Thursday, May 30, 2013

Liberated

It's been less than 24 hours since I exposed myself for all to see and in the time since I have done that I haven't regretted it one bit.  When I hit "Publish" yesterday I had a moment of thinking, what the hell did I just do?!  So, I walked away from everything.  I put the phone down, turned off the computer and went to dinner.  I was proud of myself, but also in a way scared shit less.

After dinner I turned the phone back on and started reading the comments.  I sat in my car and started to cry.  I was completely overwhelmed in that moment.  I wasn't crying because I was sad.  I wasn't crying because I regretted what I did.  I was simply crying to just cleanse out the emotions.

Three and a half years ago (roughly) I was a woman that would make her husband sit in the waiting room while I got weighed in for my maternity appointments.  Once I was done I would go out and get him so he could sit in the appointment with me.  I was so afraid to have this man, who I knew loved me, know how much of me he actually loved.  Here we were, together for 11 years at that point, married and getting ready to have a child and I couldn't allow him to see how much I weighed.  I never told him why he had to sit out there and wait, just always said "I'll come get you in a minute."  I now understand the magnitude of what I was doing to myself there.

I've come a long way.  I'm not even talking weight loss here.  I'm talking more about my self confidence.  I know I want to get healthy, I know I want to make some changes, but if I stay exactly how I look right now I have come to realize....that is OK.  I'm so tired of beating myself up.  I'd rather spend the rest of my life celebrating what I can do and what I am at this very moment.  All of those things have nothing to do with how much weight I may carry around, how much cellulite I may have or how much my belly sticks out.

It started with telling people what I weigh.  That was the first stepping stone on this path.  Realizing that it was out there and that honestly, no one really gave a shit. Putting that picture out there was another stepping stone.

We all face and start challenges.  What I realized is no one wants to share their challenges until they have an after result.  It's fine to show yourself chubby in a bathing suit as long as you have the after picture right next to it of you looking different.  Why?  I think because we are all so afraid of failure.  What if I show everyone what I look like now and in x amount of time I don't look any different?  Yesterday I decided that I didn't want to care.  I didn't want to consider it a failure.  Instead I wanted to do this with all of you.  I've done shit alone a MILLION times over and didn't start becoming successful until I let people in.  Once I had people to share things with, had people to reach out to and was HONEST with those people I started seeing changes.

We all need to think about what makes us so afraid of being a failure.  Where does that come from and are we really a failure?  Maybe something doesn't work out because we are meant to go down a different path.  We chose one direction and guess what?  It was a dead end.  Instead of curling up in a ball and throwing a tantrum or hiding we need to just turn around and find a different direction to walk.

I don't know about you but I also had more fun doing labyrinths and mazes as a kid when I was with other people.  We'd meet a dead end, laugh and then turn around to run a different direction.

Thank you for running this maze with me.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The one in which I bare it all....

As you all know already I have been making some pretty serious life changes in the last 8+ months.  It started with a two week cleanse that opened my eyes and made me really evaluate where I was headed in regards to my health and I determined that I DEFINITELY did not like where I was going.

This journey is just that, a journey.  I'm still walking along, without any map.  Every once in a while someone comes along and helps me decide which direction might be best but for the most part I am figuring it out on my own.  No one is going to tell me which way is the right way or which way is the wrong way.  If I let people do that then I am going to fail, because I have to do this for me.  I have to make my own decisions.

I've been playing around with a couple different lifestyles lately.  That of a vegan and that of a raw eater.  Now, will I ever call myself a vegan or a raw eater?  I can pretty much answer no to that.  Why?  Well, because I just want to be healthy.  Being healthy to me is going to be dabbling in a little of this and a little of that but for the most part it is going to mean making WISE choices.  I'm not doing this to save the animals, I'm not doing this to save the rainforests, I'm not doing this for the ozone...I'm doing this for me.  I have to remind myself of this all the time.

