Travel Dreams

*No Frills Post*

I’ve always been fascinated by people adventurous enough to live abroad. I wanted to move when I was fresh out of high school but I didn’t. I wanted to move when I got married but again I didn’t. I’m a mom and still have those desires but this time I wouldn’t want it to be permanent because I want my son to be able to grow up around his family (unless an opportunity was too good to pass up!).

My questions for anyone reading this: How did you do it? Did you plan for years? Did you just go for it? How did/ do you feel? What did your family/ friends think? Does anyone visit you? Do you go back home? What has your experience been? Any advice for a mom that wants to see the world?

I have a desire to show my son the world so he can experience life outside of the United States of America. I want him to be brave enough to be an explorer and know that mommy and daddy have his back. I want him to visit different places and know he can live any where he chooses especially if he has space for his parents (LOL)! Most of all I want him to widen his view of the world and know the world is big and small at the same time because while the space is huge the human experience happens everywhere and everyone has a story to tell.

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Motivation & Habits

Do you remember her from my Motivation & Habits post? If not feel free to check it out!

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NOTE: I asked the woman above for permission to post this screenshot.

Well I did exactly what I intended to do but with a twist. After checking out http://www.ryschyragz.com I decided to purchase motivation items. These are items I intentionally bought in a smaller size to inspire and remind myself to stick to my healthy lifestyle. This is also a form of financial motivation for me as I do not like to waste money.

I bought 2 shirts and pants.

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I’m an XL or XXL depending on the shirt and pants size 16/18. The shirts are both medium which I didn’t plan but they were too cute to pass up. I originally bought a different pair of pants but they were out of stock. She explained what happened, apologized for it and sent me the pants below in 2 different sizes (L & XL). Not only was I pleasantly surprised by the customer service but she included a nice note saying thank you and acknowledging what happened. Now I don’t know about you but good customer service is getting harder and harder to find so when I get it I become a regular customer.

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The surprises kept coming as I tried the clothes on. I tried it on to see how much I needed to lose before any of it fit. I mean they don’t fit correctly but at least I got them on! I’m wearing the XL pants in both pictures as I was under no delusion that the Large was going to go up far enough for me to take an appropriate picture.

The shirts are both soft to the touch and feel good on. The pants have great stretch so even if they don’t look like the correct size* trust me and try them on. I’ll have an update as I lose weight and can fit them correctly. But for now I will definitely be a returning customer so I can get something that fits now 🙂

*For my exact measurements please see my April 2018 Weigh In post.

April 2018 Weigh In

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No Your eyes do not deceive you. I am using the same picture again but this time I am using it as a comparison. Full disclaimer the pictures below were actually taken in April however it was 3lbs ago so I feel it’s still a fair representation.

Actual Date: 5/4/2018

Weight: 227.1lbs

Measurements in inches

Chest: 46

R/L Arm: 16

Waist: 45

Hips: 51

R/L Thigh: 29.5

Goal(s):

  • Stick to some type of diet/ healthy meal plan (IP!!!)
  • Read something other than children’s books (Check)
    • The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss
  • Exercise 3x/ wk (IP)
    • I did this 3wks in a row then not so much so mostly a win
  • Post monthly updates on/after the 8th for accountability (Fail)

Is this were I wanted to be for my first weight post in a long time? NO but I am no longer beating myself up about what I know I did or didn’t do. I know what I ate, how much I worked out and what I let distract me from my goals. This time is different because I don’t feel like a failure. I feel like a work in progress. I feel stronger and more powerful because I’m not quitting. I feel grateful my body hasn’t failed me though I have put it through way too much stress and strain. The best feeling is seeing the progress even though I didn’t think there was any. My current versus my original shows a slightly smaller body but most noticeable to me is my waist. Again I can’t tell when I look at myself because breasts are in the way but this picture shows I have made physical changes.

To my body:

Thank you for not giving up on me. Please accept my apology for the abuse and know that I will never give up on you again.

