All posts by brennamadison

VoXBox Review

I’m sorry it’s been so long. I have had a lot of trouble finding enough time to sit down and write out my reviews of the products I got in my very first VoxBox. Don’t know what a VoxBox is?

Influenster is a free-to-join community of trendsetters, social media masterminds, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences.

Recently I received a VoxBox full of amazing samples to try. I can’t tell you enough how giddy I was to get to review products for free. (Influenster sent the stuff to me to review). At this point I would show you a picture of my lovely box but WordPress is jank and won’t let me insert any pictures. Boo 😦

Hershey’s Kisses – Uhhh…. does this even need review? I love chocolate and I’ve had Hershey’s Kisses before so I knew I was going to love the giant bag found in my box! My only thought is that I would have liked it better if they were a different variety. There are so many out there and I haven’t had many that I would love to sample and discuss my slight chocolate addiction. I would take a couple to work and enjoy with tea during stressful points of work. Also, they make great treats during bath time (a little bubbles, wine and chocolate goes a loooooong way 😉 ) I promise that I shared though!

Red Rose Tea – I saw the Lemon and Carmel dessert options and was instantly excited. Once trying them however, I was a little disappointing. Maybe I psyched myself up too much, but I had just imagined the tea tasting more strongly of yummy dessert. There was a slight flavor to each, but mostly they tasted like normal tea. That’s okay though because I really like tea. (If you don’t believe me you should see my tea

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Spray – I was more than surprised by this product. Following the directions to the T, my first thoughts whilst blow drying my very curly hair that it wasn’t working very well. After using my straightener however, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my hair straightened a lot easier. The whole process was much quicker than I thought it would take. The best part? It actually stayed straight all day! Most products I’ve tried helped for a little while but then my hair would become a monster frizz-fro again. Props John Frieda! I love your product!

Boots Botanics Shine Away Ionic Clay Mask – I used this product while enjoying one of those nice wine-n-chocolate bubble baths I mentioned previously. I wasn’t really looking forward to testing this product because I have had a history with reactions to other masks. I thankfully didn’t have any negative reaction and actually really liked this mask. I felt like it did everything promised on its container. My one thing that I wasn’t too fond of was that I felt it dried out my skin a little too much. That being said, I should also note that I am really anal about having a moisturized face. I can’t stand any dryness at all (it makes my forehead itchy!) I think with the harsh winter we’ve had though that this assessment wasn’t really fair, so I plan on saving some until the cold bitter winter passes and see if I feel that way again. Overall, I would recommend this product over any other mask I’ve tried before.

Vaseline Men Spray Lotion – I have to admit that I may have tried this on before realizing that it smelled like man. I really liked how it was a spray location and felt that it smelled really really good. My husband however did not like the smell…. which makes me sad because I wanted him to wear it all the time! I’ll have to give it to one of my brothers to try. I haven’t looked around, but if there is one of these Spray Lotions for women that smells good I’m definitely going to be buying it!

Kiss Looks So Natural Lashes – I’m going to come right out and say Fake Lashes just aren’t my thing. That being said, I was willing to try them out and see what they were like. For someone like myself, who doesn’t have steady hands, this is a difficult product to use. I actually messed up and couldn’t get the lashes on. My recommendation would be to have a friend put them on for you. If you like fake lashes I’d suggest trying these. They have a ‘party’ look to them and I’m sure in the right situation they would be great.

Thank you soooo much Influenster for giving me the chance to review these products, and thank you to my readers to actually reading what I had to say….er write. I encourage you to check out most of these products and tell me what you think of them!

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The Great White Tundra (of Indianapolis)

Sooo….yeah…. we’ve had an interesting last couple of days. We started with a snow storm on Monday, and have hard ridiculously cold temperatures the last two days. Oh, and I’m supposed to start my new job tomorrow….that’s 75 minutes away! The roads are just as bad as yesterday, however people are expected to go to work or they will lose their job. This crap is ridiculous! I talked to my contractor about starting on Thursday or Monday because my car is still snowed in and all I have here is a little windshield scraper. I’ve shoveled myself out with it before, but that was only with 6″ of snow and the temperatures weren’t in the negative digits. Needless to say I am hoping that my boss calls back with good news. If not I will have to leave today and drive there because there is no possible way I can leave in morning rush hour with this crap on the roads.My little Focus just can’t handle this. 

 

So with the snow and ice and crazy cold wind I have been holed up here with the husband and have NOT been working out. I have to be honest, I’m not upset with myself. We live in a small little apartment and I find it more important to stay inside and safe than try to walk to our apartment gym on the other side of the complex.

 

I will be posting more and show you all that I plan to do with my healthy eating habits…once I can get to the grocery store and buy food lol. I will try to keep you up-to-date when we de-thaw here in Indy.

 

Best of luck everyone! Stay safe and warm!!!

