Week 3 – Nutrition is Important!

I have spent the last two weeks re-learning how to fuel my body for optimum workout performance. Apparently, Sonic Cherry Limeaids and Snickers candy bars don’t help build much muscle. Who knew? 😉

For the first time in my life, I have found something I feel like I can sustain long-term. It’s not a fad, it’s not a magic potion, no pills, surgery or anything of the sort. It combines clean eating in the kitchen – 5 meals a day that include 20-25 grams of protein and 15-20 grams of complex carbs for every meal; and lifting weights 4-5 times a week.

I’m just starting week three – and what that means is that I feel comfortable in the kitchen and am not having to guess what makes up a good meal anymore…I’m feeling better because I am OFF OF SUGAR. This is huge, people. My knees aren’t bothering me like they were, and in general, I have more energy. I just FEEL better.

legdayToday I have my first try at the elliptical machine. I’ve been walking 30-40 minutes daily on the treadmill, which KILLS my knees. It’s a lot of jarring for someone who weighs as much as I do! I made it a whole 3 minutes before I died and had to go finish out my cardio on a bike. hehe. My goal is to work up to 20 minutes, as that is the warm up for me prior to lifting weights. This Saturday will be my first “real” day in the gym where I am doing something more than just walking or cardio. We are doing LEGS. I am feeling pretty good about that, as I have always had strong legs. My knees…not so much, but legs are strong. I’m concerned about squats and lunges with my knees creaking and popping the way they do. We may have to do some modifications until I can lose enough weight to do them properly.

All in all, I’m pumped about the next 6 months. I know I can make these changes and I have finally made up my mind that it’s worth it. I want to be around for my grandchildren and not be one of those grandmas that is so tired she can’t move, or too fat to ride rollercoasters. I want to look HAWT for my 50th birthday in 2.5 years! I want to be in the best shape of my life, and I’m ready and willing to make the changes that are necessary to make my “wishes” reality.

10/3/16 – 337.2lbs, size 26/28 (Starting weight)
10/17/16 – 325lbs, size 24

Seasons of Change

I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. ~ Anne of Green Gables

There is something about Fall mornings that turn temperatures cooler that bring about a desire for change in me. I usually spend summer in a heated haze – not moving, barely making it through the days because of the heat. I feel like a slug on the sidewalk, moving as fast as I can (which is slow enough to be fried to a crisp when the sun comes out), but never really making much progress.

But Fall…ah, that is a different story. Fall is a season of new beginnings for me. Every year for the past three years, I have started a “diet” of sorts in the Fall. Every year, I have managed to lose 20-30 pounds before Christmas, only to take a “break” and gain it all back, plus some. I have realized I can only stick with something by myself for about 90 days. That’s all I’ve got in me. I have come to accept that I am not a person of great fortitude, nor am I a self-motivator. This has been a hard realization. I *want* to be those things, but the truth of the matter is that I am not.

I have lived the past 40 of my 47 years as a “talker-downer”…being my own worst enemy. Who needed mean girls in high school? I was (and to this day still am) meaner to myself than anyone else could have possibly imagined. (And let’s just be clear about this – I did NOT need to diet in high school!) My sister-in-law used to make me pay a quarter for every time I said I was sorry, because I literally said it for everything. I felt like everything bad that happened was my fault, and even as a 7 year-old girl, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I don’t know why, either! That’s the crazy part…when did I start to loathe myself so?

So October 1st, I made a decision. I’m going to do my best (through MUCH prayer and submission to God) to stop talking down to myself. After all, He knit me in my mother’s womb…I am wonderfully and fearfully made. I am HIS creation! What am I saying about God when I crack jokes about my weight to others or hate on myself?

I’m not telling many people this, but I joined a gym. I’ve told a few close to me because I need and covet their prayers, and of course, my family knows. In addition to joining the gym, because *I* know myself and I wouldn’t go if I didn’t have someone or something waiting on me there…I joined a group of really fabulous ladies in a program called “Barbell Butterflies”. I just started Phase 1 yesterday, which is 3 weeks of nutrition and goal setting education and then 5 weeks of beginner weight training education.

