Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sixth Weigh Recap, Seventh Weigh and Living Without Internet

Ohmygranny, girls! I've been "offline" for OVER A WEEK! Other than not being able to update here, I have to wonder if God wasn't giving me a clue that I should spend a little more time "unplugged"!

Long story short, we went to my folks house for Thanksgiving and the Diva Husband installed new bamboo floors in the living room hall and office.

The office. Where the computers live.

When I told Heather that I'd be happy to do the updates, I completely forgot that my folks would be offline.


And yes, our lovely little activity got spammed. Ah well, that's what the delete button is for! :)

Ah, so here's the recap from the Sixth Weigh. We had some great results!

Kimberly & Jill--Stayed the same
Jennifer--Lost 1.4 lbs, at 10% of goal
Beth--Lost 2.2 lbs, at 11% of goal
ElleBee--Lost 2 lbs, up to 17.5.% of goal

And the winner (or loser, as the case may be!) for the second week running...
Wendy--Lost 1 lb, up to 25% of goal

Great job, ladies! If you weighed on "Black Friday", be sure to comment and I'll get a recap post up tomorrow! :)


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Music Man Guest Blogs an Impromptu Trip to WDW


Music Man here filling in for my wife while she's in Russia. She suggested (then twisted my arm, then I realized how much fun it would be) that I take the kids to Disney World while she's gone. Well, tomorrow we're going over to Grandma and Grandpa's for Thanksgiving lunch (much of which I cooked) and then take off for Florida. Of course, the kids have no idea, but it wouldn't be any fun if they did. We'll take off tomorrow and get there as fast as we can, get checked in and hit MK Friday. The park's open 9-midnight so I don't think we'll have a problem getting everything in (and that includes Dole Whips and a 999,999 on Buzz.)

I'm not sure where I'll start or how I'll chronicle our "Quantum Boogaloo" at the Dis but I'll go ahead and start with the basics.

We're hitting MK on Friday, DHS on Saturday and Epcot on Sunday before we come home. We're staying at All-Star Music and I think the kids will be so geeked (besides, Music is my favorite All-Star Resort.)

Almost time for bed, but you get the gist now. More chronicles to come as we make our way down to Orlando and then through the World.

Peace out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

On The Sixth Weigh of Christmas

Well, today is the day! Six weeks from today is Christmas, who can believe THAT?! It's made a bit more difficult by the fact that it's in the mid 60s-low 70s here in the Atlanta area these days. :)

So how did you do last week? Thursday is Thanksgiving. Do you have a strategy? I myself will be in Russia, so I'll miss out on the green beans, stuffing, mashers, cheese tray (!!!) and of course my beloved cranberry salad. I'm not sure what we'll be eating, but I'm relatively confident it will contain both mayonnaise (blech) and cabbage (yum). Obviously I won't be able to weigh in next week, so ElleBee will take care of that and the recap for me while I'm gone.

Let us know what your Thanksgiving plan is, as well as how you did! Remember, to calculate your percentage to your goal, you'll divide the number of pounds you've lost to date in the challenge bythe number of pounds you set as your goal.

Mine will look like this:
This week: lost 1
To date: lost 1
Percent to goal: 5%

That will make it easy for ElleBee to make the leader board! Happy Thanksgiving, and I can't wait to see how you did when I get back Dec 2!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weight Loss Challenge Leader Board

Well girls, I haven't heard from everyone, but it's time to post this week's leader board. We had three people lose this week, and they are:

Jill, at 5.5% of her final goal.
ElleBee, at 7.5% of her final goal.
And Wendy, at a whopping TWENTY PERCENT of her final goal!

Way to go girls. Do you have any tips to share, things that worked well for you? We'd all love to hear about it!

Please remember to post on Friday!

Friday, November 13, 2009

On The Seventh Weigh of Christmas

Ok ladies, today is the first weigh in! How did you do this week? Did you have any special challenges?

