Oxygen Challenge 4

On July 16th I started a 90 day challenge that is being sponsored by Oxygen Magazine. This challenge had two teams you could choose from, #teamjen (Jen Widerstrom) or #teamkarina (Karina Smirnoff). Of course when I signed up there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to be on Jen’s team. Over the last year and half that I have personally known Jen, and even before doing her dietbets, she has never steered me wrong. I have seen the kind of progress I can make with her coaching and it’s pretty incredible.

I’m doing this 90 day challenge as a late birthday present to myself and to show myself that I can be consistent, make changes and stick to something. I always seem to get to a point where I’m scare to move forward and I start to revert back to my old habits for one reason or another. I find myself trying to make sure everyone else okay instead of taking care of myself because of having to transition from being daughter first to my dad to being his caregiver first. I also get to a point where I hear my mom’s voice in my head. Before she passed she embarked on her own weight loss journey and was super successful. I was super proud of her, but it got to the point where she would tell me every day or ever week that she was down x number of pounds and was now in x size pants and tops. I know she didn’t mean to make me feel bad and insecure about myself, but it really messed with me mentally and when I get to a certain point I hear those comments and give up. I’m working on not letting that happen this time.

This 90 day challenge is me starting over, yet again, but also proving to myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to. I’ve done it before with other things in my life. Thinking back to all the IMEA music competitions I performed in playing solos on my violin or duos and trios and being ecstatic when all of my hard work and persistence paid off and I would get a medal, or even moving up from the second violin section to the first violin section. None of those things happened over night. It took years of practice and hard work to get to that place. I know I can do this. 90 days seems like a long time, but I know it will be over in the blink of an eye. Part of this challenge also allows you to potentially be on the cover of Oxygen Magazine for the January/February issue. I submitted before pictures for this. With the thousands of women who have signed up for this challenge, I know it will be a long shot for me to win being on the cover of a magazine, but it’s something I wanted to do for me and if nothing else, allow me to create my own before and after story for myself.

Below is proof of what I was able to accomplish in just 28 days doing one of Jen’s dietbets below. The weight loss was only about eight pounds but the inches I lost were amazing. I wish I would have done before and after measurements. I’m also posting my before pictures below at the start of the Oxygen Challenge and will post progress photos along the way, not only to keep myself accountable, but to see the changes even if I can’t feel them, because let’s be honest when you are in your own skin it’s hard to see the changes when you look in the mirror. You tend to still see the person you were before and photos are proof that what you are doing is working. There are 85 days left in the challenge and I’m excited for the road ahead.

IMG_4756

 

 

Advertisements

Instagram Giveaway

I’m doing a giveaway on my Instagram account. My friend Jen had a book released last year called “Diet Right For Your Personality Type” in hard back and tomorrow it is being released in paperback! It’s not so much a diet book as it is a lifestyle book, which is fantastic.

This book is fantastic. There is a quiz in it to help determine your personality type, a description of the personality, a four week meal plan with some delicious recipes, and then workouts with pictures of the movements in the back of the book. This book has helped me a lot and I’ve gifted a few to friends over the last year. So if you are interested in getting one of these books. check out my Instagram account: cubbie_87. I’ll message the winners via Instagram.

Day trip

Sometimes you just need to get away from your home and your city for a day and surround yourself in a new environment to recharge. This past weekend was one of those weekends for me. I needed a change of scenery for a day and so I hit the road to Columbus, Ohio on Saturday to see my friend Jen at the Arnold Classic. I left home around 5:30am because I knew once I hit Indiana I’d be in the eastern time zone and wanted to make sure I got there in time to see Jen at her signing. The drive to Columbus was super peaceful with the open road, music, and getting to see the sunrise was just what I needed.

I got to the Arnold Classic with no problems at all. I figured there would be a line to see Jen, so the booth she was at was the first stop I made. the line wrapped around the booth, which made me so happy to see so many out to see her. As the line moved she looked over at one point and saw me and came over to give me a hug. Some people in line were looking around and Jen said she’s known me for a long time now. Once I made it to my turn to actually see her, she and I had a good talk and then again after her signing was over we talked more. She really made me think about things that have been holding me back from making progress and I shed some tears.

Sunday morning I woke up at 4am and that’s when everything she talked to me about really started to set in about what’s holding back my progress. I thought it was just a couple of things, but then I had an even bigger revelation later in the day. It was one of those holy shit moments where I realized that there have been some things I’ve been suppressing. I’m grateful for the talk and homework Jen gave me.

Sunday was a good day too. After getting some stuff down on paper, I took a nap since I was up so early processing stuff. Later in the day my friend Bri and I went to see The Greatest Show Man. It was such a good movie and I’m glad I went.

