Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Trying to get back into drawing

I have always enjoyed doodling. I thought at one point I would like to draw. My dad and 2 of my brothers are quite good artists. I thought perhaps I would have a chance to be good too. I do have creative talent, and some artistic talent.
But something happened and I fell out of it. I was never very good at following direction (I can do this myself!), didn't have the patience to do what it took to be a good drawer.
Patterns, Lines, Zentangles...its on, I can doodle all day. But when it comes to people and faces (realistic) etc...well I never quite graduated past the childish.
I have friends who are amazing artists and I knew I would never be as good as they were, so I didnt bother to try.  My parents really helped me develop other artistic areas(like music) , and I put drawing and art on the backburner.

But, I found that once I started doing hair full time, something kind of unlocked in my brain. I started becoming better at the art thing. My kids would ask me to draw something, and to my surprise, I could actually do it.  I
My 10 year old always tells me "MOM! How did you get to be such a good artist?" I tell him with honesty, I dont know, and I am not as good as you think I am. You just dont know any better.

Now F, he really has quite a bit of natural talent, and has been wanting to better his skill.  I, of course, am the worst person to teach him, unless he wants to make cool patterns and henna designs all day. But he seems to think I am the right one to do it, so he and I are taking this voyage together.

So I have pulled out the books(Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards is a great starting point. I have had this book for 20 years, and pulled it out to go over some of the exercises) and gone on youtube and started messing around. I have discovered that if I take my time, and I really pay attention to what I am doing, I can do it.
The best tutorials I have found are on a youtube channel by markcrilley.  He is an author/illustrator.  he does a lot of manga and comic book stuff, but also has some GREAT tutorials on realistic drawing.

It is all about basic simple lines and then adding the values. Shading and light/dark.  So here are some of my first attempts at realistic faces.
The Nose.  Not great, but not altogether suck either.  Little too curved on the right, but practice practice practice.

The eye.  I actually like this. This was my second attempt, and all in all, apart from a wobbly looking iris, I'm halfway pleased with it.

The Lips.  Who knew lips and mouths and teeth could be so complex!! But I am really pretty shocked at how well that came out.

The Ear. Hmmmm, I think it is kind of difficult to make an ear look realistic, I feel like the lines are a little too heavy/illustrated.

My mishmash.  You can see the first eye attempt bottom right. I like the shape, but the iris and pupil did not turn out the way I wanted it to. I definitely like the defined shine reflection of the top one. Also ignore the profile with hair, not my art.

So I have decided to keep practicing and really taking my time and learning how to do more and more. I would like to be able to show F how to draw and help him develop his talent. And at the same time, re-develop mine and unlock more of my creative side

Is one thing drawing an eye. Its quite another to draw TWO of them on the same face and have it look symmetrical and good.

Monday, December 23, 2013

My weight Loss so far...a pictorial

Over the past 2 1/2 years I have seriously yo yo dieted. I went up and down. I was at my heaviest (ugh) and now I am at the lightest I have been in 15 years. I still have 20 pounds to go, but I am just so happy and proud of how far I have come.
As I was putting together this photo journey, I realized I don't have a lot of photos of myself.  I HATED having my picture taken. I knew I was fat and I thought if I didn't have the photo evidence, then it wasn't true.
So let us begin:

his was my heaviest: July 2011.  I was out in Spokane Washington visiting my friend.  She is so tall and svelte and gorgeous, and I am dumpy and fat with a huge fat face.  HATE this picture, which is a shame because we had such a great time together. I was a Size 22 pants and a 3x top. Fat and round.

Christmas 2011.  Co worker and I at our holiday party.  I had lost a little weight., maybe 10 pounds...then went and got the WORST haircut I have had in a very long time. That's the LAST time i agree to be a hair model.  So, That didn't help. At all.

August 2012.  Chk and I in Orlando for our nieces wedding. At the rehearsal dinner.
I thought I looked pretty good(The mirror can be deceiving) . I hadn't really gained a lot of weight back, and was kind of holding steady at a size 20 pants and 3x top.  Then I saw the pictures and was truly horrified.

