Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Laptop shelf

My dear hubby made this great shelf for my work laptop in my home office where I work every day I'm not traveling for work. I needed to hide my ergonomic keyboard and mouse and...mission accomplished! What a great workspace I now have....and for so little!


  • Wood - 1/4 sheet MDF - $8.50
  • Paint $3.99
  • Wood Putty $2.99
  • Screws or nails

Monday, December 21, 2009

Eating Well Magazine

I am SO impressed with this magazine and the recipes in it! I can't wait til I'm done w/ comp prep and I can experiment with fun, healthy recipes! There are tons of recipes available online also without a subscription, though of course I recommend the subscription! They have menus on their site also....

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Truth About Online Anorexia (BBC)

Just thought I'd briefly share this documentary that is very interesting. I've been aware of these pro-ana websites for years....about a decade. The documentary calls these sites "new" but they are not new at all. When I was suffering from my eating disorder, I visited some of these sick pro-ana sites for inspiration. I understand that anorexia isn't just about food and exercise, or about a low body image. There is MUCH more to it! But, I feel and hope that by giving kids the tools they need to eat healthy and exercise appropriately in order to achieve or maintain a normal body weight and stay healthy, we can give kids some control over their weight the HEALTHY AND FIT way and maybe save some kids from this path. I think (and again hope) that if I had the tools back then my story might have been different, but I do not know!

I have done a great deal of research on eating disorders and a LOT of my research has led to the mothers of these girls (and boys) and their commentary being a HUGE factor in their childrens' anorexia!!! So, moms, be careful what you say around your children about yourselves and to your children about them and their weight.

Long story short, I want to bring these sites to the attention of my parent friends so they can be sure their teenagers (girls and boys) are not looking at these sites! Comments welcomed!!!! I'd love to hear what you all have to say!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Robin McGraw: Inside my heart (Choosing to live with passion and purpose)

I really enjoyed Robin's book and I think many of you will too. I try to find something to learn in every moment in my life and certain people have a lot to offer, especially people who have been through different phases in life ahead of me.

Robin shares advice and personal experience about being a wife and mother. She shares what worked for her and I found a lot to learn from her experiences. She is a more old-fashioned wife than we are used to seeing and hearing from today. Many modern women, I believe, are afraid to care for their husbands. I love Dr. Laura and Robin McGraw because of their philosophies about marriage and that women and men are different! Yes, folks, we're different! Some women may not like their philosophies, but I believe them and they work in my marriage and I think they're worth others reading. Take it or leave it! You'll be better for it if you read Robin's book and Dr. Laura's books.

I am including some of the things that resonated with me in this book.....

(p. 3) I declared my independence from the rigors of daily parenting and am now poised on the brink of a new and exciting phase of life. [speaking of the next phase of her life after her kids moved out]

(p. 3) I absolutely believe that in order for a woman to experience happiness, fulfillment, and peace, she needs to know two things: who she is, and who she is meant to be.

(p. 4) I want to get you excited about whatever phase of life you're in, excited about being a woman in this day and time, excited about being the woman that God created you to be.

(p. 9-10) Writing this book has required me to think about the choices I've made, and it has made me aware of the exhilarating power of living a life of my own choosing. I don't know how it happened, but as far back as I can remember, I've always known my life had a purpose, and I'e pursued that purpose with a passion. I have never thought of myself as a victim of circumstance; rather, I examined the circumstances I was in, evaluated their usefulness in my life, and used them as a blueprint for how I would build the life I wanted. I always pictured myself as the one person and the only force besides God who I could count on to design the life I wanted to live, and make it a reality. I knew I was meant to be a wife and mother, and I made it happen. I wanted a husband who didn't dink or gamble, and I made it happen. I wanted to take care of myself to remain vibrant and healthy for my family; and I made it happen.
[I finally found someone who put this philosophy that I live by into words that didn't appear spoiled...I know what I want, I find a way to get what I want....sounds spoiled. She puts it in a much better way showing that knowing what you want and going after it is OK! It's great! It's the way to be happy and no one should make you feel ashamed of having those things that you wanted, searched and worked to have! ]

(p. 10) My goal for this book is to tell everyone who reads it about the power of choosing her life rather than taking it as it comes along - not so you'll make the same choices I made, but so you can make the choices that are right for you.

(p. 14) As a matter of fact, yes honey, sometimes you do have "stupid" stamped on your forehead. [cracks me up because my dad asked me this all the time growing up...must have been a Southern thing...and I would have loved to have answered "as a matter of fact, yes" to his question many times]

(p. 18) As I said, it's all about choices, and I made the choice to be sure that I had a strong and clear voice that was heard, and that I was treated with dignity and respect by all three of the men in my life.

(p. 24) I firmly believe that how happy my sons are is a reflection of who I am and how well I did my job.

(p. 25) parents aren't raising kids, they're raising adults.

