Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I am giving up giving up Starbucks

Happy Hump Day Bleeps!

Argh. I was hoping that giving up Starbucks for Lent would help me.  I know it's still my weakness.  When I make my food journals that's the cheat that comes up most often.  Giving it up though?  It's not working.  Let me tell you why.

I have had more soda, hot chocolate, and General Foods International coffees in the past week than I have in the past month.   This is totally defeating the purpose.  Especially when I only had Starbucks once a week.  Starbucks is now allowed.  What we decided is that no Starbucks pastries are allowed.  And still, no coffee drinks there.  Ahhh...I feel better already.  I may not even go, but knowing that it's allowed will calm my brain.

I've been doing well with the "fast food ban".  I'd like to give a shout out to superfan Ms. MaryAnn who had a "WWJD" moment today (What would Jennie do).  Let's just say that my voice went through her head as she was contemplating a drive-thru.  NOT ALLOWED!  You go lady!

So no coffee drinks, pastries, and sticking with the no fast food deal.  That means NO shamrock shakes.  BOOOOO...but, I'm doing it.

I think it's interesting that I can easily give up the fast food, but not Starbucks.  Just now I thought that I might be substituting Subway too much, but that is just this week.  The reality is that I usually only go once a week.  So I've been able to train my brain and body to resist the fast food.  How can I transfer that to the drinks?

I don't drink (except the occasional skinny margarita).  I don't smoke. I'm not addicted to soda any more.  I don't even really like the taste of coffee.  So what the heck?  Why is my body freaking out over the thought of giving it up?

This is why I do not gamble.  I have an addictive personality.  It's part of the OCD.  I do not own a Wii for a reason.  I would get fired because I would find a way to call out of work for a week just to play Just Dance.  It's sick I tell you.  :-)

I'm also sort of addicted to the exercise ball at work.  I LOVE IT!  Today I got off it for the afternoon though and went back to a normal chair.  Want to hear something funny?  When I got up the first time I felt weird.  It was like my body doesn't remember what it's like to sit in a chair all day.  My butt hurt from it.  That's a good thing.  I did notice that my posture was better in the chair though so perhaps I'm learning something.

See, I need Starbucks (why don't they deliver?????)...this post is starting to flounder.  Well, actually I blame that on my headache.  And so I shall bid you adieu for the evening.  Tomorrow is yoga and I need to finish painting my toenails. 

Have a lovely evening and a wonderful Thursday! The weekend is almost here.  HOLLA!

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

The Biggest Loser - Week 9

It's week 9 on the Biggest Loser Ranch.  Or is it?

The contestants are all going home.  They are going home for 18 days.  Here's the kicker.  If they lose 5% of their weight then they have immunity.  This is a long time to go home.  Usually they send them for a week. No Excuses!  18 days is a long time to be off of the Ranch.

As soon as they walked in the door, they were all given a challenge.  They are given a rowing machine and told that they will all get on the rowing machine.  The first one to 10,000 meters will win $10,000.  The results would be announced when they are back on the ranch.

I loved this challenge.  It was great to watch everyone in their own living room with friends and family standing around cheering them on.  I felt soooo good for them.  (even the ones I don't like).

Then, each contestant was shown doing something they normally do at home (hanging out with friends, going out to eat, spending time with their family) and the bad habits that come with it.

Emily went to a bakery with her friends.  She was strong and got a tea.  She said the most important thing was spending time with her friends, not what she's eating.  Go EM!

Jeremy went to the bar with his friends.  They all ordered their chicken fingers and onion rings.  He made the comment "I can't ask them to change what they are doing because of me.  They have taken care of their bodies and I'm just learning to." Then he went to the gym and was out of his comfort zone there.  There were more people there.  He didn't know where the machines were.  But, he stayed and pushed himself.  He needed to lose 16lbs this week and he had that number everywhere. FINALLY.  I almost like him now.

Cassandra is a baker.  Baking is hard for a food addict.  She has other people test the batter.  She had a wonderful moment when she ate just one of her cookies.  I was so jealous.  The cookies looked good AND she was able to stop at one.

Megan, Who? (I know right...she's hardly ever shown), loves to ride her horses.  She had to have a step stool before because she could not pull herself into the saddle.  She can now.  That was awesome.

Chris was hard to watch.  She and Santa were walking around their house.  They barely make ends meet by doing odd jobs and their house is falling apart.  She would eat to cope with that.  It was hard for her to be home and see that.  It made it very hard for her to leave and go back to the ranch.  I wanted to scream "It's okay.  I'll come help patch your roof! Go take care of yourself!"

Back at the ranch they had the last chance workout and then it was time for the weigh in.

The Red team went first.  Two people did not make their 5% - Mark and Kim (sour puss - I know life is hard, but she is always too snarky for me.  She is a pretty girl when she smiles).  Then it was time for the black team.  Everyone weighed in before Chism.  They all met and exceeded their 5%.  Chism did not even need to make his 5%, but he did have to make 12lbs to keep the black team from elimination.  Otherwise, they lose and he would be the only one who didn't meet his goal and will go home.  He lost 11.  Everyone was shocked.   I know they all love him, but I don't.  I've never forgiven him for being a snot to Chris.  Sorry.

Well then Mark jumped up and said let him stay and send Mark home.  He didn't care what it took.  But, Chism said no way.  He would go and be fine.  He was the one who won the rowing competition so he's got at least $10,000 anyway.

They didn't really show him at home.  He came on for 30 seconds and said to go to the NBC website and check out his blog.

Next week the trainers switch teams.  Good.  Shake it up a bit.

***I have decided to see this season through since I have incorporated it to my blog.  I will do some hard thinking about next season though.  Still having a hard time pulling for someone.  There are some decent people, but their stories are overshadowed by the dumb drama.

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Planning ahead and dealing with complications

Hello My Lovelies and Gents,

Happy Tuesday!  Yesterday on my drive home I was planning out my meals and workouts for the week:

Tuesday: Meet pal at Subway for Lunch.  Get $5 foot long and split between lunch and Dinner. Hit the gym after work. (Oven-roasted chicken breast on wheat roll with spinach, tomato, cucumber, and honey mustard)

Wednesday: pb and banana sandwich for lunch. Subway for dinner (foot long split with lunch the next day)** Bible Study during lunch and Choir practice at night so it's a day of Rest. ***

**I don't usually do Subway back to back, but it's my Wednesday night routine and I was meeting a friend a the mall food court (a personal nightmare) and Subway is my salvation.

***Bible study has since been cancelled for the week.  Looking to workout, but we'll see how the weather is.

Thursday: second half of the foot long for lunch.  Morningstar crumbles chili for dinner with green beans.  Gym at night.

Friday: pb and banana sandwich for lunch.  Dinner is a wild card.  Gym at night.

Okay, this all sounds good.  Then I pulled up out front and noticed I only had one headlight reflecting in the car in front of me.  CRAP.  How am I going to work this? I need to get this fixed.  I just had two days of rest (I did not get out the step last night as I was busy cleaning up during the race). I could go tomorrow night and skip Subway, but I might be late for Choir or miss it all together.  I could try to wait until the weekend, but I would be in a panic of getting pulled over.

So I decided to go tonight and hit up the gym that's in the same shopping center.  Shoot, I pay for the black membership and one of the perks is that I can use any location.  Since I planned this I left my work laptop at work this time.  See, I'm thinking ahead :-) I dropped off my car and headed over.  I got in 90 minutes on the treadmill.  If I had gotten my phone out I would have seen them call me earlier to let me know it was done.  But, then I would not have had my full workout in.

Walking into the gym was tough.  I know where everything is at my gym.  There is a comfort level.  But, comfort is what got me into trouble.  Stepping out of the box is a good thing.  After I checked in they directed me to the locker room to change.  WOW.  It's nice.  I like this gym!  It's nice to know I have options.  It is closer on the way home from work.  So maybe I switch it up and go there every now and then.  The types of machines are the same, but they are a little different.  The treadmills had ipod chargers.  This would come in handy those times that I keep forgetting to charge mine.

The only problem I had was that since I'm used to routine, I'm used to the ladies room on the right.  This gym has it on the left.  I almost walked into the wrong one.  Oops.  Now that would have been something to blog about. haha.

So this was one curveball.  The other was that early on I got the email that my friend was sick.  He asked if we could postpone our lunch until next week.  Sure, that's cool. It's beautiful outside.  I will just go out and walk.  Wait, I still don't have lunch with me.  Dang it.  So I talked Ms. Barb and Miss Kerri into going to Subway (not at the mall) for lunch.  "Come on ladies.  It's Februany.  All Footlongs are $5!  Only 2 days left!"  **please note, this is not a paid endorsement.  Subway in no way pays me for this.  I just Heart them so much!

