Friday, December 3, 2010

Wipeout…

****Posted by Nicole

Last night we turned the Harsha Wines Warehouse into Harsha Hot Wheels Skating Rink! I’ve been a little embarrassed lately to strap on all this gear to do what little kids do so easily and without fear. So Kyle and I put on some Black Crows and I got my skate on while he did some paperwork in the office. I skated around the delivery van, pallets of wine, and shelves of bottles but my wheels kept getting nicked by little rocks and pieces of wood. So I grabbed the massive broom we have and started skating and sweeping at the same time. When I came around the last corner the broom got caught on a rough patch in the cement and stopped while my skates continued to skate. The next thing I knew I was looking up at my feet and falling down hip and hand first, fast and furiously. Uh oh, this is going to suck.
All Kyle heard sitting in the office was some commotion and a loud “OOOF” followed by some moaning. He came into the warehouse to find me rolling around on the floor grunting something about my wrist and sweeping. After sitting on the floor for about 3 minutes I was able to get back up on the horse and keep going. It did shake me up a little and my wrist and hips took a beating. I thank God that I had my wrist guards on and didn’t have to finish the night in the emergency room. Phew! I came out of my first real wipeout with no broken bones. Win!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Meet and Greet

****Posted by Nicole

Monday night was the first of three meet and greets that the roller derby league set up for the girls that want to try out. It was held at the Rock and Rollarena in Arnold and I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know if we would be doing drills, just skating, or learning new tricks. My stomach was in knots not only because I was nervous but also because I thought there might be a squirrel making a nest in the middle of my guest bed upstairs. (Another story for another day)

So I walked in the rink and thankfully found some other girls that were just as lost and freaked out as me. As I strapped on my knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards I noticed that little kids started pouring in and this was just a regular skating rink. I honestly thought they were extinct! They did all the normal activities that we used to do as kids; the hokey pokey, limbo, and couples skate! I was in heaven! I had stepped into some kind of time warp. Back when things were simple and all I had to worry about was not hurting myself and if they were going to play my favorite jams Walk Like An Egyptian and Who Made Heaven a Place on Earth.

Overall I had a great time. I didn’t fall once! (Wobbled a lot, but no wipeouts.) I met a ton of really nice girls and am still really excited to do this Derby thang!


The rink!







The only thing that bothered me when I got home were my shins. Ooof! So I listened to Kyle and put ice on them. The next morning I felt great!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Butterflies…..more like angry little elves!

****Posted by Nicole

Tonight is my first meet and greet with the derby girls and my stomach is all a flutter with little mean elves. It feels like they have a gymnastics competition going on in there! I know I’ll be fine once I get there, but for now I want to just throw up. You see, I have a little something called social anxiety. It’s not so bad that I won’t do things, but it’s just enough to make me really nervous before I do something new by myself. I had to take an Excedrin Migraine too and I think the caffeine might have just fueled the fire. If anyone reads this before 5:30 please pray that my stomach stops flipping out enough so I can skate without having to run to the bathroom!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

It’s ALIVE!!!!

****Posted by Nicole

One night in June or July Kyle was roasting a chicken while watching TV. All of the sudden our oven started beeping crazily and flashing F1. Ever since that frightful night the stove top worked but the oven did not. We would be sitting in the living room all nice and quiet and out of nowhere it would start beeping and yelling at us again. It’s been difficult to live without an oven mainly because a lot of low fat recipes require baking, but we have managed. Well Thanksgiving is upon us and we have a turkey to cook. So in order to participate in one of the most glutinous holidays in America, we bought an oven to cook our turkey in.

I am so excited to use our new toy because it’s gas not electric! A wonderful, trustworthy, neighbor and friend helped us set up our kitchen to have the option to use gas. (side note: While he was doing this he also found a gas leak in our basement. Yikes!)

Big thanks to my parents for funding the purchase! They had given us trips to Mexico for Christmas, but Kyle wasn’t able to go. So they let us keep the cash and spend it on whatever we needed. Also another huge shout out to our neighbor Will that spent many hours in our basement and kitchen. It would have cost us at least a thousand dollars to do this with a professional so we are so grateful for his help. It’s so much fun to see how God blesses and provides for us with the people in our lives!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

So proud of my Hubby!!!

****Posted by Nicole

Last night Kyle and I got to go to a launch party for a new local golf magazine called Avid. Through some contacts, and his Sippin blog (http://www.sippinstl.blogspot.com/), Kyle got tapped to write a couple of articles for their release!





The party was in full swing when we got there and had a lot of very fancy people, that I did not know, hobnobbing and schmoozing. I met the one person Kyle knew in the room, ate some shrimp, had a couple drinks, snagged some magazines, and then left to have our own launch party a couple doors down at the Fatted Calf. I gotta say, the food there was much better! We had surprisingly tasty humongo burgers that were not very Ninja friendly. I did make a conscious decision to switch coke for water and also to share an order of fries and mushrooms. We finished the night at our favorite place, 33 wine bar, and called it a successful launch/celebration night.

I am super excited and proud of Kyle for always looking for new ventures and never being afraid to put his name out there. Love you sweetheart and bravo!


Kyle with one of his articles!

















Me with my burger!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yes, I said Roller Derby …

****Posted by Nicole



Last night I found myself in a meeting with women named Stitches, Enya Nightmare, Bare Knuckle Smack, and The Punctuator. Yes, I was checking out the Saint Louis Arch Rivals roller derby team. A couple months ago Kyle saw the movie Whip It and decided that was the perfect thing for his shy bride to get involved with. He talked it up, I saw the movie, we watched a documentary, and I checked out the Arch Rivals on the internet. Slowly I began to cross over and think, maybe I can do this.

I signed up for the information night to see if it was something that I really might be interested in, or if it was me just wishing I could be that bad ass. Come to find out these chicks are crazy serious about their….sport? It is very physical and a lot of work and time. To even be considered you have to first go through three weeks of Booty Camp, which is basically your try out. Then you are picked to be a newbie and go through extensive training. Aften you get smacked around for a few months you get drafted onto a team. The entire process takes about 6 months to a year, and that's only if you are drafted. They train you for a long time because the better in shape you are, the better off your body will survive the shoving, falling, bumping, tripping, and sliding.

I’ll keep you updated on my adventures and I am super excited to try this out. I have until December 13 to get my skate on and kick some butt! Wish me ….lots of padding!

http://www.archrivalrollergirls.com/

Monday, September 13, 2010

Walk it off

When we were first starting to figure out how to lose weight and live in a healthy manner, I was directed to the Dr Oz book "You, On a Diet". This book has some good stuff in it, even though it is written in a manner that is often silly and irritating. One of the things that the good Dr. says is that we all need to walk 30 minutes per day, no excuses. Now, I'm not going to claim that I have done this since we began this monster of a project. Heck, I didn't even walk most of the days last week. However, today I did and it struck me- This is a really easy way to benefit your body. Here's why you should be walking:

1. It's Free. You don't need any special equipment, trainers, memberships, or dvd sets to do it. You have shoes- put them on and start walking.

2. You get to know your area. I mean really get to know it- not just knowing the names of your neighbors, but rather you start noticing things as you are strutting along about peoples houses, likes, schedules, and yard upkeep. One thing- make sure you look up. Don't just stare at the sidewalk in front of you. Notice the trees, buildings, etc that are all around you.