At the beginning of the year I made some monthly goals, and while I haven't talked about them much on here I have been doing pretty good with sticking with them.  One of my goals was to do another cleanse, but much later in the year.  I decided a month ago that I wanted to do one over the summer.  Since summer is all about the most amazing produce ever it only makes sense that this next cleanse/challenge is going to be eating raw.

I recently discovered the most amazing restaurant called The Green Boheme and they help and guide you through a 30 day raw challenge.   I will attend my first meeting this Friday and start eating raw on June 1st.  I plan on writing about this daily if I can to let you know how I feel, what I miss, what I'm eating etc.  Raw eating will consist of smoothies, juicing and raw meals with lots of fresh vegetables, fruit and nuts/seeds.  I know it is going to be amazing and challenging all at the same time.  I'm sure I will have moments of weakness when I think I can't do it another day and moments of appreciation.

This happened to be the perfect time because another website I follow quite a bit is Fitlife.tv.  Drew is all about juicing and his messages are inspiring and motivating.  This summer he is hosting a summer challenge and I have decided to sign up.  This challenge will run until August 18th and based on before and after pictures and progress they will determine a winner to receive $10,000 in cash and prizes.  I mean that would just be amazing to make a transition and to win some stuff in the process.

Now here is the kicker, to sign up I needed a before picture.  They asked that it be in a swimsuit or a similar type of clothing.  I decided if I was doing this, I was doing this in a swimsuit.  I didn't want to hide in clothing and I wanted to be able to SEE the transformation even better.  I then decided I didn't want that suit to be sucking anything in...I wanted to be able to see EVERYTHING.  I have this bikini.  This black bikini that I bought in Hawaii many years ago.  It was a time I thought I was fat, a time I was embarrassed to wear a swimsuit but did it any way.  Now I realize how ridiculous I was and I would give anything to wear this suit with pride.  So I decided to wear it for my before picture.  I want to watch myself become healthier in this very suit.

I made a tough decision today.  It was hard enough just getting in the suit and taking a picture to send into this company that could potentially show it to others if I do well on this journey.  The more I looked at this picture the more I thought, screw it.  It's not awful.  I've come a long way and have a long way still to go but damn it if I don't want your support through it.  Damn it if I don't want you to celebrate with me.  Here's the deal.  I realized today that I don't think you are going to see this picture and think eww gross.  I think you will look at it and think hell yeah, good for you Stacey.  I think you might be proud of me for putting it all out there and maybe, just maybe it will give someone out there courage themselves.

It's just some big boobs skin in a suit.  It's not sucking in, it's not trying to impress you, it's not filtered in any way.  It's the skin of a woman that has lived 37 years.  A woman that has had three surgeries.  A woman that didn't walk well for almost a year.  It's a woman that is a mother that carried a little boy for 9 months.  She's a fighter and a lover all at the same time.

Think about that next time you see someone that might be uncomfortable in their own skin.  Maybe think about that next time you are uncomfortable in yours.

Here's wishing me luck!!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A long weekend of pee!

This year I decided to celebrate the Memorial Weekend the right way!  Yeah, there's booze, there's barbecue, there's camping.  Those are all things I would do in the past.  This time around though I did it right...I POTTY TRAINED!

I mean if anything was going to lead to booze it was going to be potty training!

On Saturday we started with a couple accidents, but I'm happy to say it's now Tuesday and we have done pretty good.  We still have some work to do, especially in the "number 2" department.  Now I just have to figure out how to get him to pee without getting a piece of candy.

Seriously though, that is ALL WE DID this weekend!  I didn't go anywhere or do anything and you know what?  It was perfect!  It was so nice to just be at home and not have any big expectations or places to be, things to do.

I need to have more of those.  I don't even have pictures for you kids!

Ciao for now!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Aha!

I was recently contacted by Mutual of Omaha to participate in their mobile tour where they talk to people about what their "Aha" Moment is.  When they first asked I was like, "heck yeah, sign me up!"

