A bunch of randoms

Another DietBet = done! I’m so thrilled to reach my 4% goal once again…I know everyone is motivated in different ways, but the competitive side of me loves DietBet! I can’t believe I’m showing these (since I took them first thing in the morning and I look a mess), but I wanted to share the before DietBet #1/after DietBet #2 pictures.


There’s nothing like fresh local strawberries. Oh man…I easily put away 3 pints already since getting them yesterday. Better than a candy bar, right?


My husband and I went bowling for the first time in a while. Just a little background…my husband actually learned how to bowl from being on leagues. I, on the other hand, learned the fine art of throw it as hard and as fast as you can/hope it doesn’t end up in the gutter. My husband usually had triple or quadruple my score every game. Ah well…it was fun. :-P


You know it’s your birthday week when your inbox looks like this…


I purchased this candle as a gift for someone. It smells SO clean and just awesome…I don’t know how to put it in words, but it smelled so good! I think I’m going back to Williams Sonoma to get us one…


A while back, I begged for you guys to vote/like a picture of my running journey on Instagram. It was for a contest with Claim Your Journey. You guys are SO awesome…I actually won one of the weeks (THANK YOU!!), which meant that a rep from Mizuno would send me a pair of free running shoes! Check ‘em out! I’ve been fighting a cold for the past two weeks on/off, but once that’s gone, I can’t wait to run in these! :-)


Monday Weigh-In: Week 62

I’ve been on this weight loss journey for quite some time. I figured it’s about time I did a weekly weigh-in, so I’m starting now. In week 62. :-)

Week 61’s Weight:             234.4
Today’s Weight:                 230.4

Weight Lost:                         4.0 lbs.
Total Weight Lost:              68.1 lbs.

Some thoughts about this past week:

  • Today marks Day 19 of doing Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred. Crazy that I’ve kept up with it! 11 more workouts to go!


  • The jeans I bought at Old Navy last month are ridiculously loose. Bummer (wallet wise) but YAY! weight loss wise. I’m gonna lay off the clothes purchasing for a while, if I can help it. It’s exciting to fit in regular sizes, but I don’t want to blow money on something that fits well for maybe a month.


  • I painted my toenails this weekend without feeling out of breath. Feels good to have a shrinking belly for simple tasks like that.


  • I purchased bras for the first time since college in a store that wasn’t Lane Bryant. OMG….bras that fit are the way to go, people (duh, Amy). I’ve been wearing the same bras (washed regularly, of course) since I weighed almost 300 lbs. I didn’t realize how loose they were in the ladies and band size until last night. I’m in love.


  • My second DietBet ended today….just in time for my birthday week. I’m not gonna go crazy, but it will be nice to enjoy a splurge meal or two before DietBet #3 begins on Saturday.  If you’d like to check out the DietBet that I set up, here’s the link! The more, the merrier!


How was your week? Any victories or vents to share? By the way, if you’re on MyFitnessPal, my username is niftyfoodie! Feel free to friend me! :-)


Announcing: March-April DietBet

After the holidays, I was definitely pumped to get back on track. I feel like if I go over my calories on a regular basis, it’s just so much harder to get back on track. When I heard about a DietBet a fellow blogger was hosting, I was all in.

This isn’t the average bet to see who will lose the most weight. It’s really a bet against yourself. All you need to do is join the DietBet (paying the bet amount into the pot), weigh in/take pictures of your weigh in (DietBet has instructions on this) and then you’re good to go! Then, you have to lose 4% of your starting weight in 28 days, and if you do, you win! Then, all of the winners in that DietBet get an equal share of the pot (after DietBet takes out a small percentage for their admin fees)! Easy enough, right?

I’m a competitive person, so to me, the thought of losing my $20 was a huge push to win. I think I did pretty well in my first bet. I even went 3 lbs. beyond the 4% goal!!


I was amongst the winners in my first DietBet, and won $43! Not too shabby since I bet $20 of my own money. :-) I’m currently in the last week of another one, but I’ve been so thrilled with doing DietBet, I decided to start one on my own!

So, here we go, y’all! Here’s the DietBet that I set up!

