My New Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

I was contacted by Irresistible Me Hair Extensions and asked if I would be interested in trying their real hair extensions. Since I was looking for new ones to match my lighter hair color I was happy to test them out and was happily surprised at how nice they were and how much hair I received. Please check out the video I have done on the Irresistible Me Extensions. I cover how to put them on, different hairstyles you can do with them, and even how to color them.
I have been a fan of real hair extensions for quite a long time; at least 10 years. Here are some of the reasons I like real hair over synthetic hair extensions:
• More versatile
• Make color adjustments – Permanent color & Simi-permanent
• Use heat to style – Flat Iron, curlers, curling iron
• Easy care – Treat like normal hair
• Makes hair thicker
• Makes hair longer
• More hairstyles possible
• Easy to wear and use

Here is the link to a 20% off your first order by using the code GET20OFF: Irresistible Me Hair Extensions

I also found these FAQ on their website and I thought they might be helpful and answer a few questions people might have about their hair extensions. These are the questions I thought important and if you go to their site you can find more information if you want it.

How often should I wash my Irresistible Me Hair Extensions? Our extensions should be washed every 10-20 wears or when there is too much built up of products and they become unmanageable to style.

What kind of shampoo and/or conditioner can I use? Moisturizing shampoos and balsam conditioners are recommended. Try our Liquid Gold hair products line – is the best shampoo and conditioner duo for any type of hair, 100% human Remy hair extensions and full lace wigs.

Can I color my extensions? You can color human hair extensions. However, our hair extensions have been treated and chemically processed. If you must color our Irresistible Me hair extensions, we recommend purchasing a slightly lighter color than what you are looking for and use a semi-permanent color to darken the hair color. It is less harsh on the hair when you are depositing the color than lifting the color.

Can I swim with hair extensions? Yes. We do recommend that you wear a swimming cap. Chlorine and salt water can dry out the hair. After swimming, we recommend washing the hair thoroughly with moisturizing shampoo and balsam conditioner.

Can I use a curling iron and/or blow dryer on my extensions? Our hair extensions can be styled just like your own hair with heating tools. Though, like any human hair, too much heat can dry out the hair.

You can see the entire video that I did with all of the details on the review and how to use the Irresistible Me Extensions and others. Just follow this link: Irresistible Me Extensions/Review & How to

I recommend subscribing to my channel so that you will always be updated on a new post and also be included in all that is going on at my YouTube Channel: Embellish Life on YouTube
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I have started a new Embellish Life Group on Facebook and it delivers important information about my Blog, YouTube Channel and also any kind of sale or exciting event going on. Check it out if you want up to the minute information. Just Click Here: Embellish Life Group on Facebook
Thanks so much for watching and supporting me here on Embellish Life, the lifestyle channel that covers everything from fashion, decor, beauty, hauls, DIY and so much more… You will never be bored hanging out here so please subscribe 🙂

Do you want to find me elsewhere?

Website: http://embellishblog.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidigrady-lifestyle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiEmbellish
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PLACES I SHOP ONLINE:

Hautelook: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $20 thank you if you have never shopped Hautelook before. Only to be used at Hautelook. **

Joss & Main: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $15 thank you if you have never shopped at Joss & Main before. Only to be used at Joss & Main. **

Stitch Fix: I just started to use Stitch Fix and this is a Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $25 thank you if you have never shopped Stitch Fix before. Only to be used at Stitch Fix **

Fab Fit Fun: I love this subscription box. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend about the box.

MISSGUIDED: This is a recent find and the prices are exceptional with fashion forward looks. The quality is similar to Asos, Shein and Chicwish.

