Thursday, July 31, 2014

Your Questions.... Answered!

How tall are you? 

  • I am 5'5"

Do you still drink Shakeology?

  • I do not drink Shakeology regularly, but my husband does. He uses it post workout and likes it very well. His eating is horrible lately....lots of junk! Personally, I didn't think it helped me very much past the first month. I think it's great if you are not getting enough nutrients in your diet. I think it works well for people who have a lot to lose and are just starting out. It's also great if you drink it on the go for breakfast. It's quick and easy. I lost a few pounds while drinking it, but I don't think those few pounds are worth the cost of a month's supply. For some people, it is worth every penny. The chocolate tastes great and it definitely helps if you have a sweet tooth. But if you are already in the habit of eating clean and working out and are seeing results, I don't think you will see a huge change with it. 

What are you doing besides Zumba?
  • Nothing! I do two hours of Zumba twice week and that is it at this point. Beginning next week, things are changing. I am very curious to see how my body adapts to things. On Tuesdays, I will be assisting with 45 minutes of tap, 45 minutes of hip hop, and actually teaching my own Zumba® class after that. Then I will be co-teaching two hours of Zumba® class on Thursdays. Occasionally I will fill in on Monday nights for two hours as needed. It just so happens that next week is one of those weeks! I will co-teach for two hours on Monday, then I start at the studio on Tuesday, and co-teach another two hours on Thursday. It's going to be crazy, y'all! But I am more than ready mentally and physically for a new challenge. This also doesn't figure in the amount of time I will spend practicing and learning new choreo through the week. I normally attempt that after Caleb has gone to bed in the evenings. 

What do you think about macros, or IIFYM?
  • I am really fascinated with macros. I've studied IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) a bit and I like the approach. I don't think I'm strict enough with myself to do it for very long. It kinda reminds me of the feeling I got when I tried Weight Watches years ago. I was constantly consumed and obsessed with the numbers/points. I spent all day thinking, "Well if I do this, I can eat that....Blah, blah, blah." After about two weeks I was completely and utterly over it! I like having flexibility and not stressing every moment of every day about what I am or am not eating. I really do like the idea behind IIFYM and I would possibly use it, but not for a long period of time. Pinterest is a great resource for IIFYM and is definitely worth checking out if you're disciplined enough. 

Wendy -- I am curious as to when you are going to be in your maintenance phase. You look really good and sometimes people stay in the lose phase longer than they need to. Fabulous results you real you.
  • I think you're trying to tell me it's about time? I totally agree! I'm really close.... I plan to lose 100 pounds. Right now with the summer being so busy and my stepchildren being here and I'm totally not on schedule with anything, I range anywhere from 10-20 pounds away from that goal. I want to reach a weight of 132.5. My lowest weight this summer has been 141.2. Right now? Not so much... I am on a short break until after the kids return to their other home this weekend. 
  • I realize that I do carry my weight very well. When I mention to people in real life that I'm trying to lose 100 pounds total, there is always shock on their faces. I look smaller than I am because this past year has been all about toning! For my height, 132.5 puts me in a very healthy range and is no where near extreme. 100 pounds just seems like such a big number ('cause it totally is)! I have no idea what size I will be when I get there. I've already surpassed my estimated size and I'm not finished yet. 
  • My husband and I have both discussed my goal and agree that it absolutely stops then. I have consulted with my doctor as well and have his approval of my goal one hundred percent. We have discussed at length my approach and have decided it is a very healthy, smart way to go about it. 
  • I have experienced a lot of resistance with family and friends at times. They have never known me to be this small, so everything seems extreme to them. They've only ever known me as a bigger girl. It's a big adjustment for them too. I sometimes forget that. 
What else makes you curious? I'm an open book! 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I suppose it's been so long since I actually wake boarded or skied behind a boat that most everyone around me seems to either not know I could or totally forgot. I admit that I did in fact try to ski when I was heavier. My arms couldn't hold onto the rope long enough to pull myself out of the water. And then I got embarrassed, quit and gave up. It's been seven years since I tried.... 

It just dawned on me a couple of days ago that I really didn't have to worry about that anymore. Still I doubted myself. Since we had all of the kids with us I certainly didn't want to make a fool of myself if I couldn't do it. But I tried it anyway.... 

But I totally did it! Jumped right up on that wake board and loved every second! At first, I felt all of the water rushing over the board and I just knew I wasn't going to be strong enough to do it. All of a sudden, I was up and going! Best. Feeling. Ever! 

It actually seems easier to me now than it used to. I can remember being in my early 20's and how much it hurt my back even then. I had no issues this time. The only thing I had to watch for was my hand from my recent surgery, but even it felt better than it has in a long time. I am just beyond thankful for all of that! 

Have I told y'all how thrilled I am to be in shape enough to do the things I love?!? Seriously!

We also took Caleb tubing for the first time. He loved it! 

And of course Ryan couldn't let his wife show him up, so he had to do it too. 
(He's way better than I am, but I'll never admit it to him....)

I was flat out cheesin'! 

The water was so rough! Tubing beat the snot out of us! 

