Friday, June 25, 2010


I've been thinking a lot over the past week about what motivates me. I've always been the type to need a big goal or event or something along those lines to work toward when it comes to being healthy. For example, many months ago, I had planned to go to Myrtle Beach with some friends the week of July 4th. A beach vacation would involve wearing bathing suits in front of many people all week long, and so I had that date in mind as the end zone for my goal weight. But a couple of months ago, those vacation plans changed and I suddenly was without that motivation, without the pressure of a bathing suit looming over my head. And that's when I fell off the health wagon.

I've realized just how foolish that is. Why do I need a major thing like a trip to motivate me? Why isn't just looking and feeling better enough? It should be. Finding an outfit that I feel good in is an everyday challenge, one that I often fail. Feeling confident and energetic is something I want every day. So why has that not been enough to motivate me? Why is a one-time trip more important than being the best me I can be every single day?

That mindset has got to stop. I need to view this as an ongoing process to help me live life to the fullest every day, not just for a few days on vacation. If I had just kept up with the changes I'd made to my lifestyle even after the Myrtle Beach trip was canceled, I'd be just about at my goal weight by now. I'm not sure where my head was, because it's not as if I live in a place where I don't get summer weather. I still need to wear a bathing suit and still need to wear summer clothing that provides less coverage than the pants and sweaters that I can hide behind in winter. Canceling the beach trip didn't make those realities go away. So, when I stop to think about it, I could kick myself, because we're now in the throes of hot weather, and this body is just not ready for it!

I'm moving past that though. Beating myself up won't do any good. So now my focus won't be on a trip that I'm taking or some other goal down the road. My focus will be on today and tomorrow. It will be about translating how I'm feeling now into daily motivation and short term wins. When I'm tempted to skip a workout or have an extra cupcake, I'll think about how I want to feel good about myself at the cookout tomorrow or at work on Monday, or the baseball game next week. Not about how I'll feel months from now. I deserve to feel and look my best every day, and it's on me to make that happen.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Frest Start

To anyone who might still be subscribed to this blog as a stamping fan, I think this is where I'll lose you. I have stamped exactly two cards since my last post almost 6 months ago, and both were stamped under duress at the request of co-workers when we needed retirement cards for two of our colleagues. I just don't have it in me anymore. I've sold off a lot of my stuff and am in the process of selling more. In my free time these days, stamping is the last thing I feel like doing. I'm keeping some basics and a few of my favorite supplies, so maybe someday I'll get back to it. But not any time soon.

So, this blog is going to turn into a blog about whatever I want it to be. Life, cooking, random observations, etc. Today it's a post to vent and I guess maybe to hold myself accountable a little. I want to write about my struggle with weight loss. As for so many people, it's an ongoing battle. I hit my all-time high weight in January 2009. I was about 45 pounds above my goal weight. I decided I'd had it and things were going to change. I would lose a few, then gain a couple, and it was a slow process. Slow is the only way I know how to do this. I am not now and will never be someone who can eliminate an entire food group and I will never be someone who enjoys boot camp type exercise. The only way I've been successful is to not prohibit myself from eating anything, but to just be careful about portion sizes and enjoy treats in moderation. My kind of exercise is going for a walk on the beach or getting on the treadmill for an hour at a moderate pace and read a good book while I'm on there. My method means slow weight loss, but that's ok. By the start of 2010, I was down 20 lbs, which isn't a lot for a year, but at only 5'3", 20 lbs made a big difference in how I looked, felt, and how my clothes fit.

In January, I lost another 7 lbs, which is a lot for one month for me, and I wasn't even trying. Unfortunately, it was due to a complete loss of appetite after some unexpected boy-related heartache. Which meant that once I started feeling better, my appetite returned, and so did the weight. And, because I had wasted the first month or so of this year feeling sad, I decided I needed to bounce back in a major way and throw my social life into overdrive. Which is a great thing, but the downside is that nearly all social activities, at least in the area I live and with the friends I have, include eating and drinking. Lunches, dinners, happy hours...sign me up! And it's been a blast, but my waistline has paid for it. Some of my friends and I had started a Biggest Loser competition at the start of the year, and it ended Memorial Day weekend. How much did I lose? Nothing. In fact, I gained about 3 lb. Which, since I had lost those 7 lbs. in January, actually meant I gained 10. Disturbing.

