Finding Motivation

A long with my last blog post… When I tell people today, that I used to be fat in high school, they look at me like I am crazy. It’s true. I was. I sometimes I still see the same person in the mirror. I’ve lived with that person for like 6 years. It’s hard for her to leave when I look in the mirror. To continue on with my previous posts about my lifestyle changes, I’ll now be writing about how I first started to lose weight.

Usually they say that students who go to college gain 15 pounds (freshman 15). I was neither a freshman, nor did I have the room to carry more weight on me. Haha. When I lived in Provo, UT, I was south of campus. I had a lot of walking to do. From this experience, I truly believe in walking and the good it can do for you. I would walk to and from campus a couple times a day. And I was a pretty busy college girl. I had a goal of finishing in two years, so I took full loads of classes. Anyways, on my way to one of my classes every other morning, I had to walk up these huge steps! I had a roommate that I would walk with and she was skinny and in shape. This gave me motivation to keep up with her and just tackle the steps. After a month of two of college, I noticed my pants were fitting a little looser. When I went home for Thanksgiving (2008), people even noticed I had lost some weight.

People noticing actually gave me more motivation on my journey to becoming more healthy. When I got back to school, I decided my major would be in Public Health. I decided that would be my major because it was one of the only majors that I had a lot of prerequisites done for and I would be able to finish by 2010. I just wanted to get my BS degree, but I am very glad I majored in it. It motivated me even more to become healthy since I’d feel like a hypocrite if I didn’t practice what I believed. I didn’t even realize that I was becoming motivated, but around spring time the following year. I had been walking a lot around campus and drinking more water. That is really how it all started.

I also have another roommate, who loved to cycle and run. One day, when all my roomies were gone, I decided to lace up my gym shoes and try it out. OH. MY. GOSH. I didn’t last long at all! But I did it. I ran from my apartment to the train tracks, which was about 10 minutes. That was my goal – to run to the tracks. I don’t even think it was even a mile. Then I walked back. I was an athlete in high school, I played volleyball and softball, but this was a whole different type of workout. I was so sore the next day too. But I kept doing it.

Eventually I started looking at calories and what I should be eating. It was the simple things, like looking at saturated and trans fats. Also looking at volume in regards to calories. I like staying full. This was now my second semester in college. I went home for the summer and I was about a size 8. I used to be a 14! I started running more and taking time to do so in the morning. I was running about 15-30 minutes. Not much, but then when I went back to school, I started running 3 miles daily with 5 miles on the weekend.

Basically, I didn’t even know I started loosing weight during my first semester. Then during my second semester, I decided to lace up my shoes, run, and carry water with me everywhere. Then during my first summer off, I started running a little more. It started slow with me, but the weight came off fast. Just these little lifestyle changes really made the difference.

I Was Fat in High School

I suppose it is time for another post about fitness and lifestyle changes. As I mentioned in my first/previous post, I do not diet; I lifestyle change. I honestly detest the word. Maybe that’s why I’m more of a “classy” girl, at least that is what I think. I don’t really give into a bunch of fads (occasionally I do, like the pleather pants fad back in elementary school). I like things that are timeless.

Growing up, I semi-thought I ate healthy and thought I was in good shape. I lied to myself. I knew I didn’t have the best fitness lifestyle, but I sorta “tried.” I played volleyball, basketball, and softball in middle school and some of high school. I kept a water bottle with me everywhere I went. Some days, I would go on a run down the road by my house and then go in my room and do some exercises I found in magazines. All of this led no where.  You need to change not hope for the change. Actually do something and stick to it. Start slow if you need to or do it all at once.  None of your working out really amounts to much when you still drink pop, eat chips, candy, etc.

Thus, I had low self-esteem. It’s a horrible thing to have. It’s a disease I tell you. Even now, I still do have a low opinion of myself sometimes. I question what I am able to do. I question the people I meet and if they really do “like” me or if they put up a front. I question who my friends are and why they are my friends. I even question why my husband fell in love with me. I question why he still loves me. I know none of these really should have to do with looks, but more with who I am on the inside, but low self-esteem plagues the person in every facet of their being. I look back to my high school days and realize that I’m not really friends with any of the people I wanted and tried to be friends with. I still have some great people that I knew and I know they are genuine. I tried so hard to hang out with certain crowds, but I always left feeling that I hated myself because I was always just “there” never acknowledged. I remember one time they were all talking about a dance coming up and they pretty much all decided to take each other. Did anyone once ever look towards me? No, they did not. And what did I do? I kept quite and made rationalizations for them and for myself. I remember driving home that night and feeling the pain of hate that I had towards my mind, my soul, and my body. No one should EVER feel that way. Especially after hanging out with friends.

