Friday, May 30, 2014

My Current Favs from @InfluensterVox #SpringVoxBox

All I've got is a whole bunch of random... I mean, seriously....

I'm still losing some weight (slowly) and it's like I don't really shout it to the world until it's a big goal now. Day in, day out.... I just kinda keep truckin' along with this thing. 

I get a lot of questions about when I plan to stop. I don't really have a set anything now. It's just kinda, "Oh yeah, this totally works for me. I like me any way I am now." 

I'm working on some clean eating recipes for y'all since you really like those too. There will be some Fast Metabolism Diet Phase 2 friendly thrown in there too.... So yay for that... 

I was lucky enough to get one of those amazing Spring Vox Boxes from Influenster! I felt like I waited forever on my goodies, but it was well worth the wait. I found some new favorite things and I thought I'd share them...

This is by far my absolute favorite thing in the vox box, y'all! My lips are always chapped this time of year, but this fixed it within a couple of hours. 

Softlips on Facebook! 
We're talking about it on Twitter...#SoftLipsCube


I usually stick to one brand of mascara. Once I find something I like, I don't switch up. The new Scandaleyes Retro Glam mascara from Rimmel totally changed my mind. I thought the wand would be a little tough to get used to, but by the second day I was using it like a pro. 

Rimmel London US on Facebook!
Find them on Twitter...@RimmelLondonUS / #Retroglam


I'm a boy mom. I don't have time or even the ability to grow my nails out let alone keep them looking pretty. So....I totally cheat... 

Kiss Nails on Facebook!
Find them on Twitter....@KissProducts / #EverlastingFrench


I got a few other things in my vox box and they're pretty awesome...

In honor of the Labor Day movie coming out, I got an apple pie air freshener. It smells yummy! 

Labor Day Movie on Facebook!
Find them on Twitter....@ParamountMovies / #LaborDayMovie


Nivea USA on Facebook!
Find them on Twitter....@NiveaUSA / #NIVEASkinFirming


Or Twitter....@Playtex_Sport / #PlayOn





Tuesday, May 27, 2014

In Love


Yeah....so I totally left y'all hanging last week! I'm happy to announce that I was too busy falling in love and rocking this sweet little boy....


My nephew arrived Friday afternoon and has captured my entire family's hearts. He is the most content, laid back baby and I am in awe of how beautiful he is. 


The first time I held him, I fell head over heels for him. All 6 pounds, 9 ounces....


He's healthy, happy and has been welcomed into such a loving family! I am an aunt times two now and I couldn't be more excited! 

Friday, May 23, 2014

Waiting...


This beautiful girl and I are patiently awaiting the arrival of my one and only nephew! Today is baby day and I am beyond excited!!!! 

I have laughed, squealed and cried since I found out that Levi is making his debut today! I apologize in advance for the pictures that will arrive shortly!!


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Vega Sport #FuelYourBetter @FitApproach @VegaTeam

Vega sent me a box of their Vega Sport Performance Protein supplement to try out. I love that it is dairy, gluten and soy free! There are no added sugars which is also a plus. 

I've been looking for additional protein to supplement my diet after my two hour Zumba® classes. I tried the vanilla alone, but I found a much better idea. I used it to make a smoothie post workout and added in some extra fruit. 

Just pour one packet of vanilla Vega Sport Performance Protein in the blender, one cup of ice, and a hand full of your favorite fruit and you've got a treat post-workout! 



A complete multi-source, alkaline-forming, plant-based protein powder blend, featuring 5,000mg of BCAAs and 5,000mg of glutamine per serving, Vega Sport Performance Protein is formulated to:
  • Improve strength and exercise performance
  • Repair and build muscles
  • Reduce recovery time between training
The recent innovation to Vega Sport Performance Protein comes from the addition of SaviSeed (sacha inchi) protein, a rich, plant-based source of the amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan is a key component of serotonin production(1). Serotonin—the feel good hormone—helps with the mental aspect of recovery, so you’ll keep the drive alive and be motivated to train again. Take Vega Sport Performance Protein within 30 to 90 minutes of your workout or throughout the day to meet your individual protein needs to recharge and repair so you can do it all again, sooner. Available in Vanilla, Chocolate and Berry flavors.


Ready to try our Vega products?

Find Vega on Twitter or Instagram

LYFT Energy Sticks

I was sent some LYFT Clean Caffeine sticks to review. These stir sticks are packed with all natural caffeine from green coffee beans and vitamins. Instead of loading up on coffee and teas, I simply switched to these stir sticks for a pick me up. 


