Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Stats

If you want to see pics you can click here, but do so at your own risk!

As of yesterday:

Weight: 312
BMI: 51.9 (Obese)

Measurements: (I'm only going to update this once a month)

Waist: 53"
Hip: 55"
Thigh: 19"
Arm: 18"

Interestingly enough, I looked back at my OLD myspace blog and compared my measurements when I was 313 lbs. back in June '08. They are exactly the same except my thigh was two inches bigger back then. I wonder what that's all about?

Oh well! I had a great day today. Ate all of my points and spent 45 minutes on the eliptical machine. Feels good!


In the education field, we are taught to "Begin with the end in mind". So, we know that by the end of the year, each one of our students are to have mastered the TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills) for that particular grade level.

My first year of teaching, I had to complete a project within the first few weeks of the school year using backwards design. I had to take the TEKS and plan out the ENTIRE year. If the students were going to have to be able to do long division by the end of the year, what did I need to teach first, next, and so on. It was an incredible undertaking, but it actually made my life SO much easier. I didn't have to focus on what they had to do in the end, I could focus on this week, this day.

So, last night at my WW meeting, we were talking about goals and my leader used this acronym:

S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Attainable
R- Realistic
T- Timely

And I started to really relate my personal goals to what I did as a teacher and making goals for my students.

So, goal #1 from my 30-before-30 list is to lose 100 pounds by my 30th birthday. Let's check it out to see if it's a good goal or not:

1. Is it specific? Yes.
2. Is it measurable? Yes.
3. Is it attainable? Well, this is where it starts to kind of get questionable. So, let's break it down. I have 47 weeks (almost 48) until my 30th birthday. If I divide 100 by 47, that's 2.13 pounds per week. Plus, I usually lose over 5 pounds a week for the first month or so that actually brings it down to below 2 pounds a week after that. So, it is attainable- Yes.
4. Is it realistic? Hmmm, I really don't know. Keep reading as I break this question down.
5. Is it timely? Yes.

Now as for realistic... My first gut instinct is to say no, but I think that's because I'm looking at 100 pounds and feeling the stress of such a big goal.

So, that brings me back to the topic of the WW meeting. We used the analogy of taking a trip, and it really hit home for me.

Just this past weekend, I made the long drive from Corpus Christi, TX to the little bitty town of Spur, TX (ESE of Lubbock). It's a 7.5-8 hour drive, but I can't think about it as an 8 hour drive or I just don't want to do it. Instead, I think of it as a series of goals:

First, I just have to make it to San Antonio (Boerne to be exact) and that's only 2.5 hours. We get out and stretch, walk the dogs, and generally take our time before we get back on the road.

Then our next goal is to make it to Eden, TX. It's another 2 hours and they have places to eat lunch, so once again we take our time and take a break before we hop in the car for the next leg of the trip.

Our next stop is in Sweetwater, TX and then the last leg of the trip until we get to Spur. And that last leg of the trip can take the longest just because we know that we're getting close, so eventhough we don't stop again, we have all of these little landmarks that we look for as we got along (call them mini-goals if you'd like). The other thing that I do during the whole trip is think about what's at the end of the trip, which is my family. And isn't that the REAL goal? It's not just to land in Spur, TX. It's to be with the people that I love.


What if I take this big goal, and break it down into pieces that feel manageable to me. Like, can I lose 2 pounds this week? Yes, I feel very confident that I can.

Is it realistic for me to think that I can lose 2 pounds this week? Yes, it is.

So, there you go. And later on, as it gets tougher, I may have to adjust my goal, but that's ok. If I drove all the way to Sweetwater and got a flat, would I turn all the way around and go back home? No. I would have to take some time and deal with the situation and then continue forward. (AND THAT RIGHT THERE FOLKS HAS BEEN MY BIGGEST ISSUE)

Life is going to happen and get in the way and I've got to give myself some slack. This does not have to be a perfect process. Because in the end, is the 100 pounds my REAL goal? No. I want to be healthier and happier, I want to have a family, I want to treat my body as a temple. Those are the real goals and they are so much more important than the number.

