Strip it Down

Everyday we wake up subconsciously with numbers running through our heads. It’s the way we measure how healthy we really are. The number on the scale, BMI, LBM, blood pressure, sugar levels, body measurements… just to name a few. How many people live this way by knowing all this information, and who goes through life just winging it?

( The heaviest I have ever been 264 pounds – January of 2016 )

I can tell you every single stat of mine, but would that matter? Some say yes and others say no.

My “perfect” number on the scale is 159.2 lbs. According to my BMI and LBM break-down. I feel the most comfortable when the scale read 162-165. Now, you’re going to say that’s only three to six pounds. Personally, those three to six pounds make such a huge difference on my height and body frame. My blood pressure is in the normal range and sugar levels are great too.

My measurements are bigger than what “average” be. Those I will keep private for now, but I’m sure I’ll post them later down the road on another post.

The only time in my life that I didn’t care when I gained weight was when I was pregnant both times. I had pre-eclampsia. (A pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to another organ system- most often liver and kidneys.) The second time I was pregnant I got it worse and had to be put on bed-rest. I took snacking and binge watching Netflix to the extreme. I probably gained over 30 pounds the last pregnancy. Since I had it twice I am at a 5% increase in having a heart attack or stroke in the next 5-10 years.

18700228_10213000421550181_8761501242173845617_nI’m a MaMa. I want, need, to be here for my boys and my husband. Honestly, my husband gets upset when I bring it up, but it’s my reality. I believe that was my wake up call. If I continue to keep going the way I am. I’ll leave my kids motherless and that scares the crap out of me.

My BMI is high enough that I could qualify to get weight-loss surgery covered by insurance. That’s not something to be proud of.

I just turned 30 the end of last year, and I know my metabolism is not what it used to be in my teenager and early twenties, but I wish it would kick back in. If you tell me losing weight is manageable I can give you an excuse on why it’s not.

Funny story (now)-  The other day I tried on my size 14 jeans. I was so excited they were able to zip and button, but I have a little more work to do since my muffin top was hanging over. Later in the day I was typing my first health and fitness blog and my other jeans split around my right thigh front to back. I was mortified, but didn’t let it be known. I chalked it up to having the jeans for the last eight years and the thighs kept rubbing together at my heaviest so they finally gave up the fight on the wear and tear. So I “laughed” it off. 

That was my “rock bottom” reality check. I knew that I have to change in that moment, but did my head follow my heart??? Nope, I’m either eating the crappiest food or snacking here and there and not eating actual meals. I started to wear my FitBit Charger again on Monday, and it became an eye opener and not in a good way. The highest I’ve been in jeans was a size 24 – before my recent pregnancy I was a size 13-14 – after pregnancy size 20. I’m hoping, this weekend, when we go camping that something will snap and I’ll do more walking and really start to becoming more healthy conscious.

I’m human and will continue to do everything by trial and error. I hope that if you’re reading this and can relate – YOU’RE NOT ALONE!

I want to hear from you’s…leave a comment… Have you ever contemplated weight-loss surgery? What was your “rock bottom” moment? Did you overcome it?

– Theresa Rose

How to do Disney World on the Cheap!

Disney World and cheap are not two words that a lot of people put together often, but I can! It does NOT mean that you need to cut back. In fact, we end up doing more! Disney does not give out “coupons.” However, they have great deals, and hacks, if you know how to work them.

Getting to Disney World..

Traveling to Disney World is usually one of two ways: driving or flying.

Driving – Depending on the car and how many people; you could go from NYC to Disney World for $180. (Next August I will update how much we use – if it’s higher or lower.) The car is usually stocked up with snacks and items for bagels in the morning and sandwiches in the afternoon. We tend to drive straight through down I-95, but if you need to stop there are plenty of hotels along the way. If you want a cheaper overnight experience there are also a ton of campsites along the way. (Our stops are usually bathroom breaks, gas, and now playground time. You could find the list of playgrounds and how far off of I-95 it is here.)

