Health · Wild Card

Women’s March Brings Unity, Passion, Inspiration, and…. Confusion? Part 1

womens-march-brings-unity-passion-inspiration-and-confusionHeads up, this post will not be full of laughable memes or silly humor. Hopefully it won’t be boring either, so please press on.

January 20, 2017 marked a day in history. Inauguration day is historical and notable for the United States of America for our government to commemorate the peaceful exchange of power. So on this day Donald Trump officially became the 45th President of the United States of America. This day was celebrated by millions and for many others also induced a great deal of fear, panic, and alarm. I am not writing to bash President Trump. So if you think that is where I am headed, you will be disappointed, or perhaps pleased, depending on where you stand politically.

Now fast forward to January 21, 2017 and this day will also be noted in the history books. It will be noted because millions of men, women and children participated in a world wide March. It began with the Women’s March on Washington which quickly expanded to include hundreds of other sister marches in other cities around the globe. Not just country. On every. single. continent.

I’ve seen a number of posts on social media of men and women confused about why so many people participated in such an event. So I thought I could maybe share a little input to hopefully bring some clarity to those who don’t understand. First of all, this was not solely a protest against President Trump. Were there people in attendance who were there to protest President Trump? Yes, however, this march was bigger than that. This was to bring a collective voice around issues regarding reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, ending violence, worker’s rights, civil rights, disability rights, immigrant rights, and environmental rights. Now you may be thinking that’s a very wide spectrum and you’re absolutely right, but each topic deserved to be highlighted and I’ll break it down over a series of posts, and you can read more at the Women’s March website. I know our attention spans are limited and I don’t want you to lose interest to go look at a cat video instead, no matter how worthy and cute that cat is of your attention.

Let’s start with reproductive rights. No this is not only about abortion. Reproductive rights also include access to contraception, health screenings, STD care and prevention, and sexual education. So there is the argument that we have access to all of this and while we can debate how one defines “access”, for arguments sake, let’s agree. However, current legislation threatens the continued equal access to contraception of the woman’s choice. Let’s get personal. I have made the choice for myself and my body to not have children. To ensure this does not happen I have elected to have an IUD as my method of birth control. I chose this for multiple reasons, but the biggest reasons were it’s long-term effects (5 years) and the high percentage of effectiveness. Now this is an expensive method of birth control, but under current legislation my health insurance is required to cover it at no out of pocket cost to me. This opportunity is threatened for me now because should certain legislation be passed, my health insurance, or your health insurance could elect to not cover contraception and then the burden is placed on us to pay for the expense. I can afford to do so, and I will if it comes to it, but there are many women who cannot shoulder this burden to ensure they do not get pregnant until they are ready.

You may be prepared to argue that women can get birth control pills or condoms for free even if legislation changes and these other contraceptive options are no longer covered. But these methods are not as effective as an IUD, and they may not be a feasible option for every woman, there are allergies, health side effects and discomfort that could be taken into consideration. Many unplanned pregnancies occur when these are the only methods available. I am not saying every woman who does not wish to get pregnant should have an IUD, however, I think every woman should have the CHOICE to select the method that is best for her and her body regardless of cost.

Why is this important? Many reasons. I do not expect to get everything for free; however, let’s look at this from an economical standpoint. More unplanned pregnancies= more unplanned children. And we do not live in a perfect society, so many of these children then experience growing up in poverty, receive a poor education and do not even have their basic needs met of food, shelter and feeling safe. Many experience a life of violence, criminal behavior, and repeat the cycle for themselves. Does this happen all the time? No. But if it could be avoided simply by offering women the choice of contraception, why not advocate for it? Many Americans complain about the number of families living off of government assistance, well let’s offer a way for women to prevent starting families prior to them being ready and that may alleviate some of the burden.

Still not convinced? By preventing unwanted pregnancies we are also preventing unwanted abortions. This should be a huge incentive for pro-life advocates. This can only be done through equal and unobstructed access to a variety of contraception options.

Now let’s briefly address the big bad wolf of Planned Parenthood. This is a hot topic for many. Many believe Planned Parenthood should not receive any federal funding because they offer the service of abortions. Planned Parenthood does much more than abortions, they also offer numerous health screenings, STD testing, prevention, and care, counseling and contraception. There are not many options out there for abortion, so Planned Parenthood does the bulk of this service for women. Think of it as if Planned Parenthood is a cable provider. And they are the only ones in your area who provide internet service. So you buy your internet, cable and phone from them. Your neighbor doesn’t need internet, so they just get their cable from them. They don’t insist the company should be shut down because they don’t need internet. Comparing internet providers to abortion may seem like a stretch, but my point is that Planned Parenthood gets a bad rap because they offer abortions, but reproductive rights is more than just being pro-choice or pro-life. I’m not here to change your mind about Planned Parenthood, that is a mountain I do not even want to attempt to climb.

Try to be a bit more open-minded. I focused heavily on contraception in this post because that is the area that is mostly under attack and what seems to be difficult for many to understand. But just like parents would like to have their choice to get pregnant and raise their child covered by their health insurance, those who are not ready or will ever choose to have child, would like their health options to be covered as well. I would like to make everyone a little more aware of why reproductive rights are important and that they are indeed at risk. Think of this march as if it were the military. We do not wait for an attack to build up or organize an army. We are proactive because a great offense is the best defense.

Over 500,000 people were in attendance in Washington, D.C, 750,000 in L.A., 250,000 in NYC, 250,000 in Chicago, 150,000 in Denver, 130,000 in Seattle, 150,000 in Boston, 2,000 in Pensacola, 3,000 in Charleston, 40,000 in Austin, 10,000 in St. Louis, 100,000 in Portland, 7,000 in Palm Beach, 100,000 in London, 60,000 in Toronto, 10,000 in Sydney. Over 670 marches took place world wide. This wasn’t about women whining or making much ado about nothing. If you don’t understand why women are marching, maybe you haven’t been listening. if-you-dont-understand-why-women-are-marching-maybe-you-havent-been-listening

Travel

Travels with Carlie-Planning a Road Trip

the-best-road-trip-guideIn 2015 I planned the most awesome road trip of the southeastern part of the United States. My husband was going to be submitting his application for Officer Candidate School soon, and we knew flight school is held in Florida, so I wanted to meander our way down there to scope out the area, and also take advantage of touring other parts of the U.S. along the way and back. Never having been on a road trip before I picked some popular and random cities in states along the way and did some research thanks to my ole pal google. To the seasoned roadtripper, they may be able to plan a road trip in a few days or hours, I don’t really know what would be customary; I however, spent a few weeks picking locations, planning our route, figuring out the budget, and trying to jam pack 12 states in 10 days of traveling. I definitely overplanned, had tons of fun (planning and doing), and learned so much for our next time road tripping. Here are some tips and how-to’s on how I did it (with my lessons learned built in):