For myself, I honestly do not know what happened. I kept my calories under control and didn't skip any workouts, but GAINED 1.8 lbs. I would imagine that part of it is the stress of leaving for Russia in 7 days, but I don't believe that would account for almost two pounds. There's one other remote possibility, but I won't be able to confirm or deny that until I get back from Russia. :)

My struggle this week was not having a well-stocked pantry. I'm almost out of rice, lentils, and most beans. I try to keep several easy meals on hand; eggs, turkey sausage, pasta and sauce, and boxed organic soup. We had all of those this week, but when the pantry is slim, I feel deprived. This is more a mental thing than physical, since I know cognitively that we have more than enough. It feeds into some childhood stuff for me, a sense of lack, that I battle today.

Anyhow, so there you have it. Since I gained, I'm -9% to my goal. Yick. I'll post next Friday for the weigh-in, and guest blogger ElleBee will post the recaps for my while I'm gone!

ETA: Please be sure to post your percentage to your goal so I can do a ranking!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Nine More Days

I'm leaving the country for the first time in nine days. Nine. We're into single digits. Wow. Friday night we had this special thing at church, and afterward I was talking to my friend Susan. I was lamenting that the theme of the retreat we're doing is sanctification, and that I felt like I didn't have a working definition. I mean, I know what sanctification IS, but the process, the definition, the whole thing is a little muddy to me. Then yesterday I woke up for my quiet time, and God just started pouring this poem out. I know it's not well written, but honestly, I don't feel like I wrote it. Here goes:


A perfect gem, a finished work
My Father cuts himself
From rough-hewn rock, carved and smoothed
Brings forth from nothing, wealth

His keen eye and steady hand I trust
To hold in tender vice
Lopping off the needless filth
I've gathered in this life

The first cuts ache, for they are large
Hints of beauty poking through
From dirty rock to precious gem
Joys of change, bold and new

Still I'm dull and ask my Jeweler
Rough places yet to smooth
Darkness held so dear I give,
There's nothing He can't use.

Throwing back His head, He laughs with joy
At my aching, pleading need
To be more like Him and less like me
Ever faithful, He gives heed.

He sets to work, sharp chisel gleams
Keen focus in His eyes
"More you want", He gently says
His sweet presence is my prize

The pain intense, relentless work
It seems too much to bear
But my Master labors patiently
And finding value, lingers there

I survey His work when He steps back
And astonished, hang my head
"Such work, such pain, for what?", I ask
"One new facet?", sick with dread

Despairing of the days to come
As refining never ends,
He comes and gently lifts my head
My downcast soul to mend

"That facet I did not make for you,
That facet is for them
So they see hints and glints of Me,
My precious, spotless gem."

"My work is slow, of focused pace
To build your fragile trust
You withstand great pressure tenderly
Never cracked and left to dust"

"I will work what you allow
Nothing less and nothing more
My work is your great offering
It's what your heart beats for"

"Submit time and again to this
Unabated is the change
I ask of you, my darling one
Familiar, yet still strange "

"The reward is great, for one day soon
You'll catch a glimpse and start
The gem I've polished, raised from the dead
Is your priceless ruby heart."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Finally, A Beauty Review!

I haven't done a beauty post in quite a while, and I wanted to review two products that I picked up at Sephora last week. The first I'll do today, and it's the Deluxe Fragrance Sampler for Her. This is a really cool concept. There are 12 sample fragrance vials with an atomizer in the box, and the cost is $50. You try the samples, pick your favorite, and take the enclosed certificate back to the store to redeem for your favorite of the bunch. It was such fun to pull out the booklet, read about each one, and just try things out. Of course, this is made more interesting when your husband used to sell fragrance and has an opinion that is usually pretty different than your own. :)

First up, Aquolina Pink sugar. This is completely delightful. You can smell the caramel and marshmallow, and it just felt so homey and comforting. The price point is completely agreeable, too. Overall, it was my second favorite of the group!

