Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Q&A;: Diet talk

Honestly, I've been putting this post off for a while. I get hundreds of emails and questions on my weight loss story. The reason I've put it off for so long is because - I don't want this to become a diet or fitness blog. It's not my goal and honestly it's not something I'm crazily passionate about - but I know it means a lot to many of you. My weight loss story is my highest viewed post of all time. Between the emails and the questions - I know a lot of you are struggling and are so curious of my success story, so I wanted to share more details. I hope this helps inspire you again in the new year. To be clear, this blog post is my personal story and my personal advice. I'm not saying diets work for everybody and I'm definitely not telling women to diet to feel and look better about themselves. I was beautiful before I lost my weight and I'm beautiful now - just like all of you are. Please remember that!

Q: In the start of your weight loss journey, how did you get inspired? Did you put up photos or quotes on the wall?

A: Absolutely! I printed out photos of myself I wasn't happy with and posted them on the fridge. I also stuck with my "every day counts" motto - writing it on sticky notes, in my planner, on a digital sticky note on my computer desktop. I had to constantly remind myself that every little day really did matter. It's so easy to say, "Oh, I'll start my diet again tomorrow." The future is now... it's now or never.

Three years ago, I was not comfortable in my body. I'm not by any means saying I was "fat"; I just felt uncomfortable. I would constantly walk around with my hands covering my belly or sitting with my arms crossed to cover most of my body. I never liked having my photo taken and if I had to have a picture taken, I was posing in whatever way possible to cover myself up. I knew I wanted to do something about it!

Q: Did you ever get to the point where you considered not eating to lose the weight?

A: Absolutely not. I would never consider not eating to lose the weight. It's terribly unhealthy and will only lead to health issues and possibly anorexia or bulimia. I knew I wanted to lose the weight in the healthiest way possible so that it would stay off and I would feel great about what I did to my body - instead of feeling guilty about how I may have harmed myself. Sticking to my healthy diet, exercising regularly helped me get to my goal weight and that is the only way I recommend losing weight.

I was constantly wrapping up in towels during summer, when my favorite thing ever is to be in the water! We live in the Great Lakes State with amazing sandy beaches and fresh water - to go boating and swimming! And I was stuck.. wrapped in a towel. It wasn't a fun experience for me to hold back on so many things I loved doing because I wasn't comfortable with my body.

Q: How did you start working out?

A: I started very foolishly. I went from being sedentary (to not exercising at all) to exercising too much in the beginning. I purchased a gym membership and hopped right onto the elliptical machine at an hour for 4-5x per week. I didn't feel like it was harming my body by doing too much, but within a short amount of time, I suffered a pinched nerve in my leg and could barely walk after that - let alone exercise. I would say ease into working out. Start small - increase your time each week. Cardio was my best way to lose weight. With trying to heal a pinched nerve, I walked the track and eventually starting jogging. I signed up for a 5K, trained for my goal and accomplished it. Start small, go big!

It took me from January 1st to August 1st to lose my ideal goal of 30 pounds. That's an average of 3.33 pounds per month. That is really not much. I took it very slow, which I would absolutely recommend. I felt amazing after losing 20 pounds. The last 10 were the cherry on top of my low-fat cupcake! An average per week of weight loss is 1-2 pounds. Of course, I gained a lot of weeks. I also maintained a lot of weeks. One month I did great - losing 10 pounds. Another month I struggled - losing 2 pounds. It's okay to take your time. Once I did finally get to my goal weight, I was a new person. I was happy, I wore whatever I wanted, I'd whip off my towel and dive into Lake Michigan, I was on top of my world. The time and the struggle was worth it. Plus, I did it the healthy way... and now 2 years later, I'm still eating healthy and maintaining my goal weight.

My most asked question:

Q: How do you stay with the diet even when you are discouraged? Most days I just don't have the energy to "deal with it".

A: I know it's hard, but it's like something inside of you needs to snap. You need to want it more than anything - otherwise it will be pushed to the back burner and eventually forgotten. In order to accomplish things sometimes, you need to be obsessed. And trust me, I was obsessed. I would pop 100-calorie popcorn bags and stuff them into my purse before going to see a movie at the theater. I would spend hours at the grocery store calculating my points with my little calculator. I made a weekly menu and posted it on the fridge. I tracked my points everywhere. I wrote myself sticky notes and posted them everywhere. I was literally obsessed for a really long time - but it just meant I was really passionate about this. It has to become a huge part of your life - especially if you LOVE food like I do!

Q: Do you think I could lose weight without exercising?

A: It all depends. I will say that you should exercise no matter what. I know that it's hard though, especially with the busy lives we all lead. To lose 30 pounds, I would say yes.. it's a given you are going to need to exercise. To lose 5 pounds, I would say it's not vital. I'm currently in the process of losing 10 pounds I gained back and I do not have time to exercise right now. But I always take the stairs at work. During lunch, I try to get outside and go for a walk to pick up my lunch. At home, I try to keep busy cleaning and staying active. Every little bit helps. If you can't run a mile at night or don't have time for a video work-out, think of the small things.

Q: How did Brett feel about your diet? Were you nervous that he might not like your "makeover"?

I was never nervous that Brett might not like the way I looked after I lost my weight. Brett loved me at my heaviest and he loved me at my thinnest - exactly the same. The important thing to Brett is that I'm happy and I'm comfortable and healthy. He was my biggest support system during my struggle with weight loss. He'd sacrifice pizza nights for Subway nights. He waited patiently as I scrambled through the grocery store trying to figure out healthy meals. He suffered through some terrible meals as I was trying to learn how to cook low-cal. He dealt with my insanely late nights at the gym after class. He loves me now, he loved me then and he'll always love me. It's the only thing that matters.

