Friday, October 31, 2008

Only The Good Friday - Let's talk Berries

It's time for ONLY THE GOOD FRIDAY again!!! Visit Shelly for the official rules etc.

This is me being very excited to share some good around the blogosphere!

Today we'll talk about berries of all kinds.

We'll start with Strawberries, the lovely red and juicy berries that were my nighttime snack last night and reminded me how easy it is to eat healthy and thoroughly enjoy a food anyway. Fantastic, right? Next time you're craving something you JUST KNOW is bad for you, try a strawberry instead. OR maybe raspberries, or blackberries? I love those as well.

What are your favorite kinds of berries?

We can also talk about last night's Ugly Betty episode which was titled "Ugly Berry" and was all about these Brazilian "Tico Berries", which Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima credits with giving her her beauty. Now, don't run out and go searching for these berries, they don't exist, it's just a television show. I think...hey, maybe they do exist, you never know! ;-) Mythical berries that can make you look like a supermodel? I'm in!

Or, we could talk about Halle Berry. Halle Berry and Leonardo DiCaprio and a ton of other celebrities who got together to create this amazing public service announcement about getting out there and VOTING on November 4th. Ladies and gentlemen, the presidential election, the most talked about presidential election in recent history (if not all of history), the one that will break boundaries regardless of which way it goes, is only FOUR DAYS AWAY. You must make your voice heard...go vote.

I really wanted to post the video here, but I'm doing this from work (shhh) and I can't access youtube from work, so go to youtube and search for "Don't Vote 2 - The Sequel" to see the video. Trust me, it's worth it, if for nothing else, to see all those pretty celebrities (and I'm talking about the men, ladies). Or, you can come back here later tonight, and I'll have posted the video once I get home from work and the gym.

Moving on, let's talk about my favorite BERRY of the week. My new Pink Blackberry Curve, which shall from this point forward be known as the PinkBerry! I LOVE me my PinkBerry!

Of course, I got this phone for work, so I won't be using it for ALL my personal stuff, I still have my lovely LG Fusic for that, but, I will be using it for some of my own things as well, and although I've only had it 3 days I'm already madly deeply in love.

Really, how could you NOT love this thing? Look how pretty it is! I love new toys!

And that's it, that's all my good for today folks. Hope you gets lots of berries of all sorts coming your way. Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Battle of The Bulge - 3/4 of the way there!

Yeah yeah, I know, I know...I've been a very bad blogger, haven't posted anything ALL WEEK long and didn't even post my Battle of the Bulge post last week. I'm sorry about that, but well, things have been a bit hectic.

Anyway, I won't waste your time on my lame excuses, I'll just get right to the post.

Last week, Week 8 on Jenny Craig, I didn't have the most fantastic week. Lost 0.6 lbs. Still a loss, but not a major one. This week, week 9, was a bit of a crazy week for me schedule wise so I was feeling that I'd probably reached a sort of plateau with my weight, and wouldn't see a change when I stepped on the scale.

Well, color me surprised when I stepped on that scale, because I lost 1.6 lbs. this week. In case you haven't been keeping track (because, really, why would you?) that brings yours truly to a 15 lb. weight loss in 9 weeks. HOLY CRAP! That's crazy insane goodness if you ask me. I'm doing a little happy dance even as I type this.

Also, we took measurements. Now, as much as I love you all, I'm not about to put my measurements out there for the whole world to see. Sorry, just won't do it. But I will tell you this, I've dropped two inches off my bust, 4 inches off both my abs and hips and 6 inches off my waist...SIX FREAKIN' INCHES!!! Can you stand it?

I'm now 5 lbs from my initial goal, which means 10 from what I've decided is my final goal. I now officially weigh almost what I did in my mid 20's. I can't be 100% sure on all that because back then I was skinny so I didn't believe in scales, but I'm pretty sure I'm almost there.

