Monday, November 26, 2012

Bubble Up Pizza Casserole

As requested, I will be blogging about one of our favorite meals, Bubble Up Pizza Casserole!!! And in an effort to keep myself cooking, I will be making an effort to try a new recipe each week and post it here with my review!!! The recipes will be easy, as I am not much of a cook :)

Bubble Up Pizza Casserole:


1 pound ground beef or sausage
1 jar of pizza sauce
1/2 pack of pepperoni (I use turkey)
2 cups of cheese

1 tube of refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown ground beef. Mix in jar of of sauce and mushrooms. I quarter about half of the pepperonis and mix in as well.

Quarter the biscuits (I prefer to cut each biscuit into 8ths because it makes for smaller bites for my little guy) then mix in with meat and sauce.

Spoon into casserole dish and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and top with cheese, then bake another 10 minutes.

Serve and enjoy :)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

1st Runiversary!

The last race I ran was in June, it was the Mud Dog. I was on a running hiatus this summer. I can give you all of the excuses in the world, but at the end of the day I hate the heat and I hate running in the humidity. It is really that simple. It slows me down and I am miserable. So I set out with some goals and failed miserable because I was not running. Shit happens.

I went back to Weight Watchers in August. My Fitness Pal is great for some. What I witnessed is people eating for too little while working far to hard and not properly fueling their body. That does not motivate me. Neither does calorie counting, as all calories are not created equal. I wasn't getting the results I wanted and at the end of the day, I knew what I had to do.

So, I went back to the program that I knew would get me back to where I wanted to be, which is ON TRACK. I get asked all of the time, "Why Weight Watchers?" For me it is a simple area...I am and will always have a 200 pound girl inside of me. A girl that needs reminded on a weekly basis that she has to stay on track. I know I can have cheese fries, but I have to remain on track. I have to have the support of a weekly meeting that gives me fresh ideas on how to stay on track. I need the weekly accountability of stepping on the scale. I thrive on these meetings, I need to track my points every week, I need the support. THAT is why I go to Weight Watchers. And will continue to endorse a program that I truly believe in :)

Another thing that has helped with my journey has been running, but like I said, I have gotten lazy in the past couple of months. My weight loss has slowed. My doctor told me several weeks ago that her "ideal" weight range for me would be 158-163 pounds. As of Friday, I weighed in at 172.4. I am less than 10 pounds from my doctor's goal. My personal goal is to say I have lost 100 pounds, so that would put me at 155. 17.4 pounds to goal!!! Had I not gone back to WW and started lacing up my running shoes again, it is safe to say that I wouldn't be *this* close!

I have been somewhat back in the running game for about 6 weeks now, not running 3 times a week like I should, but I have been active. So last week, on a 4 mile run with a friend, she told me about a VERY local 5k that was scheduled for today. So on Monday I signed up and figured at the very least I would know how much damage I had done from taking several months off.

So this morning, as everyone else was asleep, I got dressed, and laces up my Brooks. As I did this, I realized that it has been exactly 1 year since my very 1st 5k!! I didn't go into today's race, expecting anything spectacular, but more so to see how much work I had ahead of me.

So as I line up and get my music and gps ready, I take a deep breath and remind myself to just enjoy the run. I have ran my fair share of races, let me tell you that the run today was by far the worst hills that I have ran in a race. I had a 36 minute goal, but that goal was squashed as soon as I started tackling rolling hills...or so I thought. Thanks to my running partner, I remained strong on the hills and completed the race with a 35:43 completion. I got my 2nd wind in the last half a mile and managed to finish strong.

As I finished, I had a lot on my mind . Primarily the fact that a few short months ago I was completing 5ks in under 33 minutes. I was so close to my sub 30 goal. But when I finished, it occurred to me, that I may not be as fast as I was, but I am still strong. This 5k made me realize that if I work hard for a couple of weeks, I can conceivably get back to where I was just a few months ago. Time to get back on track with my running! :)

If I can do it, anyone can!!!

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of my journey!

Here I am 1 year ago at my 5k, weighing in at 194 pounds

And here I am this morning for what was my 10th 5k in a year, I have also completed 2 10ks, a 10 miler, a mud run and a half marathon. That is a lot of running over the course of a year!
Until next time <3

Friday, August 10, 2012

A New Day!