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Flying – I love JetBlue. The seats are comfortable, the stewards are usually the nicest people, and I could usually find a great deal. I have not had one bad issue from start to finish with JetBlue. I’ve had problems with a bunch of other airlines, but I won’t put them on blast. Last time, we flew to Disney, we were a family of three, and it cost us $720 round-trip. I didn’t have a credit card that had flight points, but if you have air points use them!

HACK #1 – It’s a little bit more time than just flying directly to Orlando International Airport, but it does help save! Book tickets to Jacksonville Airport for $72 one way (from NYC – amazing!) Then rent-a-car to drive to Orlando Airport. Simply, return the car and jump on Magical Express. That’s if you don’t want to rent-a-car. 

Now that we went through those Magical Gates and into the Disney World bubble…

Where to stay and when?

I, personally, never booked the Magic Your Way Package. The reasoning, you can’t use discounts that come out after booking. The pricing is set in stone. I used to only choose room option, and wait for the season before to call the reservations line to talk to a cast member. They will, gladly, be able to put on the newest offer they have.

HACK #2 -You book a room through Expedia. Then you need to call them to get an actual Disney confirmation number. Now wait for the offers to come out for the time you’re going and call up to add the discount. (They sometimes don’t list the Disney discount offer. So you get the Expedia discount and the Disney discount.) It could save you up to 40-70% off!!

20151104_154407We like to book the value resorts. Our oldest, Chase, is only six years old, and doesn’t really care what the room looks it. He loves All-Star Sports since he can decorate our window. We typically only use our room for napping during the day and sleeping at night.

We find the best time to go is the first week of November, aka Transition week- aka “Jersey Week”. That way you could do Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party too! We love going to bed one night with Magic Kingdom having Halloween decor and waking up the next day to Christmas down Main Street. Magic at it’s finest. We feel like we go two different times of the year for one price!

Tickets..

UndercoverTourist can save you upto $68 depending on how long your stay is. My husband gets a discount through his job using WorkAdvantage. Those are the two top ways of saving money on tickets! Well, and a being under three years old. Free!

If your vacation lets you; don’t buy park hopper. You can use the Magic Hours to your advantage. Get there at least 20 minutes before the park opens. Get on as many rides as you can within the first two hours, and then start using your Fast Passes on “main” attractions when it gets busy. Eat on off peak hours of when others eat. You could grab a snack at 11:30 and eat at 2:30 or visa versa. That way you can get the most in.

Also, go back to your hotel and relax. That way you’ll be energized at night when most people leave the parks, like a stampede in Lion King, after the first showing of the parade and fireworks. Leaving the park to free range. (If you’re in Magic Kingdom, for an extra bonus, stay an extra thirty minutes after park closing to take awesome pictures and watch the “Goodnight Kiss.”)

HACK #3 – If you’re attending a special event like MNSSHP and MVMCP then don’t buy a ticket for that day. The event starts at 7 p.m., but you can enter the park at 4! Go take a swim, Disney Springs, or go take a nice long nap. You’ll need all that engery to do the event to it’s fullest!!

Dining

A few options are available: Free Dining Offer, quick service meals, buffets, and sending/bringing food.

I don’t use the Disney Dining Plan, because it doesn’t fit my families needs.

Disney offers free dining at certain resorts certain times of the year. The only downside is you can’t use the discount on the room. The best bang for your buck is the room only offers in the 25% category or more are the best deals! That’s the Moderate and Deluxe hotels. They are often a great value on Club Level rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Those rooms come with the best Savannah view for only a little bit more than a regular room with that view. It is a beautiful resort, and one of the furthest away from Magic Kingdom, but worth every penny!

Always get the refill cup for your stay at the resort. It pays for itself after a few uses. You can’t use it in the parks, but you can use it at Boardwalk Bakery or any of the resorts if you resort hop. Take them to the park with you and ask any of the quick service places for water. It’s free!

Quick services are the fastest, cheapest way, to eat in the park. Also, saves on park time.

To save even more park time….. What works even faster?

