5 Fundamentals of Weight Loss Success

I think weight loss could possibly be one of the biggest mind games you can play in your lifetime. I have been on several spectrums of this game…

I’ve been lost.

I’ve been defeated.

I’ve been confused.

I’ve been overconfident.

I’ve been overwhelmed.

I’ve been lazy.

I’ve been successful…

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What no one tells you that there is no finish line. You. are. never. finished.

This might disappoint some of you but I’ve learned a lot through the process of struggling publicly with my weight. And the truth is there are great rewards to be found within the process. The happiest I’ve ever felt is while I’m on a journey to better myself. Whether it be school, health, motherhood… There is something to be said for the striving part of the process because your strength hides within the struggle.


Life is full of ups and downs and unfortunately my body weight tends to fluctuate with those highs and lows. (The fact that people actually read this blog leads me to believe that I’m not alone.) In all truth, I haven’t actively tried to lose weight for about a year. I’ll spare you the long story and just say that after having lost a baby this summer through an ectopic pregnancy, I found myself slipping from my healthy ways. Add a job to the mix and the guilt of no longer being a stay-at-home mom and I’ve found the pounds creeping back on. Now, on the verge of a new year, I’ve found myself in major need of a health overhaul.

The good news is that I’ve already done this and I can skip all of the confusing aspects of losing weight and get straight to work. The bad news is that I’ve already done this…

This may be fortunate for you because I have done all of the leg work for you. Here is my opportunity to condense two years worth of weight loss blogging into a list of things you need in order to successfully lose weight.

 5 Fundamentals of Weight Loss Success

1. Get Mentally Prepared– The very first step to having a magical transformation (inside and out) is to have a major attitude adjustment. You need to abolish all self-doubt.


If you think it is impossible to lose weight then it will be. If you think you won’t be able to have your dream body then you won’t. It’s all up to you. The most important key to all of this is to believe in yourself. I know this is the corniest, cheesiest cliche there is… but it’s true.


Don’t sit around waiting for something to inspire you. Actively seek it out. I love looking at weight loss transformations. Find inspirational quotes. Listen to music. Read some books. Visualize who you want to be both physically and mentally and be that person.

Don’t waste time bashing yourself for where you are. It doesn’t matter what happened to get you to where you are today. You need to get over it. Quit looking for excuses, instead find ways to conquer anything that may come your way. It doesn’t matter how in shape you were five years ago or what the number is on the scale right now.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be perfect. It just means that you won’t look for ways to victimize yourself. If you screw up. You screw up. That’s all there is to it. The only thing to be done about that is to move forward. And when you move forward you will do it without bullying yourself. In other words… don’t be an asshole 🙂 <—- Do you like how I added the smiley face here. That is my passive aggressive way of saying. “Sorry, I’m not sorry.”

2. Move Your Ass- Nobody cares how cool your workout is. The key to weight loss is exercise. If you are just getting started it doesn’t matter what you do. It could be something trendy or something super lame. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Lift some milk jugs. Do some planks. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what it is as long as you move. After you’ve gotten some momentum then you can worry about planning your workouts in accordance to the results that you are looking for.


Don’t let not having a gym membership be an excuse for not being able to work out. (I’ve tried that.) There are several at home workouts available on pinterest. There are also some really inexpensive options as far as gyms are concerned. Plus, there is always the sidewalk.

Personally, my plan is to balance lifting weights, spin class (even though it kills my vagina), running, yoga and having a dance party on the elliptical machine.

*If this video doesn’t show up on my blog the way that I want it to I highly recommend clicking on the link…

3. Nutrition- For me… this is the hardest part. I have been so confused on this topic throughout the years. There are so many diets to choose from. Crossfit people pushed me to do paleo. Old school diets say to stay away from fat. This threw me off for a long time. However, over the years I have learned how to cut the crap and get down to business.


The simple truth is that it is all about numbers. You can eat a paleo diet but if you eat 3000 calories of organic beef and roasted nuts you aren’t going to lose any weight. It doesn’t matter how many veggies you squeezed in there. On the other hand you can eat all “diet food” and still be eating junk.

