Not your average suburban mom. I’m more your typical, normal, commonplace, everyday, garden-variety suburban mom. With a thesaurus.

Friday, August 22, 2014

What could *possibly* be more important than updating your blog, Kelly?

Once upon a time, there was a lovely little summer storm that swept southeastern Michigan. It brought rain. A lot of rain.

"Kelly, that is a lovely pond near your house."
"Thanks, but it's actually the road, sidewalk, and half my yard after approximately ten minutes of the rain."

One of the few vehicles that didn't stall out while driving through the neighborhood. (It's probably a FORD.) #motorcitylove

"Boy, Kel, with all that action outside, you must have been super worried about your basement, huh?"

"Nope. Not at all. Just this winter we dropped a pretty penny on waterproofing the basement. All that work held up beautifully. However, all the waterproofing in the world is no match for when the SEWER backs up."

If you're wondering if crib mattresses float, the answer is YES.

Also, boxes and bins float, cardboard disintegrates, wood and fabric absorbes... it was like a real life science lesson. Homeschool. Speaking of, to the left is all of our homeschool curriculum.

Our humidifiers = death by water.
There has to be a joke there, somewhere.

Also, sanders and saws and other miscellaneous tools do not like to swim.

And the final verdict? About six inches of sewage.
Thank God for that pump. It worked tirelessly all night and Tuesday dawned bright and early with only a squishy and puddley (totally a word) basement to be had. 

Once the water was gone I could survey the damage...
I stopped counting at $1000 worth of curriculum destroyed.
(For those that know what I'm talking about - on the right is the ENTIRE Answers in Genesis God's Design for Science curriculum. Also lost - two years of My Father's World. The deluxe kits. Ouch.)

On Tuesday night help arrives in the form of eleven strong young men ready to haul out our possessions and do whatever needs to be done.

Seth, John, and Hosanna wash all the sealed but submerged food and drinks that were floating around the basement. Our pantry was downstairs. We saved $70 worth of soy milk, $50 worth of canned/jarred goods, and 20+ unopened gallons of water. We lost anything in cardboard, or anything absorbent.

Salvageable goods begin to take over our home.
(Aren't we blessed to have so many salvageable goods?!)

Destroyed goods go on the right in our garage, salvageable goods on the left.
(pictured (the destroyed goods) = furniture, an amp, MY PLYO BOX)

First day of garbage. I honestly stopped taking pictures at this point except for what we needed for insurance purposes. We have filled to overflowing two bagster dumpsters (most of this was with the drywall, baseboards, doors and other construction debris that accrued from the restoration process) and filled the entire easement with trash. The following week's garbage looked similar. 

Our focus now is on sanitizing the salvageable goods. Every item that touched the water has to be washed with an antimicrobial, washed with clorox, and then thoroughly dried. Anything solid wood needs to go through the same process, but then be re-varnished afterwards. My elliptical survived but needs to be taken completely apart and every surface washed and disinfected. We need a professional to do that.

This has been such an overwhelming undertaking. I came down with a sinus infection and double ear infections after days of sorting/cleaning the wet basement. We started homeschool less than a week after this all happened. (We're doing online school so we didn't have any wiggle room.) We needed new furniture so we had somewhere to sit. I've never had insomnia, but these past two weeks brought many nights that I finally fell asleep at 5:30 a.m., only to have Ezra wake me up at 7:00. Because poop. Or milk. Or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, please.

My Pollyanna Thankfulness List:

*Nothing brings the neighborhood together quite like disaster. Everyone is out on their front lawns chatting it up with whoever is out. People gather to help haul, or share dumpsters, or pass along contractor names. A family down the street that came away relatively unaffected brought us vegan cupcakes. Vegan cupcakes. They are my new favorites for life.

*Welp, the basement has been on my Must Clean Out list for years. This is one way to start/finish that project.

*Antibiotics and iced coffee - did you really think I could go a whole thankfulness list without mentioning iced coffee? It's like you don't even know me. After three days of the antibiotics for my sinus and ears I felt like a new person. And while the melatonin I bought at GNC isn't touching my insomnia, the Quest bars I bought during that same shopping trip are making me deliriously happy.

*Comparatively, we came out pretty okay. We lost a ton of stuff. We have a huge cleanup in front of us. But there are people in Metro Detroit who lost their entire homes. Their homes were moved off the foundations from these floods and are now unsafe and uninhabitable. I belong to a flood recovery group on Facebook and there are people dealing with six feet of water in their homes. I am thankful for just six inches of sewage. (There's a sentence I never thought I'd write.)

