18 September 2013

Guest Post ~ Becca @ Sarge & Sunshine

Hey y'all! While I'm living it up at the Cape, one of my favorite and most the inspirational bloggers, offered to guest post for me. 

 Check out this great post from Becca at Sarge & Sunshine. She's the cutest and you'll totally be in awe of her transformation :) She's my fitness idol!


So I'm gonna dive right in and say, this is probably the scariest thing I've ever done; writing a guest post... It's true! I've never written one, but when Kelly expressed interest in a guest blogger, I just knew I had to give it a try. So thank you for having me today Kelly. I'll try not to let you down! 




Hi y'all. My name is Becca and I'm a fitness enthusiast! 

If you're anything like me, you LOVE motivational quotes (Pinterest creeper alert) and you might even have Post-It's all over your bathroom mirror and even in your underwear drawer, telling yourself to never give up. Never back down. Okay. That last little bit about my underwear isn't me, BUT--- I've been thinking about going there, ha! 

The quote/image above, I'm just in love with. It reminds me that, I AM my biggest wish master in life, and that turning wishes into reality is one simple formula. 

All it takes is discovering the dream, mapping out a plan and then going for it. Oh, and the purchase of some failure repellent, sold only inside your mind.

Lets take a journey back, 19 months ago...


Yup. That's me! Before my love of fitness surfaced, but after giving birth to one amazing, beautiful baby girl. She's my world!!! 

You see, I gained A LOT of unhealthy weight during my pregnancy. About 59 lbs to be exact (OH HELL, LETS JUST MAKE IT 60) and although everyone likes to tell you that baby weight is SOOOOO easy to loose, that's just not the case for every woman. Can I get an amen?! 

Sadly, I am one of these unlucky souls. And to make my case even unluckier...I was a proud breastfeeding mama who was (also) told, breastfeeding would sky rocket my weight loss into the heavens and. well. that didn't happen either. What was wrong with me! 

Seriously, I look back at these photos and just cringe. But I wouldn't throw them away for ANYTHING (less than an all expense paid vacation to Tahiti, staying in once of those AMAZING bungalows on the ocean) Yeah. I can be bought. BUT. Because that's never gonna happen, I say to you...This is apart of my history, ya know? History that, in a crazy way, I love that I have! BECAUSE I used it. I used it for a huge and positive change in my life, and not only in the physical sense but emotionally and mentally as well. You can't go through something like this, with it not ever having changed you.  


Starting at 6 weeks post-baby, I was down 20 lbs and cleared to start the long journey back into my size 6 jeans. YES! 

But now what? I had NO clue how to "diet" properly. Or even begin to know, how you tackle a huge number like 40 lbs. I had never needed to lose more than 10 of those jello jugglers, so I was seriously lacking the confidence for this and didn't know if I had it in me. 

However, there is something to be said about the hard truth staring you in the face. For the first time ever, I had a label (which I found through Google) and it read "over weight." That was sobering. So, with my new bracket of health and realizing I needed to drop 40 lbs, there was no room for excuses or procrastination. I HAD to make a change. 

If I didn't, I could see myself a few years from now, pregnant again, only adding more weight to the weight I already didn't lose. I couldn't let that happen! It's just not in me to be unhappy and remain so...


I didn't start out with a plan, really. That came later. I just knew that any solid weight loss plan involved movement, and so that's what I did! It came slow at first. My body ached and I got out of breath quickly. I also got frustrated at my lack of endurance. 

Some how, looking back to what you "used" to be able to do, just drags you down, making you want to quit. So I stopped that. Before I knew it, I was trying things like rock climbing, and Insanity. I picked up running again (however painfully slow) and did some hiking. I also enjoyed the adopted exercise of "rucking" that my husband, being in the military, is so well known for. I still remember the day I fit back in my wedding rings. That was monumental! 

But back to the husband. Seriously. Without him, I couldn't have done this as easily. He was such a good coach and so supportive. Bless his heart, he ate chicken, fish, sweet potatoes and rice for an entire summer, just so I didn't have to cook separate meals. 

But sadly, that summer ended, and with that came the dreaded deployment my husband was to embark on; his 3rd tour, but our first one as a married couple. This, if anything, could have broke my focus and resolve. And I won't lie. It did for a short time. But during that time, I moved myself and my daughter down to sunny Arizona, where we would wait the deployment out with my in-laws. That proved to be a very good move for my health; in so many ways, than just one.

I still needed a kick in the pants though, so I quickly joined a local YMCA and pulled together a community of like minded people, to join me in a weight loss challenge on Facebook. That seemed to be the accountability I needed, which saw me through to my goal of getting back in DEM'JEANS!    

