Friday, August 7, 2015

Caution: Insanely Moody Person Approaching

I'm writing this blog post because one my boyfriend thought it would be helpful, which I agree with, and two, I want to always be 100 percent honest with all of you. 

I started going through my first lupus flare a few weeks ago just as I was finally starting to adjust to my new medication. My rheumatologist decided to put me on Prednisone to help with the flare. Initially I started feeling much more energetic but then I started to notice some side effects. 
By side effects I mean I go from completely and utterly depressed in a corner crying, to complete psycho b**** mode, to the happiest person on this planet in a matter of minutes. I swear it's unreal. Plus I feel like I've gained 20 pounds by how bloated I am. It's so hard to look in the mirror and see so much round (not like some of it isn't round when I'm not on steroids but you get my drift). 

Yesterday I had a total meltdown and ruined everything my boyfriend had planned for my birthday. I don't know why I am so lucky to have someone who cars about me so much and is so understanding, but I do. He also brought to my attention that I have been very down compared to my normal self and I don't think I realized how true that is. I only have a few days of steroids left and they could not come sooner. I am extremely worried that my energy will go right back down though.

I think he would rather have me sleeping compared to me yesterday though! I wouldn't be able to get through most of my days without such a supportive person by my side and I'm so beyond grateful for him. It is amazing how much one person can change your life, truly. 

So basically where I'm going with this is it's been really hard lately to be myself and I have to force it a lot of the time. I definitely wish I could just say screw it and stop eating right and working out but I know that will only make me feel worse. I have hated taking medicine my whole life and to rely on a few prescriptions does not make me feel good. I don't like the feeling of my emotions taking over me and hurting the people I love. This is my life right now and I'm dealing with it but I needed to vent a little. So thank you for reading! 

Xoxo Christina 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Did You Miss Me?

Ok so let's cut to the chase... I forgot about my blog. I completely went on a hiatus and neglected this poor little thing for months. This is why we can't have nice things! Anyways, I'm back and ready to mesmerize you with my crazy exciting life (I'm going to have to find some crazy and exciting things to do fast). 

First of all it's a new month! On top of it being a new month it is my birthday month! 

I am going to be 25 in a few short days and I'm starting to actually panic a little. This birthday is sneaking up like an ominous black cloud showing me all the things I haven't accomplished by my mid twenties. Screw the cloud, I'm actually kind of happy with where my life is at right now! 

The next thing August brings is new goals. So guilty, that's why I am writing this blog. I needed a little push to get this going. I haven't known what to write about. So my goals are both tangible and specific. That is the only way I make progress. My water intake is depressing and I really need to focus more on that. So far I have hit my goal both days of August. I will start working out more regularly, that has been slacking due to my joint pain and exhaustion. I need to push through anyways. The last goal I am giving myself is to track absolutely everything. This is going well so far also. So well that my weeklies are in the negatives right now, oh well Memphis is getting the best of me (I'm on vacation by the way, dedication people!). 

I promise not to leave you all alone for that long again. I also will be revamping this blog to include my etsy shop and a little more cooking! Watch out for the changes, I think they're going to be fabulous! 

Happy August! 

Xoxo Christina 

Friday, May 1, 2015

April Goals Recap and New May Goals

New month everyone! I want to do a recap on my April goals and then talk about my May goals! 

Oh April, you were a struggle. First goal I set was to lose 5 pounds and I came just short of that at 4 pounds. My eating this month would fluctuate between amazing and disastrous. I'm honestly surprised that I even lost 4 pounds. That's still a pound a week which is good but I would really like to be closer to the two pounds a week mark. 

Next goal was just setting myself up for failure. I knew this was not going to happen even before I had my exercise restriction from my doctor (since I now have had strep for two months and I cannot get rid of it, I'm not allowed to exert myself on this round of antibiotics). I  have been taking it easy trying to get my body back to as healthy as possible. 

I crushed my goal of only one caffeinated beverage a week and actually took it all the way to no caffeine at all. That made me feel pretty great actually! I don't really miss it except for an occasional Iced Unsweetened Green Tea!

I did try two new workouts this month both in the form of DVDs. I did Hip Hop Abs (which I loved) and a Toning DVD for butt and thighs that my boyfriends mom lent me. That one was brutal, really really brutal. Which means it was good for me! 

Overall it wasn't too terrible but I need to learn how to make sure I'm setting attainable goals. 

The first goal I am really excited about because it is a 30 day crunch challenge through my Inatagram buddies. We are all partnered up with buddies to make sure we push each other! Project summer tummy is in motion starting today! 

The second goal is something I really should be doing but I find myself being a little lazy some days. If you put it in your mouth it goes into the tracker! End of story. Even if it's 300 points it's getting entered. Side note, do you think anything could be that many points? Now I'm just curious.

The third goal is branching out from last month but I want to allow myself the option to grab a green tea if I want. Nothing else. 

