Thanksgiving Give Back!

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Is it just me or has this year flown by????  I can't believe the holiday's are here already.

It's that time of year when everyone starts to ask "what are you thankful for?"...

I have many things to be thankful for this year...I got married to the love of my life. I have a gorgeous, smart & loving stepson. I made it to 30 years old!  The list could go on and on about all the things we are (or at least should be) grateful for each year...family, job, shelter, ect.

The one thing I am extra thankful for this year is just the simple fact of being alive. Let's be honest here...I didn't necessarily treat myself the best this year.  I did a lot more damage than I did good.  So the mere fact that I am still sitting here, able to write on this here bloggy-blog is something that I am very, very thankful for.

What else am I thankful for...YOU!! I've been doing this blog since the beginning of 2010 and during these past 3 years SO much has happened, so much has changed. Some of you have been with me the entire time, and some of you have just joined me...either way, your constant words of encouragement and support...just the fact that you are HERE...reading...through the good times and the bad, have helped to keep me going this year and have definitely played a part in me getting my shit back together and getting (& staying) back on track!

I read every comment, every FB message, every Tweet, every email. Some days I pull up a specific email or comment and read it over and over just to help me through that day. I haven't been very good at all in responding back to people this year, and for that I am very sorry. I *might* have had something to do with the amount of alcohol I was drinking and by lack of desire to do ANYTHING. It *might* have, lol. But I am working on being better at that.

I want to give something to YOU to show how thankful I am for all of YOU this Thanksgiving!!

I'm calling it Suzi Storm's Thanksgiving Give Back! I know...such a clever & unique name. I swear, I am a genius!   

So, what is in this little give back pack you ask???? Well take a look...


Here are the details on what is included:

A Sony Walkman 2GB wearable mp3 player. I have never used this one but I have the same exact model (but in black) and it is great. You kind find more details about the product here.  Unfortunately the box accidently got thrown out when I took it out to make sure it had everything with it. But I saved you some trouble and possible trauma as opening the box was a complete bitch, lol.

 AND...

A Garmin Forerunner 205. This is a used item. But a very special used item for me. Around the time that I first started running I was using the Nike+ program, which was great for when I was training and running mostly 5K's but as I started training for half marathons I found that I needed something more accurate and a little more stable. Unfortunately I couldn't afford any of the fancy Polar or Garmin watches that everyone was sporting but an amazing woman on Twitter sent me a message and offered me this watch, as she had just upgraded and didn't have a use for this one anymore.  This watch changed the way I ran. This watch encouraged me. This watch helped me train for my very first 1/2 marathon AND ran with me in my very first marathon!!  Don't worry folks...I've cleaned all the sweat, tears and vomit off of it ;).
It's an oldie, but a goodie. And I hope that someone who needs something a little simple get's inspired as much by it as I did. I also have a copy of the user's manual that I printed off the internet that will be included.   

I'm not a blogger who get's a lot of big swag to review and giveaway (though I do have a couple of small things coming up) but I wanted to give something away as a thanks. Both of these items have been really helpful in getting my feet pounding on the pavement (or treadmill) and I am glad that I have these to give to you.

To enter just follow the details below. Contest starts today (11/24) and ends Sunday, December 1st.
*Giveaway open to US & Canada residents* 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck to everyone who enters!!

I am so thankful for all of you.

What if I didn’t stop?

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*WARNING: This blog post is very long. While I contemplated breaking it up into two parts it just didn’t feel right. So if you stick it out to the end, thank you! It focuses on how my relationship with beer turned a little too hoppy (see what I did there?! ;) over the past year.
However, I urge anyone who thinks that they may have a serious drinking problem to contact your doctor or your local AA chapter and reach out for help immediately.*

I was replying to a message that I got from a follower on FB and I said something that really lit a fire inside of me that honestly has never caught my attention before…not even while I was losing the 101 lbs the first time.

I said “if I didn’t stop making the choices I was making who the hell knows where I would have ended up.”

Wow.

You know those “Ah-ha” moments everyone talks about?? During my Weight Watchers Success Story interviews I always talked about my “Ah-ha” moment being when my now-husband and I were driving through a KFC after just attending a steak bake. Well, I think me writing “if I didn’t stop making the choices I was making who the hell knows where I would have ended up” is a definite “Ah-ha” moment for me this time around.

See, I never was a person who was over weight their ENTIRE life. I went through some of my teenage years actually being underweight. I’ve never really been an emotional eater to be honest. My problem isn’t that I constantly want food. My problem has always been that I just make the wrong choices, or over indulge in things I shouldn’t (Hello, cheese!). Or my problem this time around…my number one lover/enemy…beer.

I’ve never hid the fact (umm…duh, look at what my blog is called!) that I love beer. Craft beers…IPA’s in fact are my drink of choice.  Back when telling my success stories I talked about how prior to losing the weight I would come home, get into my pajama’s and start throwing back the Coors Lights. Then when I was losing the weight I never gave up beer, I just started drinking it moderation…like only on the weekends, or after long run or good workout session. I had a healthy relationship with beer and it was something I had control of and was still able to lose my weight and maintain it for almost 2 years.

This time around though, beer had become my enemy. It felt like a mix between a friend who has turned their back on you, or doing something that you know is wrong but it just feels so right.

I blogged before about how I ended up becoming part of the Weight Watchers ‘Believe’ campaign and the crazy events that happened leading up to the audition.  Being part of that campaign is still one of the things I am most proud of. I will never regret it and it will always be a story that I will share. But the thing is…I was riding a “high” in 2011…being able to tell my story and show off all my hard work in so many different outlets. The commercials played again and again. The pictures showed up here, there and everywhere. It was the best drug. But like all highs, they don’t last forever.

All of a sudden I wasn’t completely poor anymore. I had a little bit of money. Frank and I were able to do things we normally couldn’t afford to do. It was so completely new to me and I had no idea how to handle it properly.

When there’s nothing really exciting to do in town, the best thing to do is go out to dinner, or go to lunch, or go out and grab some drinks…then grab some drinks at the store and go home. See, this time I could afford all the craft beers my heart desired. I didn’t have to stick with the Coors Light that Frankie was drinking because it was all we could afford. I tried more beers in 2012 than I have in my entire life.

Here is the absolute truth…
The money I earned in sharing my success played an ENORMOUS role in my regaining all of my weight back (plus an extra 30). And a good portion of that (I don’t even want to know the percentage) money went to us eating out and/or drinking.

Of course, the money did make me gain weight…my choices did. But I didn’t know how to properly handle these choices and I chose wrong again, and again, and again…which eventually led me to where I am today…

It got back to the point where I couldn’t afford the craft beers everyday, so it was back to slamming down the Coors Lights.  And as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been blessed/cursed with having a high tolerance for alcohol. Even at my goal weight I could still knock plenty of beer/wine back without getting drunk and stupid. So with the extra 100 lbs I was able to drink even more.