BUT I've taken an additional step and joined a gym yesterday. I start my workouts tomorrow night, so get ready to hear me complain about pain...uh, I mean to hear me talk about how great I feel physically. Yeah, that's it, that's what I meant.

Check in next week to see how I did at the gym, and what the scales have to say about that.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Only The Good Friday #2 - My Girls


Know what that means? It means its time to post only good things. I joined
Shelly last week when she decided to spread a "GOOD" virus for a change, in the midst of all the negativity we are constantly bombarded with, and I'm ready to do it again.

So, what good do I have to share with you today? Well, today's post is all about my girls. Or your girls,'s about the girls anyway.

I could do something silly, and tell you that by "girls" I mean breasts, and the fact that a study has come out that if a woman drinks more than 3 cups of coffee a day, her breasts will shrink. See, this may not be a good thing for some women, but for someone like me? GOOD NEWS! I'll tell you what else too...since I've been on Jenny, I've started drinking a whole lot more coffee, and the girls? Yes siree, they are a shrinkin'. And I'm lovin' it. BRING ON THE COFFEE, I say!

But that's not the girls I was thinking of when I started this post.

What girls then, you ask?

I want to talk about girlfriends.

I don’t mean the romantic buying flowers, falling in love, wanting to get married kind of girlfriends.

I mean girl friends.

The women in our lives who make each day just a little bit brighter by being a part of it.

The ones we have fun with, the ones we cry with, the ones we laugh with, the ones we might even fight with now and then.

Our shopping buddies, our travel buddies, our pseudo therapists and motivators.

The shoulders we cry on, the mirrors we use to reflect our own faults off of, the understanding smiles and the forgiving embraces.

The phone calls at 3 in the morning, the late night conversations over martinis, the crack of dawn trips to early bird sales.

The hand holding in a doctor’s office, the slight push toward the man we’re eyeing, the holding back from the punch we wanted to throw.

The perfect meal at the end of a long day, the “let’s go for a walk” when you need it most, the thoughtful email at just the right moment.

The prayers, even when they don’t know what they’re praying for, the inspiration they provide just by being, the lessons they’ve taught you without even trying.

The giggles, the unspoken language, the knowing looks, the mischievous grins.

The history you share, the present you enjoy, the future you’ll experience.

The incriminating photographs, the blackmail stories, the nostalgia, the songs that only you know the alternate words to.

The life lessons, the heartbreaks, the “first times”, the milestones.

The jealousies, the bitterness, the drifting apart.

The cheerleading, the support, the unbridled happiness at each other’s successes.

The ones who’ve come and gone, but left an imprint never to be forgotten.

The ones who’ve always been, will always be, no matter what.

The ones you’ve yet to meet, who’ll make their mark, do their part.

The young, the old, the in between.

The shy, the bold, the beauty queens.

The ones you loved, the ones you liked, the ones you merely tolerated.

The ones you led, those who walked by your side, and those you emulated.

Your sisters, your mothers, your cousins, your soulmates.

Your pen pals, your email buddies, your high school friends.

The ones who lived next door to you, the ones who live across the world.

The ones you’ve known all of your life, the ones you’ve never met face to face.

THOSE girls. Let’s talk about girlfriends. Because without them, there would be no you. There would be no me.

That's my good for this Friday. Want to participate? Head on over to
Shelly's and join in. Or just share here in comments some good thoughts for this Friday!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's Just a Novel!!

Yes, I may have entirely lost my mind. Let’s be honest here, I don’t exactly have a whole lot of free time on my hands. Between working a full time job, running a youth group practically on my own, teaching ccd classes every few weeks, preparing for an upcoming retreat, trying to keep a household running, figuring out how to work in an exercise routine, having a serious television addiction and attempting to have a social life…it’s no wonder I barely have time to blog lately. Notice I didn’t even mention shoe shopping? Who has time for shoe shopping?

WAIT…WHAT? Scratch that, there’s always time for shoe shopping.

