Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Sunday was a hard day for me. While at church I was standing in the hall next to a lady pregnant with her ninth child. She kept sighing over and over, rubbing her belly, groaning, basically begging me to ask her something about her pregnancy so that she could tell me how miserable she is. I'm definitely not in a place yet where I can listen to anyone complain about being pregnant. I stood there silently hoping she would give up on me and move on. My hope sank to the ground as another woman standing nearby took pity on her and asked how much longer she had. 5 weeks was her answer. Quick math in my head.... I wouldve had my baby in 5 weeks. My eyes went to her belly. My belly would've looked like that. My eyes began to burn, I blinked back the tears determined not to cry. My thoughts returned to the conversation going on in front of me just in time to hear the woman say this "the worst part is this baby is constantly moving. I feel his little kicks and jabs all day and all night". Ouch. Was she seriously complaining about feeling her sweet baby moving inside her? Confirmation that the baby was alive and well? My resolve weakened and tears began to freely flow down my cheeks. I tried to walk away without being noticed, went in the bathroom and had myself a good cry. As my due date looms closer my emotions are very much at the surface. At that moment I was so frustrated with that lady. What I wouldn't give to be in her position, feeling my angel moving inside of me. As the week hasgone on i now have a little more understanding for this sweet lady who is just tired. I definitely complained during my pregnancies. But now I have a different perspective on things. Maybe that's one of the many reasons I was given this trial, to be more mindful of others. Keeping on the subject of being more mindful of others, Sunday is mother's day. A day I have honestly been dreading. I know that seems silly. I have two sweet boys I am the mother of. Why dread it? Honestly it's hard to explain. But it also makes me think of the other sweet women in my life that this day will be hard on. My mother in law who will be experiencing her first mothers day without her own mother. A few friends who aren't yet married, haven't had the opportunity to start families yet. A sweet friend from high school who lost her mother to skin cancer her senior year, friends who have infertility problems and haven't been able to have children. While us mothers celebrate that day, I hope we can also be mindful of those who have heavy hearts that day, and to ALWAYS be mindful of those around us. *side note, my inlaws are flying in on mothers day so it will end up being a good day for both of us. Our goal mama... No tears, well just a few, then just smiles and joy for those we still get to enjoy on this earth :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Weekend Curse

My weight loss has been slow lately. I need to lose another thirty pounds and I feel like it's going to take me forever at this rate. My first twenty came off pretty quickly and now it has been slow going. I hate what I call the weekend curse. I do so good throughout the week and lose 2 or 3 pounds and then the weekend comes and I totally blow it. Me and the hubby are big on getting a date every week and having my parents living in the same town makes that possible. Our date night always includes food. I always plan on ordering a salad but almost every time I tell myself I deserve it for doing so good all week. It's retarded I know. And then Sunday comes around and after church we always have a nice meal and I always eat way too much. And there goes all my hard work I put in during the week. Does anyone else experience this? Anyone have any advice? I will take it!! I've got to start upping my game. I am determined to lose thirty pounds by July. I don't want to be in my fat clothes all summer, I have a box of adorable "skinny" summer clothes waiting for me in the garage. If I'm not in them by July I'm going to be so mad at myself. Somebody give me some tips!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More Weight Loss Motivation

So as you all know I am on a journey trying to drop some serious weight. The biggest motivation for me is reading stories and looking at pictures of real everyday people who have lost weight. It makes me think that if they can do it I can too. So I am sharing another motivating story. This one comes from Cameron's wife Bethany aka my sister-in-law. I watched her and Cameron work their a$$es off for months, through the holidays they skipped out on most of the yummy food and I would think to myself "I'd rather be fat than miss out on everything." Well here we are five months later and now I'm thinking " I'd give my left boob to have her body". Okay maybe not my left boob because then I would be skinny but missing one boob, but for sure a toe or two. Yep, wonder what I would look like if I had been as dedicated as her. Hope this helps all of you out there trying to drop some weight but thinking you just can't do it. It has definitely helped me. Thanks for sharing your story Beth!

