Friday, October 28, 2011

Made to Crave Book Review Part 2

So I realized I never finished my book review on "Made to Crave" by Lysa TerKeurst - well, here it is (finally).

The second have of "Made to Crave" was more of the encouraging words of the the first half. Lysa discusses so many different issues tied to weight including overindulgence and learning to portion control.

One of the chapters discussed identifying what we tie our "happy" to. Often our happy is tied to the number on the scale or the size clothes we fit in or even the food we eat. Lysa explains that our happy shouldn't be tied to these things because it sets us up for failure. We need to find our identity in Christ and tie our happy to him and the fact that we are his.

Lysa also talks about continuing to make good choices. Every good choice you make, no matter how small, will add up to big change. She emphasizes the importance of the "next choice we make." If the next choice is a good one, it can lead to more good choices, but if it's a bad choice, we will be more likely to continue to make bad choices. Obviously, we will not always make the right choice, but we always need to be thinking about the effects our choices have on future decisions.

This is a quote I especially loved:
"So, I'm not on a diet. I'm on a journey with Jesus to learn the fine art of self-discipline for the purpose of holiness."

What a great perspective to have! Yes, we may change the foods we eat for the purpose of weight loss or to be healthy, but the focus doesn't have to be on our diet. The focus should be on the journey to learn self-discipline. When we develop self-discipline, we will make better and healthier decisions for our lives and our families.

Although there was new information that I hadn't read before, a lot of what Lysa wrote in "Made to Crave" I had heard before. However, she wrote it in a way that just made sense to me. She was putting words to jumbled thoughts that I couldn't get organized. She described things in a way that, although I may have heard it before, I really understood it now.

This book is definitely geared to women who are looking to lose weight, but really, its a great book for anyone who wants to learn self-discipline and learn to crave God above anything else. Everyone craves something - sometimes lots of somethings. But what would it looked like if we all craved God, and truly sought him to fill us - cravings and all?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

one year later

Today {October 18, 2011} is one year since the beginning of my weight loss journey.

Wow - I have come a long way.

Last month I blogged about wanting to lose another 5 pounds by today, and I'm happy to say that I have lost over 7 pounds this last month!

That is a total of 43.2 pounds in the last year!

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about that number. I'm STOKED about the weight I've lost, but I do also wish (and expected) to have lost more than that. I know I can't focus on what could have been, but rather, I need to focus on what I've accomplished.

I've also grown a lot emotionally and spiritually. even today I had yet another "breakthrough" during my devotions. I'm doing the Bible study, "Breaking Free" by Beth Moore, (which I highly recommend). I've learned a lot and continued to work through my weight loss and food issues through this study. Today, I read Psalms 45:1-15, and verse 11 really hit me.

"The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord."

(reread that if you didn't catch it).

The KING OF KINGS thinks I'm beautiful! Also, I need to honor him. I don't always honor him, especially when it comes to my weight because I'm often eating things I shouldn't or putting myself down for not being better, thinner, more. But he thinks I'm beautiful, so the least I can do is honor him with my actions, thoughts, body, words, all that i am. and no matter how I feel, no matter what the scale says, no matter what I look like, no matter what size clothes I wear - HE thinks I'm beautiful and I am His Beloved. I don't always live my life like I'm a beloved daughter of the King. It's definitely easier said than lived out, but I'm making strides to believe this truth even on my bad days - I am His Beloved.

So, I have set some new goals for this next year - some short term, some long term - all of them a bit overwhelming. But I've lost this much, so I know I can keep going and keep losing and keep improving.

Thanks to all of you who have supported me thus far on this journey, and for your continued encouragement and support. You don't know how much I appreciate it.

{a smaller} Lauren

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


About a month ago, I went to a Woman's Ministry event at my mother-in-law's church that she hosted. The event was "Beach" themed, complete with beach-y decorations and summary foods.

One activity during the night was to answer a certain question and discuss it with the women at your table. The question was: "If you could walk in another woman's flip-flops for a day, who would it be, and why?"

