Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WW: Family Photos

We recently had a mini-session with my good friend and photographer Stephanie Glover. It's been such a pleasure to watch Stephanie grow her photography from a hobby to a full time job. In fact, she's been so busy, this is the first chance we've had to get a session with her! If you live in or around Philly, give Steph a call. She does everything from newborns to boudoir (and assuming she does a good job on those boudoir pics you just might be back for a newborn session!). She's a joy to work with and I hear if you play Christmas music, she'll put on a show for you. But that's just a rumor I heard.

33.7_Page 1 
Thanks so much for the great shots, Steph! <3

Jenni had her family photos done too. Check them out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Take it off | Week 39: Resting on my laurels


So last week pretty much sucked. I came off the high of running my first 5k and dove head first, onto the concrete without a helmet, JackAss-style into the week of Thanksgiving. 

Monday brought sleepless nights, ear infections and vomit showers at 1am, all thanks to my three year old.

Tuesday was all about propping my eyelids open with toothpicks, emergency run to the doctor, grocery shopping for the Thanksgiving feast, dropping the sick kid off with my husband and going back to work to make up the missed time.

Wednesday was all whatever. I can't even remember Wednesday except that I stayed up late to clean the house like a maniac and prep all the food for Thursday. This included bringing out all the antique china that was newly covered in soot from our busted heater. We've all got black lung now. True story.

Did I mention how exhausted I was all week? Cuz I was. It also rained every stinking day so that meant no running. And that my friends is the down side to my ingenious plan of not paying for a gym. Doesn't pay to be cheap. I also fell out of tracking my food and chose to do it in my head. I think I kept track pretty well - but how can I really know?

I had huge plans last week as far as food was concerned. I was making and hosting the dinner and was making an alternate low-carb feast for myself. 

I made:
  • oven roasted veggies: broccoli, cauliflower and a few coined carrots (carrots are not really on plan and I picked around those) sprinkled w/ EVO and sea salt.
  • cauliflower mashed potatoes


And of course I made all the usual trimmings so as not to torture my guests. They aren't used to living low carb - I didn't want to set their world ablaze on a holiday. ;)

My game plan was to stick to the veggies, 'mashed potatoes', turkey and pecan pie tarts. I planned to sample other Thanksgiving treats - just a spoonful of sweet potatoes, a dollop of green bean casserole, a bite of baked pineapple. My overall plan for the holiday weekend was to maintain.

I greatly overestimated my ability to control my binge eating during my first major holiday and in the midst of a pretty shitty week. I've been doing really well at staying on plan and honestly I think I got a little cocky.

The day started out ok. I had three Medifast meals and then snacked on the veggie tray. But here's the thing - I really don't like holidays. (and let me apologize in advance, but mom and dad, this is just how I feel. I've got to be honest.) Every holiday is a glaring reminder of how broken our family is. And while I am used to it on a day to day basis, during a holiday, it is heart breaking for me.

When I was a kid my Mommom would host all of the holidays. She was an awesome hostess - great food, pretty table settings, candy dishes, poinsettias, matching china and silverware. From hors d'oeuvres to coffee and dessert, she had the holiday game down pat. She was the glue of our family. We were cracked and tattered then but even still we all came together for the holidays. She's been gone for about ten years now and it has never been the same. My mother made a few attempts but her poor health prevents her from really putting out all the necessary effort it takes to host a holiday dinner. Then my brother moved back in with my parents and spends the holidays locked in his room largely ignoring all of us when we visit. My brother's kids are with their mother and her family, my great aunt is with her church friends and all of my uncles are off with their significant others....or somewhere...who knows. So its the three of us, my parents and my grandmother - who delights in telling us endless stories about how miserable my grandfather made her when he was alive (and apparently still does in death).

Long story short, the brokenness of our holiday got the better of me and I indulged a bit more than I should have. I didn't go screaming off the reservation but my dollops and nibbles turned into large spoonfuls and chomps. I also had the eensiest sliver off pumpkin pie (like for real, it was paper thin. I can be ok with that, right?). 

Then we had left overs. ugh. I sent a lot of the left overs home with my parents but we still had some. And I shouldn't have. I should have just pretended they weren't there. And can I tell you what those left overs did to my stomach? Well, lets just say I'm not used to all that crap anymore and I got to read a lot of magazines over the weekend that I never have time to read. Between you and me, I don't think that Kardashian marriage is going to last much longer.

My big achievement though was sending any and all left over baked goods out of the house. That way there was no chance of it falling into my mouth.

