Jan 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Well hello! I'm alive as I'm sure most of you who follow me on FB or Instacrack already knew that. If you do follow me, you've already seen all these selfies I'm about to grace this blog with.
So what's been going on for the last six months.. still crazy. still petty.
First, my little sisters graduated high school. I'm officially old. One is at VCU and the other is GMU. My little brother is excelling and still doing well at Penn State.
After returning from Jamaica in May with my momma I started a 12 week cut. I basically decided to be super strict with my eating and my workouts were structured by my trainer. High reps, moderate weight 5 days a week and then strength training a couple times a week. As for cardio, I was doing HIIT for 25 minutes twice a week and 45 minutes of steady cardio twice a week. In 12 weeks I went from 222.2lbs to 197lbs (25.2lb loss.)

Some fun things happened this summer like wearing real clothes for a few events I was invited to. I LIVE in compression capris and sports bras.  
We vacationed in Myrtle and we had so much fun! Along with beaching and pooling it for a week straight, we took the kids to TIGERS and they got to hang out with some endangered animals. My kids LOVE animals.

I got to meet one of my long time followers, Paula. Seriously we were like instant BFF's after chatting for months. She lives 20 minutes from me; why did it take us so long to meet?!?! She was awesome and I love her face. We're like sisters. Paint Nite was SO much fun.
Finally, wrapping up the summer, my best friend in the whole wide world (I've spoke of her before. She moved to Arizona against my wishes.) Anyhoo, she adopted her beautiful daughter Caroline and I got to meet her when they were in town. I already love her little face and I'm pretty sure I'm the best aunt on the planet. Oh and it was cheat meal day for me, hence the burger and fries in the pic.
After my cut ended, I had a weekend of fun and then decided to do another one. Why not. I got a new job with the postal service which was horrible. I won't even get into all that but I'm a firm believer in being happy and appreciated and in that company you won't be either of those things. It was a terrible fit for me. Now, I will be working in my gym and I think I will really enjoy it. So back to my 2nd cut. I started at 202.7lbs and ended at 181.9 (20.8lb loss.) It kinda ran into Christmas so even though I wanted to be 180lbs by New Years, I came close. I enjoyed Christmas with my family and that's what matters. Annual sibling pic. I wonder how I got stuck being the short one?
So I'm still happy and think my cut was a success. For the last couple of weeks I have been eating less strictly and my body seems to be adjusting well. I know "cutting" isn't long term but it has definitely given me the boost I needed to help me get to 160lbs. That's the weight I want to be at before I hire my competition coach. I'm getting there.
As for the family. Charles is doing well, I mean he's still putting up with me and still hates taking pictures soooooo...
Bryce is doing so well in 4th grade. Still making honor roll and being my sweet boy! He will start basketball again soon.
Sydney turned six and skipped kindergarten. She scored so high (reading on a 3rd/4th grade level and math on a 2nd grade level) so the best decision was to let her skip. She wants to take up softball in the spring. 
Here are a couple pics from our annual family pictures. I think they turned out amazing!

Well, I think that's it. 2015 wasn't too bad. Definitely some ups and downs. But after recovering from #bingefest2014, I can say that I'm in a much better place. I'm looking forward to continuing my happiness, enjoying this journey, trying to love my body, my new job, my family/friends, and being really focused on meeting my goals in 2016.

Happy New Year.

May 20, 2015

Jamaica... Mon!

I've been meaning to update you guys and I've just been busy. For Mother's Day my momma took me to Jamaica! It was a great little get away weekend for us and we had an amazing time.. umm for the most part.. The first place we stayed was like a bed and breakfast in the mountains and we hated it. It just wasn't what we expected and the reviews were so great! Ugh. We thought it would be more spa like with great food and it was really just lay around and do nothing all day with no AC and horrible food; and no spa. Ummm, yea. No. So we checked out the next morning and found a perfect beach front resort with all the jerk chicken my spicy little heart desired and enjoyed the couple of days we had left. This was our first vacation, just the two of us and we really had a great time with a lot of laughs and inappropriateness and we enjoyed it {and both needed it SO much.}

For the most part, I ate jerk chicken, half the rice and beans they served with it and lots of salad. Jerk chicken, three times a day. Protein lol! The one indulgence was that triple chocolate cake and JESUS, it was amazing. I may have licked the plate. I gained three pounds. Womp. It was all salt and I lost it a couple days later when I got back on my gallon water routine lol. I wasn't even mad. My goal was to not rebound like I did after my cruise. So far, so good. Thanks to my coach, I woke up at 5am the day after we returned and got right back into heavy lifting and back on my strict eating. I felt great and refused to rebound like I did before. It was HARD AS SHIT to lose that 20lbs but lesson learned and I'm still going.

