I have actually been able to keep most of the 55 lbs off.  It makes me sad to look at my less toned body in the mirror, but I realize I have at least not stopped trying.  My husband pointed this out when we were in Wal Mart a couple weeks ago.  So many people shopping there just looked like they had completely given up.  Convenience food filled buggies, dead look in their eyes, and so heavy all they could wear was a stretched out t shirt and jogging pants.   I have not been able to work out with my hip problems, but I have really watched that I maintain.  Yesterday, I got up and started packing for my third trip out here.  I tried on the t shirt I wore home from Fitness Ridge on June 19th, 2011, my 43rd birthday.  I expected that it would be too tight in the arms and waist, but guess what???  It fit.  And so did the pants I wore to hike in.  Now that I have spent the last two years maintaining, I am ready to take off the last pounds.  Join my adventures this week as I and my partner in crime and roomie, Phyllis take on Fitness Ridge.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

One year later

I can't believe it's been over a year since I posted here.  I wasn't able to go to Fitness Ridge in the Spring due to a scheduling conflict.  My goat milk soap business has become all consuming and we have begun to take interns from www.wwoofusa.org They come from all over the world and in the last year we have had over 35 visit our farm.  They stay for 2 to 6 weeks and one girl who was just awesome will be with us all summer as our farm manager.  The picture is from this spring.  My husband, Steve, and I were headed out to a Comedy Club fundraiser for the arts council.  I will be returning to Fitness Ridge this fall for one week.  My hope is that I will be able to finish my weight loss journey this year.  I have put 8 lbs back on from when I left two years ago, but am happy I have finally learned how to keep it off.  I injured my hips and am unable to run so I have been trying to keep it off by only eating what I know I can.  It's easier with the interns here, since we only go out to eat about one time a week now.  Eating out is what was killing me before!  Thank you for over 11.000 hits on my blog!  I hope to report back in around October and let you know what's going down at the Ridge.  Keep working hard and know that you can do it.  You CAN and you are WORTH IT!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And the Top Ten Workout songs for June are in...

Chris from Run Hundred has just posted the top ten songs to work out to for June.  Check out Run Hundred's music or click on each individual song at the bottom.  Let's keep those workouts pumpin and fresh.

Fort Wayne, IN – June 2, 2012 – With summer nearly upon us, there's a mess of new music bumping in a gym near you.The singles from Usher and Linkin Park's new albums are out now—along with Pitbull's contribution to the Men in Black III soundtrack.Also, on the movie tip, Kelly Clarkson's “Stronger” returns to the top 10—albeit in a dark, retro remix that works the American Idol veteran into a groove straight out of the Scarface or Drive soundtrack.Lastly, the top 10 is rounded out by trio of collaborations wherein Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, and Cee Lo paired up with Wiz Khalifa, B.o.B., and Slaughterhouse.
Here's the full list, according to votes placed at Run Hundred--the web's most popular workout music blog.

Avicii - Levels (Skrillex Remix) - 142 BPM

Pitbull - Back in Time - 126 BPM

Maroon 5 & Wiz Khalifa - Payphone - 110 BPM

Demi Lovato - Give Your Heart a Break - 123 BPM

Usher - Scream - 129 BPM

Linkin Park - Burn It Down - 111 BPM

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (Hotline's Miami Vice Club Remix) - 118 BPM

Slaughterhouse & Cee Lo Green - My Life - 137 BPM

B.o.B. & Taylor Swift - Both of Us - 127 BPM

Katy Perry - Part of Me (Jacques Lu Cont's Thin White Duke Remix) - 130 BPM

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Warrior Dash 2012 - Cool or Crazy?

Warrior Dash.  Their motto is 'The Craziest Frickin Day of Your Life'.  Well I can tell you this, I have had some pretty crazy days in my life, and I thought the Warrior Dash last year was one of them, but they were just teasing Charlotte, NC.  They were merely tempting her with the firey blasts of the start, the cute little climbing gymboree obstacles, and those heavenly smoked turkey legs that make your knees weak as you come around the home stretch.  Last year we were lulled into thinking that there wasn't anything worse they could do to push us to our last limit.  This year, this day, we found out different.  We found out they mean it when they say it will be 'The Craziest Frickin Day of Your Life'.

Steve woke me up at 5:15 am and I must admit I haven't been up that early since Fitness Ridge three weeks ago.  Now every day has it's hero, and this day was no exception.  My sweet and wonderful father-in-law volunteered on very short notice to come with us and watch the boys while we ran our heat.  Steve would run it at top speed first, and then because of my hip injury, he would come back and go with me to help me over the tough obstacles.  Hero number two!  I am such a lucky, lucky girl to have such great men in my life.  Let me just say this would not really be my father-in-law's idea of fun; it would probably rank just after cleaning out the refridgerator.  I knew he would enjoy it once he saw the heckler at the mud pit though.  They post a guy there with a mic to yell at the runners and this year it would be my hiking bud and trainer from Fitness Ridge, Sione Fa.  He was a contestant on Biggest Loser and has lost 156 lbs.  We actually saw him at the Start line when we first arrived and he crossed the road to welcome us and meet my family.  It was so good to see him again.  We went to packet pick up and I couldn't help thinking about my girls Tiffany (the Ironwoman) Gust and Jenn Morton going to packet pickup a few weeks ago for the Iron Man in St George, Utah.  You girls are my inspiration *smooches*!  The pic below is of Sione calling the mud pit.

