Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Year.... Big Changes

The beginning of a new year is always fun and exciting to me. There's just something about the promise of fresh starts, renewed goals, a clean slate.... I'm just so ready.

To start the new year right, I have some exciting news to share. Fit One Gym has hired me to teach their Friday night Zumba® fitness class! 

When I got my license at the beginning of the year, I had a tiny dream. I really wanted to work for a gym. I figured it was a really long shot, but I had the hope that one day it would happen. I never imagined that it would happen within a year. 

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For someone who was very inactive four years ago....someone who was severely obese....I never imagined I would even pursue something like this. It wasn't even a thought in my mind then. When I began losing weight, I really just wanted to look great and feel better about myself. Over time I realized, it isn't just about me. I have a heart that really wants to help others. And this opportunity will line me up to do that! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas 2014

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Ryan and I were blessed beyond measure. We spent lots of time with our families and took the time to just slow down and enjoy it all. 

On Christmas Eve we snacked and watched movies. I think this may have been the least stressful holiday we've had in a while. Ryan and I were so excited to have the Fab Five reunited! 

On Christmas morning, we woke up extra early. My parents always have a Christmas breakfast so we had to fit in our family's gifts before all of that. 

My husband was so very good to me. I've wanted a Keurig for a while and he definitely came through! 

This year, my parents had three grandkids to share Christmas with! Levi has been such an awesome addition to our family this year. 

Our family is all about tradition on Christmas morning. As a child I remember my granddaddy cooking Christmas breakfast for everyone. It was always country ham and red eye gravy. My parents have continued that tradition as well. But, I think my heart melted when I saw my sweet husband and stepdaughter joining in. 

The next day we joined Ryan's parents to celebrate Christmas. 

And my husband was finally given the kayak he's been drooling over. We were able to catch him by surprise....

I don't know how it's even possible, but I think he gets better looking every year. Sigh....

Both of my boys are thrilled over this thing....

Caleb has begged for a BB gun for months. He was so excited to finally get one!

 After all the excitement, we settled in for a Harry Potter marathon. The smallest one passed out fairly quickly.

We've spent a few days shopping and hanging out. Madison and I have endured several sporting goods stores along the way. We manage to find time to act silly while the boys are checking out the fishing stuff.

Ryan took us to the outlet stores in Pigeon Forge and finally turned us loose! I think I've found a pretty good shopping buddy. We came out with fabulous deals on clothes and lotion. 

I think that pretty much catches y'all up to life lately around here! Check back tomorrow.... I've got some pretty exciting news I want to share. 

Catching Up

I have been completely off the grid lately! I think I am updating a little more often during the holidays on Instagram (it's so much easier sometimes), so if you wanna you can follow along there! I'm going to work at catching y'all up around here. 

Right before Christmas, Caleb got really sick. He had a viral respiratory infection followed by pneumonia. I think this was the sickest he's ever been and it was terrifying. He did the whole rapid belly breathing thing and it just wore him out. 

Fortunately, Caleb started getting better right before his brother and sister got here. We have them every other Christmas and we were thrilled to have them with us this year!!! 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Week 1

I've been tracking macros for a week now. Can I admit something? I'm fairly terrible at it! Out of the past week, I have hit my numbers (give or take 5 grams per macronutrient) twice. Two days out of the whole week. 

I am struggling! I get to the end of the day and I still have like 30 grams of carbs left to eat and I'm like, "Crap....." 

I think I am beginning to figure it out with Paige's help though. For me it is much easier to keep my breakfasts simple, plan out my dinners and then fit the rest into my lunch and snacks. If I try to just wing it throughout the day, my dinners get really crazy and unbalanced. Lunch is turning into my flexible meal and it's working better so far. 

Because I am struggling with hitting my macros this week, my weight has fluctuated a bit. Plus my girlie hormones are all over the place... fabulous. Next week? I think I will do much better. 

I also added in weight training this week. For the first time, I actually enjoyed it. I really want to work on being stronger. If you want to see what I'm playing around with, follow my Pinterest board

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Giveaway: Macro Calculation and Consultation #IIFYM

Y'all.....seriously!!!!! I have fabulous news this morning. My new coach, Paige VanDemark, has graciously agreed to do a giveaway with me. Yep, you read that correctly....

Paige and I are giving away one free consultation by her. This includes your own macro calculation. I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am!!!!

Since I began tracking my macros last week with the customized plan with Paige, I have lost 3.2 pounds! I almost cried when I stepped on the scale. My weight has been creeping back up and we finally stopped that mess. 

I had such joy on Saturday morning because of that! I want you to have the same thing. 

So....here's your chance! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Catching Up

We decorated our tree this weekend and it is always my favorite part of our decorations. I love a full, classy looking tree. I've seen tons of inspiration from several friends on Facebook this week. I never get tired of looking at all of their gorgeous trees! I think a tree can really show you a lot about a family's personality. 