We finally discovered one downfall to me not being 90 pounds heavier...

Me and the kids couldn't weigh down the tube to stay in it. It popped us in the 
air more times than I care to count and I am sore today! 

Not only did I earn some serious awesome adult points with all three kids, but I earned a few with some coworkers as well! 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Be Real

Four years ago, I was obese and miserable. I started looking to the internet for inspiration, motivation, miracles, whatever... And there was a ton of it out there! I immediately started following some of the big name weight loss bloggers. 

I remember thinking, "Oh! They are so fabulous... They look fantastic and they've worked so hard. I can only dream of achieving all that they have...."

Bit by bit, I worked hard. I made better choices, learning as I go. I sure didn't do things perfectly when I started (heck, I still don't and continue to learn as I go). Over time, I saw progress and I loved sharing that with people. 

One of my blog/weight loss heroes posted her measurements not too long ago. I admit it....I was curious about how far off I was. She posts all of these fit, skinny pics and I just wanted to see how far I'd have to go to look like that. 

I measured and jumped back on that post to compare the numbers.... And my measurements were all smaller but one or two. In the back of my mind I kept thinking, "But I don't look anything like those pictures of her....Am I not toning enough? What do I need to switch up to get better results???"

I totally found out her secret....

There are these apps that make your photos look skinnier. And Photoshop is a great tool to have if you're not actually putting in the hard work. Pictures posted by other people of this blogger totally didn't match what she was sharing. 

I felt so let down. Here I was looking up to someone who fakes a lot of their "progress". I don't know if it's the pressure of being a bigger blogger or what, but dang... Totally betrayed. 

Then I got angry... 

Here I am, little ol' me, posting my real life pictures. Sure I may add a pretty filter on mine to make the colors look a little better, but I'm still the same size here as I am in real life. Sure some angles may look more flattering than others, but I am still me. I am real. There are people out there misrepresenting themselves and have fooled so many of us. It isn't fair. 

I don't know about you, but I want to see the realistic side of things. I want to see the hard stuff. Heck, we all know around here that I've packed on ten pounds and set myself back at times. We've all seen that. Because it's realty and it happens! 

I refuse to edit out stretchmarks, cellulite, fat, half my leg....whatever. I'm a work in progress and that's what makes this work. If I edit my photos now, what do I get to show you in two or three months? More edited stuff? When would it ever end? What if my photos don't match the ones other people take of me? What happens if people discover the distorted backgrounds behind me? How can I celebrate something that isn't even real?


That's why you won't find fake here. I've worked my butt off and I don't take the easy (or fake) way out on any of it. At the end of the day, I'm the one who has to live with that. I look in the mirror and know what I do is real. It's for me. I don't have to do it for anyone else and that, y'all, is why I don't feel the need to have a skinny app on any of my photos. I am proud of the work I've put into this.

Be honest, be real, and be you! 

Celebrate the real successes because they are oh-so sweet! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

PRO Compression Marathon Socks @PROCompression @FitApproach #sweatpink #keepittight

I was given a pair of PRO Compression Marathon Socks to review through Fitapproach Sweat Pink. I've read a lot of hype about compression socks and I admit I was fairly skeptical. Plus I thought they were just for running and last time I checked I'm too addicted to Zumba® classes to run. I didn't think they'd do much for me at all.

For the past two months, I have really struggled with my feet during my Zumba® classes. Every single time I ended up with blisters all over the bottoms of my feet. I tried different shoes, different socks, changing socks mid-workout, toning down my high intensity songs, and inserts. Nothing helped. I would come home, gently take off my socks, and just cry. I injured my feet until they bled some nights. Then I'd spend the next day being really easy on my feet. I had pretty much determined that if I was going to teach Zumba® classes the blisters would just have to be a part of my life.

So... I received these socks from PRO Compression and I thought, "What do I have to lose? The worst I'm going to get is more blisters."


For the first time in months, I did not kill my feet! I still kinda doubted though. I thought maybe I wasn't as intense.... So I tried them again two nights later and really worked out hard. Guess what?!? Not one single blister!

They are a really snug fitting sock, but I could see the benefits immediately! PRO Compression socks totally #KeepItTight during two hours of Zumba® workouts! No saggy socks for this girl! 

I am one hundred percent sold on the PRO Compression Marathon Socks! They have completely saved my feet and I am so grateful to this company. I can't even begin to describe how much these socks have helped my poor feet. I refuse to wear regular songs during a workout again. 

PRO Compression Marathon Socks don't just help with blisters! 

The PC Advantage:

PRO Compression products are specifically designed to give you an edge and help you perform at the highest level possible.
They can be worn before, during and after a workout as the benefits of compression speed up muscle recovery through enhanced vascular flow in your lower extremities.

 True Graduated Compression

PRO Compression socks deliver maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood.  The moment you put these socks on your feet, you will feel the difference.
This design requires more effort to put on than standard socks. But it’s that extra effort and much-needed compression that make all the difference. Be patient and your feet will thank you.
True graduated compression promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflamation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons.


