Fitness Challenge Update and Juicing

Posted by on Jun 1, 2012 | 8 comments

It’s been a while since I updated about my fitness challenge.  I’m amazed at the progress some of the women are making in our group.  Everyone has their battles, and mine appears to be the “comfort zone” my body has settled into.

As I posted earlier, I tried the HCG diet and had great success on it, but it sort of “weirded me out” a bit.  Now I’m on the opposite end:  I’m eating super healthy (with the exception of Memorial Day Weekend- yikes), and I’m exercising again (a LOT), but my weight is coming off a lot slower.  I know this is a good thing in the long run- it will be more likely to stay off.  But getting on the scale and seeing that number budge very little from week to week is discouraging.  We’ll see.  I’m going to keep at it and try to reach my goal weight by… oh, I have no idea.  Someday.

In the meantime, I’m running and doing Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred to get myself back in shape.  Jillian.  Oh, Jillian.  That’s another post, entirely.

Onto my new favorite thing:  juicing!  Now, have no fear.  I’m not going to tell you that you, too, should buy an expensive juicer and fill yourself with fruits and veggies and cleanse your body until you can’t leave the bathroom.   Nope.  But I will say this:  eating this many fruits and veggies does make you feel pretty damn good.

First and foremost, I love the juicer I chose.  It’s this one, and you have to look hard to find it available in any stores.  If you decide to buy a Breville *anything* be sure to call any store before going, because their stuff is pretty much flying off of shelves these days.

Why did I chose to get a ridiculously expensive juicer?  I want it to last.  It was recommended to me by a few different friends (who did not know each other- even better).  And the reviews of these juicers are just phenomenal.  I am also pretty comitted to juicing as a new part of a healthy diet.  I’m not going to do a juice cleanse just yet, but I do want a way to get more veggies & fruits in my system.  Juicing is the way for me to do that.

So what am I making?

It’s funny because when I was waiting for my juicer to arrive (it took FO’-EVA) I went out and bought some juicing books.  Now I hardly refer to them because I’m just having fun playing around with flavors and seeing what my tastebuds (and my digestive system) like.

Below is a photo of one juice I made- it made a LOT of juice, and I drank. It. All.  It was good. Sometimes I’m adding coconut water to my juice because it’s supposed to be good for you.  I don’t like it by itself, but you can’t taste it in juice, and it’s just more hydration.

This particular blend contained:  celery (2 stalks), carrots (2), cucumber (1/3), apples (2 small), spinach (a  few handfuls), heirloom tomatoes (a bunch- they were close to going bad, so in they went).  I add at least one apple to any veggie/green juice, because they give it a bit of sweetness.

Here are some things you should know about juicing:

{juicing is messy}

I had no idea how messy it would be.  It makes sense when you’re making juice twice a day (which is what I’m doing) that you’d have some sticky counters or floors.  And this juicer is great in terms of power, but every once in a while something squirts out of somewhere and catches me off guard.  This is mostly my error- if you push things through it too fast, it squirts.  (There’s a joke there, I know.)  I’m using my mop a lot more, that’s for sure!

{juicing is time-consuming}

This is partly because I have three kids.  I make their breakfast first, and then I make my juice.  I make their lunches, and then I make my juice.  Then I have a normal dinner.   But getting the produce prepped (washed, cored, peeled, etc.) does take some time.  I don’t mind- it’s an excuse to zone out a bit and give my brain a rest.  Even if a juicer is lauded as being super-strong or able-to-take-a-beating, you still have to prep your fruits & veggies one way or another.

{juicing is noisy}

This is only a pain for me because my kids are already scared (as in horrified) of the vacuum and anything else noisy (except helicopters and motorcycles- those are okay).  So bringing in the juicer was not popular at first.  Then I made them pineapple-orange juice and now they are okay with it.  This particular juicer is actually quite tolerable on “low,” but quite loud on “high.”



{juicing is good for you}

I don’t need to tell you that it’s good to consume more fruits & veggies.  Duh.

