Thursday, July 21, 2011

Weight Update

My journey to getting healthy started about 60 days ago. I'm not gonna lie, it's been hard. Probably one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. No one told me to ease into an exercise program slowly. Well if anyone knows me, I don't do anything slow. Ha! I went in full force, eating 1600-1900 calories a day, vigorously exercising 1 hour a day three to four times a week, and saying no to "poison food".

My body did not like this. It was saying, "NOOOO, Jessica, STOP!" After my first workout, I couldn't even move my legs the next day. By the second day, my legs began to swell. After a week of the program, I started having massive anxiety attacks. By the 2-3 weeks, I was having dizzy spells and almost passed out at the gym. The fatigue the day after working out was brutal. There were days that I could only care for my kids and everything else (the house, errands, friends) had to wait. When 5 weeks hit, I was about done and ready to give up. 

My body was throwing a fit. The only thing that kept me going was God whispering in my ear to keep going... to pull through. I kept going and after 5 long, hard weeks, my body adjusted. No more anxiety attacks, no more dizzy spells, and no more fatigue. Yes, I have days that I feel sore and a little tired but I feel awesome. Finally, my body is adjusting!

My advise to you all is ease into a exercise program slowly. Give your body time to adjust. 

I've been taking before and after pics and honestly, I don't have the guts to post them yet. Maybe when I hit the 50 lb mark I will. :) Hey, I'm half way there.

Here is my weight loss over the past 11 weeks:

Week 1 - Down 8 lbs (I had a 4 lb start from going on and off Weight Watchers over the past 9 months)

Week 2 - Down 1.8 lbs

Week 3 - Down 2.4 lbs

Week 4 - Down 2.2 lbs

Week 5 - Down 2 lbs

Week 6 - Down 1.4 lbs

Week 7 - Down 1.7 lbs

Week 8 - Down 2 lbs

Week 9 - UP 1.4 (This was the 4th of July weekend and I had a hard, hard week)

Week 10 - Down 3.6 lbs (Lost the weight I gained the week before, plus 2.2 lbs)

Week 11 - Down 1.4 lbs

Total Weight Loss: 25 lbs

Thursday, June 30, 2011

MP Design Giveaway!

My friend, Melissa Pennington, is giving away one free custom design header for your blog. Check out her website at: 

Enter! It's free!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

What Doesn't Kill You, Will Make You Stronger

My journey to a healthy lifestyle started only 6 weeks ago. I really thought when I made the decision to become healthier, it would be easy. HA! Let me say that again... HA!! It's been a very difficult process. Let's just say that my body enjoys its lumpiness and doesn't want to change. Vigorously exercising and drastically reducing my calorie intake (a healthy calorie intake) has made my body throw a big fit, even a bigger fit when my 2 1/2 yr old throws! There are days I am so insanely sore and exhausted that it is hard to function and do normal daily activities.


I have to push
through. That is what my trainers keep telling me.... "Keep going, push through." My body is changing and it will take time for it to adjust. I got myself into this mess and now with God's help, He will give me the strength to get out of it.

Down 19.2 lbs, 1.5% body fat, and 1 jean size, here I go!

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Biggest Loser - Top ten things I have learned so far

1. I have been watching a lot of weight loss tv lately. Funny how a few months back I used to quickly turn the channel from anything to do with weight loss because it reminded me of the situation I was in. Now that I enjoy watching these shows, I've noticed that most obese people eat one meal a day. Even the 500lb to 800lb people eat just one big meal a day. Obviously, that is really, really bad for you. I guess you have to eat throughout the day to keep your metabolism going. This is one thing I used to do. I would get busy with my kids and eat later in the day, one big meal. My metabolism just stopped working, period. Not anymore.

2. I have to work out. One reason... it makes me feel amazing. The endorphines are incredible. Second reason... helps my skin to tighten after losing the weight. Third and most muscle. Muscle burns fat and eventually when I build about 10lbs of muscle (which will take me a year), I will burn 3500 calories a week sitting on the couch. No joke!

3. Fast food and high calorie food is poison. Subways an exception.

4. If I cheat, I HAVE to get back on it immediately after the screw up.

5. I have to do it for me and me only.

6. No more excuses. I remember watching an episode of The Biggest Loser and a mom who lost a massive amount of weight said, "All you moms out there, you have to do this. You owe it to yourself to wake up before your kids and work out." Well, I don't wake up before my kids. Haha! I work out at night but you get the point.

7. I need a break sometimes. Even if it's working out, it's a break from mommyland. Even though I LOVE being a mom, sometimes some time to myself helps me be an even better mama.