When these pictures were taken, it had been a span of 14 months by the time I finally made it to my goal (Yes, I had some set backs with the holiday season, heehee) Not the 40 lbs I had set out for, but oddly enough, weight training gets you back into your jeans quicker, rather than just focusing on cardio for fat loss. I can't even tell you how good this day felt! 

What I got out of those 14 months, was so much more than a leaner waist line and my jeans back. I had built a lifestyle for myself and my family. A healthy one! I had also mastered my mind, proving I could do EXACTLY what I said I would do. Anyone who has been down this road, knows how mental weight loss and fitness is. It's exhausting. But if you stick with it, and come out on the other side. You've just become unstoppable to yourself and the world. 

 


This quote has been my rock, in terms of pursuing dreams, since I don't know when. It's so true, and something we all know, but reading it aloud seems to hammer it home. Don't you think? 

Whether you're starting out on a weight loss journey, going back to school, starting a new business or adopting a new hobby, I think these two pieces of advise have to be my strongest. 

1. Surround yourself with supportive people and outlets; kicking out anyone or anything negative, to include negativity you bring to the table! 

 2. Visualize the end result and NEVER let that go. Always remind yourself why you started in the first place and I guarantee, that fire will start to rekindle.  

Currently, I am 19 months post-baby, 128 lbs and loving the weight room at my local gym. I blog about my fitness journey (among other things, I can be random) over at Sarge & SunShine so, if you'd like to stop by and say hello, I'd consider it an honor! 

I hope y'all enjoyed reading and took something positive from this, for yourself. 

Keep on keeping on y'all! Kelly, thanks again for having me ♥

12 September 2013

Cape Cod Itinerary, Day 3 ~ Martha's Vineyard

It's been a while since I've had the chance to visit Martha's Vineyard and to be honest, I've only ever been there once before! I am looking forward to going back though and creating some more great memories with S.


I would love to rent a moped for the day and explore the island...

And you can't visit MV without visiting The Black Dog.





There are lots of beautiful sights to see and I promise to return with lots of photos. 

Hope you all have a great week next week!






Btw - the photos that I've used in the last couple posts are not my by any means nor do I claim them to be.

11 September 2013

New England-bound!

This weekend, S and I will be starting our trek north to CT, Cape Cod, and Martha's Vineyard. Since CT is my home state and most of my family still lives there, we also have two weddings to attend during our trip and lots of people to see.

Since most people we know will be working during the week, S and I decided to take a few days to explore Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Cape Cod and the Islands is one of my all-time favorite places and S has never been, so I am super excited to show him around!

Our Cape Cod itinerary looks a little something like this:

Monday:

Depart my parents' house to get an early start up to our first stop, Hyannis.

We can't check into the Inn that we're staying at until about 3pm so I figured that would give us plenty of time to walk around Main St. and the marina and have lunch. 

I'd love to take S to the British Beer Company, I think he'd love it!
Or Baxter's Fish N Chips is always an option, right on the marina.


 Hyannis also has some beautiful beaches and the cutest, most quaint little New England-esque neighborhoods. I also wouldn't mind to pay a little visit to the Kennedy Compound.

Once we check into Inn, I would love to explore a little more and show S around Chatham. There's a quaint little downtown area, a beautiful lighthouse, and I'm sure we could find a great place to have a delicious dinner.

Chatham Light

South Beach, Chatham (I'd LOVE to walk that beach!)

On Tuesday, we will be heading up to Provincetown aka P-town. I just love how Cape Cod is the epitome of New England. Weathered wood siding, crushed clam shells, lighthouses, sailboats and of course the Atlantic.




Maybe if we're lucky, we'll see a few drag queens.. Actually I don't doubt one single bit that we'll see drag queens haha.



Before we head back from P-town, I'm hoping we'll get to do a tour of the dunes as well. Another must-see when you are on the Cape.



Y'all just don't understand how excited I am for this trip. It's going to be amazing!

I feel so blessed to be able to share this with Shaun, especially since there is a pretty good prospect that we will be making a big move in the Spring ;)

Stay tuned for my post about Martha's Vineyard tomorrow!


10 September 2013

Military Monday (a day late!)

Wow, I'm practically MIA then TWO posts in one day! Oh just wait, I even have one for tomorrow and the next day!

Speaking of.. I will be out of town all next week and while this is definitely last minute notice, I would LOVE to have some guest posters! Let me know if you would be interested. I would need the post by the end of this week :)


Military Monday completely slipped my mind yesterday, but I want to make up for it today. Ashley from Eights on the Move presented the topic of:

Enlisted vs. Officer


What are your experiences with each side of the military and their spouses/significant others?

