In determination loseit Weight loss workout


That's right, I halfway to my goal weight.

I started this whole process weighing 190, with an end goal to be 150.

And I have now lost 20 pounds.


Left: April 2013            Right: January 2014

Here's what I've learned so far in this journey:

1.) Routine is my friend.
It used to be impossible to wake up and do a workout, I would frequently just hit snooze and go back to sleep. But after months of making myself get up and do it, my body now wakes up automatically at 5am ready to do whatever workout is on the agenda.
There's a theory that it takes 21 days to create a habit. So I'm hoping not to ever break this habit and have to start again.

2.) Counting calories is vital.
Especially before I learned how many calories my favorite foods had in them. I am on a 1,200 calorie diet, meaning that my food intake and exercise combination needs to equal 1,200 or less at the end of the day. And, following that, I can watch the scale continue to give me smaller and smaller numbers. I use LoseIt to keep track, so I don't have to keep a mental running tab.

3.) Accountable friends give me strength.
My husband is very supportive of my goal and proud of my dedication. He eats whatever meal I make for dinner, even if it means brown rice and a lot more veggies than usual. But that doesn't mean he's about to do a Jillian Michael's ab workout with me, or head to the pool at 6:30 Friday morning to swim laps.
However, I have other friends that share my determination to get in good physical shape. Strong, admirable women that want to come swimming with me, train to run a 5K with me, or just text me to tell me their pride in drinking 3 tumblers of water that day.

4.) A cheat and rest day keep me sane.
Sunday is my day of rest. I don't do an intense workout, I don't wake up at 5:00am, and I allow myself to indulge in the foods I want. The knowledge that Sunday I get to do that, helps keep me strong through the rest of the week. And, since I spend 6 days keeping my meals moderate, even on my cheat day I don't go overboard.

5.) Progress pictures show you everything the scale can't.
I weigh in almost every morning and track my weight faithfully. But the number on the scale can't show me what I can clearly see in pictures.
When I first decided to collage some pictures I was shocked to see the difference in my arms.
I knew my waist had gotten smaller, I could tell when I was getting dressed, but I had no idea that I had lost a couple inches of fat from my arms.
And I was supremely excited to see it!

I still have work to do, and a ways to go, but I am so proud of myself right now, and I no longer cringe when I catch a glimpse in the mirror. I know the next 20 pounds will be tougher to get rid of, but I can't wait to compile the before and after images then!

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In rant social media

I was born in the wrong generation

I was born middle-aged.
At least, by my generations standards I was.

I've found another blog article that keeps being shared on my social media.
5 'Mistakes' That You Should Never Apologize For In Your Twenties

While I don't disagree with everything in the blog, for the most part I find it to be a childish mess.

I understand that my idea of being 23 is a lot different from Taylor Swift's version of being 22, but still, for an entire decade of your life it's fine to be selfish and put yourself first?

This article (and many others) are encouraging that your twenties are the time to all be self-indulgent and, essentially, useless members of society.

So here are my modifications to those 5 mistakes:

1.) Don’t be sorry for falling in love with everything and everyone you meet.
Try spending this decade being more directed in your love.
Seek out your passions and the people you can really love, trust, and envision in your future.

2.) Don’t be sorry for being selfish and putting yourself first.
Think about someone other than yourself and be amazed at the difference in how good you feel about yourself.

3.) Don’t be sorry for leaving your good friends and family to chase your ambition.
If you need to move away, then do so! But do so for good reasons without causing unnecessary pain.

4.) Don’t be sorry for moving a million different times to a million different cities.
Seriously? Move to a new city every 6 months and see how happy you are with no close friends, close support system, or familiar haunts to return to. I know not everyone takes comfort in the familiar and routine, but I also don't think flitting around to every city you can temporarily find a job in is going to give you the happiness you crave.

5.) Don’t be sorry for wanting more, ever!
Or maybe try being happy with what you've been blessed to have. Maybe attempt to be grateful and appreciative for the things you get to enjoy that others aren't able to have. I'm not saying to "settle," but I am saying that if you spend all your time thinking you'll only be happy once you acquire X Y and Z, then you are never going to actually be happy.

Then there is the one quote that honestly made me angry.

"During our 20s, it is completely normal -- even expected -- never to be satisfied. We are a generation that never settles for less than our desires."