I sat back and told myself it’ll get better once you go to college. I didn’t hang out with those people much anymore. It wasn’t because of that night either, it was because somethings happened between me and one of my friends and I decided to stop calling to see if they would think to call me, they never did. Basically it was a one sided relationship and I was done trying.  The sad thing is most of them were people from church. Luckily, I have a strong conviction and the way people are and how they treat me will never change the way I feel about my savior and his church. I still love them and I am in no way upset.  I’m lucky that I had other friends who loved me and my religious beliefs and that’s who I hung out with. I might have made some questionable decisions, but I still turned out alright. I had a great childhood and I had parents and family who loved me. I am very grateful for them and still am.

Once I graduated high school and got my associates degree, I went off to college to get my BS . I received them at the same time because I took a test and  went to the community college my last two years of high school. One of my best decisions ever. After both graduations, that fall, I left for BYU in Utah. This is where I had many challenges my first semester and where I decided to change my life around. That’s for my next post though. I will leave you with a picture of me from my high school days and a picture of me when I graduated college. I am nervous about doing this, I hate putting myself out there. Honestly, I had this post written for about a week before I mustered up the courage to upload the photos to it and publish it to the blog.

June 2008 high school graduation.

June 2008 high school graduation.

April 2010 college graduation.

April 2010 college graduation.

Tulle Skirt From An Old Skirt Tutorial

Lately I’ve been looking for some good tulle skirt tutorials. Read a lot of different blogs and watched quite a few on YouTube (here are two blogs that have really great tutorials that are worth checking out! Click HERE and HERE). I love tutus! I’ve been wanting one for a long long time! I never really thought about making my own until I bought a new sewing machine and finished some projects. Then I thought, why not make my own? I really like the semi-puffy looking ones not the flat looking ones. If you’re going to wear tulle, why not have it be semi-puffy like a mild tutu?! Well, I had an old white tiered skirt that I bought from K-Mart forever ago in the little girls section that was ripping on the tiers and I thought why not upcycle it into something else? So that’s what I did. I made it into a tulle skirt! Here is how I did it.

Materials:

  • Old skirt (or a skirt lining – 2 yards of satin and a waist band)
  • 8 yards of tulle (180″ wide tulle)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Pins
  • Thread to match
  • Sewing machine
This was my old skirt that I will be converting into the tulle skirt.

This was my old skirt that I will be converting into the tulle skirt.

STEP ONE:

You will need to seam rip your old skirt. Separate the skirt, lining, and the band. You’ll need a lot of patience and you will definitely become best friends with your ripper.

*If you don’t have an old skirt to convert then you can get about 2 yards of satin for the lining. For the lining, you can cut it the same length as the tulle (I like it when they’re shorter, but whatever you want), and as wide as your hips plus about 10″. Make your lining. It’s really simple, not complicated. Then stretch your elastic around your waist and cut a comfortable but snug length (plus 1/2″ for seam allowance). Use a zig-zag stitch to bring the waist band together. Click HERE for a skirt tutorial, but don’t attach the lining to the band!

STEP TWO:

Once you have all the pieces seam-ripped, you can throw the old skirt away. Don’t forget to clean up the thread from the old skirt so your band and skirt lining are nice and clean.

STEP THREE:

You’ll need to cut your tulle. First, measure the skirt lining, which was about 32 inches around for my old skirt. I actually left the tulle folded in half (the way it looks on the bolt), I measured 64 inches across and cut then cut 6 inches off the bottom for my length I wanted. So I was basically working with two layers at a time. Since it was folded in half. You can cut more or less depending on your desired length. Then I pleated and pinned the tulle so it would fit perfectly around the skirt lining. It took about 10 pleats to make it fit around the lining. Don’t worry if it doesn’t match up or over lap because you’ll be doing two more layers of tulle. Since the tulle is folded over, your skirt will end up being six layers.

