Reflections on my weight loss journey- Part 1: From the Beginning…

Recently I’ve started sharing tidbits from my weight loss success story, and there has been quite a bit of interest in how I lost 60# in a little over 12m, so I think it’s time for an in-depth look at how I got where I was to begin with, and how I got where I am today. Your questions and comments as I share help shape what I share, so keep asking and sharing what is on your mind. Many of you reading this have been following my life journey for the past 10 years as a blogger. Our kids were babies at the same time, now our oldest are approaching their tween years. Many of you, like me, are now in your 40’s (I just turned 43), or older, and we’re facing a new, unique set of challenges as we start having time to focus on ourselves again. My kids are now 9 & 11, and I finally feel like I’m coming out of the haze of years of pregnancy, breast-feeding, bed-sharing, and finally am re-finding ME. And it’s a glorious feeling. I know just about everyone struggles with weight at some point in their lives. It’s my hope in sharing my story that I can help you realize that YOU have the power to drop as many pounds as you want. I’ve never held a gym membership. The only special equipment I have is a $100 Craigslist treadmill and a few dumbbells and weights. I have nothing to sell, I truly just want to share my story. I haven’t felt compelled to blog on any certain topic in quite some time, so it feels good to want to type again. Here we go….

My story begins in August of 2021. My family is blessed that we’re able to take extended vacations. I’m a huge fan of slow travel. We did the natural progression from tent camping, to pop-up camper, to pull behind travel trailer. During the summer of 2020, and the height of pandemic life, we camped for 6w straight (you can read about it here if you want). 1 year later, in 2021 we went for just shy of 8 weeks, a good chunk of summer! I could write & write about the joys and positive, life-long benefits of such amazing trips. One of the only drawbacks I can think of is the mindset we fall into which is: we’re on vacation! Being on a weeklong vacation and indulging in food & drink is 1 thing. But for 8 weeks is another. In hindsight I can definitely look back and see I absolutely lacked self-control. Especially in the drinking department. When you’re sitting around a campfire every, single night, it’s easy to fall into a rut of having a few beers, or glasses of wine, or rum drinks. And I firmly believe that all those empty calories from drinking were a huge part of the equation that ended with me at 235# by the end of that camping trip. Most people don’t realize how many calories they’re drinking throughout the day/night! When we returned home in August and I saw myself naked in a full-length mirror I remember feeling disgusted. WOAH, who is this?! I was 230# when I gave birth to my 10# daughter. That really hit me. And I knew it was time for a change.

Back up a little bit: my Husband found himself where I was, 1 year earlier. After our 6w of camping in the summer of 2020, he found himself at his heaviest- 250#. Here’s a pic of him from that camping trip in 2020, I can REALLY see it in his face:

It’s weird looking back now, 2 years later, I don’t ever remember looking at him and thinking he was THAT overweight. But now, at 175# instead of 250#, wow, the difference. This is from this summer (June of 2022):

For those that don’t know, we live in Wisconsin. Drinking massive amounts of beer, eating deep fried cheese curds, brats, dairy in every form possible, is the norm. While we of course have many healthy, slim, beautiful people (and NO I’m definitely NOT saying you have to be slim to be beautiful!), we have normalized being overweight. So, what did he do? Pretty much stopped drinking. Not 100%, but cut way, way back. He also cut way back on carbs and sugar and focused on good fats and protein. And he started slowly building up his exercise routine by doing simple things around the house to build up his core 1st: planks, push-ups, off-road hikes up steep hills. Neither of us has ever set foot in a gym. I want to stress that there is so much you can do around your house, with no gear or simply items from around your house. And slowly but surely, the pounds started dropping and he started getting buff.