8. Lifestyle. I had to change my whole lifestyle.

9. I need to be a good example for my kids.

10. With God, I can do anything! Without Him, I couldn't do this!


So yeah, that is what I have learned so far. I hope I don't sound like a know-it-all because I'm not, far from it!

I have been cleared from any cardiac issues so I will be back in the gym tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

<3 Jess

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Biggest Loser - Bump in the Road

I have felt the best I have in years these past few weeks. Working out has been my new addiction, replacing my love for food. I have been working dang hard and for the first time in a long time, I was very proud of myself. 

Until I hit a

I started experiencing chest pain and shortness of breathe about a week after working out, which landed me in the ER. Don't worry, I highly doubt it's anything serious. I will have a stress test done on Wednesday to rule out any cardiac issues and when that comes back normal than my butt will be back in the gym. But until than, I can't work out.

Talk about discouragement! I been going 100 mph on the freeway and now I'm going 15 mph (not literally.) 

If it's not cardiac related, than why am I experiencing these scary symptoms? And trust me, I have been scared. It's gotta be lovely anxiety/panic attacks. Oh my goodness, did I just post on the world wide web that I am experiencing panic attacks? How dare I. Yes, I am and I promised to post about my weight loss journey and that is sharing all the ups and downs. I'm so thankful that with my experience with postpartum depression after my first daughter, I have so many amazing resources to fight this. With Jesus, I can overcome anything and I believe so much that Jesus wants me to complete this very hard weight loss journey. 

Down 13 pounds, almost 1% body fat, and loose fitting clothes in matter of only 18 days. I'm not stopping, you better believe it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Biggest Loser

In 2006 and 2007 I lost a total of 80 pounds. I could only maintain about 65-70 pounds of that weight off until I got engaged and I maintained most of the weight off until I got pregnant with Ellie. When I got pregnant with Ellie, I gained 60 pounds. Lost 25 pounds after birth and then immediately got pregnant again when Ellie was 4 months old. I gained 40 pounds with Annabelle and lost 31 pounds within 6 weeks of giving birth! Both my pregnancies were semi-high risk and I had to take it easy with both of them. Don't get me wrong, my pregnancies are all to blame... I am mostly to blame.

Since Annabelle has been born I have yo-yo'd losing 15 pounds than regaining most of it back a total of 3 different times in the past year. It's been very, very discouraging. My metabolism is shot. I have no room for error. It would take me 3 long months to lost just 15 pounds and I would get discouraged and fall back into my old eating habits. Than, I would get motivated again, do the same thing, and get discouraged again because the weight wasn't coming off fast enough. I'm sorry, but when you weigh what I weigh, you have to see changes pretty fast to get encouraged.

My awesome husband got gym memberships for us at the gym a 1 mile away. Doug works out at his gym at work but also wanted to work out with me sometimes. His gym at work is only for employees. Well, the auto-withdrawal came every month and we never went. Two months past and we still hasn't gone.

The beginning of this week, I decided, no matter what, I am going to go at least try to work out. They have childcare there and it was a perfect way to get a little break and better myself at the same time.

I dropped the kids off and they were ecstatic to play with other kids and play with new toys. I began on the treadmill walking. Super boring. I scanned the gym looking for someone about my size to make me feel better. I saw someone similar to my size and that gave me hope. If I didn't see someone similar to my weight, I probably would of left. No joke. I got tired of the treadmill and I walked over to look at the weight equipment and froze. I was not going to get on those with how big I am. I was embarrassed. I began to walk away and this BEAUTIFUL young girl, grabbed my shoulder.

"I see you looking at those machines. Were you thinking about using them?" She said with her gorgeous smile and to die for bod.

"Honestly, I don't know what I am doing. I really don't know what I am doing." I said totally embarrassed and humiliated. Humiliated not because she made me feel that way...I felt humiliated because I look the way I do. I let myself go, I put myself on the back burner for the last 3 years.

"Well...hmmm....I got about 15 minutes until my next client. I guess...yeah, let me work with you for 15 minutes. That is all I got, let's go!" She said has she gently pushed me to an area to work out.

We did 15 minutes of intense working out. I impressed her.

"You want this, don't you?" She said.

"I'm done. I really want this." I responded.

A couple of days of sessions later, I was talking with the manager of the gym. "We want to use you!" The manager excitedly told me. "I will give you a deal on a personal trainer if you will do a 3 month, 6 month, and 9 month testimonial with pictures."

For those of you that know me, I am not a flake. I commit to things and I wouldn't commit to this guy if I wasn't serious. I commit to be his Guinea Pig for 1 YEAR! I will be working with two woman personal trainers. My measurements, weight, and fat percentage will be checked many times within this next year.