**Insert spiffy New Year title here**

Holy moly! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I admit a lot of that was from lack of motivation and willingness to be healthy over the holidays. I have to say that I don’t regret it too much though; I got to thoroughly enjoy my first Christmas as a married woman with my husband and all of my new family. It is crazy to think at this time last year I was working in a job that I hated, waiting to marry my fiance, and having no clue of where we would end up being. I never once thought our home would Indianapolis, or that I would go entire months without having a job. I never dreamed of this life, but God knew that this would be best for me and so far I haven’t been disappointed. Starting next Wednesday (Jan. 8th) I will be employed at a Mechanical Engineer on contract to Hill-Rom, which is a journey of 1 hr 15 mins EACH WAY from our little apartment. Given this is the middle of winter I am not thrilled about the travel, but after a week or two of paychecks I will be getting a new and dependable (and winter friendly!) vehicle. After waiting for years, I will finally have something that won’t break down all the time!!! In addition, my husband and I are looking into buying our first home!! We found a city that would only be roughly half an hour for each of our commutes, and the cost of living in that city is much cheaper than where we live. Unfortunately, it looks like we will be waiting until our lease is up in July 😦 Bahhh. Still though, a home, a job, a car….some of the big things I’ve been looking forward to now for some time. The baby fever has been very strong as a lot of people I went to High School with (and also one of my cousins) are all pregnant! I don’t really want kids right now; we are far too unprepared and not even remotely financially stable enough to have kids, but it is hard to ignore my internal clock. That being said, I’ve been thinking a lot. When we do decided to start a family, I don’t want to be super overweight and unhealthy. I want to be a good example for our children. I make no excuses that this holiday season was rough (we recieved a LOT of candy) and I have not exercised basically at all over the last month. A lot of people make new years resolutions only to stop following them shortly after the year has begun. I don’t want a resolution. I want a change. I want to be healthy, and active, and not weak-minded when it comes to food. I want to properly fuel my body, while still being able to have some treats from time to time. I want to be healthy before we have kids. So my goals aren’t just for the year of 2014, but 2015 and 2016 and many more years after that. So I have written a couple of goals that I see as totally feasible:

  • Get a dependable winter car
  • Pay off hubby’s car loan
  • Buy a house
  • Become healthier
  •                   Lose Weight
  •                   Eat Healthier
  •                              Only out to eat 1xmonth
  •                              No fast food
  •                              Count calories 6 days/wk
  •                              Less pop (a treat vs daily occurrence)
  •                              Way more veggies (we will make them the main part of dinner instead                                        of on the side
  •                   Run 3 5k’s this year
    ^ 1 will be the Cereal City 5K!!
  •                   Run 1 half marathon
    ^ Fort 4 Fitness (if uninjured during the year)
  • Spend more time in the Bible

Now these goals may seem lofty to some, but I feel all will be super easy to manage, especially when I become busy with my new job. I’ve always done well under pressure.

As for this blog, I’m not trying to make a name for myself or get a followers. This is my accountability. This is where I can go to talk about my weight loss and this battle. I hope I can find others and connect when it comes to my journey, but if not, at least I have something in writing, something I can always look to to remember my promise to myself. Madison Wedding 181_01 copy

This is me. This is my story.

One Holiday down…..

Hey everyone!

I was hoping to have a chance to write one more post before leaving for Thanksgiving, but I got caught up in a lot of stuff and obviously wasn’t able to make it. Let’s start with the great Turkey Day Week recap:

– The hubby and I left on Wednesday afternoon to head up to Michigan to spend a couple days with my family. All in all it was pretty uneventful. We had Thanksgiving at my grandparents and I didn’t eat until I was stuffed. I’m sure I could have done better, but I got small portions of my favorites. I’d say I was semi-successful. 

Friday we went black Friday shopping (I refused to go out on Thursday. It’s my personal belief that Thursday is a Holiday and not a day for people to be forced to work for minimum wage just so people can be super rude to them while they dog-pile on the latest and greatest TV deal. That being said, I respect those who have no choice but to work the holidays [including nurses, doctors, police, prison guards, etc.]) We got the husbands family Christmas gifts all done. Then we headed down to Fort Wayne.

– Here we had not one but three, yes three Thanksgivings. The middle one we didn’t stay to eat, just to say Hello; but the other two I did well and did not stuff myself at all. I’d say as far as the Holidays go, not stuffing myself at all/any of the parties is a huge achievement. Granted I’m sure I went over calories at least one of those days.

– By the time we got back to Indy on Sunday we were both super exhausted. It’s so nice to be able to sleep in your own bed after spending 4 nights in a bunch of different beds. Regardless, I still managed to get three loads of laundry done. Woot!