What are your opinions on the benefits and drawbacks? 

Or - is there really no big line drawn in the sand from your experiences?
Does your significant other's command blend the two seamlessly? Do you participate in the events together? Wives clubs? Treated differently for various aspects of military life?
I need you guys on this one. I have VERY LITTLE experience & knowledge about this so please give me all you have. Good, bad, ugly. Stereo-typed. Naive. I'll take anything I can get...

S is enlisted so I don't have a ton of experience with the officer side.

Earlier this year, S put in to be considered for OCS (Officer Candidate School), the same school that Ashley's hubby is going to be attending. He didn't get picked up for the program, probably based on a couple missing college courses and the fact that his degree isn't really related to the Nuclear Engineering. We found out later though, that everyone (ranks aside) that put in for OCS at S's command was denied. Apparently they are so short-staffed right now, they just weren't willing to let any of them go. I think that made us both feel a little better.

When S enlisted in the Navy, it was actually while he was in college and he didn't go to basic until after he graduated. He chose to go in as enlisted because he preferred the jobs that were available to enlisted members over those of an officer. He has gained a TON of hands-on experience and knowledge through being enlisted. He also scored a 97 out of a possible 99 on the ASVAB so don't let the fact that he is enlisted fool you, he is one super-smart cookie!

I am confident that S will work his way into the officer ranks in the next couple years; just because he didn't make it this time around doesn't mean that there won't be other opportunities.

As far as interacting with wives, I can't say that I know many or any Navy officer wives (outside of blogging, that is!) I have met many of S's enlisted friends' wives and some of them have become very good friends and some of my favorite people :)

One of the things that S told me when we started to get really serious was that he wasn't really sure if he wanted to introduce me to any of the wives because they can be really catty and dramatic. I guess he's kind of screened who he's introduced me to so I don't know how true that is because everyone I know (mostly) has been great.

He also told me that he didn't want me to get treated badly because I am the wife of an enlisted member and many wives feel that they have the same "rank" as their husbands and act accordingly. I have only really seen a little bit of that, but again, mostly everyone has been awesome :)

I guess once we actually get married and as I become more involved in the military community, we will find out exactly how it is. I'm hoping to find great friends though no matter where we move.


What are your experiences? Enlisted vs. Officer?

Weekend visitors and Gunner's 1st birthday ~

This past weekend was pretty eventful; S's brother and SIL came to visit with their dog, Roscoe, and we celebrated Gunner's first birthday with a trip to the beach.

Gunner's actual birthday was on Saturday, but we had planned to go sailing up at the lake with Dan and Amanda. It was an absolutely perfect day and we had a blast as always.



Charleston Restaurant Week also started recently so we decided to go for a nice dinner at Blossom. I had the Shrimp Cake appetizer, the Mahi entree, and the Caramel Fudge Brownie for dessert. It was all very good, as always.

I didn't realize it at the time, but found out later that Heather from Sweet Tea Monograms was there with her man as well! What a small world. If you haven't heard of her Etsy shop before, you should definitely check it out, she has the cutest stuff!




On Sunday, we packed up the pups and headed down to Edisto Island. The weather was perfect, once again, and the dogs had a blast playing and running up and down the beach.

 

This was the first time we let Gunner really run and play off his leash at the beach and he loved every single minute of it. He passed out in the car immediately and even though it's now Tuesday, he still seems exhausted!

My two loves<3

I couldn't get over how beautiful Edisto Beach is, so much less crowded than the other popular Charleston beaches. They also have a really pretty campground right on the beach filled with lots of green grass and palm trees galore. I can't wait to spend a weekend camping there!


Hope you all had a great weekend as well!!


06 September 2013

Summer isn't over yet!

First and foremost, I would like to say how proud I am of S today. He had a huge part in organizing the Day of Caring, which happens to be today, and is something that the whole command will be participating in. I will also be leaving work early to attend his reenlistment ceremony this afternoon. Love that boy.


S and I have still been trying to make the most of Summer before Fall sneaks it's way into South Carolina. Our weekends continue to be filled with enjoying the beach and lots of fishing.

I've especially been having a blast with some of my best girlfriends including Lindsey, Marie, and Bailee :)

Fishing at old Pitt St. bridget..

Even Gunner got to come along :)
 

I've been absolutely LOVING the new spots that we've found. No traffic, no crowds, and absolutely stunning.
S

S's brother and SIL are coming into town this weekend so that should make for a fun day at the lake tomorrow. Looking forward to this last bit of summer.

Hope y'all have a great weekend!



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