Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Most Important Reminder

Hey everyone! So, I'm not sure if you follow me on Instagram or not, but if you don't - you should! ;)

The other day, I shared about my recent struggle with the scale and how it was starting to affect my workouts. Check out the post I shared, here:

I want to steal your attention for a minute to talk about the importance of NSV’s during any weight-loss journey. (NSV = Non-scale victory) 💪🏻 I have been feeling frustrated for the past week or so because, despite my consistent effort of making healthier choices 80% of the time, the scale stopped moving 🛑💀 I know I’m gaining muscle from weight lifting and so I actually considered NOT lifting in the gym today, just to see that #️⃣ move. That’s unhealthy thinking and I’m calling myself out! Instead, I DID lift weights today and while I was using the tricep dip machine, I noticed that I fit differently in it! My sides no longer brush against the machine while I’m using it. NSV for the win! The scale isn’t everything. 👌🏻 . . #balance #pcos #pcosweightloss #weightloss #losingweight #weightlossjourney #activeliving #fitfam #igfitfam #ww #wwcommunity #progress #motivation #moderation #fitnessjourney #fitspo #inspiration #nodeprivation #balance #healthyliving #goals #nevergiveup #pcoslife #cyster #wwfreestyle #trackingcalories #weightlossmotivation #heathylifestyle
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I have been working out about 2 - 3 times per week, staying within my calories 6/7 days per week and drinking about 40 - 80 oz. of water per day. I am doing well but, the scale isn't moving and it is getting frustrating! I have been stuck at 233-234 lbs. for about two weeks now. 

I really enjoy strength training at the gym and, while lifting weights increases my progress toward living a healthier life, it definitely has been slowing the progress on the scale. Which is more important though, really?

I know that it is not good to only want to lose weight and focus on that number on the scale. That's not what this is all about here but, I do get stuck there sometimes. I need to remind myself that I am doing this for my overall health. That's what is most important. I want to gain mobility. I want to gain strength. I want to gain endurance. I want to feel better and, I am doing all of the right things to get there. I just need to keep going.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Vlog: Dinner Date Night + Weekend Recap

Hello and happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend!


On Friday, I pulled into the parking lot at Piper's preschool only to be reminded that she had a 4-day weekend off from school! 

Since we were already all loaded up in the truck, I turned around and we went to the gym, instead! The temperature wasn't too low and so, after the gym we went to the zoo for an hour. There wasn't a lot available at the zoo but, we did get to ride the carousel and bask in the excitement that we would be able to visit again, soon! When we were done at the zoo, we picked up Nick from work to escape for a quick lunch at a local cafe. Piper had soup, I had sushi and Nick ate chicken and rice. It was a nice midday treat! After that, I took Piper grocery shopping and we had everything put away at home by the time Nick got home from work that afternoon.

Friday evening was spent all cozied up at home. Nick and I have been watching Live P.D. on the weekends and so, our wild night was spent cuddling on the couch with Halo Top ice cream and our new favorite t.v. show.


Saturday was a really fun day! We all went to the gym in the morning and then we participated in the local Maple Tour. The Maple Tour is a fun tradition for our family. We look forward to it each year!

Saturday afternoon was spent at home, gearing up for a fun night! We had dinner with our life grroup followed by an evening of bowling! I recorded some footage of our weekend and so you'll probably see a vlog coming out, soon. 

In the meantime, I have finally edited the vlog from our date night two weeks ago!

I hope you enjoyed watching the vlog. Thanks for stopping by, today!

Friday, March 15, 2019

Vlog: Friday Night at the Gym

Another day, another video! 

I hope you all have been enjoying a small peak into our days with these videos. I have really been enjoying sharing my journey with you all in this way!

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Vlog: Gym Night | Quick Walmart Trip | Best Low Calorie Ice Cream

Happy Thursday! I have been working on editing a lot of vlogs lately. Below is a vlog recorded on February 28th!

