5 months later..

oh hi! remember me? (i feel like i always start blog posts like this because i’m awful at checking in)

lets catch up, shall we?

work: work has been k i l l i n g me, lately.  i knew my promotion to budget accountant was going to be a big step, but i didn’t realize QUITE how much more work was going to involved.  in the last 4 months, i’ve been working weekends, anywhere from 6am-6/7pm, coming home, eating dinner, then working some more.  its been stressful, but the brunt of the work is over, for awhile at least, so i’m breathing easy and trying to take some days off for mental health.

personal life: did i mention i’m gonna be a momma?  EEEEEEEK!  i want to scream i’m so happy! barbara was officially 15 weeks pregnant this past saturday! she has a little bump and its the cutest thing i’ve ever seen.  i even got to feel a few flutters saturday night!  her first trimester was KILLER.  she had all-day sickness (not just morning) and had tons of food aversions.  no weird cravings as of yet, really.  the second trimester has been going good, so far!  shes tired a lot, but i don’t blame her, SHE’S GROWING A HUMAN.  she said the baby hates showers (he/she starts to kick and move around a lot as soon as the water hits her belly) and LOVES dessert 🙂 we already have names picked out, the initials will be T K M regardless of gender, and we’re using the same first name either way, just the middle name will change.  our next appointment is august 10th, so hopefully we will find out the sex of the baby then!  her due date is january 16, 2016 which is only a few days before her birthday on the 22nd!

also, i always thought it was so annoying when people would say they were “however many weeks pregnant” because then i would have to sit there and figure out how many months, but so much changes week to week, i get it now!  whoops!

baby! baby

 

weight loss/banded life:  weight loss has been sloooooow, which i’m totally OK with since work has been SUPER stressful.  i’d rather maintain than gain, obviously, so the fact that my weight hasn’t changed much is fine with me.  with long work hours, i used the excuse that i was too tired or didn’t have time to workout.. i’m not mad at myself, i just know my body could have been a lot farther than it is right now if i had stuck with it.  my weight fluctuates anywhere from 226-231 depending on the time of day and time of month, currently. but, i have lost a pant size and now wear a size 14! i haven’t been able to say that since high school!  my eating has been less than stellar, but as soon as i ‘slip up’ or let myself indulge, i try to get back on track and start fresh.  i have to say, i’m in SUCH an AMAZING place mentally these days.  my urges to binge have been non-existent lately, even with the life stresses and i think that speaks volumes.  i’m excited at how much progress i’ve made mentally over the last few months, which i think, is even better than the physical.

i had a few issues with my band, which i talked about on instagram a little.  my band was getting to be SO TIGHT that i couldn’t eat real food, only soft food like applesauce and soups/protein shakes. i went to my doctor and had everything checked out.  come to find out, it was just stress that was causing the issues and there was nothing wrong with my actual band placement or anything.  she did take the little-est bit of liquid out just to help with getting food down and i already feel ten times better!

here is an updated before and during:

before and after

 

i’m happy with where i’m at, but i would also like to see what else i can accomplish.  i’m currently considering a whole30 in september just to see how my body reacts without dairy and added/fake sugars, since that’s the only thing that keeps the majority of my diet from being strict paleo/whole30 compliant!  i know quite a few people who have done amazing with the program and seem to really enjoy it, so its a serious possibility.. but… i love cheese. haha

anyways, sorry for being so off and on with this blogging thing!  i’m going to truly make a point to blog at least weekly, even if its just saying hi and sharing some pictures from my day!  i’ll be stopping back in tonight or tomorrow to share a recipe that i plan on making tonight!  so stay tuned!

life update

GUYS! its been too long!

life has been chugging along, some good, some bad, but i’m still focusing on me to make sure i don’t let all of this hard work slip down the drain.

LIFE:

my last post was in NOVEMBER?!  man, the holidays got the best of me.  barbara and i got married, went to mexico, and are now in the process of trying to start our family.  we’ve had some hiccups happen, but its nothing that is going to stop us from bringing a child into this world.

i’m still incredibly terrified of small, ‘fresh’, babies but i know that will change once it is my own child in my hands.

in january, i finally transitioned to my new role as budget accountant.  this transition has been the main reason i’ve been so distant from my blog.  instagramming little bits and pieces of my day is easy, but sitting down and writing a post takes a little more time and effort.  this position definitely has its peaks and valleys as far as work load go, but i love the new work.  i was SO BORED in my other position with all the repetitiveness, and this position switches it up perfectly.

i’m going to chicago next week! its for business (boo), but it’ll be nice to get out and travel some.  hopefully i don’t freeze to death up there!  i think virginia weather has been cold enough it wont be too much of a shock to my system.