Open the My Disney Experience app and either

  • Tap on the image of your character, scroll down to “My Plans” and press the “Order Food” button.

  • Select “Dining” from the top of the app, tap on the restaurant you want and press the “Order Food” button.

  • From there, just select the menu items that you want to order! Currently, only accepting credit cards or debit cards. No dining plans are accepted (yet).

  • When you arrive at the restaurant, open the app, tap on the image of your character and press the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” button. This lets us know you’re here, so we can start your order.

  • When your food is ready to enjoy, you will receive a notification from the app and you’ll pick up your meal at the area with the “Mobile Order Pick Up” sign.

  • It’s so easy, your family will think it’s magic.

If we drive – we bring food or stop at the Target right outside the gate. Flying is just as easy. We use Amazon Pantry and for shipping we type our reservation name, our arrival date, and hotel address. It will be delivered to bell services. Upon check-in it it will either be in our room, or just a quick call over and they bring it rite to us.

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Buffets are usually the cheapest at breakfast time. If you book Tusker House Restaurant, located in Animal Kingdom, around 11:15 a.m. you could get breakfast and lunch (brunch) for the price of breakfast! (That ham and sauce with Jungle Juice! Yum.) Bonus:: It also helps to not wait in those long lines to meet the characters since they go to each table. 

Souvenirs

If you have small kids – Dollar Tree, Dollar Tree, Dollar Tree!

Especially for glow in the dark products!! Those light up toys that they sell rite before parades, and you get suckered into buying it, are money suckers! Yeah, we’ve all been there with a cranky kid wanting one of those. Well, save those $14 dollars! Also pick up stickers, coloring books, and small toys. The kids will be less like to play the, “I want,” card. (Bonus- they also work out great for when they wake up and there is a present from Mickey Mouse.)
We have a Disney Outlet store not to far from where we live, and the prices are much cheaper. Also, shop those little silver spinners and the clearance wall in the Disney Stores. I’ve been able to get great deals from them.

Another tip..

.. to saving money is to buy Disney Gift Cards online from Target. You can use any Red Card that you have even if you’re not paying with it. You’ll get the free shipping and 5% off will be added to your account. Disney Gift Cards can be used for merchandise, hotel, food, to purchase tickets, and much more! Typically, they are 3-4% off from resellers, higher around Christmas, they were 8% off this year. I’ve also seen Disney Gift Cards at the Grocery store.

Chase Bank sometimes offers a Disney Debit Card Checking Account. (This is if you don’t want to get the Disney Credit Card from them.) This card will get you all the park perks as a Chase card holder.

– Theresa Rose

 

Premium Starter Kit from Young Living!

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I am absolutely OBSESSED with the Premium Starter Kit! If you’ve never used Young Living’s essential oils before, you’re missing out, this kit really is the perfect introduction. It is the most cost-effective way to try the top 11 oils. Each oil has a wide variety of multi-purposes.

What’s Included You Ask?

The Premium Starter Kit comes with a total of 11 bottles of essential oils PLUS your choice of a diffuser and some samples to give to your family and friends to share the love! Your kit price is deteremined by the diffuser you choose.

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The kit also allows you to have a wholesale membership so you can save 24% on all future purchases! If money is an issue; Young Living now offers that you can pay using your PayPal account for 6 months, or they have a $45 kit. In which, you would get Stress Away, 24% Membership, and samples. The bang for your buck though is the starter kit. Frankincense and PanAway on their own is $153 for the 15 ml bottles!

Included oils (5ml each)*:

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Frankincense

  • Add to you beauty routine to maintain radiant skin
  • Use during prayer and meditation for grounding and purpose
  • Use for massage after activity

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Lavender

  • From skin care products to relaxing routines, this oil can infuse many areas of your life

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Lemon Vitality

  • Enhances the flavor or foods and water
  • Key ingredients in the Thieves blend

 

5628Peppermint Vitality

  • Supports gastrointestinal system comfort
  • including bowel function
  • Helps with inflammation

5632Copaiba Vitality

  • Promotes Wellness
  • Also known as the “magnifier” oil. If you need a quicker or stronger response you would layer this oil on top of the other oil.

