Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hey there!

Hey there!  It's been a hot minute since I posted here, did ya miss me?  I have been super busy but I promise I have some really cool things coming in the next few weeks including a few videos and makeup tutorials.  Until then here is what I have been up to lately in pictures.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


This is a time of year that many of us stop and take the time to reflect on the past year.  It is also a great time to reflect on the things that we are thankful for.  I was contacted by Oscar Insurance, a health insurance company that services New York and New Jersey, to participate in their #WeAreThankful campaign and share a few things from this past year I am thankful for.

1.  I am thankful that I did not give up on myself like I have so many times before.  I spent the first six months of 2014 stuck at what I thought was a plateau that would last forever.  However, I didn't want to let myself down again nor all of you so I pushed and made it through it and lost another 20 lbs this year bringing my total weight loss to 50+ lbs.  Hard work and determination really pay off!

2.  I am thankful for all the wonderful people I have met this year via this blog and social media.  Although, I have not met these people face to face, I consider them friends because they encourage me day in and day out and have been so kind to me.  If any of you are reading this please know how dear to me you are.

3.   Last but not least I am eternally thankful for the love of a good man and the opportunity to be a mother to one spunky little girl.  They have loved me through my darkest times and have shown me the meaning of unconditional love.

What are you thankful for?

Sunday, November 16, 2014


So over the last two weeks I have really not been tracking or working out consistently and I really want to be 289.9 by Thanksgiving.  I am at 294.5 right now. So I am taking a page out of Dwayne Johnson's book.

and because he is just so damn sexy (that smile though) I added this one too.

I am going to really focus on tracking and weighing everything and hitting the gym EVERYDAY.   Brent has decided that he is going to join the gym, so we are going to start lifting together during lunch.  I am so excited that he is willing to take this step I will sacrifice anything, even if that means looking ratchet the remainder of the day at work.

I have a really bad habit of doing really well for a week or so and then hit a road bump and get off target.  So hopefully with these changes I will form some long lasting habits.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Balance is the key

I wanted to share a makeup look and outfit that I wore last week that I thought really balanced each other.

First let's examine the outfit.

The outfit is rather plain and neutral. I wore this outfit on a day that I knew I was going to be on my feet a lot at work.    The top and bottoms are both from Lane Bryant, the shoes are Payless.  I kept the accessories simple just my wedding rings, anniversary band, and pearl earrings.  Because the outfit was simple I knew I wanted to create a more dramatic look with my makeup.

Let's take a look at the makeup.

I pulled my hair back in a poofy half up do (because I do not have time for elaborate makeup and hair on the same day).  With my hair pulled back I wanted all the focus to be on my eyes.  So I kept the shadow neutral and rocked a heavy wing.  Lucky for me the wing gods smiled upon me and they came out crisp and even.  I finished the look off with a soft pink blush and a nude pink lip because it was all about the eyes.

For everyday wear your look should be balanced.  If your outfit is simple play up your features with your makeup.  If your outfit is bold I recommend keeping your makeup more neutral so the look isn't screaming "hey everybody look at me" in a negative way. You don't want to look excessive and over done, like you are desperate for attention.  Find a good balance and work it!

Would you wear this look?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Transformation Tuesday

I will let the pictures speak for themselves today.

Left - August 2013/Right - October 2014

Left - August 2013/Right - October 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fitness Friday and Old Navy

So I stepped on the scale this week and the miracle that happened a couple of weeks ago was not a dream, I repeat not a dream people.  I weighed in at 299.6 which means I can officially claim my spot in the 200 club.

However, while I am still celebrating I have really been struggling with consistency.  I have a whole lot of excuses but I will not bore you with them, they are typical excuses.

I really want to be in the 280s by Thanksgiving so I am joining SkinnyMeg's dietbet next week and going to get my butt to the gym 3 times a week to lift following the lifting workout she also shared HERE.  God bless her for helping out us struggling folk!

So now on to the Old Navy part.  Last weekend I stopped in to Old Navy to look for some winter clothes for Madelynn.  While I was there I was curious to see how far I have to go before I can start wearing their clothes again (used to be one of my favorite stores in HS).