Last week I had an unbelievable sinus infection from my allergies. I felt ridiculously bad and sluggish. I tried one of these in my water and it seriously got me through the day. Best part? I wasn't jittery at all! 


It has simple, easy to pronounce ingredients which I love! 



You can try some at PURELYFT.COM and use the code "Welcome" to get free shipping! 

If you're ready to kick your coffee habit, this could possibly help with that! 

You can find Pure LYFT Energy on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PURELYFTENERGY!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Bad Side

I was asked recently what isn't awesome about losing over 87 pounds. I really had to think on this one... On the surface everything seems unbelievably great. I'm so grateful and excited about it that I really don't dwell on the negative. 

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The more I let the question sit in the back of my mind.... the more I noticed things. 

I think the biggest thing that bothers me about losing this weight is how people react to me now.... 

  • Some people judge my appearance even more so now. Maybe I'm looking too skinny to some... maybe I've still got some "problem areas"....I think my weight loss allows some people to openly discuss it. 
  • I get a lot more attention from men now. I'm not comfortable with it and I have no idea how to take it. I never know how to respond. It's like I don't want to be bratty and rude, but come on! I am completely taken! Seriously....not interested.
  • People naturally assume I just eat bland rabbit food or that I don't eat at all. People, I love food! I love to eat!!! I just make better choices most of the time. 
  • Some people like to think I have some "special secret" to all of this. Friends, I sure wish I did. It would make my life so much easier. Unfortunately I just commit every single day to living better. That's it...there's not a magic formula. 
  • I have plenty of friends and family that don't "get me" now. They don't understand why I do what I do or why I love Zumba and coming up with new recipes that are figure friendly. It's my passion...it's what I think about day in and day out. 
  • It's tough showing people in real life my before pictures if they didn't know me then. I never really expected that... I get shy about it and it's hard for me to talk about. It's hard explaining it. It's kinda like I really want to show people who I was to explain who I am now, but it's hard showing the ugliest time in my life. 


Monday, May 19, 2014

Motivation Monday

My mind has been forty-seven million different places lately. Life is just plain stressful right now, but there's only one thing that seems to quiet everything for me: Music and Dancing.

I've pretty much submersed myself in all things Zumba® related. If I'm not listening to my favorite songs or finding new ones, I'm working on my next choreography. I can have the weight of the world on my shoulders, but on Monday and Thursday nights for two whole hours each night, I can forget it all. I get this amazing adrenaline rush and feel like I can conquer the world.

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This whole teaching thing has been intimidating. The first couple of weeks, I'd be an absolute wreck right before class started. I worried about everything from people actually showing up to me forgetting all of my songs and looking like a fool. I actually started to wonder if I'd ever really get over being so nervous. 

This past week, I had a new song that I really hadn't practiced but I just really wanted to do it. I was so busy concentrating on it that all of my other songs just sorta feel into place. I wasn't over thinking them and it was finally fun. I walked away from that class feeling pretty good about it. I had fun, we danced, and that's really all that mattered. 

What's your passion? 



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Lazy Weekends

This weekend was pretty lazy. There was plenty of napping and relaxing around the house...


We had a rainy weekend and wanted to surprise Caleb with an IMAX movie. We kinda both love sharks so it was a perfect way to spend an afternoon. 

He had one request for our outing: 

We had to both wear our boots....


Easy enough! 

I also gained my Wife of the Year title when I bought Ryan a new grill. 


He loves charcoal grills, so he's easy to please. 


I promptly lost the title when someone small wanted to "help" during the entire assembly process. 
(I'll survive....)

While they were fighting it out, I resorted to making cake balls. 


And about 9:00 on Saturday night, I got a fabulous prime rib. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Monster Fish

Before Caleb was born it was predetermined that he would be the little sportsman in the family. No son of mine would be raised without fishing and hunting. 

Last Mother's Day I took him trout fishing and helped him catch his first limit of trout. I've spent so many hours helping him fish and he's truly caught the fever for it. 

This Mother's Day weekend pretty much topped last year's... Ryan and Caleb went to Tellico for a boy's weekend and planned to let me sleep in on Saturday. 

I was so excited to finally get the bed all to myself and catch up on some much needed rest....