I have no idea who on earth wants to spend 10 years of their life dissatisfied and craving more, but it certainly isn't me or any of the close friends I associate with.

Yes, I am 23 years old. There are things I still want in life, things I still want to do and experience. But I'm not dissatisfied at all with my life. I am completely in love with two men: my husband and my son. And on a daily basis, I do my best to put their needs ahead of mine because I love them.

Trust me, giving up manicures and pedicures in order to take Jace out for an afternoon at the park makes me feel a million times better than thinking about myself.

Don't believe me?

Try it for a day. Spend one day thinking about others that you love more than you think about yourself, then see what actually makes you happier.

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In goals happiness life

My Lifelong Goal

I have very fond memories of the summer after my freshman year at Berea College.

That summer I went home, worked at my old high school pizza job, enjoyed going to the lake beaches near home, and was inseperable from my best friend.

We talked a ton that summer, about absolutely everything. We talked about not being ready for marriage, about the guys we'd met and dated while away at college, about our future careers, houses and families. We talked about where we wanted to travel and what experiences we wanted to have.

But the conversations that were most memorable to me were the ones we had about our greatest goal in life. It wasn't to be rich, it wasn't to be extremely popular. We weren't dying to own a 7 bedroom house and "summer" in Europe. Our one, desperate goal, was to be happy.

Now, before you think that it was just some childish, whimsical fantasy, let me explain what we meant.

When we said happy, we meant content. We meant that we would wake up each morning looking forward to our day. We wouldn't be constantly counting down for the next big thing to happen because our own lives weren't very fufilling on their own. We wanted to be able to wake up and go to work on a Monday morning with nothing special at all planned, and be completely happy with that day.

And this morning, I realized that I'm there.

I woke up this morning at 5:00am, the same as I do five days a week. I sent Nathan off to work, ate breakfast and did my workout. I then proceeded to get ready for work, pack myself and Jace for the day, and took him to his awesome babysitter's where he ran inside because he loves it there just like he loves being at home. After work I'll pick him up, make dinner, then go work out with friends at church.
My day today will be a totally average, completely regular day.
And I was excited and happy about it from the minute I woke up.

The things that I used to dread no longer seem to be on my mind.

In the past I've always dreaded some aspect of going to work. Whether it was because I was balancing multiple jobs, I didn't enjoy the job, I wasn't able to use my brain, or I had to stress about finding a babysitter for my everchanging schedule. Now I work regular hours at a job where I feel appreciated and secure while being challenged mentally.
I used to hate dropping Jace off with anyone because I felt like a bad mom. But when I see how happy he is to spend the day playing with Colton, I know that he's going to have a great day too. And I know that he will smile and be happy to come home with me because, no matter who he spends the day with, I'm still his mama and he still loves me.
I've stuggled with weight and image issues for about as far back as I can remember, and hated that I could never keep any kind of workout or diet. But since October I've found a workout routine that actually works for me and (as of this morning) have lost 16 pounds.
Figuring out my spiritual life has always been a trial for me. I frequently felt like I didn't know enough, didn't do enough, didn't study enough to truly consider myself a Christian. And, while I still have so much to learn, explore and figure out, I've figured out that I'm on the right path.
And every night I get to fall asleep cuddled up to a guy that I know is the love of my life.

Of course I could find things to complain about, and issues to stress over. I know that I will have days where my regular life seems overwhelming, but today, on this incredibly average Monday morning, sitting at my desk watching storm clouds roll in, I am happy.


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In dating facebook rant social media

This image has been circulating my Facebook feed. And It kind of ticks me off.

Maybe it's because I became a mom "young" and so I remember what dating was like very clearly.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I look forward to Jace finding happiness and love with someone, just like I have found it in his dad. I don't fear "losing" my son or that some girl will "take him away from me." If a girl is able to do that, then clearly I failed somewhere in my relationship with him. 

Here's what I think:
1.) While he is not an ATM for anyone, when he is starting a relationship I think he should offer to buy you dinner and show up to pick you up with a small bouquet of roses. I think that if he hands over all his money like an ATM, then somewhere he failed to learn financial responsibility and that lies in him to fix.

2.) If you show up looking like a "stripper" I will have to wonder why you feel the need to dress that way and, more pressingly, why my son chose to bring you home.

3.) Seriously? I can't condemn someone for something that I did as a young adult, and while it might demand a conversation, it certainly won't cause me to "make you go away."

