Wednesday, September 29, 2010

New Posts via Email

Do you want to know when I post?  Get the latest info on my blog?  If so, go to the upper right portion of my blog and type in your email address under SUBSCRIBE VIA EMAIL.  You'll get a message in your inbox asking you to verify your email, click on the link and you're done!  You will get every new post via email.  How easy is that?  And don't forget to "follow" my blog on the left hand side of the blog as well:)
Thanks for following me along my journey, your support has been the lifeline to my success!  If there is anything I can do to help you on your journey please let me know!!

Weight Loss Shows

Fall is here, so that means that my favorite show is back on... The Biggest Loser!  I love that show, seriously love it!  It gives me motivation, inspiration and good tips for my own journey.  BUT, I know that the weight they lose in a week is not attainable for most people, and for most it's not healthy.  All of the contestants are being monitored closely by medical professionals so I'm not going to "judge" their outlook.  My only problem is that I think sometimes the show gives people false hope on what eating right and exercising means.  I can eat right and exercise and lose 1 pound.  On the BL ranch, that's just not going to cut it.  At home, I'm happy with any loss to be honest!  As long as the scale is going down, I'm happy!  Shouldn't we celebrate every pound? 
I've also started watching Thintervention on Bravo.  Interesting show, not as good as Biggest Loser (not even close) but I enjoy a different perspective and watching what another celebrity trainer puts her clients through to see results.  I watched Mondays episode tonight and the people on the show were upset about losing 1, 2, 3 pounds... and Jackie Warner got angry that that is all they were losing!  Ok, maybe I'm old school but your body cannot maintain 5-10 lb. weight losses each week!  Nor is it good for you!  At some point your body is going to say STOP IT and you'll hit a plateau... it happens, it's all part of the journey.
My point is being healthy isn't only about the number staring back at us from the beloved scale.  It's how our clothes fit, our energy level, controlling cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.  It is not ALL ABOUT THE SCALE!  I still watch these shows, but I know that what they expect is not attainable for most of America who works a full time job, has kids, and a life that is not being documented on TV.  My fear is that many people watching the shows don't recognize the difference so they beat themselves up that they aren't losing 5-10 lbs. a week. 
Being healthy is a journey, it's not something we conquer in a few months and then go back to our "old life".  This IS our new life, the old life is gone... for good.  Gone are the days of bad habits, no exercise, poor self talk, poor self esteem, restriction, etc.  I hope if you are one who loves these shows that you recognize that we all aren't Biggest Loser contestants and that every ounce of weight loss brings us closer to our ultimate goal of being the healthiest we can be!  From there, the weight loss will come.  We must focus on the activity instead of the outcome!  .

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Team Biggest Loser | Stand Up To Cancer

Join The Reality Team Challenge
Join your favorite Reality Team and help Stand Up To Cancer accelerate groundbreaking cancer research. SU2C's goals are to bring together the best and the brightest scientists in the cancer community, rapidly deliver new treatments to patients, and save lives now.
With two ways to donate, it’s easy to give in the name of your favorite Reality show. Either click the SU2C button to donate directly at, or, if you are already a member of Causes, you can click to donate there.
The challenge is on, donate now. You’re one click away from making a difference. Join a team today!

Team Biggest Loser | Stand Up To Cancer

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

Trying new recipes helps keep me excited about eating healthy.  I've found a lot of recipes lately and today I had the chance to make 2 new recipes, both were yummy & worth sharing with you! 