Halloween 2012 at work with my two skinny co workers. Had lost a few pounds again, but still the fat one of the group, always.  Hadn't lost any size in clothing.

March 2013 with my boys. Hadn't gained or lost anything really. Still the same lump.

July 22, 2013.  We were in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah.  At this point I had lost like 12 pounds. I 
had just started my diet a few weeks previous.  I was thrilled with the jump-start and wasn't going to let it go. I was going to keep it going.

Beginning of October 2013. i had lost about 28 pounds at this point. starting to look and feel a lot better. 

Mid October. About 32 pounds gone. Posing with Spock. 
I am starting to not mind my picture being taken. I find I don't have to selectively edit anymore, or be the one in the back so everyone can camouflage my bulk.

The week following this picture, I joined the weight loss clinic and started really taking control.  I went on their recommended diet, I started logging everything on myfitnesspal, and I really started making myself accountable for my weight and weight loss. No more excuses.

Me and my boys on Halloween 2013.  About 40-ish pounds gone.
 People had REALLY started to notice the difference.

FINAL Picture taken December 17th.  

55 pounds GONE FOREVER!!!

Like I said I still have about 20 more pounds to go (I think. We will see. I want to drop 2 more sizes, and I am almost the next size smaller.).
I have dropped lots of sizes, most of my clothing has been donated to Goodwill  and eve my bras, and shoes are too big now!

best part??? My wedding ring fits again. And it fits perfect.  It hasnt fit since 1999, and then it was TIGHT. (Need soap and spit to get it off my finger tight)

I have been seriously motivated. I am so much happier, healthier and feel better about myself.
I have had so many sweet compliments and encouragements. I WANT to keep going. i WANT to be the best I can be, and I am getting there.

So thank you to all who have helped and encouraged me and have stuck by me and made me feel good about myself during this time. I know a huge part of my success is because of the love and support of friends and family and even strangers who drop a note of encouragement in the comments.
THANK YOU for helping me.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sour Cream Cookie night!! (plus recipe) Happy Holidays Baking

I LOVE baking for Christmas.

I enjoy all the mixing and prepping and frosting and sprinkling that is involved. I love coming into work every day with a plate of goodies and seeing the joy and happiness and delight in my coworkers as the sugar rush kicks in.

 I have always been a goodies maker/giver and it is something I really look forward to. I believe I have been this way since I was little. Not everyone has this in them, so if you don't want to give these away, who am I to judge?? There have been times I have contemplated hoarding these under my bed and retreating to my room for "a nap".

 Now, my favorite tradition of the Christmas season  is Sour Cream Cookie Night!. I have been making these since I was old enough to help out with the decorating.  My mom has been making these for as long as I can remember. And HER mom used to make them.  Grandmas cookies used to be frosted and then sprinkled with those metal ball candy things that would almost break your teeth. Good memories.

The thing I LOVE about these cookies, is the amount of sweetness.  The cookie itself is not very sweet. It is actually quite subtle. The sour cream gives it a smooth tang, and since there is only about 2 cups of sugar for the entire batch (i can get 100 cookies out of a batch, rolled thin), the sweet level is quite low.  BUT they are so tasty by themselves as well.  They aren't quite a sugar cookie, because there really isn't enough sugar in them, but they aren't a regular cookie either. Kind of a mix, really. This is a great cookie to use a sweet vanilla frosting with, because the sweet of the icing really pairs well with the mellowness of the cookie.  Just a wonderful treat.  I have brought them into work the past 3 years and when I came in with the plate this year one of them actually clapped and said "Oh yay, I was waiting for these. They're my favorite!"  Mine too.