  1. Destination Picks
    1. Since we would be starting from our home in Delaware and trekking our way down to Florida, I picked at least one stop in each state along the way for us to experience some sort of activity or adventure. I picked locations based off of what I knew was popular, some I already had my heart set on (Orlando) and some I did a little googling or trip advisor-ing to identify spots. Trip advisor-ing.. hmmm, pretty sure I just made that verb up. It’s pretty handy though. Just download the app, or go to the website: www.tripadvisor.com, plug in your destination, you can be as vague as a country, state or narrow it down to a city if you have one picked out. You can search for things to do, restaurants, accommodations, the works.screen696x696
  2. Navigation
    1. Planning your route can be a bit tricky. How far should we travel in a day? Which route should we take? There were some days we only had to drive 3-5 hours total and some days we drove 8-10 hours. The 10 hour drives were a bit much. So I’d recommend keeping it between 5-8 hours if you have a lot of distance to cover, but if you have the time and can fit in stops with cool things to do and see, plan to do so.its-the-journey-not-the-destination
    2. In my research some road tripping enthusiasts recommend bringing two GPS options on your trip. This is because not all GPS know the same routes. We had a TomTom GPS in addition to our phones, so we thought we had this covered. However, it had been a few years since we needed to use the TomTom, so we discovered the hard way that the charging cord was no longer functional. We discovered this because in the mountains of West Virginia, if your cell phone carrier is Verizon, you will get ZERO service. So cell phone GPSs weren’t an option and the TomTom wasn’t an option either. What did we do? We stopped at a library and begged them for a map of the area to get us along our route. In my mind map reading was this immensely difficult task that only navigators knew how to do; turns out, it isn’t that hard. But yes, I also advocate for double GPS options, just make sure they are both functional before hitting the road! In addition to having the GPS options I also printed map quest directions because it’s 2006 and that’s what we do here, K? It was a waste though, I don’t recommend doing it, and won’t be doing it again. It didn’t help us when the TomTom died, the TomTom had taken us a different route than mapquest and there is NO redirecting on paper mapquest. So I recommend two GPS options and a map. Maps are handy even if your GPS and cell phone doesn’t crap out like ours did because if you plan on following any scenic drives, it’s a challenge to get your GPS to follow that route. GPSes tend to take you the fastest or shortest distance, not the prettiest. So unless you want to have it direct you to a pinpoint of the scenic drive and then wing it to your stopping point, a map will be handy. Better to be over prepared.enhanced-buzz-26374-1389315775-18
  3. Busy Bees along the way
    1. Sightseeing, scenic drives, and quirky stops. There is so much the U.S. of A. has to offer and many of these treasures are a little hidden. So if you’re interested in seeing what there is along the way of your already pre-determined route check out www.roadtrippers.com and/or download their app. This nifty little do-dad will give you lots of info on places within a certain mile radius of your route so you can be sure not to miss all those giant rubber band balls, dinosaur parks, and dives your heart desires. There are even pre-planned trip guides you can peruse for free if you want to let someone do all the work for you! Work smarter, not harder my friends.roadtrippers-iphone-and-ipad-app
    2. Car games, audiobooks, and playlists. You spend a lot of time in the car when on a road trip, so be prepared with ways to help the time go by more pleasantly. You can find tons of car games like license plate bingo, yellow car, I spy, the list goes on and on. Here’s an infographic with some ideas:4d4da30d23a97abd1e64c5e962e8c4ffI also recommend creating a playlist on your phone, or making a cd of music you’d like to hear on your travels. Audiobooks are also a great way to pass the time and you can get them for free from the library if you’re looking for budget friendly options. Lastly, we killed time in the car by pulling up Netflix. Now before you start blasting me about it being dangerous, we didn’t watch movies or TV shows, we pulled up stand up comics so we could listen to a little bit of comedy on some of the long stretches of travel. Some favorites are Mike Birbiglia, Jim Gaffigan, and Aziz Ansari.
  4. Food- My favorite subject. Now to save money on our budget I made sure all of our hotels offered a complimentary hot breakfast to get our day started. This saved us from having to make an extra stop which is time, and it saved us money. The first couple days I was able to pack sandwiches to get us through for lunches. I couldn’t do this the whole trip because I didn’t want to keep having to refill our cooler with ice. So after the sandwiches ran out we either did lunch by stopping along the drive at fast food, or eating at an already pre-planned destination, or sometimes we were still full from breakfast and snacks which held us over until dinner. I think every day is different, so just do what works for you for lunch. Dinners were fairly similar, we’d either grab something along the drive at fast food, or eat at an already pre-planned destination. I found our pre-planned spots using Trip Advisor. Love Trip Advisor.4b7f0a7e2c802c82c23da5ac0116c87a
  5. Budget– When planning this trip I knew there were some more expensive items on the itinerary we would be doing. I had to spend the day at Universal Studios in Harry Potter World, which was going to be more pricey than kayaking in Charleston, SC or taking a hop on hop off bus in Savannah, GA. So there were some days that I budgeted more expensive excursions and balanced out with days of free adventures or fairly low cost. I also tried to find hotel accommodations for between $50-$90 bucks a night, making an exception for Nashville, TN because I knew I wanted to stay downtown to avoid driving around in city traffic. Again Roadtrippers and Trip Advisor are great tools to use to find things to do within your budget. But make sure you figure this all out so you can make adjustments to your plans ahead of time to avoid breaking the bank. This goes for excursions, restaurants, and gas stations. Many restaurants share their menus online or on trip advisor so you can see their prices prior to going. I also recommend the app gasbuddy to help you find gas stations near you with the lowest price. This will definitely help you save some bucks.fa584b9ee703e3ddc9dd0b43e954d2df

So there you have it. Five tips to help you plan your next road trip. But where did we go on our trip and what did we do? Allow me to show you:

the-best-southeast-usa-road-trip

Have you been to any of these destinations? What did you think?