So I was drinking instead of running…or I would say I would run but then be too hung-over.
So I was drinking then having 2…3…4 servings (Who am I kidding…I didn’t even pay attention to the servings) of whatever I was eating…or I wouldn’t care what I was eating.
So I was drinking and staying up till 2am on a weeknight…or sometimes even later than that.

I stopped caring. I stopped counting Point Values. I stopped exercising. I stopped getting enough sleep. I stopped putting makeup on. I stopped caring about my appearance. I just stopped caring in general about myself.

Late January/Early February I was in an ambulance, pretty sure I was having a heart attack, but no…it was anxiety attack. But even that wasn’t enough to make me stop what I was doing to myself. I wasn’t anxious. I was depressed. I was embarrassed. And I just didn’t care…or so I thought.

Drinking in the excessive amount that I was made me think I didn’t care about myself at all. It made me think a lot of things. It made choose a lot of things I normally would not choose. It made me unhappy on different levels than I had experienced before. But even that wasn’t enough.

I can’t tell you what WAS enough. I can’t tell you that I had this “Ah-ha” moment that led me to wake the up hell up and see that I was slowly (and surely, I am sure) killing myself.  I’m not an alcoholic (as I’ve said before, and believe me, I have looked into it & consulted with Dr’s and other professionals)…I just have a tendency, like people do with food or other things, to binge and/or lose control. It doesn’t happen often and in fact this was probably the longest (and definitely the most damaging) out of control I have ever reached.

Then one day…I just didn’t have any beer or wine. One day turned into 11 days. It’s not the longest stretch I’ve ever gone without any alcohol. I didn’t plan it or set a goal. It just happened. And other than getting married this year it is probably one of the best things that I could have had happen to me. It gave me clarity. It let me see what I was missing in my life….MYSELF! I missed ME! I didn’t just miss Weight Watchers or running or blogging or being part of the “health & fitness” community…I missed who I was on a day to day basis. I missed putting on makeup in the morning…who the fuck am I kidding, I missed just being able to get out of bed in the morning!! I missed counting my WW points. I missed running. I missed feeling like I wasn’t going to pass out for the majority of the day.  I missed going to bed with my husband instead of waiting for him to go to bed so I could drink beers and listen to music all by myself (this can be a very dangerous combination for your mental health if you are not in the right frame of mind in the first place).  I missed actually enjoying a COUPLE of beers…not just drinking 20 of them “just because”.  This past Saturday I had my first beer in 11 days after my run with the Lake Effect Group and it was glorious! And you know what…I didn’t proceed to go ahead and have 20 more after that. I had control again. I knew how I did and how I did NOT want to feel.

“if I didn’t stop making the choices I was making who the hell knows where I would have ended up” …I probably would have turned into an alcoholic. I probably would have added more health issues to myself. I probably would have gone over 300 lbs. I probably would have never ran another mile again. Scariest thing to think about…I probably would have let the thoughts and self hatred eat at me enough that one night I would have let them get me for good.  I kept all these issues to myself for the most part and eventually it would have ruined me completely. 

So that sentence is my “Ah-ha” moment that keeps me on the track I have been on the past few weeks. One where I am taking care of myself, inside and out…One where I am not drinking to just say “screw all of it” and letting it become a nasty habit …One where every day I am trying to look at today instead of yesterday.

I can’t fully describe how much better I feel. And I can’t thank everyone here and on social media who have complemented me on how I have looked lately…you guys have no idea how much it means to me, especially right now. Funny thing is, people keep saying I look healthy and glowing…well I’m pretty good with a makeup brush ;) and I haven’t lost a noticeable amount of weight yet, but I think just the elimination of beers during the week and the decrease in consumption has done wonders on my overall appearance…thanks to less bloat in my face and eyes and of course, more sleep! Which in turn gives me more confidence which in turn makes me feel better about life in general which in turn makes me make better choices for my body which in turn keeps on turning stuff into a positive rather than a negative.

Everybody has a moment where something gets out of hand…even sometimes the things that make us healthy can turn into something negative if we abuse the feelings we get from them. Just try to step back for a moment. Give yourself a moment to clear your mind. Free yourself from its grip and examine how you *really* feel. Think about what it is that you truly want for yourself…from yourself.  I will never give up beer, but I always give up any power that I accidently let it hold on me.

Sometimes you fall down a hole so hard and so far that you think “what’s the point of even trying to get out”…but there is always a point. You can always get out. You might break a few nails or sprain a few bones clawing and climbing your way back up, but you will heal and you feel even stronger than before. You will have more knowledge than you did before…and next time, you might just be able to catch yourself before you fall again.

I’m a loner Dottie…A rebel!!

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Yesterday was a first for me…

It was the first time ever that I ran with a group. You see, I prefer to run alone. I always have. Minus the occasional buddy you pick up along a race, I enjoy pounding the pavement with me, myself and my thoughts. 

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But I have been telling myself that I would get out and run with the Lake Effect Run Club sometime. Especially since I’m signed up for their half marathon (which I blogged about here). I’ve known some of the people in the club from when I was still running regularly and doing local races. and a lot of them I met when I put together the #SyracuseStrong run in support of the tragic events that happened at the Boston Marathon earlier this year. But like I said…I’ve never ran with a group that didn’t guarantee some kind of medal or t-shirt.

This weeks meet up was right down the street from me at Cafe at 407 and it would head right into Onondaga Lake Parkway (my home turf). Since they meet up at 8 am…on a Saturday….and since I am NOT a morning person (especially since I get up early 5 days a week for work) I prefer to go when it’s close by so I don’t have to get up SUPER early. I’m not an early morning runner…no matter how hard I have tried in the past.

I set my alarm for about 6:45 and by some kind of miracle I was up at 6. I can’t even get out of bed at 7:40 during the work week (and I have to be to work at 8…thankfully we live close by). I had some coffee, took care of what coffee does and got dressed. It was much warmer this weekend than it has been which was a relief because all of my running clothes, especially my cold weather gear, are in sizes that I was wearing about a year and a half ago. But I found some pants and a long sleeve shirt.

I wasn’t nervous which was surprising to me. When I got there I saw some of the people I knew and exchanged hugs. I met some people I didn’t and it grew into a really nice group. They were nice enough to take a picture so I could post it on here…you know…photographic proof that I actually went…

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Then there was a little introduction and we were about ready to take off..

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So yeah…here’s the thing…

I’ve made it no secret that I haven’t ran much (if really at all) in the past year and a 1/2. But I have been slowly (and trying to be safe) getting back into running regularly. I’ve been using this app called ‘Running for Weight Loss’

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Now, I follow the Weight Watchers program so I’m not using this app to lose weight. But I like the intervals it uses. I feel like even though I’m starting from scratch I’m not starting from scratch…does that make any sense?? Well anyways, I find that the 5K training app’s are too easy and the 10K or 1/2 training app’s are too hard right now. So this one has been working.

