I have plans.

April 28, 2014

Hi lovely darlings.  
Just checking in.  
We had a fabulous weekend and I finished all of my final projects for my History & Computer classes.  Today I started two new classes, Politics and Math.  The only (and I really, truly mean only) downside to The University of Phoenix is that you do two classes for nine weeks and then start new classes immediately.  My brain needs a break, people!

As you all know (or if you don't, I'm about to tell you), I really, really suck at math.  
Like, it's baaaaad.

I need that shirt.  For real.

The reason for this post today is to let you all know that I have plans for this blog.  I want to network with people, I want people who are going through weight loss struggles or having weight loss surgery to hear my voice and know that they can do it.  A friend of mine's husband got a huge promotion to Director of Bariatrics at their local hospital and I would love for him to share this blog with his patient's.

I have plans.

What I'm trying to say is, for me to continue to have a 4.0 GPA in school, plan this wedding and keep losing weight, blogging might have to take a backseat. (the backseat isn't bad, right?  I mean, people put their kids in the backseat, so... it's pretty good back there.)  
I'm not disappearing and I'm not quitting the blogiverse.  I have finally found my voice and I love it here.  I want to make sure I keep doing this, for myself and for others, because it makes me happy and keeps me motivated.

But just know, that if you don't see me quite as much, I'm off in the corner somewhere doing terrible amounts of algebra and I'm probably going totally and completely insane.
Pray for me, people.

Also, just a quick thing:
Three years and one day ago, tornadoes ripped through Tuscaloosa and so many other parts of Alabama, injuring and killing people and taking everything they had.  It was devastating and horrific.  Yesterday, the same thing happened in Arkansas.  Pray for them.  And to find out more about how you can help, visit Tyler's page Arkansassy
Those storms are now headed our way, so all my Birmingham/Alabama friends... stay safe!

All my love, always.

100 pounds gone forever.

April 23, 2014

"You never know what's around the corner.  It could be everything.  Or it could be nothing.  You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you've climbed a mountain."  -Tom Hiddleston

I've thought long and hard about how I would write this post.  From the moment I hit my 75 pound lost mark, I constantly thought about getting to my next milestone and how I would feel when I got there.  

Well, that moment came yesterday.  I woke up, got on the scale, and it said "210.5."  So I stepped off the scale, looked around for a minute and then moved the scale to a different place on the bathroom floor.  Still 210.5. 

 For those of you who are new around here, my starting weight was 311. 


As my luck would have it, Ben is out of town for business and I had no one to take my "100 pounds lost" picture to put next to my starting weight picture.  I will get him to do that as soon as he walks in the door at the end of the week.  

I just want to be honest for a minute:  I'm in shock.  I know how hard I've worked for this, and I know how hard I've struggled with moments of weakness.  There have been times when I thought that scale would never move again, like when I was stuck at 224 for a month.  There have been times of frustration and sadness, times when I felt as though no one in this world knew how I felt.  Albeit those moments haven't happened for several months now, I've definitely had them.  There have been times when I shoved a Twix in my mouth and ate it shamefully, then felt like complete crap afterwards.  (Both mentally and physically... the sugar isn't so good for the pouch.)  There have been times when I've lacked the motivation to go to the gym and other times when I felt as though I had become a true gym rat. 

I've experienced so much in the past eight months.  But I can tell you, with 100% absolute certainty, that I have never, not for one minute missed my old life.  I have never missed driving through McDonalds and loading up on food I knew I shouldn't have.  I have never missed the days when the scale went up and up and up and I would think, "oh it's okay, as long as I don't get to ______ lbs then I'm fine."  I always exceeded those personally set limits of mine.  I have never missed being uncomfortable in my own skin, feeling ugly and like I wasn't worth anything.  I have never missed clothes not fitting me and having nothing nice to wear to events we would go to.  


I keep trying to find a way to celebrate losing 100 pounds, but I think the best way to celebrate is to just keep going.  We are going to the beach in two and a half weeks and I feel like that's ample time for me to get below 200 pounds.  I think my mark of losing 100 pounds is so close to being under 200, that I really can't get emotional until I'm in the 100-somethings.  Even if it is 199.  I thought I would cry and be so emotional about losing 100 pounds, but I just feel this overwhelming sense of pride and joy.  Sometimes, I look at old pictures and don't recognize myself.  It's difficult to see how I had let myself become that big, that overweight, that unhappy.  But it's gratifying and surreal to see the person that I've become.  
And I'm so, so incredibly happy and proud of that.  