3. It starts your day off right. Walking is a great way to get you into the mindset to be successful today- you break a little bit of a sweat, and you loosen up your muscles.

4. Walking is easy. With the exception of about your first year of life, you have been walking for a long time. You are probably pretty good at it already.

So, kick your excuses out the door, put on your shoes, and walk. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cookin' Cajun Style

Folks, if you see Nicole this week, ask her for the recipe of the Shrimp Etouffee that she cooked last night. It was out of our Weight Watchers cookbook, and was delicious. I was a bit skeptical when she asked to make a shrimp dish at first- who is this lady in my house asking for shrimp, and what did she do with my wife? However, I guess she is getting tired of chicken, and wanted a change. Yeah, it made our house smell funny and our live-in room mate (whom doesn't eat shrimp) politely declined the offer to join us for dinner, but let me tell you, the dish was really good.

Well played, honey!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I am such a girl…

****Posted by Nicole

A couple days ago I mentioned that I was nervous about going to a wedding back in Kentucky where I went to high school. I had to rerecord my old tape that kept telling me I was fat and old. Well we had a great time! We laughed, we danced, and we got to catch up with people that I hadn’t seen in almost ten years. I’m such a girl. Created all this drama in my head and everything was fine.

One of the people I got to talk to was a girl that I would like to refer to as Regina George, as in, the mean girl from the movie “Mean Grils”. This would be a hint as to what she might have been like in high school. As we talked throughout the night she opened up and told me that after college she had developed an eating disorder. Normal counseling was tried, but didn’t work. She finally decided to pack up her bags and move to Florida for about three months to get really deep into therapy. She said that she was so worried about what everyone thought and she dealt with it by controlling what she ate. What if they didn’t like her, what if they thought she was stupid, or said the wrong thing or that she was fat? This was beginning to sound very familiar…..

Fast forward to this morning as I was reading Luke 6. I came across a verse that I’ve heard a million times but for some reason hit me different. Everyone has heard it, “The golden rule”.

Luke 6:31 – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

It got me thinking. I have been too busy thinking about what other people think of me rather than making others feel at ease about themselves. I don’t care what people are wearing or if they are overweight or what their hair looks like. So why would they care about the same things? Why am I almost 30 and just now figuring this out? I am such a girl. So much drama in my head and everything is fine!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

September 1 Weigh in and Pic



Ain't it pretty?

I weighed in this morning at 319. That means I've only collectively gained 1 lb since our last official weigh in, which makes me a bit happy. It also means I'm down 36 pounds on the year, which is good. I'm not happy that I gained, but happy that we didn't completely tank everything. I'm looking forward to getting back into this, eating healthier, and working out when I can. The work schedule makes all of that tough, but I can also learn to go to bed earlier.


****Posted by Nicole



Unlike my handsome husband, I have gained ten pounds since my last weigh in. Ugh, sounds like I’m confessing to a priest. So that puts me at 203, again. Oh well, I’ll lose it. So my plan of attack while at work is no coke, vending machine goodies, or eating lunch without checking out the calories first.

Today, of all days, my boss is buying all of us lunch from Buffalo Wild Wings and I had to really study the menu to make a final decision. By Googling "Healthy things to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings" I was able to find something with only 260 calories. The veggie burger it is. (blech) I substitued the fries for a salad and presto, a helathy lunch. Thanks for reading and go Ninja's!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There's no I in team, and ..... we're going to give a 110 %

****Posted by Nicole



Hell yeah, what Kyle said below!

Finishing Strong

I'm about to mix a bunch of sports analogies. When we started NF, we agreed that it would be a "marathon, not a sprint". Well, the middle part of the marathon has not been run at a very fast pace. We played hockey well the first period, not the second, and are going into the third. Football practice went well for warm ups, the drills in the middle were sloppy, and we're about to head to wind sprints.

For those of you that watched the Emmy's on Sunday Night, and not the NFL, the first episodes of our tv season were solid, the middle part was really flat, but we're leading up to the big finale.

In other words, we did really well eating right and working out from January through April. May through August- not so much. However, we are determined to finish strong. I don't know what this will say for our blog frequency, but starting tomorrow, we will post pics and weights on the first of each month.

This truly has been one of the toughest, most humbling, yet exhilarating and exciting things we have ever done. We have lost weight. We do feel better than we did in January. We can get our rings on and off. Big-picture wise, it has been a success.

We look forward to talking to you in December, after finishing strong.

-Kyle

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Outward Sin

****Posted by Nicole

Kyle and I follow a blog called Stuff Christians Like (http://stuffchristianslike.net/) and today he talked about sin creeping up on you. It got me thinking. There are very few sins that are more blatantly obvious than gluttony. It does creep up on you though. I didn't eat a cheesburger one night and wake up the next day and think "Oh! Look at that, I'm fat now." It was gradual and over many years. Other sins you can at least try to hide for a while. You can’t really hide the fact that you’ve over indulged so much that you are now in a size 14 and 40 pounds overweight.

I know that sometimes overeating is related to a deeper issue so last September I started going to a Christian Counselor through church. She helped me deal with some anxiety and self image problems and one of the things we talked about was the tape that plays in your head over and over again. Your too fat, they don’t like you, your so big they are going to talk about it behind your back.

Why do I say such horrible things to myself? Amazing how some spiritual warfare can completely rock your world. We worked on rerecording my tape and she gave me some scripture to memorize to help me get over the anxiety it caused.

So, I have a wedding to go to this weekend and I am totally playing my old tape. I am once again embarrassed about my fatness and I know it’s nobody’s fault but my own. But, as much as it bothers me, I can’t let it get me down. Those people don’t care that I’m overweight. They care that I came. We are all there to celebrate a good friend’s decision to spend his life with a great gal and nobody is going to be looking at me. They will all be looking at the beautiful bride. Rerecord the tape. I will lose my weight eventually, the only thing they will talk about is how much fun everyone had, smile and have a good time.

Here are some of the verses that my counselor and I came up with to help me. Maybe they can help you as well. Thanks for reading and enjoy!

1 Peter 3:3-4
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

Psalm 139:13-16
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Tomato Basil Massacre

****Posted by Nicole

The past few weeks I’ve been afraid of our garden. When Kyle and our friend Kelly planted it I knew the day would come when I wouldn’t want to go out and look at it. Either I would get tired of taking care of it, or the job would somehow overwhelm me. Well it happened. The monster tomato plant and the heat of the summer scared me away.

However; Last night I conquered my fears and waited till the sun went down to attack. Armed with a headlamp and shears I pruned (more like hacked) my way through our tiny garden. I started with the Basil and chopped all the flowers off. Then I moved to the monster. It fought back hard with mosquitoes and ants, but in the end I won. It had grown so big that it was leaning over the fence and was inching its way through the grass in our back yard. There weren’t any tomatoes on it and had produced plenty to eat, so I cut it to a more managable size. I’m not sure if this was the right way to treat it, but it needed to be done. Our roma plant just needed a few limbs cut off to keep it contained and same with the pear and cherry tomato plants. Overall there were few fruits harmed and I walked away with 7 mosquito bites on both arms and a victory under my belt.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Drum roll please!!!

****Posted by Nicole

Attention all! I now have award winning tomatoes!!