*Lifetime Fitness and Kemper - working out has been my sanity. I can forget and just lift and feel accomplished and so much better.

*Friends and Family. You guys. I have no words for how blessed I am. Here is a happy little picture I took with Sister Wife Rose at a wedding Saturday.

Me and Sister Wife Rose = the best kind of trouble.
Happy Friday everyone! Enjoy that weekend!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Trifecta of Oscars. Also *my* trainer feeds me gummy bears. The BootKemp Sessions - August

Not *those* Oscars.
Firstly, thanks for the love about my basement woes. Special thanks goes out to Jessica, who left my favorite comment ever: "You make waterlogged look SEK-SAY!" (In fact, as I was ankle deep in sewage I was all, "Good thing I'm so sek-say.")(I also reminded Brian of this whenever he was tempted to snap at me for nagging him about when we could turn on the fans already.)("Babe, don't be mad. I'm sek-say." Totally convinced him.)

I'll update further about the mess downstairs later. Today is a happy post dedicated to my favorite workout of the month = the BOOTKEMP SESSION. I was scheduled to meet with Kemper Wednesday night at 7:00. Traffic in southeastern Michigan is hit or miss due to the aftermath of the flooding. Some roads are still closed, while others have increased traffic due to re-routing. I wasn't entirely sure how driving to Kemper's house was going to go, but I ended up pretty much sailing through and getting there a few minutes early.

Kemper, however, was coming from work and either got stuck in traffic or was just running late - OHYLANTA - STOP THE BLOGGING PRESSES. I JUST CAUGHT/SMOOSHED A FLY IN MY BARE HAND.  That totally just happened as I was writing this. It is as gross and as rad as it seems. That was some total Karate Kid shiz right there.

So, Kemper was late which turned out to be completely awesome, because I ended up achieving a lifelong goal I didn't even know I had in his absence. Kemper has a dad named Oscar. I'd never met an Oscar in my whole life until I met Kemper's family. Then, because knowing them is like the gift that keeps on giving, I discovered that not only is Kemper's dad named Oscar, but so is his older brother, Kemper's Super Fine Brother Oscar. (Although the family just calls him "Oscar".) BAM! I suddenly knew two Oscars. BUT IT GETS BETTER. Because as I was hanging out with Oscar Sr. while waiting for Kemper, there was a knock at the door, and in walked another man named Oscar.

Just when you think that meeting three separate Oscars in your lifetime is the pinnacle of Things I Never Thought Would Happen I discovered that Kemper's Super Fine Brother Oscar was in the basement waiting for Oscar Sr. and Oscar #3 so they could rehearse for an upcoming gig because: they are all in a band together.

The band
(I'm feeling really impressed with my
internet sleuthing lately. It's
like I possess the ability to operate a
basic search engine
 elite hacking
capability. #stillcantfigureouttexting)
I totally crashed their basement band practice. It was just like high school. It made me feel like I wanted to go get more bad tattoos and piercings and probably find my Van's and baggy jeans because I am still so hardcore. But this time the basement band practice I was watching was comprised of a trifecta of Oscars, and they were playing a Collective Soul cover. #justcheckedoffmybucketlist

(Also in the band is a man named Luis.)(And Kemper's mom Renee who I didn't realize is a bad-A rockstar singer.)(But she wasn't there when I was there.)(So now I have to see them gig so I can get my groupie on with the whole group present.)

When Kemper got home it was a total buzzkill I was super happy to see him because I look forward to training all.month.long. I was especially excited to see him because he promised we could work on my bench press and my form for rear delt raises.

Take a moment and pray blessings
on Kemper because he had enough
compassion to replace the original
seat with an Old Lady Butt padded
seat. Amen.

He started our session off by introducing me to his new baby - the spin bike from hell. After two days of hauling up waterlogged possessions from my basement my quads were fried, so I did my best to warm up without complaining too loudly. (Meaning I tried to use my Inside Voice when I was all, "DUDE. KEMPER. MY QUADS CAN'T DO THIS." I'm pretty sure I smiled sweetly when he adjusted the resistance, so yeah, I'm a darling of a peach to train.)

After warming up my arms with resistance bands it was time to bench. I've been feeling a little better about bench press lately. A huge part of my problem of not progressing like I want with bench is fear when I don't have a spotter. I'm afraid to go heavy because I know I'll get trapped under the bar. Lately I've been doing my bench day with Rachel Who Looks Like Meg Ryan, and she's been spotting me. I've really seen some gains* in the last few weeks. The last time I benched with Rachel, I did 1 set of 5 reps at 75 pounds (1x5@75), 2x5@80, 2x5@85, and 1x3@90. Those 90 pound reps were huge for me.

