Archive for February, 2009

All our Peeps!

We have very exciting news! Today the Judge ruled that Doug and I are officially Anika’s Legal Guardian. Anika actually moved in with us on Friday, but we decided to wait until court was over before we made the announcement! It feels great having her here. For the first time I feel like all my children are here with us and now we can move forward, no more babies!

And our news gets even better…

We have prayed so hard that God would not allow the little girl that was placed in our home to be taken from us, and that we would have peace about that. We have heard many stories about Foster families having their foster child reunited and the terrible sense of loss they had to endure. We were prepared to take that risk and just rely on God to do what was best. Well God has spared us from having that anxiety in the back of our minds! Anika is available for adoption and we are officially in the process of adopting her! By the end of May, she should carry the Powell last name!!!

Mason, Bowen, Adelaine and Anika are having the best time together. Saturday we are planning to celebrate Anika’s birthday at “Give Kids the World” in Orlando. The children have been telling her all about it and she can hardly wait! The girls are about 10 months apart and Anika will be one school year behind Adelaine. Anika keeps telling Adelaine, “Hey Adelaine, We’re sisters, we are twins”! This cracks us up so much because if you could see the girls they look absolutely nothing alike, and Anika literally towers over Adelaine. We’d saved all of Adelaine’s clothes since birth in hopes of getting a baby sister. Who knew that the baby sister would be the size of a 6 year old?!!!

Angela

I almost forgot, her name will be Anika (like Monica without the “M”).  We introduce her as Anika and she knows her new name and really likes it!

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Everyone is doing great. Anika is fitting in well. The kids all fit together very well, God definitely blessed us with Anika.

I have never lived in a city while that city was hosting a Super Bowl. The electricity has been amazing for the last couple weeks, with this past week supercharged.

I went to the Channelside district in downtown Tampa Friday night with a couple friends I used to work with. We parked a couple blocks from the St Pete Times Forum (the hockey arena) The Lightning were playing the Flyers, which is usually a big draw.

Across the street from the forum were carny vendors.

Seriously.

The guys with no teeth, laughing and talking crudely had taken over these vacant parking lots.
They had dunk tanks, turkey legs to eat, throw the ball at the pins, pin the tail on the donkey and all the rest of the rip off games. This lead to the Channelside district where their was a free concert venue setup from Budweiser and 10 different clubs with private / pay big bucks for VIP parties.
There were tens of thousands of people in Channelside on Friday night. Saturday night they were expected 250,000! The majority of Super Bowl attendees were scheduled to arrive late Friday and early Saturday.

Alas, the Super Bowl is now gone. The game was a great game. Miss Barb came over and I made 4 different kinds of pizza:

• Thin crust ½ cheese, ½ chicken feta spinach sausage
• Traditional crust cheese
• Traditional crust chicken feta spinach sausage
• Deep dish Chicago Style cheese on the bottom crumbled chicken feta spinach sausage, crumbled Italian sausage, sliced chicken feta spinach sausage, with tomato sauce on top.

I also boiled some brats in a dark beer for a couple hours and to add a little veggie mix to the fun some asparagus stalks with a light coating of olive oil and Italian seasonings done in a closed pan in the oven.

Now as you know, we usually eat pretty darn healthy. There are a few occasions that we blow out our typical menu and go for the decadent. (Oh yeah, decadent reminded me that I also made a Mint Oreo Cheesecake.) A couple days a year I am allowed to flex the fat man inside me and show off.
Typically, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Super Bowl Sunday are our big eating days. The fourth really isn’t as big a binge day as it is too hot to overeat. That really leaves a 3 month window from the end of November to the first weekend in February to swell up.

The 3 month window is why I never have set a New Years Diet resolution, and why I believe most people fail on their resolutions. I always buckle down after the Super Bowl and do some sort of change with my eating habits (diet is such a bad word to me).

Most years I usually do some sort of detox eliminating caffeine for several months as well as fried foods and sodas. Later in the year I start consuming them again and put on a little weight and feel like garbage.

I also usually work out a little bit here and there, enough to get sore yet not enough to really impact.
Well, that changed in July 2008.