Ok - there are a lot of women that I would love to experience their lives for a day - all for different reasons. There are woman I would want to walk in their flip-flops for a day because they are spiritual, others because they are famous, and still others because I value who they are and would love to know what it's like to be them. I would love to experience a day in the life of my mom, my sister, a president's wife, a famous actress, and even my best friend. Generally I'm an indecisive person, so you can suspect that this would be hard for me to narrow down in a matter of minutes, however, the one person that kept popping into my head was Olivia Ward, Season 11 Winner of the Biggest Loser. Perhaps she came to mind because I follow her on Twitter and because I'm on my own weight loss journey. But honestly, for this time in my life, she would be who I would pick. Throughout the entire show, she and her sister, Hannah, were strong competitors who worked hard and reached their goals. I would want to walk in Olivia's flip-flops (or in this case workout tennis shoes) for a day because she has reached her weight loss goals (at least as far as I have seen). I think walking in her shoes would allow me to experience what it would feel like to reach my weight loss goals, and would give me the motivation to keep going on my journey.

I'm not sure what Olivia's spiritual beliefs are, but I'm pretty sure she's a Believer. Some things I've seen on Facebook as well as the fact that her husband leads worship at a church, and just the way she conducted herself on the show, make me believe that she is a Christian. Assuming this is accurate, that would be just another reason I would want to walk in her shoes - to see how her weight loss journey affected her spiritual journey and vise versa.

I truly believe that this weight loss journey is just as spiritual as it is physical, and that I have to learn to crave Jesus and be filled with him instead of trying to fill myself with unhealthy foods. (Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst is all about this topic. I've done a review on the first half of this book that you can check out here, and a second review will be coming soon). To be successful with my weight loss journey, I have to rely on God's strength because I know I couldn't do this on my own. I have to seek him, crave him, put him first in my life, and know that as I lose weight and get healthier physically, I'm becoming healthier spiritually. It really needs to be a holistic approach with God at the center or else I will fall back into old habits. If I just try to fix what's broken on the outside, but not address the spiritual aspect, as well as whatever it is that has caused the physical problem, I may never truly conquer my issues with weight and food.

So thank you, Olivia, for inspiring me to continue on my weight loss journey. I know you don't know who I am - and really, I don't know you - but I'm genuinely happy for you that you have reached your weight loss goals. Please keep doing what you are doing and continue inspiring others.


Weight Loss Update

Just a quick weight loss journey update:

October 18 will be 1 year from when I started by weight loss journey. Although I don't want to diminish what I have accomplished, I had hoped to be further along than where I am. So my goal is to lose 5 pounds by October 18th.

(Side note: Originally, I thought the one year mark was October 11th, but then I looked at a calendar and realized I had gone to the dr. on the 11th, which led to the blood test where I found out on the 18th that I had high cholesterol, which is why I started this journey. This is more for my records than for your information, so thanks for bearing with me).

So this bought me a few more days to lose those 5 more pounds. HA.

I will let you know how it goes and what my total weight loss is for this year. I'm excited to find out myself.

Another side note: I would really like to get that weight loss blog started that I mentioned a few posts back. However, I'm not really sure what that will look like and if I'm ready to add another blog. I obviously have enough trouble staying on top of this one. Ha. I will work on it and get back to you about that as well.

Hello From San Diego!

Well - it's official - we are San Diegans.

It took us awhile to actually get here, but we are here and in the process of getting settled. We left Indiana on August 7th, spent 5 days driving, and got into Sacramento on August 11th.

We had a blast spending time with our two families and catching up with our friends for what we thought was going to be two weeks.

After two weeks had past, we still hadn't found a place to live, so we decided that Chris would go down to San Diego early to start his job on September 1st, then I would go the next week. We ran into a few snags along the way, but we made it.

As for a place to live - God has blessed us beyond what we could have dreamed. I'm a worrier by nature, so I was surprised by how unusually calm I was about the whole situation. From the beginning, I just had this peace and trust that God would provide for us a place to live. I guess I figured that if he got us a job and was going to have us move across the country, he would find us a place to live. However, as the days wore on, I was starting to have thoughts that God was cutting things a bit close. But of course - since he's God and all and his timing is perfect - he did provide.

