Creating the Best Version of Me

I’ve been running on autopilot lately, just going through the motions day in and day out. While there’s nothing wrong with autopilot at times, there comes a time where it can feel stagnant.

I’m currently feeling that way. I could continue to feel this way or I could do something about it. For me feeling stagnant leaves me feeling unhappy with myself. Not exactly how I want to live.

Last week in my Weight Watchers meetings, the topic was all about how to become your best self. It involved a little bit of a visualization on what your best self would look like. What kind of food/activity choices that self would make, how you would make time for yourself, and other things of that nature.

When I was leading the meetings, I really didn’t think about how the topic would apply to me. It was one of those where I gave the advice I really needed to hear myself.

As I was feeling stagnant, I got to thinking about the topic and it sort of clicked.

I’m not living life as the best version of myself.

Obviously, I don’t want to continue this way and need to make a change. Knowing this, I took some time to figure out what my best self looks like.

I opened up a notebook and wrote down everything that came to mind when I thought of my best self. I didn’t censor myself at all and just let it flow.

I wrote things like:

I meditate upon waking up. I go for morning walks. I drink delicious tea. I grow my own food. I spend less time on my phone. I drink smoothies. I attend yoga class. I work in coffee shops. I truly listen to what Mr. B. I spend more time with family & friends. I conquer fears. I spend more time outside. etc.

I decided I wanted to take it a step further and created a vision board. Vision boards have been around for a while, but I’ve never taken the time to actually create one. I figured that this was the perfect reason to get one going.

It is said that visualization is one of the most powerful brain exercises you can do. Also, when you visualize the person you want to be, it can really help you set goals that align with that vision. Putting it on a board and in a place where you can see it could really help you stay aware of what you are striving for.

No reason not to give it a try. Plus, it involves crafting and I love me some crafting.

What you’ll need:

  • A stack of old magazines (I hoard these things!)
  • A piece of heavier paper (I used a piece of 12×12 cardstock)
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick

The first step I did was go through the old magazines thinking about what I wrote down in the notebook. Anytime an image or phrase popped out at me that related, I ripped out the page.

I then took my scissors and cut out the specific images and phrases I wanted on my board. After I had more manageable pieces, I laid them out on my paper to see how it all fit before I made them permanent.

Once I had my layout determined, I got out the glue and stuck things down. Easy peasy!

I’m quite pleased with how it turned out, which I should be since it is MY vision board. I plan on putting it in my office where I will see it daily and plan my day in accordance to the goals I want to reach in becoming the best version of myself!

Have you ever created a vision board?

What does the best version of yourself look like?


Hashing (running + beer= fun!)

This week’s weigh-in wasn’t too shabby! I lost .4, which brings me even closer to getting back to goal. I’m not beating myself up anymore, I’ve realized that (as I have MANY time before), that it isn’t going to get me anywhere. I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing, which is working on tracking and moving my butt daily.

Speaking of moving my butt, Mr. B and I did a hash run last night. We had no idea quite what we were getting into when we decided to do it. But, we were enticed with the promise of beer. We were also told to get our costumes ready. The theme of the week was Mel Brooks’ movies, mine and Mr. B’s costumes were pretty simple and not quite as elaborate as some of our friends.

We went with quotes from Blazing Saddles on our shirts. Mr. B’s said “Badges? We don’t need no stinkin’ badges!” on the back.

There was also a nazi, the governor, and Barf! And several other great costumes. After a quick check-in and a quick rundown of what was going to happen, it was time to get everything started.

So, the basic concept of the hash run is someone takes off 10-15mins before everyone else and marks the trail the rest of us are to follow. There are stops along the way that include bars and just random neighborhoods with coolers of beer. Lots of craziness and a lot of fun.


We ended up running around 5-6 miles, which is something I have never done! But, the beer stops along the way made it much more bearable.


(Yes, that’s Hitler photobombing us)

It was quite the experience and I’m glad we decided to do it. Although, I am totally feeling that run today! Today’s agenda is some simple yoga and then getting ready to go with Mama B to Ames this weekend. Usually when leaving for the weekend, I forget tracking and all things Weight Watchers, but not this time. I’m going to pack up food options and plan on kicking ass this weekend. I’m ready to get back to goal!