I was sadly naive from a young age thinking I would never have to worry about weight loss. I grew up in a home with mostly healthy food (no sugary cereals, no soda, very little junk food, etc.) and we rarely ate out. It seemed no matter where we lived (Winslow, Phoenix, Flagstaff), I was always playing outside and I was always in some sort of sport. I actually remember when we had our body fat tested in P.E. in high school, I was the lowest in my class. Then I moved out. I gained the "freshman 15" (or maybe 30 for me...;)) and reality hit like me like a truck! I actually DID have to pay attention to what I ate! Up to that point it had just been done for me. When I came home from my mission to the Dominican Republic, I looked great! That's because I literally walked all day long, every day in the heat! Plus, in my last area I made a point to work out every morning. Shortly after Cameron and I were married I started putting on a few extra pounds. Not too much to worry about (I thought). Then I got pregnant with Haylee. Oh man...I was a big girl!! After I had her I was still big! When she was about 7 months old, I watched my first triathlon. We were in Rocky Point, Mexico with our friends Eric and Kami. Eric was doing the triathlon there. I saw people way bigger and older than me participating in the race. That day I set a goal to do a triathlon. I had some knee issues that I needed to work out before I could really start training--I might add that the knee issues, I believe, were from carrying around too much weight because they got better when I lost weight. I'll be honest and admit that I began taking phentermine. It was wonderful! I had no appetite or cravings and I had TONS of energy! But as with almost every drug, there are side effects. I had a hard time sleeping and I was incredibly irritable (not something I needed help with--I had that covered on my own!!). Even while taking the phentermine, I knew I was "cheating". I made poor food choices thinking that because I was eating so little, I could eat anything I wanted. I wish I would have tested my body fat at that point. I've learned firsthand that skinny does not always equal healthy. I got to a certain point on phentermine and couldn't lose anymore. During that time Cameron and I began doing triathlons. I am very proud to say that I completed four triathlons! I accomplished my goal! About a month after my last triathlon I got pregnant with Jori. It's interesting that with the second pregnancy I carried completely different. I only gained weight in my belly. With Haylee I gained it EVERYWHERE! Then when Jori was born, I lost quite a bit of weight really quick. It's like my body just knew what to do. Even still, I had more weight to lose. Cameron and I began working with our nutritionist in October, three months after Jori was born. I weighed 171 lbs when we began. Unlike taking phentermine, I lost weight and did it the healthy way. Our nutritionist educated us about what certain foods do to our bodies. There was no salt or sugar allowed. It was all lean meats, vegetables, good carbs (potatoes, brown rice, quinoa). I'm not going to lie, it was EXTREMELY tough. Being a stay-at-home-mom was even harder because I still had snacks for Haylee in the pantry that were off limits to me. The temptations were unreal! Especially through the holidays. I moaned and complained for about the first two months! Poor Cameron! He was a great teammate though--he was so supportive and motivating. I couldn't ask for a better husband and partner in weight loss. We have both talked extensively about how hard (almost impossible) it would have been for us to do without the other one. The huge benefit (besides the weight loss), is how much it strengthened our relationship. I believe anything you do together as a couple, especially hard things, makes you a stronger team. We had to cheer each other on and motivate each other constantly. We had to remove the temptations from each other. I have now lost 41 pounds. I went from a size 12 to a size 6 (a size I haven't been since high school) and from XL shirts to medium. Working with our nutritionist created a lifestyle change in our home. Ninety percent of our meals will continue to be along the guidelines our nutritionist gave us. Yes, we will "splurge" every now and then, but a splurge now is frozen yogurt as opposed to a Dairy Queen Blizzard!! There are foods we missed terribly while we were on our strict meal plan that we can't even imagine eating again. We just understand so much more. I have taken away a few lessons from my weight loss experience. The top one is being healthy ABSOLUTELY has to be a priority in your life. Nothing else in your life works if your body doesn't! Cameron and I are now "that couple" that only stay in hotels with gym access and the gym is our top priority every day. If the laundry doesn't get done, oh well. Our gym time is sacred to us! As parents, we have a bigger responsibility to our children. We create their lifestyle. I was lucky to grow up in an overall "healthy home". I know how to recreate that now. And that is my goal. I want my children to be active. Part of our recent move was to provide a backyard that our girls can play in. We all know kids do what they see their parents do. It's important to us that our girls to see us exercising daily and eating healthy food. As a mom of girls, of course I worry about body image, eating disorders, etc. That's why my goal is to never have them be an issue. I refuse to talk about being "skinny" or "looking good" to my girls. Instead, I will talk about being healthy, having energy, setting goals. Whenever we give Haylee food we try to talk about why that food is good for our body (carrots--eyesight, bell peppers--vitamin C, etc.). I am completely, 100% converted to our new way of life! I try to talk to everyone about it! I am so much happier now. I love to get dressed every day, I love to go shopping, I love that I know what I'm doing when I'm at the gym. I wish everyone would do what we've done. It's possible and the payoff is amazing!
Bethany at the beginning of her journey.
Bethany her hot self today!