So my point is, its not so much I am beating myself up over this. Because all things considered I did very well for my first major holiday on this plan. But what it has shown me is that for as far as I've come, I still have a lot of work to do. I realize now that even though I have a handle on every day binge eating, I still need to find a way to cope for bigger occasions. Currently I've decided that I do not want another big holiday dinner for Christmas. I told Christian that I would go out to dinner. I feel like I would have better control over my choices as I usually do really well with eating out. Also, there would be no left overs. We've also discussed going away for the holiday. 

In the end though, this would be a temporary solution. I can't avoid holidays forever and need to find a way to work past these things. And even though I stumbled with this holiday, believe it or not I feel more confident to handle the next. I no longer feel like I am going in blind. I'm more aware of what will trigger binge eating...now the challenge is finding a way to deal with it. 

I will keep trying until I get it right. I will not let it spiral until I have absolutely no control. I will let myself be ok with indulging from time to time, all the while keeping my eye on the goal and keeping myself in check. I will do this until I get it right once and for all.

• • •
Hold on to your hats. I'm down a whopping .2lbs this week. Yeah, you read that right: point two. I usually don't count such small increments as a note-worthy loss. But in an effort to cut myself a break, I'm taking it!

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

P.S. Could you please take a moment to vote for Christian and I for a wedding re-do contest? Voting is open through the 30th. You can read more about the contest here.

Month One: -16 lbs
Month Two: -5 lbs
Month Three: -6 lbs
Month Four: -6 lbs
Month Five: -6 lbs
Month Six: -8.5 lbs
Month Seven: -7.5 lbs
Month Eight: -5 lbs
Month Nine: -2 lbs
Week thirty seven: -1 lbs
Week thirty eight: -3 lbs (wowza!)
Week thirty nine: -.2 lbs (pssshhhhhh.)

Total: 66.2 lbs gone forever!
Current weight: 173.8 lbs
Distance from goal: 33.8 lbs!!

If you're interested in trying Medifast, I have a great deal for you! Use the code TURNIP50 to get $50 off an order of $275.
*FTC Disclosure: Medifast provides their products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products. All thoughts written here are mine. I love complaining so I would tell you if I didn't like something in the program. :)

~*Stephanie aka Goober Monkey*~
~*Jenni aka Jenni From the Blog*~
~*Eileen aka Bringing Up Bronwyn*~
~*Laura akaWho you are is Enough*~

Sunday, November 27, 2011

I need your help! I do re-do contest

Ok y'all, I am shamelessly begging for your help. My husband and I are in the running for a wedding package. Its the Mix 106.1 I do Re do contest. 
This is a huge wedding package including photography, clothing, hair and makeup, jewelry, venue, flowers and so much more. As much as we loved our wedding, it was very small, low, low, low budget and not quite at all what I had hoped for on our big day (and do I really need to tell the story about the cake? I could cry just thinking about it). In addition, I had not quite realized my weight loss goals I had at the time. And even though the day was magical, I did not quite have that 'beautiful bride' feeling that all of us should get.

Below is the story I submitted - I was only allowed something like 500 words. If you've ever read my blog before, you know that brevity is not my strong suit. I should win solely based on successfully accomplishing this task. 

I would super duper appreciate it if you could take some time to vote for us. Hell, if we win, consider yourself invited! I can invite up to 106 guests...and really most of our friends are inside the computer - so that leaves the guest list pretty open.

You can vote once a day through November 30th. (and you didn't hear this from me, but if you have more than one email address, you can vote multiple times.)

Thanks so much for taking the time and I promise I will not make it a habit of asking my readers for votes in silly contests. But this is a really, really, awesome contest!

P.S. I don't know why our photo is sideways on the site. but there is nothing I can do about it.
P.P.S. My husband's insane beard will be gone for the wedding. Its a sports thing. I think he's trying to see if it will come to life.


Friday, November 25, 2011

Y3W: Run, Izzy, Run!

runner1

My little track star did some laps last Sunday while waiting for me to finish my first 5k. Maybe she will pick it up too? ;)


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Local calls - 25 cents

Handset and telephone not included.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Off with the weight! Medifast Giveaway Winners!

Hey everyone!

So sorry for the delay. Our daughter had us up all night - I even got barfed off. Then there was the urgent trip to see the doctor this morning. Poor Izzy has an ear infection. :( But she's on an antibiotic, has numbing drops and got some super cool stickers from the doctor, so she's okay.

Are ya ready to hear who won?

First up, the instant winners. Y'all were quick. I really did not expect that riddle to be solved so quickly. Hmmm....maybe this means that I am not so quick.

I'm a place to rest your elbows & sometimes a rear end
I never leave my station, rarely crack and never bend
I'm sleek, tough and cool and keep track of what you eat
Be sure to clean me off and I won't tell when you cheat!


Answer: The kitchen counter!