If you were to look closely at ours you would see my sentimental side with all of our precious ornaments that tell a story, you would see Ryan's meticulous decorating with everything matching and coordinated, and if you happened to sneak a peak at the very back of our tree at about Caleb's waist level you would see Caleb's over the top, ambitious attitude. One little branch is loaded up with about 7 ornaments. Our tree has evolved into a piece of each of us and I love it.  

We had our company Christmas dinner at the marina this week. I don't care how many years we've celebrated there together, I never get tired of seeing my husband dressed nicely for dinner.

Caleb's monster trout also returned from the taxidermist this week. It was mounted so beautifully! I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of our little sportsman. I've never caught a trout that big in my life. My dad only caught his first monster trout a few years ago himself. I think you can tell Caleb has a proud granddaddy too....

This trout will be hanging in Caleb's new room so we are saving it until then. I want to have a hunting/fishing theme for him. I'm in the process of collecting sentimental items from family members for his room. I can't wait to do that for him.

My company provides life jackets for those of us who go out on boats. I got a fancy new one that is personalized just for me! I was so excited to see "Captain Wendy" embroidered on the side strap.

I love that it isn't bulky and still offers a lot of safety for us.

I made 15 bean soup for the first time this weekend and it was excellent! A lady at work has made it several times and I finally had to get my version a chance...of course mine had turkey sausage and ground deer meat.

This silly child and I snuggled up on the couch Saturday to watch Christmas movies. I love hearing him laugh over the silly parts.

He is such a little ham. His personality knows no fear of judgement or has a hint of shyness. He always wants to make crazy faces and I hope he never loses that part of his personality.
I have let Caleb help me a little more in the kitchen. He's always so eager to help with anything and I knew this would be something fun we could do together. He took his "job" so seriously and thanked me over and over all day. It was cute!
After we finished putting our soup in the crockpot, we let our outside kitty in for a bit. Daddy normally doesn't let us bring her in the house, but Daddy wasn't there.... As soon as Ryan walked in the door, Caleb told everything he knew.... Funny!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday Faves (And A Discount Code)

I'm so stinkin' proud of myself. I have most of my Christmas gifts purchased and I am less stressed this holiday season. Ryan and I are finishing up shopping for the little people this week. 

When I was a new mom suffering from obesity and depression, I didn't have much of a Christmas list for myself. I can remember everyone asking me what I wanted and I could come up with nothing. I didn't want clothes because seeing the "X" on the label was a reminder that I had let myself go. I lost joy in life. I had no hobbies. I had no friends. I didn't let anyone but my family close to me. Buying anything for me for Christmas was a chore, y'all. 

That's totally not me now! 

I know this will sound awful, but I just have so much I love and am interested in now. I have a passion inside of me for fitness, decorating and loving my home, and fabulous clothes. It's like someone flipped a switch inside of me while I lost weight. I have so much I want to do because I removed all of my restrictions.

I love Friday Faves because I get to share what I'm loving with all of you! 

Ryan and I are beginning to piece together ideas for our next home. I am really loving the country/farmhouse styles right now. There's something about the simplicity and neutral colors that appeals to me. I don't have space above my cabinets in our current house, but I love to see that area decorated. This pitcher would be absolutely perfect! 

As I'm getting older, I have noticed that I'm starting to dial down to one specific style/look for our home. I know Ryan and I both prefer simple, neutral decor with colorful accents. I think Ryan borders on minimalist living. He's the one that makes me purge things a few times a year!

This coral tunic looks so comfortable! I'm afraid that if I had the money, my closet would be packed full of them. It's like they're in style, but still comfortable and forgiving enough for anyone to pull off the look. I think I love them almost as much as yoga pants.... 

Can I share what Santa is bringing me for Christmas??

My sweet husband knows the way to my heart for sure. I have been eyeing the Keurig machines for so long. I resisted buying one at first because on the weekends we drink a whole pot of coffee together. It just didn't seem to make sense to take that away. Until now..... 

This beautiful machine makes cups and carafes! I am so happy I could almost cry.... I have seriously wanted one for so long and it's sitting under our tree with my name on it. I told y'all I've been so very good this year!

(When we were deciding between models, I had decided on the middle model... the 450....but Ryan stepped in. He totally upsold me on the top of the line. My jaw must have dropped and his only excuse was "What?!? I'm just like my mom." #neverthoughtidseetheday )

I've got exciting news!!! If you are a Zumba® fitness lover like me, I have a code for 10% off Zumba® wear at Zumba.com! I am absolutely in love with their Peace Love Zumba pants! They are so soft and comfy! 

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Ta da! Have fun shopping!!!! 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Things Are Changing Around Here

Okay.... I am ready to share my news with you guys. 

Over the past few months, I have really struggled. I've struggled here, struggled with my weight, struggled with my motivation. I was trying to explain to Ryan how burnt out I am. Over three years, I have been trying to lose weight. I'm tired. The things that once worked just aren't working for me at this point in my weight loss.