 

Before I get to into the weight loss/fitness part of my post I thought I’d update ya’all on the job situation:

– I have an interview today with one company for a position I’m pretty positive I won’t get, but I’m still hoping it works out. It’s a Mechanical Engineering position, and a little different from what I’m used to. I should also be having an interview in the next week or two for a company that pays really well….that’s almost 1.5hrs away. It’s more towards my field as a Biomedical Engineer, but it’s a longggg drive every day. We’ll see what doors God opens and how things end up playing out. I’ll keep you guys in the loop.

 

I still have my stitches in my leg, but they should be removed on Friday with my follow-up with the Doctor. I think I have to wait a full month to let the bone heal where the screws used to be, but after that I should be back to normal! I can’t tell you how excited I am about getting a second chance to get back into running. I have been waiting for so long and I’m ready to have another tool to get my life back to being healthy. 

It is hard to focus on just the nutrition aspect of things without the ability to exercise, but I know there are people out there who can never really exercise due to health issues, so I am really thankful that God has blessed me with the body that I have.

 

I hope to get to post a couple more times before the week is over. Let me know how you did this Thanksgiving!

Oh Mondays

Hey ya’all!!! I hope everyone had a good weekend!

As for me…well it was very uneventful. I’m still trying to recover from my hardware removal from last Wednesday. The hubby and I went to a couple stores on Saturday to pick up some Christmas shopping items. I was absolutely whipped after the first store! It’s amazing how exhausting being on crutches can be! Anyway, we went to a couple stores and then went home and watched tv all day. It was nice to finally have a weekend where we weren’t running off or having visitors. 

Sunday we went to church and then hit up the Cheesecake Factory for lunch for our 6 month anniversary(plus, we had a giftcard!) I ordered a lunch-portion Bistro Shrimp Pasta. I only ate half of it, and saved the other half for lunch today. That is not something I ever do, and even though it’s a super unhealthy meal (even with the shrimp not being fried), I was surprised that I used that much self control. As it was the only 6 month ann. we will be celebrating, we decided that we should go someplace nice because we hardly ever go out anyway.

It’s surprising to hear that, especially considering we are both so overweight. Our problem? Huge home portions and lots of snacks. It seems like whenever I make smaller portions for us, my husband is always hungry for more and goes straight to his snacks. I am not better, eating popcorn most nights. This is changing though.

I try to focus on only drinking a cup of coffee a day, and mostly water anyway. I’m trying to make the transition to healthier snacks like almonds and fruit, etc. While I’m laid up here recovering I have the perfect opportunity to work on my nutritional struggle. Even with thanksgiving coming up, I feel like I can accomplish much. Speaking of the great Turkey day, it’s crazy to realize it’s almost the end of the year already! Where did time go??!

So I have a few questions for you:

1. Have you ever had the problem of your hubby’s/wifey’s portions not being filling for them? What did you do to help them adjust to proper portions?

2. Have you had surgery that has prevented you from doing exercise? What did you do with all the downtime?

3. Any suggestions on smart snacks?

 

Happenings of Lately

Hey there!

It’s been a long time since I posted last; things have been all crazy for a while my way. I’m still desperately searching for a job (and having no luck what-so-ever) but I trust that God will provide one in His perfect time. It is hard, and I often stumble in trusting in Him with this difficult time of my life. I keep thinking that the longer I am without a job, the longer I have to wait to have kids. And let me tell you: between the in-laws not so subtle hints and all of our friends having babies, it is soooo hard to accept that we are at a different stage of life right now and just aren’t ready to try to start a family. I hate that darn internal clock telling me I need to have babies now! lol

The major thing that has kept me away from posting is my lack of exercise. I finally went and had my screws taken out! I went to the doctor last week and he saw on the x-ray that one was backing out so I had the surgery this past Wednesday. I cannot wait to get back to walking and running and biking! Ahhhh 😀 I do have to be careful though, and let it heal up properly or I could stand a chance to fracture my tibial tubercle. Boo. But anyway, once this is good and properly fixed I will be super happy! 

 

So for now, I’d love to hear how you guys have been! Also, what do you think about the difficulty in finding a job in a state capitol? I’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

Emotional Eating

This weekend was a big eye opener for me. It was a relaxing weekend….too relaxing. I did walk a lot on Saturday but other than that my butt was parked on the couch for most of the weekend. My eating habits weren’t great either. 

I was so surprised by how strong my desire was to eat something bad when I was upset this weekend. I would tell myself no, but the desire would still be there, loud as ever. It got me thinking of the past.

For as long as I can remember, I have been ‘fat.’ At least that’s what the stick-figure girls of my childhood would call me. I can remember visiting my aunt and uncles house as a child (I’m talking like maybe 6, 7 years old) and this girl I didn’t even know saw  me and asked my why I was so fat. It still hurts to think about. How could I control whether or not I was ‘fat’ at that age? My parents didn’t have the money to afford good, healthy food. That was just the way it was. 