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

I CAN FIT INTO XXL TOPS AT OLD NAVY!!!!!!!  The black shirt is a BUTTON down shirt for goodness sake!  There are button down shirts at Lane Bryant that I cannot get to fit right, so you bet your sweet fanny I bought that shirt (clearance $9)!   Oh and I am totally going to get that jacket, I am still trying to decide what color.

So there ya have it, this is my motivation for getting my butt in gear and really hammering it in before the holidays (and through the holidays).  I want Lane Bryant to be a distant memory by January 1.

What is currently motivating you?

Be sure to check out the other ladies linking up for Fitness Friday HERE

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Real Talk - Marriage

I will be the first to say that marriage is hard work.  Some days I am so angry at Brent I can't see straight and other days I am gushing with love for him.  We have finally reached a place in our relationship where the happy days far outnumbers the tough days.  If I'm speaking honestly it is because I let go.

After we first got married I had images of what an ideal marriage was and how our lives were going to play out.  First mistake.  I would get all worked up because I would make myself think he had to do certain things to prove his love for me.  I would get angry because he didn't do this or that like I wanted.

Fast forward a few years, we are almost four years in to our marriage and we become parents.  Becoming parents put a significant strain on our relationship.  There was a while where I wasn't sure if we were going to make it.  We lived life always putting Madelynn first and slowly our relationship dwindled.  I became so depressed because I would imagine a love/marriage like in the books I read (I was reading a lot of Nicholas Sparks around that time) or in the movies I watched.

After a couple of years of bumpy roads things started to get better.  Each day we were fighting less, laughing more and genuinely enjoying being together.  Just the other day I found myself thinking about why am I so happy now and how our marriage has become stronger than it has ever been?

This is why...

I let go of the perfect marriage I had built in my head all those years ago.  I let go of the ideal romance that the movies and books shove down our throats.  I stopped comparing my relationship with those around me.  I stopped dwelling on what I felt were his shortcomings and started focusing on the little things he did that made me happy.  I started showing him more appreciation for the daily things he does for our family, even if it is as small as folding a load of towels. I quit harping on him about every little thing I disagreed with or felt he did wrong.  I learned not to sweat the small stuff and let things go.  Once I found myself letting go of the fantasy I became happy.  I became more in love with him and our relationship began to thrive.

Will we still have rough patches?  Probably.  However, those bad days won't seem as bad if I just let go a little bit.

I couldn't imagine life without him being there to make me laugh.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

In case you missed it.

It finally happened and I am no longer in the 300 club, I slid right in to the 200 club this

The last time I was in the 200s  is best described in the words of Billy Joel "I haven't been there for the longest time".

I will say that I was right on the cusp of breaking 300 this last weekend and then my sweet baby angel passed her stomach virus on to me.  I was sick Monday and that solidified the victory.  I weighed this morning to make sure it wasn't a dream and it still says the same....#winning!

What victory are you celebrating this week?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

I got pinspired!

I can probably count on one hand how many things from Pinterest I have made or replicated.  It is so fun to spend hours pinning things you will never do.  I got a wild hair a couple of weeks ago after pinning some outfits and decided to replicate one of the outfits I found from Full Figured and Fashionable. Side note - I literally pinned like 10 of the outfits from her blog and will be trying to replicate them this fall/winter.  

Here is the original.

Image Courtesy Full Figured & Fashionable
Here is what I came up with.

The jacket I already had (jean jackets are my fave), I stumbled across the skirt while browsing through Target clearance online ($13) and the shirt is a Lane Bryant cami I bought (after coupons $ 10). I don't have a thick belt but can foresee one in my future.  

What do you think?  

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Fashion Alert: Vintage Inspired Dress

If you know anything about me then you know I adore all the vintage things.  I have been yearning for so long to start adding some vintage inspired pieces to my wardrobe.  Being a plus size gal it is hard to find anything vintage inspired and when you do it usually cost a boat load of cash.  Just when I had given up all hope Eshakti walked in to my life.  The first thing I noticed about this company was their motto, "Real fashion for real people" and I am real people so I though I would give it a go.

