August 13, 2012

Because it's not healthy to eat an entire pack of Oreo's

Good day!  Today you have the pleasure of getting to know my friend Amanda. As much as I would have loved to shove her into my suitcase and brought her to the sunny sands of North Carolina, a 15 hour flight just wasn't in her plans. This was her next best option.

Hello all of you fabulous Life After I 'Dew' enthusiasts! I'm Amanda from Where There is Love, There is Life and today, while Shannon is away being a beach babe, I shall attempt to entertain, and hopefully, inspire all of you! So go ahead and make yourselves comfortable because I clearly don't know how to shut up.

Are there ever times in your life when shit isn't hitting the fan and you actually have a minute to breathe and ponder your life and the direction its headed in? Ya know, those rare occasions when you can rest your head on the pillow at night and summon enough mental stability to ease yourself into dream land rather than lay there for hours forming vindictive check-lists. Sometimes, on days like those, I lay in bed with a cushion between my knees (why a cushion between your knees, you ask? To which I reply: because Oxyclean enthusiast Billy Mays told me so. What can I say, I'm a gullible freak who fell hook, line and sinker for the infomercials claims that it supports your spine. The truth of the matter is that I don't actually know if there's any medical backing to this statement, but ever since that day oh, I don't know, 10 years ago, I've done it. To add fuel to this geekalicious fire I'll go ahead and admit (because here at  L.A.I.D. we keep it real)  that if I ever find myself in a cushion-less sleeping arrangement I bust out my drama-queen and convince myself I'm doing permanent damage. Anyway, that's totally irrelevant to my story and I truly can't believe I've just gone on a cushion related rant while guest posting for Shannon. It's also only just dawned on me that I've speaking in brackets for nearly an entire PARAGRAPH now! She puts her trust in me for THIS? sorry, folks. I probably should delete this entire cushion themed mountain of nonsense but it's a perfect example of my awkwardness so I won't. Let's just pretend it was vital to the story...) anyway, as I lay in bed with a cushion between me knees I create my favorite totally unrealistic dream. It's always the same one. There I am, living in a big Billy Madison style Beverly Hills mansion with my hubby (who, in my dream is strikingly similar to George Clooney). I'm a total babe who spends my days poolside drinking frozen margaritas and feasting on a diet consisting primarily of red velvet cupcakes. And by babe I mean I look like Britney Spears (the pre motherhood-head-shaving-crackhead version of Britney Spears, by the way). In this dream I have no cellulite. My ass is plump and doesn't resemble a sack of potatoes. My boobs aren't two saggy wobbly boulders. My stomach is firm and toned. My legs are long and bronzed. I am bunion-less. My farts smell of roses and I don't own a single pair of Bridget Jones scary-stomach-holding-in britches. 
But then I wake up and am faced with the reality. Across from me lays my George Clooney, drooling on his pillow as he mumbles in his sleep about 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzles. The cushion between my knees has dislodged itself in the night and as a result my spine is in agony (oh, the horror!) My alarm screams "GET OUT OF BED, LAZY ASS!" and I know I must somehow muster the strength to take a shower. While in the bathroom I catch a glimpse of my naked self in the mirror and note that I do, in fact, have cellulite. My stomach is more reminiscent of a keg than it is a 6 pack. My ass is flat and square like my Mother's. My boobs are massive Jello-jigglers that I despise.  My legs are short, need a good shave and still patchy from the weekends left over fake tan. I have bunions like my Aunt Claire. My farts (although I like to pretend they do) in no way smell of roses. And I have an array of Bridget Jones scary-stomach-holding-in britches billowing out the top drawer of my dresser. I am a real woman who doesn't live in a mansion, probably never will, and while I'd love to live on frozen margaritas and red velvet cupcakes, I know that'd just result in me joining an AA group or becoming bed ridden. Instead, I weigh my bowls of cornflakes, only drink skimmed milk and could tell you how many Weight Watcher Pro-Points are in every damn thing on the shelves of any supermarket.
But you know what, that's my reality and I'm okay with that.
When I first started this whole 'I'm gonna be a sexy beach babe someday' thing it was because I could no longer fit into my favorite pair of jeans and had converted to a 'leggings only, please' kind of girl. I looked like a chipmunk in all of my pictures, had gone up 2 whole bra and pant sizes and was smuggling entire packs of Oreo's into bed at night (the thought of the little black crumbs in my sheets makes me shudder. OCD twitch. OCD twitch). At the end of 2010 I was the most unhealthy and overweight I'd ever been and I knew I needed to make drastic changes in my lifestyle or else I'd dig a hole I couldn't get out of. I hate to make excuses, but (aside from loving food) I know deep down in my heart that I comfort ate on days where I felt home sick and completely detached from my friends and family back in Vermont. I moved to England at the end of 2008 weighing 139lbs, which was still too heavy for a girl who's only 5'1.5 (and yes, I include the .5 because when you're this dinky that 1/2 inch makes a world of a difference) but by December 2010 I was up to 172lbs. Yes, you read that correctly. I'd gained 33lbs! GAH! So when New Years and it's infamous Resolutions rolled around, I grabbed a pad of paper and wrote down the annual 'You're a chunk! Lose some weight!' at the very top of my list. 
New Years came and went, my list sat in plain view on the kitchen table and yet I still had no fire lit under my ever growing ass. Come January 3rd I had been in no way, shape, or form proactive in my weight loss attempt. But thankfully, the crash of my BlackBerry due to Facebook  Notification overload changed all that. Carl and I had thrown a NYE party for our friends that year and a camera dump by my buddy Emily meant that some serious Facebook tagging was taking place. I'll never forget settling down at my laptop to look at her album with a glass of chocolate milk and frozen sugar cookie. I had fully intended to laugh at the photos and admire my fancy gold dress I'd bought just for the special occasion (a UK size 14 by the way), but instead I sat in horror. I even cried. I was absolutely disgusted with myself, and truth be told I would have untagged myself from  every single picture from that evening if it wouldn't have looked so vain. My face looked like a beach ball, my arms were the size of my friends thighs and my back fat was bulging out from beneath my belt in every single picture. Halfway through Emily's album I threw my sugar cookie in the garbage, dumped the chocolate milk down the drain and at 10 o'clock that very night logged onto Weight Watchers an joined.