So every year I mix up a batch of this dough and we spend an hour rolling, cutting and baking.
This year we purchased 3 tubs of frosting. A white, a red and a green.  (you can also make a powdered sugar frosting and color it yourself, but that was just waaaaaayyy too much work involved this year for me.)
The red and green came with a small variety of holiday sprinkles. We also had a carousel jar with the various sprinkles and sugars and confetti's.   We were set.
You can get anywhere from 60 to 100 cookies out of a batch of dough, it really depends on how thick you roll it.  I roll my dough somewhat thin for a little bit thinner cookie. Sometimes I will go a little thicker to get a meatier, denser bite. I used to make them REALLY thick and they would be puffy and huge, but then you almost need to add a huge wad of frosting to swallow it, because the bigger they get the drier they seem to be. If they are too thick and puffy it's almost like trying to swallow crackers with no saliva in your mouth.

a plate full of holiday goodies!

Sprinkle-y goodness!
 So get your table  set up with strategically placed tubs of frosting and sprinkles (works well with kids.)  Make sure you have plenty of napkins handy because temptation to lick your fingers will be unbearable!! If these are for your own personal pleasure, then lick away. However, I try and keep my spit to myself when making these cookies for others...(LOL Winky face)

Now on to the nitty gritty.  How much "STUFF" do you slather on??
You can add as much or as little frosting as you like. These cookies are all about personal preference.  we use a decent amount. Nothing crazy. Just enough to keep the cookie to frosting ratio equal. You can do less if you are trying to watch your sugar intake, or more if you are trying to induce a sugar coma.

You can use premade from a can(guilty), or you can make your own with powdered sugar. i don't know if you can use other flavors, I would think that a strawberry frosting would be quite tasty, and perhaps even chocolate. But traditionally we use just the white/vanilla frosting.
Keep cookies in a Tupperware or in gallon Ziploc baggies after the frosting has set. They will dry out if you leave them out in the open too long.
I am the first to admit, my kids don't have mad decorating skills, (or patience) so they aren't the prettiest. But they are still so tasty.

I ALWAYS get asked for the recipe whenever i make them for any function or goodies plate. So here it is.... THIS RECIPE IS ALL ABOUT PERSONAL PREFERENCE.  So use the smallest amount for the minimum and can tweak to a larger amount depending on what you like. remember, the thinner you roll, the more cookies you get. I use the basic christmas cookie cutter set from walmart. It has like 6 different cookie shapes, comes in a nylon mesh sac and was only 2 dollars or so.

                                                                    THE RECIPE:

2 sticks BUTTER (you can use margarine,, but butter bakes and tastes better IMO)
1 1/2 - 2 cups granulated sugar (I use about 1 2/3 cup, but that is a personal taste preference)
3 eggs
1 cup sour cream (full fat, not the fat free, it doesn't bake the same, I don't know why. I haven't had success with fat free sour cream in this recipe)
1 - 2 tsp vanilla (I use 1 1/2 tsp)

Cream all these ingredients together.

In a separate bowl combine
5 1/2  to 6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

gradually add this flour mixture into the creamed butter/sugar. Dough will become thick, and will be slightly sticky. You can add flour a little at a time to each batch of dough you will be rolling to make it manageable if it is too sticky.
consistently flour your  rolling surface and rolling pin really well to keep dough from sticking.
Roll dough to desired thickness. I roll between 1/8 and 1/4" for thinner consistency cookies. The thicker you roll the puffier and bigger your cookies will be.

Place on greased baking sheets.
Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until Bottoms and edges are a nice golden brown.

Cool and then frost/decorate and eat!!
(or don't wait and try one warm from the oven. yuuummmmmmm)

Monday, December 2, 2013

Adventures in Christmas Tree-ing

This weekend we went out and purchased a beautiful Christmas tree for our Holiday season.  It started on saturday.  We headed over to the Tree Farm tent at the local home improvement store and headed into a delightful arena of heavenly smell of pine tree and wood chips. (Breathe deep and take it all in).

Starting at the 8-9 foot trees, we quickly decided they would be a little too big for our needs. We Headed to the 5-6 foot trees, and again made the decision it was not going to meet our needs.  So splitting the difference we went to the 6-7 foot trees. PERFECT! ( We were like the 3 little bears.  Too big!  Too small! Just Right!)

