Weight Loss Goals






Happy Monday, everyone! I thought I would share my weight loss goals with you as well as some things I have learned that  have helped me to stay on track this time around. Like a lot of moms, it has been tough to control my weight after having kids, although I attribute the weight gain to the lack of full length mirrors in the house! No joke! We haven't had full length mirrors in our house since we've been married. Why do people own them? I guess to see how fat they look, because my clothes look exactly the same on as they do on the hanger.  So it honestly didn't hit me how much weight I had gained until I kept seeing myself in pictures and thinking, is that how big I am?

I hope to lose 50lb total by the time RJ comes back (ah thats hard for me to type). I know it seems ambitious but its completely doable. I wanted to share the biggest thing that has kept me on track so far and hope that it helps someone else who's also trying to get healthy. But, I also just want to be accountable and I know a few of you have already shared your weight loss goals. For people who are really in shape or really knowledgable this  isn't going to help or be anything new, but for those who maybe new to this, hope it helps...


Count calories! I know, so innovative. I cant stress how important this has been for me. There are so many good reasons to keep track of your calories. I always knew that the most basic thing in weight loss was burn more calories than you eat. Simple. However, even though I knew it,  I didn't understand it. Yes, the only way to lose weight is to simply burn or use more calories than you eat. So anyone can lose weight, even if you don't have a lot of time to work out. There are obviously bad and good ways to do this. Drastically cutting your calories and starving yourself would be an example of a very bad way to do this. I have been on a 1200 calorie "diet", I guess you can call it. It goes up slightly on days where I do intense workouts, but I try and maintain it in that range. So that might not seem crazy to most people, but guys, its so hard! For those who have done it, you know what I'm talking about. Here are some tips that have been keeping me on track.

Have a food journal. I do it in the form of an app called fitness pal. It sets my goals for me, adjust my calories for the days I workout, and keeps track of my nutrition intake. You would not believe how quickly 1200 calories add up, which means that I was regularly eating WELL over that. Just to give you an example....


Is that shocking to you?! There are more calories in 1 chipotle burrito than there are in a whole day worth of meals. I was shocked when I realized how quickly calories add up! I actually went to the chipotle website and typed in my meal. This doesn't include if you eat chips or if you get a drink, or if you eat ANYTHING ELSE that day! Crazy, right?! So it just goes to show how we don't understand portion control. Chipotle itself is not seemingly a bad meal, Its just a lot of food. So its important to keep track of what we eat, and I hope to eventually not need the app because it will become second nature to know how many calories are in things.

Be prepared to be hungry all the time. I am hungry ALL THE TIME. It suuuucks!! But its totally normal. You are going to be hungry. You are cutting your calories and your body is not accustom to it, it wants to eat. Drinking water helps big time, I have never had so much water in my life! It helps me to not binge eat. Just know that its ok to be hungry (not starving) and you don't have to give into it.

Withdrawals. They're real! I feel like an addict! I chew gum all the time (and i keep track of those calories too, because 20 calories in double bubble. What?! Childhood obesity, anyone?) it helps with my sugar cravings.

Don't be bored. If I manage to keep busy, I am less likely to think about food or the fact that I'm hungry. I have been doing projects like no ones business, so if i have a free moment, I'm doing something. A lot of time we associate hunger with boredom and eat just because. Making sure you have something to do will help eliminate that.

It suuuucks... Plain and simple! It sucks to cut your calories and it sucks to eat healthy. A big reason why I  failed in the past was because I wasn't mentally prepared for it to be miserable. People make weight loss seem like this awesome, healthy, cool club, and its not. Not even close. Who would choose a carrot over a donut? Who? If you said me, you're a liar. Theres a reason so many people are overweight. Its more enjoyable to eat stuff that taste good. So yes you'll see me eating a salad with no dressing, but hating every minute of it.

long term goals, not short term satisfaction. This is another tough reminder for me. I like instant results, if I weigh myself the next day and haven't immediately lost 5lb, I'm disappointed. I literally have to tell myself everyday, if you eat that today, you'll pay for it in a month. I have to deny myself today, to see results in a month. It is a process, but it will pay off. Its like they say, its a marathon, not a sprint.

It has been really awesome to just learn more about nutrition and what your body needs. I'm even taking a course on sports neutron and optimum health and hope to get certified. I don't think that being thin is the goal, but  being healthy. I'm tired of not being able to do active things because my body is so out of shape. But honestly the biggest reason for the change was my lack of self control. That has been such an annoying attribute that manifest itself in different ways in my life, the biggest being food! I have finally just had enough of being ruled by food. I don't think anyone is ready to lose weight until they seriously want to change, and sometimes it takes people a few tries, and thats ok. i think we learn something new each time.

If you made it to the end, bless you heart, that was long! But I would love to hear your weight loss goals or success stories. Share them below or email me! Thanks for the encouragement. Hope you feel it right back. We can do this! Our future self will thank us.


DIY Ring Light for under $40




I made this ring light a few weeks back, and thought I would quickly share the tutorial with you guys. Its super simple and way cheaper than buying an actual ring light which can cost anywhere from $100-$300. This tutorial has the stand included with is awesome if you're not facing a wall and need a stand. Below is the full video tutorial that explains how to make it.