I'm driven by progress, but I've had none for months. It absolutely wears on you. It's just plain hard some days. Gaining a little back is even harder. In my mind I see that number inching back up and I automatically lose confidence. It really messes with your mind. 

I've got a supportive husband and wonderful friends that tell me that they still think I look great, but deep down it bothers me. I still feel smaller, but in the end I just want to feel awesome. I want to feel strong. I want to know that I can accomplish what I set out to do. But I'm just stuck. 

That's where Paige VanDemark comes in! It's time to change things up and fix things.

I'm am so excited to announce that she's taking the reigns and is going to coach me until I reach my goals! I promise you won't meet a more cheerful or more supportive person in the fitness and nutrition industry. And she looks fabulous! 

I was seriously intimidated about approaching her. In my mind I felt like my body was telling me that this is just the best it was going to do. Website after website told me that I had wrecked my metabolism and that counting macros wouldn't work for someone who adored cardio. Paige not only squashed every single fear I had, but she welcomed me right into a world I know absolutely nothing about. Sure, there are tons of people on the internet showing you that IIFYM works but no one seems to want to talk about it. No one wants to give actually macro counts or talk about nutrition and how it all fits together. I had tons of questions from you guys simply wanting to know how to calculate macros. 

In a matter of twenty-four hours, Paige not only answered every single question that has been holding me back, but came up with a plan to help me. Tailored to me.... My body, my needs, my activity level. It's designed to work just for me. And my macro count from a few weeks ago? Totally wrong. I had it all wrong, friends. 

I have chosen to go all in so that I can finally put an end to this struggle. I will be measuring and taking pictures weekly to show my progress. Paige and I want to share that here as well. I'm an open book so I don't mind telling you what is and isn't working or how I'm screwing up!

You're going to get the real deal about online coaching, macros, and me. I won't hide it. Paige VanDemark is passionate about helping others and sharing a better way of living. You can still be fit and fabulous without starvation or food group elimination.

About My Coach (I actually love typing that): 

Paige currently lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She is a powerlifter (raw, natural, 114lb/52kg class) and still competes in the occasional post-collegiate track meet. Paige grew up an athlete (track and field, horseback riding, lacrosse, cross country, gymnastics, and boxing) and competed at a college level in track at the University of Rochester, where she obtained her undergraduate degree. Out of the gym, she's with her Prince Charming, Brian, and their two dogs, a Greyhound and a Newfoundland, and the four of them are generally hiking, exploring, or fighting for space on the couch as they relax with a movie if they ever find the spare time! 

Out of college, Paige worked as a strength and conditioning coach for athletes at Next Level Strength and Conditioning in Fairport, NY, before she realized she loved and preferred the nutritional aspect of things, especially with woman, and so then began as an independent women’s nutrition coach and trainer. She is indeed certified as a Fitness Nutrition Specialist by the International Sports Sciences Association, and am in the process of obtaining her ISSA Sports Nutrition certification, as well.
I know I've been here for many of you over these past three years, but now I could really use your help. If you have a favorite motivational quote to share or kind work, I could sure use it.

To take it even further, if you want to actually jump in and join me on this I would absolutely be thrilled. Paige is sweet enough to offer all readers here a special discount! 

Plans and Pricing:

Consultations: A one-time consultation to figure out your ideal individualized starting macronutrient goals and calorie targets based on height, weight, body fat and/or LBM, age, activity level, goals and interests, personal preferences, dieting history, any conditions, and pictures- will also answer any initial questions on a one-time basis and get you started on IIFYM. I will adjust for free if needed within one month out from the consultation date. After that point, adjustments are $15. I do not write up workout plans, but can suggest programs and tweaks that might be best for you. - $35

Longer-term Coaching: Initial entirely personalized numbers, as above (including workout recommendations and/or fine-tuning)… and then essentially constant contact, adjustments, check-ins/weigh-ins, general emails, recipes, tips, and FUN! I want to celebrate all your victories with you- fitness, nutrition, and general- and help you when maybe you aren’t feeling so well, too. It’s a partnership, a team effort, and a relationship! Will you love your future body? I certainly hope so. This, however, is about loving the journey and your body the whole way through, too- not just the end result. - $125/month (discount on anything 3 months and over- drops to $115/month- there is no minimum, but I would highly recommend at least 2-3 months to see progress)

If you mention my blog, you get $5 off her her consultation or 10% off your first month of coaching. 

If you'd like to learn more about Paige or find inspiration from her, connect with her here:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Rock City 2014

This weekend we surprised Caleb with a trip to see the lights at Rock City. It was just what we needed to get in the holiday spirit. We visit Rock City every year and it has become a tradition for us. 

The wind was blowing like crazy so we had to bundle up. I absolutely hate being cold.

To jump on the Frozen train, they had a snow queen. Everyone wanted an Else, but Caleb liked this lady just fine!

Downtown Chattanooga is gorgeous at night. We definitely agree that we live in a beautiful city. I couldn't imagine living anywhere else.

There's plenty of walking so Caleb got all of his energy out! He crashed pretty hard when we got in the car. 


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