Counting Calories…

For me, the best way to lose weight is to cut out processed crap, eat a variety of healthy fresh foods and to count calories (not obsess over them). When I lose weight I cap my intake to 1600 calories a day. However, if I’ve had a particularly hard work out and my body tells me to eat more I will. You have to find a balance between holding yourself accountable without being a total psycho about it.

The key to successfully dieting via calorie counting without feeling deprived is to make sure that you choose your foods wisely. It’s not just the amount of calories you eat but the quality of calories you are ingesting. This does not mean that it is okay to eat a McDonald’s cheese burger even if it fits within your calorie intake. Your body knows you aren’t getting the nutrients it needs so it will prompt you to eat more. I feel best when I balance my carbohydrates, fats and proteins with each meal… (I try to make the majority of my carbohydrates come from fruits and veggies.) 1200 calories is the minimum amount of calories you can eat with out officially crossing over to starvation mode (eating disorders). I would only recommend this amount for the most sedentary person. Keep in mind, if you are looking to build your strength 1200 calories are not enough to build any type of muscle. In other words you won’t find that lean toned look you might be looking for.


As a blogger I have been given offers by several companies who want me to push products to my readers. But here is the truth. You don’t need any of that crap. You don’t need supplements. You don’t need pills. After seeing all of the damage society has done to us through processed crap why would you buy more processed crap to help you find your ultimate health?

You don’t have to have a ton of money in order to lose weight. The majority of your weight loss cost should be in the form of groceries… and tighter fitting clothing 😉

4. Hydrate- It is so important to hydrate yourself. Not only for weight loss but for your health in general. I could regurgitate all of the information I’ve found throughout the years but I think I’ll just skip that part and leave you this link just in case you are interested. Twelve Unexpected Reasons To Drink More Water This New Year

FYI: vodka is not interchangeable with water… I’ve tried.

After the holidays I’m going to have to go on a Starbucks cleanse… as in, I’m not going to drink Starbucks anymore. If I need coffee I’ll drink iced coffee that I make at home (because I can drink iced coffee black). If I need something warm to cozy up to during these winter months I’ll opt for tea.

I’ve also decided to give up all alcohol until Valentine’s Day. I just need to kick-start some new healthy habits. Plus, it’ll make me a cheap Valentine date which my husband will appreciate.

5. Commit- Just do it! What are you waiting for? If you have quite a bit of weight to shed you will find a comfort zone about half way through. Keep going! Don’t give up. At this point, if you did things the right way, you will have found joy in the process. You have not been deprived, you will have enjoyed tons of new delicious foods. You will have taken pride in your strength and your endurance. Why would you stop here? Make it a lifestyle. If something throws you off balance get back to it as fast as you can.

The hardest part of losing weight are the mind games you will try to play with yourself. You will try to justify why you should be able to do things that will derail you. Just know that you’ll do this, cut the crap and stay the course. It doesn’t matter if you had a bad day, or if the scale didn’t budge last week, or that you really need want a cheeseburger. You have a goal in mind and you will regret it if you don’t follow through with it.

can'tsintocansOnce you get in the right mindset, the pounds will fall off and you will find your happy place.

I’m so excited to start fresh!  I don’t have a specific number in mind. However, I have a few physical attributes I’ll be keeping an eye out for… I want a flat stomach, preferably with some muscle tone. I want you to be able to see my arm muscles without flexing. I want nice side boobs, the kind that doesn’t melt into my back fat. In other words, I want to be fit.

I can’t wait to show you! (Well, except for the side boob. I’ll keep that under wraps.)

Weekly weigh-ins are coming back on Fridays as are monthly pictures and measurements. My goal is to have made significant progress by Valentines Day… my first cheat day.

I need to prove to myself that I am fully committed so I’m pretty much going through a six week cleanse. Plus it would be nice to feel like a complete hottie on that particular day.

Being a teacher I am really looking forward to having the summer months off. I would like to get to a point physically where I am extremely proud of myself by then. All of the hard work I put in will just be an active reminder of the good things to come.

As always I invite you to join me on Fridays for these weigh-ins.

Time To Remove My Clark Kent Glasses

You know what? Sometimes I wear my sports bra to work.

True story.