Supplies:
Wire wreath (18 or 20in)
aluminum foil
Paper towel holder
zip ties
crazy glue
LED lights (I used 2 for the 20inch, you can get away with 1 for the 18in) (I used http://amzn.to/2o2XxX6)
Power Adapter http://amzn.to/2nQCW7q

I think you need to watch the video to better see how to make it, connecting the lights to each other is tricky. But feel free to comment below with any questions you might have.

Happy DIYing!

The pursuit of failure...






I took a little (long) break from blogging, and I think I'm finally back! I have really missed writing. I forgot how much I love to write, Its just so innate in me. If I'm not blogging, then I am in journaling. I just enjoy putting my thoughts down and I finally feel like I'm ready to blog again. I have been what you might call soul searching. I think I had a midlife, or is it quarter life crisis? Well I wouldn't say crisis as much as a funk. I have been desperately searching for what I thought might satisfy me, and surprise surprise, nothing has. Staying home with my boys has given me the biggest identity crisis, I don't know what to do with my time that I feel is worthwhile (I know, it all sounds so terrible). As terrible as it all might sound and as much as you might be saying, I know the answer, It's just the truth about how I felt. So I had to step back from everything and just let God convict me.

I was searching for meaning, when meaning was hitting me in the face. And to your surprise it wasn't being a stay at home mom or an awesome wife, but following Jesus! You might say I already did that, but my answer was I wasn't doing it well enough. I wasn't consumed with the creator as much as I was with creation. I felt like i needed things to occupy my time, I had to "contribute" to our household, I had to be this awesome "do it all" mom. When God doesn't ask for any of those things. My efforts in the pursuit of things that didn't really matter went unsatisfied and here I was not knowing what to do with myself. And I would love to say, "thats when it hit me"... but it wasn't. I went on to chase meaningless temporal insignificant things, that alone weren't bad, but I just tried to make them the things that gave me purpose.

The process was slow but the transformation was painful. It was like God convicted me of one thing after the other. Have you ever had someone break up with you and tell you why you suck? Me either. But I imagine its something like that. You know that scene in Seinfeld where he tells her she's pretentious? I just realized how many things I was doing with an insincere heart. I would love to say, I'm all better, I have it all figured out, and life is awesome, but this is an ongoing process. It has been a combination of the right people in my life, the books I'm reading, and the amazing sermons by John Piper (that feel like a hand reaches out of my phone and slaps me in the face). I remember talking to my husband and him saying, "there she is". I didn't know what he meant by that. He explained that he sees the "old me" in there.

Y'all, when I was in high school I was on fire for God, I mean weirdly telling people all about Jesus every chance I got. I also went to a bible school because I just wanted to know everything about God. Jesus was literally life (which should not be considered weird Christian behavior). But sometime after I had Jed I felt like that was gone. If you could imagine a fire, then someone pouring water on it. When Benjamin died more water was poured, when we lived with RJs grandma, more water. When RJ went to training, more water. When we moved to NY, more water. So I was running on cinders. It was just the tiniest light that kept me going, I didn't know how to come out of it. And it took more heartache and more disappointments to finally realize that the pursuits of this world are meaningless. Not to say that I wouldn't tell you that before if you asked. I knew it, I just wasn't believing it. So I tried different momentary things to fill up my time, like projects and blogging, ministries, and activities. All of which are not bad things, just not the point. So my life might look pretty similar in most ways, but my heart is different. I'm not doing things to satisfy some empty God shaped hole, I am doing it to bring glory to God. I'm sure a year down the road I will have another epiphany about life, because thats just how sanctification works. We are constantly growing and God is constantly changing us.

The reason for the picture above is because I remember posting this years back (in college) and loving it so much. And a few weeks ago I saw it again, it was an aha moment for me. It speaks so perfectly to my soul! I  have the tendency to want to do things to prove myself. To who? I couldn't tell you. I just don't want to be what people consider a "failure". So when I read this, I am reminded that it is not in my failures that I should have fear, but in my empty pursuits.

Why you shouldn't talk bad about your husband online






Social media is sometimes the disease that keeps on giving. Don't get me wrong, there are aspects of social media that are really awesome, but sometimes it can be a really crappy place. Interacting with people online, I think for some reason we say things we wouldn't normally say face to face. Often times that includes people closest to us. I have to admit that I myself have wanted to post some passive aggressive comments about people on Facebook. I think we all have those moments of wanting to give someone a piece of our mind without actually talking to them. Ive recently noticed a lot of wives who do it to their husbands. But I have compiled a list of reasons as to why you shouldn't talk bad about your husband (or anyone) online, but also anywhere else.

Gossip is gossip. I have such a hard time with gossip. I often say the first thing that pops into my head and not necessarily the best thing to say.  It is much easier to gossip online, wether in comments, messages, forums, tweets (ugh, tweets), or FB statuses. But when God said we were going to be accountable for every word, I think that includes tweets. Talking online can sometimes not seem like a big deal because we don't see the person who we're hurting but It's still gossip. You're "venting" or just being "funny," but it's still painting him in a bad light.