The first two people to guess correctly were:


Jen & Lauren, you have 48 hours to email me at mommabrown08@gmail.com. If I don't hear from you I will have to pick a new instant winner and that would give me sad face. And after last night's no-sleep vom-fest, my face is already pretty sad. 

Now for the random winners! (Please note the I have taken the instant winners out of the equation.)
Here's the full list and the winners are:




Y'all have 48 hours to email me at mommabrown08@gmail.com. If I don't hear from you I will have to pick a new instant winner and that would give me even MORE sad face. It might give me sad butt too...and really, do we want to go there?

Congrats everyone! I hope you enjoy these products as much as I do. Choose health!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Take it off | Week 38: I am thankful



It seems all too appropriate that my first 5k, a goal I didn't even know I had, would be during a time of giving thanks. Because I am thankful. I'm thankful for this program, this opportunity, this new life and my renewed health. Most of all I am thankful for the community that I've found with this new life.

When I decided to start running, there was no great inspiration, epiphany or inspirational quote that made me want to get up and run. I would have been fine to ease along on this program and let the diet do the work. But really, how is that making a change? How would that help me maintain my goal weight? So I knew I needed to suck it up and exercise but I really didn't want to pay for a gym. I have sneakers - I guess I better start pounding the pavement. 

I knew if I was going to stick with this, I had to make it public. Boy oh boy I was kicking myself for that. As soon as I told a few people, and then a few more, that question started coming. 

'Did you sign up for a race?'

Uhhh....what? HELL NO.

But I decided to take the accountability to the next level. I told my dietitian Jen that I was doing the C25k and she immediately volunteered to meet up with me and do a 5k. Then my friends Amanda and Alison got on board as well. Week by week people on Twitter and Facebook cheered me on as I ticked off the C25k sessions. People offered advice and encouragement when I tried to convince myself that this just wasn't for me.

Finally the big day came and as I made the hour drive to Towson to meet my friends it felt like someone else was driving my car. Someone else was meeting these people and doing this race. Then when I was just about seven miles from the race and I came back to myself. I got a giant knot in my stomach and was sure that I would get a case of the runner's craps before I even got my bib because holy shit I am doing this. I am running a race....with other people.

Long story short: I kicked that 5k's ass. 

Here we are, just getting started. I was surprised to see Christian and Izzy in the stands. We had come separately and I knew he would be there. But I got the impression he would be late. It was a nice surprise to see them waving to us from the stands.


This wasn't easy. I was used to running around my neighborhood. I had a fantastic cheering squad coaching me along and I really don't know if I could have done it without Jen and Amanda. There were lots of steep hills that I think I might have given up on and walked had they not been there. 

I did have to stop once around mile two to catch my breath. I probably took the hill a little too quickly. And honestly I think the issue was more mental than physical. As I got near the top of this hill I knew I was going to have to walk. I started to get mad at myself for needing to stop and panicking about it a little. I tried to keep going but I couldn't catch my breath and by the time I stopped it felt like my throat was closing up. After a few deep breaths and a couple yards of walking, we all started running again. I made it to the end without stopping again. 

On the way back into the stadium I had the additional surprise of seeing one of my closest friends, Kiely, standing at the entrance. I nearly had a Gump moment when I saw her and had to stop myself from running over to hug her. 

My chip time was 35 minutes and 55 seconds. Not the 34 minutes I had hoped for but better than the 36 minutes I would have settled for. 


I am so thankful for my husband, Izzy and the friends that came out to support me. I wish I could really express how much it means to me. These ladies have been some of my biggest cheerleaders and I am proud to call them my friends. Even when I didn't have complete faith in myself, the faith they have in me fills in the gaps and keeps me going. 

I'm also thankful for all of you - the people on Twitter, Facebook and my readers. Your kind comments and words of encouragement were in my ears on Sunday. Thank you for taking the time to cheer me on. I hope I can return the favor one day.

This will be a day that I reflect upon often with pride, joy and gratitude and it will not be forgotten any time soon. Thank you for helping me achieve this goal.

• • •
Much to my surprise I am down a whopping 3lbs this week! Woo hoo! With the holiday coming up, I won't be looking for those big numbers next week. But I'm going to do what I can to come close. I'm making the meal this year and my poor guests....they have no idea what they are in for. Everyone will be getting a holiday version of Lean & Green! I know, I'm terrible.
I'm also going to throw some extra miles in there to safeguard against anything that accidentally falls into my mouth. ;)

So...I need to pick a new goal. Another 5k? Something completely different?

Oh and don't forget! Just a few hours left to try and win my Medifast giveaway! The winner will be announced tomorrow...whenever I get around to it. I promise, I will try to make it before noon (EST).