(p. 29) [hilarious story on page 29]

(p. 33) Accept him for the man he is, and accept yourself for the woman you are. Do not apologize for your feminine femininity is my strength...It's just that I don't feel a need to compete with him for dominance in our relationship.

(p. 36-7) And what makes them [men & husbands] happy is to be accepted. That is why I have chosen to bring a spirit of acceptance to my relationship with Phillip, and to embrace the differences between us rather than resist them. And that is why I don't think we should judge our husbands too harshly. We have to accept our mates' ways because that's what makes life interesting. I'll be coming back to this acceptance idea throughout the book, because it's such an important part of what makes our marriage work. I know now that just because Phillip loves me, doesn't mean he's supposed to think the way I do, or act the way I do, or know you're not supposed to put a thirty-five-dollar bath towel on the garage floor (or your wife in the trunk of your car). [see hilarious story on p. 29 for why that should be funny]

[excellent story in Chapter 3 preceding this quote] (p. 50-1) I learned a lot that night. Among other things, I learned that I would protect my children, my phone, and my family with all my might, just as my mother had done...My mother's womanly self-awareness was her ruby slippers: she knew she couldn't beat those men at their game, so she trashed the rules and created her own. It was one of the oldest strategies known to man, deployed by a woman ahead of her time. Even back then, my mother understood that sisterhood was far more powerful than a trio of drunken cowboys proving their manhood by carrying off a teenage girl's bedroom set. She knew that, in the sober light of morning, there weren't many wives who would conspire with their soused spouses to make off with another woman's furniture, poker game or not.

(p. 57) When it looks as if people have all this great stuff going on, it's only becuase it's right for them, and that's because they did their best to make it that's about figuring out what you want and making it happen. [Amen!]

(p. 57) [I live by this...] there were both good things and bad things about my father, and...I was going to let go of the bad and embrace the good.

(p. 57-8) My father often told my brother, "Women are to be respected; they are to be treated with dignity. We are only two men in this house with five women, and it is our job to protect them, to look out for them, and to always treat them with respect. Do not use foul language around them and do not walk into the room without a shirt on. Adore these women and respect who they are."

(p. 59) "Robin," [Phillip McGraw] said, "if I ever do anything to upset you, I want you to promise me two things. Number one, that you will tell yourself that I did not do it on purpose, becuase I'm going to tell you right now: I will never, ever do anything to hurt you on purpose; if I do hurt you, it's just that I didn't know what I said or did would upset you. So promise me you'll tell yourself, 'He didn't really know it would upset me.' Number two, promise that you'll just come and tell me what I've done, because if you tell me what I did, I can tell you right now, I will never do it again."

(p. 60) As much as we love our men, the one thing we need to love even more is ourselves.

(p. 64-5) There comes a time when you have to look deep within yourself and say, As good a person as I am, as kind as I am, as loving as I am, that's still not enough. I have to respect myself and do what it takes to be able to live my life in a way that makes me proud. As women, it is our responsibility to respect ourselves and do what it takes to live our lives in ways that make us proud. We need to live this truth every day.

(p. 68) My point is that women are born with gifts of discernment that we could, and should, use to get what we want out of life. But too many of us decline to use our gifts, accepting what comes our way rather than taking charge and making sure that what comes our way is what we want. I cannot count the women I know who feel they've been dealt a crummy hand, yet would rather play cards they've been given than demand new get what you ask for and that if you don't ask, you're going to end up settling for less than you want (and deserve).

(p. 81) I've always been the type that once I've made up my mind, that's it. I'm an all-or-nothing person, which in some ways is good and in some ways is bad. But, good or bad, I have strong convictions, and I stand by them.

(p. 83) I believe that God means for me to be an advocate for myslef, both in my marriage and every other aspect of my life.

(p. 92) To me, there's a huge difference between expecting happiness to come to you because you deserve it, and going out and getting the happiness you believe you deserve.

(p. 92-3) As soon as I know I want something to happen in my life, I start thinking and acting as if that much-desired thing is just around the corner, waiting for me to come and launch it into being...the Lord helps those who help themselves

(p. 94) And while I firmly believe in striving for a good life, I also believe you've got to recognize when you've got it good, and thank God for what you've got. I have a good life. I wake up every morning in my wonderful home and thank God for all the joy and abundance with which He has blessed me.

(p. 95) it was born in my heart and made real by my hands. I imagined it and made it happen. To me, there's nothing better.

(p. 110) she was gone because she didn't take care of herself [speaking of her mother...a huge lesson I'm learning young]

(p. 112-3) This person had the right to say it. But you have the right not to react to it....You can't control other people. You cannot control what they say, what they think, or what they do. People have the right to think and say whatever they want to. But you have the righ tnot to take it to heart, and not to react. "When you allow a person's words to upset you, you're giving away your power," [Dr. Phil] said..."You are giving someone else the power to control how you feel and how you think. You need to say, 'You have the right to say it and you have the right to think it. But I have the right to disagree: I have the right to not react; I have the right to continue to believe what I know is true."...The reason he has this calmness about him is because he is dismissing this person's comments as nonsense, and he thinks I should do the same. He was right. And from that day forward, I have always known that what other people think of me or say about me ought not influence what I know to be true about myself. To doubt myself because of others would be to hand over my power to them, and that is something I will not do. I never give my power away.