Monday, December 21, 2009

2 Down, 28 to Go!

A few weeks ago (ok, so almost a month ago) I shared my 30-before-30 list with the whole world- embarassing #30 and all. (Hey, I'm nothing if not honest, right? ... Right?)

And then I seem to have pretty much fallen off the face of the planet. Ok, so that isn't exactly true. (hmmm, maybe not as honest as I thought.)

The truth is that the last month has been incredible, and I've just been so busy going through it that I haven't stopped to document it. Which really, is kind of a bad idea.

So, this is my attempt today! I have some triumphant news to share with you! I can officially check off two items from my checklist!

But first I must interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for this special announcement:

I know what you're thinking! She cheated! She put those two things on the list knowing that she was about to do them! I know how you think. How dare you judge my list lest your list be judged. Um, you have a list, right? Right.

You will have to stand corrected though because this list was started quite a while before my birthday and both items were on there LONG before the trip to Salt Lake City and items #28 and 29 are totally unrelated. Yes, you are right, Mormons do not drink coffee or tea (herbal tea is ok), but no they do not have anything against sodas in moderation.

I on the other hand do have something against them. For a while now, caffeine has made me feel bad. It makes me swell up and my kidneys hurt, so I don't drink it anymore. Ok, so I had two slip ups since my birthday with Coke Zero, but I didn't finish them and they were while I was weening off. I can tell you today that I am officially OVER caffeine. Seriously.

As for #29, we are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The baptism and confirmation were amazing ceremonies, and I cried many tears of joy. I feel so incredibly blessed. I also received a very specific message about what God wants from me which is very exciting. I don't think I could effectively describe what has happened without diminishing it, so I'll just leave it at that.

As for all of the other goals, I'm getting back on track and making a plan of action. Those details are soon to come!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What Comes Next?

I wish my life were like this-

But it's a lot more like this-
I've got to stop repeating this pattern. I've got to be able to hit stumbling blocks without it becoming a catastrophe. I've got to be able to move forward, but truly to do that I've got to forgive myself for being human and imperfect. I've got to stop telling myself what I've got to do.
Let it go, Brandi. Accept yourself. Love yourself. It's ok.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fire Drill

If you wanna know what this is all about you can go back and read this blog or just check out FlyLady's Beginner BabySteps.

Day 6: Hot Spots!

- Getting Dressed to lace up shoes
- Keeping our sink shining
- Going to Big Tent and reading messages
- Looking at our posted reminders in the kitchen and bathroom
- Recognizing the negative voices when you hear them and changing the words to be nice to you. That is what FLYing (Finally Loving Yourself) is all about.

Today we are going to learn about Hot Spots. We all have them. Here is a link on our website to read the definition of a Hot Spot.

Now I want you to set your timer for 2 minutes and lets practice putting out your Hot Spot. You don’t have to work till you have finished; just do what you can in 2 minutes. Put your bills in one place. This will keep you from having to search for them.

This is one of our worst hot spots:

Our coffee table is like the epicenter of our home. We eat here (no dining table), we use our laptops here, and we drop all of our junk here! And it's really hard to do all of those things there when it is usually covered with junk. So, we set the timer (yes, I said we because the hubs wanted to help) and two minutes later, this is what we had:
Seriously. Two minutes. For real.

Granted, it wasn't that bad to begin with, but it just goes to show that you don't need a lot of time to make a big impact. It is an area that is constantly going to be a hot spot, but I know I'll just need to spend 2 minutes and it'll be clean and clutter free!

P.S. Did you see that blue thing in the first picture? That's where I keep all of our bills/important info. like our monthly budget.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Big News

I have some big news that I want to share today. I'm a little bit nervous about sharing this information just because I'm not sure how it will be received, but I want you to know that I am full of joy and hopefully that will be enough.