After seeing my Husband’s success doing basic, simple things around home and focusing on the tried & true solutions to weight loss (diet & exercise), I knew what I had to do. I was so happy for him to constantly be hearing: wow, you look great. And I yearned to make that my reality. I want to stress that I was never unhappy, even at my heaviest. Life was great. My family was having the time of our lives enjoying all the fruits of summertime fun. And I was not necessarily unhealthy either, at least according to lab numbers. While my weight put me in the obese category, my blood sugar, blood pressure, liver & kidney functions, all within normal range. So it wasn’t a health scare that shook me up and made me feel the need to lose. It was truly looking at myself in the mirror and going NOPE. This is not the me I want to be. And while my lab numbers were fine, I definitely got tired quickly, couldn’t walk a moderate incline without huffing & puffing, and that is not healthy. And of course a huge part of my motivation to be my best self is to act as a positive role model for my kids, and to be healthy so I can be around for them and hopefully their kids some day.

I’ve always been a dress lover, even when I was tiny in my teens and 20’s. So just kept buying bigger size dresses. And I thought I still looked good in them. I was buying clothes in 2x, and some of them were not fitting well either. That was not a good feeling. I’d go try on stuff in a fitting room and hate how they fit. I’m happy to report I recently sold all my XL clothes, and am wearing medium, even small in some recent shirts I picked up! I had a bin of size 14 jeans from years ago that I never thought I’d fit into again (I was in a size 18 at my heaviest), well recently I donated those all because they were too big! I’m currently in size 12, and even started wearing some leggings which I never thought I would ever, ever be caught dead in- holy COMFY!!

So that’s the lead-up to the rest of my story. How did I go from 235# to 170# in a little over 12m? Diet and exercise. It’s true. I have never stepped foot in a gym. What I do have on my side is time. Being I work from home, I know that is something those who work outside the home may not have. If you sit at a desk all day, your reality is much different from mine. My Hubby said quite a while ago: if we’re home all day, we have no excuses not to exercise. And that has always stuck with me. No excuses. Although even now that he’s working a 9-5 he still fits in at least 3 miles on the treadmill before bed! We learned about Intermittent Fasting, which I’ll write a whole post about later as well as what we eat, etc. We follow the One Meal A Day (OMAD) plan, it works for us. Reading this book was very eye opening and truly helped put me on the right path. 99% of diets fail because they’re too restrictive and just not sustainable. I love the idea of NOT denying whatever it is you want to eat, just being mindful of how much you eat, and when. I never feel like I’m starving, and when I’m craving a certain food, I work it in to my OMAD. This way of eating, along with hitting the treadmill and otherwise staying active, is how I’ve got where I am now, and how I’ll lose the remainder of the 20# to hit my goal, then keep it off.

Below, August 2021, me at 235#:

Below, Summer 2022, me at ~180-190#. As I type this, currently at 170#.

 So, there’s the intro. I have many more sub-topics to write about, including:

–Intermittent fasting & OMAD

–What I eat & when

–Learning to say no

–Losing vs maintenance mode

–Exercise

–Among other topics. This is an ever-evolving conversation. So, stay tuned…Let me know what questions you have please!

My tough decision to shut down Pure Play Kids

It meant so much to me to keep this business going when it was on the brink of extinction in 2018. But, times change, and I feel it’s time to move on. You can read about me taking over the business here: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2018/11/05/meet-the-proud-new-owner-of-pure-play-kids/

Here are the reasons I feel it’s no longer in my best interest to continue the business:

–I’m literally watching items sit on my shelves and collect dust. There are items I drove from TN to WI in a Penske moving truck 4 years ago, still sitting on my shelves.

–My kids are growing, we’re approaching the tween years (they’re 9 & 11). When I started blogging, my focus was baby items. As we know they put everything in their mouth and it’s really important to scrutinize every, single thing we’re giving them! When I purchased Pure Play Kids in 2018, they were 5 & 7, still little kids. And the majority of those in my online community are right there with me, our kids are growing up together! It’s much, much more difficult to find fun, made in USA items to captivate their interest as they grow. So I feel my offerings are maybe a bit outdated for those in my online community. There are not a lot of new Moms joining me, so my collection of offerings just isn’t flying off the shelves….

–It takes money to make money. As a small business owner, it’s hard to actually profit. You invest a bunch of money into your products, you sell them which is great, but then you need to buy more to replace those you sold. Your money is always wrapped up in your inventory. And I’m sick of seeing my inventory sitting on shelves, I’m ready to cash out.

