Monday, September 30, 2013

Motivation Monday #21

I am so excited about this week! Tomorrow begins our Holiday Ready Challenge with Emily! I am beyond thrilled because we have an amazing group of ladies. I think we're going to see big changes this month and I cannot wait to share mine with you. 

I've got some exciting things coming up! Today Ryan and I started Insanity as part of my Holiday Ready Challenge. At this point, I am simply praying I can make it through. That mess is tough! I will show our progress along the way.... Yes, you read that correctly. My husband is sharing his too! 

Ryan has really jumped on the healthy living thing with me too. I am so happy to know that my healthy changes have inspired someone very close to me. He's also given me permission to share more of his healthy lifestyle changes along the way! 

Here are the co-hosts for Motivation Monday:

Wendy @ Daily Dose of Del Signore
Veronica @ V Watts' Thoughts
Morgan @ Fat to Fit Confessions
Tiff @ The Fit Train
Katie @ The Carb Monster
Alisha @ Coily Locks

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Please include our Motivation Monday button on your blog posts to be eligible for next week's featured blog!

Alexia, writer at Infinitely Indecisive, linked up with us.  She got some super cute running shoes last week and I can't wait to see how she likes them. Hop over and say hi to Alexia! 

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Y'all know I just got back from vacation. Before leaving, I was determined to stay on track with my healthy eating. I struggle with allowing myself to get off track. I've worked so hard and I am afraid of slipping up. 

My husband urged me to just ease up a bit during our vacation. He really put things into perspective for me. I've spent two years working my butt off, but I can afford to take one week off. 

So, I did. And it was freeing. I gained four pounds, but over the weekend I lost two. And I'm actually okay with that. I'm back on track today and I still had so much fun on vacation. 

We stayed at a condo so we could prepare most of our food there. I think that's one reason why I didn't go completely overboard. I stayed active while playing with my little boy too. 

Sometimes it's important to take a break....focus on the special things in life...and just enjoy the experience!

Now it's time to get back to work....

Let's link it up!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Beach Wrap Up

We are home from vacation! 

Ryan, Caleb and I had such an amazing time together. This was our first vacation with just the three of us and it was beyond perfect. I can honestly say this was the best vacation of my life!

Not only did I have my two favorite guys all to myself, I was able to let go and enjoy everything about the trip. I wasn't comparing myself to anyone on the beach. I didn't wonder if my husband thought I was attractive. I didn't sit and watch Ryan and Caleb having fun. 

I played on that beach and in the ocean with my child for hours! I kept up with him the entire time and it felt fabulous! 

Ryan and I spent so much time together. I enjoyed talking to him for hours. We work together, but we're not really around each other much during the day. It was nice to spend that kind of time together. 

I realized that I packed way too many clothes. I never imagined that was possible! For the first time in my entire life, I walked around in my swim suit all day long. No flip flops, no cover ups, nothing but my swim suit. I refused to cover up something I worked so hard for. If we went out, I mostly threw on shorts and a tank top. I have never felt better. Never more confident in my life.

Are there things I want to work on? Yep. Do I have stretch marks on my belly? Yep. Do you think I cared on that trip? Not one little bit.

I set out to have fun and celebrate, so we did! 

I gained four pounds, but I lost two of them already. It was worth every single bit of it. I ate tons of seafood, melted cheese and crab, and ice cream. It was just plain fun! 

(Yes, Ryan helped! I didn't eat all of that myself!)

I did a little shopping at Pier Park. Loved every second of it! 

We drove home, spent the night, and headed out to Tellico for the last couple of days of vacation! 

We took the Jeep and went without the top. It was the perfect weekend for it! 

From the beach to pumpkins in twenty-four hours....

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Skinny Pack Giveaway

Who's ready for a giveaway? Sheri, from Cali Girls Body Wraps, wanted to help celebrate during our beach week! She's giving one of my lucky readers a Skinny Pack!!!!

My last wrap was done right before our beach trip. My tummy is my problem area and the It Works Body Wraps always work perfectly. I've been able to tighten up my problem area. At my smallest, my pooch area was 32". That was way before a husband and my child! Pregnancy wasn't kind to me at all! After this last wrap, I'm half an inch from being back to my smallest in that spot!!! That's right! I'm 32.5" in my worst area... After an unhealthy pregnancy, a C-Section, and a 77 pound weight loss!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Pictures and Progress

Y'all know I'm a sucker for before and afters....