(p. 114) if you allow other people to erode your good opinion of yourself, you're giving them power over you.

(p. 114) I now enjoy a warm relationship with this person because I made the decision -- just as I did with my father -- to allow in only the positive aspects of the relationship and to reject the bad ones.

(p. 119-20) To this day, when there's a health issue I want to learn about, I go straight to the bookstore, sit on the floor, skim every book on the subject, and buy the ones I want to read. I shop in health food stores (you can learn a lot from the people who work there), talk with pharmacists (they know a lot about not only medications but also the doctors who prescribe them), and I read every magazine, newsletter, pamphlet, and periodical I can get my hands on that can help me keep myself and my loved ones healthy.

[another excellent story p. 120-5] Nor have I forgotten what I learned that day about the nature of love and mercy and forgiveness and their role in a working marriage.

(p. 126) And on the rare occasions when Phillip and I have a disagreement, I try to remind myself that an argument is really an opportunity to show my husband who I am. And believe me, I use all of those opportunities. It is an option every woman has, if only she will use it. It's your choice.

(p. 139) [This is one of the most important aspects of why our marriage is so great and something we learned in our pre-marital counseling through the Catholic church.] I think the success of a marriage is in large part based on the willingness of each partner to do what it takes to meet the other's needs.

(p. 141) Here's this woman doing the opposite of what her husband wants so he won't think he can control her, whereas if she would wait for him to come home, crawl up in his lap and flirt with him, she'd have him hooked better than anything in that cooler of his.

(p. 141) he'll ask the husband if it's important that his wife feel proud of him. The husband, always, always says yes....the husband always admits that he's hurt because his wife doesn't respect him and what he does for her and their family.

(p. 142) But I've got to tell you that y'all's opinion doesn't mean a thing to me unless she...[Dr. Phil nods toward Robin McGraw] proud of me and thinks I'm doing a good job. That's all I care about.

(p. 145) But for us, commitment granted freedom to the marriage: freedom for both of us to not only be our true selves, but to speak the truth about who we were and what we needed without worrying that either one of us would walk out over a thoughtless remark or a stack of unmailed thank-you notes in a tennis bag. For us, commitment was liberating, not confining, because it promised certainty and coninuity that was both comforting and necessary.

(p. 146) I believe that good marriages aren't born, they're made---and they're made over time by an ongoing process of loving, unselfish negotiation...we've done it by negotiating our differences...Who ever said marriage is romantic? Marriage is about partnership, sharing, cooperation, and compromise. Sure, romance is in there, too, but it tends not to surface unless the other components are in place. And they're not going to fall into place easily and peacefully all the time. Sometimes you have to advocate for yourself in a relationship, which means figuring out what your needs are in a given situation and having the conviction to be honest with your partner about it.

(p. 148-9) Just because Phillip and I came together as a couple doesn't mean that we love all the same're not the same person as your husband; why expect him to like all the same things you do?...He is supportive of anything I want to do that brings me joy, and I am supportive of anything he does that brings him joy.... That's who he is, and I don't want him to give up an important part of himself because he's married to me.

(p. 149-50) [This is for you, Shawna, and some of my pilot wife friends] In a marriage, you have to do what works. We have always eaten dinner late--eight o'clock or later--because Phillip gets off work, plays tennis for a couple of hours, comes home, showers, and only then do we eat. When the boys were little, I never put them to bed early...It was important to me that our sons have time with their father every day, so I had them take naps at five o'clock and woke them up at seven-thirty, right before Phillip got home, so he could play with them for a while.

(p. 150) Phillip never told me he wanted the kids to be awake when he got home because that would be invading my motherly turf-- something he has never done. I don't think he ever changed a diaper or woke up in the middle of the night with a crying child because that's the way I wanted it. He did wake up once and wander over to Jay's crib when he was crying and I shooed him back to bed because his job was to work during the day to support the family; mine was to care for the family so he could focus on work. That was our agreement when we got married and we were both satisfied with the terms....Phillip has never complained about being the sole breadwinner in our family, and I have never felt resentful, put-upon, or exploited because I was responsible for the childcare and housework: those are things that I am good at, and things I love to do. Had I felt overwhelmed or unhappy at any point I would ahve renoegotaited the terms of our husband has always shown his appreciation for what I do. Appreciation is a big component of a successful marriage.