–Shipping is SO expensive. The cheapest anything can ship for 1st class is $4, that covers items under 1#. I used to offer free shipping for orders $70+, and it’s not uncommon for it to cost $10 to ship an order that amount. That quickly eats up profits. Currently, I have flat rate shipping set at $8, with free shipping for orders $150. As we know, shipping is only going to continue to go up, it will never go back down. So this is 1 of many factors that just makes me not want to rely on a business that ships stuff to get it to people.

–My website is set for renewal at the end of the year. That is money I’d rather not spend, so I decided this holiday season would be the perfect time to sell what I can and call it quits. I will continue to renew my domain name in case I want to bring the business back online in the future.

So, in light of all of this, I have decided to offer 20% off all items until sold out. Shipping is set at $8, or free for orders $150+. I truly hope you’ll take a look and see if there are people on your holiday list that you can make happy with some great, made in USA items.

****************CODE FOR 25% OFF IS: ThanksJess

Also, please take a look at my buying club extras. Most of these are 1 each, you can take 20% off the price listed as well. Email me to claim these items, I’ll add them to your PPK order (if you place one, if not and just want these, I’ll charge you exact shipping for what you claim): https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2022/10/12/extras-from-the-sep-buying-club-order/. Email: ecofriendlymamausa@gmail.com

And you can also add on my homemade toothpaste or deodorant, just not offering those at 20% off. Those are $9/4oz glass jar. Details under the recipes tab on my website: https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/

Poofy Organics $12 and under offerings!!!

💸Don’t have a lot of money to spend right now? Maybe you’re struggling on one income? Maybe you’re on a tight budget? 💚Poofy has you covered! 💸

This is a list of everything we have $12 & under with our 15% off Holiday sale. 🎄

👄Lip Balms $3.82 each (all are clear):
🌰Almond Biscotti
🥧Apple Pie🍏
🍬Bubble Gum
🥥Coconut
🌿Eucalyptus Spearmint
🌱Frankincense & Myrrh
🍊Grapefruit Mint 🍃
🍋Lemon Sugar 🍯
🍊Orange Creamsicle
🍃Peppermint Vanilla
🖤Plain Jane
🎃 Pumpkin Spice
☀️SPF Superhero
🍓Strawberry Smoothie
🍹Tropical Punch
🍦Vanilla Sugar

🎅 Kids Bath Bomb Candy Cane Pack $11.05

💄Tinted Lip Balms $5.95 each:
🍓Berry Kiss
🥉Bronze Star
🌹Romantic Rose

Lashes:
💃Lash & Brow Spoolie Brush $8.50
💃Lash & Brow Travel Spoolie Brush $8.50
💃 Ecolash Applicators $11.90
💃 Silicone Lash Holder Pad $2.98

Bath Bombs:
🌬 Breathe Easy $4.25
🤧 Immune Booster $4.25
🌽 Candy Corn $6.38
🧁 Confetti Cake $5.10
🍭 Cotton Candy $5.10
🍬 Bubble Gum $5.10
🌲 Aspen Bath $5.10
🍋 Lavender Lemon $5.10
🌍 Mother Earth $5.10
🍉 Pink Watermelon $5.10
🎃 Pumpkin Spice $5.10
🌳 Rainforest $5.10
😴 Sleepy Sleep $4.25
🫐 Sugar Plum $5.10
🍦 Vanilla Oatmeal $5.10

Shower Steamers $3.82 each:
🌬 Breathe Easy
🤧 Immune Booster
🍃 Peppymint
🌤 Jersey Sunshine
😴 Sleepy Sleep
🌊 Summer Vibes

Toothpaste:
😁Cheery Cherry Toddler (adults can use too) $9.35
😁Happy Teeth (children may find it too spicy/hot) $11.05

Natural Healing:
💅Cuticle Salve Stick $5.95
🎉 Everything Salve Travel Size $5.95
🙊Anti-Lotion Stick $10.20
✋ Clean Clappers Hand Purifier $11.90