I hope you enjoyed watching! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Monday, March 11, 2019

Meal Plan 3/9/19 - 3/16/19

Happy Monday, everyone! It's me! I'm here... on a Monday! I feel like it's been a while since I have been organized enough to get a blog post out on a Monday morning.

I hope that you all had a great weekend! I am still trying to get use to the fact that my weekends now run Friday - Saturday, since I work for the church on Sunday mornings. Thursdays are now my Friday nights and Saturday nights are now more like Sunday nights for me. I find myself prepping for the week on Saturday nights, similar to how I use to on Sundays. It's a weird shift of mind and I feel a little unbalanced with my family at times, since my husband's Saturday nights are still Saturday nights. I don't know if any of that made any sense at all but yeah, it's taken a mental shift on my part, for sure.

Despite all of that, I still enjoy making my meal plan and grocery list for the following week on Fridays! I also enjoy going grocery shopping for the entire week ahead on Saturday mornings. 

This weekend, I went grocery shopping for the following meal plan:

Dinners for 3/9 - 3/16

Saturday: Popcorn Shrimp + Asparagus + Fries
Sunday: Turkey Meatloaf + Baked Potatoes + Mixed Veggies
Monday: Baked Fish + Roasted Peppers, Zucchini, Onions
Tuesday: Full Staff Dinner Meeting
Wednesday: Chicken + Broccoli + Rice
Thursday: Teriyaki Steak + Vegetable Stir Fry
Friday: Chicken Salads with Fries
Saturday: Fish Fry with friends

I like to plan out our dinners for the week and run a loose plan for breakfast and lunches. I often skip breakfast myself but, when I do eat it will usually either be a smoothie or something simple like two eggs and a slice of toast. As for lunch, I will usually eat a salad, soup or dinner leftovers.

Make it a great week, everyone!

Friday, March 8, 2019

Coming Soon: Breakthrough

Let's talk about a break-through! Not one that has happened yet but, one that is GOING TO HAPPEN SOON!

You may have noticed that I have been trying my best to track my weekly weigh-in's for quite some time now. For a quick overview, you can check out this link: Archived Weigh-In's.

I am so glad that I have this data to look back on. Just the other day I was wondering, "what has been my actual lowest weight on this weight loss journey that started back in 2011 and when was the last time I reached that weight?" 

Since I have been keeping a record of my weigh-in's, it didn't take long to find out that my lowest weight pre-pregnancy was 227.5 lbs. and the last time I came close to my lowest weight postpartum was in 2017 when I weighed in at 228.7 lbs.

November, 2013: Lowest Weight Pre-Pregnancy - 227.5 lbs.
May 2014 - January 2015: Pregnant with Piper
August, 2017: Lowest Weight Postpartum - 228.7 lbs.

So, in my entire 8-year weight-loss journey, I haven't been under 227.5 lbs. Right now, I am somewhere around 234 lbs. That's only an 8 pound difference to reach what would be my biggest breakthrough in my weigh-loss journey to date! 8 pounds! That's it!

I am determined to get there! To reach new heights, or rather - to reach a new low!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Throwback Thursday Vlog | Beach Day

Obviously I'm back into creating and editing vlogs again. It's a little hobby of mine and I've been dedicated to setting aside some time to do more of the things that fill my bucket. Filming and editing vlogs is one of those bucket fillers for me!

I found some footage that I recorded last June and decided to finally edit it and share it now for a little throwback! I hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

My Body Was Tired

Hey, everyone! Just stopping in to share one of my latest videos with you. I recorded these clips at the end of February.

As you saw later in the video, I am not motivated and chipper every day. I have bad moments, bad days, bad weeks, etc. The key for me in those moments, as you saw, is to spend a little more time on self care. 

More videos to come, soon! Thanks for sticking around.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

February Family Day Vlog

It's the last day of February! To celebrate, I am sharing a quick little video from one of our favorite days that we had the opportunity to enjoy as a family this month!

I hope you enjoyed watching!

Today is my final weigh-in day for February. I will be sharing my stats with you all, soon!