Then, the day of the event came along.  I got dressed, I did my hair pretty, I put on more makeup than usual and about two hours before my scheduled appointment...I cancelled.  The reason.  I absolutely hate being on camera.  I've done it, quite a few times actually with GETty Crafty, but I absolutely hate it.  I'll take a million pictures of myself and post them online.  Capture me speaking though and it makes my skin crawl.

Right after cancelling I realized how stupid I was being and got back on the books.  The video is now online for you to watch.

While I like the message I still don't like myself on camera.  I look so red, mostly because it felt a bazillion degrees in their van.  There's something about the way my mouth moves and my slight lisp that makes me nutty.  On the same note though it reminds me that we really need to be kinder to ourselves.  I can send this to you and pick myself apart about every single thing that I hate...and oh don't even think there aren't a TON.  Why do we do that?  I bet half the stuff I notice other people don't even see.  I know, I'm getting all Dove commercial on your right now.

So, I'll leave you with a nice comment for myself instead.  I really like my hair right now.  Ha!  Oh, they did spell my name wrong though... there goes my 1 minute and 30 seconds of fame.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Finding Accountability

Something interesting happened this week, it's something that has happened time after time, after time, after time.  This was just one of the times I really paid attention to it.  Let's rewind for a bit back to last weekend.

I walked out of Weight Watchers, down another 3.4 lbs and felt lighter than air.  I was proud, I was happy, I was all around please with myself for the job well done in the past couple months.  I took Leyton to the farmer's market and got myself a large fresh juice and ate some fresh strawberries.

After we headed to the Dixon May Fair and I knew I was going to having lunch there.  I also knew I was going to eat what I wanted.  I was going to have a "free day" and not worry about things quite as much as normal.  For lunch I got a corn dog.  Yes, a corn dog.  One of the worlds likely least healthy foods.  I took two bites and realized that I didn't need to eat anymore.  It was good, but it didn't have that same pizazz that it may have had in the past.

That night for dinner we picked up burgers and instead of getting a veggie burger I decided I wanted a real burger.  I ate half and realized, I didn't want anymore.  It was just OK.  In the past I know I would have eaten the whole thing whether it was good or not.

Monday I got right back onto my eating "plan."  Tuesday was Leyton's birthday and I had a chocolate croissant with my green smoothie.  Then at dinner we had pizza and cake, which I had both of.  Too much of both.  Last night I had cake again and today...I stopped for another chocolate croissant.

There you have it, I realized I was slipping.  My weakness was not meat, was not fried foods.  My weakness is sweets.  Give me something sweet and I want more and more and more of it.  Yesterday I had a moment where I thought, "well, I'm not going to Weight Watchers this Saturday so I'll just make up for it next week."

That right there was my hall pass to keep slipping.  Weight Watchers keeps me accountable.  The problem here is that they aren't always going to be there.  There are going to be times, like this weekend, where I simply can't go.

What I realize now is the reason I slip and the reason I loose control and keep sliding is I'm not accountable to MYSELF.  I'm the only constant in this scenario.  I'm the only one that is always going to be around.  I really need to figure out how to be accountable to myself.  There is a fine line there though because I have to do it without beating myself up.

I don't have any answers here yet, but maybe you do?  What holds you accountable?  What keeps you going on whatever goal it is you have in mind??

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Balloons, balloons, I love balloooooonnnnssss.....

Yesterday was my little mans third birthday!  There are times when I want him to be older, and then there are times when I stop and think, "how have three years have gone by and can we slow this all down?"

I mean seriously, where did that little kid on the left go?  He looks like a little boy now and no longer has that baby face.  I do miss that chubby baby face and those beautiful curls.

I wanted to start the celebration off early so I stole some ideas from Pinterest and decorated his door with streamers.  I also bought a bunch of mylar balloons and put them down the hallway in the house.  The kid loves balloons and I knew he would be happy to see those.  It TOTALLY worked and I ended up with this great gem of a video.

A couple moments later, I could hear him in the house singing and went out to see what he was singing.  Turns out he made up his own little song and thankfully I got a video of that too.

I love when he sings and love it even more when it's his own music.