Bebe Online: Bebe is now online only. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

Last Call Neiman Marcus: This is also a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

BaubleBar: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only 150 points to say thank you if you have never shopped BaubleBar before. Only to be used at BaubleBar **

AFFILIATE & REFERRAL LINKS:

**Right now, I only have referral links that are available to anyone who tells a new friend about one of the companies above. It has nothing to do with being a YouTube creator. The $$ I receive are only able to be used with that company to do more shopping; which I will make videos on. Videos are fun for everyone!! If I did have affiliate links (I DO NOT), the $$ would be used to help support my website and the free content. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your help! Heidi

Disclaimer: The content that is shared in these videos and blog are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice and/or product(s) mentioned should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your health care professional any time you start any new routine, try a new product and/or applying any of the information mentioned in any of Embellish Life’s videos. Please be advised. All products mentioned by any videos produced by Embellish Life have purchased, or given as gifts by personal friends, and family. Should any products be supplied by a vendor or sponsored by a company for profit this will be disclosed either in the video, in the description or both.

One of my favorite Comfort Foods-Potato and Ham Soup

I love making soup and stews in the winter; who am I kidding, I love soup no matter what the season. This Potato & Ham Soup recipe is one of our favorites. I found it in a Country Living Magazine about 25 years ago, I’m not kidding, and I have adapted it to my own, based on our family’s tastes. I have listed my recipe below and if you want the video on my Embellish Life YouTube channel you will get extra tips and step by step instructions. Here is the link to that video: Cooking w/ Heidi – Potato & Ham Soup Remember to get the recipe here first since I don’t have space to post it on the video description.

If you change my soup to your taste by adding, subtracting or doing something different; please let me know. I would love to find other ways to make the soup. You can post your changes here on the blog or you can let all of us know on the video comments. I think that is what makes cooking so much fun, sharing your creations and ideas. Personally, I don’t think there is really a right or wrong way to cook for your family, especially when you are doing it with love. I know there are always the “proper” ways to make and create, but that is a different kind of cooking in my book. It is fun to watch but not always so practical to do when you are cooking for a family. Not to say a chef in a restaurant isn’t cooking for a crowd, LOL, but I will never claim to be a pro… I’m lucky if I can make it through a meal without hurting anything or anyone.

Potato & Ham Soup
2 quarts. of water salted (salt optional)
6 medium potatoes peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots peeled and chopped or 1 cup of baby carrots chopped

I recommend subscribing to my channel so that you will always be updated on a new post and also be included in all that is going on at my YouTube Channel: Embellish Life on YouTube
Subscribe Here!
I have started a new Embellish Life Group on Facebook and it delivers important information about my Blog, YouTube Channel and also any kind of sale or exciting event going on. Check it out if you want up to the minute information. Just Click Here: Embellish Life Group on Facebook

Thanks so much for watching and supporting me here on Embellish Life, the lifestyle channel that covers everything from fashion, decor, beauty, hauls, DIY and so much more… You will never be bored hanging out here so please subscribe 🙂

Do you want to find me elsewhere?

Website: http://embellishblog.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidigrady-lifestyle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiEmbellish
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeidiEmbellish
Instagram: https://instagram.com/heidiembellish/
Snapchat: @HeidiEmbellish

PLACES I SHOP ONLINE:

Hautelook: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $20 thank you if you have never shopped Hautelook before. Only to be used at Hautelook. **

Joss & Main: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $15 thank you if you have never shopped at Joss & Main before. Only to be used at Joss & Main. **

Stitch Fix: I just started to use Stitch Fix and this is a Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $25 thank you if you have never shopped Stitch Fix before. Only to be used at Stitch Fix **

Fab Fit Fun: I love this subscription box. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend about the box.

MISSGUIDED: This is a recent find and the prices are exceptional with fashion forward looks. The quality is similar to Asos, Shein and Chicwish.

Bebe Online: Bebe is now online only. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

Last Call Neiman Marcus: This is also a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

BaubleBar: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only 150 points to say thank you if you have never shopped BaubleBar before. Only to be used at BaubleBar **

AFFILIATE & REFERRAL LINKS:

**Right now, I only have referral links that are available to anyone who tells a new friend about one of the companies above. It has nothing to do with being a YouTube creator. The $$ I receive are only able to be used with that company to do more shopping; which I will make videos on. Videos are fun for everyone!! If I did have affiliate links (I DO NOT), the $$ would be used to help support my website and the free content. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your help! Heidi

Disclaimer: The content that is shared in these videos and blog are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice and/or product(s) mentioned should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your health care professional any time you start any new routine, try a new product and/or applying any of the information mentioned in any of Embellish Life’s videos. Please be advised. All products mentioned by any videos produced by Embellish Life have purchased, or given as gifts by personal friends, and family. Should any products be supplied by a vendor or sponsored by a company for profit this will be disclosed either in the video, in the description or both.

