Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Facebook Live Event

Comment below if you're in and I will send you a Facebook event invite! There will be prizes given away and it's a really easy way to learn about the nutritional program that I follow.

It's all in your head

At a conference in Chicago last week, I learned a strategy to pick myself up in those times when I'm feeling especially unmotivated. Our thoughts have so much power over us and the great thing is that we can control our thoughts. It takes practice and mindfulness, but it can be done.

It simply means taking a negative thought and switching it around to a positive one. Susan Sly shared this strategy and I found it so helpful that I had to share with you all.

The Concept

  • Circumstance: This is an irrefutable truth.
  • Thoughts: Anything you can change.
  • Feelings: Our thoughts are catalysts for our feelings.
  • Activities: Our feelings are dictated by our activities.
  • Results: The outcome.

The Application

Here is an example of how this works. You begin with how you are currently feeling & thinking. This is an example of how I was thinking and feeling this morning.

Circumstance: I'm overweight and out of shape which takes a toll on me emotionally. I've recently found my mojo again and am doing well. I woke up tired and moody not wanting to work out.

Thoughts: I'm tired and I want to keep sleeping. I'm going to fall back into bad habits and never become the person that I want to be. I always fail.

Feelings: I feel guilty for not wanting to get up and work out. I begin to feel discouraged and disappointed in myself that I can't seem to stay motivated.

Activities: I sit in bed and scroll through social media.

Results: I end up feeling discouraged, moody, and disappointed in myself.

Shift Your Paradigm

For the second part of this activity, you will switch your thought pattern to change your results.

Circumstance: I'm overweight and out of shape which takes a toll on me emotionally. I've recently found my mojo again and am doing well. I woke up tired and moody not wanting to work out. (remember this is an irrefutable truth so it does not change.)

Thoughts: If I'm going to change and become the person that I want to be, I have to be consistent in my efforts even when I don't feel like it. I'm not going to be super motivated and excited every day, that's just the way it is. Change is possible.

Feelings: I begin to feel motivated and hopeful. Maybe I can do this after all. I know I'll feel better after working out.

Activities: I get out of bed and go to the gym to workout.

Results: After a couple of minutes on the treadmill I'm feeling much more inspired. I actually get in a longer workout than usual. I took the time to get a massage on the Hydro Massage Bed just so I could be good to myself. 

As you can see, the results are so much better because I took action and changed my thoughts. I am going to try to use this strategy whenever I feel like quitting, bingeing, or going off track.

What thought processes can you change around?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Personal Development Virtual Book Club

I hope that you can join us as we read and discuss The Magic by Rhonda Byrne! Please send me a message or leave a comment below if you're interested!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Getting after it!

Hey everyone! Sorry I've been a little MIA for the last week...but it's for a good reason.

I attended an event in Chicago this past week that I found very motivational for me. We received training from Susan Sly and she was amazing. Her words really hit home for me. It seemed like she really understands the reasons for being overweight--I believe she even stated that all extra weight is emotional. As you know, I completely agree.

I will be sharing some of the break throughs that I had while I was there--hopefully this week! Isn't it amazing how someone can say just the right words?

Anyways, I have been fired up! Yesterday was my first day to be back on track and I feel like my mind is so much clearer now. I have focus again and I'm ready to meet my goal!

I actually decided to stay at my parent's for the week with Little Miss Sunshine. I decided it would be the perfect opportunity to get a good start. My mom does the same weight loss program as I do, so I have the support that I need.

Another bonus is having someone to watch the little one so that I can workout! I set my alarm for 5:30 this morning so that I could get up and go to the gym before Little Miss Sunshine woke up. I am SO proud of myself for doing so!

I came up with a million excuses for why I should skip my workout.

My Fitbit died. I'm having allergy/asthma issues. I only got 5 hours of sleep. I could workout in the afternoon. I'm tired. I have a business meeting. I forgot my earbuds. 

I could go on and on and on.