After browsing over their endless selection of items (I wanted one of everything) I settled for a vintage inspired, pleated cotton dress, in purple and white polka dot (which Madelynn affectionately refers to as my "Lucy" dress).  The best part about ordering from EShakti, brace yourselves for this, you can have the item custom made to fit YOUR body.  So I had Brent measure me up, submitted my order and waited anxiously for my dress to arrive. I ordered my custom dress on Sept. 9th and it was waiting on my doorstep on Sept. 22nd.  I don't think that is too long for a custom piece, I mean I have waited much longer for non custom pieces.  I will admit I was nervous that I may have measured wrong and it wouldn't fit.  Nope! It fit like a glove, made just for me!

I styled it two ways.

The first look is more classic/traditional with a modern twist of a bright cardi and leopard flats (animal print is a hot Fall 2014 trend).

My favorite thing about the dress is IT HAS POCKETS! 

The second look is more modern and edgy with a denim jacket (a wardrobe staple for me) and grey booties.

I adore this dress and foresee myself ordering from Eshakti in the future.  If you want to try them out you can get 10% off your order using promotional code "assignmentamanda"

Which look do you like better?

Disclaimer - I was given this dress from Eshakti in exchange for my review of their service and product but as always the opinions expressed in this post are my own.    

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bargain Beauty: Wet n Wild Cosmetics

You may have heard of this brand from back in the day.  I picked up a few products, watch below to see how I liked them.

Disclaimer:  I purchased this product with my own money and am just sharing my opinions of what I bought.  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blog friends = Real Friends, Right?

Today I wanted to share some blogs that I read faithfully.  The women who run these blogs are awesome and I would love to meet them in person someday.

1. Aubrey from  ALG, Uninterrupted .  She is a working mom like me and I love how she incorporates her faith in her weight loss journey.

2. Jasmine from Fleurty and Fit.  She has been working hard on her fitness and looks amazing.  I love the humor in her post and how genuine she is.

3. Madeline from My Quest to Eudemonia.  I recently found her blog.  In just a few short months she has transformed her body.  Her dedication to a healthy lifestyle inspires me so much.

4. Desiree from Finding the Skinny Geek Within.  I love her posts.  She is honest about her journey and I love that she owns her geekyness.

5. Megan from Selfish Momma.  We are similar in so many ways.  I swear sometimes when I am reading her post I feel like I am reading my life.

6. Jess from Operation Skinny Jeans. I admire how she is genuinely trying to help others find the same happiness that she has.  Plus her smile is infectious and I adore her style.

I hope you check out some of these fantastic ladies.  They are beautiful and awesome and I admire each and everyone of them.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tips for starting your own weight loss journey

Hi dolls!  It is Monday and I know a lot of us wait for a fresh week to start something new.  Some of you may be starting your own weight loss journey and some of you might be getting back on track.  Watch below for tips on how to start and be successful in your own weight loss journey.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Fitness Friday: One Year Ago

I am linking up with Aubrey from ALG, Uninterrupted for Fitness Friday and taking a look back to one year ago when I started my weight loss journey.

One year ago I was a depressed frail woman.

One year ago I weighed 344.8lbs and had to buy my first pair of size 28 pants.

One year ago I was so uncomfortable in my own skin and was consumed with self-hate.

One year I go I said enough was enough and did something about it.

One year ago I set out to become the woman I wanted to be.

Today I am confident.

Today I am happy.

Today I love me.

In one year I have lost 39.5 lbs but more importantly in one year I have found myself.  I know who I am and who I want to become.  I smile back at the woman in the mirror because she is beautiful, smart, and kind regardless of the number on the scale or the size of her pants.    In one year I have found my self-worth and know the value I add to the world.

What a difference one year makes.

Left - 8/31/13, 344.8 lbs/Right - 9/4/14, 305.3 lbs

From a size 28...

  ...to a size 22.