I do this for two reasons: 1.) Sometimes the girls get on my nerves and I need to push them out of the way a bit. 2.) I can go on a little impromptu athletic excursion during my work break…. with support.

It kind of makes me feel like Superman. At first glimpse I look like a nerdy teacher in professional gear but underneath lies the key to my super powers… a sports bra.

I even have the Clark Kent glasses.


For the past two weeks it has been dead winter in these parts. As soon as I gathered the motivation and organization needed to go on these little outdoor excursions in between teaching classes this happened…


And then this happened…


(There’s hot chocolate somewhere underneath that mound of whipped cream.)

At first it was really fun! We watched movies and snuggled. And watched movies and snuggled. and watched movies and snuggled… “Okay, you can get off me now… Seriously, get off me!!!”

Cabin fever ran rampant and we started to resort to weird ways of entertaining ourselves while we waited for the cold weather to pass…


Before long the fun faded and I got SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, if you must). I didn’t want to spend one more evening in my pajama pants. I needed to get out. I needed exercise! When I started working full time I let my gym membership expire.  Since I started working so much I wasn’t using it. When this happened I figured I could just go outside and run, but as you could see there was a two week span when that wasn’t going to happen.

So without a gym I decided to get a punch pass for our local rec center. Brent and I agreed I could go work out during the evenings that Bridget had swim team practice. I thought this was a great idea. Our rec center was huge I had never ventured upstairs but I was sure they would have all of the equipment I would need. After I bought my pass we all marched up stairs to see what I would have to work with.

It turned out to be a play pin with a handful of cardio equipment shoved in the corner. The feng shui was totally off. I felt claustrophobic just looking at it. As soon as we saw it I turned around and walked out.

I could feel the tears prick my eyes and I wanted to walk ahead of Brent so that he wouldn’t notice. I was acting like a baby and I knew it. But I was really looking forward to having this moment to myself where I could work out and feel good. There was no way I could accomplish this in that little stinky baby play pen. (Yes, I am fully aware that my reaction indicates that a play pen was exactly where I belonged… but that’s not the point.)

What was done was done. I had twelve passes to use up before I could come up with another option. The first Swim Team day arrived and Brent had already made plans for cooking dinner and had already cleaned the house. As soon as I walked in the door from work he asked me if I was going to the gym. I started to come up with an excuse as to why I couldn’t and I could see Brent’s eyes rolling into the back of his head before I could even finish my sentence and gave up.

I was being stupid. I went upstairs and changed into my gym clothes and decided to just give it a try.

When we arrived to the rec center Bridget made her way to the pool and I trudged up the stairs. I chose to work out on an elliptical machine because it was the only thing that wasn’t shoved into a corner. I grumbled to myself as I shoved my ear buds in my head. I started out shuffling along half-heartedly but then something happened. I forgot where I was, I forgot what I was doing and I just enjoyed my music and the feeling of my muscles coming back to life. My lungs burned at first because it had been a while since I had fully utilized them. But even the burning sensation started to fade as I was lost in myself.

In myself… the one place where I can find happiness.

It was then that an epiphany hit me. I don’t need a super fancy gym to obtain my goals, or anything that I could buy for that matter. The answer to my success is simply from within, something I’ve always known but I rarely acknowledge.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but it’s that time of year…

The one where leeches come out of the wood work. They know that you are going to eat your weight in pumpkin pie and Christmas cookies so they choose this time of year to feed off of all of your insecurities. These are the companies that tell you that they have the one and only diet that will work for you. They have the “all natural supplement” that will suck all of the belly fat out of your abdomen. They’ve all got that one tool that will lead to your ultimate goals and success.

They have the solution for you!  “All for just three easy installments of  $39.95 and then we’ll rape you of the rest because without your full knowledge you have just signed up for a subscription that will automatically pull from your bank account.

I actually just fell for this not too long ago. I got sucked into a fake article about “the skinny pill” sweeping the nation. I knew it was a fake article but I was still curious. They were advertising free trials so I decided to sign up. I told myself that I was doing it simply for research purposes for my readers. Once it came in the mail I ignored it. My moment of weakness had passed and I wasn’t so curious anymore.