After having the poor woman pull and twirl trees, and try and shape limbs, cut more trees free from their binding we found one that I really liked.  But I wasnt IN LOVE with it.  It was great, but not GREAT.  So I asked if we could set it aside as the "I really like this one, so keep it aside in case we cant find anything bettter".
So as this sweet woman cut a few more trees and twirled, I was getting frustrated.  I knew EXACTLY what I wanted.  Tall (but not too tall), Full (I mean FULL), no bare spots ,and  a straight upper stem to put the topper on.
As soon as she cut the binds on our tree, I KNEW it was THE ONE.  It was like the scene in Lampoons Christmas Vacation.

It was PERFECT.  Tall, but not too tall. Full. No weird spots to face towards the wall, perfect straight branch at the top.  And as she was twirling and fluffing, it was falling into place perfectly.

So we paid, had them cut the end, trim a few bottom branches, wrap it up and pop it on the roof of the car.
So here is our 7' North Carolina Mountain Grown Fraser Fir.  I am in heaven.




UNBOUND, IN FULL GLORY, but not completely dropped yet.





can I just say that MY HOUSE SMELLS SO GOOD!!!
So glad to have my tree up this year already.  With Thanksgiving being so late in the year, I had limited time to get this done. I am so glad we did it this long Holiday Weekend.

Merry Christmas to all this beautiful Holiday Season.

Monday, November 11, 2013

my obsession with popcorn...

So we eat a lot of popcorn at our house. A LOT of popcorn.  When I say a lot of popcorn, I don't think you understand just how much we consume. It is probably our favorite snack when it comes to family time. We make it when we watch a movie together. We make it when we watch duck dynasty together.  We make it when we play games. We make it because it's a Tuesday. We make it because mom is about to have a special visitor for the next 4 days.
And by popcorn I don't mean that nasty bag of crap you stick in the microwave with the fake butter and chemicals and preservatives.  Have you ever opened a bad of microwave popcorn and the fake butter powder they put in it gives you an overwhelming urge to cough?? yuuuuuccckkkk....

NO. I mean real popcorn. From the stove top.  With a little  melted butter (it's BUTTER y'all), a little salt.  Or maybe add some sugar and salt for a kettle corn.  sometimes I make caramel corn. During Christmas I make white chocolate peppermint corn. It just depends.  We just love popcorn. Its like the perfect snack. Crunchy. Salty. sweet. buttery.  cant get enough. It is a good source of fiber, and technically popcorn, (according to research), is a whole grain. (AND) it is full of anti oxidants called polyphenols, which help fight and neutralize harmful free radicals. one serving of popcorn has more polyphenols than some fruit! (popcorn should not replace fruit in your diet, thats NOT what I am saying)  You should also not drench it in butter and salt either. Just a little bit. everything in moderation.

now that being said...

My biggest beef with popcorn though is how awful it is to make on the stove top. It tastes the best that way though.  I've had air poppers. I've tried it in every conceivable machine ever invented. Seriously the best contraption is those popcorn machines like at the movie theaters, but we have neither the time or money to get one of those. OK, I know that they do have the small ones , but I don't have the space to store something. (kitchen and cabinet space are a hot commodity..)

My popcorn routine would usually go something a little like this:

  • Pull out my large saucepan from Ikea.  
  • Put oil in it and turn the stove to medium-high.  
  • Let the oil heat a tad and drop a kernel or two in and put the cover back on.  
  • When I heard the kernels pop and hit the lid I would pour the rest of the popcorn in (and pray the hot oil didn't spatter me), put the lid on grab a hot mitt and start shaking.
  •  I would swirl. I would shake.  I would swirl some more. I kept shaking until all the popcorn was done, and pray the lid wouldn't come off during my vigorous popcorn dance.
  •  I would then bring it over to my large popcorn bowl and dump.  
    • I would see burnt pieces. 
    • I would see 1/4 of the unpopped kernels slide out. 
It was frustrating...

