Caramel Cheese Popcorn

It’s all about the small victories right now and today someone brought some of that Beechers caramel and cheese popcorn and left it in the staff room. I love that stuff. It has the salty sweet combo that makes me go mmmmmmmkay. I’m in. To make it even easier, someone left a stack of solo cups right next to it so I could help myself to a nice, big and healthy portion. So I made it my goal today: don’t eat the popcorn. Did I check on the popcorn several times today? Yep. But how much of it did I eat? Exactly two kernels: one cheese and one caramel. These are the battles I’m currently waging. Sheesh!

I’ve decided a good way to keep myself accountable is to start posting a screenshot of my food journal to my blog every day. It may not be interesting or important to other people, but it should help me stay aligned with my goals. This one is before I ate dinner, obviously, but I assure you that dinner will be eaten at some point. I also havent danced yet, but I’m not sacrificing my spot or the cash to pay for the spot. Plus, have I mentioned what a mood elevator dance is for me?? Ha ah!!! Don’t worry, it’ll all get done!🤣

I got some new kicks today! I’m pretty excited to dance in these. I like my Adidas Superstars, but they aren’t quite as flexible or slippery as I would like. Turning is killer on my knees! These have the twisty swirl on the bottom and seem to have decent support while also offering good shock absorption. I can’t wait to dance in them tonight!!!

Lastly, I posted a bunch of new books for sale that I finished and sold a bunch of books over the weekend. Then another sold today! Happy dance! Germany, I’m working hard to see ya!!

Reality Check

I’ve had a rough start. I was gung-ho with my newest body project while I was on winter break- everything was doable and easy. Then I went back to work with my super-fancy, high energy group and to compound that I was slammed with the hardest PMS cycle that I’ve had in years. I wanted to eat all of the food. I stumbled. Hard. I fell hard, too. Right off of my plan and into a passive phase where I intentionally ‘forgot’ my commitments to myself. The snow fell, rendering driving a challenge so I didn’t work out much. I ate lots of carbs and stopped food journaling while hunkering down, making books.

Sweaty dance face

I’m working on two things right now. One is forgiving myself. I don’t need to be harder on myself than before I started my commitment. I don’t need to flagellate myself, browbeating and making myself feel worse about failing so soon after starting. The other is getting my shizz back together and restarting. I always used to say that a fresh start can happen anytime and as soon as I get back on track, I don’t have to look back with disappointment, but I’m having a hard time following through with that. It helps that my cycle restarted and my hormone high has relented, allowing my body to feel normal and my head to reset. It’s a perfect time to get rolling again!!!

Walking in the snow with my sweetheart ❤️☃️

It’s amazing how having access to dance every day helps me stay aligned with my goals. I need to employ the use of the SDF YouTube page to get my groove on, even on the days when I am not going to dance. I feel so good and focused on the days that I dance. On the days I can’t go for one reason or another I slide into bad habits. Being intentional is going to have to be key. Building new habits and applying my will power through that process has to be a priority over the next few weeks. If I can break my sugar addiction and build good habits, all of this will get easier. I think that needs to be an ironclad commitment. A promise that I won’t break to myself.

I have a little bit of extra pressure right now because I’m going to a wedding in Germany this summer. It’s not a requirement by any means that I lose some unhealthy fat before I go, but I want to, nonetheless. And I’m determined to fund as much of the trip as possible through my bookmaking. To that end, I’ve been diligently focused on making a Nightmare Before Christmas book series in any spare moments I can gather. It will be an incredible trip, just my daughter and me, hopefully ending with a reunion in the Happiest Place on Earth with Bradley and Jude, as long as I can earn enough money. I’m driven more than ever, not to impact my family bank account, so yeah, pressure.*

Here we go again. No luck needed, but a lot of determination. ❤️

I can do this. I. Can. Do. This.

Click here to see my Etsy shop, Urban Forager Studios.

Click here to see my Instagram, focused on my life and health journey.

Click here to link to my Instagram focused on the books I make.

Click here to go to my YouTube page where I showcase my books.

Click here to go to the Seattle Dance Fitness website.

Click here to go to the Seattle Dance Fitness YouTube page.

Nightmare books in the making 👻

Dance Fanatic

I made a goal over break to go to dance every chance I got, and you guys, I did it!!! I made it to dance 13 out of 16 days! And two of those missed days were a Christmas and New Years Eve when there were no dance classes. I feel so proud and need to remind myself of the momentum I built! It was the holiday health hustle that really got me moving and thinking I can really do this again.