Health

How to Get Motivated to Exercise When you HATE Working Out

courtesy-of-11I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I hate running. I’ve never been a runner. I failed gym class in middle school. I’m not proud of it, and it had more to do with the fact that I never changed my clothes, which for some reason is how you’re graded in physical education. Doesn’t really make sense, but since I haven’t taken a physical education class in over 12 years, I think it’s time I let it go. Moving on, like I was saying, I hate running. For years my husband has been trying to get me to go for runs and I’ve always refused. I’ve intermittently done zumba classes and pretended like I knew what I was doing on the strength training machines at the gym, but I’ve never truly had an exercise regimen. So when the husband left for OCS I already had plans in my head to dedicate the next 12 weeks to improving my health with diet and exercise. I wanted to finally get rid of the 50 lbs I gained since we got married and then some, not all in 12 weeks – that’s crazy- but as much as I could. I also wanted to be able to run 1.5 miles without stopping. Historically at OCS graduation family members could participate in the candidates final grad run and I wanted to be able to surprise my husband with being able to do it.

So the day after my husband left for what was supposed to be 12 weeks, but ended up being 15 weeks (yay for 3 more weeks of being able to lose weight!), I got my butt out of bed, put on some tennis shoes, and went for a run. Now let’s be forgiving for a second and broadly and loosely widen the definition of the word run. I do more of a hop walk, or a skip walk, maybe it’s considered a jog, I don’t know. I don’t think I fit the traditional sense of the run, but I wasn’t walking… the entire time, so for all intents and purposes my exercise will be defined as a run. Thank you for your leniency. I didn’t stop at just running, I also swam laps, started weight lifting, kept taking various barre classes and my favorite: zumba. I did not do it all in one day. I gradually worked up to the full out exercise regimen, but once I got motivated, it was fairly simple and easy to keep it up. So let’s break it down:

  1. Baby steps– If you are typically very sedentary with your amount of activity, I do not think it would be logical for you to jump into a crazy exercise regimen. The likelihood of long-term success is not high. So start small and work your way up to where you want to be. Walk for 30 minutes a day to start. Once that’s not a challenge, incorporate some interval training of jogging. This means you’ll jog for a set amount of time and then walk, and then jog again, and then walk. I did this using the c25k app. More on c25k later. I think it deserves it’s own number. Strength training- you don’t need to join a gym to do strength training, I mean, do it if you can and want to, but if not you can do it at home too. And the key to success is gradually increasing your workouts. The best strength training workouts I do at home are squats, push ups and leg lifts. Just those three exercises. I’ll do 10 of each to make a set. Do as many sets as you’re capable of. Can you only do one set? That’s fine to start. Next week do two sets. You’d be surprised at how quickly your stamina and strength will increase. So you’re doing your cardio with walking and your strength training, go ahead and add in swimming if/when you can. I love swimming and I’ve gotten a lot better with practice. When I first started, I would be exhausted after swimming 25 yards. That was only one way in the pool. I was too tired to swim back to complete the lap. But I kept at it, and now I can swim a mile, which is 36 laps in the pool I go to, not too shabby for someone who is obese.baby-steps-meme-300x210
  2. Workout Apps– I use various apps to keep me motivated and consistent with my exercise:
    1. Running: 
      1. Back to c25k, c25k stands for couch to 5k. So the gist is it trains you from literally no exercise to being able to run nonstop for 30 minutes, in theory this would allow you to be able to complete a 5k, unless you’re slow as shit like me and it takes you much longer than that to cover the distance-welcome to the turtle club. I like c25k though because it’s a free app, it’s only 3 times a week, it prompts you when to run, or when to walk, and it really works. I never ran a mile in my life prior to starting c25k and this morning I ran 3.27 miles. Again, we loosely use the term run here.turtles-in-peanut-butter
      2. I also use the app mapmyrun when going for runs because it tracks my pace and distance which the c25k does not. Could be an area of improvement for them in the future. It’s also super fun to make inappropriate shapes of male genitalia on the map.courtesy-of-10
    2. Strength Training: Stronglifts. I use this for weightlifting. I love strong lifts because it’s only 5 exercises: squats, bench press, overhead lift, rows, and deadlifts. Unfortunately, you either need a weight bench or a gym to complete these. I like strong lifts because it keeps track of the weight you lift and gradually increases it so you can improve. You don’t have to start using the bar either. I started my squats at body weight and used dumbbells or the weight plates to gradually work myself up to being able to handle the weight of the bar.5d86cdc270a92afe28da6ce725e112f5
    3. Fitbit: Yes I’m one of THOSE people. I wear a fitbit. I do not however talk about needing to get my steps in, or brag about how many steps I have for the day. Don’t be that guy, no one likes that guy. But my fitbit does make me aware of how active I’m being for the day, and it’s fun when it buzzes because I’ve hit my step goal, and I’m super pumped about the new one I got for my birthday because it’s water resistant and I can wear it in the pool. There are also challenges you can do with friends through fitbit to keep you motivated. You can set up daily, weekly or weekend contests. Whoever has the most steps for the challenge wins the virtual trophy! I may or may not have spent an evening jumping around and pacing my bedroom to get more steps in than a friend. We’re all competitive on the inside. Just don’t be a dick when you win. 85a20e5aa4a643d0ac292218ea139727
  3. Workout Buddy: Having someone to check in with, and is also working on their own goals is a stellar way to stay motivated. And if you’re thinking you don’t have any friends who can be your workout buddy you’re wrong. A work out buddy doesn’t have to be someone you physically workout with, or a personal trainer. Let’s chat about the options:
    1. In Person– So if you’re lucky enough to have someone you can workout with that’s awesome. It’s hard to find flexibility in our different schedules to workout at the same time. But it you do! yay! Knowing you have someone to workout with can make it a little less lonely, a bit more of a social experience, and you’re probably going to be more likely to show up because you know there’s someone waiting for you.gym-buddy
    2. Virtual– You can also connect with someone virtually, either someone you know personally or even a stranger through social media. There are tons of weightloss groups with people looking for accountability partners. So keep each other motivated through sharing your workouts, checking in with each other to make sure the other worked out and offering support or a swift kick in the ass (virtually) when it’s needed.57999939
  4. Diversify– A common misconception about weightloss is that you need to do cardio to lose weight. Or if you do any strength training, it’ll cause you to gain weight. These are myths. Yes strength training will cause you to build muscle. Yes muscle weighs more than fat. But muscle also burns more calories than fat, and it burns calories when you are at rest, not only when you are working out. So don’t be afraid to incorporate strength training into your regimen. It’ll help to keep you from getting bored, as many do when strictly doing cardio, which may lead to you giving up. We’re talking about getting and staying motivated after all. If you can add in swimming, I highly recommend doing so. Swimming is an awesome full body, low impact workout that will wear you out and you don’t even realize it. why-not-both
  5. Consistency– So getting started is super tough. Once you’ve done it though, it’s very important to stay consistent. This makes staying motivated so much easier. The key to my success is… can you guess?… making a schedule. Schedules are like lists, they make the world go ’round. I kid, but it’s true! For years I’ve tried the route of just saying I want to work out 3 times a week or 5 times a week, without a real plan on making it happen. And you know what happened? I didn’t work out, or if I did it didn’t last for long. To be successful for months at a time I write down the day, time, and what workout I’ll be doing, and that’s how shit gets done. Want a handy schedule you can download to help you get motivated? Alright… you can download mine here. It looks like this:fullsizeoutput_842

