Sunday, January 17, 2016

New Year, New Me :: Weight Watchers

If you're someone that knows me IRL, you probably already know that I joined Weight Watchers last Saturday (January 9th). It's a day that I will remember, as it's the beginning of this journey that I am taking to get healthy, lose weight, and allow the new me to blossom and grow.

I've tried WW before and just didn't really have the drive, motivation, and determination to stick to it. This time is different. This time, I feel like it's just something that NEEDS to happen and I know WW is a proven system that's healthy and DOES work. I know I didn't gain weight over night, and it's going to take a long time to lose it, but I am determined to keep chugging along until I'm healthy.

I know what it's like to be with someone that treats me terribly and takes advantage of me. I endured a life-changing divorce and came out of it a survivor who was stronger, but also knew exactly what I wanted. When I met Steve and realized he WAS the ONE, I didn't want to do anything that could jeopardize the relationship.

He loves me for me, inside and out, and I am so very blessed to have him in my life. He makes me laugh, and brings out the best in me (not many people can say this about their spouse if they're being honest). I NEED to be around as long as possible, so I can spend as much time with him as I can.

And don't even get me started on my two sweet pumpkin pies. They are my world and I am their world, and they deserve to have a mom that's healthy, happy, and around as long as possible. 

So when I think about why I want to do this, it's them. THEY are my reason. Steve, Gus and Hugh are the reason I am changing my life and starting this journey.
So let me tell you about my first week on WW. First, the entire program has changed. It's no longer the Points-Plus program, now it's Beyond the Scale and they use Smart Points (or SP as I tag things on my Instagram). Foods that are lower in fat/sat fat, calories, and sugar are going to be lower points, and foods that are higher in protein are also lower in points. You can imagine, the opposite holds true... sugary foods, fatty foods, and high-calorie foods are a lot more points on the SP program. 

For example, on the old plan, it was roughly 40-50 calories per point.... so a Coke (140 cals) was about 4 points. Now, it's 9 points. NINE.
I decided to sign up and I asked a few friends if they wanted to join too. My best friend, Britt said she was going to do it too, and so we went to our first meeting last week. After talking to her, I decided I wanted to join the YMCA so I could exercise. Not only can I use it, but the boys can swim year-round and I put Gus in a youth yoga class that meets every Monday. :-) He loves it.

Steve and I went grocery shopping and I am SO thankful that he's supporting me through all this. He's eating healthier too and we're both going to benefit from me doing WW. We got a ton of great food, and filled the fridge with fruits and veggies galore. Honestly, more veggies than I've bought in a LONG time.

I went on Pinterest and found some recipes to try and that's what we did this past week. We are only eating out on Saturdays (my weigh-in day). Let me say this is helping more than anything!! I was eating fast food 4x a week and we'd order pizza or Chinese or carryout... it was not healthy living at all. I haven't had fast-food in over a week... and haven't had sweets in over a week. No regular soda either. I've been drinking a LOT of water... like all I drink is water, and then I allow myself ONE Mello Yello Zero or Fresca each day (both have 0 points).

I'm relearning how to think about food and see it more as fuel for my body, than something to put in my mouth when bored. I'm quite proud of myself. :-)

I spend the week "tracking" (logging everything put into my mouth) and stayed within my points for the week. I didn't touch my weekly points and didn't use any of my Fit Points... and when I went yesterday for my weigh-in, I was met with an awesome 5.2 loss. 

I know not every week will be as wonderful as this last week was, but it was awesome and felt fantastic to see results for my determination.

I've been posting pictures of each meal on Instagram and then allowing it to go to FB. My friends and family on FB have overwhelmed me with support and love. I've been getting messages from a ton of people either asking me about the program, or just telling me they're rooting for me and so proud of me. It means more than I can even express. There's something to be said for people supporting you while on a weight-loss journey and I know I CAN and WILL do it... one week at a time.


My group leader, Sissy, read this at my meeting this week and it really struck a chord with me. It's called "If I Lost A Pound A Week"

By Valentine’s Day I’d be 6 pounds lighter!
I’m telling you – I’m loving it!

By St. Patrick’s Day I’d be 11 pounds lighter!
With the luck-o-the Irish I’ll make my goal!

By Easter I’d be 12 pounds lighter!
I’d be a cuter bunny!