The first recipe is  Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins from The Master Your Metabolism Cookbook by Jillian Michaels.  I've been wanting to make these since I got the cookbook, but haven't been able to find frozen cranberries.  Either I'm looking in the wrong section or my grocery store doesn't carry them!  I was in KC a few weeks ago and stopped into Whole Foods and got a bag there so I could finally make the muffins!
They were super easy to make, even my hubby enjoyed them:) 
Mix pumpkin, maple syrup, olive oil, coconut milk & vanilla.
Combine the spices & flour
After you mix the pumpkin & flour mixture together, then you fold in the cranberries
Ta Da!  Warm & Ready to Eat!
I had some issues making the muffins to be honest.  The pictures of the "process" are from this morning... which was my 1st batch of muffins.  I put them in the oven, didn't reduce the temperature (because I didn't totally read thru the recipe first) and once I turned off the timer I totally forgot about them in the oven!  Needless to say instead of moist muffins we ended up with hockey pucks:(  I had to re-make them tonight because I was so curious to know if I was going to like them or not!  So, the pictures of the muffins are actually my 2nd try at 'em.  Oh, the joys of learning to cook!

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins
1- 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup coconut milk (I used almond milk instead)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups white whole-wheat flour
1 T. aluminum-free baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
2 T. raw pepitas (I did not add these)

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat the oven to 425.  Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin tin with olive oil or line with paper liners.
In a Large Bowl whisk together the pumpkin, maple syrup, olive oil, milk, and vanilla until well combined.
In a Seperate Bowl sift together the flour, baking powder & soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined.  Fold in the cranberries.
Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin tin.  If desired, sprinkle a few pepitas on top of each muffin.  Place the tin in the oven & reduce the oven temperature to 375.  Bake until toothpick comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.  (I only had to bake mine 20-25 minutes & they were done)  Let stand in muffin tin for 5 minutes, then place on cooling rack.  They can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, or up to 2 months in the freezer.
*The recipe says it's makes 12 muffins; but that makes HUGE muffins so I made it into 24 muffins.  The following nutrition facts are based on 24 muffins.
125 Calories, 6 g. fat, 2.2 g. protein, 17 g. carbohydrate

The 2nd recipe I made today was from a post from last week for Healthified Chicken Minestrone Soup.  It is full of veggies, which is really hard for me to incorporate into my meals for some reason.  I love recipes that have lots of veggies so it's easier for me to get them in!!
Carrots, Onion, Celery, Green Beans... yum!

Dinner... and it was delicious and filling!
The serving size is 1 1/3 cups which is a lot of soup!  It has 210 calories, 2.5 g. of fat, 19 g. protein.  I am excited to have lunch for the next few days that is loaded with veggies, low in calories, and is super yummy!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Is it ever REALLY over?

I have always had "issues" with food.  As far back in my memory that I can reach, I remember "issues" with food, body image, self esteem, etc.  I've come a long way, but there are days that I feel myself stepping back into those familiar behaviors of destruction, hatred, fear and anger.  Some days it's because of something that has happened, other days it's like my internal memory has been reset to "old Amy" and her destructive ways.
I've been spending some time in the "old Amy" mentality lately.  I have watched the scale creep up, and up a little, and a little more.  It's sent me into a panic, a frenzy... a downward spiral.  I tell myself I MUST get this under control, I MUST stop this NOW.  And then another meal goes by where I make the wrong choice, and even though I am handling it better than I used to, I'm still not being very forgiving.
I feel like I'm giving up on the one thing I have wanted for so long... my health, being at a "healthy" weight, being comfortable.  Because once I have my health under control then won't the other things I desire just "fall" into place?  That's what I tell myself.  Even though I know that's not true.  You see if we don't FIX what is wrong inside, how we feel, why we think certain things, then it doesn't really matter what our bodies look like on the outside.  Fixing the internal emotions that drive me to the pantry (or the closest ice cream shop) is what has to be solved.  And that's hard, so hard that I've chosen food over fixing what I know is wrong.  I've been trying to avoid situations, people, feelings just so I can move on.  But, I know those "fears" must be faced in order for me to let go so I can set myself free from the destructive feelings that lead to destructive behaviors.   Haven't I learned that food NEVER fixes anything?  If anything it makes the problem worse!
I can say "I used to be a Binge Eater", but in reality "used to be" isn't correct.  Because I have to work on it  And I know I will forever.  I told my husband tonight that eating 'right' will never be an easy task, it will always be something I fight and wrestle with... I know that, and I accept that.  It doesn't mean I like it, but I accept it.  Being a Binge Eater is something that I can be ashamed of, or I can use it as a way to share my story, my struggles and my success with others who may be fighting this same disease.  I am  50 lbs. into my weight loss journey and I can say that this isn't easy, it never will be... but it's worth it.  It's worth it to really figure out what emotions, past circumstances, people, etc. drive you to your destructive behavior.  Once you know what those triggers are you can learn how to either avoid them or learn to deal with them.  Once you know your truth, you don't have to live in fear any longer of someone "figuring you out"... you've made yourself vulnerable and you should be so proud of yourself for doing so.  That is where the healing begins.
At church tonight our pastor encouraged us to think about what we are struggling with and find a verse that we can use to give us strength.  He told us to memorize the verse and when we need God to give us strength to say it to ourselves as a reminder that God is always here for us... no matter what we have done, or what we haven't done.  He is always there, waiting for us to allow Him into our hearts and into our lives.  I came home and looked up a few verses that I hope will give me strength as I re-focus on my recovery.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”
Mark 14:38
“But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” 
I Cor. 10:13
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.’” 
Isaiah 41:13
"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God"
1 Corinthians 10:31