Getting started is the hardest part. I get it. My alarm goes off in the morning and I badly want to just stay in bed a bit longer. I don’t have any advice on how to get the motivation to get started other than make a plan and stick to it. Get your ass moving. When you feel too tired to exercise, that’s when you really need to do it. I’ve found I always have more energy after a workout than I did before. So what are you waiting for? A one hour workout is only 4% of your day. Don’t have a hour? Make time. Wake up earlier, stay awake later, workout while you watch Netflix. Move that caboose! You’ll be so glad you did even after a short amount of time. Trust me. I did it and you can too!

Update on my current weightloss:

Week 3: I lost 1.4 lbs, bringing the total since Jan.3 to 8.4 lbs lost, and from my heaviest weight ever 45.2 lbs. Last week we went out to eat dinner and I allowed myself two margaritas and macaroni and cheese (my kryptonite). The next day we attended a BBQ and I was able to really keep myself in check by loading up on fruit and a hotdog without the bun. I’m super proud of myself for that! The rest of the week diet wise was on point, and I followed my above workout schedule perfectly! I know I’m building muscle right now, so it’s going to be minor losses to start, but I embrace my membership of the turtle club. Slow and steady wins the race!

Health · Military · Travel · Wild Card

Not your Typical Millennial: Choosing to be Intentional

courtesy-of-6Twenty-eight years. I’ve spent twenty eight years and some months becoming the person I am today. It’s funny how I have always thought I had my life together. I’ve had to be an adult for as long as I can remember. I started working (on the sly) when I was 11 at a convenience store my mom managed. I didn’t get paid, but she still got in some trouble for that when the supervisor found out. Fast forward to my first legit job at 14 working at McDonalds. I’ve worked for Dominos, Claire’s Accessories, back to McDonalds where I became a shift manager, multiple banks, multiple schools, and even running my own little business selling desserts. All throughout high school and college I worked full-time, and at one point I was doing school full-time, work full-time, and a part-time job.twitter-work-work-work-ahafgeidbdveisnaidhbejdisb-work-work-573277

I have a habit of trying to stay just under being overwhelmed. Which is why I was shocked when I was faced with the brutal truth that I’m considered to be part of the millennial generation, and I. was. appalled. Every time you hear about millennials it’s made out to be synonymous with entitled, lazy, overly sensitive children. So I was very distraught to be lumped into that category. And it didn’t really make sense to me. I’m not anything special. A majority of the people I know my age are very hard workers, and like me, have worked or do work multiple jobs. I think we should split up this millennial category a bit. Because I get around a younger 20 something and I don’t feel many similarities between our two upbringings or lifestyles. But that’s neither here nor there.courtesy-of-7

My point is, I’ve always felt very put together and like I had my shit on track. But something has happened the last couple months since turning twenty eight. I’ve started to really feel more clarity in who I am as a person, my values, what I stand for and believe in, who I want to be and where I want to go. And it makes me realize that younger me was just basically playing life and going through the motions. I was getting a college degree because I wanted to make a liveable wage, I wanted to feel accomplished and successful. I did what felt right at the time. I was getting a degree to be a teacher. And at the time it felt right, or at least I thought it did. Maybe getting a business degree or a journalism degree would’ve felt right too. I probably should have explored my options more because now I have a three degrees and three teaching certifications and have no interest in entering a classroom again. Buuuuutttt I have those pretty student loans to remind me that I paid a lot of money for a piece of paper with my name and and a sticker on it. Hmmmm. Maybe I am a millennial.

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I make it rain on my loan holders.

One degree wasn’t enough though, because even when I started teaching and I thought, maybe I don’t want to teach forever, I continued on to get my master’s degree in school counseling. And my how those student loans very quickly skyrocketed when paying for master’s levels courses. But I didn’t think about it, because I wanted that larger, more impressive piece of paper. And now I have it! And it’s framed, and sitting in a box right now, because I refuse to fully decorate a house I will only be living in for a few months. And I also don’t think it’s fair, or wise, or probably even realistic to find a job as a school counselor when I’ll be moving in a few months.

Even if we weren’t going to be moving soon, I still feel I’ve found a better connection with writing. And while doing research for a few posts this week, I came across another blogger who wrote about being intentional with her use of social media this year. And it really spoke to me, because I feel like intentional is exactly how I see myself now. I don’t want to just go through the motions, I don’t want to survive through the week to live on the weekends. I want to be intentional in a variety of aspects throughout my life. So what does intentional look like for me now?