Don't hate, but I just can't with
the Hodge Twins.
(*Kemper doesn't make fun of me at all when I say things like, "make gains.")(Also, the previous sentence is a LIE.)

I was looking forward to benching with Kemper because it's my weakest lift. Kemper has been talking a lot about the importance of power in my lifts. He really wants me to explode on the lift. So during bench he really pushed me to go for all I was worth. The crazy thing was that those "power" reps with Kemp yelling at me felt heavy but not crazy heavy. I handled the 85 pound sets like nothing. As it always seems to go in Kemper's gym, I ended up doing my last set with what I thought was an impossible weight: 95 pounds. It's those moments of training when I believe someday I could be really strong.

Totally how I look without skin.
After bench we moved on to standing shoulder press. I recently moved to 30# dumbbells when I do these at Lifetime, but have only managed to consistently do 6 reps a set. Kemper got three sets of 8 reps out of me. Hoorah. Next we superset rear delt raises with lateral raises. We spent a decent amount of time on form here, which I'm super thankful for. I've watched Youtube video after Youtube video of rear delt raises, and every one leaves me confused. It was awesome to have Kemper walk me through them, keeping his hand on my actual rear delt so I knew where to squeeze with the raise. I hate feeling like I might be wasting my time at the gym, so I now feel confident I can do these on my own and hit the right part of the muscle.

We finished up with push-ups superset with tricep pushdown. Push-ups have gotten so much easier; I've really seen a vast improvement in the last few months. Kemper had to help me with the last few reps of the pushdown set. I think he really just wanted to be done because he had an extra special cool down planned. And if you thought that cool down included eating gummy bears you would be totally correct.

Probably 17 of the regular size gummy bears have 30
grams of carbs; maybe stick with only 1 or 2 of The
Party Bear for the same macros*.
*Kidding. Kids, don't try that at home.
Kemper discussed really scientific things like the effects of dextrose on glycogen stores verses the effects of fructose on glycogen stores while we noshed. He quoted nutrition facts; 17 gummy bears have 30 grams of dextrose rich carbs that will basically feed your muscles after a heavy workout = GAINZ. We shared a total bro moment (and are decent gummybear-eating partners because I eat the white ones and he eats the reds). (The only downside to him knowing I like the white ones is that when if all the white ones mysteriously disappear he will know who to blame.)(I'm blaming Oscar because there are three of them to sort out, which should give me adequate time to make a get-away.)

Another awesome happening is that this girl got herself a Bootkemp t-shirt to wear proudly at the gym. The Meathead clothing collection has officially begun...

Until next month, Bootkemp. 29 more days and counting.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Up a creek (yep,*that* creek - literally) without a paddle. Also, when it rains it pours.

Y'all - try to contain your excitement
Here is a video to prove how Midwestern I am.
Also, just send me some love. For real. It's crappy here. LITERALLY.
(Sewage jokes, already? Too soon, Kel.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Weigh-in Wednesday: The Moment of Truth

Last week I celebrated Weigh-in Wednesday with a lovely four pound weight gain after an impressive three day binge session. I knew I had to get my crap together because Saturday was the initial weigh in for the Lifetime Fitness 90 Day Challenge (which I am participating in once again).

I decided to do the Transformation Challenge instead of the Weight Loss Challenge because I really, really, really want to see my body fat at 19%. When I did the Weight Loss Challenge this spring I went from 37.1% body fat down to 23.5% body fat. (And 168.9 lbs down to 149.) Now that I'm strength training, I'm not entirely interested in dropping body weight. I'm more interested in dropping FAT. I'm finally at the place where I could stay close to the same weight and be mentally okay with it as long as my body fat was dropping. Because a maintained weight + a lower body fat percentage = MUSCLE GAINZ.

Participating in the 90 Day Challenge requires $25 and a cute smile a fifteen minute initial session with a trainer who will weigh you in and then try to sell you everything under the sun. I don't hate on that part too much because I understand it's part of the curse of being a trainer at Lifetime Fitness. (Pros of the job include: the opportunity to hang out with yours truly, which I'm pretty sure we can agree is why the trainers still show up to work.) Since Trainer Corey can't seem to shake me (because Powerlifter Sara is officially my friend and those two are like peas and carrots) I signed up to weigh in with him.