What are your plans for the weekend?

Have you ever done a hash run?


Friend Makin’ Monday: Summer Fun

It’s been awhile since I participated in Kenz’s FMM! No better day than today!

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Summer Fun

1. What is your favorite summer fruit? cantaloupe for sure! I can eat a whole one!

2. Do you know how to swim? I am not a great swimmer, but I can manage.

3. Do you prefer sun or snow? Sunshine all the way! Snow would be great if cold weather wasn’t involved!

4. What temperature do you like most inside your home? Mr. B keeps it around 68. Which is FREEZING to me! I’m constantly under a blanket. Mr. B hates being hot though.

5. Is it humid where you live? It sure is. Never super unbearable though.

6. What is your favorite food to put on the grill? Anything and everything! Corn on the cob or a tuna steak are probably my faves though. Grilled pineapple is crazy delish too!

7. Do you prefer to wear a one-piece or two-piece swim suit? I’ve always done a one piece or a tankini. This year, I’m buying a bikini! I worked hard for this bod and I’m going to show it off!

8. What is your favorite summer drink? Water! :p I love me a good daiquiri or beer on the patio.

9. Do you prefer the pool or the ocean? I’m not picky! Although I’m REALLY far away from an ocean. So pools have to work for me!

10. What are you looking forward to most over the summer? I’m super stoked for Fitbloggin and mine & Mr. B’s vacation. We’re hitting up Portland after Fitbloggin and the to Seattle to visit friends. I cannot wait!! One month to go!! Woot!


Media Whirlwind and a Resolution with Shape

Where do I even begin with everything that has happened over the last week?

I never thought that when I posted about me deciding to pull out from a story with Shape that it would go completely viral on the internet. I posted only to explain the situation, never for attention, never to bash Shape, and never because I felt like I needed to whine. (yes, there have been people who said I did it for those exact reasons) I just felt like I owed my readers an explanation and wanted to start a conversation.

And start a conversation I did….WOAH.

I can’t even keep track of all the places my story has shown up, but it has been all over the world quite literally.

It all started last Tuesday when I had interviews with several websites including BuzzFeed and Yahoo Shine. Huffington Post reposted my blog, Refinery29 did a interview, you could find it on Cosmo’s website, and even E!News.

I had gone viral. The views on my website went through the roof and crashed my blog several times.

And that was just the beginning.

Wednesday was more phone calls from The Today Show in Australia, Good Morning America, HLN, and NBC’s Today. I was busy on the phone trying to get travel plans made, rescheduling travel plans, and setting up times to do interviews.

Then it was off to Chicago to meet up with Mr. B who had flown in from Minnesota (he was there for work). I cannot tell you how great it felt to finally see him after everything that had happened. He is my rock and after feeling so overwhelmed with everything, I needed his hug. (Seriously cannot sing enough praise for that man!)

It was a late night in Chicago filming for Good Morning America. Which was done in a hotel suite at like midnight.

After that we hit the hay for a busy day in Chicago on Thursday.

Thursday started off with watching my story on GMA, then breakfast before anything else. we went to Wildberry’s and I had this amazing waffle!

We got to relax at the hotel for a short time before my LIVE interviews with HLN and then The Today Show in Australia. Those were interesting to do and you can tell I was super nervous during the HLN one. I was super happy with the Today Show in Australia one though.

Interviews were done and after talking with the editors at Shape, we were taken to the airport to catch at flight to New York! We got in late and headed to bed since the TODAY interview would be happening early in the morning. There wasn’t too much sleeping on my part since my mind was racing with everything that was going to happen the next day.

Friday arrived and it was off to TODAY! There was hair and make-up with the cast of Mama Mia and a quick chat with Bahar (editor-at-large from Shape). Then we were taken upstairs where we waited for our segment.

I am so happy that it all turned into this. When I posted the blog post, I wanted a conversation to happen and wanted to spark a change in magazines today. That is exactly what happened. I’m excited to now be working with Shape to feature women who have gone through an extreme weight loss and showing their readers what can happen not only physically, but also mentally when doing just that.

This is a good thing.

