Final Weigh in on #MyJennyCraig Journey #Sponsored

Sponsored Post

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Jenny Craig. I received a free program and one month of free food in exchange for my honest opinions, thoughts, and results. I have not been compensated for this post in any other way.

Well, I made it 4 weeks into the Jenny Craig program, and I am feeling great! Have you been following along on my journey? If so, you may have noticed on my fitbit dashboard that I have steadily been dropping weight over the past 4 weeks.

Before I get to my final weigh in, let me remind you how I looked at the start of this journey. (And remember that you can read my first post here.)

Day 1 - Jenny Journey

Shudder. While it’s better than it was 7 months ago, it was still nowhere near where I wanted to be.

Now that I’ve been on the program for 4 weeks, let’s see how things have changed.

First, here’s my final weigh in for the program:

Here’s the direct link to access it on Youtube: Final Weigh In

Did you catch that?! 172.3! That means I dropped 13.8 pounds in just 28 days. Not too shabby, and I owe it all to the Jenny Craig program!

Next, let’s see if you can tell a difference:

Day 28 - My Jenny Craig

I can see a *huge* difference, can you? (Note: those are the same clothes in both pictures. I just had a different tank top on underneath the black shirt.)

Here’s a side-by-side view of Day 1 and Day 28:

Before and After Jenny Craig

My chest has moved back up where it belongs, and I am finally seeing a waist again. Almost 14 pounds gone, and I can’t believe the difference it has made.

Now that you’ve seen the results of using the Jenny Craig program for a month, let me tell you some of the things I love most about the program:

  • I love how easy it is to stick to the program. Everything is laid out for you, and in your first shipment, they send you tons of information on what you’ll need to purchase from the grocery store, and tons and tons of tips on how to make the program work best for you.
  • I looked forward to my Friday morning consultations with Tina. She was so upbeat and encouraging. It was always a pleasure to hear from her and get tips on making it through a tough week.
  • The food was fantastic. Some of it was a little spicy, but it wasn’t unbearable. And I did love the fact that I got yummy desserts every so often to satisfy my sweet tooth. I never felt hungry, and even my chocolate cravings were squashed almost daily!
  • With their new programs, Jenny Craig is more affordable than ever. Check out the Jenny Craig website and all of their delicious food options. Then, look around some more and read how the program works. Maybe you could get started on your own Jenny Craig journey too and see fabulous results in as little as one month!

I did tell my consultant that I’m nervous about going off the program, just because I did so well on it. But, I’ve purchased a pretty little plate to use for my meals to keep my portion sizes down where they should be. And I’ll be sure to stock up on lots of healthy snacks. I’m more determined than ever to meet my goal, and I know that doing the Jenny Craig program gave me the push in the right direction that I needed.

I’m hoping soon that I’ll be able to share the news that I’ve reached my final goal. Stay tuned and check into the blog often for updates.

Tell Me: What feature of the Jenny Craig program sounds most appealing to you?

Getting Started on #MyJennyCraig – Let’s Do This! #Sponsored #WeightLoss

Sponsored Post

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Jenny Craig. I received a free program and one month of free food in exchange for my honest opinions, thoughts, and results. I have not been compensated for this post in any other way.

Today, I’m starting on the Jenny Craig Program. I am really, really excited about it! I’ve got between 40 and 50 pounds left to lose to be at my final goal, and I’ve got until February to do it. I can’t wait to see how Jenny Craig helps kick start my weight loss.

To start things off, I’ve got to weigh in. I will tell you, I’ve been doing some things on my own to try to lose weight, but I seem to get more discouraged by the day. I’m just not seeing the results I was hoping for this time around. I’m a lot farther along than I was when I started in March, but still not where I was hoping to be by now.

Anyway – here’s the tough part: My weigh in.

View it directly on YouTube here.

Sigh. 186.1. Still about 10 pounds more than I was before I got pregnant with Carly, and still about 50 pounds from where I’d really like to be.

Now, here’s the harder part: Sharing my “Before” picture – taken today, as I prepare to start #MyJennyCraig Journey.

Day 1 on Jenny Craig

Oh, it hurts to see how bad I look in pictures and on video. When I married my husband almost 11 years ago, I was just a tiny little thing. I think I swallowed her. Twice.

Yes, I know I’ve have seven kids, and I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. But with each child, there was more weight, more stretching, and more work to get it back off. I’ve just let it go too long. It’s time to get on the right track and save my life. I need to be healthy. I want to be beautiful, yes, but more importantly, I want to instill good habits in my children so that they’re not battling the bulge one day.

That’s why I’m so excited about the Jenny Craig program! They’ve already sent me my first 2 weeks of food, and I can’t believe how much there is! Another thing I can’t believe? How great it tastes! I’ve already eaten breakfast, my morning snack, and lunch, and they were all so yummy! The portion sizes don’t leave me feeling hungry, either. I just need to get used to eating so much during the day now. Head on over to the Jenny Craig website and check out all of their delicious food options. Then, look around some more and read how the program works. Maybe you could get started on your own Jenny Craig journey too!

