Sunday, March 11, 2018

::waves:: Hi!

Hi guys, I'm back from the dead! Not really, but that's kind of what it feels like though, haha!  I'd really like to tell you all that I'm back with news that I was killing it while I was away, but that's just not the truth. After having some serious mental health issues, my health wagon basically went off the road, turned over in a ditch, and caught fire.

So what does this mean? It means I am starting over from scratch. And to be honest, after being diagnosed with Binge Eating Disorder (among other things), it's taken me a LONG time to be ready to start again. To be 100% honest I'm starting off worse than I did the last time. That 83 lbs I lost, well I gained all of it back and then some. That being said, I think I'm ready to try this again. It wasn't pretty before, but this time I can 100% tell you it's going to be ugly. I've accepted this, as my journey to being healthier is not only for my body, but mind and spirit as well.

However, I will not be updating my progress here as I launched my own beauty website and will be including my weight loss/health journey on that website. I launched Outside the Lines Beauty not too long ago, and I'm using it to not only showcase my love of makeup and beauty products, but beauty in general. Which, in my book includes health and weight loss.

SOOOOO, if you're interested in still following my journey, please check out and follow along there. I also have Twitter & Instagram for my website. My handle for all of my social media is @otlbeauty.

I apologize for not sticking with things. I feel really terrible about letting you all down. I'm hoping some of you will stick with me and keep me company on my journey. Thanks all and love you all lots!



Thursday, August 13, 2015


Hey everyone! I am SO sorry that I've been missing in action. And this time when I say that, I really mean it! I know my last post I said that I was getting back on track, and I have been! My schedule has been a little hectic with some work stuff, and then working out has taken up a good chunk of my life. But, as things dwindle down, I promise to update this blog and my FaceBook page more.

As I said above, I am back on track! It was a long time coming, but I've finally fallen into the routine. I've been back on MyFitnessPal tracking my calories, and I am proud to say that I am working out five (5) days a week. At the end of May I joined the new Planet Fitness that opened near me, and I never looked back. My very first workout was June 9, 2015, and I have been making some great progress.

Two years ago (wow, it's really been that long), I lost 83 lbs. Over the last two years, I gained a little over half of it back. That left me at 30 lbs lost overall. Needless to say, when I stepped on the scale before I started back on track, it was a huge blow. Mainly because I know how hard I had worked before to lose the weight. I was discouraged, but I knew I had to start making changes now. I had issues with my right foot (plantar fasciitis), which was making even doing everyday things hard. I couldn't walk for long periods of time without extreme foot pain, and I was even beyond the point of shoe inserts helping. It was hard to find clothes I felt comfortable in, which was another huge blow because I never wanted to go back to that. And I was constantly being reminded by my loved ones that if I don't do it now, it will be so much harder to lose it later. So I decided it was now or never. The only issue was the foot pain. So, before I started working out, I started with the diet aspect. Once I dropped a little weight, and my foot didn't hurt so bad, I hit the gym.

I started small. I did the treadmill, played around with some of the weight machines. Slowly but surely, I began to do more. I remember the first time I stepped on the elliptical and could barely do 5 minutes at the slowest speed. Now I'm doing 30+ and I'm pushing myself ! I've come a long way, and I can't wait to keep getting better and doing more.

I've now been working out 5 days a week for about two months, and in that time I have lost 23.6 lbs to date. That brings me back up to 53 lbs total lost. I can't even begin to tell you how awesome I am feeling. My plantar fasciitis is GONE. I don't have that foot pain anymore! That's enough to make me completely ecstatic! I am getting so close to getting back to 80 lbs lost I can taste it. But, I have noticed a big difference this time around. Last time most of my workout was walking, which is an awesome workout in itself. But this time I've incorporated weights, which is helping me lose more inches. I do cardio (mostly on the elliptical) 5 days a week, and I switch off what parts of my body I work each day I go to the gym. So with the weight I have been dropping, I'm also shrinking more rapidly! My clothes are already fitting better and I can see the changes in some of my problem areas. Just recently my best friend looked at me and was like "your arms are getting so small!" I shrugged it off until I looked in the mirror this morning and realized she was right! My stomach is also starting to go down, as well as my thighs. I'm just so happy. Seriously. It makes all the hard work totally worth it.

