Just Heather

One of the things on my list I’ve decided to tackle this year is losing weight. Number 4 on the 40×40 list is to get down to my “ideal” weight, which basically means a healthy BMI. I’ve got 40 pounds to go—look, another 40×40! But, that’s down 6 already from the last time I actually stepped on a scale.

Last year, I made an effort to eat healthier meals—less frying, (slightly) more veggies—but I still ate a lot of crap. Part of it was/is addiction—those Reese’s eggs are just so dang yummy—but part of it was fear. I’ve always joked that if I gave up my [number redacted] calorie-a-day Sunkist habit, I’d waste away to practically nothing. But, what if it’s not true?

What if it’s even harder than the incredibly difficult journey I already imagine?

This year, I made a tough decision on the soda issue—though I didn’t cut it out completely. I no longer keep it on hand around the house, which means the steady stream is gone. As is the addiction. I do allow myself to order soda when we’re out to dinner, and I occasionally buy myself the coveted Sunkist when I’m out & about. But, it’s no longer a daily habit.

The Sunkist bottle is no longer an accessory I carry around with me from morning to bedtime. (And, that doesn’t even touch the one I keep on my bedside table.) Now, I carry a glass of water everywhere I go. Upstairs, there’s a plastic cup on my nightstand. Downstairs, a drinking glass filled with water. In the car? A water bottle I can barely keep full.

It’s working—last week, I passed up an available Sunkist for water because that sounded more appealing—but I know I have to take it a step further, if I want to reach my goals. The ultimate goal will have me down several sizes—which is another fear. I’m half scared, half excited about this part. Where will I get the money to replace my clothes once I’ve lost even more? And, yet…shopping!! It means I’ll get to officially finish #25 too—an all new wardrobe definitely qualifies as an overhaul.

So, bravery it is—I’m doing this. But, I’ve decided I can’t do it alone if I want to get serious about it. I need the support of my family & friends. And, if I’m going to ask for your help, it means being completely open & honest. The numbers shall be revealed. The daily Sunkist habit? Totaled over 1000 calories. Yes, I meant to type all 3 zeros. And, yes, that was my daily intake.

Now, even when I do allow myself to indulge, it stops around 200 calories. I think. I just haven’t been counting. I so often eat, drink, indulge without a thought to what it means. I don’t exercise—not since my dance classed moved. I don’t run—it’s just never been an interest. And, I don’t reach the weight loss goals I set for myself.

Because I don’t really work for them. This time, it’s official—I’m going to step up, work hard and actually work out. Yes, I said that. I’ve been working out with Fit Mom Training for a week now—it’s amazing what those little bursts of time can do for your body. I’m down around a pound so far and feeling better than ever. But, I’m not spending hours at the gym or a ton of money on fitness equipment.

My workouts so far have consisted of jumping jacks, pushups, crunches, squats and a host of other at home (and free!) exercises. The circuits she has assigned each day work for me because I can throw in 15-20 minutes when I get home from school dropoff, before my shower. I can add in 15-20 minutes in the evening, before my nightly bubble bath. According to my Wii Fit, I’m getting in 45-60 minutes each day, in short bursts when I have the time.

Plus, I’m turning to my friends & family (and Bookie Boo!) to help motivate me & keep me accountable. I’m going to post the numbers (and fatty Mii) each week. I’m hoping we can all watch both of us shrink as we go along. The girls love watching me on the Wii Fit, and I’m so thrilled to provide that example for them.

They’re the how and why I’m going to be successful this time. Because, I can’t tell my girls to eat healthy and go outside & play, when I’m stuffing my face with junk & sitting on my rear all day long. I can’t teach them that the sacrifices we have to make for our gluten free lifestyle will keep us healthy, when I’m not otherwise healthy myself.

What I can do is make real, positive changes in my life.

I can workout. I can run. I can play Just Dance without getting winded! I just can’t do it all alone. Luckily, I won’t have to. The hubby has committed to doing this all with me. Whatever Mamavation throws at me? It’s his assignment too. That’s both parents in this family pushing hard for change. We can show our girls what it means to really work for something.

I can show my online network that the support we provide to one another—through one-liners, emails, Skype chats—has real, powerful meaning. I can show my friends that if I can do this, they can too. Because we’ll be in it together—each tweet, each friend, each family member will be right there with me. I’m applying to be the next Mamavation Mom and joining the Sistahood.

Can I count on your support?

How to nominate me for Mamavation:

Tweet (early & often!): Hey @bookieboo! I want @JustHeather to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support! http://bit.ly/aorv3Y

Facebook: Share why you think I would be a good Mamavation Mom on their Facebook wall.

