Monday, December 30, 2013

Calling All Fitness/Weight Loss Bloggers!

With a new year approaching, the ladies who host Motivation Monday are ready for some new and exciting changes! We want to help you reach your weight loss and fitness goals during 2014. 

Are you as excited as I am??? 

We've got some fun new things planned to get us on the right track. And we could sure use your help!

We are going to try some themed posts for Motivation Monday. 

Next Monday we're sharing our Goals and Resolutions for the New Year! 

So be thinking and writing something up to share next Monday at 6 am!

We would love your input for themes as well! 
(Just add them to the comments below!)

Want to know the most exciting part??? 

We are looking for a couple of new co-hosts! 

If you're ready to join us, please email me at!

Saturday, December 28, 2013


I love the beginning of a new year. There is excitement in the air around my home right now. There's something magical about anticipating a new start. It's a time for things to be different. It's a time to make a change. It's a time to reinvent. It's a time to start over. 

There's beauty in hoping for better. 

2013 was a wonderful year for my family. We have grown together and changed in ways I never imagined. This past year my sweet guys joined to support my healthy lifestyle. Never once did Ryan or Caleb complain about the healthier meals I fixed or the physical activities we built into our busy lives. Both sides of our families helped me stay on track. From giving me workout clothes and fitness monitors to watching Caleb on some Zumba nights, they helped push me to keep going. Both of our families started fixing meals that I could eat without guilt when we got together. I know deep down that I wouldn't have been nearly as successful without our families. 

Surround yourself with people who have dreams, desire and ambition; They'll help you push for, and realize your own!
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This year I reached my first big weight loss goal and was able to finally enjoy a trip to the beach with my family. I've learned what it's like to maintain and how to endure those moments. I learned to step out of my comfort zone.  

I've faced times of deep sadness this year dealing with the sickness and loss of some family members. Those things have driven me to take better care of myself and my family. I'm sad that we had to grieve so much this year. We've realized that life is precious. 

I've learned there is value in the struggle. I've learned to stop and just enjoy life for what it is. I may not be exactly where I want to be, but there has to be happiness in the journey. I've learned that I'm stronger than I've ever been. I've learned that God granted me that strength every step of the way. 

I love that I'm not the same person inside that I was a year ago. I've never been more thankful to say that. 

What is this next year going to bring? 

big dreams.
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There's so much potential. So much happiness to be had. I can have new dreams...better dreams. I can finally shed that weight that I've been holding on to. I can inspire my family to lead healthier lives. I can run that 5K I've been afraid of. I can try things that I've never imagined. I can hope for more...

What do you want to change this year? What are your dreams? 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Not Giving In

 My blog is where I hold myself accountable. I can't lie to y'all and show my face around here. If I gain, you're the ones who will notice. If I cheat on this whole healthy living thing, y'all will know. There's just no hiding it! It's no secret that I've struggled. I kept telling myself if I could just make it through Christmas without gaining a ton of weight, I'd consider myself fortunate. 

The pictures on the left were shared with you in August. The pictures on the right were taken yesterday in one of my new outfits on Christmas Day. 

Since I've not lost anything for a while, I've really struggled mentally. Some days I just wake up and feel so blah about my body. There are days I still see myself as the big girl from the very beginning. Sometimes it takes updated pictures and comparisons to put everything back into perspective. 

The weight loss part of things was only half the battle. The rest of it is a mental and emotional thing. I've learned slowly how powerful my mind is when it comes to taking care of my body. Weight gain is such a mental struggle. I'm amazed that it takes so much longer to heal from the emotional side of this journey than it takes to see the results on the outside. 

Taking a break has shown me some things over the past few months... 

  • I can maintain the work I put into my body. I have never been able to do something like that and I'm actually really proud of myself. I know now that I don't have to go extreme with things to keep from spiraling out of control. 
  • I've taken a step back to focus and remind myself why I'm doing this. It isn't to gain sponsors and new readers here (even though I absolutely love that side of it). It's about me...physically and mentally. This is something I have to do for myself. 
  • I'm reminded that this time around, it's permanent. I'm not going back to the way things were. I'm not starting over again. I think on some level I am scared to death of how much worse things could have been. I'm afraid of how bad I can let myself go if I stop caring. 