 No matter how hard i shook and swirled, I couldn't get all the pieces popped. I couldn't get big fluffy pieces with no burn or scorch marks anywhere. i know that part of my problem was the lid to my pan doesn't have a good enough steam escape vent, so a lot of the popcorn would get kind of "soggy" and the kernels couldn't really pop to their true potential.
 The top 2/3 of the popcorn dumped out was fine, the bottom third was burnt and unpopped , and all the popcorn was kind of medium sized with a LOT of hull still remaining.. grrrr. 

Welllllllll that being said, my life is now complete.  Last week while shopping at Aldi's we were walking through the aisles and I saw  THIS beauty.
 It is the Kitchen Living Popcorn Popper.
I hemmed and hawed.  did I REALLY need it?  I mean my Ikea pan was fine (as long as I didn't turn it over and look at the underside all scratched and worn from constant shaking across the burner coils). The burn marks from the hot oil spatters were all healed.   My method was good enough.  Could I REALLY justify spending 15$ on a pan??  The box felt pretty light, was this pan even substantial? reliable? would this just be a waste of money?

 My husband came over and said "Oh cool, a popcorn popper. Want it?"
"Well kind of, but 15$, I mean it's a little much.".
"Yes, but do you want it?"
"yes, but it's 15$ and I feel like that's silly for a popcorn popper pan"
"Yes, but do you want it?"
And with no thought, no pros/cons, nothing to give him pause he took it from  my hands and dumped it into the cart and went along his merry way. The entire shopping trip I contemplated putting it back. I was doubting myself and this pan. But I let it stay, we purchased it and came home....

no preheating oil. No pan lid that may fly off from the shaking and swirling.  none of that.  Just one little handle you crank while the popcorn is popping.  And boy does it pop. it pops. and pops. and pops. and pops.
It pops like nothing I have ever seen pop before. It pops like a movie theater popper...but on a stovetop!!
NO SHAKING!! No scratched up pan bottoms. No scratched up heating coils on the stove..
It is heaven.
Best part, it is so east to use the handle is so easy to turn that anyone can use it.
The handle is connected to a t shaped antennae of sorts that goes down into the pan and keeps the kernels moving along and keeps the bottom from sticking and scorching.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS MEANS??? This means NO more unpopped kernels.  Not a single one.
No burnt pieces. none. zero. zilch.  
Because of the air vents to let out the steam, all I have remaining int he pan is Big , fluffy, tender pieces of deliciousness.
The pan cools down quickly, and all you do is wipe it out. That's it.

You dump oil and popcorn in all at once. Put the lid on with the locking snap in place and start turning.  It heats up really quickly, and pops so fast. All within 3 minutes.  THREE MINUTES!!! It is amazing.
You can then dump into your community bowl and drizzle what you will.  My new favorite..melting a little butter with some real local honey in it and drizzling the popcorn with the honey butter and sprinkling a little salt.  UHHHHHH SOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOD!!!

My favorite popcorn I get at the Local health store called Healthy Home Market. They have a GREAT bulk section of spices, grains, flours, rices, salts, sugars etc.
They have this organic multi color popcorn that is AMAZING. It is about 1.99 a pound. We use about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of kernels for our family of 4. It makes a nice large bowl of popcorn for all of us to share.
Now I know I can get yellow popcorn kernels at Walmart. It is like 1.99 for a 2lb bag of great value yellow popping corn kernels. .And a lot of times I do.
 ( Once I even bought a 50# bag of yellow popcorn kernels from Sams Club. Yes. I. Did.)
 So it cost about 75-80 cents per popcorn session using the multi color verses the cheaper 30-40 cents using generic walmart. Walmart also has a 2.3# orville redenbacher (redenbocker? reddenbacker??) for about 4.98, which is actually MORE expensive than getting it bulk. It really just depends on how serious you are about your popcorn.


