Before Pictures

Taking before pictures has never bothered me. I mean, it is what it is, right?

You put on a brave face, find some decent lighting, and set the timer on your phone or take a mirror selfie. You have full control over who sees it and WHEN they see it. You also get to take as many pics as you need to before selecting the perfect “before”.

However, when you step into a room of strangers, a professional photographer, and nothing but a tiny bikini on under your sweat clothes. . .yeah, I sweated more in that 10min than I ever have during a workout!

For the challenge, it said that the judging is mainly based on pictures. So being the nerd that I am, I looked at the winners from past challenges. All of their before pictures were in two piece swimwear or active-wear.

I assumed that the other participants would be stripping down to their skivvies too. . .but NOOOOOOO. . .just me, my chubs and my tiny bikini lol

I consider myself a pretty confident person, but let me tell you, I wanted to throw up and get some cardio by running away! But I didn’t. I just said, well, I’m wearing a bikini so y’all get ready for all my glory!

I can only hope that my winter body and skin tone look nice against the black bikini and white background. Maybe the headline on the USA Today paper was engaging enough to draw everyone’s attention to the headline instead of my waistline.

Or. . .maybe everyone there was just like me. Too busy judging their own bodies to give a hoot about the glaringly white, chubby chick, sweating in the bikini.

Take a moment and think about the last time you were anxious about what others thought. Are you giving “them” and their thoughts of you more power than you give yourself? Do you let what MIGHT be going through a strangers mind stop you from experiencing something great?

I didn’t like the feeling of standing there, a foot away from a professional lens with all my razor bumps and super chubs, but I can guarantee I’m gonna like posing down in 12 weeks looking like a winner! (and hopefully with a tan!)201511_1122_aaaba_sm

 

 

Technically Speaking

If I could choose the biggest motivator for keeping me on track, it would be technology- hands down.

After just two nights of sleep with my FitBitHR, I learned to go to bed at a decent hour. Why? Because I get a smiley face on my app when I get 8hrs! Call it what you want, but guess what? I’m feeling better because I’m getting the amount of sleep I need!!

Add that to the fact that My Fitness Pal is teaching me what’s “worth” it to eat and drink. If I’m out, I can check foods on the menu and see what the better options are.

Ever try sticking with your meal plan but you’re hungry as all get out once you add in your workouts?? Since MFP and FitBit are linked, it takes into account my exercise & I’ll know if I need to throw in another boiled egg or two 😉

Thermos has recently come out with a Smart Lid that tracks your water intake and will get you reminders. The iPhone app is up and running, still waiting for the Android app to drop. Once again, the Smart lid connects to FitBit and MFP to give you a total health tracking system! (And yes, added it to my wish list already)

Can you meet your fitness goals without all this fancy stuff? Of course! But let’s be real. I’ve been doing everything on the free for two years & nothing changed. I needed a SPECIFIC plan with ACTUAL stats. . .and that meant tools and a personal trainer.

The money that I used to spend on food, I used as an investment for a healthier lifestyle. One size fits most approach works for MOST. . .but as y’all are learning, I’m not most ❀

What are YOUR favorite tools??

Rice Cake with Peanut Budder

So things are going really well! I’ve been learning how to be flexible with my meal plan without going CRAZY. It’s been nice to “splurge” a little here and there 🙂 With the My Fitness Pal app, I can easily see why it’s worth it to just get a kids portion of a meal out, vs either not eating/going HAM on a bad decision!

Speaking of flexibility, I just spent the weekend with my sister. Did I load up my little Gladware containers and head up the mountain?? Nope!

I made up my mind that I was going to enjoy my weekend. .  within reason.

But guess what happened, my sister lovingly prepared meals and snacks for me because she had been reading my blog ❀

Even my 3yr old niece was on board with my changes and asked “Do you want some rice cake, with peanut budder?”

This. This is why it’s important to let folks know what’s going on in your life (disclaimer: don’t be that person that just non-stop salivates and obsesses over what they CAN’T have. . .😒)

I’ve also noticed that several coworkers have started cleaning up their diets and such! They’ll kinda check in with me and tell me what’s up.

PS, I have a FitBit now, so feel free to add me 💪💪💪

No Flex Zone

My first training session went great. Looks like my trainer is going to be Helen. She was awesome & even sent me a text later in the afternoon to followup and said I could text her any time 🙂

I felt SO good. My workouts were simple and challenging yet I didn’t feel helpless and defeated.

Also, I talked with her about indulging. . .you know, I still want to be able to enjoy some of my fave foods, life is just too short!!