I planned a little party for him in the evening with a couple of his friends (and our friends.)  I also ordered a cake from my friend Beth.  He LOVES Toy Story, so I went with some of the alien cupcakes and a little Buzz Lightyear small cake for candles.  She did an AMAZING job and I will likely never make cakes again myself.  Needless to say, Leyton and his friends thought it was awesome.

It was such a fun time finding ways to make the day special for him and really getting to see the excitement in his eyes that he knew it was his birthday!

To my boy:

The minute I felt you swimming around I knew you were a boy.  I wanted a boy so badly and knew my dreams and wishes were coming true.  We got off to a rocky start.  I thought I knew how to be a mother and struggled in those first few weeks learning what it is you wanted and what I needed to do.  However, I loved you the moment I laid eyes on you.  You looked just like your Daddy at the time and it filled my heart with such immense joy.  Now you are growing up and outsmarting me at every turn.  You look like me now, but oh your personality is 99.9% Ball.  Those genes run thick in your veins.  It's fun to hear you make little jokes or make up little stories and think that what you are saying could have come right out of your Daddy's mouth.  Then you start singing songs and BAM, it's like looking at a little version of me in the mirror.  You are exploring and learning so much of your world.  You don't always want to do it our way, you don't always want to be careful and as a Mom I need to learn to step back sometimes and just let you figure it out.

This weekend I was so tired on Sunday and all you wanted to do was play.  While trying to get me to play trains, I tried to pull one over on you and excitedly told you that when I looked at my watch it said it was snuggle time!  You were so excited and asked to look at my watch too.  When you did you got really serious, looked at me and said, "No Mommy, it says it's time to play trains."  I'm 37 years old and got out played by a kiddo before he is even three.  I can't imagine what sort of ways you will outsmart me the older you get.

I love you my boy.  I don't get it right all the time, but I will never stop giving over 100% into being the best Mommy I can for you.  You are my heart, and my world.  Don't ever stop being my baby.

I hope all your wishes come true.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Recap!

This weekend rocked.  I have to say that each weekend I think to myself "Wow, that was the best weekend ever!"

Friday the hubs and I had tickets to see Miranda Lambert with a couple friends.  We met up and carpooled in and got stuck in the WORST traffic.  I could seriously write a blog post about how much I hate the way traffic is navigated in and out of venues.  I feel like if they just let people drive the direction they wanted to drive there would be less traffic.  I digress.  While in this traffic there were moments that we all thought we would never make it and should probably just turn around.  I mean 1 mile in over 30 minutes?!

Thankfully we made it just in time for Dierks Bentley to take the stage.

Yummy.  Love or hate country music, there are some FINE fellas in that industry.  This was the second time seeing Dierks since he was also at Stagecoach and the man knows how to put on a show.  He even brought a girl celebrating her 21st Bday up on the stage so she could play his guitar.  Pretty rad.  Right after that moment my phone died.  No pics of Miranda, who I was really there to see.  No pics of Pistol Annies, whom I absolutely adore.  Then, the finale song...low and behold who should walk out on stage....BLAKE SHELTON.  I just about died.  If you looked up tall glass of water in the dictionary his picture would be right there.

Saturday I told Leyton we would go on a fun adventure!  We started at Weight Watchers, doesn't get more fun than that, especially when you drop 3.4 lbs!!  After the meeting we headed to the Davis Farmers Market for some playground fun and fresh strawberries.  I didn't stop there though.  I knew the Dixon May Fair was going on and I thought it would be fun to take Leyton to his first fair.  Oh man, he LOVED IT.  Loved the rides, love the animals, love just about every part of it.

Well, he hated the part about all the rides he couldn't go on but that's about it.  I wore that boy out!

Sunday we woke up to Leyton barfing.  Good times and way to ring in a Mother's Day.  Whatever was going on with him he got rid of it and was a trouper the rest of the day.  I decided that I wanted a little me time on Mother's Day and I went paddle boarding at Folsom Lake.  Man was it GORGEOUS.  I am seriously now daydreaming and figuring out how I can own a paddle board.  I'm absolutely in love with this sport and want to do it as much as I can!!  I came home to spend the rest of the time with my boys and remember why I became a Mommy in the first place getting lots of snuggles from this guy.