{juicing is delicious}

Unless you screw up your juice by adding too much of something or putting in something you aren’t fond of, you really can’t go wrong.  I will never juice a green, red, or yellow pepper.  I hate them.  Nothing will make me like them.  So I won’t juice them.  Even if you try kind of a wonky combo, your juice will taste at least okay so long as you like most of the stuff you put in it.

{juicing is fun}

It’s a new way for me to make food.  I’m all about that.

Do you juice?

Maybe you have a juicer in your cabinets that you received for a wedding gift, or you bought one and just haven’t used it.  GET IT OUT!

Would you like to see more juicing info here at Crafting Crazy?  I’m thinking about posting the juices I make every once in a while.  I’d love to know what questions you have that I can find answers to, or what other things you’d like to know about  juicing.  Leave me  a comment here or on my Facebook page and I’ll hop to it!

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My New Hair Style {Short Hair Rocks}

Posted by on May 23, 2012 | 9 comments

It was time for a new hair style.  Way past due.

If you’re like me, then you value a good hair stylist.  I learned this quickly in my early hair stylin’ days.  It was clear that if you want a good cut, you need a good, confident stylist.  This is especially true with short hair because you don’t have much wiggle room.  If someone messes up your hair and it’s already short…you got problems.

I’ve been super lucky in my San Diego years.  My stylist, Liesel, has been doing my hair since 2002, I think.  That’s 10 years, folks.  I am loyal.  And I’m loyal for good reason:  Liesel is A.M.A.Z.E.B.A.L.L.S.  Not only does she cut my hair really well, but she also has become a wonderful friend, and of course she knows a ton about me (and vice versa) since I verbally vomit on her every time she gives me an amazing hair cut.

Back to my current state of affairs.  I loved my previous ‘do.  Here’s how it looked:

 It was fun, and I always received compliments on it.  But there were a few issues.  I was tired of the flat-ironing, and tired of having it in my face.   Clips were getting annoying, and with an East-County-San Diego summer looming….a short hair style was just what I needed.   I’m also running a lot, and having hair in your face when you run…not cool.   Then, there was also this:

See that row of hair that lines my forehead?  Driving me nuts.  That’s all the hair that fell out soon after Emily was born.  My hair fell out for months, and now it’s finally growing back.  However, in a few more months, if I left my hair style the same, I would have been battling a lion’s mane or something.  It’s easier to just cut it short and then it can all grow out together, like one big happy family.

Here’s my new look:


When Liesel cut my hair I had my Short Hair Ideas Pinterest board pulled up.  We talked about what we liked about all of them, and ultimately went with this one as reference.

I have so many friends (and also random people) tell me that I can “pull it off” when I get a short hair style like this.  I really think just about anyone can “pull off” any hair style they want.  Here’s the key:  you have to like it.   So get your hair cut the way YOU like it. Not the way your man likes it, the way your partner likes it, the way your friends like it.  Style your hair for yourself- you’re the one who has to deal with it.  It especially drives me bonkers when I hear women say that they “can’t” cut their hair because “my husband wouldn’t like it.”   Does he dry your hair?  No?  Does he flat iron or curl it for ya?  No.  Then tough.   Just my two cents.

I love my hair.  Thanks, Liesel!  You da bomb!

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#iwillrockthis Challenge Update

Posted by on May 10, 2012 | 1 comment

Have you heard about the I Will Rock This Challenge going on?  I’m participating!  I’m on a journey to being healthier and more fit.  The more fit…man, that’s gonna take a while.  But the healthier, in terms of eating habits and choices, is coming along just splendidly.

Soon you will hear about my juicer, juicing, and anything fruit and veggie-ish.  Am I going vegetarian?  Vegan, even?  Nope.  (Sorry, Janis.)  But I AM cramming more fruits & veggies down my own throat, and I’m noticing a difference in the way I feel and how my body is, well, behaving, I guess.  I just feel better- we’ll leave it at that.  This juicer I ordered… it comes on Tuesday next week.  You will likely see me posting pictures of it on my Facebook page because I am SO EXCITED to get it.