10 Tips for Long Term Weight Loss

I have been on a weight loss journey for about 10 years now. After some medical issues, hypothyroidism and hormone imbalance, my weight became out of control. It didn’t seem to matter what I did or tried, there was no losing the weight. Once I entered my 50’s it seemed to make situations even worse; Menopause kicked in and all hope seemed to be lost. I had 60 lbs. to lose and a lifetime of experience on how to do it. I just needed to implement a plan into action. I was on a serious plateau and I needed to kick myself off.

Plateaus can happen to anyone no matter how active you are. Kicking yourself off the plateau can be a series of trial and error. If you are not sure what a plateau is or if you have reached one; let me elaborate. It is pretty basic, if you are working out, watching your calories and taking in less than you are expending but still have not seen any changes in a month, chances are you are at a plateau.

If you still have more weight to lose, like I do, it can be frustrating. Through using the tips below, I have now lost 40 lbs. of the 60 lbs., I still have 20 lbs. to go. I always use these techniques to lose, maintain and kick myself off of a plateau. Here are the tips I have used and found to work for me in maintaining long-term weight loss:

Workout Tip #1: When putting away clean clothes, take small stacks to increase your trips back and forth. Short on time and think you need to take fewer trips? Increase your pace, even with more trips you will get done faster and get your heart rate up.

REMEMBER: The more steps you take, the closer you will be to 10,000 steps a day.

Workout Tip #2: Use your arm weights while loading the dishes, dirty laundry, folding clothing or making/changing the beds. You choose your weight based on your physical level. The goal is to make it all the way through the activity with them on. If you can’t make it to the end go down in weight, likewise if you feel nothing pick it up the weight. I have found the Velcro arm weights in 1, 2, and 3 lbs. increments per arm.

Workout Tip #3: Are you sitting at a desk, driving, or otherwise not moving as much as you need to? There are things you can do to help offset your work day. Isometric exercises, the act of holding your muscles tight for 10 to 15 seconds and then releasing, can be done any time anywhere. While sitting at a desk or in a car just pull in your core (stomach and butt). You will know you are doing it right when it feels like your belly button is being pulled into your back. Just squeeze your buttocks together at the same time as your stomach. Hold for 10 to 15 seconds and release. Start out with 3 sets of 10, you will feel the burn. Do the same thing while you’re driving, just keep your eyes and mind on the road, no getting lost in counting to 15…

If you are in a more private area, home or private office, you can also try doing some of your seated work on your feet marching in place. Use your arm weights while reading the computer screen or studying. Do overhead arm presses (arms out at sides, level with breasts, then pull them up over your head touching your palms. Simple curls; arms at sides and curl them up so that hands touch your shoulders. You should do them in sets of 10 and start out with 3 sets of each type. If you work in an office or any time take the stairs when it makes sense. Every extra step is one step closer to your 10,000 steps a day. 10,000 steps are the equivalent to about 5 miles.

Workout Tip #4: Folding clothes with arm weights is in itself extra but I have added a few extra lift moves to increase the results. I have lost 1″ doing this on my arms. All you need to do is to take the item you are folding with your arm weights on (2, 3 or 5 lbs. weights) and lift the item over your head, bring it down in front of you pull your item to the right keeping both your arms straight and then pull it too your left keeping both arms straight. Now fold the item and start again. You will feel the burn and this should tone up the skin under your arm. After you are comfortable with that routine add an overhead curl by raising your arms over your head and make sure your arms touch your ears and try to keep your wrist and elbows as close together as possible. Now bend your arm over your head towards your back. Do this movement 10 times and then start to fold again. Only do this movement 3 sets of 10 or a total of 30 movements. This should really start to tone up your arms.