She said the best way to do that is to have a splurge snack everyday. A little something to break up the monotony of boiled chicken and brown rice 😛

As promised, here are my before pictures! Got some serious work to do on my torso so I can get healthy. . .of course, if I end up looking like an⏳ that wouldn’t hurt either!

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Slow Motion

So it’s been a week since my fit test and here’s what’s happened:

Went in for my personal training session. . .and my trainer had to cancel because he was feeling ill. . .

I mean, it’s not the first time professional help has canceled on me. I’ve had several shrinks skip out once they learned what the were dealing with!!

Needless to say, I have my next appointment this Wednesday.

I stuck to my meal plan all week & did some “celebrating” over the weekend. I’ll be honest, even though I enjoyed it & didn’t feel guilty, I think I’ll be less inclined to wile out again. It totally screwed with my appetite for the following 2 days!

I’ve been diligent to log my food. I’ve found the easiest way to track my food is to use My Fitness Pal. You can scan the bar code of what you consume. . .even type in the places you go out to eat!

Feel free to check out my little profile & add me. I made everything public so you can see exactly what I’m eating (unless I under eat. . .the app won’t allow those posts to show. . .which I think is a good thing!)

Hope to have some updates on my first session as well as before pics for y’all on Wednesday! Until then ✌

Happy Lamp Review

!*!*!* GOODNESS ALERT *!*!*!

I have struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder for as long as I can remember.

Last year a friend let me try her Happy Lamp. . . and I felt like myself again! I bought my own compact version for about $40 on Amazon & used it every morning until the days started to get longer.

Happy LampIn addition to treating SAD, the lamp has been extremely helpful for cubicle life! My co-workers & I enjoy it daily. I keep it on my desk behind pictures and such for an indirect glow.

Now that it’s winter again, I just move items out of the way for direct light therapy 🙂

If you’ve done light therapy (or have questions), let me know!!!

Purchase Link: http://amzn.to/1wIgZuz

 

Boo Tea Review

*~*~*~*~*~PRODUCT REVIEW~*~*~*~*~*

I found out about BooTea on Instagram an noticed that it was very popular and was always posed with super toned/skinny gals.

So of COURSE I had to do some research for y’all and see what the noise was about!!

I started by researching the ingredients and found that this particular brand of “teatox” included the best herbs for detox.

It shipped EXTREMELY quick from the UK. . .got it in two days. Their social media presence is very fun and their packaging is super cute. The tea bags are durable and pyramid-shaped for quality infusion.

I didn’t notice much from the Day Time tea. It tasted great (added 2 packs of sugar) and it may have helped with water retention, but nothing to write home about.

The Bed Time tea warns you to drink it at least 8 hrs before you plan to wake up. Because of this warning, I got scared and drank it 10 hrs before I wanted to wake up. . .which resulted in a 2am “throne session”. That first night was HORRIBLE. I questioned my very existence!!! But after that session, I was good.

I learned that being woke up to take care of business didn’t work well for my schedule (or psyche), so I started drinking the tea a 3pm. This was a MUCH better experience.

With two days remaining, I noticed that the Bed Time tea wasn’t AS EFFECTIVE as it had been. After doing more research about how detox works in general, I learned that there quite literally aren’t any mass amounts of toxins left to clear out!

I did not loose any weight by the end of the 14 days- which is fine because that wasn’t my goal. I did, however feel much better and know for sure that whatever was causing some recent tummy troubles got cleared out.

If you have a lot of toxins in your body, this might be an effective weight loss product IN ADDITION TO a better diet and exercise. It will give your system a great jump start to get things going in the right direction.

For those with a healthy lifestyle, this would be very helpful after a winter of splurging during holiday feasting! After 14 days, you’ll be right back to your pre-holiday weight and physique.

If you suffer from constipation. . .PLEASE BUY THE BED TIME TEA!!! You drink it every other night. . .this will be so freakin’ helpful for you!! (and don’t forget to drink A TON of water after you drink it)

This product doesn’t get a “Goodness Alert” because I feel like most of the weight loss results that people are getting from this tea is because they are following the vegetarian meal plan and doing a pretty intense workout program. It DOES detox, but the perception and draw of this product on Instagram is that it is a weight loss/get skinny/hot tea.

Hope this review was helpful!! Don’t forget to SHARE on your page for your friends and to come back for more goodness :-*

To Purchase:: www.BooTea.com

Break the Cycle

Sometimes you don’t realize that you are a part of a cycle. Sometimes you do, but you don’t know how to break it.