STEP FOUR:

Now you will want to baste stitch the pleats to make them stay. Do this for all three folded layers.

STEP FIVE:

Next you will pin the tulle to the skirt lining and stitch then sew it on. I used a zig-zag stitch, but you can use whatever stitch you want for this. Then do it for the next two layers of tulle.

STEP SIX:

Then with the right sides together (sides that will be showing on the outside), pin the band to the skirt. First pin the back to the back of the skirt, then the front to the front of the skirt. Then I did the sides to the sides of the skirt. Lastly, pin the fourths of the dress to the fourths of the elastic. Now you’re ready to sew the band to the skirt!

YOU’RE DONE! Whoopie!

Make A Baggy Shirt Into A Fitted Shirt Tutorial

I’ve been searching around online for a DIY fitted shirt tutorials and found a few that I liked. Most of them are on YouTube and some are on blogs. After searching I decided to combine what I learned along with my own ideas into my own tutorial on my blog. I started this venture because I bought an adult-size Barbie shirt off Ebay and I’m tired of all the adult shirts (shirts that are given out for races, concerts, etc) being bagging on me. Plus, I’m going as Barbie for Halloween and my husband will be GI Joe. We wanted something cheap and easy this year and we have all of his costume (compliments of his Naval Academy days), minus the beret. We actually bought a velvet black hat from Goodwill and turned the bill inside the hat and it works. So today I decided to try out a few ideas on making a loose shirt fitted; so when I make my Barbie shirt fitted, I would be a “pro” at it. What kind of Barbie wears loose clothes anyways? 😛

Materials needed:

  • Fitted shirt to use for a pattern
  • Pinking shears or fabric scissors
  • Pins
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing gauge
  • Sewing machine
  • Double needle for machine – optional (I like it for the bottom and sleeve hems – looks more professional)

The blue shirt will be the one used in the tutorial for making it fitted. The mint shirt is the fitted shirt that I’ll use as my pattern. The red shirt has already been fitted and will be what the blue shirt will end up looking like.

STEP ONE:

Fold your loose shirt over with the fitted shirt on top. Make sure everything is lined up perfectly! Check the collar and shoulders. If you would like, ironing would be a good idea.

STEP TWO:

Start cutting your shirt with your scissors and don’t forget the seam-allowance! When I get to the shoulders I cut off a few inches of the sleeve and then curve, the arm-pit area, to the body of the shirt.

STEP THREE:

Next you need to hem your sleeves and the bottom if you cut it to make it shorter. I used a sewing gauge to measure the distance from where the shoulder seam meets the sleeve to the edge on each side so both sides are balanced. Then I used an iron on the sleeves to keep them in place. Then I cut the bottom of the shirt so I can shorten it a little and add a hem it with the white thread to match my sleeves.

STEP FOUR:Pin the right sides together and sew! Make sure that the sleeves are lined up and the bottom too! Then turn it right side out and…

YOU’RE FINISHED!

I Do NOT Diet, I Lifestyle Change

I’ve been thinking about how to go about writing this post. Matter of fact, I have been thinking about doing a post like this for over a year and starting my own personal blog. I have a family blog about my adventures with my husband and a blog on counterfeit drugs. I’ve been asked on several occasions about what I eat and what I do for my exercise routine. I’ve responded to quite a few people on Facebook about this. Personally, I like keeping things intimate, private, and basically just personal. So I haven’t really thought that much about writing a post about my fitness. But I did think that writing a post would help those who are a little ashamed or too scared to ask. Everyone is different and their needs are different – one of the reasons I like being intimate. What I do might not even work with you and your lifestyle. I will probably make this into a series of posts and start by saying why I did what I did. Some may dream of achieving their goals, but I didn’t just dream, I went out and did it.

I constantly try to remember this. I’m very hard on myself when it comes to indulging every once in a while.

