Sunday, May 30, 2010

Welcome Summer!

I'm so HAPPY to welcome summer!  I spent the weekend at my parents lake house and enjoyed the wonderful weather & company.  We've been going to the lake for 8 summers and I love to take the road trip to one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.  When I'm there I love to sit on the screened in porch and take in the beauty of it all.  Everyone is out having a good time, enjoying the weather & time with family & friends so we are usually surrounded by lots of friendly people and we always have a great time together as a family. 
Riley woke me up at 6:30 on Saturday morning and once I got outside I couldn't believe how beautiful it was!  The humidity was low, it was about 75 degrees and the sun was shining.  I ran inside, put on my running shoes and Riley and I went on an awesome 2 mile run.  It was such a great way to start the day, and I enjoyed running for the first time around the lake!  I've walked several times, but there is nothing more better than a good run & I was so thankful that I was able to do it!  It was another morning I was thankful for how far I've come.
What a cute running partner huh?

Last summer we were all SO busy that my sister and I didn't get to go to the lake at all, that hasn't happened since my parents bought the house.  I'm thankful the 6 of us got to go this weekend and spend some time together before Ash & Ben get married in less than 2 weeks!  We had lots of laughs...and with 6 people & 3 dogs there wasn't a dull moment either:) 
Getting ready to get on the boat! Me, Ash & Mom
{yes, my Mom looks as young as we are...I hope I age as well as she does!}
Kev & I with our kiddos!  They love going to the lake, thankfully Riley {the lab} hasn't jumped in...yet:)
Me and my little sister...the soon to be BRIDE!
I also took this so you could see that the sweaty band is great for boating too!!! 
The picture below is after a 3 hour boat ride...
Still in place...& I hadn't touched it!
My Mom caught me taking this self portrait and started laughing... I defended myself by saying "I have to show the people on my blog about this awesome sweaty band".  She just laughed some more:)

I had to share this picture of my hubby.  We rarely drink but yesterday he had 2 beers.  He got really funny & made me laugh all afternoon.  I said to him "Honey, I think you are getting kinda drunk", and he said "I'm not drunk...I'm just so happy".  He's so innocent he's hilarious, I love him to pieces.:)

I hope you've enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend!  Tomorrow I get to visit two friends and their newborn sons!  I can't I'd better get to bed!

Friday, May 28, 2010

PopChips Coupon... Expires 6/4/10!

Visit PopChips on Facebook and click on their coupon tab to get a free bag of PopChips at Jamba Juice!  I don't have a Jamba Juice near me but I thought I could spread the word to those of you who do!  My favorite is BBQ- I've only tried the BBQ, Original, Salt & Pepper. 
I hope you enjoy them!  They are a tasty snack and one that you can feel GOOD eating!

Hope you all have a safe Memorial Day Weekend!  I plan to spend lots of time outside enjoying the weather...can't wait!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sweaty Bands & a Motivational Tee

Last week I was on one of my favorite blogs Run to the Finish & saw her post on Sweaty Bands...after reading about them I HAD to have one!  I hate when I'm working out and my hair is in my face & I'm more worried about kepping my bangs out of my eyes.  When I heard about these I figured they were worth a try, cause I've tried everything else and haven't had any luck.  Well, I got mine last Friday and I've worn it 3x since then & I'm in love!  This picture is after a 30 minute run & 20 minutes on the elliptical {excuse the squinting, it was pretty bright out}...I'd even driven home so this is actually about an hour after my still in place...I hadn't touched the band for at least 2 HOURS!
If you have issues with keeping your hair back during a workout (or anytime really, you could wear these other places besides the gym, I wore it during yardwork last weekend) then I'd recommend Sweaty Bands.  Let me know if you love them like I do!  I only ordered one but I plan to order another one soon!

Last Sunday I went shopping with my sister for her upcoming Honeymoon! She gets married in 2.5 weeks...I can hardly believe it!  While we were at the mall we walked past Lady Foot Locker {which was my very first job by the way} and she said "Am you have to get that shirt" I looked at it, walked right in and bought it...didn't care what the price tag said either.  I think it's perfect.