I was nervous. Like, seriously nervous. My weigh in was at 9:30 on Saturday morning. I knew from past experience that trying to mess with your weigh in through dehydration (don't hate, you know you've done it) negatively affects the accuracy of your body fat measurements. So I went in well hydrated (like, please let's hurry this up so I can pee already), prepared to see any sort of number on the scale.

Trainer Corey (who used to work at Merry-Go-Round in high school)(#baller) unveiled the moment of truth for me Saturday morning. Thankfully he also captured the unveiling via the camera on his phone (hence the glare) and emailed it directly to me so I could share it publicly. So, here it is: the unveiling of my current stats:

Let me decode this for you. Basic stats on the top. Let me direct your attention to my current weight of ONE FORTY THREE POINT FIVE. Down three and a half pounds from last week. YES. More of *that* please. Also, check that little box in the lower left corner where it says "Obesity Analysis". See PBF? Percentage Body Fat = 21.6%. My body fat has gone down almost two whole percent since I started Kemper's strength training plan six weeks ago. 

I planned and charted the mess outta my diet between the end of my binge on Sunday morning and my Saturday weigh in. That's six full days of hitting my calories and my macros (mostly). I followed my training plan as written (meaning I didn't add a ton of cardio as "penance" for the preceding week)(and I actually substituted a shorter HIIT rowing workout for a longer steady state run). I will take it and be happy. Following the plan WORKS, y'all.

Linking up for Weigh-in Wednesday with Heather, Erin, and Ash.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Recovering From A Binge In 4 Easy Steps

Picking yourself up after a dive off the deep end slight stumble in your quest for healthy living takes a few purposeful decisions. I've found that the best way to regroup and get right back on plan is to follow these simple steps.


Seems simple enough, right? It's totally not. Because you will still want to eat allllllllll the crap. Why? It's delicious. Crappy food tastes wonderful because fat and sugar are stupid good, and when they are combined it's like happy chemicals explode in your brain. Literally. That literally happens. And since they are in your system (because maybe after your binge party if you were to spontaneously evaporate it would be in the form of Iced Cappuccino) your body will crave that mess until you fully detox. So get ready to suck it up and live out a Basketball Diaries-type withdrawl (pretend you're Leonardo DiCaprio)(but without, you know, the prostitution) and just.stop.eating.crap.

Seriously. STOP.

2. Meal Plan like a mother. A really organized, anal retentive mother. Who likes to eat.

Just because you fell into a vat of chocolate covered Doritos doesn't mean that getting back on track needs to be full of Punishment Food*. (*Can all my Fat Mom ladies out there please acknowledge the existence of Punishment Food? This is the super strict diet you follow after you eat too much to make you feel better about your choices while still allowing you to feel defeated and miserable because it is all bland and tasteless. An example of this is broiled, unseasoned, boneless, skinless chicken breast served with plain, broiled asparagus. There are only two benefits to this meal: 1. You can feel like a martyr eating it because you are suffering for a greater cause (this is a popular benefit if you happen to be a bit Drama Queen-esque)(*looks around innocently at who this might be because it's certainly not yours truly*) and 2. Asparagus pee.

Coming off a binge is the perfect time to fall in love with real, healthy, good food again. I plan out my meals for the week and prep them. I choose meals that I really like; ones that I will look forward to eating. That way I'm not tempted to stop and grab something that may be part of my regular eating plan as a splurge every once and a while (not pointing any fingers, but McDonalds Southwest grilled chicken salad, that one's for you). Coming off a binge, the extra sodium, artificial ingredients, and elevated sugars in those splurge meals are not something you need to have messing with your detox.

Here are some of my meals from last week. Don't get too jealous of my food photography skills, plating ability, or adorable orange toenails that sneaked into the first picture 1970's Corelle dishes.

Breakfast everyday. 2 eggs, 2 egg whites. Trader Joe's sprouted bread (you hush your mouth), 1 Tbs Meijer natural peanut butter (not pictured: tea with sugar free creamer)
365 calories, 12 carbs, 20 fat*, 29 protein
*the fat thing = I eat most of my fat during the day. I also eat a high fat diet. Breakfast usually has about a third to a half of my fat for the day, which is both tasty and hugely satiating.

Lunch option #1 = 2 cups of broccoli coleslaw with 5 oz grilled chicken. (Not pictured - Pure Protein shake)
308 calories, 11 carbs, 6 fat, 55 protein
I season the snot out of that chicken with dried herbs and spices and grill it; the broccoli slaw I just saute with water in a non-stick pan to soften it. (You could totally add oil or salad dressing to dress it up, just adjust the macros.) (Fun Fact for Free = My counter top is Corian and may have been chosen (a.k.a. was chosen solely) because the color is called "Granola". Clearly, there was no other appropriate choice for the kitchen.) (And yes, I chose our wall color for it's name: "Sweet Cream".)(This is why I did not go into interior decorating.)

