Thursday, March 31, 2016

Today is the day! LuLaRoe Pop Up Boutique

Come take a look at the LuLaRoe clothing! Sizes XXS to 3XL, men’s, and girls clothing too.

Click hereto take a look!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Therapy is Hard: Binge Eating Disorder?

I had my second therapy session today for my “weight issues”. My first appointment went well and I had just started my nutritional plan. I had high spirits, was hopeful, and felt very much in control at that time.

Fast forward about four months to today where I found myself sitting in therapy with a completely different mental state. I felt defeated, powerless, disappointed in myself, and out of control. I was desperate for help—I needed help and I knew it.

My original plan was to keep going to therapy, but one thing after another happened and here we are four months later. Previously, I didn’t feel like I needed help. I was in the “high” of weight loss where I was seeing results and able to stay on track.

But at the beginning of February, I found myself back into the cycle that I always seem to find myself whenever I start any weight loss program. I was spiraling out of control and I still haven’t stopped. As of this morning, I am 9 lbs. above my lowest weight.

It is so hard to talk about things that I feel so ashamed about, but I was honest and I told her what has been going on in my head and the actions I have been taking which have led to weight gain and the downward spiral out of control. I can remember having this behavior back to middle-school, although I did have a weight problem prior to this. It is humbling and embarrassing to talk about it, even though I know that this is what she specializes in.

We talked about Binge Eating Disorder. While I have sometimes wondered if I have this issue, today confirmed it for me. In situations that feel “out of control” to me, I turn to food because it is something that I can control. It’s a temporary fix for every problem. It takes my mind off of whatever is bothering me—as my therapist said, “to avoid feeling emotion”.

That’s huge to me because it’s an explanation for my behavior. It’s also frightening. In order to develop a healthy relationship with food, and to get my weight under control, I will have to change the habits that I have developed over the years.

This means that I will not be able to turn to food to get me through whatever emotions I’m having that I don’t want to feel. It means that I will have to deal with the emotions. It means I absolutely have to let go of that crutch if I truly want to change.

Can I do it? Am I strong enough to do it? Do I truly want to change?

My first thoughts are that of fear and shame. Afraid of the struggles that I might endure trying to change. Ashamed that this is even a struggle for me. Afraid that this is one more coal to the “crazy person” fire that I have blazing over here. Afraid to admit that I have a problem.

Binge Eating Disorder is along the same lines as substance abuse. It makes sense that I might have an issue such as this because one side of my family has a long line of alcoholics. Food may just be my drug of choice. Perhaps I’m predisposed to such behavior—I have no idea.

We worked on an action plan titled, “This is how I can stop automatic negative thoughts that cause negative behaviors”. Once again, we’re back to controlling my thoughts.

The good news is that I have successfully accomplished being aware of my thoughts when it comes to my role as a mother (i.e. not allowing negative thoughts to make myself think I’m an inadequate mother, etc.— related to postpartum depression). If I could accomplish that, I can certainly accomplish this—I hope.

I have a plan. It will take a lot of introspection and work on myself to overcome this—but I just have to. I cannot live like this. My weight and food take up too much space in my thoughts and life and I’m tired of it.

I read over an article my therapist gave me about Binge Eating Disorder and it described me to a T. I probably shouldn’t admit that I read this article while having a “mini-binge”—I definitely knew I was eating for emotional reasons and yet I don’t try to stop myself because I know it will make me feel better temporarily. It’s hard to admit that. But there it is.

Anyways, sorry for the rambling post. I am glad that I’m back into therapy and I’m ready to put in the work—despite how afraid I am. I plan on updating you all on my progress.

Do you have Binge Eating Disorder? How did you conquer it? What are you doing to fight it?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

#intelliarmor 4-USB Port Portable Wall Charger Review + Coupon Code

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Like most families, we have numerous electronic devices which require charging almost every day. Each device has its own charger and before we know it, we hardly have enough outlets to charge everything!

That’s why the intelliArmor 4-port Portable Wall Charger is such a game changer. Having this charger means we can charge up to four devices in one outlet “receptacle”, meaning if you had two of these chargers you could charge eight devices in your standard two outlet receptacles. We love it.

It’s only 3” x 2.5”, so it’s very compact and would be great for traveling. It also features state of the art technology which ensures rapid charging with safe and high quality results without the risk of overcharging.

If you’re in the market for such a charger, I recommend this one! It’s available on Amazon.