Don’t forget to do isometric squeezes any place you can, hold for the count of 10 and then release. Car, desk, shopping… The more you pull in your core the better your posture, stronger your stomach muscles are and it will become habit to stand up tall and hold in your stomach.

Eating Tip #1: Never avoid a craving! If some food items seem like it would be more fun to have then a spa vacation with girlfriends then, by all means, don’t deny yourself that! If that double fudge chocolate cake is calling you have some but make it a celebration. Pull out a nice china plate, make your favorite cup of tea or coffee (or whatever you think sounds perfect with it). As you are getting ready to eat it enjoy the process of preparing. Turn on some nice music, favorite show, sit out in the garden (again, make it special do something that you enjoy). Then enjoy your 1/2 a slice of cake slowly, taking in the entire experience; never feel guilty for eating it, enjoying yourself and your craving. Keep in mind everything in moderation, don’t do this every day, try once or twice a month.

Food for thought: If you make your craving a positive experience that takes time and thought to prepare you should not need to overindulge or hide your actions of eating it. Guilt and shame cause stress… Stress increases hormone levels that cause you to retain fat, mainly around the mid-section. If you lessen the guilt around eating, your body will be able to process your food better. Don’t forget all the extra movement and exercise you are doing will take care of one little piece of double fudge chocolate cake. Stressing over it will just make it worse.

Eating tip #2: Your goal with eating is to eat fewer calories than you burn. I know it sounds obvious but it really is that easy, who knew! Another challenge is to make the calories that you eat good ones that are easy to burn. This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your food it just means that you don’t want to spend your whole day eating fast food, highly processed and packaged, 15% fat in any one meal and never in every meal, and high sugar content all day. Can you have some of these things? Absolutely, it is more about being aware of what you put into your mouth and why. That is what the 2-week journal is for. Once you are aware of what is going into your mouth/body you can start to balance that with movement and activities. Not to mention begin to moderate the amount you eat.

Food for thought: Every 500 calories less you eat a day vs. burn a day will equal a pound a week. Does that mean you eat 1000 fewer calories a day to get to 2 lbs. a week? Possibly, but most likely you would not stick with it. The best way to achieve a long-term lifestyle change is to make it as easy as you can; take off 500 calories a day (if you need to) and increase your activity level by 500 calories a day. The difference is 1000 calories and you really may not even notice it.

Eating Tip #3: We must all get in our daily water consumption. Warm water with lemon in it helps cleans you and keep you running smoothly, try it in the morning. A big glass of water before any meal helps you control your portions. If you are feeling particularly hungry drink a glass of water and wait 10 to 20 min and see if your hunger subsides (you may have just been thirsty). Even if you are still hungry and need to eat the water will help you from overeating. Everyone knows that we need our 8ish glasses of water a day. Try keeping a 64oz or more juice container full of water in your fridge. It helps to monitor what you are drinking. If you don’t like water try adding lemon, lime or tea.

Medical tip #1: Any new routine with eating and activity should be approved by a doctor, at the bare minimum you should have a physical before you start and mention to the doctor what you are planning on doing. Let them know you are going to start walking 3 days a week for 30 min (or whatever activity you have chosen). Mention that you are going to try to eat in a European fashion, no deprivation but moderation, more whole foods, and fewer chemicals/packaged foods when possible. I’m sure you will get approval but everyone has a different chemical make-up and any change in lifestyle should always be run by your Doctor/PA.

Side note: If you are being seen by a doctor for any chronic issue, thyroid, diabetes, depression, IBS, food allergies… You must have your blood checked and make sure you are at healthy levels of vitamins (especially B’s and D), hormones (Thyroid, T3 and T4, Cortisol (stress, age, and excess alcohol can raise those levels and affect fat storage especially around the midsection) and other metabolic chemistry that might affect the outcome of all your hard work. Even if your liver is not working right it can affect your ability to process food and see full effects of your new lifestyle. (Ask a doctor if you can take Milk Thistle, found in most health food or vitamin stores, for overall liver health and function. You must ask, some people should not take it due to medical reasons, ASK!!)