The people from Jenny Craig are all so friendly, too. I’ve had several people call me and welcome me to the program, one helped me pick out all my food, and my consultant, Tina, explained how everything works. Tina is kind, and so upbeat. I’m going to enjoy talking to her over the next few weeks.

I’ll be tracking my progress with the #MyJennyCraig program here on the blog, on twitter (with the hashtag #MyJennyCraig and #AngieWeighsIn), on my Facebook page,   on pinterest, and you can also track my weekly weigh ins every Friday on Fitbit.

I’m hoping for a GREAT “after” picture when my month with Jenny Craig is up. Hope you’ll stay tuned!

Need Weight Loss Support or Encouragement?

This last week, I stepped on the scale and discovered that I gained a pound.

I cried.

weight loss supportI cried a lot.

I have been trying SO hard, but it seems like no matter how hard I try, I cannot get this weight off this time around.

Maybe it’s because I’m breastfeeding, and breastfeeding always makes me so hungry. I snack, but I snack on good things: bananas, broccoli, blueberries, strawberries (all without sugar or cool whip).

But, even then, I still cannot seem to get more than a pound off per week, or I gain weight.

It is so discouraging, and I NEED encouragement.

I know I am not the only person struggling with this, so I thought we could have our own secret little group and support and encourage one another.

I have created a special Facebook Group. The group is private, and you don’t ever have to post numbers – unless you want to.

If you are interested in joining the group, please comment on this post (and be sure to leave your email address!), or send me an email to angie@blessedbeyondwords.com with the subject Weight Loss Support.

I set the group up through my private Facebook account, so I will need to add you as a friend in order to be able to add you to the group. When you email me, (or leave a comment here), I will email you a link to my personal facebook account. Send me a friend request, and I will add you as a friend and then to the group.

I am in desperate need of encouragement, and I know there are many others out there just like me.

It doesn’t matter if you need to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, everyone is welcome. (Well, women are welcome. Sorry guys!)

I would love to have you join the group. Together, I KNOW we can all succeed!!

Looking forward to seeing you there!

The Weight Loss Journey Begins Again

As most of my loyal readers know, last year, I lost 40 pounds. Then, in June, I found out I was pregnant with baby #7.

I tried SO hard not to gain a ton of weight with the pregnancy. Unfortunately, it seemed the harder I tried to eat right and exercise, the more weight I put on.

I ended up at 214 pounds at the time I went in to deliver Carly. Just 2 pounds less than I was before I started my weight loss journey last year! YIKES!

I didn’t stress about it too much, though. I knew I had taken it off once before and that I could do it again. After talking with my doctor, I agreed to hold off until Carly was 6 weeks old before I really focused on weight loss.

Well, she was 6 weeks old last Friday. On Saturday, I had my daughter Ashley take my starting picture, and I stepped on the scale.

Here’s my starting picture:

Starting my weight loss journey

Ugh. It horrifies me to post that picture, but let me tell you – it is GREAT motivation to get my butt back in shape.

My goal is to soon get on a weight loss program that is safe for breastfeeding moms, and I will be talking to my doctor about that in the next week or so. In the meantime, however, I will be working slowly but surely at losing weight the right way. I had a problem with low milk supply after Gage was born, so I need to be careful not to do anything that could affect my milk supply for Carly. I really, really want to make it a full year of nursing her.

That being said, we are going on a cruise next February. I have a dress that I bought years ago, and it is my goal to be able to fit back into that dress before we go on the cruise. So, I have approximately 11 months from the time the picture above was taken to lose about 65 pounds.

I will weigh in once a week on my Fitbit scale. You can follow my progress on my Fitbit profile. I will also tweet my weight once a week using the hashtag #angieweighsin – so be sure to follow me on twitter. And, there will be blog updates. I’m just not sure how often yet. (Any input?)

If you’d like to join me on this journey, let me know, and we can start a weekly linky to post our progress. There’s nothing more motivating than posting your progress for all the world to see! ;)

I know I can do this, and I covet your support until that very last pound is GONE. I hope you’ll offer your tips and encouragement here on the blog.

Ok, ready…. Here we go!!!

How I Lost 40 Pounds in 6 Months

Before I get too far into this post, let me just say 2 things:

  1. I am not a doctor and do not profess to be a medical professional of any kind. Before beginning any diet or exercise program, please speak with your primary care physician about what is right for you.
  2. I cannot promise this will work for you. I wish I could. Unfortunately, every person is different, and what may work for one may not work for another.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the post!

First, we’ll back up about 7 – 8 months. I was at my heaviest weight. I was miserable. In fact, I was dealing with a lot of chronic pain. I was in and out of my doctor’s office trying to figure out what steps to take next.

I wasn’t eating right. I was completely addicted to soda… Pepsi to be more specific. It was like my own version of alcoholism. I would drink a minimum of 16 cans of Pepsi PER DAY. I was depressed, and it was all because I was feeling fat and ugly.

People would say things like, “Oh, you look good for having 6 kids.” I HATED hearing that. I knew they were lying. I didn’t look good, and I certainly didn’t feel “good.” {I know that’s not proper grammar, but you get what I mean.}

In December, the wonderful people at DietBet contacted me and asked me if I would compete against several other mom bloggers for the chance at a $5,000 pot, and we would have to give some of that money to charity.