LAPBAND:

my lapband is still doing its job!  while i haven’t lost much since november, pounds-wise, my clothes have become a little looser, which is all that matters, right?  i’ve never NOT gained during the holidays, so to maintain was a huge accomplishment in my book, because i will admit: i definitely indulged.

between work stress/working long hours/super emotional personal struggle my band got SO TIGHT 2-3 weeks ago that i had to cut it back to liquids for a few days so my band could take a break.  i was on full liquids (cream soups, yogurts, pudding, broths, etc) for 5 or 6 days, then slowly transitioned back into soft foods, then normal solids.  while it wasn’t the most pleasant situation, it was much needed and i feel a lot better now.

i was suppose to have a fill this monday, but i cancelled the appointment since i’ll be busy at work getting ready for chicago.  i’m not sure if my doctor will give me another fill since my episode, but i guess i’ll see when i go back march 17th.  i haven’t had a fill since august, so too much liquid in my band shouldn’t be the case and most of the time, i don’t feel restriction like i think i need, i just think all of life’s stresses caught up to me and it made for a not so fun band experience.

i’ll keep you all updated on that one!

FOOD:

i’m still low carbing it as of right now, but my body is craving changed. i’ve taken some serious thought into how to make this a smooth transition without my triggers coming back full force. i’ve been considering going back to body-for-life eating (i documented it before) which is basically balanced intake: 40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% healthy fats.  i also want to keep the foods i eat as non-processed as possible, sticking to carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, berries, and things like that. breads and other processed carbs are hard on my digestion.

i know its possible to lose weight while eating carbs, they just scare me.  i don’t even mean that in a joking manner.. i’ve never known how to limit myself on carbs/sugars, which is why low carb usually works for me.  i completely restrict them so im not even tempted to eat them.. but then i get bored.. and eat some dessert.. and you know the drill. i can feel little ‘cheats’ creeping in a little too much which is why i know i need a change.

i’m currently doing an advocare cleanse to give my body a little boost, so i’m going to try to make this transition while cleansing/after the cleanse.  again, i’ll keep you updated!

WORKING OUT:

eh. not much to report on here.. i’ve been attempting but getting 2 days, AT BEST, a week.  i definitely want to get back into the gym more because my body is starting to feel soft, which i hate.  i have a great plan to follow so i just need to get on it!  i didn’t lose 75 lbs to stop at this.  i still have my dream body to sculpt here!

PROGRESS PICTURES:

here’s what about 75lbs down looks like:

photo 1 photo 2

 

i’m feeling better about myself every day and want to continue to do so.  this is the longest i’ve stuck with a weight loss journey and i want to make it work.  i’ve had a lot of curve balls thrown my way recently and i haven’t fallen off track like i normally would, so i’m taking that as a good sign.. and honestly, if i stayed at this weight (230 pounds) for the rest of my life, i wouldn’t be mad.  i love my body right now, i just want it to be a little tighter.  i don’t want abs or a thigh gap or whatever, but i want to be able to lift heavy weights and see some muscle definition in my arms and legs.

 

soooo.. that’s all i have for you today, folks!  hope you enjoyed my update and i hope i wont take so long to post next time!

5 months out

hey there!  worst blogger of the year award goes to me! oh well, just be happy you’re getting a post today, ok 🙂 so! i owe you all a update (if you even care)!

everything is going GREAT!  i honestly have no complaints.  my life has been crazy busy, filled with work, gym, events, weddings, new babies, planning for big thangz in my own life (!!!), so i haven’t had much free time to just hang out and type up a blog post.

so WEIGHT LOSS!  this is a weight loss blog, so i guess i owe you an update on that!  as of the 8th, i’m 5 months post-op from lap-band surgery. i’m currently down 66 lbs and feeling amazing!  for some reason 66 lbs doesn’t feel like a huge loss for me, but i feel so much better physically that it’s crazy!  i can move around so much better, clothes are actually comfortable to wear, and i can actually look at myself in the mirror without being disgusted.

i still want to lose 40-60 more pounds depending on how i look at those 2 stages, and i’ll re-asses my goals when i reach that point.  as i’ve mentioned in the past, i’m not trying to be super skinny, just healthy.  if i get somewhere between 170-200 i’ll be happy.  i still have a stomach pooch, flabby arm skin, and some thigh fat that i’d like to go away, so 40-60 seems like a good number to me.