This past weekend Slow Food sponsored an event at Sappington Market celebrating the tomato. They had different booths with local food you could try, a band, fun things for kids, and contests for the best cocktail and tomato. There were four categories in the tomato contest; heaviest, tastiest, prettiest, and ugliest. Yes, this proud parent put her best tomato in and won for …… wait for it……. are you excited…….. The Ugliest Tomato! Taaadaaaa!

In all honesty that’s pretty much what I was going for. I couldn’t find one ripe enough to bring for the tastiest, so I figured I would find one that would stand out the most. I walked out into the heat of the back yard that morning and fought hard against the bugs to find the perfect entry. I called it the two headed monster. It was two tomatoes connected by the head and truly grotesque. In my excitement after the win I completely forgot to grab my lovely and take a picture for the blog so alas I have nothing to show you. There were prizes for all and my lucky butt won a free 50 min massage! Yay for gardens and yay for Slow Food!!!

If you are wondering what Slow Food is all about please check out their website. They are a great organization that is doing amazing things within our community. Thanks for reading! http://www.slowfoodstl.org/our-mission/

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just say no!

****Posted by Nicole

I’m slowly but surely getting back into the habit of just saying no. Last night I desperately wanted to eat after dinner and I just said no! Instead I poured a glass of water and went for a walk on the treadmill. This morning my teammate offered to get me a McDonald’s breakfast and I just said no! I’ve found that unhealthy snaking and portion control are my two worst enemies.

Even though I’ve worked out every night but Wednesday I have this sinking feeling that what I’m doing isn’t going to be enough. When I was running 2.5 miles I was burning at least 400 calories at a time. That’s almost a meal! Now I’ve lost my running stamina and can barely walk for 30. I am trying, just not really hard like I was in the beginning. Damn, this is so frustrating. Is it this hard for everyone else? Has anyone else gone through what I am right now?

Some other good news is that I've not had a carbonated beverage all week. This is an accomplishment because I love love love coke and Dr. Pepper. I'm going to see how long I can go without one. So far we are Five days and counting!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Reasons for the Blogging Decrease

***Posted by Kyle

I know that Nicole has been doing a lot of the blogging lately, and I want to apologize. The reasons for this are multi-fold. First of all, my brother and I went on a road trip last week. This caused me not to blog for a couple of reasons- first of all, I haven't started blogging from my phone (and I'm not sure if I want to). Another reason is that our road trip centered around eating at BBQ joints across the Midwest- not exactly the type of thing that's good to talk about on a blog that encourages people to lead healthier, more active lives.

Another reason for my laziness is that Ninja Fingers is slowly turning into a lifestyle. When we first started this thing, we were excited. We were losing weight, feeling great, and wanted to shout it out across the world. Since then, this thing called "life" has gotten in the way. We are both working really hard, and have stopped losing weight at the rapid rate it fell off before. We still try to eat the same healthy things that we used to- Whole Grains, more Veggies, less fried stuff, less soda. Last night we went out to eat. Instead of gorging ourselves on huge meals, we split some appetizers. It was nice, light, and didn't kill our caloric sensibilities. Let me publicly praise Nicole- she has started her gym membership back up again, and is doing well and feeling better as a result. My workouts this week have come from (literally) moving hundreds of cases of wine in my warehouse by hand.

So, there are my lame excuses. I will try to be better about posting. I will also post more recipes that we are eating from Cooking Light- great stuff I must say!

Have a great day, make at least one healthy decision.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Reporting in….

This week so far I’ve worked out every day. Okay so it’s only Wednesday, but I’m trying to get into the habit of giving myself only one day off a week. Trust me when I say that I am not excited about this decision, but I think it’s necessary. I’ll give myself one day a week off and it will be a floating day. I have to work out at least 30 minutes and it doesn’t matter what that is. Biking, running, walking, climbing stairs, doing a video, whatever, just something to keep my heart rate up. Surely I can do just 30 minutes a day!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ice Cream Social

****Posted by Nicole

Yesterday was the building ice cream social. I am not into ice cream or socializing with people from the buiding so I decided not to go. As I stared into my computer screen doing work like a good little girl, my teammate wheeled over and asked if I wanted to go down and get some ice cream. No. I told him I wasn’t going and he said that he didn’t want to stand in line by himself. I proceeded to call him and girl and then found myself walking to the elevator with him. I’m not a huge ice cream fan, but on a hot summers day, it sounds pretty freaken good.

As we walked through the lobby I saw some people coming in with Drumsticks. Ugh oh, a bowl of ice cream is one thing, but a Drumstick is another! I told myself to “Be strong!” and proceeded to stand in the massive line. My teammate and I chatted about the steamy weather and I gazed ahead to watch the chocolate dipped vanilla melt down the hands of my fellow office/building friends. I wanted to whimper like my pups do when they want a piece of cheese from my hand.

As we got closer and closer I noticed that they were giving out an array of flavors. Mint chocolate chip, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and freaken oreo. Really? So I pulled myself out of the line and waited for the weenie boy to get his free treat. As we headed back up to the 6th floor and I watched my teammate gobble up a large bowl of chocolate chip ice cream I smiled at the thought of not wasting my dinner calories on one thing. Yay me!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

For my friend not so Fatty Patty

****Posted by Nicole

I got an email from a dear friend of mine today that had some recent pictures of she and her family on vacation. As the pictures came up on the screen I noticed that she looked like a freaken rock star. She had a baby about a year ago and has not only lost the baby weight, but also the weight she and I both put on after high school and college.

I love her dearly and have been friends with her so long that I can’t even remember life before her. I’m ashamed to say that when I saw her pictures my heart sank. I hate that there is still that little voice in my head that screams “Noooooooo! We are supposed to be fat together and lose the weight at the same time together!” She and I have always been about the same size. I had gained weight, so had she. I was rolie colie and she was fatty patty. We were going through the same struggles and hardships with our self image and eating habits. I am very proud of her for losing so much weight and I want nothing more than to be happy and celebrate with my friend.

I refuse to wallow in my self pity and am going to fight my horrible jealous, sinful, tendencies and keep on the positive road. I will one day get to where she is, just not today. I will one day be able to look at a picture of myself and think, “yep, I’m good. I made my goal.” It just won’t be next week. So here is to one of my most cherished friends that looks amazing and I am so very proud of!


But it’s a girlie night!

****Posted by Nicole

When I was a kid, every now then my mom would have what we call a girlie night. It was when my dad would be out of town and we would get something really good and naughty to eat and it would be just us girls. We would watch whatever and eat whatever. I’ve continued this tradition and lately it’s been happening a little too often. Whenever Kyle goes out of town or has an event I want to head straight for Taco Bell. It’s fast, it’s convenient, and it just wrecks my stomach and diet. So the next time he's out of town I’m going to pledge to be good. I’ll watch a girlie movie, but I will not stuff myself with tacos, nachos, pizza, or cheese. I will go to the grocery and get something that is healthy and low in fat. I will be good until Saturday, I will be good until Saturday, I will be good until Saturday….

