Monday, September 23, 2013

Feeling Strong!

So recently I'm sure you saw my little "New Addition" post :)

Let me just tell you what a HUGE difference it makes to up your weights!  I am SO happy with how I am feeling.  I just feel STRONGER.  It's been a week & a half & while I know I have a little ways to go with these weights before seeing any changes I know how I'm feeling.  I have already been able to increase reps with some of the things I have been doing.  Just since last week! 

When I do my workouts & really kill them I know I walk taller.  I feel so much more confident too.  I'm sure I'm not the only one!

I'm one of those craaaazy people that loves the soreness the next day too.  I was sore yesterday from my run on Saturday & I'm hoping tomorrow I will be feeling this workout from this morning.

So, what are you waiting for?  You are strong & capable.  Get out there & KILL your workout.  Show it who's boss :)  You ARE WORTH IT!!

What is your favorite -- Cardio or Weight work? 

Be Blessed & Healthy!!

Fun with the Fullwoods: Guest Post: A Yummy (and healthy!) Cookie Recipe

One of my favorite blogs has a guest post with a YUMMY recipe!!  Looking forward to making these cookies very soon.  I love new things that are a healthy alternative.  Check it out & let me know what you think!
Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Fun with the Fullwoods: Guest Post: A Yummy (and healthy!) Cookie Recipe: Happy fall, y'all! We are thrilled that autumn is finally upon us, even if it is still 90-something degrees in Houston. Fall is the...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Every Day Choices


Every day there are choices we have to make. 

For most of us it starts with getting out of bed!!

I have found lately that I'm tired.  I'm getting enough sleep (for the most part) but I'm just tired.  When we get tired we tend to make some food choices that just may not be the best. 

I have found lots of people do "prep" work on Sunday with their food.  They cut up veggies & prepare meals for the whole week!  That way it's easy to grab & go.  I was reading a blog about salads she made in a Mason jar!!  She prepped 6 of them for the rest of the week!  They stay fresh in the jars.  I'm thinking THAT might be a cool way to prep salads.  That is one of the things that drives me batty is getting all the salad stuff done.

I find myself eating breakfast a lot on the run.  I realized this morning while eating on the way to church, what kind of role model am I being?  My oldest son does the same thing now.  I watch him make his food & take it with him. 

I'm not saying this is necessarily bad but I am realizing how much they pay attention to what we do as parents. 

You know that saying about not going food shopping when you are hungry?  How true is that??!! 


I am living proof that making changes to my food habits & exercising work.  Every morning I get out of bed I need to make that choice.  I need to make the choice on what I'm going to eat. 
-I choose NOT to buy the stuff I shouldn't have.  That way it's not tempting me at all. 
-I choose to make sure I'm drinking PLENTY of water every day. (Your weight divided by 2 in ounces) 
-I choose to make sure I'm getting enough sleep (7-9 hours a night).
-I choose to make sure I'm getting LOTS of veggies & some fruit in EVERY DAY.
-I choose to make sure I'm not starving myself by skipping meals or light snacks.  We shouldn't go more than 3 hours without something little.  A few nuts, an apple.  Doesn't have to be fancy :)
-I choose to make sure I have time EVERY DAY to exercise.  Even if it's just going for a walk.  I have seen over time this is a GREAT stress reliever.

Is it easy?  Nope. 

Is working out every day hard?  Some times. 

Is it worth it?  100 times over -- YES YES YES!

What are some healthy choices you have made lately?  Have you noticed a difference?

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Mandisa - Overcomer Dedicated to my Dad

I'm dedicating this song to my Dad.  I wish I could sing it to him myself right now. He is overcoming SO much right now!!  If you could please join us in praying for clarity of mind & that he would hear Jesus talking to his heart!! 

Be Blessed & Live Healthy!!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

My New Addition!

Oh I am SOOOO excited!! 

Some girls buy shoes.  Some by clothes.  Some go for food, etc.

Me?  This is my purchase of choice.  You know, the one I save my $$ for......