I allowed myself three drinks during the entire trip. I had a margarita with corona {ummm, does that count as two? naaaaaaah.} A beer and a pina colada. They were all heaven. I miss alcohol lol!

Anyhoo, I wanted to share my outfits like I did when we got back from Disney here:Vacation Pinspiration Post. I didn't want to go out and purchase a bunch of items. Just some staple pieces that I could rock all weekend and be comfortable. I am in between sizes and really just didn't want to waste the money. I found some capris at Old Navy that I fell in love with. If you follow me on IG, you know I've been searching for new jeans for a couple weeks. My favorite sweetheart cut from Old Navy is still my go-to but I noticed the 16's were too big in the waist|fit my thighs and the 14's too small in the thighs|fit my waist #fml. I went to Gap, American Eagle, and Abercrombie with no luck. So I found some jeans that fit and I'm happy with them. Back to Old Navy, I tried on different cuts and fell in love with these!  They just say Old Navy in them {not sweetheart, rock star or diva} and they fit perfectly. I love this pic. I was so damn happy.

 Pic 1: My moms outfit is from Old Navy
Top can be found here and shorts can be found here.
Pic 2: My swimsuit is by Freya and I purchased it on eBay.
{I love this brand. My brown swimsuit from last year is Freya as well}
Pic 3: My pink gingham shirt is vintage from Gap. Shoes and capris on both of us are from Old Navy.

  Pic 1: My twill white shorts are 5" from Old Navy found here and my shirt 
is from Modcloth found here. It has the CUTEST white elephants on it.
 Pic 2: Outfit from Old Navy. Top here and pants here.
Pic 3: Racerback tank is from Old Navy and my skirt is from eBay last year. 
Pic 4: The Home T and Old Navy capris

Well, that's all folks. It was a great weekend and I loved every minute of it. As for everything else.. MY progress is slow and steady as it should be. I finished my 12 week strength program and did fantastic. It helped me lose the weight I gained from #bingefest2014 and I loved that I stuck to it and didn't throw in the towel when my coach pushed me. Cause I struggled when he made me go to my max. We had some rough days but I'm stronger and thankful for him not letting me quit. We've now started a heavy lifting|overtraining program and I'm still eating my boring strict stuff....egg whites, fish, egg whites, turkey, egg whites, oatmeal, tuna, veggies; basic crap that keeps me on track. Anyway, I still am TRYING to live by the motto "enjoy the process." I'll compete when I'm ready mentally and physically. Not sure why some people are rushing me?! But...
....and my kids are still crazy and excited for summer....and the hubs is still the hubs. Still stuck with me and loving every minute.

Apr 1, 2015

What's Been Going On...

Hey everyone! I know last week on my Facebook page I said I would update you guys on all that's been going on so I wanted to make sure I did. I'm still not in a place to start blogging again. I'm super busy and really just haven't found the kick I need to start writing.

First, my family: All are well. Bryce started basketball again and has been on the honor roll all year. Sydney didn't really care for ballet so we let her switch to gymnastics. She is really enjoying it and will start cheerleading next season. The hubs is great, got a promotion at work. He's super busy as well. All is GOOD in the Tynes' household.

Next...what's been going on with me?

Well, I've been working on me. All of me. I'm a constant work in progress; as we all should be. The first year and a half of my journey was pretty easy. No lie, I got cocky and thought it would just continue being easy. Rude awakening, it wasn't. After Disney, I tried really hard to do half the work while still eating all the food. Yea, slowly one pound turned into five, then ten and so on. Y'all know the story. Anyhoo, my attitude also changed. I sat down with an old friend of mine and she said I had changed. I was looking for the likes from strangers on my journey, for them to tell me it was ok when I messed up, for the constant gratification. Instead what I needed was a real friend telling me I was messing up and to get my shit together. Though I enjoyed growing my blog a little, having a huge following, all the accolades blah blah, it changed me. It was a shit show and I was feeding into it like so many others do.

