I'm Going Public

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If you read my post from yesterday, then you know that I'm done getting in my own way of a healthy and successful lifestyle. As I mentioned yesterday, I joined Weight Watchers, bought a Fitbit (should be in the mail today!) and am reading Gretchen Rubin's new book Better than Before (Goodreads book page). I'm not even half way through the book yet, but I have so many things that I'm loving. Last night I read the section on Accountability.

For me, accountability is key to success. That is what makes me an Obliger. Rubin believes that there are four different kinds of people (here's the jist):

1. Upholders - people that respond readily to outer expectations and inner expectations.

2. Questioners - people that question all expectations and respond to an expectation only if they conclude that it makes sense. 

3. Obligers - people that are motivated by outer expectations, but struggle to meet inner expectations. They are motivated by external accountability. This is totally me! I have no trouble meeting deadlines at work or making sure I'm on time for something. I do have trouble setting goals for myself in my personal life (weight loss and eating habits) and keeping them.

4. Rebels - people that resist all expectations, outer and inner. They choose to act from a sense of choice and freedom.

In Rubin's Accountability chapter (specifically page 92) it is mentioned that making your goals public can sometimes help.  Today's post is my way of going public with my goals. I've rescheduled my 'weigh-in day' with the Weight Watchers program to be Thursday so, today is day 1 of my new week. Based on my current weight and what my goal weight is (130 lbs) I am permitted 26 food points per day. I'm also given an additional 49 points per week (I never did understand that part), but I really don't want to use them. Every time I exercise I receive points, but I don't want to use those either.

 photo Looking to the Stars Overweight_zpsqjjuc5qb.pngI know that some people will say, "weight is just a number. As long as you feel good, that's what matters."  I get told that all the time and it makes me want to rip my hair out.  I have two things to say to this ~
     #1 - Yes, weight is a number, but there are good numbers and not so good numbers.  I'm not trying to convince you, or myself, that I'm fat. I know I'm not fat, but according to my doctor (and I believe him) I am slightly overweight. My doctor would feel more comfortable if I were down around 140 lbs. I have blood work and joint issues that need improvement.  So, that is my first goal. My second goal is to hit the weight that I know I can and that is 130 lbs.
     #2 - The other point is that I don't feel good right now. I constantly feel bloated. I have tons of beautiful clothes in my closet that do not fit right now. And NO I will not get rid of them! I have gotten rid of tons of clothes due to the fact that they don't fit. These skirts and dresses, however, I refuse to give away.

When I was at my absolute best shape I was at 126 lbs. I was working out several times a week and was eating really well. Granted, that was 5 years ago, but I know that I can do it again. I just need to stop being lazy and get out of my own way. By making this goal massively public, I'm hoping to succeed even more.  Okay, I will now step off of my soap box!

Below is a 'before' picture. The picture itself was actually taken on April 15th at a work event I attended. The statistics to the right of the picture were taken at the beginning of April and the last time I weighed was this morning. I am going to make Thursday my "Update Day" and I will post my progress from the entire week. I haven't exactly figured out what to post as updates for you, so I would like some suggestions. Should I take pictures of each meal? Take screenshots of each WW Tracker Day and post that? What do you think? I want to make this as accountable for myself as I can. I will post a new picture every month along with new stat numbers for my waist, arm, hips, etc. The weight I will post each week.

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Here I go!!!!!!!!

 All material © Erica Musyt

Life's Little Distractions

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I've been really distracted lately. I've been really lazy lately, too. I'm always talking about how I want to lose weight, eat right, watch less TV, and read more. I'm always talking about how I want to blog more and start writing (i've got a novel or two in my brain...i know i do!). I've decided to stop getting in my way. I've taken action to minimized some of my biggest distractions!

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Yes, I will admit it, I am a Candy-Crush-Soda-Saga-aholic! I'm completely obsessed with this game. I like is so much more than the regular Candy Crush. It has gummy bears, chocolate and honey! I love it! However, I find myself playing it every opportunity I get. From the time I wake up in the morning all the way to bed I'm playing this silly game. I could be reading or do something else much more productive. So, I have decided to take it off my phone!!!!!!!! I uninstalled it Monday night. So far so good. I'm not in any withdrawal, so it must not have been that much of a 'necessity.'

The other culprit is . . . dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuun!
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Did you have any doubt? Of course, the television! Combine that with my awesomely comfortable couch and I find myself in front of it A LOT more often! I'm not going to get rid of my television. Hellz no! Are you crazy??? There are a lot of television shows that I watch: The Following, Nashville, Law & Order SVU, Scandal, Vampire Diaries, The Mindy Project, Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, Once Upon A Time, Secrets & Lies, Revenge, Orphan Black, Game of Thrones. I think that's it. I never have trouble finding something to watch when "there's nothing on tv to watch." Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go are right there for me when I need them.