Month One: -16 lbs
Month Two: -5 lbs
Month Three: -6 lbs
Month Four: -6 lbs
Month Five: -6 lbs
Month Six: -8.5 lbs
Month Seven: -7.5 lbs
Month Eight: -5 lbs
Month Nine: -2 lbs
Week thirty seven: -1 lbs
Week thirty seven: -3 lbs (wowza!)

Total: 66 lbs gone forever!
Current weight: 174 lbs
Distance from goal: 34 lbs!!

If you're interested in trying Medifast, I have a great deal for you! Use the code TURNIP50 to get $50 off an order of $275.
*FTC Disclosure: Medifast provides their products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products. All thoughts written here are mine. I love complaining so I would tell you if I didn't like something in the program. :)

~*Stephanie aka Goober Monkey*~
~*Jenni aka Jenni From the Blog*~
~*Tiffany aka Momnom*~
~*Eileen aka Bringing Up Bronwyn*~
~*Laura akaWho you are is Enough*~

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sometimes a number means everything.

It's less than I've lost.
It's more than I have left to lose.
But this is my number.
It has so much more significance than numbers that have passed.
It gives more meaning to the numbers in my future.
This is my number. 
It tells the story of my journey.

The new answer to life ;)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Y3W: Having a moment

Every so often I have a moment. Its a moment when I realize how far I've come, not just in weight loss, but personal strength and growth.

So please, bear with me while I have a moment and bask in my accomplishment (because, believe it or not, its not something I do often).

This morning when I woke up I went into the bathroom to do my my daily 'search for the stray hairs on the face' hunt. 

If you are under 30 and not of a descent that involves darker complexions and hair, screw you, you won't understand. And I can hear you going 'ew'. Just you wait. Menopause will get you one day. And it will be full of random hair, sagging and hot flashes.

If you are over 30 and especially if you've ever gone through the hormonal changes of having a child, you know what I am talking about. Sadly, menopause will get us too but at least we have some experience.

Anyway, as I raised my hand up to pluck a hair, I glanced down at my chest (none there yet!) and I could see my freaking breast bone through my skin. Dont get me wrong, I don't really find this attractive but I was still in awe. Yet another part of my body that I have never seen or felt in my life. I ran my fingers over the bumps and I had this surreal moment that was simultaneously so clear. 

I'm doing this. 

I AM DOING THIS.

There is a real body under there. Its no longer just a vehicle to get me to...whatever......where ever...nothing really...

It wasn't until this morning that it dawned on me how much I really do hold myself back, how much I hide, how much I don't participate.

Actually all of that should be in past tense.

And that's not to say that I hid away in my house like the Elephant Man crying over my fatness. I just didn't do stuff. I wasn't depressed but instead had a blah attitude about life. My go with the flow-ness had turned into 'lets just hope you have enough buoyancy to keep your nostrils out of the water.

Life was all about the bare minimum.

Now its about pushing for more (ironically to get less).

I'm running a 5k on Sunday. Hell, I've been running 5k's all month. But I am going to be in an honest to goodness race with other people. My first official 5k race. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever,

EVER

in my life did I see myself in this place. I have never seen myself go beyond the bare minimum to get to what I wanted. And I am not even really sure what I want out of this running. Really I don't have a lot of desire to become a full fledged 'runner' but I don't want to stop and say this is enough.

I'm not sure what the maximum is either. But I do know that I am just getting started.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More animal abuse




Like any dog, his brain is in his stomach. This is just a preventative measure to keep him from being controlled by aliens.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Off with the weight! Medifast Giveaway!

Everyone with a weight problem has wished, at one time or another, that there was a magic pill for weight loss. And I'm sure there are more than a few of us who have watched Alice in Wonderland wishing that a sip of a potion would make us small.

Sadly neither of these things exist. But there are tools that can make the work a lot easier. You've been watching me shave of pound after pound since March. Now that you've seen I can do it, I want you to have a chance to try it too. I am giving away three new Medifast products to FIVE lucky winners!

Medifast introduced three new fantastic products today. 

Our NEW Medifast Hearty Vegetarian Sloppy Joe adds a robust “comfort food” appeal to your menu.Dig right in—this satisfying tomato-based Meal is so delicious, it’s hard to believe that each serving weighsin at just 110 calories! Enjoy for lunch, dinner, or any time you crave a heartier taste. It’s packed with proteinand fiber to keep you energized and feeling satisfied. 
My take: Sloppy Joe night at our house is one of my favorites, right up there with pasta night. I was excited to see this new product on the menu but I was also leery because of my love for the original. One of the things I've always enjoyed about Medifast foods is how they consistently surprise me. Ummm....this was so good that I pretty much ate it at every meal until I was left with nothing but an empty box. It was even better with the Garden Vegetable Crackers to dip in it.