Make it a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Messing Up + Being Consistent

Hey everyone and happy Wednesday! I am so happy to share that we are all finally feeling better here! It's been a rough start to 2019 as far as getting sick and then sick and then sick again but, we are well now! Give me a minute while I go knock on wood.

February kind of went by like a blur for us. I can't believe that March begins this Friday! I am so ready for it because that means we are just that much closer to SPRING! Bring on the Spring! I am ready to get outside and enjoy nature again!

This month posed a lot of different challenges for me as far living out the healthier lifestyle that I am always working toward improvement on. I celebrated my birthday at the beginning of the month, then it was Valentine's day, then we all got sick and I didn't want to cook and we ordered out a lot. I mean, we had Chinese food (a few times), McDonald's, we went out for Italian food. We ate out a lot in this short month! Thankfully, I started reeling things back toward the end of this month and it looks like I will still be ending the month with a small loss on the scale!

If anything, I wanted to mention all of the challenges and the ways we "messed up" this month because it still goes to show that just because you "mess up" (and say, get Chinese take-out twice in one week), doesn't mean that you should give up! 

My motto for this season: Consistency is not never messing up; it's never giving up!

I have been making some small changes that have been adding up lately, as well. This past Sunday, I stopped by the drive-thru at Wendy's and instead of ordering a cheeseburger meal, I picked a salad. They have some of the best salads for a fast food chain!

It's small choices like this that add up over time so, even if I did eat Chinese food twice in one week earlier this month, I have the opportunity each day to make small choices that add up and eventually overrule the not-so-great choices! The proof will be on the scale! I'll be weighing in tomorrow for my final weigh-in of the month and soon I'll be sharing my total weight lost in 2019, thus far!

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A February Adventure

Hello everyone! I am feeling much better today! I am so happy to be able to sit up without feeling dizzy and walk around without feeling incredibly weak this morning. The 24 hr. stomach flu sure was a doozy!

In between being sick with one thing and then another, there was one really wonderful day that I have been meaning to share about here; mostly so I don't ever forget.

Last Friday, my husband took the day off from work so we could just hang out. I usually struggle with feeling kind of low this time of year (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and so, this was a real treat for him to stay home and make it a long weekend for us together.

After we dropped Piper off at preschool, we went to get some coffee's at the gas station and then we drove around some back roads. It turned out to be such a nice day! It was chilly but sunny. We stopped at a creek access and then the bluffs. It felt so good to be by the water.

We kept driving down the seaway trail and made a couple more stops along the way. We had the best morning - just driving around, chatting and exploring.

I am so grateful for this man and the little adventures that we've shared.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Can't Catch a Break

I can't seem to catch a break. First it was acute bronchitis, then it was some kind of sinus cold thing and now, it's the stomach flu. I am weak. I am weary. I am sad. I am sick. I can't wait to feel like "me" again!

The few days leading up to the stomach flu, I was doing fairly well eating within my nutritional range and getting water in. I was still sick with whatever sinus cold I had but, I pushed through and tried to stick to my goals despite not feeling well. Today, as I recovered from the stomach bug, I ate minimally, of course. I drank about 64 oz. of gatorade and finally ate my first meal of the day at dinner. All seems to be digesting well. Let's hope I am on the mend!

Poor Piper had this stomach bug first. She got sick at church on Sunday and stayed on the couch the rest of the day. She seemed to be doing much better on Monday and so, I hope I will be doing much better tomorrow, myself.

I feel like I haven't been well since last year. Yes, I am feeling quite dramatic about it. I can say that I haven't been well since last year because it's only February and, because it's pretty much true. I think I had about a week or so at the beginning of February where I felt well between all of the different illnesses I've endured. I am officially done with winter and done with all of the sickness. 

Bring on Spring!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Six Months Later VLOG

Still sick over here. I've been down for the count today. Since I have been resting a lot, I have had some extra time to throw a VLOG together. I recorded some footage earlier in the month and finally got around to editing it.

I can't believe it's been six months since I've shared a vlog on my YouTube channel. I think I am going to try to update at least once per month.