Welcome 20# weights.  I have been waiting patiently (NOT!) for your arrival!!

I am excited & a bit nervous to begin using them.

What about you?  What have you added to help your fitness routine be more challenging for you?  (even if you answer is A FITNESS ROUTINE! that is good!).

Be Blessed & Healthy!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

What To Eat?

To get a phone call or anything telling you something has happened to someone close to you is very devastating & stressful.

My sisters & I have always said how blessed we have been to have not really lost anyone close before what we believed should be their time.  Grandparents were around til they got older, etc. 

Getting a text saying Dad was in trouble in ICU was very stressful.  While my first thoughts were on him & how can we swing a flight up there & me leaving my family for a time, I knew I had to be there.  My husband was very understanding. 

Before I left I realized I had no idea what I would be eating while away.  I had just gone shopping & grabbed lots of Uberbars (my fave lately) and nuts.  My sis & I made sure we had water whenever we could get it as well.  The cafeteria offered good choices but you had to look for them.  Oatmeal in the am and eggs was my choice breakfast but we typically didn't eat again until dinner.  That's when the nut bars, nuts & any fresh fruit we could find came in handy.  We drank as much water as we could as well. 

We all deal with stress differently.  My sister was incredible with finding out all the information she could about what was happening.  The nurses with our Dad were very accommodating.  She was then able to route that information to her husband who is an RN & he could tell us what exactly we needed to know (and for me he was able to put it in very simple terms (: ) 

Saturday felt like a good day for Dad & we went back to the hotel on a little bit of a high.  We stopped for dinner take out from Olive Garden (have you had their salad with the GF salmon?  GREAT choice & oh so filling!).  Being that I try to respect my husband's wishes in not running alone my sis said she would come with me to the fitness room & walk while I ran.  That is the way I deal with stress.  I workout.  I felt giddy just thinking about getting there & running.  I couldn't get over how much I looked forward to it.  I did a HIIT workout on their treadmill & was able to eat & sleep well that night.  It's a good thing.  We woke up to a huge crisis my Dad was going through.  I needed that release the night before and was very glad I took it. 

Now,  I have comfort foods.  Unfortunately (well, fortunately) there wasn't much of what I like there (gluten free bread, chocolate, etc).  We did stop for our fave coffees that helped us to just feel a tad bit better about things :)  Even then I found another alternative at the cafeteria that I could use and my sis benefited from it too.

I realize everyone deals with things in their own way.  I think I have been doing this long enough that my brain just looks for other options that will give me that same feeling but is healthier for me in the long run.  On the other hand, I will not (and you shouldn't either) beat myself up over some comfort food you had in a stressful time. 

I get a clean slate tomorrow.  I'm thankful for that & I will take it!!

Tell me - how do you deal with stress?  Are you a comfort eater?  Do you turn to exercise or shut down?  I would really love to know.

Be Blessed & Healthy!!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Family Emergency

My Dad giving my oldest his first car (Dad's old one)  The smiles say it all.
I got a text letting me know my dad was at the ER.  He & Mom live 1000 miles away from us so it's hard when you hear someone is sick because you can't just hop in the car to be there.

He had pneumonia & within a short period of time he went from walking into the ER to going to ICU on ventilator.  My sister, that lives close to me, and I were trying to figure out what we should do.  Go or stay.  It was so hard.  Her husband is a nurse & was keeping track of Dad's information.  He told us when it was time for us to go.

I would like to honor my Dad & not give details about the whole ordeal.  There were MANY complications though & at one point I can honestly tell you we thought we may just truly be saying good bye to our father.  We stayed for a couple days & the whole time in the backs of our minds thinking of our departing flight on Monday.  Wondering if we would be on it or not. 

Our other sister was there first to help Mom through some things & of course, be with Dad.  When we got there she was able to go home.  She ended up turning around though 18 hours later to come back. 

