Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday "Tip of the Day"

A helpful hint:

If you are at (or close to) your goal weight, and you sometimes still feel fat, do the following: find a picture of your former heavy self, with your three chins fully displayed. Then look in the mirror and see yourself now. You'll instantly feel like a rock star.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, February 25, 2013


Hello all!

I feel the need to clarify something from my make-up post. After re-reading it, I am worried that something I said will cause others to take offense, and that is the last thing I want. And it's the last thing I intended. So let me set the record straight: When I said that I can't go to work without wearing make-up because I don't feel polished or professional, those are only my feelings about MYSELF. Personally, I feel like I look somewhat hungover when I have a clean face, or like I got approximately 20 seconds of sleep the night before. But, I know SEVERAL other ladies who look absolutely amazing, face-paint or no face-paint.

So, if you are a fresh-faced lady who forgoes the cosmetics, work or no work...I hope that you were not insulted by my words!

Now, who wants to see the Brady Bands I ordered? Of course you do!

Yes, I'm wearing my pajamas, don't judge me!

I also got one with an owl on it, but I can't seem to find the picture I took. Hmmmm....

My advice, if you are planning to order Brady Bands, is...measure your darned head!!! She does offer a larger size, but I got all cocky-like: "Oh, my head is a normal size, of course it is, I don't need to measure", and as a result, my bands are a tiny bit too small. So take my advice!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fat-Free Friday

First of all, is it just me or is anyone else DESPARATE for springtime? I know, I know, I've whined about this before, but Seasonal Affective Disorder can only take so much of this lack-of-daylight stuff :) I need my vitamin D fix, and I need it NOW!!!

Secondly, as some of you might have noticed, I tweaked my blog layout. Do you like it? I finally go around to adding tabs at the top (thanks Brandi for showing me how to do that!), so I am pathetically excited about that!

Now, my weight: I lost 1.6 this week, bringing me down to 154.4...happy with that. I'm trying really, REALLY hard to focus more on how I feel, and less on what the number on the scale says. It's difficult, but I'm working on it. Once again, I am going to try VERY HARD to not weigh myself until next Friday. I've never succeeded before, but there is a first time for everything, right?

So, moving on...let's talk make-up...(my apologies to any men who are reading...)

I read an article online recently about a woman who gave up wearing make-up for one whole year. Okay, that's a lie. I read a HEADLINE about a woman who gave it up for a year. Sue me, I was short on time!!! Anyway, it got me thinking...apparently this woman felt that her self-esteem went up throughout the year, especially when she started feeling like she didn't "need" it anymore. Do you think you'd be the same way?

I always felt ugly growing up, so when I hit high school, I think I formed an unhealthy relationship with make-up. I would not leave the house without it...and I mean that quite literally. If I wasn't already wearing it at home, and I decided to go rent a movie, I HAD to go put on a full face of make-up just to make the 5 minute trip. That's reflective of a pretty poor self image, don't you think?

When I gained weight, the opposite happened. I started wearing make-up less and less. Which really makes no sense...I already looked frumpy enough, why make it even worse? But the truth was...I just didn't have the energy for anything, including applying face paint. And forget it when I was pregnant!!! Dolling myself up was very rare!!!

Now, I feel like I've hit a much better balance. Would I go a whole year without wearing any? No. I don't think that I look polished or professional enough to show up at work with a clean face. And, of course, wearing make up makes me feel prettier and more confident. However, I am not obsessive, and I will go out and run errands, or visit the gym, without dabbing on a smidge. I even went to the movies the other day (last minute) in my natural state, and I didn't think about it at all the whole night. That's a victory for me.

What about you? What are you make-up wearing habits???

P.S. I'm already thinking about my next giveaway. Any suggestions for sponsors?

P.P.S. This is hilarious:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Brady Bands Winner

First of all, thank you to everyone who entered my FIRST giveaway! I was nervous that no one would participate, but I had over 50 entries, and I am thrilled about that!

Also thanks to Amy from Brady Bands for making the contest happen!

And now, for the winner: Congratulations to STASIA (entry #40...results generated by I will be sending you an email with further instructions on how to contact Amy to claim your prize!!!!

