Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Weekly Weigh In and how did that happen?

In 2 weeks I have gained 9.2lbs. (Today's weigh in was 174.8) No exaggeration...I literally have gained nearly10lbs. Talk about disappointment. I have no excuse except laziness and gluttony. Okay, maybe some stress from the holidays somewhere in there, but come on Mandie...get a GRIP! What's bad is that I thought I did have a grip. I had a plan. I was ready. So what happened? I can give you no clear reason, and that is what worries me the most.

Anyone can lose weight. I've done it several times. But it takes learning what makes us fat (besides eating crap) and how we got there...and then CHANGING it. I suppose that is what brings me back to here. Gaining nearly 10lbs - again.

Let's rewind and see what happened, shall we?

The holiday's approached. At work we have one special event after another. Lunches here and there...which meant I had to miss workouts. And we all know that after you miss a workout or two, it's easier to say "nah, I can't go workout today, I've got such_and_such to do". Well, let's add the last minute shopping into that. So yeah, it was super easy to miss my lunch workouts to go shopping instead. Back to shopping,...stress that goes along with finding the PERFECT gift for so_and_so.

For my Big Boy's school party we decided to make cookies. I originally planned NO GOODIES were to be baked/made. Because honestly, WHY should they be? (I admit I'm a batter eater, and I knew it would only start trouble). That is clearly what happened. After 1 batch of cookies, Mommy decides to dip pretzels (LOTS of them) in chocolate and give away to neighbors, and for us to take to work, this also meant I got to nibble one right after another. Oh, more cookies! Yes, we need MORE cookies! The cut out kind, and what about everyone's favorite - chocolate chip?!! YES!!

It was decided Christmas Eve dinner would be at our house with my Brother-in-law and family. That meant I was cooking for 10 people. I wanted enough food, desserts and drinks. I got the bright idea to make cherry almond coffeecake (OH MY!) oh, and what about this new recipe I found for....gulp....FRENCH SILK PIE (now this is my ultimate favorite dessert).

I literally can go on and on with the food I indulged in, and why...but we all know it was because I got lazy. And as a friend pointed out (through herself) , I'm most certainly a "food addict". I literally stopped caring for a few days (weeks). I wanted to eat all my favorites...and not exercise. There was too much going on, and it's a feel good time of year, and I know food makes me FEEL GOOD. I'm a FOOD ADDICT!

Unfortunately now I'm paying the price. I'm disappointed, but determined. Can that be said in the same sentence? Today I am journaling, I even did the 30 day Shred (the Hunney got me it and 2 others for Christmas!) at lunch. I have a plan for dinner, and I'm ready to be on track again. I'm considering on rejoining WW, as it's free registration right now, and really $10/week isn't TOO bad. So...we'll see.

So, now...I'm working on new goals for the new year (not resolutions, just goals), and considering doing a pantry challenge. I also want to start focusing on more couponing and just how those gals get their pantry's so stockpiled! I need to start cutting more corners with groceries! SERIOUSLY!

Anyway...that's all for now. This is my letting it all out post...you know, another confessional. Let's just hope it's the last.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

GAG Final Weigh In, plus weekly goals

It's still hard to believe that 16 weeks have come and gone. Wow! I will admit I'm slightly (okay, greatly) disappointed in my loss for the whole challenge. It would have been better had last week not stuck me in the butt (work treat week!)...but, I'll be happy that I at least finished the challenge with a loss.

Don't mind my toenails, they totally need done!

This weigh in was 169.8. VERY close to 170 (a number I HATE). That is a terrible gain of 4.2lbs from last week (thank you chocolate covered pretzels I made this weekend!). But I finish the challenge at 7.8lbs gone. Better than zero, or a gain. Bleh.

Sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo....where do I go from here? I'll admit, I'm VERY nervous about setting any goals for this week...and honestly, because I don't want to fail. I also hate using that "it's the holidays" excuse...but quite frankly, it is. So...after much thought, here are my goals.

What I accomplished last week:
  • Journal and BE a good WW (7 full days) - Not even one day
  • Exercise 5 days - Nope...again, not even one day
  • Get 4 folders off my desk! - uh...does 1 count?!
  • Get to bed by 11pm - not every night, but MUCH better!
  • Daily vitamin - YES!!
  • Take the stairs in my office building 3x/day for 3 days - uh...no didn't happen
  • Make it through treat week without a gain! - Ha! Gained 4.2lbs!

What I want to accomplish this week:

  • Journal and BE a good WW 4 days
  • Exercise 2 days
  • Get 4 folders off my desk!
  • Daily vitamin
  • Enjoy Christmas with my family

GAG Challenge essay (Pt 3)

When I started the GAG Challenge, 16 weeks ago, I needed a fuel in my fire. I needed that jumpstart, you know, something to hold you accountable? I set a goal, and really wanted to get there. Unfortunately I didn't reach that goal...BUT, I'm not mad about it. I know that had I not started the challenge I wouldn't even be where I am today.

The GAG helped me stay on track. I knew I had to come in and report my weigh in every week, work on weekly challenges, and offer support o my fellow Gag'ers. That's right, you all helped me stay on track! Thank you! I have met new friends which equals new support that I need on my journey.

In 16 weeks I have learned more about me, and what makes this journey so difficult, and how I can accomplish what I set out to do. It's ME. I need to stop and "smell the roses" and make this commitment for me. The best thing is that I have never given up. It would have been very easy to just drop out of the challenge when the going got tough (or on weightloss in general)...but I didn't. I USED it, and moved forward, and I am learning as I'm going. I still believe the key in this journey is to live and learn, and that's exactly what I have been doing.

I would be very interested in another challenge, and honestly hope another starts soon. Now is a great time to get my focus back on (holidays seem to always de-rail me, and I HATE that), and finish this "race".

Thank you GAG!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Bleh! I can never think of a catchy title!

HI, I'm Mandie...and I'm an avoider. Yes, that's right...I've avoided my little blog here for oh, about a week, not to mention my food journal...and I might as well admit the exercise too. The LAST WEEK of the GAG Challenge, and I fall HARD off the wagon. Bleh!

I am finding my way back on though...so bear with me. I will post my weigh-in tomorrow as well as the final part (the essay!) for the GAG...and will go from there. That's all I can do...right!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

Today is the day... the day I dreaded to get on that scale. If you remember, one short week ago I was EXCITED to get on the scale. And then today...after a weekend of eating like crapola. It's truly amazing how ONE WEEKEND can ruin a GREAT week... argh!