 In the beginning I was mainly obsessed with what the scale said. Every Monday morning I'd run naked to the bathroom, excited to reap my reward for eating grapes instead of packets of Oreo's and vegetable risotto rather than chicken fettuccine alfredo. And slowly but surely the weight came off. Within the first month I'd lost 9lbs and within 3 months I was down to 147lbs (that's a 25lb loss for those of you who SUCK at math like I do). Various reasons, mostly laziness, meant that I took a 5ish month hiatus from dieting last year. But after starting back up again this January I was over the moon to find that I'd only gained a total of 3lbs over those 5 months. I was able to get back on the Weight Watchers Bandwagon (click the link to read about that) and since then I am down another 20lbs from 147 to 127. Partay in the house! Whoop Whoop!
I am the thinnest I've been since I was probably 12 (for cereal, people) and I'm feeling fantastic. I've learned how to change my eating habits and now reach for fruit instead of chocolate, vegetables rather than hot dogs. I've set myself an all time goal weight of 117lbs (which is considered the 'healthy weight' for my height) and while I am only 10lbs away from achieving that dream (seriously, how can that be possible? And why the hell haven't my boobs shrunk AT ALL?) there are still healthy improvements I want to make. Because it's now more about being healthy than it is the number on the scales. Case in point: my stomach. Regardless of the fact I may have shed some of my chunk, I am still by NO means toned up. There are parts of my body that wobble when I walk just like I did when I was 46lbs heavier. I'd also really like to tone my arms, my flat and square ass and the tops of my thighs which, under the black pants, have a mind of their own. I've been following Shannon's 300/30 Day Ab Challenge  and her results are seriously inspiring (you GO GIRL!) so, although I'm a bit late in joining the fun, today, my friends, the torture begins. By the time you read this guest post I will be over halfway through the challenge, so hopefully the following PITIFUL picture will be a thing of the past (at least it better be or I've just showcased my flub for no reason. It'd kind of be like getting one of those shirts 'My parents went to Florida and all I got was this crappy t-shirt' only 'I showed my wobbly fatty bits to the entire blogsphere and all I got was this embarrassment'). So, with the intention of giving myself additional motivation, I give you the horror that is my 'fluffy' stomach on day 1 of the 30 Day/300 Ab Challenge:

If you're interested in following the transformation of my wobbly bits (or Carl's as he'll be joining me with this endeavor, and if you're all good little dumplings maaaybe just maybe he'll let me post his results too) then you can pop on over to my blog where I'll be sharing my 'halfway through' picture once Shannon has published this! And because I enjoy inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on my body, once the hubs and I are back on US soil my sister and I will be starting the Couch-to-5k-running program. If like me, one of the things on your bucket list is to run a half marathon one day (only you'd physically collapse and die if you tried it in your current physical state) then you should definitely check it out and join Sonya and I in our journey of becoming runners. I'll be sharing our progress throughout and would be tickled pink if (like my half-marathon running friend Jen did for me) I was able to inspire someone else to get off their butt and achieve a life-long goal. Let's do this thing!
Like Martin Luther King Jr. once said: I have a dream. (did you like the way I was really philosophical just then?) My dream, however, is a much simpler and in many ways more selfish. My dream is to walk down the street singing that horrible 'I'm Sexy and I Know it' song and not look like a damn fool. My dream is to get and stay healthy. My dream is to achieve my goal of running a half marathon. My dream is to stay motivated and determined. My dream is to feel proud of my achievements. My dream is feel good about myself. My dream is inspire others to do the same. Let's see if I can make that dream come true.

Thanks so much to the beautiful Shannon, who in many ways has inspired so many of you to get healthy and make a positive changes in your lives, for allowing me to ramble  guest post on her blog today :)

Take good care love bugs,



  1. I'm so glad that I read this post today, I'm literally crying because it has been so hard for me to find the motivation to get back in shape.

    I don't know how it got this bad with me not wanting to do a thing about being healthy, but its got to stop! I just spent almost $100 on Tony Horton workout DVD's and had my fiance make me a workout room in the basement.....I really don't have an excuse!

  2. Amanda... You know we love your humor! You look great. I'm super jealous that you still have your boobs!! Only 10 lbs away from 117? Gah... You're amazing!!

  3. Wow I love this post! So inspirational. You are looking great. Good luck with the rest of your 30 day challange and reaching your goal weight.

  4. Love this girl! I'll be jumping over to her blog next. You're very inspiring to this girl who is trying to change her lifestyle as well!

  5. LOVELY post my dear!!! I love everything about it and I just know that you will inspire so many people with your goals :-) And thanks for the shout out as always honey!!

  6. So glad I checked in today. Loved this post. I too got back on the Weight Watchers bandwagon after seeing pictures of myself from a wedding I was in. I was horrified and so upset with myself for letting it get out of hand. Started with the dieting first then also added in exercise to tone up. My next goal is to be able to run a 1/2 marathon. I will definitely be checking back in for some inspiration. Keep up the good work, you look great!

  7. Amanda is one of my new favorites! So excited for everyone jumping on the 30 day bandwagon! Maybe I should jump back on!

  8. Aww, I just want to say a big THANK-YOU to all of you who left sweet sweet comments. I love you like a fat kid loves cake :) <3 xoxo