Doing the Holiday Health Hustle with Jessica, Kim and the SDF Dance Fam

Cuz today? Today I want to eat everything I see. I’ve definitely eaten more than I should (damn those Hershey’s kisses in my classroom- I need to build up better resistance)! I’m dancing tonight in class and last night I officially danced a YouTube dance marathon sponsored by SDF and the SDF YouTube page, but I need to reconnect and get it for real!! I’m looking forward to sweating it out and working my twerk tonight! If you can’t make it to class, just press play and the whole set of songs on YouTube starts going, one after another. I worked for 40 minutes last night and burned about 400 calories. Thank you very much!

More Work, Less Twerk

You guys. Tomorrow I have to go to work! WORK! For the 96% of you that aren’t teachers you’re like, And…? Welcome to the rest of us. I know if you have kids you’re probably celebrating. But me? I’m going to miss my daily twerk sessions! I’m a little bit freaking out about getting my workouts in without removing my wonderful self from my family’s presence for too much time. Plus, I’m not sure if I’ve shared this yet, but I’ve become a bit of a maker fanatic -I make these books called junk journals that you can check out here if you are interested. But making has become a form of meditation and therapy for me ever since running went out with my knees.

Anyhow, here’s the plan I’ve come up with to keep the working out aligned with the working:

  • Monday: Daily Mile, YouTube SDF Sweatset
  • Tuesday: Dance
  • Wednesday: Daily Mile, Elliptical
  • Thursday: Daily Mile, HHK Dance Prep, YouTube SDF Sweatset
  • Friday: Daily Mile, Hip Hop Kids Dance Fitness
  • Saturday: Dance
  • Sunday: Dance

On days I work out, my calories are so much easier to keep in line. For now, I feel like it’s pretty important to build up a habit that will keep me trending in the right direction so I don’t have to obsess over calories or get anxious. For now.

The Daily Mile is an in-school program that is free to participate in for any teacher. All it entails is committing to running or walking for at least 12 minutes, three days per week, with your students. I keep sneakers at my school and power walk or slow jog with my students. It’s been amazing to watch my second graders participate. Some of them need it and run hard, every day, for the entire time. Other more sedentary kids have built endurance and stopped complaining about their lungs hurting. It’s been amazing, and since they love it, they respect the rules of being quiet and safe. Plus, they’re so much calmer in class afterwards and I bonus a mini workout built into the work day.

The YouTube SDF Sweatset is just that. The dance company I work and dance with is called Seattle Dance Fitness. If you’re not in Seattle or can’t make it to a class, my beloved boss/teacher/friend Jessica creates classes you can take for free online through YouTube. It’s an awesome way to get your heart rate up whenever you have a few minutes to attend a party for one.


I’ve made it to dance every day that there has been class this break and today was the first morning where I was like nah. Let’s stay in bed… but I didn’t. I got my butt out from between those cozy covers and onto my cold, car seats to make it to my class by 9:30. The funny thing about working out? I almost* never regret it and today was no exception. The humidity has been insane, lately, and I find that I’m sweating way more than usual. I don’t think I’m working THAT hard, but damn! This girl is dripping for almost the entire hour! I’ve taken to wearing all black, otherwise it looks like I’ve wet my pants by the time I’m finished for the day 🤣

The tracking is still being super helpful. I had a friend tell me it’s like the difference between paying cash or using a credit card. Somehow having to write down everything I put in my mouth makes me think about it a little more, just like when I have cash in my purse I’m more hesitant to use it. It’s funny that way, huh?

I was talking to one of my friends and a former dance teacher of mine, Camille, who reminded me of the 7:00 rule. I used to practice not eating after a certain time at night but kind of forgot about that. Isn’t it funny how certain habits can melt away? Or listening to my body over reading the clock to decide when it’s time to eat. I always want to eat so it’s important that I have these little reminders or habits built into my day to day. It seems common sense- eat when I’m hungry. So I’m going to try to rebuild both of these habits.


* I can think of one or two exceptions to this when I’ve had an injury brewing. Otherwise exercising is like sour cream on a potato. It just makes the whole thing better. 😉

Day Three of 2020

Derpy Dance Pic of the Day

So far so good!