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1. I purchased a three month membership to Weight Watchers. I've used WW in the past, but didn't use it the way I should have in order to be successful. I'm hoping that things are different this time around :) I officially started using it on Monday and I'm being really honest with myself about tracking what I eat.

2. I have also purchased myself a Fitbit Flex. I should have it tomorrow and I'm super excited about it. I have a pedometer on my phone, but I have to take the phone with me everywhere in order for it to track my steps properly. A coworker of mine has the Fitbit and she absolutely loves it!

3.  I have created a meal planner to plan my meals ahead of time. This way I know what to get when I go to the grocery store and I stick to that ONLY! No buying extra stuff. I'll also have no excuses about there 'not being food in the house' so then I order a pizza. No more of that!

4. I'm going to limit myself to only 2 hours of television a day. This will, hopefully, get me reading more and maybe even scrapbook (I'm sooo behind)! When I got home last night I turned the TV on at 7:05pm and told myself that I had until 9:05pm. At 8:46pm, with 19minutes of TV time left, I had finished Game of Thrones. At that point I didn't even bother starting anything else. I finished this post, cleaned up the kitchen, brushed my teeth and was in bed reading by 9pm. What a lovely evening!

5. I'm reading Gretchen Rubin's new book Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I am really enjoying this book. She has a lot of great suggestions to help you create good habits and to help you break bad habits.

What do you do to keep yourself motivated?
Any suggestions for the rest of us?

 All material © Erica Musyt

Totally Pin-tastic Tuesday

Looking to the Stars

Welcome to Totally Pin-tastic Tuesday! I just can't seem to get enough of Pinterest! Here are some of my favorites that I've discovered.

*cuteness overload*
This baby gorilla is reacting to the cold stethoscope! He's squeezing the human's finger. So cute!

*health & fitness*
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I'm super excited about this! I actually started with Day 1 yesterday. I'm trying to be good these three weeks before I fly to Las Vegas. That's in 18 days! I can't wait!

*craft room / office space*
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This is exactly what I want to do with my second bedroom! I was originally going to move my dinner table into the room, but I'm going to use the desk that I already have and just get crafty and make it bigger. I'll get some plywood (strong stuff) at Lowes and put it on top to make it a bigger desk. Then of course, I'll paint it a really pretty color! i'm so excited!

*money & finances*
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I really liked this article from Sunburnt Saver. If you have debt, but also need to save for retirement (much like me), this might help you figure out what to put first.

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Yup, this is totally me! Haha!

What are you Pinning?
*follow me on Pinterest*

 All material © Erica Musyt

A Little Color Anyone?

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On April 18th I participated in my third Color Run. This time around The Color Run added a new factor into their wildly popular 5K - SHINE! That's right, GLITTER and a lot of Glitter! I love anything that shines and sparkles, so of course I had to do this :)  My mom joined in on the fun, making this her first Color Run. The proceeds from the Roanoke-Salem Color Run went to the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center. Here are some of the awesome pictures that I took ~

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Of course we start out nice and clean in our Color Run shirts. There were sooo many people there! There were also two other races going on the same day, so it was great to see the crazy amount of people participating. Our first color marker was blue. You could see the color dust from the top of the hill. It was pretty neat!

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me after going through Blue

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me and momma after blue. she got some on her face, so she started calling herself a smurf!
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There are always awesome signs put up throughout the route.
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Yellow was next!
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Orange was a lot of fun! It was at the tip top of a hill. Mom and I got it good with Orange.

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Pink was next! This was the last color marker before the SHINE. I love Pink and this guy here was cheering everyone on, so of course I had to get a picture with him.

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Mom and I had so much fun! After we went through the finish line we received a medal and a color packet. We immediately joined the color party. Mom smacked me crazy with pink and I went crazy with some yellow and shine. I can't wait to do it again! I've actually already pre-registered for the next one in Lynchburg!

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 All material © Erica Musyt

Friday Feelings V.13 ~ RIP Derek Shepherd


Happy Friday Feelings!

Happy Friday!!!!!!!
So sorry for missing last week. The whole week out of town was sort of a blur. But, I'm back
Okay, let's get on with the feelings, shall we? Today I'm feeling...

I feeling the saddest I've felt since George & Mark.

I had a completely different post planned for today, but after last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy I'm having trouble moving on. I'm not the only one, either. Plenty of fans are upset. Why Shonda, why??? Why would you kill of one of the most beloved television characters?
It was one big sob fest in my apartment last night. I didn't see it coming at all? He saved the lives of four people, then loses his own. So sad!

ABC has put together a lovely In Memory of Derek Shepherd.  You will be missed Derek.

We love you!