First of all…I’m sure you want to know when this all starts. This DietBet starts on March 16 (weights need to be submitted 24-48 hours before the bet starts), and ends on April 12 (final weights are submitted 24-48 hours after the end date). The bet is $20. Not a crazy amount, but hey, I think it’s enough to motivate!

To understand how DietBet works, here’s a link. It’s very simple, and just a note: I have nothing to do with the handling of the money. It’s all regulated by the admins of the website. :-)

I decided to make this a public DietBet, so it’s easy for anyone to join. Tell your friends and family! You can make this a mini-competition, if you want. :-) You can also make your weight private, if you don’t want other members to see your weight.

I hope a few (or heck, several) of y’all join! I want this DietBet to be a fun, supportive little community. If you have any other questions about this, check out their FAQs.





The 30 Day Shred

A while back, I made this list of goals. If you’ve been reading a while, you’re probably familiar with my 101 goals in 1001 days list. I was recently checking off some items, and noticed my 30 Day Shred goal. I’ve had this DVD since the wedding days, but I never actually did the full 30 days. I actually never moved on from level 1. Whoops!

So, no better time than the present, right? Yesterday was day 1.

I took my measurements and my body fat percentage yesterday as well, so hopefully I’ll see some great results from this. :-)

Shred Challenge

Has anyone looked at her face on this DVD, and thought that she’s saying “BRING IT!” with that expression?? Maybe that’s just me….

In case you’re wondering, I will be doing this in addition to my regular work-out routine. My strength training is going really well right now, and I also don’t want to slack off when it comes to running since my next 5K is a couple of months away. Hopefully this isn’t overkill, but I figured since this is a quick 20 minute work-out, it really couldn’t hurt, right?

Has anyone done the full 30 Day Shred? How were the results for you?



Losing the Weight

One of the most popular questions that I get asked lately is about how I’ve been losing the weight so far.

***I’m absolutely NO expert in weight loss whatsoever, but I figured I’d share with y’all what has been working for me.***

Here’s some before pictures from late 2011. Facebook doesn’t hide the ugly truth. I was quite obese then (still am now, actually), and I tried REALLY hard not to post pictures on Facebook, but these little gems somehow slipped through the cracks.   

Losing the Weight

I cannot do restrictive diets. Diets that tell me exactly what I can and cannot eat just aren’t for me. I will fail at those diets, and I have come to peace with that. I knew the best way to do this would be a gradual way, so I started calorie counting on MyFitnessPal. The great thing about MyFitnessPal is that you can tell it your weekly weight loss goals (0.5 lbs-2 lbs/week), and it will give you your calorie goal based on that. In the beginning, I told it 1 lb/week, which put me at about 1800-1900 calories/day (this sounds high, but I weighed almost 300 lbs. in the beginning). It wasn’t too bad to reach that goal, and somehow (seriously, not sure how this happened) in the first month, I dropped 10 lbs. It was motivating, for sure!

The next month, I decided to drop down to losing 1.5 lbs/week, which made my calorie count around 1700/day. The 100 calorie drop to me just wasn’t a big deal…this seemed very gradual and doable to me. I still have MyFitnessPal set to losing 1.5 lbs/week presently, but now I’m about 1600 calories. The reason for this is every time you drop 10 lbs., MyFitnessPal prompts you to adjust the calories based on your new weight (it calculates this for you, but you have to OK it).

I love calorie counting. It may not work for everyone, but for me, it’s wonderful. I make mostly healthy choices on my own, but I know if I want pizza or chinese take-out for a meal, it’s totally fine. As long as I have the calories for it. I won’t lose control this way, and I don’t feel deprived at all.  Now, sometimes there are meals where I just don’t feel like entering everything. I used to have a splurge meal once/week, but now I’m at about every two weeks. I know some people will diet more strictly than I am, but for me, I’m trying to teach myself how to make this into a lifestyle change. I’m not going to say no to a dinner out with a friend at the tex-mex place with my favorite queso, because I only have 500 calories left for the day. I won’t go on an all-out binge either, but I will eat what I want in smaller portions. Small changes…even if I eat a little over my calories, I’ll accept the small gain and move on.

