Mar 27, 2014

Well, we are officially residents of Palm Desert. As I write this I am listening to a sand storm take place right outside. Winds blowing like crazy. Welcome to the desert, Heather!
Everything ended up falling into place and the move went smoothly. I will admit I worry way too much. I stress myself out and then God throws something at me to remind me that He has everything under control. I was worried about my job transfer, finding a new apartment and most of all, finding someone to sublet our apartment so we wouldn’t have to pay a $2,000 fee. We found the perfect apartment on Sunday, the 16th. I was offered a new position in Palm Springs on the 18th. Someone was approved to take over our lease on the 19th. And we moved on the 21st. Like I said, everything came together in the best timing. I am so grateful to everyone who helped us along the way. I feel like I can finally relax.

I honestly feel like I am on vacation. My boyfriend says I’m in the honeymoon stage of our new life. The views around here are breath taking. On my way to work I pass tons of palm trees, nice homes and a golf course. I have been able to get to the gym every day. I even went twice this past Sunday. My boyfriend and I actually had a day off together! We went exploring and we saw a sign that said ‘Whole Foods Coming Soon’. I started screaming in the car! (Side note- I have always said wherever I end up there needs to be a Whole Foods nearby.) After exploring, we went swimming and we had the pool all to ourselves. It was also the first time we had ever been in a pool together. Crazy to think we live in SoCal, we’ve been dating over a year and we had never gone swimming together. Anyways, back to the main point. I feel incredibly lucky to be living where I live with the man that I adore. My boyfriend bought me this wall art while we were out on the town and it definitely suits me well. Lock and key and all. Can't wait to hang it up.

The only down side to my move has been the number on the scale. I finally weighed myself yesterday and I knew it was going to be bad. I gained five pounds! (So I found the three pounds I had lost in the previous week!) All last week I ate out so I was completely expecting a gain. I didn’t want to grocery shop and my kitchen was packed up. I’ll admit, I made some bad choices. Potato taquitos with guacamole are my new favorite! They are not good for my waist line though. I also enjoyed a few glasses of wine and maybe some Malibu Rum over the last couple of days.
My boyfriend and I gave up meat for lent (I also gave up Starbucks) so I may not be consuming enough lean protein. This has been extremely difficult for me. The second I can't have something I want it even more so I find myself craving steak ALL the time. Sorry for those of you who don't eat meat full time. I feel like all I've been eating are carbs so I decided to add back in yogurt, some cheese (like feta) and whey protein. This will give me more options.
I have been tracking my calories on myfitnesspal to keep me in line. And like I said previously, I have definitely been getting my workouts in. Earlier today I jogged/walked to my boyfriend's work to say hi... and then he drove me home and ate lunch at the apartment. I had the hardest time running out there. The winds were pretty strong so I had to work extra hard to even move forward and I haven't ran in quite a while. After my half marathon in October I wanted to take a break from running. I think a six month break is long enough. I was also expecting to see a snake or a scorpion along the way. Thank God I didn't! But it's always good to be prepared. 

Even though the number on the scale is not what I’d like it to be, I know I have come so far and I have to be proud of that. Photo (below) on the left is from January 2010 and photo on the right is from March 2014. I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and about I am and who I want to be in those four years.

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Mar 15, 2014

I was inspired by Elle Noel's Operation Red Bikini (If ya'll don't read her blog, you really should!). She said she was going to write down her goals and give herself a deadline. I don't know why I'm always afraid to do that. I tend to think the worst. I assume that I won't make my goal. Then I'll have to admit to you all that I didn't accomplish my goals. BUT I shouldn't think like that!

So I have decided to join Mrs. Noel on her Operation Red Bikini this year! I'm going to post my goals on here and I'll post my progress. As we get closer and closer to summer, I'm hoping to be more and more bikini ready. Especially since I'll be living in the desert this summer.

When I started my weight loss journey in 2010 I gave myself goals and I stuck to them. I counted every calorie. I only had one cheat meal per week, not per day. I made it to the gym at least four times a week. I've definitely relaxed quite a bit over the years. I'm ready to change that.

Here goes (I wrote these goals for myself earlier this week):
Lose ten pounds by May 31st.
Get back to running. At least three miles a week.
Make it a priority to get to the gym at least three times a week.  
Continue avoiding dairy and remind yourself how much better you FEEL without it.

These goals are TOTALLY do-able! I am going to start Operation Red Bikini right away. I am happy to report that I lost 3.2 pounds this week!!! I am not sure how I lost that much but I'm extremely happy I did.