9:00 am : My phone rings and I get a very excited granddaddy! I'm still trying to wake up and all I hear is "Your son got a wall hanger!!!!" 

I just wasn't following him..... My dad proceeds to tell me that Caleb caught a 3 pound, 2 ounce monster trout that morning. At first, I thought he was messing with me. He told me the fish was 20 inches long and he was getting it mounted for Caleb to hang on his wall. 

It finally sinks in that my four year old little boy caught a trophy trout! 




My dad spent years fishing that Tellico River before he got his. 

Unbelievable! 


Caleb was so excited! 




I love it! 


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Shame on Me?

I've been severely obese...I've been healthy....and everything in between. 

When I was overweight, I dreamed of the day that my body would be accepted. Society tells us that happiness is being thin. We get this grand idea that once we are "normal' or skinny, everything will just magically fall into place. We deep down believe that our bodies will finally be accepted. 

That's not the truth. 

It's actually very far from it.

I was judged because I was fat. And I'm still judged because I'm not. 

Every aspect of my lifestyle change has been dissected and criticized by people close to me. I'd love to tell you that it doesn't hurt, but I won't sugar coat it. I try my best to justify their words.... Maybe it's because they've never known me at this size.....Maybe it's a little jealousy....Who really knows. I try to find the good in people even when they're hurting me. 

Sometimes I desperately want them to come here. Maybe they'd know I don't starve myself. I get all kinds of ugly acting when I don't eat. I simply cannot do that to my body! Maybe they'd know I don't just eat salads every single meal. Some days I just really pig out, but I make sure there's balance and I don't do it for days. Maybe they'd realize that I work hard for my body. If they saw my stomach maybe they'd realize that starving simply does not give me the muscle definition that I have. I've worked hard for what I have. I've done things nice and slow. Maybe if they understood that two and a half years and no sagging, loose skin can testify to that, they would see I am not doing this unhealthy. Maybe if they spent a week with me, they'd see that I eat coconut cream pie, grilled chicken nachos, and dark chocolate. Maybe then they'd see that I refuse to deprive myself because I've worked hard. 

Then again, maybe they do read.... maybe they do see....

I realized something important this week. 

I'm going to be criticized for things. I'm not everyone's cup of tea. Some people love me...others not so much. I can't please everyone. But then again, I'm not supposed to! 


Image Via

I'd honestly be fine if I didn't lose another pound. But if I do, I celebrate it! I am 145 pounds and proud of it. I'm not "too skinny" or sick looking or unhealthy. I am strong....I am toned....I am fit...I am healthy...I am not bending to someone else's insecurities. I will not let someone else's words make me feel bad for taking control of my life and my health. I will not be ashamed of it. 

I challenge all of us to stop criticizing and picking apart other women. It doesn't matter if you're 200 or 115 pounds. If we supported the people around us instead of tearing them down, we'd possibly inspire each other to greatness. Imagine someone trying to lose weight with a bigger support system....maybe she'd reach her goals. Imagine a woman struggling with an eating disorder with a support system...maybe she'd conquer it. Maybe she'd never have developed it. 

We all have a story. We all have a different journey. No more judging....


Monday, May 12, 2014

Motivation Monday

Good Monday morning, y'all! I have some fabulous news to share with you this morning to get this link up started right!!!

As of today, I have lost 86.1 pounds! Um, wow!!!! I am still in shock.... But I totally love it! 

I've also got another little update....

See these pants?



I was trying on lots of clothes Saturday to see what fit. I threw them on without looking at them. After I took them off and laid them in the "keep" pile, I glanced at the waist band....


Yep.... That's a 4. Um, what?!?!?! Cue me freaking out!
They totally fit comfortably... 

So....What are you celebrating today?


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Then and Now

Mother's Day is a tough holiday for me. It's actually perfect now and I really enjoy it, but I have really bad memories of a certain Mother's Day. In 2011, I spent Mother's Day without my child and had a long trip to the emergency room.  (You can read all about that mess right here....)

Today kinda triggered my emotions. Ryan and Caleb decided to take me to breakfast this morning. While I was getting ready to go, I flipped my hair over to dry it. As I was drying my hair, I remembered that very action caused my back to go out. I kept thinking, "My body is just so much stronger now." 

We got in the car and headed out. All of a sudden, I sneezed. (I swear my allergies are terrible this time of year...) In 2011, I sneezed on our way to breakfast and something in my back popped. It was one of the worst pains in my entire life... Today, I can sneeze without worry. 