Lunch option #2 = Parmesan meatballs and 1 cup broccoli.
255 cals, 9 carbs, 13 fat, 23 protein.
I can not say enough about this recipe. AMAZING. I could eat this every day. My macros are slightly different from hers because, well, I entered all the info using my own ingredient brands, and then weighed each meatball, so, yeah, #science.

Dinner = Post Deadlift Feast. 5 oz grilled chicken, 1 serving veggie kabob, 1/2 cup brown rice.
381 cals, 29 carbs, 13 fat, 49 protein
Truth? Normally I'd eat double the amount of rice post workout. Dem carbs. But GNC has a sale on Quest bars this month and this is probably what my dinner looked like if I'd snarfed an entire Cinnamon Roll Quest bar on the ride home from the gym. Quest bars - you complete me.

I loved all of this food. It filled me up, nourished my body, and helped me get back on track. I didn't have to think about what I felt like eating, which, really, is only an opening to dwell on foods I shouldn't have right now, and an entirely unhelpful event for my goals. I just ate what I already had. Done.

3a. Drink all the water. Every drop of it. (Unless you live in Toledo and are under the water advisory.)(Then travel with everyone else in your city up to Michigan and buy our bottled water.)(Especially Absopure water.)(Because they pay our bills, yo it's the best water around.)

Water is seriously the best friend a girl can have, post-binge. It rehydrates after all the salty and processed foods have stripped your body. It flushes you out (pardon the pun). DRINK ALL THE WATER. Added benefit? If you drink enough water you will be too busy going to the bathroom to think about sneaking chocolate chip cookies. (Mostly.)

3b. Sweat it out.

Deadlift bruises in various stages. Lifting
ain't always pretty when you're clumsy.
Also - jammie pants sighting #1
I'm going to be honest here, working out is not usually something I have a problem with. Even when I'm shoving treats in my mouth like Twinkies just got discontinued again I'm still at the gym almost every day. I truly enjoy working out. But if this is you who slacks off in this department, get up and move your tush. You will feel so much better after you sweat a little. (Similarly to post-binge eating, this is not the time for Punishment Exercise. You know these workouts. This is not the time to #killit #beastmode #gohardorgohome if you don't feel like it. This is a time to simply show up. Do something you like to do. I did a deload for the first two days post-binge. Per Kemper's instructions I kept my weights high but my overall volume low. I love HIIT training on the rowing machine. So I did that instead of the steady-state cardio my training plan called for. Why? I enjoy it. Good food and exercise are a gift to my body; the post-binge workouts I choose are like Christmas morning.

4. Order crap from the internet and schedule the delivery for your first few days recovery.

Okay, full disclosure: this was totally a happy coincidence. My internet buys just happened to come last week and thank you, Jesus, because it was such a happy moment to get not one, but two packages in the mail.

The first was a birthday present from Lauren (who actually gave me a TYR gift card a whole month before my June birthday because she was worried that with the birth of her first child my birthday would get lost in the shuffle)(she is available for How To Be An Awesome Best Friend lessons). I finally got around to ordering a new suit and swim cap.

The people at Lifetime Fitness will forever be grateful that I finally have a new bathing suit. I also got a sweet Lycra swim cap because I passionately *hate* (yeah, I went there) regular swim caps.
"Hey, Kel, look at you gettin' all fancy staging that shot on your wood floors."
*puff of hot breath on my fingernails, rubs them on shirt*

Also, powerlifter/Youtuber Chelsea Karabin, my internet best friend* (*probably she has no idea who I am) sent me the t-shirt I ordered and I may have flipped balls when it came I was so excited.

Picture me fangirling to Brian, "BRIAN. CHELSEA KARABIN WROTE MY NAME." Also, jammie pants sighting to your left.

One: this is as real life as it gets. Yep, that's my hair. Yep, that's my breakfast pan still chilling out all filthy on the stove. Over my shoulder? Garbage. #Betterhomesandgardens Two: this is the most comfortable shirt I've ever owned. Three: NSV; it's a unisex small. Whaaa?

So that's my official guide to Recovering From A Binge in 4 Easy Steps. To end this, here is a selfie with my sister who is awesome. Just because.

This is totally not accurate. I'm waaaaaaaay taller than her. Also, waaaaaaaaaay taller is the new way we describe about a quarter of an inch.

Happy Monday!
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