Next, Donna Karen's Cashmere Mist. OK, I can't stand this fragrance or anything about it. The bottle looks like a drugstore thing to me. It smells too heavy and floral for my taste, and I rank it tenth of 12.

On to Juicy Couture's Viva La Juicy. Aside from the fact that all I can picture from this brand is 20-year-olds carrying LV Speedy bags with their Ugg(ly) boots and words on their butts, this actually smells pretty nice. It's a relatively generic fragrance, but ok. Fell squarely in the middle of my list.

Prada Infusion D'Iris is a scent I don't understand. The Music Man loves it and, for the life of me, I just can't figure out the attraction. Maybe he just likes florals more than I do, because it smells like old ladies and moth balls to me. Could just be how it reacts to my chemistry. Shrug. It ranks eleventh for me.

Next up, - Emilio Pucci Vivara Variazioni Acqua 330. Now, I like Pucci, and this smells just like their clothes. Breezy, fresh, cool. Also like their clothes, this fragrance is completely unlike me. Although I liked it, it definitely has a water/soapy smell to it which gives me a headache. If you like those sorts of fragrances, it's pretty amazing! Tenth over here, but only due to personal preferences.

Kenzo Flower By Kenzo is a head scratcher for me. Like why is there a poppy on the bottle when there isn't a poppy note in it? Hmm. I also don't get the attraction here. It has a powdery quality that I don't love (but then again, I also hated Baby Soft back in the day). I'll pass.

Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue is beautiful, sells amazingly well, and will probably be around forever. I like it quite a bit, but it smells better just out of the bottle than it does lingering on me. Plus, I like a classic and all but always prefer something a little less well known for myself. Just my preference, but this is fourth for me.

Harajuku Lovers G is so stinking cute. Who could resist that bottle? This fragrance makes me happy. On myself, I smell mostly the coconut, but that's a smell I really enjoy. Given that it's fall/winter, I didn't want to go with that one this time around. Number three on my list.

Michael Kors Very Hollywood leaves me speechless. Hate gardenia. Hate it. Dead last, 'nuff said.

Versace Bright Crystal is beautiful. I know, I know, it's hard to read that this is a blend of Donnatella's favorite scents and think that it's going to be beautiful, but it really is. It came in fourth place for me only because Pink Sugar is so completely wearable and Harajuku Lovers G is so refreshing and tropical, but this is a solid, beautiful fragrance. It definitely feels rich, and I liked wearing it.

But y'all, I have found my Chanel No. 5 in this set. It's called Stella McCartney Stella Nude, and I am in. love. with. it. It's hard to explain, and when you look at the notes, it looks strange. Moroccan Rose, Grapefruit, White Peony, Pink Pepper, Precious Vanilla, Grey Amber, and Musk? Yeah, weird. And yet somehow it works. I read all these reviews of it, and they all say that it's crazy similar to Stella. Well, I tried Stella, and I can't stand it. Stella Nude is a Sephora exclusive, and it's just the juice right now, no ancillary products. It's a really new fragrance, so they may come out with them in time. There's a holiday gift set that includes a candle, but I think that's a weird combination (though the fragrance is soft and sensual, so ok maybe). In fact, the first time I put it on I said to the Music Man, "It smells like ME to me, but it might be a little too sexy". I've decided that it isn't. :)

So jazzed that I got that set and got to try all of the fragrances, and of course even more excited that I found a perfect fit for myself. If you have a gift to buy for the holidays or want to try some new scents for yourself, I highly recommend this set. They also have a second set with best sellers, and a deluxe sample set. Love Sephora!

Stay tunes for a review of the Tarte Treasure Chest, $52 with a value of almost $700!

Friday, November 6, 2009

First Day of the Challenge!

OK everyone, game on! This morning please post whatever you're comfortable with, either your starting weight and goal, or just your goal.