I hope I answered some of your questions! You are always welcome to email me and ask me any questions. If you are struggling and need advice, let me know. I know what it's like to go through this process. If you missed my first dieting post, you can head here to few the "overall" story and to get some resources to help you with dieting. Good luck, everyone!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Crane's Pie Pantry

I was feeling the need for adventure this weekend, so I dragged Brett to an old pie pantry I've wanted to visit for years. We embarked on our journey through the snow down to Fennville, a small country town, where Crane's Pie Pantry is located. The interior of the restaurant is crammed with fun antique memorabilia and collections, with old wartime paratrooper toys hanging from the ceilings and mannequins posed and costumed in every nook and cranny.

After going to the pie pantry once, I might have changed my outfit around a little bit to have more of a "country" feel - incorporating some reds and browns into my look instead of black and brass! I knew I had to wear this dress to the pie pantry though - it was so fitting. I just received this amazing purse from Starr via the Delightful Dozen secret santa swap! I absolutely love it! It's so me.

Crane's Pie Pantry may have built its reputation on the freshness of its pies and other baked goods, but its on-site canine mascot is ironically un-fresh, having been dead for about 70 years now. Located right inside the restaurant, in a sleigh, sits Dead Betty the Dog, a decades old mutt who presides over the funky country establishment. It's local tradition to wave to Betty when entering the building. Woe to those who forget and pass her by!

Betty, who lived in Chicago from 1930 to 1937, was inherited by the aunt of one of the store's bakers. Exactly why she ended up preserved here for eternity is uncertain, but she wound up as guardian of the old farm restaurant. Betty can be visited on weekends, two miles west of Fennville on M-89. Hours can be sporadic. Betty can be unresponsive.

(pie in the window dress - c/o modcloth | necklace - c/o dolly & boy jewelry
mustache ring - c/o threadsence | tights - target | boots - jeffrey campbell)

Like I've said a million times before, I love dorky, tourist attractions in small towns. Michigan is full of them - and I adore my state for it. I can't imagine life without the word corny. Brett and I just giggled over everything in this restaurant... and now I can't wait to go back in autumn. I swear you can find such fun things to do no matter where you live, if you do a little bit of searching! Granted, not everyone likes corny adventures like Brett and I do, but if you do.. I highly suggest, get out there and find those places!

(Story via Weird Michigan, credit to Crane's Pie Pantry)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Featured In: Revue Magazine

I'm super excited to announce that I was featured in the January issue of Revue Magazine! There is a fashion revolution happening in Grand Rapids right now and I'm so happy to be a part of it and to support it. We have a whole bunch of events popping up around the city with Fashion's Night Out, Grand Rapids Fashion Weekend and so many more. I've been noticing a lot more comments from girls saying they are from the Grand Rapids area and it's wonderful. I'm hoping this spring I can arrange a blogger meet-up to coincide with a fashion show! If you live in the area, be sure to pick up a free copy of Revue Magazine! Or if you're not in the area, you can check out the magazine online! I loved the little blurb they wrote up on Selective Potential. They described my blog better in one sentence than I could, "...in a fashion magazine spread meets little kid's viewfinder kind of way." I love that line! Thanks Revue for featuring me! I'm super proud! My co-workers hung it up on the bulletin board at work too - hehe!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Harbourfront Place

It has been so cold lately! Granted, January is the "coldest month of the year". It was just insane to have a few 50 degree super-warm days over the new year to drop again back into the twenties with a wind chill that numbs your bones! You can tell you're totally freezing when your fists won't unclench. This was the day I was telling you about - that Brett was a total champ. I stood there staring at him - with my oversized coat on and this hat as he motioned for me to come over for photos. I stood there - staring at him - shaking my head no - fists clenched. Haha! I finally sucked it up for a few seconds, but it was brutal.

(hat - scala classico | cardigan - old navy | belt - urban outfitters
scarf - target | tights - t.j. maxx | boots - seychelles via gilt groupe
uo floral print dress - gift from tick tock vintage via delightful dozen)

The Delightful Dozen did a little secret santa swap (by the time I get mine out, it will be a Valentine's day secret admirer gift!) and I was so excited to receive my gifts! I received this darling strapless floral print dress from Veronika over at Tick Tock Vintage! I also received some tights too! I was on double-duty since we had a new member come in - and I also have some amazing gifts to show off from Starr coming up soon! Can't wait! I love having blog girlfriends - it's one of the best parts about blogging.

I hope you all have fun and warm plans for the weekend! I'm very excited - I have a photo session coming up on Saturday that I've been looking forward to for weeks! I can't wait to show you guys what we've got up our sleeves - lots of wintry fun! Let's just hope we keep getting this pretty, fluffy snow over the next day! I ordered two new really cute dresses and a cape for the day too - they are supposed to arrive on Friday! Wee!

currently playing:

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Asian iCandy Giveaway!

This week's giveaway is from Asian iCandy!
They are offering one of my readers a $40 store credit!

To enter, you must:
1) name your favorite item from the shop

Bonus entries!
1) follow Asian iCandy on Facebook
2) follow Asian iCandy on Twitter
(Please leave an additional comment for each!)

This giveaway is open to U.S. and international readers.

Entries will be accepted until Tuesday, January 11 at 9 PM EST.

And the winner of the Le Mode Accessories giveaway is...
#123 // Shealennon!
Please email me to claim your store credit!