The one on the left was taken in September

I realize some of you are new here. You may just be getting started. It is absolutely worth every effort I have put into this. I struggle and it's absolutely normal. Please don't think that you cannot achieve your goals because you're struggling so hard. I promise that's absolutely normal. I've done it and just about every other person I've met that has lost a lot of weight will tell you the same thing. 

Weight loss has never been easy for me. I have been concerned about my weight and had issues with food since I was in elementary school. I was never the small girl in a group of friends. I normally was the biggest. I've never had a healthy perspective of my body. I am a very emotional eater. 

You are never too far gone to change things. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

Ryan, Caleb and I had such a wonderful Christmas this year. We are beyond blessed with a wonderful family and we enjoyed spending time with them. As Caleb gets older, we have introduced more holiday traditions. It is such a special time of year and I was so excited to share my favorite parts with him. 

This is the first year that Caleb fully understood that Santa was coming to our house. It was so much fun setting out the gifts once he went to sleep. 

After opening our gifts and checking out everything Santa brought, we went to my parents' house. 

Ryan was so very good to me this Christmas! When we first got together, he had no clue how to do the whole husband thing. I was raised by a family that completely spoiled me and here I had married a man who had absolutely no idea how to do that. I've been through a couple of years of him completely waiting until the very last minute to buy something for me to him forgetting that I even had a stocking to fill. I've had the Christmas gifts that left me wondering if my husband really even knew me. 

This year, he blew every Christmas we've had out of the water! 

Not only did he shop early, but every single thing he gave me let me know that he thought about the things I would love. He was so very thoughtful and sweet. And you couldn't fit one more little thing into my stocking! I am so thankful that my husband did that for me. 

It's funny, but I think I fall a little more in love with that man every day. I didn't realize that was even possible. 

Christmas morning with my parents has always been crazy, y'all! Things are wild and I don't know how we haven't lost a kid in that mess. 

I thought about next year several times Christmas morning. Next year, we will be rocking a sweet little boy on Christmas morning. I absolutely love children and I cannot wait to meet my nephew next year! 

My brother is a huge Georgia football fall. Mom found the baby a little outfit and stuck it in Brian's stocking. He was so sweet when he saw it. 

Santa stopped by my parents' house too that morning to leave Caleb and Zoey's new toys. 

Caleb is absolutely nuts over construction equipment. He has dreamed of having his own Bobcat for months and Santa brought him one. 

This child was beyond excited! 

It was a struggle getting him back in the house...

Zoey got a four wheeler from Santa. 

Christmas morning is always busy for us. We jumped right in to help Mom cook a huge Christmas breakfast for my dad's side of the family. Ryan can seriously cook some fabulous eggs and I'm pretty good at cracking them. I just love that he jumps in to help us!

We have laughed over my bear hat that I stole from my dad in a Chinese Christmas. I couldn't let him go without, so I got him one too. 

Zoey was such a sweetie. I'm just crazy about that little girl. 

We went to Ryan's parents' after leaving my family. Caleb got his new four wheeler at their house. 

He just loved it!! 

That child has four Power Wheels toys now.... 

Santa and grandparents are always good to him!

The grandparents were really good to all of us. I've got enough workout gear to motivate me for the new year!!! 

Monday, December 23, 2013


I've read several articles lately about men and women faking their Before and After pictures. It has just really bothered me for some reason. 

I never want you to come here thinking I'm going to show you anything that isn't real. Many bloggers struggle with what to share and what not to share when writing. I'm not going to hold back. What you see is exactly what you get. 

I have two very simple rules when I write:
  • I refuse to share pictures that my husband thinks aren't appropriate. I believe fitness and weight loss bloggers can tastefully show their progress without degrading themselves. 
  • I won't share anything I wouldn't mind my mama or my hubby's mama reading. I admire the heck out of those two women and I would never want to say something to disappoint either of them. 

Other than that, you get one hundred percent me.

The smaller I get, the more difficult it is to show you the changes in my body. Showing a 75 pound difference is beyond easy and cannot be faked. 

Showing muscle tone and inch loss can get trickier now. I want you to see the authentic side of things. Don't come here and expect to see only the perfect side of things. 

I can tell you I haven't lost any additional weight since the end of summer. I won't use a camera or cute clothes to trick you into believing otherwise. That's just not me. If I have progress, I am proud of it and I own it. 

On Pinterest a woman pinned something from my blog. She said this was a great site for showing the maintenance phase after weight loss. I don't feel like I'm done with my journey though. I have more to go, but I also admit that I'm struggling to maintain. 

