Saturday, September 6, 2014

Nerium Day 1

I have had my eye on Nerium  for quite a long time, maybe over a year. The first thing that caught my eye were some before and after pictures I saw shared on twitter. Then I noticed on facebook an old friend was involved in the company as a brand partner. At the time, I didn't want to try the product, even with the amazing pictures I saw, because I didn't want to get roped into another MLM where I had to try to get friends to host parties for me.

Over the last few months as Nerium has launched more products and I saw more and more pictures shared by Noelle of people she personally knew. I consider her a person of integrity so I trust the validity of the pictures she personally shares. I just couldn't ignore there might be something to these products.

I am pretty happy with my skin. I get a lot of compliments and the dermatologist gave me an A+, but even still...there is room for improvement. I've noticed the pores on my chin appear more visible, I have fine lines that don't bother me...but I wouldn't be sad if they lessened in appearance. Also, I have bumps on my forehead, I can't remember what they are called, they are not zits...something else, anyway they have been there for years. I've been told they have to be manually removed, either by some kind of abrasion or cutting. Neither of which has interested me because as fair skinned as I am...I scar easily. I worry that something that is going to manually remove the bumps will leave a scar.

Last week, I contacted Noelle for more information about Nerium, both the products and the company. She sent me a couple of videos. I was suprised to learn that the products are for all skin types, paraben free and more. I was very impressed with that aspect of the products, so I told Noelle I would like to give them a try.I recieved the night cream and the day cream last night. Now that I have given them a try, I'd like to share my first thoughts so I don't forget later.

Night Cream:
I love the packaging. It looks sharp. Also, I think it is very important the have moisturizers in a pump, not a jar. When something like this is put in a jar, many of the beneficial ingrediants are destroyed by oxidation. The jars may look nice, but they are really bad for the product. Also, I don't care how careful you are...most people keep their cosmetics in their bathroom. There is just too much opportunity to expose the contents of a jar to bacteria and I like to be more careful with something I am putting on my face! I really like that the directions state the number of pumps you need. I hate it when a product doesn't give guidance on the amount recommended for use or uses something vague like "a small amount"  or a "pearl sized amount", my small amount might be different from another person's and there is certainly a variety of sizes of pearls. I know that is picky, but it is what it is!
Alright, finally...about the products. When I pumped it out then spread it on my finger tips to apply it to my face, I noticed it was very creamy which I like. I found it a little difficult to spread, I am betting, is why the directions recommend a slightly damp face in addition to the absorption comment. Once I had it on, my face felt tight. Not dry, just...tight. It felt a little odd. Not bad, but not exactly pleasant either. It certainly didn't keep me from going to sleep and shortly after I didn't notice it at all. I didn't notice any tightness when I woke up this morning. One negative I'd like to mention is the directions say to put it on your face...nothing about your eyes, but I consider them part of my face. I put the product on around my eyes and under them, not on my eyelids though. Later, on the bottom of the bottle I saw it stated not to use it on the soft tissue around the eyes. I think that is a bit if a shame, I mean isn't the area around the eyes one of biggest problem areas for people when it comes to the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and other skin issues? I hope they are planning an eye cream!

Don't have much time to talk. I'd say ditto to all the positives above here. Less cream though and when I put it on, no tightness. It is now about 30 mins later and my skin just feels well moisturized, not heavy or greasy though. I have the same comment about the eyes as above.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Day 24

I am a little late with my weekly check in, but better late than never!

Last week was a bit of a crazy week. I had a work trip from Wednesday to Thursday. I was able to get a WOD in before I left Wed morning so I didn't miss any of my days (Thur is a rest day). The trip went well, but I'll be honest....I ate totally off plan while I was gone and continued the trend through the weekend. I had one of the best out of town meals of my life on Wednesday evening at a hole in the wall pub. Over the weekend my girls went to stay with their grandparents for their first ever weekend away. My hubby and I decided to indulge and have a date night. Our date night extended into a breakfast out the next morning (after crossfit) and dinner out the following night too. My food choices certainly didn't promote any weight loss, but they did promote a fun and mentally relaxing weekend. I'll take it. We rarely eat out and date nights are even more rare.