I'm off to a good start!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Mini-Vacation to Nebraska

We took a long weekend and headed to Nebraska for a mini-vacation. Hubby's cousin graduated from high school so we took it as an opportunity to get away and also attend her graduation party.

{A beautiful ombre sky on our drive.}

It was great to get away and just spend time together as a family. We spent the night in Sioux City and did a little shopping the next morning before heading out to the graduation party.

Little Miss Sunshine was super excited when she spotted this carousel at the mall. So of course I had to take her for a ride while daddy shopped at Scheels. She loved it.

She doesn't like having her picture taken and will turn her head away if she notices me taking a picture...

After the graduation party, we headed to Omaha. Fun fact--I was born near Omaha, Nebraska. We didn't have a lot of time to do any exploring, but it looks like it could be an interesting place to visit and spend some time in the downtown area. 

The next morning, we headed to the Omaha Zoo. Hubby and I visited the zoo shortly after we were married and that has been almost 10 years ago! It's a really nice zoo and rated one of the top zoos in the world. Little Miss Sunshine was so excited about going to the zoo.

The mom of the year award goes to me--I packed everything we would need for this trip and then left most of the essentials at the hotel. Way to go, huh? 

So we ended up having to spend $10 for sunscreen at the zoo and to buy Little Miss Sunshine a hat too! It was a really sunny day and I didn't want her getting burned! I felt so unprepared! As you can see, she didn't like the hat and wouldn't keep it on--so more money wasted.

We got to see the two baby elephants at the zoo--they were so cute!

I didn't get a lot of pictures, which is fine because we've all seen zoo animals before.

It was super busy the day that we went. I heard one person say, "I haven't been in a line this long since Black Friday at Walmart". Hahaha. Yep, pretty much explains it!

One of my favorite parts of the zoo is the butterfly exhibit. You walk into a greenhouse type environment and there are all different kinds of butterflies flying around. There are these beautiful bluish purple butterflies that live in South America. It's so pretty in there!

We made it through most of the zoo, but not all of it. There's only so much that a two year old can handle before she's ready for a nap! We did a lot of walking, but would you believe that I didn't even get credit for it on my fitbit? Ugh--I hate that it doesn't track when I'm pushing a stroller and I forgot to put it in my pocket!

I guess the trip to the zoo really tired me out too because we went back to the hotel and I took a four hour nap. Whaaaattt? I felt great when I woke up though.

We stopped at Jethro's BBQ in West Des Moines on our way home. I've always wanted to give it a try but we're usually in the Des Moines area on the weekend and the wait is too long. It was pretty good, but nothing spectacular. Maybe I would have enjoyed it more if Little Miss Sunshine wasn't being so naughty! So is the life of a parent...

So that was our trip! Nothing too exciting, but it was so nice to get away.

Monday, May 16, 2016

The 'Keep Fresh' Purse Kit - #GIVEEXTRAGETEXTRA #Walgreens #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GIVEEXTRAGETEXTRA #Walgreens #CollectiveBias

Is there anything more refreshing than the arrival of spring after a long, cold winter?

Flowers are blooming, the grass is green again, and you're finally able to spend time outdoors enjoying it all. After being cooped up in the house all winter, it's revitalizing to spend time under the bright blue sky, with the wind blowing against your face, and the sun warming your skin.

If you're like me, you are probably spending a lot more time outside and being more active in general. There will be trips to the zoo, amusement parks, outdoor date nights, camping, outdoor sports, and so on.

Keeping fresh while actively living life to the fullest can be a challenge. Your problem is solved with this 'Keep Fresh' purse kit. It's also a handy kit to have in your car for when you're on the go, or in your desk drawer at the office for after a walk on your lunch break or after a business meeting over dinner--wherever you might need a quick refreshing.