So... I'm SO ready! How did I think I could just lose weight by eating better? You HAVE to do both!

I am so excited! The most excited I have been since Doug asked me to marry him and when my girls were coming into this world. If you think of me, please say a prayer for me for strength and endurance. I will be blogging about my journey for accountability.

Did I mention my trainer is on the cover of a magazine? :) 

It's on like Donkey Kong!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Wife, Mother, Crazy Woman (The Power of Loss of Sleep)

I woke up today with a clear head and restful body. I got 8 hours of straight sleep the night before. Actually, I have gotten three straight days of 8 hours sleep each. It feels wonderful, as if the sun is shining brighter and life isn't has hard has it has seemed.

Annabelle, my sweet baby, has had several periods in her 13 months of life where she has slept through the night and then long periods where I am up with her several times. The recent episode (2 months long) of getting up with her was having fluid in her ears (which is now recently gone from the tubes), a cold with fever, and her teething with 4 molars coming in. 

When midnight, 3am, and 7am came, I was up with her. I was feeling like it was never going to end, that the nights would go on forever and my life would never be normal again. I was exhausted during the day and honestly, in "survival mode." Also, dealing with Ellie's GI issues was setting me over the edge.

I seem to forget that God was there by my side. He called me to care for these sweet girls and he wasn't going leave me hangin'. I prayed in desperation for sleep to God. I knew if I got descent sleep, I would feel incredibly better emotionally and physically.
Well, as always, He came through. Many a times, I feel God won't get my through, and He does. He proves me wrong every time.

Do not forget, dear friends, He is by your side as well.

"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Flowers Make Me Happy

I had such an awesome day today with my kids and my mother in-law, Shar. Shar graciously took us to Molbanks to look at all the beautiful plants and flowers and treat us to lunch in their little cafe.

I put the girls in the double stroller and off we went!

 One of the first things we saw was all the gorgeous hydrangeas. Love them! There is something about being surrounded by hundreds of flowers. Makes me happy! The girls and I saw a few birds flying around too.

 Anna was very excited. :) She was a little angel.

 Ellie looks unhappy but she really is happy to be there. She was such a good girl. :)

The cafe at Molbaks. Very good food and not too expensive.

You eat surrounded by beautiful plants.

If you want to go to a place to relax and look at some of God's creation, go to Molbaks in Woodinville. It is a little pricey, but you can always see what you like and get it at Fred Meyer. :) There are a lot of cute gardening things and a lot of ADORABLE decorative stuff for your home. It was such a good time!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chili-Mac Recipe (Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Rice Free)

1 pound ground beef
3/4 cup chopped onion
1  15 1/2 oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1  8oz can tomato sauce
1  14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups of Quinoa Elbow Macaroni (organic section in the grocery store)

1 cup water
1  4oz can diced green chili peppers, drained
2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Cook meat and onions in skillet until brown and onions tender. Stir in all ingredients. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 20 mins or till macaroni is tender, stirring often. Sprinkle with goat cheese, if desired.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Food Protein Intolerance

