Just Heather

I am a certified chocoholic. I’ve spent the last several weeks making improvements. At first, I just focused on not grabbing candy throughout the day. Once I got it nailed down to just my nightly bubble bath, I worked on reducing the quantity. Instead of 2-3 pieces each night and countless throughout the day, I’ve had it down to just one treat at the end of a long day.

I knew Easter weekend was going to be rough, so through the week, I really cut back. I went 5 whole days without a single piece of chocolate! Then, of course, I blew it all this weekend. Easter candy is my favorite—I have no willpower.

After the previous week’s low activity, I worked pretty hard this past week. I concentrated on Fit Mom in Training’s circuit training as well as spending some time with my new (to me) treadmill. Plus, MFJ and I went to Zumba on Thursday. It is amazing how out of shape I was after just a week of lazy. I’m hitting it pretty hard this week, too. I’ve gotta burn off all that candy, you know.

I really thought I’d have a weight gain this week, but the numbers didn’t change at all. I suppose that’s good news, considering my indulgent weekend. Of course, I didn’t lose all sense of nutrition. I went with salad & veggies instead of too many chips at my nephew’s cookout. And, I did manage to steer clear of soda. (Shout out to my momma for skipping the Sunkist in favor of stocking her fridge with bottled water!)

It’s going to be another rough week. I’m an emotional eater, and we’ve got a tough day to face. The dog, who was injured earlier this year, is now getting worse instead of better. Today, we’re facing a tough decision and a long road of grief. I’m hoping to lose myself in exercise, rather than chocolate. Wish me luck—with all of it!

I’m hosting a Fit & Frugal Twitter chat at Inexpensively, with KidGrade tonight We’ll talk healthy living, fitness and reaching your goals on a budget. I hope to see you there!

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 191 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: no change
Total Weight Loss: 4 pounds

Updated Measurements: I’ve lost 5.5 inches so far!
Bust: 36″ (-.5″)
Waist: 35.5″ (-1.5″)
Hips: 40.5″ (-1.5″)
Thigh: 23″ (-.5″)
Arm: 12″ (-.5″)

This Week’s Mamavation Topic: Who in your world deserves a “shout out” this week for pushing you to better yourself? What did they do?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win My Trainer Fitness 100 Calorie+ Workout featuring MizFitOnline from Mamavation.

When I started out on this journey, I had two goals—to provide a better example to my girls an lose 30 pounds. But, something happened along the way. I started noticing all these other changes—side effects of being fit, I guess.

I’m sleeping better than I have in years! No more tossing & turning, waking up tired or Ambien prescriptions. Maybe it’s because I’m flat out exhausted after working out twice each day. Still, it’s nice to fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. And, I kinda like waking up well rested.

No more cracked heels! All that water I’m drinking is making a huge difference in my whole body. I got a mani-pedi the other day, and she didn’t spend much time on my feet at all. They were already smooth & hydrated. Pretty cool since it’s usually a long time between pedicures.

The cravings are changing, too. I won’t tell you I don’t often wish for potato chips & chocolate, but the cravings are less frequent now. And, I don’t at all desire soda. Instead, I crave water throughout the day and frequently feel like I’ll die without a salad. A salad! Who knew?

I do occasionally give into the cravings, but that’s not why I’m up a pound this week. I slacked off quite a bit on my exercises. And, I had ice cream twice this weekend. I don’t really know why—I didn’t really want any, and it wasn’t all that good. But, I took the little one out for ice cream while the hubby had our older girls at the father-daughter dance. And the next day, the hubby asked me to stop for shakes while I was out.

I’m not sure why I got one for myself each time. Habit, I guess. It’s these habits I’m still struggling to break. Grabbing a snack every time I sit down to watch television. Grabbing a piece of candy each time I check-in at the chiropractor. Ordering a soda anytime we’re out to eat. I’m making progress at eliminating each habit.

Plus, I need to keep building the new, healthy habits I’ve created. The daily exercise is really toning my body & helping me drop the weight. I overdid it on Monday, then rested up a bit too much in the following days. Plus, we had a busy week, and I just wasn’t proactive enough about carving out time for fitness.

This week, I’m putting a little more focus on physical activity—and staying away from the ice cream!

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 191 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: gained 1 pound (boo!)
Total Weight Loss: 4 pounds

I’m in a much better place these days, than I was for much of my adult life. The hubby & I are happy together, enjoying one another and dating our way through the alphabet. The girls are growing up to be such caring spirits—I just love to see the people they are turning out to be. And, I have friends. Real & actual friends. I didn’t for so very long, but I never realized just how damaging that was to the rest of my life.

I didn’t know how to make friends, really. Where do grownups meet people? I tried playgroups but was worlds apart from other mothers, having started at age 20. I tried church groups but never really connected with anyone on a personal level. So, I pretty much gave up & went about my business. Along the way, great friends just kind of worked their way into my life.

At what point does an acquaintance cross that line into friendship?

Sometimes it happens slowly—you meet a local blogger for dinner once, just to know someone like you. Then, you grab a margarita together one day. And, before you know it, these are the people you consider your friends. They get you, and while most of your conversations happen via Facebook & Twitter, you know they’d drop anything to be there for you. Because you’d do the same for any one of them.

Sometimes, that line doesn’t take years to blur. Sometimes, it gets stomped on in an instant. Which is how I happen to know the exact date that MFJ and I really became friends. We celebrated our friendiversary earlier this month (what?! It’s a real thing!) in grand style. Next year, we’re sending save the date cards, though, because it was just the two of us for the Cosmo Moms 2nd anniversary celebration.