Let me know what you think! Do you enjoy watching vlogs?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019


Happy Wednesday, everyone!

I don't work on Wednesdays and so I have noticed that if I have not been on track for the days leading up to it, Wednesday usually serves as my reset day where I try to get back on track. This is definitely the case, today!

I've come to find that Valentine's week is always a little challenging when you're trying to lose weight. Yesterday, I had the most amazing cupcake at the office and, I really have no regrets about that. Haha.

I haven't been feeling great this week. I finally got over my acute bronchitis just long enough to get sick with something else. I have some congestion and a sore throat. I am just so tired of being sick and tired. It's been a little discouraging.

Another discouragement has really just been the weather lately. This week we had freezing rain, some tremendous winds and now it's looking like we are getting a little snow storm on top of it all. It is February 13th and I am officially over winter. The snow is beautiful but, I really miss the warm weather summer brings.

I'm not big on sharing the discouragements but, it definitely is part of life. This time of year can be especially hard for me because it's around this time that I notice the intense effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder. It's hard to be motivated this time of year but, this is the time when I need to just keep pressing on. 

I know this week is filled with cupcakes, candy and chocolate. I know that I will (and have) indulge in these things. I also know that while it might affect the scale for a short period, that is okay. I will get back on track. I will feel better soon.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Piper's 4th Birthday Party: Wreck-It Ralph + Arcade Themed

Piper turned 4 last month and we celebrated with a "Wreck-It Ralph" theme at a local arcade! Piper came up with the theme all on her own and we had a lot of fun bringing it to life for her!

Having the party at a local arcade was fun for both the kids that came and for the adults!

Piper is such a bright and compassionate little girl. She is a great conversationalist and, she is a free-spirit. We encourage her in all the "weird" things she enjoys. She's a girl that wants to be a superhero when she grows up. She loves to collect bar soap and she knows a lot about bugs. She loves Jesus and prays with such great intention. She prays for the big things and little things. She gives thanks to God for her family, friends and teachers. She give thanks to God for her brain, skin and bones. We love her for all that she is and, all that she will become. She is truly amazing to us. We thank God for allowing us to be her parents every day!

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

New Water Bottle + Scale Accountability

Hey everyone and happy Wednesday! Earlier this week, I turned 31. I didn't really want to celebrate my birthday but, my husband got me a little gift anyway.

It was actually the perfect gift. He gave me a new water bottle that holds up to 40 oz. of water and so now I only have to fill the bottle 3 times each day to reach my water goal! He really surprised me because I hadn't even mentioned wanting a new water bottle to him. He's just so great!

Speaking of my water goal, I have been doing a decent job at reaching it lately. If not reaching it completely, I have gotten close enough most days which really helps! I haven't been the best at tracking my nutrition during this first week of February and so making sure I get enough water seems to  help balance all of that out.

This month, I will be doing weekly weigh-in's on Friday. Last Friday was the first day of February and I weighed in at 237.4 lbs. I checked this morning, mid-week, and I am at 237.8 lbs. I am glad that I checked the scale a couple days early because now I am motivated to start tracking my nutrition again. It's easy to slip out of routine and the accountability of the scale has been nice enough to bring me back on track!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

January 2019 Weight-Loss Results

Today is my final weigh-in day of January!


While I didn't reach my goal of 235 lbs., I did come fairly close, finishing out at 237.4 lbs this morning. That's a 6 lbs. loss for the month! Here's a more detailed look at my weekly weigh-in's:

1/2/19: 243.4 lbs
1/9/19: 238.6 lbs.
1/16/19: 239.8 lbs.
1/23/19: 240.3 lbs.
1/30/19: 237.4 lbs.

I lost 6 lbs. this month, all while eating more pizza and cake than usual (two birthday parties, back to back weekends) and with the obstacle of being sick for a little over two weeks with acute bronchitis. Considering all of that, losing 6 lbs. this month is a major accomplishment for me!

I am still a little sick and so, I am looking forward to that day when I will wake up and feel back to normal, soon! It's been two and a half weeks of struggling through my days with this acute bronchitis. I know that the relief of this illness will help propel me into an even better place to stick to my healthy lifestyle and continue losing more weight in February!