A tangy and refreshing citrus Meal-in-a-drink!
Craving a thirst-quenching burst of flavor? NEW Medifast Orange Blend’s zingy citrus taste hits the spot—and provides 25 essential vitamins and minerals, with just the right balance of fiber and protein to keep you going!
My take:  If you enjoy drinks like Sunny D or Tang (I do!) you will love the Orange Blend drink. It mixes up very nicely, it's super refreshing and has that fun tangy zip that you get with orange juice. I love the Orange Blend as a mid-morning meal because often I find that I am not hungry but still need to eat. This is the perfect compromise and it helps me get even more water in for the day!  

A “fresh-baked” chocolate chip classic!
Sometimes, nothing will satisfy a sweet tooth but the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of a
warm chocolate chip treat. Our NEW Chocolate Chip Soft Bake takes just minutes to bake up in your
microwave or oven. It feels like an indulgence, yet is only 110 calories and offers all of the high-quality
protein present in every Medifast Meal.
My take:  Okay y'all, I'm going to make a confession here and get myself in trouble. The day this box showed up on my door I was having a bad day. Try as I might to overcome some emotional eating, I was losing the battle. So I whipped up one of these and put a dollop (yes, only a dollop) of sugar free cool whip on it for a small indulgence and...well, angels sang and I wanted to do really dirty things to whoever it was at Medifast that came up with this recipe.

In all, you have a chance to win 21 meals! This is a real opportunity to give this program a try for an entire week. My advice would be to try the 5&1 program when you win these products. You could do three Medifast meals a day, another small snack (100-110 calories), a Lean & Green dinner and then another evening snack (100-110 calories). It won't be the exact program but I am telling you, after a week you will be hooked! Don't forget, I lost seven pounds in my first week on the program. To the winners, I challenge you to see what you can do in a week. 

Ok, ok, I can feel you saying STFU, Kelly. How do I win?

Here is where I make you work :)

Mandatory entry:
First, you must answer this riddle.
I'm a place to rest your elbows & sometimes a rear end
I never leave my station, rarely crack and never bend
I'm sleek, tough and cool and keep track of what you eat
Be sure to clean me off and I won't tell when you cheat!
  • Comment with your answer to the riddle (No googling! And it's okay if you are wrong, at least you tried.)

The first TWO people to answer correctly automatically win. Three more winners will be chosen at random using random.org.

Optional entries:
Follow me on Twitter (um, why are you not doing that already?)
Follow Medifast on Twitter
Follow this blog through Google Friend Connect

Optional entries - you can do these once a day!

  • Give me Klout and tweet about it
  • Tweet that you've entered this give away:

I'm one awesome #MFer because I entered the @medifast giveaway on www.theturnipfarmer.com @mommabrown08
Listen up, because this is important: Be sure to leave a comment for EACH entry. The random winners will be chosen using random.org and will be based on the numbers corresponding with each comment. The more you comment with entries, the better your chances. One prize per person.

Contest ends midnight 11/21/11. Winner will be announce 11/22/11. Good luck!

Oh and it would be super awesome if you 'liked' my Facebook page and Medifast's. But you know, I can't ask you to do that as part of the contest. Stupid Facebook and their silly rules.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Take it off | Week 37: Inching along





Five days. 

FIVE!

I'm excited, anxious and so ready to do this...I think.

No, no. I'm totally ready!

I need to find some new pants, so a trip to Old Navy or Wal-Mart is in order for this week. All of my workout gear is literally falling off of me. I am down to my last pair of sweatpants that thankfully have a drawstring. It actually looks quite funny when I put them on because there is about two inches of fabric bunched up around my belly button.

Now that I've mastered running 3.1 miles without stopping (and believe me, I stop at 3.1 on the nose, promptly fall to the ground and pass out in a puddle of puke), I'm working on my time. I'm averaging an 11.3 minute mile. I'm pretty darn proud of that! I've only been doing this for about six weeks. I have amazed myself at how far I have come in that time.

It is interesting how my goals for this 5k have changed. Initially I just wanted to say I completed it, even if I had to walk parts of it. Then my goal was to complete it in 45 minutes, then 40. Now I will be happy to finish at 36 minutes but really I am pushing to complete in 34 minutes. Hopefully the wind will be at my back that day. :)

Lately I've been reflecting on the year a lot. I find myself thinking 'This time last year I was...' wearing a size 22, eating cupcakes all too frequently, fast food several times a week, never exercising but promising myself I'd start tomorrow. 

Frankly, I am pretty damn impressed with myself and the progress I've made since March.