By Memorial Day I’d be 21 pounds lighter!
Won’t let it rain on my parade!

By Flag Day I’d be 23 pounds lighter!
Boy, could I wave my flag then!

By Independence Day I’d be 26 pounds lighter!
That’s a neat declaration of independence from overeating!

By Labor Day I’d be 35 pounds lighter!
What a wonderful reward for all my hard work!

By Columbus Day I’d be 41 pounds lighter!
What a joy to discover what I can do!

By Halloween I’d be 43 pounds lighter!
I didn’t think I’d have had a ghost of a chance!

By Thanksgiving I’d be 47 pounds lighter!
I’d have so much to be thankful for!

By Christmas Eve I’d be 51 pounds lighter!
Talk about being merry!

By New Year’s Eve I’d be 52 pounds lighter!
It’s not just a new year, it’s a NEW ME!!

Stay tuned for more and be sure to follow me on Instagram! 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Play Ball!

It's funny how things pop up out of no where, but are exactly what you're meant to do/experience.  

As you might recall, Gus (and Hugh) played soccer this past spring. He was eager to play, but didn't quite understand the rules of the game and would throw a tantrum each time someone took the ball from him. He's got natural skills, but when it comes to applying those skills in a game setting, he was not able to do that.

I had thought about signing him up for tee-ball or baseball, but a friend told me that it's super hard for some kids to stand in the field and wait until a ball comes their way. The thought of Gus being bored, led me to think he's not ready for baseball or tee-ball this year.

So, we had no intentions of starting any fall sports with him. We had been on a break from karate and were ready to head back, and didn't want to have anything extra on his plate, as now that he's in kindergarten, there's homework and more expectations.

He brought home an info sheet from school at the end of August. The sheet was from the North Metro Miracle League and said they do baseball/softball/tee-ball for kids in kindergarten up to adults. The NMML is a group for special needs kids and adults and they provide a safe environment for special needs kids to play and learn the rules of baseball.

The fall league would be starting in September and it was $45 for him to play and would include a shirt and hat. I emailed the man in charge and he replied back and asked me to call him. So I did, and he asked a little about Gus. I was mainly concerned that Gus wasn't "special" enough to qualify for their league, but the man (John) reassured me that they're all very well aware that special needs kiddos all look and act differently. He said with Gus's IEP and having SPD, he'd more than qualify to participate and he said he'd love to have Gus join.

I honestly cannot put to words how the phone call made me feel. When I hung up, John said, "Welcome to the family!" It was such a kind thing to say, and it made me feel so hopeful and excited for Gus. Each player is assigned a buddy and that person is on the field with them and helps them with batting and fielding. The buddies are volunteers and some are retired military, some are retired athletes, and some are teens and college students.

We had his orientation at the beginning of the month and he got his shirt and hat, and then last week, we had his first game. I'm not going to lie, I totally cried. There were cheerleaders that were cheering for the kids, and to see the kids out there playing and just having a great time, was truly magical.

Gus and his buddy Jason

Hewy watching
It was his first time at bat!

Eeeek!!! Batter up!!

I totally cried watching him hit!!

He did a great job!!

At this time I went to the car because I had food poisoning and could hardly sit up anymore

Steve got a great shot of Gus in the dugout

End of the game

I'm sad that I only got to watch 1/2 of his first game, but I was so sick. 

We had planned on going to the apple orchard yesterday, and didn't think we'd make his game this week, but there was rain and we deiced to stay home instead. We were able to go to his game, but it was raining so they called it. However... they decided to let the kids run around and hit anyway, and it was so much fun!!

Loving the rain!

Batter Up!!

They even let Hugh play!! He was so excited to get to go out and play with the big kids!!

How cute is he?!?!?!

That smile says it all!

We feel so blessed to have found the NMML. I can't express how amazing everyone is. There are kids of all ability levels out there playing, and the coaches and volunteers go above and beyond to include everyone, and to make everyone have a great time. It truly warms my heart to be around such a caring group of people.

Gus is so lucky to be able to be around kids of all abilities and to see past a wheelchair, or to see that someone is worth more than an outward appearance might suggest. While it's been challenging at times for me to accept that he does have special needs, it's more important that he is getting his needs met, and he's happy and successful. I'm learning more from him than I ever thought possible.