One last thing before I go... 
All of you.
I have received countless emails, calls, texts, Facebook messages, etc... Some from friends, some from bloggers, some from complete strangers, all telling me what an inspiration I am to them.  The support and encouragement I've received from all of you mean the absolute world to me.  There are truly no words to say how thankful and blessed I am to have you all, and to have this blog as a platform to reach out to others.  Helping people is something that I'm passionate about, so seeing this blog reach so many people and have them in turn reach out to me... well, that truly makes this whole crazy journey of mine well worth it.

all my love, always.

SW:  311
CW: 210.5

Cooking Healthy with Kitchen Aid! *a giveaway*

April 20, 2014

So a lot of you may have heard me talk about my IRL (in real life) bff/cousin, Shea, who we are always hanging out with in her fabulous kitchen.  She is literally the hostess with the mostest and she cooks some amazing food.  Did I mention that she is a well known food blogger who has been contacted by Food Network several times for several different shows?  She's a nurse by day, but I personally feel that her true calling is being in the kitchen.

yep, that's her.
did I mention she's 10 years older than me?
and has two kids who are 15 and 17?
she has the best genes ever.  
including the cooking gene.

Let me get to the point here... we all know I don't cook.  And yes, I did register for a Tiffany Blue KitchenAid Mixer on our wedding registry, but I don't honestly have a clue what I would do with it if I got it.  Shea, on the other hand, has created so many healthy options for me since my surgery, and she always has that KitchenAid mixer going!  Mashed cauliflower, homemade healthy chicken salad, homemade spaghetti, etc... you name it, she has made it.  Don't believe me?  Check out her blog, Dixie Chik Cooks.  She can whip up the most delicious appetizer in mere minutes.  Don't even get her started on her love for jalapenos... I'm envious, to say the least.

This blog has never been about doing giveaways, but I couldn't pass up the offer to take part in this particular one.  Miss Dixie Chik herself put together this amazing giveaway for one of you to win a 5-Quart KitchenAid Mixer!  If you love to cook, want to start experimenting more in the kitchen, want to give mom an amazing gift for Mother's Day...  all you have to do is enter below!  Easy Peasy.

Thanks to these awesome ladies for giving one of you the chance to win!

You have until May 4th to enter and you must complete ALL entries to qualify as the winner.

Good Luck!

songs that define me

April 18, 2014

I was scrolling through Kay's new About Me page and I came across her "Best Of" section.  One of the posts was called "songs that define me" and I'd like to announce that I am stealing her idea.  So thanks, Kay!  While I'm no artist and I'm not a great singer, music has always been something I've loved since I was a child.  I was a choir girl all through middle and high school and I'm a pretty darn good sing-loudly-in-the-car-singer.  So here are the top ten songs that define me and specific parts of my life.  Enjoy!

p.s.  feel free to judge my musical taste.  
I am a 28 year old teeny bopper and some of these lyrics just really get me.  ;)

1.  "All of Me" by John Legend.  I legit cried the first time I heard this song.  It is everything that is mine and Ben's relationship.  The good and the bad all circles back around to how much we love each other and how incredible our relationship is.  Cliche, I know, but remember I said the good and the bad.

All of Me by John Legend on Grooveshark
2.  "Roar" by Katy Perry.  I just feel so empowered when I hear this song.  Going through being overweight and severely obese and making the decision to change my life with surgery is the biggest and best thing I've ever done in my life.  There are always people who are going to want to hold you down, hold you back, etc... but you have to fight for what you want.  Not sometimes, but all of the time.  And in my life, I will always be victorious.

Roar - Katy Perry by NewThingRadioWeb on Grooveshark

3. "My Little Girl" by Tim McGraw.  Although this song is a about a father's love for his daughter, I bawl every time I hear it thinking of both of my parents.  As my wedding approaches, I can't help but realize all of the things my parents did for me growing up that you can't really understand until you are older and about to really start a life of your own with another person.  I don't think words could ever describe my love for my parents.