All in all the weekend was just fabulous.  I can't wait for next weekend, which of course will be another best weekend ever.  No wait, we are potty training.  I'm not sure those two things can be used in the same sentence!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Holy neck meat Batman!

As I have said before I am a HUGE fan of Instagram. To me it is like the photo version of Twitter....because I find Twitter a little boring. I just love seeing what pictures people are taking, getting inspired, laughing, smiling, participating in challenges and documenting things in my life.

One item I've been recently started participating in is Throw Back Thursday.  It's fun to look back at old pictures and laugh and share them with others.

This morning I was at the gym and I thought to myself that I wanted to find a picture at my heaviest.  I wanted to have something to compare with now.  There is something very motivating about the before picture and even more motivating is the now picture and watching it become the before picture.  I'm not one to hide from the camera so I knew if I looked around I would find it and I knew about when I should start looking.  I also knew that once I found it I would use it as my throw back picture today and share it with all of you.

Boy did I find it.

I know it's not a full body shot, but I don't even know that we need that to understand how big I was here.  Look at the size of my neck.  The crazy part is it is so big it's almost not even there.  My boobs kind of become just another roll of neck fat.  My linebacker shoulders are out of control.

This picture was taken on May 14 2011.  I know because it was Leyton's first birthday and that was just about when I was at my heaviest.  Most would call this the "baby weight" stage.  Not me.  I weighed less walking out of the hospital with my son than I did BEFORE I got pregnant.  I just put a ton of weight on the year following his birth.

It's motivating to see this, and I have other shots to show you down the road.

I don't ever want to be that size again.  More important, let me tell you about that girl on the left. That is a girl that was barely eating any fruits and vegetables, was always eating till her guts hurt, was drinking 50+oz of diet soda a day (yes you read that right), and was eating fast food for AT LEAST one meal a day.  She was tired, she was depressed and she hid it all with a smile.

Let me tell you about the girl on the right.  Yesterday she had a banana, an apple, a mango, 4 large strawberries and about 2 cups of spinach...and that was only at breakfast!  At lunch she ate a raw veggie sandwich and at dinner another huge platter of roasted veggies over some brown rice pasta.  She drinks at least 100 ounces of water a day and sometimes chases that with some fresh juice.  She has a ton of energy and even went to the gym at 6am this morning.

Most important, this girl smiles right now just because she feels happy.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

My Mom

My Mom is my favorite woman in the whole world.  I adore her, I admire her and I love her with all my heart.  She lives far away and sadly I don't get to see her as often as I would like and we don't really get to spend Mother's Day together.

My friends at Honey Agency are having a contest for Mom's and I entered my Mom so she could win a gift certificate to AJF Salon.  She is always complaining about how no one does her hair right and I KNOW that they would do her hair right and would love to treat her to something special next time she comes to visit.

If you have a moment, and I know you do, will you please visit this link and vote for our story!

CLICK HERE

Thank you!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Anchors

It's time for a weight loss update peeps!!  I'm down 4 more pounds since my last update and currently weight 223.8.  That's a total loss of 36.2 lbs from my heaviest point.  Some other things to note.  At my heaviest my pants were a size 22.  Today I am wearing an 18....butttttttttttt.......

They fit like this!  Time for some new pants people!!!  I was also in an 18 in tops or SQUEEZING into an XXL.  I'm still rocking an XL, but that's mostly because of my gigantic breasts.  Yes, I have big boobs and I cannot lie.  I can't wait for these suckers to disappear.  I can tell though that a size L is just around the corner.

So, what have I been doing.  I'm still going to Weight Watchers and I love it.  Am I counting points...nope.  Am I writing stuff down...nope.  For those of you that know WW you will know I am pretty much breaking the two biggest rules.  The thing is though, I LOVE MY MEETING.  I love the leader, I love the friends I am there with, I love the friends I haven't yet made.  The knowledge I gain from those meetings is just one step in my journey to success.