Even better, you can use Coupon Code “SmartPwr” to save 20%! It’s already affordably priced and is available on Amazon Prime. What a great deal! I just might have to buy another one!

How to Motivate Yourself to Lose Weight

Are you lacking motivation to lose weight and get healthy?

Do you want to be thin, yet you can’t seem to get your head in the right place to make the right food choices?

Are you dreaming of being an active person, yet have a hard time finding the motivation to get up and exercise?

Well, I have the answer that will immediately motivate you.

It’s easy, free, and 100% natural.

Put on a swimsuit and look in the mirror.

Seriously, guys. Ugh.

Is there anything like putting on a swimsuit to give yourself a kick in the “I-Need-To-Lose-Weight” pants?

Despite the fact that I’ve lost over 20 lbs., I put on my swimsuit last night and, my head, (which had been residing in outer space) was immediately transported back into reality here on earth. And it wasn’t pretty.

How incredibly depressing! What a shocking reminder of how much weight I need to lose!

The good news is that I have something that works for me when I’m not letting my emotions control my eating. Whew.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Venturing Out a Little More

I have talked about my struggles with social situations before. I’m an introvert and I am perfectly happy just spending time with hubby and Little Miss Sunshine.

I do like to be around other people, but it just drains my energy and I have to take time to recover afterwards (not to mention to psych myself up before hand)—I believe this is attributed to being an introvert!

But guess what?

Since last Thursday, I have ventured outside of my comfort zone three times. I went shopping with my aunt and cousin—including enjoying coffee and chatting with my aunt. It was fun! I even brought along Little Miss Sunshine, which of course always causes me anxiety. My aunt helped out a lot and made me feel very comfortable—so that makes a big difference!

On Friday, hubby and I went to a friend’s retirement party. We even sat by a couple of people I didn’t know—made a couple of new friends! We both had fun.

By Saturday, I was completely worn out and feeling horrible. I had a migraine headache that lasted over 24 hours. I took a 3 hour nap and that helped a little. I was starting to feel like I used to when my anxiety got really bad—I had that “buzzing” feeling in my arms, etc. Is it really possible that activities like this cause me THAT much anxiety? Even when I seem to handle them just fine? It’s crazy. It’s either that or a physical response to eating foods that I’m not used to eating, or a chemical change.

I felt better Sunday morning, we went to our church meeting and then had some friends over for lunch. This is huge for me because I seriously never have people over unless they’re family. It was even my idea. Imagine that! It went just fine, despite my feelings of awkwardness.

I had a nice long nap in the afternoon and woke up feeling energized again. In each of these situations, I had to change my thoughts from worrying I did something wrong or worrying about what others were thinking of me to just being proud of myself for surviving. Focus on the positive, right?

So anyways, slowly but surely I am conquering my social situation fears. Progress! I heard somewhere that once we conquer our fears, they won’t seem as scary anymore. With practice, I will learn to come out of my shell a little more.

I am even planning a surprise party for a friend. It will be fun. Even if I will be exhausted and need a nap afterwards. I think I can accept that
it’s just the way I am and realize that’s ok!

These things might seem silly to most people, but they’re big changes for me!

Are you an introvert? How do social situations affect you?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Inspiration Sunday

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Sale Saturday

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Weigh in Day

I took a break from the scale this week and it was wonderful. I loved not having to obsess about the number. I was starting to get discouraged when I kept seeing the number go up and then that leads into everything spiraling out of control and I end up making bad choices.

My week wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t horrible. I ended up losing 1 lb. I’m happy with any loss right now! I’m still quite a few pounds above my lowest though. I will get there.

I have my counseling appointment this week and that should inspire me to keep working on myself. I also get outside a lot more when the weather is nicer—which means I get more activity in. It’s looking like next week should be pretty nice!

Have a Happy Weekend!

How was your weigh in this week?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Depression: The Big Black Dog

This video has such an accurate description of depression that I had to share and I urge you to share this video as well. I believe that mental health needs to be brought into the conversation and the stigma needs to be taken away.

Lately, I have been more vocal about my own experience with postpartum depression by talking about it amongst people I know personally—even occasionally posting about it on Facebook. I will admit, I do sometimes worry that others will judge me—and I know that some have but there are many more who have talked to me about their own experiences with mental illness. Ultimately, I know there are many others out there like me and it is for these people that I speak out.