I’ve eliminated processed carbs like bread and refined sugar.  I’m eating little to no dairy, and for someone who really loves ice cream and anything creamy- this is a huge step.  I used to allow myself to drink a huge glass of milk each morning, milk on my cereal, yogurt every day for lunch, cheese & crackers as a snack, ice cream after dinner/before bed…  And then I’d wonder why my stomach was in knots a few times a day.  Duh.

Has my weight changed?

Well, that’s interesting.  I posted earlier about my attempt at my own version of the HCG diet.  Since starting that diet I’ve lost about 17 pounds.  But during the I Will Rock This challenge… I’ve just held steady.  And that’s okay.  I’ve been more active and I’m not eating as strictly as I did doing HCG- I needed more calories.  So I’m still balancing everything out, and hope to move up in the rankings in the coming weeks.

I’m working out as often as possible.  I have to work really hard to make the time and get it done.  I’ve been on two runs, tried the 30-day-Shred workout, a Pilates workout, and I’ve cleaned my house, which counts for something.  I also recently went through my closet and was able to put on seven, count ’em, SEVEN pairs of pants and shorts that did not fit me before my birthday.  Holla!

One thing I’m loving about this challenge is the group of women who are participating.  We are so nice to each other, even though there’s a nice pile o’ cash at the end of this health rainbow.  We exchange ideas, vent, and cheer each other on.

And so, there’s my update.  I’d post a picture update, but there’s no huge change to how I look.  After I get my haircut next week, though- you’ll see a pic of me soon enough. 😉   Be sure to check in tomorrow- I finally finished a knitting project!

(click here for photo credit)

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{My} Top 10 Reasons for Changing

Posted by on May 3, 2012 | 5 comments



I need to record exactly why I’m doing this so that when it gets…

  • tough
  • challenging
  • annoying
  • and all of the above

I can refer to a list to remind myself why the heck I’m working so hard.  So here goes nothin’:


My Top 10 Reasons for Changing My Eating Habits &

Getting in {KickAss} Shape


10:  So I won’t dread getting on the scale at the doctor anymore (or look away)

This started when I was pregnant with my first.  When the scale crossed 200 I thought, “Holy Jesus, save me!”  As someone who had floated through life easily weighing 120-140, crossing the 200 mark was a harsh wake up.  Yes, I was carrying life, but still.  Ever since then I’ve been in denial about my weight, for whatever reason.  It’s time to just make that number behave!

9:  So I can be proud of myself for doing something challenging

I am really good at getting a project started.  I would receive an A+ for stocking my crafting supplies.  But how many of my projects have I completed?  It takes me forever.  I want to finish this.  Even though I know it will never really be finished, because as we get older we have to work harder- I want to achieve my goal, and then sustain it. Boo yah.

8:  So I can like myself in photos

There’s nothing worse than seeing yourself from any angle that isn’t totally complimentary.  I want to rock full-length photo shots and maybe even do a boudoir photo shoot- THAT would be awesome.

7:  So I can wear some pretty awesome clothes that don’t quite fit right now

I have a small collection of clothes that I LOVE.  Hopefully they will still be relatively in style when they fit again.  I did get rid of a lot of clothes that were too small and out of style, but this little collection- I miss it.  Cute skirts, fun tops- I shall see them again.

6:  So I can look at myself passing in any mirror and say, ‘Check THAT shit out” instead of averting my eyes

I don’t want to walk past a mirror and not love what I see.  We all deserve that.

5:  So I can be confident both inside and out

My confidence has taken a beating in the last year.  “Did I make the right choice- leaving teaching and trying this new adventure?”  “Can I be successful at something besides what I’ve done for the last 12 years?”  It’s easy to lose confidence.  I think knowing I look totally rad would be a nice boost.

4:  So I can shop and not be limited by what looks good on my body type

I hate looking at awesome clothes and thinking, “Nope.  Wouldn’t look good on these hips.”  Or, “Me?  In that?  Nah.”

3:  So I can wear slinky PJs and feel good about it

My husband has been subjected to some pretty heinous sweat pants.  He deserves to see me in something pretty.

