Last Take

Anyone who has read this blog over the past few years knows that I struggle with my weight, I have body image issues and I have lost weight successfully. AS a matter of fact, I have spent the larger part of the last 2 years undoing all of the hard work I did for the two years before that.

I began what I hoped would be my last “weight loss journey” in October 2013. I succeeded in reaching my goal weight in June 2014 and maintained that weight through the beginning of November 2014. I put on about 10-12 pounds over the holidays that year, and then I maintained that through the spring and into the summer of 2015. But then…the bottom fell out, really.

I took a big risk and changed directions in my career in the summer of 2015. I left my  structured bank operations manager job and entered an unstructured real estate sales job. I’m not gonna hash it all out, but what I can say is: I learned for what I think is the last time that I AM NOT A SALES PERSON. The lack of a good schedule and the stress of trying to make up the income I lost all contributed to a steady weight gain, even though I was still exercising regularly. Flash forward to November 2016 when I returned to my structured bank operations manager job (different area, same job basically). Though the schedule got better work-wise, the kids’ schedules got CRAZIER school and activity-wise. So though I’ve had a regular work schedule and rectified the financial situation, I have not been able to find a balance with food and exercise that has contributed to an even larger amount of weight being gained in the last year.


So, it’s time to lose about 48-50 pounds. I really want to say that I’m going to lose it “FOREVER!!” but I’ve lived this story over and over again, so I have no clue if it will be forever or not. I want it to be. I want to be healthy and well. I want to be able to run with my kids and have a fighting chance of staying with them. I want to be the example of health and wellness they need to have in a mother. So, I guess for now, that’s going to have to cut it. When I finally lose the weight again, I will have to figure out a new way to want things because what I did before didn’t work out so well.

What’s my plan? Well, Weight Watchers isn’t in the budget right now. And honestly, I feel as though I know all the things I learned in Weight Watchers before. I know I need to track my food and keep the intake to a much smaller amount than it’s been for awhile. I know I need to stay active — that part has never been an issue. I know I need to plan every day what my food will be — take my lunch, for example. I know that “Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail” and I’ve lived that out in all directions my whole life.

Discipline is essential. I understand discipline better than many people. Just because I understand it, though, doesn’t mean I know how to stay with it. So I need to re-institute my discipline that I had before where food is concerned: Plan ahead, Make Healthy Choices, Stay Mindful of the food I eat.

Craig and I bought some packages of food prep containers and we plan to spend Sundays cooking to make meals for the week ahead. I created a new Pinterest board where I have posted some Paleo/Keto recipes I plan to use for meal prep.

I need to maintain my discipline where activity is concerned and probably take it up a notch: Continue my four days a week at the Crossfit Box (maybe five if I am able to make Saturdays sometimes) and then find more ways to be active in the everyday — take my kids to the Community Center and we can swim or run or play volleyball/basketball. Choose those sorts of family activities instead of a night out at the movies or video games.

I created a new id on (LastTake, if you’re interested in connecting). I will use this site for tracking food and exercise and water intake.


I still have a FitBit that I’ll use to help track activity. It’s nice I can connect it to MFP and they can talk to each other so my exercise ends up on MFP and my water intake comes over to my FitBit app. It’s kind of cool. Maybe someday I will afford an Apple Watch or something, but for now, I’m using what I already have.

I’m going to begin reading a book recommended to me by a friend I met at CrossFit. The book is called “Breaking the Stronghold of Food: How We Conquered Food Addictions and Discovered a New Way of Living” and it is written by Michael L. Brown, PhD and Nancy Brown (Not sure, but thinking they are married). I just ordered it and it should arrive at my house mid-week.


I’m going to try to pray more. And I mean, I am going to try and INTENTIONALLY pray more. I think that if I reconnect every day in an intentional way, to our Lord and his Mother, then I will probably have a shot at long-term success.


I created a new Instagram ID as well (LastTake18, give me a follow!) I’ve been watching my kids and how they handle their IG accounts and I think I’m learning a lot about how to create and maintain a new page in the app.



I’ll post weekly, try to have a related blog up that I can reference and hope to find ways to post that will keep me going. The many times I have gone on a weight loss journey, I have found that people who get to know me online (my blog, Facebook, IG) often inspire me to keep working toward my goals. I’m a social media person — I like to use it to help get through my days or connect and follow my family and friends in life. So, this is one more way I will do that.

I’m thinking a weekend blog entry every week is what you can expect to see here. I’ll probably talk about my wins and my struggles. More than likely, I’ll work through something as I destroy this food addiction I have and I’ll have something to write about it here, too. I’ll probably post pictures as I lose so that we can see the success along the way. I may share how I reward myself — hopefully without incorporating food! — and learn new ideas from you here in the comments or on my Instagram account.

So, Here We Go. Again. Again.



"Fran," Pull-ups and Me


I see her up there on the board, mocking me…challenging me.


Thrusters, then burpees.

90 reps total — which I would find out in just a few minutes that it would take me 6 minutes 30 seconds to complete.

My heart starts beating faster just as I anticipate her domination of the next few minutes of my life.