I weighed in this morning at 165.6. I lost exactly 1lb. Amazingly...I LOST! So, I'm happy about that. But disappointed that it could have, and SHOULD have been more...had I did better on the weekend.

Yesterday I was totally back on track, and it always feels good. What sucks is that this is a treat week at work. Today we will go to a "fancy" restaurant (buffet/gourmet). It's supposed to be a "free day" for me, but after this weekend I truly don't deserve it. I'll try my hardest, and I'm vowing to stay AWAY from the desserts. I don't need them... Oh, and since we are being treated to lunch, that means I miss bootcamp workout! PHOOEY! I have to workout at home...I've got to MAKE myself workout at home!!!! Tomorrow the staff (me) provide a "special tea" to the faculty. I'm going to NOT eat anything at the tea. It's at 3:30pm, and that's just a few hours away from dinner. SO...my goal is to NOT eat anything! On Thursday then is our staff gift exchange, and we each bring in a food. I have signed up to bring a Subway platter! Go me! That way I can stay on track! hehee! Sneaky eh?!!! So, if I can survive this week, I'll feel A LOT better, since the GAG challenge last weigh in is NEXT Tuesday! Can you believe that? I still can't!! WOWOWOW!!!

What I accomplished last week:
  • Journal and BE a good WW (especially on the weekend!) - Did NOT happen!!!!
  • Exercise 5 days - YES!
  • Get desk clean - Didn't make much progress
  • Get material for 2 more purses and get at least 1 purse finished (sewing) - got material, but no purses done.
  • Daily vitamin - YES!!
  • Take the stairs in my office building 3x/day for 5 days!!! - Not even ONE day!

What I want to accomplish this week:

  • Journal and BE a good WW (7 full days)
  • Exercise 5 days
  • Get 4 folders off my desk!
  • Get to bed by 11pm
  • Daily vitamin
  • Take the stairs in my office building 3x/day for 3 days!!!
  • Make it through treat week without a gain!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Confessions of a stressed-out woman!

You all know what Christmas does to us right...STRESSES us out! And why?? Why do we insist on trying to do sooo much?! Worrying about gifts for so-and-so.... it's just ridiculous. But, I do it to myself.

My weekend was good...but busy = stressful for me, and I ate poorly. I started off good, and then had pictures at Sears at noon (remember with 5 boys!). My Little Guy was a terror, and actually there are some pictures of him with his PINK paci (yeah, we're down to pink and purple,...and then we're DONE). They totally pissed me off (I WILL NEVER GO BACK), and then I was so frustrated at that point I told everyone let's go eat in the food court. I ordered chick-fil-a (a grilled chicken salad)...but after I carried it back to the table it was fried. Wonderful. Oh well...I still ate it (bad choice #1 ended up being 11pts!). I then had a few bites of Tucker's breadsticks and cheese. (bad choice #2). We then headed to get the Christmas tree, and spent the afternoon decorating it. That was fun, as the Big Boy REALLY got into it. Dinner birthday party for my Dad at their house later. Mom made sloppy joes, cheeseball with crackers, and regular chips (bad choice #3). Ugh!!! I did drink 80+oz h20, but still...too many points. Oh yeah, my Mom makes the BEST fudge...and 3 pieces of that, plus these sugar+butter+walnuts she makes. OMG they are awesome and insanely the devil for someone like me! (bad choices #4,5,6, and a few handfuls of the nuts = 7,8,9?)

Yesterday started off good, well I had to go grocery shopping (that is stressful when you're on a tight budget thanks to Christmas spending). For lunch I ate 4 (YES 4) pieces of veggie pizza (leftover from Friday) (bad choices #10,11). Granted, it was veggies (no meat), and 2% cheese...but still...CRUST will kill ya!!! Later I munched on (get this) chocolate marshmallows (WTH?!...just to have something sweet, and the Hunney catches me and says "is that on your diet?". Ugh!) (bad choices # 12,13,14). So I fixed a 100 calorie packet of popcorn (finally a good choice, but really shouldn't have after the other crap). The Hunney and I went shopping as my cousin and his wife came over and watched the boys. It was good to go out...but people everywhere and I just get stressed doing stuff like that with The Hunney. Then I got mad when he wouldn't go through a drive thru so I could eat more garb! Seriously! Thank you Hunney for NOT stopping!!! When we got home I munched on several handfuls of carmel popcorn (in the tin kind) (bad choices #15,16,17,18,19), and then finally heated dinner up (enchiladas that I made earlier...I used turkey and fat free refried beans, plus mine were in la tortilla factor wraps)...but I ate it with DORITOS (bad choice #20).

Wow...what a horrible weekend of eating. Let's also admit to only working out Friday night...none on Saturday or Sunday! PHOOEY!!!!!! I did drink water...but that's about all that was good. So, I honestly dread the scale tomorrow :(

Whew...with that off my chest...I feel better, but ashamed.

So, onto the Weekend Recap!

My plans were:
  • Journal and be a good WW - EVERY DAY!
  • Drink my h20 - 80oz/day
  • Workout at least once
  • Finish 2 purses (Christmas presents)
  • Work on Christmas shopping with the Hunney
  • Mail Christmas cards, get and decorate Christmas tree
  • Grocery Shop
  • Paint fingernails (something for ME)
  • Start wrapping presents!
Here is my outcome:

  • Only Journaled Friday and part of Saturday!
  • Drank 80+oz h20 EVERY day!
  • Only worked out on Friday! BL Cardio Max
  • Did not get the purses done (will post a picture soon!), but they are started!
  • Did Christmas shop with the Hunney
  • Mailed my Christmas cards, and decorated the tree
  • Did NOT paint fingernails...again!
  • Did NOT start wrapping presents!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Weekend Plans

Busy busy today...so this is a quicky!

Weekend Plan
  • Journal and be a good WW - EVERY DAY!
  • Drink my h20 - 80oz/day
  • Workout at least once
  • Finish 2 purses (Christmas presents)
  • Work on Christmas shopping with the Hunney
  • Mail Christmas cards, get and decorate Christmas tree
  • Grocery Shop
  • Paint fingernails (something for ME)
  • Start wrapping presents!
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!!!!!!!

