Day 68

The last 30 some days I have taken off of working out and being strict with my diet. It was too much to handle on top of moving, several large school projects, and starting a new job. I really just had to buckle down on other priorities so my health took the back seat and quite a hit.

Yesterday was my first day back on plan, and boy am I sore. I forget how much starting over sucks but I don’t feel like I could have done it differently. I had way too much going on as it was and I needed to keep focused on other things.

Starting over is hard, but mental health is important. When you have too much going on it’s okay to put something on the back burner. Now that I am settled into my new position here at work and I have 5 days left of school (eeekk!) I can refocus my energy on my health and my body.

CW: 221

GW: 150

Here we go again!

Goals:

  • Drink more water, this seems to be a constant struggle
  • Remember to eat and snack on time (to help my metabolism) because I get busy and forget
  • Be okay with my lack of progress with my body, and happy with the progress of my mental health

Surviving Your Customer Service Job

Just about every job I’ve worked has been majorly related to customer service. Some days it simply takes thick skin and determination to make it through.

Through my experience I’ve learned a lot about having a customer service position and how to handle the highs and lows that can happen in this department.

Learn The Language:

It is important to understand the right way of wording things. How you say something can make all the difference. Here is an example.

My co-worker and I went to the local supermarket to visit the salad bar. My friend was impressed with the selection and was getting her different kinds of lettuce. She accidentally used the same pair of tongs on two kinds of lettuce. A worker, at the salad bar, snatched the tongs right out of her hand. She said “don’t cross contaminate the food” and stomped away. It really soured my friend’s experience. Not only that, but we told so many people the story. Instead of being able to talk about how much we liked the food, we were talking about the rude worker.

So what could this worker have done differently? Here is what I would recommend.

  • Start a conversation first. “How are you today” “Have you been here before?”
  • Listen to their responses and welcome them.
  • Begin to explain, “we are glad you are here, let me show you some tips.” Word your correction and the rules for their benefit, “we try to keep our tongs in their designated bin and don’t want to use them in other bins. It helps us keep it clean for our customers and prevent cross contamination.”

Doesn’t that sound better? What a difference that would of made for my friend! I always cringe at bad customer service.

Listen, Just Listen:

Most of the time, angry customers just want to find someone who will listen to them. I know when I have been angry with a service, my biggest problem is that no one will help me. When you are in customer service, this is your job. Your job is to listen to their problems and concerns and try to find a reasonable solution. You don’t have to solve world peace but just be a listening ear that your customers can count on.

Always Agree and Sympathize:

As your customer tells you the story take their side. If they say something breaks, “oh no! That’s not good, I’m sorry that happened to you. Let’s see what we can do to help you.” They automatically trust you and feel like you have their back. This is especially helpful to get all of the details, customers are more likely to tell you everything (my dog chewed the cord) when they feel like you are trustworthy. You gain their trust by agreeing and being sympathetic.

Patience:

Sometimes, this one is hard. I would say it comes in second on the hard list. It can be hard to sit and wait for someone to stop telling you all of the wrong that have been done so that you can actually help them find a solution. Find a way to not rush through anything, remember you are there to listen to them. It will ultimately go faster if you really listen to them so they feel heard and you get all the details. Be patient with them. Whatever is making them contact you obviously bothers them, don’t make it worse by rushing them to a solution or decision.

Kill everything with kindness:

For me, this one is the top of the difficulty list. It is hard to stay patient and nice when someone is yelling (sometimes cussing if they stoop really low) at you for something that is most likely not your fault. Deep breaths and retract the cat claws. I try to put myself in the customer’s shoes, maybe I would be that upset too. Also remember, you are the front lines, you get the worst of it first. It’s okay though because you can handle it. The fastest way to put out the fire is to remember what you’ve already seen, patience and listen, agree and sympathize. “I’m sorry, that’s upsetting. I can understand where you are coming from, let’s see what we can work out.” Do you hear the rushing water hose, that fire is out!

I also listened to a speaker at a conference who touched on angry customers, and he gave some great advice. Don’t put up with the screaming, if you do all you can do to calm this customer down and they continue to yell it is perfectly okay to say, “I understand you are upset, however I can’t get all of the details needed to help solve this problem right now. If you are ready to calmly explain the problem to me, I’m happy to dig further. Let me know when you are ready.” Well shoot fire.

(PS, if you work somewhere that forces you deal with people who treat you with disrespect, leave).

Do what you say:

Of all the tips, this should be the easiest. Keep your word. If you promise something, deliver in a timely manner. Another rule to follow is, under promise and over deliver. It is better to surprise a customer with a better outcome than to disappoint them because you can’t do what you said you could do.

Stay organized and in the know:

If you are disorganized, this isn’t the field for you. You have to be organized to stay on top of your work. Some days you may talk to a 100 people. Take notes and keep track of your projects. If you are waiting on an invoice to post, set a reminder, etc. Don’t let things slip or get lost. Stay organized and find ways that help you keep on top of things.

Also, set time out each day to get educated. Be in the know about your company, is there issues with a system or a product? Did your delivery truck arrive or leave late? This prepares you for customers, you aren’t surprised by any issues.