Now for specifics:

The word of the week was "Sin" and boy was there a lot of it!! We spent time studying the fall, Cain and Abel, the tower of babel, and David. What struck me was that mankind's pride, or desire to be self sufficient, or God-like sure does lead us down a path of destruction. It was also clear to me that while we serve a loving God, sin makes him angry and He takes it personally (at least that is my best attempt at describing sin is against God). We had an interesting discussion in our group about the way we present Bible stories to kids. The prevailing practice is to make people into "heroes", then tell like them! Be faithful like Abraham! Be brave like David! We put all these people up on pedestals and tell our kids to be like them, but we fail to highlight the many failings of these men and how God showed them Grace, Mercy, and still used them! Now, I am not saying we need to give 4 year-olds all the details of Abraham giving Sarah to the Pharaoh or David and Bathsheba, but the message of God's ability to use our broken selves for the Glory of His Kingdom is an important message kids need to hear (heck adults too). 

I am really enjoying this way of exploring the Bible. We are mostly going from start to finish so far, but there is some jumping around to read Scripture pertaining to our topic, like last week we mostly read in Genesis, but jumped to David and Psalm 51 (which was about repentance). 

This was a tough week! I guess they are all pretty tough, but last week was seriously intense. I can tell I am getting stronger, but my cardio seems to hold me back quite a bit...or more like slow me down. I am definitely improve all the way around, but I am more please with my progress in the strength area compared to the cardio endurance area. I think a lot of that will improve over time. When I run, I tend to subscribe to the slow and steady way of thinking, but Crossfit is more of a sprint. Continuing to lose weight will also help my speed. I am much faster now than I was 35 lbs ago and I know as I drop more weight, my body will be able to move faster. Overall, I am very proud of how my body is responding!

I made it to 4 workouts last week. This week I am planning on hitting 5. I have already completed 3 this week, all in a row, and I could really feel some fatigue this morning. I am looking forward to a rest day tomorrow. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day 15

Last week was a whirlwind! My sister was out of town so we were down an adult and all the big kids had jam packed schedules. My goal for the week was to make 4 WODs and to keep up with my Disciple reading. I was able to accomplish both!


This week our word was "Wonder". We read both Creation stories as well as many psalms and other scripture relating to Creation and God the Creator. I think it is easy sometimes to make God smaller than He really is and I loved that the Scripture we read last week revealed how infinite His power really is. God spoke everything into existence. He breathed life into man. There would be nothing without Him. He is Master of everything that ever was or ever will be! I find a lot of safety and security in that knowledge. It reminds me of when I was a little girl. My dad was 6'5". I always loved that he was taller, bigger, stronger, than anyone else I knew. I always felt safe. That is how knowing God is bigger and more powerful than anything else makes me feel. Safe.


WOW! What a week! I really noticed a difference this week. As of Friday I have lost about 7.4lbs and it really shows in my face. Others are starting to notice as well. I have also turned or at least started to turn a bit of a corner in my workouts. I can tell I am doing them better (form, speed) and working harder. I feel stronger. I love it!

The workout that stands out for me at the moment is the one we completed on Friday. It was made up of power snatches, pistols, and medicine ball power cleans. We had an assigned number of reps for each exercise and we were given 4 minutes to cycle through all the reps. We had 5 rounds of this and counted how many cycles we made it through. I made it to 7+20 reps. I was just 1 rep (medicine ball clean) short of 8 cycles. I just barely didn't get the clean done, but I felt wrong counting it. My legs are still screaming from that WOD!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 8

I thought I would start out this week with a bit of a recap from last week, my first full week of CrossFit and Disciple I.


I completed WODs on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. Many of these were considered baseline and will be repeated at the end of the challenge. I left my notebook at the box so I will do a comparison at the end of the challenge. 

I did complete my first "Hero" WOD on Wednesday and it was seriously tough! 