If you are already being seen regularly it should be easy enough to get these levels checked. Also, if you notice after one to two month of doing any routine faithfully and not cheating and there is no change at all, you may want to consult with your doctor to make sure that all your metabolic and endocrine levels are good. If your body is not functioning properly it will stop progress from ever happening.

Medical Tip #2: Stress is a big component of storing fat; not to mention bad for your body in general. Stress has been linked to contributing to a laundry list of illness and general breakdown of your body. Reducing stress in your life is better for you in too many ways to list. It is not realistic to think you can remove stress from your life (unless you are planning to join a monastery in Tibet) and a little stress is good for you, keeps you on your toes. The stress you want to avoid is the stress that makes you feel out of control, lost and helpless. This is harmful stress and needs to be removed or controlled depending on the situation.

Remember, stress produces Cortisol, a hormone that will cause you to retain fat over time. The right amount of Cortisol is good, too much has you retaining fat through your midsection and hip area. As we age this is harder to fight off. Obvious ways to reduce stress is avoidance. If you are feeling overstressed remove yourself from the situation, take a walk, sit under a tree or relax in a chair. Outside is best but any place you will not be disturbed for about 5 min or more. Take deep cleansing breaths, feel the air in your lungs and mentally move in through your body as you exhale. Let your body relax with each breath you take. If you can listen to music while you do this that is helpful too. When you feel back in control rejoin the situation and breath.

If you find a particular situation continually stressful see if you can try to avoid it as much as possible. If you are in a situation and you feel control slipping away try the breathing right where you are. Slowing your body’s reaction to bad stress and relaxing can go a long way in keeping yourself healthy and fit. Exercise is also another way to help reduce stress, just getting out of the element of stress and losing yourself in an activity is a good resource for stress reduction.

Turning a bad situation into something good will also help with stress. If you have to do a chore or project that is particularly stressful for you, break it into steps. Walk away and do something you enjoy and then come back for more. It may take you longer to finish but if the task is causing you bad stress that will hurt you, nothing is worth the damage. Take the extra time to protect your body and mind.

Final Tip: Remember, nothing is a miracle cure and anything worth doing is going to take time and effort. The goal is to make it as enjoyable as possible. It is my opinion, if you can create an environment that is supportive and pleasant, potentially by implementing some of the steps I have listed above, you will have an easier time achieving your weight and body image goals. Hide your workouts within your daily routine. Eat as close to clean and whole as you can, read labels and take out chemicals/preservatives and you will be surprised how your body will change without feeling overworked and deprived. Let yourself be human, no one is perfect, if you fall back, pick yourself up and keep on going forward. Any loss is a good loss and maintaining is still a success. Don’t psych yourself out, put yourself down or quit before you start! We can all do it; we just have to stick with it and never say, “I can’t”. It’s only, “I won’t”; and that is a choice, not a verdict.

I recommend subscribing to my channel so that you will always be updated on new posts and also be included in all that is going on at my YouTube Channel: Embellish Life on YouTube
Subscribe Here!
I have started a new Embellish Life Group on Facebook and it delivers important information about my Blog, YouTube Channel and also any kind of sale or exciting event going on. Check it out if you want up to the minute information. Just Click Here: Embellish Life Group on Facebook

Thanks so much for watching and supporting me here on Embellish Life, the lifestyle channel that covers everything from fashion, decor, beauty, hauls, DIY and so much more… You will never be bored hanging out here so please subscribe 🙂

Do you want to find me elsewhere?

Website: http://embellishblog.com
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heidigrady-lifestyle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeidiEmbellish
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HeidiEmbellish
Instagram: https://instagram.com/heidiembellish/
Polyvore https://www.pinterest.com/heidiembellish/
Snapchat: @HeidiEmbellish

PLACES I SHOP ONLINE:

Hautelook: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $20 thank you if you have never shopped Hautelook before. Only to be used at Hautelook. **

Joss & Main: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $15 thank you if you have never shopped at Joss & Main before. Only to be used at Joss & Main. **

Stitch Fix: I just started to use Stitch Fix and this is a Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only $25 thank you if you have never shopped Stitch Fix before. Only to be used at Stitch Fix **

Fab Fit Fun: I love this subscription box. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend about the box.