I won't lie though, some days it's really hard to drag myself to the gym. I've had a couple of slip up days where I didn't go. I've also had some days where I've binged on food. Binge eating has always been an issue for me due to my food addiction. But these days, binge eating doesn't happen nearly as much as it used to. And when it does, it's not nearly as bad as it could be. Maybe one day I'll tell you what a binge day used to be.. haha. I have my off days, but thankfully I have a supportive circle of people around me who will not let me fail. Honestly, some days they are the only reason I make it through my workouts. I couldn't be more blessed to have their support and love.

I know I always said I would be an open book here, and I want to keep that promise. I've shared a lot about my weight loss journey on my personal FB page, which has mostly been met with nothing but support and love. However, there are a few who get sick of seeing me talk about it. The thing is, this is a HUGE part of my life right now. And if I can inspire just ONE person to take control and better themselves, than I've done what I've set out to do. I've been working on a post about why I want to share my journey that hopefully will be posted sometime this weekend.

But seriously, if I can do this, you can do it! Even small changes can do SO much more than you know. I'm definitely a fan of the quote "An avalanche begins with a snowflake" because it's so true. Something that seems so small can really start the ball rolling and get you moving in the right direction.Just keep your goals in mind, and keep pressing on. <3

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Prove them wrong

One of the hardest things to overcome when you've decided to get healthy is unchaining yourself from the thoughts of others. And let me tell you, it's hard you guys. As humans, we seek validation and support from our peers. It's just human nature. The issue is, the thoughts and energy we get from others are not always positive.

My best friend Michelle ( & I embarked on this weight loss journey together in the beginning. She was with me every step of the way when I dropped 80 pounds 2 years ago. She was with me when we walked our very first 5k. We had our successes, and we had our ups and downs together. But we were there for each other. So of course, when I decided to get back on track, she was also game.

Thankfully, I have the support of you guys, and many of my friends. I am very blessed to have all of you on my journey. There have been times when I've just felt so defeated, but all I had to do was make a post and there you all were. Your words of encouragement have been amazing. Even though I know I am doing this for myself, it's nice to have that support system.

But what do you do when you don't have a great support system? What do you do when the people who SHOULD be in your corner, aren't? What do you do when those you look to don't encourage you, but rather use negativity to "push" you. I've posted before about how I feel about "tough love." You can read that entry here: Basically, it doesn't work. When someone is in a fragile state already, which most of us on the get healthy wagon are, your tough love only drags us down. The world is full of enough negativity as it is, why not build someone up. A little encouragement goes a long way.

Today was a rough one for Michelle. I joined Planet Fitness last month, though today is the first day I'm going, and she has been talking about joining for awhile. Well, she's finally joining today, and hitting the gym with me later. The issue came in when one of our co-workers made a comment after he found out she was joining. He basically implied that she wasn't going to go. Now, I won't lie.. I've been there before. You pay for a gym membership and go a couple of times, only to stop going and continue to pay for Casper the friendly ghost to use your membership. Because let's face it, you're clearly not using it now. I think it's safe to say that we've all done that at one point in time. Am I right? Yup.

Why would anyone say something like that? What good came out of your comment? Was that 10 second snarky remark really worth it? Not only does it make you look bad, but you've just discouraged someone who is trying to make a MAJOR life change. Rather than discourage someone, congratulate them on their decision and ENCOURAGE them. Give them that positive push to actually make their change. Plus, the chance to throw a little positivity out there not only does that person good, but it's also good for you. You get what you put into this world. Just sayin'.

Negative Neal's & Nancy's are everywhere. What's important is YOUR decision to start taking control of your life & making a change. Again, you're doing it for you, but wouldn't proving them wrong make your success a little sweeter? So my dear Michelle, you know I love you. You're going to kick some ass! You are MORE than capable of reaching your goals. Take that negativity and use it to fuel your workout today. When the inches and pounds are coming off, remember what your critics said, and be proud of what you have accomplished. And as always, I'm right here with ya. We're in this together. Let's do this! Let's prove them wrong.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday- I'm starting over.

So here I am again. I keep making promises to you guys, and to myself, but I never keep them. That all changes now. I'm back y'all!

Lately I've been having so much trouble getting back on track. I've been eating fast food like no one's business, and the food that I have had in the apartment hasn't been the best. I've been binge eating a lot lately. I notice when I have things that crop up I'm not prepared to deal with, I turn to food. Food is my drug.