If you are depressed or have any other mental illness, please know you are not alone. You do not need to be ashamed. You are not weak. You do need to seek help because you are worth it. Life does get better. You are stronger than you think you are right now—any doubts you are having about yourself are from that “big black dog”. Ignore him.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Lifelong Learning: #GrozaLearningCenter Roots Booster Workbook Review

Disclaimer: I was sent the Groza Learning Center Roots Booster workbook for free in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

Are you a lifelong learner?

I love to learn new things and I’m always curious to know more. One of my favorite parts about being a newspaper reporter was being able to interview and talk to interesting people. I learned so much!

I’m excited to share my newest endeavor in lifelong learning. I was sent a Groza Learning Center Roots Booster workbook. It’s a strategic vocabulary building guide complete with activities and quizzes to help you improve your vocabulary.

The workbook is made for people like myself who love to learn and want to increase their vocabulary, homeschoolers, and anyone who recognizes the importance of learning root words.

If you can master root words, it will be beneficial for your entire life and especially so in your educational career. The book has helped countless students improve test scores and other vocabulary related challenges.

Looking through the workbook, I can see that there are a lot of roots that I already know but there are also many that I don’t know! Even as a college graduate, these are simple skills that I need to brush up on.

I like that the workbook has various activities based on the different ways of learning—visual, audio, hands-on, etc. This is such a great way to absorb the information.

I really look forward to completing this workbook and increasing my vocabulary and comprehension.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Believe in Yourself

A couple of weeks ago, I stepped on the scale to see a huge weight gain for the week. I was discouraged and disappointed in myself. The self-hatred cycle began.

It’s so easy for thoughts to spin out of control. In these moments, I can’t see to stop thinking about how much I hate myself, how much I’ve always hated myself, how incredibly worthless I am, and how I will never be able to change.

Yes, I feel this way simply because I am overweight.

It was one of those days where these thoughts overwhelmed me. There was no ebb and flow in the tide of these thoughts, but it was an incessant crashing of negativity on my soul that left me feeling desperate.

Anyone who has been there knows how it feels. You’re helpless. Moments like this reaffirm that you are not good enough—you never have been and you never will be.

I was pushing my cart through Wal-Mart on a grocery trip, resisting the urge to buy Cadbury eggs and stuff them into my mouth when I was alone where no one could judge me. I didn’t want to look at anyone, nor did I want anyone to notice me. I imagined that everyone around saw me as a lazy, fat slob and these thoughts continued to painfully wrench at my heart.

I glanced up from my self-despair just in time to see a fellow overweight woman. She wore a shirt which read,

Yes! That is exactly what I lacked. Positive beliefs in myself.

Having a lifelong struggle with being overweight becomes a part of your identity—a part of yourself that you wish you could leave in your past but it follows you around like a relentless stalker.

Even on the good days, when you’re running full speed ahead, salty-sweat dripping from your reddened face—you can hear the heavy footsteps behind you reminding you that the moment you stop running is the moment that your fatness will overtake you again. It’s always there, lurking and ready to strike and latch onto your ample thighs.

I believe that I will always struggle with my weight. I think some of us are just predisposed to the struggle—it doesn’t mean we can’t effectively get our weight under control, it just means that we’ll probably always have that stalker and we’ll always hear those footsteps following, but we have to keep running.

But this belief doesn’t have to be the sole belief that I have about myself—and it shouldn’t be.

Believe in yourself.

I began to realize, “hey—I’m a pretty decent human being, even if I am fat.” I believe that there is so much more to myself than my exterior. I am kind, compassionate, a loving wife, a good mother, a thoughtful friend, and I believe that I have so much more to offer the world than just what can be seen by looking at me.

I believe that I am more than my struggle with obesity.

I believe that my family and friends realize this even in the times when I do not.

There are times when we are simply supported by the positive beliefs that our loved ones have about us—like an ever faithful crutch to lean on in times of desperation.

But if we want to continue becoming better, we eventually have to look up from our struggles, gather our strength and courage, and begin to believe in ourselves the way that we are meant to—with love and gratitude for this precious gift of life.

I am more. You are more. Believe it.

Monday, March 21, 2016

I’m Hosting a LuLaRoe Pop up Boutique! Featuring Plus Sizes (and more)

Have you heard of LulaRoe clothing? They have super cute styles and I am really excited to host a LulaRoe Pop up Boutique via Facebook! This means that you can join in on the party and browse through the clothing too. See the invitation below for all of the details. You can join my Facebook group for the party here or by clicking on the invitation below.