So I decided to take a step back and re-evaluate what I wanted/needed and how my negative personality was affecting me and the people around me. I enjoy communicating with others on their journeys but what I didn't need was to be on a pedestal for likes or comments. But I enjoyed the attention. Some good attention and some bad. There were times I just didn't like other bloggers|fitness Ig'ers because of what they were doing but I was slowly starting to do the same things. I wasn't better than them, I was falling down the rabbit hole too. I decided to reach out to a couple other bloggers that I'd thrown under the bus or been shitty to and apologized. The thing is, people change. Holly balls! Two people who don't really like each other CAN squash bs and move forward...
SN- Ubreakable Kimmy Schmidt is my new addiction.

People can grow and become better. Sadly, most don't see that. They hold on to what crappy things you did in the past and hold them over your head forever. Well, I'm not that person. I'm in a good place, with everyone. Some of us old bloggers {most don't blog anymore} have become good friends and are planning a meet up soon. Sometimes all it takes is an apology. We all make mistakes. I'm just happy to put a lot of things I did and said from the last year behind me.

As for competing. I still have it as a goal in the near future and haven't given up on competing in bikini. It's a goal I intend to stick with and it will get done. When I read someone say I would never compete, I thought.. Damn, I've seen a few people go from obese to competitor. Who are you to say what I will and won't do? Then I thought maybe that person is just stupid and probably has ugly kids. #sorrynotsorry, I told you I'm a work in progress lmao.

Anyhooooo... I needed to get back under 200lbs from #bingefest2014 and get back to structured workouts and strict eating. Which I have!! In three months I have lost almost all the weight I gained since Disney. I've been lifting weights 5-6x a week and cardio 4x a week. Also, I have fallen in LOVE with power lifting. I started a 9 week strength program in my gym along with my regular workouts and it's been great. I'm on week 7 and have gotten stronger and definitely want to delve more into power lifting someday. I'm heading to Jamaica for Mother's Day and it has been a great short term goal for me. I bought a new swim suit and I'm excited to be 5 months in to the start of my new journey when I leave for vacation. Letting go of last year and moving on.
Sadly, I didn't take many pictures at the end of the year so I'm still using the ones from the beginning of my journey. Regardless, I'm still proud of how far I've come. Even with the setbacks I've had.

I've been wearing lots of non gym clothes, lol.. at the end of the year my 16's were tight and now I am almost into 14's... and most of you who follow the blog also follow my IG and know I chopped off all my hairssssss. It was a great change that I needed.

That wraps up what's been going on in my world. Right now I'm just happy. At home, at the gym, with my old friends, with new friends; everything. I learned that no matter if you do everything right or not, there's going to be someone who dislikes you and is going to find something to say. If all you chose to speak negatively on is the 5% you see of me online, that's fine. I've had to work harder to not take it so personally. Those who care about me and help me when I'm down instead of kicking me are the ones who matter most and I've made sure to now make them a priority. Thank you to those who have taken the time to see the best in me. Flaws and all.

Dec 19, 2014

Happy Holidays and an Update

Hey loves! Popping in to say hi!
Our Christmas cards turned out awesome! Here is the front:

and back:

Not much going on around here for the holidays. Bryce is at his dads for the week and we will be traveling to Northern VA to spend a couple days up there next weekend with my parents and siblings. We usually do our gift exchange with them right after Christmas. My mother in law is coming over on Christmas day since she lives near us and I'm cooking, as usual, nothing extravagant since it will just be the three of us. 

We don't do much for New Year's Eve. We get a couple bottles of bubbly and some sparkling bubbly for the kids and have fun in our pj's all day and through the next day. I haven't been out on New Year's Eve since before I had kids. It just doesn't appeal to me anymore lol. Hell, I'm just trying to stay awake to watch the ball drop. So boring. I know. 