But I digress.

I’m well aware that my blogging has suffered the last several months. I have neglected all three of my blogs, not to mention the various other blogs I make “guest” appearances on here and there, and even worse, I have seriously neglected the blogs I love to visit and read. But, not only have I been entirely too busy, but this new job, as much as I love it, makes blogging a bit difficult. What with all the firewalls and other things, I’m weary of spending too much time online on my work computer.

This is not actually a bad thing, as we’re supposed to WORK at work, right? So, that only leaves my evenings for blog stuff and well…my evenings are pretty crowded lately.

The thing is, that in this new job, I actually have quite a bit of free time. I have my busy moments, but then I do have other times when I literally search for busy work.
It is actually during those times that blog posts such as this one are created, then copy pasted into my blog when I am at home. SHHH…don’t tell.

So then, I decided I would do something productive with my downtimes.

I signed up for
NaNoWriMo again this year. Writing a 50,000 word Novel in the month of November.

Again, yes, I may have entirely lost my mind. But I’m doing it anyway.

Last year I signed up, and I was all gung-ho and excited about it. That is until the big “
meltdown” happened and I lost precious hours…nay…days trying to recover my manuscript. By the time I managed to do so, I had lost my momentum, my motivation and my muse. So, I quit.

I also broke rule #1 of NaNoWriMo last year anyway, because I tried to revive an old manuscript, instead of starting from scratch, which is the entire point behind NaNoWriMo.

So, I’m doing things right this year, and I’m starting from scratch, with a brand new story. One I have yet to dream up, but there are ideas floating around in my head already, pumping themselves up to compete to be the winning entry.

And heck, why not, I’m going to give it a try. What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t reach 50,000 words? Well, at least I’ll have a great start to what could be the next great American novel. Or…whatever.

So, are you doing it? Do you NaNoWriMo?? If so, BUDDY me, let’s keep each other motivated.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

That Other Me

Allow me some self-indulgence in this post, won't you?

It seems that lately I’m re-inventing myself. It was not a conscious decision, this “becoming someone new” thing, but there it is. I’m shedding my old skin (along with a few pounds and a ton of insecurities) and re-emerging as the star I know I was meant to be.

It’s funny how that’s happened more than once in my life, and funnier yet how I don’t notice that I’ve climbed back into my cocoon until I’ve re-emerged from it.

When I was younger, growing up in Portugal, I was a pretty popular kid. In every memory I have as a kid, I was always surrounded by friends, holding court, the leader of the pack. It was my show, everyone else was just lucky to get a bit part in it.

However, moving to the United States in the middle of 4th grade threw a bit of a ratchet into my plans of becoming queen of the world. Suddenly I was in a strange land, speaking a strange language, trying to fit into a world that had been revolving without me for a long time.

It didn’t take me too long, however, to find my place, and once again, establish myself as the “go to” person amongst my friends. That is, until, I was thrust into a brand new school year after year, as my parents attempted to figure out their life in this new country.

By the 8th grade, I’d lost my place all over again, and was feeling about as beat down as a kid can get when they are completely out of their element. No longer was I the star of the show, at this point, I didn’t even make the cast. In fact, I’m not sure I felt I was even qualified to paint the set pieces.

My high school years were NOT the best years of my life by any means, and I struggled to find my footing. It was during this time that the timid, insecure part of my personality truly took form. The girl I became in high school would haunt me for years to come, the insecurities heavy on my heart and mind more often than not.

In college, however, I did it again. Re-invent myself, I mean. This time, it was a conscious effort, as I pushed aside the shy, insecure girl, and let the vivacious, flirtatious, and ambitious ME come out to play. I had a great time in college, and have mostly memories of being free to be the “real” me. This new me, the confident, strong, independent me, lived on after college as well. She took a few unscheduled sabbaticals, mostly during the two or three destructive relationships I allowed myself to be in, but never failed to reappear before it was too late. Before I was too lost.