The weekend before Chris came down we got an e-mail from a couple who used to attend Skyline Church (the church where Chris now works), and they had just moved to Tennessee. They told us that they had heard about us from someone in the church and heard we needed a place to live. They are short selling their house, so their house is currently sitting empty. They offered for us to live in their home for DIRT CHEAP! It's a 2400+ square foot home on the top of a hill 2 miles from the church. We were blown away at the opportunity. During this time of waiting and looking for a home, I was trying to refrain from giving God "ideas" of what he could do to provide. I'm a "fixer," and I wanted to "help" God figure this one out, but I tried really hard not to. The ironic thing about me wanting to "help" is that I would have never imagined this as a solution to our housing problem - this was no where on my radar. In fact, I didn't even really realize you could live in someone's home while they are selling it. We are able to stay here until they sell the house or we find a place we want to move to permanently, whichever comes first. Not only are we blessed to be able to live here for a time, but we are able to save so much money while we live here. This is especially a blessing since I don't have a job right now. Once I find a job, we will be able to save even more. YAY!

So needless to say, I've been reminded yet again how I need to trust God and not try to "help" him - he's got it.

Chris is LOVING his job, but is still trying to figure things out as he goes. He works with some great people, and we are enjoying getting to know them all.

I've been pretty much just cleaning, unpacking, setting things up, etc. I'm also job hunting, although the house has been taking home most of my time. Some days I have to remind myself that I actually live in this beautiful city. It's quite large, so I'm still trying to get to know the area, but so far - we love it here.

Please be in prayer for us as we continue to get adjusted. Also, please pray that I find a job. I'm trusting that the Lord has the perfect place for me, and it will work in his timing. In the meantime, I'm enjoying being a stay-at-home wife. Finally, please pray for us as we build relationships and get involved in ministry. Chris and I are excited to develop some close relationships with people and to really dive into ministry.

We love you all and appreciate your prayers and support as we have made this transition.

The Newest San Diegan

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Made to Crave - book review part 1

I'm currently reading the book "Made to Crave" by Lysa Terkeurst (the president of Provers 31 Ministries). I'm only about 5 chapters in, and I LOVE it! it is so encouraging and inspiring. it has really helped to begin to change my focus and perspective on this weight loss journey. although it is a physical, mental, and emotional journey, however, it is an extremely spiritual journey.

In "Made to Crave," Lysa discusses everything, from her weight loss journey to making peace with your body to using Scripture as a way to combat the temptation of food. Although I have thought about the spiritual side of this journey before, Lysa puts it in a way that makes sense and is very simple, yet is very profound and inspirational.

As Lysa explains it - the book is not a "how to" book or a weight loss guide, although she does give advice for healthy weight loss such as suggesting to meet with a nutritionist, etc. Rather, this book is to encourage people in their weight loss journey to include God in that journey. She explains the importance of not leaving God out of the equation because the journey should be just as spiritual as it is physical.

Today, I read something in the book that really stuck with me.
In Chapter 8, Lysa references her friend's blog, and this friend was on a weight loss journey of her own. Her friend says that one week, when she lost 1.8 pounds, she was discouraged and had to ask herself some questions to make sure her heart was in the right place and she was being obedient to God. These are the questions she asked herself:

Did I overeat this week on any day?
Did I move more and exercise regularly?
Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last week?
Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration? (and may I, Lauren, add boredom or sadness or stressing)?
Did I feel that, at any time, I ran to food instead of to God?
Before I hopped on the scale, did I think I'd had a successful, God-pleasing week?

This seems to be a great way to evaluate my heart and make sure that I'm finding my identity in Christ and not in a number on a scale, while still trying to live a healthy life.

so more to come on this as I finish the book. if you've read "Made to Crave", I would love to hear your thoughts on it.


San Diego - here we come!!!

WE ARE MOVING... San Diego!!!