I solved question number one of why I’m gaining weight. I’ve been eating wayyyyy too much food. That should be obvious, but I always find that when one has habits that seem normal, it can be hard to see your way around the habit to the honesty. For me, I’m always like, “I eat healthy food! What is the problem?!?” The problem is that I was eating way too much of said healthy food. Ha ha!

This was from 1/1/20 and there’s hardly a deficiency. I’m lucky there was a 75 minute dance party this day otherwise I’d have been over. I think this is how I’ve been eating, every day, whether or not I worked out. And to be honest, I haven’t been working out that much this fall. Between injuries and bizarro, long lasting illnesses, I’ve been lucky to make it to a workout once a week. No more though. I danced every day this winter break with the exception of Christmas Day, New Years Eve and Bradley’s birthday. I’m pretty proud that i made it to dance that often. I feel so much better in my skin- enough to even have hopped on the scale this morning to see 252 pop up. BOINK! There’s the number I’m working with!

This was yesterday, 1/2/20, and a way better day for my control over my nutrition. If you’re wondering, I ate the same thing for lunch and dinner so entered it at the same time. I was intentional though yesterday and I felt proud of myself.

I started out today with dance and will continue to do so for the rest of the weekend. As I head back to work next week, my goal is to dance on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. On Friday I will teach a dance class at my school, so I’ll count that too. I need to figure out something to do on the other days aside from just starve myself. I run the daily mile with my students but that’s only 15 minutes per day. Maybe I’ll elliptical? Dance at home? Rest assured I’ll keep you posted. 👍

She’s Back!

Hello hello!

It’s been a while and boy, that experiment of not being accountable taught me a lot. Guess what? I can slide off that slippery slope like a mofo and it hardly takes a nudge. If I’m perfectly honest, I don’t know my exact weight right now. I know I was around 250 a monthish ago, but I haven’t hopped on the scale since then. I’m not necessarily worried about the number at this exact moment. However, my past tells me that it is definitely a motivator and measure of how my progress is going… but it’s not EVERYTHING.

So, this New Year, 2020, I’m building habits that help me to be a healthier person:

Journaling my food intake helps me to see what is really happening. I am fantastic at justifying why it’s ok to eat this or that but the myplate app lays it out in pie charts and graphs that are unarguable. So, as much as it’s a pain in the ass, imma be on it DAILY.

Accountability on this blog and Instagram give me immeasurable pressure to keep on myself. I don’t want to get obsessive about things but honest, self reporting is really motivating to me. Knowing others are checking up on me makes a huge difference.

Exercise is an almost daily need for me with my insulin issues. It keeps my sugars balanced and my body strong. The endorphin rush that comes from daily workouts keeps my anxiety and depression down so I need to GET IT! Dance has become a huge part of who I am. I teach Hip Hop Kids Dance Fitness at my school and dance three times a week with my Seattle Dance Fitness dance family. I’m going to try to add in a little weights to balance out the cardio.

It must also be said that I love myself and my body. Curves are great and the wobbly bits are sexy, but there’s also that piece of feeling REALLY good about myself that I miss. That brick house woman who was stronger and fiercer 50 pounds ago. My curves are expanding at an unacceptable rate and my wobbly bits are weighing me down more than I care for them to. My knees and hips hurt too much to run anymore and I miss it so much. Some weight loss will make my knees feel better, but more than that will help me feel better about me. It’s not for anyone else, it’s what I want.

My meta goal is to lose 50 pounds. But for now, I’m shooting for 15-20 by Spring Break, the first week in April.

So, that’s it. Here we go, 2020!!!

My Rock-It-Fan-Gurls!!!

Letting Go

I’ve been thinking and thinking about Tamara Shazam, this site.  When I first started writing about my body project I was enthusiastic!  Every thought I had was a lightbulb moment to write about.  Every new discovery needed to be processed.  Every success needed to be crowed about.  I needed to create a living document to record my progress in order to believe that I really was creating my miracle.  

And holy cannoli if this wasn’t a miracle.  Is a miracle.  If there was one thing I wished for in my life, one impossible problem I could solve it would be to lose unhealthy fat and actually be that healthy person I always wanted to be.  It would be to wear a size 16 or smaller.  It was to weigh less than 250.  
Sometimes I still can’t believe I did it.  I mean, at sometime you have to stop heralding the miracle to others, but I marvel every day at my body and fitness and protect it fiercely.  