(p. 155) The simple act of turning your consciousness away from your own inner world to connect with your partner's is a great gift to a relationship; in fact, it's the essence of relationship. You've got to be willing to put energy into listening to your partner--not just hearing, but really listening--so you can pick up signals he's sending out about what he needs to be happy. And you've also got to be willing to send out some signals yourself that enable your partner to make you happy.

[Chapter 7 has a great story about trusting your instincts as a mother] (p. 180) But you have to stand up for yourself. You can't stand by passively and ignore your maternal, womanly instincts in this or any other kind of challenging situation. You can't let somebody go poking around on your baby's arm or leg or anywhere else. Again, you can't let anyone tell you something about anything in your life without thinking, feeling, and acting in accordance with your instincts and knowledge. It's not about being stubborn, hardheaded or close-minded; it's about listening to yourself and trusting what you hear.

Ok, to be honest, I'm moving onto my next task and I'm sick of typing so read the rest of the book. The last few chapters have some other wonderful things in them about motherhood.

A must read!!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Progress Pics

November 13, 2009

This is my first butt pic so please be nice :) I plan to show my befores (which are GREAT befores..if you know what I mean) when I have a great after...this will be the in between. It's funny that you can see my left arm in the middle picture has a "farmer's tan" or "driving arm" from driving so much lately - including the 5 hour drive to get there on my business trip....all the way in the sun. Oops!

I feel as though I've maintained the last few weeks which I know is a great's hard to maintain, but as hard as I've worked I hope to see more results. I have done it to myself though...last week was so rough at work and with my final masters paper due and being called out of town last minute on a business trip, it was all I could do to stick to my diet and get some sleep. I will do a better job next week as my masters paper was turned in and I can spend those extra hours in the gym!

Check back with me in a few weeks.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Progress and Update

October 26, 2009

Yes, that's an ugly bruise from lifting....I banged a weight into myself....and that's what happens!
I must say that I'm not proud of my results this last month...I've maintained! I did really well the week of my brother's wedding, but the 2nd week of my husband's homecoming....I cheated...a LOT. Once I started, I didn't stop. I tried all the good food in Chicago and was a really, really bad student at that point. My trainer would be and probably is disappointed. As soon as I got home, I got back on track from day 1 and I have maintained my weight loss, but obviously the progress I could have made....I didn't. It was a waste of a month because I'm still maintaining. You can see if you compare my progress pic with the last few that it's pretty similar.

I'm also struggling with my back still. It got worse than it's ever been last week, but then it got better. I think being in the car on my business trip all week did the most harm, so I think that's why I'm feeling better now that I'm home. I'm not sure. I did well last week on my business trip and stuck to my diet but missed 2 cardio workouts due to the amount of hours I was working. So, again, back on track this week. I'm not being too hard on myself for the past, but am using it as a reason NOT to cheat at all and NOT to make any excuses TODAY....or TOMORROW. I can excuse last week, but I can't excuse today.

I have an MRI scheduled today. Hopefully I'll get some answers, but the best thing is that I'm starting to feel better, let's hope that progress in the right direction (healing) continues!

A peak at our Chicago trips...

A peak at my brother's wedding.....

Thursday, September 24, 2009


* Thursday, September 24, 2009 *
Yes, my hair is straight-ish! Thought I'd change it up a bit w/ the Chi ceramic flat iron!

Progress is going to my brother's wedding, with all of my family there, eating out every meal and sticking to my pre-cooked meals and workouts!!!! I am really proud of myself for sticking to it and doing so well! Everytime throughout this process that I have done something I never thought I could do, it has been great! I'm learning so much about what I'm capable of and it's awesome!

I also felt awesome at the wedding. I didn't feel bloated or controlled by food. I didn't feel pissed that my clothes wouldn't fit. I didn't have to dress around the possibility that I might eat carbs and get so bloated that I'd have to cover up. I felt great. I didn't have to wear Spanx to the wedding and I felt comfortable in my own skin at the alter and in all of the pictures. It was a great experience AND I know that I only have further to go in my leaning out and will only feel BETTER in the coming months. What a cool place to be??!!!

I did discover that when I'm tired, it's like being drunk and I lose my ability or ease to control what I eat! I was drunk dialing Domino's when I got home! I'm trying not to beat myself up but good grief it was like an out of body experience and when I woke up the next day I couldn't believe what I'd done. Moving on.....

The only pic I have so far of the wedding week - at the rehearsal dinner with my brother!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

UPDATE & Progress Pics

September 10, 2009

May 7, 2009 * June 3, 2009 * September 10, 2009

May 7, 2009 * June 3, 2009 * September 10, 2009

I spaced this morning and turned the wrong way....oops!
I'm seeing some GREAT changes lately...the last few weeks. I don't think I'm quite ready to post my back shots yet. It's looking much better (my ass that is) but not quite there yet.

I thought it'd be fun to show how far I've come since May b/c there are some SERIOUS changes since then. I'm loving taking these 2 week pics b/c it's easy to be in denial but when looking back I can't help but think NEVER again!!!