I know that running a 5k is no Earth shattering event. But I've never seen myself as a runner and I've never dared to do more than daydream about being at my 'ideal' weight. But here I am, closer and closer to it every day. The scale is still limping along, I'm only down another pound this week. However I took my measurements two weeks ago and I'm very pleased with the results.


10/31/2011
Waist39"
Hips43"
Thighs25"
Arms14"
11/14/2011
Waist37"
Hips41"
Thighs24"
Arms13"

Damn that floppy skin! My arms and thighs would be even smaller if not for the skin. None the less, I am pleased with these numbers. Even if the scale isn't moving at the pace I'd like, at least I can still see progress.

I do have some disappointing news to report. I was a big ol' fail on the #mamavation Two week challenge campaign. I think it was too much all at once. Also that the exercises and the frequency was just too advanced for me right now. I was in so much pain after the first week. And it wasn't like a good  feel-the-burn kind of pain. It was a take-me-to-the-ER-for-a-morphine-drip kind of pain. I truly felt I was hurting myself more than I was helping. But I am not giving up on it. Even though the challenge is over I am going to introduce the exercises into my routine in the coming weeks. I think slow and steady is more my style. Its important to me that I work at a pace that I am more likely to maintain and this challenge just wasn't a good fit for me right now. Congrats to those of you that made it through!

• • •

Every week y'all come by to check on my progress and I thank you for that. It really keeps me going, the stories, the encouragement, the compliments. You've been as inspirational to me as you say I've been to you. I'm sure there are a few out there that are right on the edge of trying to lose weight and reclaim your health. Maybe you just someone to push you over the line? There's a little voice in there saying 'If she can do this then I sure can!'. You can. And tomorrow I want you to come back here and find out how you can win an opportunity to try Medifast for free. 

And be warned: I'm going to make you work for it a little - but I will make it fun! So you'll be back tomorrow, yes? Cause you, (yeah, I'm looking at you!) you can do this too.

Next week we are going to talk about holiday survival! Goodness knows I need all the help I can get with that.

Month One: -16 lbs
Month Two: -5 lbs
Month Three: -6 lbs
Month Four: -6 lbs
Month Five: -6 lbs
Month Six: -8.5 lbs
Month Seven: -7.5 lbs
Month Eight: -5 lbs
Week thirty three: -0 lbs
Week thirty four: -0 lbs <insert sad face>
Week thirty five: -1 lbs <insert happy face!>
Week thirty six: -1 lbs
Week thirty seven: -1 lbs

Total: 63 lbs gone forever!
Current weight: 177 lbs
Distance from goal: 37 lbs!!

If you're interested in trying Medifast, I have a great deal for you! Use the code TURNIP50 to get $50 off an order of $275.
*FTC Disclosure: Medifast provides their products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products. All thoughts written here are mine. I love complaining so I would tell you if I didn't like something in the program. :)

~*Stephanie aka Goober Monkey*~
~*Jenni aka Jenni From the Blog*~
~*Tiffany aka Momnom*~
~*Eileen aka Bringing Up Bronwyn*~
~*Laura akaWho you are is Enough*~

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nothing is safe...especially if it's mine

My husband is awesome. He's thoughtful, honest, romantic, funny, moral and smart.

He's also a bull in a china shop.

In our nearly eight years together he has broken more of my stuff than I care to recall. I've pretty much resigned myself to the fact that if I love it, thinks its cool, or if it was a rare find in a thrift store or I paid a lot of money for it, he will inadvertantly find a way to break, stain, tear, burn or otherwise mar my precious item. It's seems like it's always my stuff.

This week he broke these two items in a matter of about 24 hours.

It appears that this condition of breaking things is genetic. I stood in the kitchen with Izzy as she proudly held this sign in her hands, spelling out the word and watched it crumble in her hands.

It's probably my fault for liking stuff. Who needs stuff anyway?

::puts cool stuff on a higher shelf::

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Fever – First Response® Fertility Testing Kit (#CleverTTC #spon)

You know what fever I am talking about.

BABY FEVER!

Like all fevers do, baby fever fades as well. For me it’s usually sparked by Christian’s occasional musings over what we should call future baby.  It ranges from the ordinary (like the all too matchy Annabella) to the ridiculous (Axle, Chainsaw or Aljazair so we can call him Aljie [wtf?]). But we are always so busy and Izzy is…well, age three is a handful. So Christian and I keep pushing off plans to have another baby. First it was money, and then it was just bad timing, now it’s my weight loss journey. So now as I get closer and closer to my goal weight, the topic is very much back on the table. While I wouldn’t say I have the ‘fever’, I would say I have maybe a baby cold – a sniffle. I’m playing with budgets, making some preliminary plans for room arrangements and I even find myself testing out names.