Well, today started like any other day, I hit the snooze and overslept LOL! Jumped up and got cleaned up, got my little guy ready, and then grabbed my pre-packed breakfast and headed out to my Weight Watchers meeting. I was a little behind and was looking at being about 2-3 minutes late...I got to my meeting location and thought I lucked out because there was a place up front. Yep, there was...because that location was CLOSED! Ugh, so I had to recheck the location, well needless to say I arrived at the new location about 15 minutes late. Story of my life. I could have let this deter me, but I didn't. I went in and didn't even sit down, I just immediately bought my monthly pass, then stepped up onto that stupid scale.

Here it is...the number read a number that I swore I would never see again. 180.4. I swore I would never see the 180's again. Though I will be honest, if they had let me weigh in the way I want to weigh in, I wouldn't have been in the 180's. One day, they will give in and let me weigh in naked. Until that time, I will accept the number that was on the scale.

With the hard part over, Jayce and I headed into the meeting and caught the tail end. I met my leader, who I like which is always a plus. I feel like I can relate to her, which is important to me. Though, if I am honest, I will tell you that with every leader I meet, I realize that I want to be a a leader, I have the personality for it and I LOVE helping people. That being said, I will put it out there. I have a HUGE goal. I want to become a lifetime member by Jayce's 2nd Birthday! (January 18, 2013). That gives me 17 weeks of weigh ins to hit my goal of 158 which is 22.4 pounds to lose (as set by my doctor) and 6 weeks to maintain to achieve lifetime status.

Now that sounds like a great goal, right? Totally realistic. But, THAT is not my HUGE goal! My ultimate goal is to hit lifetime then pursue becoming a WW leader. This has been an ambition of mine from my first success with Weight Watchers in 2009. And now, I am determined to make that happen.

First step towards this goal is to continue on program and work with the program that I know AND believe in. Looking forward to what the future holds :)

Until Next Week!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

WW...What Works!

Well, for anyone wondering how my break-up with the scale went...well it was hard dammit. But I survived. BUT I will be honest, I gained 2 pounds in the month. Turns out, when I am not getting on the scale every day, it is easier to let my diet lax a little. When I am this close to goal, being lax isnt going to do me any good.

So I will be utilizing my scale again. I read the people who get on the scale daily, lose more and maitain longer than those who don't. I wasn't sure if that was true until I complete one month of NOT stepping on my scale.

After speaking with my doctor last week, we determined that she would be happy with me weighing between 158-163 pounds. A mere 16 pounds to be where my doctor wants me. But being so close makes me afraid that I will soon become overly obsessed with my scale all over again. So over the past couple of days, I have been pondering about when I actually had a "healthy" relationship with the scale. Pondering when I had a healthy grasp on food and what I needed to fuel my body.

And that time was when I was with Weight Watchers. It has taken me time to get back to this place. I have enjoyed My Fitness Pal, and thought I could do it by simply tracking myself. And I did ok. But what I lost track of was fueling my body properly. In theory I could do a better job with MFP. But I will be honest, having someone else see my numbers each week keeps me focused.

Your body needs so much more than just X number of calories. As Chalene Johnson says "If you are going to train like an athlete, you need to eat like an athlete." Now is that time.

I hope you decide to stick with me on this journey. I know many of you joined MFP because I thought it rocked, and it DOES! But, Weight Watchers has ALWAYS gotten the job done for me, and I am looking forward to embarking back on my WW journey. This also means that starting next week, I will be starting Foodie Friday back up again with some of my favorite recipes :)

Until Next Time!
Amber :)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Story of Goodbye.

I am in what I like to consider several monogamous relationships. The most important one I am in is my marriage. Being monogamous isn't hard for me, I have been with my husband since I was 19, monogamy comes naturally to me and always has. But, when it came time to lose the weight and get healthy, I entered into a relationship out side of my marriage. A relationship with myself. It is so easy for us to get so tied up in a relationship that we lose sight of ourselves, GUILTY! Then add motherhood into the mix and you can easily fall into the trap that you lose yourself completely. You are on autopilot, obviously breathing, but going through the motions day in and day out trying to make everyone else happy, trying to keep peace within you home, if for no other reason, but your sanity.