New Year's Eve 2013

I decided to revamp the blog over the holiday and get back into blogging a couple times a week. Once we get through the holidays I am going to fill you in on all that's going on with my workouts/diet/competing. If you follow me on IG you know I met with a coach 2 weeks ago. He's perfect and I'm in a great place. I also found a couple comps that I am interested in around Sept/October and he thinks 9 months to get where I want to be is great start. I decided after giving IIFYM a try, it's best for me to go back to the strict eating that helped me lose the bulk of my weight in 2013. No, I wasn't eating cheeseburgers every day because it fit my macros. There is nothing wrong with IIFYM, it just isn't for me; right now. Losing weight on it was slow and sometimes none at all, even when I gave it my all, and it was depressing. So for me, going back to my strict eating {chicken boobs, sweet taters, tuna, tilapia, veggies, grapefruit, oatmeal, boiled eggs etc.} gives me the results that make me the happiest. I gave it three months {did pretty well since my Disney Cruise} but the results were slow and again- nothing wrong with it, just not for me. 

I've had to remind myself- this isn't a sprint. Sometimes you have to try new things but no matter what, I will keep going. There are going to be setbacks. Being honest- this shit is hard. Yes, strict eating seems to work better. Yes, HIIT gives me a better burn than running lost distances. I've given different things a chance for 90 days and been unsuccessful, so back to what I know works for me. Even through a plateau, I can keep eating my strict foods but switch up my workouts. 
I was taught from Day 1- learn your body. 
I've set attainable goals, month by month and I'm going to give it my all until I get to where I want to be. I've come pretty far and made some long lasting GREAT habits. I just need to trust the process and kick my own ass! 
Happy Holidays everyone! Any big plans for the holidays?

Nov 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Traditions

A week from now most of us will be enjoying time with our families for Thanksgiving. A holiday where traditions that have been passed down are dusted off and enjoyed. I remember waking up with my mom at the butt crack of dawn to throw our turkey in. It's something the two of us did for years. I remember my dad sneaking into the kitchen to taste food in between the Lions and Cowboys games. I remember being sooo excited to see all the floats during the Macy's parade. This was our thing. We ate around 3 and again every hour after that, lol!

Once I became an adult, I tried to keep up with the traditions. Even moreso when I had kids. I wake up early, put in the turkey and watch the parade with my kids and later the football games with the hubs. My best friend and I would leave around 11:30pm to stand in line at stores to get the best deals. It was our thing. You see, back then {because it was so damn long ago} stores didn't open until midnight and some at 4am on Friday. It was something we enjoyed. There was a time or two we battle the crowds at WalMart and Target but mostly it was Old Navy, Gap, and Abercrombie that always had the best deals.

This is us a few years ago sitting out front of Gap, alone, eating Cinnabon waiting for them to open at 5am.
This tradition that my best friend and I made is something I will always treasure. Our kids were asleep, husbands in food comas, laid out on the couch and then us. Enjoying girl time, hopped up on sugary cinnamon rolls and Starbucks waiting to snag a pair of jeans for our kids for $5. We would get home around 7, just in time to cook breakfast and then we would crash for a couple hours. That's how it went. I was sad to read that Old Navy was opening its doors on Thanksgiving at 4pm. What happened to family time? What happened to my best friend and I sitting out front at 5am Friday waiting for the doors to open and laughing about how crazy we were to be the only ones out there. You're opening on Thanksgiving? Hell, at 4pm I'm probably just finishing my second plate of food. It saddens me. There are tons of stores opening on Thanksgiving and I refuse to shop there. If I miss the deals, oh well. There are some things you just don't mess with. Family time is one of them.

So many people aren't able to spend the holidays with their families. I'm going to cherish every moment with my family that I can. I thank the thousands of men and women who are doctors, nurses, hospital staff, firemen and police who work these holidays. They are saving lives, taking care of people who are sick. The sacrifice is appreciated. I also thank those in the military abroad and their families back home who can't spend time together for the holidays. You all, as well, are appreciated.

So this is what I'm going to do and if you do it, I would love to hear about it. I'm going to take my kids to the hospital near us and the fire station and do something nice for them. Just a thank you to those who HAVE to be at work saving lives. Thank you to those protecting our country who can't make it home. You all deserve a little of my family time on Thanksgiving.
I won't be shopping on Thanksgiving.

Nov 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Sydney!

Ahhh, my baby girl is 5. I can't believe it. Can someone tell me where the last few years have gone. Honestly, I'm drawing a blank from age 1 to 4. I remember delivering her {that's a whole nutha post in itself,} I remember the sleepless nights, bottle feedings, expensive ass diapers and formula and then that's it. I don't remember her crawling, walking, saying her first word. It's all just a blur. Until now.