We had a nice lunch.  We talked about "fast food". We don't consider Subway "fast food".  If there's no drive-thru it doesn't count.  If you can't eat it while driving, it doesn't count. Then the topic turned to Sonic...oh Sonic...I love you!  For those of you who don't know what it is, it's a fast food restaurant that you park and place your order from your car.  Then if you're lucky, your food will be brought to you by a server on roller skates (Think Happy Days).  They have hot dogs, wraps, burgers, breakfast burritos, shakes, and tater tots!  TATER TOTS!  You had me at Tater Tots.  Wait, where was I going with this?   Oh yeah, it totally shatters the "no eating in the car" rule.  They don't exactly serve salads to the car.  But Dang It, just say Sonic and half of my friends start to drool (calling out Heather on this one!).

Okay, so back to the day.  I had a plan for the week.  I got thrown two big curve balls.  But, I didn't let them rattle me.  I made a new plan.  I re-grouped.  I made it work for me.  GO ME!

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Monday, February 27, 2012

NASCAR is back...I recharged at the beach...all is right with the world

FINALLY!!!  30 hours later The Daytona 500 is finally here!

All I'm saying is that it has completely thrown off my schedule.  I say all of the time that planning ahead and finding a routine is very important.  Usually I can handle when a curve ball is thrown at me.  This weekend I don't know what happened.

I will say that in addition to falling asleep during the Syracuse game the other night, I also fell asleep during the Oscars last night.  I opted to go to the later church service yesterday and sleep in so I'm not sure what happened last night.  I also had a "weather contingent" clause in my PTO request for today.  Originally I asked for the morning off so that I could stay at Dad's after the race and enjoy the day rather than just bolt out the door at the checkered flag.  I then put in a "if the race is rained out I would like to make it a full day" so that I can watch the race.  I exercised that clause and let myself sleep in a little this morning.

I finally feel human again.  I knew I was out of gas on saturday morning, but I guess I didn't realize just how bad it was.  My body was exhausted and so was my brain.  Because I couldn't focus I let the change in routine get to me.

I could have gone to the gym this morning, but instead I packed up my car and went to the beach.  I walked out on the sand and took pictures then came back and sat on the boardwalk for a little while.  I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing.  I got in rhythm with the waves.  I felt recharged.

My head was clear again, but I had a problem.  I was starving.  My original plan was to go to subway and then go home.  When I switched it up to going to the beach my options changed.  There is a Subway, but it's closed for the season.  My options were limited. Basically, I could go for pizza or burgers.  I opted to go to Five Guys Burgers. I'm pissed at myself for not thinking ahead on this, but again my head was not clear.  So I made the best of it.  I got the small burger with no fries.  I ate the peanuts instead.  I was fine with that.  It's not the best choice, but it could be worse.

So now I could have gone to the gym when I got home today too.  But, I obviously had a brain meltdown for a reason.  So I took the time to knock out some things on my to do list.  Taxes DONE!  WOO WOO!  I could pull out the step during the race and hit it, but I think I will just pull out the weights and do some abs too.  Usually Wednesday is my day of Rest, but I got the email that lunchtime Bible Study is cancelled so I can walk that day :-)  See, planning ahead.
So in addition to my brain malfunctioning this weekend, I wanted to talk about a few things that happened.  First, when we went to some friends for dinner on Saturday night a couple of people asked me something that I loved.  Two separate people asked if I was down there for a "5k or marathon"?  I love that people associate that with me now.  YEAH!

Second, today is my dad and stepmom's wedding anniversary.  For their gift I got them a digital picture frame and spent a lot of time this weekend loading the disk for them.  I was going through lots of pictures. WOW.  Some made me cringe.  What really got me was that there were pictures from just a couple of years ago that I thought I looked awesome at the time and all I could think now was "Man I look soooo much better than that!".   Go me!  It's a slow progress for a reason.  It's easier to keep it off when it's a slow loss.

Third, did you watch the Oscars?  It's always a favorite night of mine.  I'll admit, I love the glam.  This year was different.  I saw some of those gowns and actually thought "oh I would look good in that".  It was a nice feeling.  That's not what I wanted to comment on though.  Maybe I'm extra sensitive, but comments do not go unnoticed by me.  Did you hear Billy Crystal's song in the beginning when he was singing about everyone?  He made two comments about Jonah Hill's weight.  I was sooo upset.  The first was about how much smaller he is now than when he was in Moneyball.  The guy looks awesome!  Why do you have to point that out?  Then the second was that if he loses there will be cupcakes in the back.  NOT COOL BILLY!  The irony is that he lost weight and there were larger nominees that didn't get made fun of....just sayin'.  Does that mean he was safe because he lost the weight?  ARGH.     

So now I must's time to focus back on the race.  I need to send all of my positive energy to Tony Stewart...this is the year he's going to call.  I can feel it!  TONY STEWART CALL ME!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Sunday, February 26, 2012

I feel like I can't stop eating...what's going on?

Happy Daytona 500 Day Bleeps!

Bah...rain delays make me so sad.  And mad.  Sad and Mad!  I had planned on going to the gym after the race today.  We are now 2 hours after the delay of the start of the race.  I am neither at the gym nor resisting temptation. In a case of "Oh I don't buy this at home so I should indulge myself here" moment, I made myself a reuben for lunch. I did not use butter and grill it, but I still had it.  And a cookie...but not just any cookie...a berger cookie.  One of those cake cookies with chocolate frosting.

That cookie has been haunting me since I got down to my dad's yesterday.  So let's go back to yesterday.  I got up early and went to the gym for weights with gym buddy Mike.  I told him up front that I was out of gas and wasn't sure how much I had in me.  I also knew that I had a long day ahead of me.  This might sound like an excuse, but I'm in tune with my body.  I know exhaustion vs. just a little tired.  My body is exhausted.

We put in our cardio for a warm up and headed over for more back weights.  I told him that my arms hurt for 6 days so we are cutting back on the amount of weights until I'm more comfortable.  So we did.  It was still tough, but just knocking them down by 10-20 weights was enough to make me happy. After we worked our abs I took 10 minutes on the mat to just stretch my muscles...ahhh.

After the gym I ran home to shower and pack up.  My dad wanted me to stop and pick up some hoagies for him on my way.  I of course said yes and then had a moment of terror hit me.  My car is going to smell like an italian hoagie for 3 hours.  How the heck am I going to survive this drive?  I quickly made a plan.  First, I would put them in a sealable bag in the trunk.   Second, I would stop at Subway for a sandwich before I pick them up.

The plans were good in theory.  I got my subway and was happy.  Sadly, the sealable bag I brought was not big enough.  And there was a long wait when I got inside to pick them up.  All I could smell was lunch meat, sweet peppers, cheese, oregano...Even though I had just eaten, my mouth was watering.

I made it down without stopping to eat them.  Go me!  But, I did stop for a potty break at Dunkin Donuts and got a mint hot chocolate.  I know, it's close to Starbucks, but I didn't give up hot chocolate and it was cold and windy yesterday.  Perfect hot chocolate weather.

As soon as I got to Dad's he busted open one of the ginormous hoagies and we all had some. was about an inch thick of lunch meat...HEAVEN!  I kept my portion small, but dear lord that was good.

Shortly after we were invited over to some friends for dinner.  BBQ.  Um yes please!  So I had salad, a bbq sandwhich (on whole wheat rolls as Ms. Cheryl would like to point out) and a random side of thai drunken noodles (but it had veggies in it so I counted it as half-acceptable...sorry, but my morning workout got me HUNGRY).

The Syracuse game was on at 9pm. It was not looking good.  If I was tired when I started the gym in the morning and I did not have any Starbucks, how in the heck was I going to stay awake for the game?  So I tried to take a small siesta, but I didn't get very far.  And then Ms. Cheryl made me very happy.  They had peanut butter oreos....Um....HEAVEN!  I had two.   Then it was time to go home for the game.

I watched for 15 minutes before I started to pass out.  I was so stinking tired.  I started to come back to life every once in a while.  It wasn't the game that got me, it was the thought of those berger cookies in the kitchen.  I am not going to lie.  I would love to say that it was my sheer willpower that kept me from eating them, but the reality is that I could not get up if you paid me.  I finally woke up with 4 minutes left in the game.  Gah...another ab crunching game...they won, but it was too close.

So here I sit waiting for the race to start and I feel like I'm losing my mind.  I have not eaten so this much in forever.  What the heck?  Is it because I'm not keeping myself busy?  Is it because I am out of my routing? Is it because I didn't workout?  Is it because I'm not eating enough for my workouts and my body is trying to catch up?  Is it habit from watching tv?  I don't know.  All I know is that my dad offered and made some buffalo chicken meatballs (with a blue cheese filling) and I had 8. 

Come on Mother me out!  Clear up the rain so I can focus please!  Luckily, I took tomorrow morning off with a Weather contingent full day off.  HaHa.  I have the morning off, but if the race is rained out I am taking the whole day so that I can watch it.  I am THAT dedicated to Tony Stewart...CALL ME!

