Wednesday, April 23, 2014

when it all starts feeling real


with the wedding countdown officially on...(66 days and counting!!!)...there are more and more things happening that really starts making this whole thing feel real...like this is a real event, with real people coming...and we are really getting married!  eeek!!!!  can you tell i'm just a smidge excited?!

most recently, we've crossed a bunch of stuff off the never-ending on-going list:  

- we chatted with our officiant
- i had my first dress fitting
- we picked up the invitations
- we had our food and cake tastings
- i addressed the invitations
- we picked up our wedding bands
- i met with the videographer
- and very importantly, we mailed the invitations!!!

each of these steps has been fun and exciting.  we truly cannot wait for the big day to arrive. 

{image via}

Friday, April 11, 2014

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.

but today...i want to tell you something about your goals:  you can do it.  trust me, and more importantly, trust yourself.

because...

{image via pinterest}

if you've been following along with my fitness journey, you know i've been super committed, have totally changed my life, but that i have also had setbacks.  everything i have done, every pound i've lost, every inch that has disappeared, has been because of what i have done. also, everything that i haven't done, every pound i haven't lost, and every inch that i want to lose that hasn't disappeared, has been because of what i have done.

some days, especially the ones when the scale doesn't budge or the in-body tells me i've lost muscle and gained fat, are hard.  other days, like the ones when the scale is magically lower or my pants slide on without unbuttoning them, are rewarding.

and then there are the days that just feel like days.  i don't feel obsessively committed.  i don't pay 1,000% attention to my macros.  i don't worry about having a few potato chips.  those are the days when i've somehow transformed into the new me.  the new me that knows it's okay to have a *few* chips, because that will never break me...the new me that enjoys a glass (or three) of wine on girls night, because i effortlessly made a compliant choice with everything i ate during the meal...the new me that stops worrying so damn much and trusts that i can make the "right" choices.

the new me is constantly blowing my mind.

i have spent the last week being sick.  not sick enough that i was bed-ridden, but sick enough that i couldn't exercise, i couldn't eat the "right" foods, and i couldn't care less.  but the sick me was also the new me.  the new me knows it's okay that i'm eating a fair amount of bread, since it's the only thing i can manage to eat.  the new me knows it's okay that i've taken a break from the gym, since i feel too weak to pick anything up anyway.  the new me knows it's okay to let go from the rigidity of my lifestyle because it will not be the end of me.

the new me knows its okay to let go because i've got a totally different mindset.

sometimes in order to grab a hold of what you want more than anything else, you have to let go.

just remember, you can do this.  and before you know it, you'll be blowing your own damn mind.


happy friday!


Monday, March 31, 2014

you win some, you lose some


the bad news is team wedding didn't win the new year, new you contest at kdr fitness.  but, the good news is that of the 54 participants, not only did the group as a whole lose a whopping 310lbs (!!!), but i (somehow) managed to have the second biggest gain in lean muscle in the six week contest!  i was stunned i was capable of that big of a muscle gain!

a big congratulations to team "bros before ho-hos"!!  jason, court, and tom took home the big prize of $3,000.  

and, like my title says, you win some, you lose some...but in the end, we're all winners for losing.  we all committed to the journey and we all saw results.  so, while only one team actually won the prize, losing some pounds and inches was definitely worth it.

oh, and the fact that my beloved gym, kdr fitness, won the valley business journal's 'best of the best' award for best gym!  woohoo!!!  that's well-deserved recognition!!  congrats!



happy monday!


Friday, March 21, 2014

nyny 2014 - the end


you guys.  i was really bad about updating you on my progress throughout this year's new year, new you contest at kdr fitness. all that is changing now.  here's the story...

the contest started february 10.  18 teams of 3 individuals would spend the next 6 weeks eating as close to 100% compliance as possible and workout 4-5 times per week.  the winning team (the team with the biggest change in % of body fat and % of lean muscle) wins $3,000 -- that's $1,000 per person!  (you know i want those dolla dolla bills y'all!!!)

i teamed up with one of my favorite gym buddies, teena (who was a member of last year's winning team), and her boyfriend corey.  we were trying to come up with a team name the week before the contest began, and the one we loved the most was 'team wedding', depite me being the only team member who was actually engaged.  (teena and corey have been together for a few years and a walk down the aisle is part of their plan.  just no ring, yet.)

once the contest started, the three of us had been 100% on board for about a week.  perfect execution of a compliant meal (x5 meals a day) - check!  plans to work out 4-5x a week - check!  planned team outings to keep us motivated - check!  

and then the first day of the contest came - february 10th.  motivated and feeling inspired, corey and teena spent time (while prepping dinner) discussing ways to stay on track and additional things (other than the $1,000 prize) that were motivating factors.  before teena could figure out what was happening, corey whips out this sparkler...(you know, as a motivating factor...)