But something happened in the last few years. Although by all appearances, anyone would tell you that I was still representing that college girl, that strong, confident woman on the outside, the truth was that she was gone on sabbatical again. Only this time, she didn’t tell me she left.

I hadn’t realized what a beating my self-esteem had taken until very recently. Until I started to work on bettering myself again.

So, it brings me to this moment. Over the last several months, I’ve been re-inventing myself again. At first, sub-consciously, reconnecting with old friends, and with God, and finding an inner strength, and inner peace I hadn’t realized I’d lost. Then, more consciously, on a slightly more “superficial” level, by taking back my social life, and taking back my body from the complacent place I’d let it settle (heavily) upon.

Now, I walk down the street with my head held high again, no more watching my feet as they land step by step. I make eye contact with strangers, and I smile at passersby. I feel worthy once again of the attention I’m receiving from the opposite sex, and am not afraid to return it, as I have been for so long. I now look forward to heading out to social events, dressing up, getting all girly to show off what God gave me, and enjoy my existence in this world.

Always a bit of a fashionista, I’d let even that side of me slack recently, but I am again taking pride in my wardrobe, pulling together outfits, creating trendy, unique looks that only THIS ME can pull off. THIS me. Because that other me? She didn’t believe she could do it, she didn’t have the guts. She didn’t want to be seen, she wanted to just coast by unnoticed. THIS me, however? I want it all, the attention, the intrigue, even the disapproving or misunderstanding looks. Not everyone will get me, and THIS me is okay with that. You don’t have to like me, but you will notice me. That’s the me I’ve always so enjoyed being. The “unafraid to raise eyebrows” me. The “look at the bounce in her step” me. The “that girl could rule the world” me.

See, you can’t be a star if you don’t allow yourself to shine, and stand out there all alone at times, and me? I’m ready for my moment in the spotlight once again.

Don’t worry though, I promise to use my powers only for good.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Welcome to PleasantVille - Population...Expanding

Remember that movie? Remember how perfect everything was, before those obnoxious little teenagers showed up and started screwing around with everyone’s hearts and minds? Alright, sure, you could technically say that even though everything “seemed” perfect on the surface, it really wasn’t, and that’s the true lesson of the movie, but then you’d be just like those annoying little teenagers. They didn’t KNOW it wasn’t perfect, so they were perfectly happy in their imperfect lives. Ignorance is bliss and all that, right?

Whatever…the point is that they were unaware of the “bad stuff” and focused only on the good. Living in today’s society, it is easy to imagine how living in a “perfect”, Pleasantville like world might seem tempting.

But since we don’t really have the option of crossing over into that world, and since we’d probably screw it all up like those obnoxious little teenagers anyway, I suppose it’s up to us to make THIS world a little more pleasant instead. Don’t you think?

Shelly at “This Eclectic Life” seems to think so, and she’s trying to spread this optimism virus through these here interwebs. And I’ve decided to join the cause.

So, starting today, every Friday here at Candid Karina will be “Only the Good Friday” and I will post only something good, something positive, something uplifting…something pleasant.

If you would like to join us in spreading the positive vibe, please visit Shelly’s blog and let her know you’re joining in.

It’s so easy to spread negativity throughout the world wide web…let’s focus on spreading the positive stuff instead.

Because I just decided to jump on this party wagon last minute, my good for today is going to be a series of random thoughts, tidbits, and information.

1. For some seriously uplifting posts, by a fabulous group of women who inspire and amaze me every day, take a moment and peruse Inspired Bliss (of which I happen to be a contributor), won’t you?

2. Like music? Like free music? Like free music legally? I discovered this website, Spiral Frog, a few weeks ago that lets you download music completely legally, due to some agreement or other they have with certain record labels. I’ll be honest, I’m not entirely sure how it all works, besides the fact that it has something to do with advertising revenue, but hey, it’s free. They don’t have “everything”, but poke around a bit and you’ll see that they’re selection is not bad at all.