 ****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake! Cake!

Happy Friday Bleeps!

So much to talk about...Bah!  I will have to make it few posts over the next few days. 

Today was cake day at work.  We had a birthday celebration and that means cake. We signed the birthday card yesterday so I knew it was coming.  First thing this morning we got the meeting invite for 11:50am Cake.  That meant 3 hours of the thought of cake running through my head.

Seriously, this is what goes through my head: Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake.  Only 3 more hours until Cake! Cake. Cake.  How much longer until Cake? Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake.   Get the picture?  It is a miracle that I got any work done.

I got giddy as it got closer to 11:50.  It was like a little high.  I thought my head was going to explode I was so excited. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake.

Then 11:50 hit and the most amazing thing happened. I walked right past the cake and did not take a piece.  WHA?  I do not know where that strength came from, but I am so thankful for it.  I am going away this weekend and we all know how tough it is for me to control my food when I am at someone else's house.  I believe that was in my head.  Be good now because there is a 100% chance that you are going to cheat this weekend.

It was raining today.  Miss Barb did not want to walk with me.  Nor did she want to go out anywhere. It would have been the perfect Starbucks day, but well...we are on day 3.  I am committed to this.  And then I thought "I gave up Starbucks for Lent, but I did not give up Barnes & Noble cafe or Dunkin Donuts."  STOP IT JENNIFER!  You can do this for 40 days.  You know you can! So  I was kicking around what to do when I hit me that I could go get a manicure.  My cuticles were atrocious.  So why not?  And off I went. 

I stopped at Five Below (a high end Dollar store) for a drink.  Peeps.  Cadbury Eggs. Robins Eggs.  Caramel Cadbury Eggs.  OMG!  I stood in front of that display for about 3 minutes.  Should I?  I just walked away from cake.  Why would I do this?  Well no one is here.  They never have to know.  Go on...just get one.  You know you want it.  Come one is looking.

Good news.  I did not get one.  I got my snapple green tea and went to get my nails done ( a fun shiny blue).  I felt soooo good about this.  I was so proud of myself.  It does not mean that the day got any easier though.  The leftover cake just sat there mocking me.  Plus, when I walk to the ladies room I pass a desk with chocolate eggs.  I wanted one sooooo bad.  I practically put a hole through my lip today biting it.  But, I done good.  Well...until dinner.  But, that's another post.  Don't worry.  I didn't do horrible, it just wasn't the wisest decision. 

My reward for the day?  Well we now have a Gym Crush #3 :-)

Okay Bleeps, once again I have a weights date in the morning.  I did tell him that I need to cut down the weights.  After a good workout you are going to feel the muscles for two days.  I am on day 6.  To me that means that the weights were too high and I was trying to compensate by using other muscles. That is not the workout I want.  I will lift and I will be happy to hurt for two days, but I draw the line for anything over that.  It affected Yoga yesterday and we just can't have that.

Have a wonderful weekend Bleeps!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Biggest Loser Rumor

Hello Bleeps!

So this morning I heard a report on the radio this morning that got me all fired up.  Now I will say that the radio was reporting on something reported by TMZ.  So this may not be accurate.  And I hope that it isn't.  I REALLY hope they got this wrong.

They are reporting that the there was a "mutiny" amongst the final contestants after learning that the Producers were planning on bringing back some voted off contestants to compete for the $250,000.

Where do I begin?  First of all, check yourself people.  This is a GAME.  The producers can throw in any twist that they want.  Second of all, if you are that pissed off about this "twist" than you don't deserve to be there.  The point is to change your lifestyle. If you do that, then you're a winner no matter how much money you win.

So now what brought on this twist?  Oh I'm going to say the huge backlash they are getting for this season.  I am The Biggest Loser's Biggest Fan!  And I am disgusted with this season.  Is it just the editing this season?  Has it been like this for every other season and this time they are just editing it for ratings?  I don't think so.  I just don't.

I will say this: Jillian Michaels would have kicked their Asses for this.  I love Bob and Dolvett, but they are no Jillian.  I would love to see her come back and knock them around.  Shoot, just give me five minutes with them and I would happy to do that.

The latest report said that 2 contestants walked off the set and were since cut loose.  I have my suspicions of who it is, but I have no proof so I won't voice them.
Believe me, the Irony of the "No Excuses" theme for the season is not lost on me.  It has been nothing but excuses.  ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cutting out Soda/Sugar/Candy

Hello my Lovelies...and Gents, you hear that?  It's my body thanking me for my day of rest.  I have been busting it hard Bleeps.  And my body is tired. Giving myself a day of rest every week is extremely important.  Your body needs that day to regroup and refresh.

And to be honest, quite frankly I'm burnt out right now.  Between work, overtime, the gym, and the blog I haven't really had time to get anything else done. Any free time I've had in the past week has resulted in me sitting in practically a catatonic state.   So I will continue with my day of rest from the gym and give myself another day of rest from the Blog once a week.  I hope you don't mind.  I love writing this and I take my "inspiration" seriously.  Knowing that I motivate so many of you to make positive changes is the greatest thing in the world to me right now. :-)  I love talking to you all on facebook and twitter.

So you'll be happy to know that I made it through the day without a Starbucks run.  1 day down...only 39 to go!  Go me!  We had a lot of discussions today about what we were giving up.  Many people brought up candy and soda.  Sadly, some did not make it.  Soda was consumed before lunch.

Giving up caffeine or sugar is soooooo hard.  It's an addiction.  I have kicked the caffeine habit.  It amazes me.  Over the years I drank more Diet soda than is humanly possible.  I could not even guess how much if you held a gun to my head.   But, I will say that it was over 2 liters a day. Ugh...I shudder to think about it.  The damage that I did to my insides?  I am SOOOOOOO SORRY.

Giving it up was difficult.  I fell asleep during a matinee on day one.  I had the shakes on day too.  My mouth was watering for it weeks.  I had a headache from the caffeine withdrawal.  It hurt.  But, eventually I kicked the habit.  The only time I crave it now is when I have chips and salsa .  I don't even want it any more.  I sleep much better.  People, I used to wake up and chug back gulps of it because I was so dehydrated.  Um...that is why I was dehydrated.  Now, I drink so much water/crystal light all day that I am hydrated.  I have not woken up "thirsty" in a couple years.

Sugar/candy?  Well that's harder to kick. I do know that when I have one bite it makes me want so many more.  So that keeps me from indulging.  The more you have something the more your body is going to crave it when you deprive it.  My body does not crave the sugar any more.  It's my brain that does.  It's part of the retraining my brain. 

I think my brain is always going to want the sugar.  I've accepted that.  I've also accepted that I'm getting stronger at this.  So if you are struggling, please know that you aren't alone.  It's tough.  It sucks.  It Really Sucks.  It is possible though.  It will just take time.  Well time and commitment.  If you are serious about it, you cannot half commit. 

Don't cut down the sugar/sweets.  Cut it out completely.  Try it for a month.  Make sure everyone knows though. My friends and family all know about this struggle now.  They are all well aware of how I feel.  They are thinking twice before offering it to me.  That is a tremendous help.  You can do it on your own, but it's sooooo much easier with a support system.

There is no shame in trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. None.  A friend of mine is trying to eat healthy, but she's having a hard time.  The other day she came into her office to find an egg mcmuffin on her desk.  Someone was being nice and brought her breakfast.  While that's nice, I would like to think they wouldn't do that if they knew she was trying to make changes.  On my refrigerator we have a picture of me sticking my tongue out and the caption says "Do not feed this girl candy".  It started as a joke, but there is no question. 

Okay, my brain is starting to melt.  Earlier today I was so delirious that I told a client on the phone "love ya".  HaHa.  We had a good laugh, but I know that's a sign that I am spent.  Have a wonderful night.  Catch ya tomorrow :-)

PS-I hope this made sense.  It did in my head :-)

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile 

Biggest Loser - Week 8

It's official.  I do not like this season. I do not like it at all.  WTF!

This week's theme is Lack of Self Control.

The episode started with a temptation challenge. There is a room full of food.  Whoever eats the most calories can anonymously switch up the teams.  Five people ate.  Daphne ate the most. She switched up Jeremy and Conda. All hell broke loose. Not gonna lie...I switched over to NCIS for a little while.

People were angry.  GET OVER IT.  You got in your comfort zone.  That's what go you into trouble in the first place.  Who cares what her motive was.  Deal with it and move on.

There was a team challenge.  The teams had to send one person up who would direct the rest of the team on moving puzzle pieces.  The prize was 2 weeks a the Biggest Loser Ranch.  The red team won.

So where is all of the fitness?  I'm so glad you asked.  There was about 5 full minutes of it during this episode.   Dolvett took the Red team on a hike to Subway for breakfast (over 7 miles). Bob had his team lifting weights for control.  Low weights, but holding it for long periods of time.