Unbeknownst to me the company decided to make an $89 withdrawl from my checking account.

Got all gangsta with customer service and they gave me my money back but I still felt violated… I had just been bamboozled!

Funnily enough, within the past two weeks something started happening to my blog. Instead of having hundreds of visitors to my site a day I was having thousands.

I couldn’t help but be skeptical. What the hell happened? Where are you people coming from? Don’t get me wrong glad your here but in case you didn’t notice from my lack of ad space (a conscious decision) I’m not here to sell you anything.

No greasy salesmen here! If anything were ever endorsed on this blog it is because I truly thought it was beneficial. Not because someone paid me to sell it for them. (No offense greasy salesmen.)

I did some digging and found out that some company had attached themselves to my blog without my permission. I found my website under a different web address. Check it out for yourself… http://naturalfitnessandwellness.com/top-posts/

Did you see it? It’s pretty creepy right?!

Then I simply plugged in naturalfitnessandwellness.com in my computer to see what the hell this was all about. Well guess what I found…


They are selling Garcinia Cambogia AKA “the skinny pill” sweeping the nation. It’s a SCAM!!! They make this site look like it’s connected to the magazine Good Housekeeping, but if you look at the link that appears it doesn’t say naturalfitnessandwellness.com or goodhousekeeping.com it says goodhousekeep

(Not to mention the stupid name. Have you ever heard of artificial fitness? How is any fitness not natural? Weirdos.)

So if you found my webpage through their shenanigans let me first say. Welcome!

I’m sorry we met this way but listen well.

You can’t buy what you are looking for. The answer to your problems doesn’t come from a pill that you can buy on the internet. Nor does it come from any of the other crap that is being marketed to you.

What you need is a good come to Jesus talk with yourself and realize that you are fully capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to. Be it your fitness goals, your career goals or your personal goals. The key to your success is belief.

Believe in yourself.

This type of belief isn’t a quick decision to be made but a journey you will travel for your whole life. When you travel down this road you may just find that you are amazed by what you are capable of along the way.


These companies know the in’s and out’s of your psyche. They know your weakness. They know that it is easier for you to believe that the reason you aren’t living the life you want to live isn’t because of failure but because you didn’t have the required tools.

But if you look inwardly enough you’ll have no choice but to acknowledge that these are just a bunch of bullshit excuses. It’s humbling to admit that you’ve had everything you’ve needed all along. It was just a matter of utilizing it.

Now, time to remove the Clark Kent glasses…

To the company who is trying to use my content to take advantage of my readers.


We’re not buying it. I don’t want your traffic. I don’t write this blog to make money. I write this blog to connect with people… not trick them.

So until you stop utilizing me for your shady ways I will virtually kick your ass in every post I make until you unlink yourself to me… because until then every person you send to my website will know better than to spend their money on the bogus shit you are trying to sell.

Sporting Flip Flop Tan Lines


Hi there! Sorry I’ve been gone for a while… we’ve had a lot going on around these parts.

We had to celebrate Bridget’s 12th birthday a bit early because she was going to be out of town during her actual birthday. She was insistent that I be the one to make her cake so I opted to make a bundle of strawberry nutella deliciousness that I found on Pioneer Woman. (I probably shouldn’t even give you the link to the recipe because it so sinful… you’ll have to forgive me.)


All of her birthday preparations were last minute so I cheated in order to beat the heat of the day. I bought boxed chocolate cake mix and stirred in mini chocolate chips into the batter to make it decadent enough for Miss Bridget’s Birthday standards. After the birthday celebrations were over we spent the remainder of the week making preparations for her trip. It was her first time flying alone and we were both nervous about it.


I’m fairly certain Penelope is convinced that Bridget is still sitting on the plane as we speak because every time she walks into her room to see it empty she says, “Oh Sissy on plane to Gabba Gabba house.” We have since discovered that Gabba Gabba stands for Grandma Grandpa. Instead, Bridget is off  having the time of her life at her grandparent’s lake house along with her aunts, uncles and cousins.

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I’m trying my best to stifle my jealousy right now. What I wouldn’t give to jump off of the dock and into a nice cool lake at the moment. I was tempted to push her out of the way and take her spot on the flight but instead, I kissed her goodbye and watched her fly away while the sun rose.