Starting Weigh-In: 195 pounds
Today’s Weigh-In: 194 pounds
Total Weight Loss: 1 pound

Today’s Mamavation Monday Topic: What time of day works best for you to be active? How do you make sure you stick to those planned workouts?

This post is sponsored by SEARS FitStudio and by writing this I’m entered into a giveaway hosted by Mamavation and sponsored by Sears.

I enjoyed last year’s 10 things to do in 2010, over traditional New Year’s resolutions. So, I wanted to come up with 11 this year. Duh. But I got so bogged down with a 13th birthday party, school stuff, work things and general busyness that everything else got shoved aside. Which is exactly why I need this list in the first place.

One thing we are doing this year is a monthly family fun day—we’re only a couple months in, but it’s a pretty big success! The girls are loving it, and I’m utilizing freebies & Groupon to keep it within budget. But, that’s not about me—and this is all about me.

Over my birthday weekend, I took a look at my 40×40 list—I’ve crossed off 15 items so far, blogged about 13 and made progress on 2-3 more. Next year, I turn 35. That puts me “halfway” to 40, since I started this list around age 30. I want to be halfway through my list, too. Which means I need to finish 5 items in the next 11 months and 26 days.

And, that puts me halfway to 10, so I’ll just round it out for 2011, even if we are a few months into the year already.

  1. Plan a monthly family fun activity—it doesn’t matter if the house is clean or the girls are good all week. Once each month? We do something together. Just the 5 of us.
  2. Get a tattoo. Kahuna plans to film this one, I believe, so it should provide some quality entertainment for everyone, while crossing off #3 on my list.
  3. Start roller blading again. This should go along nicely with my Mamavation efforts, cross off #6 on my list and help me work towards my weight loss goals for #4. Three birds, one stone. Or, something like that.
  4. Replace my VHS movies with DVD. I’ve got some Amazon certificates & birthday money to finally get #13 knocked off.
  5. Go to the Harvest Moon Festival. Every year, I say we should go to this festival in the next town. Every year, I say maybe next year. This marks year #10 for us living here and it’s #17 on my list, so I think it will be our October Family Fun event.
  6. Officially launch The Cosmo Moms. This project was an idea the hubby & I had over a year ago, and it’s a fun project for MFJ and me to work on together.
  7. Attend an Indians game. This might work as a Family Fun event, plus it helps me get a little closer to #27 on the big list.
  8. Plant flowers. Every year I buy a package of wildflower seeds for the girls to plant in the backyard. Every year the big patch under our living room windows remains barren. This year, it’s written down on an official list. Now, I have to do it.
  9. Start scrapbooking again. That’s a little too vague, but tackling my wedding album (#2) & baby albums (#11) would be a little too much for someone who hasn’t cropped in years. I think I’ll start with finishing the mostly done vacation album and/or holiday traditions book. At the very least, I want to do the old/new wedding page I’ve had in mind since our renewal ceremony last year.
  10. Build a snowman with my girls. I can’t control the weather, though, so I’m giving myself a pass if I can’t get #24 finished in 2011. First big snow next winter, though? My butt is out in the cold.
  11. Go to a drive-in theater. It didn’t make my 40×40, but it probably should have! There’s one near the in-laws’ lake house, so it will be another motivator to get us up there more often.

I added this one to my 40×40 list on a bit of a whim—it just sounded so idyllic. The sun setting on a gorgeous day at the beach. The waves lapping at your feet. The children enjoying our picnic lunch before building a sandcastle, flying kites or hunting for seashells…

I sort of didn’t think about the sand all over your picnic blanket. I didn’t consider the seagulls swarming nearby. And, I was clearly picturing someone else’s children—3 adorable blonds who didn’t fight, whine or sulk through every meal.

We did enjoy building a sandcastle, flying kites & hunting for seashells throughout our week at Myrtle Beach, but those are stories for another day. As for picnicking at the ocean? I’ve pretty much decided it’s no picnic—and I’m never doing it again.

But, at least I get to cross it off the list!

The Pacers.

The Colts.


The Brickyard.

I’ve done it (almost) all. And, when One2One Network offered to send my family and I to a Fever game, I got a step closer to attending every major sporting event in the Indianapolis area. (#27 on the list, if you’re counting.) It was the girls’ first experience at a game, in their memory anyway and all 3 loved it.