So enough of the chit chat, let's get down to the nitty gritty pictures.  I only wish you could taste the blood, have your eyes burn from the sweat, smell the stink of the swamp pond, and feel the throb of my muscles as I climbed that last hill!  Warriors...prepare for battle!!!

Victory Bananas with my Numero Uno Baby!  I couldn't ever do this without you Steve.  You and I have been though a lot in our 15 years of marriage.  Like you said, sometimes it's just a walk in the cornfield, and sometimes it a crawl through the mud pit.  I'm glad I get to do life with you.
Waiting in line at the 11:00 heat.  The NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne ran the heat before us with his pit crew. 
Ha!  How do they know???  Maybe they have lojack on me;)
It's the chicken walk.  If you notice on my number there is a pink bit of toile.  This is in memory of my friend Lynn Ramano.  She won the fight with breast cancer 2 1/2 years ago, but lost the fight with brain cancer last Friday.  Today they buried her and since I wasn't able to be there, I did the Dash in her memory.  God bless you Lynn, love you girl!
My high school gym teacher probably doesn't even remember me LOL!
1.5 miles in, they also changed it from a 5K to 3.8 miles.  Sweet Warrior Dash!
Somehow we always find a lost soul needing help to get through.  Leave no Warrior behind.  Michelle is currently going through kidney dialysis and didn't have the strength to run.  She wanted to do the obstacles, but needed someone to talk her through.  You know my sweet husband always helps out where he can.
And down the other side.
Take that Indiana Jones!  This was actually kind of fun in a twisted sort of way.
You go Michelle!
OK I did, a little, but just because I thought of all of you blog readers and how much fun it is to share my life with you guys!  You are all my inspirations!

Walking on Sunshine:)
Thank you for junk cars and no dumpsters.  This was a piece of cake, well, a piece of FORD!
This was some strange new torture device they inflicted on you this year.  It was V shaped and had little feet holds on the side you had to walk on then climb over two crotch shelves.  Hmmm...our vote is still out on this one.
This was insane!  Half way through the race we saw our first mud.  When you got in all the way it went as high as your neck if you were short.  Then you had to go about 100 feet uphill in more mud slipping and sliding all the way.
My sexy husband hoofing it up the wall of terror.  After helping 5 other people up first.
I couldn't get a picture of this as we did it. So here is a far off pic to let you in on the full effect.  You started off swimming to the floating barge, had to climb up on the barge, then swim through the middle, and climb up and over again, then swim to shore.  Seeing as how I didn't want to tweak my elbow again, I chose to go under the floating barge, in the stank water...TWICE!!!!  OK, now I know I'm crazy.  I can't describe the stinch of this water and Steve said when I came up I was covered in mossiness, leaves, and what looked like a leech LOL!  It turned out to just be a booger ROFL!!!
Someone on the bank snapped this picture of me as I popped out on the other side.  Warriors Unite!!!!
This is the waterslide.  It was kind of lame until I caught a wave.  So then I'm rushing down the hill and hit some sand and got a killer case of road rash on my back side.  Only injury of the day.  Not bad:)
Michelle and I climbing up the cargo ropes.  You had to go up one side and down the other.  One of my favorites.
Steve came up with this technique to get us across with speed and less leg cramps.  We were hoofing it!
The 'Warrior Roast' - last year's pic was better, but you get the picture, right:)  After this is the mud pit where after I was good and muddy I gave Sione Fa a nice muddy hug! All's fair with warriors:)

You crawl through this muddy pool on you hand and knees and pull yourself along under the barbed wire, yes, I said barbed wire.

My two heros:)  And my crazy husband sucking in his gut LOL!  Don't mess with the photographer or you will get yours:0
Absolutely worn out and feeling great all at the same time!  The whole reason we do the Dash.  Now where did they put that smoked turkey leg???
Dad was seriously afraid I was going to give him a hug too!  LOL!
My husband after running the Warrior Dash twice in 4 hours.  You are my hero honey!  Thank you for being a good sport:)
Dang I love this picture!  Look for it to be my new profile on facebook:)

Finally at home with our medals and cool new tshirts.  I like these better than last year's.  Until next year my blog friends.  Oh and you better start training now if you want to do it with me.  I can only imagine the fun they will have up their muddy sleeves.  I assure you it won't be easier!
This is what my hair looked like when we got home,  more of that pond scum.  Had to wash it three times before it was normal again!

Steve goofing off with all his medals.  State games, kettlebell meets, 5Ks and Warrior Dashes.

Headed home on Monday - thoughts about the week:)

Sunday and I'm headed for Vegas