I lived that way for years. I lived for my sisters when they needed me to. When we lost our brothers, I went through the motions of being their rock, the person to hold them when they cried. To tell them it will be ok. To protect them when the world wasn't so kind. I live for my husband when he needs me, because let's face it they would be lost without their wives ;) I live and breathe for Jayce, putting his needs above my own.

One day you have to realize that if you don't take care of YOU, there will be no one around to take care of them, to be their rock, to be their shelter. As a mother, this is the hardest lesson of all. So, I took the leap and entered into a relationship with me. Deciding that, even if for just a few moments a day, I would take some time and focus it on me. This inevitably let to a daily ritual of waking up, empyting my bladder, stripping down and stepping on the scale. The scale and I have had our ups and downs just like any other relationship. But I still would see him at least on a weekly basis, but more often then not, I would meet up with him on a near daily basis. And the relationship was a healthy one. I loved seeing the numbers go down with all of my hard work.

But the inevitable occurred. The scale stopped moving. And to be honest with all of my readers, it has moved up and down the same f-ing pound for over 8 weeks!!!!!! So my healthy relationship has now reached a very volatile stage. One that involves me stepping on the scale several times a DAY in hope od figuring out what in the hell is going on.

What I have decided is this: MY BODY HATES ME! Ok, well that may be a tad dramatic, but it does seem that my body is comfortable at this weigh (175 if you are wondering). After losing 82 pounds my body has decided that it will not allow me to reach the 100 pounds mark.

So here is my plan! It is time to listen to my body. I purchased a FitBit ( to help me see when I need to be more active, to tell me EXACTLY how many calories I have burned so I know EXACTLY how many I can eat to create an exact deficit. I have also decided to start cleaning up my diet again. And the biggest and by far the hardest decision so far...


I am removing the batteries and putting it away. I stepped on it for the last time this morning. I will not be stepping on that scale again until August 1. One entire month with no weighing in. One entire month of me focusing on my eating, but most importantly, focusing on Turbo Fire and on getting down to a 30 min 5k. One month of focusing on toning and tightening to get in to my goal SIZE. That is right, I have a goal weight in mind, but in this stage of the game, I need to focus on my body and what it is telling me.

I hope you continue to follow me as I go bat shit crazy over the next month without my scale!

PS-if you are on My Fitness Pal, add me! amberd0626 :)

Until next time!  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Here you go!!! Updated photos!! I was REALLY worried about posting these because #1 I was worried about the fact that there may not be a difference and #2, they are in my undies, my husband is really the only person to see that LOL!!! BUT I get so many messages about how I have inspired other women to take control of their health and maybe even take up running. So I feel like I owe it to my friends and to myself to be honest and share my progress. 

I may not be at goal, but in just a few short months, I am noticing a big change in these pics. Especially on my backside:) YAY!!

I have also embarked on an new fitness journey which is the Insanity workout. So I will post my starting measurements as well as my beginning Fit Test results. Currently I am on a break when it comes to the scale as I am getting close to my goal (will be working hard to tone) but I will now be focusing on my measurements and not on that evil bitch, AKA: my scale! :)







Monday, May 7, 2012

RR, PR and 13.1? OH MY!

Well yesterday was D-Day! I went to bed Saturday night a runner, and now I am a HALF MARATHONER!!! I went to bad a bundle of nerves, I barely slept! Woke up at 345am and got dressed in my running skirt and "Thirteen Point Freaking One Bitches" shirt and laced up my Brooks and away I went. I had a feeling of dread the ENTIRE ride to the race. I don't know if I was more nervous about running 13.1 miles or wearing a running skirt without leggings. But either way I made it to the start line!

Most people don't encourage you to have a time goal on your first half marathon...but "most" people would also say going from a 5k in October to a half marathon in May is crazy...Guess I don't really care what "most" people think ;) That being said, I had a time goal and it was 2:45. That equates to about a 12 min mile. Which is a pace I knew I could maintain for 13.1 miles if I paced myself properly. I set myself up to know that I needed to aim to maintain a pace of 11:45. And I needed to remember to not let the excitement of the race get to me. That is much easier said than done.