In the summer of last year, things started to slow down weight loss wise for me, so I decided to start running with the C25K program. I was exercising 3x/week with C25K, and the weight started dropping fairly consistently once I incorporated some form of an exercise program. Then, in January (of this year), my husband and I joined a gym near our house, which has allowed me to add strength training to my exercise program. I try to work out 4-5x/week, where I either do 30 minutes of cardio (usually running) or almost an hour of strength training. I will say that since adding strength training to the routine, my weight is dropping a lot faster than before. I’m seeing 2-3 lb drops/week when I was so used to 1-2 lbs/week.

About 13 months later, I’m feeling like a whole different person. I’m just about halfway done with my weight loss journey, though, so there’s still quite a bit of work ahead for me.

Losing the Weight

I would like to reiterate that I’m no weight loss expert. I just wanted to share with y’all what has been working for me, since quite a few of you are curious. :-)

Overwhelming shopping difference..

Last week, I got some coupons from JCPenney. $10 off $10 or more. (I thought they didn’t do coupons anymore, but I guess I haven’t clothes shopped in a while…) Anyway, I decided that this would be a good opportunity to get some clothes on the cheap. I’m having an itch to get some bright, spring-y clothes, so I was pretty excited to see what they had.

I wasn’t sure what to expect though. This was my first time looking through the misses section in years. I’m talking since the 1990s, y’all.

Here’s a small vent I have about plus size sections in stores. The misses section of a store could have a whole darn floor in a department store, but the plus size section is usually 20ish racks within that floor. Oh, and within that plus size section, about half of it is for a more mature customer. So, the choices were very limited. Also, being a larger size in the plus sizes meant just automatically go to the back of the rack, hoping they had a 3X available. This is why I always hated shopping. It was seriously boring and depressing.

This past weekend, my husband and I went to the mall, and I was really excited to shop. This really never happens, y’all. I get excited to shop for gifts, but for me? HA! After we went to a couple of stores, it was time to face the misses section. My husband grabbed the first XL tee off the shelf, and recommended that I just try it on to even see if it fit. Not only did it fit, but the blue color looked awesome on me. It was a simple V neck fitted tee, which was only $6. Um…seriously? Simple tees in plus sizes are almost twice as much!

So, not only am I dealing with more choices…I’m also getting cheaper clothes? Awesome.

On the way to the fitting room, I also grabbed this bright, spring-y casual blouse. I’m a big fan of aqua/teals, so this one just called to me. This one fit as well. :-) Gosh, I love the colors in this blouse SO much!

I wanted to grab one more top, and my husband saw this fitted polo type of shirt. I just grabbed the XL, and we were off to the register before I could cause more damage to my bank account LOL! We found these three tops in one small section of the misses department. As we were walking out of the store, I was just overwhelmed by all of the clothing choices and possibilities (as well as the prices….you mean a work top doesn’t have to cost $40??!). This is just crazy to me!

Here’s the new tops that I purchased. Don’t they just scream Spring?


Another purchase I made this weekend were these (my before size jeans are below these for a size comparison)…


Lane Bryant was having an additional 70% off clearance sale for one day (Friday). Since my work pants were getting droopy, I figured I’d try my luck. Not only did I find a pair of work pants (for just $12, too!), I also got some guts and purchased my first pair of skinny jeans. Not just any skinny jeans either….teal colored skinny jeans! I felt pretty gutsy with that purchase haha! :-) And can I mention how awesome it is to shop in the 14/16 side of the rack vs. the 24/26? Just AWESOME!

Another great bonus right now is that I’m now fitting my little sister’s (before) clothes. My younger sister, Rachel, has lost 40 lbs. WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE…yeah…she’s awesome. I asked my sister if she ever gave away any of her clothes, and luckily, her closet at home was still pretty full. :-) So, I told her if there were any clothes she no longer fits in that she doesn’t want, I’d definitely appreciate them. While my sister is 8 years younger than me, she has a ton of professional type clothes, since she’s a music major and has recitals/auditions/etc. I seriously hit the jackpot with what her & Mom brought me this past week.