The important thing is that I will never give up.  If you love something, if you want something... never give up.  God put that desire in our hearts for a purpose... we must fulfill it.  I know that my eating disorder has caused me & my loved ones great pain, but it has also taught me SO MUCH about myself that I wouldn't have been willing to accept before.  I am confident in the person I am today because of what I've overcome... and no one can take that away. 
I challenge you to focus on the burdens you are facing today... look at the opportunity for growth in your life during this time of trial.  You may be surprised at what your life could become if you let go of the negativity and see the opportunity.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today is a great day {attitude is everything}

I woke up at 12:40 am and felt like I'd been ran over by a train.  I was so incredibly stuffed up that I couldn't hardly breathe!  I went to bed feeling totally fine, and within 2 hours felt like my allergies had magnified to the worst possible degree.  I popped a Zyrtec and went back to sleep, only to wake up (45 minutes late btw) not feeling any better.
I've been so excited for today for a lot of reasons though, so even though my allergies are giving me a fit today I'm determined to make this a good day no matter what!  It's amazing when you COMMIT to a feeling or emotion, what your life looks like.  God has blessed me with several reasons to celebrate today and so a little sniffle isn't going to get in my way!

1. Today is my amazing husband's 28th Birthday!
We are spending a night in with the dogs.  I made BBQ Meatballs for him since that's his favorite meal.  Hopefully they'll be almost as good as his Mom's! 
{Since I wrote this post we ended up going to dinner w/ my parents, guess the BBQ Meatballs are going to be dinner tomorrow instead}
I am so LUCKY he's my other half. {Celebrating St. Patricks Day in Lawrence a few years ago}

2.  Vera Bradley released the winter collection today!
 My favorite is Baroque, it's gorgeous!  
 I have a $50 gift card I've been waiting to use so I'm SO excited to buy a new purse soon!

3.  Today is the first day of fall!
I LOVE Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte and I've even tried the new Toffee Mocha and love it too!
 I love hooded sweatshirts.
I love sweatpants and long sleeve shirts.
I love GOOD TV.
I love fall candles.
I love Chili.
I love celebrating our anniversary {10/8}.
I love that we are going to become an Aunt & Uncle this fall!
I love spending more time with family for holidays

4. Grey's Anatomy Season Premiere tonight.
Is any more explanation actually needed?  I don't think so.
5. We made some $$ today!
We bought 4 tickets to the Miami Heat vs. OKC Thunder when they went on sale in July.  We couldn't find anyone to buy the other 2 tickets so we ended up selling all 4 on StubHub and made $200!  That's my kind of investment return!!

What do you love about fall?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Healthified Chicken Minestrone Soup - Healthified - Eat Better America

Now that fall is here {officially tomorrow!} I am so ready to eat soup... and lots of it! I found this recipe today and look forward to trying it so I wanted to share it with you!
Healthified Chicken Minestrone Soup - Healthified - Eat Better America

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

FREE Sweaty Band!

