Category: Sammo

Teaching her to be Strong

This past Friday school was out, so I brought the kiddo to work with me. It’s an adventure for her. A place to explore. For me, I’m learning it’s a place for me to teach her how to be strong, thoughtful, and independent now and as she grows into the woman she will become. It’s always in the back of my mind, but sometimes with all the things going on in our lives as moms, we forget how we are examples for our daughters to become strong women who can do whatever they want to be.

On my wall at work, Samantha left me a note:

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“Happy work day with me. Love you. I know you don’t get to spend that much time with me, but I will always love you. xoxo 11-11-2016”

I was crushed when I first read it. Just trying to stop the tears from coming was almost too much. Does she really see me as this person that is always at work? But then someone reminded me that when she grows up, she will use the example I have set for her to know she can do whatever she wants. She will be independent. She will be strong.

All of this reminded me that after the election, after talking to my daughter about the possibility (and my hope) that we would have the first woman president, that she should always dream bigger. That she can be whatever she wants to be when she grows up. To not settle.

In my journey (and struggles) to get healthy as well, I have loved sharing the process and struggles with her. How I try to push myself to get stronger physically…go farther on a run…lift heavier…or try a new workout even though it looks hard. To set a goal, put your mind to it and overcome the obstacles.

Samantha amazes me every day. She’s an avid writer. Lover of all music. She has a competitive spirit. Kind and empathetic. She’s already so strong now; I can’t wait to see what kind of Super Woman she will become.

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Whoa 2015, Did That Really Just Happen?

Let me start off by saying, 2015 flew by…like did that all just really happen?  December 31st and honestly the last month and a half snuck up on all of the Cooke family and since its pretty much been FOREVER since I posted anything, I thought what better a time to write, but to recap Year 2015 now that it is almost in the books!

Well we started the year off with a BANG when we took our big trip to Disney World.  It honestly feels like years ago that it happened, but it was just January.  There were princesses and castles, riding Space Mountain (2 or 3 times – the kiddo loved it, mommy not so much), and a Magical time for everyone!  And let’s not forget Samantha’s amazing time dancing with Belle.

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Not only did we go to Disney World, but we visited Great Wolf Lodge in OH, not once, but twice.  Getting pampered and having fun at story times.  Sam and I ventured our way up to the top of the St. Louis arch on our way to Kansas City, Tulsa, and Yukon to visit cousins, family and friends.

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Then our biggest trip of all was all the way to Seattle, WA to find a place to live as we made our trek across the US in pursuit of a new job for me!

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But before I go into all of the insanity of picking up our lives and moving across the country from Lexington, KY to Seattle, WA…let’s talk more about the kiddo.

The kid did a lot for 2015….she graduated from preschool and headed to Kindergarten.  We already knew she was a smarty pants but she blew them out of the water at school with her reading and writing skills!

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Not only did she excel academically, Sam proved she could do anything if she put her mind to it and ran her first 5K in the Color Run.  There was a little whining along the way, but overall we had an amazing time!  Then she also danced in her first dance recital with her best friend Hadley and wowed the crowd!

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So back to the whole moving across the country thing…yeah, that happened.  After accepting a position at one of the world’s biggest companies in a dream position, we packed it all up and moved us (including 2 cats) to Seattle (Issaquah), WA!  It’s put our lives in a whirlwind and we are not settled yet, but we’ve been able to celebrate the holiday season together and start to make a new home, in an amazing city!  (And the best part, Mike got to keep his job and work remotely from home!)

But there was even more for 2015 and the Cooke family.  Mike and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary!  It doesn’t seem like 10 years when we ran off to Vegas and got married at the Little White Wedding chapel, but here we are!

216720_1045994426599_4643_nAnd speaking of those 2 up there, we look a lot different now.  Sometimes I forget that not everyone has been through the journey with us to becoming healthier (and smaller) people, so it still blows me away when someone asks us how we did it.  While our journeys were both different, we got there and happy that we did!

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2016 promises to be amazing – new home, new job, new school, new traditions!  Happy New Year!

Diet Mentality vs Intuitive Eating and the Tooth Fairy

So life has been in full swing at the Cooke household lately…hence no blogging.  But there’s been a lot bouncing around in my head the last few days so I figured it was time to get at least some of it out there.

