Take Measurements

 Success Snapshot 7:
Take Measurements!

When the scale is not going down, 
knowing you're losing inches can keep you going.

I've lost more than eight inches around my middle! 
I love knowing that my body is changing for the better.



Keep a Food Diary

Success Snapshot 6:
Everyday since my journey began I have written down my weight, workout, water intake and food consumption.  I also wrote down any emotions or revelations I had that day in regards to my eating.  It's been good personal accountability and has been great for looking back at how far I've come.

{A typical day for me}
When I started I was pretty in love with my little blank rainbow journal and the beautiful pens my friend Kori sent me when I was still in Alaska.  But YOU GUYS! Then, then (!) I found this journal at Target (when I was shopping with all four of my kids and they were maybe shooting rubberbands at each other on the next aisle over...) and I fell in love. I want everyone to have it.

"No goal was met without a little sweat!"
How adorable is this little gem?

I love everything it stands for!  And the best part? It only cost $14.99 to stay inspired everyday for 120 days!

I took pictures of the inside so you could really catch the magic:

See?!? It's a two page spread that has room for gratitude keeping, goal setting, body loving & food journaling. Plus it has a daily quote to inspire you!!!  I am so pumped for this 60 day challenge to end, and our next Friends (the tv show) themed 21 Day Challenge to start so I can switch to my new Fit Journal! (link is for something similar on Amazon since Target doesn't carry the item online)


My food journal is also where I keep track of non-scale victories (NSV) and write down my goals.  It's really important to write those down and to celebrate each NSV you reach because that will propel you forward.  For me fitting into my 14's again, and putting my wedding ring back on were huge NSV's that made me feel incredible.

And when it comes to eating right and changing bad eating habits (especially for us emotional eaters) reflection is key!  So run to Target & pick up your new Fit Journal.  And if you're at all curious about  joining our next challenge, which starts Monday June 13th, please let me know!

My email: rcunningham18@hotmail.com


Drink All The Water!

Success Snapshot 5:
Drink Enough Water

The goal is to drink half your weight in water everyday.  For example, I started out weighing 200lbs, so I drank 100 ounces of water everyday.  Now that I'm down to 180lbs, my goal is to drink 90oz.  Some days I miss the mark, but each day I intend to fill my water bottle at least three times.  I find it helps with overeating since it fills my tummy a bit before I eat.

This is one simple change that everyone can make as a step toward a healthier you!!!


Eat Healthier

I will be honest.  The part that scared me most about signing up for the 60 day workout challenge wasn't the workouts.  It was the eating.  I love food.  I love to eat.  I love to reward myself with food and I hate to deprive myself of food.  

But by making my goal simply "better than before", I was able to slowly change my eating habits and am now eating MUCH better than before.  I stick to serving sizes, never tell myself "no" about eating something, and remind myself constantly that this is a lifestyle change, not a diet. So I've had a slice of pizza or a piece of cake.  But I haven't had three slices of pizza or an entire cake.  And that, my friends, is progress!

For those interested, on the typical day I eat:

  • A Shakeology shake for breakfast with 3/4 cup of almond milk, 12 ice cubes, 4 strawberries, a banana, a handful of spinach and a few blueberries, mixed in my in-laws' amazing Vitamix
  • A huge sandwich for lunch with cheese, lunchmeat, lettuce, tomato, mustard & light mayo, as well as an apple or pickle and sometimes Sun Chips.
  • Wheat Thins & Cream cheese or Beef Jerky for snack
  • A healthy family dinner, like lasagna, tacos or chicken & rice.
  • And finally I tend to give myself a Skinny Cow frozen dessert after the boys are in bed because the "eating once the kids are in bed" habit has been hard to break.


Drink Shakeology

Success Snapshot 3: Drink Shakeology
For my weight loss journey drinking Shakeology everyday has been key.  If you've been watching my journey the last two months and wondered what my big secret is, Shakeology is it.  It helped me kick my coffee and soda habits, as well as stop eating candy like it was going out of style.  It is absolutely the reason I was able to drop 20 pounds since April.

For those wondering, Shakeology is a nutrient dense meal replacement that is the same as eating FIVE plates of salad.  It's a super fast, easy, on-the-go meal that I can whip up in less than two minutes.  The best part is it keeps me full and that's kept me on track as opposed to other diet plans where I would get hungry and eat ALL THE FOOD.  




Success Snapshot 2: Move!
If you want to be healthier and feel healthier, move your body!  Workout, walk, play with your kids.  Whatever makes you feel good and gets your body off the couch.

I find that long workouts don't work for me right now in this stage of life. I don't wake up before my kids, and I hate working out before bedtime, so I do a quick 15 minute walking workout (with Leslie Sansone, the walking queen) every weekday while my kids eat breakfast.  It's the perfect mom workout.  

In addition to my daily workout at home, I try to get in one long walk each week at the Columbia River waterfront, which is my favorite walk of all time.  There's so much to see and I often take my twins with me on their scooters.  They love it, too.