So, it all started with a little trip to Salt Lake City...

On the last night of our visit, we finally made time to go visit Temple Square. If you are not familiar with the Temple Square, it is basically the epicenter of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (aka Mormon or LDS Church). We had driven around the square several times and were taken by the beauty, but we kept putting a visit off. It is all open to the public (except for the Temple itself). We really didn't know what to expect and just planned to walk around a bit and then go back and pack up to leave the next morning.

We ended up talking to two of the sisters for a while and Havie shared with him that he had grown up in the Mormon church. His mother was Catholic and his father was Mormon, so they switched back and forth every weekend growing up. When his mom passed from Cancer, he basically lost all of his faith. However, he had a feeling that night that he was supposed to return to the church. He asked the sisters to send missionaries to visit with him. They walked us over to the auditorium where we got to listen to the organist practicing. I have to admit that I was curious. I felt a presence and peace that I couldn't deny.
Havie asked me if I would be willing to look into the church with him, and I told him that I would. I had never seen my husband like this before, how could I not be open to learning more? I have to admit though, that I was very skeptical. I thought that I knew what the Mormon church was about and I couldn't imagine that I would be able to buy into it.

Fast forward a few weeks, and we were visited by two of the local missionaries. They brought such a message of love into our home. They dispelled some of my biggest misconceptions that night, but the biggest thing that happened was they asked us to pray. To ask God to let us know that the words they were saying to us were true. And they promised that if we asked with sincere hearts, we would receive a message. And we did.

The last few weeks, we have been immersed in the word of God. We have been meeting with the missionaries several times a week for lessons as well as going to church on Sunday. I've had moments of serious doubt- of fear. But I've also had moments of pure love. I've realized that this is my path, and we have set a date of baptism for the 19th of December.

I don't want you to think that I'm going to become some brainwashed ultra-religious person. I am still going to be me. I just have the greater purpose and path that I've always been seeking. I will be sharing some of this spiritual journey from time to time, but I will continue to mostly blog about the same things I have been.

If you have questions, I would love to answer them or at least find the answer if I don't know it yet. Regardless of your own personal religious inclinations, I hope that you can respect that faith is a personal journey, as I do for you.

Do you Hear What I Hear?

I was exhausted yesterday afternoon for some reason, and wound up taking a SUPER long nap. I woke up in a panic later than evening because I almost slept through the night without shining the sink/doing a bunch of other stuff I needed to do, but I walked into the kitchen and what did I see?

Well, a shiny sink! The hubs so sweetly decided to take it upon himself to do it since I was resting. Truly Awww inducing. I didn't even know he had noticed anything different was going on other than me asking him to keep his dishes loaded throughout the day and to dry out the sink when he was done. FlyLady said that it would rub off on the other people in our homes, and she was RIGHT! And now for yesterday's babystep-

Day 5- Write Down What You Hear

- Getting Dressed to lace up shoes
- Keeping our sink shining
- Going to Big Tent and reading messages
- Looking at our posted reminders in the kitchen and bathroom

Are you hearing any of those nagging negative voices popping into your head? I want you to take a piece of paper and write down what you hear then I want you to turn those ugly words around and say something nice to yourself to negate the ugly words that they said.

So, since I was actually looking for it, it was amazing how often I had those negative voices going on. I had every reason to be proud of myself yesterday. First of all, I showered Friday night and dried my hair which was an accomplishment in itself because I'm ALWAYS procrastinating eventhough I prefer to do it this way. My hair is easier to style the next day and I sleep better.

I got up early, for a Saturday, and had time to do my entire sticky-note list including make-up! I even had my hair completely down and it looked great! I should have had the hubs snap a shot, but I was running a tight schedule at that point and had to run out the door to be on time to the pageant. And that's where the negative thoughts began.