I’ve been trudging through the figurative mud lately when it comes to my journey to become an intuitive eater.

I know it needs to be done, but it is definitely going to be a hard journey.  There is a lot to overcome.

One of the first principles of Intuitive Eating is to reject the diet mentality.  Get over the idea of “losing weight”, “losing inches”, “losing something”.  You have to focus on yourself and forget the idea of something better is around the corner to help you get to a better version of yourself.  I’ve been in the “diet mentality” for 3 years solid.  I had an end goal to lose weight and I was focused.  I tracked what I ate and I exercised for the burn.  But now I have to focus on me.

As existential as it sounds, I have to accept myself as the current self.  This concept is so, so, so hard for me.  After focusing on that end goal of a smaller self, I forgot to accept just me.  I’ve talked about it before, but a lot of it is about learning to celebrate how far I have come.

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The constant battle in my brain though to want to track every molecule of food going into my mouth is minute by minute.  I go back and forth on tracking food to abandoning MFP altogether.  Tracking food became a norm, but it also became an obsession.

My other battle is weighing myself.  I know, I know….I have said it; we’ve all said,

You are not defined by the number on the scale.

But holy crap people that is harder to put in practice than saying it when you have weighed yourself EVERY F-ING DAY for 3 years straight.  And the scale mostly went down.  Not it goes all over the place.  Up and down.  I swear it even goes sideways.

I keep reminding myself that becoming an intuitive eater is a journey that I have begun just like when I began the journey to become a smaller, healthier me.  I’m still on that healthier me journey, but looking more inwards is always harder.

Outside of my crazy brain, what else has been happening?  LIFE!  First, the kid is growing up.  Too fast!  Like, can we just slow this down for a hot minute?  We had not 1 BUT 2 teeth lost and so the Tooth Fairy put on her wings and got to work!  There was a slight learning curve though….the Tooth Fairy quickly learned the value of a dollar bill vs. coins to a 5 year old.  Second time, she brought coins.

IMG_7467Sammo is also a reading machine.  She loves to read and we love that she loves it.

The independence that reading has given her has been tremendous!  She’s on a mission right now to read every Junie B. Jones book she can get her hands on and in the process got her very own library card.  We plan on doing the reading program at the library this summer and it brings back so many fond memories of going with my mom and sister or my grandparents during the summer to get my book stamped and picking out the next great book to read.

In other news, Mike and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary this month.  I still don’t think we can believe it has been 10 years.  I remember it was like yesterday that we were heading out to Vegas to get married at the Little White Wedding Chapel.  We’ve had our ups and downs, but I have to say we are definitely getting better with age (and definitely smaller). 😉

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Over the past month and a half I have also been pushing myself to the limit when it comes to workouts.  I had made one of my goals this year to complete the Insanity Max 30 workout program.  I knew it was going to be tough, but I had NO IDEA!  I love Shaun T though and I love that this program has been pushing me mentally and not just physically.  You have to really push yourself and challenge yourself to overcome a hurdle in the workout and a lot of times it is about the mental struggle, not the physicality of it.  Either way, at the end of every workout, I look like a hot mess.

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It’s been a crazy couple of months.  We will keep challenging ourselves, learn new things, and celebrate the accomplishments we have made.

So, here’s to eating intuitively and throwing out my scale (on most days).

The Road to Intuitive Eating

Since my last post, I’ve been on a journey.  A culmination of things happened and I found myself discovering the world of intuitive eating.  I found the book “Intuitive Eating” by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch and I am truly inspired.  While I am in the early stages to becoming an intuitive eater, I am hopeful that I have found the right path for the next phase of my life in the journey to a healthy me.

I don’t want to discount everything that has happened in the past, because it got me to where I needed to be, but along the way I kind of forgot how to just eat and LISTEN to my body.

Part of my journey has always been to be honest with those around me, but to also be honest with MYSELF!

With honesty though, you have to perk up and listen to what your body is telling you and I haven’t always done that when it comes to food.  When counting calories, I stayed on the course and accounted for every calorie that I ate.  And I wanted to make sure I ate every calorie I had.  I also became very rigid with when I ate, breakfast at 7:30, snack at 10, lunch at 11:30 and so on, but through this structure, I wasn’t listening to my body.  The structure gave me the means to lose the weight, but left me with no structure to hang onto when going into maintenance.