Monday, July 19, 2010

No, seriously, we really are trying

One thing Nicole and I have both realized is that a lifetime of bad habits is really, really hard to break. This last week, our pastor gave an amazing sermon on leadership. One of the things that he talked about is that leaders (in the church, but I think you could extrapolate that out into effective leaders in every facet of life) need to be free of any current addictions, including food. This is a problem not only with me and Nicole, but with a lot of people that we know. So many of our friends and even some family members spend a significant portion of their time focusing on what they just ate, what they are eating, and what they are going to eat. Now, anyone that knows me realizes that I'm not a fan of crappy food. I like good food- whether "healthy" or not, I like food that is well prepared from quality, fresh ingredients, and tastes good. But, me "liking" food and using my job/social situations/my mood/etc as an excuse to commit the sin of overindulgence is what got me in trouble in the past. This, combined with inherent laziness when it comes to working out alone, is a dangerous combination for anyone.

What about you? Are you using food as a crutch? Do you eat to fuel your body, and enjoy it, or do you literally think about it all day long? How many times this week have you said "well, since I've already blown it today, having some more [insert food or drink item here] won't hurt."? Do you eat when you are bored/upset/happy/probably just thirsty? I'm not hating on you. I have done all of these in the last week, which is one of the reasons I have actually gained weight for the first time since we started Ninja Fingers.

So, fellow ninjas, just check yourself. Are the little "cheats" that you are allowing yourself really small rewards, or are they symptoms that you are addicted to something less sinister, but just as harmful, as any drug?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ninja Classes

***Posted By Kyle

Whereas Nicole was reading up on Plus Sized Models, I was reading about where to take Ninja Classes. Check it out.

http://www.cloud9living.com/new-york/private-ninja-lessons

By the way, sorry for the lack of posts. I was travelling a bit over the weekend. Trust me when I say that I walked a lot, ate fairly unhealthily, but sweated it all off last night watching a concert outside.

Have a great week!!!!

Be who you are

I found a really good article today on yahoo about a plus sized model. I found it to be enlightening as I struggled just this morning about the way I feel about myself. So take a peek if you get a chance!

http://shine.yahoo.com/event/bikini/model-kate-dillon-speaks-out-about-being-too-skinny-too-plus-size-and-whats-up-with-the-crystal-controversy-2015056/

Friday, July 9, 2010

Bad food, Wasted calories

****Posted by Nicole

Last night Kyle and I had to go to a church BBQ. It was at a very lovely home and we met some very lovely people, however, we did not eat very lovely food. I was really excited when I saw it put out because they had burgers galore and hotdogs for days. I went for the burger. It looked a little overcooked, but I figured that’s okay, I can deal, and I’m in the mood for a burger! Kyle and I sat down and dug in. This is where my foodie snobbery comes in. I’m embarrassed to say that it was the second worse hamburger I’ve ever eaten. I would have stopped eating right then but the people who cooked the food sat down at the table and my Texas upbringing wouldn’t allow me to not eat the food that was cooked for us and in front of me. So I ate it. My mother calls it wasted calories, I call it a huge disappointment. How hard is it to mess up a burger that bad? Even I know how to cook a decent burger. In their defense they were cooking for the masses and did provide the food free of charge. I know, I’m ungrateful. Now it’s off to try out my first class of Zumba tonight and work off those wasted calories.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Ditched

****Posted by Nicole

Last week I got a call from my friend that I called Vern. We had decided that we were going to just get to the gym and go for it. We coordinated our schedules and were going to make it happen. Well, Vern did not make it and I was ditched. She had to pick up her little girl from school so I gave her a get out of jail free card this one time. :)

Going back really felt great. A lot of the regular ladies recognized and welcomed me back to class with open arms. The normal instructor wasn’t there, but I was a little glad because the sub put in some “Zumba” routines in with the “Drills That Make You Sweat”. It’s kind of like Jazzercise and done with dance moves but with better music and a cooler name. I loved it and have completely changed my dinner/workout schedule today to go to a real class. It was just what I needed to get excited about working out again and I can’t wait to see what an hour of this stuff can do!

P.S.
I think my body is in shock because every muscle was screaming at me this morning when I got out of bed. Ouch!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Hittin' the Sack

****Posted by Kyle

Well, fellow Ninjas, we're definitely back- Nicole is in the gym as I'm typing this, and I just got done doing a heavy-bag boxing workout in the dojo. Wow, I forgot how freaking hard that workout is, and I skipped the push-ups and crunches that I used to do in the middle of it. This "back on the right track" thing hurts, but will be so worth it!

Thanks for all the prayers, support, letters, notes, texts, messages, and emails....we can't do it without you!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Small success, caloric destruction

***Posted by Kyle

This last week, I flew to Denver for the night. One of the things that I whined about at the very beginning of this project was how embarrassing it is to be on an airplane, and have to ask for the seat-belt extension. No matter how discreetly you do it, someone overhears you, and you can just feel the people around you judging you immediately, whether they know you or not. Trust me, it sucks. At any rate, this was the first flight that I have taken since losing the pounds, and I am happy to report that the "normal" seatbelt fit comfortably. This may not mean much to you, but man, it literally almost made me tear up.

So, what did my dumb ass do? In celebration I ate a bunch of bad food in Denver, and continued the caloric atomic attack over the 4th of July weekend. Nice job, bonehead. Now, I'm in a meat hangover, I don't feel like working out, and I have a lot of office work to get done.

Oh well, one week at a time, right?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

It’s good to have friends

****Posted by Nicole

Lately it’s been really hard for me to get downstairs to workout. I did so good for so long, and now all of my efforts have been reversed. Man it’s frustrating. I worked out once this week and that’s about it.
Today I received a call from a friend that couldn’t have come at a better time. She made a trip to the doctor and was told she needed to lose 10 pounds. It might not seem much when you’re looking at losing 30, but as she said, better to lose 10 now then 20 next year. She knew that she needed some motivation to work out and that she would meet someone there, but not go on her own. I feel the same way! Perfect! So, next Tuesday we have a workout date and I am pumped! (no pun intended!)

Thanks to my friend (we will call her….. Vern) for phoning me up in the nick of time!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Pants

**posted by Kyle

One of the cool things about losing poundage is that eventually, your fat clothes don't fit anymore. Between this, and the fact that I have been rotating between the same three pairs of dress pants for about two years now, I decided to go get some new clothes for my upcoming business trips. I am happy to report that I have finally been able to move from the "Big and Tall" section of the store to the "regular" section of the store when it comes to selecting pants. As the kids say these days, "Woot, Woot!"

Tadaaaaah!

****Posted by Nicole



Our first big tomatoes!!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The I Don’t Care Bear

****Posted by Nicole

Today is a dangerous day because I don’t quite care what I put in my mouth. I don’t care if it’s cookies or fruit, I just want to be satisfied and not think about it. Dangerous words my friends. Pray that what I come across today is healthy and not greasy or fatty and that I stop before I am too full.

This could be a rough one....

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Thrill of the Grill

***Posted by Kyle

Anyone who knows me for about 30 seconds knows that I love anything dealing with grilling or BBQ-ing meat. I love standing by the grill (or sitting by the smoker), even when it's wickedly hot outside, with a cool beverage in hand, creating a perfect crust on the muscle matter of a dead pig, cow, chicken, fish, or any other animal really. This grilling obsession is fairly ninja friendly, too. As long as you don't eat too much of the high-fat stuff, its a healthy way to cook.

Recently, however, this activity has been more out of necessity. A couple of weeks ago, our oven went beserk. I'm serious- it started making all sorts of beeps (I think it was yelling at me), and then just won't turn on. It still makes a random beep every couple of hours, just to let us know that the demon is still inside of it. So, this has caused us to use the grill much more often, which is fine except that sometimes you need that warm oven.

