The Diary of a Serial Dieter.

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It hits you like a ton of bricks. You don’t know how you got to this point, when it got this bad, where you went wrong and how you never noticed until now. Maybe you went to the doctor and had to step on the scale, maybe you were tagged in a less than flattering photo on Facebook. For me it was when my size 16 jeans wouldn’t zip.
Maybe “a ton of bricks” is a bit of an exaggeration. I noticed I was gaining weight. I didn’t like the way my clothes fit. I hated that I had to buy a size 16. I tried to ignore it, wear leggings and baggy shirts and convince myself that look was “in”. Honestly I do know how I got to that point. It was simple, a series of small bad choices made almost daily.
I have struggled with my weight my whole life. I’m a serial dieter, yo-yo-ing constantly. My closet consists of pants ranging from size 4 to 16 if that tells you anything. I was a chubby kid. My mother, who has never struggled with her weight, had no idea how to handle my father’s genetics creeping up on me. She remembers seeing the change after I was repeatedly put on steroids one year as a child but I think I was destined to have this struggle. My father has Type 2 Diabetes along with the majority of his family. I have a grandmother who had open heart surgery as well as Diabetes on the other side of my family. After her surgery she got healthy and would take me on walks. She always told me that I got dealt a shitty hand and I would have to work twice as hard as my friends to maintain a healthy weight.
So I did. I really can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t on a diet. I packed Diet Cokes and Snack Wells in my lunches during grade school, graduating to Slim Fast in Middle School and Junior High.

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Something awesome happened in High school, I got mono! I lost 20 lbs and besides not being able to move without throwing up for 2 months, it was amazing! Not wanting to gain the weight back and not wanting my friends to notice that I wasn’t eating, I started my little phase of bulimia. Easiest weight loss program I ever did. Until my friends mom walked in on me throwing up and told my parents. They started monitoring me closely, so I found myself going to gas station bathrooms to throw up. I got pretty thin and my parents knew what was up (and I think the convenience store clerks were suspicious as well) so eventually that all came to an end.

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In college, I quickly packed on the “freshman fifteen”. My mother took me to a weight loss doctor and got me on Xenical. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a “fat-blocking” pill. It literally makes you shit out the fat you eat. That worked well for awhile until I would partake in pizza night and fart grease for 2 days.

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My next venture was Atkins. Twenty pounds lost in about a month! It didn’t last. The very minute I ate a French fry, the carbs took over my body and I gained forty pounds. I swear it happened almost exactly like
that…for the most part.

In my mid-twenties I went to a Bariatrician and was put on Phentermine, some other speed pill and a high dose of Thyroid. Rapid weight loss alongside crazy bitchiness. But I stuck with it, losing fifty pounds and finding myself screaming at my boyfriend for not putting his spoon in the dishwasher.

20140304-101145.jpg I also decided to go very blonde in my crazy-pants state.
My semi-psychotic life seemed great, after all, this was what I wanted, I had lost weight easily and I looked good… until I got pregnant. I gained almost 80lbs. Crazy how that weight comes on when you have to eat again.

20140304-102356.jpg I got less crazy and went brunette.

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After my son stopped nursing I got back on the Phentermine. I was losing weight for about two weeks until I found out I was pregnant again. Determined not to gain an additional eighty pounds, I met with a nutritionist who told me to simply cut out salt and eat 5-7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. So I did and I actually lost weight during that pregnancy despite growing a 9.6 lb boy inside me.

20140304-103147.jpg I kept up the healthy eating after giving birth and lost weight rapidly for the 6 weeks before I had Mirena birth control installed, for lack of a better term, in me. I don’t know what it is about me and birth control but I gained 26 lbs in a little over a month, not changing any of my healthy eating. I decided to try to fight the weight gain, after having two boys fifteen months apart, I would rather fight the birth control weight than the pregnancy weight.
I started running. I quit running. I started dieting. I quit dieting. I started running again. I quit running again. I started dieting.
I think society has this idea that someone who is overweight, sits on their butt all day and eats chocolate and cheese-fries. It’s not the case. I cooked my family healthy meals. We had occasional deserts but nothing that a normal, healthy family doesn’t eat. I never ate breakfast, was usually too busy for lunch and I would snack while cooking dinner and then be full. How was I fat? I never ate!