It seriously doubled my wardrobe, and made me realize I probably need to do another clean-out of clothes that are too big on me. :-P

Oh, and this is what I wore to the mall on Saturday. :-) The cardigan is one of those hand me ups. I love it…a simple grey cardigan with white polka dots! :-) Thanks sis (and Mom, of course, since she probably purchased most of it.)!  Some of the clothes are a smidge too small (and some are really small, since they included some size L tops), but I’m sure once this DietBet is over in March, most of these pieces will be part of my daily wardrobe. So awesome…my wallet totally appreciates it! :-)


I’m so motivated right now! By the way, if you follow my Instagram, I’m sorry that I post a lot of weight loss related pictures. I’m worrying that it may be coming across as braggy. It’s more out of disbelief, I swear. I still can’t believe that this is all happening. :-)

20% (60 lbs.)

It’s been three months since I posted about a weight loss milestone. I have to admit, these past 10 lbs. were hard to lose. I was chugging along with my calorie counting, and then Thanksgiving hit. Then, my husband and I went on a cruise (with unlimited fabulous food). And THEN, there was Christmas. While the fudge, cookies & comfort food were worth it, I had to get right back on track! I’m so thrilled to see results again!

The weird thing about losing weight is I always feel like I look like my “before”. I can still stand in front of a mirror, and I still have those fat feelings. I feel like eh, 60 lbs. isn’t THAT much. I still look fat. And really, I’m just about halfway done with my weight loss journey. I know I still have a long way to go.

I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but you are your worst critic, right?

So, on Saturday, I decided to try a regular clothing store for the first time since…um…high school. My measurements were getting close to a size 20 on the chart at Old Navy, so I thought…why not try? I pulled up the jeans, buttoned them, said a little prayer as I pulled the zipper and….THEY FIT! Holy cow! My first regular size jeans in a LONG time!

My progress pictures are a little bit different this time around since I was SO stoked in these pictures (taken in the fitting room at Old Navy), and really felt I should share them. When I made the progress collage this morning, I totally freaked out a little bit. Like I said, I usually still feel like my “before” self, but after looking at these pictures, I truly see progress!

20% (60 lbs. down) collage

Some NSVs (non-scale victories):

  • I’m able to grab my feet when I stretch after a workout. I totally Instagrammed that picture too…my belly always got in the way during my stretches…until now. :-)
  • I fit in size 18 pants (womens) and size 20 pants (misses).
  • Ok, this is a scale victory. I weigh less than I did on my wedding day!
  • My coworkers are constantly pointing out my droopy pants. :-) I don’t mind at all (It actually makes my day!), but I did buy some new work pants and jeans this weekend (I purchase new pants every other size, and only if they’re on clearance…like less than $20/pair).

I still can’t believe how far I’ve come. I mean….my next mini-goal is 75 lbs. I’m 15 lbs. away from that. CRAZY!

Health/Fitness Goals for 2013

Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror, and I have to stare for a second. My body is changing every day, and it blows my mind how much has happened over the past year.

2012 Weight Loss

Last year at this time, life was completely different. Walking fast made me breathe heavy, I woke up in the morning with back aches that would last ALL DAY, and well, my clothes in my closet really weren’t fitting well at all. It was embarrassing, but I had no idea how to start. Losing 120 lbs. blew.my.mind.

Now, I’m not the most efficient when it comes to weight loss, but I’m only human. I’ll admit that there were some months ::cough March November December cough:: where I lost way less than usual per month. However, in the end, I averaged 1 lb. each week, and heck, that works for me. :-)

Since we’re well into the new year, I figured I’d share on here my health/fitness goals for 2013.

  1. Reach “Onederland” (199 lbs.). I don’t think I’ve seen this weight since middle school. That was 15-16 years ago, y’all. For fun, I actually asked my Mom not to give away my middle school cheerleading uniform so when I reach this weight, I can put that outfit on (probably with another shirt and shorts underneath, of course) and feel pretty darn awesome. Wouldn’t that be the coolest? (or weird…I don’t care..I’m still doing it)
  2. Run a 5K with no walking breaks.
  3. Attend a spinning class.
  4. Do 10 REAL push-ups.
  5. Run 250 miles total this year.
  6. Finish a 10K.
  7. Finish Jillian’s 30 Day Shred program (doing it for 30 days non-stop).

I’m so excited about what this year could bring. I feel SO motivated to reach those goals, and can’t wait to share more of my weight loss journey with y’all.