You worry that you will end up just like the people that hurt you. Wondering if you should even take certain opportunities for fear of royally screwing things up.

Guess what- the fact that you’re worried about it is a step in the right direction! You’ve ACKNOWLEDGED that you were hurt. You realize that you have been mistreated. Not wanting to cause misery for someone else is a good thing. However, if your fear is getting in the way of living your BEST life, then it’s time to break the cycle IN YOUR HEAD!

For me, it’s my physical appearance (see my Showgirl blog). It’s like no matter WHAT I look like, I get negative feedback. And for me, I’d rather those people in my life not feel threatened by me when I look good. . .that is until my breakthrough a few nights ago. I was telling my success partner that I know I can get in shape with abs and all the rest- I’ve DONE it before. But every time I’ve looked good, I get accused of forgetting where I’ve come from, being showy, and self-absorbed. Are those things true?? Pft- who knows. . .but I do know one thing, if those things are true, they’ve ALWAYS been there, not just because I look good. The same goes for when I’ve put on weight. The whole “are you pregnant”, you sure have gotten “healthy” and here comes chubby.

Because I’ve always been proud of who I am and consider myself to be a very caring and approachable person, I quickly realized that I would rather be a little chubby & deal with stupid remarks, than to look good and make people feel inferior.

Not any more. I will NOT let the voices of a few, trump the SUPPORT of the many. I want and DESERVE to look and feel my best. Self-sabotage is no longer an option. It is not productive, nor is it fair to the majority of people that look to me for inspiration. Haters will always hate. And if someone feels inferior because of me, then maybe they should take some time to get to KNOW me. . .because I’m the farthest thing from superior. . .just ask my friends ♄

Are you holding back in your life because of physical, verbal, emotional abuse? Are you ready to BREAK THE CYCLE??*kisses*

 

Please and thank you

I’m not sure where manners have gone- but it’s definitely a thing of the past when people comment on good behavior. When did we start not only accepting rude behavior, but being part of it??

“Get me a drink-” vs. “Hey, if you don’t mind, could you grab me a drink? Thanks!”

(Wow- as I’m writing those two statements, I may have figured out one aspect of this issue. . .EFFORT! Sure it takes a few more seconds to say the second statement, but after all, the person you’re asking for a drink is putting in effort for you, right?)

Ok, back to what I was going to say! lol Simple politeness goes a long way. What if someone has just gotten bad news, or already having a tough day- you come in with a “Give me this” and that might be all it takes for someone to pop off with a “Get it yourself” and a fight ensues.

Another aspect of manners would be etiquette. There are certain situations that can be avoided with a little bit of planning and consideration of others. I’m not sure what is to blame for people wanting to create drama and make things completely HotTeaawkward for people they “care” about, but it’s downright disgusting.

Sure, we all have our moments where we unintentionally come across as rude or insensitive, but in our house (hubs and me) it is second nature to be polite. Just because we’re married doesn’t give us the right to DEMAND things of one another! We are to ASK and be grateful for what each of us contributes to the relationship.

We are also VERY accommodating to our families and will make personal compromises because those relationship are extremely important to us. Our little “policy” is that as long as something doesn’t negatively affect us as individuals, our relationship, or morals we’re pretty darn flexible.

Start observing how you talk to and treat people- not just at work- but to your spouse, your kids and family. Decide if your life AND theirs is worth the EFFORT.

Please and thank you 🙂

In a nutshell!

I have clinical depression- I’m not ashamed of it, nor do I feel like it’s something that needs to come up in everyday conversation.

If you were hoping for a tear-jerker story about a “life-long struggle” you won’t find that here. I feel that only feeds the stigma.

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Truth is, natural remedies (yoga, religion, herbs, counseling etc. . .) can eliminate A LOT of mind-body issues. I’m so thankful that I tried to “cure” myself with these resources for many years because they have truly enhanced my life!

However, what those things cannot do is sort out a serious glitch in the system. Only modern science can. Good news? I know without a doubt I have clinical depression and that I’m not just popping a pill because a doctor told me to.

It’s taken a while to come out publicly with this for one reason: I refuse to be seen as a victim! Outside of this post, you won’t find me talking about it publicly.

My life is VICTORIOUS!! I’m sure that sharing details about my struggles would increase views and be a great read. . .but, nah- I don’t roll like that.

When people talk with me on a personal, private level and something that I’ve gone through/how I’ve dealt with it will be helpful- absolutely, I’ll share. Other than that, no need!