I forgot my headphones this morning and decided to just “wing it” and not use this app. I knew I wanted to get 3 miles in (the rest of the group runs around  6 or so but I’m not back there yet). Well…this was kind of a BIG mistake.

As soon as people started taking off, the runner inside me went “ok, let’s start running!” and it took me almost a 1/4 mile to realize that I wasn’t too far behind some of the group. What alerted me you ask?? First my shins, then my heel, then the numbness in my feet. I literally lost my footing and could barely walk. This was a stupid, stupid mistake on my part. BUT…I kept going. I walked more than I ran, but I threw in running spurts when I could feel my feet enough to know that I wouldn’t fall down once I started, LOL.

The group at this point was long gone and I was once again just out there by myself…it was a beautiful morning to be out.

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I was never really alone though. Many of the members would pass me and say “great job” or “keep it up”. It felt great to know that I had support out there. That there were people who would call 911 if I keeled over and couldn’t move anymore.

I ended up going 3.25 miles. The longest distance I have done in a long, long time. This “run” was an ENORMOUS mental battle for me. I would see people heavier than me just running a long, making it look so easy and think “wtf, why am I struggling so hard?!” and then there were the people in the group…I was one of those people not so long ago…healthy and fit and could very easily run 6 miles in the morning. I was envious, angry and irritated.  I had to constantly remind myself that I was there. I was not at home, asleep in my bed. I was not at home, with my ass on the couch. I was out and I was moving and I was getting exercise!!

I think it was that mental reminder that kept me going…because I wanted to quit, many times. I told myself “maybe you are just not ready yet, Suzi. Maybe you just need to focus on eating healthy right now.” But I banished those thoughts because I know how running makes me *feel*, not just how it can help to make me look.

Afterwards I got to meet some really nice people and it was really nice to feel like part of something. Things felt even cozier when my friend pulled out the beer he promised me for the end of the run.

See, I went 11 days without a beer or any alcohol what so ever. It wasn’t intentional. It just kind of happened and I never set a goal or anything for myself. I think it was just what I needed though because I felt great and it put a lot of things into perspective for me as well.  And I’ll tell you what…I’m glad I had waited to have a beer until then because it was a delicious reward…even at 9 o’clock in the morning Winking smile.  And to my surprise many other runners came up and asked if my friend brought extra beers, so standing there in the street with a handful of runners, drinking a beer at 9am…it was pretty fucking awesome for many different reasons.

Thank you to everyone at the Lake Effect Run Club for coming out on Saturday and for king me feel welcomed and accepted.

So…will I ever run with them again?? You betcha!! Do I prefer to run alone or with a group?? Well, that’s kind of hard to answer since I didn’t really “run” with anyone and I was still by myself during the time I was working out, but I enjoyed knowing that the group was out there and having some of them encourage me as I went on.

It was another lesson of letting go of the past…of trying not to think about where I was but to think about where I am going. If you follow this blogs FB page you saw that I had a post about letting go and moving forward. It took a lot of courage for me to post this, especially the pictures since I am the heaviest I have ever been (even though I did lose 4.4 lbs this past week 1425508_1429573843922238_827073433_n so HOLLA!!!!)…

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Whether I run by myself, with a friend, or a group of friends, I am running FOR myself. I’m not going to push myself to do anything I’m not comfortable doing and I will continue to keep learning from my past, the good and the bad, and keep focusing on the future and where I want to be.

My name is Suzi Fucking Storm…I am a marathoner…I am a woman who had lost 101 lbs…I am a woman who loves beer…I am a woman who took some wrong steps and landed down the wrong path…I am a woman who refuses to give up finding and staying on the right path. I believe in myself.

Being OK with your emotions…

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Sometimes it is perfectly OK to not be OK.

This is a lesson that I learned very early on in life and while some people fought me on it, I always stood my ground.

I spent a lot of my adolescence in therapy, whether it was outside the school system or inside…or for a little while, both. I saw a female in school counselor once when I was in 10th grade and she said to me “Susan, what will it take for you to be happy?” and my reply was “I’m not looking for happiness. I’m looking to be content. I believe that happiness is a moment, a piece of time that comes and goes with a situation. It’s not an ongoing emotion.” Her reply to me was basically telling me I was crazy and that was a bullshit response. Needless to say, that was the last meeting I ever had with her, or any female counselor for that matter.

I still stand by this belief. As someone who has lived with depression since a very, very young age and has had to deal with some trauma’s along the way that are usually held for those of a high numerical age number, I *had* to focus on being content so help save my sanity and belief that not all is bad in the world.

For me, happiness is a *moment*. Hitting goal weight, getting engaged, getting married, trip to LA, trip to NYC, a lazy summer day with ice cold beer, finishing a marathon….those brought happiness to me…those moments. Yes, the happiness lives inside me and sparks when I think of them, but it is not a constant energy that is constantly flowing through me. I’m Suzi fucking sunshine all day.

Some days I am miserable…just because I want to be. Call it being a woman, call is depression, call it not enough sleep, call it what you want. That’s just how it is.

Other days I am down because things bring me down. Whether it’s my fighting my own personal demons that day of negative self talk or because something has happened in my life that has upset me.

Most of my friends know that Tori Amos has been my idol and inspiration since I was very, very young. And yesterday I walked into an exam room and this was on the wall:
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Coincidence???? I think not. It was exactly what I needed to see. It spoke to me so much, not just because of that moment, but because of the overall picture of where I am in my journey to getting back to getting healthy again and getting back to my goal weight.

Sometimes I don’t want to talk about it. I don’t want to talk about it with my husband, my mother, my friends, on the blog or social media. And that is OK. No, I am not “bottling up” my feelings. I am not suppressing them. I am working through them in my own head, my own way. Sometimes it works to write it out (which is kind of what I’m doing here without really saying what I’m working through, huh? Lol) or meditate or run it out.

So what’s the point of this post?? I don’t freaking know. I guess the point I am trying to get across is that these moments will always happen…whether you haven’t begun your weight loss journey yet, just started, or started it 10 years ago. These “Just leave me alone, and let me just be” moments will always be there and that is OK. It doesn’t mean you’ve failed at anything, it doesn’t mean you are giving up or quitting. Sometimes we just have to *be* with our feelings. And the knowledge we take from these moments is where we really shine.

To quote the wonderful Tori Amos myself this time…
i found the secret to life
i’m okay when everything is not okay
is not okay…oh, we turn and we turn our little blue world upside down
”- Tori Amos, Upside Down

I’ve spent the past year and half gaining all of my weight back and I spent pretty much that entire time in the “not OK” moment. But I learned stuff, not only about myself but also about the way I approach certain things and the way I accept things that I never learned on the journey I took last time.