With all my heart,

JTM

Putting It Out There – Career/ Business

I’ve often wondered how reviewer/ product testers get in contact with their favorite brands in order to get sponsored. I’ve looked into a few things on my own but not many end up being real. I am here to ask for advice from people capable of pointing me in the right direction. I know all information comes with BUTs because no one can guarantee a company will have any use for what I can provide; detailed reviews and suggestions for improvements but any useful advice would be very much appreciated.

Drum Roll please:

Target Corporation – This has been a favorite of mine for years and I frequently refer to it as my happy place. 2 of the 3 other companies mentioned were discovered at Target. The Starbucks inside are an added bonus.

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Just started using big pack of wipes; I normally use the paper masks

Yes To, Inc. – Specifically Tomatoes. I love their sheet masks but I can’t use them as often as I like so I am not positive they work so much as I enjoy using them during my Spa Day.

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Out of wipes so this is just an empty package 🙂

SheaMoisture – Favorite products African Black Soap: Clarifying Mud Mask, Body Wash & Clarifying Facial Wipes; Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Head-to-Toe and last but not least Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner. They also have makeup I would love to try.

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Need to restock my oils because this is all I have left

NOW Foods – ALL THE OILS!!! I’m kidding I haven’t tried them all (though I’m working on it) but I am obsessed with a lot of them. I’ll name my top 3 there are a lot: Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Grapeseed/ Avocado (these I use interchangeably).

There you have it. It is now in the universe and even though I will not give up in pursuing these brands I’m hoping someone with the knowledge I need finds my space and points me in the right direction. Also this is not me saying I wouldn’t be open to other brands especially ones with natural ingredients, fair trade practices or local businesses. I’m simply saying this is a list of companies I currently use/ go to.

PS – I’m counting this as a digital Vision Board because lets face it it would be a dream come true to have my favorite brands find my corner of the internet.

Motivation & Habits

If you’ve been reading my blogs you know I’ve struggled with motivation. I get inspired, do okay, get distracted, fall off, repeat. My wake up call came in the form of family pictures; see below.

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Yup, all the hard work I was doing went completely sideways when I got sick. Instead of preparing something healthy and easy, I turned to junk food. Not only did we spend a lot of money but I’m pretty sure we shaved at least 2 weeks off of our lives. The final guilt was seeing how the family pictures turned out. I looked and felt bloated, my face was still healing from the infection and the antibiotics made my normally oily skin very dry to the point of peeling so I piled on makeup that didn’t turn out right. I spent the next morning sad and depressed. Then my support system kicked in.

My husband gave me an amazing pep talk and because he’s awesome and super supportive we went to Target at 10pm so I could buy containers to help me meal prep. We ate one more garbage meal then I got to work. I meal prep’d that night. Monday I turned to the internet to keep me motivated since hubby would be at work and I had an appointment near one of my favorite restaurants.

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After an emotional appointment (nothing bad just needed to plan better). I didn’t eat perfectly but I didn’t go to the restaurant either. Tuesday was tricky because I was running errands which meant I had to have breakfast, lunch and snacks with me. Thankfully my mom was able to come and helped with my son. Afterwards we were both very hungry but instead of going to fast food we went to the grocery store. I surprised myself by buying lots of veggies and some veggie based dips (guacamole and hummus) in order to make sure all of our dinners included veggies.

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Tuesday night I still felt bloated and knew I needed to start incorporating exercise to encourage movement if you know what I mean 😉 Plus I wanted those endorphins! So again I turned to the internet. It was another late night but boy am I happy I started surfing. I found the post below and it fired me up.