Imagine the difference one year from now. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Updated Family Photos

A few weeks ago I spontaneously won a free family photo session from a local photographer, Michelle Voigt.  All you had to do to enter was like and share her page and comment why you felt you should win.  My "why" was because I have lost 35+ lbs over the last year and updated family pics would be a nice reward.  I was so shocked that she picked me.  Can I just say I really loved working with Michelle, she was so sweet and really captured our love.

Before I go any further, the last time we had family pictures was in December 2011.  When I got them back, I hated every picture I was in and never printed them out.  Here is a sampling of them.

You get the point.  It also didn't help that I had gotten my hair cut right before the pics and she cut off way more than I wanted.

Anyways, coming back to the present.  I was really excited to update the family pics and I love them.  Here are a few of my favorites.

These are definitely getting printed and the one where we are sitting is getting blown up and hung in the living room. I may not be where I want to be weight wise but I am loving myself during the process.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Looking forward

Hey dolls, happy Friday!  I wanted to stop in an let you know the blog is getting a makeover this weekend and I could not be more excited.  With this makeover I am going to expand my posts beyond weight loss but don't worry I am not leaving that behind.  This weekend mark one year since I started my weight loss journey and I will be posting about that next week!

Have a great weekend and be sure to check next week!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Give a little bit...

So hubby is putting his years of video gaming to good use and is going to participate in a 24 hour Extra Life event on October 25th to raise money for the Seattle Children's Miracle Network Hospital.  Basically, he is going to play video games for 24 hours and stream his gameplay to help raise money for those precious little angels.

Now you may be asking yourself why I am telling you all of this.  Well it would be super could support him an donate to his cause.  When he signed up he only set his donation goal for $100 and it would be so awesome if he met his goal (he is currently at $65) and I know it would blow his mind if it was surpassed.  Here is where you come in.  Any donation you can make (even if it is just $1) would be much appreciated.  If you haven't a penny to spare at this time and still want to help, the power of prayer works as well!

For those of you wishing to donate you can do so by clicking the link below.  Thanks dolls!

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Monday, August 25, 2014

First day of school

Being a parent is bittersweet.  I say this all the time and those words get more true with each year.  Today is Madelynn's first day of school and I am full of mixed emotions.

I am sad that she isn't a baby anymore, I am excited for her to start her new adventure, I am proud of the little girl she is and cannot wait to see her grow and learn.

Yesterday, I think all of us (mom, dad, and MJ) were starting to feel really anxious about this morning and how it would go.  Last night we packed her lunch, picked out a cute outfit and made it to bed at a decent time.  When she woke up this morning she was PUMPED and I was feeling more nervous than ever. I get so worried that she is going to be lost in that big school crying because she can't find her way.

Anyways, we made it to her classroom and she handled it like a champ.  No crying, no burying her face in my dress, or whining because she didn't want us to leave.  As we left her all I could do was smile and swallow the lump in my throat.

Today starts a new adventure and my baby girl has big dreams.

Anybody else have kiddos starting school today?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why I put the down the polar

So a couple of weeks ago the chest strap part of my polar watch went dead.  I had another battery and was going to change it out but after giving it some thought I decided to leave it behind from now on.

I know that some of you may be shocked by this revelation but let me drop a little bit of truth on you.  The biggest reason I decided to leave it behind was because it wasn't motivating me in a healthy way.  For example, I wanted to get a high calorie burn so I could post a pic on Instagram/Facebook showing off my hard work.  I am all about taking pride in hard work but approval of others shouldn't be the motivation.

The second reason I left it behind is because I am gonna burn what I burn.  I lift more and do less cardio nowadays and some days (like leg day) I am going to burn more and some days (like arm day) I am going to burn less. Fact.  It doesn't mean that I didn't get in a good work out. With the switch to IIFYM, calories are no longer my primary focus so I don't really care if I burned 250 cal or 750 cal.  It matters that I got in my workouts for the week.

Lastly, the dang chest strap was always moving during lifting and the clasp was starting to leave a nice little scar from all the rubbing.

So there is my truth for this lovely Monday.

How do you feel about using a fitness watch?

Friday, August 15, 2014

The perfect song

Have you ever heard a song and feel like it just fits your current place in life?  This song is that for me.