 

 

Mostly, be patient with yourself. If this is a new gig for you, it will take time and practice before you are a pro. It may not come naturally. Go slow and pay attention. Read article on tips and find the ones that work for you. You can do it!

(PS, nothing is more rewarding that getting a raving review or having a customer tell you that you rock)

Day 34

Happy 4th of July!

First of all, confession time. I have totally put my fitness journey on pause the last week or so. We finalized our mortgage, signed on our house, and moved. I also took finals for the first section of my summer classes and simply survived.

Priorities, ya’ll. Balance is important.

But it is time to get back in the grove of things now that we are (somewhat) settled into our house. It still needs a lot of work and organizing (and purchases) before I will call it done. But it takes time to make a house a home.

I can feel my body slipping back into my old habits. We ate out a lot and I didn’t eat well. I haven’t hit my water goals. I haven’t done any planning.

But that’s okay. You have to give and take, and I had to lessen my focus on my fitness and turn my focus to finishing school and moving into our house.

So, I didn’t take my measurements because I know I will just feel bad about where I am, so I’m not going to worry about it right now. I will at the 60 day marker.

Goals:

  • Drink water and reach my daily water goals.
  • Get back into the habit of meal and work out planning.
  • Get my pantry and fridge stocked with great food.
  • Get my bootie into the gym and get moving again.

My reminder to myself is just to be patient with myself. I am pretty awesome (I know) but I can only handle so much at once. Be kind to yourself.

Day 20

Today is a hard one, I really want to eat junk. Not to mention they have cake, cheese cake, and cookie samples sitting out here at work for everyone.. It’s right by my desk. I just keep aggressively chomping on carrots. I want to eat everything that’s not nailed down today and I know it’s because I’m stressed not because I’m actually hungry.

This whole house-buying thing combined with the college thing and with the job description change thing is kicking my rear-end.

I haven’t seen much progress on the scale but I’m excited to see my measurements on day 30. I have started to see my leg muscles come through and my belly shrink a bit. I keep reminding myself that even if the scale doesn’t move I am still making progress.

I keep having to remind myself that my health is my priority. Especially when I want to give up and go through the drive-thru, when I’m too tired and I don’t want to go work out. I have to keep reminding myself that this is going to pay off.

Don’t stop keep going!

 

Crock Pot Roast Recipe

World’s best easiest crock pot roast recipe. I mean seriously this takes me less than five minutes in the morning to put together and it goes great with everything. It’s a favorite in our house (by that I mean my husband asks for it in the heat of summer, which I think is weird).

All you need is a good piece of meat, I typically choose one that has a small amount of marbling (the white mixed in the meat). It means the meat will be tender.

Then you need the following:

  • Packet of brown gravy mix
  • Packet of ranch mix
  • Packet of Italian dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup of water

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Don’t add more water, it doesn’t work that way. Trust me I tried, and it doesn’t look like much but it’s amazing. I mix it up in a little jar and then pour it over the meat. I put the crock pot on low for 7 hours, I found if I go too much longer on low it dries out just a touch. You can put it on warm and it’s fine after the 7 hours.

I usually pair it with mashed potatoes and egg noodles. If I’m feeling lazy or really don’t have time I get the mashed potatoes from Bob Evans. The family pack is great and it’s made with real potatoes, you just pop that baby in the microwave. The egg noodles from the Essenhaus are popular, it takes around 10 minutes to make. I do stand and stir those because they always bubble over.

This recipe has been a go to for me, especially when I know I’ll have a busy day. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!

Day 14

I am so sore today! I feel like a stiff board. Working out is defiantly catching up to me, but that’s a good thing because it means I’m getting stronger.

I decided not to get on the scale this week because I need to remind myself it’s not about the scale but about how I’m feeling and how taking care of my body is going to improve my life. It’s also the week no woman should weigh them self because it’s so out of whack. So I’m not.

I do feel stronger and I have more energy. I am sleeping better at night. I am proud of my progress so far and I’m not planning on stopping.

Goals:

  • Recover! It will be nice to walk.
  • Drink drink drink, still having troubles reaching my water goals.

 

Praises:

  • Motivation, so thankful I’ve stuck with it so far (longer than I have other times)
  • Supportive husband, who is doing great with my new way of life.

 

Short post because today is so busy but I wanted to check in!

Strawberry Icebox Cake

This is a husband favorite, he even requested that I make it to take to our small group on Sunday, and it was GONE. Not only is it a favorite, but it is so easy!

Seriously, all you need is graham crackers, strawberries, and whipped cream. You can customize it. You can do whatever fruit you choose and maybe flavored graham crackers. IMG_0346.jpeg

It took me about 15 minute to throw this together and then I gave it 4 hours in the fridge before I served it. (Please excuse the counter in the pictures, moving houses is hard and I didn’t think to clear the counter before rushing into this dessert making frenzy.)