So, how am I doing this then?  I'm sticking with roughly a 90% whole food clean diet.  I'd say that it's 90% vegan, but I sometimes do hate putting that label on it.  I eat a ton of fruit, I eat a ton of vegetables and I sprinkle it with good carbs and plant based proteins.  For example, last night I made this.

It's an enchilada skillet and was AMAZING.  I made some tweaks and added corn and red bell pepper.  I also used Daiya cheese instead of cheese and added some Nutritional Yeast so it made it a vegan dish.  It was so creamy and rich and delicious I can't wait to make it again.  Next time I plan on using some sweet potato instead of squash.

I really hate putting labels on what I am doing, because I feel like that's where I have failed in the past.  Sometimes I'm vegan, sometimes I'm vegetarian, sometimes I'm raw and sometimes I'm eating a hamburger. It's just making the choice to do the healthiest option as much as I can.  The other thing I like about this "diet" is I don't have to count calories, I don't have to count points.  It's almost impossible to over eat and over indulge this way.

Here's something I learned at the last WW meeting that really held true for me, to be successful you have to find anchors.  Things you can grab onto when you feel like you might float away.  For me it is that, it is also things that inspire me, things that grab me and keep me moving.  I have found a TON of anchors on Instagram.  There are so many damn healthy people and I love seeing what they are doing.  I have exercise anchors, vegan anchors, raw anchors, mommy anchors, craft anchors and just friends.  In some certain way they all keep me grounded and keep me from drifting away.  I also have anchors on Facebook and in my day to day life!  Social media can really come in handy sometimes if you find the right motivators.

In the past I've always done this weight loss thing by myself.  I've never had anyone looking after me, I've never had anyone pushing me.  I'm doing things very different this time and have so many anchors on my ship there is no way that I will sink or float away!!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Weekend

Oh, what a lovely weekend it was!  On Saturday morning I woke up with a little kid in my bed and that little kid's hair was going EVERYWHERE.  He's not a fan of haircuts and the last time we went he was all over the place so his hair looked like it was cut with a pair of garden clippers.

I told him it was crazy and that we should buzz his hair off.  From this point he has been PETRIFIED of clippers, won't go anywhere near them.  To my surprise he said, "Let's try it Mommy."

I took baby steps getting him comfortable until I was finally pretty confident he'd let me do it.  Being a ridiculous Mom, my first test strip in his actual hair was directly in the front.  We did that one strip and he decided he didn't want to do it anymore.  Now, a part of me thought it might be hilarious to let him walk around looking like the frat boy that fell asleep at the kegger party first....but there was no way I could do that.  So, with a bag of M&M's and promise of a big Woody doll we got it finished.

Oh what a cutie pie he is!  I absolutely love his hair like this and know it will be perfect for him in the summer.  It also makes him look so much like his Daddy!

We then headed to Target to get big Woody and ended up on an adventure trying to find a store that had one in stock.  Along the way we picked up a cute hat too for his very white head and he actually wore it...another success!!

We spent Saturday evening with family in Davis and it was wonderful!  Leyton was so great that night and we had so much fun visiting with everyone.  It makes me wish everytime that we all lived closer. We celebrated Cinco de Mayo on Saturday instead and I made the Strawberry Grapefruit Margaritas from Thug Kitchen (which is a HILARIOUS site if you haven't read it) and some salsa cups from Pinterest.  Both were healthy and delicious!!!

I started Sunday with some free yoga in the park and I have to say there is NOTHING BETTER than doing yoga outdoors in the sunshine and grounded to the earth.  I wish I could find outdoor yoga year round!  Although I guess in the cold and rain it might not be as much fun!  Sunday was also a day to clean the house, make sure Leyton took a much needed nap and then the kiddo and I took a bike ride for frozen yogurt.

It was his first frozen yogurt, but I can't say he liked it much.  Well, he liked the toppings for sure!

Such a great family weekend after being gone, I wish they all could be this perfect!