We love the field that Gus plays on each week. It's an adaptive field that was built for the NMML and is great for kids in wheelchairs. You can read more about it on their website!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Work It, Work It!

On Wednesday, August 26th, my friend Leslie sent me a text that said, "Call me when you get this." I had not heard from her in a while, so I was immediately curious. When I talked to her, she said, "I'm sure you heard already, but I put in my two weeks."  (She told them on Monday the 24th.)
{Back Story-- About this time (maybe October/November) last year, Steve was on the HR Committee at church and was asked to help them find/hire a Communications Director. Leslie was in my MOMS Club chapter and I immediately thought of her for the job, and told her to apply. She did, and she was hired.}

So she and I chatted for a few minutes and she said, "Anyway, I was calling because when I told them I needed to resign, they asked if I knew anyone that would be able to do this job well, and you were the first person I thought of." 

I was floored.

When Steve was helping with interviews, he was on the front-end with screening applicants. He received a lot of applications and did quite a few phone screens, and all the people had Communications degrees, and/or Graphic Design backgrounds. They all had outstanding portfolios and resumes, and I remember thinking about how good they all were. 

I told her that I didn't feel qualified at all, and she started telling me about the job and what she does and why she felt I'd be the perfect fit. She basically said that it's a lot of what I already do for MOMS Club, but I'd be getting paid for my work and time. :-)

She said, "So, can I tell them that I think you'd be a great fit?" I told her sure-- I had nothing to lose by her telling them about me!

When Steve got home that night, I told her about the call and he was totally in favor of me applying. He helped me with my resume and letter, and I sent it in that night.

On Thursday,  I was at Publix for a grocery store tour and my phone rang. I didn't recognize the number, but assumed it was Gus's school. It was actually Max and Lyle from CtK, and they were calling me to say that they received my resume and letter.

They said they were VERY impressed by my resume and wanted to know if I could come in the next day to talk to them about the position. They said Leslie put in a great word for me, and they were very eager to talk to me. I said I'd be there, and hung up and did a happy dance.

I went in on Friday morning, and the conversation was about my experience with social media, graphic design, and various communication methods. They seemed impressed that I knew Publisher, Photo Shop, and a variety of other programs. At the end of the meeting, they said they'd be talking with the pastor and would be giving me a favorable recommendation. They said to be on the look out for an email to set up a virtual meeting with him over the weekend.

That afternoon, I got an email asking if I could do a virtual meeting on Saturday morning.

Saturday morning at 10am, I had a video conference with my pastor and the meeting was great, super easy, and at the end of the meeting, I was told he'd be recommending that I be hired to the Parish Council, and he asked if I could come in on Monday to start.

Seriously, in a period of six days, my life completely changed. I am now the Communications Coordinator for my church!

 Me at my desk in MY OFFICE

Thankfully, Steve has a pretty accommodating job, and he was able to stay home with Hugh while I went to work on Monday. Hugh didn't start preschool until September 8th, so that first week that I was working, he was home with me.

Between Steve staying home, my best friend watching Hugh, and Zip and Pep (a drop-in place for babysitting), I was able to get to work and have time to focus on all that needed to be learned, and not have to worry about Hewy.

Let me just say that it's super stressful to start a new job!! I had not been working since 2010, and while it's not that much time, it was enough that it stressed me out. I will say that I love my job. It's everything that I enjoy doing already, and I get paid to do it. :-)

I worked along side Leslie for her last week in the office, and was able to get as much info from her as possible. Thankfully, she and I are friends and I know I can text or call her at any time for help and she'll do what she can to help me out. (I have already had to call her a few times.)

I was off on Labor Day, and then Hugh's first day was the 8th. He came to work with Steve and was able to hang out in my office while we waited to go to preschool. 

He comes with me on Tuesdays and Thursdays and plays in my office before school or after school. He was slated to go to school there anyway, so now I'm just staying there and working while he's in school. It's so nice, because I'm right there if he ever needs me for anything, and we signed him up for extended day on Tuesdays (he'll stay an extra hour) and he's doing Play Ball on Thursdays (it's a sports program that takes place after school). 

I got my first pay check last week and it was AWESOME!!! Seriously a huge blessing and I have no doubt that this whole job was divinely executed. Many prayers were answered and I am so grateful!!