4.) I hope to like you. If my son sees something in you that makes you worth introducing to me, then I want to see what he sees. But if I don't like you I won't live under the delusion that just by being his mom I can control any relationship he has. I believe that will only drive he and I apart, and my relationship with my son is too important.

5.) See previous statement.

6.) If my son is a mama's boy, then that is completely okay with me: I will cherish my time and conversations with him. But if you've started a committed relationship with him, it means you like him and hopefully have respect for our relationship.

7.) Please help him change. That is what relationships are about, we grow each other, we help each other, and we change each other to be better. I have learned so much from Nathan, and he has learned and changed so much because of me. The only thing I ask if that you help him change for the better, and let him change you as well.

8.) I will do my best to teach him to be a gentleman, please help me to uphold that by making him treat you like a lady.

9.) While I've watched enough CSI and read enough mystery books that I believe I could avoid jail, I only want you to think this if you maliciously hurt him. I will protect my son, but I know that hurt happens in youthful relationships. I ask that if you have to hurt him, you do so as respectfully as you can.

10.) If I gain you as a daughter-in-law, I pray to never be a monster-in-law. Whether I instantly love you, or have my reservations about you, when you become a part of my family, you are a part of my family and I will treat you with respect.

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In Joy parenting toddler


Do you remember Christmas morning when you were little?

There was that one toy you were just desperate for, convinced that you couldn't live without. And somehow, it always ended up being the very last present you opened, so that you were just on the edge of thinking that you weren't going to get it, and then, underneath that shiny red paper, there it was.

Remember that joy?

You probably squealed or screamed, tore the rest of the wrapping paper off like your life depended on it, and (in my house) ran around the house in circles because you were so thrilled to have in your possession the one thing you wanted more than anything else.

But when you grown up and reach adulthood, that joy seems to fade away. It's been a long while since I wanted a material thing so much that when I got it I squealed. Most things I want are practical, others I simply have to save up the money after working hard and go purchase it. I'm still happy with what I get, but I'm not ready to sing about it.

However, in parenthood, that joy returns in the weirdest ways.

Allow me my example:
Jace is just about 20 months old.
But he doesn't talk. He babbles, screams, sings, hums, and mimics, but he has said very few words.
To communicate with me he uses sign language, just the basics like: night-night, please, thank you, more, eat and sippy.
Tonight as we were finishing up dinner Jace signed "more" to tell me he needed more pizza.

He then said, "more?"

I squealed, jumped up and clapped my hands. I felt the joy.

That is the kind of thing I feel the absolute, Christmas level exhilaration over.

Parenthood is truly the most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me.

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Bring It On 2014!

When I was younger I was convinced that the only day you could start to change your life was January first. That was the day you could start working out, the day you could start being more grateful and happier, the day that marked the change for the entire year.

I would type up and print out resolutions: mountains of them. I never simply chose one aspect of my life that needed work, I needed to fix all the things, all at once, all starting the magical day that is January first!

Obviously, that never worked.
And, at some point, I came to the realization that there's no better time than now. Or, if serious planning was required, that upcoming Sunday which started a new week.

So, when I started my most recent drink-more-water-workout-more-often-keep-tabs-on-your-weight jaunt, I started it on October 13. I had a bit of a lax period over Thanksgiving and Christmas, but didn't gain weight back, just stopped losing it. Let's be honest, keeping up with a workout and careful eating plan when you're stressing out about the holidays is a feat beyond most people, and I don't condemn myself for it. However, I will use the motivation of the new year to kick up my choices a bit.

I think that, to me, the approaching first of the year has become a time of reflection and evaluation.

I ask myself questions like, how have I grown in the past year? Where do I see myself next year? How do the next twelve months need to work for me to achieve that vision?

No longer am I naive enough to think that I'm going to wake up Wednesday morning and swear off all chocolate until I reach my goal weight of 150lbs, because time has shown me again and again that that is simply not an attainable idea.

So over the next year, here is what I plan to do:
- Continue with my healthier choices and finding new inspiration when I hit a plateau
- Take more time to read books for pleasure
- Journal regularly (at least once a week)
- Spend time enjoying my family
- Dedicate more time to devotionals and bible readings
- Work diligently to learn and enjoy my new job

I hope your resolutions, if you choose to have any, are achievable, exciting, joyous goals!


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