GAG - Time to see what you know challenge

Gulp... here's another challenge for the GAG. Fortunately, this one is multiple choice...hope I know the answers!!!! (just peeking ahead, I think I may be in trouble...please don't laugh, these are my "guesses")

1) How many spoonfuls of sugar are in one can of regular cola?
a- 1
b- 3
c- 5
d- 7

2) Substituting turkey for beef two times per week will save you how many calories?
a- 150
b- 250
c- 350
d- 450

3) Which fast food item has the most calories?
a- Bacon Double Cheeseburger
b- 22 oz chocolate shake
c- Medium order of french fries
d- Medium order of onion rings

4) How many jumping jacks would you have to do to burn off the calories in a pint of ice cream?
a- 2000
b- 5000
c- 8000
d- 12000

5) What percentage of Americans eat fast food as a family meal at least once a week?
a- 10%
b- 29%
c- 52%
d- 70% (sad to think!!)

6) When should you have your first cholesterol screening?
a- At age 10.
b- At age 20.
c- At age 35.
d- At age 40.
e- It depends on your risk factors.

7) What percentage of your diet should fat make up?
a- About 10 percent of your daily calories.
b- About 20 percent of your daily calories.
c- About 30 percent of your daily calories.
d- About 40 percent of your daily calories.
e- There is no recommended amount of fat; you should strive to eat as little of it as possible.

8) How much exercise do you really need?
a- 45 minutes twice a week.
b- 30 minutes three or four days a week.
c- 60 minutes at least three or four days a week.
d- 30 minutes at least four or five days a week.
e- It depends on your age and overall physical-fitness level.

9) Which of the following is not a good approach to managing stress?
a- Talking directly to the person who is causing the stress.
b- Giving yourself a treat, like comfort food or a cocktail.
c- Accepting that there are things beyond your control.
d- Trying cognitive-behavioral therapy to learn new coping skills.
e- Working out regularly.

10) What is a healthy blood-pressure level?
a- 110/70.
b- 125/85.
c- 135/90.
d- 140/95.
e- 150/95.

11) What is a healthy body-mass index (BMI) measurement?
a- 17.5 or lower.
b- 18.5 or lower.
c- 18.5 to 24.9.
d- 25 to 29.9.
e- 30 to 34.9.

12) How many cups of fruit and vegetables should you eat daily?
a- At least one cup of fruit or vegetables.
b- One cup of fruit and one cup of vegetables.
c- One cup of fruit and 1 1/2 cups of vegetables, for a total of 2 1/2 cups.
d- Two cups of fruit and two cups of vegetables.
e- Four to five cups of fruit and vegetables.

13) What percentage of weight-loss ads contains false or unsupported claims?
a- 25 percent
b- 36 percent
c- 42 percent
d- 55 percent
e- 67 percent

14) How much weight loss is a safe and reasonable goal? *trick question...because a,b,c are correct in my eyes
a- Half a pound a week
b- A pound a week
c- Two pounds a week
d- Three pounds a week
e- More than three pounds a week

15) Some weight-loss products say they can prevent calories from being absorbed. What's the greatest amount of weight that can be lost using this method, according to experts?
a- One-third pound a week
b- One-half pound a week
c- One pound a week
d- None of the above

16) Some products, such as green tea extract, promise that they can cause you to "burn fat" without working out. How much do they really boost your metabolism?
a- 2 percent
b- 4 percent
c- 5 percent
d- 7 percent

17) Which of these claims should be a red flag about the safety or effectiveness of a weight-loss product?
a- It causes permanent weight loss
b- It helps the user lose more than three pounds a week for more than four weeks
c- Substantial weight loss occurs by wearing a device or rubbing a substance on the skin
d- All of the above

18) High-protein/low-carbohydrate diets are faulted because of their emphasis on saturated fats. What's another problem with these diets?
a- They can cause headaches
b- They can cause bad breath
c- They can make you feel tired and weak
d- All of the above

19) If you follow a low-fat diet, you don't have to watch your portions of which of these foods?
a- Pasta
b- Nonfat cookies
c- Nonfat chips
d- Whole-wheat bread
e- None of the above

20) Which items are examples of foods high in "healthy fats"?
a- Olive oil, peanut oil, canola oil, avocados, nuts and seeds
b- Safflower, corn, sunflower, soy and cottonseed oils
c- Fatty, cold-water fish (such as salmon, mackerel and herring), flaxseeds, flax oil and walnut
d- All of the above

Whew...it WAS tough!! Again, don't laugh please :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Well, well, well....

My fellow GAGers have surprised the heck out of me with a Gaggie award!!!!

Here's what they said about me!

Mandie was recognized for her Healthy Choices, Inspirational Postings, Not Giving Up, Great Rewards List, and finally, the TEAM SPIRIT AWARD. She was recognized for being 'team spirited' because she's always leaving comments for EVERYONE! That's awesome and I think it's totally worth getting recognized for.

Now how cool is that?!!!!! I'm completely shocked, flattered and STOKED about it! Thank you for "voting" for me! WOWOWOW! Oh, and let's not forget the nice things that were said about me! TEAM SPIRIT AWARD?! Awwww!!! SO sweet!

Honestly, I'm truly flattered with this award and thank you all sooo much! It was but a few months ago I didn't even use this blog thing, but it has helped me TREMENDOUSLY! For starters, the GAG challenge itself. It has kept me in line, and on track, and I needed it more than words can say. I like having followers, and knowing I'm being held accountable. And let's not forget I LOVE reading everyone's blogs. I really do! It makes me see and realize that I'm not the only one struggling out there. I hate that we are struggling, but knowing someone else is out there going through the SAME emotions really helps matters.

So thank you all for this award! I still am SHOCKED, but sooo happy. Words can't even begin to describe what the GAG has meant to me!!!

Moving on....I'd like to share something...I'm PROUD to say I have been working out all week long!!! The group exercise classes are helping me get back in the groove. I am also doing the Biggest Loser workouts every other night at home. Yes, I'm sore as all get out...and I'm super duper tired. BUT, I know that after a few weeks the energy from working out is going to go THROUGH THE ROOF!!! I already feel better, physical and emotional wise!! I can't wait to see the difference in my clothes before long!!

So, that's that. Nothing else to report in... have a wonderful Thursday friends!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

It's that time again...WEIGH DAY! The GAG challenge end is 2 short weeks away, and I still can't believe that. I'm kind of "sad" about it, as it has helped me stay on track and motivated. What will happen when it's over??? GULP! I hate that I'm not going to hit my initial goal, BUT I'm pretty certain that these next 2 weeks will help me hit the "new" goal I set. As long as I stick with it, I will succeed!

