Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mamavation Monday 6/28

Hello ladies!

This week, I maintained my weight. No gain, no loss. I weigh the exact same, right down to the ounce (come on, Mr. Scale...not even one measly ounce?! Not ONE?!). I have a goal in my head of losing 22 pounds by my 22nd birthday (July 30). Why? Because it sounds cool. And is a totally fun, yet doable goal. This week didn't exactly help, but at least I didn't gain!

June 22nd was one of my bestie's birthday, so there was the general tomfoolery that goes along with people in their 20s celebrating birthdays (because birthdays are still fun until you're 30). Since there was cake and flip clup...I'm actually pretty happy I didn't gain any weight this week. I'm not that upset I didn't lose any either, because a girl needs to let loose and have some fun *once in a while*.

The good thing about this whole weight loss thing is I'm starting to love cooking! Ok, I've loved cooking for a while...but now I'm actually starting to get good at it. Learning to take pleasure in this makes avoiding eating out or not pulling some processed frozen meal out of the freezer so much easier.

In other news, I'm having loads of fun getting to know some new (to me) mamavation sistas! I feel like this application process is bringing everyone closer together, which is great (I mean...I might cry)! Keep it up, girls!

This week, is sponsoring Mamavation. They have a fabulous Plus Size section and WHOA...your hubby won't be able to keep his hands off you! If skanktastic (I mean that in a good way) ensembles aren't your thing, they also have some "normal" not-so-lacy-or-revealing items. Underwear, robes, that sort of thing.

Good luck this week to all the moms applying for the new Mamavation campaign, and hope everyone has a good week!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Unconditional Love: Not Just for Humans

My dog is out to kill me. She stresses me out. Every time her front paws touch my mattress and I hear that throaty cry, instant irritation sets in. And when I sit down to type, and her gigantic, thick-skulled head rests on my arm and drool coats my hands and keyboard, I resent the day I adopted her. I know that sounds mean, but seriously...this dog has chewed through countless small items PLUS a cell phone AND laptop. Despite these blatantly unforgivable short comings of hers, I still love the bitch.

Note the missing keys. Sorry for the poor quality.

A few months after I adopted her, I set off to buy her a new toy at the pet store (because she didn't have enough) with this grudge-filled love in mind. As soon as I walked in, I knew I had made a grave mistake. Standing in the entry way like a deer in headlights, my fight or flight sense kicked in to high gear. Annoyed that I’d driven 2 miles (TWO. WHOLE. MILES.) to this store, I ultimately decided to at least take a look around. Mistake number 2. The first aisle was nothing but an assortment of conveniently small pet goodies – specifically designed to be stuffed in a Christmas stocking decorated with paw prints. As if the idea of a stocking stuffed fuller than my own hanging above a high tech electric fire place wasn’t repulsive enough, I now knew that the pet toy making companies targeted this strange niche in the Christmas market. I blamed the dog for exploiting me and I needed a cigarette.

But did I turn around and leave? Nope. I kept browsing...mostly because I was bored. Then the visions started. Visions of my sweet puppy girl lazily chewing on a bone that had a beautiful red ribbon tied around it while laying under a Christmas tree. Visions of sneaking her bits of ham underneath the dining room table (because dogs deserve Christmas dinner too). Visions of her sitting ever so still wearing a Santa hat while I easily and gracefully snap a picture.

Those visions cost me approximately $50 that day. Yes, I bought my dog a stocking. Yes, it was stuffed to maximum capacity. Yes, the dog and I opened it together on Christmas (although she decided chewing on the tree was more fun than chewing on her brand new gigantic bone, wrapped in edible doggy wrapping paper {yes they really make that}). Once again, the dog had irritated me by using her cuteness to force me into wasting money.

A few months after that, I was taking her on a walk at night to her favorite tinkle bush. She spotted a squirrel, bolted through a field, slipped out of her collar, and was gone. That panic-y feeling I had in the pet store came back to me...but instead of being shot with a BB gun it was like having a nuclear bomb dropped on me. I ran back to the house to put on some shoes better suited for running (I was wearing flip flops) so I could hopefully catch her before she was lost forever. I also needed to call my dad (even though I was crying so hard that my speech had been reduced to babbles and gasps for air)...because every girl still needs her dad to comfort her sometimes. By the time I was done hysterically trying to explain to my dad what happened and got my sneakers on, I realized just how much this damn, cheweverythinginsight, drooloncashmere, whimperatfourinthemorning dog meant to me. I loved her like she was my own child. That dog comforted me when I was scared, lonely, and sad. She was always willing and eager to cover me in her sloppy licks. When I went through the darkest time in my life (another post...soon), she was the only thing I had to come home to.

When I eventually opened the door after slipping on my second shoe, my dog was prancing up the stairs to where I was standing, tongue lolling out of her mouth.