So I thought I'd share a few! 

There's a 77 pound difference between the pictures! 

Caleb has grown so much in two years also! 
That boy is almost too much for me to lift anymore.

I've also got some really exciting news....

I started out wearing a tight 16...should have been 18, right?

Yesterday morning when we got to the beach, I tried on some jeans since the weather was kinda overcast. I've been wearing 10's and they were getting loose. I tried two pair of 8's and they still had plenty of room. I had my husband run grab a pair of 6's just to see how much more I had to go...

I tried two different pair and they both fit perfectly! 

That was the last thing I was expecting!!! Totally awesome news before hitting the beach! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Full Circle - Part Three

You can read Part One and Part Two here.

Now we have come full circle, friends. My butt is planted firmly on the beach as I write this. The trip where I silently prayed I could say all of these words to you. For those of you who have been here awhile, you know how hard I've worked so that I could truly cherish this trip.

Two Years....

Can change everything.


I can walk out of the condo without shame.

I am not hiding behind a maternity swimsuit.

I can walk onto a beach with my family.

I don't worry about fat rolls.....cellulite....stretch marks.

I still have the stretch marks, but I have the confidence to carry them now.

I can walk in front of a camera.

I can ride for seven hours without swelling or heartburn.

When we stopped, I didn't have to worry about getting sick.

No more heartburn. No more blood.

I have what you call freedom.

I can play with my child for as long as I want.

I have pure joy in my heart and soul!

I am free from depression. I am free from back pain. I am free from it all.

I don't have to turn to food for comfort.

I have peace within myself to process what I am feeling in a healthy way.

I have a wonderfully supportive husband by my side too.

I can have those pictures that I dreamed of with my little boy.

I can cry tears of complete joy this time.

I have the life I never knew I wanted.

Two Years....

I never knew my life could be like this. I never dreamed this big. It was so much more than I ever thought to ask for....dream about....imagine.

I am absolute proof that someone can change it all. It's not as impossible as it may seem. You can't simply lose a bunch of weight and not transform your entire life. The weight affects every aspect of your life.

Your health....your marriage....your family....your mind....your personality....your job....your home....your friendships....your faith. 

If you think it doesn't, you are as blind as I once was.

Every part of my life has changed because I made the decision to take control of the ugliest part of my life.

It was worth every tear.....every heartache....every sore muscle....every turned away piece of junk food....Every decision that brought me here was worth it all.

For the next several days, I hope you enjoy the celebration with my family. Some of you have been here from the very beginning and we want to share this with you. For those of you who have encouraged, cheered, and pushed me through this, I want to thank you. It has made such a difference! Each and every kind word was treasured.

Now let's enjoy some real vacation! 


Shared on Fitness Friday! Fabulously Creative

Motivation Monday #20

Good early Monday morning! Let's get our week started right! How was the weekend? Did you stay on track? Any progress to share?

Here are the co-hosts for Motivation Monday:

Wendy @ Daily Dose of Del Signore
Veronica @ V Watts' Thoughts
Morgan @ Fat to Fit Confessions
Tiff @ The Fit Train
Katie @ The Carb Monster
Alisha @ Coily Locks

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As soon as I saw Stephanie from The House on Hillbrook link up with us last week, I knew I needed to share her post with y'all! 

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She made life ten times easier for those of us trying to eat clean and meal plan! You are absolutely gonna love her blog!

For those of you following along, I plan to post Part Three of my short blog series this afternoon. So check back and I promise it's going to be a happy post! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Full Circle - Part Two

Two years....

Caleb was quickly approaching the two year old mark. My toddler was growing like crazy...and so was I!

On our beach trip, I wore my maternity swimsuit. It's the only thing that fit. I couldn't breakdown and buy another swimsuit because in my mind I didn't want to face reality.

I didn't want to purchase something in a bigger size. I didn't want to shop. No, that meant facing reality and I sure wasn't ready for that!

Standing in a dressing room.....trying on swimsuit after swimsuit that wouldn't look right....staring at my fat rolls and cellulite. No, I wasn't going there. It was just easier to pretend that things weren't that bad.

Pictures have a way of forcing you to see how things truly are.

An extra large swimsuit from Motherhood Maternity. 

Nearly two years after having the kid???

Oh yeah, baby....That was all me. 

I thought it was hiding everything. 

Until I saw the pictures. 