Baby steps…Phase 2 will start in December, just in time for the Christmas holidays! (woohoo – I love me some accountability partners!) and end at the end of April. I hope to lose about 60 pounds by the end of April. I have a total of 150 to lose. Yes…I said 150. GULP. I can only think of it in terms of 50-lb increments. It’s the *only* way I can wrap my head around the fact that I have let myself go this far.

I was so excited on Saturday that my oldest daughter and I went to Walmart in search of some larger, roomier t-shirts for me. I’m wearing a women’s 26-28 right now, so I thought “Surely a men’s 3X will fit!” Grabbed a couple of cute looking t-shirts from the men’s rack and tried on the largest one first:

I might have shed a few tears right there in the dressing room. *sigh* I didn’t buy the shirt, but I should have…just as a “goal” shirt.

However, today is a new day…October is my “month of change” and I am not backing down from it this time. I got up at 4 am and went to the gym. Not only did I go to the gym, but I went IN! That’s actually pretty huge for me…because I hate going where people “might see me” working out (as opposed to seeing me NOT working out….I know, makes zero sense!). Everyone there is so encouraging and smiley-faced. Who knew!?! I can do this. And if I can do it, anyone can do it.


My 16 year old Daughter Started a Business with me

I have always wanted my kids to catch the entrepreneurial spirit, and it would seem that my oldest daughter, Katie, has done just that. We have opened  a Digital Pet Portait business called Digital Pet Portraits. We take your pet photos and convert them to digital paintings.


The website isn’t live just yet (I am working on it in between all the other design projects I have going at the moment!), but we do have a Facebook page, if  you’re so inclined to visit it and “like” it. We would really love to see you there!


We were also featured on author Suzanne Woods Fisher’s blog recently – in her “Dreams Coming True” feature section. We are really excited about what the future is going to hold for us and I’m hoping that within a year or two, the business takes off and she can take it over. 🙂

Here’s a Before and After so you get an idea of what we can do:


We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on these.

Trying Old Things a New Way

I got out my DSLR the other day – the sunlight was perfect for taking a few photos, and I haven’t shot anything since last year. I asked my oldest daughter, Katie, to grab her violin and come outside with me – she is such a trooper. I shot quite a few photos, but to be honest, it was hot. And we were getting sticky, so we decided to call it a day and start up again when the outside temps are not in the high 90’s. 🙂

We ended up with a couple of good ones, though:1009242_10201887312769505_1239872085_o


And you thought this was going to be a real post

A year has passed and still the blog sits empty, forlorn, forgotten. I think about it quite often – always have things I want to share, but never the time to formulate my thoughts into cohesive sentences.

I can’t believe I was ever considering writing as a career! What a hoot. 🙂 I’d have made it halfway through one book and then pfft!

The real reason I’m writing this post right now is to test comments from a blog feed. I’m trying to accomplish something for a client and had to actually WRITE something and publish it in order for the test to work. 🙂

So I’m here…alive and kicking. Sometimes screaming…but otherwise, doing very well. 🙂 Hope you’re all doing well and someday when the season of “busy” has passed, I hope you’ll visit and chat with me again. I’ve missed you all!

The real me…it ain’t always pretty

I have basically used the same photo of myself online for the last 6 years. Why? I don’t know…because I looked better five years ago?

I still had all my hair (surgery two years ago to remove a couple of benign tumors left me with two huge hairless patches of scalp — right in front of my head).

I wasn’t as heavy (too many hours spent doing web design at a desk, snacking and not getting enough exercise has wrecked me).

I was just….cuter.

Now I’m pre-menopausal and half-bald thanks to the dermatologist who shall remain unnamed. But I’m still me. I still have the same warped sense of humor I’ve always had – just with less hair and more flesh. 🙂

So why come clean now? Why not hide behind the facade of my 5-1/2 year old photo? Funny you should ask. I’ll tell you.

I’ve agreed to do an online LIVE seminar (my skin crawls everytime I type the word “live”) on blog and graphic design for my friends Amy Bayliss and Lisa Boyd of DIY Ministry.  I really wasn’t  planning on the LIVE part, but after much consideration, I decided I would. I mean, if I were paying for a seminar, I’d want to see the actual speaker — to connect. Besides, this is who I am now.

And it ain’t always this pretty:

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