fall has arrived!

you guys, can i please tell you HOW excited i am that fall is finally here? SO EXCITED.  don’t get me wrong, i love going to the beach and all the get-togethers summer brings, but i absolutely HATE hot and humid weather and that’s what virginia is allll about may-august.

i was born during the fall (november), so growing up, that was my reasoning for fall being my favorite season, but now that i’ve grown up, i love everything that comes with it.  its the ‘unofficial’ start of the holiday decorating season, there’s pumpkin patches, it’s honeycrisp season and apple picking time, the weather is cool, but not frigid.  i could go on, but i wont bore you.

i’ve been pretty busy at work, after work, and on the weekends, lately, and it wont slow down for another few weeks, but i wanted to do a fun little post to kick-off my favorite season.  so, i’ll share with you my new favorite decorations:

photo9sunflowers are quickly becoming my favorite flower.

photo 4

free halloween printable from pinterest

photo 2mercury glass pumpkin and owl (old) from homegoods

photo 3THE BEST smelling candle (yankee candle:apple pumpkin) and homegoods ‘poison’

 photo 5vase filling from homegoods and yankee candle: autumn leaves (i’m on the fence with this scent.  its not very strong)

this weekend, i’ll be visiting the eastern shore of virginia for one of my best friend’s baby shower!!  shes having a christmas baby!  after that, i’ll be staying in virginia beach until tuesday for a work conference.  mostly work and some play (the Neptune festival)!  i’ll be checking back in, and hopefully i’ll remember to take some pictures, so you can see what i’ve been up to!

Q: what’s your favorite season and what’s your favorite part about it?

metabolic testing results

hey guys! happy tuesday!  i mentioned before that i was planning on getting metabolic testing done and last night was the night!

let me rewind a bit and take the time to thank janetha for talking me through a nervous breakdown and showing me this post, from ashley. to be honest, after my 24 day challenge, i started to do some research on how many calories i should be consuming a day, there were SO many different  opinions that i just panicked and didn’t know what to do.  i texted janetha and she was more than happy to listen and give advice.  she sent me to ashley’s page, and that’s what made decided i want to get metabolic testing done so i could know my exact numbers and be confident in how i was fueling my body.

so, last night, i had a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test done to determine how many calories i burn each day.  during the quick, ten minute test, i was hooked up to a machine, through a breathing tube (nose plugged), which analyzed oxygen levels of air i was breathing.  the results from the test can then help determine how many calories i need to gain or lose weight and reach my weight loss goal.  the test also includes 45 minutes to talk with a Registered Dietitian to set up an individual meal plan.

after the test was done, the RD took my weight, height, goal weight, and also took down notes on an average 24 hour period in my life (she asked for an average gym day).  here’s what i told her:

  • 4:30 a.m. alarm goes off
  • 5:00 a.m. eating half a VO2 bar and drinking spark + arginine extreme pre-workout
  • 5:15 a.m. workout (weight training followed by 20 mins of cardio)
  • 7:15 a.m. protein shake + piece of fruit (watermelon or apples)
  • 9:30 a.m. snack – rice cake + some sunflower seed butter
  • 12:30 p.m. lunch – leftovers – probably a lean protein, complex carb, and some veggies
  • 3:30 p.m. snackquest bar
  • 5:00 p.m. by this time, i usually have about 100-120 oz of water
  • 6:30 p.m. dinner – lean protein (fish, bison, ground turkey) + two servings of veggies
  • 9:00 p.m. snack – protein cake (i used the recipe at the bottom of the post) or protein shake
  • i also explained how i am getting my daily vitamins through MNS 3 packets.

she complimented me on the fact that i balance protein with a carbs pretty well.  i learned that from body-for-life (and janetha) and know that’s the best way to keep myself hungry, without feeling deprived.

my RMR results were as follows:

  • Weight – 287 lbs
  • Goal weight – 170 lbs
  • Height – 5 ft 7 in
  • Resting Energy Expenditure – 2,434 calories
  • Estimated exercise burn – 304 cals (in 30 mins of exercise)
  • Estimated lifestyle & activity burn – 729 cals (a little high, in her thoughts, since i have a desk job)
  • Metabolism – 14% faster, compared to a typical person of similar sex, age, height, and weight. which means i can’t use ‘i have a slow metabolism’ for weight gain.