I'll be looking around for a red bikini. I'm thinking I'd really like a vintage style one.

Today I ate my seventy-fifth apple of the year. By the way, I'm eating an apple a day for the entire year with a friend of mine. I ended up eating two on one day in January which brings the grand total to seventy-five today.

I'm working on getting some packing done tonight. I'm on my second cup of coffee today. My boyfriend and I are going out to Palm Desert tomorrow to hunt for a new home. We are confident that God will lead us to the perfect place. Here's to a late night! (PS- I'm a magazine hoarder.)

I'll leave ya'll with a little "Before and After". Four years and forty pounds in between. Never give up! 

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Mar 9, 2014

Confession time. I’ve gained some weight. I lost seventy-two pounds from 2010 to 2012 and since then I have gained thirty pounds back. That’s right. Thirty. Believe me, that was very hard for me to admit to myself, let alone post it here for anyone to read. But I have to be honest. The last five pounds I have gained in the last couple of weeks. I’m assuming from all the birthday festivities. That’s all over now though and I need to get back on track.
I worked so hard to lose those seventy-two pounds and I can’t keep letting myself go backwards. I’m going to start counting my calories again and I’ll be doing more cardio. I have been trying to focus mainly on lifting weights but I need to drop some weight before I cut out cardio completely.

I vow to post my progress on here and I hope ya’ll will hold me accountable. My schedule is about to get pretty crazy (packing, job hunting, moving, etc.) but I will make it a priority to get myself to the gym.

I don’t really have a goal weight anymore. I just want to keep going until I feel my best and right now I know I can feel better.

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Mar 6, 2014

My boyfriend turns twenty-nine today. We have so much to celebrate!!! His goal was to be a store manager by the time he was thirty. Well, earlier this week he was offered his own store so he achieved his goal before he turned twenty-nine! I am so proud of him and I am very happy that his hard work is being recognized.

I had no idea when I told him I would go anywhere with him that I would be agreeing to move to the desert! His new store is in Palm Desert, California. I've heard it can get up to 120 degrees out there. My boyfriend and I HATE the heat. This is going to be quite a challenge for the two of us.

I'm trying to look on the bright side- I can pack up all my sweaters and I'll have more room in my closet!!!

So my boyfriend starts his new position on Saturday. It's all happening very fast. I gave our thirty day notice at our apartment and we do have to break our lease. There is an ugly fine that goes along with that. BUT if we can find someone to take over our lease we are off the hook. Fingers crossed! Until we move out there, my boyfriend will stay with his parents during the week so that his commute will get cut down to an hour (as opposed to an hour and a half from our place). I am working on finding a job in Palm Desert. I am hoping I can just transfer but unfortunately, I have to go through the whole- wait for a position to open, apply for it, interview for it, wait, wait and wait. I'm also applying outside my current employer just in case. I would like to stay with the same company so I can keep my benefits and all that jazz but if I am offered another opportunity, I will take it!

This morning we are heading out that way with his current manager so that he can get new store keys, etc. I’m told they will need a couple hours so I’m going to go exploring and try and hand out some resumes. Couldn’t hurt.

Big changes are coming! I’m excited and scared to death at the same time!!! It will be a great adventure for us to share together though.

Did I tell ya’ll how proud I am of him?!

Happy Birthday, Baby!!! I love you more!

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Mar 3, 2014

Well, my birthday has come and gone. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had and I’m hoping that is a foreshadow of what is to come this year.

On Thursday my boyfriend texted me and said he wouldn’t be able to make dinner since his day didn’t go quite as planned. He was at my parents’ house doing laundry and he asked me what I would like. I requested a small meat lovers no cheese pizza with gluten free crust from Domino’s. I was expecting to go home to our apartment and eat dinner there but a little bit later I received another text from him. He asked if I would like to eat dinner at my parents’ house because he was still working on laundry and my mom said pizza sounded good to her too. I ran home to pit my sweats on and wash my face and then I headed over to my parents’ house.

When I got there, the pizza wasn’t there. My mom told me they were having it delivered. I got a little suspicious because my parents never get pizza delivered. We were all talking about the Mason jar cake that my boyfriend had made for me. It was sitting on the counter and he explained to me that it was gluten free, dairy free and soy free AND it was his version of Funfetti cake, which is my favorite. He told me that he was also planning on making me whipped cream from coconut milk. In was so impressed, I usually am with him though.