{Lucy wanted to be part of the picture...isn't she cute?}

Just Do It

Isn't that awesome?  It's a reminder to me that this journey will NEVER be over... I make the choice everyday to get up, get out there and do my best.  No excuses, No complaints... because No Matter What I owe it to myself to be the best I can be.  And at the end of the day if I've done my best & done everything I can then there is nothing left to feel but accomplishment.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Inspiration Idea

I have the Biggest Loser desk calendar so everyday I get a new tip from either a former contestant or Bob & Jillian.  Yesterdays tip was really great so I wanted to share it with you.  This is from Theresa Pucket who used the Biggest Loser Online Club.

"I took monthly pictures of myself and posted them on the wall above my scale.  Seeing the physical changes in me from month to month has helped me tremendously.  I also posted a list of all the reasons I wanted to lose weight; then after a time, I started a new list of the ways my life has improved.  When I hit rough patches, I go back to those pictures & lists."

Great idea huh?  I thought I'd share my own Top 5 for why I want to lose weight & how my life has improved so far.

Why I want to lose Weight
  1. To finally finish something I started.
  2. To shop in a regular store, no more plus sizes.  (Although, I must say that I do love Lane Bryant clothing)
  3. Never worry about fitting in a seat on an airplane, at a concert, sporting event, etc. (I cancelled a trip in 2009 for this reason, talk about rock bottom)
  4. I want to be a Mommy~ Someday.
  5. To be a positive role model for the children in my life (especially my own) so I can break the cycle of negative self image & poor self talk.
How has my life Improved?
  1. I got the "old Amy" back- I'm happier, outgoing, more caring & try to add humor in every day:)
  2. I am a runner! (I LOVE to say that)
  3. I fell in love with my husband all over again (who knew you could do that twice!) 
  4. I re-ignited my passion for health & am hopefully inspiring others!  Even better....I WILL NEVER DIET AGAIN! Yippee!
  5. I'm willing to take more chances.  We joined a new church in January and it has been such a blessing to my life & our marriage.  My cup runneth over for the blessings I have been given since inviting God into my heart.
What would your list have on it?  Did you know that we are more likely to follow through with a goal when we write it down?  I encourage you to ask yourself what you want out of your life... and don't be afraid to dream.  As Cinderella would say "A dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep"

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why I Blog & Reason 8,540 why I love Kevin

Tonight I asked myself the question "Why do I blog?"  Why am I sharing my story with people online? I know some of you, others I don't...and many I've become "blog buddies" with since joining the Blog Community!  I really have no control over who reads my blog and who doesn't so I do take a risk with sharing some things with all of you.  With that said, there may be things I write that some of you may already know about me.  You know me personally so you know about my past and how it has shaped me into the person I am today.  You know the dreams and aspirations I have and where I see my life going.  Others of you are getting to know me through what I share on my blog.  I use this blog for my personal journey, it's a way for me to express what I'm feeling on any given day & and hopefully use my experiences to inspire even ONE person to make a healthy lifestyle change and commit to taking control of their life. 
In my opinion, the first step of healing is being honest about where you are, where you've been, and where you see yourself going.  If you are anything like me, there are things from your past that you'd like to forget.  There are things I'd like to say I've never done, people I wish I would have never hurt.  But, I have made mistakes, I have hurt people in the past, but people have hurt me too. 
I was faced tonight with a person from my past who I offended in my blog. This person hurt me very deeply many years ago, and I've come to terms with that, but sometimes there is pain that we will forever carry with us no matter the years that seperate us. I am not ashamed of anything I've shared on my blog...everything in this blog is from my heart, and is 100% the truth as I cherish it within my soul.  My truth may not be your truth, and that's ok.  My past has taught me SO much about life, and I can't be sorry for sharing that with others so they too can see that even in their darkest hour hope remains for a future brighter than they could have dreamed.
Like I said earlier this blog is my personal journey...for my healing.  If you don't like what I have said I simply ask that you not read it.  I don't get political or throw around my opinions, this is my own little nook in cyberspace to express my individual feelings & emotions.  I am speaking from my heart, I'm sharing things that I want/need to share to overcome my past and become the best version of myself.  Nothing shared on this page is meant to intentionally hurt anyone, my intentions are always hope & healing... never harm nor hatred.  I do ask though that when you look in the mirror you can be proud of the person staring back at you.  The people you love the most should know you, for who you are, no matter what.  They should know those parts of your past that you might not be so proud of, because it made you the person that they fell in love with.
God leads us down the path He has created for us... & I am so happy that 6 years ago I took a leap of faith and took the path less traveled and had the strength to start a brand new life.  If I would have gone the "easy way" I would have never met my soul mate.  My amazing husband has seen me through thick and thin, like he promised me he would on our wedding day.  There have been many days I wouldn't of blamed him for walking out the door... Depression brings out a scary side of someone.  BUT, he is still here, standing next to me each and every day.  He's my #1 fan and is the one person I know I can always count on.  I've always said that God blessed my broken road with Kevin, He proved that again to me today.  I am so grateful to spend my life with the most amazing man I've ever known, I love you Kev...and like I said earlier, thanks for just being you.  I'm so lucky to be your wife.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Once you believe, you can Achieve!