The only way to finish is to start, and the coach says, “10 seconds!” and they count down. I hear the three beeps that signal “3..2..1” and I hoist that 65-pound bar into a clean and start the thrusters (a front squat into an overhead press).

Oh the way my mind wanders as I do the thrusters! Gotta focus on anything besides the fact that I’m doing thrusters. I think about how the coach just said, “This workout is meant to be unbroken…” and I wonder how many thrusters I will get unbroken this time. I want 21…but I realize at 11, that I need to drop the bar and reset because my brain needs the 5 seconds to reassure — Yes, I can do another 10.

From the bar, I move on to the pull-up bar and I start doing jumping pull-ups because I haven’t mastered a pull-up yet. I get through five of them and I wonder just when I will get that darn pull-up!?! I power through another 10 and I start thinking, “Gosh, I have to be getting close to getting those darn pull-ups…I wish I could be doing this workout Rx.” While I finish my last 6 jumping pull-ups, I marvel at the guy who is already on his round of 9 pull-ups and think, ”…someday I will do this workout Rx.”

Back on the bar and I think, “Only 15 this time.” ONLY 15 front squats into overhead presses. I’m trying to string them all together, I don’t want to drop…but, after 8, down goes the bar. My brain needs that break – I don’t believe for a minute that it’s my body that gives out. I definitely think it’s mental. I finish the last 7 and get up to the pull-up bar and do my jumping pull-ups.
Then back to the bar for 9 more reps and I bargain with myself. “Break it into 3…” and then, “no…string them all” but alas, my mental state falters after 5 and I drop the bar, reset and then complete the rest. I get the jumping pull-ups done and I complete the workout a minute faster than the last time I did it.
When you are doing CrossFit, you hear about “Fran” all the time. It’s like the gold standard of the CrossFit workout. It drains you like nothing else…Rx or not. This morning, I seriously started  to contemplate my problem in attaining these elusive pull-ups. I think I should have them by now. Darn it all – what is my problem? And, so I’m newly motivated to get this. I guess I just haven’t formed the strength required. Most of what I read mentions that most women’s problems with getting pull-ups is the strength. I had started thinking that couldn’t be it, but I suppose it is.
A few weeks ago, I swore off the banded pull-ups. I had heard enough coaches mention that they wouldn’t help me actually get pull-ups and I read a quite a few articles like this one and this one. I think I’m convinced that the way to improve pull-ups is not to keep using bands. I’ve been doing ring rows when the WODs called for pull-ups or — as in “Fran” today, doing jumping pull-ups. I’m not sure I get the full range of motion with a jumping pull-up, but it’s definitely a workout. The stuff I have read puts forth some things to do that will help – things like dead hangs on a daily basis to improve grip strength, Negative reps (haven’t had time to try this yet), segmented and barbell-assisted pull-ups. I just need to either get to workout 15 minutes early or stay late to do this extra work for awhile.

I remember when I got toes-to-bar, I worked on them almost every time I was at the gym. I’d just get up on the bar and do a toes-to-bar rep/attempt after the workout on my way out. I guess I should try the same with pull-ups – just get up there and try to get a pull-up every day on top of doing some extra work like negative reps, barbell assisted, dead hangs, etc.


All I know is that the next time I do “Fran” I really want to be doing pull-ups along with the Rx Thrusters. As much as it will kill, it will also be a thrill if I can make it happen.

Paleo Challenge Part Two (the Part During) – 9

Accountability post in 3…2…1…

So, the weekends are getting easier and easier to get through on this. I have even thought (GASP!) that I could potentially stay Paleo indefinitely. I suppose that is the point, right? And no matter what I think I’m definitely going to be going for 90% Paleo regardless. I think it’s unrealistic to believe I would go the rest of my life without beer or my margaritas.

Saturday Food
Breakfast: After getting up and getting a run in (a run which really kinda sucked, by the way) I had a terrific breakfast of 3 eggs, 3 slices bacon, blackberries and a sliced avocado.

It was  YUMMY!

Breakfast was late and also big AND I was getting my hair done over the lunch hour…

This color and style has really grown on me — I love it!

So, I SNACKed on almonds.

Dinner: Taco night! so I had my taco meat with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa and a few olives.

Saturday Workout: 3 mile run that, as I said before, really sucked. My legs were sore and I think I was trying to go faster than I should have. But, I was glad to have done it anyway and I resolved to have a Sunday rest day.

Sunday Food
Breakfast: 3 slices of bacon. I made Sarah an omelette, but I wasn’t all that hungry so I didn’t eat one myself.

Sunday Lunch — was kind of just water. We took the kids to the ballpark to watch the Royals last home game of the season. Needless to say, nothing there is Paleo and I can’t afford to buy it anyway!! I’m rather surprised, however, that I really was not hungry. Water was about all I needed.

Sunday Dinner — To start off I had a bed of romaine lettuce with salsa mixed in. Then, I cooked our asparagus in bunches of 5 stalks wrapped in a piece of bacon. My kids enjoyed it and yes! — my new favorite way to eat asparagus!! I also cooked a ribeye steak and ate the whole thing. I put the other one away for Monday’s breakfast.