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Apparently that was my problem. Through my yo-yo-ing I had ruined my body and my metabolism. After seeing my friend dieting, exercising and losing forty pounds the right way. I reached out. I joined one of her challenge groups and learned so much. I have to fuel my body, I have to retrain my metabolism and I have to eat enough food to do this. After eating clean and drinking Shakeology for one of my 6 daily meals for 21 days I had lost twelve pounds. I like Shakeology because it’s not a weight loss drink (I’m through with the quick and easy route) it’s lots of nutritious super foods and it gets me my daily serving of fruits and veggies which is hard to squeeze in every day. So I kicked it up a notch after my 21 day challenge. I started doing P90X3 workouts in the comfort of my own home. No meatheads at the gym, no seemingly judging eyes, no self-conscious thoughts that had made me quit in the past. Just thirty minutes a day, six days a week. I was amazed at the results after just two weeks!

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As mortifying as those pictures are, they serve as motivation for me to keep pushing every day. That and my awesome Beachbody Coach that holds me accountable, puts me in challenge groups, gives me meal plans and supports me even when I struggle, especially when I struggle.
I’ve been at this since December 2nd. And I’m blown away at what I can accomplish when I put my mind to it. I’ve lost 24 lbs and 20 inches. I’m down 3 pants sizes, going from a 16 to a 10 and I’m still going strong.

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If you’re interested in Shakeology, P90X3, other Beachbody workouts or having your own coach and accountability click here.

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Just Go With It

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All of my friends know that I’ll take their junk off of their hands. I love repurposing and refinishing things but sometimes someone will call and say “Hey! I’ve got a dresser, want it?” And I’m like “Duh!” And then I get it and I’m like “Uh, what is it?” Like this thing…

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It took me months of approaching this thing in my garage, sanding it, leaving it alone for awhile, priming it and leaving it alone for awhile before I was just like “Screw it! I’m just gonna paint it and see where it takes me!”

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So decided on a nice taupe chalk paint for the base because it’s neutral and I still didn’t know what the heck this thing was going to be. After the taupe was on, I decided to rough it up by dry brushing it. It was a little rough to begin with so why not just go with it? But I kinda wanted her to be fancier instead of just rustic, so I chose a shimmery bronze for the process. It looked really cool, rustic with a fancy edge!

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I even brushed the bronze on the knobs for a little extra flair.

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Now what to do with that big, open whatever-that-space-is. I thought about shutters but couldn’t find any that fit so I decided on a curtain and I had some really cute printed burlap leftover from a burlap wreath that I had made. So I bought a small tension rod and sewed the curtain. It was really easy. I measured the space and cut a piece of the burlap a few inches longer and wider than the measurements for the opening. I hemmed the bottom and sides then at the top I made the hem big enough for the tension rod to slide through.

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The bottom drawer was functioning but pretty janky, so I covered a shoe box in burlap using spray adhesive.

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Then that space… It had a bar running across the top so I decided hang some old shower hooks from it to expand the possibilities that this thing could be.

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Hang your children’s wrinkly clothes, it could be a dress-up station!

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Store your gift bags and wrapping paper, it could be a craft table!

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Put it in the kitchen, store your pots and pans, hang your utensils, it’s a sideboard!

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Put it in your bedroom and you’ve got an awesome dresser where you can also hang your purses, jewelry and scarves!

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I added some cute printed craft paper to line the drawers and she was done.

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Here she is, my multi-purpose dresser-thing.

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Shakeology Cleanse Review

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For a while now, I’ve been a pretty clean eater. Mostly grain free, gluten free, sometimes dairy free. We like to eat as organically as possible in a city with no Whole Foods or Sprouts. It’s difficult and it’s a little expensive. I usually have 1 “cheat” meal a week and I’m pretty good about staying on track. Until Thanksgiving came…
I wasn’t losing weight with my diet and that was frustrating but I was maintaining. Then when I “went crazy” for a few days around the holiday, I gained a freaking pound a day! How completely unfair!
I have a friend that thinks the same way as me about weight loss. We hate it. We hate exercise. We hate people that lose weight and we are convinced that those that do, are on meth.
When my friends lose weight, I warn them that I will hate them and we won’t be friends anymore. So when my fellow health-hater started losing weight I couldn’t believe that she would pick a hot body over being my friend.
But I like her, so I asked her how she got these results.