...and (after a bit of screaming, crying, and teena saying 'yes' a hundred times) we became 'team wedding', officially.


so, after the excitement of the new engagement, we were uber motivated.  and we had an amazing first two weeks.  

(the weigh-ins happened at the beginning, and every two weeks until the end (for a total of 4 weigh ins).  and the device we use is more than just a scale, it's an in-body machine.  see the picture below.  it measures your body composition based on body fat, lean muscle, etc.)

{image via}
so, after our first two weeks, team wedding was kicking some major ass.  collectively, our team lost the largest amount of fat:  a whopping 28 lbs!!!!  our lean muscle gain was right in the mix of other teams:  4.6 lbs.  so, our total weight lost was 24 lbs.  that's an average of 8 lb. loss per person in two weeks!!!

so, after the first two weeks were so amazing, we were hoping to keep up the momentum.  but, you see, this thing happened to me (and many other contestants) in the third and fourth weeks of the contest:  i had little to no change.  in fact, my change was very little....but in the wrong direction.  my fat went up and my muscle went down.  (albeit by *tiny* amounts, but in the wrong direction nonetheless.)  our team as a whole still made positive progress, but when you're on a team and you're relying on others and they are relying on you to make progress, it sucks to be the one to bring down the average.

my thoughts went something like this:  how can i be making all of these educated and compliant choices with my food...how can i be cutting out every last drop of wine...how can i be pushing myself to lift more or faster...and nothing is happening?!  we've all been there - the dreaded plateau.  it's frustrating, but sharing that information maybe would've helped me overcome the emotional pain i was feeling by not progressing the way i thought i should given my effort to reach the goals i had set.

so, instead of sharing my plateau experience, assessing what i could do differently (and if i really needed to change anything), and continue on...i bottled it all up.  i only shared my backwards progress with my teammates and a couple other close friends at the gym because i was very frustrated.  (who wouldn't be?!)  i had made lots of changes, had truly committed myself, and was pushing myself farther than ever...and nothing happened with the numbers on the scale.

i got pissed and frustrated and didn't understand.

and then i had today's weigh-in.  i don't magically understand everything now, but i'm less frustrated since seeing actual results.  and the picture below helps a little too.

today, i can proudly say...in the last two weeks:

i have burned 9 lbs of fat.  (that's almost double the fat in the picture below!!!)

i have built 5.3 lbs of muscle.



BOOM.

having tangible evidence that my hard work is, well, working, is huge for me.  have my clothes been fitting me better?  sure, a little.  but literally *knowing* your body weighs less than it did two weeks ago sure is some nice icing on the cake.  (er, butter on the broccoli?)

i can't wait to hear the results of my team wedding teammates!  the three of us have truly been giving it our all.  counting every macronutrient, sweating buckets at the gym, and keeping each other motivated to stay in the game.

and speaking of the game...  well, that's just it.  it's a contest.  do i want to win?  of course.  (it's a thousand m-f-ing dollars, yo!)  but knowing that 54 people committed to themselves for this 6 week contest and worked their asses off and made sacrifices and proved they could do it?  aren't we all winners?  as cheesy as it is, we really are all winners.  we've all made changes...we've all made progress...we've all learned lessons...we've all had good days and bad days...we've all wanted to cheat on our nutrition plan...we've all wanted to skip a workout...but you know what?

we didn't give up.  

now we just have to wait for all of the contestants to weigh in (tomorrow is the last day!) and the coaches will compile the results.  then, next friday at the nyny party, the results will be announced.  i've got my fingers crossed for team wedding, but at this point, we've done the hard work...now we get to enjoy it!

happy friday!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

{99 days} the countdown is on!


i can't even begin to tell you how exciting slash amazing slash overwhelming it is that i get to marry my best friend in just 99 days.  


my, how time flies!

i've been working hard at getting things checked off my to-do list, scheduling appointments, and trying to enjoy every moment of being engaged.

so, where are we in the planning process?  pretty much done!  everything that needs to be planned ahead/scheduled/requires a deposit is set.  you know, all the "big stuff":  venue, caterer, cake, dress/suits, tent rental, portable toilets, officiant, invitations...

so now, it's time to sweat the "small stuff".  as you can already imagine, there are some diy elements to my wedding.  i can't share all the details yet, but don't worry, i will totally overshare every detail of our special day this summer.

i will tell you about one of my diy projects:  collecting clear and green glass vases and bottles for the long banquet tables.  i'm not sure how many i have now, probably about 25, but i know i need more.  we're going to scatter them throughout the tables with just a single flower or a small arrangement in each one.  there will be other flowers and items on the table to add to the festiveness, but there is something about a 'collected' look that is very beautiful to me and i wanted to create that with glass vases and bottles.  in my eyes, a 'collected' look shows effort over time...maybe including gifts or heirlooms...nothing matches perfectly, but nothing clashes either.  you know, it's 'my kinda perfect'. 

it's so amazing to start to see it all coming together.  getting emails titled "PROOF APPROVED" or phone calls saying "your dress is in!" is part of the icing on the cake for a bride like me.  it just keeps reminding me how much i love doing this.  if i could quit my job today and be a wedding planner, i would.  i love that every bride and groom have a certain vision for their special day, and making all the details (big and small!) come together is such an inspirational feeling.  i'm naturally very good at planning ahead and making sure everything is "just so", so this process has been quite stress-free for me.  