First, I want to say that I am NOT on a diet. I do not give into fad diets and will not. I may; however, look into them and maybe incorporate a part of it to my LIFESTYLE. To me, when someone says diet, I think of an end to it and I don’t see real change. A diet is something that you do short-term to meet a short-term goal that, to me, will not last. To be blatantly honest, when I was in high school, I was fat. When I tell people that their jaws drop and they cannot seem to fathom that that was who I was. I’m slightly embarrassed to even talk about it. I won’t even show my husband my photographs of myself back in the day, I’d even go as far as to delete them or un-tag myself in them from social media. I was the girl who didn’t even get asked on dates like other girls and I was the girl who had to wait to get her prom dress until she got asked. There were other girls who would plan months ahead because they knew they would be asked. I never felt pretty/worthy enough to even be asked. I hated it. I hated myself. I hated my body. I hated what I felt like. Honestly, I still have issues to this day with how I look at myself in the mirror and what I tell myself in my head. I am afraid I’ll get fat. I’m afraid to enjoy food because of falling back into my old habits. I am afraid if I miss a workout day, I’ll get fat. This is why I don’t diet. I change my life. I make it a habit. I make it who I am.

Second, I enjoy taking care of my body. When you take care of your body it takes care of you – true story. Sometimes I even make myself enjoy what I do. Yes, that is possible. I’ve turned plenty of things I hate to what I love. It’s all in your head. I absolutely love working out and love pushing myself (sometimes). Haha. It’s an ongoing process though. I’ll never be done. Everyday is a new challenge. Will I workout? Will I eat to sustain myself? Will I have a sugary treat? Trust me, I still enjoy the yummy-sugary-goodness that this world has to offer, such as, cotton candy, cheesecake, Biscoff (crunchy and creamy straight out of the jar), wintergreen lozenges, mint Oreos, etc. I believe that you can always treat yourself to what you love. Everything in moderation though. If you want that cheesecake – GO for it! Just don’t “go for it” every single day. Try not to deprive yourself either. I’ve gone down that road and I’m fighting my way back. It’s tough.

Third and last, for now, just do it. You want to do something – do not hesitate. You’re as strong as you want to be. I always wanted the easy way out. I would find my mother’s magazines with their workouts in there telling you that you could have J-Lo’s bootay or Cameron Diaz’s arms or Carrie Underwood’s legs if you do these exercises. I’d read the workouts, cut them out, and do them in the secrecy of my bedroom and try to be as discrete as possible so no one would know what I was up to. It didn’t do much at all. I still don’t really like working out in front of others. Someday maybe I will. I hate being on display and I guess that is what I am semi doing by writing this post. You can sit there and pin all the workout and health food tips you want on Pinterest (or cut them from magazines and semi do them), but they won’t do anything unless you incorporate them into your life. The best tip I have is get off of your booty and move. Pick one thing to change and do it then move onto something else once you’ve mastered that. I started small, by accident actually, and then worked on from there. That’s for another post.

Fitness – it’s my lifestyle.

Simplicity 1909 Dress

Today, I finished my dress for the Navy ball this weekend! It’s my first big project I have ever actually done. I read some reviews that said this dress is hard and not for the beginner. That may be true, but I finished it and I must say that it looks pretty good. I made a few changes to the pattern to make it more modest for my taste. The back went super low and I was not a fan of that, so I just brought it up. I also didn’t add any liner to the skirt of the dress and didn’t add the buttons to the back. I thought it would be too bulky and heavy for a ball gown. I did view C on the pattern (the top left of the packaging). I made a size 10 and brought it in a little to fit my waist and I used crepe back satin fabric.

Getting to work!

The most daunting task of anything related to sewing, at least to me, if you are using patterns is cutting and making sure everything lines up. It’s so tedious and I just want it to be over. I really just want to see the finished project. This one took me about a week with a couple days of not even touching it. So pretty much 4 days total. I also had to buy a new cutting mat because this one got too warped from our PCS (permanent change of station – military lingo for moving). We tried everything to fix it. Thank Heaven’s for Jo-Ann’s and their coupons! Also, be sure you actually read if the pattern goes side up or writing side down when you’re cutting out the fabric… It’ll help not waste fabric. Haha.

Here is the front part of the bodice.

The bodice is the first part you make according to directions. When I first bought fabric (5 yards), I wasn’t going to make a lining at all. I didn’t want the extra bulk and to be honest, the work. But after making the bodice, I decided I definitely needed to make a lining for it since it would help with the seams and make the dress look attractive. I actually didn’t even buy more fabric or any special lining fabric, I used the same fabric for it all and didn’t need extra. While making this dress, I learned what darts were and pleats. Near the shoulders, you were instructed to make pleats, but I just made darts and it turned out fine.