Nails:
💅🏻 Assorted Nail Polishes – $10.20 each

Baby:
👶Chappy Cheeks Lotion Stick $8.50
👶Tush Stick $8.35
🤱Happy Boobies Nipple Cream $11.05
👶Tush Wash Organic $11.90

Hair:
🌿Herbal Mint Shampoo Bar $7.65
🍊Citrus Coconut Shampoo Bar $7.65

Candle Melts $6.80 each:
🕯AfterDARK
🕯Autumn Harvest
🕯Dynamite Day
🕯Fiery Fall
🕯Happy Hippy
🕯Holiday Cheer
🕯Holiday Trees
🕯Pumpkin Spice
🕯Island Getaway
🕯Pest Protector
🕯So Fresh & So Clean
🕯Sugar & Spice

Dryer Ball Oils $10.20 each:
🧺So Fresh & So Clean
🧺Island Getaway
🧺Holiday Cheer
🧺Fiery Fall
🧺Dynamite Day

Aromatherapy Air Fresheners $10.20 each:
🏰 Medieval
🍊 Citrus Punch
🎄 Holiday Cheer

Soaps:
🧴Empty Soap Foamer Bottle $3.40

A huge variety of bar soaps $6.80 each:
🌳Antique Sandalwood
🫐 Blueberry Pie 🥧
🍭Candy Cane
🎂Confetti Cake
🍬Cotton Candy Craze
🍊Creamsicle Dreamsicle
🍃Eucalyptus Spearmint
🏺Frankincense & Myrrh
😎Happy Hippy
🤶 Holiday Cheer
🎄 Holiday Trees
🏡 Home for the Holidays
🍋Lavender Lemon
🌱Lemongrass Vanilla
🍊Orange Patchouli
☕Peppermint Mocha
🍦Peppermint Vanilla
🍐Pomegranate Pear
💜Poofy Plumeria
🎃Pumpkin Spice
🍦Vanilla Sugar

Specialty bar soaps $7.65 each:
🌚AfterDARK
🍬Bubble Gum
🌲 Aspen
🤩 Comfort & Joy
🌍Mother Earth
🤼‍♂️Take Down Bar
🏔Himalayan Salt Bar (body, face, hair, deodorant, shaving)
🌋Activated Charcoal Bar
🍯Honey Exfoliating Bar
🧒🏻Flawless Face Skin Balancing
✌️ Peace on Earth
🌊Sea Salt & Oud
🌲Wood & Citrus🍊

Lotion sticks:
🙊Anti- Lotion Stick $10.20
🥥Coconut $9.35
🍋Lavender Lemon $9.35
🍋Lemon Sugar $9.35
🍓Strawberry Smoothie $9.35
☺Chappy Cheeks $8.50

Facial Care:
🌋Activated Charcoal Soap Bar $7.65
🗻Himalayan Salt Face & Body Bar $7.65
🍯Honey Exfoliating Soap Bar $7.65
🧒🏻Flawless Face Skin Balancing Soap Bar $7.65
👧🏼Flawless Face Blemish Stick $8.50

Suncare:
☀️SPF Superhero Lip Balm SPF 15 $3.82
🥵After Sun Spray $10.20
🌞 The Sunscreen Stick $11.05

Foundation Samples $3.40 each:
👝ethereal: neutral to pink undertones
👝luxe: neutral to pink undertones
👝deja vu: pink undertones
👝xanadu: yellow undertones
👝wanderlust: pink undertones
👝serendipity: pink undertones
👝catharsis: yellow undertones
👝numinous: caramel
👝felicity: coffee

Brushes:
🖌Kabuki Brush $11.90
🖌Lymph Dry Brush $8.50

Essential Oils:
🌲Cedarwood $11.90
🍂Cinnamon $9.35
🍂Clove $9.35
🪴Eucalyptus $11.90
🍋Lemon $10.20
🌾Lemongrass $10.20
🍊Orange $6.80
🌱Rosemary $10.20
🌳Tea Tree $10.20