Life has been insane this past year. My good friend, Melissa, tried to prepare me for having two kids so close together, but honestly, nothing could prepare me for the craziness this past few years have been. I haven't blogged in months because I have been putting too much on my plate lately. I feel the Lord has told me to redirect a little and get back to doing things that give me some sense of balance, like blogging.
My girls are my world, but boy, oh boy, have "their health issues" made me question my strength to do this mommy thing. I decided I am going to write about my girl's health issues because I recently have come across many blogs that talk about what my girl's pediatrician believes they have. Also, writing it down may help me to make sense of everything too. Both my girls have been diagnosed with Food Protein Intolerance which means people who have this are intolerant to proteins in milk, soy, and certain foods. I finally am understanding this syndrome better then when I did when Anna first was diagnosed. My doctor says that it is not an "allergy" but an "intolerance." Their body simply can't tolerant the proteins.
Let's start with Ellie. Ellie was a fussy baby and needed to be bounced none stop. Her bowel movements (sorry to be gross) were explosive and you could hear it across the room. I heard this was normal but she would scream when she would go. I started to notice blood in her diaper at about 5 weeks old. Ellie's doctor (we don't see this doctor anymore) wanted to see her for the blood in her stool. The doctor said she is probably allergic to dairy and that is what is causing the blood in her stool. Her doctor wanted to take a quick x-ray to rule out any other problems. On my way home from the doctor's office, the doctor called me and said that the x-ray showed a "twisted bowel" and I need to take her to Children's ER. Of course, I was freaking out, I was such a new mom and didn't know what I was doing and now I had to take my 5 week old to the ER.
We got to the ER and after a ridiculous time in the ER, they redid the x-rays and said that Ellie's bowels were fine and if it was a twisted bowel then it fixed itself. Long story short, they admitted her. She bleed in the hospital, but the attending physician said she had an "anal fissures" but the residents were saying her blood levels were showing an "allergy" to something. I left the hospital confused as ever.
The next several weeks were extremely hard on me emotional and physically. I had severe postpartum depression and on top it I had no idea what was wrong with my baby. Ellie bled everyday. I would call the nurse and say, "She bled so much today and I don't think this isn't normal." They would brush it off, "It's just an anal fissure and it will heal."
One day, I was dropping off Ellie at my mother in-laws so I could go to work. My sister in-law, Julie was visiting that day. A few moments after I came in, Ellie screamed and passed a bowel movement. I changed her diaper and of course, there was a ton of blood in it. I left her to go to work and on the way to work I kept telling myself that it is just an "anal fissure" and to stop being over dramatic. A few moments later, Julie called me and was very concerned. She said that her stool smelled like vomit and this is NOT NORMAL. Mommy radar turned on and I had had enough. I called Doug and told him to take him to the clinic I work for and get her seen NOW.
Doug took her to the walk in and an awesome walk in doctor saw her. The walk in doc said that her anus is abnormally tight and this is very dangerous. I was working while they saw her but the doc pulled me aside and said, "Jess, this is very serious. Your baby needs to be seen my general surgery at Children's immediately. I just had a child die from this."
We saw Children's General Surgery and the doc there said she had a mild form of an "imperforated anus" which is an anus that did not fully develop in the womb. He said she had a mild form but enough to cause major issues. He told me to do dilation which meant I had to insert a rod into her bottom twice a day to stretch her anus out. I'm not even going to go into detail of how much pain that caused Doug and I to do to her everyday. It was horrible.
The surgery was two weeks later and I was ready for the bleeding to stop. Ellie was 3 months old when her surgery was performed. About 30 mins into the surgery, I got a page from the doctor saying they were done. The doc said that everything is lined up fine, but and the "web" around her anus was now broke and he can now insert a size 13 dilator and that is a normal size. Ellie was a size 7 initially. He said, "You guys did such a good job with the dilation that we didn't have to cut her." They did do some nerve and muscle testing down there so it was more like a procedure with her put to sleep. So great news right? Not so much.
(Ellie 3 months old getting ready for surgery)

The bleeding stopped but the impactions started, The ARNP said give her two laxatives everyday and she will out grow it. Again, I left the doctor's office confused as ever. The wheels were turning in my head and I kept flashing back to what every doctor said...

"Her abnormal lab work shows a dairy allergy" then they would say
"Maybe she doesn't have a dairy allergy."

"She has an anal fissure" then they would say
"Well, maybe she doesn't have an anal fissures."

"She has an imperferated anus" then they would say
"I think she never had an imperforated anus"

"She might have scar tissue" then they would say
"Well, it looks like she shouldn't have scar tissue"

"She may have Hirschprung's Disease." then they would say
"Negative on Hirschprings"

"She just has chronic constipation with no source." then they would say
"She has inflammation in her bowels, but it's probably from the dilations"

I was about to have my second baby so I just dealt with it on my own. Giving suppositories was my day to day life. Dealing with a screaming baby who was so impacted was something I got used to, believe it or not. I just told myself, "Ellie has chronic constipation with no source, it's just what it is."
When Anna was born I noticed how much she spit up and how fussy she was. I complained a lot to her old family practice doctor but it was brushed off. Her weight was stable so there was no reason for concern. Anna became pale and her hair was wispy. She cried all the time and especially screamed after she ate. She had her good moments but after eating was the worst. She spit up large amounts which I now know that she was actually vomiting. Most kids with FPIES vomiting excessively, Anna did not vomit like that, just enough to show something was wrong.
(Anna sick w/ high white blood count and failure to thrive)

By the time Anna was 7 months old, she looked awful. She was very pale, eyes sunken in, and she was very, very thin. I blame myself that I didn't speak up sooner and stand up for my daughter, but we were so busy dealing with our short sale and moving that I just thought it was normal for Anna to be that way. "She's just a fussy baby," is what I told myself. I brought her to her 6 month Well Child Check and the doctor noticed how pale she was even before I said anything. She also said she was very concerned about her weight. She diagnosed her failure to thrive and sent us for blood work and x-rays. The blood work showed a very high level of white blood cells and low level of liver levels. The doc said she needs to be seen right away because she could have a UTI or Pneumonia. So off to Children's ER we go. Children's said she had severe reflux and if I don't get this baby eating she would be on a feeding tube. I was given reflux meds and sent home.
The next three weeks were some of the hardest weeks of my life. I made the plunge and switched to an actual pediatrician. We will call him "Dr. Wonderful." Dr. Wonderful said he has been to several conferences on Food Protein Intolerance. He has seen very sick babies become well after being taken off of dairy, soy, rice, and some other foods. He said that Anna fits the protein intolerance with...severe reflux, horrible constipation, failure to thrive, blood in stool, chronic cough, pale, won't eat, won't play very much, cries throughout the night, etc. He put her on Nutramigen and said I should see a change slowly over 3 weeks. I was SUPER excited.