With all these thoughts on future baby and the fact that becoming pregnant again within the next year becomes a reality – an exciting but scary reality - there are all the standard worries about bringing a new child into the world. Can we afford it? Will we mess this one up? Will Izzy be ok? Will future baby be as healthy as Izzy? Can we survive two Izzies?

And personally I worry about secondary infertility. Despite a very mild case of PCOS, we were very fortunate to able to easily conceive Izzy with no complications. But I am older this time. I just turned 34 and while that doesn’t make me ancient it does mean that there are a few less eggs in my basket – so to speak. I don’t whittle away the hours listening to a clock pounding away in my head but I am aware that we might not be so lucky this time around. So I’ll be taking matters into my own hands. I’ll be tracking cycles and utilizing the First Response® Fertilitytesting kits.
Now, I am kind of a dummy with matters of fertility. I have a good idea of how it all works but thankfully I’ve never had to delve into the world of hormone treatments, IVF and the like (and my heart goes out to those who have). So when I start reading about follicles and hormones and FSH levels, my eyes get a little buggy and I start to think ‘Maybe we should just get another dog.’ But like my weight loss journey, I need to take charge of our baby journey as well.

I had the opportunity to try out the First Response® Fertility kit. Even though it will be a few months before we try for another baby I’m glad to have a chance to try out the kit and get an idea of how my insides are working … or not. The kit tests your FSH levels – the hormones that stimulate your ovaries to mature and release egg(s). Laymen’s terms – the test is a good indicator of the quantity and quality of your egg supply and gives you an idea of your chances of conceiving.

In case you missed reproduction day in Health class, women are born with all the eggs they will ever have. So when you get to the bottom of your supply, your body has to work harder to push those eggs out. That is when your FSH levels will rise – not necessarily a good thing. If this is the case, when you use the First Response® fertility test, the results line will be similar in color or darker than the control line. That result might give you sad face and you might want call your doctor. But neither of the results is a guarantee of your ability to conceive, it just alleviates some of the guess work as to when you should try.

The test is super easy. It’s just like a pregnancy test in that you just pee on the stick (or dip, if you prefer). The differences are that you use this test during your period (on the 3rd day with first morning urine) and it takes a half hour for the results to be complete. Want to hear something funny? I was just as anxious in that half hour to see my results as I was when I took a pregnancy test. What is it about peeing on stuff that makes you climb the walls? If I could have held my breath for a half hour, I totally would have! Right away a line started to appear and got a tad darker as time went on. The line still stayed pretty faint in comparison to the control line which is apparently a good thing.

So for now it appears that everything is in tip-top shape. When the time comes for baby making, I will certainly be using this kit again to relieve some of the guess work that comes with creating little Axle Mudvayne Metallica. Until then I’m waiting for the latest fever that this test created to pass. I’ll also be hiding from my husband because he thinks the review signaled the green light and calls for all hands on deck.

I told him there is only one place his hands should be…and it’s not on my deck.
I was selected for this sponsored post by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog with Integrity, as I do. I was compensated for this post as well as provided with a kit to try. All opinions are mine and 100% honest. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Take it off | Week 36: I do!



Our friends Dan and Wendy were married over the weekend!
I totally stole this from their Facebook page. Thanks to whoever snapped it! 
I've known Dan since college (holy crap, roughly 16 years!). We had fallen in and out of touch over the years but finally reconnected last year. (You might recall a little incident with nudity.) I'm so glad we did. I was even happier when Wendy and Dan got engaged and they invited us to the wedding. I always enjoy seeing old friends move on to new stages of life. Especially when they are moving onto that next stage with such a lovely person. 

Isn't Wendy such a beautiful bride?!
Also, do you like my grizzly man's beard? Its a sports thing. He's not shaving it till the end of the football season.
And Wendy is totally touching my butt in this photo. True story. ;)
I love weddings. The flowers, the clothes, all the love and duh, cake. This wedding was different for me though. Since starting Medifast I have an extra dash of anxiety added to any social situation - especially those that include food and alcohol. Will I be able to enjoy myself without over-indulging? Will I make good choices? How will I track what I eat?
Thankfully the spread was so huge, I had no trouble finding foods that helped me stay on track. I won't claim to have stayed on plan. But I ate in moderation, took two-bite samplings and tried to keep my choices as low carb as possible.