3. Like to laugh? Do yourself a favor and click this link…watch this “skit” of Dennis Quaid on the Ellen DeGeneres show. I can’t post the actual video here for some reason, but trust me, you WANT to watch this. Probably the funniest bit I’ve ever seen on her show. I seriously laughed so much I nearly peed my pants. I know you didn’t need to know that, but seriously….go watch it: Ellen (there are two parts to the video, and it just gets funnier and funnier, so do yourself a favor and watch this one too: Ellen2. You will not regret it…

That’s it, that’s my good for today…Hope you enjoyed!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Battle of the Bulge - This one is MINE!

Another week has gone by in the Battle of the Bulge, and ladies and gents, I'm SO winning this one.
I'm on week three of Amber's Challenge, but week 7 on Jenny Craig.
This past week was indeed a bit challenging for me, and before I stepped on the scales at the Jenny center last night, I wasn't feeling entirely positive about my results. On Saturday we took our youth group to Six Flags New England, and although I made the best choices possible, with the options available to me for food, it was hard to stick to the Jenny plan at an amusement park...or so I thought. I also had a pretty haphazard weekend in terms of my schedule, so sticking to the plan was nearly impossible. So, I wasn't too sure I'd managed a weight loss last week, and was prepared to see a very small change (if any change at all) on that scale.
So imagine my surprise, not to mention my elation, when I stepped on the scale and had lost yet another 2 lbs. That's right folks, I'm kickin' ass in this battle, and the bulge is LOSING!
I am now at a weight loss of 12.8 lbs, with a mere 6.6 lbs. to go toward my goal. OH, I will get there!
This week I plan to stick to the plan again as much as possible (a few events this weekend may cause me to stray just a wee bit), and kick up the exercise, because that should help balance out the few glasses of wine or what not I plan on having Saturday night. (But that's a story for another post, you think?)
That's where I am...check in with ya next week!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Better late than never right? Yeah, yeah, I know I promised to announce the winners to my 500th Celebration Post GiveAway sometime last week. But, well, I’ll be honest lovely readers, I just didn’t have the motivation or the energy to post much of anything last week. So, better late than ever, here are the results.

But, before we get to the winners, I want to thank all of you who visited and commented. And I especially want to thank those of you who left constructive input about my blog. The two pieces of advice I seemed to get that repeated themselves were that A)my font is too small and B)my posts are too long. Ah yes…I KNOW! But if you know me in real life, then you know I don’t quite know how to shut up and edit myself, so that’s not really surprising. I’m a story teller by nature, and when I tell a story, I want you to know every last little detail. BUT, since I asked for your input, I am going to take it to heart, and work on shortening SOME of my posts. It won’t happen overnight, and I’m sure it won’t happen with all of them, but, I’ll work on it. The other point, about the font…I actually agree with that, and am working on changing it, but I’m still an HTML newbie, and I can’t seem to change it the “easy” way, so bare with me, I’ll figure it out eventually.

Okay, this is turning into another of those “LONG” posts, so let’s get to the winners already.

As you know, there were two prizes. This one:

For anyone who left a comment telling me how long they’d been blogging. There were 13 comments that qualified for this entry.

I did a very scientific drawing to pick the winner, and I’d share photos, but I did this at work, so no photos were taken (sorry). My scientific method? I listed your names in the order the comments came in and assigned them a number. Then I number 13 little pieces of paper and folded them up nice and tiny, stuck them in a bowl and pulled out a number.

And the winner is: JANA! She just happens to be one of my new Inspired Bliss buddies, and I’m so happy to be able to welcome her to my blog with a prize! Congrats lady!