My Little Girl by Tim McGraw on Grooveshark
4. "Evacuate The Dance Floor" by Cascada.  Nothing screams "get your butt moving!" like this song.  I listen to it when I want to dance around the house, when I want to workout really hard, or when I just want to feel good.  Heck, sometimes I even listen to it in the shower and dance.  (PSA:  use caution when dancing in the shower... conditioner is slippery.)  It's just a good, fun, upbeat song that will get you moving.

Evacuate the Dancefloor by Cascada on Grooveshark
5. "Kiss Me Slowly" by Parachute.  Why?  Because there is simply nothing better than one of those all night conversations and a good, long kiss afterwards.  Plus, I just really love this song.
Kiss Me Slowly by Parachute on Grooveshark
6.  "The Rose" by Bette Midler.  Life, love, the world... you name it, it's not easy.  But this song always reminds me that suffering through it always brings you back around to the good.  That may be common sense, but this is a beautiful reminder.  "just remember in the winter far beneath the bitter snow, lies a seed that with the sun's love, in the Spring becomes a rose."  So wise and true.
The Rose by Bette Midler on Grooveshark
7.  "Gorilla" by Bruno Mars.  Ok, not to get all grown folks on you or anything, but yeah... this song.  For a short, tiny man, Bruno sure knows how to make a girl feel sexy.
Gorilla by Bruno Mars on Grooveshark
8. "Have a Little Faith in Me" by John Hiatt.  Another song that makes me cry after the first few chords.  My fiance, my best friend, my family:  case and point, we will always be there for each other.  There are many versions of this song, but this is hands down my favorite.  Sometimes, you just gotta have a little faith in people.
Have a Little Faith in Me by John Hiatt on Grooveshark
9.  "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys.  Again, empowerment.  Something goes wrong?  Power through it.  I'm just a girl and I'm on fire, people.
Girl On Fire (feat. Nicki Minaj) [Inferno Version] by Alicia Keys on Grooveshark
10.  "Cry Me a River" by Justin Timberlake.  Let's be honest, any Justin Timberlake song basically defines my life because I've been obsessed with him for 16 years.  But this one, I love.  Justin Timberlake was the Taylor Swift of music before there was Taylor Swift in the sense of writing about ex lovers.  Britney Spears, you messed up big time.  And JT went and wrote a song about it.  And we all know it's about you because of the little fairy figurine in the video identical to your tramp stamp tattoo.  As far as this song and it's lyrics defining me... don't lie, cheat or steal.  Just your every day basic relationship requests.  
Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake on Grooveshark
BONUS SONG:  "In The Summertime" by Mungo Jerry.  Growing up, anytime we would go to the swimming pool, there was always oldies playing in the background.  Even though I hate hot weather, I'm ready to dip this new skinny(er) body in the water!  This has always been one of my favorite "oldies" to sing along to, dance around and have a drink by the pool on a hot summer day.
In the Summertime by Mungo Jerry on Grooveshark
DOUBLE BONUS:  Since it is Friday and I haven't done this in a while, I figured I would join Whitney for Back That Azz Up Friday and let y'all see what my latest song obsession is.  Have you heard it?
Me and My Broken Heart by Rixton on Grooveshark
Rixton- "Me and My Broken Heart"
I think this is the remix, but still.  it's my FAVE right now!

What are some songs that define you?
Happy Friday!

five steps for reclaiming your motivation.

April 17, 2014

I'm sure I'm not the only one, but sometimes I just lose all motivation to go to the gym.  My eyes have been hurting, making my head hurt.  I have a school assignment.  I just don't feel like it even though I know I should.  God knows Ben has heard them all.  
So I decided to list things that help me get my motivation back!

  • REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED-  this is a pretty big one for me.  I started this journey to lose weight and to become a person who lives a healthy lifestyle.  It is not always easy.  Plain and simple, find one good reason to keep going rather than adding up a bunch of lousy reasons to stop.
  • FIND A BUDDY-  nothing screams motivation like having a workout buddy.  If you skip out on the gym and your girlfriend  has a killer workout, you are going to feel super crappy.  Have a little friendly competition during Zumba to see who can burn more calories!  In the end, you both win.  Plus, having someone remind you that Tuesday is Zumba night will ensure that you leave the house with your gym bag in hand and your Polar watch strapped on tight.
  • PICTURE THE FINISH LINE-  after a good workout, you know you are going to feel amazing.  You might be sweating worse than you ever have before, but you just burned several hundred calories!  It was worth it.  Don't make excuses; channel your inner Nike and just do it!  You can sit on the couch for 30 minutes or move your body for 30 minutes.  Which one will make you feel better at the end?  (you know the right answer!)
  • REWARD YOURSELF-  okay people, don't go crazy or anything!  After a hard workout, I like to swing through Dairy Queen and reward myself with a treat.  NO, not a giant blizzard!  A small, light fruit smoothie with protein added in.  They are good and satisfy my sweet tooth.  If you aren't into rewarding yourself with food, go shopping.  I hit up Old Navy at least once a week to see what new workout clothes they have.  Regular clothes work just fine too.  In the end, seeing your body get smaller and buying clothes you didn't think you could wear is enough reason for me to hit the gym.
  • RECOGNIZE HOW FAR YOU'VE COME-  Whether you've lost 5 or 50 pounds, give yourself a pat on the back.  Every pound is progress!  As they like to say, "you didn't gain it all in a day, so you won't lose it all in a day."  Just keep going!  You will get there before you know it.

what's happening currently

April 16, 2014

Hi lovelies.  My posts are coming less and less and I really do apologize.  Let me preface this post by saying that no one wants to read about the weather and how the pollen is destroying me, but it's part of the reason I haven't posted.  My eyes, between bad eyesight and the aforementioned pollen, have gone from bad to worst in a hot minute.  I'm way overdue for an eye exam, so thankfully I have one of those scheduled for tomorrow.  I need new glasses like ASAP.  Really, like 6 months ago... #whoops.  I also can't stop sneezing, my vision is super blurry and watery, my nose is running and I'm basically just a hot mess from the lips up.  Thus, my many reasons for not posting.  Basically, I just can't look at the computer anymore than I already have to for work and school.  But I do it for you people!  Because I love ya.

moving along... 

This past Saturday me and one of my BFF's/Bridesmaids, Rene, completed the Color Me Rad 5k!  We walked the whole thing, which I was perfectly fine with.  The course was tough!  There were several hills to climb and I had to really dig deep for that momentum to get me up those hills!  Like, legit mountainous hills.  But it was SO much fun.  We even went to eat lunch with our respective men-friends afterwards, looking like a hot rainbow mess.  This is definitely something I will participate in again.  

It was also SUPER hot on Saturday.  And when I say super hot, I mean around 80.  If anyone would like to know the temperature outside today, you know, just for giggles, it's 46 degrees outside.  It was 36 when I left the house.  Seeing this yesterday pretty much summed up my thoughts on the horrendous weather:

AAAAAND EXACTLY.  It's been cold here for so long that 80 degrees felt like 100!  I can't even imagine what this summer is going to feel like.  Hell, probably.

In other fun news, Ben and I are going to pick out our wedding invitations tomorrow!  I think this is going to be my favorite thing that we've done so far.  There are just so many beautiful options and I can't wait to see them all.  

In a weight loss update, I'm still holding strong at 97 pounds lost.  LAST THREE POUNDS, GET OUT OF HERE.  Not that those are my last three pounds ever, but still.  To be able to say that I have legitimately lost 100 pounds would be amazing.  I still can't believe how far I've come. 

One of the requirements you must meet before having surgery is going to a support group.  My bariatric group holds them once a month.  The patients who have already had surgery are encouraged to come and speak in front of the crowd about their progress, their experiences, etc... I don't know if you all are aware, but public speaking is not really my forte.  But this Saturday, that is what I will be doing. So it will be interesting to see how it goes.  I need to prepare a before/after flyer to pass out to everyone with my blog address on it so that they can get a feel for what life is like after gastric bypass.  AHH just talking about it makes me nervous!  Pray for me, people!

Happy Wednesday, friends.  

SW:  311
CW:  214
-97 lbs

eight inches of rain, one flooded neighborhood and three garbage bags of spoiled food later...