Monday, January 21, 2019

Mid-Month Check-In and Official Goal

Today is my daughter's 4th birthday! Can you believe it? I hope to gather all of the pictures from her party this past weekend and share them here, soon. In the meantime, I wanted to stop in today to share a mid-month update!

The first week and a half of this new year, I was killing it! I was super motivated, I was tracking my food intake daily. I was losing weight. I was doing great!

Last week, everything changed. I got sick with a cold, I ate multiple meals that weren't cooked at home and, we celebrated our daughter's birthday this weekend which meant: lots of pizza and cake! So much cake! #noregrets

It's week three (and a half) and I'm super excited to get back on track today! See, I made a salad:

I'm still sick with a cold but, I'm doing much better than last week. I am motivated to track my nutrition and just finish out the month with a loss on the scale!

I have decided to officially make it a goal to reach 235 lbs. by the end of the month. This week, I am going to drink 120 oz. of water each day. I am going to go to the gym at least twice and, I am going to track my nutrition daily!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Losing Steam but Not Giving Up

Hi everyone and, happy Wednesday!

It's mid-week and I can already tell this week isn't going to go as planned. I haven't been paying as much attention to my nutrition intake as I was last week and, I haven't made it to the gym yet. I'm not giving up, though. While I lost a good amount of weight last week, I think the best I'll do this week is maintain and that's okay.

Yesterday was a busy day. It was my long day at work (9:30 - 9:00) and, I didn't make the best food choices. I had a free 8 piece chicken nugget and medium fry on the Chik-Fil-A app that I used for lunch and, I ate a catered meal from work for dinner. When I got home, I mindlessly ate some dinner leftovers that Nick had made and then, I went to bed.

Today is different. I do not work today and so I have more time to focus on my food choices. I have a good intention to go to the gym this evening but, the cold and snow is creating a slight deterrent. I know that if I start getting all of my water in again and, add some more activity to my days that I'll begin to see more results. 


I feel like I've been losing some steam over the past few days but, I am not giving up!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Weekend Recap + This Week's Goal

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a great weekend. We really enjoyed ours!

On Friday night, we ate a quick dinner at home and then went to the YMCA to go swimming. We love using the pool at the Y, especially in the winter. It felt like we were on vacation!

On Saturday, we spent the morning at home. In the afternoon, we went grocery shopping and then, we went over to my mom's house for my little brother's birthday party. It was a family game night theme, which was really fun for everyone!

On Sunday, we went to church in the morning and then stuck around home the rest of the day. We had such a nice, low key weekend that I didn't want it to end!

During my brother's birthday party, I went a little over calories. It was the first time I'd gone over calories in the new year and I was okay with it. Birthday parties don't happen every day but, in our case, they are happening two weeks in a row for us this month! It's my goal to stay within calories all week long that way I can enjoy another very special birthday party this coming Saturday - Piper's 4th Birthday Party!

Goal this week: stay within calories 6/7 days! Saturday will be a  no-counting-calorie day for me!

Friday, January 11, 2019

New Baby + Family Fun

Happy Friday, everyone! This week, it finally began looking like winter around here. We actually had some fairly early snow to start off the season and then we had a bit of a break. Piper was very excited for it's return this week!

A lot of great things happened this week, the best being that my sister, Beckah, gave birth to her second baby! Finnegan is here and I am blessed to be an aunt of two sweet little boys! My sister and her little family are doing so incredibly well at home despite being far away from home, stationed in Japan. God has truly blessed them and His work in their lives has been apparent. God is good!

This week went by really fast for us and so, I hope the weekend goes a bit slower. Tonight we are planning on going swimming as a family at the YMCA. Between Nick starting a new class with the church on Monday and Life Group on Wednesday, we decided to schedule in a little family fun to get us all out together tonight and I'm so glad that we did! 