The second prize, THIS ONE:

Was for anyone who offered some constructive criticism about my blog, or shared what it was that made them come back, what they liked, disliked, etc. I again thank you all for your input. There were 7 comments that qualified for this entry. Again, I put all your little numbers in a bowl and…the winner is JENI!! Yet another of my Inspired Bliss buddies. How about that? You girls took over this thing and RAN with it. Congrats!!

So, what I need from the two of you is your mailing address. You can either email it to me, or DM me on Twitter, and I’ll get your goodies out PRONTO!

Thanks everyone for visiting!

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Stuff, NEW STUFF!!!

My newest entry at Inspired Bliss is up and ready for your reading pleasure...won't you please stop by and read it? Click on the button above to be taken to the Inspired Bliss main page, or the button below to be taken directly to my newest post.

Thank you!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photo Hunt #32 - Lazy

The Photo Hunter theme today is Lazy. As soon as I saw the prompt, I thought of th lazy afternoon my friend Traveller and I spent last September up at Lake Winnipesaukee.


If you're doing Photo Hunter, that means you like taking photos and being creative. I'd love for you to join me in a new meme I've started. You can read all about Karina' Alphabet Soup here.

Well, I'm off to Six Flags with a group of teenagers today. (yikes) Happy Hunting!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weight Loss Challenge - Half-way there.

Okay folks, here it is, the results are in. As I stated in my initial post last week, although I joined Amber's Battle of the Bulge Challenge last week, I actually began my weight loss challenge in August. With 20.4 lbs. to lose, I signed up for Jenny Craig.
This past Wednesday I reached six weeks on the program, and my goal had been to reach my half way point by the time the six week trial period I signed up for was up. Did I do it?
YES! I actually passed it. Weighing in at 138.6 lbs., I've lost 10.8 lbs., leaving me with 8.6 lbs. to go to reach goal. I've broken into the 130s which makes me happy, and I've also lost a full dress size, which is FABULOUS!!!
Because I've reached my half-way goal, Jenny Craig and I have agreed that I can now drop down to only using their food five days a week, instead of every day, and I'm doing breakfasts on my own. Hopefully, I'll be able to use the tools I've been learning from them and be able to transfer them over to "real life" food. That's the plan anyway. I did sign up for another trial period, 10 weeks long this time, so I'm hoping to reach my goal weight and have a few weeks left over for "maintenance".
Now, for the good stuff. This past Saturday I decided I needed to clean out my closets. I emptied them out competely, and started putting things back in ONE BY ONE. Ladies (and gents), I believe I tried on every article of clothing I own. Now, if you know me, you know that is QUITE the feat, because I am admitedly, a bit of a shopaholic, with A LOT of clothes. It was fabulous however, because on Saturday I basically went shopping in my closet. I found things I didn't even know I owned, I found things I can now fit into that I couldn't before, I found things that I will fit into when I reach my goal and I found things that are now WAY too large on me.
LOVE IT! I have an entire new wardrobe, and I never even left the house or opened up my wallet.
And this morning, as I was getting ready for work, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and realized face? Looks skinny again. I'm actually doing double takes because it's so strange to me. How great is that?
So, that's it for me this week. The plan for this coming week is to stay on course, try to introduce my two days of non-jenny food into my diet and not screw it all up. Oh yeah, and tomorrow, when I'll be at Six Flags, try not to eat any pizza or french fries.
I'll check in with you next week, let you know how I did!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

You Should Know...

Well, I've gotten my very first ever meme tag by Twitter. I'll have to share with you my love affair with Twitter in another post, but for now, let's tackle the tag...

Lisa of Put It on the List has tagged me with the Six Things Meme. I've actually done this meme before here, and a variation of it with the 7 things, 8 things and even 5 things all over my blog. But, if you don't know by now...I sort of love talking about myself (uh, I'm a blogger after all), so, what the heck, let's do it again!

So, here's what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to tell you 6 things about me that nobody knows. UH...see, the thing is...I don't really have any secrets. My life is like an open book, especially on this here blog. So, I'm going to try...