I went to healthy Home Market looking for some odd type flour for a bread recipe I was trying. I saw the multi color organic popcorn and it piqued my interest. So I decided to just get a small bag of it to try... I think it ended up being like 1.55 for the amount I got.  I popped it up and noticed right away the popcorn that popped was bigger. It was tastier, meatier. It was a gorgeous array of whites and off whites and pale yellows.  It was REALLY delicious. There WAS a difference between that popcorn and the popcorn you can get off a shelf at target or walmart or your local grocery store.( I am not just being an insufferable health food store snob.  I promise. ) Multi color popcorn will change how you feel about popcorn. you could almost eat it with nothing on it.

So last night i whipped up a batch (in 3 minutes!!!), sat and watched some Big Bang Theory and enjoyed the sheer beauty that is popcorn.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I have lost a 5 year old...

BAM! 40 pounds.

42 more to go.

I have lost over 6 points on my BMI !

so happy right now.  i know I STILL have a lot of work to go. It is NOT easy, but I am giving it the old college try. I will never go back. I can only go forward...mostly because I have given away all my clothes that are too big and will have nothing to wear. 

This time it's sticking. For Good. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Happy Halloween...duck dynasty style

So we have been enjoying Duck Dynasty. my kids love it, my husband and I love it. We enjoy watching it together as a family. One of the few shows we watch all together.
So this year for halloween, we decided to go as the Robertson Clan.

Since I work at Hair Club for Men, I have access to lots of bits and pieces of unused hair systems that have been customized. BINGO.  Perfect for their hair.
I went to Hancock Fabrics and found some fleece that was on clearance.  Technically it is dinosaur print, but it looks like camouflage. perfect.  Old Navy had some thermal shirts on sale for 5$ each, and they were camouflage as well.  I then went to A.C. Moore Craft store to the wood section and purchased 4 little wooden pieces that looked like wine bottles and painted them in various shades of green adn tan and yellow.  Tied a string around the top, and VOILA...instant duck calls.
Hubby found an awesome yuppie T shirt from walmart and a camouflage hat.

I, on the other hand, am a little too tall to be Miss Kay.  So I am not really part of the group.  Maybe I am Jessica?? Korrie??  dont know. I was just coming from work, so I couldnt be crazy.
Peter as Willie

Finn as Jase


Me and my boys.
"Phil" and his sons.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I am surprisingly out of shape...

so I started on Day 1.
5 crunches, 5 leg raises and a 10 second plank.

I am sufficiently ashamed.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

That was hard!

So for the past few months I have been working really hard on my own at losing weight. I have lost close to 40 pounds now.  It has been amazing.
However I noticed I was starting to plateau and really starting to stall and lose motivation. I was getting hungry all the time and starting sliding back into not eating the right things.

So I took the next step and went to an actual Dr supervised weight loss clinic. They focus on diet, nutrition, and exercise.
So although my initial attempt was a great jump start point, I needed to switch things up a little bit.
I needed to ramp up  my protein, cut down on my "white"carbs like rice, bread, and sugar and focus more on vegetables and lean proteins. I need to drink more water and take my vitamins. I need to have a small snack every few hours to keep  my metabolism going.
I get appetite suppressants if I want them, and it includes one weekly injection of either MIC or B12. I opted on the MIC shots.
So I came home armed with knowledge and (because I am paying for it) motivation.
I also came home with an injection to give myself. It is MIC, which is a bunch of amino acids that help break down the fat and improve liver function.  (I had her give one to me at the clinic to show me how it is done, and said I would do the other at home myself.)

The more I thought about this plan the more I realized how insane it was.
I ...HAVE... TO ...GIVE ...IT ...TO ...MYSELF!!!  
Yep.  I have to FORCE myself to hurt me.
I asked my mom to do it and she said she would, but she has been so busy and I needed to get it done today. Charles said No. he didnt want to hurt me.
So this morning I took out the injection. I looked at it. I alcohol prepped the spot on my stomach. I took a deep breath and.....just stood there.
I had to SERIOUSLY psych myself up for like 5 minutes before I was able to do it.
OK...1...2...3 and  oh wait I cant do this.
Ok 1...2...3  and ahhhh I cant!
Charles came over and said "Give it to me"...then proceeded to kind of fumble around like he didnt really know what he was doing or how he was going to do it.  so I took it back.
1...2...3...oh crap I cant. I cant . I cant.
1...2...3...Im shaking i cant do it.
Charles says "Quit thinking about it. Youre just psyching yourself out.  Just do it."
So finally I closed my eyes, took a deep breath,  and just took the plunge.
for real. It was so easy. It didnt really even hurt.
But the fact I had to give myself an injection...wowie. It was rough.
But I did it.
Now I can resume on with my life.