This week has been a good week, and I love them. They make me feel so proud. I have got back into exercising, journaling AND eating right. So this morning I had NO problems stepping on the scale. I knew it was going to be a great number!!!


Hmm.... yeah, it's a 2.6lb loss, but I truly expected more. WHY OH WHY do we do that to ourselves? How can one possibly be "disappointed" with a 2.6lb loss???? Ridiculous is what it is. I lost weight! But in my mind I keep thinking , "But I did so good! I even exercised 2 times a day some days, my weekend was kick ass...and all I lost was 2.6lbs??!!". Silly silly silly! I should be JUMPING with joy...as I'm doing the right things, I am officially back to exercising and I LOST 2.6LBS!!!!

Okay...I'm happy! I'm Happy....I"M HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What I accomplished last week:
  • Journal and BE a good WW (especially on the weekend!) - YES!!!!
  • Exercise 3 days - YES I exercised 6 days!!!!!!!!
  • Get desk clean - Ugh...STILL working on
  • Get 1 purse finished (sewing) - 2 purses were finished!!!
  • Daily vitamin - I think I forgot 1 day...but I'm not 100% sure if I really did forget it that day?
  • Make a new recipe - I made chili in the crockpot. It wasn't really a new recipe, but it was a different way.

What I want to accomplish this week:

  • Journal and BE a good WW (again, especially on the weekend!)
  • Exercise 5 days
  • Continue to get desk clean
  • Get material for 2 more purses and get at least 1 purse finished (sewing)
  • Daily vitamin
  • Take the stairs in my office building 3x/day for 5 days!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Weekend Recap

Wow...what a wonderfully busy weekend! Seriously! And I am happy to report I stayed on track! It's been a long time since I had a good weekend like that! Makes me look forward to tomorrow's weigh in!!! I hope it's good to me, I deserve it!!!

My Mom and I spent the weekend sewing! For my Big Boy's preschool class I decided I wanted to make crayon rolls to give to the kids. There are 23 in his class! Let's also make note that I wanted to sew at least 4 purses to give away as gifts...oh and I'm a NEWBIE at sewing! Last year was my first year, and I haven't sewn since Christmas time last year! GULP! I'd also like to note my Mom is a master seamstress, and has been sewing since high school. I'm thankful I have her, she totally helps when I have "problems" (so simple for her). Oh, and we had 2 toddlers (2.5 years old) pestering us too! My Little Guy, and my nephew. They made it "entertaining" to say the least!

My Mom cutting out the material

The Little Ones

Our first finished product!

My plans were:
  • Journal and be a good WW - EVERY DAY!
  • Drink my h20 - 80oz/day
  • Workout at least once
  • Finish 1 purse (Christmas present)
  • Purchase material and start 23 crayon rolls
  • Work on Christmas gift list
  • Finish Christmas cards
  • Paint fingernails
Here is my outcome:

  • Yes...I journaled all 3 days and was a GOOD WW!
  • Drank 80+oz h20 EVERY day!
  • Worked out Sunday evening!!! BL Cardio Max
  • My Mom finished 2 purses - while I worked on Crayon Rolls - I'm ahead schedule!
  • Bought, cut, and sewed 24 Crayon Rolls - DONE!
  • Christmas gift list is completed, now to buy!
  • All Christmas cards are addressed, will mail on Friday
  • Did NOT paint fingernails...and sure enough, this morning, 2 nails broke! ARGH!

All in all a GREAT successful OP weekend! So Proud and HAPPY!!!!!! Yesterday evening after dinner I took the kiddos on a drive to look at all the Christmas ligths. There's one especially I wanted to show them where you drive through it. It's amazing! I took pictures, but they did NOT turn out...they are too blurry. We'll definitely go again and hopefully I'll get better pictures!!!

A GAG Challenge!

Fun stuff here! It's time for another GAG Challenge! Should be testing what I've learned already, hope I pass :)

1. Women who lift weights will get bulky muscles.

2. "Spot reducing" (focusing on one area with exercises to see faster results in that one area) is possible.

3. Exercise boosts brain power.

4. No pain, no gain.

5. Movement melts away stress.

6. Exercise requires a hefty time commitment.

7. If you exercise, you can eat whatever you want.
FALSE!!!!!!!! I know this one for a fact!

8. There’s a magic bullet (quick fix) out there somewhere.
FALSE! But I doooo wish!

9. Exercise gives you energy.

10. All excuses aside, it's actually not that hard to find some amount of time for fitness daily.

11. You need a gym membership if you want your exercise routine to be most effective.

12. People who have exercise partners stay with their programs and reach their goals more often than those who try to go it alone.
TRUE! I totally know this one too...when I lost my partner, it was easier NOT to hit the gym!

13. Exercise helps ward off disease.

14. Exercise is good for the heart.

15. Pound for pound, muscle burns more calories at rest than body fat -- so you can eat more calories and still lose weight if you exercise regularly.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Weekend Plans

HIya friends! Yes, it's been a few days since I blogged...work has been busy, and I just haven't had a whole lot to blog about. PLUS, I'm doing really good with eating and exercising...and I didn't want to jinx myself. Funny I know...but every time I do, I seem to slip up shortly after. Ugh!

Anyway, I've been rocking to the Biggest Loser workouts (Cardio Max and Power Sculpt), but taking it easy since I was SHOCKED at how out of breath I was doing the beginner level! WOW! Yeah, this girl is out of shape. Plus, I'm babying a self-diagnosed tennis elbow. It's been hurting for quite awhile...not sure exactly when, but a few months at least. So anyway...I researched it finally since it's not get any better, and yeah, I'm pretty sure I over did it when I was lifting weights a few months back. I was doing "heavy" weights...and I think I hurt it. So I'm babying it now. I still have some research to do, but for now...I'm just babying it.

Moving on...I have lots to do this weekend since Christmas is rolling up quickly, so I'm working on my lists (to keep myself sane). BUT, I'm making sure that I am a priority this weekend and I'm sticking to my goals.

Speaking of goals... here's my weekend plan!