We waited amongst a group of 3900 other runners, hanging towards the back as to not get caught up in the excitement or even to slow other runners down. It was gorgeous out!! In the 60's and cloudy. For the first mile we had a nice light drizzle. Unfortunately, for the rest of the run, it was 90% humidity. ICK!

There was not a moment on this race where there weren't spectators cheering on the runners in the streets of Frederick. It was AMAZING!!!! It also caused me to run the first 4 miles at an 11:16 minute mile pace. NO GOOD!!! I was wearing out and backed off. But I fear the damage was already done. Between the pace being a little too fast AND the humidity I was getting tired and very concerned about being able to finish at a pace that I had wanted.

Taryn and I kept plugging along, chatting on and off. We goofed off and were singing and laughing. Thank God I had her with me to help keep my mind off of what my body was telling me...which was to just STOP!!! There is no shame in walking! Well that is true, but I didn't want to walk! LOL! Taryn and I walked each water stop to hydrate every 1.5 miles. We made 2 other stops for 30 seconds. We decided to run through the final water stop which occurred directly before Highland hill. Highland hill is a big hill, know what makes it bigger? Having to tackle that damn hill at mile #13.

I told Taryn that I would run the last water stop with her, but I couldn't promise that I would be able to run up Highland hill without stopping to walk. We are halfway up the hill and I am exhasted, and just when I am ready to cry, I see a fellow runner and mommy who is in our running group come running towards me. She tells me it is just a hill and I CAN do it, NO crying! I pick up the pace and I make that hill my bitch ;) When we crest the hill, we finish on a horse track which had to be the LONGEST quarter mile EVER!!!! I crossed the finish line with pride and covered in goosebumps because I DID IT!!! I grabbed my sister in a bear hug, and I cried. Everything I have worked up to, everything I had trained for all came together in that one moment.

In that one moment, I was not the "heavy set" wife/mommy/daughter/sister...I was a HALF MARATHONER!!! That moment I learned that I can leave that sad, heavy set girl behind. It is time to know that I am strong woman!!! One who sets goals and ACHIEVES them! I work hard and it is worth every moment of pain, tears and doubt. In that moment, I realized that I cannot doubt myself anymore. It is time to believe in ME and be proud of everything I have accomplished!

Hard to think back to that first day in August when I did the first Couch to 5k workout and I nearly DIED running for a full minute straight!! I still can't believe I ran for an entire 13 point FREAKING 1 miles!

And did I reach my goal??? Well as a matter of fact I did!!! 2:44:57!!!!!!!!! I could NOT be happier with my time:)

Now, how about a little reminiscing to my very first race ever??

Here I am on October 1st, 2011 where I completed the Freedoms Run 5k, with my favorite running partner:)

And here I am just over 7 months later, completing the Frederick Half Marathon on May 6, 2012, again with my favorite running partner:)

My what a difference 7 months has made!!! I have a waist!!! WHO KNEW??? :) Running is the ONLY thing I have done in months, no strength training as of now. But I am getting ready to switch up my routine. As well as add some hill and speed training to help me get faster!!

I have tackled a half marathon, there is not marathon in my near future. I have come to realize I am not a distance runner....I don't enjoy the long distance runs as much as I do the 5k and 10k's. So I am set to focus on my speed so that I can continue to get faster on the distances I enjoy. I am NOT saying that I don't ever want to complete a marathon. I mean how cool would it be to say I ran 26.2 miles?!?!?! But right now it is not in my plans! Maybe as I mature as a runner that will change. Or maybe it won't! In the mean time you will see me get FASTER, slimmer and more toned!!! You will seee me working HARDER to improve my times and my endurance. And you will see me complete more half marathons!!! Including one that is coming up in September of this year:):) I say BRING IT!!

Until next time!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pre-race revelations!

I am about 12 hours out from my first half marathon. And I find myself TERRIBLY nervous. I have trained for this! I should be READY!!! So I am left to reflect on my journey to date.