{Pick a Bag}

Pick a cute bag to hold your 'Keep Fresh' essentials. It can be as big or small as you want it to be. You can find inexpensive cosmetic bags, like the one above that I used. If you're like me, you probably have a bunch of unused cosmetic bags that you've somehow accumulated over the years. It seems like they're often "free gifts" with purchase for makeup or facial care products. This is a great use for them!

{The Contents: Deodorant}

Travel sized deodorant is a must have in your 'Keep Fresh' kit. Have you ever left the house and suddenly realized that you somehow forgot to apply deodorant? It's horrifying. What a relief to have extra deodorant with you! Even on the good days, you can sneak in a workout during a break at work and reapply your deodorant so you still smell fresh.

{The Contents: Body Spray}

Sometimes you need to smell fresh and sometimes your space needs to smell fresh--body spray can serve both purposes. Don't forget to be mindful of the people around you, just a little bit will do-- use too much and you'll have the opposite of fresh.

{The Contents: Cleansing Wipes}

Cleansing wipes can be so refreshing. Apparently, I inherited a pesky 'sweat-a-lot' gene and it's both disgusting and embarrassing. If you're spending the day outside and you've been hot and sweaty--these can be so refreshing. You can workout and play like a beast and, with the help of cleansing wipes, you can leave smelling like a beauty.

{The Contents: Extra® Gum Polar Ice®}

Most of us probably carry gum around with us, but not everyone has gum to spare! Help your friends stay fresh with the new Extra® 35-stick pack available at Walgreens--you'll have enough gum to share. I found it in the candy & gum aisle.

This gum is especially handy because it comes in durable packaging (that's also recyclable). It's a clear plastic case that firmly seals shut. I hate it when my gum gets lost (and ultimately wasted) at the bottom of my purse because it falls out of the package-- this new packaging fixes that problem. 

{The Contents: Dental Flossers}

You could carry around a toothbrush and toothpaste, but I don't know a lot of people who do that. These dental flossers will prevent you from having that piece of meat stuck between your teeth all day. Flossing is good for you and many of us don't do it enough. Convenience makes flossing a lot easier. A quick flossing with one of these guys, pop a piece of Extra® Gum Polar Ice® (or Spearmint) in your mouth, and you're good to go--fresh breath and all.

With these essentials, you should be fresh all season long! 

What would you put in your 'Keep Fresh' purse kit? Is there an item that you find yourself wishing you had but always forget to keep in your purse? Will you include Extra® Gum Polar Ice® or the Spearmint flavor? How will you #GetExtraGiveExtra?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Still Trying

I sat down to write a post every day this week, but I felt like I didn't have anything to say. In reality, I probably have a lot of things that I should be saying but instead I'm not taking the time to process and make sense of my behaviors lately.

I have continued to struggle. Even adding WW to my plan isn't really helping. It's not the plan, it's just me. I have a hard time not hating myself even more for that.

It's the same old cycle and I want it to end so badly. However, I can't seem to let go of old habits and using food as my coping mechanism.

I've felt defeated lately, like I will always be this way. Always fat and dealing with the shame and guilt of it all. Would I feel better about myself if I were thin? I'd still be me but just in a different body. Maybe I'd still hate myself.

I actually researched weight loss surgery this week because I was feeling so desperate. But I reminded myself that I'd be worse off if I don't fix the real psychological problem. I'd end up gaining the weight back and probably be worse off health wise. It's just not worth it. I have to fix the real problem first.

Maybe I had hoped that I would fix this problem quickly. It's a lot more complicated than that. Have you seen that quote going around that says, "I woke up one day and decided I couldn't live like this anymore, so I changed. Just like that."? I feel like it should be like that--that I wake up, make a decision to change, and all is done.

Here's the thing--I wake up every single day and tell myself that I'm going to change. Some days I do really well and others I fail miserably. There's never a day that goes by when I wake up and say, "I'm going to eat whatever I want today"--never. The good intentions are always there.