RMR13,467 calories – my total energy output

RMR2never would have thought my metabolism was faster than average, with all the damage i’ve done to it in the past.

the RD explained to me, that for the most part, overweight people have a higher than normal metabolism because they use more energy doing normal day-to-day activities (like walking to the car or going up the stairs).  this all made a lot of sense to me.

my recent ‘plateau’ made sense, as well.  i was eating/logging about 1,200-1,300 calories a day, thinking i was getting enough food to fuel my body, but not too much to where i wouldn’t lose weight.  turns out, my body was in starvation mode.  i was eating too few calories to properly fuel my body.  everything started to fall into place and i realized i was actually hurting myself, when i thought i was doing the right thing.


we went over how many calories she thought i should consume on workout days and non-workout days.  you can see from the photo above, she wants me to keep non-workout days at around 1,400-1,600 calories, and workout days to around 1,600 to 1,800 calories.  these calorie amounts don’t seem extremely high to me, but i’m so used to eating 1,200-1,300, it will take some getting used to.  after logging all my meals for the day, today, i realized that my day is going to be calorie heavy for dinner, which is something i don’t want to happen.  i need to plan my meals better and keep them all about the same amount of calories.  i’m going to try and keep my macros around 45/35/20 (protein/carbs/fat).

all-in-all, i thought this was a very successful experience.  i learned a lot, and i feel confident that i will be able to fuel my body properly with these tools!  i’ll continue to check in with the RD to let her know how my progress is going, whether i’m losing weight or not, and if there are any adjustments in my calories that may need to be made.

have a great day!


what i USED to eat

since i finished my 24 day challenge, i’ve been working on breaking a lot of bad habits i had before (i.e. only consuming diet coke all day, eating a pint of ben and jerry’s almost every night, etc).  one major problem i’ve dealt with since high school is bulimia.  it’s not something i did every single day, but it was definitely a big part of my life.  it’s still something i struggle with, today, 10 years later.  not many people are aware i’ve struggled with this, but i feel like being open about it will help me begin to heal all the years of damage i’ve done to myself, mentally.

the reason i brought that up is because, before this challenge, it wouldn’t be out of the ordinary for me to consider purging or purge.  i knew what i was about to eat was going to make me feel guilty and i still ate it, because i thought it tasted good. then, i started to think about the foods i use to eat and it made my stomach hurt just thinking about the chemicals and CRAP i was putting in my body.  of course i felt like shit all the time, i was trying to fuel my body with shit.

so.. here’s a look at what i might eat in a day.  (note: this may not have happened all in one day, but all of these meals occurred at least once or twice a week.  there’s no doubt in my mind, that all of this could have happened on a friday when i was feeling really down about myself.)

breakfast:  mcdonald’s sausage mcgriddle (w. cheese) meal with a large diet coke.  plus, two sausage burritos.  yep, i’d eat all of it on my 20 minute drive into work.  disgusting.


lunch:  my co-workers and i got on a Chipotle kick, there for awhile.  we’d go just about every friday.  my go-to meal was a burrito bowl with the following:  carnitas, brown rice, roasted chile-corn salsa, green chili salsa, red chili salsa, sour cream, cheese, guac, and lettuce.  i’d also order a bag of chips to ‘scoop’ my bowl, instead of eating it with a fork.  washed down with a large diet coke.


snack:  about 2:30-3:00 p.m., i’d start to feel pretty tired and rundown (obviously because i already ate two days worth of calories), so i’d head to the vending machine and grab my favorite salty snack:  sourdough pretzels snack bag with a 12 oz can of diet coke.