April 10, 2014

Oh hey kids, remember me?  Yeah, I'm still alive.  

I've just been dealing with a semi-natural disaster situation at my house.  If you follow me on Facebook or IG then you know my neighborhood was severely flooded on Monday, thus trapping me in my neighborhood.  I panicked because it was truly nothing I've ever seen before-  houses full of water, water pushing up my street and inching closer to my house (which thankfully was left unharmed), people's furniture floating by, cars floating into each other, cars under water, etc... It was really scary!  Obviously I couldn't get to work because we only have one entrance/exit to our small neighborhood and both sides of my house were flooded in two different spots.  It was beyond frustrating, especially when they cut the power for 48 hours and ALL of our frozen/refrigerated food went bad.  I probably threw away $350 worth of food.  It made me sick to have to do that, but it was all ruined!  Ugh.  

[I have lots of pictures, but my phone is not cooperating.  So check out my Instagram for a few pictures and I will try to post some more this weekend or next week.]

Finally on Monday night, my dad was able to drive through the water (after it receded during the day a good bit) with his pick up truck and rescue me so I could stay at my parents house, have a hot shower and have a way to work on Tuesday morning.  All in all, it was just a scary, sad, and frustrating few days.  I'm still exhausted from all of the chaos that went on during the day Monday.  Sitting in the house, surrounded by flood water, with no power is just really boring and frustrating.  I'm so, so, SO extremely thankful we didn't have any water damage.  The streets are now lined with people's carpet, furniture, pictures, etc... all ruined from water damage.  My heart breaks a little more every time I drive past it all.

In other news, I've missed you guys!  This week has been beyond hectic in so many ways and I just wanted to drop in and say a little hello.  Hope you all had a fabulous week.  It's Friday tomorrow and I'm sooo glad!  We have plans tomorrow night with friends, then Saturday morning I'm running the Color Me Rad 5k with one of my besties/bridesmaids, Rene, and then having lunch with our men afterwards.  At some point the fiance and I will be starting to plan the rehearsal dinner, discuss the menu and the invitations for the wedding as well.  I will just be really glad for the weekend, that's for sure!

Hopefully next week will be back to normal and I can resume normal blogging activity.
Happy Weekend!

Six Flags & Two Pale Legs

April 4, 2014

Well this has been a long time coming.  I had planned on doing my Six Flags update last week, but somehow time managed to get away from me and here I am, two weeks later, trying to remember all the fantastic details of our Six Flags trip.

First things first:  I wore shorts.  This shouldn't be a big deal, but it truly is.  The past several summers, I have been the girl in pants.  Sometimes, not even capri's.  Long.  Pants.  And let me tell you-  that is NOT a comfortable way to dress when it's 100 degrees and humid as all get out.  Shorts weren't even in my vocabulary.  So when I went to Old Navy to buy shorts to wear to Six Flags, and felt comfortable in them, it felt like a pretty momentous occasion.  I even got Ben to take a picture.

Before I show you, let me just say that I'm not sure why I chose to wear the neon red/pink color when my legs are so insanely white, but I did.  And let me just sing the praises of these shorts for a second:  they were extremely lightweight, super comfy and they were only $10 on sale at Old Navy.  And they are identical to the Nike shorts I've lusted after for years.  Win and win.

The sun was so ridiculously bright that Ben couldn't see to take the picture, so this is the best we could do people.  Not the prettiest legs in the world, but a vast improvement of what they used to be!

We had a great time.  We stood in lonnnng lines, ate park food, rode most of the roller coasters and just had a really great day together.  I was so worried I wouldn't fit into any of the rides, but I fit with room to spare!  Non-scale victory, for sure! The weather was nice and we got to visit with friends in the cutest town of Roswell after we left Six Flags.  Ben bought season passes, so we are sure to be back several more times throughout the summer.  Now for your enjoyment, a mini photo dump.  

Happy Friday, kids!

can you tell how bored I was waiting in this 2-hour long line?

the Batman ride is my absolute favorite ever in the history of rides.

I am a souvenir fanatic.  
I also bought my Dad some shot glasses (for his collection), my mom a souvenir, a shirt for my friend's little girl Reagan, Ben got a shirt for his nephew Charlie, I got a tee shirt along with the cup and picture frame you see.  It should also be known that I am a picture frame fanatic.  

that time I tried out for a Britney Spears video

April 3, 2014

I'm a... slaaaaave for youuuu...