At the weigh in the red team did very well.  The black team made it very obvious that they were throwing the weigh in to get rid of Daphne.  Would she lose the most and stay safe?  Nope.  She gained.  She's going home.

She looks GREAT!  We didn't know that she had a heart condition.  She lived with her parents in case something happened to her she didn't want her kids to be alone.  Now she is off 2 of her 3 medications and they are moving in to their own house.   YEAH for them.

There is soooo much drama this season that I don't have anyone that I am pulling for...except Dolvett and Bob.  That's it. There's such a negative stereotype of fat people. These contestants are just making it worse. Next week they are going home.  Let's hope this humbles them and has them focus on the real reason to be on the Ranch.

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Happy Fat Tuesday!

What a great name for a celebration....NOT!

Tomorrow is the beginning of Lent.  Are you giving something up?  I used to give up candy and Diet Dr. Pepper.  What the heck can I give up now that would be a sacrifice?  The gym?  My blog? Bah.   I could give up chocolate, but I barely have any these days.  I think we know the answer is Starbucks.  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  I did not know until this very moment that I was going to do that.  If I had then I would have gone today.  Can I amend my statement?  Is it cheating if I say that their roasted veggie panini and iced non-sweetened green teas are okay? I can give up the mochas, the chai teas, and the caramel macchiatos.  I can do this.

So I made it through the Valentine's Day deluge of candy.  Don't you love how quickly the Easter candy replaces it?  There's not even a moment to breathe.  When I think of all of the money I spent on Easter candy over the years...GAH!  Oh don't be fooled.  We're talking at least $20 a year....all for me.  I didn't give it away.  I ate every last bite.

Last year I bought some Gertrude Hawk candy for a fundraiser from my little Girlfriend Addie.  I spent $18 on TWO boxes of chocolate.  WHAT?  I only did it because it was for her music program at school.  At least that's what I told myself.  I got one box of Dark Chocolate covered coconut eggs and one box of raspberry smidgens.  The plan was to take them down to my mom's for Easter weekend.  I did that...but the coconut eggs came back with me.

Now when I walk through the aisles of Easter candy I develop a split personality.  The former fat girl loses her mind and wants to grab every bag that she can.  The new fit girl's stomach turns at the massive amounts of sugar.  I'm proud of that second reaction.  I'm ashamed of that first reaction.  I've come soooooo far and yet I fall right back into that destructive mind set.

Instead of buying the candy now, I use that $20 for myself.  Maybe I buy myself a dvd.  Maybe I buy myself a new candle.  Today I spent my $20.  I went to the mall at lunch to go get a new pair of sneakers (more on that in a minute).  I had to walk past Old Navy on my way out.  So I just popped in and YEAH the jeans were on sale for $19.  So I got a pair of incentive jeans.  HOLLA.  I also got a coupon for 3 more pairs of jeans for the same price through the end of May.  I am going to bust my A$$ to get into new jeans for the summer.

I also got a little bag for the summer.  It's just a simple bag that goes over one shoulder and crosses across the body.  I avoided these bags forever.  Why would I want to stretch something across my body like that?  I felt like my boobs and my belly just pushed it out.  I preferred the big fancy purse that will draw the attention away from the belly.  DUH.   I am excited now.  I can't wait to use it :-)

Okay, we all know I put the miles on my sneakers.  My Half Marathon sneakers are toast now.  They lasted me a full 3 months. I've been having the issues with my toes on the elliptical so I wanted to get a new pair of sneakers.  I love my Reebox Realflex.  I wanted to get a pair of the Reebox Zig Techs.  It's in the same family so I was hopeful that I could avoid the blisters.  Well Happy Fat Tuesday to me!  I found a pair of hot pink Zig Techs in my size in the clearance section for 30% off...and I had a $10 coupon.  HOLLA!  I got them.  Sadly, my toes still hurt tonight.  I think I need to give the elliptical a rest before I give myself a stress fracture. 

Good luck surviving Easter Candy season (remember that I'm here for you if you need me).  Think about other treats that you can give yourself instead.  And if you're giving something up for Lent, use this as the start you need.  Give up fast food.  Give up soda.  Give up smoking.  Give up sugar.  Give up the bad habits and move forward.

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I Sweat Therefore I Am

Happy Sunday Bleeps!

Today was qualifying to the Daytona 500!  That means I get Tony Stewart every weekend between now and Thanksgiving...YEAH!

I'm going to make this a short post.  After yesterday's workout I'm having difficulty lifting my arms.  I almost had to ask my roommate to unhook my bra for me for my shower after the gym today.  HaHa.  The worst part was that I sat around in my robe for an hour after the shower because I didn't want to try putting it back on.  Once it was on I contemplated sleeping in it.  I will not though.

As sore as I was, I was not about to skip the gym. I needed it as a stretch.  Although the elliptical was not my friend.  I stayed on for 30, but my boobs were soooooooo sore bouncing back and forth on it.  Baywatch Babe I was not.

So every time I am at the gym I look around at what everyone is wearing.  I am amazed at the number of people in sweatshirts, sweatpants, fleece jackets, etc.  Who are these people without sweat glands?  FREAKS!  Just kidding. Am I the only one that sweats?  Seriously, just sitting around in the heat I'm fine.  It only takes 5 minutes doing cardio and then I look like a greased pig.

When I walk outside it doesn't really affect me until I get in the car.  The same when I am doing laps at the mall.  I keep a package of baby wipes in my car to wipe myself down.  I think I need to put a pack in my gym bag too.

So back to the gym.  I bring my towel to put over the machine's numbers so that I am not focused on how far I have gone or how many calories I burn.  I am usually wearing it around my neck by the end of the workout.  Ick.  I have found the machines in the path of the fan/air conditioning units.  I feel like I will pass out if I don't have a little air on me.   It's practically orgasmic for me when a cold blast of air comes on while I'm on the machines.  haha. I'm sure I look just adorable at that moment.

As much as I hate the sweat, I feel like I am working hard when I have a nice glisten.  And this is me hydrated!  If I didn't drink water all day long I would probably implode.  So I'm sweaty and stinky...but there's more.  When you first start working out and sweating you will have a problem.  Pimples.  The sweat is pushing the toxins and bad stuff out.  It's worth the sacrifice and it will stop eventually.  It's just disheartening.  It's bad enough on the face, but I get some on my shoulders and especially under my bra on my back. Ick.  The sweat and the friction sucks.  A little tip - get the shower scrunchie on a stick to wash your back after a workout.  It totally helps.

And now for the freaky part of sweating.  About once a year my belly button gets red and irritated.  It totally freaked me out at first.  The inside of my belly button was fire engine red.  It's a fungus from the moisture.  It will go away if you clean it and keep it dry (if it doesn't go to the doctor for some anti-bacterial ointment).  So just be aware.  Shower shortly after the workout and keep it clean people!  Belly button fungi are no laughing matter!  Well they are, but they are also gross.

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Highs and Lows of a 2-Gym day Saturday

Happy Saturday my Lovelies...and Gents.

It's hard to imagine that I'm still standing right now.  It's been a long long day.  Want to hear about it? 

Well it started at the crack of dawn (well not really that early, but it felt like it) when I rolled out of bed and headed to the gym to meet a friend.  I have not seen him since high school which was *mumbling incoherently* years ago.  HaHa.  Let's just say that it's been a long time.  Oops...I did have that reunion post last year...okay fine.  It's been 23 years (he graduated a few years before me).

The plan was to work out our backs.  First I had to show him the lay of the land after a quick 5 minutes on the elliptical for our heart rates.  As we were walking around I thought I was going to cry.  My butt machine is broken!  THE HORROR!  Please gym gods fix it soon!!!  If that wasn't bad enough, one of the thigh machines were broke too (luckily there are two of them).

So the first machine we tackled was the scary pullup/dip machine...this was for our "warm up"...hahahaha...warm up my ass.  I felt like my arms were going to fall off pulling me up.  Next up was a sitting back-press machine.  Then we moved over to the lower back/rowing set up.  I love rowing machines (wish Planet fitness had them).  We finished over at the ab station.  I wanted to test out the ab coaster and was very excited with it.  We knocked off two other ab machines and then it was time to stretch.  I grabbed an exercise ball and arched my back rolling around on it...ahhh...felt good.

After ninety minutes my arms were toast.  I could barely close my door on the way to breakfast.  We had just enough time to make it to Panera for that Mediterranean egg white sandwich.  Can you say YUM?  YUMMMMMMMM.