I was emailing a friend today who was nervous about an upcoming 6 mile race.  When I responded to her about putting fear behind her it seemed like words were just flowing out of me so I thought I'd share with you today what I told her. 

1.  Running is about HAVING FUN... don't get all wrapped up in your pace, or the hills, etc. Just go out and have fun!

2.  It's ok if you have to walk. In both my 5k's I had to take a couple seconds, catch my breath, gather some thoughts and then I moved on. I had to keep repeating to myself that I am out there running, a lot of people are in bed still, or would NEVER have the courage to get out here and do a race so who cares if I walk for 10 seconds at the top of the hill? I'll still be proud of myself when I cross the finish line because I DID IT!
3.  When you are running, look around and take in everything surrounding you- the runners, the sun, the friend running next to you....know that God put you at that place, at that time to prove to YOURSELF that you are much stronger than you give yourself credit for and that you have the power to achieve anything you want or dream possible!
4.  Running is MENTAL. Yes, you have to work up to distance but the first 10 minutes of my run is the hardest. Once I get my mind in check and say "You really aren't struggling like you think you are". Tune into your legs...there have been times that I felt (for some reason) like I was about to die and when I took a moment and really listened to my body I realized that I wasn't breathing very hard, my legs weren't tired, my shoulders are relaxed, mind was just having trouble grasping that I was running....and for such a long time! The mind is SO powerful.

These "tips" can be applied to anything.  Are you afraid to change up your workout routine because it might be hard?  DO IT ANYWAY.  Don't let fear get in your are capable of much more than you know! 
Two years ago if someone would have told me that I'd become a runner I would have laughed at them while I was in my size 22 jeans.  At that point I couldn't walk faster than 2.5 mph on the treadmill because it caused back spasms.  I had lost all faith in myself and what I knew I was capable of.  But, one day I started at 2 minutes of running, & those may have been the longest 2 minutes of my LIFE but it started something inside me that has brought me here...right where I'm supposed to be. 
Trust that whatever battle you face today is one that has been brought to you to teach you something... instead of looking at it from the negative aspect ask yourself "How can I grow from this?", "What lesson am I learning?"  Before you know it a world of endless possibility will open it's doors for you & you'll be ready to accept it BECAUSE of what you've overcome.

iTunes Gift Card Giveaway @ Life w/ a Lab

I wanted to share a great giveaway with you!  I LOVE music so this is an awesome giveaway!!! 
Lauren @ Life with a Lab is doing a giveaway for a $25 gift card!  If you go to the page here she'll tell you what to do to get entered in the drawing.  Good Luck!  And I hope one of us wins!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Women Food & God Review