1. I haven't had cheese in 6 weeks. Now, I'm a self-proclaimed cheese-a-holic, I could eat an entire thing of cheese in one sitting, so this is quite the amazing feat, but as part of Jenny Craig, with the exception of a few "cheese-like" ingredients in their prepared meals, I haven't touched cheese in 6 weeks.

2. Today I feel skinny. I'm still only half-way to my goal weight, but today, I've actually tucked my shirt INTO my pants, and don't feel the need to hide my belly. Crap, I feel thinner, if not skinny.

3. I want to start dating again. There, I said it. It's been a long time, and I'm ready. It's time.

4. Sometimes, I get insanely self-conscious and insecure and wonder if everyone things I'm a big fake. I have the most amazing friends, but sometimes, I wonder if they "just put up with me" or if they genuinely like me. I wonder if I can really be as great as they all make me feel I am.

5. Over the last few years, I've developed a green thumb of sorts. I used to kill all plants that ever crossed my threshhold, but lately, I've managed to not only keep some alive, but to actually revive a few and bring them back from the nearly dead. I'm kind of proud of this.

6. I want a dog. No, I'm not getting one. I don't have the lifestyle to be a pet owner right now, but I want one. BADLY!

Okay, that's it, that's my six. Now I'm supposed to tag six people, but I've been a very bad blogger lately, so I feel badly going out and tagging folks I haven't visited in a I'm going to cut the list short at four instead:

1. PBNJM - my cousin and bestie forever and ever.

2. Julia - and yes, I realize I owe her a few memes she's tagged me for as well (I promisse, they're in the works).

3. Frigga - who's posts I miss reading, man, I've got some catching up to do!!!

4. Frances - because I know she's always up for a meme or two!!

Enjoy ladies!!

Weight Loss Challenge

I’m joining my “Inspired Bliss” buddy Amber on the October Weight Loss Challenge.

In all actuality, I started this particular battle of the bulge 5 weeks ago when I joined Jenny Craig with my mom. But seeing as I still have a little over half way to go toward my goal weight, I figured joining this challenge would just help to keep me motivated.

So, the details about my particular battle. For this, we go way back in time.

I was a skinny kid. A very skinny kid. Rail thin arms, 80 lbs soaking wet pretty much through high school. At 5’2”, tiny is a good way to describe me in those days. I always had a pretty fast metabolism, and could eat anything and everything I wanted without ever suffering the consequences. I just did NOT gain weight.

Even at college, when most people were putting on their freshman 15, I stayed skinny. So skinny, in fact, that I was constantly abused for it. Thhe thing about our culture, is that although we all want to be skinny, and we all know that it is rude to discuss someone’s weight if they happen to be overweight, we have no problems making someone feel terrible for being thin. Making them feel like less of a person because they are…well…less of a person, physically.
I was always being told by girls who were not quite as thin as I that I was so lucky to be so thin. They were right, I was. But there were also very mean things said about me due to my thinness. On one particular occasion I was told by a girl that I was “So damn skinny you make me sick”. She said this joking, laughing, but wow, talk about hurtful words. It took every ounce of my self-control for me not to respond with “You’re so fat it makes me sick”. She wasn’t even fat, chunky a little, maybe, but not even fat. But that one single comment stuck with me for so long that even now, almost 10 years later, it still hurts. And I'm not even skinny anymore!

I tell you this because you need to know my mindset and why the weight issue is so troubling for me. I was always the skinny girl. As I got older, in my early to mid twenties, my body began to change. I gained curves I’d never had before, but I was still thin. Through most of my twenties, therefore, I had a rocking body. It took no work on my part, it just was. Yes, I realize how damn lucky I was then. And then I hit the age of 27 or thereabouts and my metabolism changed completely. Little by little I began to put on weight. At first it was subtle, and when it began to pick up speed, I barely noticed. By the time I had noticed, the skinny girl was LONG gone.