That was exactly the kick in the pants I needed. I am an incredibly competitive person, and knowing that I could play for a charity like St. Jude and have the opportunity to give them up to $5,000, well, let’s just say that I was all in.

The competition started in early January. I weighed in at a ghastly 213 pounds. I hadn’t been on a scale in months, and I had no idea that it had gotten so out of control. In that first DietBet challenge, I lost 17 pounds. I smashed the competition, {although according to DietBet rules, we all “won”}, and I gave all my winnings to St. Jude’s.

Now, here we are in June. It’s been 6 months since I started that first DietBet challenge, and I am down 40 pounds.

Take a look at my before and after shots: {Click the picture to see it larger.}

40 pounds in 6 months
Pretty dramatic difference, isn’t it? I can’t believe the difference in my face and upper body. And my BUTT. Oh my gosh. Every time I have gotten pregnant, I have carried my kids in my butt and hips. My butt was huge. I was in a size 16 pants in January. Now, I can squeeze my behind into any pair of size 10s, and most size 8s. I’ve come a long way.

But I still have a long way to go. My goal is to lose another 40 pounds or so and get down to 130 – 135 pounds. THEN I want people to tell me that I look good for having 6 kids. I might actually start to believe them.

I have people asking me every day what I’ve been doing to lose the weight. So, I thought I’d share my tips with you. I hope they help encourage you get on a path to healthier living.

  • I’ve focused on Spiritual growth. I realize that I can do nothing on my own. But, through Christ, I can do anything. {Philippians 4:13} Early in January, I discovered Job 23:12b that says, “I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.” I made that my life verse for this weight loss challenge. Whenever I want something sweet, I remind myself of those words, and I pick up my Bible. I know it sounds crazy, but it has truly worked for me. I have made my Spiritual life and my relationship with Jesus my top priority, and I have benefited in so many ways because of it.
  • I’ve reduced portion sizes. Drastically. I still eat exactly what my family eats, but I put my servings on a kid-sized plate instead of a large plate. And when I’ve eaten what’s on my plate, that’s it. No seconds.
  • I opt for Fat-Free, Low-Fat, and Reduced calorie as often as I can. We have one shelf in our pantry dedicated to my snacks and such. The kids know those items are off limits to them. Any time I buy salad dressing, it’s fat free. I also only use fat-free Feta cheese on salads.
  • I eat every 2 – 3 hours during the day.It starts with breakfast at 8, snack at 10, lunch at noon, snack at 3, and dinner at 6. My portions are small, yes, but this absolutely keeps me from getting hungry at all during the day. Some of my favorite snacks include:
    • Fruit Nuggets – these are found in the Fruit Snacks section. They contain 0g of fat and only 50 calories per pack. LOVE them.
    • Snackwell’s Devil’s Food Cookie Cakes – This is how I get my chocolate fix. Each cookie only has 50 calories and NO fat.
    • Fat Free Fig Newtons – In two cookies, there are only 90 calories and no fat. {Note: Nabisco has large packs that you can toss in your purse, but the two cookies in those packs contain 200 calories. I buy the tray of cookies and just toss Ziploc baggies that contain 2 cookies in my purse.}
    • Orville Redenbacher’s Smart Pop – I honestly can’t finish an entire serving myself. But, one serving only contains 100 calories and only 2g of fat.
    • Snack Pack Chocolate Fat Free Pudding – Another chocolate fix. Only 90 calories and zero fat.
    • Fruit – Berries, Bananas, Oranges. Sometimes I even get creative and mix several fruits in a blender with ice and little Truvia to sweeten it, and make a smoothie. Mmmm.
  • I completely gave up soda. As you can imagine, this was quite a challenge for me. But I honestly believe it was the BEST decision I ever could have made. Now, the ONLY thing I will drink is water. I will not even allow myself a sip of soda or Sweet Tea {another weakness!}, because I know it would take nothing for me to fall back into old habits.
  • I Exercise Daily. I started slowly. After all, until January, the most exercise I got was going to the grocery store with all 6 kids. I have a treadmill, and when I first started, my goal was to burn 200 calories per day. I started by walking at 2.5 MPH, and then slowly increased that number weekly. My March, I was burning 300 calories/day, and now I burn 400 calories on the treadmill everyday. Toward the end of April, I started using the Total Gym as well. Now I do 400 calories on the treadmill {which takes about an hour}, and then I do 30 – 45 minutes on the Total Gym.  I also park my car farther away at the store, and force myself to walk that extra bit as often as I can. Just getting up and moving will make a huge difference. You don’t have to walk fast. My treadmill only goes up to 4 MPH, but I have literally walked my butt off the past 6 months. And, to answer any questions, YES. I exercise 7 days a week. I won’t allow myself to take a day of rest, because I’ll want to rest all the time.

It takes a complete lifestyle change in order to lose weight and get healthy. You have to be willing to give up some of your favorite things. Am I saying that you have to give them up forever? Of course not. But isn’t it worth it to give it up for a short time so that you can become the person that you want to be?