I'm hoping to be ready by April! We'll see...I'm taking it one week at a time. I really thought this process would be quicker but I'm learning how it works and I'm learning about myself and I wouldn't change this experience for anything ! It's been great! No more time to bulk before the show, but I'm adding muscle and strength while cutting so I think I'll be ok! I'm stoked about my shoulders so I'm thinking by April, I won't be disappointed in my size, but we'll see!!

I had my first refeed this week. I was terrrified!!! I was freaked out to eat carbs at each of my six meals yesterday! I even emailed Erik after Meal 2 and asked him if I really had to finish out the day! Really??? I didn't notice a fatty staring back at me in the mirror this morn! I am so amazed that I didn't look bloated all day or today after that! Again, I'm learning SO much about this whole process!

Off to do my cardio....yuck!!! Good news is that I'm wearing shorts to the gym. Crazy for ME to wear SHORTS! I'm feeling really good and can't wait to see even more changes!! I'm so excited!! Can you tell?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Progress Update

7/11/09 * 8/27/09

7/11/09 * 8/27/09

I haven't done a before and after in a while. I don't see that many changes, but a's happening. I am a little pink from the tanning bed...trying to get tan for my big brother's wedding in a few weeks. We'll see if I can get tan enough by then! I am seeing a difference in my quad sweep/size on the side shots and I'm seeing my shoulders pop more and my waist a bit trimmer in the front shots. I feel like I just can't get the fat off my middle and lower half!!! I can't wait to see the finished product months down the road. I will be amazed I'm sure and feel like I'm in someone else's body - or maybe I feel like, finally, this is the body I always thought I had! I wonder when the cellulite will disappear! Ugh...I have a ways to go!!! I'll just keep trucking along!

I'm finally down to 151....After bulking I got up as high as 167, so I'm down to 151. Haven't moved the scale too quickly but I have seen changes in the way my clothes fit and inches. The last month or so I've lost 2 inches on my butt and an inch on my waist....not too much but noticeable. I still feel really strong in the gym and feel like I'm gaining strength/mass, definitely maintaining my hard-earned muscle and I'm still losing fat on top of that! So, I'm getting the best of both worlds...and I'm rarely hungry.

My back is getting a little better. I'm feeling much better than I was a month ago so it's healing...takes time!!!! Let's hope that's it for sports injuries for a while!

Thanks so much for all of your support!! I'm really excited about getting even leaner and I can't wait to see a 6 pack!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Habits and Update

Today, August 23, 2009 about 8 p.m.

I have been lazy lately with blogging....I'm sorry!!! I took this photo an hour or so ago and thought I'd at least give you a bit of an update. I have been wondering lately if what I'm doing now is becoming a habit or if I'll be so sick of it next year after my comp that I'll rebel and go back to my old ways...say it ain't so! I really hope this is becoming a habit for me.

I can see me later in life with kids, packing up my lunch and snacks and packing up lunches and snacks for my toddler(s) to go out on the town for the day. We'll see. I hope that I don't make my kids crazy with all of my obsessions and preoccupations about weight. That's a topic for another day...moms who have any advice about this....please share!!!

Still truckin' along on my plan with cutting. I'm seeing changes, slowly but surely. Erik has me with no cheat meals for 2 weeks to try to see more results. I really think my cheats were affecting my results. I decided to change my mental theory on them. Rather than planning for them all week and really feeling like I deserved everything I'd craved ALL week in one sitting, I'm not planning a cheat at all, but rather waiting until I truly crave something and if on a training day (a day I can have carbs) and it's been at least a week....if I truly cannot live w/o it...I'll have a CONTROLLED cheat....really truly controlled!!! This is a work in progress for me! But, I'm doing better and as I always is a journey!

Those of us who do this are crazy, yes, but motivated and we keep our routine day in day out, week in week out, month after month, some year after year. I think that exercise is a part of my life now that I could not live without...well, I should say lifting....I can probably live without cardio. Though I think I will get a bike during or after this comp and may enjoy road biking...we'll see. I hope that this diet will also be part of my life after this comp. It is quite easy to keep it up...maybe with a little bit more relaxation and some family dinners that aren't on my "plan."

MY BACK - It's getting better though it's not totally better yet. I had an xray and found out it's musculature, so glad to know there's nothing wrong with my spine or discs!!! But, as you all know, sports injuries take time to heal and I'm working on healing right now. It just takes time and Erik has been great about adjusting my workouts to do what doesn't hurt for the time being....don't get me new workouts are kicking my BUTT!!! WOOHOO!!! LOVE IT!!!

Keep up your routines and make them habit!!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

For Caroline and her Mommy

(That was the best video I could find, so I suggest clicking on the link above and listening to the recorded version. The sound quality is better.)