This event was a double whammy of social anxiety for me. It was also a reunion of sorts because I'd have a chance to reconnect with another college friend, Ralph. Dan, Ralph and I were part of a larger group of friends but I'd say of all the people in the group, I was closest to them. I was excited and anxious all at once to see both of them.  It was so nice to be in the same room with two of my favorite guys again.
Trouble makers.
Thanks to this crew there is an official club of angry former roommates (and one ex-girlfriend)
that dedicate their time to hating us.  
If you've been following my journey from the beginning, you may have noticed that I try to not focus on the vanity aspect of losing weight. For me, to do this for vanity would be doing it for all the wrong reasons. But let me tell you, when you walk up to an old friend to say hello and practically have to re-introduce yourself because they knew you when you looked like this:
Size 24 jeans.
You know you want that hat.
Well, that feels pretty awesome. And it's just a tiny ego boost when you are told 'I can hardly believe it's you!' and the words 'fantastic' and 'stunning' are sprinkled into conversation. So even though I hesitate to focus on the vanity of losing weight, I won't deny that it was so nice to be presented with such lavish compliments.

Since losing weight encompasses so much of my life I often find myself looking for more inspiration in each situation. On Sunday, while listening to Wendy and Dan exchange vows, not only did I think back to my wedding day but I also thought about the new commitment I've made to myself. 

It all started with a promise, a commitment, the urge to take care of someone because you love them so much. I thought about how breaking my promises could cause it all to fall apart and end a really good thing. I chuckled to myself when I realized that I am still very much in the honeymoon phase of this marriage. I'm getting to know this new person that has moved into my house. And we argue sometimes because they don't do things they way they are supposed to be done. But I want to keep my promises so we work past it and move forward. I thought about how some days are harder than others but how the good days are really good and completely overshadow the hard days. And how I sometimes need to seek advice outside of this coupling to regain perspective. This commitment, like my marriage, is a labor of love and completely worth it for the lifetime of joy it will bring me.

Here's to commitment, hard work  and the results that makes it all worthwhile!

• • • 

Are you ready for progress pics?

I wanted to reshoot this in workout clothes. But I think we all know how lazy I am about pictures. Plus I look awesome in that dress. :P

I have 38lbs to go to meet my goal of 100lbs lost. But I have decided that I will re-evaluate once I hit 90lbs lost. I'm not trying to bail out or anything - there are a few factors at play. People are already commenting that I shouldn't lose too much more. Well, first of all it's none of your beeswax. I'm just kidding! I appreciate the concern, I really do. However, I am still technically overweight and will be until I hit 154lbs and then I will be on the high end of a healthy weight. But I certainly do not want to get to a point that I look emaciated (can you imagine? I sure can't!). 

The second issue is again, the floppy skin. If I had to guess, between arms, legs, backside and tummy, I probably have nearly 5-10lbs of skin that will account for some extra weight. I don't want to torture myself trying to get to a goal that isn't attainable without surgical intervention. But I will cross that bridge when I come to it.

I'm about to finish week six of the C25k. From here on out, no more intervals. I only have 13 days till my first 5k. So I will be pushing for time now. I'm hopeful that I will be able to finish in under 40 minutes. My dreamy goal is to be closer to 30 minutes but I will be pleased with under 40 minutes.

Oh! I lost one pound this week. Not terribly impressive but its also TOM. Yay for water retention! I took measurements (finally!) last week. I think I will report on those every other week from here on out.

• • • 
Last and certainly not least, I want to share the success of my friend Michelle with you. I met Michelle on Twitter and we've become friends over the past few months. She started using Medifast shortly after I started. She's such a sweetheart and doesn't brag about her accomplishments nearly enough. So I am going to do it for her! (With her permission, of course.)
This is where Michelle started:
267.2lbs
And this is where she is now:
Not many people can distract from the natural beauty of the Grand Canyon like Michelle can!
182.6lbs
Michelle doesn't have a public blog but you can follow her on Twitter to track her success and cheer her on! 


Month One: -16 lbs
Month Two: -5 lbs
Month Three: -6 lbs
Month Four: -6 lbs
Month Five: -6 lbs
Month Six: -8.5 lbs
Month Seven: -7.5 lbs
Month Eight: -5 lbs
Week thirty three: -0 lbs
Week thirty four: -0 lbs <insert sad face>
Week thirty five: -1 lbs <insert happy face!>
Week thirty six: -1 lbs

Total: 62 lbs gone forever!
Current weight: 178 lbs
Distance from goal: 38 lbs!!

If you're interested in trying Medifast, I have a great deal for you! Use the code TURNIP50 to get $50 off an order of $275.
*FTC Disclosure: Medifast provides their products for my personal use for free. I am not paid or compensated in any other way for mentioning their products. All thoughts written here are mine. I love complaining so I would tell you if I didn't like something in the program. :)

~*Stephanie aka Goober Monkey*~
~*Jenni aka Jenni From the Blog*~
~*Tiffany aka Momnom*~
~*Eileen aka Bringing Up Bronwyn*~
~*Laura akaWho you are is Enough*~
 
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