Have Mercy!!!!

Two years.

I decided that I was one of those moms who would never brave a two piece again. I accepted it and decided that I could be okay with that. 

I never imagined I could do greater for myself. I never thought I would even have the confidence to try for something better. My brain was stuck in this awful cycle. 

I thought that I was just too far gone. I didn't know how to start. 

How had this become my life?

Where did the fun loving, happy, bouncy person go? Where was my complete joy in life? Why did I have this beautiful family and feel like I didn't fit in?

Who was I? down....lonely....lost.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Full Circle - Part One

*** Wendy's Disclaimer: I cannot read this post to my husband without crying my eyes out. This is a very tough story to tell, but I want to share this part of my life with you. ***

Two years.

How much can a person change in that amount of time?

I'm here to tell you that a person can completely flip their entire world upside down.

I'm living proof.

I've written about Caleb's first trip to the beach here before. I've thought about those moments so many times over the past two years. They drive me.

Deep anguish....disgust....failure....fear....

Feelings I lived with day in and day out for years.

All wrapped up in those moments.

Our beach trip was over 7 hours away from home. Ryan and I wanted to drive through the night so that the kids could sleep. We didn't stop much because we didn't want to wake Caleb. Sitting for that amount of time really causes a person well over 200 pounds to have swollen legs, ankles, and feet.

We drove until the early morning hours before we decided to find a place to stay for the night. Our GPS had gotten all kinds of crazy and directed us down back roads. We were literally in the middle of nowhere when we finally found a tiny place to stay.

We unloaded the kids and they went right to sleep. Ryan and I crashed. I woke up an hour later with excruciating heartburn. It was my normal....I had it every day almost constantly. I didn't want to wake Ryan to find somewhere that we could get some Tums. He had driven all night and needed some sleep.

So I laid there for a while. I could almost taste the acid in my stomach. I kept hoping it would just go away or at least I'd sleep through it. I just didn't want to wake anyone.

All of a sudden, I ran to the tiny bathroom and got sick. It was stomach acid and blood. Any time my legs swelled and my heartburn kicked up, I would throw up. It had happened some before but there was never blood.

It terrified me. 

I laid on the cold tile floor praying that I wasn't dying. I cried alone in that bathroom floor. I was killing myself. I was so afraid to wake anyone up. I didn't want to scare Caleb. Eventually, I felt better and climbed back into the bed.

I cry every time I write that here.

To know deep down that I was well on my way to killing myself. There's nothing like the realization when something like that hits you. Understanding what I was doing to myself.

The week before I heard of someone passing away due to untreated acid reflux causing their esophagus to collapse. Now there's reality slapping you right in the face. That story was all that ran through my mind while I was looking at all of the blood.

It's so very difficult to face what I was doing to my body. It's hard to admit that I allowed myself to get that bad. I have anxiety thinking about the road I was on.

The next morning I was able to tell my husband what happened. I broke down and ugly cried. I told him I was so afraid of dying. How could Caleb live without his mama? Ryan and I decided that something had to change.

We made it to the beach and I couldn't wait to have my baby's first pictures at the beach. In my mind I envisioned these beautiful pictures to mark the occasion. I was thrilled to finally have them. In reality those pictures didn't turn out anything like I expected....


Those pictures constantly remind me of a difficult time in my life. They have driven me. Pushed me like nothing else. Lit a fire within me that just won't quit.

I've had a lot of time to think on that time in my life. Our upcoming beach trip has left me with reflections on the past two years.


Two years.

Everything has changed. I've tried to explain how my journey hasn't been just about weight loss. You can't simply lose weight without other things changing. It's not possible. I am not that person anymore. I'm not the same kind of mother. I am not the same wife I was then.

Seven hour road trip? You won't find me with swollen legs and heartburn anymore. You won't find me hiding behind a camera. You won't find me laid up on the couch wishing I could play with my child. You won't find me sitting.

You won't find me there.

This upcoming trip symbolizes so much. I want to share it all with you here. I want you to know there is hope. You can change. You can take control of your life. If you are desperate to change your own life, I want you to know that it is truly possible.

P.S.  Friends, I know this is difficult to read. Stick with me. I'm taking you to a happier place. This story needs to be told. There are so many of you reading that still feel exactly how I did. I need to lay it all on the line so I can show you that it can be done. You need to understand exactly where I was and how I felt to understand the joy now.


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