2:  For me

I deserve to be healthy, happy, and to live a life that is free of guilt for simple choices like eating and physical fitness.  I deserve health.  We all do.  But we have to maintain it for ourselves- no one else can.  That’s a big lesson I’m learning right now- I am the one in charge of my current condition.  Nobody else.  So if I’m mad, I have to be mad at me.  Nobody else.

1:  For my kids

This is sort of a no-brainer, but really…  I want to be a cool, fun, energetic mother.  I want to play with them, chase them, toss them in the air and tickle them, and keep up with them without killing myself.  I want them to remember me as an active part of their childhood, not just watching from the sidelines.

I want them to be active, too. If I’m sedentary I’m setting the wrong example.

I knew I made the right choice when Anna came out the other day as I was doing a workout video.  As I was attempting some crunches she came in the room.

“What are you doing, Mommy?”

“I’m exercising, Sweet Pea.”


Ah, yes.  Why.

“To be a healthy mommy.”

“Oh.  That’s good!”



What are your reasons for living a healthy life?  Give me even more motivation!

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Me, the HCG Diet, and a Challenge

Posted by on Apr 30, 2012 | 13 comments


I’m not a person of extremes.  At least, I don’t think I am.  I definitely tend to go “middle of the road” in most social situations; I don’t like to stand out, but I’m not a wall flower, either.  But this story here, friends, is a bit extreme for me.

For a long time I had it in my mind that while I was in my childbearing years I would not be hard on myself about my looks.  I didn’t want to work myself into a frenzy after each birth to lose weight and get fit, only to get pregnant again and gain the weight back.  I didn’t go crazy (for the most part) with eating, but I ate pretty much what I wanted.  I exercised as I could, but with the addition of each child it has become increasingly more challenging to workout for obvious reasons.  When you have three kids ages 4 (soontobe5holycow) and under, things are busy. Looking back, I don’t regret that choice.  It was nice to just let myself be me, not worry about it, and let life happen.

With my first pregnancy I did gain a significant amount of weight, and after Anna was born, I had a hard time dropping the weight, so I did a shake cleanse to give my body a boost.  It helped, and then I went back to “normal” eating.  After my 2nd, Jack, was born I had a much easier time losing the weight, probably because he breastfed (Anna and I had a tongue thrust issue) and the weight sort of melted off me.   Once Emily was born, nearly the same thing happened.  I breastfed, the weight came off, and I didn’t think about dieting much.

When Emily turned seven months, we stopped breastfeeding (mainly because the introduction of teeth to the process made it less than fun).   I noticed pretty soon after that my pants were getting tighter and my clothing choices were becoming limited.  Things weren’t fitting.  I was putting back on my “fat pants” because they were comfy and they fit around my waist.  But it wasn’t until I saw this picture of myself from Jack’s Birthday that I realized something needed to change.

I know that the camera adds 10 pounds, but it was very clear to me after seeing this photo of myself that there was more than a 10-pound thing going on here.  But the way I looked wasn’t the only issue.  I didn’t feel good.  I was tired, I’ll spare you all the bowel issues I was having, and I just didn’t feel like I was where I wanted to be.  The day after this photo was taken I turned 36 years old.  It was time to think about things.

Back in November a friend of mine’s son was turning 3.  This friend and I used to work together, so I used to see her on a nearly-daily basis.   At her son’s birthday party, though, I hadn’t seen her since summer time.  I walked across the field at this park and did a mental double take as I saw her walking towards me from a distance.  Was that her?  Yes.  But something was different.

As I got closer to her I realized that she had lost weight.  Not just a little weight- a LOT.  This friend, who I’ll call T, has a similar body-type to mine.  She has a bigger bust, but otherwise we are similar.  The new T, however, was svelte, had what seemed to be a new jawline, and looked flippin’ fantastic.  I hugged her.  I stepped back.  I gave her the once over and asked, “What did you DO?!”  She told me about this crazy-sounding diet called HCG.  I asked about it, and thought to myself, “That sounds insane.”

A few months passed and then T came over to my house.  She had lost more weight.  She was wearing a size 8.  EIGHT.  “Hmmm,” I thought.  “Maybe I’ll look into it.”  I read up online.  I thought about it.  I ordered some HCG drops.  They arrived, and I put them in my guest room/craft room in a corner and went about my life for a while.  The tighter my pants got, the more inclined I was to read the literature that came with the drops and do it.  Pretty soon, I had a plan in mind.