Instead of this serving as the motivation I needed to get back on track, I just stopped weighing myself for a few weeks. I went on vacation, where our plans mainly centered around what awesome (and likely unhealthy) thing we would eat for our next meal. I continued to go to lunches and dinner and happy hours, including my latest happy hour just this past week, which lasted 7 hours, and included three different bars, 4 martinis, I'm-not-sure-how-many pints of beer, taquitos, chips and guacamole, fries, and wings. Ooops. I've sure been having fun, but I feel awful. I have no energy, and I'm starting to notice that clothes that I was so excited to fit back into are getting snug again. It's becoming a problem for sure. But still, I've slacked off on exercising and have paid no attention to what I shove in my mouth.

Today a new round of Biggest Loser started and I stepped on the scale for the first time in three weeks to find I have gained three more pounds since Memorial Day. Gross. So I think something has finally clicked and today is my fresh start. I can't keep going like this. I'm too young and have too many things I want to do to let this hold me back anymore. I'm not a confident person as it is, so I need all the help I can get to feel good about myself. And tight waistbands are not going to do that. So today I become accountable again. I'm going to pay more attention to what I eat. I'm still going to enjoy myself, but in moderation. There's no way I'm passing on happy hour, but if I behave the majority of the time, then I know I can splurge a little and be just fine. I need to get back to exercising regularly too. I'm going to do something, anything, even if it is just a slow stroll along the beach, for at least 30 minutes, at least 5 days a week. That's not too much to ask of myself. I've done it before, and I can do it again.

I'm not sure if anyone will even see or read this post, but I feel good for having put it out there. I think journaling and putting my feelings into words is a really healthy process, so I guess that's what I'm doing, though why I decided it needs to be published for the world to read, I'm not sure. Maybe there is someone who will read this who is going through the same struggles and it'll be helpful for them to know that someone else relates. Regardless, today is the first day to a new me. I've got about 34 lbs to lose to get to what I have always had in my head as a reasonable goal weight. I'll never be skinny, and I know that. I'm just not built that way. But the last time I was at my goal weight, I looked and felt good, and I know I can get there again, one baby step at a time.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hope Stamps Eternal

Happy Sunday everyone! I'm writing with some bittersweet news today. My term with the Hope Stamps Eternal Design Team has ended and I've made the decision not to renew for another term. I have so loved being a part of this team, and I truly couldn't ask for a better "boss" than Rachel - she is the best! However, my life seems to have gotten in the way of stamping lately and cutting back on my obligations is just the best move for me right now.

I do love Hope Stamps Eternal and all the products offered, and the customer service seriously is spectacular! And, the design team really is so much fun, so I encourage you to apply! Rachel is accepting applications through this Friday, January 15th - check out all the details here.

While I don't have a card to share with you today, I hope to be able to continue playing along with the Cupcake Inspiration Challenges when I can, and I encourage you to do the same! I've included this week's photo for you here - now go play! And don't forget to link your creation to Rachel's post by next Saturday night for a chance to be featured in next Sunday's Top 5 collage!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Hope Stamps Eternal Design Team Call

Hope Stamps Eternal Design Team Call

Do you love to play with Paper, Ink, Stamps and embellishments? Do you have a blog that you update regularly? Do you want to be a part of a fun group of creative people? If the answer is yes, then this is the call for you!

We are looking for bloggers who update regularly and can show our product
in a good light. Does this mean you have to be the best stamper in the industry??? Absolutely Not! What it does mean is that applicants need
to be willing to link all HSE product on all projects they blog, if we carry it,
we expect a link…in exchange you will receive an ongoing 25%
discount and free products throughout your term

What you will receive ~

1. 25% off ALL purchases at Hope Stamps Eternal.

2. Free product throughout your term.

3. A $25 Welcome Credit to the store

4. Camaraderie and a good time!!

What we require of you ~

1. Participate in the weekly Sunday Challenge (Cupcake Inspiration Challenge)

2. Use product carried by Hope Stamps Eternal as often as possible,
linked to the product or category each time.

3. A minimum of 6 projects a month should feature Hope Stamps
Eternal product, this can include the Sunday Challenge and
any Blog Hops or Spotlights we schedule

4. Special Spotlights and Blog Hops may be scheduled,
the timing will be worked out among the entire group

Term ~

Design team term ~ Feb 1st, 2010 to July 31st, 2010

What do you need to do now? Simple email links to 2-3 of your favorite projects (please make sure you send Direct links to your Project, not a general blog link!) Submissions will accepted thru Jan 15th and the Design Team Members chosen will be notified by Jan 20th