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PanAway (aka smells like Root Beer)

  • Apply topically after exercise for support
  • The PanAway bottle has a different cap due to it having Wintergreen. Wintergreen is known as a natural blood thinner. So people who have high blood pressure or pregnant shouldn’t use anything with Wintergreen in it.

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Purification

  • Neutralizes ordors in the air of your home
  • Freshens laundry

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Thieves Vitality

  • Supports healthy immune system
  • Supports a healthy respiratory system

 

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  • Massage on your chest for an uplifting aroma experience
  • Massage on the bottom of your feet before bedtime
  • Rub on your chest and back of neck before a workout.

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DiGize

  • Supports a healthy digestive system

 

 

Bonus Oil

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Stress Away

  • Exactly what the bottle means
  • Diffuse or inhale for a relaxing aroma

*These oils are only for the US Premium Starter Kit. Other countries may offer other oils instead of the ones listed above. You would need to check when you sign-up.

..You get even more items in the Premium Starter Kit!!

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Ningxia Red (2 – 2 ounce packages)

  • A Wolfberry juice high in antioxidents and essential oils
  • Supports whole-body health (including eye sight and stablizes blood pressure)

Even more…

You get little cute samples of some of the oils that you can give out to your family and friends. It’s easy to share your love for oils!

Now to make it even sweeter… from Young Living and me!!

As I mentioned earlier, when you sign up for a wholesale membership with this kit (using my Enroller ID), Young Living also offers an Essential Rewards program.

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bookAlso, as a thank you for joining my team, I will also send you two of my favorite essential oil books. They’re published by my two, personal, friends. The book, white and purple, is only the oils that come in the Premium Starter kit to get you going, and the second book comes in handy for the different seasons. Now, to make this even sweeter. I will also add in a surprise gift if you were to sign up on the Essential Rewards program too!

I will add you to our PRIVATE FACEBOOK PAGE to join in conversations and tips with other oilers. This is a place to ask your own questions and to learn more about everything else Young Living has to offer!

I bet you’re asking yourself how do I sign-up for this? Easy steps to follow::

  1. Click sign me up now
  2. Pick Member – pick your Country and Language
  3. My information is filled in already for Sponsor and Enroller ID
  4. Click Continue
  5. Pick the kit that you would like to start with
  6. Essential Rewards (Optional)
  7. At this point you can add more items if you would like to try. (Optional)
  8. Click Next
  9. Continue Enrollment
  10. Type in your information
  11. Decide if you want to make a business out of it – then you would have to click the one with the social security. That is not shared with anybody except for commission purposes. If you’re undecided you can click the individual one without the social security, and call later on to add it.
  12. Agree to terms
  13. Click Continue
  14. Pick your shipping and payment
  15. Wait patiently (if you can) for your AMAZING kit to come!

To be honest, I waited a good 6 months before finally saying, “YES!” Now, I want to kick myself in the butt for waiting! I want to hear from you! Comment below if you have any questions or experiences!

– Theresa Rose

 

We’re going to…

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DISNEY WORLD: It’s fun, it’s magical, and… it’s expensive! Parents save and save just to get their kids there. We took my first son there in 2015; when he was four years old. He was able to get on to most of the rides. His favorite was/is Splash Mountain. Something about doing it in the dark with no one else on; makes it feel like a completely different ride.

We’re going next year for Chase’s seventh birthday, and Grayson’s first time. It’s over a year away, and I pretty much planned the whole vacation. Just waiting on those magical number days: 180, 60, 60, arrival.

It will be a road trip down I-95. If you have tips for keeping a 7 and 1 year old entertained for 16+ hours – make sure you post them in the comments! You could call me a snob, but I rather take JetBlue down. From NYC to Orlando is 2 hours and 30 minutes. So this should be interesting.  I know to start it when the boys are just falling asleep or already asleep. I want to be far away from Washington D.C. before rush hour or early Saturday traffic. The boys don’t seem to have an issue with sleeping in their seats. Fingers crossed.