I want to say thank you so much for all of your kind words through all of this! The positive response I have received has been overwhelming and I can’t even keep up with all the comments, emails, and messages. Thankfully the positive has far outweighed the negative, which is great to see. You guys rock and made this small-town girl feel pretty amazing over the last week. I’m glad to have been the girl who brought this conversation to the mainstream media and to have so much support throughout it all!

As for the negative people, sorry that you feel the need to bash people who are doing great things for this world. Nobody has time for that.

I will of course keep you updated with everything that is to come! Along with a more extensive, fun look at the day Mr. B & I spent in the Big Apple!

As always, share your thoughts below!

And remember, keep it kind. I appreciate honesty, but do it with tact. I do reserve the right to delete anything that doesn’t adhere to this.

(Links are included for most of my online/TV appearances)



Why I Refused to Put a Shirt on For Shape

A week or so ago Shape magazine online reached out to me. They wanted to do success story feature on their site about me. Being someone who enjoys putting herself out there and finding new ways to reach people, I agreed.

We set up a time for an interview and I sent them the following after picture to include.

The reporter got back to me and said: Thank you! These should work but I’ll let you know if my editor needs anything else. Talk to you soon!

We did the phone interview and chatted for about a half hour about my journey, my weight loss tips, and other things. She was super friendly and I enjoyed talking to her. She let me know that she would work on my piece and get back to me as soon as she knew when it would be published. I figured I’d here back in the next week or so, when only a couple of days later, I got the following email:

first email

Really? Have you logged on to Shape’s website lately? You can find MANY women in bikinis on the site.

I’m not going to lie, I was absolutely furious with the email and while I wanted to call them every name in the book and tell them how they were wrong. My inner lady (and help of Emily) spoke up and conducted a response:

my response

I awaited a reply and received the following the next day:

their response

Again, not happy about it. I was to be a part of their Success Stories feature on the website, where there are women in bikinis. Why all of the sudden was it ‘their policy’?

I sent another email stating the following:

last email

A few hours later I received a phone call from the woman who interviewed me. She explained that she was just the ‘in-between’ person between Shape and I, and that she had not meant to offend me in any way. She then went on to say that this had nothing to do with me and not wanting to celebrate women’s bodies. That they had just stated it was their policy now to include fully clothed photos for the feature.

She then asked me to reconsider my choice to no longer be featured, that my story is great and I would get a lot of exposure from it. I told her that the exposure wasn’t worth it to me, that I’m an honest person and I didn’t feel like the story was letting me be honest if I couldn’t share that photo. I told her that if their policy was to have fully clothed people, then they needed to do that with the rest of the site as well. She said she understood and that was that.

The whole thing still really frustrates me because I don’t feel like my body was given the same respect as others on their site. Why all of the sudden is it their policy to have fully clothed people? The reporter stated that she wasn’t sure if someone had complained about the previous photos to Shape or not. But in my eyes if someone is complaining about them featuring women in bikinis, then again they shouldn’t have them anywhere on the site.

If anything, the should want my picture on their site. My body is real, not photoshopped or hidden because I feel like I should be ashamed. This is a body after losing 172 pounds, a body that has done amazing things, and looks AMAZING in a freaking bikini.

This is the type of body they should have featured because it can give people hope. Hope that they can lose weight healthfully and even if they don’t end up with airbrushed abs of steel, they’re gorgeous and shouldn’t be ashamed of whatever imperfection they believe they have.

Women today are exposed SO MUCH to what society sees as the ideal body. The perfect hourglass shape with no arm flab, a thigh gap, full lips, perfect breasts, and a flat tummy. We believe from the time we are little girls that to be beautiful we must have these things. If we’re not the ideal beautiful, then we should be ashamed and not feel like we are good enough.

I spent MANY years hating and hiding a body I was ashamed of because it wasn’t society’s ideal of beautiful. Being asked to send a photo of myself with a shirt on made me feel like I again should be ashamed of my body. That since I have the loose skin, I shouldn’t be in a bikini.

I wasn’t willing to do that though. I’ve always been real and honest with you guys around here. That’s what I do.

If I couldn’t have the picture of me in my bikini to go along with my story, then it wasn’t MY story. The story I wanted to tell and shout out to the world, not their ideal story. So, if I couldn’t tell it my way, then they weren’t going to be able to tell it at all.