I love Sweaty Bands.  As you know.  And many of you now love Sweaty Bands too.  Well, do you want to love them even more?  How about getting one for FREE?!  
Sweaty Bands is having an International Day of Peace Promotion from September 21-30!   
If you spend $30 or more and use the promo code "peace" at checkout you will receive one of the two Peace Please Sweaty Bands shown below.

Please read about ALL of the details:
  • Must be purchase of $30 or greater.
  • Must use the promo code peace and then click the REDEEM button.
  • DO NOT add one of two Peace Please Sweaty Bands to your cart UNLESS you want to purchase it.  If you do purchase one or more Peace Please, you will still receive a free one when using the promo code.
  • Sweaty Bands staff will include one of the two Peace Please Sweaty Bands in the photos above free with your order.
  • Requests for a perticular one can not be made.
  • For website purchases only.
  • Promotion is not available for prior purchases.
  • One coupon per customer.
  • Promotion expires September 30, 2010 - or while supplies last.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cheers to 10 Years!

This weekend I celebrated my 10 year High School Reunion.  Crazy!?!  I cannot believe I've been graduated for 10 YEARS. 
I was pretty nervous about it, I have no idea why or why I even cared that much but I was.  It ended up being a great time & I should have never felt nervous... I had a great time with lots of old friends and was so glad we went.  My husband was so funny too, he was making friends with everyone like he'd known them forever, I was pretty proud to call him my hubby:) 
We acted a little too young for our age, and drank like we were in college... which is why we've been hanging out on the couch all day!  We rarely drink so after 1-2 drinks we are "loving life"!  We're quite a pair:) 

You may not of been my highschool sweetheart but you are my one and only true love!
Everyone was happy to be there, eager to catch up & it was so fun to hear what everyone has been up to the last 10 years.
We all went to gradeschool together!

One of my oldest friends... it's been way too long since we've gotten to hang out since he lives in NJ.

My gradeschool & highschool BFF... we've known each other for so long:)

Some of my fave highschool memories are with KZ!  Still gorgeous as ever!

Cheers to old friends!

Yesterday was a great day to be a T-Bird

Thursday, September 16, 2010

If you need a little inspiration...

This video brought tears to my eyes. I don't know this man, but I am so proud of him:) Anyone who has every tried to lose weight can relate to the hard work, determination and strength it takes to shed even a few pounds. This video motivates me and inspires me to not give up... to never ever give up.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What a Difference a Year Can Make!

Today I had my one year appointment at the doctor.  I wish I could tell you I went today and had an amazing weight loss since last month, but that didn't happen.  I actually gained 5.5 lbs. from my last weight in on 8/5.  I've had a pretty tough month but I'm getting back on track so I'm trying to stay focused on how far I've come in a year versus how much I gained the past 6 weeks.
On that note, I want to celebrate 50.1 lbs of weight loss in one year!  When I look back over the last year I know I've made progress, not only physically but mentally as well.  I've learned so much about my "old" relationship with food and I've developed a "new" relationship with food and exercise.  For the first time ever I can honestly say "I get it".  I get what it takes to be healthy and reap the benefits, and it's hard work, everday... no matter what.  That's not to say I NEVER fall off the wagon, of course I do (do you need a reminder?) !  I weigh today what I weighed in April, which means in 5 months I've pretty much maintained.  There are things I should have done differently and better choices could have been made, but I don't see a genie in a bottle who's going to grant me the opportunity to go back and "re-do" the last 6 months so I'm moving on. 
Today... I am re-committing to my weight loss.  I am getting back to basics, and I'm going to get out of the 200's and STAY OUT.  I never want to see a "2" in front of my weight again, and I'm not stopping until I'm as far away from it as I can get!  I am choosing to leave the last few months of stress and heartache behind and focus on this journey, because in order for us to have a family someday I MUST stay on the path of healthy eating & exercise. 
This is a journey that I plan to continue forever.  This isn't something I'm doing just to lose weight "for now", I've done that before... and I'm done yo-yo dieting and having a closet full of clothes ranging from a 10-22.  Enough is enough.  This is my time, and I'm going to finish what I started... I promise you that:)
My next appointment is on October 12th & my goal is to be under 200 again!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Win a Pair of Brooks Running Shorts & Shoes!