When I saw that Geneen Roth was releasing the book Women Food & God, I knew I HAD to read it.  I've never read any of her books before, but her column in Good Housekeeping every month is the first page I go to!  She is an inspiration that we can overcome our battle with food, and that dieting is not the answer!  I kept some notes during the Oprah segment that I wanted to share with you.  Did you watch her on Oprah?  Have you read the book?  I'd love to hear your insight!
CLICK on the Amazon link to the right to purchase this amazing book!
  •  Our weight issue is an opportunity to's not a losing battle.
  • Understand why you are overweight and let it be the miracle that changes your life
  • Dieting leads to self-hatred/loathing {this stems from "guilt" of "cheating" or "going off plan".  I replaced the word "cheating" with LIVING!  We will not be perfect every day!}
  • Your relatiohsip with food is the doorway to the life you want.  If we focus on what is behind the feelings that lead us to eat and face them head on instead of reaching in the pantry we will become the person we were intended to be, and quit relying on food to "fix" what is wrong. 
  • The thing you've fought your whole life (in my case it's my relationship with food) is your invitation to live your Best Life!  *By facing my food issues I know I have become a better wife, daughter, sister & friend...and also someone that others can relate to!  That was worth all the weight I gained (wish I could have become this person another way, but this is the way God intended it to be so I've learned to accept that)
  • You are overeating because you've given up on some part of yourself.  *One of the truest statements I've ever heard.
  • Obsession is a way we break our hearts over and over again. We are waiting for someone else to break our hearts so instead we break them by overeating, that way we aren't so vulnerable when someone else hurts us.
  • When you use food to numb a feeling you are still in pain after you overeat about what you were upset about before you ate, but now you are mad at yourself about how you've stuffed yourself with food and the original problem that you ignored by eating is still there!  (This is the BEST thing she said to ME.  I am going to post this on the refrigerator!)
  • Disconnection from the center of yourself is the reason for your problems- take time to learn who you are, what you want and what you deserve!
  • Our real issue is not the food.  Instead we are disconnected from what is real about our lives and who we are.
  • Treat yourself like you'd treat a child, you'd never talk "down" to a child.  Only kindness makes sense when talking about yourself.  Our thoughts become reality!
  • Going to the food to feel better isn't working so why don't you try something else?
  • Torture (diet & restrictive behavior) doesn't lead to a thin happy life, we have something else going on that is not our weight and that problem will be there no matter what we weigh.
  • Eating when you aren't hungry is using food as a drug to make yourself numb...
*WOW, I had no idea how many years I was numb to all that I was feeling & pain I'd ignored.  To be honest, when I started facing my feelings and parts of my past that led me to destructive behavior some people didn't want to hear it.  I was told "quit focusing on the past", "that was a long time ago", "why haven't you gotten over that?", "can't you just forget about it".  Well, NO...obviously I can't cause I'm not bringing it up for fun and I WISH that I didn't still get worked up about it! 
I used food to shove those feelings {hurt, betrayal, deception, disapproval, anger, hatred} down so they couldn't hurt me.  It took me several years to understand what I had done.  When my therapist told me I'd been a Binge Eater since 5th grade I was shocked & stunned.  I was thinking it was something I'd dealt with for a few years, but when we dug deep I found out I was still upset about things from my past such as an emotionally abusive ex, family issues, years of yo-yo dieting, hurtful times/words from elementary/high school,  etc.  Now that I've dealt with those feelings I know that food was my drug to numb the way I was actually feeling during those times of pain.  I didn't let myself experience the emotion I needed to during the time that I was struggling, so it stayed bottled up until I couldn't take it anymore and then I exploded (as you can see in the picture below)
-This picture was me almost at my highest weight (Spring 2009), I think I'd lost a few pounds...I look so sad & in pain... little did I know the journey I was going to embark on to find myself.

-This picture is after running my 2nd 5k.  I NEVER could have dreamed I could be a runner!  Making peace with my past has allowed me to overcome so much more than the number on the scale.