We have been paying much more attention to our calendar lately and it's really been paying off. We haven't felt so rushed and, we've been scheduling in our priorities so we don't miss our on what's important to us. Family time is definitely a priority of ours and so we are really looking forward to tonight!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

5 lbs Down + Full Meal Plan

I checked the scale this morning and was happy to find that I have lost 5 pounds in my first week of being "back on track" with my healthy lifestyle. I have stayed within my nutritional ranges every day and it's really paid off!

The best part of this is that I have lost 5 pounds while eating the food that I love. I've just been making compromises throughout my day to fit it all in. If I want a chocolate bar as my evening snack (which has happened a couple times this week) then I am not going to get a second helping of dinner. 

Compromise. Balance. Moderation. Yes.

Whenever I hear of someone having success in losing weight, I always wonder what they ate. This is true with my past success, too. I have gone back in my blog and wondered "what did I eat that week to have such success?" 

Today, I am going to share every single thing that I ate in the past week for you and, also for myself to have something to look back on when I inevitably get into a rut or, when I need that simple reminder that losing weight is all about striving for balance and moderation.

That's everything I ate this past week. The only thing that I planned out was dinners for each day of the week and the rest of it was all intuitive eating while monitoring my nutritional ranges throughout my day to assure I'd stay within my targeted calories. 

I went to the gym once in the past week, which was less often than I had planned but, I believe it's good to take it slow in the gym at first. Focusing on my meals is my top priority right now and, as long as I stay consistent, I know that I will continue to see success!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

7 Day Streak

Today will be my 7th day in a row staying within calories, focusing on my health, making compromises/choosing balance instead of overindulging/restricting and, just making my goals a priority in my life. To say that I am feeling empowered would be absolutely on point!

I don’t know why it took this new year to get me back on track but, it did. I think it was a combination of a few different things that made this time the right time to start on a streak like this. I was definitely beyond tired of feeling uncomfortable and just completely depleted in different ways. The only way to fix that was to start making more time to focus on myself again.

It took some time before I realized the only person that can break the cycle and free me from defeat is myself. Nobody else is going to find the time for me to work on myself. I’m in charge of my own well-being and it’s up to me to make my goals and my well-being a priority each day. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing.

Last night was probably the hardest out of all of my 7 day streak but, I made it within calories, again. For dinner, I made a casserole version of BBQ Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. It turned out well but, not as well as a stuffed sweet potato. I feel like the stuffed sweet potato is just the way to go because it has the right portion of potato to chicken mixture for my taste. All that said, the casserole was still good!

Today, I work all day and then will be coming home to have taco salads with my family for dinner. Having our meals planned out for the week is helping us so much, already! After weeks of not using a meal plan, it is really nice to take the guess work out of “what’s for dinner”! It also helps me to know where I need to compromise throughout my day to make room for dinner and after-dinner snack plans in my nutritional ranges. Balance has been everything!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Weekend Recap + Ralph Breaks the Internet

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? Ours was pretty great!

On Saturday, we went to the movies to see Ralph Breaks the Internet. Piper loved the first movie, Wreck It Ralph, so much that she has requested to have a Wreck It Ralph themed birthday party for her 4th birthday in a few weeks! Going to the movies to see the new Wreck It Ralph movie really made her day, and ours!

After the movies, we went to Target to find a Wreck It Ralph figurine for her birthday cake. While we were there, we found a few super cute Wreck It Ralph shirts that were 50% off on clearance and so, of course we snagged those up, as well. We are in for all things Wreck It Ralph right now!

On Sunday, we woke up early for church. My mom ended up taking Piper to her house for lunch and so, Nick and I went to Subway for a lunch date followed up by a quick trip to the grocery store for a couple things I forgot to get on Friday.

In between all of the highlights this weekend was a lot of relaxing. It was just the kind of weekend we all needed. I am super proud to say that I stayed on track during the entire weekend, too. I managed to stay within calories all weekend even with a trip to the movie theater and going out on a lunch date! I am feeling super empowered for making healthy choices and keeping my health a priority. The key for me was that I still indulged a little (I definitely had some popcorn, diet coke and chocolate this weekend) but not too much so I could stay within my calorie range. Moderation and balance!