#ShapeGoal40

I mentioned in a post I made a few days ago that I’m joining Shape Magazine and Jen Widerstrom doing their 40 day challenge. Being a caregiver so long I really didn’t take care of myself the way I should have. I ate like crap, gave into temptation sitting next to the person at work who is always bringing donuts, cookies, and candy in. As hard as these last four and a half weeks have been without my dad, I realize that this is a time in life where I get to rediscover who I am. I don’t have to constantly worry about my dad throughout the day or not get enough rest because he needs help with something in the middle of the night. Don’t get me wrong, I wish he were still here because he was the best dad I could ever have ever wanted, but I knew in the back of my head that I was putting my health on the back burner to make sure he was okay.

The timing of this challenge has been fantastic. Today is day five and since it started I’ve been cooking meals instead of eating out. I’ve been making chicken dishes, healthy sandwiches, eating salads, fruits, and going out of my comfort zone by trying new things like couscous. It’s amazing how in just five days I feel like I have more energy and that my body is functioning better because I am putting good stuff into it. I’ve also significantly cut back on soda, except for a sip or two to get medication down. When I was six I choked on a life saver and my mom had to do the Heimlich on me, so getting pills down has always been an issue for me, and the carbonation seems to help that. If you know of something else for me to try, let me know!

With the ShapeGoal40, there is a fantastic group of amazing people who are all supportive of each other from all over the world and many of us have posted our goals so we can all help each other stay accountable. I want to post that here on my blog as well, so that I make sure I am not only accountable for myself, but for anyone who may be doing this challenge who reads this, can also keep me accountable.

For the first time in almost seven years, I feel like this huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I love my dad dearly, but now that he’s gone and truly seeing the toll it took on me that I couldn’t see, but everyone else could has been a huge eye opener. 2018 is going to be focusing on me and rediscovering myself and my joy. As I look back in 2017, I don’t know how I managed to do all that I did for my dad. There were times that I was pretty much at rock bottom, but was able to put up this façade to make it seem like everything was fine. I’m ready to conquer 2018. I’ve got big goals and plans for some of the most special people in my life. I really couldn’t have made it through this last year without Justin, Katie, Bri, Gina, Kelly, Jen and so many more.

Here I come 2018 and here are my goals below!

shapegoal40

Taking Care of Myself

For the first time in almost 7 years I have the opportunity to focus on myself and my needs. Being a caregiver to my father who had many health issues was so hard, but I would do it all over again if I had to. My dad was my rock and I can’t believe that it has been a month today since he passed. It doesn’t feel like it has been a full 30 days. I remember vividly the week before he passed when I asked him one day how he was doing he told me he felt like he was dying. I told him he wasn’t and that his infection and other labs were getting better. By 11/28 he could tell it was his time to go. I was in the waiting room with a couple of friends because they were going to get my dad cleaned up. During that time he ended up getting sick and was really agitated, so the nurse called me and asked me to come back to his room. When I did, I could just tell he looked different than he had before and he was more alert. I walked over to his hospital bed and held his hand. He looked at me and said “Remember what we talked about last week baby, I think it’s time”. Hearing those words were heartbreaking. I gave him a big hug and then because I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to my mom, I was able to get video of my dad telling me he loved me. I’m grateful I was able to get that and I still have several voicemails from him, but something else special that I have is songs that he sang. My dad sung pretty much all his life, and loved Elvis. Once I was done taking care of his arrangements and other running around that needed to be done, I sat down at his computer and pulled up his music. I found a folder that had several songs he recorded and also found a record in the spare bedroom that he was on when his high school choir recorded a Christmas album. I’m so grateful to have these things.

Since my dad’s passing I have been having a hard time with cooking at home. Until last night I had been stopping on my way home to get something through a drive thru or a microwavable dinner. I know those aren’t good for me, so last night I went shopping and actually got some healthy stuff. Yesterday I started a 40 day challenge called ShapeGoal40 being hosted by Jen Widerstrom and Shape magazine. Back in February this year I met Jen after the release of her book Diet Right For Your Personality Type. We talked for a few minutes and she remembered me from one of her DietBet’s I did. She and I have kept in touch since then and I knew that this would be the perfect time to tackle this challenge head on. I have my goals written down and posted to my Instagram (cubbie_87). I convinced a friend to sign up and I’m super excited for these next 40 days. Life has a crazy way of timing sometimes. Part of my goal is to lose weight because I have put on at least 30 pounds since meeting Jen. But there is so much more to my goal than the weight loss, so if you are interested go check out my Instagram and while you’re at it go follow Jen on their as well (@jenwiderstrom). She’s had such an impact on my life and I love that she and I have been able to keep in touch.

As time goes on I will share more about my life as being a caregiver and more of my story, but I felt like today these are the things I really needed to share. It hit me pretty hard this afternoon and needed to get it out so it doesn’t eat away at me inside. If you are interested on doing the ShapeGoal40 with me, you can search for Shape’s page on Facebook and all the information you need is there. I also have a Planet Fitness membership that allows me to take a guest, so if you want to join me at the gym, let me know!