But I don’t want to write about it anymore.  I love my blog- it became my life blood.  My savior.  It was here that I confessed everything.  When everyone else had enough of hearing about my project I could shout it out here, I celebrated often and loud here, I confessed my deep darks, but more recently this became a job.  I still love dancing and spin and lifting and running and eating healthy, but I also love crafting with paper, making books, drawing, gardening and hanging out with my kids. Each post takes at least an hour to write and it started to feel like a burden.  So I’m officially pausing for a bit.

Not my health- no way!  Like I said: I’m fiercely protective of my health and am still committed!

Loudmouth that I am, however, I will still be sharing my life, family, lifestyle and opinions over at Instagram. Connect with me there if you miss me.  😉

Ciao for now!

The Real Spring Break

I had a nice spring break but I wore myself out.  It’s like I think I’m not working so there’s no end to all that I can accomplish.  The jokes on me, though, because I headed back to work last week with a major did-too-much-now-I’m-tired hangover.  I took last week off from working out and just focused on clean eating and working, not working out.  In all honesty it was great.  By Wednesday night I was crashing out early so by Friday morning I was fully awake and not tired anymore, in time for the weekend!

Can you spot me? im the one on the right hand side wearing super bright pink. This was the night of Jessica’s birthday so we were all dressed in matching colors without even knowing she was going to make this video for a Zumba competition she is entering! I think this video looks so cool and I actually look like I know what im doing! 🙂

Heading into this week, I just need to stay focused.  Last week I didn’t go off plan at all.  This Sunday, however, I did enjoy some gluten free pizza.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had a slice so I decided to eat two pieces with salad.  Definitely not on Whole30 but so flipping yummy!  This week I’m adding exercise to the mix.  I’ll go to spin tonight and I’ll see about trsday night Zumba with the sub, but I’ll substitute running if need be.

Here we go!  Have a great week!

I forgot.

I forgot.  That statement is enough to drive me up a wall.  As a mom and elementary school teacher, my own children know this statement doesn’t fly with me.  Nothing lights the fire behind my eyes like ‘I forgot’ (with ‘my mom forgot to put it in my backpack’ as a close second.  Seriously.  It’s not your mom’s job to remember your homework!).  But, guess what?  I forgot.

I forgot that weightloss with a clear aim taken at unhealthy fat is so flipping hard!  This is why I chose to be fat for so many year. Being fat is hard, but it seems a lot more fun than denial quite often.  As was the case last year through this past December.  I was almost flippant as I chugged eggnog and tossed back an entire box of See’s Chocolates in almost one sitting.  I thought, “I’m good at losing weight.  I lost 150 pounds.  I’ve got this.”  In went another cookie followed by a carrot with hummus because I needed to stay healthy after all.🤦‍♀️

I forgot that saying no to myself over and over and over as I try to break sugar addiction and bad habits is really un-fun.  I thought I had it beat after the last Whole 30 and then I started this round.  Easter did me in!  All it took was one bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs and I am gone again.  It’s like I’m starting out at square one again.  Sugar addict, here!  It sucks.  I thought this would be easier.

I forgot how much I relied on crutches before and how it really gave me something to look forward to.  Diet Coke.  Fake meat.  Sugar free candy.  A bit of chocolate.  International delight vanilla creamer in my coffee like a big milkshake.  Sour cream.  I miss it all and am wondering what place it really has in my life anymore.  Those crutches easily turn into slip and slides and down I go into Off-the-Wagonland!

I forgot how much my stomach growls and reminds me to eat.  Eat.  Annnnnd maybe you should eat.

I forgot how slowly I lose weight.  I am not one of those gals who goes into a spiral of massive loss.  I don’t lose 100 pounds in a year.  I lose 40 in a good year.  Losing two pounds a month is a good score for me.  I would be totally unwanted on anyone’s team on The Biggest Loser since my percentage would be ridiculously low every week.  It’s April 12th and I’ve been giving it solid effort since the new year and I’ve only lost 14 pounds.  That’s nothing to sneeze at, but I have goals!  I’m seeing changes in my face and in my clothes, but I want the validation of the number.  I’m so frustrated by this that I’ve decided to stay off the scale for the next little bit so I stay focused on health, not weight.

I forgot how tiring it is to diet.  I’m crashing out by 8:30-9:00 lately and sleeping hard!  All that energy has to come from somewhere, though.

I didn’t forget how empowering it is to take control of my life in this way, though.  I see myself differently when I have solid nutrition and fitness.  I feel great.  I’m pretty happy and balanced with the exception of a few of the above mentioned cases of forgetsies.  🙂