  1. Career– I’ve always been very job-oriented, and career-driven. And I don’t necessarily want to change that, but I’m definitely pursuing it in a different way. I have this obsession with finishing things that I start. And I think that’s why I have a masters in education. I started my degree in education and by golly I was going to go all the way come hell or high water! And I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to be intentional with my career choices that fulfill me professionally, personally, and can make an impact in others. And while the idealist me would like to say-no matter what the compensation is, the realist me says-you’ve got bills to pay (thanks student loans). So I need to make a way for this writing gig to pay. Writing has connected with me in a way that teaching never will, so my pursuit from here will be taking my writing and finding a way to pay the bills with it. Intentionally step out of my comfort zone of banking, or teaching, or school counseling and truly set my sights on what I want to do. Oh fuck, it’s intimidating. Eh, I swear too much to be surrounded by kids anyways. f6e57fd72fcbf51feff9e60fe0d95184
  2. Social Media– I check social media a god awful amount. Sometimes I feel like my eyes are crossing from staring at a tiny screen. Anyone else scroll through their newsfeed until they have seen every new post, just to refresh so you can see the new ones that rolled in while you were scrolling? I’m going to be much more intentional with my social media usage going forward. Not to cast a dark shadow on the big bad demon of social media, it’s just, I can probably be doing something much more productive with my time. So I’m going to limit my social media usage to two times a day, with a time limit on how long I’ll be catching up. To make this work, I’m going to get rid of all those useless pages I currently follow- Do I really need to like Walmart’s page, or Dominos? No. So this way I truly can focus on staying connected with family and friends. courtesy-of-8
  3. Diet and Exercise– So I started this at the beginning of the year and I’m going to continue it, because even after only two weeks of healthy eating and exercise, I already feel a thousand times better! I’m going to be intentional about what I am eating. In case you didn’t know processed food is crap and really bad for you. So let’s try to stick to lean meats, fruits and vegetables as best as we can, k? K. And exercise. I’m finally getting my exercise regimen into a schedule that works for me. I’ll be sharing more about it on Friday’s post. 0e7c931b14166d183ec643e942a37914
  4. Free time– This is something I need to work on. I want to be more intentional with how I spend my free time. It ties in with the social media piece though. Currently all my free time is spent scrolling through Facebook or Instagram; however, with limiting my time with these apps, I’m going to finally allow myself the time to do some of the things I tell the strangers I do. You know how your dentist or someone will ask you what are your hobbies or what do you like to do? Normally I have no idea how to answer this, because who has hobbies anymore? It’s sad. I’ve gotten so tied to my phone, I’m such a liar when I finally spew out reading or knitting or some other super cool hobby that I have. Oh you don’t think knitting is cool? Psh. Wrong. But I haven’t knitted in probably years! So bye bye Facebook, and hello knitting needles! Or the books that just became available from the library on my kindle. Or how about all that traveling I claim I want to do? Let’s do that instead! So sorry Netflix, but I’m about to get all bookish and artsy AF. tumblr_ndannigsdv1qcy5a2o1_5001
  5. Marriage– My husband is about to become super busy with flight school, but right now we have some down-time while he waits to class up for part of his training. So rather than scrolling through Facebook, I’m going to instead be intentional with spending time with him while I can, doing all the things we both love, him outdoorsy stuff, me traveling and experiences. We cute.untitled-2524

This ended up being a longer post than I originally intended. And it almost feels like all those New Years Resolutions people set. New Year, New Me! Hopefully you’re still with me. Of course you are! If you weren’t you’d miss out on this awesome picture of my cat:img_7282

But seriously, intentional. Intentionality. Intentionalism. Let’s be a little bit more purposeful about how we choose to spend our time. Do you feel like you’re just going through the motions?

“Do not stay in a mistake because you’ve spent a lot of time or money making it.”

I’ll say it again:courtesy-of-9

And if you find yourself hitting your late twenties, or thirties and you realize you don’t want the same things you did when you were 18 or 20. Don’t be afraid to change. Yes it’s important to be responsible, I’m not saying drop the ball on your family and stop paying your bills. But don’t be afraid to change because it will be hard. Fuck yeah it’ll be hard. That’s what makes it worth it.

Military

Five Things I had to Give up as a Military Spouse

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Sometimes the military life is romanticized and sometimes it gets a really bad rap. To be honest, it’s a little bit of both. Do the men look really sexy in uniform? Yes. Is it fun to get all dolled up for a military ball? Why yes, yes it is. How about those homecoming videos after deployments, is there any other feeling like it in the world? Nope! Ok, I get it. It’s romantic. Speaking of uniforms, I claim the one on the left… and sorry, the one on the right is taken too!:courtesy-of

Now what about the bad stuff? How about that lack of communication during training or deployments. Yeah that’s not fun. Or moving every few years or less? Moving is THE worst thing ever. Do you really not get to pick where you’re going to live or if you can take a vacation for summer break? Yeah, no. Alright. I get it. Doesn’t sound like a good time to many.

Let’s be real. You have to give up some things when you become a military spouse. It’s not all candy and roses and fancy balls, there’s also sacrifice and there are challenges mixed in. It’s one helluva ride, and this is what I had to give up:

  1. My Job- I had to give up my job because unfortunately it was a position very specific to the state we lived in. I was a lead facilitator for the Delaware Readiness Teams. This meant I worked with organizing and managing schools and community groups in Delaware towards improving early learning in their communities. Not exactly something that all states have. So even though my job could not be transferred, I have a pretty killer résumé and can use those skills to find work in my career field in our new location. There are so many resources available to military spouses, and even though it isn’t a cakewalk, it’s more than possible to continue your career as a military spouse. Check out this super sweet infographic, I’ll be sharing more about it in a future post:career-hacks
  2. My Home- I have lived my whole life in the same county in Delaware. I was pretty comfortable living less than two miles from my sister, twenty minutes from my brother, and thirty minutes from my best friends. I knew once we were fully immersed in the military life it would not stay that way, but I was super excited for the adventure. So put on your travel britches and get ready to move, because home is now wherever the military leads you! Do not fret! We are extremely lucky to live at the time we do with all the opportunities for communication, so you can still stay in touch with your families back “home”. There are some downsides, like you won’t make it to every birthday, holiday, dance recital or baseball game, but it makes the times when you are reunited, that much sweeter. courtesy-of-2
  3. My addiction to planning- Lawd how I love to plan! I have so many spreadsheets and calendars and lists I’ve made-beginning from the time I could write, through high school, college, when planning my wedding, my sister’s wedding, and basically every day of my life. Well…. the military likes to look at your plans and chuckle and then do what needs to be done, even if it doesn’t fit in with your plans. So I had to take a moment and put into check my desire to plan out multiple vacations a year, with itineraries, and reservations, and skipping the travel insurance. But I heard a great tip from a senior spouse at a group meeting I attended last week. She said, she has learned to plan her life with the assumption that her husband will not be there, so when he is able to be there, it’s a wonderful addition. This eliminates being disappointed, and it also eliminates putting your own life on hold and constantly waiting to pursue some of the things you want to do. Does this mean your significant other is never going to be there? Absolutely not. But there will be times when they will be gone, and depending on their job, some more than other. Now obviously this doesn’t apply to every situation, but I think this is a good mentality and “plan” to have. 4bd35ca970677125a92c873c1b7bdef0
  4. Clutter- Being in the military means moving. They’re basically synonymous. So unless you like to move a lot of stuff every couple of years, or less if you’re in flight school like we are, it’s time to PURGE the clutter. I downsized a lot when my husband was at Officer Candidate School in preparation for our move. We had lived in the same house for 3 years (a long time for us) and had accumulated crap. So I held 5 yard sales over the summer and we still ended up donating about 20 boxes of junk…. I mean quality second-hand items, to the Purple Heart Society. I like them because they’ll come get your… quality second-hand items. And then we moved, and I’ve identified an additional 10 boxes of crap I’m going to get rid of. Anyone need some throw pillows or kitchen glasses?courtesy-of-3
  5. Comfort zone- When you live in one place for an extended period of time, you get very comfortable. You have your schedule and your habits, your friends, family, and coworkers. You have your go-to restaurants, you know where everything is in your grocery store, and you know which gas station has the cheapest gas. These are all things you need to relearn every time you move. Your comfort zone is more than just having to make new friends. You’re basically relearning how to live your life. It’s tough, but it’s also exciting, because when you finally find your favorite bread or ice cream, it’s such a relief! And even better when you discover a NEW favorite bread or ice cream that your old location didn’t have! It’s the little things. Learn to embrace the little things. why-ridiculously-photo-genetic-frog-is-so-happy-19048