Sunday Workout: Rest

10 more days of the Paleo Challenge!!



Paleo Challenge Part Two (The Part During) – 8

Accountability post (again).

Wednesday Food
Breakfast: 3 slices of bacon cooked crisp, 2 hard-boiled eggs and raspberries
Lunch: Banana (pickin’s were slim and time was short)
Dinner: Chicken Breast, Romaine with salsa

Wednesday Workout: CrossFit which included some gymnastics work, climbing the rope again (yay!) and then a Benchmark WOD which was pretty much awful, but a good workout, and I was glad when it was over!

Thursday Food
First of all — I weighed in with WW even though I am not required to do so. I dropped 2.0 pounds! Yay! I am sure that is the Paleo kickin’ in on the weight front.

Breakfast: Banana and 2 hard-boiled eggs
Lunch: Lunch meeting, but they bought us Chipotle, so I had my salad that is all Paleo!

Thursday workout: Rest day

Friday Food
Breakfast: 3-egg omelette with diced tomatoes and black olives, 4 slices bacon
Lunch: Chipotle salad (romaine, steak, mild tomato salsa, guacamole)
Dinner: raspberries, banana
Snack: almonds

Friday Workout: CrossFit, did a 3-rep back squat up to 170 (1RM is 175), and it was a nice 10 min AMRAP for the WOD.


Paleo Challenge Part Two (The Part During) – 7

Accountability post following.

Monday Food
Breakfast: 3 hard-boiled eggs
Lunch: had another lunch in the Executive Dining Room at work. Chicken, cauliflower, fruit bowl.
Snack: Almonds
Dinner: 4 slices of cooked, crisp bacon, Avocado and tomato slices, romaine lettuce with salsa

Monday Workout: CrossFit which included me climbing the 15′ rope in about half the time as the last time I did it. Then we did what is called a “benchmark WOD” that was pretty much awful, but a great workout.

Tuesday Food
Breakfast: Banana and 3 slices of cooked, crisp bacon
Lunch: Made a salad of all fresh veggies at Jason’s and added 3 hard-boiled eggs for the protein part (no dressing)
Snack:  Almonds
Dinner: Romaine with salsa and strip steak

Tuesday Workout: CrossFit which included a good 30 minutes of strength training (Push Press, Push Jerk and Front Squats) and then a WOD that was more like a sprint that had rowing, pushups and front squats. It was a good fast workout, which I like to have — especially when I need to rush home to get ready for work!

I am gonna go ahead and let you know that my size 6 work pants are feeling awful loose these days. I’m surprised because as of last weight check, I haven’t lost any weight. So maybe I’m using up fat stores and my body fat percentage is decreasing? I hope so!!

One of my favorite quotes from a movie, ever.

Paleo Challenge Part Two (the Part During) — 6

The Next Paleo Accountability Post 🙂

Saturday Food
Midday (went to CrossFit so didn’t eat until later): Bacon and fried eggs

Dinner: Strip Steak over lettuce with salsa

Saturday Workout: CrossFit WOD with Craig. I PR’d on the Front Squat at 140#. Then I went on to do a 3 rep-max at 135# making me think I could probably do a 1 rep max higher than 140#. Go Figure.

Sunday Food
Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs, bacon, tomato and avocado slices. Yum!

Breakfast was late, then I went for a run, so I had an early dinner…

Dinner: Rotisserie chicken with Romaine lettuce and sliced tomato

Sunday Workout: 3.0 mile run that was pretty rough as my legs were very sore!

Paleo Challenge Part Two (the Part During) – 5

Another few days sticking to Paleo. It’s funny, I’m tempted at times to “cheat” and have something that isn’t Paleo. But then, I think…”nah, don’t do it…make it one more day” and I pass on it. I still miss cheese though. And Margaritas. 🙂

I guess when I think about veering, I can remember this…

Wednesday Food
Breakfast: 3 pieces of crisp cooked bacon

Lunch: 2 hard boiled eggs, fresh salad veggies with no dressing and some grilled chicken

Dinner: 4 oz hamburger with Romaine lettuce with salsa

Wednesday Workout was CrossFit. A WOD called “King Kong” and yes…it was hard like that. 🙂

Thursday Food

Breakfast: Banana (I was running late)

Lunch: Chicken breast, Romaine and another banana

Dinner: Tuna Steak, grilled along with some bacon (6 pieces) and romaine with salsa.

Nighttime snack: raspberries

Thursday Workout — I took a rest day from working out.

Friday Food
Breakfast: New York strip steak and 3 eggs

Lunch: I went to Chipotle and got a salad that had no rice or beans, but did have the grilled vegetables and the steak along with the tomato salsa and guacamole. How much do I LOVE that Guacamole is Paleo? (very very much, actually)

Dinner: Craig had made tacos, so I had taco meat on lettuce with tomatoes and salsa and a few black olives.

Friday Workout was CrossFit which included lots of Split Jerks and Push Presses, then a double-WOD. It was a good/hard workout!