We turned to our faith most of all.  We prayed over him & for him.  We talked with him about God's salvation through Jesus.  We prayed for the nurses & doctors.  Even thanking God for the orderlies there that were helping us through & offering to get us food/drinks/chairs to sit on.  Anything they could do to make life easier for us.   I am humbled just thinking of it now.  They let 3 of us be in there for longer than they should have. 

Dad isn't out of the woods yet.  I would be so appreciative of your prayers for him & my mom.  All us girls had to leave & at this time Dad is trying to get off the ventilator.  His chances are so much better than they were.

A few things I have learned from this experience.  Please bear with me.  Some may see silly & others not but my mind just went from one extreme to another.

* Nurses don't make enough $$ for what they do.
* I am even more determined then ever to focus on health & fitness.  When we compromise our bodies with bad food, no exercise, smoking, too much alcohol, we affect how our bodies will be able to fight when it needs to. 
* My brain turns to Swiss cheese when I don't get the proper food & sleep (and enough water!)
* The smallest gesture to someone in crisis is so very special & appreciated.  Even just handing them a bottle of water or offering a seat.  A pat on the back and/or a prayer. 
* No amount of time away should affect the love & closeness you can find with family & old friends. 
*  A grudge is never worth holding on to.  When the rubber hits the road, it just shouldn't matter.  We have all been made with our own feelings & opinions.  If we were all the same wouldn't that be boring!  Looking at something from someone else's point of view should be a blessing.  Not something that breaks a relationship up.  We don't have to agree on something to be able love each other or even be friends. 
* It's never too late to tell someone you love them.  NEVER.  Don't wait.  You just don't know what the future holds.

I hope at least one person was blessed by my post.  

I will be posting about how I dealt with my eating & fitness during this time but just didn't want to put it in this post.

Be Blessed & Healthy!!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Guatemala - Part 4

This will be my last post about our trip.  It's been a month now :( and it's time I guess. (Well, over a month at this point).

It will be long so I hope you can bear with me.  Pictures follow my post.  Hope you can put up with reading before scrolling down to check them out :)

Most of our time in Amatitlan we were told we were mainly to build relationships by teaching English & just interacting with the kids & others we meet. 

We held 2 sessions each day.  The earlier session was the older kids (14 yr old +) and the later session was to be the younger kids.  They go to school at different times so that was the easiest way to do it.  The younger kids were at school in the morning (only about 3 hours in school!) and they older ones, if they were still in school, went in the afternoon.  Many older kids had to stop school & get a job for money for the family. 

It turned out our morning session was 4 young girls.  They were just precious.  We painted nails & talked about their lives & of course taught English & we taught each other songs. 

This is where we learned they had something like 14 classes!  Then as we talked more we found out that they would have music class maybe one time in 4 weeks.  It's amazing they could retain the information they are learning from that class at all.

The afternoon was our largest group. There were some children in this session that were older but they hadn't made it out of the Primary school yet.  This group was lots of fun.  They played musical chairs, soccer, painted nails, UNO.  This of course was after the part of the session that we taught the English words for colors & parts of the body, different greetings like "Hello" and "How are you?".  It was fun for us to teach them these things & they also taught us as well. 

They never came to a session dragging their feet like we may see our kids do for school.  They came happy & very much wanting to be there with us.  Many were shy at first but after that initial few minutes they opened right up.  We were getting hugs & kisses before they would leave. 

Wednesday & Thursday we were blessed to go & visit the schools.  Wednesday we visited the school closest to where we were staying.  We were able to walk there.  We sang songs & our kids did a skit that showed 2 girls struggling with the temptation of walking away from God.  Every time I watched this I cried.  They did an amazing job each & every time.  They did this at the schools twice.  The second time they did it Dr Elry had explained what was happening beforehand so they could understand it a little better.    If I'm able to I will post the video of this soon. 

Thursday's trip to the school was a bit more exciting.  We got to ride the CHICKEN BUS!!!!!  It got it's name "Chicken Bus" from the coin they used to use to be able to ride it.  There was a chicken on one side of the coin.  We found out where our school busses from the states go to die.  They get our busses & totally pimp them out.  Oh and there is NO maximum occupancy in Guatemala!!  Oh my.  At one point we were squeezed in there like sardines.  People standing in the aisle & squished on the seats.  We got to take 2 buses going up to the school.  WAY up a mountain. 