I hope this didn’t come across as negative, because I absolutely love my life as a military spouse and you will too. The morale of the story is to be flexible. Be resilient. You can try super hard to cling to all the things that came so easy when you lived back home. Or you can embrace the life you now GET to live! You GET to meet so many diverse people from different parts of the world. You GET to make an impact in different communities! You GET to be with the love of your life as you build an amazing and passion-filled life together. One set of orders at a time.

Health

Eat food. Lose weight. A Recipe for Weight loss

this-is-me-eating-food-and-still-losing-weightIt’s a new year, and a lot of people start thinking about their health and make a resolution to lose weight or improve their fitness. Along with all of these “New Year, New Me” pals, are the critics. The ones with their negative nancy comments about new, fat people at the gym, or how it’ll only last for a couple weeks before it’s back to old habits. To these people, I say, how dare you? Get off your high horse and celebrate that someone has good intentions, or is taking steps to be a healthier, happier them. And I’d like to wrap it up with a big, you can fuck off. Who gives two figs if they’re only doing it because it’s a new year. And to those of you who made your resolutions and are making a commitment to do whatever it is you want to do, you’ve got this and you’re going to prove all the skeptics wrong! Allow me to not only join you, but help.

I’ve talked about the five steps I took to losing 40 lbs over the summer. You can read about it here. I also embellished on the importance of tracking your weightloss with a super handy FREE Spreadsheet here. Now let’s chat about food.

Lawd how I love the food. And it took some getting use to, but I found some really awesome ways to still enjoy my food, but lose weight at the same time.

  1. Plan. Plan. Plan. Those who fail to plan are planning to fail. So what was super helpful to me over the summer, and again over the past two weeks I’ve been back on the wagon, is planning my food for the week ahead of time. Every meal. Every snack. That way two things happen: I’m never hungry, and I don’t fly by the seat of my pants and end up eating something fattening and unhealthy, but convenient. Here is my schedule and you can download it FO’ FREE HERE! and then customize it to you, because you might not want to eat a quest bar everyday like me. screen-shot-2017-01-12-at-6-40-01-pm
  2. Don’t go hungry. Did I mention I’m never hungry? I mean it. I stick to a schedule and even if I’m not hungry, I eat, so that way I don’t GET hungry. And I lost weight. I lose weight. Present tense, because I’m back on the wagon. I’ve learned that if I let myself get hungry, then I’m much more likely to grab whatever is convenient or to overeat at my next meal. So while it may seem unwise to eat when you’re not really hungry, follow the plan.
  3. The same, but for less. This became like a game for me. I wanted to still eat some of the yummy foods I love, but make healthier versions of them. Like pizza. I LOVE pizza. Instead of getting it from a restaurant or falling back on the old Red Baron, I started to make it myself. I’ve mentioned before that I follow weight watchers. So I went all crazy lady at the grocery store scanning items into my app to see which ingredients I could find for lesser points. So I went from having one slice of pizza from Papa John’s for 11 points, to an entire pizza for 12 points. I call that WINNING!www-listfiveblog-com
  4. Substitutions. My second love is ice cream. Actually ice cream is my first love, pizza is the side chick. So I again scanned every item in the freezer section to find the lowest point ice cream. The answer is Arctic Zero. And then I moved and was able to get Halo Top in my life. And I will. Never. Be. The. Same. Again. Halo Top reigns supreme. Seriously. Find it at a store near you.www-listfiveblog-com-2
  5. Let it go. There were some things that unfortunately just could not be replaced though. And I had to ask myself. Is this really worth it? Is this brownie, or cheeseburger, or snickers bar really worth all the downsides of what fat feels like? More often than not, the answer was no. So I let it go. Forever. And I didn’t miss it then. And I don’t miss it now. Some things you just have to let go.www-listfiveblog-com-3

Food is amazing. Healthy food is even more amazing. I seriously feel a thousand times better when I stick to my plan and eat the non-processed, real food, over the garbage that I momentarily think the taste will be worth the heartburn, sluggishness, and fat that accumulates on my stomach, ass and thighs. I’m seriously so excited to see where I will be in a few months time. And I’m going to do it without sacrificing my love for the food.

Update on my current weightloss:

Week 1: I lost 5.6 lbs. I contribute this big loss mostly to the over drinking of fireball, wine, and strawberry-ritas that happened on New Years. But I also stuck to my eating plan all 7 days and getting in over 12,000 steps 4/7 days. This was done through running and dance fitness at home.

Week two: I lost 1.4 lbs. I get to put my money where my mouth is this week. Despite not losing as much as I would have liked, I’m not going to let it get me down. I stuck to my eating plan all 7 days, and I need to work on getting in more steps and workouts if I want to improve my fitness. I worked out 5/7 days. This was done through running and dance fitness and I finally added in swimming too.

This is me looking disheveled after a few workouts.

The next before and after pic will make the bitches go even more wild than the first one did.

Health

Scrumdiddlyumptious Turkey and Rice Soup in 5 Easy Steps

ingredientsLast week I really, really, really needed to go to the grocery store-but I was procrastinating-so I reached that point where you eat the random things in your pantry that are only there because you never want to eat them. I’m not normally a soup person. But I had a couple cans of Progresso Light Chicken Noodle soup hanging out and collecting dust in my pantry. So I had those for lunch for two days and they were pretty good, and only 4 Smartpoints for you WeightWatchers people out there.