In case you haven't heard - Chris got a job at Skyline Church in San Diego, CA as a graphic designer and worship service producer (behind the scenes/anything digital or print for the worship service). Skyline is building a new worship space (scheduled to be open in Jan/Feb), so we are super excited for what is to come in the near future for the church and for what God has in store for us. This is such an amazing opportunity for us, and we feel that He has blessed us with this job. This year as been rough, and we feel like we are starting to move to the other side of things and, as you know, hindsight is 20/20. Although we still don't see the whole picture, he we are beginning to see how God has been faithful to us this past year, and even why he allowed us to go through this year.

so, here are the details:

Chris' last day at Starbucks - 7/29 (TOMORROW!!!)
Chris' parents come to Indiana to help us pack and move - 8/1
Lauren's last day at DCS - 8/4
Arrive in Sacramento - 8/10
Move down to San Diego - the last week in San Diego
Chris' first day at Skyline - 9/1

We are so excited, and can't believe this is happening. It still really hasn't totally sunk in!

I still haven't found a job, although I haven't really looked very hard yet. I plan to hit that hard this weekend.

We have been looking for houses on Craig's List and have found some that we like. It's incredible how the rent is going to sky rocket as the square footage plummets. ha. (not so funny). while we are in Sacramento, Chris and I plan to run down to San Diego for a couple of days to find a house before we move all of our stuff down there.

We would really appreciate it if you would be in prayer with us as we pack, finish at our jobs, say goodbyes, clean the house, move across the country, look for a job, find a house, and move our lives to San Diego.

Will keep you all updated as things continue to develop.

With Love,

Thursday, June 30, 2011

love. dreams. and weight loss. {an update}

wow - it's been almost 3 months since I last posted.

here's a quick recap:

May 23: Chris and I had our 3rd anniversary. it was a monday and we were leaving the next day for my brother's wedding, so we didn't really celebrate on the actual date. But we went to Kansas City for the weekend after the wedding to celebrate. i can't believe it's been three years. the last three years. it's been a crazy 3 years. we've gone through so much: good, bad, ugly, and everything in between. I'm so blessed to have Chris as my best friend and husband. I LOVE YOU!!!

May 27: Shay and Haley got married! it was a blast! if you don't know this about me, here's a free random trivia about Lauren: I LOVE WEDDINGS! i love everything about weddings: the flowers, the dress, the cake, the invitations, the people, the dancing, the love, and especially the photography! it just can't get enough of it. and for it to be my brother and new sister's wedding was just the icing on the cake (pun absolutely intended). :D

May 28-30: Chris and I celebrated our anniversary in Kansas City. Sorry - didn't take any pics, but we had fun walking around The Plaza (an outdoor mallish place). We went to dinner at Brazilian restaurant (all you can eat meat - yummo!), got gelato, listened to music, and enjoyed every minute.

June 11: we helped move Shaley into their apartment in Marion.

Our close friends, the Schwarze's, moved to Australia to be missionaries for two years. we've spent lots of time with Shaley. we went on a little trip (more on that in the future). ace is still a big ball of energy. and we have been anticipating what God has in store for us.

The Lord gave me the word, dream, for this year. The word dream has never really appeared to me. Maybe it's because when I was in junior high, "dream" was written on a ton of pink and blue girly things surrounded by clouds. (if you were a junior high girl around 2000, and you shopped at the store, Claire's, you know what I'm talking about).

change is coming for the Snider's (no, i'm not pregnant), but nothing is set in stone. as things pan out, I will keep you all posted. please be in prayer for us as we prepare and seek what God's will for us is.

if you read my last post i mentioned starting a new blog. it's in the works, and have no idea when it will be up.

now for a weight loss update:

minimal progress at best.

unfortunately, i seem to have lost the initial motivation with which i began this whole journey. it's frustrating, especially knowing that i could have lost a lot more weight since i started this process.
i'm trying to figure some things out - like what i need to change in order to continue losing weight. the good news is that i have been maintaining, i just haven't been losing. i think it's partly that i feel i need a weight loss buddy (someone else trying to lose weight and work out with), but i don't really have someone here for that. chris is very supportive, but he gets quite the workout at Starbucks and usually isn't up to working out with me. also - i think i just need a fire lit under my butt. not sure what that looks like exactly, but i need it. i have so many goals and dreams - so you would think that that would be all the motivation that i need. obviously not. so i need to figure out what it is that will trigger the switch in me to jumpstart my weight loss again.