Yes, even Stacia who is usually way too cool for family night. Brenia was obsessed with the score—she didn’t just want to win; she wanted to see the Fever cross 100. I tried to tell her WNBA games tend to score lower than men’s, but she didn’t give up.

And, neither did the Fever. “The girls” just seem to play with more intensity. I wonder if it’s because they have more to prove…? I have been to no less than a dozen Pacer games over the years, but this was a completely different experience. Their final score was, indeed, 100. Brenia was beyond excited!

Even Lorelai did well at this event. She’s not really one to sit still, and I think taking her to a venue filled with excitement & noise was perfect. I thought she’d be over it once the cotton candy was gone, but we were in luck—in celebration of Freddy’s birthday, mascots from across Indiana showed up for fun & games.

We enjoyed the game, the mascot shows and our autograph session at the end. Tully Bevilaqua and Tamika Catchings were truly gracious. They spent time chatting with my girls, signed all of our shirts and I can’t wait to see them play again. There’s only a couple more weeks left in this season, but if you want to see them in action, One2One Network has a coupon code for you!

Buy one Fever ticket, get one free when you use coupon code WNBABLOG. The coupon code is also good for discounts with teams across the league—have fun!

I received a family pack of tickets through One2One Network to facilitate this review.

I put a lot of time & effort into creating my 40×40 list. I revised, edited & felt pretty confident that I was publishing my official, permanent, final draft. A couple years into the project, I’m editing it for the very first time.

Blame Casey.

Well, okay—so it’s not all her fault. The original sports-related item stated “Own season tickets to a local sports team—good seats.” And, while that’s still a wish list item, I am changing it to something that is both bigger & more attainable.

The idea started when I added “Attend an Indians game.” to my ever-growing summer fun list. It grew when One 2 One Network offered me tickets to take my family to a Fever game in July. I was thrown completely over the edge when Casey wrote about her Indy 500 experience. I don’t just want to see one, single Indy team.

I want to see them all!

The 40×40 list has officially been edited. I’ve been to many, many Pacer games. I’ve been to a Colts game. I’ve been to the Brickyard. I’ve been to Supercross—10 times! This summer, I’m checking out the Fever. By the end of my 40×40 journey? I’ll add the Indians, the 500 and the Ice.

27. Attend every sporting event in the Indianapolis area at least once.

Here’s something you should know about me first—I’m not majorly into celebrity gossip. I don’t read celeb magazines. I don’t care who is married and who’s getting divorced. I don’t even have a long list of celebrities that fascinate me—just a short, ever-changing list of celebs I’d do if given the opportunity. Wait, I mean..no, that’s exactly what I meant.

I’ve met Gallagher—sort of. I’ve met Paul and Storm. I’ve met Tim Gunn. And, yet, I just couldn’t cross this one off 40×40“>the list.

I wanted one of those Wow! celebrities. You tell people you met so-and-so and hear “Wow! Really?” instead of “Who?” My sister has met Hulk Hogan, Mark Cuban and B.B. King. B.B. King! And, she didn’t even know who he was. Her blues fan brother-in-law was incredibly jealous. For me, crossing this one off meant I needed to see some serious envy!

I just couldn’t figure out how to make that happen. It seemed like one of those wishful thinking entries that I couldn’t plan, control or possibly even do. I was resigned to reaching 40 without crossing this one off the list, even as I challenged MFJ to get me on Rachael Ray. She would totally count!

Enter the beautiful, fabulous Alli Worthington and her completely awesome sidekick Barbara Jones!

A few weeks before Blissdom, these amazing women announced a special appearance by Harry Connick Jr. complete with meet ‘n greet! Harry Connick Jr.? Harry Connick Jr.?! O.M.G. It’s like they designed the entire weekend just for me. I freaking love Harry Connick Jr. Obviously.

Harry Connick Jr.Then, the Saints went to the Superbowl. And, HCJ had to be there! Of course. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But, did this amazing guy stand us up? Afterall, we were just a small group of women—a drop in the bucket compared to the Superbowl.

Heck no—he’s amazing, remember? Instead of the keynote and Saturday night event they had originally planned, Harry Connick Jr. offered a private, mini-concert & short photo session instead. Short? You mean, I might not get a chance to meet him?

That was not going to work into my plan. I was determined to be one of the lucky bloggers to meet him. Of course, I should never have underestimated the fabulous duo of Alli & Barbara—they found a way to make it work! Harry would greet bloggers in groups of 6 so everyone could have a photo with him.

And yet, I wasn’t sure that would be good enough for my list.