I LOVE this song! Since the first time I heard this song, it's made me happy! I used to listen to it during my last job when I was miserable and remember why I was working so hard....for my husband, our future, and our future "little blond haired" children.

Now that my BFF has had her first baby, Baby Caroline, I am in love with this kid and I haven't even met her yet. Now this song makes me teary...yes, me! who never cries!! I still see myself in the movie playing in my head, but instead I'm teary seeing Caroline as the "little blond haired" kid and my BFF and hubby as the two "dancing in the living room". So, I'm sure it'll make my BFF teary, since I'm hearing she's crying at Walmart commercials including mom & daughter.

For you, with love, Caroline and your mommy!!!

I know you hate country music, but get over it for 3 minutes!!! :)

"I Love My Life" (Jamie O'Neal)

Her little blond hair's blowin', she's swingin' while her daddy's mowin'
The grass, and the dog needs a bath
But he's chasing the cat up a tree
I'm lookin' out the window, happy just watching my world go round
And I think to myself, how lucky can a girl be

I've got everything, more than I ever dreamed
I love my life
I thank God for all I have
And that I love this man
Who loves his wife
I love my life
I love my life

Twenty kisses goodnight, turn the little butterfly night light on,
'til the monster is gone and she's finally fallen asleep
We tiptoe downstairs, cuddle up and we kiss in the big chair
and I smile and you whisper, now it's just you and me

I've got everything, more than I ever dreamed
I love my life
I thank God for all I have
And that I love this man
Who loves his wife
I love my life
I love my life

Blue and pink in the nursery
Gold and silver anniversaries
Dancing in the living room
Our little girl, and me and you

I've got everything, more than I ever dreamed
I love my life
I thank God for all I have
And that I love this man
Who loves his wife
I love my life
I love my life

Friday, August 7, 2009


I saw the author, Jordan Matter, on the news the other day promoting the release of his new book, "Uncovered" and the part of his interview that caught my attention was not that he was photographing naked, topless women in public, but rather what he was saying about how the women felt about their bodies.

Jordan Matter is a photographer and usually photographs models, who, as he said, are supposed to be the epitome of beauty in our society, right? We all, meaning women, look at these women and aspire to be like them? Or at least at some point in our lives we have done this. And, he said that it made an impact on him that these women, the epitome of beauty in our society, all hated parts of their body and asked him, the photographer, to not shoot the left side of their nose or their fat thighs. Fill in the blanks, they all have the same insecurities that you do!

I also thought it was interesting that most of the women didn't want to get dressed too quickly after being naked in the streets!!! :) One of my favorite photos that was previewed was that of his wife very pregnant and in her bathrobe....very cute! There are a few other pregnant women in this book.

There was also a controversial photo of a child playing in a pool that he put in the book only to pose the question, at what point do women need to start wearing shirts and covering up their chests?

Take a look at the link below, you can see a sneak peak of his book on his site...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

WOW! The Shake Weight! Where can I get one?

I stole this from one of my favorite bloggers..... Muscle and the City

All I have to say! If only it were that easy.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wedding Dance - SO CREATIVE!

They have disabled embedding of their video so click on the link above for great fun. What an original idea!!! What fun!!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Update Pic

I'm sick!!! This is the first time in 11 months that I have been sick with a cold or sinus infection and I didn't miss it when the last 11 months!! I feel awful and hope it gets better soon. This is miserable and I have too much to do to be feeling crappy! I'm hoping that I don't lose any ground by being sick for a few days.

I asked Shawna of styleberryPHOTO to take my photo after the gym the day before I got sick. I never flex my left shoulder enough when I'm not in front of a mirror....I'll have to work on that!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Take your lunch in style

I am so excited about this lunch tote/cooler bag I found in the latest Crate and Barrel catalog! I just ordered mine and I can't wait. Now, i won't stand out quite as much when I'm always carrying my cooler around!! Genius!!! I never leave the house without food and I always take an extra meal beyond what I think I'll need and I usually need it!!

I might have to get a second one. I got the teal to go with my blue Coach bag, though I maybe should have gotten the black....but I thought it might be a wee bit boring! :) Trying to add a little color to my life!

Order yours here


I asked Shawna of styleberryPHOTO to take this photo for me to show how small this bag is. It works for a lunch, or a few meals but not much more than that. It's pretty small. We both thought that this was a shoulder bag almost, but it's pretty small. The bag I take now has room for food, 2 cooler packs and a huge water bottle. This is still more stylish for around town, or one errand, but I'll stick to my huge backpack for all day road trips. Just thought I'd update you after I received my purchase!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I'm totally addicted to Alias!!! I'm only on Season 1 (Gotta love Netflix!!!) so DON'T SPOIL it for me if you have seen them all. As always, I dig a tough female lead and of course Garner is a tough and lean female lead! Great show!