I ended up being a judge because no one else came through for my boss. I was super scared. I thought that I was totally unqualified for the job and my insecurities started up. As we were walking out to conduct the interviews, I caught the eyes of one of the Women contestants and her mother. They gave me a funny look and I immediately thought the worst. "They probably think that I'm too fat. How am I going to judge them?" Ay yay yay...

As we were walking I said to myself, "Brandi. Stop that. You look very put together and professional today. They are probably just nervous and wondering what you're thinking. Hold your head up high and be confident." And you know what? It actually worked!

So, fast forward a few hours after I woke up from the nap, and they started up again, but this time it was about the house. I got a reaming from my mind for sleeping all afternoon when I could have been getting everything on my list done. "Once again, here I am procrastinating when I know there's a bazillion things that need to be done."

This one was harder to squash, but I told myself over and over that I've made alot of progress in just five days and that while the house isn't spic and span, it is pretty clean. Most of the laundry is done, and everything else can wait. It will be ok. I don't have to be perfect overnight as long as I keep trying and moving in the right direction. Eventually, it worked and I was able to just go back to bed.

Keep your eyes out for another blog tonight as I have a very special announcement to make!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Write it Down

Today was an easy day! Not just because my FlyLady babystep was easy, but because it is already becoming easier to follow the steps that have been laid out so far. I know it may seem so simple to others, but for me, it's always been a struggle. This is exactly the kind of structure and love guidance that I've always needed. And I know I'm not alone because thousands of people are following this program too! Maybe it will help you too.

Day 4: Write These Things Down

So far we are;

- Getting Dressed to lace up shoes
- Keeping our sink shining
- Going to Big Tent and reading messages

Your next thing is to write these things down on a sticky note and post them on your bathroom mirror and above your kitchen sink. This is the beginning of your Control Journal. The little notes help us to remember the habits we are trying to establish.

I don't really need a reminder to check BigTent because I have it set up that everything is emailed to me and I make it a point to read the emails as they come. Sometimes if I don't have time, I go ahead and delete some of them. I do this because FlyLady says it is ok. I can pick them back up where I left off!

So, here's some pics of my sticky note reminders:
One in the kitchen

And one in the bathroom

And that's me in my bathrobe... ;) I guess you got more than you bargained for! LOL

Friday, December 4, 2009

Another Day

And Another Shiny Sink!

Day 3: Do What We Have Already Done

Today you are doing what we have already done.
-Getting up and dressing to lace up shoes
-Keeping your sink shining

Now is the time to start exploring Big Tent. Be sure and read the NEWS. This is where you will find the Daily Flight Plan, the essays and the testimonials.

Dressed to the Shoes! Still didn't get to the makeup and the hair is questionable, but it's still a big step in the right direction.

And I just can't get enough of the shiny sink. We are keeping it under control by staying on top of it, so it really isn't a big deal at all.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

To the Shoes

I'm continuing to blog daily about my progress on my 30 before 30 list as well as Flylady's Beginner Baby Steps.

Day 2: Get dressed to "Lace-up" Shoes

"Today I want you get up and get dressed to lace up shoes when you first get up in the morning. This means fix your hair and face too. Shine your sink before you go to bed."
So, here's the deal. The whole "lace-up" shoes is more about SAHM's who are more prone to throw on flip flops, or slippers as opposed to "real" shoes. You can read the whole reasoning here. For me, this isn't about wearing "lace-up" shoes. It's about caring enough about myself and my presentation to put my best foot forward.

I have to make a painful admission right here and right now. I don't take very good care of myself. I don't bathe enough, I hardly ever style my hair, and I usually just throw on whatever is clean with a pair of flip flops. I'm sloppy eventhough that's not the way I want to be. I've just kind of given up on trying.