I was raised to stand up for what I believe in and I believe that if a website posts pictures of women in bikinis, then I should be given that same right. I wasn’t given that, so I decided to decline. Like I said before, the exposure I would have gotten wasn’t worth it to me.

Nothing is worth compromising my beliefs.

I want to know YOUR thoughts on this


my photo


(DIY) Indoor Herb Garden

Here’s something you may or may not know about me, I LOVE DIY projects. I consider myself a pretty crafty person, with handmade cards being ‘my thing.’ Well, when I decided that I wanted to have herb plants in our kitchen I knew I’d have to do something cute with the pots. And I thought it would be fun to share with you guys to give you some inspiration to do your own!


– Herb plants of your choice (I did chives, cilantro, parsley, & basil)
– Enough terra-cotta pots for your herbs
– 2 bottles of acrylic paint (one for the base color & one for writing)
– Paint sponges (for base color)
– Small paint brush (for writing)
– Herb names printed on a sheet of paper
– Scissors
– Pencil
– Soil for planting


Paint your pots! I did one coat of white just on the bottoms of the pots and left the rims unpainted. You of course can do them any way you want! Maybe you want stripes or two different colors, let you imagination run wild!

Now for the words on my pots, I opened a Word document, and typed out my herb names. I then found a font and size I liked, then printed it out (step 1). I cut the words out as close as I could (step 2). Lastly, I shaded the back of each word with a pencil to make transferring them to my pots easier (step 3).

You could also free hand your herb names, but I’m not handy with a paint brush, so I opted for this method!

Next place the word you want on the pot and trace with a pencil. It’s important to press down firmly to get the word to transfer to the pot.

After the words are on the pots, take your other paint color and small paint brush and trace the words with the paint. Then it is time to get to planting!

After you plant your herbs, give them a good water, and bring them inside to have handy in the kitchen!

I placed mine on our kitchen island which will make them within reach to add to a meal! Parsley has already been used on some roasted potatoes and I have plans for the cilantro soon! I love having these on hand to use instead of paying for them at the grocery store. The whole project cost me around $20, which was well worth the investment for the tastiness of fresh herbs!

Do you grow your own herbs?

What’s your favorite way to use fresh herbs?



Water, Water, Everywhere! (My Favorite Water Tracking Apps)

Thanks you all for your positive response on the flooding issue at the Not On A Diet household and how I’m controlling my stress eating. Luckily Mr. B and his grandparents did a great job getting a lot of the water out! We ran pumps all night and it seems to be getting better. Thank goodness for that! Oh and instead of eating my feelings, I rocked out an awesome workout that left me looking like this:


Felt awesome!

So, last week on my Facebook page, I asked you guys to ask me some questions and mention things you were struggling with. I got a lot of great responses and plan on tackling them throughout the next few weeks! Today I’m going to tackle a struggle that a lot of you seem to have.

Getting in your water!

I too, have struggled with this in the past and still have days where it is tough to get in my daily intake. It has gotten much easier though due to some very awesome apps I have discovered! Before we get to said awesome phone apps, let’s talk about why water is important and how much you should be consuming daily!

Did you know that our body is made up of 50-75% water? Water is essential in making our body function properly. It also makes your skin look better, your joints move smoother, and can even help shrink your waistline!

water benefits

There is a lot of debate on how much water you should drink. Since I follow the Weight Watchers program, I follow their recommendation of 64oz daily. But, since I am more active, I actually consume about 100oz a day. I found a handy hydration calculator that you can use and find how much you should be drinking a day! (Here) The handy phone apps I have on my iPhone 5 also have calculators and daily recommendations. They both suggest I drink around 100oz daily also. That’s the number I’m comfortable with drinking daily, so that’s what I do.

Of course it is ultimately up to you how much you drink daily. If you are new to drinking water, you may want to shoot for a bit less and then work your way up. When I started my journey, I very rarely drank water and would suffer from HORRIBLE headaches. Now if I am a bit lax on getting in my daily intake, I can start to suffer from one of those headaches. That’s reason enough to keep up on guzzling!

So, how do I make sure I’m getting my daily intake in?