Weekend Plan
  • Journal and be a good WW - EVERY DAY!
  • Drink my h20 - 80oz/day
  • Workout at least once
  • Finish 1 purse (Christmas present)
  • Purchase material and start 23 crayon rolls
  • Work on Christmas gift list
  • Finish Christmas cards
  • Paint fingernails
Lots to do this weekend...but I can do it!!!! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

I still am having a hard time grasping that this is DECEMBER 1ST?! HOLY MOLY! And ya'll know this is a crazy month with Christmas parties, Christmas shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, sewing (yes!)...and in the midst of it all I want to LOSE MORE WEIGHT and get back to exercising CONSISTENTLY!!! I'm serious about it too!!!

So backing up....today was that dreadful day. I hated to step on that scale today...but I HAD to. It's the rules! I'm up 2.8lbs (169.2). Under 3lbs after a crazy 4 day weekend with a holiday....I'll take it. Not happy about it (or with me), but I knew what the outcome would be if I ate like I did and was so sedentary!!

Moving on....that's all I can do!!!! Today is day 2, and I even got a workout in yesterday....wasn't the gym, but it still definitely counts! I hit it up with the hottie Bob from the BL and did the Cardio Max. I'm embarrassed that I only did the beginner level, but know by the end of the month I'll be doing BETTER!!!!

So this is the last 3 weeks of the GAG challenge. Can't believe it has gone by this quickly! WOWOW! So for the last 3 weeks I want to get back to exercising, and REALLY want to get under 165. That will be short from my original goal...but I'll take it with a smile.

Goal time!

What I accomplished last week:
  • Journal and be a Good WW - 1 day, yesterday!
  • Enjoy Thanksgiving (Free day) and make sure I talk about what I'm thankful for - wooohoo! Got this one!
  • Exercise 3 days, even if it's walking!! - 1 day, thanks to yesterday
  • Continue 30 days of Affirmations - 0 days
  • December monthly menu plan - YES!
  • Get DESK clean! - Uh...still working on!
  • Have fun Black Friday shopping with Mom!! - The best time...and got LOADS of great deals!

What I want to accomplish this week:

  • Journal and BE a good WW (especially on the weekend!)
  • Exercise 3 days
  • Get desk clean
  • Get 1 purse finished (sewing)
  • Daily vitamin
  • Make a new recipe

And for fun...here is the turkey cake my husband and I made for Thanksgiving! It is a annual tradition to do a different Thanksgiving cake to take to my family gathering. SOOO fun!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

It all comes to an end

And boy oh boy am I ever thankful for that!!!! I admit to not doing ANYTHING I planned to be/stay healthy, figures. But, I enjoyed the time spent with family and friends. I think that means something. I ate ONLY my favorites at Thanksgiving...but hate that I LOVE cheese ball and crackers! Those should be illegal or something. I also had a few chocolate chip cookies...that one right after another slipped in my mouth and melted away. Oh, and when the Hunney and I were making our "annual Thanksgiving cake" (different every year!) I ate spoonfuls of my homemade buttercream icing! Oops. But, I have to stop beating myself up...and move on. That's ALL you can do. So I'm thankful that Thanksgiving has come, and GONE. I'm also glad to be back at work and back into routine...it helps me. I DO hate the thought of stepping on the scale tomorrow...and wish I had a free day for GAG. But, I used those babies up already. So...tomorrow I will hesitantly step on the evil piece sitting in my bathroom.

Today is new...and I am back on track. There's nothing more important than that! I'm working on December's menu, and planning on visiting either the love of my life (Bob from the Biggest Loser) or the guy that kicks my butt every time (Billy Blanks) tonight before the Hunney rolls in. I'd also like to do a 15 minute interval training...but maybe one step at a time?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope you all take the time to be truly thankful for what you've got, what you've accomplished, and the person you have become!!!!

I'm very thankful for all of you joining me on this journey!!!!

Be safe and have fun!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Weekend Recap, Weekly Weigh In

I'm in a slump...and trying to claw my way out. Ugh. Do you ever just get so disappointed in YOURSELF that you don't know what to do?! That's me. I KNOW what to do...but struggle with doing it. I am good for a few days, and then crash and burn. Very disturbing. But don't worry...I'm okay. I always pick up the pieces and try again. It's really all you can do, you know?!

Okay...so on to the fun stuff.

My plans were:
  • Journal and be a good WW
  • Drink my h20 - 80oz/day
  • Workout at least once
  • Enjoy Friday date night with the Hunney
  • Enjoy my Saturday with family and friends
Here is my outcome:
  • Did not journal ONE DAY! Pathetic!
  • Totally drank some h20, but on Sunday I was short of 80oz!
  • Did NOT workout. On Sunday when I was getting ready to go with a friend I realized my gym clothes (and more importantly sports bras) were at WORK!!!!
  • Had a wonderful date night with Hunney and saw 2012!!!
  • Totally enjoyed craft day at my house with my aunts and friends!!! We had a BALL!
Totally blew the weekend when it came to weightloss. But, life isn't all about weightloss right??

So today...weigh day. Gulp Was not looking forward to it. Like I said, I'm in a slump. No exercise in 4 days and no journaling the same! SCARY STUFF!!!

I was fortunate to see a MAINTAIN. I hate it...but I will take it. I mean, I deserve it...but I still hate it. I HATE that I'm not moving the way I want to. I asked myself this morning..."Mandie, you've lost 50'ish lbs, WHY is it so hard to lose the remaining 30?!!" One day at a time....

On to goals....

What I accomplished last week:
  • Journal and be a good "WW" - only got 3.5 days in
  • Exercise 3 days - again worked out 2 days
  • Continue with 30 days of affirmations - missed 4 days
  • Make 1 new recipe - YES, french dip in the crockpot that was AWESOME!
  • Finish the work on my desk (my personal goal with GAG) - YES 75% complete!
  • Take my Multi-vitamin- missed 2 days on the weekend
  • Drink at least 80oz h20 (weekends I struggle) - Only missed 1 day (Sunday)
And for new goals....

What I want to accomplish this week:
  • Journal and be a Good WW
  • Enjoy Thanksgiving (Free day) and make sure I talk about what I'm thankful for
  • Exercise 3 days, even if it's walking!!
  • Continue 30 days of Affirmations
  • December monthly menu plan
  • Get DESK clean!
  • Have fun Black Friday shopping with Mom!!