How YOU are feeling today? What are you up to?
Grab a button and link up. 
Looking to the Stars

 All material © Erica Musyt

My Inspiration

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I have been lucky enough in my thirty one years to encounter some pretty amazing people. I decided to start a monthly series to feature those inspirational people in my life. The first person I want to introduce you to is my fabulous friend Mia. 
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You might know Mia from her awesome blog, The Chronicles of Chaos. That is how I discovered Mia. At the time I was still living in Northern VA. Mia doesn't live too far from there. We had chatted about getting together to meet in person and then came up with the idea to invite a few more Virginia Bloggers and have a NoVa Blog Meet Up. In February 2013 9 of us got together for lunch at PF Changs (you can read about it here). It was so much fun!

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Over the last 2 years (Mia, it's been two years since we've met...can you believe it!?!) Mia has been a huge inspiration for me, especially when it comes to my writing. Mia got together with another fab blogger, Shelly (It's Shelly's Cabaret) and created the Write or Die Wednesday Link Up. They supply us with prompts and we are to write about whatever we want that has something to do with the idea, word, song, picture...I think you get the idea! It has gotten my creative wheels turning again and I'm loving it. The two of them also started a book club that spins off of the #WODW. Mia has a book club via Goodreads that I'm a member of. Reading and Writing and Blogging! That's me and Mia. I love this girl. 

Now, without further ado, I give you my interview with Mia!

1. You know how much I love movies, so what is YOUR favorite movie of all time and why?
This is a really hard question, because I love movies, too. Can I cheat and just say - any movie that has Leonardo DiCaprio in it? :) How that man has not won an Oscar is beyond me. He so deserves it! 
he's so handsome

2. Looking back on your life, what are you most proud of?
Hands down, becoming a mom. My boys are my life. It's so funny to me now that when I was younger, I swore up and down that I would never have kids. I'm sure glad life had others plans for me!

3. Are you doing what you love? If not, what would you rather be doing?
Yes and no. I've been in the human resources field on and off for almost 9 years now for several different agencies. And I used to be really passionate about it. I loved helping people, I loved the interactions with employees. I learned a lot and I'm grateful for those experiences. But now, to be honest, my heart isn't in it anymore. It's definitely time to move on. I would love to pursue a career that helps me explore my creative side. Maybe freelance writing or copy writing or social media strategy, etc. I think it would be a lot of fun and those are areas that I'm really interested in and would love to learn more. 

4. How do you juggle being a wife, a mother of two, having a full time job, and doing your blog? Any suggestions for those of us that are also juggling?
Don't ever sleep. Haha! Kidding. I'm really big on planning and trying to stay organized. There are definitely days when I want to pull my hair out because I feel like my to-do list is a mile long. But I try to remember to just breathe and do what I can. I am home a lot with my boys and spend as much time with them as I can. And then after they go to bed, it's ME time. I can blog or read or catch up on shows. I'm a night owl, so that's my most productive time. My advice would be to utilize some type of planner/system to stay organized and to capitalize on your most productive time of day.

5. How did you get into blogging and what do you love most about it?
I started in June 2012 after religiously reading the blogs of a few of my friends. I was drawn to it because I so love to write and blogging is such a great outlet for me. What I love most about blogging is the connection. I have met so many amazing women all around the country and the world who are so supportive and inspire me every day (including YOU!). Blogging really helps you find your tribe and it helped me connect to people who share the same interests as me. I love it and I'm so glad I started! 

6. How did the Write or Die Wednesday link up come into play? Did you and Shelly know each other before hand and just had a light bulb moment together?
The Write or Die Wednesday link up was the result of some emails between Shelly and me. We were talking about how we wished there more opportunities to write about thought-provoking topics and how we wanted to connect with other writers, etc. And then, BOOM! Magic happened. Haha. I first discovered Shelly's blog on Bloglovin. Do you know how when you follow a blog on Bloglovin and then it recommends other blogs that you might like? Shelly's blog popped up in one of those recommendations and I immediately fell in love with it and blog-stalked her. Haha. So, thanks, Bloglovin for making that introduction! :) 

7. What are some of your writing goals and what kind of writing do you enjoy?
I have several writing goals. I still want to finish the rough draft of my novel by the end of this year. I also want to work on a book of poetry and a book of short stories. Haha, I've got high ambitions!! I love creative writing - short stories, especially. 

8. Who inspires you?
People who follow their dreams and refuse to take no for an answer.

Isn't she a doll? Thank you so much Mia for letting me interview you. You are an awesome person and I'm so glad that you came into my life :)

Who Inspires You?

 All material © Erica Musyt

A Place to Dream

When I was a little girl I dreamed about all sorts of things. It was always something different, for whatever reason. When my cat brought home a dead mouse I wanted to be a veterinarian so that I could heal the wounded animals. When my mom didn't feel good, I wanted to be a doctor so that I could make her all better.  When my older sister, Amy, came home from school crying I wanted to be a circus clown so that I could make her laugh.  All I really knew at the time was that I wanted everyone to be happy. I wanted every day to be sunny and warm. I wanted everything to sparkle and shine like the stars in the sky.