But this weekend I think things clicked a bit more. I've been having a hard time finding the motivation to get back on track. You would think my joints hurting & feeling like crap all the time would have been enough right? Apparently not. But this weekend I did a family photoshoot. Photography is my first love. I love it even more than food, and that's saying a lot. To get some of the shots I had to get down on the ground. Well, for a fat person getting down isn't so bad... It's getting back up that is the problem. That was a wakeup call. Not only that, the summer I was down 80 lbs, I didn't mind the heat. Actually, I began to really like it. Well, since I've put 40 lbs back on, the heat is not my friend. Add that in with the plantar fasciitis I've been dealing with, along with the photos of a thinner me on my Timehop.. and that did it. I can't keep doing this to myself. I know I am more than capable of taking control of my health again.

Yesterday I did my grocery shopping. I now have all good food in the apartment. I have my meals planned for the next two weeks. Tonight after work I'm taking a walk with Michelle before the Hawks game. I also ended up joining a gym. So tomorrow after work, that's where I'll be. One of my co-workers has really been helpful with keeping me in check when I ask him to be. So tomorrow, he will be checking to make sure I brought my gym back and everything. I know if I don't go straight from work, I won't go. So that is the plan. I can do this. I can get back on track.

So how have you all been doing? What is your plan for this week?

Monday, March 31, 2014

I have a case of the Mondays...

Monday.. I don't like you. It feels like my whole weekend just flew right by. The plus is, this time next week I'll be packing for my road trip to Texas. We leave next Tuesday night.

I'm sick of saying I'll "get back on the right path," only to fall off a few days later. That is essentially what I have been saying, and what has been happening for the past month or so. I'm not sure where or why I lost my motivation, but I don't like the changes I am seeing. I can feel the weight gain in my body, I can see it in my face.. I don't like it. My knees and back ache, it's just not good.

I weighed in yesterday and, miraculously, I was down a pound. That was the first loss I have had in quite some time. After I weighed in, I went to Blackwell with Michelle & her hubby Hicham. We walked Mt. Hoy, which showed me just how out of shape I am, and we did the trails. It felt good to be out and walking again. My feet weren't as bad as they were the other day when I decided to attempt a three mile walk after not walking since last year. Yeahhhh, that was stupid. Actually, I wasn't really attempting 3 miles or anything, but I pushed myself further than I should have. With how my feet felt, I honestly should have turned around and headed back home after 30 minutes. The issue is, I am really hard on myself. So rather than starting slow again, I talked myself into going further. At one point, I could literally feel the blisters forming on the bottoms of my feet. By then, I was already pretty far from home. When I finally got home, after taking a shortcut because my feet hurt so bad, I had blisters. I've noticed that I have more trouble walking on pavement and really flat surfaces than I do when I walk trails and grass. Also, I am in desperate need of a new pair of shoes.

After our walk, we went and had a late lunch, and then did our grocery shopping. When I got home, I put my groceries away and baked the chicken for the week. While I did pretty well at lunch, the evening wasn't as good. I really need to get my binges under control. I see why I do it now, which is a start. I really need to get back in the habit of portioning everything out. I've held off on doing the because I don't exactly have tons of room to put all this stuff, but if I have to actually think about what I'm going to eat, I'll just say "screw it" and then that makes an issue. Soooo tonight I'm going to get some small baggies and portion out a weeks worth of snacks. That way I'm not guessing and I can only eat what's in the bag.

One thing I am really hoping for is that Texas will be a reset button for me. I really need this trip. I need to get away for a bit, clear my head, and hopefully come home ready to get my butt back in gear.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Day 2

So today is day 2 for me of being back on track. Last night I had a little hiccup, but it wasn't anything crazy like it has been. I went over my allotted calories for the day, but I'm okay with that. And it wasn't a horrible snack either, so we're all good.

This morning I had steel cut oats with some cinnamon. My first snack of the day was a couple pieces of dried pineapple and some raw almonds. I had my breakfast at about 8:30 and had my first snack at about 11. By the time I was able to have lunch (about 12:45) I was really hungry. For my lunch I had a boneless/skinless chicken breast, half of a green bell pepper, & steamed carrots/broccoli/cauliflower. Around 3 I plan to have my second snack of the day, which will be a protein bar.For dinner I'm making brown rice, mixed with stewed tomatoes & other veggies. After dinner I have about 500 calories left over, which is good because there's a Blackhawks game on tonight & I'm sure I'll want a little snack while watching.