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ryschyragzfitness In honor of today’s workout I had to wear this shirt 😆. I had to do what I Needed to do and not what I Wanted to do. I had to keep going when I wanted to 🛑 more than a few times. Whew 💨💨💨. I could have made excuses for why it was ok for me to stop. But I didn’t, I found my Beast Mode and #sheaintcute and kept going. So Today let’s do what we need to do and not what we want to do. Plain and simple. Your needs are the most important, not your wants. Cater to your Needs… 1. You need to eat healthy, but you want to have a donut 🍩 2. You need to move and be active, but you want to lie down instead. 3. You need to be positive, but you want to feed yourself negative talk. Get where I’m going? Master taking care of Your Needs and everything else will fit into place. I guarantee it. #aintnoexcuse #selflove #marathon #thankmelater #thankyourselfnow #fitnesslifestyle #Fitmom#needsversuswants #doit #dontquit#beautyandabeast
NOTE: I asked the woman above for permission to post this screenshot and whenever possible I contact people BEFORE posting. If I do not get permission for a post or don’t receive a reply I will only reference what I saw or post the person’s handle so it can be looked up. The exception would be quotes from Pinterest but I NEVER remove any logo/ trademarks/ watermarks because I believe the originator deserves the credit for their creative work.

I found her post so motivating that I checked out her website (www.ryschyragz.com) and planned a workout for the morning. Wednesday I not only smashed a pilates workout but I cooked dinner for the rest of the week! I wanted to keep the momentum going so I watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. I was hit with something to the effect of you didn’t fail if you only did 7 days of a 10 day cleanse; You succeeded for 7 days!! This hit me hard because negative talk is how I would fall off. I now look at each day as a day I succeeded. On days I’m not perfect I look at each accomplishment individually: meals, workouts, personal time, etc.

I was going to include all the individuals that inspired me but this post is long enough. Rather than give up on shining a light on those who’ve motivated me I am going to blog about them and I will include specifics if I can get permission to do so.

If you’ve gotten this far because you need motivation, I hope this helps and I hope you come back in the future when I post more of what motivates me. If you made it this far simply to read what I had to say then THANK YOU 🙂

Try Again

I knew from the beginning that losing weight wouldn’t be easy. I mean if it was I would have done it before I had my child and heck I would’ve never gotten out of shape in the first place. My problem is my ever changing mood…

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When I start, I am very enthusiastic and upbeat. I plan, focus and go for it. But the minute I have a series of bad days or I feel emotionally drained I revert back to old bad habits. I comfort myself with food and cleaning rather than identifying the cause of the upset. I would rather go on auto pilot than deal with whatever is bugging me. When I try to motivate myself again I ruin it by thinking of how much further I have to go. Or I focus on what I could’ve accomplished if I didn’t mess up in the first place and this makes everything worse. This vicious cycle will continue until I allow myself to make mistakes without considering it a complete failure.

I know, like my previous posts imply or out right say, this journey is not a straight line. It is a wibbly wobbly (Doctor Who fans??) road leading to my best life and as long as I don’t die I can try again.

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December Weigh In

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Note for November’s missed update: This month was a lot better. It wasn’t perfect and my stats will show that but I did accomplish some things that were on my list! Goals are November & December.

Yes, another post using the same exact picture but this time I’m pleased with what I’ve done. I started the 4-Hour Body again… My goal is to do better so one day I can do it perfectly and eventually try the “meatless machine” mentioned in the book. So far I haven’t had one perfect week but you know what? As of this morning I’ve officially lost weight. I’ll go back slightly by saying I gained way more than I’d like to admit by emotionally eating, giving up and having a looooooooong pity party. However as previously stated I am not going for perfection instead progress, healthy changes and eventually a new lifestyle are my main goals. And to my surprise it is working!! I don’t find myself binge eating on cheat day like I used to. I enjoy cooking even on cheat day which I thought would never happen. I also don’t dive head first into a giant mound of cheese which used to be one of my favorite things to do on cheat day. Bonus I discovered I actually feel better when I eliminate or limit dairy.