I want my oven back.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fighting the Boredom Hunger Monster

***Posted by Kyle

This is one of those days where there is a bit of "down time" at the new office- I don't have anyone else here, and the bulk of my phone calls are done for the day. The problem with this situation is one that I have dealt with for years- I get bored, so I want to eat. I have already had a sandwich for lunch, but all I can think about is heading down to O'Aces Bar and Grill, and getting one of their patty melts. I even caught myself wandering around the office, headed towards the kitchen area, just to get up and moving.

So, if you are one of those people who tends to eat when you are a little bit bored, stay strong- I'm here fighting the fight with you!

Attack of the killer tomatoes!!!

****Posted by Nicole



This is me being attacked by the biggest freaken tomato plant ever. I was checking on the garden last night and the plants have gotten so big that Kyle couldn't see me.

No worries, the gnome saved me



The funny thing about it is that this mammoth of a plant has one tomato on it and it’s all gnarly and weird…



Can you see me on the left? I’m not even sure this is a tomato plant anymore!



The other plants seem to be doing very well. The basil and cilantro are out of control and we've gotten some jalapenos and tiny sweet peppers. This picture was taken of the basil after Kyle harvested most of it. We did get some little pear tomatoes for dinner last night and I got to eat my first fresh tomato and basil salad! Yum!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gigantic, Colossal, Massive Tomatoes!!!

****Posted by Nicole

The tomato plants that Kyle and our friend Kelly planted so many weeks ago are starting to produce already! Check out our first three tomatoes, they’re huge! I’ve never seen them so large before....



I mean, these suckers have to win a contest or something....



Ugh…. Okay, so maybe they are only cherry tomatoes and next to a regular sized tomato seem a little tiny, but man they were huge in taste! :) We put them in our eggs on Saturday and rather enjoyed them. I’ve heard that by the 4th of July we should be in tomato overflow so if yall want the extras that we can’t eat you place your orders now!

Back in the Dojo

****Posted by Kyle

I'm not going to say that I missed the dojo. In fact, when I went down there today to work out, I winced a little. I had been in this spot before- trying to get back into an exercise routine. It was still a short enough time frame that I remembered what I could do regarding push-ups, bike, punching bag, etc but long enough that I had lost a step. I jumped on the bike, thinking "oh, no problem- surely I haven't lost that much stamina." Wrong again, bucko. Where I used to do five sets of intervals on the bike as a warm up, I felt like my heart was going to leap out of my chest after three this morning. Oh well, that's what I get for taking a month off, right? Bummer.

Food-wise, I will let Nicole cover what is going on with our garden. Remember Little Shop of Horrors? I'm fairly certain that plant lives in our yard.

Keep it up Ninjas- good to hear that Hollie, Chuck, Kimberly, and my folks are all back in the healthy saddle again. Also, let me give a shout out to Mark- his doctor told him to drop some weight, and to lower his cholesterol. We're rooting for you, man!

Peace.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Creepy Red Robin, and a Movie sans Mike and Ikes

***Posted by Kyle

Last night, Nicole had a headache, and wasn't feeling well. Some of us guys went out to dinner and to a movie (A Team- I highly recommend it, especially if you like explosions). We headed to Red Robin for dinner. Part of the highlights of this joint included watching some poor sap dressed up like the robin, scaring the crap out of little kids, and a high school cheerleader with a baby- good stuff. I decided to forgo the 1400 caloric disaster of a burger, and get a salad with salmon. Blech.

We then headed to the movies. Let me say that this was a struggle for me. I'm the guy at the movie that spends half my paycheck at the dang concessions counter. I usually roll in with a XXXXXL Mountain Dew, a big ol' popcorn, and a 6 lb box of Mike and Ikes. Not this time, fellow ninjas. Not a dime was spent.

I'm almost mortified- you mean I can make it through a movie without snacks? Dang.

Def Con 4

****Posted by Nicole

My head still hurts. I’ve had this headache for at least three days now and yesterday it reached def con 4. (5 being the highest when it makes me pray to the porcelain gods) All I could do last night was lay on the couch in a Tylenol PM coma and there was so much that I could have been doing. I've learned through the years that I have to listen to my body and rest when it tells me to. So I’m praying that it will subside today and I can carry on with my life. Here’s to hoping the Excedrin Migraine works…..

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Just Go and Do It

****Posted by Nicole

My first day back on Ninja Fingers wasn’t too bad. I fought the urge to go on the hunt for chocolate in the vending machine and I repeatedly reminded myself that I didn’t have anything in my desk drawer to snack on. I treat it kind of like my pantry at home. I open it mainly to just stare at it and think that something will magically appear that I hadn’t seen before.... Yeah, Not so much.

The biggest battle I had was after dinner when it was time to workout. Here is how the conversation went in my head.

Should I bike or run tonight?
I don’t really feel like running, but it burns more calories.
My neck and head hurt, maybe I should just go to bed.
Okay, focus, Bike or run
I haven’t gone running in a long time so it might hurt and man, I need to do my nails, this one is chipped and I need to file that one
Oh, stop it!
Just go and do it!

So I did.

I started out on the treadmill but soon switched to the bike once I couldn’t control my breathing. I don’t know how far I ran, but I do know that I kept my heart rate up for 30 minutes. Woohoo!

Now it’s off to just say no to Oreos. One of my new teammates brought some in to get rid of them. I do wonder though, if I just eat one, will it help my headache go away? Hmmm....

Wow- people still read this thing!

***Posted by Kyle

Despite all of our whining, cussing, failing, and not posting, I was amazed to see the reaction about Ninja Fingers 2.0! I literally got emails, facebook messages, texts, and phone calls from people saying they are excited to see us ramping this thing up again. This go-around might be a little different, though. Last time, I was so fixated on my actual weight that I failed to see the great successes that I had in other areas. Sure, I dropped almost 40 lbs, but I wasn't celebrating the fact that my knee rarely hurts anymore (it still does on some occasions), that my acid reflux had all but disappeared, or that I was fitting into clothes that I hadn't seen since the second year we were married. In that spirit, I will only be weighing myself once a month, and really just focus on how my clothes fit instead. This morning I weighed 315, and I will post monthly weights as usual.

Thanks again for all the support- we couldn't do it without you all!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ninja Fingers 2.0

As my beautiful (and thinning) bride eloquently put it, we got lazy. It's true- when starting your own business, and working on it 10-16 hours per day, the last thing you want to expend more energy on is blogging, working out, and actually thinking about what to eat. I started noticing a couple of weeks ago that my acid reflux was returning, and I also had 3-4 people ask me about Ninja Fingers in the last couple of weeks.


We're back, and we're going to continue- this is the tough part. We need y'all to help keep us accountable. Ask us, chide us, encourage us, slap us, whatever it takes to remind us that someday we want to have kids, and it would be nice to be in good enough shape to run around with them.

Thanks folks- we truly love you!

Back in the saddle

****Posted by Nicole



This past weekend Kyle and I decided to have a “reboot” of Ninja Fingers. With Kyle starting a business and me traveling and working like I have it’s been a really easy to make excuses to not workout and not eat right. I have to admit that yesterday I stomped up a fuss when we discussed blogging every day verses once or twice a week. (And I literally stomped my foot like a child, one of my shining moments as an almost 30 year old adult) I wanted to blog once or twice a week and Kyle was saying everyday. The point of everyday will keep us more accountable and on target. Alright! Fine! Gosh! I’ll blog every day. But I don’t have to like it!!!