My blog friend Amanda is doing a giveaway for Brooks Running Shorts and Shoes! If you go to her blog Run to the Finish you can enter into the giveaway also!  Good luck!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Love me some Bob Harper!

I was on Bob Harper's website today and found a video I thought was really good and had some helpful information so I thought I'd pass it on to you all. He answered questions from people regarding nutrition & exercise. I am always interested in discovering ways to make my diet better and my workouts more effective!
I am thinking about purchasing his DVD's series, Inside Out Method. Have any of you done these videos and if so, what did you think?
I love Bob & Jillian from the Biggest Loser... did you know the new season starts next week! Tuesday September 21st on NBC! I can hardly wait!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Here's the Story

There comes a time in your life that you accept things for the way they are, because you can't change it.  There is a quote I read a few years ago from Maya Angelou that read,
"If you don't like something change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitudeDon't Complain."
That quote spoke volumes to me, it still does.  Life sometimes throws us curves that we don't understand, and we aren't always supposed to.  Kev and I have been dealing with one of those "curves" the last 2 weeks... and even though we don't like it and we don't understand it... we've accepted we can't change it.  Instead of complaining about it we have chosen to grow together, lean on one another and keep trusting God's will.
I have really struggled on whether or not I was going to share this on my blog or not, but I've had the realization that we are supposed to learn from others.  We are supposed to lean on others.  That's why I blog.  To inspire, motivate and celebrate with you on my journey- and life isn't a only a one lane highway, we take detours now and then.  I respect that some may think that a blog isn't the place to share your life, but it's the choice I've made and it has been a blessing I was so unaware of when I started sharing my story.  I have found comfort and support from the words of many of you, and you keep me going. Everyday.  I'm grateful for all of you, whether you comment on every post or are a "silent follower".
As many of you know I was given the amazing opportunity to compete in the KC Weight Loss Challenge.  I was SO excited about the opportunity and when they called me for an interview I jumped at the chance get involved.  Within 2 days I was driving to Ottawa to do my interview and photo shoot.  Everything happened so quickly, and it was so exciting.  I couldn't believe I'd been given the chance to be a part of this, but in the back of my mind I was scared.  Terrified. 
At the exact moment I was given the opportunity to get my weight off, Kevin and I had been trying to get pregnant.  We've been married for 5 years, our relationship is better today than it has ever been and I put all my faith in God and entrusted that if I was meant to get pregnant, then He would bless us with a baby.  I had no clue both of these "events" would happening at exactly the same time. 
No, I'm not where I want to be on the scale to have a baby, but I knew I'd never be "ready".  I know I'm not going to wake up one day and just say "Ok babe, today is the day I know I'm ready to be pregnant".  Not happening, never going to happen... the only way for me to do it is to take a leap of faith.
So, when KC Fitness Magazine called about the challenge I didn't know if I was pregnant or not (girls refer to this time as the lovely 2 week wait)... but, the last thing I wanted to do was not go forward with the Weight Loss Challenge process and then find out we didn't get pregnant.  It was the first month we were trying, what are the chances?  Well, 7 (yes s.e.v.e.n.) home pregnancy tests later, all negative, I decided to go ahead and try to make it into the top 12 contestants.  With the support of family, friends and total strangers I got the 2nd most votes in the challenge, securing my spot in the top 12.  Voting ended on Wednesday August 25th.  I was now over a week late, all HPT's were still showing negative.  I was literally SO excited about getting into the challenge and terrified at the same time that now I'd be pregnant and have to back out, and it would have to be much more public than I wanted it to be.  The morning after voting ended I went in for a blood test, I had to know.  I prayed all morning begging God for "period or positive".  That afternoon God gave me what I'd been praying so hard for... a positive pregnancy test.  I sat at my desk shaking with excitement, terror, fear, relief, etc.  I could not belive this was happening... our first month trying.  I couldn't wait to tell Kevin.  I have dreamed about the kind of father he will be, our kids are going to be so lucky to have him as a Daddy:)