After breakfast I ran to Target.  I needed a few things, but got side tracked by some clothes.  Oh yeah, I need to look for an interview outfit.  Why not now?  I found a few dresses and headed to the dressing room. WHY?  Why do I subject myself to fitting room mirrors when I am feeling so good?  I had just worked out for 90 minutes then ate.  It's not the optimal time to try on clothes.  BAH.  I found a dress I liked though and it was on clearance.  I didn't trust the mirror so I went out to find some real people and their opinion. It passed :-)

I came home and put in 4 hours of overtime.   Well, after I took a couple of Aleve.  Sitting in my chair for 4 hours after a big workout was sucky.  I got stiff.  So I finished OT and headed back out.  I ran back to Target and found a black blouse (after more time in the fitting room because I am a sadomasachist).  It's a pretty blouse and I can wear it with jeans for work on a regular day too. 

Then I went back to the gym.  I needed to walk.  I did not do cardio this morning because It's hard for me to do it after a night of it.  I need more than 12 hours for my knees to be happy with me.  Besides, I felt like a slug during the OT.  I took my book to read on the treadmill and make it a light night.  I just wanted to stretch my legs and get a little cardio in. 

I hit up the massage chair for my back as soon as I got there...ahhh...totally worth the membership.  Then I hit the treadmill.  I got some reading done, but I also ran a little.  I got my 4 miles in and called it a night. 

*No sightings of Gym Crush #1 this weekend... sad face*

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Friday, February 17, 2012

Retrain Your Brain

Happy Friday Bleeps!  Can I get a Woo Woo for the weekend?  WOO WOO!!!

I've gotten a lot of questions lately about eating right.  So I want to talk about that right now.  A dear dear friend is having a very hard time.  She if finding herself eating even when she's not hungry.  She can never seem to feel full.

Eating when you aren't hungry is very familiar to me.  It's a large part of my past.  For me it was emotional eating.  When something was bothering me or I was depressed, I ate.  It did not matter if I had already eaten.  I would eat again.  It was a comfort.

I still struggle with it sometimes. I will be at someone's house who has snacks out and I will find myself going back over and over.   Just one little bite.  I only had a little bit so it's okay to have another.  I've been really good lately, one more bite won't hurt.  No one saw that so it's okay to have more.  These are seriously the thoughts that go through my head.

Have you ever gone out to dinner and then when you walked out of the restaurant you smell another restaurant and think "Oh I could go for a Steak right now"?  Happens to me all of the time.  I will literally be full, but I will smell food from somewhere else and immediately want that too.  It's insane.  It's a trigger.  It is not your body, but your brain that is doing it.  You've got to retrain your brain.

It's easy for me to control my eating at home.  Remember: If you Buy it, you will Eat it.  I try really hard to keep from having excess snacks around the house.  If I feel the urge to eat something I go have a few carrots or chew some sugar free gum.

I still sneak snacks some times.  I still indulge in treats, but there are rules to it: 
*Only if I have had my proper meals. 
*Only if I haven't had a treat already today. 
*If I have a slice of pizza I have to make sure I get my veggies in too.

One of the biggest changes I have made to help with this problem is that I eat smarter now.  I make sure that my meals are substantial.  If you have a pop tart for breakfast you are doing nothing good for your body.  It's sugar.  It will not feel you up.  Avoid doughnuts at all costs.  Empty calories.  Seriously, I think we all know we could down a dozen before we even start to feel full.  It's not worth it.
Start keeping a journal of everything you eat.  You don't have to share it with anyone.  I have several friends are telling me what they eat every day.  I'm good with that.  If you have to report it to someone else it may make you think twice about making a poor choice.  If you are embarrassed or ashamed and don't want to share it with anyone you know, then please feel free to email me your daily/weekly food journals. I would be happy to help.

I have more to talk about, but I had a big workout tonight and I have to get up early to meet a friend for weights.    He better show up!  I am getting up at 7am for this.  :-) 

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Clothes and my Changing Body

Hello Beautiful People!

My apologies from the beginning.  I'm this may turn into a ramble.  I hope not because I've been thinking about this all day. :-)  I had yoga at lunch today though.  And we called it pretzel day.  It felt like a bizarre game of twister.  Then I pushed it hard on the elliptical tonight.  I am, quite frankly, out of gas.

I have two types of outfits.  Type A-Tight pants with a baggy top.  Type B-Baggy pants with a tight top.  You know what I'm talking about?  If I can draw the focus to one area then the eye won't notice the other.  My bottom and my top are both in great shape.  It's the middle that I have to work on.  DON'T LOOK THERE!

For the most part I wear my yoga pants and a baggy t-shirt to the gym.  Last week I switched it up.  I wore some baggy pants and a slammin skin tight 76ers shirt.  It definitely accentuated my boobs and made me feel like my belly was flat.  The bottom sucked and was so not flattering to my tush.  It was a nice change though.  The boys were looking at my girls and not my behind this time.  Go ahead...keep looking :-)

I usually keep around a pair of "fat" jeans to wear with my old navy shirts. I don't want to wear them with pants that are shoving my belly up and out.  This weekend I pulled out my "fat" jeans.  They are in the Good Will pile now.  :-)  I have not worn them in months because they just aren't flattering at all any more.  I have a pair of light colored jeans that are a different cut than my others.  I can wear them with the tighter tops. This morning I reached in to my jeans drawer and thought I grabbed them.  I put them on and got out my belt.  On came the top and when I went to put on my fake Uggs I suddenly realized that they were my "skinny" former skinny jeans (did you catch that?  the style is "skinny" and they used to be my tiny tight jeans).  Well I can wear them as my "fat" jeans with tight tops now.  And I wore them with a belt.  WOW.  I could not get over that.  I can remember when I first got them and they looked painted
on.  Now?  Well I can grab a handful of jean under my butt.  

I have a project for this weekend.  Next week I have an interview for an internal position at work.  We have been Business Casual (jeans) for a couple of years now.  I have some nice business clothes, but I can guarantee that they don't fit me right anymore.  I have been hesitant to buy anything dressy because I am shrinking.  It's a good problem to have.  I will need to try on my clothes this weekend and see what I can pull off.  I think I may have a decent pair of pants and may just need a blouse.  I'll let you know how it goes.

When I was thinking about that it made me wonder about my shorts for this summer.  I have a feeling that I will be blowing right past the good fit of most of my shorts. I may need to pull them out this weekend just to see how they look.  I kind of get a giggle at the thought of getting a new summer wardrobe.  I better get this promotion.  I will probably have to replace most of my clothes :-)

Before I go for the night, I wanted to give you an update.  My blog is no longer being blocked for it's racy content.  hahaha.  Thanks Ken!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Come on people...Let's Get Naked!

Happy Hump Day Bleeps!

So here's a funny thing.  My old company is famous for blocking websites.  They used to be able to access my blog, but it is now blocked for "pornography" content.  HaHaHaHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.  Not sure where they are looking, but okay.  I'll give the people what they want.

Get naked!

The Former Fat girl was practically a vampire.  The only mirrors I had would show my face only.  I never owned a mirror long enough to see my whole body.  Why would I want to look at it?  It made me depressed.  Shoot, I hardly ever got dressed or undressed with the lights on. And showers?  Oh well they were as fast as possible.  Gravity is not your friend in the shower.

You would think I would want the long mirrors so that I could see how the clothes looked on me.  Did they look horrible?  Well if I couldn't see it then they weren't that bad.  My mind could actually talk myself into believing that no matter what I was wearing, I was as skinny as Reece Witherspoon.

As important as facing the scale is, facing your body is more important. I can forgive a bad day on the scale if I can really look at my body and see the goodness. Get to know your body.  I have been able to enjoy my transformation more because I have looked at my body closely.  I can see the smaller thighs.  I can see the shrinking belly.  I can see the defined shoulders.  And my back? Heck yeah, it's looking so much better.

So my favorite part of the day used to be the moment before my shower.  I would see how small my belly could be.  By the end of the day, no matter what I did, it always looked a size or two bigger.  I would get depressed when I would see my "post day" body.  Blah.

I don't know what I've changed.  Perhaps it's the severe intake of water or cutting out the sugar, but my pre and post day bodies are almost the same :-)  It does get a little swollen after a good workout, but that's to be expected.

So back to my legs.  I loved my legs before, but I'm in love with them now.  Gone is the cottage cheese!  I know that people say that you can't really get rid of cottage cheese (do not even THINK about buying those stupid creams that say you can get rid of it...go ahead and just give me the money instead, at least someone will get something out of it).  You can.  Wanna know how?  Exercise and cut out the sugar.  BAM!  Instant success.

And now to my boobs.  My boobs used to be ginormous.  They hurt.  It really is true that you lose it in your boobs early.  For me it took a little while, but it happened.  They are still quite impressive, but now they look right.  They are actually in proportion for my body.  I have curves.  My belly is getting smaller and tighter so my boobs look normal now.  HOLLA!  Who doesn't want normal boobs?

And for goodness sakes, we have not discussed my butt in a while.  HECK YEAH!  It's nice and round.  ROUND I tell you.  I can stare at it all day long now.  I did get caught checking it out a couple of times in the bathroom at work.  HaHa.  I have been known to back into people and tell them it's okay to grab it (lady friends....I'm not that forward...although I could use that on Gym Crush #1...)