i realized last night that i have so many dreams and goals i want to pursue, but so much of my mental, physical, and emotional energy is spent on this weight loss journey. i need to reach my weight loss goals so that i can focus on pursuing my other dreams. the sooner i reach my weight loss goals, the sooner i can start pursuing my other dreams with all my energy.

so...i think i'm going to apply/audition to the biggest loser. i'm waiting until they post the website for the application. your support on FB and Twitter would be awesome! i feel like getting on BL13 is a bit of a long shot, but you never know.

so there is my update on our lives right now. as i said before - changes are coming, and i'm excited for the future. i will keep updating as things progress!

thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, April 9, 2011

coming soon...

...a new blog!

i'm excited to announce that i have a new blog coming soon.

it's called, "More than a Scale," and it is specifically to document my weight loss journey, share recipes and workout tips, and inspirational stories and to hopefully give motivation and inspiration to others trying to lose weight and get healthy.

so stay tuned for the launch of this new blog!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

another milestone

today, i crossed over to another "decade" in my weight. this is huge. since i don't remember the last time i was in my last decade, i really don't remember the last time i was at this weight. i'm still in the upper numbers of this "decade," but it's progress. it keeps me motivated to keep moving those numbers down!

my goal is still 30 pounds by May 27th (my brother's wedding). at this point i've lost 8 pounds toward this goal, so i have about 2 months to lose 22 pounds. a big goal, but i'm going to do my best!

this new goal has been slow going. it's been hard to get motivated again. but i'm doing it. i think before Paige's wedding, i had my numbers off a bit. so if i've figured it out right this time, i've lost a total of 29 pounds in 5 and 1/2 months. thinking about it, it doesn't seem like much in that amount of time. but i don't want to lessen what i have accomplished, (and i can't compare myself to those on the Biggest Loser - ha). i've made a lot of changes, and i'm still developing those habits. and i've lost almost 30 pounds!!!

thank you for all your love and support. i really appreciate it!


cake pops [part 2]

since the practice batch was such a hit, i decided to make these cake pops for Haley's shower.
this time, i took some pictures along the way, so you could see "the process."

i didn't get any pictures of baking the cake or rolling the balls (that's pretty self-explanatory).
after rolling the balls, put the sticks in and then refrigerate for a few hours (i refrigerated overnight).

i had the cake balls sitting out while i was coating them in chocolate, but they started to warm up again and fall off of the sticks. so, i put them in the freezer and would take a few out as i needed them.

the mess i was making.

it may be hard to tell in the above picture, but i put water in the pot, then put a glass measuring cup into the pot. i melted the chocolate in the glass measuring pot because it was a smaller area, (smaller than my small pot), and made dunking the pops easier. (this idea was curtesy of my very creative husband).

if you have one of those double pots where the water sits in the bottom and heats the top pot, i would recommend using that. i don't have one, so using the measuring cup was a great alternative.

i used double stacked Styrofoam cups to put the cake pops to dry. i would recommend a Styrofoam block (you can get these at Michaels or other craft stores), but i was too cheap to buy one. these worked pretty well, but sometimes the pops made it too top heavy and they fell over. ha. other than that, they worked well.

and here they are...

at the shower, i tried to come up with a creative way to display them. it didn't quite come out the way i had envisioned, but it worked out ok.

i used Starbucks plastic cups for the stands. chris pokes holes in them, then i covered them with gold tissue paper, and stuck the cake pops in the holes.

this was a bit time consuming, so i ended up flipping some of the cups over and just placing the pops in the cups like a cake pop bouquet.

i also stood some on a plate just for a different look.

i was pleased with them, and they tasted delicious. i totally recommend these for a party! enjoy!