To be honest with you, I really didn’t think that anyone was reading Ninja Fingers anymore. This past week I had four people ask what the deal was. What happened? The short answer is that we got lazy and I’m sorry for that.

So here I am, once again ashamed of my weight and ready to start again. This time starting will be much harder to get into the grove of things because I’m not as excited. I do have a short term goal date in mind. My next big event is one of my oldest friend’s wedding. I would like to lose 20 lbs by August 27th.

Now for the embarrassing part, since my last weight in I’ve gained. I was at 193 and now I’m back up to 197. So frustrating! I had a minor melt down when I saw some pictures of myself from a family reunion back in April. I actually felt pretty decent about myself that day and the pictures proved me wrong. After my reality check I had to squeeze into my bathing suit and go swimming at a friend’s house. Ugh, I was so mad at myself not sticking to the plan. Oh well. I’ll get my strength from praying and from Kyle always reminding me of our goals. (even when it makes me angry!) :)

Thanks for reading and keeping us accountable!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

One of my Bestest Friends!

****Posted by Nicole

A couple weeks ago I got to go visit one of my most cherished friends, Angela. We met in college through our bible study many years ago and quickly became bff’s. We got to share our clothes, families, apartments, and wedding days. Most of my fondest memories from college have her in them and I love her dearly as a friend.



The past few years she and her husband Jordan have tried to start a family and after many tests and doctor visits they figured that God was telling them to do something different. So they decided to adopt. My trip down to see she and Jordan in the great state of Texas had a bonus; I got to meet their son Rylin for the first time. After our emotional reunion in the airport, I was able to compose myself long enough to see through my tears of joy and take a look at his toothless grin for the first time. I’ve been following Angela’s blog so I’ve seen many pictures, but nothing beats the real thing. He was just as excited as Angela and I were and has the sweetest face I’ve ever seen.

I had decided that all bets were off that weekend when it came to eating and the first thing I requested to do was stop by Taco Cabanna to grab some fresh flour tortillas and queso for the road. Man they were good! Even though I wanted to indulge in all things naughty to eat, Angela kept me on the straight and narrow. She made us Texas caviar (with beans, veggies, and fat free dressing), and Tacos that had low fat meat.

It was so amazing to see a couple make something that can be so devastating to so many people into something joyful and beautiful. Not only have my friends been blessed with a child, but Rylin has the best parents a kiddo can ask for. It was such a treat to see my best friend in a strong marriage with a happy little boy and I feel so blessed to have them as my friends.

Thanks for a great weekend lady!!!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Back on the horse

****Posted by Kyle

Okay, so we had a set back. We got busy, distracted, whatever you want to call it- we got lazy. We fell back into some of the old habits that got us in the bad place we were before. This time, we recognized it early, though. Nicole will start taking the stairs at work again (make sure you ask her how she's doing with that). I will stop eating meals out at accounts, and get back into serious workouts (don't forget to ask me how I'm doing with this). Together, we will get back into the routine of planning our meals on Sunday, and shopping then. Most of all, we will get back into praying for further success, and thanking God for the wonderful amount of success we have had to this point.

Off to the Ninja Dojo!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Happy Anniversary Love!

****Posted by Nicole

As of today Kyle and I have been married for a total of seven years. Kyle has been my rock, my heart, and my best friend for what seems like a short while, but has been for many years now. He makes me laugh until it hurts and holds me when I cry. I am always in awe of his kindness for others and devotion to God. We’ve had our share of bumps and bruises but it’s only made us stronger as husband and wife. My heart swells with pride when I think of him having the courage to make his dream into a reality and I smile every time I think of what God has in store for us.

It’s been a fun and exciting ride so far love, can’t wait to see what’s next.
I love you sweetheart and happy anniversary.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Apathy

I have heard it said before that Success breeds Laziness. I'm starting to believe that. I'm sure that our wonderful followers have noticed the decline in the number of posts, both from me and from Nicole. We are at a funny spot in Ninja Fingers. We have both lost weight, and we both feel good about ourselves. Truth be told, however, the newness of it all has worn off. The honeymoon with the Ninja is over, and we have both sort of hit a wall. Nicole stopped taking the stairs at work for a while, and I stopped watching what I ate as much. We just need a second wind. We need a breath of fresh air into this deal.

Monday, May 17, 2010

My New Favorite Salad!

****Posted by Nicole

Last week Kyle and I got to enjoy our first herb from our garden. I do have to say that nothing beats fresh basil from your back yard. We decided to add it to our avocado, red onion, and farmer’s cheese salad. The dressing consisted of red wine vinaigrette and olive oil just sprinkled on top. It was light, fresh, and very good. I highly recommend it!!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This Ninja Needs a Tailor

***Posted by Kyle

Last week, I had an event for Sip of Knowledge, my wine consulting company, that required me to wear a suit. This was fine, since I had purchased two brand new suits last summer, one is dark blue and one is brown. However, when I purchased them, I was in my pre-ninja, rounder shape. My belly was also 7 inches bigger. Add this to the fact that I bought the suits just a bit large for comfort and they just simply don't fit anymore. Tonight, I will have Nicole take a picture of me in one- it's almost comical how big the pants are. I feel like a little kid putting on his dad's suit and playing office.
Normally, in the past, I would just donate the suit to charity, and go suck it up and buy a new one. However since I resigned from my position at my job on Friday (another story, you will read more about that soon), I spent $700 on the suit last summer- and have only worn it once, and will need a summer suit for a couple of upcoming events, I need to get this thing to fit. I have called a tailor that evidently does amazing work out of her home, and will meet with her tomorrow. Stay tuned for more details!

Friday, May 7, 2010

May Weigh in results, and pics

***Posted by Kyle

We did our May weigh in, and pics. I'm not as happy with this month's results, but that's okay- I need to keep reminding myself that this is a marathon, and that the weight loss would taper off. At any rate, this morning, I weighed 314, which means I have unofficially lost over 40 lbs, and officially lost 37. My waist, around my belly button, is 55 inches, which means I have lost 7 inches off my waist. Not bad, if you look at it that way.

First picture:






This morning:

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hyenas are cooler than Hernias

***Posted by Kyle

So, the results are in. The lump in my abdomen is actually a small hernia. The doc wants me to consider surgery, however, he also wants me to continue losing weight. I'm going to keep shedding pounds, so that the surgery will go easier (as my dad said, "less stuff to dig through"). I have an appointment to go back in November, and we will make a decision at that time. Thanks again for all the thoughts and prayers!

In other news, Nicole and I had an early "cheat day" last night. I had done a sommelier gig, and she had gotten her hair done, so we met up for a late night drink and nosh at one of our favorite restaurants- Five. The kitchen was closing down, but the chef still sent out a killer charcuterie plate with different meats, pate, and cheeses. After that snack, we were both still hungry, and walked up to a place called Guido's that we had never been in. We got a goat cheese app, and a small thin crust sausage, garlic, and bell pepper pizza that were pretty dang good. Needless to say, we will be skipping our normal "cheat day" on saturday.

Weigh-in and measurements, complete with pics tomorrow!

Enjoy this beautiful day folks!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Where's the Beef?