Actual Date: 1/9/2018

Weight: 229.3lbs

Measurements in inches (Forgot)

 

Goal(s):

  • Stick to some type of diet/ healthy meal plan (FAIL/ IP)
  • Read something other than children’s books (Check)
    • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – finished
      • I’m counting this because it isn’t for his age group even though I started reading it for him
    • Told Under The Green Umbrella – finished
      • Doesn’t really count but I enjoyed it more than my son. I don’t think there were enough pictures to hold his attention
    • Treasure Island – finished
      • Not enough pictures to count for him so I’m counting this
  • Exercise 4x/ wk (Fail)
  • Post monthly updates on/after the 8th for accountability (?)
    • Missed November but this post is up so I guess Yes & No

All in all October – December were emotionally hard months. My son has been testing his boundaries. I haven’t been sleeping well. I really haven’t been liking who I am as a wife, mother (to human & animal) and April thus the long pity party. Despite these feelings I managed to make the changes needed to improve. No I don’t have dramatic pictures to show off like I’d hoped; what I do have is a better understanding of self and hope for the future. I have clear goals written down that I plan on displaying so when things get hard I can remind myself of what I need to focus on in order to improve.

And for those reading this if you are in a similar situation: It CAN and WILL get better we just have to take it one step at a time 🙂

Ikea Date

Not all dates are created equal but ALL dates can be fun! We relaxed, ate, measured the bathroom then went to Ikea. I like to call this a working date because we gathered a lot of ideas and created a plan for updating/ remodeling our house.

The food: Ethiopian deliciousness!!

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Below are a bunch of things we found/ are budget friendly. We have no idea which ones will make the cut but the pictures below reflect what we liked.

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All in all these are just ideas and inspiration which I am sure will change as we get to the research/development phase. But this was a lovely date with my man. It helped me get back to being a wife and not just mom all the time. It also reminded me why I chose this man and why he chose me. He’s amazing and the perfect balance to my brand of crazy 😉

I don’t really have a good reason for this video as we have no plans of buying the light but we both love playing with it!

October Weigh In

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So… I’ll insert details under each goal but keep the same goals for this month. Actually I might keep the same goals until I get it right. When I get it right I will completely change my goal or I’ll modify it to continue challenging myself.

Actual Date: 11/8/2017

Weight: ?lbs

Measurements in inches

Chest: ?

R/L Arm: ?

Waist: ?

Hips: ?

R/L Thigh: ?

Goal(s):

  • Stick to some type of diet/ healthy meal plan (IP)
    • I have made healthier choices
      • Ex: swapping coffee for unsweetened tea (most days)
      • Ex: Penny Date night (detailed post coming soon) rather than simply eating out
  • Read something other than children’s books (Check!!)
    • Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
      • Side note: Adventure, Sci-Fi and mystery are my favs
    • Bonus points because I was able to read it to my son
  • Don’t use motherhood as an excuse (Umm technically check)
    • I didn’t but I still didn’t exercise regularly
    • I did maybe 3-4 workouts; progress but not my goal
  • Post updates every month on or after the 8th in order to hold myself accountable (Check)
    • Yup!! Though nothing has changed (well I don’t think so because I didn’t check)

 

About My Weight/Wait

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Yes, this is the 1st “before” picture I posted but I look the same so I figured why not be lazy and use this 😉

You read that correctly. I waited to write about my weight because I kept hoping I’d have amazing before and after photos. I’m still over the weight I want to be, look like my “before” picture(s) and haven’t seriously stuck to anything. I tired the 4 Hour Body, intermittent fasting and counting calories but I always allowed myself to make excuses; motherhood was my go to excuse (avoids eye contact with fit moms). I don’t have it figured out and I will keep trying things until I find something I like but until I find my happy healthy plan here are my stats and what I hope to achieve.

Actual Date: 10/8/2017

Weight: 230.6lbs

Measurements in inches

Chest: 44

R/L Arm: 15.75/ 15.5

Waist: 41

Hips: 50.5

R/L Thigh: 29.5/ 28.5

Goal(s):

  • Stick to some type of diet/ healthy meal plan
  • Read something other than children’s books
  • Don’t use motherhood as an excuse
  • Post updates every month on or after the 8th in order to hold myself accountable
    • I am considering posting weekly on my Instagram @jtm2015.wordpress so I don’t fall off of whatever wagon I’m on that week