The main reason I say to get to know your body is this: when your body gets smaller everything gets smaller.  For me my belly is still a problem.  It looks like it hasn't gotten smaller, but it has.  I look at the rest of my body and can see it. 

So go ahead and get naked.  Take a look at yourself.  Take a real good look.  Is this the body you want?  Then look at it as you work hard.  You'll see the difference and you'll be much happier with it.

****Please note****

If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

The Biggest Loser - Week 7

Okay, first thing's first.  Tony Stewart was on Tim Allen's Show at 8pm.  Sorry, he wins.  So I missed the first 30 minutes.  I'm fairly certain there was a lot of drama, so I'm not that sorry that I missed it.

From what I gather, the trainers had to select one member from their team.  That person would be going home for the week with the trainer.  Their weight would be the only one that counted for the team's weigh in.  Bob picked Daphne and Dolvett picked like Conda. (inside joke if you watch her...she uses "like" for every fourth word in a sentence and it drives me NUTS!).

The teams would be on their own for the week.  Their incentive was that if they lost the greater percentage then they would give a 1 pound advantage to their representative.

There was also a challenge.  The winning team gets Valentine's Letters from home...and another 1pound advantage for their representative.  The challenge was a beach challenge. They needed to run to a log and dig out underneath it.  Then they needed to crawl under.  They had several logs to do this for.  They also had to drag a dead weight.  The Red team won.

So the last chance workouts were brutal.  Dolvett had Conda working out with a high school volleyball team.    Bob, the beast, had Daphne climb the stairs to the top of the Sears tower...103 flights in one hour  She made it with 2 minutes to spare.  HOLLA!  I was soooo proud of her.

Cut to the weigh in.  The Black team had decent numbers, but not outstanding.  The red team pulled out some BIG numbers.  Red team wins the second 1 pound advantage.  For those of you keeping score, that means Conda has a 2lb advantage at the weigh in.  Not looking good for the Black team.

Daphne gets on the scale first.  12lbs!  GO GIRL!  That means that Conda has to lose more than 10 lbs.  She loses 10.  Red team is going to elimination.  They vote off Santa.  I don't like the Red team.

His "At Home" is great though.  He's losing weight and enjoying his winter outside.  He's also very active with a Boys and Girls club and getting them to exercise.  Love him!

Preview for next week: you got it...more drama.  

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day Bleeps!

Sending you all a big hug.  I have a bunch I want to talk about, but first I want to tell you about my day.  It was a gooooood day.

It started when I walked into the office.  I was walking past one coworker's desk when she stopped me.  "Did I see you on the internet yesterday?"  HaHa.  Assuming she's talking about the Huffington Post article from September (it pops back up every time there's a new weight loss story) I said yes.  She said I look Fantastic...which I do!  It was funny.  This was the first time someone who doesn't actually know me has recognized me from that.  It was a nice feeling.  Work Husband promptly brought a sharpie over and asked if she wanted me to autograph her desk.  HaHa.

So cut to lunch and I decided I wanted to go to Starbucks.  I had a new book to start and I wanted to get out of the office.  So I went and got a tall Vanilla Chai and I treated myself to the Peppermint Brownie pop.  That's it.  That was my sweet for the day.  It's all good though because I was planning on busting my butt at the gym tonight.  When I got back to the office my boss walked in with a bunch of Valentine's cupcakes...and an apple for me.  YEAH!  He's learning!  That made me feel good.  It makes me feel like people are finally taking me seriously.  It is HARD to say no to the sweets every day, but that's what got me into trouble in the first place.  I have to pick and choose my treats.

You're probably asking yourself "Why didn't you walk at lunch today?"  Well I probably should have.  It was nice out.  Don't laugh, but I wanted to make sure that I got to the gym looking somewhat decent.  I was hoping to run into Gym Crush #1.

There was a fire on a road I take to the gym so I had to alter my path.  I got there a little late, but better late than never. There were more people than I thought tonight, but there were still plenty of machines open.  I said hi to Gym Buddy Lisa and then went and found my new favorite elliptical.  I was planning on a shorter workout so I needed a machine under a fan to go balls out on.

No Gym Crush #1...bah.  I got on my machine at 6:15. The plan was for an hour.  After about 10 minutes Gym Crush #2 walked over to the weights. we're talking.  He was fun to watch for a little bit.  At 7 I needed to go fill up on more water.  BAM.  Walked right into Gym Crush #1 as he was coming in.  HOLLA!  Oh crap...I can't leave in 15 minutes.  So I rocked it for another 30 minutes.  I was in heaven.  This boy's workouts are freakin impressive. We're still in the "catching each other looking" stage and it's cute.  I'm in no hurry to push it.  Quite frankly I can smell my own sweat so I've gotta figure out a non-sweaty workout so then I can talk to him. haha.  Anyway, after 30 minutes he moved over to abs. THANK GOODNESS. I could not take it another minute on the elliptical.  My toes hurt sooooo bad.  I thought I was going to fall off.  I was good though.   Seriously, use whatever motivation you need to push you harder.  If he hadn't come in I would not have put that extra 15 minutes in.

So then I needed to rush home.  Tony Stewart was on the Tim Allen show tonight.  I don't watch it so I had no idea what time, but I feared it was 8.  I was right.  The shower would have to wait....ewww.  But, I could eat and make my lunch.  Did you watch?  He was so yummy!  Daytona is next weekend.  YEAH!  Tony Stewart CALL ME!

Okay, that was a lot and I still have to prep my Biggest Loser post for tomorrow.  So I will put off my planned post until tomorrow night.  I'll leave you with a little teaser though...GET NAKED!

****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Monday, February 13, 2012

How to Survive Mondays: Deep breaths and Happy Places

Happy Monday My Lovelies and My fabulous Gents,

Today was a LONG Monday.  I won't go into details.  Let me just say that I was extremely happy for 5pm to come.   My positive thinking helped me today because normally my reaction to today's events would have been to tense up and turn to chocolate.  Instead, I took deep breaths all day and went to my happy place (Hawaii with Tony Stewart...who will be on Tim Allen's show tomorrow night...Holla!).

By 3 o'clock I had the makings of a headache though.  It's not surprising considering how much time I have spent in front of a computer lately.  I really need to get back to my computer-free Sundays.  You really do need a break from technology every now and then.

So tonight was supposed to be Belly Dancing night.  I really wasn't feeling it.  The headache started to go away, but I just didn't get the feeling for a BD night.  I needed to do something though.  Choir starts back up on Wednesday so that is my day off.  I almost considered running home for my gym bag, but my legs need a rest and Syracuse was playing tonight.  Certain games I can watch on the treadmill, but I learned from the Ravens game that sometimes it's dangerous for me. (almost fell off during a Ray Rice run).
Then I considered popping in a yoga dvd to stretch out and relax. I needed it after today.  But, I got home in record time and came up with a new plan.  I would blitz for an hour and straighten/clean/organize.  That always makes me feel better and functional.  And then I would do arm weights and abs.  I hadn't done them in a while and I really needed to.  Besides, I could do them during the game.

So here's the fun part.  Usually when I am doing them I watch my form in the full length mirror on the side of me. OMG...I looked fantastic!  I know you're probably getting sick of this, but sometimes I really can't believe my new body.  I can see a major difference in my body from just 3 months ago.  It's so exciting.

I used to lift all of the time.  I had taken a Group Power class in Charlotte that I fell in love with.  LOVE.  It was the best class ever.  I even created a playlist from the songs and bought my own bar and weights to recreate it.  I used to hate my arms.  I would not be caught dead in a sleeveless shirt.  Now, I'll rip off all of my sleeves. And if you were here I would be asking you if you wanted to feel my biceps.

I had cut back on my arms when I started focusing on walking/running.  I didn't stop completely, but I definitely cut back.  The good news is that all of that cardio helped with the icky flabby part by the armpit.  It's above the tricep and there is no muscle there. No lifting will get rid of it...only cardio.

Now sadly it was a strain to hit my old reps tonight, but I completed them.  I need to make sure I get back in to this.  I tend to skip the arm weights at the gym because I have so many at home.  I just keep forgetting to do them.  So if I don't mention it keep on me.  Although Gym Crush #1 and #2 both have amazing arms so it's kind of a little incentive :-)

So if you read this blog often you know I went to Syracuse and I live for college basketball.  Currently they are 2nd in the country and are having an amazing season (and another big win tonight). All of their games have been televised lately and I have been able to enjoy them.    I have also been able to work my abs during them.  The Big East is a very competitive conference and the games are almost always close even against unranked teams.  Too much pride.   So right now I would like to give a shout out to the Syracuse Orange for being so freakin Awesome...and for working my abs. HaHa.  I get so tense during the whole game that my abs hurt by the time the game is over.  It's a whole new workout. They don't play again until Sunday so I'll be on my own for my own my ab workouts.  Although Qualifying for the Daytona 500 is next week...Tony Stewart CALL ME!