I'm proud of myself because I've been getting my water in, which was never really an issue anyway because I LOVE water, but lately it's seemed like more of a chore. The one thing I am noticing is that I have to re-learn when I'm really hungry, thirsty, or just bored. I almost had that down to a science before I, as my friend put it, hit a giant pothole in my journey. So I'm back at square one again.

I also feel kind of bad because my parents likely think I'm being anti-social. I went upstairs pretty early last night, mainly because I needed to be as far away from the kitchen as I could be. It's not that I didn't want to hang out with them, I'm just having troubles keeping myself away from the yummy food that is in the kitchen. And while I don't buy anything TOO tempting for myself, the donuts my parents bought looked particularly appetizing last night. So I did the best thing for myself, which was walking away.

Tonight will be a real test though because I usually watch the Blackhawks game with my mom downstairs. Like I said though, at least I have some calories left over to have myself a nice little snack, so hopefully I won't be doing anything too crazy being close to the kitchen. Whatever I do decided to snack on, I'll have to portion out so I don't go crazy during the game.

So that's basically what's up with me today. I'm just taking it one day at a time. :)

Monday, March 17, 2014

Getting back on track

Happy St. Patrick's Day & happy Monday!

Let's play catch up! I have a lot I want to post here so you all know what's been going on in my life. Sooooo, here we go.

So today is the first day of me REALLY getting back on track. I did my grocery shopping last night and prepared my food for today. I also weighed myself this morning for the first time in a few weeks. Yup, I gained 30 lbs between Thanksgiving and now. So that brings my total weight loss to 50 lbs. I was at 80, but I refuse to beat myself up over this because I know what I need to do to get back on track. Thankfully I have an amazing support system behind me, and several of my biggest supporters are amazing friends & family who are also on a journey to get healthy.

For the first time in almost three years I am going to visit my friends in Texas. I leave in 22 days, and I am SO excited. I'm driving down with Michelle and her hubby Hicham. We'll be leaving on April 8th, and will be driving to Fort Smith, Arkansas to spend a day with Michelle's Uncle Brian. I know that is going to be a blast because Uncle B isn't called "Party Bus" for nothin! So we'll be spending Wednesday the 9th with Uncle B and then the morning of the 10th we'll be heading out to Sherman, TX to see our Texas friends! We'll be in Sherman the rest of our trip, and will hopefully be taking a day trip down to Dallas to have some fun & do some shopping. Yeah buddy!  

Michelle and I used to go down to Texas twice a year to see our best friend Kimie. The last time we were there was for Kim & Kyle's wedding. After that, we made several attempts to go down there, but something always came up and we had to cancel. So I am SUPER stoked that we are finally going. I think this is just the trip I need to reset my mind. There is just something about Texas that usually helps me do just that! Plus, it's going to be nice and warm down there! It will be nice to get away from the cold & yuck that has been Chicago this winter. I'm really looking forward to living in sundresses and sandals while I'm down there. I can't wait!

One thing I've really wanted to share is the issue I've been having with binge eating. I could do so well all day, then I get home and just go crazy. This is something I really have to get under wraps. I feel like lately it's been brought on by stress/feeling unbalanced. I won't even lie to you, I love food. But it's the unhealthy stalker kind of love. I'm an emotional eater. When I get upset about something, I eat. If there's nothing that strikes my fancy at home, I will hop in the car and go to McDonald's, Burger King, or Dunkin Donuts. I've found myself doing this a lot lately. Like I said in my previous post, I've had more fast food since the beginning of the year than I have in a LONG time. I find that I cave & go get fast food when I'm having a hard time dealing with things. Lately, I've had a lot to deal with. There are a lot of changes happening over the next 4 months in my life, add my anxiety issues lately and you have this lovely ball of mess that is me. It's been a lot to deal with. So I'm currently trying to take things one day at a time and remember that there is only so much I can control. For a control freak like me, that is a hard lesson to learn.

What do you guys do when you find yourself emotionally eating? What are your plans for success this week?