There ya have it... not too happy today... with myself. Need to reread some blog posts I made when I was motivated and map out my plan :) There...I put on a smiley... it's okay. It's Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday! And yeah, I LOVE food. I just hate this is such a struggle. Really...I do!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekend Plans

It's that time AGAIN! It amazes me how quickly it comes! Sooo....here are my big plans. Tonight, movie night with the Hunney! We very very rarely go out, let alone to a movie - he hates spending the big bucks for it, plus I have severe hearing loss and even with the LOUD theater surround sound, I can't understand half of what is said (it's certain tones I can't hear...we watch TV and movies at home with the captions on...I know, annoying for most, but my family has learned to deal with it and it's the ONLY way I can watch and get what is going on. It sucks. This should be a friendly reminder to turn down your mp3 players and ipods! SERIOUSLY people, this is what caused my PERMANENT damage (although it was way before cool mp3 players/ipods were around).

ANYWAY....back to my weekend. We will hopefully grab some Subway for dinner and then hit the 8:15 movie of 2012. I'm popping and sneaking in my own popcorn (shhhh!), I've got the Twizzlers (gotta have them, it's a movie tradition!) and just enjoy spending time with the Hunney.

On Saturday it is craft day at my house with my Mom, 2 aunts, best friend, and a co-worker (possibly 2 friends of my aunt too). We are all preparing some good lunch food. I'm making a WW slow cooker recipe so I can stick on plan! I'll share the recipe on Monday! I've made it before, but I can't remember it all right now. I also plan to work out! I MUST! I really want to. The Hunney is going to a poker tournament at the casino, so who knows when he'll be home, so I'll probably watch some good movies while he's out!

Sunday I am meeting a friend at the Y to get some good friend time and exercise in!!!! WOOHOO!

The exercise is coming because I snuck on the scales this morning and was NOT happy when it read the same thing as 3 days ago. WTF?! I've been OP...so I dunno what's up. So, I'm kicking it up a notch and gonna get it to MOVE!

Weekend Plan
  • Journal and be a good WW
  • Drink my h20 - 80oz/day
  • Workout at least once
  • Enjoy Friday date night with the Hunney
  • Enjoy my Saturday with family and friends

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!!! Eat less...move more!! Oh, and sorry about being quiet yesterday, I'm super busy working on getting my work done on my desk (a goal this week!)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ugh, that dreaded word....

One of my goals this week is to exercise 3 days. That doesn't seem hard...does it? Well, let's back up a bit. 2 years ago I restarted this journey (after the okay from my Dr - as I had just had a new baby). I joined the gym at my work, because a) it was so cheap b) payroll deducted c) convenient for me so I could go at lunch. I round up as many co-workers as I could, to go to the Faculty/Staff group exercise classes Monday - Friday. Amazingly I got 3 others to go with me. I figured if I had someone to go with, it would be easier to go - or harder to say NO when I didn't want to.

What a great jumpstart to my weightloss! I was doing awesome. Before long I got a trainer and learned all about how to do things on my own, and how to use the machines in the gym. Wow...the weight MELTED off!!! Slowly but surely all my co-workers fell off the wagon, and before long it was just me. Fortunately another co-worker started going with me though.

Let's fast forward to eh...I don't even know when it happened, but at some point that flame went out. The fire I once had for exercise somehow dwindled and literally disappeared. And honestly, I have been trying to relight that fire for some time.

Last week I made it to the gym 2 times. A day short of my goal. Argh. I again set the goal of 3 days this week, and I'm going to hit it!!

Today I decided maybe I should go "back to basics" and hit up the classes again. At least that way I was going. I wouldn't have to "think" about what to do...someone would be instructing me. Today's class was Strength 45. The instructor actually asked me if I was new, as she'd never seen me before! Lol! I told her I'd been to a couple of her classes, but that I had kind of got lazy the past few weeks/months. She promised to give me a good wake up a call and workout. Sure enough she worked me to death!!! It was great, and I'm super proud and happy I went!

1 day down...2 more to go!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weekly Weigh In

So today was that day we all know so well. You know the day when you wake up and step on that scale naked,....on off, on off, on off...just to see if that number changes?! This weigh in I wasn't for sure what to expect. I had my first official "free day" on the weekend thanks to my birthday. And TOM. All I kept thinking was "please say 166".


I'll take it. The 166 is there...and then .4 is nothing. As a good friend said, less than 1/2 a lb. With what I am working with here - I'll gladly take it. It also fuels me for this week. With TOM out of the way, as well as no free days planned I'm certain I can have a great weigh in. I'm aiming for the 2lbs I need so I can reach my first goal!

Let's review last weeks goals, and how I did.

What I accomplished last week:
  • Journal (at least 6 days since I have a *free day* with my birthday!) - Completed!
  • Exercise 3 days - Nope...only got 2 days in
  • 30 days of affirmations (I'm currently on day 4) - Completed!
  • Make 1 new recipe - Completed! (Green beans and ham in the crockpot! YUM!)
  • Paint my nails - Completed!
And for new goals....

What I want to accomplish this week:
  • Journal and be a good "WW"
  • Exercise 3 days
  • Continue with 30 days of affirmations
  • Make 1 new recipe
  • Finish the work on my desk (my personal goal with GAG)
  • Take my Multi-vitamin
  • Drink at least 80oz h20 (weekends I struggle)

Next week is Thanksgiving, so I'm giving it my all this week. I know that Thanksgiving is going to be tough as usual, BUT if I can do well before and after...I can survive Thanksgiving!!! BTW, Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Recap

The weekend is over...how did I do?

My plans were:
  • ENJOY my birthday!
  • Take family pictures
  • Workout at least once
  • Drink my h20
  • Be a good WW 2 out of the 3 days (since I have a free day!)
Here is my outcome:

  • Totally enjoyed my birthday! One of the best yet!
  • Took family pictures, MAYBE happy with 1! argh!
  • Did NOT workout even once! Phooey!
  • Drank my water!
  • Was totally a good WW every other day!!
How do I feel about the free day?

Well, it was different. I felt very ... confused. Especially when the Hunney kind of gave me a look at the buffet dinner on Saturday night. (I used my free day Saturday night - Sunday morning so I could enjoy the buffet restaurant where we stayed). So I totally felt like I was cheating. I told him about my 4 day plan, and he even asked if that was "okay". Well, it's okay for me...because if I give myself these 4 day, the plan is that I won't need/want to splurge every other day during "the holidays". Does he get it...I don't think so. But this MY journey right?

So anyway, last night the Hunney says "I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but is there something I can do to help you with losing the weight?". I was surprised...and well honestly couldn't think of anything. I would love more than anything to include him in this...but I'm not sure how. Ideas anyone????