Friday, March 16, 2012

If I could write a letter to me....

Have you ever heard that Brad Paisley song "If I could write a letter to me"? Side note.... I love Brad, story of how I met him another day. Anywho I heard this song yesterday and thought what my letter would say to myself. It would be a little different depending on the age. Sixteen would have been a lot about how I am good enough, don't waste your time on the same boy, there is a whole life waiting for you after high school, you get the idea. Twenty would've been a little different. At twenty I was living in Mesa, working for my brother trying to get my appraisal license. I LOVED working for my brother, seriously some of my favorite memories. Also at twenty most of my friends were married (if that doesn't tell you I'm Mormon I don't know what will), sadly I thought I was an old maid and would never get married. How pathetic is that!! I was also at my thinnest and thought I was fat. Not only do I want to write a letter to myself I want to go back and freaking slap myself! Oh to have that body back. Okay getting off track a little..... Anyway at first my plan for this post was to write a letter to myself at twenty and tell myself all the things I wish I'd known. But the more I started thinking about if I had known everything then I know now would I have grown as a person? Nope. All those hard times, all the boys that broke my heart, all the tests, trials, made me who I am today. So if I really truly could write a letter to my twenty year old self it would simply say this....
Dear me,
Have faith always.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

5 Things I've Learned So Far About Motherhood

First off let me say I am NOT a perfect Mom, not even close. These are all things I strive to do as a Mom. Somedays I do pretty good, somedays not so much.

1. You have to put your oxygen mask on first......
You can't give absolutely every ounce of yourself to your children. You will lose yourself. Taking time for yourself, spiritually, mentally, and physically makes you a better Mom. Every morning I hop on the treadmill with my ipod and enjoy doing something for myself physically. It's good thinking time, it helps my mood, and someday it will help my @$$ look smaller :) I try to fit in a few bubble baths throughout the week. Always after the boys are in bed because can you really enjoy a bath while your children are running around the house doing who knows what? I can't. I've just been trying to find little ways of fitting in things that I enjoy. I was bad at this when my oldest was a baby and after a while I felt like I had completely lost myself. I thought being a good Mom meant devoting every second of every day to my kiddos, and putting myself on the back burner.

2. Mom Guilt sucks......
I never knew how much I would beat myself up about every single thing until I had kids. Holy cow I am so hard on myself. Mommy guilt is fierce. Every night after our boys are in bed I pretty much run through everything I did wrong that day. Not spending enough one on one with each child, raising my voice, not feeding them enough veggies, letting them watch too much cartoons, you get the point. There is so much to do wrong, but what if we focus on what we do right and build from there? The great thing about being a Mom is that the next morning you can get up and try again. Focus on what you are doing right. Being a Mom is the absolute hardest job there is, (and if you try to tell me different I will cut you), go easy on yourself. I really need to take my own advice on this one.

3. Everyone has an opinion......
Everyone thinks they know everything about how to raise YOUR children. Super annoying. I've learned to just smile and in my mind picture slapping them across the face. What works for one child may not work for your child. There is no rule book on motherhood for a reason. Every child is different. Don't let others opinions make you question yourself. Go with your gut.

4. Sometimes you have to be a bitty......
I have learned you have to speak up. My two year old has had a horrible cough for over a month, the doctor shrugged it off as allergies..... turns out it's pneumonia. I KNEW it wasn't allergies, my mommy gut told me it was something more serious. I wish I would've spoke up in the doctors office weeks ago, suggested the doctor actually listen to his lungs. Instead we ended up in the emergency room with a very sick boy. Lesson learned.

5. Encourage, be patient, show affection.......
These are pretty self explanatory. I really try hard to encourage my kids. Remind them of everything they are doing right instead of everything they are doing wrong.
Patience.... something I sometimes fail miserably at but I am trying to do better. I've noticed with my two year old (who is CRAZY) if I kneel down at his eye level, take his cute chubby cheeks between my hands, and almost whisper what it is he is doing wrong, he is much more responsive than when I shout. It has worked miracles. And maybe he won't remember me as the yelling Mom after all. Affection is a big one. So important in my opinion. Kids need love. They just do. Their soul needs it. I try everyday to find cuddle time, give lots of hugs, and kisses (only to my two year old because my four year old thinks he is waaay too cool for that). I want my kids to know without a doubt that I love them.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cameron's Weight Loss Story

This blog post is written by my brother Cameron. I hope it inspires you as much as it has me.