Since it was such an early flight we had simply jumped out of bed brushed our teeth and rushed out the door. Penelope was not happy about the early morning wake up time or all of the sitting that was required, so after our excursion to the airport I took her to the park to play.


#Uranus… heh

That’s when I discovered why she was so unhappy about sitting in her car seat. I found an infection that needed immediate medical attention.

The reason I didn’t write about this sooner was because 1) it was located on her butt and I didn’t want to have to write about any more ass issues. It’s just getting awkward at this point. 2) I write a freakin weight loss blog not a medical drama series, but you would never be able to tell that from the posts made during the past month due to the freakish nature our summer has taken. Seriously, what the hell is wrong with us?!

After spending the remainder of the morning at the doctor’s office it turns out that she has MRSA, a form of staph infection.  It was an emotionally exhausting morning due to the fact that I had to hold her down while they drained the infected area. The remainder of my weekend consisted of more draining (eew!), lots of epsome salt sits baths, strong antibiotics and a few bottles glasses of wine on my part. The whole thing was really gross and stressful. Gross because it required a lot of draining (again… eew!) Stressful because Penelope was in a lot of pain and I had made the mistake of Googling MRSA and what it can do to people.

This whole thing has kind of put me in a funk because I so desperately want to return to my lighthearted ways. All of these medical emergencies are seriously cramping my style this summer!

I have simply taken solace in the fact that my garden is thriving more than ever. I feel like I should change my name to Ethel and wear pants up to my navel because the only thing I’ve enjoyed lately is pruning my plants and watching them grow.


I had no idea baby cantaloupe were fuzzy!

I haven’t even begun to think about weight loss since the surgery. A part of me doesn’t even want to know what the scale has to say because I’ve drowned all of my sorrows in junk food. This of course has just left me feeling crappier than ever. Another part of me is also emotional about not knowing I was pregnant during my whole six week weight loss challenge. Any time I think about losing weight I think about it. Although, it does explain why I didn’t lose any weight during that time 🙂

I’ve gotten to a point where I just need to decide to get over all of my summer surprises (even if they do keep coming). I feel like I’ve been balancing on a tight rope. I can either choose to be negative about everything that has gone down or choose to be positive about it. If given the choice I’ll always choose the latter. Life is all about perspective and that perspective is based purely on how you choose to look at things. After all, things can’t be that bad if you’re sporting a flip flop tan line.

For the moment my plan of action is to go on early morning runs so that I can feel the cool breeze on my face as the day begins. I’m going to do more yoga because I could always use a little “Ohmmm” in my life. And I’m going to eat the yummy things that are thriving in my back yard because it makes me feel good knowing that without my hard work they wouldn’t exist.


Six Week Challenge Week Two Weigh-in

You know what today is… weigh-in day!

Normally this would be said with fake enthusiasm while my inner snarky self stuck her tongue out at the scale sitting on the floor. But in reality I’m feeling pretty good about it today. The numbers are never all that great but for some reason I look forward to seeing what kind of progress I’ve made.

Per usual I stripped down and peed first thing in the morning to prepare for the main event. (I don’t need socks weighing me down you know.) Unfortunately, I’ve eaten a ton of asparagus lately so this wasn’t all that pleasant of an experience…


Asparagus pee… a phenomenon I could easily live without.

I checked out my muscles as I reached for the scale to put it on the floor and took a moment to admire my tan line. Not bad. Then I stepped on the scale and it read 184.2. Then I stepped off and stepped on again because surely I lost a bit more than that. In my head I was aiming for 183 point something. But the scale didn’t budge. It was definitely 184.2. This is 1.2 pound weight loss from last week. I would really like to get out of the 180’s some time soon so I’m a little bit bothered by that number.

After I got dressed I went down stairs where I made my daughter take my bi-weekly pictures in a full arm cast.  She had a hard time taking the pictures with one hand so they came out a bit uneven. Here’s the comparison from the beginning of the Six Week Summer Shape up to now (two weeks total):




(Keep in mind I have an injured 11 year old as my photographer.)


Bust- 43 in.—42 in.

Chest- 36 in—36 in.