Hunney went all out and got me the perfume I wanted, and would NEVER buy myself (who pays that kind of money for perfume anyway?!!), as well as a Colts jersey. He was concerned with the size, said he didn't want it to be too small. But ALSO said that if it was, maybe that would help motivate me. He truly means well and wants me to be happy with myself.

All in all, it was a wonderful birthday. And can you imagine how thankful I am for such a loving and CARING husband?!!! WOW. Now, if only I can stick with this and show him what I'm made up. That I CAN do this! I want to do this.... (side note...TOM is here...and affects how I feel ... you know that BLAH feeling?!).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Weekend Plans, Thank You's, Pictures and a Recipe!

It has come...the weekend...my friends!!! We all love them, and we all sort of are afraid of them. The weekends becomes a time when we get out of routine, slip up, get off track, miss exercise, make excuses, and well GAIN WEIGHT. It's scccarrrry people!!!

But this weekend is different for me! I'm stoked! Well yes, of course my birthday is Sunday (Happy Birthday Me!), and the Hunney is treating me to a sleep-over at French Lick Resort and Casino! Yes, the kiddos will following along, but it'll be a fun time spent at the pool, bowling alley, and just "getting away".

I plan on taking our annual family pictures while there, and it is my first official "free day" for the holidays. Remember how I am allowing myself "4 free days this holiday season to not worry about points or tracking. I will be careful NOT to use those days as an excuse to eat everything in sight and go hog wild"? Well, my first one is this weekend! Woohoo! I think giving myself this free day will be good for me. I think it will help me stay in control, and I'm ready to give myself a bit of freedom to see what kind of choices I make.

Weekend Plan
  • ENJOY my birthday!
  • Take family pictures
  • Workout at least once
  • Drink my h20
  • Be a good WW 2 out of the 3 days (since I have a free day!)

Now time for some THANK YOU'S!

Thank you Jen @ Prior Fat Girl for posting my sweat picture yesterday, oh and your tough love!
Thank you Gayle @ Grocery Cart Challenge for all your WONDERFUL ideas!
Thank you Heather @ A new Heather for bringing me to the GAG Challenge!!
Thank you Kim @ A Transfigured Life for all your inspiration! WOW...I want to be like you!

I also want to thank my boys... for the cutest things they say!!! The other day I had on a dress (I NEVER wear dresses). And my oldest says "Mommy, I love your dress"! Awwww!! Even Daddy doesn't say stuff like that! When I put my shoes on (heels - which I again NEVER wear) he says again "oooh, and I love your shoes Mommy!". I of course didn't like how I felt and changed, and he says "but Mommy, I loved what you had on!". He's going to be a real heart throb ladies...watch out! Thank you Brody for being you and REALLY caring!!!!

And my little guy... thank you for being Mommy's little helper! From vacuuming, helping put the dishes away, dusting, folding laundry, and cooking (seriously!) he is every girls dream come true!!!! And let's not forget how sweet those smiles are, even at 2am when he needs to potty or wants a drink or can't find his blankie. Thank you Tucker for being SO helpful and loving...oh and sharing Mommy's love of OREO cookies!!!

And for now....last but not least, thank you goes out to my Hunney. Wow! Where do I even start!?! You are amazing all that you do for our happiness. Thank you for being you, making me smile and being the best Daddy to a bunch of crazy kiddos! We've gone through a lot in our short time together...but I wouldn't trade it for the world!!!

Now time for a Thanksgiving Recipe to share with ya'll! YUMMY! I got this over from Blog To Lose and I'm definitely going to be trying it! Portion control is one of my biggest problems, so all the help I can get...rock on!!!! Unsure of the nutritional count since I haven't added it to spark yet...but will do so. YUMMY!


Stuffin Muffins

10 slices Aunt Millie's Fiber for Life Light Bread ( or any bread where 2 slices= 1Pt)
2 stalks of celery, chopped( more or less to preference)
1/2 C chopped onion ( more or less)
FF butter spray ( I like Pam)
poultry seasoning
sage, thyme, Whatever seasonings you like!
Salt and Pepper

Saute the onion and celery in spray. Cover and cook until soft. Tear the bread into 1" pieces. Toss with the celery and onion mixture. Add water (or chicken broth, FF of course) while tossing until stuffing is of desired consistency.Not too dry, not too wet. Spray 6 cup muffin tin with Pam. About 1/2 C of mixture per well. BAke at 325 until browned. 1pt per muffin


Okay ya'll...that's all I have time for today! Hope everyone has a splendid weekend (not sure I'll make it back online)!!!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankfulness all around

Well, as much as I hated to do it...I have decided to take a REST day from exercise! I know, I know...BUT it's for a good cause - I can't walk people! My quads are killing me like never before. So, instead of killing myself with Step Class today, I decided to make it a rest day, and kill em again tomorrow.

*FYI - this is a VERY long read. And can be a little monotonous... so you have been forewarned :)*

So it hit me a little while ago, I've never really shared my true beginning story and why I'm so thankful that the light finally came on. Here it goes...with pictures and EVERYTHING!!!

All growing up I was never the skinny gal. I hated sports, and loved food. In high school I joined the guard with the band and was fairly active and actually started dieting (anyone remember that horrid Cabbage Soup Diet where you could only eat certain things on certain days?! UGH!).

After high school I got married, to the jerk (he doesn't even deserve a Capital letter). Let's just say that it was ABUSIVE verbally and physically. When I left him nearly a year later I had put on some poundage and still clearly remember him saying "you'll always be a fatass". Ugh. That was the start of a LONG 15 years of hell and weight issues. I will always remember how thankful I was for that day our divorce was final!!!

Let me also state that I don't remember numbers...I'm terrible like that. I'm not even 100% sure I weighed back then. As you can tell my memory is a blur when it comes to that time and thereafter. He screwed my head up pretty bad. I'm sure I can dig out my old Weight Watcher membership that would say, because after I split from the jerk, my Dad made a deal with me. He would pay for me to go to WW with him, as long as I lost. When I gained, I would have to pay that week. He also gave me the deal that when I hit goal weight he would buy me all new clothes.

Well, being 18, I didn't care enough I guess. I wanted to hang out with my friends and party and what-not. So that didn't last long. Never reached goal. Quite a bummer too! I sure would've loved NEW CLOTHES!