Working on the sleeves. Definitely need the liner.

The hardest part in making the dress was attaching to sleeves on correctly. I had to rip seam them a few times. Good thing I’ll probably just wear this dress this one time for the Navy Ball. I just got so excited and happy with my basting abilities and attaching the sleeve to the bodice, I wasn’t paying attention to which way I was sewing it. It’s hard to explain, but I made the back (where the zipper will go) the front. Then I did one sleeve correctly and the other was backwards. Ugh! After I got past this part, it wasn’t too bad. YouTube tutorials and blogs are amazing for helping with sewing definitions. It turned out well!

Working on the invisible zipper.

The invisible zipper was a little tricky, but wonder tape did WONDERS! Haha. Also, I have an amazing husband who would help me when I got frustrated and wanted to seam-rip the mess out of it all! I really want an invisible zipper foot. It’ll help the zipper be more invisible and so I don’t have to do some of it by hand. After I did the zipper, I put the dress on and decided how much I wanted to hem. I took about 3-4 inches off and then hemmed (I am about 61.5 inches tall). I did leave the train in the back because I thought it was adorable on me!

Ready for the Navy Ball 2013.

Back side of my dress.

PCSing Things To Do

As a military spouse, you hear this term daily – well, almost daily.  It means Permanent Change of Station AKA relocation. There are always people coming and going when you’re in the military community. My husband, dog, and I recently PCS’d from Florida to Texas. Our first move, after we were married, we were leaving Maryland. My husband just graduated from the Naval Academy and we were newly weds. We were married the day after graduation in CA. Crazy fun trip! Haha.  Our first PCS, we had the Navy help us with that move, but this time, we decided to do the move ourselves.

After our move, I’m still not really sure what I like better. A partial do-it-yourself, aka a dity move, or a full do-it-yourself-everything move. They both have pros and cons. What’d I really like is a chance for my husband and I to drive together, so I’m not so lonely. I’m grateful for cell phones though and that I got Chupa, our Min Pin, in my car with me. She is a mommy’s girl. So cute!

After this move, I decided that my husband and I should make a list of things that we need to do before we move and a list of things to do when we move to our new place. I thought sharing it would help… Yes, I did write down hygiene supplies because on our move, I packed my deodorant up in a box and placed it on the U-Haul somewhere. Whoopsies.

MOVE – OUT:

  1. Tell landlord (30 day notice – give them copy of orders)
  2. Cancel internet (give fwd address)
  3. Cancel water (give fwd address)
  4. Cancel electricity (give fwd address)
  5. Cancel allotment (if have it set-up)
  6. Set-up carpet cleaning/look at moving check-out list from landlord/ fill in nail holes
  7. Get boxes/tape/ or set-up Navy movers
  8. Start eating all fridge food and stock up on water bottles if you have Navy movers help
  9. Weigh empty cleaned vehicles
  10. Pack personal bags
    • Bathroom supplies (I.e deodorant, tooth paste, tooth brush, shampoo/conditioner, razor, epilator, some makeup, face wash, makeup remover, nail file, body soap)
    • Blow dryer & hair tools
    • Flight suit & khakis
    • Running shoes
    • Church clothes & shoes & tie
    • Undies
    • Pants
    • Shirts
    • Sweatshirt
    • Socks
    • iPod charger
  11. Plan route of travel with pet-friendly hotel stops & weigh scales at the destination
  12. Picture of family on day of move-out
  13. Bring family binder & pistols in car

MOVE – IN:

  1. Find a place & sign lease
  2. Change of address
    • USPS (typically takes 7-9 days to take effect)
    • Navy branch clinic
    • County auditor (election ballots and such)
    • Insurance, such as USAA
    • Bank, such as Navy Fed
    • USNA Alumni
    • BYU Alumni
    • Home Again
    • And other companies (magazines, etc) that would need your new address
  3. Set-up electricity
  4. Set-up water
  5. Set-up internet
  6. Sanitize house (Clean clean clean it before moving things in!)
  7. Move-in inspection
  8. Picture of family on day of move-in

*If you have any other items that should be added to the list, let me know! Thanks. This list is still in the works too. I am sure we forgot some things.