Current weight: 150.0 lbs.
Goal weight: 130.0 lbs.

My biggest challenges in this: I'll be in Russia from Nov 20-Dec 1 and have little to no control over what we'll eat. Yikes! There's no exercise there either, so that'll be 20% of the contest that I'll have to play completely by ear. Not fun! But, this is something I want, so I'm going to work for it.

My ultimate goal: To get comfortable in my body again. I was maintaining 133 lbs. without a huge amount of work, but after the miscarriage, I haven't been able to get the rest of the weight off. I'd like to lose the weight before I get pregnant again, as I REALLY never want to see 200 lbs. on a scale again!

What about you? Let us know your goal!

"Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable."
- Theodore N. Vail

Thursday, November 5, 2009

On The Eighth Weigh of Christmas...

...My true self gave to me...

Tomorrow I'm starting a little competition, a weight loss competition. I've needed a push to get my extra weight off, and thought as I was watching The Biggest Loser that something like that might work. There are about ten of us who are working at it, and I'm jazzed to see how it comes out!

Christmas is 8 weeks from tomorrow. The average American is said to gain 10 lbs between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Who wants to be part of THAT statistic?! Not I!

*I don't expect everyone to count calories, but if you DO, please eat at least 1200 calories per day. Anything less is simply not healthy or maintainable.
*Please set yourself a weight loss goal, with a maximum goal of 20 lbs for the 8 weeks.
*Ten hours exercise per week tops.
*No insanity. This should go without saying, but NO severe calorie restriction, NO purging, NO laxatives, NO overexercising. NO "last chance workouts".
*Weigh in every Friday morning and post your loss as a comment. You may post your current and previous weight or the percentage you lost, whichever you prefer! For myself, I'll post starting weight, current weight, pounds lost, and percent total lost because I'm a number cruncher like that. :)
*Person with the greatest percentage toward her goal wins at the end of the 8 weeks.

Calculators to help you find out how much to eat, etc:
How much to eat:
(Fat Loss is 1 lb. per week, Extreme Fat Loss is 2 lbs)

Healthy weight chart:

Calories burned during common activities (if you don't have a heart rate monitor):

Who can't wait to see how amazing they look and feel come Christmas morning?! It'll be a great gift for yourself! :)

If you're playing along, please introduce yourself in the comments section so we can get to know you. Tell us a little about you and why you decided to take up this challenge. I'd also like to know your personal goal (up to 20 lbs) for the contest.

Personally, I decided to do this to kick my tail a bit. I'm working out 5 days a week, but have gotten complacent. Last year at this time I entered my final push and got around my goal weight at 133. I'm back up to 150, and I just feel less strong and compact than I was. I'm back to a size 10 after a while as a 6, and I miss being a 6. My goal is 20 lbs, which will get me to 130 lbs by Christmas morning!

I'm working on a prize, so stay tuned for that. :)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

So Sorry!

OK y'all, I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back here. Things have been really busy getting ready for my trip to Russia (in SIXTEEN DAYS), getting my workouts in, and doing the whole wife/mother thing of late.

In the lsat few weeks, I've had some sweet ministry, shared my testimony with my team, and gathered the stuff I think I'll need for the trip. Last night I got really excited for the first time because everything has come together. Finances are in. Tickets are purchased. Visas arrived.

I'm going to Russia! In two weeks! Finally, I'm ready for an adventure. God's been working on this heart of mine, teaching me things experientially. It's that 18" drop, as they say. It's starting to manifest in my heart, this love of Jesus. For me. For all my crap. For freedom from shame, condemnation, mirey muck.

God's just so tender. That's what I can't get over, that tenderness. I'm hoping that I'll learn what it's like to have a Father like that, that He'll teach me time and again when I've forgotten that He's not who I thought He was. I need to be retrained, you know. Need to know that the image of father I grew up with is not true of my Heavenly Father.

Leaving you with a wonderful song today. It makes me cry. :)