Now I am 30 years old. I am married. I have a wonderful stepson. I will have many more blessings in my future, I am sure. Some things in life are meant to be. Others are not. Some I can control. Some I can not control. Some things I have to make a choice that while not as easy as I thought it would be, is the best choice for me.

Sometimes our emotions take us by surprise and sometimes we don’t know how to convey those emotions. But that is OK. Feel them, be with them, accept them, and learn from them.

We are all strong, powerful beings who can overcome more than we even know. We don’t give ourselves nearly enough credit. You are amazing…not matter what.

Just call me Suzi Snow Storm!

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Or Suzi Snowflake…or Insane Suzi…

I’m officially registered to run the Lake Effect Half Marathon on February 23rd 2014!!

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I signed up to run this race this past year, but like every race (minus the Color Me Rad run) that I signed up to run this year, I backed out. I only have one DNF in my entire race history (which was really when not only my running was falling apart, but *I* was falling apart)…but this year I sure did rack up a lot of DNS’s and those are the worst.

That will NOT be the case this time!

I have missed running, so much. I miss the *me* time it gave me. I miss the way it helped me relieve stress. I even miss the way it sometimes caused me stress. I miss the feeling of my feet pounding the pavement…now all I feel is my ass pounding the couch cushion. I miss the feeling of accomplishment after a run. I miss the aches and pains. I miss the feeling of getting ready for a race. I miss gathering with my fellow runners at the starting line. I miss crossing a starting line.

Living in Central New York…running in February….it’s pretty crazy. In fact, the first year this race was put on (this will be the 3rd year) there was a crazy snow storm. I remember waking up that morning, looking out the window and saying to myself “Man, I’m glad I didn’t sign up for that race!” HA! That could come back to bite me in the ass big time.

The weather won’t be the only challenge.

As many of you know, I haven’t ran in like, well, forever. There have been a few attempts but they didn’t work out so hot. I either start running like I haven’t gained back over 100 lbs or I act like I can still run 8:00 minute miles….yeah right!! But this past Saturday I went to the parkway and was just planning to go for a walk…but as I’ve mentioned in the past…I’m not a walker. It bores me. If I’m walking it better be to go get beer or shopping or something fun! So Saturday I threw in a few running moments. I had to catch myself a few times because I could feel body wanting to run like I used to…but that’s just not possible (unless I want to hurt myself or give myself a heart attack and I really don’t like either of those options).

But once I slowed down…once I let my legs lift just the right amount…I felt *it*. I felt that *click*. And it wasn’t just about running. It was getting easier when I would say to myself “OK, start running at this marker here and stop at that tree.” I think I ran a little more than I thought because my legs and core have been pretty sore (BOOM! Poetry, bitches!).

I might have actually ran more if I wasn’t pulling my pants up every two seconds…the pants that also have a whole in the backside. I really need to get a nice pair of running pants and a nice long sleeve shirt for cheap, like crazy cheap, like “BUT IT WAS .99 CENTS!” cheap. I also don’t want anything super tight that makes me look like a piece of sausage stuffed into its casing. I have my compression socks and that’s about all the compression I want and need right now.

Am I crazy for planning to run a half marathon in 3 months and 17 days (not that I’m counting or anything)?? Yeah, probably. Especially since I can’t even run a mile straight right now.

But I’ve done crazier stuff with races (hello, marathon. hello, boilermaker 2012).

I’m sure I won’t be running the entire race. And I certainly will not come close to any of my previous half marathon times. But I’m going to that starting line! For the next 3 months I am going to start training again. For the next 3 months I will find my motivation and desire to run. For the next 3 months I will find *myself* again and I will get back to taking care of *me*. For the next 3 months I will stop making excuses and hating myself…I will just suck it the fuck up and DO IT!!

I hope to blog a lot about my journey into this race. I’m not really a newbie, but not really a runner right now. I’ve kind of been calling it a “comeback”…but as my gal Cyndi wrote on my FB page “Don’t call it a comeback- I’ve been here for years”…well that is true. But the past year and a half I have been stuck…and I’m finally starting to feel myself becoming free of all that stickiness. I’m not just training again for another half marathon…I’m getting rid of the weight I added back onto my body…I’m tossing out the bad habits, the excessive habits and re-teaching myself to make the right choices. This is more than just a race for me…it’s a re-birth!

Here I go again…

Yes...THE dress!!

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So today I opened up a garment bag...a garment bag that has been hanging up against our bedroom wall by a screw Frankie put in months ago so I would have somewhere to hang this bag. It has hung there untouched & unmoved since June 23rd.

Today I opened up the garment bag & I gazed at my wedding dress. I remembered how beautiful it made me feel. I remembered all the fun I had while wearing it. 


Most importantly, I remember all the special moments (& no I don't mean just sex) that the Frank & I shared while I was in this dress.

I will never pass this dress down to anyone. I would never want anyone else to ever wear this dress. This dress is horribly dirty from being worn for over 12 hours and having all sorts of fun in it. I will never dry clean it. I will never preserve it. I don't even have a place to store it!!

So after MUCH thought & MUCH consideration (and questioning by my friends and followers)....I am going to do what I envisioned would be the next life of this dress....

I am trashing the dress and using it as my Halloween costume this year. I will be "fittingly"... a new vampire bride. The blood has been bought...the rips & tears & stains will be happening.


Everyone has their own special attachment to their wedding dress. It's attachment varies to each and every single person. Bringing my wedding dress, which brought me so much happiness, love, fun & memories will now be brought back to life on my all time favorite holiday. It will have another chapter to it....and I can't wait. 

I'll be sure to share pictures with everyone!! 

In a few days we all become alive!! Have a very safe and a very Happy Halloween!!

Oh, 20!!

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Age has always been nothing but a number to me. When I was 10 and younger I learned to grow up fast and pick my own self off the floor. When I was 12-13 years old my best friends were 16-17…this wasn’t a bad thing at all. They looked after me. They taught me how to live…without fucking up completely at life. I haven’t talked, seen or heard from any of them since I was younger but I sure do hope they are living a great life…one like they showed me I deserved.

I turn 30 tomorrow.

I never thought I would make it to 20….let a lone 30. To be honest….I thought I would have killed myself by now. Every year in my “teens” was a battle…even when they were good. I remember being 14 and talking to a friend and saying “I’ll be dead by the time I am 30, no doubt.”….I still got a few hours so I guess I better be careful huh?? LOL

But my 20’s….oh my 20’s….

Again…age is nothing but a number but I look at these past 10 years and they have been the most prominent of my life.

I loved. I loved so hard. I loved so hard that I had to let go of that love before it ruined us both because we both had to grow. We both had to learn…and it wasn’t a lesson we could learn together, unfortunately.