I did the master cleanse for 18 days and detoxified my body of everything including, salt, sugar, flour, etc. all the things that really do cause problems in our bodies and yet just slough them off.

I lost over 25 pounds in 18 days. My peak weight in 2008 was a couple days at 260. I averaged around 250-255. So if you count the 260 I dropped 35 lbs in 18 days, as I ended up at 225!

Now the tricky part with any weight loss is keeping it off. That is where lifestyle change comes in.
Just simply dropping the weight is not enough. You have to change your lifestyle. Exercise, eating mostly healthy fruits and vegetables, and drinking tons of water is the basic formula for a healthy life.

Simple.

Easy.

Yet, we all struggle with these basic steps. I myself struggle tremendously.

Addiction to sugar, salt and flour are hard to kick as they are in most foods you buy prepared. You have to break the cycle. I did that with the Master Cleanse.

Now the master cleanse isn’t that difficult. Drink the spicy lemonade mix a minimum of 6 times a day for 10 days minimum. Well, it is actually pretty hard if you have no support. That is why I got this master cleanse book Click Here to check it out . I would not have been able to do the cleanse without this book.

10-20 days without food will allow you to cleanse your body and get an added bonus of weight loss. The average weight loss is 10-20 pounds in 10 days. Most people then put half the weight back on within a couple months.

Not me.

I finished my cleanse in August and today is February 2nd. I have actually lost an additional 8 pounds! I did this by not eating all the bad things I ate before and getting a moderate amount of exercise 4 times a week at the most.

My metabolism is slow. Really slow If I don’t exercise, I can easily balloon up fast. I also don’t have hours to dedicate to the gym. So I fit in a long bike ride when I can.

For me I usually ride 10-20 miles in the morning on my beach cruiser. Why a beach cruiser? Well, we live at the beach silly.

The beach cruiser gives me a workout advantage as going full speed on a bike with tires as wide as a car and a bike heavier than a freighter gives my legs an extra workout. You have to find an exercise routine that you enjoy and do it 3-4 days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes. I spend 1-2 hours on my rides.

I also have a weight setup in my garage that I use occasionally for a maximum of 45 minute workout.
I did these workouts while doing the master cleanse. In fact I did them daily. A 20 mile ride in the morning and work out at night. I was serious about cutting weight and wanted to see the maximum results.

I think this also proves that you can survive on a spicy lemonade drink only for 18 days as I did, plus I started a hard exercise regiment during the cleanse.

The cleanse cut the weight, but the exercise helps keep it off.

Do both, you will succeed. It is tough though, that is why I would recommend the book. I actually am going to start the cleanse next Monday. Anyone that wants to join me, feel free, we can support each other, but you seriously need the book as it will help you psychologically when you have questions.

With the cleanse your body cleans out some pretty crazy stuff and you get whacky cravings. Last time, I craved bacon cheeseburgers for the first 48 hours. I actually plan on tweeting my cravings as a way to journal them. I will probably put them into some sort of fat man’s menu/cookbook somewhere.

My goal is to get out of the “Terrible 2’s”. 199lbs. I weigh 217 right now so that is 18 lbs. I can hit it with the master cleanse and then strict vegetarian for a while until my body completely adjusts.
The cool thing is after the cleanse you don’t feel like eating all the junk you ate before.

You experience food like never before as your palette is truly cleansed. The first thing I had last time was some organic fresh squeezed OJ from whole foods. It felt like lighting shot throughout my body.

The first food I had was a homemade vegetable stew, no salt added.

I thought the stew was the most amazing thing I ever tasted. Angela and the kids dumped lots of salt into their bowls. I could actually taste the different complexities of the vegetables and thought a grain of salt would destroy that. Now that is a big change.

Yes, I have added salt and some meat back into my diet. I have maintained healthier eating habits thought with tremendous success.

Join me on the master cleanse next week. It is tough, but together we can make it. The rewards are amazing. I am most excited about not needing as much sleep. When your digestive system slows down, your body doesn’t require as much sleep.

Well, off to fix the kids a healthy dinner and then we are all headed to Tae Kwon Do. I plan on putting together a video showcasing some of their “skillz”. Adelaine does really well. She does have a couple moves that she adds in sometimes. I think that is just her adding a little bit of princess to bone breaking.

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