Friday, January 4, 2019

Meal Plan for Next Week 1/7/19

When do you do your meal planning? Ideally, I like to start planning my meals out for the following week on Friday. If I have my meals planned out on on Friday, that gives me enough time to make a grocery list and go grocery shopping on Saturday. I have come to love grocery shopping for the week on a Saturday’s. This gives me more time to relax on Sunday or some more time for meal prep, if needed.

I don’t work on Fridays and so, while Piper was at preschool this morning, I was at home planning out our meals for the week and making a grocery list.

Dinner Plans for Next Week:
Friday: Teriyaki Chicken with Bell Peppers, Mushrooms & Onions 
Saturday: Spaghetti Squash + Meatballs with Dinner Rolls
Sunday: Zuppa Toscana + Dinner Rolls
Monday: BBQ Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Tuesday: Taco Salads
Wednesday: Ground Turkey + Brussels Sprouts Skillet
Thursday: Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
Friday: Chicken, Broccoli + Cauliflower Rice Bake

When I picked Piper up from school, we headed straight over to the store to get our grocery shopping done. I feel super empowered to have my meal plan laid out and all of my groceries bought as we go into the weekend. I think it will help me to stay on track, having a bunch of healthy food options to choose from.

Speaking of healthy choices, this week I have been doing AMAZING with staying within calories and drinking all of the water I need. I even managed to stay within calories while eating out the other day. Chick Fil A for the win!

My calorie intake for the week has looked like this, so far:

1/1/19: 1,721 calories
1/2/19: 1,778 calories
1/3/19: 1,789 calories

On January 2nd, I weighed in at 243.4 lbs. This morning, I weighed in at 240.3 lbs! The water weight from the holidays is coming off and, I’m so glad. I really feel so bloated and uncomfortable. Right now, I’m extra motivated to stay on track because I don’t feel good in my own skin. It’s been 4 days since getting back on track and I’m already feeling some benefits! I know that if I stick with it, it will only get better from here!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

My Current Record

In case you were wondering, today is the third day in a row that I have posted on my blog and, yes, that is a current record for me! The last 4 months of 2018 came at me fast. Too fast. Because of the shear speed of things, my priorities got all out of whack. I was running in too many directions, leaving barely anything left for myself. If you need proof, just go back through my blog archive. I haven't been able to find enough time to write consistently for three days in a row since August!

During our holiday break, my husband and I had a lot of long, wonderful talks. One talk led us right to this blog of mine. During our talk, Nick reminded me of how important this space is and has been for my well-being over the years. This is where I debrief from my days, from my weeks. This is the space where some of my favorites memories are housed. This is the space where I hold myself accountable to my goals. I need this space and, without it, I have been somewhat unbalanced.

Today is my first day back to our new normal. In a couple hours, I will be dropping Piper off at preschool and I will be going to work for the day. Either Nick or I will be picking her up later this afternoon, depending on which one of us gets out of work first. I am very excited to get back to work and, I am very excited to come home tonight. Someone wise once told me that it's good to miss your children. That wasn't something that happened much at all during Piper's first three years while I stayed at home with her. Now that I am working, I completely understand how sweet it is to miss her and, to reunite after some hours away.

After we get home tonight, we will eat a quick dinner together and then Nick will be going to worship practice with the band for church on Sunday. Piper will be visiting with Nick's mom and so, I have the night to myself. It's been a while since I have been alone and so, I don't even know what to do with myself! I think I will try to catch up on some laundry and, maybe start reading a new book gifted from work called, "Simple Church". 

Speaking of books, I just finished listening to the audio version of "The Furious Longing of God" and, it was so good. It was recommended a while ago by our Pastor. If you're interested, the audio version I listened to was on YouTube: 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

A Throwback "Normal Day"

Hello and happy Wednesday! Today is Nick's first day back to work since Friday and, while we have all had such an amazing and restful holiday break, we are all happy to get back into our normal routines. 