here is an updated before and after:beforeandafter

lets see, what else.  i’m continuing to use a low carb diet as means of diet.  i’ve incorporated more fats into my diet to help with satiety, and it really seems to be helping.  i’ve done some research on the ketogenic diet and that is basically the plan i am following at this point.  here is the diet explained better than anything i can give you, from this website:

A ketogenic diet is quite simply any diet that forces the body into a process called ketosis, whereby fats are burned instead of carbohydrates for use as energy. A proper ketogenic diet calls for the dieter to consume high amounts of fat, adequate amounts of protein, and very low amounts of carbohydrates. Our bodies are used to turning carbohydrates into glucose to send all over the body as energy. When we enter ketosis by sufficiently limiting our carbohydrate intake, our livers start breaking down fat cells into fatty acids and ketones, to be used as energy.

i enjoy the higher fat aspect, because i can still enjoy some things that i normally wouldn’t on your typical weight loss surgery diet which is low-carb, low fat.  i get to eat avocados, bacon, butter, and all of the macadamia nuts i want (well, within reason) and still lose weight, which is awesome!

i did complete an advocare cleanse, and cut out higher fat foods and dairy for 10 days, which was torture to my cheese loving self, but i did well and lost quite a few inches!  i’m continuing using the MNS products, but it has been a little hard getting the pills in since my last fill. i can take them all, i just have to take them one by one so they don’t get ‘stuck’.  i do find a huge difference in energy when i take them and when i forget to take them, so i’m going to stick with those.

i’ve been really into seafood lately, so tilapia and shrimp have been on the menu quite a few times.  i also found a sweet kale salad at costco that i’m obsessed with, but had to stop using the dressing, because it had too much sugar and kept kicking me out of ketosis.

pistachio crusted tilapia w. sweet kale salad:

tilapia

bbq shrimp & cauliflower ‘grits’:

shrimpngrits

andddd i’ve also had my fair share of ‘treat’ meals.  all along, i’ve mentioned i don’t want this experience to be just like every other attempt at weight loss.  i’m trying to keep myself from binging on everything bad, so when i’m craving something, i’ll let myself have it.  like chips and margaritas!  & ice cream, obviously.

margs

i’m still going to the gym regularly, which is great for me!  i usually go 2-3 months, then get burned out and stop going.  i had a little spout where i didn’t feel motivated, but i pushed through it and i average about 3-4 days in the gym, sometimes 5, but that’s definitely not always the case.  i’m lifting heavy, incorporating a lot of superset/drop sets, and doing SOME cardio. not MUCH, but some!  my workouts have been really intense with the new plan i’m doing, though, so i do keep my heart rate pretty high while lifting, so who needs cardio, right?

i can’t really think of anything else!  fitness and eating, with work, take up a lot of my life right now!  i’ll leave you with a picture of the baby, because i’m sure everyone would like to see his face versus mine any day.

scout

xoxo

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.

Capture

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!

Capture23(source.)

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?

advocare 24 day challenge update

hey there!  after a four day weekend away from just about everything other than the gym, i’m feeling.. awful. i know part of the reason for my feeling like this is cramps + bloating; but, there’s nothing i can do to control that so i’m not going to let it get in my way.

this morning, i fell got out of bed,  got all my things together, then headed down the road to my gym.  (sidenote: my gym is 30 minutes away, along with most civilization, but it’s only 5 minutes from my work; so, i shower at the gym and the distance doesn’t phase me, since i would be driving that far to work a couple hours later anyway).  15 minutes down the road, i realize something: i forgot my work clothes. ugh. i drive home, scoop them up, then head back to the gym.  i started out a little early this morning, so my mishap made me on-time to the gym around 5:15ish a.m.

once i got to the gym, i jumped right into squats and kettlebell swings for leg day, but something just felt off.  my legs felt exhausted and my right quad/hamstring kept feeling like it was about to pull.  so, i backed off and did as much as i could and followed-up with 15 minutes in the sauna.  i’ve been going into the sauna for about 5-10 minutes after every workout and i haven’t felt that sore compared to how i think i should feel.  i’m really pushing myself in the gym and the sauna seems to help keep the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) away.

here’s the thing, i’m not happy with my day in the gym this morning, but i’m also not upset.  i could have easily pushed sleep on my alarm clock and slept for two more hours, but i didn’t.  i’m not saying i’m new and improved and will never skip a workout, but, after 3 weeks of this, i can feel a change in my attitude.  something i’ve never felt before.  i want this change to stick and become permanent.

i know it wont be easy and i know its going to be a long road, but i know it will be worth it if i just keep sticking to what i’m doing.