Enter into the end of elementary school / beginning of middle school: I was involved in community theater. I was actually good, receiving lots of comments for my easy of script reading and ability to memorize my parts early. A year after joining a group that was not so affectionately known as the ‘preps’ joined. These were the girls who had everything: super skinny, beautiful, expensive clothes. To sum it up, they had everything I didn’t. I remember one night specifically. I remember being in the hallway, waiting for my scene rehearsal when I heard them laughing. As they walked away I approached of the girls that was supposed to me friend and asked what was so funny. She told me that they were laughing at me. That my butt jiggled like jello. I was devastated. 

These two events set in motion an entire childhood plagued by feeling fat and worthless. There would other times that these ‘popular’ people would remind me that I wasn’t good enough. I was not wanted anywhere. I think that is where this all started. To this day I struggle with self image and emotional eating. I feel as though I will never fit in. It is hard to open up to people I know, because I feel unimportant.

This weekend was a bust, but it forced me to remember these difficult times I had as a child, and how they’ve carried through to adult life. I feel like the tough part is still ahead of me, but I have no idea how to overcome it.

 

I guess that’s part of the journey to becoming a healthy person.

First Weigh-In and the difficulties of life

Hey all!

When I try to eat better and be more mindful of how I’m feeling, I usually do really well…..until it’s dinner time. I’ve always struggled with late night snacking and eating way too much when I’m watching something. I really concentrated on eating when I was only hungry last night…. and the scale showed a 2 pound loss! I am very happy to see that, and I believe it gives me enough motivation to make it through today. 

Yesterday I went out and bought a notebook to keep track of my calorie intake. I used a notebook the last time and it was very good to see everything in a simple math form. I guess that’s just the engineer in me lol.

 

Speaking of engineer: I am a Biomedical Engineer and I’m living in the state capital of Indiana and I still can’t find a job! I am so frustrated to have spent years going to school and spending thousands of dollars just to not get a job! I feel like such a failure, applying for all these jobs with all of the prospects falling through. It just breaks my heart. 

 

😦 Boo

Facing the inevitable && boy is it cold outside!!

Ugh….so it’s official. First snowfall in Indiana. 

And my apartment is a hot ripe temperature of 63°F. I really don’t like the winter weather if you can’t already tell. It’s pretty, and fun to play in. It just sucks driving in the raging snowstorms that follow.

 

So….I got on the scale this morning. I was so devastated by the number I saw on the screen. 197 pounds. How did I let myself go like this? After the months of hard work and exercise I put in. I threw it all away in two years.

Laying in bed last night, I confessed to the husband how much I weighed and how unhappy I am with myself. Let me state know that my husband is an amazing man. He has always loved me no matter what I weighed or how I look. We’ve been through a lot together since we first started dating. My problem is that once we started dating I knew he didn’t really like to exercise, so I cut back. Then I had major knee surgery and I’ve never fully recovered.

Running used to be my favorite thing of all time. I can’t tell you enough of how much I loved running. When I quit soccer before my senior year of college I pursued running like it was the one thing I’d ever want to do. I have never been fast, I have never been good. That doesn’t matter to me anymore. I want so badly to run without the screws in my leg hurting. I want to run another half marathon and many more 5Ks/10Ks.

When I decided to drop the weight last time I got serious. I tracked everything I ate and worked out almost every day. These days I struggle greatly with both (obviously.) I’m nothing like the person I used to be. In some ways that’s good, but not when it comes to being healthy. These days I overindulge in all kinds of bad foods. The husband told me last night that if I made it to 150 pounds, then he would drop to 180. This was wonderful news considering how unhealthy we both are. So with a little more motivation, hopefully I can stay on track and make my goal.

 

For anyone who is reading this out there, what are your tips? Have you ever overcome serious injury/surgery to get back into sports? I’d love to hear about it!

So the adventure begins…..

Finally! A blog that won’t send out updates to everyone I know whenever I hit publish. I’m hoping to use this blog to help motivate me to lose weight and regain the healthy lifestyle I once had, without dramatically announcing each post to anyone I’ve ever known.

After making it to 155 before my 21st birthday I never thought I’d end up back here. Two surgeries, one bachelors degree, a husband, and two years later here I am. Topping the scale right where I was when I first started my journey, 190 pounds. My desire to exercise greatly diminished from my new habit of being extremely lazy in addition to my knee problems and great love for anything chocolate or carb related has set me back greatly. Now is not the time to let it get any worse. In transition between jobs it is the perfect time to lose some weight and regain my super powers once again. 

The question is how. How to do this with my inability to run footloose and fancy free? With a tight budget that cannot afford a gym membership? How do I put these into effect with a husband who does not like anything related to eating healthy or exercise?

 

I guess that’s what this is all about…..

 

Until next time! Stay tuned for more adventures of Helium Girl! dun dun dun daaaa