I came home that night and told him (I wrote "Guess What?  You are going to be a Daddy! on a frisbee for Riley since they play catch every night when he gets home).  We had lots of emotions but we were happy... so happy.  Since I'd accepted my spot in the Challenge I had to call them and back out.  They were so wonderful and understanding.  They did tell me that the contestants would all be live on their website the following Friday though so it would be public in ONE WEEK that I wasn't in the Challenge.  Well, I'd obviously made a big deal about it because I wanted the opportunity... I'd gotten a ton of emails, FB messages and support from so many people... I knew we didn't have a choice but to tell our families much sooner than we wanted to.  So, by that Friday night (one short day after we found out) both of our families knew and were as happy as we were about our news. 
Sunday morning {8/29} we went to church, I'd noticed a little spotting but knew that wasn't uncommon and so I told myself there was nothing to be afraid of.  While standing in church I was cramping so bad I found it hard to stand, and I was spotting heavier.  In the parking lot at church I told Kevin I needed to go to the ER, right away, I knew something wasn't right.  We spent all day in the ER, after some tests and a doctor's examination (and the entire movie Mannequin, which my husand had never seen) I coudn't take it anymore, we'd waited almost 2 hours after they'd taken the last test and I needed to know, even though I knew in my heart what happened. 
Finally the doctor came in, told me the tests came back and I wasn't testing positive any longer, my hCG levels were still slightly elevated but not enough to even test positive.  The doctor said the words I feared all morning, the words I've always feared... Miscarriage.  I was numb.  We were numb.  We pulled ourselves together, got in the car and just held each other and cried.  I have never in our 5 years of marriage been more thankful for the man I married on that day.  He was everything I could have asked for, and watching his heart break was worse than the pain I was physically feeling. 
The reason I am sharing this is because I know I am not the only one to have a miscarriage, and sadly, I won't be the last.  I am not the only woman who has blamed herself for the loss of her baby.  I am not the only wife who wanted a baby so badly because the thought of watching my husband become a father is something I cannot wait to witness.  But, God has other plans for us.  We know that, we accept that... and we are okay.  Thankfully we have built a rock solid marriage in the past few years and it prepared us for this kind of heart break.  God knew we were strong enough together to handle this. 
Someday we will have babies, but not today.  We need time to prepare our hearts and heal from our loss.  I am taking time to get more weight off to better prepare my body for pregnancy, and I'm not putting a time limit any longer on when our family will start.  Our family will start when God tells us we're ready to take that leap of faith again, and we are faithfully and patiently waiting.  I refuse to be the person who won't move forward, I will learn from this, this experience has made me a better person and a better wife.  I wish it wouldn't of happened but I know God has a plan.  He hasn't let me down yet.
I appreciate those of you who have opened up about your losses on your blogs; you have given me strength and courage in the last few weeks without even knowing it.  I hope that my story can touch someone the way that so many of you have touched my life.  Thank you to everyone who has shown us support and kindness, whether you knew the pain we were facing or not.  Your prayers, kind words and encouragement are the blessings we are so grateful for.

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."

~ Philippians 4:6

Friday, September 10, 2010

What I've Learned from Blogging {according to the Pioneer Woman}

I saw this list on the The Pioneer Woman.  I smiled while reading it because it's so true.  If you don't blog, or don't understand WHY in the world someone would want to blog, or just find yourself "blog stalking" everyone you know but would never share any information in regards to your own life then you may not appreciate this list the way bloggers do... but I had to share it anyways.
I love the blogs I follow and witnessing the journey of their authors.  Sometimes we just want to feel understood... and when I read the raw, exposed and painfully true blogs that I do, I feel understood.  Not by all, but by most.  And even if you don't "understand" me, I love ya anyways:) 

10 Important things I've Learned About Blogging- According to The Pioneer Woman

1. Be yourself.

Write in your own voice.
Write as if you’re talking to your sister.
Unless you don’t get along with your sister.
Or don’t have a sister.