And, it is definitely cause for celebration because there is nothing like having a best friend. Every woman deserves to have a girlfriend in her life who knows all her faults but loves her anyway. Someone who can stop by your house without warning and never even notice the poor housekeeping skills. Someone who will listen to your daily rants & support you without question.

Not to mention, someone who will tell you when your butt looks fat in those pants.

MFJ has seen me at my worst. She shakes it alongside me every week in Zumba, when I look like a fool. She encourages my dreams—no matter how completely crazy they may be. She proudly displayed my graduation announcements & shares my triumph or trials with the girls right along with us. She’s there to answer my calls any time day or night and proudly tells the world all about my awesome.

So, this spring, I’m excited to tell the world all about her. And, celebrate her awesome!

Are you a blogger, too? Click here to register for a chance at 50 free announcements!

This post is part of a series sponsored by Shutterfly. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

Thanks to everyone who supported my bid to be Mamavation Mom—I didn’t quite make it, but I’m determined to rock the Move It & Lose It challenge. I want to continue my momentum, since last week’s before/after picture was so motivating. Plus, I have to prove everyone’s faith in me, through the application process, wasn’t displaced.

I know Mia & Andrea are going to rock as Mamavation Moms, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of my fellow applicants fare in the MiLi challenge. Losing 3 pounds in the first week of the campaign is incredibly encouraging—it helps stick with it when you see the results of hard work & sacrifice so quickly.

In addition to sticking with Fit Mom in Training’s Twitter workouts, I’ve continued to make positive changes in my family’s diet. Salads have become a regular way to increase our veggie intake. I’m also getting better at eating three full meals myself—I used to skip breakfast & skimp lunch. Now, I try to have a healthy start to each morning, and have begun adding vegetables even in the middle of the day.

Peanut butter celery, fresh peppers & popcorn have become staple snacks. I haven’t had chips in over a week, but that particular craving hasn’t quite gone away the way my soda addiction did. I have also drastically reduced my candy habit—I can’t quite bring myself to completely give up my nightly bubble bath treat, but at least I’ve stopped snacking on crap throughout the day!

As we move on through the campaign, I am going to continue with this progress. More veggies, less junk and balanced meals, for starters. I also need to work on healthier meal options—I’m from southern Indiana where dinner = fried foods & gravy. I’ve been concentrating on reducing the amount of oil I use in cooking as well as the amount of gravy, butter & dressings I use on my foods.

I’m not 100% there, just yet, but I have been making small changes each week, for a total of 5 pounds lost in 5 weeks. Even at that slow rate, I’m noticing significant changes in my body. And, others are noticing as well—I’ve received several comments in the last few days about it.

The key there is not to dwell on the fact that everyone noticed how fat I was before!

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 190 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss: 3 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 5 pounds

This Week’s Mamavation Topic: How would you like to alter your family’s nutrition and eating habits? Do you have a plan to do this?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the Mamavation Blogging Carnival for a chance to win an Orville Redenbacher Very Important Blogger Gift Basket.

Today will be filled with nervous energy—I’m learning to channel that into workouts, which is good all across the board! The next Mamavation Moms will be announced at tonight’s Twitter party. (Have you voted yet? Just check the box next to @JustHeather and click vote!) I’m honestly nervous about either outcome.

If I am selected, the next 8 weeks will be intense. I’ll have so many people watching me, counting on my success. I’m up for the challenge, for sure, but it’s definitely nerve-wracking. If I am not one of the moms, I’m worried it will halt my momentum. I’m counting on my Fit Friend, my amazing friends who have joined me in the Mamavation Sistahood and all of you to keep me going no matter what! That’s why I have already registered for the required 5K—there’s no turning back now.

I’m hoping a date on the calender will keep me motivated. The noticeable changes in my body are a huge motivating factor, too, though! I may not be losing much weight yet, but I’m building muscle & slimming all over. My pants fall off during jumping jacks. Shirts I haven’t worn in ages look much better on me. And, last week? I took a self-portrait on my camera phone, with only one chin, on my first try!

It’s time for the official “before” pics—and, I decided to go all in with a swimsuit. It’s not pretty, but it will definitely show the difference when I complete the program in May. I was really wishing I’d taken pics weeks ago, when I started all the hazing, since I already feel like I’ve made huge strides. Then, I saw the pictures. Geez—I’m so glad I don’t have a visual of my before before body. Yikes!

I do have one set of ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos, though. Last summer, I took a pic of my sunburn-striped thigh at the beach. (Okay, so I’m not good at sunscreen.) Last night, I tried to get a similar angle so you can see the visible difference. Less fat, more muscle! They’re starting to look pretty good, if I do say so myself. The second set of pictures, though, aren’t so pretty—you’re about to get an all angle view of exactly why I need Mamavation so badly!

Starting Measurements

Bust: 36.5″ (I’m convinced I did this one wrong because there is no. way. But, as long as I measure the same next time it should track accurately.)
Waist: 37″
Hips: 42″
Thigh: 23.5″
Arm: 12.5″

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 193 pounds
This Week’s Weight Loss:1.5 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 2 pounds

No Mamavation Topic Today: There’s no Mamavation TV today, since we’ll be celebrating the official launch of the campaign—including the announcement of the next Mamavation Moms—with a Twitter party instead. (I’d appreciate your vote!)/