Balance is Everything….

So my motivational photo shoot has come and gone. Sad face. It’s hard to come back to reality after such a fantastic departure from it.

So to be accountable and honest I will tell you, I haven’t weighed myself in a week to try to motivate myself. Yesterday I stepped on the scale to see where I am and I am back up to 247 which is disheartening, especially because I worked out first and yes I know you gain weight when you gain muscle but its still tough.. when I was at 241 just two weeks ago.. but that is okay, I will persevere because I realized something. The goal is better health and weight loss. Both goals are important, and the balancing of them is just as important as whatever number flashes on that scale.

I think its easy to forget that a year ago, I wasn’t working out at all but recovering from appendix surgery ( I could barely walk ) and was in an incredible amount of pain. So a year later, not only am I consistently working out (every other day) and eating healthy, I am continuing to find ways to enhance our life including but not limited to not feeling guilty when we do eat ice cream and other assorted yummy goodness. I am giving up the guilt and I have my husband to thank for it. 80% of the time we eat healthy and abide by paleo.

The other 20% are just going to exist and I am excising the guilt. Thank you Jeremy, I appreciate the balance you bring to our lives daily but especially in this matter.


What could you stand to let go? Think about it!

Former fat girl to pin-up..

Former fat girl to pin-up..

Ladies and Gentleman, The picture you see here is the culmination of a year of hard work, exercise, weight loss and the paleo lifestyle and one extremely fabulous photographer!

A year ago my husband and I got a strong indicator that we needed to change our eating habits or we were headed for heart disease, obesity and other really serious consequences. We began by cutting out soda over Thanksgiving, chocolate over Christmas and in January we began eating paleo (see more details here)

My husband deserves a huge amount of thanks (*Thank you Jeremy*) because he put us on this path in January of last year and he has consistently figured out ways to keep us on this path to eating paleo. In the first month, January 2013 we didn’t cheat at all, culminating in a fabulous meal (funny how much you appreciate it after you deprive yourself!) on January 31st.

Most of the time its easy but old habits die hard and ice cream really tastes good so we do struggle. Cheating once a week makes it bearable but there are times when its harder than others.

I can tell you that at first it was easy and the pounds just fell off, but about mid May I realized that I was going to need to exercise to keep the weight going down. I realized it but didn’t really start doing anything about it till August, and September, and then October is when I got the idea to do this photo shoot to keep me on the right track. I had a picture of a model that I looked at while running/walking on my treadmill and it really helped to motivate me and then this past Sunday on my 37th birthday, I put on a vintage red bathing suit and stepped in front of the camera and the transformation from fat girl to pin up model was complete. I want to publicly thank a few specific people who helped make this possible. Joan Ellen Young, you always say the right thing, even when I don’t want to hear it, Dr. Keya Howard, you said exactly the right outrageous thing I needed to hear at the exact moment I needed it. Summer Penland, thank you for your support, Aunt Linda, your message really helped me move through the harder days, Dr. Caroline Acebo, you are one fantastic source of inspiration and sexiness, Rachel McGinnis Meissner, the “if you’ve got it flaunt it, really landed on me. Liz Roark, your comments when I was down in the dumps truly made the difference, Jessica Brill, “not too naked” Leslie Lawson, your treadmill challenge helped me cross the finish line and last but not in any way the least, Jeremy Haston, you are the best thing that has ever happened to me and you inspire me daily and I thank you.
I worked out in the cold, the rain and the “i don’t want to” all the while my eyes on the prize of this photo shoot, and I am delighted to report I lost those 50 pounds. The day came and we headed to Temple in the car and as I walked in there was a beautiful plate of macaroons and champagne to celebrate MOI!  I was treated like a movie star on my birthday! As an actress, I had some trepidation about posing for the camera but with Erin’s deft coaching, I took to it like a starlet on her first press junket!

I could go on and on about the picture perfect posing advice and vintage 1940s make up and hair to die for
not to mention a closet full of pin up dreams waiting to be realized!This little picturesque house in Temple was
just what the doctor ordered for this former fat girl.. I left Erin’s studio feeling like the absolute diva I truly am.
It has led to greater confidence every time I audition for a show and any time I have a photo shoot. I have done two photo shoots with other studios since January 2014 and am delighted to say I
have been bitten by the modeling bug and will be back to Lone Star Pin up again very soon!

Never again will I call myself fat, and from now on I will be looking at myself through that lens. Its a much nicer picture than the one I have been carrying in my head for years.

What have you been holding on to that simply isn’t true?

Think about it!

Thank you for the music…

Thank you for the music...

(insert ABBA here) Dancing Queen in particular.

When I hear the song, “Dancing Queen” it reminds me of 3 things.
1. When I first moved to Austin, I was staying with a friend who came home to hear me playing it on his cd player and said, “my cd player is confused about its identity”
2. When I was driving from Austin to St Louis and my car died and white smoke came out of the hood.
3. The movie Mama Mia and how much fun I had watching that movie with my good friend Sharon and then the joy I had in getting it as a gift from some dear friends of mine so I could enjoy it over and over again.

and then #4. This morning I heard it while listening to the soundtrack on my ipod nano and working out for the 10th time since the year has begun. It’s starting to get a little easier, and I hope eventually when I work out, I can wear this face you see above as I work out and truly enjoy it like some other people I know. I keep taking it one step at a time and hoping it will get easier and so far it has. Maybe it will also become fun. Who knows!!!