dinner: on the way home from work, i’d tell Barbara i really didn’t feel like cooking (i do the majority of the cooking in the house) and would ask if we can stop by the grocery store and grab a frozen pizza, since its easy.  we’d get home, i’d pop in the pizza and in 20 mins, it’d be done.  i’d cut the pizza in 6 slices (since a serving is one slice) and grab one serving.. then 10 mins later, grab another, then 20 mins later, grab one more piece, until i’d eaten half a pizza, myself.  (i totally forgot to add calories for the ranch dressing and parmesan cheese i’d douse this pizza in)


dessert: finally, after a longgg day of eating, and it had been a long day at work, i’d dive into some ben & jerry’s coffee health bar crunch for dessert.  i could scoop it out of the pint into a bowl, but that would dirty a dish for no reason, since i planned on eating the whole pint.


here’s my daily total:

daily total

so yeah, to say i’m disgusted with the choices i was making would be an understatement.  i had hit rock bottom and i felt lousy all the time.  i was the biggest i had ever been and i didn’t think i’d make it out of this cycle.  purging was only an option for me at home, because i was to embarrassed to do it at work.  if someone would have heard me, i’d be humiliated.

i want to be open about all of this, because during this time, i felt SO ALONE. i felt like no one understood the need i felt to eat.  it became my comfort and at the same time, my worst enemy.  eating had become an addiction and it was wrecking my life, a pound at a time.  purging felt like it was my only option.  i was too tired to exercise; i was even too tire to take the dogs for walk.  it was like the advocare 24 day challenge came at exactly the right time to pull me out of this and get me back on track.

every day is a struggle to find the balance that my body needs.  my cravings aren’t completely gone, and sometimes, that sausage mcgriddle tries to tempt me when i’m driving to work.  after a cheat meal, the urges i have to purge that meal are awful, but i know its not going to get me anywhere.  bulimia is a real thing and its not as easy as just ‘not throwing up’.

wow, sorry for a heavy post, but again, i think talking about this stuff will help me reach my end goal of obtaining a healthy relationship with eating and exercise.  if you have any questions or need someone to talk to about this, feel free to contact me using the contact form.

quick & easy guacamole

the other day, i was rushing through the grocery store (because it is quite possibly the most hated thing i have to do every week) and passed by the packaged guacamole.  then, i spotted the avocados, ripe and ready to mash, a few feet away and knew exactly what was on the menu for dinner that night: bison nachos with a heaping side of guacamole.

i could probably eat guacamole for every meal if it was acceptable, i love it, but i only love it homemade.  i usually have a mexican-themed dinner once a week, and homemade guacamole always makes an appearance.  this recipe is easy to whip up while your meat is browning!

quick tip: if you find an avocado that seems ripe (deep green color and not too firm)  you can flick off the stem to determine whether it’s good or not.  if you take off that little ‘button’ and it’s brown inside, then your avocado is already past it’s prime and you shouldn’t buy it.  if the color is a yellow/green color, take that baby home with you!  (i learned this tip from a friend awhile back)


quick and easy guacamole

(serves 4 or 1 if you’re greedy)


  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/4 C red onion, diced
  • 3 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 t garlic (or onion) powder
  • a pinch of sea salt


  1. cut open avocado, whatever your method may be, and scoop into a small mixing bowl.  mash the avocado with fork (or another masher of choice) until you reach the desired consistency.  (i like my guac more on the smooth side, while other people i know, like to keep it chunky)
  2. once avocado is mashed, place all but tomatoes into the bowl and mix well.  these ingredients are based on preference, so feel free to keep the seeds of your pepper, or add more seasoning, if you’d like.
  3. once everything is well incorporated, fold in tomatoes. ( i keep these last do that don’t get ‘mushy’ during the mixing process)
  4. enjoy!  scoop a dollop on your tacos, quesadilla, burger, fish, or chips – whatever you’re feeling that day!

i know its been awhile since i checked in on the weight loss side of this blog; it’s because i’m trying to figure out my body.  i’m not sure if i’m currently fueling my body with enough calories to where it burns fat, instead of stores it.  i have a RMR test scheduled on the 23rd to determine how well my metabolism burns calories and what my macros should be set at, so i’ll be checking in with that next week.

from the website: What is Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)? Metabolism, quite simply, is the conversion of food to energy. Metabolic rate is a measure of how much food, or fat, is converted to energy in a day.  Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is the measurement of how much food, or energy, is required to maintain basic body functions such as heartbeat, breathing, and maintenance of body heat while you are in a state of rest.  That energy is expressed in calories per day.  So an RMR measurement shows how many calories you burn at rest, doing nothing more than sitting in a chair.

i don’t think that this test is the key to me losing weight, but i do think it will help me understand my body so i can fuel it more efficiently and effectively.  i’m sure i’ve done some damage to my metabolism over the years from various eating habits, some very serious, others were just fad diets, so i’m interested to see how my body has reacted to all of that.

so, like i said, i’ll be checking in with those results after the test to share what i’ve discovered!

happy tuesday everyone!