Haley's shower

last weekend, Haley's bridesmaids from IWU and I threw her an intimate bridal shower, so that she could celebrate with her school friends that likely won't make it to the wedding.

we had a blast and lots of laughs.

here are some pictures from the day.

some delicious food...

we had a potluck desert table (actually 2 tables).
lots of people brought snacks and deserts - we
had way too much food, but it was all delicious!

one of Haley's bridesmaids, Anne, made this
framed picture - so creative and gorgeous.
this was Anne's flower arrangement, too.

i made this 'B' our of tissue paper flowers.
i got the idea and the DIY tutorial from
how to make the little flowers.

cake pops! check out my last post where i shared
how to make these delicious pops of yumminess.
then check out my next post for some more yummy
pop pics.

we played a game where Haley had to answer
questions about Shay. if she got a question
wrong, she had to hold a marshmallow in her
mouth. it was hilarious (maybe not for Haley,
but it was for the rest of us).

another game.

lots of laughs!

group picture.

and of course, the silly pose.

me and my (almost) sister.

me, Haley, and sam. (sam was a bridesmaid in
my wedding).

Haley and her Indiana bridesmaids.

thanks, Haley, for letting us shower you. i'm so excited and blessed that you will be my sister. i can't wait until May 27th, when you get to marry my brother! love you, Hales.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

cake balls

if you've read my last couple of blog posts, you may be wondering why i am making/blogging about these cake balls.

well, would you look at them?

they are delicious.

in my defense - i'm actually making them for my future sister-in-law's shower. i did a test run yesterday to see how they would turn out - and i'm planning to take some to church and some to work so that i will not eat them all!!!

i got this idea from bakerella. you can get the recipe here - such cute and creative ideas.

side note - check out hostess with the mostess website for some great party ideas. or you can check out hostess with the mostess blog to see specific party themes/decor. a lot of it is way over the top, but you can get some great ideas.

anyway - i'm planning to make the cake pops - same as the cake balls but with a lollipop stick in them - for the shower. i didn't have the sticks last night so i just made the balls.

picture from

i'm not the most creative person in the world especially when it comes to things like crafts and baking - so i had no idea how these were going to turn out, but they actually turned out pretty good. i need to do a little tweaking and work on the icing decorating, but they tasted great. so i may not be Betty Crocker, but i felt very creative making these little guys.

i made these with funfettie cake and vanilla frosting - then coated them in vanilla and chocolate almond bark. also, i made the cake with egg whites instead of whole eggs. not sure how much healthier that made them, but i tried.

you can use whatever flavors of cake, icing, and coating you want. if you check out you will see that you can get pretty crazy with these - using different colors of chocolate coating, sprinkles, candy, cake shapes - the list goes on.

they are a bit time consuming, so if you don't want to make them - Starbucks is now carrying them.

so here they are - the oh-so-delicious-sugar-filled-can't-eat-them-very-often-but-will-be-a-big hit-at-a-party-CAKE BALLS!

(the not-so-aspiring baker)

skinny jeans

so yesterday, i went shopping.

i haven't been shopping for a very long time for multiple reasons:
no money
i didn't need new clothes
i was afraid to spend money on new clothes if i was just going to lose more weight and have to buy even more clothes.

but when my husband called my other jeans "frumpy" (in a loving way, of course) that was my cue to go buy some new jeans. and let me tell you - it was very exciting to fit into a smaller size and they are "skinny" jeans, at that.

ok - i've gotten a bit ahead of myself - let me go back a bit.

ever since i came back from vacation in CA, i haven't been very diligent in my weight loss. i would exercise some, try to eat healthy - then i would go a few days without a good workout or have some junk food. but i wasn't losing - i was just maintaining my weight. on the bright side, i wasn't gaining it back, however, i wasn't working to reach my next goal.

so i read some old journal entries from when i first started losing weight. reading these reminded me how i felt when i first started. it reminded me how lost and frustrated and overwhelmed i was feeling. it reminded me that i don't want to go back to that place.

it also reminded me of Psalm 86 - i found this chapter in the beginning of my journey and it had become my prayer through this time. i had forgotten all about it, but it reminded me that i needed to place God first in my life - above all else - food, exercise, work, and even my husband. it helped me to refocus on losing weight.

now, i'm not saying that since reading those entries i've been perfect and lost a ton of weight. i have started losing again, but i have also still had chocolate and sweets and some not so healthy meals. but i'm refocusing.