The last goal for May is going to be the hardest one for sure. My sister is graduating from Ohio State next weekend and my whole family will be going up to Ohio. Every single food weakness for me exists in Ohio. Normally I allow myself to eat whatever I want but this time I am going to try to stay within my points. I will allow myself a little celebrating for her but I need to keep it under control. We'll see if it's possible! 

What are all of your May goals?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Making Things Happen In The Kitchen

I'm not really sure why, but I go through major phases where I stop cooking. The most confusing part of this to me is that cooking is one of my favorite past times. It is healthier, cheaper, and usually tastier (except when I totally screw up) then going out. However, a few days ago I decided this hiatus has gone on long enough and I marched (drove) to Sprouts. I would say 9 times out of 10 I lean on a Skinnytaste recipe. If you haven't ever checked Gina out, she's amazing! Her recipes are the reason I was able to stick to Weight Watchers in college. Ok, on to the recipe! 

Skinnytaste Crock Pot Balsamic Pork Roast (slightly modified) 


  • 2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast (sirloin roast)
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 large sweet onions 

First I trimmed any extra fat off of the pork. Then liberally season all sides of the roast with the salt, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. I used some extra red pepper flakes because I like my food spicy! 

Then I wanted to add onions to the recipe so I just sliced up some sweet onions and threw them in the bottom of the crock pot. 

Then I put the roast on top of the onions, they made a nice little bed for it. The next step is to combine the chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce and pour over the roast. 

Finally, drizzle the honey over the roast. 

I have a little too for this step. I always spray my measuring cup or spoon with non stick spray before adding honey. It lets all of the honey come out of the spoon and makes for easier clean up! 

The last step is the hardest, the waiting! I set my crock pot for 8 hours and went to work! 

I think the most rewarding part of a crock pot recipe, besides having dinner cook itself while you're busy, is the smell when when you walk in the door. Heaven! Then you pull that delicious thing out of the crock pot and get to shredding! 

Quick and easy 5 point meal that made enough to eat all week! I love having several meals out of one recipe! You guys should hurry up and give this a try! 

I served this with oven roasted broccoli (0pp) and oven roasted rosemary potatoes (3pp weight watcher recipe)!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

There's An App For That

A lot of people ask me how I stay on track and keep motivated. Let's get real, sometimes I'm not either. I'm human and I get lazy and bored. However good ol technology lets me get an extra hand when I'm slacking. I wanted to share with you some of my favorite apps I use. And no I'm not getting paid for any of these, my life is not that interesting yet! 

First and foremost, the mother of them all on my phone, the Weight Watchers mobile app. I'm not sure if I've ever discussed on here that I do not attend meetings. I am an online member for Weight Watchers. This app is my life, it tells me where and what I can eat. Obviously sometimes I look at it and pretend I didn't see that brownie sundae was 35 points (then my butt reminds me the next day when it's a few inches rounder) but hey, that's what weeklies are for! I love all the restaurants loaded in the system because as a mid 20s girl, I like to go out. I also love that it syncs with my Fitbit to put my activity points in, I'll elaborate more later. The weight tracker has a graph or table feature, I like the table because I can see my week to week progress clearer. Basically if I didn't have this app I would still be 62 pounds heavier! 

The almighty Fitbit app keeps my booty in gear when my mind is trying to convince us a Netflix binge is a good idea, I mean sometimes it is though Scandal demands attention! Anyways, I love the challenges with friends options because I'm competitive and hate losing. Although I also don't have a death wish and I'm not about that 20,000 steps a day life. Maybe soon, probably not. Again, it syncs with my WW app so I know how many chocolate covered almonds I can have for that two mile walk (4 if you were wondering). I have the flex and it's all I need right now but I want to upgrade the the Charge HR eventually! 

Instagram has changed the way I view weight loss entirely. I started putting a few little tidbits about my journey on my Instagram when I had seriously maybe 50 followers. I started gaining new people and with it I was quickly receiving support that was indescribable. These men and women going through the same thing as me and cheering me on. Strangers cheering ME on. What? As my followers grew I started building relationships with a few people. I seriously consider my followers my friends. They really are all my fitness family. It also helped me find my new girls #wwsendtheloveteamslim ! These women are helping me become the me I've always wanted to be. Without Instagram I know I wouldn't have had the success I've had to this point. 

This is a fun app I recently discovered. You put in your starting weight, current weight, and goal weight and it gives you a visual to see your progress. You can also change the model to look more like yourself. Or if you're bored like me you can pretend your hair is different colors and quickly realize you should never go blonde, just don't do it Christina. It's a fun little tool, check it out! 

My biggest issue with the WW app is the lack of a recipe builder. I am far too lazy to go hunt down my laptop so I can log in to Weight Watchers and pull up the recipe builder. My Fitbit is staring at me right now saying we could use the steps. It really is just inconvenient when you're cooking to have to get your whole computer. This app lets me get a better estimate on recipes. I have had a few glitches and problems but overall it works for what I need it for. 