If you haven’t read about HCG, it’s a pretty controversial diet.  I’m not going to get into the details of it- you can Google it on your own for all of the details.  The main thing is:

  • You take a set amount of HCG drops (which varies by brand)
  • You limit your intake of calories to 500 per day.  Yes, you read that right, 500.
  • The foods that you can eat are pretty limited.
  • Most HCG drop brands claim that you will lose approximately one pound per day.
  • You do not exercise; to do so when you limit your calories so severely would be insane; this was nice for me- I didn’t have time to workout anyway.

It’s extreme to many people.  But for me, it also made some sense.  I needed to sort of “break up” with food.  At the time of Jack’s Birthday I had passed the point of just eating what I wanted.  I had ventured into mindless eating.  If I was the slightest bit hungry, I ate something.  Cookies, cake, carbs, high-fat foods- I didn’t have too many limits.  I had cut back on processed food for our family, and had quit drinking soda, but I was still frying chicken, and eating too many baked goods.

I told my husband I wanted to do the diet, and that I had already bought the drops.  I waited for him to tell me I was crazy, but instead he gave me his support, which really helped.  It may have helped him to know that I wasn’t planning on cutting my calories back to 500/day.  That just seemed unreasonable to me.  But I did feel that trying the drops, which were supposed to help with appetite suppression, combined with really limiting what KINDS of food I ate, would give me results.   I wasn’t sure how long I would do it, but I told myself I’d try it for at least a month.

At the time that I started the HCG diet, I weighed 180 pounds.  I did it for a month.  I lost 15 pounds, which felt much better than losing 30 pounds in 30 days.  Here’s my before and after pictures:

(Remember, new camera=bad pics for a while.  And DANG I need to smile!) :)

 Some people will look at these and say, “Not much of a difference.”  But I feel SO much better.  Some things I did during this last month that have really changed me:

  • I cut out red meat.  This is not a requirement of the diet, but one that I made.  I think I ate one steak soon after I started because it was a birthday dinner, and I had a burger at one point, but that was it.
  • We joined a CSA.  I’ll post more about this soon.
  • I snacked on almonds. A lot. They were my go-to snack.
  • I let myself be hungry.  I had become so automatic with my eating habits; at the smallest pang of hunger I would shove something in my mouth.  Now, when I am hungry, I drink some water and wait.  If I’m still hungry I grab a few almonds.
  • I drank tons of water and gave up everything else except coffee (I’m a mom of 3; I need coffee).
  • I cut out all dairy.  I hated it at first. But now I realize that I need to see a doctor because I think I either have a gluten intolerance or a dairy intolerance; maybe both.

What did I eat?  Mainly fruits, vegetables and proteins via fish and chicken.   I got really close with the chicken breast and my panini press, which can also be used as a grill.

I decided, though, to take a break.  Two reasons.

Reason #1:

I was tired on this diet.  It was a different kind of tired- I actually felt better because of my food choices, but my energy levels ebbed and flowed throughout the day, and I was more tired than not tired.  By the end of the day I would crash and have headaches.

Reason #2:

I’m joining a fitness challenge, and it starts TOMORROW!  I’m so excited to be part of my friend, Wendy’s challenge, called “I Will Rock This.”    There’s cash money involved, and 25 women working together to cheer each other on.  It’s neat- we’re competing against each other AND we’re being nice to each other.  Very cool.

So tomorrow I’m going to be starting a new workout plan, maintain a diet of protein, fruits & veggies (emphasis on the veggies), and we’ll see how it goes.  I will give you updates every week or so, just for grins.

If you have any questions about the HCG diet, please leave me a comment or feel free to contact me.  Just don’t leave me any nasty comments- “to each her own” and I’ll just delete nasty remarks anyway. :)

Wish me luck!