I also received a FitBit Alta for Mother's Day which helps me track my steps & time spent working out each day.  I rarely hit 10,000 steps (the daily goal) but I walk more than I would if I didn't have it.



Love Yourself

 As I count down the final ten days of the Summer Slimdown Challenge, I am going to be sharing on Instagram & Facebook (and here on the blog) ten Success Snapshots.  They are the ten things that lead to my success in losing twenty pounds in 8 weeks & feeling a whole heck of a lot better about myself.

Today's Success Snapshot is Love Yourself. 

Know that you have value & are beautiful at every weight & shape. I've been joyful at 215lbs. and I've been miserable at 156lbs. The number doesn't matter-- it's how you feel about yourself that matters. 

"You are altogether beautiful, my love. 
There is no flaw in you." 
-Song of Solomon 4:7

 Since starting this journey toward a healthier, trimmer me, I have found that making myself a priority, taking time to eat right and work out, has made me a happier mama as well as a happier wife.  When I take care of me, and love myself where I am, everyone around me benefits.

 Another aspect of my journey has been body acceptance.  No matter how much weight I lose, I will have stretch marks from three pregnancies, multiple c-section scars and a very funny looking belly button thanks to my laparoscopic gallbladder removal.  But after suffering those miscarriages two years ago, I appreciate my body more than ever for the beautiful, healthy babies it's provided and the strong, healthy pregnancies it did sustain.

So wherever you are starting, love yourself.  Love your body for its ability to hear your loved ones say "I love you" and to walk you out into nature.  Love your body for waking you up in the morning and giving you the gift of another day.



Carly The Little Sister

Today Carly is four months old.  She's been in our family for a third of a year.  I think that calls for a post of all things Carly.  We couldn't love her more.  The boys adore her most, although they may show it in some funny ways.

... Like the time I came back from the bathroom and they had put a mustache on her.


From the beginning Carly has loved her bath time.  This is still the case. She's super relaxed and takes it all in.


Her big brothers all ask to hold her throughout the day.  Jack will even change her diaper and get her dressed for me.  All those helping hands are a huge blessing.

(Sometimes helping hands mean things are done a little differently than I would do them. Ahem, like these mismatched snaps. ;)

All three boys love to say hi to her when she's first waking up in the morning and is the most smiley & sweet.

We had a bit of warm weather in early May and it got me all excited for baby thighs in adorable rompers!

She has a lot of clothes, which is so much fun for me!  I don't know what she weighs yet (she has an appointment this afternoon) but she is very long & skinny.  She fits in 6 month clothes length-wise, but barely fills them out.

She prefers to be held while she sleeps during the day.  I don't mind that a bit.  She'll sleep in my arms during school and in the ring sling when we're out and about.

She also sleeps in her carseat, which is nice when we're in the car a while.  Like yesterday we drove to and from the beach, and she only cried the last twenty minutes in the car.


She still won't take a binky, and we're pretty sure she never will... But that's okay.  I figure she'll be our one and only finger sucker.


The other day Wyatt told me that having a baby wasn't as hard as I had told him it would be.  He said he thought it would be a lot more work.  He loves Carly and when she cries he doesn't get frustrated, he tries to cheer her up.  I love the way he talks to her, in a super high sing-songy voice.  It's just precious.


 I do just love her hands.

 And her sweet little face.

 I'm kinda crazy about her!


This little girl is literally the sunshine of our lives.  I'm so grateful for her.  For her smiles, her precious spirit and the joy she brings to all of us.

 We are approaching the one year mark of my missed due date & the day I found out I was pregnant with Carly.  So much has changed in a year.  Josh and I managed living apart for nine months; I grew & successfully delivered Carly in my third c-section; and we wrapped up our life in rural Alaska and are headed to Eastern Washington for the fall.  It's been a big year, and I can now see that God knew exactly what He was doing.

... He usually does.

 Me & my girl

 Watching her eyelashes grow has been amazing.  They started so small, you could barely see them.  And now they stretch out across her cheeks.

 I adore her in all hats-- but this little peach Hanna Andersson one is my current favorite.


Josh got home recently and he & Carly's relationship hasn't missed a beat after two months apart.  The first night he got home, she smiled and talked and cooed with him for an hour.  It was so precious.  Now when he talks to her, she lights up and she loves falling asleep in his arms.


Last week I met up with my old bible study friends from junior high.  It was especially fun to see them this year because we all had babies last year.  Left to right is: Juliet, Carly, Lincoln and Nina.  Together we have twelve (12!) children, six boys & six girls, and it's such a blessing to get together with these girls who know me so well.


Yesterday we went to the beach and as I said earlier, Carly was a star traveler!  She had so much fun and was such a good girl.

While we were there, I enjoyed perusing my grandma's photo albums and found these gems of me with my grandparents when I was Carly's age!

I think we look a lot alike!

Oh Carly, I just can't tell you enough how much I love you & how grateful I am that you are in our lives.  You are worth every tear I shed through the miscarriages and were completely worth the wait.