Little Black Dress

Oxygen Magazine

I love this idea!!! I have my brother's wedding as my short term goal in Sept but of course my comp next year is the long term goal for me in general. It's nice to have a short term goal or a realistic goal of a moment that you want to look excellent to keep you on track when you want to fall off!!!

Progress Pics (A Little Late)

June 4, 2009 ~ July 11, 2009
Sorry these are backwards! I'm really bad at getting the same shots each week.
I can definitely see the difference a few pounds makes in my abs!! Woohoo!!!

So the last few weeks have been crazy. My parents were in town to visit, my mom for 2 weeks because she's a teacher and can do that over the summer. As you all know I'm also busy working full time and getting my masters! My trainer has added in a few more cardio sessions (not many) but I haven't been religious with getting them done this last week. I am proud of my progress because I cheated a few more times than I should have while my parents were in town and for my birthday and I haven't done all of my cardio, but I still have results!!!!

June 18, 2009 ~ July 11, 2009
Don't pay attention to my mean farmer's tan! I'll have to get rid of that before my brother's wedding in September!!

I'm down another couple of pounds. I'm 2 pounds or more lighter than my last pics in each of those photos as of today! Woohoo! So, I'm still seeing progress, even though I have not been as strict as I know I should have been! I know that I could be seeing more results if I was sticking to the plan more week! I will also be out of town for around 9-10 days coming up so that will be a bit of a challenge, and I'm thinking I might skip my cheat today to make up for it. It's been 9 days or so since I've had a cheat and I'm doing ok! I have weak moments, but they pass!

June 18, 2009 ~ July 2, 2009 ~ July 11, 2009
Not feeling this most recent pic of me on the far right...looks like my hips are a bit softer than in weeks prior. I'm not sure if it's the angle or what! I'm at least 2 pounds down from the other 2 photos, so who knows. I feel better and know I'm losing, even if my photos aren't worthy of a magazine and even if I'm not ready to get on stage yet!

I'm really having peace about this whole transformation process. It is SUCH a process! I'm enjoying the process. I'm learning that I can do it and that it's not that tough. I'm leaerning so much about myself and resisting temptation. It's a crazy thing to know I CAN DO IT! I'm gaining the tools I need for later in life to maintain my weight the healthy way and teach those tools to my future children. I'm learning that it takes a great deal of time to lean out at this point but that it CAN be done if you stick to the plan.


It's Never Too Late

I like this quote because I often look back and wonder what life would be like if I would have started this process earlier towards competition. But, that's the wrong attitude. The point is that I've started now! The point is that life is a journey and the tools that I'm learning daily will help me with the rest of my life. The point is that our lives are a plan and each day builds on the next and each part of life is an important part that prepares you for the next.

It's never too late to do what you've always dreamed of and be who you've always known yourself to be!!!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Standing Still

I got an email this morning from SparkPeople and loved this quote. I love this saying because I think there's even more meaning with weight loss and fitness goals. Sometimes even standing still is better than quitting or going backward and gaining weight back. Sometimes standing still, maintaining weight loss and fitness goals, is tough!!!! It appears that is where America fails....we can ALL lose weight but can we keep it off? Can we stand still and maintain our weight loss? That still takes a lot of work and effort (and self control)! That still takes exercise and a maintanence level of calories.

For me, I'm struggling with how slowly the progress is happening but that's what happens when you lose it for good! When you lose it the right way it takes time. When you lose fat and not muscle it's a slow process! I'm working hard and succeeding at enjoying the process....I hope you can too!!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


June 18, 2009 ~ in a hotel for work....excuse the background!
Please also forgive the morning hair and no makeup ~ it was 6 am and this is right after getting out of bed at my hotel (I was traveling for work)!

I was at the gym the other day and a man asked me a question about working out....this happens now and then. I usually refer people to the BFL book or answer their questions about what I do, if it relates or if I can give a short answer. This time, though, he said to me that he works out harder when I am in the gym because he always sees me busting my a$$!!!

Me??? Inspiring others to work harder in the gym??!!! That is the coolest thing!!!! So, think of that while you're in the gym ladies, even if others don't say it....they may be thinking it! It's nice to know that not only am I doing a great thing for myself by being at the gym, but to know that I may be motivating others while there is just icing on the, no icing at the gym :(.

I'm pretty happy with my results so far with Lean Bodies Consulting. I wish they had come faster, of course. And, I feel like had I worked harder or been stricter with my diet or cheats that it would have come faster. Regardless, I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of continued results during this cut. Thanks so much for all of your support! I truly appreciate it.

And, the BFL Challenge that I organized for the wives is starting on Monday!!!! If anyone wants to join with us for the fun of doing a challenge, it starts Monday, June 22, 2009!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Progress Pics - Another 2 weeks

Left June 4 * Right June 18

Left May 21 * Middle June 4 * Right June 18
I added an extra picture because of my "stance" I changed it from week to week by accident!