What can you expect? Lots of colorful leggings, dresses, skirts, and tops in misses, plus, and girls sizes.

The clothing is modest and stylish, for those of you who are concerned about that.

The quantities are limited so you don’t have to worry about everyone having your outfit, but it also means the clothes go fast!

I can’t wait to see what patterns will be available for my party!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to buy anything if you join the party! Just take a look around.

I hope to see you there! Leave me a comment when you’ve joined!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Inspiration Sunday

Friday, March 18, 2016

Weigh in Day

I gained .8 lb. today. This is in addition to the weight I gained last week. Eek.

The quote below sums up what’s going on with me lately.

I start to doubt myself and that leads me to not taking action to become the person I want to be. When I’m not taking action then I’m not getting the results. End of story.

Believe it or not, I am feeling more positive and motivated today than I have been in about a week. Yesterday, I got to spend the morning by myself—I just went to Target and Kohl's, but it seemed to be just what I needed.

In the afternoon, I took Little Miss Sunshine for a walk to the park and then chased her around the park. She is definitely going to help me get my steps in this summer! I actually reached 10,000 steps yesterday for the first time since January 27th.

I always seem to dread working out but then when I get activity in it makes me feel so much better. That’s what happened yesterday. It was nice to be out in the sunshine and moving around. This weekend is supposed to be colder, but next week we will have some warmer days and I plan on getting outside as much as possible!

I’ve had a productive week. I rearranged the living room and have been working on the play room area. I finally found shelves I like and that is making a huge difference! Everything is finally coming together and looking more organized.

I need a few more things for the walls and I’m looking for a rug. I also want to paint my desk, which is on the office side of the room. Little by little.

It is nice to have the energy to accomplish so much! It’s crazy to think that a year ago I was having a hard time just functioning from day to day because of postpartum depression.

I couldn’t keep the house clean and didn’t have the energy to do much more than take care of Little Miss Sunshine and sit in my chair. Whew. I’m so glad to know that wasn’t “normal” and that makes me appreciate feeling so well now.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask by Valentia Review #ValentiaUltraPlumpingHydrationMask

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge in exchange for a review. Opinions are mine alone.

I have to admit, the name of this product kind of scared me a little bit! I certainly don’t need any extra “plumping”, especially not ultra plumping!!

But all kidding aside, this is a great product. I have reviewed Valentia products before and I always love them. It’s a great brand with quality products. Even better, the product is paraben free.

The Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask is really easy to use. Simply rub it onto your face and leave it on for 15-30 minutes. It tingles at first, which is normal. Once the time is up, wipe it off with a warm wash cloth.

I noticed my face was super soft and felt very well moisturized after using this. I also noticed a nice “glow”.

I had fun trying this product out and I recommend it!

Do you ever use masks, such as this one, in your beauty routine?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

#ShowerBouquet Lace Mesh Shower Poufs/Sponges XL Review

Disclaimer: I received this product free of charge in exchange for a review. All opinions are mine alone.

I’m an avid shower pouf user. I just don’t feel like I get clean when I’m using a wash cloth—there’s something about the extra suds that the shower pouf creates that makes me feel like I’m getting cleaner.

I love the Lace Shower Pouf Bouquet that I was sent. The pastel colors are perfect for spring and the overall style is feminine. The pack comes with yellow, pink, blue, and purple.

These are really good quality too. I often have a bad time with shower poufs quickly falling apart—but these have worked wonderfully.

This bouquet would be a great part of a spa gift basket. I could definitely see something like this being used at a bridal shower too! There are a lot of creative ways you could arrange these to make it look like a flower bouquet.

Are you a shower pouf user?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Taking Action

Hello everyone!

I didn’t get around to posting about my weigh in on Friday because we were traveling back home from my parent’s in Illinois. But my weigh in was nothing to write home about. Actually, it was pretty horrific.

So I am taking action. I made an appointment with my therapist. I haven’t been back since that first appointment. I ended up canceling two appointments and never rescheduled. I feel like I’m at a point now where I need help.

