My Very First Vlog: Halloween Traditions & Costumes

 Did you celebrate Halloween when you were younger? 
What was your tradition?

It's my very first vlog featuring my boy!

My editing/video skills need some improvement but ya gotta start somewhere, right?!

Weekly Recap: Pageants, Falling off the Wagon, and Weekly Challenge

Busy, busy weekend...

I'm sure I have a chocolate hangover.

Because I fell off the wagon this weekend...

Saturday, I volunteered at my very first beauty pageant. I have absolutely no experience with beauty pageants  I was never a pageant kind of girl and I have a boy, so this was definitely a new experience. I'm still on the fence concerning how I feel about pageants, especially for little girls. But, that's a post for another day.

Sunday night was the Fall Festival at my church. THIS is where I really fell off the wagon. I was surrounded with so much chocolate goodness. I pretty much made myself sick. It sure wasn't pretty. I also did not exercise at all this weekend. Not good AT ALL.

However, today is a new day and once again I will climb back up on that wagon and keep moseying along. First step is to get rid of this bag of candy in my living room....

I did manage to try a new chicken recipe Saturday night. I made this and will certainly make it again:

So, my challenge last week was to plan out my daily menu. I did a good job planning my meals this week, well obviously up until this weekend. I had a hard time planning on Saturday because I volunteered at the pageant all day. On Sunday, I just made very bad choices. I've learned that I eat much better when I make a plan and stick to it. 

This week in addition to planning out my daily menu, my challenge is to drink 8 oz. of water every hour. I am not a fan of water. The only time I crave it is when I exercise hard. Water is water...I don't care what you add to it. This challenge will be more difficult for me, but I've got to get in the habit of drinking more water. I've set a timer that will go off every hour to remind me to drink 8 oz. of water. You are more than welcome to join me in this challenge. I need all the fellow water drinkers I can get!

I lost 0.8 lbs last week. Not great, but at least the scale is moving again. 

I'll leave you with a video of my niece singing her ABC's. I love the ending when she says, "Thank you." Hope ya'll have a great Monday!

It's So Much Fun to Have a Boy...


Write a list of 10 things you have said to your kids that other moms might not say.

Ahh, the joys of having a boy...

1) Why are your dirty clothes on top of the refrigerator?

2) So, what's the neighborhood gossip for today? (The child knows more neighborhood gossip than an old lady)

3) Look down at me when I'm talking to you!

4) Do you HAVE to play football with the cat?

5) Time to cut your fro... (The boy was cursed with naturally curly hair like his momma)

6) Yes, you have to brush your teeth every day even if it's the weekend.

7) No, smearing deodorant all over your body cannot take the place of a shower.

8) Yes, you can go swim in the ditch.

9) Do you have to wait until we're in an enclosed space to do that?

10) Yes, people at school will notice if you wear the same shirt two days in a row. (For the record, he does have clean clothes)

Eight Weekly Challenges for Weight Loss

Happy Monday peeps!

Thank you SO much for reading and sharing your comments on the post about my weight loss journey. Your comments and inspiration mean so much to me. For those of you on a weight loss journey too...WE CAN DO THIS! It's ok for this journey to take time because somewhere down the road you will look back and discover just how far you've come. Remember, there is no quick fix. It sure is easy to gain the weight (and fun too), but it's not easy to lose the weight. However, we are strong. Let's kick that fat in the tail and be done with it forever!

One of the reasons I finally decided to write about my weight loss is because I have hit a wall. I could lie and say I don't know why I've hit a wall...but I know why. I love food. At times, my love for food surpasses my love for myself. It's a bad relationship.

I came across this video the other day:

After watching the video, I've decided to give myself a challenge. I've got to jump start healthy eating again and I know this will help. I invite you to join with me if you would like. I took the five week challenge from the video and added three more weekly challenges. Each week, you will continue to do the challenge of the previous week and include the challenge of the new week. We are on our way to making these challenges into habits. Here are my challenges:

Week 1: Plan out your daily menu
I am so bad at not planning and as a result my eating is horrible. Sometimes I skip breakfast or even lunch. Planning your daily menu really helps you to see how many calories you're eating. I will be using My Fitness Pal, but you can use whatever works best for you. By planning, I mean write down every little thing you plan on placing in your mouth.

Week 2: Drink 8 oz. of water every hour
I have to be truthful, I really don't like water. I don't like it AT ALL. I know there are ways to give it some taste, but water is water. However, water is sooooooo important. So, drink a glass of water every hour, even if you have to set a timer to remind yourself (which is what I'll be doing).

Week 3: Add REAL fruits and vegetables to every meal

Week 4: No more fast food
Since I'm a girl who actually likes fast food, this will be hard

Week 5: Switch to whole wheat bread and brown pastas

Week 6: Add a fruit or veggie to every snack

Week 7: No more regular soda
This is going to kill me...really

Week 8: Do at least 30 minutes of exercise at least four days a week

I have one rule: We are not allowed to work ahead. This is really what gets many of us into trouble. We try and do too much at one time. So, this week the ONLY thing we are going to work on from this list is planning our daily menus...every day. 