2. Blog often.
Whether you write a sixteen-paragraph essay about the cosmic implications of a free market system, a one-paragraph description of what happens to your soul when you walk into your godforsaken laundry room, or a simple photo and caption, consider your blog a precious bloom that requires daily nurturing.
And watering.
If you water a plant once every two weeks, it will shrivel.
Unless that plant is a cactus, and then it would thrive.
And to tell you the truth, I really can’t figure out how a cactus fits into this analogy, so forget I brought it up.

3. Be varied.
Change things up.
Offer a smorgasbord of content.
Unless you’re, say, a fashion blog.
And in that case, you should probably continue to blog about fashion.
But never blog about the same top twice!

4. Exercise more.
Blogging is an insidiously sedentary activity, and if you blog daily you should take steps to markedly increase your daily movement.
Unless that movement involves eating coffee ice cream.

5. Allow your boundaries to set themselves naturally.
Don’t feel like you have to sit down and set rules about what you will and will not blog about from day one. Just blog, and see what feels comfortable for you.
I did that.
I’ve found, over time, that I tend to blog about the same things I’d talk to my sister about.
I’ve also found, over time, that I tend not to blog about things I wouldn’t talk to my sister about.
For example, I don’t blog about hanky panky.
I also don’t talk to my sister about hanky panky. If I did, she’d cover her ears and say, “Okay, gross.
And you probably would, too.

6. Bring back retro phrases like “hanky panky.
But only if it feels right to you.

7. Don’t be afraid to embarrass yourself.
On this website, over the course of the past five years, I have burped, performed Britney Spears songs in Ethel Merman’s voice, misspelled words, posted typos, and talked about ways I humiliated myself as both a youngster and an adult.
At times I’ve wondered if maybe the burps were too much.
But they’re a part of me.
At least they were…until they came out of my esophagus.
But you know what I mean.

8. Try your best to spell words correctly and use proper grammar.
You don’t necessarily have to wig out about it.
But do try.
It’s important.
And if one or two of your readers emails you alerting you to a typo, don’t be offended. Thank them profusely and sing praises for the day they were born.

9. If you have writer’s block, push through and blog anyway.
I posted the first chapter of Black Heels on a morning when I woke up with the most raging case of writer’s block, I couldn’t even type my name.
I was sure you’d hate it, but I posted it anyway.
I went on to write forty-plus more chapters.
What if I’d given in to my writer’s block and decided not to blog that day?
I would never have written my Green Acres-meets-War and Peace romance novel.
And my bottom would likely be a little less jiggly.
Please see #4 above.

10. Value every person who takes time out of their day to stop by your blog.
Tell ‘em you love ‘em. Regularly.
11. I love ya.
More’n my luggage.
Mean it.
P-Dub  (Sorry. That was eleven things. Please see #1 above.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Devil in a Dillons uniform

Yesterday morning I made an important decision.  One that will affect my life greatly.  It wasn't an easy one, but I knew it was the right thing to do.  You see, sometimes the hardest decisions to make are the ones we will benefit from the most.  So, I did it...