I get Facebook messages and texts asking me for running advice or telling me that I have inspired someone to take up running. I am always honored to receive such a message. Funny thing is, I run and I do races, but I rarely consider myself "inspiring." For me it is simple...I set goals, I ACHIEVE them. That has always been the way I do things. When I laced up my running shoes last August with a goal of completing a 5k without walking, it was HARD! At 210 pounds I am sure people silently judged me. But I ignored the judgement and DID IT.

Then I finished my 1st 5k, then another, and another, and then my half marathon dream was born. I was 200 pounds and people were encouraging but I could still sense some doubt, but it was ok because I was the primary source of doubt. And every time I laced up my running shoes to tackle a long run, I was overwhelmed with self doubt. Every step I take I doubt myself. This stems from YEARS of being overweight and doubting myself. I have YEARS of living in a world where I hide behind my sisters, their beauty and small waists. I remember a family friend telling me his daughter saw me the week before, and I said how did she know it was me (because I had never met his daughter) and he said "she told me it was the "heavy set" sister." *THAT* is what I had become. That is how I lived for years.

So in any moments of self doubt, I revert back to that girl. The heavy set girl in me SCREAMS! So every time I pushed my distance further, I doubted myself more. But I kept reminding myself that I had plenty of time to prepare. Though veteran runners may tell you that taking your distance from a 5k in October to a half marathon in May is a tad aggressive, but let's face it, that is how I live my life. I push the limits. I strive to LIVE.

Maybe this is crazy to you, or maybe it is inspiring. But I wasn't born this crazy. On April 25, 2003, while I was a freshman in college I learned a hard lesson...

We don't live forever.

I learned this lesson as I arrived at my brother, Steve's house to see my father leaning on his truck crying. I learned this lesson when I pushed passed the paramedics to run to my brother only to collapse crying at the entrance of my dead brothers bedroom. I learned this when I had to become a big sister and big brother to my little sisters.

I learned this lesson when I nearly lost my dad the day after I buried my brother in a horrific propane explosion. And this lesson was etched in stone 9 mos later when I found myself having to bury our only remaining brother.

And in case I didn't remember this lesson, I was reminded on January 18, 2011 when I delivered my child who was dead in the arms of the doctors until they were able to resuscitate him. I almost had to live in a world without my son. 

Every day I live for my brothers, for the lives they no longer can lead. Every day I live for my sisters to give them someone to look up to, I live my life to make them proud. Each and EVERY day I live my life to be the mommy my son needs! To show him how when you set your mind to something and work hard, you can truly achieve ANYTHING!

So maybe I am crazy, but Lord knows I have earned the right to be. Maybe doing a half marathon only 9 mos after first lacing my running shoes is "aggressive" but when I learned that the Frederick Half would be ran on May 6, 2012, there was NO question that *THIS* would be my first marathon. On May 6, 2012, but brother Steve would have turned 40 years old if he was still here. And I can tell you that he would have thought I was TOTALLY crazy for running at all let alone a half marathon, BUT I can also tell you that he would have supported me, and he would have been there to see me cross the finish line. I would like to say I have 2 angels running beside me on this run, BUT my brothers weren't runners and I can assure you that hasn't changed;) But I do have a pretty amazing cheering section in Heaven <3

And while all of that should inspire me and have me excited, I sit here sick to my stomach. I am terribly nervous, and I KNOW I will be nervous until the gun sounds for the start of the race tomorrow. In the meantime, I suppose it is time to rest up and prepare myself and my body for my first half marathon, AKA:


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Water stop training, anyone?

Today I embarked on a journey. Not just any journey. Today I set out to run 10 miles. 10 long miles. Prior to this run, my longest run has been a 10k (6.2 miles). My training hasn't been what it should be for my upcoming half marathon. So most of the morning I was sick just thinking about 10 miles.

As I got to the race, I was a little more at ease with some of my friends surrounding me, and my sister runs with me so it was nice to know she would be by my side. As they signaled us to start I just went. The first mile as always was the hardest. Having my sister next to me helped, the rolling monster hills did not. We surpassed water stop #1 and kept going. At an 11:07 mile pace I was feeling good. Water stop #2 is upon us and as always I pour half of it down my front and keep going. There are TONS of training programs out there, where in the hell is the program to teach me how to not look like a complete ASS while downing my water at the water stops???