Okay, fine, you caught me:  I never tried out for a Britney Spears video.  Back in the day when she had the rocking body and the python around her shoulders, I was nowhere near old enough to be one of her dancers.  Throw in stage fright and a lack of rhythm and yeah, I just never.

But last night, I did take a class called BodyJam.  Think about Zumba (if you've done it) times about 100.  We learned some intense dance moves and then put them all together, in a routine if you will, at the end of the hour long class.  I forgot my polar watch but there is no telling how many calories I burned.  It was a legitimately hard class, and I was super intimidated at first.  But damnit if it wasn't fun.  It was hot in the studio, I was moving constantly, and I was sweating more than I ever have.  I know I said that last Zumba class, but I sweated even more this time.  Like through my shirt.  That's never happened to me!

See?  Proof.  Just saying. I will never wear a loose tee shirt to that class again.   I was all tangled up and sweating right through it.  Just a hot mess, really.

Other than BodyJam, I have nothing interesting to report.  I'm still floating around 96-97 pounds gone and trying to eat better than ever.  Ben actually had a big milestone when he ordered some tee shirts in a Large instead of an XL and they looked so good on him!  I'm lucky to have such a dedicated partner who is in this journey with me.  I don't talk about Ben a lot on the blog in terms of weight loss, but since I've had surgery he's lost around 40 lbs!  So props to my wonderful, handsome fiance.

I swear (seriously.  I swear.) I am going to give y'all the Q&A vlog and the Six Flags post soon!  Life is busy, people.  I'm working on it!

10 Things I Love About Myself

April 1, 2014

I started writing this post about all the times that life has been hard for me... being overweight, trying to be someone I'm not, etc... But I don't want to write that post today.  I've talked a lot about how far I've come and some of the challenges I've faced, but today I want to just give myself some props.  I think it's important that we stop, just once in a while, and remind ourselves why we are awesome.  I've toughed out a lot of things, but I also have so many things to be happy and thankful for.
[linking up with Allie]

  1. My legs.  This is a weird one for me, especially to put at number one, but I love my legs!  They have cellulite, but they are thinning out so much.  I feel comfortable in shorts and I feel confident going into warm weather.  No more long pants in 100 degree weather for this chick! 
  2. My hair.  We've had quite the journey, but my hair is growing back!  With the right products and lots of protein and vitamins, this hair is making a comeback!  
  3. My willpower.  I have never exhibited willpower like I have now; never in my life.  I am more inclined to push myself at the gym, and to go to the gym even when I don't feel like it.  Example:  last night.  I went to the grocery store, came home and had no intention of going to the gym.  But I knew I needed to, so I went.  Willpower, people.
  4. My strength.  Not physical strength, although I can tell a big difference in how strong I've become, but my mental strength.  My strength of soul, if you will.  I just feel strong and good, like I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.  (news flash:  I can.  and so can you.)
  5. My support system.  My fiance, my best friend, my parents, my coworkers, my Facebook friends, my blogging friends, my family; so many people inspire me and motivate me without even knowing it.  And I take ownership over the fact that these people are incredible individuals who I love dearly.
  6. My obsession with healthy food.  Honestly, it's just something I never thought would happen.  Fage Greek Yogurt, I'm looking at you.
  7. My perseverance.  This applies to two sections of my life:  weight loss and school.  In both areas, I've wanted to give up so many times.  But here I am, pushing forward with 97 less pounds and a 4.0 GPA.  Self-doubt is stupid, y'all!
  8. My willpower.  Did I already say this one?  Okay, I did, but did I mention that I haven't had a soft drink- my biggest pre-surgery weakness!- since two weeks before surgery?  True story.  I thought it would be my toughest obstacle, but I've never even looked back.  Sorry Dr. Pepper, I don't miss you.
  9. My confidence.  Short and simple, it's skyrocketed.  And I feel amazing.
  10. My happiness.  I'm genuinely, insanely, crazy amounts of happy.
Thank you, Lord, for this blessed life.

And if you comment, you MUST say at least one thing you love about yourself!