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Let’s Talk About the Word “Skinny”

Posted by on Nov 3, 2011 | 2 comments

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m starting to work out again after having our 3rd and final baby.  Some things I may not have mentioned before on this blog…

  • I’m a fairly average person in terms of build/body-type; at times I think I’m curvy, but others I’m not so sure- my rear end is rather flat (at least from what I can see of it).
  • I’m not necessarily an athletic person, but I’m choosing to pursue getting fit for the benefit of myself and my family; I want to set the example for my kids that it’s important to be healthy and fit.
  • I think it will be a challenge for me, given my DNA, to ever be what one might consider svelte or thin;  I’m okay with that.  I did once strive to be thin and I did the South Beach diet.  It made me cranky.  I did lose 40 pounds, but man, I was starving and cranky.
  • I love food and am sort of in a place right now where I’d rather eat (and drink wine, of course) and enjoy myself than suffer or deprive myself and hope it helps me lose some weight.  If I develop health issues related to my diet, I’ll change.  For now I’m eating happily but not crazily.
  • I want to raise my kids, especially my two daughters, with the belief that if they are healthy and taking care of themselves then they are doing the right thing.

Those things being said, I’m seeing this thing fly all over Pinterest, and it’s starting to…

Piss. Me. Off.

I started to see it pinned here and there as I clicked through Pinterest hunting for new things for my own boards.  The more I saw it, the more it got me to thinking.  I did some digging and found out that Kate Moss said this was her “motto” in 2009.  Interestingly enough, she followed with, “You try and remember, but it never works.”  But you never hear or see that last little part added.  (See here for article link.)  I was shocked to read in this article that there are also “pro-anorexia” websites.  Good God.

Have you Googled the word “skinny”?  I did.  I also Goolged images using the same search word.  It’s scary.  I couldn’t look for long.

Then I went to Pinterest and searched “skinny.”  Also disheartening.  But then I got more creative (it is Pinterest, after all.)

I searched the phrase in the photo above, and it floored me.  Currently there are 65,100 Pinterest boards with the same title.  Look at that number again.


What is WRONG with people?  Now, I browsed some of the boards, and many of these women share the same goals that I have- they want to get in shape.  They want to lose weight.  They want to get strong.  Could someone please explain to me how the word skinny fits into any of those goals?

Here and there you’ll even see people have pinned a pillow with the same phrase on it.  It’s done in needlepoint, as if it’s something cute to say, or heaven forbid, you could make one for yourself!  Or for a friend as a gift!   Throw it on your couch to inspire your fat friends!  I don’t even want to know how much people would pay for it.

Some other board titles centered around this theme that freaked me out:  “Thinspiration” and “Thincentive.”  It was at this point that I threw my hands in the air and took my flat ass to the couch to write this post.

Where does this fascination with being thin or skinny come from?  WHY is it considered desirable by so many people to be “skinny”?  I have many friends who could possibly fit into this term in a natural way- they are, by their genetic makeup, long and lean people.  I have heard through conversations that the word skinny is not their favorite either.  I have one friend who told me that often, when people call her skinny, usually there is also a reference to her being malnourished or unhealthy in some way.  That ain’t cool either.

What makes me the most angry, though, is that people who pin this stuff are not thinking about young girls and women who are on Pinterest and other places who see this image, and they don’t have a role model in their life to tell them “skinny” is NOT something to work towards or aspire to.  Or they have an eating disorder that they are trying to get under control, and then they see this and lose it.  Or they have flashbacks to people calling them fat in high school or junior high.  Skinny is a negative word in so many ways.

Let’s get it together, people.  Skinny is not a goal. 

Healthy is.

Fit is.

Exercise is. 

Strength is. 

Active is.

Skinny can kiss my ass.

So I’m starting my own little movement.  Maybe it will stay small.  Maybe it won’t.  I don’t really care.  But I can’t just sit and not say anything.  I made this graphic on Picnik and am throwing it up on my “Don’t You Know” board.  If you are with me, please pin it, too.  Not on Pinterest?  Maybe you could link on Facebook or just leave a comment and give me a “holla holla!”

 And either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this stuff, too- am I the only one?  Are you tired of any other words?  Do any words get under your skin the same way “skinny” gets under mine?  I’d love to hear about it. :)



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