I also want to mention that since January when I made this lifestyle change, I have not had one single pain that I was dealing with last year. I feel about a million times better than I have in years. For me, these changes were life-changing and possibly life-saving.

For the past few days, I have been learning about another lifestyle transformation program, and I am prayerfully considering trying it out and seeing how it works for me at getting those last 40 pounds off. Depending on how the program works for me, hopefully I will be sharing more about it with you all soon.

However, until that happens, I will continue on the path I laid out above. I will work hard, eat right, and praise Jesus for every pound that comes off.

If you have any questions or just want to talk about weight loss, I hope you’ll leave a comment on this post.

My Results in the @DietBet Challenge

On Saturday, the DietBet Challenge that I started in May ended.

Truth be told, I was terrified that I wouldn’t do well in the challenge at all. Stress has been a killer the past few weeks, and then with VBS last week, it took a toll on my diet. {Our church feeds everyone Sunday night – Friday night for dinner. TONS of food, and more dessert than should ever be allowed to sit on one counter at any given time.} BUT, I stayed strong. {Several nights I brought my own dessert: Fat free Snackwells or Fat Free Fig Newtons. Definitely not what I wanted, but every little bit helps.}

I started the challenge at 183.8. That put me at about 30 pounds less than I was when I started dieting and exercising in January.

Before I show you the video of my final weigh-in, let me apologize. This was taped around 8am on Saturday morning. I had been up since 5am and exercising since 6am. I wanted to get that weigh-in done and over with, so that means you get to see me at my worst. Sorry about that!

Ok, that being said, here’s my final weigh-in for this challenge:

I was totally stoked! I dropped 10 pounds in those 28 days! Even with all the odds stacked against me, I was still able to lose more weight. And, because I dropped to 173.6, that means I have officially lost 40 pounds since January. Yahoo!

Take a look at what just 10 pounds can do to a person:

By the way, the jeans that I’m wearing in the After pictures? Those are a size 8! They were my “goal” pants for a very long time. I held onto them for years, just hoping I could squeeze my big butt back into them someday. The last time I wore those jeans was in December 2005 for our family pictures. I got pregnant with Lucy right after that, and I haven’t been able to get back into them since then.

Until now! Now, I have a new goal. I would love to get myself back into a size 4 – which is still bigger than I was when I married my husband and size 0 hung off me. I started in January as a size 16, and I’ve made it to an 8/10. I am really excited, and I KNOW I can do even better.

As far as the results of the challenge, I had 3 people that never sent me their final weights. :( I went ahead and ended the game, though, because everyone was getting anxious to find out who won.

Here are the results from those of us who weighed in:

  • Amy – Stayed the same.
  • Teri – Dropped 2.6 pounds
  • Tara – Dropped 4.4 pounds
  • Suzi – Dropped 9.08 pounds
  • Angie – Dropped 10.2 pounds

Not too shabby, ladies! Great job!

According to the DietBet rules, Suzi & I are the winners. Therefore, I am giving her the $50 Amazon Gift card that was up for grabs.

I have had SO many people ask me how I’ve lost the weight and what I’ve been doing to keep the weight off that tomorrow I will be putting up a special post to answer a lot of the questions I’ve been asked. If you have a question that you’d like me to answer, please add it as a comment to this post. I hope my hard work and effort will encourage you and motivate you to meet your own weight loss goals.

I still have a long way to go…. about another 40 pounds…. but I KNOW I can do it. I want to encourage you to reach your own goals.

I do have to say, though, that 40 pounds makes an amazing difference. I feel better than I have in years!

The DietBet Challenge is ON! My Official Weigh-in.

I’m a little behind posting this. Things have been kind of crazy around here.

On Saturday, I started a new DietBet weight loss challenge. This time, I competing against 6 ladies. At the end of the challenge, we will see who the winner{s?} is{are?}, and prizes will be awarded.

I am really excited about this challenge, for lots of reasons: First, I do better when I’m competing. It keeps me from eating things I know I shouldn’t, and it motivates me to exercise and push myself just a little harder. Secondly, I am already doing so well at reaching my goals, and I think this is the “push” I need to keep going.

I am also really excited about sharing this experience with some very special people in my life! Last time I did the DietBet challenge, I didn’t really know the girls I was competing against. This time, however, I know most of these girls on a personal level. I’ve known one girl since we were about 3 years old. We went to school together – from preschool all the way through 5th grade. {I moved to Chicago the summer between my 5th and 6th grade year.} We got back in contact in 2002 completely by accident… I ran into her mom at the little cake shop that made our wedding cake. It turned out her daughter was getting married about a month before I was. We were able to go to each others’ weddings. We lost touch again, and through the power of Facebook, we got back in touch. We’ve both struggled with our weight, so we’ve been cheering each other on for a few months now.

I’m also competing against a friend from a church I went to in Ohio, a friend I go to church with now, my best friend’s mom, and 2 other fabulous ladies I’ve just recently had the chance to meet. I am STOKED! Although, this may not be such a good thing. I may get so busy cheering them on that I might just forget and eat a box of donuts or something. :) I’m sure they wouldn’t mind that at all.