In this particular instance this is what I used:

  • 9×13 pan (no need to grease)
  • 5 pounds of strawberries from Costco (I didn’t use all of them by any means)
  • 16 oz of regular whipped cream
  • 1 box of regular graham crackers
  1. Put a healthy layer of whipped cream on the bottom and bring it up the sides (this soaks into the bottom layer of graham cracker and makes it like a crumble bottom) IMG_0347.jpeg
  2. Put a layer of graham cracker down, and use the small squares to put around the corners to bring it up the sides a little bit. IMG_0348
  3. Do another layer of whipped cream. IMG_0349.jpeg
  4. First layer of strawberries. I have found slicing them as shows works best because it allows the crackers to lay flat on top.
  5. Layer of graham crackers and then you continue to whipped cream and strawberries, and on and on. I found it works better if you alternate the side that has the pieces of graham cracker instead of the whole pieces. So for example, the pieces in the picture above are on the right, the next layer they are on the left.

 

Then into the fridge it goes, like so.

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I took this baby to small group intending to take a picture of it cut, but it was gone before I could. When I make it again I will add a picture here.

Put this baby in your arsenal, it’s a perfect summer treat and it is so easy. Seriously, a huge hit.

Day 9

I’m down 8 pounds and it feels so good! I’m super sore as well, which I’m okay with. I had leg day Thursday, then went to TurboKick class on Friday morning. My legs are pretty shaky, but they are getting stronger.

I intended to go to the gym today and get cardio and arm day in. I’m super excited with my progress so far but I have a long ways to go!

I had a pretty bad day yesterday, and I really wanted to give in and have something sweet. But I’m glad I didn’t give in. I have to keep reminding myself that the short-term satisfaction I get when I go off plan, doesn’t help me reach my goals.

Keep those eyes on the prize!

Starting Weight: 223 lbs

CW: 215 lbs

GW: 150 lbs

I am not planning on taking measurements again until day 30. So stay tuned!

Goals for today:

  • Go work out
  • Drink enough water to reach my intake goal
  • Do some yoga to stretch out

Praises:

  • Progress

Struggles:

  • I’m actually feeling pretty good today, no struggles yet.

 

Don’t you ever give up on your dreams! You keep your head down and keep pushing on. When the it gets tough, the tough get going.

Favorite Fourth Of July Outfits 2018

It’s coming, and I realized I have NO outfits to fit the bill. We move into our new house that week so I wanted something easy to be able to throw on and go enjoy family after I’ve been unpacking all day. I found some super cute stuff!

I wanted to share with you my finds, so you can look super cute (and comfortable).

FIRST.  My ultimate favorite boutique. Filly Flair. They have a whole list of Americana themed goodies! Go. GO NOW. I won’t even be mad that you don’t read the rest of this post because you went to this link.

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2. Check out NanaMacs Boutique. I love shopping small and they have some cute stuff. Be careful, this place is addictive. You may see me in both of these pieces!

 

3. Impressions Boutique also has some cute tops that you can pair with your favorite jeans and some fun earrings. This one came in first in my book. 1805141184000-2018052912073900-a80a7463romance-in-the-air-eyelet-top-in-red_1024x1024.jpg

 

4. You could also go the statement jewelry route. When I need reasonably priced jewelry that lasts longer, you can find me at Charming Charlies. You can almost always find coupons for this store, plus these Tassel Earrings are in right now. You can get them in Red or Blue and wear them with White. That’s as simple as it gets. You could turn an outfit you already have into a super cute American themed piece.

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5. Don’t have time to order? Run to Target. They have a TON of options. Here is the list they have for 4th of July themed shirts and dresses. This one would be cute with a red skirt or pants. Or go blue. Talk about easy!

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Tag us in your outfits! #henkehouse

We want to see your inspiring style, you are beautiful!

Day 4

I sucked this past weekend. I have a friend come home (you may have seen on the gram) and I had a wedding and a ton of homework. I didn’t work out at all, ate not on plan, and drank too much. But it’s okay. It’s important to have balance. So today, I’m kicking tooshie.

The LifeSum App on my phone is saving my life. I can track everything there. It syncs with my watch so it tracks my exercise to make sure I’m counting those calories burned. It tracks my water, my measurements, my calories, and my macros. You can use the bar scanner function on the app, so you can just snap a picture of the bar code and it pulls up all the info. SO EASY! The search database on this is awesome. With MyFitnessPal I hated entering every single food and it’s info in each time. With LifeSum I just search it.

I’m also getting better with packing my lunch for work. Check out this meal from today’s lunch!

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Today’s lunch was left over chicken breast, a plain sweet potato that I baked in the microwave, and a Green Giant steamer that is actually pretty good. I was so full, I could barely finish it. I have learned how full I become when I eat properly. I rarely over eat when I space my food out and it’s good for me. I have to make sure I meet my calorie goal at the end of the day.

Struggles I have Today:

  • Do better on the weekends so it doesn’t hurt my progress during the week.
  • Getting all my fluids in.

Praises I have Today:

  • Thankful I have gotten better at planning during the week. It’s helping me meet my food goals.
  • Not as sleepy today, except it was super hard to get up.

Goals:

  • DRINK MORE WATER!
  • Make it to the gym tonight for leg day.