I could have killed her.

And now? Well...she still slobbers on everything. She still whines sometimes (though mostly when I won't let her on the bed with me...and how can you be mad about the cutest dog ever wanting to cuddle right beside you?). And if I ever need to cry at the drop of a hat (for my fabulous, non-existent acting career I never want) all I have to do is think about if that dog hadn't wandered back up those steps on her own that night.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mental Safari

It's that time of year again. No...not Christmas (don't panic). Time for my period. I say that time of "year" because I have PCOS and skip a lot of periods.

I have this theory that because I only get a few a year, my PMS symptoms are quadrupled. No, I don't really get bitchy or weepy...just hungry. And I eat for 4. It's really upsetting that WEEKS of hard work feel like they've been erased. GAH!

On a better note: my weeks of hard work have NOT in fact been erased. I weighed in at 242 this week, which is still a 2 lb loss! That makes for a total of 14 lbs in 6 weeks. Honestly, I'm baffled that I lost weight this week, but I'll take it!

So what did I do today? I laid around in bed for a while, listened to some Lady GaGa (I'll blame this as a PMS symptom as well) and ate some oreos. I'm not going to was pretty awesome when I was doing it. But now? Well now I feel like a rhinoceros. Big and fat and angry. Angry at myself for gorging on oreos and not getting up to run like a planned on. I also have a breakout that looks similar to a rhino horn. Just saying.

The good news is I finally got my Seventh Generation box! They sent me all sorts of goodies to review. I'll be hosting a giveaway as soon as I decide to end my mental African safari and start cleaning with them.

Also, one of my oldest and best friends has decided to join Twitter and the blogging world. Check her out at @LAbleedsBlue and Piece of the Pie. She's starting a weight loss journey like many of us and could use all the support and accountability she can find! She's also pretty damn rad.

One final note, Subway is sponsoring Mamavation once again this week. What a great company! They never seem to be short on gift cards for us Mamavation Sistas, and you can never go wrong with a turkey on wheat loaded with veggies when you simply don't have time or don't feel like cooking. McDonalds is not the only option!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mamavation Monday 6/14

Ok ladies...lets start this post out with something good. I'm down 3 lbs this week! If you aren't keeping track, that's a total of 12 lbs in 5 weeks! Yay me!!! I now weigh 244, which is pretty far away from my target, but amazing progress for the amount of time I've been trying to lose weight.

This week, I've been continuing Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I'm still doing "girl" push ups with the video, because I'm just not ready to take it up a notch. However, I can feel my muscles getting stronger! I can't wait until I can do a "men's" push-up. That's something I seriously NEVER remember being able to do. Not one in my entire life. I've always had very weak upper body strength. Stay tuned because I know it's coming soon!

I've also started running this week. Leah (aka @bookieboo ) is training to do a half marathon in December, which is completely crazy, but it totally got me on this running kick. I'm now planning on running the "Midsummer Night's Run" in downtown Lexington on August 14. It's a 5k and my goal is to RUN the entire thing. Which means I had to start now, because I royally suck at running.

I've done really well with eating this week too. I'm broke, so eating out isn't even an option, but my sister OFFERED to buy me a blizzard at Dairy Queen and I refused. Yes the Oreo Cheesequake was calling to me. Yes I had an extremely hard time declining. But I did it. And you know what? I don't feel like I missed out at all. I'm actually pretty proud of myself. I've been eating non-processed food pretty much all week, and I'm starting to center my meals around vegetables instead of meat or pasta. I actually look forward to the new fresh veggies I cook up every night.

This week I was also chosen as Sister of the Week, which was fab! I totally wasn't expecting it since I'm so new to Mamavation, but I'm delighted about it nonetheless! Thanks to everyone who had a hand in voting for me! A big thanks to Scarlett Black (@MMScarlett) too, since she's the one who got my butt in gear and told me about this whole Mamavation thing to start with. She's the best!

One last note, Flatout Bread is sponsoring Mamavation this week. I've never tried there products, but I went to their site and found at that they sell at all of the major grocery stores around me, which is pretty cool. I love making sandwich wraps for lunch, and I'm glad I don't have to go to some specialty store to find a wrap to use for them.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mamavation Monday 6/7

This week was so not good for me. I was feeling pretty depressed and anxious, and gave in to some emotional eating. Where did we all seem to learn this "emotional eating" behavior? It needs to stop, so I'll be focusing on channeling any negative energy into something more productive this week.

My sleeping schedule (and thus eating schedule) has been a little out of whack this week too. My anxiety caused me to stay up late one night, which caused a nap the next day, and then another late night, etc. This week I'm definitely getting back on a normal schedule, because I'll probably lose my mind if I don't.