The doorbell rang and no one went for the door. We all just kind of stared at each other. Finally my boyfriend headed towards the door and my parents and I followed. My boyfriend opened the door, peaked his head out and asked, “How much?” Then I heard a voice that I knew very well. I don’t even remember what he said but I knew it was my brother. I turned the corner and yelled, “I knew it!” I hugged him and my sister-in-law and we all went to the kitchen. My mom wanted to know how I knew they were coming. I gave her a couple examples of things that were said within the last week that made me sense he was going to come home for my birthday. She was very upset that I figured it out because she worked so hard to try and surprise me. I explained to her that I got my intuition from her and she could not be upset with that.

They all went on to tell me that the big surprise was that my boyfriend, my brother, my sister-in-law and myself were all supposed to go to Disneyland for my birthday. BUT we were supposed to be getting a huge rain storm, which originally I was really excited about. I love rain and I love cold weather and I’ve always prayed for rain on my birthday. We all decided that if it was raining in the morning we would just go down to San Diego to do a little shopping and maybe see a movie. The forecast said 100% chance of rain so I was pretty certain that Disneyland would be out of the question.
During this conversation I ate some of my meat lovers no cheese pizza with gluten free crust and it was amazing! I highly recommend it.
The morning of my birthday it was raining and I wasn’t surprised. My boyfriend gave me my present right after we woke up. He got me a Dell Venue tablet with Microsoft Office on it so that I can work on my blog anywhere! So thoughtful of him, huh? I’m currently writing this post on it so I’m already putting it to great use!

A few hours later we met my brother and sister-in-law at my parents’ house and we tried heading down to San Diego. When we got on the freeway it was raining so hard we couldn’t even see the car in front of us. We got off at the next exit and went to our mall. We went to Starbucks, did a little shopping and ate lunch at Red Robin. I made an appointment at Sephora for the next day so that I could get my makeup done before my birthday dinner. I was planning on purchasing some mew makeup anyways so I thought-why not get my makeup done while I’m at it?

We went back to my parents’ house and lounged for a little bit. My dad came home from work and we went to dinner at Claim Jumper. My mom was coming from work so she met us there. We enjoyed a nice dinner and I ate some delicious food! I started to feel a little uncomfortable after dinner. I was coughing quite a bit and my chest was really tight. We went back to my parents’ house but we only stayed a bit because I wasn’t feeling well. My boyfriend and I went home and the first thing I did was drink some apple cider vinegar with hot water and honey. This did help my cough a bit and I was glad. I played with my new tablet for a bit and then went to sleep.
My boyfriend went to work the next morning and I went back to my parents’ house for breakfast. My dad made me chilaquiles, my favorite! My sister-in-law had gone to visit her family so it was just the original four at breakfast. I didn’t think that would ever happen again after my brother got married. It was nice but there was definitely a void without my boyfriend or sister-in-law there.
I got my makeup done at 2:15. I requested a cat eye because I had never had it done before and I have no idea how to do that myself. I had a great experience at Sephora and I stocked up on some goodies while I was there too. My mom and dad had given me a gift card and I put it to good use.

We had a joint birthday dinner for my boyfriend and I on Saturday night (his birthday is March 6th). My boyfriend wasn’t expecting any of the attention but we made him a cake and he got a little spoiled as well. We were able to spend time with those closest to us.

His mom made me a chocolate vegan cake, which was delicious! We ended up having four cakes! Between the two of us we received some home d├ęcor, a slow cooker, a new sound system for our living room, cash, rose gold jewelry to add to my collection, an Origami Owl charm bracelet, clothes and a mounted photo of us from my brother’s wedding. I also had a friend from Nashville send me a paper weight with a pink cowgirl boot and it says ‘Lucky Lady’, perfect words to describe me! I am beyond blessed!

My brother and his wife decided to drive home Saturday night after my boyfriend’s family left. I did not think I would cry because my boyfriend and I will be going up to see them in less than three weeks… but then I saw my mom crying and I lost it. I did not stop crying until I went to sleep later that night. It’s just so hard having a huge piece of your life so far away. I am very grateful that they were able to come and spend my birthday with me but saying good-bye is always hard.

It’s time to go back to reality for a few days and then my boyfriend and I will celebrate his birthday on Thursday!
The lent season begins on Wednesday. Every year my boyfriend gives up meat for lent and I joined him last year. I told him I would do it this year as well. Which means as of Wednesday I will be meat, dairy and gluten free. This may be a challenge. I am going to have to be very creative. 

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