It’s scary till you do it.

“A life lived in fear, is a life half-lived” A great line, taken from “Strictly Ballroom” which is my favourite movie, ever.

I could be talking about several different things. I purposely write in the most vague way possible to allow for my readers to apply it to whatever they feel strongest about at the moment of reading my post.  In this way it allows you to read into it what you wish.

So for today, It’s only scary till you (fill in your blank) For me, it’s scary to walk/run a 5K. After you have, you know what to expect and how hard it will be and what the challenges and wins are. I myself have not run a 5K yet, I am training for it now. Tomorrow, when I do my work out, in the preparing stage, I will be running for a minute and then walking for one minute. I have done this intermittently but not at a full stretch before. In order to ready myself for this Saturday’s 5K experience (slow jog for the first half and then walk for the second half) this is what I must do. In thinking about that, I realize that at one point or another, everything that I have done that filled me with fear, I somehow “felt the fear, and did it anyway” and after it was done, it wasn’t so scary. A few examples include:

1. Moving from New Orleans to Austin.

2. Changing my major from business to drama

3. Changing my lifestyle to paleo.

So far, these things have all been hard but worthwhile. I am finding that to be true about exercise as well.

Try, Try Again.

So this morning, I woke at 4:30 (without an alarm, mind you) and still decided to snooze. Mistake #1. I still got up though and headed to the treadmill and did the walking 30 seconds, running 30 seconds thing going pretty well, feeling pretty energetic even though listening to the Beatles, “Carry that Weight” has never been more depressing.. but I digress.. At about the 20 minute mark, I accidentally pulled the emergency switch.. Swearing to myself, I got the treadmill going again and got my momentum back and kept going until I got to 45 and then pulled it again. UGH! This time I was defeated and said to myself, You know what, I am going to take that as a sign that my workout is over. I got off the treadmill and weighed myself. 247. Yesterday it was 246 so I am a little down about that today but I take solace in the fact that I did get up to workout and then DID NOT go back to sleep, despite how badly I wanted to do so.

But, onward and upward, I have 12 pounds to go to make my goal weight, I CAN DO IT!!!

I am headed to work now to start my day and trying hard not to beat myself up. I know its only 15 minutes but I think it will make it that much harder to get back up to an hour again on Friday. I try to be positive as much as I can, but the truth is, sometimes a situation just sucks and all you can do is rise above it. I felt like it was important to report the setbacks as much as the successes. It’s a all a part of the goal and I think sometimes we get so caught up in the success piece we forget there is pain and frustration. So I hope this helps inspire you to keep going with your goal.

Think about it!

4:30 a.m.- The hardest thing I did today was not hit the snooze button

So this morning, I woke up to my alarm at 4:30 so I could get up and jog/walk on my treadmill. This is not easy and it is not fun.

However, if I am going to continue to lose weight to get down to my goal weight, I have to keep it up.

I have grown to really love my ipod nano (my husband got it for me last year for Christmas) in aid of helping me work out. I used it sparingly and this morning I was really grateful for the fact that I had it to use while jogging 30 seconds, walking 30 seconds. Let me say that again, I ran 30 seconds and walked 30 seconds. I was very grateful that I have the soundtrack to “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” on my ipod to run/walk to… There is nothing like disco to get the heart pumping.

I did intervals, a new term I am learning thanks to my coach Cole Butler and the online program

I will say the intervals make it easier for the time to go by but its no less hard. However, I have to compare it to something Jon Acuff said.
When someone questions what you are doing or attempting to do: “Have you ever run a 5K, Jennifer?”

Answer with a smile and say something like this, “No, but I am about to.” Added silently. “Watch me!”

So while I am tired, I am far more alert than I would have been if I had not worked out today and am eager to start the day.

It helps that I lost 2 more pounds (13 to go!!!) but I would not be deterred if I had not, because this is not a diet, this is a lifestyle choice to be healthier. I have said that before but not really meant it. This time I do.

one workout, one step, one pound

Happy New Year Everyone! I think that as a culture we focus way too much on New Year’s resolutions. I gave a speech last year that focused heavily on “new month” resolutions but I think that it is far more important to make life resolutions. Here are mine

1. Speak with an honest heart and an intent to help

2. Value and cherish my body

3. Realize that everyone makes mistakes and everyone is struggling so to always be kind

4. Really enjoy the moments of life and don’t “wait” to do something or “save” an outfit for a special occasion.

Case in point, I worked out today and while it was difficult and unpleasant it yielded the loss of one pound. I could get discouraged by that but I am not. I am working hard to lose the last 15 pound to make it to my goal in 18 days of 235 pounds. The good thing about that is that once I have accomplished it, I will know that I can and will eventually get down to 175 which is my ideal (medically stated for my height and weight) 

It takes one step at a time, one mile at a time and it’s all working towards the goal of better health in the years to come so the baby steps I take today ( pun intended) will lead me to a longer, healthier life where I don’t get out of breath running up a flight of stairs and I can and will run a 5K. I am not there yet, ( on the slow jog part, but I will get there ).

What have you always wanted to do but haven’t done yet? What steps are you taking to get there?