So, I woke up determined to complete this babystep. And it didn't come easy. First of all, I spent way too much time in the shower (which reminded me that I've always preferred to shower at night instead). So I felt rushed to fix my hair which led to a big hair meltdown- and I ended up pulling it half back with my bangs swept off my face, but I think it still counts as "fixed". Then I started getting dressed, only to find that my sweater was missing a button. Not to be deterred, I quickly whipped out the replacement button and sewed it on. That didn't leave my any time to fix my face, but the fact that it was clean was good enough for me. I was so relieved that I had Havie snap a picture before I ran out the door.

So, I had the nerve to be embarrassed about this picture for about two seconds when my brain said "Hold UP." This is a million times better than I look most days. Sure, I could look better, but I've got to stop beating myself up so much! I love this sweater that I got before my trip to Utah. I was so excited to get to wear is in SOUTH TEXAS and it matches my gray shoes! I honestly felt great and I think it showed because I got lots of compliments.

The hubs made dinner tonight because we had missionaries coming over for a lesson at 7pm. So, when I got home, I got to work on straightening the house. Dinner was ready by 6pm and we were done eating by 6:30pm... And this is what the kitchen looked like:

The hubs doesn't believe in cleaning as he cooks- lol. That's ok because clean-up was a breeze! I had the dishes loaded and the sink shined in record time. By 6:45, I was sitting down and relaxing waiting for the Elders to show!

I didn't have to do the whole shiny sink ritual again, just cleaned the sink out with the remaining dish soap on the sponge and rinsed it well. Then dried it with the towel we had been using all day. Then I Windexed the whole thing and voila! Shiny Sink!

I've gotta say- having a clean kitchen makes me really happy. I don't want to make myself seem shallow. It's not like that. It's more about feeling a sense of accomplishment. For so long, I couldn't figure out how to make any part of my home presentable. I still have a long way to go, but this is a really good start for me.

P.S. I listened to music for over an hour today in bits and pieces and I've gotta say that it made me really happy. I need to remember this! The not watching tv for more than an hour is going to be harder simply because the hubs ALWAYS has it on. Going to have to work on that.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


If you haven't read my birthday blog yet, you can check it out here. As you can see #10 on my list was to follow FlyLady's daily routines. So, in an effort to meet that goal, I am started today with her 31 day Beginner BabySteps. It works out perfectly to finish out 2009 and be ready to Rock out 2010! I thought I'd share my progress with you!

Day 1: Go Shine Your Sink

"Your very first BabyStep is to go shine your sink. Dont listen to those voices that tell you that its not going to help your messy house. This is exactly where I started and this little habit has changed my life! Take this BabyStep in faith and go do it. Here are the directions for shining your kitchen sink."
So, what's in a Shiny Sink?

Here are FlyLady's full Shiny Sink Instructions, or you can just read my run-down!

These are all the products I used to shine my sink.

1. Fill the sink with hot water and 1C. of bleach and let it sit for a while to disinfect.

2. Rinse the sink thoroughly and use Ajax, Comet, etc. with scrubby sponge to scrub every inch of the sink to get rid of stains and bits. I also use the toothbrush at this time around cracks and crevaces.

3. Again, I rinse well, and then because I have an old Stainless Steel sink, I pull out a S.O.S. pad and buff the sink. It is necessary for me to get any shine at all out of it.

4. Finally, after I've finished it really well again, I dry it and then pull out the windex to put that final shine on the sink.

5. Lay out a clean towel to dry the sink with tomorrow.

It didn't take long (once the dishes were loaded), and it's not like you have to do all of these steps every day. It really put a smile on my face this morning to walk in to a CLEAN kitchen to make breakfast. The great thing is that once the sink is shined, all you have to do is keep a towel by the sink to dry it out all day and your sink always looks great. Plus it completely motivated me to get the dishes taken care of after breakfast.

I'm sorry I forgot to take a before picture, but here are my after shots for your viewing pleasure!

For a crappy little apartment sink, I think it looks pretty good! Don't you think? So, do you think you'll try to shine your sink?


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