Well, there’s an app for that! ;)

I have two that I have used and one that I use constantly now. One is free and available for Android devices as well as the iPhone. The other is a paid app and is currently only available for the iPhone.


  • Free
  • Available for Android & iPhone

I was introduced to this app by Dani who kept posting about her 100oz Challenge on Instagram. I love this app because it is easy to use and of course because it is FREE! There is also a paid version, but the free one gets the job done.

You enter what you want your daily goal to be in ounces, millilitres, or liters. And an empty glass appears on the main screen. When you drink some high quality H2O, you click “Record Drink” and up pops some options. There are pictures of a water bottle and a glass that you can tap on and the ‘fill’ your glass.

If these two choices do not work for you, you can add your own! You tap the green plus sign and a screen comes up where you can take a picture of your trusty water bottle or glass. Then you add the volume of the container you added. Then that comes up as one of your choices.

You keep on adding your water as you drink it and when you reach your goal it pops up with a window that says Congratulations!

I like this app because of its simplicity and because I like being told that I am successful when I hit a goal. :)

Plant Nanny

  • $.99
  • Available for iPhone only

This is hands down one of the cutest apps to log your water EVER! The basic concept of the app is you are given a plant and you are to water it with your intake and make it grow.

You start off with a dandelion bud to water and grow up to a cute lil guy that looks like this:

plant nanny

Just like Waterlogged, there are several bottle options to choose from. You get to tell it how many ounces are in the bottle you use. Then you choose the one you the most and it stays on the home screen. When you finish a bottle, you just press and hold onto the bottle icon. Each ounce of water gets you closer to a new level of your plant growing to a new level. When you finish all the levels, you move your plant to your garden.

Each day you meet your water goal, you get ‘seeds’ to use towards other plants. This is a fairly new feature and I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet. So, I can’t really say much about it. Although they added some cute looking new plants to water.

If you don’t meet your goal, then your plant can die. I haven’t had one die on me, but my cactus last week did come quite close to death!

If that sad little face doesn’t make you want to drink your water, I don’t know what will! It sort of reminds me when I had a Giga Pet (you MUST watch this!) and would care for that cat like it was a real living animal. Hey, if it helps me with my water intake, I’m okay with it!

I do prefer the Plant Nanny app more because it is more interactive. I like that you have a ‘living’ thing to take care of and if you don’t, it dies. And well, that’s just sad! I also like the new feature they added to gaining seeds each day to use towards a fancy plant. It makes it more game like and any time you can turn something healthy into a game, it’s a win!

Let’s chat below!

Do you have trouble getting your water in? 

How do you keep track of your intake?


(Real Talk) Anxiety/Fear

This is a rambling post, but I need to just get it off my chest and out there. To make myself not feel alone in the matter and to maybe begin to better myself and actually trying to fix the issue. Also, hitting publish was really hard, but I know you guys appreciate it when I’m honest. Something I always strive to be.

This morning I spent 2 hours talking myself into making a phone call to the bank to ask them to waive some overdraft fees (long story short, I was sick and didn’t make it into the bank and completely forgot about it until it was too late). I got completely worked up over it and cried. Finally I just made the phone call and guess what, it lasted a total of 2 minutes. And they put the money back into my account.

Two hours of getting all worked up over a two minute phone call that ended in my favor.

It’s freaking ridiculous. But this sort of thing happens often in my life. I start thinking of something I need to do (phone call/email/blog post/text/in person convo) and then I come up with the worst case scenario. I will be rejected, the person will laugh at me, someone will stare, I’ll make a fool of myself, that person will think I’m bothering them, and so on. Then it takes me an hour/a day/a month/a year to do whatever it was. And even sometimes it never gets done (like those yoga classes I wanted to try that Mr. B got me for my birthday/skype calls to friends/cards sent to people/dinner dates) and then I just get upset all over again that I didn’t do it.

The funny thing is when I do actually tackle the task, it very rarely ends horribly. And all that anxiety was for nothing. Rarely do I remember that though when a new task comes along. The whole cycle just starts over again.