When you are on a diet or let’s not use that word…when you are on the journey to get healthy your ultimate end goal is to get to a freedom.  A freedom from the structure, the rigidity, and the constant confinement of the limitations you have put on yourself.  The problem is, at least for me, when I got to my goal and went into maintenance and removed that structure, I had lost trust in myself in the process.

Without the structure, I didn’t trust myself to maintain the course.

So now in moving towards the life of an Intuitive Eater, I am regaining that trust little by little.  Baby steps.  Just as I lost the weight, this next chapter in my life will be done by baby steps with the ups and downs that always come along the way.  I want to talk more about all the breakthroughs I am also having with my anxiety, binge eating, etc on this new journey, but I’ll leave that for next time!

This new course is a new challenge.  And speaking of challenges, I have to mention my amazing kiddo who seriously blew me away this past weekend.  After my last Color Me Rad run, she wanted to participate so bad, so I signed us up.  She pushed herself harder than I had ever seen her and ran at least half of the 5K distance.  There were little whines along the way, but she wasn’t going to give up.  So proud!

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Cooke Family Year in Review

2014 was a pretty good year for the Cooke family!  It’s kind of crazy to think back to everything that happened.

January started off a little rough for us with the nasty cold weather (we made the best of it though by playing in the snow), myself getting shingles, and everyone else in the family being sick.  But February brought a better outlook for us all.  

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Having fun in the snow!

Jobs. When February rolled around big changes came with it (unfortunately snowmageddon stayed a little longer though).  Mike got a job!  And a job he loves, doing what he loves, for a great local company.  After a few years of working retail and being a great stay at home dad, Mike headed into the corporate world.  It brought a lot of changes to our family dynamic, shuffling who goes where and when, but it was a great change we embraced.

Travel. Bring out the suitcases!  We had a lot of fun travels this year!  We took several trips including a short weekend for Mike and I to Gatlinburg, TN with friends, a mini family vacation to Ohio for some fun at Great Wolf Lodge and Kings Island, a road trip for Samantha and I to Oklahoma to see family and old friends and eat lots of yummy food, my first time going to New York City (and all by myself), and our first big family vacation to Indianapolis and Chicago to check out the amazing museums, sights, and a fun surprise seeing friends from long ago.

Health. This year also was the year of discovery when it came to our health.  For myself, I reached several milestones on my mission to shed the pounds and get healthy, including hitting -140lbs lost, celebrating 2 years on my journey, and logging into MyFitnessPal for 500 consecutive days.  I also started to refocus my goals and why I was getting healthy, paying less attention to the scale (when I willed myself to, it’s hard!) and more attention to the new body I was living in; making it stronger through new workout programs, learning to maintain, and finding a love for lifting weights. And how can I forget winning $500 from Beachbody for my accomplishments!

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Health-wise, I also learned why my body was freaking out on me at times after being diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It was like I finally had an answer to what had been happening to me recently and in the past with my weight gains, losses, anxiety, depression, hair loss, etc.  Then the kiddo got checked out for her allergies and we finally had answers to her constant coughing and breathing issues.

Speaking of the kiddo, she GREW!  I’m not talking just taller, because she definitely did that, but mentally too.  She began writing, A LOT.  In full sentences!  She started reading, EVERYTHING!  She learned sign language and Spanish and basically ran circles around Mike and I (sass and all).  This year, Sammo found a best friend, began dance, and continues to grow into a smart, sweet, colorful, caring, little girl.

2015. What does 2015 hold for the Cooke family?  Definitely one amazing trip to Disney World, Samantha starting kindergarten, more goals to be set and accomplished, 10 years of marriage for Mike and I, and so much more!

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Happy New Year to all our friends and family!

Duck Ride

We recently went on a little mini-family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge in Mason, OH.  We love Great Wolf because it has everything packaged in one location and the kiddo has a TON of fun.

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On our way home we stopped in Newport, KY, ate lunch on the river at the Claddagh Irish Pub (one of Mike’s and my favorites), walked on the Purple People Bridge, then took Sam on her first ever Duck Ride!  At first she wasn’t sure about the duck noise makers, but by the end she was the only one left quacking at everyone we passed.  Needless to say, she loved it.

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