The year was 1999. Clinton was president, the dot com boom was in full effect, and nobody had a cell phone yet. I had my dream job of sitting in the clubhouse at Show Low County Club checking in golfers, with access to a short order cook who would cook me anything I wanted all day long. I had always been over weight and had a love of food, but looking back I think this is when things got out of control. Then I got well fed for 2 years while on a LDS mission in Cleveland, Ohio. Had to buy a bigger suit half way through. Came home and started training in the appraisal business during the refinance boom. Working 50+ hours a week and going to school at night, combined with my food addiction, resulted in my weight ballooning up to 315 pounds, size 44 pants and way too many x's on my shirt tags. Turns out starting your day with a steak and egg burrito, chased down with a 44 oz Mtn. Dew is bad for you. I was depressed inside and hated the way I looked. The wake up call came when we went to six flag's with some friends and I was too fat to ride all the fun rides. They couldn't lock in the bar on the roller coasters. All day I waited in line with everybody, tried to get on the ride, and then was told to get off because they couldn't strap my fat @$$ in. Not long after, Bethany and I went to Las Vegas for the weekend. They had an out door ice skating rink outside Ceasars Palace. I broke one of the ice skates because of my weight. This ends the sad part of my story. Life wasn't all bad. Awesome wife, great job, and played a lot of golf.
I tried many diets in mid 2000's. Atkins, weight watchers, personal trainer, lemonade cleanse, and so on. I had a hard time sticking to any of those. I had a personal trainer for 4 months and lost a whopping 11 pounds. I had a major food addiction. After some research we decided the best option for me was lap band surgery. I had lap band surgery performed in Tijuana, Mexico by Dr. Pedro Kuri. It went really well and I started losing weight fast. I didn't really change what I ate, but the band forces you to eat less and there are some things you can't really eat when the band is tight. When I started losing weight I really got into weight lifting and running. Then I got into triathlons and distance running. I got to around 250 pounds and had the band loosened all the way. I was not able to take in the amount of liquids and calories during training that is necessary to stay energized and hydrated when it was tightened. After that I kept training hard and tried to eat what I thought was healthy and was able to maintain 225-230 pounds. As hard as I tried I couldn't get below this weight.
Skip ahead three years and Bethany was pregnant with Jori, our second child. Even though I was still training hard and doing triathlons, I started gaining weight again because of how I was eating. Bethany wanted help losing the baby weight and I wanted to take control before things got out of hand. We started with our nutritionist on October 5th. At our first weigh in, I weighed 245, 25% body fat. Back to a 38 waist and an xl shirt. The last 4 1/2 months have been hard but rewarding. My diet is now based on lean protein, lots of the right fruits and veggies, complex carbs (sweet potatoes, brown rice, etc), good fats, oatmeal with flax seed, egg whites, the right nuts, and lots of water. We weigh and measure all of our food and eat at certain times of day. I workout six times a week- lots of running and weight-lifting. Getting back into the triathlon training. As of our last weigh in Monday I'm now 187 lbs and 15% body fat. I donated all my old clothes and now wear a 32-34 waist, medium shirt. I'm not saying this to brag, I just want people to see what you can do. 58 pounds in 4 1/2 months. You can do it! No crash diet, no starvation. I eat full plates of food all day long. I won't lie, its been hard. Real hard. No salt, sugar, dairy, or Buffalo Wild Wings! We've had grumpy times and fallen off the wagon here and there. That's one key to keeping it going- if you have a bad day or a bad meal, wake up the next morning, eat your oatmeal and apple, go to the gym and get back on track. Don't ever give up. No excuses. You can do it. Tomorrow is always a new day. Shut up, I said no excuses!
I don't regret having lap band surgery and I'm not ashamed to admit I have had it. It is a useful tool that helped get me on the right track. Looking back, my food addiction was so severe, I needed something that drastic for it to work. I don't think I had the will power to do it on my own in the beginning. For anybody who judges me for having weight loss surgery as an "easy fix"- I'm happy to challenge you to a pull up competition or 10k. Dr. Kuri didn't do that for me. The last 50 pounds has been all me without the help of the band. It doesn't matter either way. Less weight is less weight no matter how you do it, you feel a million times better. Anybody who has had any type of weight loss surgery has still done the majority of the work on their own and should be proud. Again, I don't write this to brag. I hope this motivates someone to start eating right and exercising. You can do it!
I also have to brag about my wife. She is back to where she was when we were married and looks amazing! I'm so proud of her!

Cameron now at 187

Cameron at 245, 4 1/2 months ago