Ok, ok. Time to get to the hardest part of this post. The video of my official weigh in. It’s a little different than my official weigh-in in January when I tipped the scales at 213 pounds. I’ve definitely lost some weight since then… but getting on a scale in front of anyone just isn’t easy.

And before you watch this video, let me just tell you that I had just finished playing 3 hours of volleyball. So, my hair is in a ponytail, and I’m pretty sure I sweated all my makeup off. But, that’s the real me… scary, I know.

Ok, here’s the video:

Crazy. 183.8. That’s down almost exactly 30 pounds since January, which is great, but I know I can do better. I really think this challenge will speed things up again. At least I’m hoping that’s what it does.

Now, here are my “Before” pictures for this challenge. {Be sure to check out my Before & After pictures from the last challenge. It made such a difference, I’m hoping to do it again!}

Yep, I still have a loooooong way to go. But I know I can do it!

I hope you’ll stick with us for the next 4 weeks. You can follow our DietBet Challenge by clicking here: DietBet Challenge – May 2012. Be sure to leave me some love on my profile page. I’m going to need it!

Also, I am still looking for a few more sponsors for the challenge. If you have a business and want lots of exposure, contact me today!

Let the games begin!

Guest Post: 9 Ways to Get Fit At Home

 

According to the authors of Freakonomics, people who purchase gym memberships overestimate their attendance by 70 percent. As a result, over $500 of the average annual cost of memberships is simply lining the pockets of gym owners — and doing absolutely nothing for your waistline.

If you struggle with getting to the gym every day, try getting fit at home for a fraction of the cost. Though you may not have the fancy equipment offered by fitness clubs, you can still meet your goals affordably by considering the following tips.

1. Buy From Gyms
Gyms undergoing renovations — or simply making upgrades to their fitness equipment — usually sell off their old stuff at killer prices. Call around to find out if any local fitness centers are currently selling old treadmills, stationary bikes or benches, or if they have any plans to do so in the near future.

2. Buy Used
Fitness equipment is definitely one of those items best purchased used, if possible. In addition to scanning Craigslist and hitting up local garage sales, you can also look for remanufactured options online at Wayfair.com. When buying from private seller, be sure to research the brand and test the equipment before agreeing to purchase it.

3. Shop Online
You can often find great deals on fitness clothing and accessories by shopping online. Compare promotions and avoid delivery costs with such sites as FreeShipping.org, which offers discounts from popular sporting good stores. For example, you can save $10 on orders of $60 or more with a FinishLine coupon.

4. Use Your Body
Squats, push ups, tricep dips and many other moves are all great ways to workout without the added cost of equipment. You can also get creative with items around your house. A chair is a great tool for step ups, tricep dips and decline push ups. Water bottles can be used in place of small hand weights and your child’s jump rope is a great way to burn calories quickly.

5. Suspend Yourself
Suspension training systems — which use a series of straps in addition to body weight — are a popular way to intensify home workouts without bulky fitness equipment. TRX is likely the most well-known system but requires a significant investment. GoFit’s Gravity Bar and straps offers an affordable alternative, and also travels easily for when you hit the road.

6. Go Discount
Discount retailers are great resources for basic fitness accessories like DVDs, yoga mats, stability balls, fitness clothing and more. For example, a friend of mine recently found yoga blocks at TJMaxx for $5 each. Similar blocks at REI cost $15 each, over 60 percent of what she paid for them.

7. Use Technology
Get free workout tips on your phone with apps like GymGoal ABC, which features 280 animated exercises and 52 workout routines that are adjustable to four levels of expertise. You can also find free personal training videos online at sites like BodyRock or FitnessMagazine.com. If you pay for cable, take advantage of the morning fitness videos available on Discovery Fit & Health.

8. Avoid Fitness Fads
Shake Weight, anyone? Products boasting quick weight loss with minimal effort are usually too good to be true. No pain, no gain, remember? Don’t fall for the hype and read reviews before buying the latest and greatest DVD set or fitness system. There are some great ones being released on the market all the time, but ask for recommendations first.

9. Check Your Policy
Like most Americans, you likely pay a lot for your health insurance premiums. Healthy policyholders means less risk for pricey doctor’s bills, and select health insurance providers offer incentives for fitness programs. Check with your provider for fitness programs that offer discounts on activewear, fitness rentals and equipment purchases.

Andrea Woroch is a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who helps consumers live on less without radically changing their lifestyles. From smart spending tips to personal finance advice, Andrea transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers. She has been featured among top news outlets such as Good Morning America, NBC’s Today, MSNBC, New York Times, Kiplinger Personal Finance, CNNMoney and many more. You can follow her on Twitter for daily savings advice and tips.

Seeking Sponsors & Participants in a @DietBet Weight Loss Challenge

I am competitive by nature. Sometimes that’s a good thing… especially when it comes to weight loss. Earlier this year, I participated in a DietBet Challenge, and I lost a total of 17 pounds during the challenge. It was amazing. I felt great, and I saw a major change.

But then, I slacked off. Sure, I still ate right – for the most part -and I kept portions sizes much smaller than they had been. I still exercised – almost daily – but I just wasn’t feeling motivated to really work hard at reaching my goals. Actually, for awhile, I got into a major funk and just couldn’t bring myself to do anything.