MISSGUIDED: This is a recent find and the prices are exceptional with fashion forward looks. The quality is similar to Asos, Shein and Chicwish.

Bebe Online: Bebe is now online only. This is a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

Last Call Neiman Marcus: This is also a referral link to say thank you for telling a friend.

BaubleBar: Refer a friend link available to everyone; one time only 150 points to say thank you if you have never shopped BaubleBar before. Only to be used at BaubleBar **

Younique: I am a Younique Presenter/Rep; to purchase Younique you must go through a Presenter it is not sold in stores. If you are interested in any of the products, you can follow my link and shop online. No parties necessary. It also helps me provide free content on Embellish Life. Thank you for your support!**

AFFILIATE & REFERRAL LINKS:

**Right now, I only have referral links that are available to anyone who tells a new friend about one of the companies above. It has nothing to do with being a YouTube creator. The $$ I receive are only able to be used with that company to do more shopping; which I will make videos on. Videos are fun for everyone!! If I did have affiliate links (I DO NOT), the $$ would be used to help support my website and the free content. All opinions are my own. Thank you so much for your help! Heidi

Disclaimer: The content that is shared in these videos and blog are intended for informational and entertainment purposes only. Any advice and/or product(s) mentioned should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult your healthcare professional any time you start any new routine, try a new product and/or applying any of the information mentioned in any of Embellish Life’s videos. Please be advised. All products mentioned by any videos produced by Embellish Life have purchased, or given as gifts by personal friends, and family. Should any products be supplied by a vendor or sponsored by a company for profit this will be disclosed either in the video, in the description or both.

Lifestyle Change for Fall 2014

I am going to share another lifestyle challenge with you… For whatever reason, since I moved to Florida, I have gained weight, about 6lbs 🙁 A Rachael Ray Show was on the other day and she was talking about weight loss and her guest was one of the coaches from Biggest Looser; the static he had was weight loss is 80% diet (what you eat not being on a “diet”) and 20% exercise… Intellectually, I knew this was probably pretty accurate… I didn’t want admit it but even though I work out a bit more than most women my age, my eating habits are not the best 🙁 My biggest issues are I eat too much sugar, don’t drink enough water, and wait till too late in the day to start eating and most likely over eat…
So, here is my challenge to myself, I’m making it public to keep me honest:
        1. I am going to drink more water.
        2. Reduce my processed sugar intake.
        3. Nibble throughout the day so I’m not super hungry at night.
Baby steps, my first step will be to drink 3 16oz bottles of water, eat something before 11am, and don’t buy any candy when I go to the store. I am going to increase the intensity of the steps every week for a month and see if I can lose these 6lbs or even more… 10 would be great!
I will share with you all my successes and be honest about what I fell short on. Since I am fairly active I will share what I do each day; this will give me an accurate record of what is really going on daily, weekly and eventually monthly.
Anyone want to join me?? You can post it here or just keep your own record privately.

Workout Challenge 2012

 

Any time you are setting out to change or add a behavior I find it helpful to establish the goal(s) of the behavior and the motivation for the change.  With that in mind, I am going to start off the 2012 Weight Loss/Workout Challenge by stating my goals and motivation for wanting to make the change and add the behavior of working out regularly.

In my early 40’s my health started to decrease and unfortunately for me, my weight started to increase.  Much of my increase was due to my health issues but even after I got better my weight seemed hell-bent on hanging on.  It didn’t seem to matter what I did, how much I worked out, or didn’t eat the weight just sat there un-yielding to my efforts.  For a bit of perspective; before my weight gain I was about 120 lbs. and just under 5’ 8” and after my weight gain and presently I weigh 180 lbs. and at my heaviest I weighed 185 just before my gall bladder surgery and my sickest.