Anyways, this is where I'm at right now--back in the same place I've been in for years. I'm still not giving up though.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Purr-Rect Litter Box Setup #YouGottaBeKittenMe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #YouGottaBeKittenMe #CollectiveBias

You've heard the stories that people tell about their cats. They usually include something like this, "Little Whiskers is so smart. He thinks he's a person. He knows how to make me coffee (2 pumps caramel, 2 sweeteners) and fetches my newspaper every morning." And you're just sitting there like, "riiiiight."

People love their furry friends like they love their children. These exaggerated cat stories are the equivalent of the "My son is an honor roll student" bumper stickers.

If you're a cat owner you have to admit that you've been guilty of gushing over your four-legged fur-ball of joy a time or two. It's ok, it just means that you're smitten with your kitten--you're a good mama to your babies.

Let me tell you a few stories about my feline friends.

My long-haired, lion-cut cat named Dudley thinks he's a dog. He does, I swear.

Dudley also thinks he's a person. I mean, he can open a door by reaching his paw up and turning the knob. I kid you not. Dudley is also a genius--the Einstein of felines.

And then we have Daisy. She's all sass and 100% cat.

She does not think she's a dog. She does not think she's a person. She acts likes a cat, thinks like a cat, and meows like a cat. She's comfortable in her own fur. She's persistent--annoyingly so.

She's a princess and she knows it.

When Little Miss Sunshine was born, I was so afraid to have Dudley and Daisy near her because I was nervous they would try to hurt our beautiful baby girl. It didn't take long before I realized that Dudley and Daisy are the ones who need protecting from the wild-child that hubby and I created.

Can you see the look of fear when they hear the toddler coming?

These two cats of ours are with us for better or for worse. They often drive me crazy, but I'll be sad when they're gone. Pets are sneaky like that--they find a way into your heart and become a part of the family.

Cats are easy to take care of because they do most of the work themselves. One of the few responsibilities a cat owner has is to provide a litter box and to keep it clean. Don't worry if you don't have a good litter box set up--cats are resourceful and they'll find somewhere else to do their business. No biggie, right? Eek!

Many of us probably didn't even think twice when we set up a space for the litter box, but it turns out that cats are very sensitive to such things and will let you know if the litter box is not up to their standards. And rightfully so, you wouldn't like doing your business in an uncomfortable space either.

Here are a few tips for the purr-fect litter box set up. Your cats will thank you for considering their litter box needs.

Size Matters

Make sure the litter box is large enough for your cat. It should be about the length of your cat and wide enough for him/her to turn around in. If the litter box isn't big enough, you may find your cat missing the box. Make sure the sides are easy to step into, especially if you have an older cat or a kitten. On the same note, the litter should be anywhere from 2-4" deep, and less for kittens.

No Lids Allowed

A litter box with a lid is the equivalent to a hot and stuffy port-a-potty for humans. Just, Ew. Cats have an extremely powerful sense of smell and a lid simply traps the odors inside, making it un bearable.

Here's the Scoop

I'm not a fan of cleaning the litter box, but I don't know anyone who is. The best practice is to scoop the litter box twice per day. Keeping it clean makes it more comfortable for your cat and also ensures he/she can find a spot to do their business in the box instead of elsewhere. While it may be tempting to use a plastic liner or garbage bag, cats do not like the noise and may avoid the litter box because of it.

Give it a Good Scrubbing

At least once a month, empty the litter box and scrub the box with mild soap and water. Don't use soap with a strong scent as it will be bothersome to the cat's senses.

Location, Location, Location

Picking the perfect location for the litter box is key. There should be at least one box on each level and it should be easy and convenient to get to but also provide your cat privacy.

Be sure to keep the litter box location separate from the eating area-- you wouldn't want to eat in the bathroom. On another note, the location should be relatively quiet and away from any loud noises (think appliances).

The location of the box should give your cat a maximum visual advantage so he/she is not ambushed by an opponent (i.e. another cat, dog, toddler). The corner litter box (shown above) is perfect for this reason.