We picked Cracker Barrel and just so happened to pull in the same parking spot as we did in 2011. I absolutely lost it! I could not stop laughing! 

Ryan looked at me like I had lost my ever lovin' mind until I explained everything. Today was almost identical to the morning of 2011. Except for one huge thing....

My body is stronger! 

My weight gain caused my back issues for over a year. When I don't move my body and stay active, the discs in my back fill with fluid and it causes pain. As long as I stay active, I don't have back issues at all. 

I'm still haunted by memories. They follow me even though I try to put them behind me. But they are so much easier to deal with now. I don't have to worry about being limited by health conditions. I am grateful every single day for that. Some days certain things trigger my emotions, but I am filled with so much relief and happiness that I don't have to live that life anymore. 

I simply get to focus on loving this little boy! 


Even though I didn't get to have moments like this on Mother's Day morning in 2011, I finally get to have them now. And they are so much happier than I ever imagined. 


I get to be the mother that this child deserves.... 
He's my wild and crazy boy and he has a wild and crazy mama. 




Friday, May 9, 2014

Celebrate!

I've got huge news to share with you..... I've lost over 85 pounds as of today! 
(Technically, it's 85.3, but who's counting....)

It just feels unreal. When I started almost two and a half years ago, I simply thought I'd lose about 20 pounds and then that would be it. I accepted the fact that weight loss is extremely difficult for me and that I would be happy losing a little bit of weight. Somewhere along the way, I discovered that I could stay motivated and dedicated. 

I originally thought my goal would be 60 pounds. When I finally got there, I wanted to keep going. I wanted to lose weight for a thousand different reasons. My family....my job....my little boy.....

Over time, it became just about me. I wanted to do it for me. That is what pushed me to today. 

I did this to feel amazing....to feel strong....to see what my body can physically do...to be comfortable in my own skin....to jump in front of a camera instead of hiding behind it....to not worry about the extra weight causing more health problems....to feel energized and extremely happy....to set a goal and reach it. 

I don't do this for anyone but me. And that feels fabulous! 

My heart is still dedicated to helping others. I've met so many wonderful people who are working towards their weight loss goals. I love inspiring others to keep going! I am so fortunate to do that each and every day!

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Balance

One of my sweet friends is curious about how I find balance now. How do I get to eat fabulous treats and still stay on track?

In all honesty, I'm still trying to figure that part out. 

One Zumba days, I am much more relaxed in my eating. I know that I can pretty much burn off a higher calorie meal on Mondays and Thursdays. When I do splurge, I normally end up feeling like crap anyways and it totally wasn't worth it. 

I weigh daily. Some people think that's obsessive, but it's how I maintain right now. I will allow myself to gain up to 3 to 4 pounds before I buckle back down. My weight fluctuates all the time. I accept that and just go with it now. 

I think my weight loss motivation comes and goes in cycles. One week I may choose to really buckle down to meet a goal. Other weeks, I may choose to let loose and not worry about things. As long as I don't stay in one mode or the other, I find the right balance. 

I just keep a closer watch on my weight numbers and adjust accordingly. I think for maintenance, it's just easier to weigh often to keep yourself on track. 

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Other Side of a Camera

After this weekend, I realized something.... My booty totally doesn't take up a whole pontoon boat seat anymore. 

Want proof? 


The comparisons never get old... 

Every time I see side by side comparisons of pictures, I am thrilled.....thankful....and determined. 


I remember cringing at the thought of someone taking pictures of me at random. Before, I would sit up super straight, try to suck in my belly as much as possible, hold my head just so. Pictures were hardly spontaneous and random. Then I'd sort through all of them and tried to pick out the ones that made me look a little bit skinnier. I'm here to tell you....there weren't many! 

This past weekend, I had a couple of cameras pointed at me. I didn't worry about it. Other than the occasional crazy look on my face, I don't cringe at the pictures. I didn't spend tons of time positioning myself to look fabulous or skinnier. I was free to enjoy the day and everyone around me. I was free from self-conscious thoughts.....self-doubt.....low self esteem. I was just able to be me. And that's beyond fabulous! 


Before I died at the thought of a backside picture.... My dad caught one on Saturday. I was all like, "Hey! It totally isn't taking up the entire picture!" And that, my friends, total self acceptance. 


I think for the first time in my entire life, I have found contentment with my body. No, it isn't perfect. But, I like the way things are. 

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