i'm beginning to find a balance. however, in order to lose weight, it's not going to be completely balanced - i need to burn more calories than i'm consuming (thank you Jillian Michaels) - but if i deny myself all forms of sugar, i will eventually crave it so much that i will eat a ton of sugar and then feel like crap - emotionally and physically.

i haven't quite figured this balance out, but i do think i'm close to figuring out a lifestyle that i can live with.

the other day i realized that i have been on this journey for about 5 months. there have been ups and downs, but i have been pretty consistent for 5 MONTHS! that's huge for me. my whole life i've felt that i needed a quick fix - and even though i knew in my head that there wasn't one - i kept searching for one because i didn't want to put in the work to make it happen.

in the past 5 months, i've developed habits to create a lifestyle that is healthy-er than when i started. it's not perfect - it might not be up to Bob and Jillian or my doctor's standards, but it's working. i've become ok with the process - with the fact that it's not an overnight thing - with the idea that it could take me over a year or more to lose all the weight i need to. a year can seem overwhelming - and for a crash diet, a year is an eternity. but a year is not very long when it means i'm starting habits to create a lifestyle i can live with forever. it's a daily thing. choosing TODAY to make healthy choices.

as i said earlier - i don't have this all figured out, but i am learning. i'm growing. i'm changing. sometimes i fail and it can be debilitating. the guilt can be consuming. but i'm trying to learn that one missed workout or one night of splurging on cupcakes is not the end of the world. my God is bigger than me - pun intended. my God is bigger than my weight loss journey. my God can use my weight loss to develop characteristics in me that i may not have learned or developed otherwise. my faith is growing through this process - and it is a process. slowly but surely, i'm losing weight.

i'm getting healthy.

and i'm buying skinny jeans. :D

with love,


Observations from a girl trying to lose weight:

1. chocolate is an incredible force that can break anyone's will-power to stay away from sweets.
2. i don't enjoy exercising - it is work - no matter how "fun" you make it.
3. playing games/sports for exercise can be fun, but other than dancing or swimming, there aren't many games/sports one can do my themselves - and if you don't have a pool, that also knocks out swimming.
4. Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels will kick your butt regardless of which DVD you use (and you don't even have to be on the BL ranch).
5. chocolate has the power to derail any diet.
6. the show, Biggest Loser, can inspire you and make you feel very guilty all at the same time.
7. buying smaller clothes is very exciting.
8. fitting into those "goal" jeans is a great motivator/reward.
9. i have developed a love/hate relationship with my scale - and sometimes i wonder how accurate it actually is.
10. did i mention chocolate (and pizza) are my cryptonite?
Bonus observation: losing weight and getting healthy is difficult and there are many times i want to quit, but it is also a very rewarding experience that has helped me grow spiritually and emotionally as well as become physically healthy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


i know it is almost the end of February, but i completely forgot to blog about the AMAZING Christmas present my husband got for me.

let me preface this by saying that i have wanted this thing for 3 and a half years - so the fact that he got it for me was awesome!

so - Christmas morning, as i was making breakfast, Chris surprised me with the "Elphaba" (the wicked witch) doll and two - count them TWO tickets- for both of us to go see WICKED THE MUSICAL!!! (if you feel like i'm yelling, i apologize, this is just very exciting to me). may i refer back to my previous comment of how i had been wanting to see this musical for 3.5 years! i had the soundtrack virtually memorized, watched youtube videos, knew about the original broadway cast, etc. i was giddy!

so that night, we went to dinner at Buca Di Beppo's - mainly because it was the only thing open on Christmas day, but it was delicious. then we headed over to the theatre to see one of THE BEST musicals i have ever seen. the cast, music, acting, dancing, sets, costumes - everything was in-cred-ib-le.

here are a couple of pics from the night.

thank you, babe, for an incredible dream come true! i love you with all my heart!


Friday, January 21, 2011


i love california. i'm not really sure what it is. it's probably mostly because our families and close friends are there. but there's something else, too...maybe it's the weather. or the fact that i don't have to shovel snow. maybe it's having so many cool places nearby. maybe it's because it's where i grew up - it's home. that must be's home.

i have been married for two and a half years and have lived in Indiana for four and a half years, and i still call sacramento, "home." it just feels wrong to call anywhere else, home. don't get me wrong. chris and i love our friends and family here in IN. we have made our own home here, and we are very blessed with what God has given us. however, there is just something about going home that makes me giddy inside.

so that is exactly what we did!