Waist- 36 in.— 34.5 in

Hips- 45 in.—43.5 in

Thighs- 25.5 in.—25 in

Arms- 13.5 in.—13 in

Total Inches Lost- 5

Total Pounds Lost- 4

So far I’m off to a good start for this whole Summer Shape Up Six Week Challenge. Although, I kind of wish I didn’t name it that. That’s an obnoxiously long title for a simple challenge.  Every time I go to type it out I have to double check that this is what I actually called it. It gets on my nerves in the same way that the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious does. I hate that word… it just bugs me.

It’s not that I’m a Mary Poppins hater or anything… Well, come to think of it, who get’s away with eating spoons full of sugar and then manages to be light enough to float away with an umbrella?

I digress… the point is I feel good. Eating healthy and working out always does this to me. It doesn’t matter how much I weigh, if I take the time to take care of myself I always feel better for it. If you are participating in the challenge I hope you are feeling good too because that’s the whole point of the process.

Welp, I’m off to go tend my garden (in my bathing suit). I’ve got plants to water and sunflowers to plant. Feel sorry for whoever so happens to peek over my fence when I bend over to dig in the dirt. I say if they insist on being a creeper then they get what they deserve 🙂

Hope you all have a great Memorial weekend. Don’t forget to tell me how your progress is going!

Six Week Challenge Week one Weigh-in


It’s weigh-in day… an official one.

This is the first week of the Summer Shape Up Six Week Challenge and I started off weighing 188.2. Today I stepped on the scale and weighed in at 185.4. That’s a total of 2.8 pounds so far.

I haven’t done this in quite some time. I’ve sporadically told you how much I weigh but I haven’t had official weigh-ins since before I did my student teaching. (In fact, my weigh-ins and measurements page needs a serious makeover.)

I’m feeling pretty good about the progress. It turns out I deadlifted my body weight the other day when I was lifting with Brent. The most I’ve deadlifted was 215 but that was when I was lifting weights every week, so I felt pretty good about that number considering I haven’t lifted anything for the past 4 months. My goal is to keep losing weight on my body and adding weight on the bar. I’m actually surprised at how fast your body can change. I’ve noticed this phenomenon during the holidays when the sudden change isn’t a good one. But I’ve never acknowledged how fast positive changes can happen too. I guess I’ve always just been too impatient to notice.

In just the past two weeks I’ve already begun the journey to building my strength back up again. I can tell a difference in the way I walk even. Running has gone from a struggling feet dragging plod to a confident smooth stride. I even did sprints with my husband yesterday and I wasn’t too far behind him in time. In fact, it felt really good to push myself and run as fast as I could. It reminded me of my old soccer days.

I’ve gotten exercise in one form or fashion every day this week. The weather is still a bit cool but that hasn’t stopped me from going on daily bike rides with the girls. Bridget and I, both write fiction stories and we have chats about our characters and where our stories are going while we ride our bikes. We’ve made a pact to have one story completed by the end of the summer each. Before we know it we’ll have ridden around the neighborhood for an hour chatting it up and peddling along. Penelope just rides along randomly shouting… “Bird!”… “Kitty cat!”… “That way!”.

We also have the neighborhood gardeners mapped out. I’ve been stalking their yards to see when they are planting their pumpkins and tomatoes. I had serious garden envy last year when I had planted everything by seed and had to wait for my plants to mature while they were already plucking fresh produce from their vines. That won’t happen this year. I’m just chomping at the bit to plant the rest of my warm weather plants.

I feel like I’m in a really good place right now. A lot of the time when I’ve made a conscious decision to lose weight I’ll tend to start to obsess over the things I shouldn’t be eating. With summer coming around the corner and the prospect of an amazing vegetable garden I’m just super excited about all of the fresh veggies I get to eat and all of the fun I get to have outside.

I can’t even tell you how excited I am for the beginning of Summer!

How did your first week go? Did you feel good about it or did you have to fight off some mental blocks? I always find the beginning stages the worst part. I tend to fight the whole process justifying why I shouldn’t have to make changes in my habits. But once I just give in to the process things just tend to fall into place and it no longer feels like a challenge… it’s just my new way of doing things.