I have reached a place where I am honestly happy and whenever I hear this song all I can think of is Brent and Madelynn.  That make me truly happy and love me no matter what.  Where ever we are together I am home.  

What is a song that fits your life right now?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

An Open Letter to Robin Williams

Dear Robin,

We never had the chance to meet nor do I suppose our paths would ever cross.  However, you were part of my life through your art.  You first entered my life in the late 80's when I would watch reruns of Mork and Mindy with my parents.  Although, I was far too young to get all the jokes I was able to perfect my own "Na-Nu Na-Nu".  

As the years went on I watched many of your films and was always captivated by your performance.  The number one thing that always pulled me in was your infectious smile.  How could anyone see you smile and not find themselves smiling back?

With the news of your death I guess there was significant pain and sorrow behind that wonderful smile.  I am sorry that you were quietly suffering in this world and I am sorry that you felt the only relief was to end it all.  You were loved by so many and it saddens me that you reached a place where you could no longer feel that love.

I hope you find the peace you were seeking.  I pray that God wraps His strong arms around your family during this difficult time and gives them comfort as they mourn your loss.  Even though you are gone your legacy will remain.

Your fan, Amanda

Monday, August 11, 2014

My Kim Kardashian Ugly Cry

This weekend was tax free weekend in Texas, so we went shopping to buy Madelynn some school clothes (Lord help me, I am not ready for her to be a Kindergartner).  Since every one was having good sales I figured I would pop on into the Lane Bryant outlet.

I get all of my possibilities into the dressing room and start trying them on.  Before we go any further I need to note that I grabbed a myriad of sizes truly expecting most to either be too big or too small.  Moving on, I found these size 22 slacks and thought, why the hell not?.  

I stared at them as I put them on thinking I am not even going to be able to get these suckers past my hips.  WRONG!  I got them on and buttoned and I didn't even have to suck it in!  I was pretty stoked.  When I walked out to show them to Brent, I lost it.

I cried because I have not been in a size 22 since 2004. Poor Brent and Madelynn were semi-freaking out because they thought I was upset but they were not tears of sorrow my friends.  They were tears full of joy and pride.

I am starting my week feeling full of power and confidence. I wish that for all of you and remember...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Have you considered weight loss surgery?

This is a questions that I have been asked countless times.  Every time I am asked this the only answer I really want to supply is, DUH! However, there are reasons why weight loss surgery is not right for me.

1.  It is MAJOR surgery.  I think many people assume that weight loss surgery is the "easy" way out.  Um no.  There are so many risks involved with surgery and anesthesia that frankly scare the hell out of me.  Plus then you have to add in recovery time.  No thanks.

2.  I cannot imagine never being able to eat certain foods (breads) ever again because they cause clogging or discomfort.  I know that I have to remove emotional attachment to food but I am not sure I can picture not eating a little bit of cake on my birthday.

3. Weight loss surgery is an absolute last option for me.  I can only allow myself to choose this route if I have really committed and worked on weight loss and it wasn't working.  I know I can do it when I really dedicate my effort to it.

With this said, I am not saying that weight loss surgery isn't right for others nor am I trying to make it seem like an easy way out.  People have many reasons why they choose that route and I am not judging.  We all choose different pathways to get to our health and fitness goals and that is OK.

What are your thoughts on this?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Are you still there?

Hey y'all.  Sorry for being MIA on the blog recently.  I promised in my last post that I was going to do another vlog and have it up last week.  We all see how that went.

Cue the excuses.  This is a really busy time at work and I was trying to finish up summer school and get back into a good workout routine so it had to wait.  Plus I really want to put more effort into my vlogs and do it right.

In other news, I have been doing really good with my eating but I did over do it slightly on carbs over the weekend.  It is nothing that a couple of days and water won't fix.

I have also been more consistent with getting my sweat on.

And it has been paying off.  Check out that baby bicep.

I do have some things lined up for the blog this week.  Just remember if you miss me on the blog you can always find me in Instagram (@assignmentamanda).  I am addicted....seriously.