So, I managed to finagle my way to the front of a group. And, to be the first to Harry when it was our turn. Did you expect anything less of me? I had to introduce myself. To officially meet him. To stand next to him. To touch him. (Although, I promised Alli I would be totally appropriate—she felt the need to warn me twice!)

I walked up to him, he took my hand, turned his gorgeous eyes straight to mine and said, “Hi, I’m Harry.”


Me with Harry Connick Jr.

Yes, I totally cropped everyone else out of my picture. Shuddup.

How Yummie Tummie is helping with my 40×40 list:

25. Overhaul my wardrobe. (Alternate: Hire a fashion consultant.)

This is one of the 40×40 items I’m working on for the year. I have come a long way, truly. I think most of my fall/winter wardrobe is pretty good but I still have to make it through the spring & summer before I can cross it off the list. Teaching Lorelai how to take pictures on my phone has been a big key. She sends pictures to MFJ for approval, and I’m starting to pick up on what looks best. I also made huge leaps & bounds earlier this month with one, single article of clothing.

Yummie Tummie poseMy Blissdom roomie won a Yummie Tummie fitting—and returned to our room looking absolutely fabulous! I was super jealous of her new Yummie Tummie and mentioned that to their PR gal when I met her at a cocktail party later that evening. She rustled up a tank top in my size, and it’s changing everything. With my Yummie Tummie, I can shop from the back of my closet or rock my favorite shirts solo instead of under a baggie hoodie.

I got so many comments last weekend about how great I looked. I finally admitted to my mom & sis that it was a bit of an illusion. I’ve stuffed myself into Spanx before (okay, their Target low-end brand) but this is much more comfortable. It’s just like wearing a t-shirt. That hides all your momma bits. It’s like dropping a size just by wearing an undershirt! Of course, this presents an entirely new problem as several of my jeans no longer fit. Are belts in style? I just never know these things—I told you I was a disaster.

I like the idea of being a size smaller, though, especially as I shop for bridesmaid gowns with my sister. (Yep, working on #33 next!) The new Slippie is coming to my fitting with me. In fact, I’m ready to buy one in every style—and my mom wants one too. The price tag no longer scares me—it will be the best $68 I’ve ever spent. But, I will definitely keep my eye out for a coupon! It’s just what I do.

I was given a free Yummie Tummie at Blissdom (because I am super charming after 2 martinis). However, I was not asked to write this review and the opinion is 100% mine.

I’m not much of a traveler, but when I think of places I’d like to visit it tends to be because of something I saw on television. My life is so glamorous! Of course, if I’d included everywhere I’ve seen in a movie on my 40×40 list, there wouldn’t have been room for anything else. I had to be very selective about my travel choices, but Vegas was always on the list!

When Deb invited me to join her Mom Bloggers panel at Affiliate Summit West, I jumped at the chance, especially since Vegas is on the hubby’s 40×40 list too! Combining a few days of vacation travel with a business trip sounded like the most inexpensive way to make it happen. We headed to Las Vegas a few days before the conference, got married by Elvis on our first day there, and spent the rest of the weekend exploring the strip.

Doing Vegas on a budget meant we weren’t planning to spend a ton of money on shows. I checked out a huge list of free things to do in Vegas, and discovered the popular Show in the Sky Parade is in the conference hotel. We managed to stumble on it our first night of the conference. In the meantime, we checked out the lions at MGM, watched the fountains at the Bellagio and saw the Volcano Eruption at the Mirage.

Our most anticipated—and geekiest—part of the weekend was not entirely free. It appeared on the free list because there is no admission fee, but we did have to take a cab off the strip. It was way, way worth it and the rest of our afternoon at the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum cost just one roll of quarters! There were pinball machines from the 70s, 80s, 90s and current models—play was at the original cost.

I played Star Wars pinball, Super Mario pinball, Q-Bert pinball and so many more! I also spent a single quarter playing Asteroids—and had a blast watching the hubby spend $3 trying to beat my high score. If we ever make it back to Vegas, this is definitely on the list again. Of course, a return trip to Vegas is practically guaranteed. The New York roller coaster was on the hubby’s 40×40 but it was closed for repair during our entire stay!

We did get see it, though, along with Ceasar’s Palace, Paris, Flamingo and Harrah’s. It was pretty much our goal to walk through every well known casino. We’re not huge gamblers, but it was tons of fun anyway. We did try our hand at Craps but my only money maker was the sports pit. If only the hubby had given me a larger gambling allowance in there! Next time, maybe he’ll have more faith in my sports knowledge.

Because there will be a next time! (Hopefully soon.)