We hit mile 3 and I am cramping down both sides. But walking is not an option. As we are approaching the end of mile 3, we start seeing others running towards us. The people leading the race blow past us towards their last 3 miles. It is amazing to see how far and fast so many people can run. It is amazing, but it also reminds me how slow I am :)

Thank God for having my sister by my side because we chatted throughout the race which help silence the inner voice SCREAMING at me to walk. We approach mile 4 and my ankle starts to hurt. The distance weighs heavily on it.

As we hit mile 7, I look at Taryn and say "I don't know if my body is made to run 10 miles." She laughs and says "It better be because we have 13.1 in a few weeks" It is then that I remind myself of my favorite Vince Lombardi quote:

“The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.”

This is my case is COMPLETELY true. I am a "new runner" as I have only been running since the end of August. 7 mos. When I first started running I was 225 pounds. Running a minute straight was hard, hell it damn near killed me for weeks. Many times as I was running those minute stretches I wanted to quit. Or throw up, or cry. I wanted to hide under a rock. Ashamed of what I had become. What I didn't think I could be. I certainly wasn't a runner. I was a "heavy set girl" struggling with fitness, becoming a new mommy and life in general.

We have all been there, right? Maybe not in the same way I was. But we have all felt inferior at some point, right? That we would never achieve a goal that we were working hard to achieve? That we would never lose those last 5 pounds? Or we would never get the promotion we deserve? Face it we aren't perfect. We make mistakes. But it is what you do with those mistakes or the self doubt. That is what matters most.

What did I do with my self doubt? Well as a mommy, I consider it a success every day that Jayce and I make it through another day  without a major issue, that is a successful day!! Maybe we have bumps along the way, and maybe motherhood is hard, but you do your best. And at the end of the day you move on. My son is happy, healthy and hitting all of his milestones. He wakes up smiling and loves his mommy and daddy, WIN!

As a dieter, I realize that I will have a bad day here and there. Some days those brownies are stronger than my willpower. Sometimes I walk or exercise to make up for the brownies, and you know what? Some days I don't!!!! But I go to bed knowing that tomorrow is a new day and I move on!!

As a runner, I had to learn that it isn't about being fast, it is about FINISHING. I set goals but they were goals that were fairly lenient. I had to learn that at 225 pounds, I wouldn't be able to just pound out 10 miles and I would have to work hard. And hard is a word that doesn't BEGIN to describe my journey as a runner. And the fact is, I may be able to go longer but that doesn't mean it is easy by ANY stretch. But, I continue to work harder. I want to see what this body will do. And I want to feel a sense of accomplishment when I push further than I ever have before.

And that drive is what pushed me to finish today. At mile 8 we went through another water stop and I decided I will finish this with pride and while still running. Then came the last 1/4-1/2 mile of big rolling hills. I will admit to a 10 second walk break on one of them. Then I picked it up and decided to finish strong. Yes, I DECIDED! My body was NOT in control here, I was! PERIOD! The last 1/8th of a mile took everything I had. I picked up my pace and finished strong. I was so proud! Even prouder that I finished up just a few seconds shy of 2 hours. My goal was 2hours and 15 minutes. And I blew that out of the water. In January, I completed a 10k with a 12:25 per mile pace. I figured with nearly doubling that distance, my pace would be closer to 12:45 per mile this race. NEVER did I think I could pull of a 12:00 mile pace, I know my body certainly didn't think it could!! I was on a "high" most of the day. As that wore off, the soreness rolled on in. Now I can barely walk up the stairs and even THAT makes me smile. That tells me that I PUSHED!! That I truly gave it my best!!

I have come a long way since August!!!! 10 miles today, 13.1 in a few weeks, I say BRING IT! :)

Weigh in tomorrow morning, send me some skinny vibes please!!! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

"Why do you do this to yourself??"

Every time I come in from a run and look like death, Steve looks at me and says "Why do you do that to yourself?" HA! Some days, I tell him because it feels great, other days I want to tell him "I have NO IDEA!" Because that is the truth. So today after my run, 2.5 miles with some off roading, and hill training in the 80 degree weather, I sat down on the couch and thought "Seriously, WHY?"