So I take 1/2 a suppressant daily, which helps a little, but it really forces me to be smart in my food choices, because I still get hungry  towards the afternoon.  So over the next few months I will be building those healthy eating habits and establishing a routine that will keep me looking good.
I feel like I am making better choices. I feel like I can really get a grip on this whole thing and do what I am supposed to do.
so glad I made this choice and have finally taken my health and life back again.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Its a struggle...

a few months ago my husband said ;" Get used to the fact you have a beautiful mom, boys".  Finn (10 years old) said "yeah, but all my friends say she's kind of...you know...chubby"  It obviously hurt his feelings when his friend said that, and it embarrassed him. i felt awful for him that MY weight and MY appearance made him feel like that. I know he loves me, but I know he wishes I would take better care of myself.
My 13 year old has kind of hinted at the same thing.

 So a few months back around my birthday I took a good hard look and REALLY made some changes.   It has been amazing. I have had so many positive comments and a fantastic support at work and home and a great cheering section.
In the past 3 months  I have lost 30+ pounds. I feel better, I look WAY better. but I still have a VERY...LONG...WAY...TO...GO!!!!

I have had to buy new pants, and all my tops are getting too big.  Last Sunday I fit into a dress I haven't worn in 11 years. And it was a little loose. I couldn't believe it.

But over the past 2 weeks or so I noticed I was starting to plateau and kind of yo yo, and I was scared about undoing all my hard work. I felt like I was losing motivation, and it was getting harder for my willpower and harder for me to do it on my own. Having a doctor prescribe you something and kind of keep tabs on you is one thing, but going to an actual weight loss clinic where they REALLY keep tabs on you and are with you every step of the way, and are trained in weight loss (rather than just a family Dr.) is completely different.

So yesterday I took the plunge and went to the Weight Loss Clinic down the road.
It is a bi-weekly weigh in, it includes BMI and body fat tracking, vitamins, supplements, weekly injections, food and menu planning/nutritional counseling.
So after talking to my weight loss counselor, I realized I am going about this the wrong way. I did really well to start, but my body is starting to stall and it needs a shake up and re-boot.

 I have decided not to look at actual weight numbers. I want to be a size 12, which is a healthy, realistic goal for me.  So if my blood sugars, blood pressure, and all other things look good and I am a healthy size 12, then so be it...whether its 175 pounds or 200 pounds, I will take it.  I just want to be healthy. I just want to look good.  I don't want my kids to be embarrassed of me. I don't want them to feel like their mom is ugly, or fat and they not want me around.

But like I said I had a bit of a yo yo and some plateauing  and i got scared and needed professional intervention! so glad i did. I feel like this will help me get back on track and keep going the direction I know I need to be going.

So starting this morning I am back on track.

  • I have my multi vitamin.
  •  I have my phentramine. 
  •  I have my weekly injections.
  •  I have a food plan.
  •  I have an exercise plan.  I have to keep track of everything I eat.  I have to eat a crap ton of protein daily, and avoid certain things like dairy, nuts, peanut butter etc. things i thought were good for you.  (well they are, just not right now)

I decided to do the injection of the  MIC amino Acid shots this month.  Next month I may add B12.

i HATE needles. i HATE shots.  HATE HATE HATE.  But I bit the bullet.  I had her do it in the back of my arm.  The needle itself didn't hurt. Didn't feel that one bit.  What i DID feel was the serum being injected, and that stung like a son of a you know what.  But it is a good injection to have, and it helps keep things running smoothly.