Here’s the thing…I still had the “skinny girl” mentality, so it was really hard for me to realize that I was no longer the skinny girl. Almost like a reverse anorexic symptom, I would look in the mirror and not really notice how round I was getting. I still saw myself as thinner than most people, even when that wasn’t exactly true. Your mind plays tricks on you, you know?

The other thing is that at 5’2” I’m still tiny. And because of the shape of my body, if I dress well, it’s really easy to hide the extra weight for me. I carry most of it in my stomach (which I know is the unhealthiest place to carry it), so I can camouflage it pretty well. Well, to a certain point I could anyway. I have a tiny waist, I have skinny legs, and my face didn’t see any weight gain until very recently. So it was easy to “not notice” the weight. I knew it was there, but I could not focus on it as much.

Even now, as I work on my weight, I’m constantly told by others “But, you don’t need to lose weight”. Which is sweet, really, but not true. I just hide it well my friends.

But I know the history of weight gain in my family, I’ve seen my mom battle it her whole life, and I don’t want that to be my struggle, so it was time to take a stand, put a stop to it, get a handle on it.

Here’s what I learned on my first appointment with Jenny Craig 5 weeks ago: Healthy BMI is 18.5 to 24.9. Overweight BMI is 25-29.9. Mine at that time was 27.2. My healthy weight range is 125 to 129lbs. At that time I was at 149.4. Wow, I just admitted that for the world to see…I must be serious about this thing.

So, I set my goal. I hate odd numbers, so I set my goal weight at 130. That will put my BMI at 23.8, right in that healthy range. That meant 20 lbs. to shed.

For purposes of this weight challenge, I’ll start with my current stats: Currently I am at 140.4lbs, BMI 25.6. I’m down 9 lbs in 5 weeks, and I have 11 (okay, 11.4 technically) left to go to reach goal.

In all honesty, I’m actually shooting for an additional 5 lbs after that, so I can have some breathing room, but I’ll cross that bridge later.

Okay, since I’ve already revealed my weight anyway, I’ll go ahead and give you photos as well. Let’s see…here’s one from over the summer, with two of my girlies, The Disciple and M&M, (I'm in black):

UGH. I'm not really sure where I was in weight at that time, but I'm guessing right around my starting weight.

And here’s one last Friday night, less 9 lbs:

And all dolled up for my New Kids on the Block concert. Yeah, I know, I'm a groupie, leave me alone. Moving on...

So, what’s the plan then?

1. Keep up with Jenny Craig. My six week trial ends next Wednesday, but I’m going to go ahead and sign up for a one year plan, so that even after I lose the weight, I can work on maintenance with them, just for a little help keeping me on the right track.
2. In the first several weeks I was averaging between 1.5 and 2.5 lbs per week. I fell below the 1 lb range this week, so I need to step it up.
3. EXERCISE is how I’m going to step it up. I have done very little, if any in the last 5 weeks. This was actually a calculated decision, I was saving it for the second half because I knew it would get harder after a while. Now I need to add it into the equation.
4. As far as food goes, I plan on sticking with the Jenny meals until I reach my goal. They’re pricey, but they’re tasty, and I like not having to do much thinking and planning. I eat my meals, add in my fruits and veggies, and I’m good to go. I will try to find some cheaper substitutions in the following weeks, however, so that I can wean myself off the food slowly, and prepare to eat “in the real world”.

5. Check in here every Thursday and let you all know how I'm doing. My Jenny Weigh Ins are on Wednesday nights, so Thursday mornings you'll get my updates.

That’s it, that’s the plan for me. My goal is to hit the 20lb mark in the next 6 weeks. November 12th is my actually d-day. That gives me a weight loss of approximately 2 lbs per week. Not impossible, but I will have to step up the exercise for sure. I’m going to Florida that following weekend, and I’d love to reach my goal by then.

So, away we go. Interested in joining? Click on the button at the top of the post and sign up with Amber!