**Posted by Kyle

...It's in our freezer, that's where it is! I need help from some of you all. Basically, I need good, healthy recipes that are low-cal, and use beef. You see, several foodie friends of mine and I all went in together and bought 2 cows. Yep, we bought 2 entire cows and had them processed. Yesterday, we went and picked it up. I now have a deep freezer full of lots of bovine. I have ground beef, sirloin, ribsteak, porterhouses, marrow bones, liver, heart, oxtails, and soup bones. So, I'm putting the call out to you healthy cooks- Whatcha got?

Oh, in other sports news, I also need money. I agreed to do this fundraiser for a ministry I used to work with called Summit Adventure in Bass Lake, CA. Esentially, I'm supposed to go on a shower strike until I raise my $$. I only have $250 left to go. So, for Nicole's sake, please email me at kyleharsha@yahoo.com on instructions on how to donate.

Thanks, and have a wonderful day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Apologies…

****Posted by Nicole

Just recently my position at work had a bit of a shift. One of my teammates got moved to another account. We did get a replacement, however, I have not only been training him, but also doing my work and the work that my teammate was doing. This plus busy season and I have been a crazy working lady. My poor husband has been picking up the slack at home and on the blog, so I do apologize for not blogging lately.

I have learned that when working late it has been impossible for me to make my workout classes. I miss working with weights and need the flexibility Pilates offer. Thank goodness we have a treadmill in our basement or I wouldn’t have had any kind of workout the past two weeks. So, I have asked our friend Donna, who is a trainer and Pilates instructor, to make me a workout with weights so that I can still use my gym membership. I enjoy running so I would really like to keep it up. Last week I finally ran up to 2 and half miles!!! I did push myself a little too hard though. The next day my calf muscle killed and I had to ice it after I ran again. I’ve been resting it the last couple days just so I don’t injure it more.

Staying on top of eating healthy has been a bit of a struggle. I find that I am starved at around 3:00 and usually I can make it home before I get too hungry, but there were a couple of nights I didn’t make it home until 8:00. The vending machine at work doesn’t exactly offer apples to snack on, so I found that having some hummus and peanuts at work helped tremendously. I have stopped taking the stairs, mainly because I’m just to dang tired in the morning.

I do want to make a special shout out to my sweet husband who had dinner on the table every night when I would get home. Seeing how I can get kind of weepy at the drop of a hat when I’m tired, he was very understanding and wonderful during my stressful times. Thanks love!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Dreams

***Posted by Kyle

Those who read both of my blogs (this one, and Sippin' Saint Louis) will notice a similarity between the two posts today.

I'm a little more open on this one, so I will reveal that for the past several weeks I have been seeing a counselor at our church about some mental issues that I have. Nothing huge, but the sessions have been very helpful. One thing that he asked me a couple of weeks ago was what Nicole and I dream about- What are the things that we want to work for, and have in our idyllic situation. We talked about it, and have decided to print out pictures of two dreams that we have. The first is this one:




Nicole has always had the dream of buying an Airstream trailer, fixing it up, then travelling around the country for a month or two. We would do so without a set agenda. If we wanted to stop in a certain place, we would. We could stay as long as we wanted, and move on when we wanted. I have to agree, this seems like it will be an awesome experience- exploring America with my beautiful bride.

If that is a picture of her dream, then here is a picture of mine:



Yep, a beach house. You see, I grew up having access to our family's lake house in Arkansas, and I have so many wonderful memories of family vacations there. I'm also sort of a beach guy that just happens to live as far as possible from a beach. My dream is to have a place that our family can go to whenever we want, and hear the ocean.

Nicole hasn't posted for a while- she's going nuts at work, and is really tired. If you see her, give her a hug. She has been doing great about working out- in fact, we have both had great workouts every day this week. I guess tapering off in the weight loss area got us both back into the game.

Have a wonderful weekend- be careful out there.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Frustrated

***Posted by Kyle

Today, I'm frustrated. I really am. Last weekend, I weighed myself, and I was down 5 lbs for the month. Not a great loss, but not bad. I figured I would work really hard this week, and get more off before our next official weigh in. Yesterday, I weighed myself again (thus breaking my own advice), and I had GAINED 4 lbs since Friday. Doh! How could this be? Yeah, we ate some pizza friday night, and I had a brat on Saturday, but most everything else was fairly ninja-appropriate. I dont' know if I just happened to be a bit dehydrated on Friday, or what. At any rate, I weighed myself again this morning- sure enough, I am only officially down 2 lbs on the month. I know that my weight loss would taper, but I have no idea what's going on. I have worked out every day this week, and have really tried to eat well. If this thing is about being open and honest to our followers, just know that today, I'm pissed off.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ninja Hollie Update, Newsflash

***Posted by Kyle

We just heard from Ninja Hollie, and she is down a total of 20 lbs so far! Great Job Hollie! Once again, she is proof that a healthy diet (nothing extreme- she's just cooking out of a Weight Watchers cookbook), and moderate exercise yields great results. Keep it up!

In other news, a report on Yahoo News today says that a combination of smoking, drinking, inactivity, and poor diet is bad for you. Duh.

Have a great day, folks- make one healthy decision today.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Basement Clothes

**Posted by Kyle

Even after a weekend of fairly unhealthy eating, I had a minor success story today. You see, everyone that is in the slow process of weight gain does something with their clothes. They start noticing that certain jeans, shorts, or pants don't fit anymore. After a few rounds of "Suck in and Squeeze" doesn't work, they put these clothing items aside, saying to themselves "I'll be back into these in a few weeks, so I don't want to donate them to Goodwill quite yet." These items never get used, and eventually end up in a pile in the corner of a closet, or in our case in the basement. Today, while working out, I noticed said pile of clothes. "Maybe, just maybe" I thought between deadlifts "they will fit." I pulled out four pairs of shorts, and a slightly dated pair of pants. Boo Ya. They fit. That's right, folks, I fit back into my previous wardrobe. Look out previous-previous wardrobe (the one before the one I discovered today)- I see you, and I'm coming for you!

On a side note, I had lunch today with my uncle and cousin. My uncle has lost over 30 pounds this year, and looks great! He even eschewed the burger and fries at lunch for a bowl of soup (I had spinach salad.) Great job!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Beware of "Healthy" Cereals

***Posted by Kyle

If you look at Yahoo's main page, they often have little articles from "Eat This, Not That!" which can be eye opening. This morning, they talked about breakfast cereals, and how the ones we perceive as being healthy aren't very good for you. For years, I have been a fan of Raisin Bran. I guess I never really looked at the nutritional info on the back. However, one cup of it has more sugar than Lucky Charms, Reese's Puffs, or Cocoa Krispies! The one that really blew me away was Quaker "Natural" Granola- one cup has 420 calories, and over 30 grams of sugar! So, to all you Ninjas out there, consider a protein shake for breakfast. Most have less than 200 calories, and will really help you get a move on your day.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Impatience

***Posted by Kyle

I am an impatient person. Just ask Nicole, she'll tell you. I think this stems from my many years in the restaurant industry. When the dinner rush is hitting, I would ask one of my employees to do something, and I meant NOW. In that situation, 30 seconds is a lifetime, and can mean the difference between a customer having an amazing experience, or walking out the door upset. However, in "real life" this simply isn't the case, and I fear this garden is going to bring my impatience out of the deep recesses of my personality. Dang, I'm going to have to deal with it.