I want to change that. I want to give myself another swift kick in the butt, and I want to see those results again. I’m down a total of 29 pounds since my first weigh in, so I KNOW I can do it. I just need some motivation to do it… and that why I’m coming to you!

I have set up a DietBet Challenge, and now I’m looking for Sponsors and Participants. Here’s what I’m thinking…

Sponsors: Money for so many is tight right now. While putting our own money into the “pot” would be a great motivator, many of us just can’t afford to put anything into the pot. That’s where you come in. I am looking for sponsors that are willing to donate prizes to the winner(s) of the challenge. The prizes can be anything: cash, gifts for moms, fitness products – I’ll let you decide that part. Each sponsor will receive top-sponsorship sidebar advertising on my blog for the duration of the contest. {That’s a $45 value.} You will also receive a post on my blog about your products/services as well as what you are offering for the challenge, and that will never be deleted. {2 SEO friendly links will be included at no cost to you.} At the end of the challenge, prizes will be divvied up among the winners. If you would like to donate a prize to the Blessed Beyond Words Weight Loss Challenge, please use the contact form to let me know. Please put DietBet – SPONSOR as the subject of your email.

Participants: If you are SERIOUS about losing weight, a DietBet Challenge is a great way to do just that. I would LOVE to have you join us. You will be required to weigh in twice: Once at the start of the challenge, and the second at the end of the challenge. I will need proof of these weigh ins – either video or a photo of the scale while you are standing on it. {It keeps us honest, and it holds us accountable.} If you want these photos private, I ask that you email them to me, and no one but me will ever lay eyes on them. You can also set up DietBet to keep any numbers you post completely private. There’s no reason for you to feel humiliated. Promise. I will tell you that I will post ALL numbers and videos to my blog. It’s a key motivation factor for me. But, that’s my choice, and mine alone. If you want to keep to yourself, I have zero problem with that. If you are interested in participating, please use the contact form to let me know. Please put DietBet – PARTICIPANT as the subject of your email.

I already have several people signed up to take the challenge. I’d like to get this all set up so we can have our first official weigh in soon and start the challenge.

Are you with me?

The @80bites Diet {Try it for Yourself! Ends 3/7}

Recently, I participated in a weight loss challenge against several other mom bloggers. While we all won the competition, I lost almost double what I was “required” to lose.

Since then, I have been working hard to continue on my weight loss journey, but I need some extra motivation. When I heard about the 80bites Diet, I jumped all over it.

80bites dietThe 80bites Diet is a 12 week journey. It’s an online program, and every week, new content will be unlocked. {That means you can’t skip ahead!}

So, how does it work?

It’s **so** easy! There’s no counting calories, no withholding carbs, none of that. You literally count your bites. The fewer bites you take, the less food you take in, which means fewer calories, a smaller stomach, and a journey to becoming a healthy you.

They recommend that you download their app to help you count your bites, but it’s not required. In fact, I heard that one of their success stories lost over 200 pounds, and they simply used a pencil and a piece of paper to count bites. That is awesome!

I’ve only been participating in the program for a few days, but I am absolutely loving it so far. It is so much easier than any diet program I’ve found. I can’t wait to see how much weight I lose through the 12 week program.

Also, I did download the app. While I don’t use my iphone as a phone anymore, I do still have it for games and certain apps. I’ve found it’s so easy to drop my iphone in my lap, and tap each time i take a bite. It’s discreet, and even when I’m out in public, no one has to know that I’m sitting there counting how many bites of food I’ve taken. Love that.

80bites wants to give each of you the chance to join me on the 80bites journey. One of you will win a membership into the 80bites diet program.

If you don’t want to wait until the end of the giveaway, and you’re ready to get started now, 80bites is offering 20% off the cost of a membership for all of my readers. Just use the code BLESSED at checkout. {Offer ends March 13th, so don’t delay!}

A membership typically costs $50. That’s the best price for any 12 week program I’ve found. To get 20% off that and get the program for just $40 is a huge bargain – and worth every penny from what I’ve seen so far.

Are you ready to join me on this journey?

Use the rafflecopter gadget below to enter for your chance to win a free membership.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: I received a membership to the 80bites diet program in order to facilitate my review. Over the next 12 weeks, I will post about my progress and share my thoughts with my readers. Opinions expressed are 100% my own. 80bites is sponsoring this giveaway. Please consult your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.

The Results are In for the #DietBet Mom Bloggers Challenge

It’s official: All 7 Moms in the Mom Bloggers DietBet Challenge have met their goals! That means we will all be splitting the $5,000 pot. Each person and/or charity will receive $715.

I want to congratulate each of the other bloggers:

dietbet I also wanted to share my experience with the DietBet challenge with each of you and give you my honest input.

First, I love a good dose of friendly competition. I am one that does NOT like to lose. {Unless I’m losing weight – that I like.} Competing against other people – even if they were complete strangers gave me a sense of desire to eat right the entire time and not stray off my diet and exercise routine. I do kind of wish it had been a winner-take-all sort of deal, because I did so well in the competition by almost doubling the 4% goal that DietBet set for me.