Secondly, a BIG thank you everyone who just reads my blog!!! I started writing about my weight loss journey to help keep myself accountable…and obviously it’s been working! So I owe a lot of my success to all of you!!! Please keep reading :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fat-Free Friday

I gained 0.5 this week. Boo. I didn't have a great week, but it wasn't terrible either. I hope I'm retaining water from this antibiotic I've been taking, that's all I have to say!

Also, I am so sick of running on a treadmill. Will tomorrow be the day that I brave the cold outside and hit the pavement? Stay tuned...

Now, onto a post a wrote a few days ago, but forgot to publish...

My weight has always flunctuated. Even as a child. And it's only gotten worse the older I've become.

I don't post enough photos on this blog, so I thought I'd share some from my teen and adult years just to showcase how much I've yo-yo'd all over the place. I'm really determined, now, to stop that cycle once and for all!!!

Please me nice. I know I look horrible in a lot of these. I'm trying not to care.

(Remember...I'm 5'9. Healthy Weight Range is something like 135-169.)

High school 2002 - 115 (I was sick with out-of-control anxiety for months...didn't lose weight on purpose)

Also high school, but closer to my normal (at the time) weight of 140

May 2006 - my sister's wedding day - 161
I was in the middle of my first successful weight loss plan

My best friend's wedding, June 2007 (a week before my own!) - 153

July 2008 - 195 (the second picture helps to demonstrate how I gained that much weight in just one year)

Hallowe'en 2008 - somewhere in the 180s...also was about 11 weeks pregnant :)

Summer 2009, about 5 weeks post-partum - 200lbs

May 2010 (one year after baby) - 178. I was so proud of myself at the time!

January 2012 - About to pop (and at 219!)

Not long after birth - still above 200. I eventually settled in at 198

November 2012 - around 153

I really am a work in progress. Always. But I'm proud of how far I've come.

P.S. Still three days left to enter my giveaway!!! See previous post...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Brady Bands Giveaway!

Welcome to my very first blog giveaway!!!

Amy from Brady Bands has graciously offered to give the winner any TWO Brady Bands of their choice (not including special orders)!!! Haven't checked out Brady Bands yet? You should. I can't stop drooling over all of the cute patterns! I especially love this one (you can't beat argyle!):

Oh, and this one:

(Yes, I love pink)

These bands are non-slip, and they come in a wide variety of patterns. There really is something for everyone, and I've heard rave reviews about them from so many people. The best part about these bands? They work for exercise, but are cute enough for every day! Can't beat that!

Enter below (you have three chances to enter). This contest will run for one week, and then I will announce the winner. Good luck everyone!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 8, 2013

A Happy Fat-Free Friday

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I NEED to STOP peaking at the scale between my weigh-ins!

Earlier in the week, I was stressed out because it didn’t look like I was going to lose anything despite all of my hard work. However, lo and behold, today the scale showed me that I was down almost two pounds!!! I am sitting at 155.4 today and feel pretty good about that!

Now listen up, ladies (and gents?). I did a few things differently this week. Bikini season isn’t too far away, and I’ve still got work to do!!!

(Ha ha ha….oh that’s funny. Pretending that I’ll ever wear a bikini again. Anyone want to buy me a tummy tuck for my birthday?)

Okay, seriously…I’m probably never going to be caught dead in a teeny weenie bikini ever again. Too many stretch marks, and WAY too much loose skin from pregnancy, to pull that off. “Two piece” to me means “tankini”. And I’m okay with that. Mostly. Sometimes. Let’s go with that.

Anyway….I’ve long been a cardio junkie, only throwing in a bit of strength training due to a some sort of feeling of obligation. But lately, especially this past week, that’s been changing. I’ve noticed more and more than while cardio helps me lose weight, strength training is DEFINITELY helping me lose inches. So I really need to mix it up more.

I’m all about squats, lunges, and tricep curls now. I work my core, lift weights, and squat some more. I’m even trying to change up my cardio routine, adding in the Stair Master and doing sprints and intervals on the dreaded treadmill (the dreadmill?). I could lie any say it’s all about my health, and it is partly, but…I just want to improve my looks a bit (although I’m learning to accept my new body) and feel stronger and leaner. That’s what it’s mostly “all about” for me, now: how I FEEL.