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She lost 40 lbs doing Shakeology as a meal replacement for one of her 6, yes that is 6 meals a day and doing P90x.
Well I wasn’t sure about the exercise, I still thought that was pretty dumb. I go through spurts where I think running is great and I do it for a month or two before it gets way too easy to make up excuses. But the shakes sounded neat, full of super foods and vitamins. She offered me a 3-day Shakeology Cleanse. Cleanses are great for you when done in moderation and after eating all of that junk I needed something to get me back on track.

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So December 2nd I started the cleanse. I was pretty hungry the first day but every time I wanted to eat, I guzzled water. And the shakes tasted pretty good, plus I got to eat a huge spinach salad for dinner. The next day wasn’t so bad and by day 3, I could have kept going! My results? I lost 6.8 lbs in those 3 days! I was pumped!
But I didn’t want to start eating and gain it all back. So Ashley gave me a 21 Day Challenge- Meal Plan. It had 6 meals a day, one being Shakeology. I was still a little nervous that eating all that food would expand my stomach again and make me gain weight. But it didn’t! I continued to lose weight slowly with just the meal plan and shakes. So I thought if I could lose that weight during the holidays with a completely sedentary lifestyle, then how much of a boost could I get from exercise too? Ashley told me that P90x3 was coming out and it was just a 30 minute workout each day. It’s pretty hard to make an excuse for just 30 minutes of my day.

20131230-094239.jpg I am proud to say that I survived week 1 of P90X3 and I am down 10lbs since the beginning of the month. I’ll keep you updated about my future progress!
For more information on Shakeology, P90X3 or meal planning, go to my website.

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Lady In Waiting

20131126-223449.jpg About 2 years ago, I decided to make an awesome corner shelf made from an old door courtesy of Pinterest.

20131126-224634.jpg They look so cool and its such a neat idea not to mention an interesting and unique piece to have.
My dad gave me a ficus tree back in my bachelorette days and he was super proud of it. So it has followed me from house to house and it has not aged gracefully. I really wanted to get rid of it and I thought a door shelf like the ones on Pinterest would be the perfect size to fill the space of the intrusive ficus in the corner of my living room.
So let’s go back two years. I’m searching for an old, solid wood door to start my project. You would think they would be easy to find seeing all of the projects people do with them, or maybe that’s why they are so scarce. Anyway, I found a nice sliding closet door at my local Habitat for Humanity. Perfect! It was already halved and hinged. I was pretty sure that would be the most difficult part, especially since I don’t own a saw and I’m scared of them. So I spray painted it a cute blue that matched my living room, at that point in time, I had yet to discover my beloved chalk paint. And there she sat, waiting in my dad’s shop for a year or more before I had my mom cut shelves for me on her saw. She’s not scared of heavy machinery and she did a great job taking square pieces of compressed wood and cutting them across diagonally to give me 4 shelves and keeping all of her appendages intact.

20131126-230616.jpg And then she sat again in the same spot until now. I took her home and formulated a plan for attaching the shelves. Looking at the door 2 years later, I was dissatisfied with its appearance. So I started dry brushing some bronze and a creamy yellow (that I picked out earlier that day to paint the shelves) on it until she looked nice and aged and kind of like a real door.

20131126-231152.jpg I painted the shelves while I waited for my husband to get home and help me with installing them. We decided to attach small pieces of wood on each side of the door to act as a lip for the shelves to rest on and then screw them into the pieces of wood from the top to secure it.

20131126-231656.jpg It seemed to work pretty well.

20131126-231847.jpg If you’re wondering why I’m using that weird scribbly frame on my photos it’s to hide my messy garage.
After that, I had my husband drill a hole in the side of the door to install a cute handle that has been waiting for 2 years to adorn this project.

20131126-232152.jpg In all of my excitement, I forgot to dry brush the shelves to age them so now I have to figure out how to neatly do that without messing up anything else. But until then the Lady will continue to wait. She’s very patient.

20131126-232850.jpg You can see my little helper on the side. He wanted to be in the picture because he “helped make it”!

DIY Burlap Wreath

20131121-202625.jpg I’ve been feeling kind of depressed lately and I think it’s linked to the weather, which is linked to my lack of painting random objects. I haven’t done anything crafty in awhile and my creative juices haven’t been flowing. And as much as I try, my latest cooking excursions have been less than impressive. So I decided on a non-painting, crafty project, a wreath!
I found this really cute ikat print burlap at Hobby Lobby, but at $8.99/yd I didn’t want to do the whole thing in it. So I found a plain light burlap that matched very well and at $3.99/yd I decided to do the majority of the wreath in that. I got 2 yards of the plain burlap and 1 yard of the printed. I picked up a 24″ wreath form at Joann’s for $4.99. (You will need 2 yards of total fabric for a wreath that size)

20131121-204004.jpg I cut the plain burlap into strips about 5″ wide running the length of the fabric (2yds).