FINALLY, some answers and my baby will be better. Well, I didn't know that it would take Anna forever to actually take the formula...I didn't know she would get her first ear infection while we did the switch...and I didn't know that there were days when she would only eat 12 ozs. It was a hard three weeks, but when about the 3 week period ended, I had a different baby. She had color in her face, her bowel movements were COMPLETELY normal, her hair looked fuller and healthier, she laughed (she barely laughed before), she started playing with her sister, she stopped excessively spitting up, she gained over a pound, the blood in her stool was gone, and she was sleeping 8-10 hrs a night. Well, Dr. Wonderful was right and he was so happy with her progress he gave me a fist pump. Then, Dr. Wonderful said, "I bet you Ellie has the same thing."
(Anna healthy)

We begin the diet change in Ellie about a month ago. I noticed some changes especially in her behavior. She was more relaxed and seem happier. However, her chronic impactions were not getting under control. Therefore, it was time to go back to the doctor.
I brought both girls to the doctor yesterday. Anna for her chronic ear infections and Ellie for her chronic impactions and to talk about her diet change.
Dr. Wonderful said that because Anna has had double ear infections every month for the past 4-5 months and with my husbands history of tubes and chronic ear infections, it was time to refer her to Children's to talk about tubes. Then, we talked about Ellie. I took a picture of what she has been passing in her diaper lately and showed the doctor. Dr. Wonderful said that "she is above and beyond normal treatment." We are talking MASSIVE amounts in her diaper, adult size, enough to make her diaper fall off. He believes her protein intolerance wasn't caught in time so her colon is damaged. It needs to heal and it can't heal unless her stool is super soft. However, Ellie is on an adult does of Miralax and a 12yr old dose of Senna and it still isn't even close to controlling it.

(Main ingredient is senna)

Dr. Wonderful referred her to a good MD at Children's GI that has experience with protein intolerance. So off to Children's we go, again...

Do I think my girls have this Food Protein Intolerance? Honestly, I don't know. I just know that I feel peace with Dr. Wonderful and he is smart, super smart. I trust him and he cares about my girls.
My biggest struggle right now is making food for my girls. Anna can't have dairy, soy, rice, oats, barely, sweet potatoes, and squash. Ellie can't have dairy, soy, or rice. It's really emotionally and physically exhausting. I'm sure moms who are reading this, who deal with restricting your child's diet, can relate with that.
Even though these have been a difficult two years with my girls, God has showed me so much. There are parents out there who have children with cancer or serious medical conditions. My girls don't have those and I am so thankful. I am thankful that my children are happy and they bring so much joy to me. So when I throw myself a pity party, I remember it could be so much worse and I am so thankful to God for that. God is faithful and God loves my children and for that, I can limit my tears.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Make Up (Before and After)

Recently, I have been getting asked a lot to do people's make up for special events. I use all my own MK make up. I wish I had a better quality camera because I feel the make up was a little more detailed than what the picture shows. Oh well. Take a look.

Madeline's make up for a school dance -



Bree for her wedding. I don't have a before picture because I forgot. :( Bree has fake eyelashes on that I did too.


Bree's mom for her daughter's wedding -


Thursday, January 13, 2011

What's Really Important?

I think deep down we all know what is really important, but we tend to lose sight easily. We can't turn on the TV without seeing a ridiculous, amazing looking person try to sell us something that will make us thinner, prettier, or richer. We think that only if we were thinner, prettier, and richer life would be more fulfilling and easier. If we are over weight, we don't keep up with the latest fashion, and broke as a joke, then our life must be pretty worthless, right? Absolutely not! 
So what is really important? Relationships. A relationship with Jesus. A relationship with your husband and children. A relationship with your family and friends. That is what really is important. 
I lose sight so easily and then God reminds me... Life is not how to get what you want. Most of the situations in your life turn out the way you never expected them to and what really matters in the end is relationships with people you love. That is what really matters.... your spouse, your children, your family, your friends. Not looks, not material things... it's loving one another. 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34 

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10