When it comes to compression sock you have many choice so why choose PRO Compression?  
1. MADE in the USA
2. We always have a super fun Sock of the Month!  A new sock designs every month with a discount!  (so make sure you are on our email list).  Can sign up on the home page under: Receive Monthly Specials.  
3. One of the few compression socks companies that makes a true graduated compression sock (the ones that work!).  
4. We sell direct, what does that mean to you?  Bigger discounts and more focus on the customer.  Our goals is to make sure everyone is in the correct sock or sleeve that is best for them! 
Key Features.
1. True Graduated Compression 
2. Arch support with just the right about of compression 
3. Stabilization zone thru the sides to mid foot. Helps provide foot bed comfort.   
4. Open toe box so it will not keep your toes to tight.  
5. Wide cuff for added comfort. 
6. Moisture wicking materials
7. No blisters!  

PRO Compression socks deliver maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood.  The moment you put these socks on your feet, you will feel the difference.
This design requires more effort to put on than standard socks. But it’s that extra effort and much-needed compression that make all the difference. Be patient and your feet will thank you.
True graduated compression promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflamation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons.
I'm definitely eyeing these next...

Ready to try out some of these fabulous socks from PRO Compression

Simply tweet the following for me: 

Tweet: I #KeepItTight w/ @PROCompression! Use the code PINK for 40% OFF your entire purchase! @fitapproach #sweatpink

And enter the code "PINK" for 40% OFF your entire purchase!!!!! 

Motivation Monday #linkup: Mile 25

Welcome back to another Motivation Monday link up! 

As I get closer to the end of my weight loss efforts, it's sometimes difficult to remember how much progress I am still making. Sure, it's easy to compare now to the very beginning. That's always guaranteed to be drastic and motivating. Sometimes I lose track of the progress just in the last year. 

My dad and I attended our annual NRA banquet this weekend and it's always hosted around the same time each year. So that makes it pretty easy to compare my progress....

This week I bought a size six dress. It actually ended up being a little loose on top and I was left wondering if maybe a four would have been a little better. 

Last year at the NRA banquet, I wore a size medium shirt and a pair of size 12 pants. 

So in just one year of clean eating and Zumba® classes, I have gone from a comfortable size 12 to a very comfortable size 6 (some size 4's)! 

Losing a large amount of weight is kinda like running a marathon. It takes time and lots of dedication. Some days you're going to get this amazing runners high from pushing yourself a little bit farther. Other days, you're going to feel like you aren't improving. There are going to be days you just want to sprint to the finish, but you know building slowly will get you much better results. I'm in the last mile of my marathon and sometimes it's okay to look back and remember I'm still better than I was at mile 11, 15, or even 20. 

How's your progress this week? Link it up!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Family Picture Night

Friday night was designated family picture night. Do you know how difficult it is to get an almost five year old little boy to cooperate? It's a wonder we got a single decent picture of my child smiling. 

I think my husband has some beautiful children, but then again I'm probably a little biased on that one. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Zumba® Fitness Calorie Burn

I get a lot of questions about my Zumba® Fitness calorie burn. So many people have asked how many calories I'm burning during my Zumba® classes. I use my Polar FT4 to track my workouts, calories, and heart rate. 

After the first hour, I had a total of 656 calories. 

I kept going for a second hour and had a total of 1295 calories. 

I posted these to Facebook after my workout and someone was curious about how I am able to burn this many calories. 

How I increase my Zumba® Fitness calorie burn:

  1. I am a very high energy person. I'm one of those annoyingly bouncy, let's get going, pumped up kinda people. 
  2. I always choose the high energy option for each song. 
  3. Big, full movements. The bigger I move, the more I burn. 
  4. I use my arms. Anything shoulder level or above is elevating my calorie burn. So....lift those arms up!
  5. I build muscle throughout the week. Muscle burns more calories, so when I engage those muscles I am burning more. 
  6. I love the music and it gets me motivated to push harder. 
  7. Go all out. Push harder a little bit every week and it will eventually build. Sure, it's tough but it is worth it. 
  8. Move between the songs. When the music changes, don't stop moving! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Playing Around

This week we had dinner with Ryan's grandfather. This always gives the kids plenty of time to run loose outside. I took advantage of the opportunity and broke out my camera. This summer I've relied on my iPhone for all of our pictures and it's really a shame I've gotten out of the habit of carrying my camera. 

After playing around with it last night, I'm definitely bringing it along more often.

These three are inseparable this summer. The boys are normally plotting something and Madison is quietly watching over them.

 My husband has three gorgeous children. Not only are they beautiful, they have sweet little hearts too. 

As we played, I looked out and saw an amazing sky. It was so peaceful. 

This little guy steals my heart every single day. I can't even begin to describe how precious he is to me. From his smile to the bruises all over his little legs from being all boy, he has this certain charm about him. 

The three of them playing together? 
It never gets old for me. 
I love watching them.

Coming home last night, we passed the lake. We were almost to the marina and saw an amazing sunset. 

We had this simple, ordinary summer night but somewhere along the way we discovered the beauty in three kids playing around, an old barn, and a big open sky. It's night like these that make you appreciate all that you've been blessed with in life. 


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