Do Yourself a Favor

Nobody wants their house to smell like cat poo. One way to avoid this is to keep the kitty box away from any heat source (like the furnace). The heat will cause the odor to become stronger.

Another great way to keep the odors down is to use Fresh Step Total Control with the Power of Febreze because it contains Borate Technology, which prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria. This doesn't mean the litter has a strong "scent" either, it just has the odor controlling properties of Febreze.

I found Fresh Step Total Control with the Power of Febreze in a 42 lb. bag in the pet supplies aisle at Sam's Club--which is the only place it's sold. It's resealable too--making it easy to store. From 5/11 - 6/5, a $3.50 off coupon is automatically loaded on your Sam's Club card if you're a member.

Pick a litter box location with a floor surface that's easy to clean. Obviously, it's not a good idea to put the litter box on carpet or a porous surface. 

A Plus One

The general rule is to have one litter box per cat, plus one more. This rule applies to each level of the home too. If you have multiple cats, they may or may not use the same litter box. Some cats prefer to use one litter box to urinate and a separate litter box to defecate. It's important to provide options for your cat.

Thanks to Sam's Club, I was able to donate $100 to Last Hope Animal Rescue--a non-profit animal rescue organization in Cedar Rapids, IA which provides foster homes and adoption services for cats and dogs. What a great organization!

Go ahead and brag about your cat in the comments! What does your little whiskers do that's special?

Changing Things Up: Adding in Weight Watchers (again)

I’ve been thinking about adding Weight Watchers back into my life for a while. I am not quitting my Isagenix plan by any means—I am in love with the product and how it makes me feel. But being that I am trying to learn how to have a healthy relationship with food, I thought that adding in Weight Watchers might be a good idea.

I’ve been struggling since February, and not because Isagenix doesn’t work. I just lost my mojo—despite seeing incredible results. I’ve since discovered that it’s because I struggle with Binge Eating Disorder and despite whatever efforts I’ve ever made to lose weight (many times with success)—I always fall back into these habits whenever I have something going on in my head which triggers my disordered eating.

I am continuing therapy and have seen progress, albeit very slow, by doing so. It’s a process. I have to change the way that I think about food. I have to be mindful of every bite. I have to learn to find a new way to cope with emotions and to find comfort. That will take time. I’ve been fostering these habits for 20+ years and I can’t expect to change over night.

One thing I’ve started to do is to think about food differently. I’m trying to eliminate the “good” or “bad” food concept. It’s just food—it doesn’t have any impact on my value as a human being.

For example, while dining out recently I ordered a side salad and a small order of garlic parmesan fries. I rarely eat fries and the garlic parmesan part just sounded amazing.

It took me a long time to figure out what to order and it was because I was being very mindful. I finally settled on just ordering two items ala cart because it’s what I really wanted and was the amount of food I could eat without over indulging.

I didn’t feel stuffed afterwards. I felt satisfied. I enjoyed that meal more than any meal I’ve had in a very long time. I tried not to beat myself up for eating fries, a perceived “bad” food in my book.

For me, it’s about realizing that the 20th bite, when I’m actually well past full, never tastes as good as the 1st or 2nd bite tastes. It’s about realizing that the first 19 bites did not make me feel better, so continuing to eat to try to find comfort is not working. I seem to think that the more I eat and the faster I eat will somehow satisfy whatever emotional hunger I have. It never, ever does—and it’s realizing that which is inspiring me to change my habits.

Starting Weight Watchers will help me learn to eat the right portion sizes again and to be more mindful of the impact that the food is having on my body. It will help influence my food choices.

A lot has changed since I followed Weight Watchers last! There are no longer PointsPlus values but points are now called SmartPoints. It seems that the calculation of points includes calories, saturated fat, sugar, and protein.

I finally made the decision to add WW to my current plan when I saw that you can get 3 months for 55% off today since it’s Cinco de Mayo. You can sign up here. 3 months gives me a good amount of time to decide if my modified plan is working for me or not!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Don’t Give Up


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