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I didn’t write a post last week?  I seriously thought I did.  Time is flying, people.

In (sort of) recent news, I sold my engagement ring.  I know, some of you are thinking, hey crazy lady, why would you do this!?  Well, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, I never wear it.  It was nearly $2,000 new and it sits in a box in the bathroom 99.9% of the time.  I feel this is a waste.

Secondly, we never actually paid the whole account off.  I’m going to be completely transparent here… we are filing bankruptcy.  That was a huge weight off my shoulders. It’s had me stressed and eating what I shouldn’t and I can’t take it anymore.

So the bankruptcy and the ring story… I’m currently 26.  When I was 19, I decided buying a house with my boyfriend while I worked for minimum wage at Dairy Queen was a good idea!  Well, then I had a crisis or something, I don’t know, and we broke up a month after signing the papers.  It was around our 4 year anniversary and we were engaged.  I had a ring that we bought together.  I kept the house and continued paying the other debts while taking on some roommates to make the house payment.  Then I met my husband, we sped through dating and became engaged.  We went to the jeweler, upgraded my ring.  I got pregnant, told my employer, then lost my job the next day.  Fabulous.  Had a falling out with my roommates.  Moved out of the house and let it foreclose.  I had a bunch of credit card debt from being young and stupid, my husband had medical bills from no insurance.

Basically, we began our marriage in a financial mess and it never recovered.  We’ve been ignoring the problem because we couldn’t afford to pay the debts and we couldn’t save the money to pay for bankruptcy.  FINALLY, 7 years later, this is how we’re fixing it.  I think of it as our do over.  We’ve paid the lawyer, signed the paperwork, now we just wait to go to court to finalize.  I’m not going to be ashamed of this.  Bad decisions were made, lots of them and we’ve been hiding from the mess long enough.  It’s time to do things right and we need a clean slate.

What does this have to do with the ring?  It’s debt linked to the bankruptcy and  just reminds me of the past.  It’s linked to negative things and I don’t care to wear much jewelry anyway.  I decided, after discussing it with Scott, that the money from the ring would be much better spent on buying my road bike.  It’ll definitely get more use than the ring.

Pretty much the only bike we could afford at the shop…
… but I love her!

Now, let’s talk about some of the non-paleo food I’ve eaten.  Get the unpleasantness out of the way.

Vegan muffin from Bizzy Lizzy’s Flourless Bakery. Not totally unhealthy, just not paleo, only around 300 calories.  THIS IS AMAZING.

There is also a gluten free frosted chocolate brownie they make that is DIVINE.  I wasn’t a big fan of the Antioxidant Muffi though.  Hey, I told you… I’ve been stressed and eating.  Not good.

Harley making mini pizzas.

Harley made these mini pizzas in preschool and asked to make them at home.  So I obliged.  We bought whole wheat English muffins, Meijer Naturals pizza sauce and for Carter’s pizzas, dairy-free cheese.  It was fun making them together.  Harley spread the sauce, we each added our own amounts of pepperoni and cheese.

And the last upsetting thing…

This is what my stomach looks like while I’m lying down. Yup. Smooshy, wrinkly and covered with stretch marks.

I just wanted all of you to know, especially mommies, that even though I’ve made progress, it’s not all fabulous under the clothes.  I know the stretch marks won’t go away, but I hope to tighten this mess up.  It’s never been flat and muscular in my life.

And here’s something I am proud of…

Calf muscles!

I was doing toe-ups and checking out my calf muscles in the mirror.  There were a whole bunch of awesome muscles popping out on the sides too.  Pretty thrilling to see progress in some areas.

I also signed up for another crazy event… a Polar Plunge!  A high school friend posted on Facebook that he was starting a team and I thought that’s something I haven’t done, okay!

I’m really pale and kind of terrified.
Check out my face… still terrified. Haha.

Over 20 of these Polar Plunges are held in Michigan annually to benefit the Special Olympics. I raised nearly $200 in donations from friends in family.  Thanks everyone!

The day of the plunge was pretty nice, in the 30s and no wind.  We were only in the water for maybe 10 seconds.  In and out, then we were hurried inside to change.  It was really fun and I’ll consider doing it again!

Are you bored yet?