I am on an AMAZING group on Facebook for my local running mamas and these women are so inspiring and most of them have a true love for running. It is what pushes me, what keeps me going. I am not one of those sickos that loves running. The 1st mile is ALWAYS the hardest. I spend my first 12 minutes, literally talking myself into sticking with it. For 12 minutes, the voice in my head screams for me to stop!! It tells me I am not a runner, who am I fooling?? It tells me I am too slow. That people are judging me. That little evil voice tells me to stop, that I will never get faster. It says "face it, Amber, you are just not a runner."

And for those first 12 minutes, I believe every stupid word. I turn up my music in hopes of drowning it out. I press on and focus on my breathing. Then the first mile passes and I think,  well if I can do a mile, I can certainly do another. And I press on. Then my legs tell me that I need to walk, and my lungs beg me to stop. And sometimes I give in and walk a few strides before I am ashamed of myself for walking, so I pick up the pace.

For many, running is therapeutic. It is their quiet time. Quiet time? My inner voice never shuts the hell up. I run miles on end with nothing but self doubt. My body is beyond capable. When will my mind catch up?? When will I stop doubting myself so much?

As I sat here today, I read a thread from my Run, Mama, Run group where all of the women told their "Why I started running" story. So I sat down and wrote mine. You remember the fat girl running story. The LOWEST point of my running career, by far.

It made me realize, that maybe I don't love running. But, I am not "that girl" anymore. I may not look like a runner in my day to day clothes. But when I lace up those running shoes, I am a runner. I am slow and I slouch too much, and I may look like I am dying for my entire run, but I am a runner. I may be full of self doubt and I may want to quit. But I don't. It is with that determination that I plan to complete a 10 mile training run this Sunday.

Why does someone who doesn't love to run, plan to run 10 miles, then a half marathon in 5 weeks? The answer is simple. I may not feel like a runner during mile 1 or even mile 2. I may not feel like a runner when I walk because my legs won't carry me anymore. But I DO feel like a runner when I cross that damn finish line. And one day I will love it...right? :)

Oh and if you are still following me and wanting to know how my weight loss journey is going, HELLOOOO 170's!!!!!! I am 177.9. My original goal was 155, but I am finally getting comfortable in my own skin and am reassessing my goal. I think 160 will make me happy!!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What makes me tick?

HOLY HELL!!! Has it really been 2 months since I last blogged?? Well then, expect a weight loss blog VERY SOON:) Because I am still getting skinny:)

BUT this week is something else entirely. 3 years ago today I bought my starter kit with Slumber Parties. A LOT has happened in the past 3 years. I have SO much to be grateful for. THIS blog is about that. About the switch that shocked many and about MY reasons.

 I signed up with Slumber Parties with the intention of simply making extra $$. I did that, and my business TOOK OFF! I was making more working a couple of parties a week than I was working full time. So I soon quit my job and decided to make a go of SP full time. I was thrilled. I worked hard, was building a great team and making money. Everything I wanted:) In 2009, I sold just under $56k in retail and signed 12 girls. That made me #1 New Consultant company wide and I landed my place on the Slumber Parties VIP Advisory Board. I was in AWE! My spot on the Advisory Board earned me a FREE trip to Mexico. I met a lot of amazing women on that trip. 2 days before that trip, I found out I was pregnant. THAT was the most AMAZING thing that happened to me that year. :)

I got the feeling from several women that being pregnant that year would hinder my goals. All that meant is they didn't know me ;) I found out I was pregnant on May 12 2010. In 2010, I signed 16 women and did just under $96,000 in sales. I was #12 in the company that year. I won the 4th quarter contest (my 3rd trimester) and won a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. I upgraded that trip so I could take my family of 4. What an amazing reward for all of my hard work. My little guy was 9 months old when he traveled internationally :)

I had Jayce on January 18, 2011. I backed off to doing just enough parties to pay my bills. Still clearing $50k in sales in 2011. The reason I work is hard as I do is for that little boy <3 I work HARD and Jayce and I play HARDER! I am meant to be a stay at home mommy. I am meant to make sure that my son does without nothing!!! That he sees the world and that first and foremost he KNOWS mommy will never miss anything in his life that is so important. I make my own schedule, I work for myself. THAT is what drives me.