Clearance:
☕Mocha Frappe tinted lip balm $1.70
👄 True Brown Lip Liner $5.10
👄 Perfection Lip Gloss $7.22
💄 Hush, Couture, & Retro lipsticks $7.22
🖌 Felicity Foundation $8.50
🖌 Light Brow Powder $4.25
💦 Electrolytes $8.03
🌽 Candy Corn Bar Soap $5.74
🌽 Candy Corn Bath Bomb $6.38
🌽 Candy Corn Bath Bomb and Soap set $11.48
👻 Halloween Mini-lip Balm set $7.65

My link to shop: https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/

ALL the details on how to save 15% + off all month!! https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2022/11/01/poofy-organics-monthlong-15-off-holiday-sale-details/

Poofy Organics monthlong 15% off Holiday Sale details!!

You likely know someone who owns a small business, or you yourself may even own one. The reality is, most small businesses are struggling more than ever. With inflation, increased shipping costs, issues obtaining ingredients and other necessary supplies, it’s tougher than ever for many to stay afloat. The crew at Poofy Organics has worked extremely hard, as always, to bring you a wonderful array of holiday items for everyone on your list, and to fit all budgets. I truly hope that you’ll take advantage of this monthlong sale and try to check off as many people as possible from your holiday shopping list. Giving the gift of Poofy helps ensure that the company keeps doing what they’re doing, that I keep doing what I’m doing, that YOU get the peace of mind that you’re getting, and giving, the best-of-the-best on the market. The Poofy Peace of Mind is priceless!!! Here are the details you need to know!

Instead of the 4 day Black Friday-Cyber Monday sale format, Poofy has decided to offer their 15% sitewide sale for the entire month of November. This helps ease the pressure on their shipping department late in the month, so close to the date the products are needed by. And it helps ease the pressure on the USPS to deliver on time. If there are any issues with your order, there is time to sort them out. It also helps you be able to budget and plan accordingly! Win-win-win!!

–15% off everything, including already discounted items! No code needed, must be logged in with your customer account. If you don’t have one yet, go to Login>Create customer account from my link: https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/

–There are 20, yes TWENTY sets, all come in a bag or box, or some sort of lovely gift-wrapping! The work is done, you just need to order and you’re ready to give. The prices are already discounted vs buying the products separately (when even possible) PLUS you get an additional 15% off. For example: A kids makeup kit has been requested for years. The Poofy team put a lot of time & effort into creating it. It is retailing for $85, or just $72.25 after the 15% discount. Retail would be $110 if all sold separately! That’s just 1 example of the savings possible. Gift sets: https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/category/181-holiday-shopping.aspx

–Shipping is always free over $70. Make sure your subtotal is $70+ after those discounts are subtracted. Look at your subtotal. Shipping can be pricey if under $70. I hate to see someone pay $10 to ship a $65 order….

— First 1000 orders receive a POOFY Chocolate Bar and a chance to win (6) CASH PRIZES! 5 people will win $100, 1 lucky winner will win $500! Check your chocolate bar to see if you have a special cash prize certificate inside. Again, 1st 1000 orders only!

–I offer rebates! For all of these, you need to order, then email me with the order# and let me know how you would like the rebate. Options are: PayPal, Venmo, Poofy gift certificate for a future order, or check. 1st ever orders receive a 10% rebate (must be a new customer, not just using a new email). If you refer a new customer, they get 10% off their 1st order as just stated, and once they let me know you referred them, you get 10% off your next order. You get 10% off all orders place during your birthday month. I need to know this in advance of your birthday month. I have a spreadsheet started to reference. All other orders, after your 1st, get a 5% rebate, all the time. You do have to write me to claim them, they’re not automatically sent, same as all other rebates out there!

Clearance, heavily discounted items that you can save even more on: https://ecofriendlyusa.poofyorganics.com/category/220-discontinued-products.aspx

So, be sure to stock up on your everyday essentials. Try something new for YOURself. And give the gift of Poofy to as many as you can on your list. You’ll have them taken care of, and have the priceless Poofy Peace of Mind!

My email, to claim your rebate and/or ask any questions: ecofriendlymamausa@gmail.com