Geneen Roth has 7 Guidelines for Eating Guidelines. 
  1. Eat when you are hungry.
  2. Eat sitting down in a calm environment.
  3. Eat without distractions.
  4. Eat what your body wants.
  5. Eat until you are satisfied.
  6. Eat with intention of being in full view of other people.
  7. Eat with enjoyment, gusto & pleasure.

She is also doing an online retreat that starts on May 25th.  I am seriously considering doing this retreat as a way to keep moving in a positive direction and keep me focused on healing.  If you are interested in the online retreat you can see more information about it here.  Let me know if you are planning to do it as well!

I hope this book might touch a part of you that you didn't know needed to be dealt with.  I had no idea two years ago that my real issues had nothing to do with the fact that Oreos taste good, or ice cream was my favorite food, or that NO ONE could ever see me eat something that I really wanted.  I've learned SO much, I want others to discover what might be holding them back from living their best life...and I'd love for this book to open the door for you to start searching your soul for what makes you happy and what you want most out of your life.  Choose to overcome & you will be rewarded more than you could ever dream!

Focus on the little "awesome" things in life

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

PopChips Anyone?

I guess I'm in the mood to share some of my amazing discoveries lately!  A few weeks Shay from the Biggest Loser posted about these awesome new chips that she was I had to try them out.  I've only found them at Target, but they are sold at a number of other stores...I just don't live in a big enough city that has all the stores!
They are called Pop-Chips...and they are big time yummy!!!  BBQ is my favorite, I've tried Original and Salt & Pepper.  To be honest, I wasn't crazy about those but I LOVE the BBQ.  What's even better?  They are GOOD for you!  This is taken directly from their site
All natural.  Nothing fake or phony.
Our all-natural pledge: no fake colors, no fake flavors, no preservatives, no fluorescent orange fingertips, and no wiping your greasy chip hand on your jeans. No, really. We only use ingredients you can feel good about eating. And we leave out the bad stuff, like hydrogenated oils and msg, that give snacking a bad name.

Want the nutrition facts?  Here they are for the BBQ flavor...oh, I love them SO much:)

Let me know if you try them!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter = YUMMY!

A few weeks ago I read a blog post from someone who had tried the PB&Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams Peanut Butter.
Since then I've been looking in the organic section of the grocery store and haven't been able to find it.  Well, last night I found it at the grocery store by total accident (next to the peanut butter that's not in the organic section)!  This stuff is so yummy!!!  I had 1 Tablespoon this morning with 6 strawberries & put the rest on Eco-Grain Whole Wheat Bread.  It was great even on bread!  If you are looking for a change in your normal day to day menu, you might give Dark Chocolate Dreams a it's natural so you can feel confident about eating it!  I look forward to using it more on other foods like graham crackers & fruit for a sweet treat!
If you visit the Eco-Grain website there is also a coupon for 75 cents off! 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Month 8...and Counting

Last week I had my 8 month appointment with Dr. Weeks.  If you are new to my blog, or don't know about my journey you can read more about it here
To be totally honest with all of you (cause that is why I be vulnerable and admit my faults right?) this month has been a hard one for me.  I've come a LONG way from a year ago, but that doesn't mean that I don't have bad days or weeks.  I have been under a lot of stress over the last month, I've had a lot on my To-Do List & have felt a little overwhelmed.  Exercise is a big stress reliever for me so I've gotten lots of cardio time in, but I still struggle with food a bit when I'm stressed/tired/angry (enter emotion here)! 
This month at my weigh in I only lost 1.2 lbs from last month.  I spent one minute beating myself up...then I snapped back to REALITY and looked back over the month.  I ran not one, but TWO 5k's this month.  That's HUGE for me!  In December when I started running 2 minutes felt like an eternity so to make it 40 minutes I consider that major progress!  I'm telling you this because I want you to know that even though I might not have seen a big loss on the scale I had other victories this month.  I'm not looking at the scale as the only way for me to celebrate the lifestyle changes I'm making.  It feels awesome to be active again, & do things that only one short year ago were painful & seemed impossible.  I couldn't walk faster than 2.5 on the treadmill because it made my back hurt so I'm running on the same damn treadmill!!!  That feels so good I don't care what the scale says!!