(just keep your fingers crossed that mother nature will get the message that it's officially spring.  the snow needs to stay away until next winter and the sun needs to come out, otherwise the beautiful field that's set to be my wedding venue will be more like a pond!)

so now that the countdown is really on, i've gotta get to work!  i have a couple things i need to design, a couple things my friends and family are helping with, and then there are things that just need to wait (like placecards) until we know exactly who is coming.  

and you know what?  i'm loving every second! 


Friday, March 7, 2014

friday philosophy


sometimes i come across a quote that bears some kind of significance and i want to share it with you dear readers.  sometimes it's based on where i am in life or a certain event, sometimes a quote just reminds me of a friend, or sometimes it makes me think.

{image via pinterest}

the other day i read a great post from a friend-of-a-friend.  it was one of those posts that as i continued reading, my head was nodding in agreement and i wanted to become involved.

in case you don't want to click through to read the post, here's what's up:

c.c. chapman (the friend-of-a-friend/author of the post) visited ghana several years ago with the ONE campaign and his life was forever changed by a beautiful little girl named mercy.  she lived in severe poverty and c.c. always wanted to try to make her future better, as well as those in her community.

the sad part of the story is that mercy is no longer with us.  she was only thirteen when she died, simply because she didn't have enough to eat.  mercy was one of thousands of children who die each year because of malnutrition and poverty.

the amazing part of the story is c.c.'s ability to make connections.  after seeing a 'random tweet about ghana and beads' he developed a relationship with the team behind project bead, knowing this could be a way to honor mercy and contribute to a community that desperately needs help.

{image via project bead}


project bead's vision is "to alleviate the world of poverty through education"..."one bead at a time".

so, to honor mercy's memory, c.c. designed a bracelet for project bead.  appropriately named mercy, this beautiful bracelet is more than a symbol of taking action against poverty around the world...100% of the profits goes directly into a fund to be used for ghanian students' further education.





how can you help?

well, i'll tell what i'm going to do to help:  i'm going to buy two bracelets, one for me, and one for a friend who has made an impact on me.  i figure that will have double the exposure of trying to make a difference.

after all, as my quote today says:  if you want to go fast, go alone.  if you want to go far, go together.


let's get together and do what we can.  if we all try, just a little bit, we can make a difference.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

give up or give in?


i work part time at a church.  so, with today being ash wednesday, i'm acutely aware that lent is upon us.

i remember growing up, attending sunday school and church services, and ritually giving something up every year for the 40 days that is the season of lent.  it was always some silly thing that felt challenging as a child. (like giving up chocolate...i've since learned that giving up chocolate isn't silly.  or possible.)

now that i'm an adult, i can freely choose to give something up at any point in time for any reason i feel is logical.  but when lent comes around, despite not being a 'practicing' christian, i feel compelled to do something.

so, this year, instead of giving something up, i'm going to give in to the fact that i have too much stuff.  the silver lining is that i know i don't need this much stuff, but there is something i can do about it.

enter 40 bags in 40 days.  thanks to ann marie from white house, black shutters, i'll be spending the next 40 days purging my stuff.  the challenge is simple:  focus on cleaning one area per day.  the idea is that after the 40 days, you'll have 40 bags (of any shape or size - or it doesn't need to be a bag!) of stuff that you don't need that either someone else could use or it needs to be tossed.




i know that at the end of this 40 days my apartment will feel lighter and i will feel better for not only having cleaned up my crap, but for donating usable things to people in the community that need them.

mike doesn't know it yet, but he's taking this journey with me.  in fact, he already started!  after one of those nights of having a hard time finding the right pair of pants, i was convinced mike was acting like a 14 year old girl with a closet full of 'nothing to wear'.  well, it turns out, he didn't have anything to wear.  he's lost a little weight so all of his pants were too big.  like no-unbuttoning-and-they-still-fall-off too big.  waaay too big.  so we have a pile of pants that need a home.  (i've found a home for them on a local facebook page.  a mom was looking for the same size pants for her son to wear to school.)

so, just like that, we got rid of extra clutter, helped someone who needed something, and now mike really doesn't have any pants to wear!  haha, no not really.  (yeah, really.)

wish me luck on this 40 day adventure!  i know there are several areas of our place that could use some de-crapifying.  what about you?  are you giving up something for lent?  or will you join me and just give in to the fact that you have too much crap and you should spend the next 40 days getting rid of it?


p.s.  you can download the photo above to use on your own blog, facebook, or instagram.  find me on facebook here and instagram here.  and follow along with white house, black shutters on facebook here and instagram here.


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