I went against myself, in more ways than one. I battled demons and some fights I did not win. I learned more about my weaknesses in my 20’s than in any other decade. I learned that weaknesses can turn into something beautiful. I felt a connection to another energy that I still hold dear…it was a lesson…that I needed to learn.

That lesson somehow, someway, let me become a wife..something I *NEVER* thought I would be & wasn’t sure  I wanted. I am the wife to a man who NEVER in a million years I thought I would go out on a date with…let alone spend the rest of my life with. But he is my everything. He has always been there…since I was 10 years old actually, lol…I just never knew he was “the one” until it was really my (our) time to know.

My 20’s were filled with success, a bit of “stardom” and a lot of ups and downs.

In my 20’s I (no particular order) :
  • Lost a love
  • Lost weight
  • Gained a deep friendship
  • Gained weight
  • Lost a deep friendship
  • Found L.O.V.E.
  • Started a blog
  • Lost A LOT of weight
  • Went to NY to do a WW success story
  • Went to Chicago to be on Oprah
  • Was featured in local newspapers and news channels
  • Weight Loss Story published in magazines, online, and in a book!
  • Was a face in the Weight Watchers Believe campaign
  • Had my own TV commercial
  • Set up #SyracuseStrong which was “just a run” to help show support to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings…I invited 30 people….over 1000 showed up
  • My heart learned to grow a little bigger and a little stronger when my stepson came into my life
  • My mother went through massive brain surgery…the hardest thing I have had to watch and stay strong through to date (universe…that is NOT a challenge)
  • I GOT MARRIED!!!!!!!!
  • I found new friends…and I learned where some of my “friends” really stand (still learning this one)
  • I gained all my weight back
  • I ran my 1st 5K
  • I ran my 1st 10K
  • I ran my first (of many to come) 1/2 marathons
  • I ran MY FIRST MARATHON!!
  • I was a Weight Watchers leader
  • I got high blood pressure
  • I joined a Fantasy Football League…seriously
I'm sure I am leaving things out...but see…I’m not scared about turning 30. Because 30 is just a number.

I am scared because my 20’s…even with all the ups and downs, the gains, the losses…my 20’s fucking ROCKED!!!!!!!

Will my 30’s compare?? What do I have to look forward to in my 30’s??

Did I reach my “peak”…is it just cruise control from here on…

I sure hope not.

Thank you for being with my during this time….here’s to the next chapter!!!! THIRTY BEERS FOR EVERYONE!!!!! XOXOXO

I’m a TRACK star!!!!

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and no, not the kind down by the school yard.

Woah….those were some sick rhymes I just spit out. Maybe I should become a rapper?!?! Or one of those SLAM poets?!?! No??  Stick to my day job you all say…..fine.

I’m a track star because as of today I have tracked every single day for an entire month!!!!

I really am in shock to be honest. Over the past year I have been lucky to maybe successfully track 2 days in a row. But a month ago something just “clicked” and it has stuck with me for the entire month. I have tracked every single Bite, Lick & Taste!!  Well, everything except for my beers. But just the fact that I’ve tracked ALL of my food, EVERY day (yes, even weekends and a “freebie” day) for an ENTIRE month is such an amazing accomplishment for myself.

My weight loss progress has been slow (please note sentence above about the beers) but there are still some things I haven’t put any much effort into (please note sentence above about the beers) but I told my self…one thing at a time.  I’m down 3.4 lbs so far and that is WAY better than putting on another 5-8 lbs which would have happened this month if I wasn’t tracking and paying attention to what I am putting into my body.

Tracking is now a HABIT AGAIN!! And that feels fucking AWESOME!! I’m holding myself accountable. I’m checking my Weight Watcher Point Values. I’m calculating that shit and putting it into my WW app multiple times a day. Have I mentioned how awesome this feels??  Have I mentioned that while I don’t have control of everything (please note sentence above about the beers) in my life right now, I DO have control of my tracker!! I know the streak wont last forever, but I know the habit is back in place and I am not letting it slip away from me AGAIN!!

Now it’s time to move onto the next habit I need to work on again (please note sentence above about the beers).

I have become a track star AGAIN!!  If I can do it….so can YOU!!

If you haven’t already please come on over and ‘Like’ the Facebook page I started for this blog. I am loving it and I really enjoy posting there and seeing all the support and inspiration that we all feed off of each other. I try to post stuff daily…it’s definitely a lot more frequent than it is around here, LOL.

Blog reader Katy wrote to me and told me about this awesome thing she is doing called the Miracle Marathon Journey.  Here is what she had to say about it…

Since a traditional marathon is 26.2 miles, Miracle Marathon adds a special touch by adding one more mile "for the kids." Over the course of 27 days, we are going to complete one mile per day by walking, running, dancing, skipping or just moving to reach that goal. It's a marathon - plus an extra mile - for the kids! All donations are tax-deductible and collected securely by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. 100% of the proceeds go to my local MU Children's Hospital.

If you can please visit her fundraising page here and support this awesome cause and cheer Katy on for her 27.2 miles!! GO KATY!!

What are you running from??

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So let me just say that I am writing this post with my “runner self” in the drivers seat…even though that part of myself has been in the back seat this past year.

Why do you run??

To lose weight? To maintain your weight? To have some “me” time? To prove something? To “be a runner”? To think about the days events? To clear your mind?

To free your mind?

Since I have stopped running I have noticed a MAJOR downfall in my mental health state.  And it’s not just the pity party I throw every now and then for myself because of the weight gain….

This may come as a shock to some of you…but I’m not perfect.

I know. I am so sorry.

We have all done things or made choices that we are not happy about….I hate and try to never use the word “regret”, but sometimes we step too far outside ourselves and well, our decisions get engraved into our souls. I’m not perfect and I have admitted that I am not when the question has risen inside myself.

But there is still something in us…we wish we did this. We wish we did that. We wish that DIDN’T happen.

I used to deal with all of these emotions through running.

I ran for those I love.

I ran for my “sins”.

I ran for my strength, which grew with every step, every breathe, every finish line.

I ran because it let me prove that I was strong.

I ran because, next to having sex with my husband, it was the closest I got to getting off.

I haven’t ran in months.

Right now I just want to run for myself.

But I can’t seem to.

Can I run for myself?? C’mon….I was ALWAYS running for myself…these emotions were just part of it. But something has changed. When I started running years ago I didn’t have all of the experiences and triumphs that I have had over the last 2 years in my belt. And I think I use those blessings against me…constantly comparing….constantly wishing I never stopped running in the first place.

Truth is….I’m scared. I’m scared to run again. I’m scared to run into my emotions. I’m scared to run into myself.  I’m scared of starting and quitting.

But I know I will run again.

You never just “run”…

What do YOU run for??

Where is your line??

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I am a beer drinker.
I love beer.
I’m pretty sure you are all in a panicked shock right now…deep breathe….