Q:  do you have any tips or tricks when it comes to picking a certain fruit or veggie to ensure its ripe/fresh?

sunshine award!

hi!  while i was catching up on some blogs this morning, i realized i was nominated for the sunshine award by janetha!  thanks, janetha!  i think this is a fun little award and perfect for a friday!  so here is goes..



  1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award and ask them 10 questions.

here are the questions janetha asked…

1. do you believe in aliens? why or why not.

umm. yes and no?  i do believe there’s a strong possibility of us not being the only ones in the universe.. not sure if they’re aliens, but maybe other human beings?  i’d like to think we’re not the only ones around here living it up!

2. if you could do ANYTHING in the world and have that be your career and your skills, paycheck, or anything else was not an object.. what would you do?

easy. i have always said, if i won the lottery, i’d quit my day job and start up a doggie daycare.  i spent most of my teenage years volunteering at a veterinarian clinic just for fun (not because i was forced to). the whole surgery/seriousness of being a vet is something i don’t think i could handle, so doggie daycare would be the next best thing!


who wouldn’t want to spend their days hanging out like that?!

3. what is your earliest childhood memory?

my grandparents used to take my brother and i on trips to different states during the summer!  we traveled to about 30 states (so i was told) but i only remember visiting a few with them.  i remember yellowstone national park (the buffalo) and some place with a lot of prairie dogs!


i was probably 3 or 4?

4. what’s for dinner tonight?

good question?  i think it may be this tuna, cauliflower, and cheese bake:


i already have some tuna filets sitting in the fridge and some cauliflower that’s about to go bad, so it seems appropriate.

5. what was the most fabulous vacation you have ever been on in your entire life?

costa rica. hands down.  i haven’t been on many vacations, but i loved costa rica.  i wish i could have, at least, spent a month there to soak up all the culture.  the dogs, the people, THE FOOD! GAH I MISS IT!

costa rica

6. if you HAD to give up one of your senses (touch, taste, sight, hearing, or smell) which would it be?

ooooh. good question!  i think i would have to go with touch. no way would i want to lose my taste, sight, or hearing.  smell.. maybe. touch is the last one on my list.

7. would you rather always be super freezing cold or ridiculously overheating hot? (and no, you can’t have a warm blanket or AC to combat the issue!)

cold. absolutely.  i absolutely HATE being hot.  i live in virginia where the summers don’t exactly reach extreme temperatures, but 95-100 degrees when it’s almost 100% humidity.. no thanks.  i always joke that i belong somewhere out west, like jackson hole or cody, where the temps may get hot, but its DRY heat.

8. why did you start blogging?

i started awhile back to try and keep myself accountable, and that didn’t work out so well..  the thing is, i love the blogging community.  for the most part, its a tight knit group that is always there to cheer you up if you need it!  yes, there will always be haters, that have something nasty to say, but such is life.  i haven’t made a ton of friends since i moved to richmond, and the few bloggers i do talk to here and there feel like friends, at least they do to me.

9. what was the last compliment you received and what was the last one you paid to someone?

the other day at the gym, i was doing deadlifts, and one of the trainers complimented me on my form.  that definitely made my day.

a compliment i paid to someone?  one of my co-workers got eyelash extensions, which i’m obsessed with (but too cheap to shell out the money for) and she was really happy someone noticed.  I WANT EYELASH EXTENSIONS SO BAD!

