Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Church Trunk-or-Treat

Sunday was our church’s annual Trunk-or-Treat.  We took Carter last year when he was a monkey for Halloween.  He was 10 months old at the time.  Now he’s 22 months old and boy was there a difference!  Last year he just kinda sat there or we carried him.  This year he was running ALL OVER THE PLACE.  He was definitely hard to keep up with!  Here’s a few pictures:


My sweet little tiger!!  Anytime you asked him what a tiger says, he touched his hoodie (because he knew the tiger face was on the hood) and yelled “rooooaaaaarrrrr”.  The picture above was mid-roaring.  So cute.

I’ve already gotten some heat from people thinking he’s “Aubie” (as in Auburn University-for those of you non-southern followers).  Even though I am 100% confident that Carter will follow in daddy’s footsteps and be an Auburn fan (obviously when he gets older, Justin intends to take him to many Auburn games), however this is not the reason for being a tiger for Halloween.  This costume costs $35 at Buy Buy Baby and I got it at a church consignment sale for $3.  That’s why he’s a tiger.  Period.

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The second Carter spotted his Papa he ran as fast as he could to him!


My sweet little fam :)


My twin nieces were Thing 1 and Thing 2 this year.  Last year, they were a ladybug and a bumblebee.



Carter desperately wanted to go in the moonwalk, so I ended up going with him because as much as I love the youth group that was in there to assist and direct kids through the moonwalk, I wasn’t about to depend on them to make sure my 2 year old didn’t get stomped all over by the big kids.  He had a blast in there but it was short lived because the big kids started coming in and they were moving and bouncing so fast and all over the place that I think it scared Carter a bit, so I had to take him out.  He wasn’t happy with me.


One of the trunks was a coloring station.  Perfect for these three as they LOVE to color.  Carter got a little upset that we didn’t let him walk away with the crayons.  He likes to carry colors around with him and I am trying to discourage that so that once he gets a coloring table (coming soon for his birthday in December) he knows that the colors must stay at the table.  Momma doesn’t want markers all over her walls and furniture.


We may have a basketball player on our hands :)


There was also a station for making your own cookies.  You could put your choice of icing and/or sprinkles on whichever cookie you chose.  We got an oatmeal cookie for Carter and put chocolate icing on it with sprinkles…


And he tried to pick off the sprinkles from the cookie and individually eat them.  Eventually he just started eating the whole cookie.  However it took him forever to eat it because he was trying to eat it while playing other games.  The look on his face was hilarious when he wanted to play a game and was frantically searching for somewhere to put his cookie so his hands were free (he didn’t trust giving it to anyone in fear that they would eat it).


Yummy cookie :)


The kids went fishing and got coloring books!


See what I mean?!?!  Wouldn’t put the cookie down!!!  Gotta love that chocolate face!!!


Now this I think we’re going to have to get him for Christmas.  He LOVED it.  Throwing the ball back in the hoop was so much fun to him!

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He loves his Nana so much :)

We had a lot of fun!  And Carter was being a trooper considering that 2 days prior to this, we went to see his pediatrician for a cough that turned out to be croup AND  a double ear infection.  Luckily, we caught it early and he got an oral steroid for the croup and antibiotics for the ear infection.  He never even acted sick!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Advocare Journey

I’ve never been the kind of person to do a “weight loss” journey.  I think that’s because I’ve never been super unhappy with my weight.  Not that I couldn’t have stood to lose a few pounds throughout my life…I assure you I could always lose weight.  But what I mean, is that I was happy with what I was doing with exercising and just wasn’t overly concerned with weight.

This hasn’t really changed, per se, but I did recently get the desire to see if I could lose a few pounds just to feel better about myself.  I can tell you right now that this post is and will always be the ONLY post where I discuss weight.  I don’t like talking about numbers when it comes to weight and sizes because in all honestly, everyone’s body is different.  You may look like you weight the same as someone else, but you don’t..and it bums you out.  But in reality, the reason you may not weight the same as the person you’re comparing yourself to is because you have more muscle.  That’s just one example.  There’s lots of reasons why people may appear that they weigh the same, but don’t.  This is why I hate discussing numbers…they can be misleading.  But I’m going to do it in this post in case anyone is interested in using the program I used so that they can know what to expect. 

On an average day (prior to the weight loss I’m about to discuss) I was a size 8.  When I got pregnant with Carter, I weighed 141 pounds.  I got pregnant during my busy season at work (I’m a CPA) so I was working 60 hours a week and didn’t have time to workout, not to mention the food we were eating was junk food to get us through 12 hour workdays.  My point of saying that is that I gained a few pounds right before I got pregnant with Carter.  I usually was about 137.  I intended to lose those few of pounds before getting pregnant, but we got pregnant sooner than we expected.

Regardless, my “starting weight” was 141 during my pregnancy.  After having Carter, I was able to drop all the pregnancy weight and even those few extra pounds I had wanted to lose before getting pregnant.  By the time I went back to work from maternity leave, I was down to 137 again.  Then life happened.  I was up and down anywhere between 137 and 142.  This is still not a bad weight for my height and age though.  My BMI was in the healthy range and I was overall very healthy.  But one day, when I weighed in at 142.6, I decided I wanted to actively try to lose some weight.  Didn’t plan on losing a lot, just wanted to get down to about 135ish and stay there. 

That’s when I heard about Advocare.  I think everyone has heard about Advocare now.  It’s plastered all over everything and you probably have a ton of friends that are “distributors” for the product, you just don’t know it.  I had never heard of it and ended up running across a blog one day of a distributor that was telling her weight loss story.  I did a lot of research on their products, asked around to friends who have used it to see what they thought and after about a week of debating, I ended up purchasing Advocare’s 24 Day Challenge.