There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day at work, a 3 mile walk or a 5 mile jog or a walk upstairs to the bathroom, and relaxing with an ice cold beer, Beer. Mmmmmmm.

I know, with my recent FB page I created for this blog, I have learned that A LOT of people love beer the same way I do. So I’ve either found a group of people who generally love beer and can make it work in their life style, or I am building my very own epic AA meeting.

There is a line. A line where habits become dangerous. Do we cross that line?? Abso-fucking-lutely. But WHERE is the line??

The line I think is different for everyone. Each person has their own line. I think of binge eating. I have moments of binge eating. Usually after many beers and I tell myself “Food will cure all future ills.”. But that’s not really binge eating.

Binge eating is taking food, hiding it, shoving as much as you can in your mouth, till you are sick. It is an awful and sad disease. I send my best thoughts for anyone who has/is suffering from this awful sickness.

Just like binge eating…beer drinking has no clean line. Even when I was at my goal weight and racing like crazy I was pouring back the yummy craft beers. Sure, I had moments where I took it too far. But those were rare. Those were moments like “Ooops, I ordered that deep fried appetizer…don’t want to waste or money?!  ;) “

HABIT 

This is where the line is drawn….habit. It is a habit for me to come home, drop my purse and the mail and go to the fridge and grab a beer (not even a good one…I’m pounding Coors Lights again like back in the day..I am so sorry). Some days I don’t even want to…I don’t even think about it…I just do it. And that IS THE LINE. It is a habit. And while it is something that I will never break free from (because I don’t want to!) I need to work on making the habit work for me, like it did before when I was actively living a healthy life.

My drinking…yes…out of hand in terms of my weight and overall well being.. Am I an alcoholic?? No…believe me, I’ve looked into it.

I DID lose 101 lbs while drinking beer...good beer!!  Fuck, I was a beer runner to watch by Draft Magazine in 2011

The line is where you draw it. You just have to be honest with yourself. Some people can’t control their drinking or eating...sometimes you feel out of control of the line. Some need discipline and strict restrictions. You have to find YOUR line. I found mine... I've been way past it. I knew it from the start. Look at any of my success stories and they read that at the start of my journey I was all ”home, sweats, beer, sleep”…and that’s exactly where my line has been for many, many months.

So what happens now?? Do I give up beer?? NEVER!! I re-define my line. I let myself enjoy my brews without hurting myself or my body in the process. It has been, can be, and will be done. There’s a line of shit you can take…food, drink, family, friends stress, work, that bitch at the grocery store…There's a line where you pull your "habit" up to (beer, wine, food, and yes, I'd even include exercise in this) and say "OK, we do not go beyond here!".

 Find your line…walk the line….

I’m a dirty girl

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When my amazing photographer asked me if I wanted to do a “dirty shoot” I said “OH HELLZ NO!!”

I mean you do realize that a good majority of the days I think about how lovely my body would look if it was dead right?!?!? I don’t want to immortalize all the rolls, flaps, mountains, fat, lard…yuck…no one wants that to be forever imprinted on a photograph…(side note: what an AWFUL and horrible thing to think and say to yourself!)

But then I realized something. I was marring a man who has seen me…thick, thin and thicker.

This was not just about me. This was about him. This was about us. This was about ME.

Finally saying….NO MATTER WHAT SIZE I AM, I AM B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L! I AM S.E.X.Y!! (Did I/do I really believe this?? I’m working on it damnit!!)

So I said “Yes!”  She gave me the option to back out the day of if I wanted to.  But as you can see…I pulled whatever courage and confidence I had and tried to pour it out for her…for myself….for Frank…for all women & men with body issues…

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All photos above by Kristin Chalmers Photography

Her and I had a moment. A moment I think she understood. A breakthrough for me. A moment only the two of us will ever understand.

Yet, I didn’t get into it as hard as I wanted to.

I didn’t have the confidence that I had during my WW shoot, but then again I was still struggling with my body image while in LA, I just didn’t realize it.  But I look at these photo’s and think Hot Damn!!

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I’m not going to lie…looking at these still till day send me into a deep hole of regret, upset, and anger…but I am working my way AWAY from that hole.  All of that did not, and does not define me. I may have looked good…but did I *really* feel good?? Yes, I sure fucking did…I just didn’t know how to ACCEPT feeling good and how to turn more than a year and a 1/2 of maintenance at my goal weight into something that I could feel OK with past all of what was happening to me.

So during my “dirty shoot”  I was playful and fun…which I guess for a wedding dirty work shoot is good. 

When I was at my goal weight I dreamed of doing a shoot like this. I even staged photo’s. I wanted SO bad to work with local photographers to immortalize my “goal weight sexiness”…I wanted sultry, seductive, slutty pictures to share with The Frank.

That never happened.

This happened.

And I would not exchange it for the world.

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And according to the The Frank, neither would he ;)

(P.S. These photo’s are “sharing” approved by The Frank. The rest are for his eye’s only he says.)

The races that never were...

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I should be on my way to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania right now. We should be checking into the same hotel we checked into back in 2010. I should be making sure that I brought a cooler of beer with me so we don’t have to spend $12.95 on a 6 pack of Coors Light from a Chinese Takeout restaurant (weird ass beer laws in that state. You won’t see me living there!). My stomach should be filled with excitement and fear…but not as much as it was in 2010 when I went to Philly to run my first ever ½ marathon.

When I got a coupon deal earlier this year I said to myself “YES! This is the race! This is the race to get me running and focused again!” So I signed up with pure glee and excitement. Just like I have with all the races I have signed up for between last year and this year. How many have I actually participated in?? 1….a Color Me Rad run. Which was fun…but I don’t consider those races nor do I add runs like that to my “race list”.

See, the truth is, I haven’t really ran much since my marathon in October of 2011. Right after the marathon I went to LA to do all the WW campaign stuff and when I came back from that is pretty much when I kind of started my voyage into the downward spiral. Yet I still continued to sign up for races, hoping that it would give my running mojo a swift kick in the ass.

But it never did. And it still hasn’t. I should have run the Utica Boilermaker for the 3rd year in a row, but I backed out on that. I should be running the Wineglass Marathon in Corning, NY this year but I won’t be doing that either. And I can’t defer this year because I signed up for this race last year and deferred. See the pattern people??

So what does this mean?? Does this mean I am never going to be a runner again?? HELL NO!!

There are a few reasons why I am not on my way to Philly right now and while laziness is surely #1 there are other factors too. Money is a big thing right now. Even though we already had the hotel paid for we needed that money back. And our truck needs some work that we can’t afford to fix right now and the gas would be outrageous. But I’ve also been scared to run. Let’s face it…running at this weight is hard and can be kind of scary. The last time I went out (don’t ask when cause I don’t remember) I remember getting about half way down my street, breaking into an asthma attach and having my legs go numb and I could barely walk the couple of feet back home.