Second, I *love* that I can donate my winnings to charity. If I had been in it to just win the money for myself, I know I wouldn’t have done as well. Knowing that DietBet is sending a check to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in my name for the amount of $715 makes every second of the challenge worth it. I never could have donated that much money to them otherwise.

Third, I loved actually going to my local Curves office and weighing in once a week. Now the ladies at Curves know me by name, and they have been *such* an encouragement the entire time. I still don’t own a scale here at home, so I’ll probably have to drop in there every so often to see if I’ve lost more weight.

The only thing I wish had been different is that I wish DietBet would calculate pounds in decimal increments. For example, the second week, I lost 1.5 pounds, but DietBet didn’t round it up, it said I only lost 1 pound. {Boy, was that depressing! At least give me that half a pound!} I guess if you don’t have much to lose, that really isn’t a big deal, but honestly? It’s a really big deal to me. I worked hard to lose every pound – and half a pound – over these 4 weeks.

So, would I do another DietBet again? ABSOLUTELY. I found it to be exactly the motivation I needed to jumpstart my weight loss. Now, all I want to do is keep on the same track and keep losing until I’ve met ALL my goals.

I plan to keep the weight loss section up on my blog. It’s a great way to keep myself motivated and accountable. I have a very long way to go, but I’m hoping to be at my goal weight by the end of this year. I know I can do it. {Although, I have to say I’m a little jealous of the other bloggers who have been contacted by large weight loss companies. Wishing one of them would find my blog and help support me in meeting my goals.} But, even without them, I’ve proven that I can make the changes necessary to lose weight, and I can do it all on my own. I’m not giving up – no matter what.

Will you continue to support me through my weight loss journey?

Disclaimer: DietBet gave me the opportunity to participate in a Mom Blogger’s Challenge and compete for $5,000. Since each blogger won, $715 will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I am not a doctor. Any steps I take to lose weight are my own, and individuals should seek their doctor’s opinion before starting a weight loss program of any kind.

My Final Weigh In for the #DietBet Mom Bloggers Challenge

It’s hard to believe that it’s the end of the DietBet Mom Bloggers Challenge. What a roller coaster of emotions this has been.

I had my final weigh in yesterday, and I have to tell you – I was nervous! This past week has been insane. Between moving, painting, cleaning, and the stress of everything combined, it was nearly impossible to find the time to get on the treadmill for my routine exercise. I had still been eating right and was only drinking water, but I didn’t know if I was still burning enough calories to make a difference and lose weight.

At my last weigh in, I was exactly 200 pounds – down 13 pounds from my starting weight. I just knew I was either going to go back up or I was going to be stuck at that big round number.

When I started the challenge, I needed to lose 9 pounds to meet the DietBet goal and be considered a “winner.” But, I had set a personal goal for myself to lose 15 pounds and bring myself under that 200 mark.

Do you think I did it?

Here’s the video….

Did you catch that? 196 pounds. I met both goals. Actually, I exceeded both goals, and I am so excited. I’ve lost 17 pounds in the challenge, and I think that’s fantastic. I’m pretty darn proud of myself.

I had hubby take some more pictures yesterday so I could see the before and after difference. Take a look… {You can click on the picture to see the larger version.}

Weight Loss Journey - 4 Weeks In

The past 2 weeks or so, I’ve been having more and more people come up to me and tell me they’ve noticed that I’m losing weight. I really hadn’t seen it until I looked at the before and after pictures side by side. I’ve lost half my face – and at least one or two extra chins. I also have to say that since I gave up soda and junk food, I feel so much better. I’m definitely keeping these changes and I’m determined that 2012 will be MY year to become a healthier me.

I know I still have a very long way to go, but I’m definitely off to a great start. And, I owe it all to DietBet and their Mom Blogger’s Challenge.

Soon I’ll post the final results and tell you how all the other moms did in the Challenge. I was up against some tough competition, so I wouldn’t doubt it if we all ended up splitting the pot.

So, how did I do? Are you impressed that I stayed motivated the entire challenge and lost as much as I did? Will you continue to support me in my weight loss journey?

Disclaimer: DietBet is giving me the opportunity to participate in a Mom Blogger’s Challenge and compete for $5,000 – which, if won, will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I am not a doctor. Any steps I take to lose weight are my own, and individuals should seek their doctor’s opinion before starting a weight loss program of any kind.

End of Week 3 DietBet Weigh In

Can you believe that there is just ONE week left in the DietBet Mom Bloggers Challenge? These 3 weeks have flown by, and I’m finding that it’s getting easier and easier all the time to eat right, exercise, and live without Pepsi.

I went for my weekly weigh in yesterday afternoon at my local Curves facility. The girls there all know me by name there now, and they have been such a support and an encouragement. I was really hesitatant to step on the scale because last week I had only dropped a pound and a half. I was so afraid it would be worse this week and that my confidence would plummet.

bathroom scaleBefore I get to my results for this week, let me recap my numbers for you:

  • Day 1 – Official weigh in revealed I was 213 pounds.
  • End of week 1 – Lost 8 pounds, dropping me to 205 pounds.
  • End of week 2 – Lost 1.5 pounds, bringing me down to 203.5 pounds.