My husband swears we’re moving to Lake Nona, Orlando, Florida. Just to be 25 minutes away.  He pretends not to be a “Disney Freak” like me, but he’s an in the closet one. For sure. 

We’re still debating if we’re doing Hollywood Studios next year or not. Toy Story land should be opening rite before we get there. Growing up in the 90’s I feel like I need to go, but it still feels like a half day park to me. My husband is excited about the new Star Wars land, but that’s not until 2019. Plus, the new Star Wars hotel. He really wants to stay there. 

Also, Paddlefish opened up in Disney Springs. Last time we were there Fulton’s Crab was still running. Has anyone been there yet? Is it as good as it seems? Crab Fries. Seriously?! It has to be good, or the lobster corn dogs. I’m a sucker for those. 

The boys know we’re going, but don’t know when. That’s for Christmas. Obviously, Grayson won’t comprehend it, but he’ll be excited for Mickey Mouse!

Can’t wait to start sharing my tips and secrets that I have learned over all the times that I’ve gone. What are you hoping to learn about? Do you have any tips? New restaurant reservations? I would love to here them in the comments!

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♥ -Theresa Rose

Body Shaming: Skinny to Morbid…

I have been from one extreme to the other, much unhealthier, side of the scale. I’ve been called gorgeous, beautiful, stunning, pig in a pen, chuck-a-shuffle master, heifer, and much more.

Since I was a kid I had body dis-morphia. When I would be my healthiest I thought I was extremely overweight, and now that I am, unfortunately , considered morbidly obese I feel it, but don’t see it all the time.

10458554_10204723818200397_4857389424109423006_nIt’s the same old story that you hear from most people that are morbidly obese. I blamed myself for something; my parents divorce. Soon became, very much an emotional eater. Didn’t realize I stacked on the pounds. When I realized the pounds my life became the famous Yo-Yo Diets; Aktins, Dukin, Powell, Nutrisystem, Isagenix, South Beach, DASH, food for your blood type, the list goes on… If it has a name to it I probably have a book or research on it.

I found that after coming off of them I gained all the weight right back. It wasn’t that I went back to eating horrible, but the weight came back just as fast. Which in return, if I gained back ten pounds it turned into fifteen pounds which I would turn to food to comfort. All that hard work for nothing. Down the drain it went.

Anorexia? Had it. Bulimia?  That too. Still to this day when I’m sick and puking it makes me go back to this dark place.

I weighed 120 pounds at 5’8″ tall-average. I was considered underweight in the picture above.

Now, four months ago I gave birth to another son, named Grayson. I am now officially the heaviest I have ever been in my life. This isn’t who I’m suppose to be. I’m not suppose to be the Mommy that doesn’t go out and play with her kids on the playground, because she’s afraid another kid will say something mean about me to child. They deserve the best of me. Someone who shows they love themselves; just as much as I love them.

My college friend, Stephanie, posted that she was interested in going to the Disney Princess Half Marathon. You have to complete each mile within 16 minutes. Being completely out of shape, and already going next year to Disney World. I decided that will be my goal for 2019. That gives me seventeen months to get to my goal weight. Plus, I used to run, but I don’t think I would come near 16 minute miles; let alone 13.1 times doing it. I know a lot of people do the run/walk method for it, but my goal is to run the whole time. Unless, I’m taking awesome pictures of Cinderella’s Castle or Disney princesses.

This is my journey. It will be long, tears, lots of sweat, blood, blisters, freezing cold, hot and humid, but I will get through it. My boys deserve the best of me, and having to be on bed rest the beginning of the year due to complications in my pregnancy. My legs could use a good stretch. So it’s time to charge up the FitBit and be held accountable for what I do and what goes into my mouth.

Will you join me? Comment below- what helps you stay motivated? If you want to join in on losing weight for good? Don’t forget to follow me!

 -Theresa Rose