A battle I have been fighting with myself is the battle of “Well I used to!”
 Well I used to be able to run a 5K in under 30 minutes!
 Well I used to be able to have cheese and beer and not gain 5 lbs!
 Well I used to be able to fit into a size 6!
 Well I used to be able to touch my toes!

Well, I can’t do those things anymore. But it does not mean that I won’t ever be able to do them again!

When I started running I did it on my treadmill. I signed up for my first 5K after I could run about 2 miles straight. My first 5K would also be the first time I would run outdoors. But I was running and walking and building a base. The way it SHOULD be done. I’m an idiot to think that after almost 2 years of not running that I can just step out the door and start running 9 or 10 minute miles right off the bat. I mean really, I am much smarter than that.

But it’s also fear. Because while it’s exciting that I get to have NEW firsts, I also fear that I will always constantly compare them to before. If I ran the Philadelphia Rock ‘N Roll half this year, would it have been as exciting, more exciting, less exciting???? Who knows.

These races will be here and someday I will be at their starting lines again. When I am really ready, not because I feel like I needed a race to make me ready.

A comment I made during my WW online interview was that this whole journey (not just running, but losing weight & developing a healthy lifestyle too) is a marathon, not a sprint. Well folks, I said that BEFORE I actually ran a marathon and let me tell you…running a marathon can suck ass at times!! But as you hit walls, as your feet start to give out, as you vomit at mile 19, you just keep going. You might start going a little slower and you might start taking a few breaks for a minute here and there, but you keep going and eventually you cross that damn finish line.

I won’t lose weight every week. I won’t always make the best meal choice. I won’t always move from the couch to treadmill. But that is OK, because I’m moving forward, putting one foot in front of another. And someday these feet will do that during a race again.

Best of luck to all my friends and everyone else running the Philadelphia Rock ‘N Roll ½ marathon this weekend!! Run like you are being chased by zombie named Rocky ;)

Feeling Feelings

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I am just going to start this post and pretend like it hasn’t been ages since I last posted. OK….so lets get back into the swing of things, shall we….

A conversation took place a few weeks ago on the world wide web about the importance of tracking and what we should track. As a Weight Watcher member, I know that tracking my food intake (and Points+ values) are most important, along with my exercise and checking off my good healthy guidelines (water intake, veggies, fruit, etc..).  Some people track their measurements.  Some people track how hungry they felt when they chose to eat or after they have finished a meal.

And some of track what a lot of call NSV’s (non-scale victories). I know that I did that a lot! The first time I could fully cross my legs, my first 5K, first time I could wrap a towel fully around my body.  I remember having these moments and feeling pure joy. Usually I relayed my pure joy all over the internets so it would be a moment that would live on forever (I mean, what else is the internet for other than our own personal time capsules right?!). 

Problem is, these feelings of excitement and victory never really last long. They were usually placed with a new negative thought about something I haven't accomplished or something I couldn’t do yet.

Now, having gained my weight back (120 lbs to exact) I LONG for these feelings back!! It’s these feelings and I wish I felt that constantly throw me off course and cause me to throw in the towel that day, and the next day, and the day after that, and then next week, next month….so on and so on.

During the conversation that was happening I said that I wish I had kept a log as I was losing weight, specially in the beginning of my journey about the feelings I felt that I HATED!  The feelings I felt that I LOATHED! The feelings I felt that I wanted to change.

So here they are…

  • Walking up the stores and not being out of breath
  • Changing the kitty litter boxes and not have to stop because I think I’m having a heart attack
  • Being able to cross my legs
  • Not having to shop in the “plus size” section (I mean plus size, not size 12 or 16)
  • Sitting on the couch and not immediately throwing a pillow over my stomach
  • Having my picture taken
  • Constantly feeling that I might be having a heart attack
  • Not being on medication for BP and anxiety
  • I miss wearing shorts and feeling comfortable in them
  • I miss wearing my favorite outfit….a pair of skinny jeans and a slim black sweater
  • I miss feeling comfortable naked
  • I miss feeling sexy
  • Caring about my appearance
  • Having decent clothes to wear
  • Carrying in the groceries without breaking into a sweat
  • Wanting to go out
  • Not afraid of being seen in public by people I know
  • Wrapping a towel around my body
  • Not worrying if I will fit comfortably in a chair or not
  • Being able to reach for things without feeling like I’m straining
  • Tying my shoes without cutting off my air supply
  • Not having to put powder and creams on certain places
  • I miss having energy & not being tired ALL.THE.TIME.
  • Not get out of breath and get sore muscles taking a shower and shaving my legs
  • Being able to wear all the cute high heels I have
  • Miss wearing bracelets that actually fit my wrist
  • Just feeling comfortable in general

There are more feelings I am sure. But these are just a few of the feelings I feel on a daily basis.  And as you can tell I am fighting a pretty nasty beast daily. But I know that I am not alone.  I am not the only one who is feeling these feelings.  I know that the only way to beat these feelings, or achieve them, is to get my shit together and stick with it!!

Maybe by experiencing these victories before and now knowing how much they really meant to me (mentally & physically) it can make the journey this time stick! It will always be a battle.  It will never be “done”.  It is a marathon, not a sprint…and this time, I got a backpack on my back that is filled with the tools I need to get me where I want to be!

P.S. After many years I have finally gone and done it…I created a Facebook page for the blog.  Please feel free to ‘Like’ the page here: https://www.facebook.com/okjustonemorebeer

L. O. V. E

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Our marriage…..wow.

I never dreamed that a marriage would be for REAL and so (dare I say it) perfect.

I never was the girl who thought she would she get married.

Yet, here I am.  Married….smitten & completely overjoyed with emotion.

Marriage…An AMAZING DMB experience…A Yankee game, while a lost a total fun to watch…..We are still in overdose

and having a hard time touching the ground……

But every night I go to bed thinking…”this man married me….all of me…ups and downs and twists and turns….gains and losses…this man married me….and we had the best day ever!”….

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You can check out ALL our wedding photo’s here: Kristin Chalmers Photography

Password is: Love (yes, capital L)

My weight felt like nothing. I had no regrets. I was/am in love. I have a husband who loves me more than anything, thick or thin….I am the luckiest girl in the world. Yes, I COULD’VE stayed around 150lbs….but I didn’t. Instead I crept to my heaviest weight….and yet, I still felt like the most beautiful girl there. Weight is a #…….nothing else. I think our photo’s prove this.

Thank you to everyone for the well wishes and the love. As always it is never unnoticed.

My wedding and honeymoon may be well over with but our love is never over…..

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Dreams don’t always come true…..I never dreamt that I would marry the Frank…let a lone like this, with so much love…

Sometimes dreams are built just for you and you just jump on the cloud….

Mr. & Mrs. Pugh Jr.

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Just a snake peak for my lovely readers….