I broke up with donuts.
I have gotten in a really bad habit of grabbing them once or twice a week for breakfast and yesterday I said enough is enough! 
Part of sharing my journey is allowing myself to be a little vulnerable... and while some of you may not understand why I share some things, I must say that blogging has helped me more than it's hurt me.  Talking it out is much more beneficial (for me) than keeping this all locked up inside.
We all handle stress differently, I eat while others physically can't eat when they are stressed.  I have come a long long way, so even though I still struggle some I recognize the problem much sooner than I used to and I also figure out what is really going on and what I'm trying to solve by eating poorly.  When I'm stressed, overwhelmed, sad, etc. I still want the bad stuff... like the stuff on a "good" day I wouldn't touch.  Sometimes I induldge, other times I talk it out {my poor husband & bff}. 
I don't even really like the taste of donuts, I've actually made myself concentrate on the taste of one and really... they are pure sugar that leave me crashed in an hour and hungry.  They are good for approx. the first two bites, that's it.  But, when I'm having a bad day I'll justify "running through to get breakfast" because it's SO much faster than eating here.  Whatever Amy!  Seriously?  Driving 10 minutes out of my way to the donut shop is NOT faster than walking into my kitchen and eating a bowl of cereal. 
Can you tell I've had to get a little fierce with my "bad self"?  Cause I have.  I've had a couple crappy weeks  but they aren't worth losing (technically 'gaining') all the hard work I've put into getting this weight off.  Nothing is SO bad that it's worth going backwards and prolonging this process even longer than it's already been {September 4th was 1 year}.  So, I've gotten back to basics the last few days and I feel so much better already.  I was feeling literally SWOLLEN over the weekend, and I know it's because I wasn't drinking enough water, not getting in near enough exercise and my meal choices weren't positive either.  But, the past is in the past... I'm moving on with my "good self" and getting this weight off once and for all!
I do want to mention that I don't recommend telling yourself you CAN'T have something.  The word can't should be removed from the dictionary in my opinion because all it does is give us an excuse to LET ourselves fail.  So instead of telling myself I "can't" have donuts, I'm telling myself I'm choosing not to have them. 
Speaking of "choosing".  Last night I went to the grocery store and I'd made it through the produce section, and was headed to the Organic section when a Dillons employee comes out of nowhere with a PLATTER OF DONUTS, walks up to me and says "Would you like to try a sample?"  I politely said "No, thank you" and tried to hold back all laughter until I got out of her sight.  Kevin found me laughing (while hiding so she couldn't see me) about the irony of the donut samples being offered on the day I decided to totally remove them from my life.  Donut samples?  I have NEVER in my 28 years been offered a sample of a donut until yesterday... the day I broke up with them!!!  I said to Kev in all seriousness, that Dillons employee is actually the devil dressed up trying to "trick me" back into eating those damn things!  I am still laughing about this today, and still think it's pretty ironic. 
I've thought about this a lot (I know, some of you are thinking... donuts?  Is that what she is STILL talking about?)  I think the reason that they are such a battle for me is because for YEARS I restricted them, they were totally forbidden, and I wouldn't have dared to touch them.  If I would have I would have spent hours, days, weeks beating myself up over one stinkin' donut.  Sheesh, if I could rewind time I would take back all of the beating myself up for stupid food that now I eat, enjoy, and move on.  The key is just to not eat it everyday, or even weekly.  We can eat all food, in moderation.  UNLESS, a particular food causes you a lot of trouble.  Which in my case is the donuts.  So, I'm not going to tell you I'm never eating another donut for the rest of my life... I'm just going to avoid them like the plague:)

*I must add that it's taken me way too long to hit "publish post" on this because I'm so terrified of "my secret" getting out... I'm human, I have fears, but really... donuts?   You'll never read about me claiming to be perfect, this post proves that!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Granola Moms Go Shopping!

My friend Christy started a channel on YouTube with a friend and I just watched their video and loved it! Great idea Granola Moms!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Matthew West's New Song

If you haven't caught on yet based on my posts this week I find a lot of comfort in music.  In my office I have a picture that says, "Music is what feelings sound like", and it couldn't be more true for me. 
Music is my way of escaping, even if only for a few moments.  I've been hearing this song on K-Love and fell in love with it from the first moment I heard it.  I hope it stirs something in you like it did in me:)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One Step at a Time

A friend forwarded this song to me, I'd never actually listened to the words so it was surprisingly comforting and uplifting for me to hear.
Thanks C :)