It is out there in the universe.If I blog it, I am accountable.
  I can do this. i HAVE to do this. I owe it to my kids. I owe it to myself.

I will also be sending my dear husband that direction as well.  DH is really very handsome, albeit overweight now.   If he were to get back to where he was 12 years ago when we went on vacation to Hawaii..man, look out world.
I feel like we have been married so long (16 years!) that we have both kind of said "screw it, I don't need to look good for anyone else. My hubby/wife  loves me just the way I am".  I am sad it had come to that. I feel like I WANT to keep looking good for him. I WANT him to be proud of me. And I would hope that he would do the same for me.  i WANT him to look good for me. I want him to have me be proud of him. I want to be that couple who does the fun runs together, and has a fun and active lifestyle. I want to have a fulfilling life with him and with our kids.  I don't want to be the fat mom and dad on the couch who has a hard time doing anything. i want to teach my kids the importance of taking care of yourself and exercise and eating healthy.  i want them to know that they are the most important things in my life and  I will do what it takes to be with them as long as possible.  And I know that by being obese and unhealthy I was depriving them of that opportunity and that was really selfish of me.

So begins a new chapter.  The first 30+ was easy.  This last 30 is going to be the challenge.  But i KNOW I can do it. I am ready.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

My pumpkin...sigh I just cant get it how I want it.

So last year at work we started a pumpkin decorating contest tradition.
I won with my Jack Skellington meets Liza Minelli pumpkin. It was FABULOUS.

This year I had to defend my title as reigning champion. AND... I JUST...WASN'T...FEELING...IT.
For Reals. (For reals?? Did I just type that?  Well it stays.)

I had visions of amazing craftiness pouring forth from my glue gun and paint.  I scoured pinterest. I bing'd, I googled.  I had the perfect plan. IT WAS ON! I was winning again, defending my title and winning the jackpot of money. I was so confident.

I was going to turn my humble little pumpkin into a candy apple.

I painted the pumpkin a beautiful shade of apple/lime green.  I used the puffy pearl paint in espresso. It was the perfect shade of caramel-y brown. I let it dry and did a primer for the caramel.
 I started putting the "caramel" onto my pumpkin...it did not want to go onto my pumpkin.  It wanted to slide.  It wanted to have a date with my tabletop and keep- it- neat newspapers. hmmmmm.
 So far not so good.  So I let it dry overnight and the next morning I came down to a caramel apple that looked like it had been sitting on the shelf for a week.  So I thought, "well I will cover it with sprinkles and drizzle it with "Chocolate and white chocolate".  I sprayed an adhesive on the paint/caramel and started putting on my sprinkles.  They were the little foil confetti of bats and witches and pumpkins in various halloween colors.  Like I said, in my mind, this was a brilliant pumpkin. Well these damn confetti sprinkles started clumping together and I dont know if the adhesive reacted with the puffy paint or what...I had confetti sprinkles that looked like someone had stepped on them AND on the apple at the same time.  hmmmmmm.

So final step was the drizzle black and white paint to look like chocolate drizzle. At this point the apple was looking like a crappy apple.  Then I took it one step too far with some orange puffy paint and ruined the whole thing.  I was sick to my stomach about it.
So while I was at work I texted my husband and said  SCRAPE EVERYTHING OFF THAT PUMPKIN I AM STARTING OVER!!!  I have one night to finish it, but I will come up with something.

SO last night I started over.  Thank goodness I have a craft room stocked with rarely used things.  You never know when you are going to need them.
So I did my pumpkin, and although I am not thrilled with the results (A little sloppy if you look to closely) it is 10,000,000,000x better than what I started with.

I ended up decoupaging the pumpkin with Modge Podge and book pages. I used pages from Dorian Gray and Canterville Ghost(to give it a little bit of a creepy halloweeny authenticity). When it dried I stenciled BOO in puffy paint and decorated a paper silhouette spider for the middle O in boo.  I had some orange and black tulle that I did a little bow.
I am not thrilled.  From far away it looks great, but up close its just OK.  You can tell I did it in 3 hours.