Chris and I went to CA for a week and a half. we spent the weekend in LA for my best friend, Paige Aaron's, wedding, and then spent the next week in Sacramento with our families.

I had the honor of being one of Paige's bridesmaids. we had so much fun at the bachelorette party! and the wedding day was beautiful and we all had a blast! here are some pics of us at the bachelorette party. and then one of all the bridesmaids - minus the bride.

It was so nice to be home. we went to Tahoe, IKEA, and Red Hawk Casino. we shopped, we slept, we talked, and we ate. we relaxed with our families and soaked in the precious moments we had with them. it was all very wonderful. unfortunately i forgot to take any pictures while with our families - i know - fail. but we were too busy having fun - yup, that's my story.

now we are back in our home in IN. it's always sad to say goodbye. but this is where God has us - for now anyways. only he knows where we are to go next. but let's just say i wouldn't mind going - home.

love you all,

the journey continues

This weight loss journey has been quite the experience. There are good days, bad days, and days that require chocolate. Ha. But overall, this journey is going pretty well.

If you haven't read about how this journey got started read my story.
A bit of an update: I reached the 10 pound goal Chris had set for me and got my new coat on Christmas Eve - yay! Right before I left for Paige's wedding, I had loss a total of 24 pounds. I didn't quite reach my goal of 30 pounds by the wedding, but I was pleased with 24 pounds.
During our trip to CA, I only worked out once, but I did a lot of walking (that counts, right). I allowed myself to splurge on food, too. I still tried to make healthy choices and watch my portion sizes, but let's face it - I was on vacation and ate out most of the time. Surprisingly, I only gained about 2 pounds back, so that made me feel better. Getting back into the groove of things has been difficult though. I've been feeling very hungry lately - I think this is due to eating so much on vacation, and now my stomach needs to shrink back as I eat correct portions. Also, I have had NO motivation to work out. I did a very short strength training workout on Wednesday (and when I say short, we're talking guys'-jean-shorts-in-the-80's, short), and I shoveled snow for about 40 minutes yesterday (thank you, Indiana). I am trying to get creative with my workouts because before the wedding, I was starting to get tired of doing the same ones. I need to keep things changing so I don't get bored and stop exercising. But I have only been back for less than a week - I will get back into my normal routine again very soon.
My dad and I have decided we are each going to work to lose 30 pounds by my brother's wedding. The wedding is in May, so we have about 4.5 months to lose the weight. It's nice to have someone working to lose weight with me. Even though we are over 2,000 miles away, it just makes it better.
Emotionally, this journey has been tough. Learning how to say no to certain foods and yes to being more active is not always as easy as it sounds. There are days when I just want to watch a movie and eat some pizza. There are days when I just don't want to care anymore, and I just want to give up. There are days when I just don't want to have to think about it anymore. Then I think about all the things I want to do - have kids, see those kids grow up, travel, help people, grow old with my husband - and that reminds me that I need to be healthy to live long enough to be able to do those things. Let's be honest - thinking about these things doesn't always make the decision to be healthy easier, but it usaully does help me to not give up altogether. The emotions aren't all bad, though. There is nothing like stepping on the scale and seeing that you have lost more weight. Or having someone compliment you on how good you look. Or fitting into that pair of jeans that were your "goal" jeans like 5 years ago and ended up at the bottom of your drawer, but now that FINALY fit. Or having your husband tell you he thinks your hot (don't worry - he told me this before I started losing weight). These things also really help me to keep going and stay motivated. Watching Biggest Loser helps, too. :D

So there is your update. Short and sweet (well, short for my blogs anyways). I intend to keep documenting this journey - so keep checking back.

Feel free to leave comments with suggestions for recipe's, exercises, workout DVD's, yummy and healthy foods (especially sweet things), and any other ideas. Like I said, I need to mix things up. Plus, I am trying to find exercises that Chris and I can do together that don't involve lots of equipment or a gym membership - so please share your ideas!