While Nick will be going back to work, today will still a little abnormal for Piper and I. She doesn't go back to school and I don't go back to work until tomorrow. It's kind of like a throwback "normal day" for us two, back from when I was a stay at home mom and she didn't go to preschool. Aww. Sweet. I miss those days but, I also love this season so much! We all appreciate the healthy balance that preschool and working part time has brought to our lives.

Since it is just Piper and I at home today, I am planning to go to the YMCA to get us out of the house! On New Year's Day, none of us left the house, which was wonderful. Nick got some more construction done, this time covering up some pipes that ran down through the dining room, while Piper and I just hung out and played off and on between chores. 

Today, we are ready to get out and go! Piper really enjoys going to the YMCA, just as much as I do. She will be playing with the other kids in childwatch while I walk on the treadmill and lift some free weights.

As of the past couple weeks, I've been sporadically going to the gym and, with the new year here, I have just recommitted myself to tracking my nutrition intake. Given all of this, I haven't talked much about my weight-loss goals on the blog and, while weight-loss isn't my sole motivation for making healthier choices, at my current weight, it sure is a big one. 

Speaking of weight, I think this was the first time in well over 15 years that I didn't weight myself on New Year's Day. While it was refreshing to overlook the scale on New Year's Day, tracking weight is too good of an accountability tool to overlook for too long. I plan to weight myself today and will report back with my stats soon!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Hello 2019

Hello, 2019. I am happy to see you.

If I'm being honest, the last few months of 2018 felt like a blur. Piper started preschool at the end of August, on the same day that I started my new part time job, and life has been one big race against the clock ever since. The struggle to finding a good rhythm during those first few months was real. We're 4 months in now and, I can say that a good rhythm has been found and some much needed personal boundaries have been established.

During one of my quiet moments with God these past couple weeks, He revealed to me something that I already knew but, in a way that only God could; in a way that shook me to the core. God revealed to me that I am a wife and a mother. I know, I know, this isn't earth-shattering news but, in this moment, for me, it was. 

I don't know how to describe it but, when He revealed that obvious truth to me, I really heard it. A quiet, bold font thought passing through my mind during a prayerful mediation changed everything. Ever since coming out of that moment of prayerful meditation, I have been looking at my husband and daughter differently. It's almost as if God gave me a new set of eyes to see with; as if He's granted me the privileged of seeing something new in what's been there all along. 

And just like that, the race against the clock had been won. The grand prize had been gifted from Him alone. I am a wife and a mother. After months of racing around, I rest in that simple truth.

In being reminded of this simple truth, I believe I can serve God in wonderful ways by serving my family as often as I can. This was just the revelation I've been praying for as I struggled with a decision that had been weighing heavily on me for a little over a month. I've needed to come to a decision on whether or not I'd participate in a very involved training series through work. Saying yes to this training would provide me with so much spiritual and personal growth but, saying yes would also take me away from home even more often in the coming months. I struggled with the decision for weeks, going back and forth. I was ready to say yes but, I was still unsure. I wanted to say no but, it didn't feel right. I was utterly torn. Then, after being reminded of a simple truth during a quiet prayerful mediation, I was able to confidently decline. 

It is not the time for this training. I would not be able to serve my family well through it, not in this given season, not at this given time, not with our given schedule, not with my given calling.

I believe that this year, with the priority being to serve God through both my family and the church, I will be able to confidently decline more of the things that may have previously caused me pause or things that don't align with my priorities.


Now, as my husband graciously pointed out, in order to serve anything well, I must also take good care of myself. So, to quote my post from January 1, 2018: 
"My priorities [for the new year] are going to be geared more toward self-care. I want to drink more water, stretch, become more active, eat well, listen to more music, drink hot tea in the afternoons, allow myself some quiet time, use my bible study and prayer journals, take my vitamins, build myself up spiritually, physically and otherwise. I think if I do all of that, the weight will drop naturally but, that's not my sole motivation and, that feels nice. It feels right."
I think I was on to something. I am going to carry this into 2019 with me, as well.