That is how I got to this point, and this is what I plan to do about it; and I hope some of you will join me on this mission.  I personally feel that anything worth doing takes some work (OK, we all know that) but is so much more rewarding if you can take others along for the ride.  My goals and motivations for the 2012 Challenge are to become a healthy weight (I now realize that my past weight, although natural, was very thin for my stature), I would like to be 135 to 140 lbs.  I would also like to gain some more muscle tone and continue on my road to better health by lowering my blood pressure that has become troublesome, mainly due to my increased weight.  Also, I have some knee issues from past injuries when I was young and I know the excess weight is not helping them either…  So, I have a lot of sound medical reasons for the need to lose weight but I think the biggest motivators for me is that all of my life I have had an image of who I was and what I looked like before my 60 pound gain and a part of me feels very lost.  I know that may seem very vein and many may say you don’t look that bad, stop whining, but it is not a matter of how other people perceive me, it is how I perceive myself.  I am not losing weight to be more acceptable to others, to have others think I look good, or impress anyone.  I am losing weight, for my health, but also to regain that girl/woman that I have known for 95% of my life.  Some other motivations are my 30th high school reunion in August and a few formal events that I need to fit into a dress that I own but have not been able to wear. 

So, it is all fine and good to have goals and motivations to meet those goals but how are we going to achieve our goals?  Note how I have assumed that others are going to join me on this challenge.  I know that having support and a team will make success much more likely and a lot more fun.  This is my plan, feel free to follow it or find one that works best for you and your goals.  I have had success with journaling my food intake and exercise, I like using My Fitness Pal.  I have also had many friends that have lost a lot of weight using this app.  I don’t think it is the app; it is the recording that helps keep you on track and the app makes it easier.   I have also told by my endocrinologist that since I was very athletic before my illness (part of which is a hypothyroid) and now that I am in my 40’s that I might need to increase my cardio to actually see a loss.  I have tested this theory and do find that, unfortunately, I need to move more than the average person to actually see a weight change.  I am also taking some supplements that help with weight loss, fat burning and energy (L-carnitine, 5-HTP, B-12 and Omega-3).  They are all natural but before anyone takes any vitamins and/or supplements you should check with your doctor to make sure it is OK to take.  Also, if you are planning to start a new workout routine always check with your doctor before doing anything new.  I also believe that what works for one person doesn’t always work for another, so switching routines up or adapting plans to your lifestyle is key to making life long changes.  Make a routine, diet or exercise plan work for you, don’t force yourself into something that is not natural; chances are if you do it will not stick long term.  I don’t have the time, energy or desire to work out on a planned program every day; therefore I am creating my own plan that is a mixture of many of my favorite activities, as well as some of the things I “have to do”; which will keep me moving and motivated.  I am not creating a program that once I lose weight I will stop and then gain it all back.  I have to be able to make a lifestyle change not a diet or exercise routine that is so extreme that I will not be able to do it long term.

 I am going to strive to keep my calories to about 1500, which means calories in vs. calories out.  If I exercise more I can then eat a bit more.  This is why My Fitness Pal is great; it figures the math out for me and allows me to be much more accurate.  I will be able to stick with record keeping if it is easy and this app makes it really easy.  Since I have many food restrictions already I am not formally following any diet routine; my diet is pretty restrictive already.  I am gluten- free, for the most part and eat more vegetables than meat and do not eat beef at all.  If I could reduce anything it would be watching my sugar intake and may need to check my wine intake, not sure if that is going to happen 😉  I am also going to make sure I do some type of activity every day, which could be anything from a brisk walk, garden work, house work, shopping, or exercise DVD.

Please join me!  Let’s help each other reach our goals.  We can daily post our highs and lows, share ideas and tips, encourage each other, help keep us all honest and on track, and best yet celebrate when we reach our goal.  If you want to join and feel comfortable let us know your motivations and goals for the 2012 Weight Loss/Workout Challenge.  I have done Beach Body fitness exercise and one of the tools is to post before and after shots and keep journal of your starting weight and measurements.  You do not have to post this but do keep record of it, it is a wonderful motivation.  I will post mine, might as well put my money where my mouth is 😉  Here we go, we can do it…

My Starting Point 4/2/12