I won’t describe what Advocare is and what it entails.  If you’re interested, you can let me know in the comments and I will answer any questions you have.  I am not a distributor but I can point you to several people that are distributors.  Once I decided to do it, I ordered the products for the 24 day challenge.  Long story short-I ended up finding a girl that lives in my neighborhood that was a distributor and I worked with her during my challenge.  By the way, the distributor is someone that gets the products for you and then they will work with you throughout the 24 days-they encourage you, measure you, answer any food questions you have, etc.

Here’s the thing about Advocare.  In order for it to work, you must be COMMITTED.  No cheating.  And you can’t just ditch the diet after the 24 days because you’ll gain the weight right back.  There’s a lot of vitamins associated with it and a lot of rules for what you can and can’t eat.  This is why I say you have to be committed.  You can’t eat Mexican and Chinese food during this challenge because you won’t see results.  The changes in my eating can be summed up pretty quickly:

  • Instead of 3 big meals a day, I ate 5 small meals a day.  I always knew you were supposed to do this, I just never did.  This change made a GIGANTIC difference in my metabolism.
  • You can’t eat for the 2 hours before you go to bed.  So if you go to bed at 10:30 every night, close the pantry and fridge at 8:30 because you can’t eat anything.  Late at night is when we tend to crave the crap foods…chips, ice cream, etc.  Carbs that you eat right before bed will store as fat in your body.  Fat that you’ll have to lose.  This isn’t saying you can’t eat carbs, it’s saying that you need to give your body 2 hours to break them down before you go to bed.
  • Water-drink a TON of it.  Prior to Advocare, I drank about 1 liter of water a day.  During the challenge, I was drinking 4 liters a day.  Right now, I drink about 3-3.5 liters a day.
  • Each of the 5 meals have 3 rules that they must meet:
    • Must be less than 300 calories
    • Must have at least 10g of protein
    • Must have less than 30g of carbs

It takes a while to figure out what foods fall in those categories, but once you find them, you’re good.  For me, the morning and afternoon snacks are ALWAYS protein bars.  I prefer Zone Perfect protein bars.  Tons of protein, small amount of carbs…plus they taste fabulous!  My breakfast is either scrambled eggs (tons of protein and NO carbs) or some of that protein mix that you put in water and drink as a shake.  For lunch and dinner-it varies.  I’m a big salad person though.  Salad with steak strips or chicken or pork chops is my go to.  No croutons and fat free dressing.

So now for my results.  Right when I started trying to lose weight, I was 142.6.  I was able to lose a couple of pounds on my own before I started the 24 day challenge.  I began the challenge on June 24, 2013 and on that day I weighed 139.  During the 24 days, I lost 5 pounds.  Once the challenge was over, I stuck to the eating plan.  The only Advocare products I took after the 24 days was Spark and Catalyst (again, won’t go into detail about products, just let me know if you have questions).  As of this morning, I am 129.6.  I’ve lost 13 pounds.  I was a size 8 and am now a size 4.  Overall, I’ve lost about 8 inches off my body, most of those coming from waist and hips and the rest from arms and legs.

It’s so weird to me that I’ve lost that much weight.  I don’t think I was “big” before and like I said, didn’t necessarily need to lose weight.  So when I see that I lost 13 pounds, I keep thinking “how on Earth am I doing this?!?!”  I told my distributor at the beginning of my challenge that my goal was to just be healthier and look more toned, that I wasn’t necessarily concerned with pounds.  The catalyst helps you with toning and the Spark is an energy drink that gave me an extreme amount of energy.  So much energy that I workout at 5am every morning.  It’s just part of my routine now (my husband doesn’t love my new rountine).  I looked at my calendar the other day and realized that I had worked out 10 of the last 12 days.  I didn’t even realize it.  Before Advocare, I loved to workout, but it was still a struggle to find the time and energy to do it.  And I was lucky if I worked out 4 days a week.  It doesn’t even phase me anymore.  I don’t even set an alarm.  I wake up at 4:50 every morning, drink my spark and workout.  My energy lasts throughout the day too, no crashing in the afternoons!

Once I realized that I was going to easily meet my 135 goal, I made a new goal of 130.  I told my distributor that I would LOVE to be 130 by  Christmas.  So here I sit, 2 1/2 months away from Christmas, at 129.6.  I can’t explain how excited and happy I am about this!!  I mean, the last time I was in the 120s was probably when I was a freshman in college.  I don’t plan to lose much more weight though.  You eventually get to a point where you are having to work too hard to maintain a weight and I don’t want to do that.  I like me some Mexican cheese dip and a good ole bucket of Reese’s ice cream every now and again and I’m not willing to trade those vices for a lesser weight when I have already surpassed not one but TWO goals.  I think my absolute FINAL goal will be 125, but I will by no means be upset if I don’t get there.  I only say 125 because that’s the weight that is on my license that I haven’t changed since I was probably 18 and I would love for that to be accurate :)  If I can manage to get to 125, I will have lost a total of 17.6 pounds.  HOLY COW.  And then of course I will gain all of this back and then some whenever Justin and I have baby 2!

I did take before and after pictures but I am not going to share them.  They were for my own personal reference and I’m so not a “selfie” kind of girl, so I’ll be keeping those to myself.  I just wanted to share this awesome journey I was on and encourage anyone that wants to use Advocare products because they worked amazing for me.  But like I said, you have to be dedicated and committed.  Not just for the 24 days, but for life.  Any diet that you come on and off of is bound to be a failure.  Think of it as a life change.  The eating habits were certainly a life change for me!