>> the story of my newfound health - part one

If you're like me, you love food. You eat even when you're not hungry. You eat because it tastes good, and food is a means of comfort for you. If you're like me, your metabolism in college and young 20's was fast and always had your back. Like, girl-you-don't-even-have-to-go-to-the-gym-your-metabolism-is-so-fast kind of having your back.

I should have known that even though my metabolism had already slowed down before I hit 30, when I came down sick on my 30th birthday, they weren't kidding when they said, "It's all downhill once you hit 30." Gone were the days of easy.

This is when we separate the boys from the men. This, my friends, is 30.

On Tuesday, January 14, I stepped on the scale. My work had decided to start an 8-week fitness challenge which would require each participant to put $10 in the proverbial pot, weigh in every Tuesday morning, and record their percentage of weight lost.  My start weight, as recorded on January 14, was the highest number I had ever seen on the scale. Ever. It wasn't something I could be okay with anymore, and with a potential monetary prize on the line, I decided I was going to give this my best shot.

Here I sit, 2.5 weeks into this thing, and I am feeling good. Like, I've-never-felt-this-good-before kind of good. Like, I want to stand on a podium somewhere and tell other food-loving, clothes-aren't-fitting-so-good-anymore women such as myself: "If I can do it, so can you." Like I'm so overwhelmed with how life-changing this is going to be that I don't even know where I want to take this blog post.

But I will start by sharing with you what I've been doing.

I haven't worked out at all in the past 2.5 weeks (because I hate working out), but I have lost 6.4 lbs as of right now just by changing how I eat.

I'm not keeping track of my calories, but if I had to estimate, I'd say I'm keeping it in the 1200 daily range.

Every morning I indulge in peanut butter & honey oatmeal and orange juice. It's delicious, gives me something to look forward to eating, and holds me over until lunch.

When it comes to lunch and dinner, I have been incorporating a protein with fruit and veggies. No flour, not even whole-wheat. No sugar. And I drink water for the rest of the day. I get my sweet fixes by eating fruit. I might eat 2-3 clementines in one day. For my afternoon snack, I mix and match a protein such as cashews or roasted chick peas with either a fruit or a cheese stick.

Week one was tough. My stomach was in shock and growled all the time, even while I was eating. It was as if it was literally asking me where all the rest of the food was. But I endured it because I was motivated to not mess up this fitness challenge in week one. I lost 4.2 lbs.

Week two was a different kind of tough. I was still hungry a lot of the time, but my desire to binge was almost irresistible. I would sit on the couch and envision stuffing my face with pizza dipped in ranch dressing, and chasing it all back with a big Pepsi or Cherry Coke. Then I would get off the couch and calmly peel a clementine and eat it slowly. Once I realized I was strong enough to resist the urges to binge, I gained confidence that I could really do this. I lost 1.6 lbs in week two.

Now I'm halfway through the third week, and although weigh-in day is 4 days away, I cheated and weighed yesterday to discover I had lost another 0.6 lb in two days. The urges to binge have become virtually non-existent. My body feels lighter and cleaner on the inside. I feel happier and more energetic. It's like all the crap and chemicals I was filling my body with are disappearing and my body is thriving. I even feel like I'm taking deeper breaths.

My advice for people like me who love junk food way too much but have the desire to change: do what you have to do to be motivated, whether it be joining a fitness group, promising yourself an awesome reward to look forward to, or hanging a picture up of yourself in your prime to remind you every day of where you want to be. For me, I wasn't motivated until I was part of a competition with money on the line.

And although the money would still be nice to win, that's not my motivation to stick with this anymore. Somewhere along the way, I started genuinely caring about myself enough that my improved health and self-control were prize enough.


>> free chalkboard printables

We are currently in the midst of another cold, snowy day here in Arkansas. All these housebound days have given me lots of time to work on de-cluttering and decorating my home. That has been a big focus of my Christmas break. 

We closed our flea market booth, and I have been working to sell all of my leftover inventory. With the money I make from selling unneeded clutter in my home, I am buying new decor that fits my evolving taste. 

I have also been spending a lot of time on Pinterest, pinning inspiring ideas. My decorating budget is very tight, so when it comes to wall decor, I try to recreate a lot of what I see with DIY projects. That said, I have specifically been wanting something new to hang above my oven, as well as in my laundry room.

Drawing inspiration from Pinterest, I created two chalkboard printables. I have already hung the conversion chart above my oven in a frame from Hobby Lobby that I already had. I just created the laundry printable today and will get it printed as soon as the weather clears up.

I am sharing these printables with you because I know it's hard to find affordable wall decor, and sometimes the free printables we come across on Pinterest aren't sized properly to be printed in a clear resolution. These are already sized for 8x10, and you can get them printed on photo paper through a place like Sam's Club, Walmart or Walgreens, or you can have them printed on card stock through an office supply store such as Staples.


To download the 8x10 kitchen conversion chart, click the image above or click HERE. Downloaded image will not have a watermark on it.


To download the 8x10 laundry chalkboard printable, click the image above or click HERE. Downloaded image will not have a watermark on it.

Here is a picture of the kitchen conversion chart framed and in my kitchen. I hope you enjoy finding the perfect spot for these printables in your home!

>> Edit: I um, I made another chalkboard printable. This one is for my guest bathroom. It is also an 8x10.  I mean, what else am I supposed to do??? It's snowing outside.


Click the image above or HERE to download your (un-watermarked) copy. I promise I'll lay off the chalkboard printables for a while before this starts getting really awkward.