I know it has to be possible to conquer this. I know that my program works and that I see incredible results when I actually do it. And it’s not even hard to do! I enjoy it. But I allow myself to eat “emotionally” and that destroys any hope of making progress.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that this has been an issue of mine since I was a child. I feel like this is the reason that I cannot lose weight and keep it off. I have never addressed the psychological side of why I eat and turn to food. So that’s what I’m trying to do by going to therapy.

I look forward to going again. When I was going for postpartum depression, I made a lot of progress with myself in regard to personal development. It’s really, really helpful and I highly recommend therapy.

Hubby and I completed a cleanse day from Friday-Saturday and then got off track again. So I am making a huge effort to get back to the basics today and remain strong. So far so good!

I am also going to get to the gym this week. It has been far too long! It seems like it has been one thing after another lately. Of course there were a few excuses in there too.

We have been sick so many times this year. It’s unreal. Baby girl was sick most of last week and hubby has been home sick this morning. I haven’t been feeling quite right either, but haven’t really felt incredibly sick.

Spring has certainly sprung! My tulips are up. The weather has been warm, although it is supposed to be rainy this week. I hope to get outside more soon and go for walks with Little Miss Sunshine.

That’s about all for now!

How are things going for you?

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Story of a Trip to Winnipeg

February can be a difficult month for weight loss. Valentine’s Day is just another reason to celebrate and before you know it, you’re into all kinds of bad habits like eating out too much and night time snacking.

In the middle of this, we planned a little trip to visit friends who had moved up to Canada. I knew that meant we’d be eating out even more, so I knew that I needed to find an easy way to keep track of calories when I wasn’t cooking at home.

I’d heard some good things about the Lose It! app. The food diary is one of the easiest to use. The feature I was really looking forward to was its lists of calorie counts for a lot of restaurants and grocery store brands. It has a barcode scanner, too, for packaged foods, but I’ve been doing my best to avoid getting too many pre-made meals. It also lets you measure out your home made meals and save them for when you make them again.

But then my phone died! That was so frustrating because I like to take photos with my phone. Not to mention my plans to get into the habit of using Lose It. I decided to wait until the trip to replace my phone because my husband’s friend had told him that with the exchange rate, he could save a lot buying across the border. I thought it might be worthwhile for something as big ticket as smartphone.

Winnipeg was super cold on Friday and Saturday that weekend, but nothing we weren’t used to. It was a public holiday in Canada, so we were going to go phone shopping early—but then I decided I might as well save more money and try to find a used phone. I didn’t have a lot of time to browse around online classifieds, but my husband’s friend told me that my best bet in Winnipeg was Kijiji. It was how he’d found most of his apartments until he bought his house.

I didn’t get to use the calorie counter the way I’d wanted to, but we went to some great places in Winnipeg. When I finally found someone selling their phone that I wanted to buy, she said we should meet at a coffee shop that also sold books on Westminster Avenue. They also had these sandwiches made out of Onigri rice between seaweed, which turned out to be pretty light on calories once I
finally got that app running.It was a pretty good price, especially with the exchange rate, but I think the best part of it all was finding this gem in a place I’d never been to before.

It was a long drive for a short trip, but Canada was an adventure. My husband got a chance to reconnect with an old friend and I got to explore the city a little bit.

Monday, March 7, 2016

What’s Happening Lately - Picture Post

The weather is absolutely beautiful today! We spent some time outside without even needing to wear coats. I cannot wait for spring to arrive!

Here are a few pictures of what we have been up to lately.

We’ve been spending time at my parent’s for a couple of weeks, which is always fun!

Little Miss Sunshine has become grandma’s little shadow!

LMS is at that very observant stage and likes to imitate everyone. When she saw papa lay down on the couch with a blanket, she had to do the same thing.

She also thinks she’s hiding if she can’t see anyone! It’s the cutest thing. Here she is hiding.

I found the cutest pair of shoes! I have been wanting a pair of Sperry’s for a long time but haven’t found any that were the right price. I’m loving these!

Hubby and I checked out a local coffee shop called the Wired Cafe. They were just closing, but we had just enough time to order a latte. It had a nice atmosphere, but the coffee wasn’t amazing or anything.

We visited a cute little BBQ place too. I would like to go there again sometime—the food was delicious.

We celebrated my mom’s birthday early. She loves white cake, so that’s what she got!

I’ve been enjoying the new pina colada shake! The flavor takes me right to the beach. I experimented by making 1/2 a strawberry shake and 1/2 a pina colada shake and mixing them together—that was fabulous too!

What have you been up to lately?


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