When we got the school all the children were already waiting for us in the courtyard.  We spent a lot more time here singing & doing the skit (again 2 times).  After we were done our boys played soccer with their 6th grade boys.  Then  (get this) the teachers of this school wanted to know if the ladies in our group would play them in basketball.  Ok, seriously, the extent of my basketball knowledge you could fit on the end of a pin!  I go out & shoot hoops every once in a while with my son or daughter but that is it.  I didn't go in at first then realized I needed to help out my team (mostly because it was HOT & a never ending game)!  We were NOT doing well!  I call this Guatemala team of women AMAZONS!!  They seemed like they were 10ft tall & just about as wide but that isn't the truth -  as you see in this picture.  All I kept thinking was WHEN WILL THIS GAME EVER END!!!  At one point my son hollered at me "Mom, you have to JUMP!!".  Wow. 
Basketball -  Guatemala vs USA
We stayed there all morning until the kids left to go home.  We went for a walk & saw a beautiful sight.  I think the Dr called it a lagoon.  Not sure why.  It was just gorgeous though.  The vans picked us up there (no Chicken Bus :(  ) and we headed back for our last session.  This session lasted into the night.  Usually we were good about sending the kids home so we could have dinner etc but this night was special.  All the kids from the whole week were there.  Taking pictures & just hanging out.  No one wanted to leave.  Them or us.  It was very bittersweet. 

I can honestly say this trip started out for me as something I could give to children & people that maybe didn't have much.  I left there with so much more than I gave.  I left knowing I will go back some day.  I left knowing Dr Elry, Liz, Sammy, Andres & all the kids there are my extended family.  I left knowing that while we might think a language barrier will stop us from communicating, it really only does that if we CHOOSE for it to.  There is always a way to communicate. 

I watched my daughter that last night by the edge of the lake catching little minnows with a couple girls from the village.  They talked & used hand signals & they were just loving being with each other. 

So now I want to remember my time there. I want to see things the way God sees them.  I want to remember that I am blessed.  REALLY Blessed.  but while I may not live in a 3rd world country, there is so much that I wish I had that they have.  Simplicity is a big one.  I'm working on that.  Relationship.  I'm working on that too.  My priorities have been out of whack.  I'm working on that.

Oh and I'm working on my husband saying ok to heading back down next year. 

I hope you enjoyed my posts about our trip.  I wish we could be sitting across from each other so you can look at the pictures with me & just feel my excitement & passion for what we were doing.  I am trying to share what's in my heart but I'm not sure this is doing it justice.

Thanks for reading.  I hope you stick around.  My passions have grown but fitness & healthy living is still my big one.  I'll be back with more of that & more of my family stuff. 

Let me know what you think about our trip.  Have you been out of the country on a mission trip?   I would love to hear about it. 

You can follow me on Facebook & Twitter too at Imperfectlypamela 

Be Blessed & Healthy!!!!

This black tank is what held all the water for showers & toilet flushing for the day! 

Prepping the front wall of the clinic to be painted & leveling out the ground.
Painting the wall :)

What color would you like?
Such a little thing we take forgranted but these girls did not.  They LOVED this!

Painted the wall in the back yard.  This is out background for the last picture here :)


Who doesn't LOVE a game of musical chairs??!!

More painting....inside the waiting room of the clinic.

The men deserved every minute of their break.

School #1

School #1 - kids doing the drama

School #2

School #2 (soccer with the kids)

A last round of backyard soccer.

No communication problem here.  They were intent on catching minnows together.

The sun was setting but we couldn't say good bye to our new friends.

My Guatemala sister in Christ - Liz

Us with our Amatitlan family.  Forever in our hearts.

Ah, the finished wall & garden.  Beautiful.
Well, I know there were so many pictures I didn't post.  I will probably do that periodically just because.

Be Blessed & Healthy!!