10. what is your most favorite thing to eat?

guacamole. all day, every day.  i love this stuff, but it has to be homemade.  i actually made some last night, and it was the most perfect batch i have ever made.  perfect amount of add-ins and seasonings.


who am i going to nominate?

my ten questions are:

  1. would you rather cook dinner or bake dessert?
  2. if you could only shop at one retail store (clothes-wise) for the rest of your life, where would you shop?
  3. what’s your favorite music genre?
  4. if you could pack up and move ANYWHERE in the world you would like (money doesn’t matter), would you move or stay where you are?
  5. what is your favorite month of the year?
  6. do you paint your nails or keep them polish free?
  7. if you had to eat the same thing for breakfast for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  8. what’s your favorite part of your body?
  9. what’s your favorite form of social media and why its your favorite?
  10. what’s the last 3 purchases on your debit card?


Q: answer any one of the questions above!

never forget


12 years ago, today, i was sitting in 8th grade civics class when, one-by-one, students were being dismissed from class because their parents were picking them up.  at that point, we hadn’t heard the news of the terrible events that happened that day, but we knew sometime wasn’t quite right.

i will forever remember September 11, 2001. i got home from school and realized my my mom still couldn’t get ahold of my dad, because phone lines were tied up. i also found out that my dad was working a landscaping job near the Pentagon that day.  luckily my dad was safe, but he was close enough, at the time, to see the plane hit the Pentagon.

so many lives were taken that day, i cannot being to imagine being directly affected.

i’m keeping this post short and sweet today.  hold you loved ones a little tighter tonight, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

my motivation, monday

i think one thing that has kept me semi-sane through my years of diet and exercise ups and downs is that my goals have never been unrealistic.  i knew growing up that i was built a little (or a lot) bigger than my friends.  it was definitely hard going through high school and your 3 best friends are 5’2″-5’3″ and 100-115 pounds.  i always kept in the back of my mind that i was never meant to be that small.

to this day, when i’m scrolling through pinterest and i see these tiny women  with not much muscle definition pinned into “motivation” or “inspiration” boards, it makes me kind of sad.  sad, that something like that is envied by so many people.

i wanted to share my three, main, inspiration pictures.  i think these women are beautiful and i hope that i can get down to a size around them and be confident in myself.  i would hope that if i can look like that, i could be happy with what i see in the mirror, which is something i haven’t been able to do in a longggg time.






as you can see, i’m not hoping for a supermodel body.  i think i could be very comfortable with myself in a size 10-12 (maybe?) and around 165-170 pounds.  the only reason that number sticks with me, is because when i lost a lot of weight in middle/high school (yes, that long ago), i got down to 177 pounds and i was very confident in myself.  i will always be able to reassess that goal once i get around those numbers, i just hope to get there someday.

in other news, i took a break from clean eating this weekend and enjoyed myself at the bbq with friends and family, followed by hibatchi sunday night (no rice), and my body is feeling the effects today.  i’m bloated, tired, and dehydrated!  i’m chugging down my water and made sure my meals were simple and light today, in hopes to return to normalcy as soon as possible.  i don’t regret a single piece of food i ate, because i don’t want to feel restricted, but my body is begging for clean eating, so that is what i’ll give it.  i also put in a good workout saturday morning, knowing i would indulge later that day.

that’s all i have for you guys today! hope you have a great monday! i’ll leave you with a scene from the weekend.. a very lazy sunday: scenes from the weekend

Q: how was yall’s weekend?  anything fun and exciting? 



Advocare 24 Day Challenge Results!

you guys! happy thursday! wouldn’t it be great if it were just friday, already?  well it’s not, but i’m having a great day anyways!!

GUESS WHAT? the 24 day challenge is over!  i’m not happy its over, because i enjoyed (and will continue with) the structure of the program, and something about 24 days just made all the goals SO ATTAINABLE.  but, i’m also happy that i get to enjoy my upcoming weekend without the fear of failing at this thing.


i had AMAZING results with the cleanse. i was actually a little hesitant the second part of the challenge, because i was afraid to set myself up, too much, in fear that i wouldn’t do well and disappoint myself.

i will continue to say that this is not a miracle pill/program.  i ate clean and worked my ass off in the gym. with all the temptation i was faced with, i had zero cheats.  i was in the gym from 5:15-6:45 a.m. every week day and at some point on saturdays.  i did not slack off and i think my progress shows that.  but, the products helped push me through it.  i had the most energy i’ve had in a LONG time.  my workout motivation came from my favorite morning cocktail of spark + arginine extreme. the cleanse helped kick my bad habits, including my relentless sweet tooth.  and i think the MNS C helped curb any other cravings i had.