I want to feel good in shorts this year – it’s been a long time! And I want to be able to buy them in a SINGLE digit size (right now, I have one pair of size 9 jeans – all the rest of my pants are 11s). I’ll be darned happy with some size 9 shorts!

And, yes, I want to rock a bathing suit..even if it IS just a one piece.

I know it’s only February, but spring and summer will be here before we know it. Might as well start making the changes now, and reap the rewards when the seasons come!

In other news, it's snowing like CRAZY here! I'll try to get some photos...

Also, I’m looking for GUEST POSTERS! Interested in doing a post for my blog? Let me know!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Life is Hard...

I often wish that we could afford for me to be a stay-at-home mom. I really do.

(I don’t mean that with any disrespect towards my place of employment. I work with amazing people. I have wonderful members to serve, and am able to enjoy myself at work quite often. If I could afford to take a leave of absence for a just few years and be guaranteed my job back at this wonderful place, it would be a dream. But life doesn’t work that way.)

I know that the idea of being home all day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and that many people feel like they thrive by being a working parent. (There’s also less time to sit around cramming your face full of crappola when you’re away from home!) There is nothing wrong with this. (You will hear no “this is better than that” from me). It’s just that I am not that type of person. Maybe I wish I was, at least just a little bit. It would make life easier for me. Instead, I feel that a LOT of things fall be the wayside when I return to work. At least this time the transition has been easier. And I do credit my coworkers for that, and I’m very thankful.

But, here is the thing: I think that for a lot of woman and mothers - even those who enjoy working - it often feels like we are just pulled in too many directions. Too much is expected of us at times. And you know what I think the hardest part is?

It's the "emotional work". (thanks to whatever magazine introduced me to that phrase.)

You know...the stuff like remembering birthdays and sending cards, planning celebrations and holidays, organizing soccer practices and carpools, picking up missing ingredients - all those little (or not so little things) that need to get done, but often are taken for granted. (I mean, to be fair, how would your husband know how much work goes in to hosting a birthday party when he has never done it himself? Or how tough it is to keep track of every little thing that keeps your family unit running.) I don’t think that some people realize how much planning, work and stress it can add to our lives. Oh, and don’t forget to look good doing it. Otherwise, you’re accused of letting yourself go. But also don’t spend too much time exercising, because then you are neglecting your family, apparently!

I’m not trying to start a gender war, or place the blame on husbands. And I’m sure there are many families where men are the ones who take on these responsibilities. But I find that society in general hasn’t really moved past the times where all women stayed home, where men had more consistent schedules (and were probably home more to help), and where life was just less fast-paced in general.

I’m not saying that being a stay-at-home mom is necessarily easier than being a working parent. It just works better for me.

Does anybody know what I’m talking about?

One thing is for sure: having a healthy, loving family makes it all worth it.

In happier news, my workplace is changing hours just slightly starting in April, and it means that it will be easier for me to attend certain gym classes. How big of a dork am I to be so excited about that?

Don't forget to leave a comment or suggestion! Please?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Van's First Birthday

I find it absolutely infuriating how quickly babies grow up. It really is maddening how quickly time goes! Couldn't they stay little just a wee bit longer? Is that too much to ask?

Anyway...I am too tired to write much, but here are some photos from our little man's party!

Hope you've enjoyed them!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fat-Free Friday: As Good as Goal

I have a thing for cheesey post titles. Can you tell?

It's Friday, and I'm busy preparing for my son's first birthday (tomorrow). Where on EARTH does the time go? I swear it goes by faster with the second child than it does with the first - and that was fast enough!!!

This morning, the scale told me that I weigh 157.2 - a mere 0.2 pounds above my goal weight. Let's ignore that. I consider myself back at goal, and look forward to losing a bit more so that I can have a bit of a "cushion" once again. (I definitely recommend having a goal RANGE instead of a goal weight - it makes those water-retentiony days a little less painful).

I also want to point out that I FINALLY believe what people say - that you can lose inches without losing weight. I've always known it to be true, of course, I just never thought that it was true for ME. However, lo and behold, today some of my measurements are smaller than they were before I left for my trip to Florida, at which point I weighed you see...the scale really doesn't paint the whole picture!

I need help with my arms, though. I haven't lost so much as 0.25 of an inch in months, and I also find that I haven't gained a lot of strength since I started, so obviously I'm doing something wrong. Any advice?