Ok! So those are my go to apps! Anybody have any other suggestions?  Thanks for reading! 

When You've Been Waiting For Answers And You Finally Get Them

Hello everyone! So for the last year my body has just not been itself. Strangle little things were going on like fevers, severe joint pain, night sweats, swollen lymph nodes, dizziness, extreme fatigue, and on and on. My GP put me on antibiotics which did absolutely nothing and then sent me to an ENT. He took one look at me and said he wouldn't touch me until I was cleared by an oncologist. Let me just tell you that hearing you're being sent to an oncologist is the scariest thing in the entire world. I met with the oncologist who informed me my symptoms were text book lymphoma symptoms (let's clarify that my symptoms match about 10 million things). I went through months of scans and a biopsy to rule out cancer. So that left me in August with no answer still. I went to a Rheumatologist to rule out Lupus and RA where all he could inform me was that he was pretty sure I had an autoimmune disease. For months I sat idle just dealing with everything thinking I wasn't ever going to get an answer for what was wrong with me. Then on March 1st I got strep. Went to the doctor got my antibiotics all was great until three days after I finished my antibiotics and the strep came back. My GP sent me to an infectious disease specialist and that's where I finally found out what was wrong with me!

It turns out I have an autoimmune deficiency which makes it nearly impossible for my body to fight off the simplest of things. It took three rounds of antibiotics, with the last two being through a daily IV, to get rid of the strep. Now I'm looking at biweekly plasma infusions to try and rebuild me immune system. 


I had my first IVIG therapy yesterday and it was a long 3 hours. My head is pounding, my arms hurts like you know what where they did the infusion, my stomach isn't a happy camper at all, and I'm so exhausted (which is hard to beat my normal exhaustion levels). I'm not trying to whine but it was just a little more intense than I was expecting. I'm hopeful these will finally help me feel better but I don't want to get my hopes up just yet. I need my body to get its life together and stop attacking itself!! 

So I've been trying to find some funny memes to cheer me up a bit! I'm hoping by Friday or Saturday to return to my normal activity level! I let all of this really affect my weight loss from last March through this past January. I keep telling myself if I was dying or something I was going to eat that damn brownie! Which was all fun and games until I realized this is no excuse to not still focus on my weight loss. I'm only going to feel better the more weight I lose (which let me say isn't actually that true I'm finding but it makes people feel better to tell me that). It gets frustrating when people assume you feel fine because your hair is brushed and you have makeup on. Just because I'm not lying dead on the ground does not mean I feel good. I get tired of saying I hurt or I'm not feeling up to something, that doesn't mean it's not true. So just keep that in mind with anyone dealing with a chronic illness. Just because they're living their lives doesn't mean it's easy for them! 

Thanks for reading! 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gaining More Than I Lose

Hello everyone!

So today I wanted to talk about what happens when you hit a wall on your weightless journey. The first few months with weight watchers were a complete breeze for me. When you have a significant amount of weight to lose the first 30 pounds tend to fall right off. Then you have the momentum from the initial loss to get you through another 15-20 pounds. That is where I started to struggle. Right at my 45 pound mark I got lazy. I slacked on my exercising and didn't track my points like I should have been. I had all the tools right at my finger tips and I just didn't use them. After hovering at my 45 pound mark for three months, I decided enough was enough and I had to keep pushing. I joined a gym that had just opened next to my house, signed up for personal training (which I have always been extremely intimidated by) and broke my plateau. Putting in the harder work has made me feel so incredibly good. My trainer pushes me to do things I didn't know my body was capable of and it is extremely rewarding. Weight training has started to shape some of my body and that is never a bad thing. I still have so long to go but  I am happy with the small changes I have made. So my tip is when you find yourself getting bored with whatever routine you have become accustomed to, switch it up. Try a new workout DVD or get outside and go for a walk. Don't be afraid to try something new!

Another small thing that helped me to push forward when I got lazy was to compare pictures of myself from before I started losing weight to current pictures of myself. You don't really appreciate your progress until you look at how far you've come in pictures. When you see yourself in the mirror everyday it's hard to notice the changes you're making. I still see a much bigger girl when I look at myself because I was used to staring at her for years. I know one day I'll be able to see myself more accurately but for right now I will keep relying on my pictures!

The last little tip I have for breaking out of a rut is following some motivational people on social media. I love reading about their stories and seeing how they overcame their own obstacles. The extra support you'll get back will only make you work harder!

The most important thing to keep telling yourself is that no matter how hard the weight loss gets, you have to keep pushing forward. Nothing is harder than putting all your weight back on and starting from square one. I have done that too many times to count and it will not be happening again. I will get back up every time I slip off or have a bad day. I will not stop until I am happy and healthy!