Again, I was expecting to have not lost much this week. I haven’t made any changes at all during the DietBet Challenge, so I never know what to expect when it’s time to step on the scale.

Imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale and saw that I had dropped another 3 and a half pounds!

That’s right! I am down to exactly 200 pounds.

I am so, so happy. My personal goal for this challenge is to bring my weight under 200 pounds. I’ve still got one more week to go, but even if I have another week where I only lose 1.5 pounds, I will meet that goal.

Hard work pays off – and so does sticking with what works. I still eat the things I like, I just do it in moderation. I want chips? Ok. I get 2 – 3 chips. I want a cookie? I take a bite of Parker’s cookie. And I exercise. I burn 300 calories on the treadmill daily, along with the calories I typically burn. {Although, this week, I’m pretty sure I’m burning lots of extra calories with all the packing, moving, and painting going on.}

If you take a look at the DietBet Standings for the Mom Bloggers challenge, 3 of us have met our DietBet goals. The others are right behind us and are doing great! As of today, January 25th, 47 pounds have been lost – and 13 of those pounds are MINE!

Are you trying to lose weight this year? If so, how are things going for you?

I Joined MyFitnessPal

I need help. I’m participating in the DietBet Mom Bloggers Challenge, and while I have met my goal for the contest, I still have a very long way to go to reach my ultimate goal. I plan to keep doing what I’m doing after the challenge, but I need some way to keep myself accountable.

I recently found MyFitnessPal – an online fitness journal and calorie counter. Best news of the day? It’s FREE to sign up.

So far I’m loving it. One thing I’m finding that I don’t like, though, is that I can only enter my current weight on their website. It doesn’t give me the option to put in a starting weight. So, that 9.5 pounds that I already lost goes unnoticed by the MyFitnessPal site – which is kind of a bummer. 9.5 pounds lost is an accomplishment, and its’ a motivator to help me lose even more.

I’m going to try using the site for the next few weeks and see how I like it. I’ll be sure to let you know what I think.

If you’d like to follow along with me and join MyFitnessPal for yourself, I hope you’ll do so. You can find my profile here: Angie’s MyFitnessPal Profile. You have to be a friend to view my profile, so I hope you’ll consider adding me as one.

Do you have any online tools or resources you use for dieting? Share them in the comments below!

DietBet Challenge – End of Week 2 Weigh In

Well, just got home from my local Curves office where I weighed in for the end of week 2 in the DietBet Mom Bloggers Challenge.

bathroom scaleThe results were not near as good as I had hoped they would be, and I am trying not to kick myself for it.

My starting weight in the challenge was 213 pounds. Last week, I weighed in at 205. I was super pumped that I had dropped 8 pounds in just a week.

I guess I expected to stay on that same downhill spiral and see even more weight come off when I stepped on the scale today.

Instead, I weighed in at 203.5. Yes, I went down. But not nearly as much as I wanted to. I wanted to be under 200 by now. I wasn’t asking much – just 5 or 6 more pounds gone. It was so discouraging to see the scale still set on the 200 mark.

I know there will be good weeks and bad, but a pound and a half? I’ve worked my butt off this week, and I lose a pound and a half? And don’t give me the “muscle weighs more than fat” line. I despise that line more than any other phrase out there.

Looks like it’s back to the grindstone for me. I still haven’t had soda in 2 weeks, in fact, I haven’t had anything but water in 2 weeks. I’ve eaten super healthy, reduced portion sizes, and am exercising at least 1 hour a day, 6 days a week.

I’ve met my goal for the DietBet Challenge, and have lost all of the weight required to win the money for St. Jude. {I just can’t gain ANY weight for the next 2 weeks. At All.} But my personal goal? That’s far from being met. I’ve got a very long way to go. And if it continues at just 1.5 pounds gone per week, it’s going to take me eons to get where I want to be.

Sigh. So not what I wanted to see when I weighed in today.

How are YOU doing with your weight loss goals?

Remember, you can follow my progress in the DietBet Challenge here: My Profile Page on DietBet.

Disclaimer: DietBet is giving me the opportunity to participate in a Mom Blogger’s Challenge and compete for $5,000 – which, if won, will go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I am not a doctor. Any steps I take to lose weight are my own, and individuals should seek their doctor’s opinion before starting a weight loss program of any kind.

Diet Bracelet & Kit to Help You Lose Weight

If you swing by MojoFit.com, you will find a rather unique idea: A Diet Bracelet that helps you keep track of your calorie and water intake and helps you lose weight!

diet braceletThe bracelet also comes with a pocket book that will tell you everything you need to know about taking weight off and keeping it off. It also lists over 2,500 foods and how many calories they contain.

If you use the promo code BABY at checkout, you can get the bracelet and kit for NO COST. That’s right! You just pay $4.95 in shipping costs, and that’s it.

The bracelet is available in 6 different colors and 2 sizes, so they’re perfect for everyone.

You can order as many bracelets as you’d like with this promo code, but you’ll need to place each bracelet as a separate order.

I’m not sure how long this will last, so don’t delay! Use the code BABY today and get your free diet bracelet and kit.

Disclaimer: I have not been compensated for this post in any way.