Also, I'd really like to follow more Mamavation Sistas on Twitter...I'll take all the support I can get! If I don't follow you, I'd really appreciate it if you could leave your twitter ID as a comment on here.

Also, EASports Active is this weeks Mamavation sponsor. I've never used this in my life, but I do have a Wii and it's definitely on my "rewards" list for me weight loss. I've heard great things about this!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

To BP or Not to BP...

...cheesy title, eh? I was actually pretty astonished with my play on words there.

I've received multiple snippets of information in regards to boycotting BP. By "snippets of information" I mean I've seen lots of Facebook statuses about it and the topic keeps popping up on my Twitter feed.

I'm slightly wishy-washy when it comes to boycotts. I feel like my small participation won't make a difference...but shouldn't I lead by example and refuse to take my business to certain places? After all, the only person I have control over is myself. Sometimes.

Now, I certainly have not been keeping on top of the latest news with the oil spill. BP's pipe burst, oil is leaking into the gulf, and it really sucks. Thinking about it makes me sad. Do I want to boycott BP? Maybe. But after all, couldn't this have happened to any company involved in off-shore drilling? Maybe not, it might have been BP's stupid mistake (like I said, I'm not 100% up to date on the situation). I feel like the real threat here is off-shore drilling, not BP. Also, most BP stations are locally owned (at least around here), and I really hate to advertise taking business away from people like that because it won't effect corporate BP at all.

But seriously, is BP handling everything with transparency and consideration for the public and environment? I highly doubt it, and I am NOT ok with that. Yes, accidents happen, but as Britain's largest company, and one of the largest in the world, they should be able to handle something like this with a little more grace. So maybe I should boycott them.

Please tell me what your thoughts are on this!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Homemade Shampoo Challenge

I've decided to challenge myself for the next few weeks: use homemade & organic shampoo and conditioner.

I read a blog post (for the life of me I can't remember where) several weeks ago about someone going the "no 'poo" route and using baking soda, water, and lemon juice to wash their hair. I am not that hardcore. My hair is extremely thick, dry, and I'm afraid baking soda and lemon juice just wouldn't cut it for me. This lead me to look for other alternatives for eco-friendly shampoo.

Why the sudden decision to switch shampoos? I watched Toxic Town, USA on CNN. Which lead me to look up a list of chemicals to avoid. The shampoo I was using has ingredients in it linked to extreme skin, eye, and respiratory irritating and cancer. Not the "a few lab rats got it in preliminary trials" cancer, the "it's actually been proven as the cause of cancer in humans" type of cancer. And I was using a milder, not so chemical-y shampoo. Yeah.

So I set out to Whole Foods to find a natural, organic shampoo. Yes I was able to find some. Yes they were expensive. No I didn't buy them. Instead...I researched a way to make my own shampoo. Here's the recipe:

1:1 ratio of Castile Soap to water, with a smidge of some light vegetable oil (I used grapeseed, but most recipes I found called for Jojoba...which I couldn't find). I used 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 cup Whole Foods branch Organic Almond Castile Soap, and1 tsp of grapeseed oil. For a conditioner I mixed 1 cup of warm water with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. I'll be using these mixtures for the next two weeks on a trial basis.

"Before" Hair:

-light brown
-tendency to fall out in the shower (not enough to leave bald spots...but way more than a strand or two)
-frizzy (sigh)

Day 1:

Ok, I have to admit I panicked a little after shampooing, but before conditioning. My hair just felt so STRANGE. I had visions of sporting a pretty intense 'fro. Or losing my hair all together. But then I conditioned it with the apple cider vinegar and water. Ah...instant relief. But my hair still felt a little odd. My guess would be from the lack of chemicals leaving a slick film on my hair.

I still lost a strand or two of hair, but not nearly as much as I normally do. My hair also didn't break and pull out while I was combing it. Is this a miracle shampoo? Too early to tell. I'll report back.

Now that it's dry, it pretty much feels like it always did. No better, no worse.

I've also started "making" my own toothpaste. By making...I mean putting a drop of peppermint oil on my tooth brush, wetting it, and dipping it in baking soda. I'm a 100% fan so far. My teeth have only felt this clean after a trip to the dentist before...and there's no foamy mess left in your sink or on your towels. The best part? No triclosan, which may cause the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria, may create chloroform gas when mixed with chlorine in tap water, and is listed by the EPA as a probable carcinogen. It's safety is currently under review by the FDA. I will say, baking soda and peppermint oil only is EXTREMELY cheap compared to toothpaste bought in the store. I've also found recipes for homemade toothpaste that include glycerin, if you absolutely need to have that "squeezable paste" consistency. Overall, baking soda only probably isn't a good idea for people with sensitive gums, as it can be a little abrasive.

Sorry this post was so long! I just had a lot to say! I'll be back soon with more updates on how these homemade toiletries are working out for me.