You see, I only planted the thing last week. I was hoping that we had some sort of miracle dirt, and that our little garden would already be producing tomatoes, herbs, peppers, onions and potatoes. We didn't even plant onions or potatoes. However, I want them in my yard, and I want them NOW. I guess I'll just gave to wait.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Accountability

As Kyle mentioned earlier we went to Kansas this weekend for a plethora of celebrations. Since Friday we ate Steak and Shake on the road, I didn’t feel right having a full cheat day on Saturday. Thankfully Kyle’s sister in-law loves protein shakes as much as we do, so breakfast was easy. Lunch on the other hand wasn’t.
The entire family knows about this blog, and some of them even read it every once and a while, so when it came time to eat I really felt like I was under a microscope. I know that it was probably all in my head, but I was still very careful as to what I ate, and how much of it I was eating. BBQ and sloppy joes were being served, so that’s what I ate. I had a tiny bit of each and a whole wheat bun to scoop with. There was a taco salad, that I enjoyed, and also baked chips and coleslaw. The struggle came when it was time for dessert. I eat rice crispy treats once a year and this is the event that I get them. Kyle’s sister in-law makes them the best and I could eat an entire pan. One square was all I allowed myself and it was so amazing that I had to walk away from the table. Phew! I did it!

Once we got home I remember thinking how nice it would be to have just one more rice crispy treat. Alas, they were all gone when we left the reunion. I noticed that I was pretty sore from playing with nieces and nephews all day so I thought I would scrounge for some pills in the kitchen. I walked upstairs and, oh can it be?! Another pan of rice crispy treats on the counter and they had my name all over them. As much as I wanted to shove each one in my face while skipping around with glee, I assure you that I only ate one more. My surprise had totally wiped out all the pain in my legs and I went to bed smiling.

The next day Jack stack was being served at my father in-law’s retirement party and if it hadn’t been for Kyle’s aunt Lori telling me she reads our blog, I would have had seconds and maybe thirds of the cheesy corn and bread. (oh how I love carbs) I had to fight with myself to stay seated and not eat anymore, because I was full and didn’t need it!

This blog was created to help keep us accountable, and it is doing just that. I am so thankful to our friends and family for keeping up with us and we had a great time this weekend. Now all I have to do is lose the three pounds I gained this past weekend! Oh well, I can do it.

Family Reunion, Parties, and Ninjas being successful

***Posted by Kyle

To say we ate poorly this weekend is an understatement, but it was worth it. Friday, we drove over to Kansas City to see my family. On the way, we normally stop by Chick-fil-a for a semi ninja-friendly dinner. 40 was a mess, so we took 70 instead, and went through Steak-n-Shake. This was mistake numero uno. Both of us, upon eating our disgustingly fatty, calorie and grease laden foods said out loud "This is not going to end well". Nicole literally lasted 16 minutes before she was in a gas station bathroom. Friends, this crap will kill you. For real.

The next day we had a family reunion in the afternoon- not many healthy choices for eating, but it was fantastic to see family, go fishing, and shoot guns. We even saw fellow Ninja Hollie, whom looks and feels great, and is really improving her lifestyle. That night, it was pizza for my dad's 59th birthday. I did discover that I just can't put down as many slices as I used to be able to, which is a good thing I guess.

Sunday we had my dad's retirement party, catered by a barbecue company (Jack Stack's in Kansas City- yes you have my permission to be jealous). It was interesting to see the viewpoint of my cousin, whom is a rancher, regarding pasture-raised versus feedlot-raised beef, and free range versus "regular" chickens. He leans towards the latter, and he takes the stance of being a person that is simply trying to eek out a living, raising food for people that need it in a cost effective manner. I understand both viewpoints, and will not use this blog to take a stand either way. Let it suffice to say that both sides have valid points.

Last night, we came home, grilled some meat, ate some veggies, and slept well.

In other sports news, congrats to fellow Ninjas Kimberly and Chuck. They have lost a combined total of over 60 lbs so far, and are feeling great! Good job guys!

This week, it's back to the rhythm of eating healthy, exercising, and enjoying the weather.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Not 40 Acres and a Mule, but 84 square feet and a shovel

***Posted by Kyle

Yesterday, our friend Kelly came over to our house to help me with the installation of our garden. Now, keep in mind we have never had a garden before. I once killed a cactus. This might really be an adventure, or it might be a collossal mistake. At any rate, if you are planning on starting your own garden, I wanted to let you know what you are in for. It's a really good workout- digging holes and hacking at roots takes a lot of energy and sweat. Hopefully the fruits (or in this instance vegetables) of your labors will be worth it. It is also something that is wildly uncertain. Things like bad soil composition, a cold night, rabbits, birds, squirrels, planting at the wrong time, too much sun, too little sun, too much rain, too little rain, etc, etc, etc can flat out ruin your chances of growing anything. If nothing else, I learned a ton.

Here is a pic of the corner of our yard that we decided to use for the garden. The plot that you will see in the next few pics is about 7' x 12'.



The first (and most difficult) thing to do was to remove the sod in the area that we were going to use. Here's Kelly, smiling about it:



After that, if you don't have a tiller, you basically dig down into the area that you are using, creating about 6" of loose soil. The hard part here was cutting through all of the old roots from my neighbor's dead trees. Fortunately, Kelly kept saying what good soil we have!


After adding all kinds of stuff to the soil (cotton burr, some clay stuff for baseball infields, chicken manure, and some other things that I have no idea what they were), we created two rows with a gully between them to plant the garden in:


Next, you just put the plants and the seeds in the ground. This really was the easy part. We put in a couple of different kinds of tomatoes, basil, oregano, cilantro, celery, sweet peppers, jalapenos, and some other stuff that I am super excited to use in Ninja-Friendly dishes!




At this point, we were about 2 1/2 hours into the project, and already exhausted. Kelly left, and I don't blame her! Let me give her a huge, huge THANK YOU for all of her help!

After that, I went inside, sat down for a minute to watch the first inning of the Cardinals game, then got back up to finish the job. I had to go to Lowes and get fencing to put up around the garden, as we have several "wascally wabbits" in the yard that would love to chow down on the buffet I had just provided them. I put up a small fence around the garden, cleaned up, and I was basically done.


I do still have to get some burlap to put over the seeded areas, which I will do today, and I have to get the most important piece: a garden gnome.

I'm sure this garden will give us a lot more fodder to blog about in the near future. Stay tuned! We will be at a family reunion this weekend, as well as my Dad's birthday and retirement celebration. On Monday, I will try to put up a recipe that we just discovered out of Cooking Light for a Shrimp and Grits Casserole that was awesome!

Later.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Green Thumbs? We'll see!

***Posted by Kyle


Since we started this project in January, we have definitely increased the amount of veggies that we consume with our meals. Asparagus used to be a once-a-month type addition, and Broccoli was almost unknown to us. Now we eat each at least once or twice per week. Along with this increased veggie intake we have discovered that, not only are vegetables (and especially herbs) fairly expensive at the super market, but they are seldom from local purveyors, and not very good quality. With that in mind, we have decided to plant a garden. This will either be a raging success, or we will destroy a 120 square foot portion of our yard. Our friend Kelly is going to help with the installation of said garden tomorrow, and I will report back, replete with pictures and anecdotes.

Until then, get your butt outside to enjoy the Spring, and do something active!