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Did someone say Southern BBQ? YES PLEASE!

Hello Beautiful People!

Well I am back to life after my overtime this weekend.  I put in 10 hours and I'm beat.  Luckily I still got in 5 hours at the gym :-)

So this weekend was full of good and bad.  I will enjoy the money when I get it, but I've put in 18 hours of overtime in the past two weeks.  I've been able to get my workouts in, but that's 18 hours I could have used to get my life in order.  Oh well.  Some of that money is going to register for the Susan G Komen 3 Day so I will be happy about that. 

Let's talk food right now.  On friday there were more soft pretzels at work.  I was offered one, but declined.  I was saving up my calories for today :-)  A friend and his lady friend were coming up North from Charlotte this weekend.  They had asked if they could bring me anything...Um...Southern BBQ please! 

This morning we met up for breakfast at Panera's.  I had been dying to try their Mediterranean sandwich: egg white, spinach, cheddar cheese, roasted red pepper, pesto on ciabatta.  And it was worth the wait!  YUM.

Then we were off to church were the transaction was made.  The BBQ pulled pork went into my trunk and then precisely occupied my brain for the next 4 hours.  After church I went to the gym.  My legs were tired, but I knew I had BBQ to look forward to and Overtime to work on.  I needed to move.  It wasn't my best workout, but I walked/ran for 90 minutes.  I could eat the BBQ without guilt.

There was enough to make it 3 meals.  So I had it for lunch and dinner (with sides of veggies).  I will have the rest tomorrow night after Belly Dancing :-)  I really REALLY wanted to stop for some Sweet Tea to go with it, but that's a whole lot of sugar...and quite frankly like crack to me.

Before I get to the bad, which is actually sad, I want to talk about something that happened at the church discussion tonight.  The topic was The End of the World.  The question came up for us to discuss: where do you see yourself in 10 years.  The people at my table were thinking about where they will be living.  Me, I was thinking differently.  If you had asked me 10 years ago I never EVER would have thought marathons and polar plunges were in my future.  So in 10 years?  Who knows, maybe I will have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.  Anything is possible at this point...and that's just darn exciting!  Heck, maybe I will climb it in a bikini.  Lol.

Oh that reminds me.  I think this morning I talked my friend into the Polar plunge for next year.  And we made the deal that if he does it in a bikini then so will I.  Ha Ha...he of course volunteered another friend of ours who doesn't know it yet...but Jimmy, we're coming for you!

Okay, so now the sad.  Whitney.  Sadly, it was not that surprising, but nonetheless it's still sad.  Ms. Houston played a big role in my younger years, as I'm sure she did for many of you.  Her music spoke to me when I was a sad young fat unhappy girl.  When I sang along with her I felt beautiful and strong.  I still do.  "I'm Every Woman" is on my workout playlist and I love it!  Put it on yours if you don't already have it. 

So Whitney, I want to thank you for your beautiful voice and the voice you gave me.

****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I haven't been this weight in TWENTY years!


So I'm ready to tell you my good news.  I actually got a little misty yesterday.  It was a good day on the scale.  I had dipped down in to the 140's months ago, but I dipped back out.  The belly was getting smaller so I wasn't concerned.  I step on the scale every day just to keep myself in check.  I pay more attention to what my body is doing than what my weight is.

I am now comfortably in the 140's.  I've been there for a little while, but I wanted to make sure it was consistent before I mentioned it.  HOLLA!  I am getting so close to my goal.  I actually believe that I can get in to that bikini on June 1.

So here's the big reason for the Celebration.  I have not been in the 140's since my freshman year of college.  That was 20 years ago.  And frankly, I look WAY better than I did then. I am fit.  Back then I was just flab.

TWENTY YEARS!  It's awesome and sad at the same time.  This is why I am writing this blog.  I am still amazed at the number of people I reach.  I just want to tell everyone that it's not too late to change.  It's not too late to live a healthier life.  Don't wait the 20 years I did.  PLEASE don't wait that long.  I will never have the "wrinkle-free tight little body" that I could have.  No matter how skinny I get now, I will still have signs of my age. (BAH).  I would give anything to go back to that College Freshman and show her the path she was on.  Sadly, I know she would not have listened to me.  

Recently I was hanging with a friend who kept telling her daughter "Aunt Jennie is smaller than me now".  I LOVED hearing that.  And I should be.  I'm shorter than most people.  I should be smaller.  It's about dang time!

So now my goal is to get down to my high school weight.  HaHa.  I'm hoping to hit it by Easter :-)

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Life happens...but you still have to take care of yourself

Happy Saturday Bleeps,

I had an exciting post planned for last night.  I will post it later today.  Things just came up and I wanted to talk about them.

No matter how far I've come I struggle with gym time.  I love going.  I really do.  But, more often than not I have so much to do that it's very easy for me to talk my way out of it.  I could go, but I really need to get this done.  If I do this now then I won't worry about it and can enjoy the gym later.

Life gets in the way.  But, I have to make this a priority.  I know me.  If I skip once it makes it that much easier to skip again.  I am a creature of habit.  If I start getting in the habit of skipping it won't be long before I'm not going anymore.

So yesterday the plan was to hit the gym right after work.  And then when I was listening to the traffic report on the way they were talking about the 1-3 inches of snow we were supposed to get today.  The problem would be the ice coming later in the day.

The plan for Saturday was: Target (Groceries and printing Polar Plunge pictures to scrapbook), Gym, Shower, Overtime, and then Scrapbooking.

When they freaked me out with the weather (I didn't even hear snow until yesterday morning) I opted to run to Target before the gym last night.  I would print my pictures, grab a few groceries (needed food for chili), and then head over to the gym.  I considered going to Subway while I waited, but I don't like to eat right before the gym.  I like some time for digestion.

All was well.  I ordered my pictures and was given a 25 minute time.  Sweet.  So I went down and checked out the water bottles.  I had to throw out the one I had been using because I had two accidents with the top not closing and then I got water all over my bag/car.  So I found the cutest Pink bottle.  It has an awesome lid and a loop to carry it.  SOLD!  I was celebrating a milestone (for the next post :-)

I got my food and checked out.  I was ready for my pictures, but they weren't ready yet.  They ran out of paper.  It took another 30 minutes to get them.  By now my head is totally freaking out.  If I get to the gym at 7 and I work out for an hour I wouldn't get home and be able to eat until after 8.  I HATE eating after 8.  Well then, I should probably just go home.

NO.  If it snows tomorrow and I can't make it to the gym then I am out 2 days.  Sure I could do a dvd, but it's not the same.  I will haul my butt to the gym and I will like it damn it!  I would rather eat later than not go.  Remember my mantra: I have never regretted working out, but I have regretting Not working out.

So I got to the gym at 7:30...I changed and went for the massage chair first.  I needed to relax a bit. Just as I sat down I saw Gym Crush #1.  SWEET.  He saw me and smiled, but it looked like he was done for the night.  No matter, it was worth it.   After the massage chair I snagged my new favorite elliptical and watched the Sixers game.  (they lost, but it was a good game).

When I got home I was beyond beat.  I made my dinner and threw in a load of laundry.  It took me an hour to complete a simple task (putting my bathing suit and beach towels back in the bin under my bed) so I opted so skip my blog and go to sleep.

Cut to this morning.  My plan was to meet a friend at the gym this morning for weights.  I had not heard from him in a couple of days so I considered sleeping in.  I didn't need to go to Target any more.  I do still have overtime and scrapbooking to do, but I could afford to sleep in.

I woke up and was laying in bed thinking how good it felt when I got the text from gym buddy Lisa.  She was on her way to the gym.  So I could either haul my butt out of bed and head over or take the chance that we don't get a lot of snow and try later in the day when Gym Crush #1 usually goes.  He's cute, but I hauled myself out of bed.  I did not trust myself to go tonight.

The place was empty.  We didn't have that much snow, but I don't think people realized it.  Usually Saturday mornings are mobbed.  I started on the elliptical.  I was out of gas from the beginning.  My paced was 1mph off.  I was wearing my other sneakers to see how my toes felt, but I don't think that was it.  I was just tired from working out the night before.  I put in my thirty minutes and then moved over to the leg weights.  It had been a couple of weeks so I needed to do them.  I was tired, but I knew I needed more.  So I headed over to the treadmill.  My 30 turned into 60 and then 90.  As tired as I was today I still got in two and a half hours. GO ME!  I knew I would be sitting around on the laptop all day so this helped get me through it.

So if you feel like not doing it, stop.  There will always be an excuse not to.  ALWAYS.  You just have to make the time and force it.  You'll feel better once you do.  Your body will thank you too.


****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday Randomness

Happy Thursday Bleeps!