So late in 2011, an opportunity to switch to Pure Romance presented itself. My first thought was NO WAY! I love Slumber Parties, despite the fact I had my ups and downs with the company. Downs that I do not discuss. If you are reading this in hopes of me putting down SP, you won't see that here. Just know that not everyone shares the things that were done to them in that company. Many people will never have to see the negative, and for that I am grateful. Just know that every company has its negative qualities. There are NO exclusions. I had resigned myself to the fact that every company has its negatives. PERIOD. Therefore anything negative that ever happened to me had NO impact on my decision to switch companies.

The opportunity that arose was one that involved me getting a pay raise. But NOT just me. MY TEAM would see a HUGE pay raise. Do you know how HUGE that is to my team??? I switched knowing that my teams best interest was at heart. I truly thought about this decision HARD. I didn't want to let my clients down. I didn't know if they were loyal to me or to Slumber Parties. I confided in a few of my loyal clients to get their input. Like me, when they saw the product line, they were sold. I looked into Pure Romance KNOWING that I would be able to offer my clients more scents, flavors, bedroom accessories, a face care/beauty line and nicer packaging. I saw quickly that I was switching to a company that focused on women's health and the health of women who have been through chemo. A company that offers TRUE sexual health certification. AMAZING!

Upon switching, I had to discuss this with my team. I needed them to know that I wanted all of them to come with me. I wanted them to make more $. To truly succeed. Many of them came with me. Only a handful stayed. Even then some of those trickled my way. This switch was MUCH bigger than that. Women who were never on a team in SP contacted me. Women who felt like a number on a big team contacted me. Women who had been wronged contacted me. Before I knew it, my team of 20 had multiplied. I also found that women who had wanted to sign up were sold when they saw the change in products and professionalism.Our team is now 100+ strong. In less than 3 mos, I hit the highest level in Pure Romance. My overrides checks in a month are more than my husband bring in in a MONTH! Because of this, I can actually work less. Which means more time with my family, more time with my baby boy <3

Unfortunately, my switch also brought on a lot of negativity. I received a lot of backlash from former colleagues,  from former "friends." I was called out on my disloyalty. Told I should be thankful for everything SP GAVE me. GAVE ME? GAVE ME???? I worked hard for everything I EARNED!!! I am not saying I didn't earn amazing things, but I EARNED THEM!!! I busted my butt for EVERYTHING I EARNED!!!! Let's be clear, NOTHING was handed to me, nor would I have expected it to be. I was told I would fail, by people who clearly don't know me. I was shunned by some. Never in my life have I been treated that way. NEVER. Never in my life with all of my job switches did previous employers or coworkers treat me with such anger. With such disrespect. My feelings got hurt...still hurt if you can't tell. What do I say to those people? Nothing. I have removed the negativity. I remind myself that it is onward and upward. Every night I lay my head on my pillow and I sleep like a baby. I go to sleep KNOWING that my family is better off because I was brave enough to step out of my comfort zone. I was brave enough to make a change for my family. I was brave enough to face the negativity with grace. I am brave enough to continue my journey. This decision was not personal, it was business.

My heart and soul is in the romance industry. I LOVE empowering women, in strengthening relationships, in helping women discover themselves. I love helping my incredible team achieve their dreams. I LOVE my life. I LOVE what I do. I LOVE Pure Romance and the opportunity that arose. I LOVE the 4 amazing women who paved the way to help me every step of the way. The 4 women who welcomed me into their circle to help lead our team to the very top<3. I love the team of amazing women I am on. Women I see every day raising the bar on their goals. The women I see EVERY DAY achieving their dreams! This is the path I was meant to be on. The life I am meant to lead.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this blog. If you have chosen to stand by me, I appreciate that more than you know <3 I truly hope that this blog helps you understand me a little better. Love or hate me, I am me. I am a women who loves my family more than anything in the world. I am a mommy who works hard at being a great mommy to my son. A wife that could be better at housework, but I try:) A daughter who loves my parents and am grateful for having their amazing support. I am a sister who loves my siblings fiercely and will defend them until the day I die. I am FIERCELY loyal! I am loyal to my family, I am loyal to my friends, and I am loyal to MYSELF.

Until next time!

My "why" :)