Wednesday, February 4, 2015

45 Pounds Down...*Drop Mic*

178 days ago I decided to change my life and lose weight. A lot of weight; 45 pounds to be exact. This now seems minimal as I watch others around me achieving losses more than 100 pounds; but for me losing ONE POUND was a big deal. I didn't WANT to lose weight. I liked my life full of pizza, beer and fun. But something changed in July 2014 when photo after photo was added to Facebook and I couldn't stand to look at myself! I stopped sharing photos of my fun and dreaded the notification that someone had tagged me.

I used to be hot... what the hell happened? I don't have an answer to that...yet. I am still learning something new about myself every day and to be honest, I'm not sure I want to know why I let myself get to a point where I literally didn't think about a single thing I put in my mouth.

June 2014 (BEFORE)
January 2015 (AFTER)
The good news, and what I am focusing on the most, is that I have lost 45 pounds since August 1, 2014. In four short month (easier to say now that I'm almost done.. ha!) I changed my world. The program I chose and stuck to is called SlimGenics.

SlimGenics is a customized program that takes into account how much weight you want to lose and the level of physical activity you normally engage in. I don't have to purchase pre-packaged food with this program and I buy all items for my meals at my local grocery store. I do purchase snacks through SlimGenics, but they are yummy AND I know they are better for me. I meet with a counselor in-person about three times a week to discuss struggles, review what I have eaten, and how I feel.

The program is all about portion control, natural food, timing of eating
and covers all of the food groups with select foods in each category. I eat a TON - no more not eating all day and eating a crappy dinner "because I deserve it after working so hard."

When I started, I lost about three pounds a week. I have slowed down my weight loss with a few "cheats" on vacation and with the holidays, but am averaging two pounds a week now. I hit my goal of 45 pounds a few weeks ago, but... decided now that I was there I would go another 10-13 pounds! By my birthday, March 4, I should be itty bitty and back to being the hottie I used to be! :)

My motivation has been the money I have invested in the program - it wasn't outrageous, but it wasn't cheap and for those of you who know me or work with me... I am driven by anything $$$. In addition to the investment, I am also getting married in seven months (YAAHHHOOO!!!!!!) and have my bachelorette party in 3 1/2 months and I plan on reppin' a bikini the WHOLE TIME!

If you are interested in learning more about the program, let me know. I am convinced it is the motivation and dedication that makes a diet work. This one was structured enough for me and my HUGE type A personality.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Joy Is In The Journey

This month marks the six-month mark of our engagement and while I am ready to marry my man, I have LOVED every minute of the planning. I said to Tommy the other day, "There's not much left to do, let's move the date up!" He quickly replied with, "Just enjoy the moment, it will be here and gone before you know it." And he is right - I want to savor every step of this journey and we still have 234 days of engagement fun.

Maybe it's because I've lost 45 pounds since the engagement... (blog post on that to come) but the engagement photos have been by far my favorite thing so far. (Choosing flowers is a close second!) Now that I actually don't mind look at a photo of myself, I can't get enough of the photos from Audrey Brooks, our wedding photographer.

We actually did two sessions because the sun decided to hide during our first photo shoot, but even then we received excellent photos. So now we have double the images and I love every one of them!

Take a peak!
Brooke Bloomfield and Tommy Henson - Engagement Photos with Audrey Hannah Brooks

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The ALS Non...Challenge

So... since I have no desire to dump ice or water over my head, I thought I would spend some time educating myself and sharing my new knowledge on this disease with you. As far as advocacy and awareness goes, many of the videos contain little or no information about the disease, why the money is so desperately needed or what it’s used for.

1. What is ALS?

Image for Hashtag NOICEBUCKETCHALLENGE #noicebucketchallenge Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles (muscle action we are able to control, such as those in the arms, legs and face).

2. What are the symptoms of ALS?

Symptoms include increased muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look "thinner" as muscle tissue atrophies.

3. Who gets the disease, ALS?

Only 10% of people with the disease get it from genetics/family history. A whopping 90% of cases have no known cause for ALS.  Besides tests to rule out other diseases, there is no test that can provide a definite diagnosis of ALS, although the presence of upper and lower motor neuron signs in a single limb is strongly suggestive.

4. Is there a treatment for ALS? 

Riluzole is the only treatment that has been found to improve survival but only helps to lengthen survival by a matter of months. Riluzole does not reverse the damage already done to motor neurons.

5. What is the ALS Association going to do with the donations?

They stated that the funds raised are going to help people with ALS and their families and caregivers in the battle against the disease, while resolutely pursuing all avenues to extend, improve and ultimately save lives.
  • Funding groundbreaking research in laboratories across the globe. We presently support 98 active projects and recently announced $3.5 million in funding for 21 new projects led by the world’s top scientists. The ALS Association has championed some of the most significant discoveries to date.
  • Providing vital support and care services through our nationwide network of chapters to people with ALS and their families in the form of support groups, medical equipment, respite grants and more, all while ensuring the highest standards of multi-disciplinary care through our Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence.
  • Empowering ALS advocates to encourage their elected officials to support and advance issues important to the ALS community; and convening the largest gathering of people with ALS every year in Washington, D.C. to raise awareness of the disease and support government programs designed to help find a treatment and cure for ALS.

In addition to this research, I have also made a monetary donation to The ALS Association