After bath time! (Harley’s shirt says “Can you see me now?” Funny?)

Last week, I was lucky enough to be offered 2 free tickets to Disney on Ice from our old daycare lady.  Harley has been begging to go for a couple weeks now.  We ran a few errands before the show, including a trip to Harvest Health Foods.

Check out all the flavors of Lärabars on that shelf?! I had to buy some flavors I haven’t tried yet.
Show’s about to start!

On Sunday, I had my first crew meeting for my new part-time job!   I have been wanting to talk about this for a while, but I was waiting until I had my first meeting.  I’ll be working for 3 Disciplines Racing, a multi-sport racing event company.  They organize runs, duathlons and triathlons from the end of April through beginning of November.  We bring the whole event to the city, set up, work it, tear it down.  They have an amazing reputation in the racing community and high standards for their events.  I cannot wait for the first race at the end of April.

In addition to getting paid, I get to race for free and get free gear from the sponsors.  I wondered how I would pay for triathlons which are more expensive than 5k races and how I would afford all the gear I need.  Well, here’s my solution!  I can’t wait to learn more about how races are put together.  I don’t want to sit in an office chair forever.  This let’s me explore other possibilities.

Got my first freebie, a case of Muscle Milk, which I haven’t tried yet.

Time to share some paleo food.

Broccoli and carrots, mashed cauliflower & grilled chicken drumsticks.
Meal prepping like a beast while making dinner too!
Mini Egg Pizzas and Pecan Bacon Brussel Sprouts, I’ve made both before.

And one more cool thing… I bought this…

RoadID bracelet! You know, in case I get hit by a car while running or riding my bike and I’m unconscious, the hospital will know who I am and who to notify.

Did you make it through all of that?

Oh, one more thing.  I ran 6 miles for the first time.  6 STRAIGHT miles in 67:41 on the treadmill.  When I first started running, I literally couldn’t run a quarter mile without feeling like death was inevitable.  This is AWESOME.

So, send me some comments.  I’ve been feeling a little lonely.  Let me know how you’re doing, people!  I’d like to hear from you if you’re reading.


Before &… During?

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I wouldn’t call this a before and after shot.  I’m still changing, still wanting to lose more weight, still working toward it.  So let’s call this a before and during or in progress comparison.

When I look at this “before” picture, I feel sick that I let myself get that way.  I feel like I literally woke up one morning and I was 240 pounds.  How could I have slowly gained the weight and not noticed until I tried to dress up nice for my mom’s wedding?  I distinctly, VIVIDLY remember trying to dress for that day.  Nothing fit right, I tried on every nice item of clothing I had before settling on this outfit.  I had to wear the skirt above my belly button to accommodate my gut.  Miserable.  I felt utterly miserable.  The only saving grace was how amazing my hair looked.  Thank you lovely hair.

So here we go…

WHAT?!  Look at that chin, the back fat, the gut!  Check out how much shorter the skirt is because I had to wear it so high on my waist!   I don’t even have that shirt anymore, far too big.  The skirt now hangs on my hip and pretty soon it will be retired as well.

I was busting out of size 18 jeans and I said enough!  I cannot, will not, refuse to go up to a 20!  I still had all of my size 16 jeans from high school and damn it, I was going to get back into them.  31 pounds down and every part of me smaller (I know because I took measurements, also important!), I’m now 209 and comfortably wearing a 16, getting very close to moving down to a 14!  And if you’re wondering how I’m not wearing a smaller size, we’ll discuss muffin tops at a later date.

Here is a front shot, I’m making a weird face.

And because my kids wanted to get in on the action, here’s a picture of them.

No, I don’t understand why Harley has his hands up like that.

I cannot stress enough, take a before picture!  Or if you have a shameful photo like mine, use it as your motivation.  When you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, you can see how untrue that is.  Changing your body happens so gradually that from day to day, you obviously will not see a difference.  Reference points are so important.

I printed out my fat picture and taped it to the bedroom wall.  It’s right by the light switch so I see it EVERY day.  It’s my reminder of how unhappy being unhealthy was for me.

Another huge benefit is SPANDEX.  I love wearing my spandex capris now.  I don’t think I look as bad as some people and even if I do, I have enough confidence now not to care!

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