Last week, the scale showed a seven pound increase. I was furious! This week has been all about me buckling down and refocusing (and the scale is back down too). I needed to show that drastic increase to fire up my drive. I will be the first to admit that I have completely lost that burning need to keep going over the last couple of months. Thank goodness I was lucky enough to just maintain, but this isn't where I wanted to stop. 

Fitness motivation
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With the coming year, I think it's time to focus harder on where I want to go from here. I've had fun and slacked off a bit, but now it's time to dig back in. 

Weight loss and fitness motivation
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Favorite Girl

My favorite girl in the entire world turned four this week! 

It's so hard to believe she's four already. I can remember the day she was born and how special it was. 

I'm so blessed to have this little girl in my life. 

She's the sweetest little thing! 

When Ryan and I decided to have a baby, I really dreamed of having a little girl. As my pregnancy continued, I knew deep down I was meant to be a boy mom. I just always knew God would bless me with a little boy. Let's be honest....I wouldn't have known what to do with a little girl. I like hunting, fishing, four wheeling, and football. God knew my heart so much better than I did! 

For those moments that I actually enjoy dressing up and being girly, there's always Zoey. She has filled our lives with such beautiful joy and has made us all so very happy. I love buying castles, hair bows, and pink for that precious girl. I thank God that He sent us Zoey because she balances everything in my life. 

Over the past four years, I've seen Ryan become a completely different man around his little niece. He has a "Zoey voice" that he talks to her in. He talks to her just like a little doll and I fall in love with him a little more every time he does it. Zoey loves her Uncle Ryan and I absolutely love to hear her say his name. They act so silly together! 

We went to Zoey's birthday party this weekend and had a blast! 

When Ryan, Brian and Caleb get together, we can pretty much assume someone's going to do something crazy. Those two are guaranteed to show Caleb how to be a daredevil. 

My sweet boy was extra wild and silly at the party. He crashed hard when we got home! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Comfort Zones

It's getting closer to the beginning of another year. All of the fitness, health and weight loss groups I belong to are gearing up for all of those New Year's resolutions. For the first time since I started my weight loss journey, I am actually considering something new. I've seen plenty of New Year's challenges and I think I'd like to jump in one. 

In the past my weight loss journey has been all about me figuring out what works best for me. For a while that method worked just fine. I stayed in that little comfort zone for so long and everything became a habit. That was all fine and good as long as it worked. I came here and shared my progress. It was all so controlled. You saw the pretty parts of it. When I was obese, the weight came off easier and faster with smaller changes to my diet and activity level. 

I've always approached my weight loss solo. Over the past few months as I have struggled to lose more, I have also learned that it's absolutely okay to reach out for some extra help. Once I opened my mind to that, I found some amazing new resources and have made some pretty good friends. 

This year I have challenged myself to step outside of my comfort zones and push myself towards better things. For 2014, I see myself having to change things up completely. 

  • I want to share what is and isn't working for me a little more here. 
  • I'm going to be braver in Zumba. It's very difficult for me to not hide in the far back corner and pray no one sees me! (I've actually been working on this one a bit.)
  • I want to push myself to lift more consistently and more frequently.
  • I am beginning to battle my constant issue with food and I want to continue finding ways to eat healthy, but still enjoy my cheat foods from time to time. 
  • I want to stop and just enjoy the progress. I feel sometimes like I'm hopping from one goal to the next without celebrating the beauty that comes from reaching a goal. I want to learn to enjoy it. 
So there's my short list for the upcoming year. What are you working on? 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Will You Help Me?

Would you take a moment to nominate me for the Wego Health Activist Award for Best In Show : Blog? If I am one of the top three endorsed, I will automatically become a finalist!!! Please help me get there! If you don't mind, endorse me and then share this with your friends!!!

Singing and Skating

Caleb's very first church Christmas program was this week. I was so very excited to see him! 

He was one of the little wise men. 

When he entered the sanctuary, he was tapping his little drum sticks. He was so cute marching through!  

Caleb did so much better than I imagined and I am so very proud of him! 

I promised him that I would take him skating if he did well in his program. 

Our skating rink has little helpers for the beginners. When we tried it, Caleb got so frustrated. 

He told me to let him do it and he took right off! 

He's such a determined child. He will keep at something until he figures it out. Most of the time, he just wants to figure it all out on his own. 

We had such a fun night together! 


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