YEARS go by, of course my weight goes CRAZY and I'm "dieting" the whole time, but again never remembering numbers (I suspect 200's?). Enter new boyfriend. We fall in love, get engaged and I work on losing some weight for the wedding. I suspect I lost about 20lbs with WW'ers and working out (Gutts and Butts classes!). After the wedding, well...who cares anymore...right?

My Dad, Me, My Bro and My Mom (with their skinny genes)

New husband and I want to have a baby...so we start trying to conceive. Ugh...NO LUCK?! I do too much research and think we'll have to go the IVF route. I'm crushed, depression hits...and the weight really starts to pile on. My all time highest (not pregnant) was 222 (that I have written down) in 1999 and 2000.

I finally got pregnant using a fertility drug, but miscarried VERY early on. New husband and I start to have serious problems. I start focusing on myself and I start to lose weight again, using WW. Dropped about 40'ish lbs before realizing new husband is a drug addict and is arrested. Talk about eye opener. My whole world is turned UPSIDE down. We were buying our FIRST home, thanks from the help of my parents, and now he's turned out to be a jerk and a druggie?!!! WOWOW! As you can guess the weight starts to roll back on, up to 217 (that I can find written). New husband and I decide to divorce. Too much deceit was there and other issues. Again...thankful for the journey, but even more thankful for the end!

In 2002 I start down the road again, and manage to lose almost 45lbs! I am on FIRE and feel wonderful. Get a new HOT boyfriend (can we say boy toy) and down another road. Eventually I find out the boy toy is um...10 years YOUNGER than me. But I have already fallen in love with him. This becomes the start of the worst relationship...even worse than the jerk. VERY abusive kid who has some serious authority issues, not to mention lack of morals. WHY I stick with this toy for so long still is a question in my head. But I got down to my all-time new low of 167!!!

Wouldn't you know that losing all that weight, and uh...having a boy toy would make it so I got pregnant?!! WOWZA! But we lost that baby, and a few months down another pregnancy. You can bet between the abuse I went through (physical), the depression from suffering 3 miscarriages and beginning to think I will never have children started taking a toll on me. I regain and lose the same oh 20lbs for some time. And then finally, I get pregnant again. This time I deliver (4/28/05) a healthy and happy bouncing baby boy (weight at delivery 233!). He became EVERYTHING to me. I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am that God decided I could be this beautiful baby boy's Momma!!!

The AH HA moment finally hit me. This kiddo will be looking up to me, learning from me, and depending on ME. 8 months into his life I kick the boy toy out and decide we are MUCH better without him in our lives. There is something wrong with a guy if he thinks it's okay to beat the sh*t out the Momma while holding the innocent little baby and the baby is screaming about it.

This began the real journey. Yes...the journey where Mandie finds Mandie. Where I learn how to take care of myself because now I am responsible for this little guy. He will be looking up to me. I want to show him that Momma can take care of herself as well as him. So now enters the new Mandie! I'm kicking butt and taking names. The boy toy continues to try and screw up my life (yes even to this day!), but the little guy (who becomes the big boy later) and I are doing GREAT on our own!!! Amazingly I'm down to my LOWEST ever to 155 (Spring of 06) ! WOWOW! I am on fire happy. For once I feel I really know what I'm doing, and really doing!!!! Exercising and eating RIGHT, making myself and my baby happy... who cares I'm a single Momma...I'm doing 100x better without the boy toy!!! I am beyond thankful that I've finally gotten my life on the right track and I'm doing a pretty good job of raising my son!

Then lo and behold the Hunney and I match up! This is truly like the sunshine after the rain. I can't even begin to tell you how different and how wonderful this guy is to me and my son. WOW! I haven't felt happiness like this ... well ... ever! We fall in love...and of course my weight stops, but at least it maintains. I'm comfortable...and oh so happy. THANKFUL.

In August 2006 I find myself pregnant again. WOW! I think the weightloss had to do with LOTS for my body!!! We're not so sure what to think and feel about this pregnancy, since we are a new couple...but we accept it. We end up having a rough patch...but again, we're a fresh couple...but very much in love. Guess who stopped caring about eating right and exercising? Yeah...me! I was so afraid I'd have another miscarriage...so I stopped working out immediately. And slowly but surely I started eating all those "bad" foods all again. I gain about 60lbs with the pregnancy and end up delivering another beautiful bouncing baby boy (5/7/07) weighing in at 213lbs. How thankful I was to again be blessed by God to be responsible for this little guy!!! I can't even express the gratitude and happiness I felt.

After my little guy comes, you can bet Momma is more than motivated to lose the weight again!!! Once the Dr gave me the okay I started working out, got a personal trainer, and really went to town! In August 2007 the Hunney proposed to me, and then I was even more determined to get that baby weight off!! We were going to become a family!!! I have never felt more thankful...wow! The guy of my dreams is going to be mine!!! I am cranking it now!

In March 2008, I got down to my pre-pregnancy LOW weight of 155 and we headed to Vegas and got married! When we returned from Vegas I ran my first ever 5k, and then my wonderful husband let me have a girls night out less than a month after our wedding...and I was on cloud 9!

Unfortunately in June 2008 our home was flooded. We had to demolish the house and start fresh. It was a LONG 10 months...and we spent it in my parents basement. It tested our marriage, our faith, but we came out ahead. We have never been more thankful for where we are now.

Well, you can imagine how tough, stressful and out of whack I went living with my parents. It was their family of 4 (my brother and his son plus my parents) and then my family of 4 all under 1 roof. Let's just say it was the toughest thing I've yet to endure. Cooking for 8 sometimes 9 and 10 when my step son would be there and my brothers other son...gulp!

Well, during these stressful times I regained 20'ish lbs. But I'm happy to report I'm back on the road again. We have been in our new home a little over 7 months. FINALLY I'm settled, and have finally found that path again. It was tough...but I'm here and more than ready to get to goal. In September I went back to Vegas when my girlfriend got married. After seeing those pictures helped me realize how I had let myself go. I'm thankful those pictures opened my eyes....because had they not, I'm afraid it was the start of where I had already been. And I swore to myself I would never get there again. I have 2 children that NEED me. They need to look up to me. And they NEED me to be healthy....

I'm in the yellow dress

So there you have it. How I got to where I am.... It becomes real clear to me when I write this where I let myself go and why. It's unfortunate. But I have the opportunity to take charge in my life and make it better. With the kiddos in my life it makes it easier. I know they depend on me.

Thanks for reading if you read this far!! WOWZA!!!!!!!!!!!!!