Capture2(source.)

i’m currently down 12 pounds since the start of my Advocare 24 day challenge, and before i became a bloated mess, i seriously just felt ‘slimmer’.  i wont say these are magic pills that are going to make you skinny overnight, but i do think this challenge gives you the right tools to get on track with a healthy push along the way.

can’t wait to complete my final weigh-in next wednesday and share the results with you all! sorry for being whiney this afternoon.

have a great day!

advocare cleanse recap

sooooo.. the cleanse is officially over! now it’s time for the max phase of the challenge! i can’t tell you enough how excited i am to complete this challenge.  most ‘challenges’ i have tried in the past usually wind up with me getting bored before i actually finish.  that’s what makes this challenge so different.  24 days will pass you by before you even know it!

grab some snacks, this could get long.

so, what’s the cleanse been like? i never really felt like i was actually doing a ‘cleanse’ because i was still eating great food and enjoying normal activities.  the company suggests you cut out processed food, white flour, sugar, high-cal dressings, soda, and alcohol, replacing them with lean proteins, veggies, and complex carbs (beans, oatmeal, quinoa, whole grains). drinking plenty of water (they suggested half your body weight in ounces). and, they also suggest exercising regularly, which i ended up doing 1.5 – 2 hrs of lifting + cardio every morning.  i cut out the cardio after work, because i quickly felt burnt out, and i wanted to complete this challenge strong.

advocare(two 24 day challenge, only one is mine)

here’s a rundown of what my days looked like on average:

day 1-3:

  • 4:14 a.m. – roll out of bed, moaning and groaning
  • 4:30 a.m. – spark + catalyst pre-workout
  • 6:30 a.m. – fiber drink + protein shake post-workout
  • 10:00 a.m. – snack (almonds + hardboiled egg OR rice cake + almond butter)
  • 1:00 p.m. – catalyst
  • 1:30 p.m. – lunch (leftovers from night before, usually chicken/fish + veggies + quinoa/brown rice)
  • ~3:30 p.m. – snack (almonds + hardboiled egg OR rice cake + avocado)
  • 7:00 p.m. – omegaplex + dinner (chicken/fish/bison + veggie and sometimes complex carbs if feeling completely depleted, which only happened one day.)
  • 9:30 p.m. – herbal cleanse caplets + catalyst + protein shake
  • 10:00 p.m. – in bed

day 4-7:

day 8-10:

  • same as day 1-3, except take both probiotic restore and fiber drink, leave out herbal cleanse caplets at night.

it seemed a little intimidating, at first, and i carried my calendar around with what-to-take-and-when, but after the second day, i got the hang of it.  i would double check just to make sure i was taking the right thing in the morning and at night, since those are the only things that change through the cleanse.

i, also, never felt any harsh ‘cleanse’ effects happening during the 10 days either.  yes, it did make me regular, but i never felt like i was running to the bathroom, unless you count the bathroom breaks from drinking so much water.

the ONLY part of the cleanse i didn’t particularly enjoy was the fiber drink. i read plenty of reviews, beforehand, so i knew that it was just something i needed to mix, chug, and get it over with.  it wasn’t the taste that was bad, either.  it had a very gritty thick texture that wasn’t very appealing.  i was happy it wasn’t on days 4 through 7, and i’m very happy it’s over with for good, now. as much as i didn’t enjoy the fiber drink, it wouldn’t be enough to make me not want to try this cleanse again down the road.  advocare actually suggests doing this every 3 months.

so, how did i feel during the cleanse? i felt awesome.  i cannot stress that enough.  i want to be clear that i wasn’t eating terrible before i started this thing.  no, i wasn’t working out, but i kept most of my meals clean, especially during the week.  my downfall was late night ice cream, weekend eating out, and watching my portions.  just because the meal is ‘clean’ doesn’t mean you can have 2 large servings.  i was constantly tired. i felt groggy all the time. even if i wanted to workout, i felt so tired all the time i couldn’t seem to drag myself to the gym.

soooo, how were my results??? YOU GUYS, when i saw the numbers i was SHOCKED!  i know i feel 10x better, but the numbers are making me glow with confidence!  i knew my weight was consistently going down, because of that problem i have (which i’m working on). but, when i took my measurements and started comparing them with 10 days before, I WAS ESTATIC! so, here they are:

weightincheslostTHAT’S TWELVE AND A HALF INCHES, IN TEN DAYS. 

so, am i happy with the results so far?  ummm, do ya think???!?!  i’m really excited to finish this challenge strong.  these results are proof of my hard work and dedication and i can’t wait to see what kind of results i can pull off after 14 more days!!

*i am not an Advocare distributor, but my fiancé is.  all of my opinions on Advocare would be the same regardless of this.*