It changes your husbands reputation. Maybe you're just venting. Maybe you will change your mind in an hour. But as soon as you put those things out there people will form an opinion about him. I learned this the hard way. I said something about someone when I was really upset. After I was  over it, the person I told was still upset. I had already talked to and made up with them, but it was too late! They already formed an opinion based on the comments I made. On the other side of it, I have been the recipient of comments that have changed my opinion about people. The toothpaste analogy is really fitting in this scenario. Once you put those things out there, it is impossible to put them back. And you are putting it out there for hundreds of people to see. Imagine your shortcomings being broadcasted.

People will see you differently. Very rarely are people called out online. When I see a status that I don't agree with I usually don't say anything, even if I disagree. I think most people will either not say anything or try and make you feel better. But what people aren't saying, is that you're comments show you're immature and don't know how communicate in a relationship. What you're saying may be about your husband, but it also says a lot about you.


It will change you. You know what the best way to become a bad communicator is (besides that sentence)? Completely avoid your problems. Nothing will make you worse at it than completely avoiding a conversation. Do it long enough, and you have a great recipe for a bad marriage. Posting stuff online without the consequences of someone say anything will make you bitter, ineffective, and desperate for a resolution that might not ever happen.  

People are mostly going to agree with you because you're friends. So now not only are you bashing your husband but people on the internet are joining in. Can you imagine how awful that would feel if it was you? I can count on my one hand the number of times someone has told me they disagree with me online. Not because I'm always right (although I like to think that) but because friends don't want to make things awkward. Instead they probably silently formed opinions about me. I recognize that this is a lot of times easier said than done, because lets face it, the internet always listens. So what should you do?


Talk to your husband. Alway talk to him first and try to resolve the issue. And be open to the (rare and almost impossible) possibility that maybe you're the problem and the one that needs to change. Small example, when my husband leaves the milk out, he's not doing it because he's a mean vile man who wishes misery on my day. He just forgets. And you know what, It's not that hard for me to just put it back in the fridge.


Talk to a good friend. Preferably someone who is married and can relate to how difficult it can be.

Someone who doesn't gossip. I have friends who I know are going to agree with me and friends who are going to tell me like it is. There are times, unfortunately, that I just want to vent to someone (thats called gossip). Don't just talk to someone who will agree, but talk to someone who is going to give you sober advice, and someone who you know isn't going to tell someone else.

Someone who will pray. Most importantly, talk to someone who will pray for you. Not someone who just wants to know whats going on but is genuinely invested in your spiritual walk and wants to see you guys succeed.

I try and only ask for prayer or talk to someone when I'm having a really hard time. Most of the time I got to my mother in law  or sister(s) in law because they fulfill all of that criteria and because I trust that their opinion of my husband isn't going to change. Having spiritually mature friends who aren't just going to bash your husband is really important, for you and for your marriage.

There will be countless times where your husband will offend you or annoy you. So you will have countless chances to speak bad about him. Your husband will fail you because he is human and thats sort of what we're really good at. But fight the temptation to speak bad about him and instead pray. We are most disappointed when we put our trust in man instead of God.

I will add that this does not include major sins like verbal and physical abuse, cheating, or any sin that your husband is unwilling to change. You should always seek help and talk to someone about. Don't keep things like that to yourself. 

Hidey Socks (no show socks) Review






Recently I was asked by a friend of mine to review some socks, but not just any socks, no show socks! Those of you who know me, know my hate-hate relationship with no she socks. I HATE THEM! I think they're gross, I hate that they go into your shoe, and I think you might as well not wear any socks instead of no shows. So when my friend asked me to review them I said okay but that I was going to be honest about it. I was pretty skeptical about it and I kept thinking that I didn't know how I was going to write a bad review. So I finally decided to try them on and I have to say I am a changed woman!!! I'm not sure what kind of witchcraft is in these sock,s but they are awesome. Is this how all socks are suppose to feel?! I would walk a lot more if all socks felt this way. If i had to describe it, it would be like walking on what I could only imagine, baby pandas feel like. They are ridiculously comfortable! My guess as to what makes them comfortable is what they claim as "gel" but I really think is magic.


The socks themselves work because of the strap on them, I think that keeps the sock from being sucked into your shoe. I personally wore them a lot with my hightop convers and ankle boots. I don't own flats (because they're disgusting) so I couldn't tell you how well they work with them, but from the looks of it, I would figure just the same. They absolutely hold true to every claim they make. My feet weren't cold, even though it was 30 degrees out. They also didn't sweat, even though I wore them out all day. All in all this is an excellent product. I wish they would make all kinds of socks because I would buy them all and sleep in a bed of magic panda socks. I am definitely a fan, and if they're looking for a spokesperson of some sort I could do that too. I'm just here to help. So if you like no show socks, or the feeling of walking in the lap of luxury, then go out and buy yourself these socks, because they will change your life, or at least make your walk around Walmart more bearable. I'm kidding, nothing could do that, pretend I said Target. 
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