Also, I seriously cannot say this enough. Thanks so much for your constant support. I’m not sure I could have done this without the support of family, friends and you guys!





You CAN do it!

Last January, I told myself it was time to change. I told myself this every year (you know, the typical resolution), and for some reason, I just never had the motivation to do it. However, last year hit me hard. The scale was an ice cream sundae away from 300 pounds, and I just knew I couldn’t keep doing this to myself.

So, I downloaded MyFitnessPal on my phone, and started logging every bite of food. It was hard at first. I mean, how natural is it to remember to journal EVERY bite of food? It’s really not, but I knew this was the only way.

I slowly added in workouts, including Jillian’s 30 Day Shred, and then I told myself it was time to run. Running was something I was always terrible at, but I thought why not? I committed myself to the Couch to 5K workout program in the summer, which was fairly insane. I had to run at 7:30pm to make running slightly bearable.

2012 was hard. The weight I lost was not easy, but I’m proud of what I accomplished in 2012.

2012 Weight Loss

There are some times where I still question if I could have worked harder, and had better results, but the wonderful thing is I’m healthier than I was last year. All of my fat clothes (except for one “before” pair of jeans that I will probably keep forever) are in garbage bags, ready to be dropped off at a donation box, and I feel awesome. I still have a long way to go on my weight loss journey, but I’m hoping I can lose the same amount of weight in 2013. That would put me in the 100s, which I haven’t seen since MIDDLE SCHOOL.

That’s just exciting to me. :-)

I really wanted to write this blog post to let you know that you can do this too. I sat on my sofa 120 lbs. overweight last January, and I was so overwhelmed. 120 lbs. is a lot, but I took it 10 lbs. at a time, and rewarded myself along the way. I LOVE those little rewards….they really gave/give me something to look forward to (besides weighing less).

I’m a big fan of calorie counting, because I didn’t have to give up any food. I still ate ice cream, went out to eat (and didn’t eat grilled chicken/veggies) and enjoyed my baking from time to time. I think my biggest wake up call were my portion sizes. I don’t eat nearly as much as I used to, which just happened over time. I’ve become a lot more conscious about when I’m feeling full, instead of just eating everything in front of me, then regretting it. I also LOVE having my BodyMedia Link armband…it’s good (at least for me) to have a better idea of how many calories I’m burning during a workout, and even throughout the day in general. :-)

I know this is very cliche, but I’ve been overweight for a long time. A LONG time. I was the fat kid in school, and if I can do this, you really can too. Just realize the weight will take time to come off, and try not to obsess as crazily as I did over the scale. You’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in a year. You don’t have to lose 100 lbs. You don’t have to lose 50. If you even lose 5 lbs. this year, you are 5 lbs. lighter than you were last year, and that’s just an awesome feeling. :-)

You CAN do it!


Confessions of a Binge Eater

This is a hard post to write, because it’s something that a lot of people can easily judge a person on.

I am/was a binge eater.

It really started around middle school. My afternoon has always been a snack fest, which I’m still currently trying to work on. I would eat mostly junk food and lots of it. I would do something like completely fill up a bowl with ice cream, mindlessly eat that, and sometimes go for seconds. I would eat 2-3 snack cakes or half of a bag of chips. Thinking back, I was ashamed of my snacking habits and I’d even hide the trash under trash from that morning so no one noticed. It was almost every day that I would do this. It was a problem.

When I got to high school, I’d stay after school for activities. I’d buy 2 candy bars from the vending machine and a soda, thinking nothing of it. And when I started working at a grocery store, things just got worse. I would always buy myself snacks after work, and just eat it all in the car before I got home. I wanted the snack, but I didn’t want anyone to see me eating it. I slowly gained weight in high school, but it wasn’t anything drastic that would alarm anyone. I went from a size 16 to a size 20 in high school.

When I got to college, I kept having random meals when I wasn’t hungry. I’d eat my 3 regular meals, but during late nights, it just felt right to go to Jack in the Box or Canes. I didn’t need the food, but hey, who was gonna stop me? My habits in the cafeteria alone were terrible. I’d have seconds or sometimes, even thirds. And don’t get me started on the free ice cream…I’d have at least two servings of that. One during the meal and one to go. I actually didn’t gain any weight in college, though. I’m pretty sure walking a few miles/day to classes and student organizations had a little something to do with that.