She's so sassy but sweet. She has a big personality and an even bigger heart. She loves animals and is a great student. She's just my little ball of energy and she completes this family. Here are some pictures from the last 5 years.


1st Birthday
Minnie Mouse and Georgetown Cupcakes

2nd Birthday
Abby Cadabby Party

3rd Birthday
Pancakes and pajamas with Hello Kitty

4th Birthday
LaLa Loopsy

5th Birthday
Brave Bowling Party

I love that my kids are old enough and just tell me what they want. Sydney loves to bowl, so it was a perfect place to have a party. Each of the party guests got to take home a kitty cat as a favor. I didn't want to just do a bag with pencils, stickers and candy so I got these little kitties from WalMart and they loved them! Thanks Pinterest! Now to plan Bryce's 9th birthday party at Rebounderz in February!

Happy 5th Birthday Sydney Beans!

Nov 10, 2014

Our Holiday Cards

It's a big thing. For me. I was once that parent that took pictures of their kids every other month. It drove the hubs crazy. So we met in the middle. I was able to take a vision, create and send out 200,000 holiday cards every year. Ok, maybe not that many. Only 200 this year. It seems like a lot because I hand write the address on each one. We now take professional pictures only once a year and I have FULL control over the outfits, scouting locations and designing the card. It's the one time of year the other three {who are FAR less excited} get to just shut up and show up. Alas.... our holiday cards.

As I stated in my previous post, this year I decided to build something; #killme. I hate all DIY projects and crafts. Always have. I'm that person that buys EVERYTHING off of Etsy or eBay. I was never that person that could go to Michael's and buy a bunch of glitter, construction paper and modge podge and come up with something amazing. All the stuff you see at my kid's parties has been bought by people who like doing that shit. Like this:
Isn't that centerpiece amazing? I mean, do I get pats on the back for buying the mason jar and filling it with cereal {it was a pancakes and pajamas birthday party.} No? I didn't think so- eye roll. I had four of those. So someone much more talented than I, actually enjoyed making sixteen of those exacto knife cutouts for my kids party to be used as centerpieces. It seems simple enough but that looks like advanced calculus to me. But anyway.. moving on. I built this cocoa stand with my bare hands; blood, sweat and tears. I'm totally not being dramatic. Ok, ok, the hubs helped by using the power tools. I wanted it to look like kids made it and I actually think it turned out nicely. No Pinterest fail here. 
Here are a few pictures I can share with you from the day that aren't going to be used on our card. 

My photographer for the last few years has been Amanda from Amanda Manupella Photography. We met when she was second shooting our engagement session. We decided to make Amanda our family photographer and every year we get some great lasting memories. You can find her website at the link above or on Facebook. She tells us how to stand and snaps away! Most who know me personally, know I like to be different. Although there is nothing wrong with the "big coats, boots, standing next to a Christmas tree" photos, I use these photos around the house too, so I didn't want them to JUST look like holiday photos {hence the street pose.} We need a new family picture in our living room that I am going to blow up and put on a pretty canvas so stay tuned! LOL, yes, another DIY project. Why, Valerie? Why???

Some of you have asked for all the details of the shoot so here ya go:
My shoes are from Just Fab, skirt is from The Limited, jacket from eBay here and my shirt is from NY&Co. 
Charles' shirt and jeans are Rocawear. 
Bryce's shirt and jeans are from Abercrombie & Fitch. 
Sydney's top is from Target and skirt is from Etsy shop Melanie Rose Designs and can be found here. I loved working with her. Her skirts are so adorable and I'll definitely be back to get Sydney more goodies! 

For the cocoa stand:
All the wood/spray paint came from Home Depot. The snowflakes, food items and mason jars came from WalMart and the reindeer mugs came from Target. The red cover is a tree skirt I cut in half from the dollar store. The letters, burlap {behind the letters} and initial stockings came from Michael's. The ornaments in the small vase behind the chocolate powder were my own. Also, I covered the whip cream can with my own wrapping paper. 

Later this week I will blog about my fab stationary chick who creates my gorgeous cards and share with you the previous work she's done for me! Have a great Monday!
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