I apologize for the background in these images...I was out of town for business when I took them. I had to adapt. I did the best I could without a camera tripod, using the counter in the hotel room!

I am so excited about my results this 2 weeks. I really see that my waist is trimming. My thighs are leaning out a bit, but I have a ways to go before my jeans will fit. I'm still one size up in my jeans and pants for now. I'm getting much closer though and I'm pretty confident that I will be able to wear my pants again once I lean out. I know I have bulked up a lot in my lower half but I'm hoping that I still have a lot of fat to lose so I can wear my old clothes again soon!!!

I was really worried about my results this week because after my cheat meal last Saturday (full of carbs and sugar as usual) I gained 9, yes NINE, pounds overnight. I'm sure it was only water weight but I've never heard of NINE POUNDS OVERNIGHT!!! Every day after, it was slowly coming down, 2-3 pounds a day but part of my brain said, OMG...I ruined it in one meal!!! I talked to my trainer and he's perplexed as well, it seems. He thinks it might be hormonal....he's probably right! The human body, especially the female body, is amazing!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My new iPhone background

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Cottonelle Puppy Gets Pampered commercial

As the proud owner of a "retriever" I have to admit that I love all ads and commercials with retrievers in them....labs or goldens. So, when I saw this commercial I thought it was adorable. I know it has nothing to do with Fitness but it has something to do w/ me...FITori :)

Israeli woman mistakenly junks $1 million mattress

By IAN DEITCH, Associated Press Writer Ian Deitch, Associated Press Writer – Wed Jun 10, 3:32 pm ET

JERUSALEM – An Israeli woman mistakenly threw out a mattress she said had almost $1 million inside, setting off a frantic search through tons of garbage at a number of landfill sites on Wednesday. The woman told The Associated Press that she bought her elderly mother a new mattress as a surprise present on Monday — and threw out the old one.

The next day, she said, she remembered that she had hidden her life savings inside the old mattress. "I woke up in the morning screaming, when it hit me what happened," said the Tel Aviv woman, who asked not to be identified.

She went to look for the mattress, but it had already been hauled away by garbage collectors, she said. Searches at three different landfill sites turned up nothing.

She said the money was in U.S. dollars and Israeli shekels. She refused to say how she acquired such a large sum. "It was all my money in the world," she said. There was no way to verify her claims, and she refused to disclose key details.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he was not familiar with the case and no report had been filed.

The Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot published a picture of the woman searching through garbage at a dump in southern Israel. The picture shows the woman, dressed in a white top and black pants with her back to the camera, picking through a huge pile of trash that fills the frame about 10 feet (3 meters) in all directions.

Yitzhak Borba, the dump manager, told Army Radio that his staff was helping the woman, saying she appeared "totally desperate." He said the mattress was hard to find among the 2,500 tons of garbage that arrives at the site every day.

He said he increased security at the site to keep would-be treasure hunters away.

The woman said the money had been stashed in a mattress because she had had "traumatic experiences with banks" in the past. She would not elaborate.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

My Hair Throughout the Years

Childhood 1

Childhood 2

Childhood 3

Middle School

High School 1

High School 2

High School 3

High School 4

College 1

College 2

College 3

College 4

College 5

Engagement Pics ~ Summer 2004

Wedding ~ September 2004


2005 - 2006 A

2005 - 2006 B

January 2008

February 2008

March / April 2008

Summer 2008 A

Summer 2008 B

Fall 2008 A

2008 - 2009

I have a friend from college who did an album like this and it was the coolest thing!! I wanted to do the same, but as always, I'd LOVE feedback from you ladies!! What do you think on length and color? I'm thinking I need to keep growing my hair out for my competition next year. I also think that with a tan on stage, that blond will be the best. I also plan to stick with my curls on stage, because that's me! What about with my pale skin??!!! Should I stick with my natural color or add some more blond? I added some blond but feel like I need to add more blond to make it show up with my curls. Keep in mind the tan vs pale differences when critiquing the images!





About This Blog

I am Tori (FITori) and welcome to my blog!!!

I created this blog from the encouragement of my best friend who pushed me to start a blog about my passion, which I am always talking about! It started as a way to inspire others the way I have been inspired and to share what inspires me. I also want to share with you what I have learned through my years of research on health and fitness.

For me, this blog is a great place for me to document my fitness journey. I decided to compete this year, but have transferred that goal to next year so that I can bulk and compete in Figure. This blog is my accountability and hopefully I can get some advice and tips along the way. I am hoping that I can learn from you all also as I post what I am learning along the way. If I am wrong or there is advice for me, I want it! I want your theories. What are you doing differently?

I'm also looking for accountability to keep this up and inspiration from you all. I read your blogs and get inspired and knowing you're reading mine keeps me going!

Thank you for your support!!! Let me know if you have any special requests for blog posts!


    follow me on Twitter

      © Free Blogger Templates 'Photoblog II' by 2008

    Back to TOP