so, how did i do?  well.. here you go:photo 124daychallengeresults

and here are Barbara’s results:

photo 2

pretty amazing if you ask me.  we both feel great and can’t wait to see where the future will take us.  i’m promising myself that this challenge wont be the end and i can revert back to old ways; i feel too good to do that.  this is a lifestyle change, for sure.  and i’ll make sure to keep you updated along my journey!

have a GREAT day!

tomorrow and beyond.

tomorrow is the last day of my Advocare 24 Day Challenge!


i can honestly say, i have enjoyed the last 23 days on this challenge.  i’m stronger, i have more energy, my diet is clean, and MOST of my cravings are gone.  i still have days when all i want is a diet coke or i think chocolate will cure my cramps, but that’s what the little bit of willpower i do have is for.

is this something that can be sustained?  yes, i believe it can.  i think the challenge gave me the tools to kick bad habits while developing better habits.  it helped me with a number of things, including:

  • kicking my sweet tooth.
  • restarting my metabolism.
  • developing good gym habits.
  • improving my energy.
  • helping me gain muscle.
  • resetting my mindset on portion control.
  • giving me the confidence to keep going.

i know all the things above will be key in finally getting to ‘goal’.  not just working out, or just eating clean.  my downfall has always been, if i let one thing slip, the rest are sure to follow shortly after.  if i skip the gym, it’s not an excuse to eat a pint of ice cream for dinner, or vice versa.

i know every day wont be perfect on this journey. i might eat too much and feel stuffed.  i might miss a day at the gym.  i might look in the mirror and catch myself the wrong way and hate how i look.  NONE of those are good enough reasons to completely shut down and revert back to my old ways.  like i’ve said before, these aren’t super pills, they simply give you the tools to get on track or stay on track.

what about after the challenge?  this whole challenge, i’ve reminded myself that it DOES NOT stop on day 24.  i don’t plan on being as strict as i have been throughout, but i’m not going to let it fall to the side.

i do plan on incorporating ‘free meals’ once every one or two weeks, because i believe balance is key to a healthy lifestyle.  i don’t love using the word ‘cheat’ because i feel like it insinuates i’m doing something bad or wrong.  i want to be able to go out with friends and have a drink and dinner and not worry about the calories i’m about to consume.  i also know that if i leave that as a ‘free DAY‘ i will consume enough calories for the entire week and not make any progress (i know this from my experience while attempting body-for-life).

i’m attending a barbeque on saturday, so this will be my test as to how well i do without strict guidelines.  at one point, i caught myself thinking about how i was going to gorge myself with all the food at the party, and realized if i go into it with those kind of thoughts, i’m setting myself up for failure.

i’m slowly learning that it’s going to take a lot more strength to rebuild the inside than the outside.  i’m damaged. i’m much more damaged than most people realize.  the more i write on this blog, i become aware of the fact that i’m much more damaged than i ever thought i was. but, i do think, if i can continue this journey slowly like i am right now, i’ll be happy with my results this time next year.

will you continue taking advocare products? yes. here is a list of products i will continue to take after the challenge:

  • catalyst for muscle repair & protection, i may lower the dosage i take.
  • spark + arginine for a pre-workout drink (love this combo!).
  • omegaplex for my omega-3 support, plus i have a lot leftover.
  • vo2 prime bar (half a serving/bar) for something light on my stomach during a workout.
  • MNS E for daily supplements and extra energy.  i was taking MNS C for appetite control, but i would like to see what the E can do, if i don’t like it, i may switch back to the C.
  • sleepworks definitely helps me go to sleep quick, i wouldn’t say it helps me sleep any harder (i’m a VERY light sleeper), but it does help out for falling asleep.

i’ll check back in with final results on thursday and hopefully some before and after pictures.  it will take all i have to post those, but i want to show my results and be PROUD of them.

Q: do you believe in free meals, cheat meals, or cheat days?