I thought I'd share my before picture with you.  The picture on the left is from August 2009 & I was at my all time highest of 255.6 lbs.  The picture on the right is from this past weekend and I'm at 203.5 lbs...I cannot WAIT to get under 200 lbs!  Kevin keeps asking if we are gonna throw a party when I get under 200 lbs...I told him that's fine, but we aren't celebrating with food!!  I'm am going to celebrate EVERY victory & enjoy the journey on the way DOWN!!  I vow to never see the 200's again once I get out of them!
This is the same dress, it's amazing how much better it fits after losing 52 lbs!
Oh, and something else I'd like to share... I bought a skirt this weekend at Eddie Bauer in a size Large!  I was SO sad when I couldn't fit into EB clothes anymore, so I am so happy to be able to shop there again!

I wore my new skirt to church yesterday & felt great about it.  Yesterday I got to celebrate another victory...I sang at my church for the first time.  I have lived the last 2 years "in hiding" pretty much, avoiding get togethers with friends, seeing people I haven't seen since gaining weight, & trying to get out of every social function that we were invited to.  So, yesterday when I am standing in front of everyone at church (about 500 people) and singing my heart out to God I couldn't help but feel that I've finally overcome the fear of what people are thinking about me.  I wouldn't have had the courage to sing last year because of the weight I'd gained.  Now I have embraced my past & have chosen to learn from it and be a better person because of it.  Singing with a full band & praising God for all the blessings He's given me...what better way to spend a Sunday morning?!

Keep working towards your goals & your dreams!!!  Don't give up until you reach them!

6 Tricks to Double Calorie Burn!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Yesterday's 5k & Biggest Loser

I ran my 2nd 5k this weekend.  It was the 1st Annual Run for Ronald at lake Shawnee.  It was a beautiful morning for a run, & I was so thankful that I have come as far as I have to ENJOY a nice 3 mile run on a beautiful morning!
I ran the 5k, my Mom (center) & my best friend Emily's Mom, Maureen walked.  They are doing Weight Watchers together and Maureen has lost 10 lbs & my Mom has lost 30 lbs.!  SO Proud of you girls!!

         Starting out....feeling pretty good.        

I was SO happy to see the finish line!

The course had more hills than I usually run, so it has given me motivation to run around the Lake more often to challenge my body & work up to being able to run ANYWHERE and at ANYTIME.  I did improve my time from the last 5k.  This course was actually 3.16 miles & I finished in 40:38- a 12:51 pace (improved from 12:55 pace).  I don't have another race scheduled, but I'm looking @ one on July 10th here in Topeka (also my 28th Birthday!)  I'm getting addicted to this whole running thing...& lovin' it!  Running is a way for me to keep setting goals and working towards achieving them.  What do you do to help achieve your goals?  What goals are you working towards right now?

Biggest Loser Recap
I watched the Biggest Loser tonight from last week...and cried & cried & cried!  Maybe it was because it was about the contestants going to Texas and doing a 5k with the community, many of whom have never ran or walked that distance.  It was 2 short weeks ago that I was at the starting line of running my first I could really relate to what some of the people were feeling & the emotions that were flooding through their minds & bodies.  It is so empowering & crossing the finish line gives you new belief that you can do anything you set your mind to.  I thought the episode was one of the most inspiring ones I've seen in a long time.  What did you all think?  OH, and the girl from Jillian's talk @ the High School...what strength she had to stand up in front of all of her peers & pour her heart out!!!  I am saying my prayers tonight that God has given her the strength to change her life & believe in herself.  I was so happy that Jillian took time out and spoke with her...add it on to my list of reasons why I love Jillian Michaels:)