I really do believe this stems from when I was overweight and was rejected or made fun of for doing things. I wasn’t always appreciated by “friends” and sometimes was a bother to them. So, now I still feel like that. I don’t make a great effort of keeping in touch with people who are actually really good friends because I feel like reaching out to them is bothering them. That they’re going to be busy with whatever in their own lives and not have time to talk with me. Which really does isolate me and causes me to feel like I have no friends locally to hang with. Then I get upset with Mr. B when he goes out with his friends and leaves me at home. It boils down to being jealous that he has those friends. And the silly thing is I do too, I just don’t make an effort to see them.

Making new friends is another subject that’s tough for me as well. I fear that people won’t like me (again thank you former self for this) and won’t want to be my friend. Again, ridiculous, but it’s a real thing. This fear absolutely paralyzes me and makes me look like a stuck up person because I don’t ever go out of my way to meet new people. In a social setting I will cling to the few people I do know and sit there quietly for the most part. About a month ago a girl invited me to her girl’s night and I hardly said anything for fear that I would sound dumb or they wouldn’t like me. (I haven’t been invited to hang with them since. I’m sure they just thought I was bored the entire time. I wasn’t, just anxious and scared.) I don’t go to fitness classes, talk to people in my Weight Watchers meeting (that I attend), or strike up conversations with those around me for the same reasons.

This stuff makes me sell myself short a lot. The anxiety builds, tears flow, fear appears, and I just stop before I even get started. There’s so much I want to do in life, but don’t. Like right now I have really been toying with the idea of writing an e-book (about what I have no idea), but haven’t even just started because I think of all the horrible things. I do want to attend a yoga class, make new friends, take a knitting class, become a health coach, and better my blog. But again, I have myself failing before I’ve even given it a shot.

Again, I know this is all ridiculous, but it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Mr. B does help with calming me down, but sometimes I wish I could JUST DO IT. I don’t know how to make it completely better, but I know there are things I can do to make it somewhat better. Like instead of thinking of all the negative, start thinking of the good that could come from whatever I want to do. And I could just start reaching out to those friends and know that I’m probably not bothering them, that they’re probably just wanting to hang out with me too.

Will I ever be cured of all of this anxiety and fear? Probably not, but if I could just get a little better each day, then I’d be okay.

How about you, is this something you deal with? Any tips?


How to Fall Asleep Faster (no medication required!)

I wish that I could be one of those people who falls asleep instantly. Mr. B is one of those and it amazes me. Like, how can he just shut off his brain, close his eyes, and be off in dream land before I even finish checking ALL the social media one last time?

Me, I take for-ev-er to fall asleep.

My brain doesn’t shut up about what I need to do the next day, what happened days/years ago, and is constantly coming up with great ideas. Combine that with going through bouts of being freezing cold to overheated, dreamland is a far off destination.

Until very recently anyways….

A fellow FitBlogger was talking about how she was having issues falling asleep when someone mentioned the 4-7-8 Technique. Intrigued I did some reading and thought it sounded simple enough to give it a try.

Here is a very basic look at how it works:

  • Inhale through your nose to the count of 4
  • Hold your breath to the count of 7
  • Exhale through your mouth to the count of 8

See, super simple. I did it and the results were pretty awesome. I have fallen asleep just a quickly as Mr. B now and my brain is much more quiet. I focus on my breath and before I know it, I’m waking up to Mr. B hitting the snooze for the third time in a row.

The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a great one to do even if you aren’t wanting to fall asleep. It can help when you’re feeling stressed or anxious. When we feel those things, we tend to shorten our breath and our bodies react in not the best of ways. By slowing down your breathing and focusing on the 4-7-8 technique you can help relieve your stress.

Again…all by breathing. Hopefully you are doing that already. (If not, hello ghost readers!). This technique is just a more structured way to breathe than what we normally do without thinking.

Now, if doing this type of breathing seems like it is too much for you, just give it a try for a night or two. I did the whole 4-7-8 count for about a week and now I have shortened it. I’m still doing focused breathing, just not as focused. Usually I breathe in, hold it for a few seconds, and breathe out. I also do it all through my nose, breathing through my mouth doesn’t feel natural to me.

It really does work for me and hope that if you’re having issues with sleep, that it will work for you too!

Give it a shot, what do you have to lose….sleep?

Do you have any tricks to help you fall asleep?

Have you tried 4-7-8 breathing before?

Check also: Best Sleeping Pills and Natural Sleep Aids