However, when I graduated and entered the real world, aka 8 hours/day behind a computer, it really caught up to me. I moved back in with my parents, and continued my same terrible habits. I gained about 20 lbs. after college fairly quickly, and realized that my work clothes were no longer fitting. I also became engaged to my husband around that time, so I knew I had to do something. I started on Weight Watchers, and lost the weight that I gained post-college. I was on cloud 9 at our wedding…240 lbs.

After the pressure of the wedding let off, I found myself back to my old ways. I’d tell myself weekly that I’d start going back to the gym and eating better, but I didn’t. I would eat a treat every day after work, and I ate fast food for lunch. Dinners weren’t much healthier, and I ate until I was completely stuffed. And in between, I just snacked all the time. I remember after work one day ordering a full meal from a fast food place just as a snack. I wasn’t hungry, but I had a terrible day at work…I just didn’t care. I also ate a full dinner that night. With habits like that it’s no surprise that I gained 58 lbs. Seriously. No surprise.

I had a series of wake-up calls that led me to taking control of my life.

  • I fit in a pair of size 26 pants and 3x tops.
  • It felt like a chore to walk sometimes.
  • ALL of my clothes in the closet were completely tight. It was bad.
  • I couldn’t fit in a booth anymore without squeezing my stomach in.
  • The scale was dangerously close to 300 lbs.

So, after the holidays last year, I saw the 298 and thought that this was it. 2012 is my year to change. I have to change, especially if I want to expand our family….even at 250 lbs., my doctor said I would probably have fertility problems, as well as a higher risk pregnancy. Now I know that weight doesn’t fix fertility problems, and I have no idea if I truly have fertility problems (we’ve never tried). However, I wanted to rule out weight as a problem for when we are ready for kids, so on January 1st (after drinking an entire bottle of wine out of a Solo cup on NYE…so classy), I made the decision to change.

It was VERY hard to not give into my urges. I can’t tell you how many times I went to the grocery store, and just wanted to buy a pint of ice cream or a bag of cookies. I started calorie counting, and truly treated my calories like a budget (for the most part….I do have a splurge meal from time to time). Every time I have an urge at home, I grab something to work on, whether it’s knitting, sewing or heck…just cleaning or writing a to-do list. It helps. I avoided baking for a while (which stunk, because baking is SUCH a fun hobby of mine), because I knew I could easily eat 4-5 servings of a dessert without even thinking. The first time I got back into baking, after everything cooled, I set one serving aside to enjoy, and put the rest on a plate with saran wrap and then even taped the bottom of the plate to make it more difficult to give in to my urges. I know…extreme, but my binge eating was extreme and I didn’t want to go back there. Months later, I stick to my one serving and sometimes even a half serving of the food I bake.

I’m still battling those urges today. It really only happens in extremes…either when life is stressful or if I find myself extremely bored, it takes a lot to tell myself “no” to those urges to just eat everything. I’m not perfect…sometimes I’ll give in and eat what I want (I always stop myself after that one meal), but I’m doing much better than I used to. My weight loss is at 50 lbs., and I know since I’ve been doing this for 10 months, those results could be much better. I’m human though, and I know that fighting the urges to binge are going to probably be a lifetime struggle.

The past two weeks have been a little difficult. The scale just stayed put, and it has been SO hard not to binge. It really truly was. Last night, I decided to go through my SD card and found a photo of myself from August of last year. I ended up turning on the camera phone and took a picture of myself right then and there. I was shocked.

50 lbs. (face)

You see, when I take my progress shots every ten lbs., I just see that same shape. I know things are getting smaller, because smaller clothes fit, but I didn’t see 50 lbs. of progress in my latest pictures.

50 lbs. lost collage

However, the face? Oh man…I can’t tell you how stoked I am to finally see results like that. The face shows those 50 lbs. My body (to me)….ehh not quite, but my face? I definitely see it now. Talk about re-motivated! Only 9.3 more lbs. to go until 20%. C’mon Amy, let’s do this!