It's so nice to be back with you. Last night was not so hot.  I wasn't feeling well at work.  Basically, my nose was dripping and stuffed (will someone please tell me how that is possible).  I was sneezing.  I was not feeling good.  Quite frankly our whole little group was sneezing and sniffling.

Last night was supposed to be belly dancing night, but it took me a long time to get home and my head was a tad foggy.  Besides, I had some overtime to do.  So I made my dinner and got to work.  I took some allergy medicine and within 30 minutes I was...well...let's just say that it's a good thing I was not operating heavy machinery. The Syracuse game was on and I was out of it.  I only lasted 2 hours on OT before I had to call it a night.

I am definitely healthier than I used to be.  I experience a lot less muscle/body pain.  I used to spend so much money on medicine/muscle relaxers.  I built up such an immunity to advil and dayquil.  I hardly take anything now and so when I do it actually works now :-)

The good news is that I felt much better today.  I think it was sinus pressure from the snow storm (although it wasn't quite a storm).  I still had the occasional sneeze.  I got back on the exercise ball after about a week off.  I sneezed so hard at one point I almost fell off.  Who knew it was so dangerous to my health.  HaHa.

I'm very glad I was feeling better because today was Yoga Thursday.  YEAH!  I was a little nervous and thought I was going to need to skip it.  If I can't breathe through my nose I just can't do it.   I could breathe though and was happy to participate.  I wish we could have it every day.  I am very impressed with my new body.  I am able to get into positions that I would have thought near impossible years ago.  That plus the Belly Dancing and well....Tony Stewart you should REALLY call me!!!  :-)

I'm just going to give my little advice on classes.  Test out the clothes you plan on wearing beforehand.  For example, today I packed a Raven's T-shirt and my yoga pants.  Sounds harmless right?  Well, when I was down in Tabletop position (down on your hands and knees) the neck of my shirt was exposing a little too much.  It was just hanging down so much that I kept shoving my chin in it to block the boobs.  Every time I looked down I saw my girls just swaying in the wind.  DOH.

So I was back at my desk for an hour when I completely stuffed up again. I truly believe I am allergic to my desk.   Seriously, by the time I got to the gym I could breathe just fine.

When I walked in I had my pick of machines.  I opted to switch things up and picked an elliptical up front.  It was perfect.  It was under the fan.  It was by the sports tvs with closed caption.  There were no machine in front of me to distract me.  And it was right next to the weights.  Come on Gym Crush #1!!!

I was not sure if I should be on the elliptical.  I had done the yoga and that generally messes up my knees so I should have gotten on the treadmill.  But, the girl who missed the gym yesterday wanted to go hard.  So I did.  I was flying.  I was sweating.  And of course that's when #1 comes in.  He stationed himself right by me and I'm not gonna lie.  My time dropped.  I tried playing it cool, but I was soooo watching him the whole time.  I'm giving him a monster shout out.  He did some push-ups that were unreal. His feet were on the bench.  His hands on the floor.  He got up on his toes and did push-ups on his fist for a minute. I think my jaw is still on the ground.  I wish I was quick enough to hold up my hands and give him a "10", but my brain was not that quick.   I'm still drooling a little just thinking about it.  HaHa.

It was a GOOD night at the gym. The only problem is that I have got to figure this toe thing out. I have tiny toes.  I walk hard.  So my toes really hurt on the elliptical after a long period of time.  They don't bother me so much on the treadmill. I think I need a different pair of sneakers for that, but I heart my realflex so much (NO BLISTERS).

Well kids, I'm beat.  I'm ready for some well earned Z's.  Sweet dreams my Lovelies.

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Biggest Loser - Week 6

I am not going to lie.  The first 10 minutes of the episode I kept flipping over to the basketball game.  It was more Drama Drama Drama.

I was going to stick with the game, but I came back.  I'm glad I did.  After the drama died down there was a challenge.  Each team had to hold on to a rope over their head.  The rope was linked to a weight hanging over the pool.  If they let go of the rope and the weight dropped, it would drop their trainer in the water.  If they dropped their trainer they would be without him for the week.

The teams struggled for 30 minutes.  Eventually Mark on the red team dropped his.  Everyone was shocked.  The Red held in there for a few more minutes and then couldn't take it any more.  Dolvett went into the water.

Cut to the gym and Kim picked up the slack.  As a former Olympian she took it upon herself to put together workouts and step into Dolvett's shoes.

This was the first week that I liked her.  She did awesome.  She stepped up and motivated her team.  Of course Dolvett was watching on video.  He was impressed with her, but not impressed with the attitudes of the team.  Santa looks like he has dropped off.  Conda...well...let's just say that he whipped out a paper with 13 complaints she made while he was watching.

Cut over to the Black team.  Bob took them on a hike.  Take ME on a hike Bob!!! At the halfway point Daphne realized she was in last place.  She had a talk with Bob who reminded her that she was at week 2 on the ranch while everyone was at week 6.  Then he reminded the team about that and that it was their responsibility to encourage her and help her.

At the end of the hike they had a special lunch.  They were taken to a restaurant and were asked what they would have normally eaten: pink pasta, steak, chicken tenders with ranch, pancakes, side salad, poppers, cupcakes... Each person averaged over 3000 calories per meal.  My jaw dropped.  It made me sick to hear them.

What they learned at the restaurant is that even the "healthy" options may not be "healthy".  They can also order special preparations.  Order the egg white omlet Dry "without butter or oil".  Have the dressing on the side.  You can eat out, just be smart about it.

The weigh in started with 45 minutes left in the show.  That can't be good.  Drama drama drama.  The Red team was up first.  Conda dropped 8 pounds.  It's about time.  Everyone else was between 5-9.  They did really well.  Kim was nervous because she spent the whole time worrying about everyone else's workout.  She dropped 5.  Good job Kim.  Adrian lost 9.  That was great, but would it be enough?

The Black team stepped up.  The ladies had some good numbers.  The team needed to average 7lbs each to win.  The ladies were doing just that.  And then the boys each pulled out double digits.  Red team is going to elimination.

I am not going to lie.  I muted the whole thing.  I don't care what they had to say. Yes, Adrian had a hard time using his ears to listen, but he was right.  He was never welcomed back.  He really never had a chance.

No surprise.  He goes home.  I saw Mark running after him, but I still did not un-mute.

I LOVED his at home.  Boy has lost 100 lbs.  His little girl is adorable and there is another baby on the way.  He is working out and eating right. AND he's got a non-profit group for kids and he's teaching them to eat healthy.  GO ADRIAN.  Pay it forward.

So the previews for next week....More Drama.  ARGH.  If I wanted drama I would watch The Bachelor.
****Please note****
If you feel like you are alone on your journey and you just need some encouragement I am here for you!  Shoot me an email and I will do my best to check in on you or give you the words of support you need several times a week.  The journey is so much easier if you have support.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tired Tuesday :-(

Hello my Lovelies,

Well it's Tuesday and I am TIRED.  This is going to be a quick one.  I would've skipped a blog post tonight, but all of your emails and comments about your progress are my motivation :-)

I'm not just tired.  I also had a set back in the gym tonight.  My time on the elliptical last night was awesome.  I powered through and had my longest distance yet.  Today my legs were a little sore.  So what did I do?  I got back on the elliptical tonight.  I could NOT move.  Okay, I was moving and I was really only .5 miles behind last night's pace, but I did not have it in me to finish the full hour.

I did thirty minutes and then opted to move to the treadmill.  I was going to walk and just stretch out my legs.  I was doing well until the cutie that was checking me out while I was on the elliptical moved to the treadmill next to me.  Dang it.  I can't let him think I'm a slacker (although he did watch me on the elliptical so he knows I can move).  It made me want to run though.  So I did.  I barely got 2 minutes in.  The knees got really angry with me.  REALLY angry.  So I knocked it back to my walk and finished my time walking. 

I couldn't even look at cutie.  I was so mad at myself.  Why did I do that?  I knew it was not going to be a good idea, but I did it anyway. STUPID.  Now I'm limping around and sore.  ARGH.  Tomorrow night is belly dancing night (we're expecting snow and the Syracuse game is on tv :-)  Let's cross our fingers that my knees are good tomorrow.  I was trying to figure out what day would be my day of rest this week.  It may be decided for me.

So here's the good news.  It was a great great day on the scale.  I knew yesterday was a fluke....ahhh.  I'm back baby!!!

I need to go and relax now.  Things are crazy at work and Overtime is on the table again.  That pretty much means I won't have a chance to breathe for a little while.  So  I need to decompress for a little bit.  I am going to need to do that Overtime...I need the money to register for the Susan G Komen 3 Day...Oh yeah.  I'm so doing it!  :-)

Check out my Facebook Page for  Confessions (there are before and work-in-progress pictures):

yeah, sorry, I messed up and the "l" is missing....I need an assistant :-)

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @hugsnsmile