Well a friend of mine brought up her boyfriend getting sick and needing some soup and all of a sudden I got a craving for soup. I was going to just pick up a couple cans of the ole Progresso from Walmart, but then I thought how much better and healthier it would probably be if I made it myself. I set out to research a WeightWatchers friendly chicken noodle, but what I found instead was this bomb-ass recipe for Turkey and Rice. I had to make a few adjustments but it came out so delish! Ten out of ten friends would recommend.

Here’s the breakdown with nutrition and prices*:

Ingredients:

2 Carrots, Chopped: 32¢
2 Celery Stalks, Chopped: 33¢
1 Medium Onion, Chopped: 72¢
2 Garlic Cloves, Minced** 
6 1/2 C. Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth: $2.68
3 Tbsp. Flour**
1 C. Brown Rice, Uncooked: $1.26 with lots of rice leftover
1 Tsp. Dried Thyme**
1 Bay Leaf**
1 lb. Turkey Breast, Cooked & Shredded or Cubed-Cook the turkey breast however you see fit. I pan-fried mine, but you could bake, or boil or microwave. Whatevs.: $6.07
1 C. Fat Free Half & Half: $1.94 with lots leftover
Salt & Pepper to Taste**

Cost: $13.32

Servings: 6 Servings of 1 1/2 cups per serving: 5 SmartPoints per serving

Calories: 247 Carbs: 34g Fat: 2g Protein: 23 Sugar 5g

*Based off Walmart’s prices in Florida January 2017

**I already had these items in my pantry, so I’m not sure of the price =/ but buy them once and they’ll last basically forever.

Steps:

  1. Throw them carrots, celery, onion and garlic into your pot with 1/2 cup of broth and saute that ish until the onions are translucent and the veggies are tender. Took about 15-20 minutes in my pot.
  2. Add the flour and continue to cook for about 3 min.
  3. Add in the rest of the broth, along with the wild rice, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring the pot to a boil. ·Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 25-30 minutes.
  4. When the rice is tender, add in the already cooked turkey. Cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the half and half. Cook for 10 minutes.

Voila! Done-zo! Salt & Pepper to taste. Pig out!

I totally meant to take pictures of my finished soup, but I ate all of it before I remembered. But I froze half of it, so the next time I bust it out, I’ll add some pictures of my finished product. In the meantime enjoy this photo of my cats:

They’re the cutest.

Do you have any yummy and healthy recipes to share?

Travel

5 Reasons you NEED to Take a Cruise

img_7469-2-2The Mid Atlantic was clobbered with some winter weather this weekend. I no longer live in the area, but I saw all the Facebook posts from those loving the snow days, yet simultaneously OVER the cold weather. Definitely bittersweet for me as I sit in my t-shirt and flip flops in Florida, because I’d love to have some snow in my life, buuuuuut, at the same time I’m pretty content without having to shovel it, or drive in it.

But the cold is really good for making people wish they were on a beach somewhere drinking a daiquiri or frolicking in a clear blue ocean. Which makes me reminisce on all the cruises we’ve been on. I love a cruise. I took my first one in 2011 and have been hooked ever since. In fact, I’ve been on four cruises. I’ve cruised the Eastern Caribbean, the Panama Canal, Bermuda, and the Southeast US to the Bahamas. You NEED a cruise in your life. Seriously, NEED it. Allow me to enlighten you:

  1. Crowd Pleaser– Everyone can enjoy a cruise. There is literally something for everyone. Crave adventure? There’s a port excursion for that. Or rock climbing on the boat. Or sports, or games, or water slides, or contests, or trapeze (really there’s a boat with this). Want to relax? What better way to do that than poolside, or beach side, or in the library, or to a live band. There’s shopping, bingo, crafts, entertainment, trivia, FOOD, the list goes on and on. Want to make friends? Thousands of people are trapped on a boat with you and have no where to go and no choice but to be your friend! Seriously though. The options are endless!
  2. FOOD– I heard someone say food. My favorite past time. There is a lot of food on a cruise ship. Not only is there a lot of food, but you can eat all the time. Not only can you eat a lot of food, all the time, but it’s delicious. Not only can you eat a lot of food, all the time, that tastes delicious, but you can have it in the dining room, at the buffet, or delivered to your state room. Um… yes please!
  3. Multiple locations– There are some cruises that only go to one destination for a couple days before returning, but a majority of them travel to multiple destinations before returning home. This means you get to experience multiple places, multiple countries, multiple cultures without the struggle of airports or trains or buses to get from site to site. Look at you, you world traveler, you.
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    Bermuda

  4. Less planning, more doing– I love to plan. I love lists if you haven’t noticed. So if you love planning or don’t love planning, cruising is for you. You have lots of options available to plan your days, or week, or weeks out- if you’re a planner. If you’re not a planner, just fly by the seat of your pants and show up! It’s all been planned for you! Every day you will receive a schedule of events available for the day. So chillax and enjoy your vacay!
  5. Bang for your buck– Lets talk cash. moolah. dinero. I’m cheap. Spending money gives me an ucky, anxiety inducing feeling. But this is why cruises are awesome! Because the food is included. Most entertainment on board is all included. Water, tea and lemonade is all included. The only time you will be paying out of pocket will be for shore excursions, soda, alcohol, bingo, casino or certain activities (but these are few and far between). So you can really take a luxurious vacation that fits any budget.

I feel like you’re still not sold. Let’s crunch some numbers:

So I’m from the eastern shore of Delaware. A popular vacation spot within an hour drive of my house was Ocean City, MD. Let’s see how much it would cost to spend a week vacation in Ocean City, MD:

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All of these are estimates and can obviously be adjusted based on how you like to get your vacation on. This is also based off of one person. So if you’re not a solo traveler then food, and entertainment would definitely need to be increased.

Now let’s look at the cost of a cruise. I found these on cruises.com for January 2017:

 

 

The prices are per person, and rooms are double occupancy, but even when you double the price and add in taxes and port fees, WORTH IT!

Yeah but Carlie, that’s for January. Ok let’s look at June.

 

 

In conclusion, cruises are awesome. You need to take one. I’ll meet you there.

I rest my case.

Have you been on a cruise? What did you think? Comment below!!!

Military

15 Motivational Quotes for Military Spouses

Confession time. I wasn’t entirely sympathetic or empathetic to the military lifestyle in my previous life. I don’t say this meaning I wasn’t grateful for their sacrifice, I just did not fully grasp the magnitude of their sacrifice.

Moving frequently?– How hard could it be?

Going months with limited or no communication with your significant other?– I’m independent, probably not that big of a deal.