Alright, lets do this and get back on track. 

If you plan on doing this challenge with me, I would love to hear how you're doing every week.

 Do not say you will start tomorrow...the best time is to start RIGHT NOW. 

Turning 32 and Losing 35 Pounds

I've been meaning to write this post for quite some time, but it always got pushed to the back burner. I just celebrated my 32nd birthday a couple of weeks ago and decided as a birthday present to myself it's time to share my story.

There comes a time in a many people's lives when they look around and realize that they are not happy. To find fulfillment they might change jobs, move, buy a new wardrobe, or anything else that brings about some kind of excitement or change. My moment happened in June of 2011. I really looked at myself and my life, and I concluded that I was a very unhappy person. I wasn't happy with my attitude, my relationship with Brenn, my relationship with my friends, or my relationship with myself.

 July, 2010 (around 211 lbs.)

I have struggled with weight all my life. I wasn't one of those girls who was stick thin in high school and then put on the pounds as I got older. I fluctuated ALL THE TIME. As a result, my self esteem has always been a big fat ZERO. The closest I ever got to being at a healthy weight as an adult was right before I found out I was pregnant. Even after Brenn was born, I was able to keep the weight off for a little while, but it didn't take long for the pounds to start creeping up again. There were so many different issues going on with Brenn's dad leaving the picture and my decision to immediately get involved in another relationship. I was unhappy with myself and the way my life was turning out. I never once thought Brenn was a mistake, but I also never thought I would end up being a single mom.

Slowly, my weight began creeping up. I went from working in a factory to working at an office job, which is really when I gained most of my weight. It's funny, I didn't even seem to notice my weight gain until one day when I saw a recent picture of myself. My heart sank when I looked at that picture. It was like a mirror showing me how downhill my relationship had become with myself. I was around 211 pounds at that time. I was carrying a lot of weight on my 5' 2" frame. I tried the Atkins diet and some other diets, but I'm a person who doesn't consistently stick with anything.

However, the story takes a turn on that day in June when I finally came face to face with the unhappy person I had become...

I decided to start taking spin classes at the local recreation center. I was already paying a monthly membership anyway because of the last failed attempt at starting an exercise program. My first spin class was brutal. At the end, my legs felt like jello and I was absolutely exhausted. Two days after the class, I could barely walk. I called a friend (who is a nurse and an exercise instructor) and asked her if I should even go back for the next class. She advised me to go so I could work out the soreness in my legs. So, I went back a second time. The second class was a tad better. By the third class I had absolutely fallen in love with spin. It's still my favorite class. I stuck with just spin classes for about a year. I really didn't stick to a healthy eating plan during that year, so weight loss was very slow. I think I lost around 10 pounds.

April, 2011 (Around 200 lbs)

Also, at the beginning of 2011, my friend (the one I mentioned earlier) started a competition much like The Biggest Loser. I only halfheartedly participated in the group (I LOVE my fattening food) but the competition really lit a fire under some of my other friends. Even after the competition was over, they were still exercising and trying to eat healthy. They encouraged me to start taking other classes in addition to my spin classes. I took kickboxing,  Zumba, bootcamp, and a strength training/weight lifting class. They were using My Fitness Pal, so I joined and began using it also. I started paying more attention to my calories and really pumped up the exercising. The inches started melting off. I had the encouragement and motivation I needed.

 December 2011 (Around 196 lbs.)

That motivation has wavered off and on since I began this journey. There are days when I just want to eat like a pig. There are some days when I get on the scale and I just want to cry. Then, there are days when I stop and thank God for giving me the strength I need to continue on this journey. As of today, I'm down 35 pounds. I could have lost this weight quicker if I would have been more strict. However, I know who I am and what I'm capable of. I'm all gung-ho in the beginning and then lose steam. I'm taking a slow and steady pace and I know if I keep going at this pace I will reach the prize.

July 2012 (Around 176 lbs.)

I have 46 more pounds to lose in order to reach the goal I've set more myself. That seems like so much, but in the scheme of things it's really not. I have learned so much about myself and how much I can push my body to the limits. I'm more outgoing and willing to put myself out there. I've gone on more dates this past year than I have in a long time. I am becoming the person I so longed to be; the person I have never given myself the opportunity to become because I've struggled with this for so long.

I understand the struggle that so many of you deal with. My heart aches for those who can't seem to break the cycle. This journey is not just about losing weight, not for me anyway. This journey is about becoming healthier for myself and for my son. This journey is about loving myself enough to take the time to care for my body emotional, mentally, and physically.

I hope you will begin to love yourself enough to stop hurting your body. Stop trying the "get thin quick" diets. Getting healthy means eating better and exercising. There is no magic pill.