After the first week, I can totally understand why people get addicted and also why people run away! CrossFit is intense, its own special brand of fun, and humbling. Believe me, is it ever humbling. There is a lot I can't do. I can't do a strict pull up, head stand push up, heck...I can't even use the prescribed weights for the WODs, but I like a challenge. I am usually the last to finish in my group, but that doesn't make me the loser. I am not competing against anyone else (yet). I am competing against myself. Every time I do any of these WODs or any of the individual exercises, I want to do them better. Sometimes that will mean faster. Sometimes that will mean with more weight. Sometimes it will mean just doing them correctly. One thing I know for sure is I sure won't get stronger, fitter, or healthier sitting on the couch eating tacos! 

As for the Paleo side of things, last week went really well. Other than the protein powder I had after my workouts, I was spot on. The weekend was more challenging, but I knew it would be and I planned for it. I had a meal on Saturday off plan and I had some treats on Sunday. I won't call them slip ups, because I planned all week to have them. I really don't think one meal and a couple of treats will undo everything else I did all week and according to the scale and how I feel....they didn't. I have noticed a Paleo breakfast of eggs with spinach, salsa, and avocado keep me feeling satisfied all morning. I've always "known" a protein based breakfast would stick longer, but taking the time to make something hasn't been an interest for me in the past. Now, I look forward to it each morning because I know it will carry me through half of the day feeling great!

Disciple I:

The word for last week was "Authority". Mostly we spent the week getting familiar with The Bible, how it is organized and different writing styles. I am using a life application study Bible. I really like it because it provides historical context and references that really help me to understand the perspective of either the author of the particular story I am ready or the audience. 

We read Psalm 84, then discussed it with a partner. It is really interesting and encouraging for me to hear all the different ways people are impacted by the same Scripture. It reminds me that The Bible is a living document. Each time we read it, we get the opportunity to communicate with God and for the Holy Spirit to reveal a message intended just for each of us. It is such a blessing to know that my God wants to talk to me. Wow! 

This week our word is "Wonder". 

My goals for this week are to go to crossfit 4 times and to keep up with my Scripture reading daily. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 1...Baselines

Two posts in one day!

As I mentioned in my post earlier, today is the start of two very interesting challenges for me. One is a 60 day Paleo/Crossfit challenge and the other is the beginning of a 34 week Bible Study called Disciple. Over the next 34 weeks we will read approximately 80% of the Bible and meet weekly for a group discussion session. I know this will be intense, but I am really looking forward to being immersed in Scripture. I have heard many people say this study changed their life! That is good stuff!  

Today's assignment for Disciple was to familiarize yourself with the Bible you will be using for the study. I am using a life application study Bible (NIV). I also have a KJV. I know there is a lot of controversy among different Christians about which version of the Bible is the real word of God. I have discussed the version I am using in the past with a very trusted adviser(s) as well as prayerfully considered it. I also think an important step to unlocking Scriptural messages is to approach it from the stand point of "Holy Spirit guide me. Reveal the message in these words intended for me". This is one of those decisions in which others can certainly have an opinion, but they don't get a vote, if you know what I mean?

Tonight was my first official Crossfit class. Last week I attended beginner's classes which ended in a WOD named "Fran" on the last day, but today was the first true blue class for me. Because we are starting a challenge, we completed 3 baseline challenges (after the warm up which was harder than most of my usual workouts!). 

A. 2 rep deadlift max: 155 lbs
B. 500M run, 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 HR push ups, 10 pull ups: 8:41 and I had to modify the push ups and the pull ups (jump pulls). 
C. "GRACE": 4:41 (55lbs)

I am really excited to see how these numbers change 60 days from now! 


Have you ever been at a place in life where you just know...change is coming? That is exactly where I am right now. 

I recently read a post on a blog I follow about finding a balance in life. This post was specifically about a work/life balance, but it got my mind going. I think there are many components to living a "balanced" or healthy life, but four that stand out to me are physical health, spiritual health, emotional health, and mental health. I think all of these can work either for us or against us in life depending on the path we choose. My current focus is on finding a healthy path forward. A path that takes all of these different pieces of the healthy life puzzle into consideration. 

Recently I have committed to a 60 day Crossfit Challenge and a 34 week Disciple Bible Study. Interestingly enough, both begin today. Short term, this blog will serve as a way for me to unload my feelings and thoughts on these two "challenges" as well as anything else I feel like hashing out here. Long term, well, we'll just see what happens.