Putting your career on hold, or having to find a new job with each move?– If you look hard enough, you’ll find them…

Oh sweet, oblivious, naive, ignorant me. When it is said that the military life is different from civilian life, this is not a drill!, it truly is a different beast. And now that I’ve been thrust into this lifestyle, I wouldn’t trade it for a single thing. With the challenges also comes a great deal of pride and empowerment.

But for the days when it is a little bit harder than most, remember these quotes. Remember you are bad ass. You are not alone. And it is worth it.

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Numero uno. Loving him is easy. I might not always like him. Or the struggles. But loving him is definitely the easy part. Don’t forget the love. Let it bring you through the dislike.

 

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2. Feeling like you have a purpose makes a world of difference in your self-worth. If you have contributed in a way that is useful, honorable, compassionate and makes a difference in another person’s life- how could that not make you happy? Try it. 

 

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3. There’s a lot of waiting in the military life. Waiting on orders. Waiting while they’re away for training, or deployments. But we are patient. And we can wait a little longer for the ones we love. 

 

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4. Your significant other isn’t the only one with a dream. Your life can also be lived with passion, compassion, humor and style. Find it and live it.

 

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5. Sometimes this doesn’t mean physically together. And that’s ok. You are still a package deal. 

 

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6. You’ve got this. You is kind. You is smart. You is important. You is badass.

 

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7. Life is what you make it. Turn on the light.

 

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8. Hey look another quote about depending on yourself and positivity and self empowerment. There are so many to be found, because they are true! 

 

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9. There is love. You love your significant other. They love you. You love this life because it is the life you have together.

 

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10. You may sometimes feel like you are playing side chick to the military. But remember, while he’s there, he’s wishing he was with you. 

 

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11. You are NEVER alone. Welcome to the fam. 

 

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12. You bad ass. 

 

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13. When a little prayer is needed.

 

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14. Your strength is just as honorable. Your sacrifice is just as important. Thank you
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15. No caption needed.

It’s one of those scenarios when you do not fully understand a situation, until you’re living it. I could write a million words trying to explain how my life has changed in the short 7 months I have been married to a man in the military and it simply would not do it justice. So I’m just going to leave it be.

Do you have any favorite quotes to keep you positive, motivated and inspired? They don’t have to be military related. Share them in the comments.

 

Health

Tracking Weightloss- Why I Did NOT Ditch the Scale

Non-Scale Victories. Weightwatchers has this really great component to their program they are marketing right now called non-scale victories #nsv. This is when you look to other successes outside of how much you weigh to validate your journey to being healthier. This could be accomplishing a fitness goal or fitting into a smaller clothing size or making a better nutritional choice. These things are super important because as I mentioned in my last weightloss post, What Fat Feels Like, you are more than the number in your pants or the number on the scale.3dd

However, this is where I could probably be called a hypocrite. Even though I am aware that the number on the scale does not define me, I love seeing that number go down. And as long as I don’t go all psycho and manic depressive if it goes up, I think tracking weight loss is important and also a key factor to my success over the summer. I weighed my self everyday, sometimes (ok most of the time) multiple times a day. But before you’re all like, that’s not healthy- hear me out.

  1. It encouraged me to eat-Weighing myself everyday didn’t make me skip meals. It didn’t make me hate myself if it was higher than the previous day. It taught me that your weight is going to be your weight regardless of if you eat that meal or not, so eat it. Don’t starve yourself because you think it’ll make the scale say some magical number that will make you love yourself more or be comfortable in your own skin. Fun fact: I found my weight was lower at 11am after eating and drinking than it was first thing after that lovely morning pee. So eat your damn food. 10793014
  2. Point number two on why I can’t ditch the scale: I like numbers. In case you didn’t notice I write everything in lists. That are numbered. Because numbers, like hips, don’t lie.  It’s not like writing where someone might not think you are funny, and they’re probably right. Numbers aren’t up for debate or anyone’s interpretation. So guess what, when I follow my own advice and stick to the weight loss plan that works for me, those numbers go down.hey-girl-i-like-the-way-you-work-those-numbers
  3. Preparation-I hate being weighed at the doctor office. I hate it because I have on like ten pounds of clothes, their scales are wrong, I can feel the judgement of the nurse(probably not), their scales are wrong, my clothes now weigh twenty pounds, and damn it their scales are wrong. When I weigh myself regularly at home, this isn’t so much of a shock at the doctor office. There have even been times when I got away with just telling them my weight rather than being forced to step on their very wrong scale.its-weigh-day-161386
  4.  Science- I didn’t know this until I started writing this post, but there are actually studies and research that shows people are more successful with weightloss and maintaining weightloss when they weigh themselves daily. I think you put less stock in the numbers on the scale when you do weigh yourself daily and there’s less of a dissatisfaction when the number is higher than the previous day, because you know it will go the other direction if you stick to the plan. When you only weigh in weekly or not at all, that number means more, and the temptation to stop weighing yourself to avoid disappointment is much greater. I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but these people are and you can read all about it here and here and here and here and other places too I’m sure.

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    Not so scary when you see it everyday.
  5. Best point ever- I lost weight. You know when I don’t lose weight? You know when I GAIN weight? Coincidentally when my scale gets dusty from being unused. Everyone is different and I need the daily reminder and validation on if I’m making the right choices in my diet and fitness.

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    Did I mention this is how I weigh myself?

So there it is. *raises hand* My name is Carlie and I weigh myself everyday. Do I recommend it for you? You know you better than I do. So if any of the points I listed above spoke to you, then give it a go. If it works, high five! If it doesn’t, high five for knowing yourself and recognizing it’s not working for you! You need to find what works for you.

Part of the success is tracking though. I don’t record my daily weight anywhere, but I do record a weekly weigh in for two reasons. I like to have an idea of when I can be at a certain goal, and I like to see success in working towards that goal. So I made a spreadsheet. Spreadsheets are my second love. Check it out:screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-4-40-46-pm

So this spreadsheet does all the work for you! Just input your starting weight in cell B2 and C2 and all the goal weights will automatically adjust to a loss of two pounds a week. Example:screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-4-42-03-pm

Each week on weigh in day, all you need to do is input your actual weight. Let’s say it’s weigh in day and it’s a perfect world and you lost two pounds!! Woohoo! Go you! This is what your spreadsheet would look like:screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-4-45-38-pm

Pretty nifty right? I think it’s so fabulous I’d like to share it with you! How do you access this awesome spreadsheet? Simply click here, you can download your very own and start tracking your success!

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