20131121-204337.jpg Start by attaching the end of a burlap strip to the wreath form. You could use hot glue, safety pins or twist ties. I prefer twist ties or safety pins so you can adjust it later.

20131121-204618.jpg Then weave the fabric through the middle gap on the form. Going over the bottom then through the middle and repeat going over the top and through the middle, kind of like a figure eight. Leaving space in the fabric to fluff.

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20131121-204912.jpg It should start looking like this.

20131121-205043.jpg When one strip ends, attach it to the wreath form an start another. And don’t worry if the form is showing through a little. (We’ll get to that later.)

20131121-205246.jpg When you’ve got the burlap wrapped the full length of the form it should look like this.

20131121-205401.jpg Now to fill in those gaps. Cut the printed burlap into the same 5″ strips.

20131121-205611.jpg Then randomly start weaving it through, filling in the gaps as you go along, making it look awesome!

20131121-205805.jpg Then add your accessories! I like to hot glue safety pins to my accessories so I can remove them and change them with the seasons. You could add a pumpkin and leaves for fall or bunnies and eggs for Easter. One wreath, all occasions. Can’t beat that!

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Rotisserie Chicken Soup

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The weather is getting colder and I’m painting less. It’s bittersweet as I’m focusing on a new hobby/nemesis – cooking. It’s been dreary and wet all day, perfect for soup.
I like easy, so of course I love rotisserie chicken, it’s cooked perfectly and ready to go at your grocery store for around five bucks. Can’t beat that!
Start by putting a big ol’ pot o’ water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add a couple of bay leaves and 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic. As its boiling, clean the meat from your chicken, set aside and throw all of the skin and bones and gross slimy mess into the pot. It’s much easier to debone a fresh and hot rotisserie chicken.Then sit back and read a book while it boils for about 45 minutes. Add some water if it gets low.

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Bam! You just made chicken stock! Aren’t you proud of yourself? I know I was!
Now run the stock through a fine sieve to discard all of the grossness then return the pot full of the now-not-gross stock to the stove. At this point you can freeze the stock to use for later. Now add your chicken meat, a tablespoon of italian seasoning, salt and pepper and some frozen vegetables. I used ‘Pictsweet’ frozen soup vegetables. bring back to a boil then simmer for 10-15 minutes.

20131107-084551.jpg There you have it! Easy-peasy homemade chicken soup! It’s even better the next day!
Ingredients:
1 rotisserie chicken
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 cups frozen vegetables of your choice
1T Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

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Easy Mini Frittatas

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What is it about farm-fresh eggs? They are so light and fluffy and they just taste…fresh! I have a client that brings me eggs from her brothers farm in exchange for hair services. Best trade ever! My boys love eggs and could eat them for every meal. So last night when they wanted eggs for dinner I had to get creative. I knew the hubs wouldn’t be satisfied with scrambled eggs alone.
I decided on a fritatta. You can add just about whatever you want to some eggs and milk and come out with a delicious full meal.
I cracked 6 eggs into a medium bowl, added 1/2 cup of milk and whisked. I then added 1/2 cup of shredded mild cheddar cheese and salt and pepper to taste. I have a picky eater so instead of making one big frittata I decided to use a muffin tin so I could make a few without veggies in it. So at this point I scooped out a few “plain” fritattas into the muffin tins (greased or sprayed with cooking spray) filling each one about 3/4 full. Then I added 6 slices of precooked bacon (chopped) and one cup of frozen peas and carrots but you could use whatever veggies you have on hand. After mixing the remaining ingredients, I scooped the mixture into the rest of the muffin tins and popped them into the oven (preheated to 350) and baked for 25 minutes. When they were done I used a small knife to ease the frittatas out of the tins.

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So easy and so delicious. I’m already thinking about what to use next time, ham? Tomatoes? Feta cheese? Taking about 30 minutes, I can see this being my new go-to quick meal.
Ingredients:
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
1/2 cup cheese
6 slices of bacon chopped
1 cup frozen veggies
Salt and pepper to taste
Bake at 350 for 20-25 min

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