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All credit goes to Kristin Chalmers Photography

 

I’m married bitches!!!!!! BOW DOWN!!!! Winking smile XOXO

I vow…

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This will be my very last post as a “Single lady”. Soon I will be marrying my best friend, and the best man I’ve ever known (aside from maybe my grandfather).

Everyone keeps asking me if I’m nervous….about getting married?? Honestly, no. I’m more nervous about getting everything done in time since this wedding is pretty much 100% DIY. Also, money, since this wedding is pretty much funded 100% ourselves. But those things are trivial in what the day actual means and will bring.

It will bring love. Love to celebrate with our closest friends and family. Our wedding is not for show.  I never need the show. I never needed the piece of paper. But he wants to give me that and I am gladly accepting. We’ve put a lot of thought and effort into making the day about us and our love and hopefully it reflects out into the day.

Now for the thing I am most nervous about….feeling beautiful on my wedding day. I won’t lie…it’s been a LONG time since I felt beautiful. But I’ve been working on the past few months. Not by losing any weight or anything but just by trying to build my confidence and self love.

I will be getting married at my heaviest weight ever. There will be eyes on me all day. There will be photos taken (very expensive ones at that) to document what is going to be the most memorable day in my life. At my heaviest weight.

And then I think to myself….

Frankie is marrying me….at my heaviest weight.
Frankie loves me….at my heaviest weight.

And that my friends, makes me feel beautiful. And those truths are what will make me shine on my wedding day. Because I am marrying the man I love and he loves me, any way I am.

Now the way I am….a side from getting marries…not happy.

Rewind….lose 101 lbs, go to NY do WW shoot, go to Chicago do Oprah, run a marathon, go to LA to shoot WW commercials, interview to be in David Kirchhoff’s book, get engaged….

Now….getting married. And during that whole time of event, after event, after event, the 101 (plus a little extra) pounds have made their way back to me.

No ones fault but my own. You know the saying “it’s your choice” which is 100% true, but sometimes when you are making bad choice after bad choice you don’t realize just how lost you’ve become. Sometimes when you fall so deep in a hole the choice no longer “feels” like your own.

I should’ve caught my weight gain at Frank’s proposal of marriage. And I did try. I always try. I’ve never stopped trying. I just didn’t succeed at it.

But for the first time in about 3 years, I feel like I can focus on *ME* again. I don’t need to worry about turning in any weight #’s to anybody, or making sure I look healthy and fit for events. For the first time in a long time, I can get back to doing losing weight without the feeling of pressure from any outside sources.

I know I am not happy with myself and I know that I am the only one who can change that. I know how to change it and I finally feel like I can focus on changing it.

So what does that mean for this blog?? I honestly don’t know. I see comments like this:

TheInternets

And they melt my heart. I love my readers. I love the support. And I do love the blog. But I don’t know if I will be blogging about my journey this time. I honestly haven’t decided. I don’t know if the blog will go on a temporary hold, or if I will just randomly blog about other stuff. The same situation kind of goes for all other Social Media.  I feel like all I see now a days are tweets for ad’s or blog posts with giveaways. Everyone is apparently a health coach and is an advertising executive. I might pull back from there for a little while too.

So this isn’t really a goodbye. It’s more of a “see ya around’. I never was an every day blogger anyway. But we’ll see where the journey this time takes me….

I’m off to get married!! XOXO

The only time I will ever use the word ‘Foodie’…

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I’m alive!! I’m aaaaaaaalllliiiiiiiiivvvvvvvve!!

No but seriously, I am alive. And I am doing quite well actually. I’ve felt better lately than I have in a while. But we will save that for some other post. Like the next one I have coming up where I have a giveaway for an awesome e-book!! I should have that up this weekend. I really plan to make blogging a priority again and I really hope that all you fabulous readers stick by my side. Cause I love you guys, damnit!

So, I saw some of my tweeps all tweeting up about this thing called Foodie Pen Pals. At first I was all like “whatevz, I ain’t no foodie and ain’t nobody got time for that!”…. then I learned that it’s this really awesome thing put together for bloggers and non-bloggers where you are paired up with someone and you mail them…..can you guess???? FOOD!!

I’m no foodie, but I love me some food (bring on the jokes, haters)…and snail mail (seriously, there is not enough snail mail anymore)!! So for the first time ever I signed up!!

I was worried about getting screwed at first, since my experience with internet “pair ups” hasn’t gone well…I’m talking about this past year when I finally did the DailyMile secret santa and never got anything, but hey, it’s the risk you take.

Anyways my very first foodie pal came from the very awesome Alyssa!! (She doesn’t have a blog otherwise I would share)

Look at all the AWESOME stuff she sent me:
imageUmmmm….YUM!!
image_1Mmmmm, tea. And how adorable on the back of her card to me!?
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I love when people not only spell my name right but also put a heart in for the I :)

The cool thing about this little program is that YOU are responsible for contacting the person you are matched up with, so that gives you a chance to not only get their shipping address but to also ask you their likes and dislikes. I told Alyssa how much I loved all things spicy and jalapeno and how I am allergic to onions. She promised not to send me any raw onions and she delivered! I told her I follow Weight Watchers and as many of you know, the awesome part about Weight Watchers is that nothing is off limits!!

I housed the jalapeno pretzel bites in about 5 seconds 10 minutes. I can’t wait to try the other goodies!! Especially that popcorn!! We have nothing like that around here. I’ve never had Nori but I’m excited to try that as well. I’ve never had garlic nuts but I like garlic and I like nuts…soooo…. ;) On the bottom that you can’t make out is a box of chocolates, which my stepson took and ate since he didn’t think I would want them….bastard!

So thank you SO much Alyssa for making my first ever Foodie Pen Pal experience a great one!! I hope we get a chance to get paired up again sometime :)

I was lucky enough to send some goodies to Kasandra, who blogs over at Urban In Surburnia. She’s a fellow runner too who just ran the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon!! GO Kasandra!! I hope she likes the goodies I sent her. One of the things was a jar of of this…
jar__13214.1360349758.120.120
It comes from a local great restaurant called Pastabilities. It’s a great place and they recently started selling these jars of their famous and utterly delicious tomato oil in our local Wegmans grocery store. I really hope she enjoys it!!

So, are you interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals?!  Well then head on over there to read all the rules ad regulations (head up….you have to sign up before 9pm EST on the 4th of each month to participate for that month). I think it’s a great way to not only try some awesome new food, but also to find new bloggers, many of which you will find you share similar interest’s with. This isn’t a food snob club, or a club for over eaters anonymous….hell it’s not even a club. It’s just a sweet way to give and get some awesome free yum-yums!!

Hope you enjoyed a post where I didn’t whine so much SmileAnd I promise to have that book review and giveaway up in a couple of days!! Now keep on keeping on with your bad selves (yes I just wrote that. no I haven’t been drinking. yes I am sorry.)
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