When I was 8 years old my grandfather passed away. He was my mother's father. I didn't know him very well, but I do remember his smile. And donuts! Grandpa loved donuts. He especially loved the ones with white cream filling and chocolate icing on top.  When he passed away my mom inherited his farm in Iowa, so we moved there. My sister and I loved it! The horses and cows in the fields. The endless fields to run through! My favorite place in the world soon became the huge barn on the back of the property.  That barn was my refuge. Before my dad left us, my parents would fight all the time. My sister and I would run to the hay loft and lay there for hours. There was a hole in the ceiling from a big storm that happened years ago. I could see the night sky as I laid in the hay.

That's where I did all of my dreaming.

*this is an original story written by Erica Musyt...do not copy or distribute without her permission. thank you*

All material © Erica Musyt
Do Not Use Without My Permission

It's PinTastic!

I'm completely obsessed with Pinterest. Aren't you??? I can search on there for HOURS and I mean HOURS! I've done it :) I've been pinning so much lately that I really felt the need to share with you some of the awesome finds I've had. Check them out!

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I just bought a sweater like the one above, so when I saw this collage for an outfit I saved it immediately. Now I just need a fabulous grey dress like this one.

Instead of a gallery wall, use Ikea picture ledges so you can swap out the art and frames whenever you want!
When I was trying to figure out how to arrange the furniture in my office I came across some feng shui information. Now I'm totally obsessed with feng shui. Recently I found out that having a mirror in the bedroom is bad, especially when it reflects the bed.  I've never not had a mirror over my dresser before, so I'm trying to figure out what to do with that wall space. I found this picture and fell in love with the idea.

One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you cannot change.
I thought this inspirational post was amazing. It's so true. I recently had a situation where I needed to find the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. It was hard, but something I had to do. When it's something I know that I cannot control, I just pray for the courage to let it go. Lovely posts like this help me to remember to do that.

Why it's nice to be an atheist, Reason #7: You're allowed to wink ;) (see Proverbs 6:13 & Proverbs 10:10)
And here is your serving of cute for today - a kitten winking at you ;-)

Be sure to follow me on Pinterest ~ Erica's Pinterest ~ and I'll follow you back.
I love making new friends on Pinterest!

What are you loving on Pinterest right now?

 All material © Erica Musyt

Living in the Past

It's Wednesday and that means it's Write or Die day. This week's prompt is about time. What Time Period would I have loved to live in? It's actually quite the toss up for me. I LOVE the 1950's with the poodle skirts and pony tails. You have the hot guys driving the hot rods and life seemed to be 'simpler' in the 50's. Then you have the 1980's. I love the music from that decade. Sixteen Candles is one of my all time favorite movies. There are the fun clothes and colors that you see everywhere. It's a tough choice.

I decided to go with the 1950's. If you've seen Grease then you know that there are the 'good girls' like Sandy and then there are the 'bad girls' like Rizzo. I think it would be more fun to live life like Rizzo. I was a 'good girl' in high school. I hung out with the 'clean cut' crowd and made curfew (most of the time). I didn't smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol in high school. I drove a mini-van for crying out loud! If I were to go back in time, then I would choose the 1950's - Pink Ladies Style! It's more fun to be bad, right?

 I still get to wear pink and be cute in my pencil skirt. The hair and make up was so fun back then.

There were fun places to hang out like Mel's Drive-In. The servers wore roller skates!
I actually worked at Mel's Drive-In in Hollywood, CA. We didn't wear roller skates, though.

The 1950's had Elvis. Such great music in the 1950's.

The indelible image of Marilyn Monroe smiling as her skirt blows from a blast from the subway vent was shot during the filming of The Seven Year Itch. Though it is now etched as an iconic photograph, at the time it infuriated her then husband, Joe DiMaggio, and the couple divorced shortly after.
Marilyn Monroe was on fire in the  1950's.

1950s Halterneck Plain Dress. Made from cotton sateen fabric. "As with all of our boned dresses, the authentic bodice neatly nips the waist and shapes the bust so your silhouette stands out as the perfect pin-up"
The fashion for my figure was perfect! I could wear this dress all day long and LOVE it! An hour glass figure was so accepted in the 1950's. People weren't as criticized for being bigger than a size 8. Marilyn Monroe was a 14.
You could pull the crinoline out of it and make it into a pencil fit dress. That would be super cute!

Anthropologie Seafolly Boyleg Maillot
I mean, look as this bathing suit! How cute is this? No string bikinis back then.

Fashion: Eleven Vintage Style Icons  Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell
I love the look and feel and the sound of the 1950's.

When I feel like day dreaming about that time, all I have to do is watch Grease, Bye Bye Birdie, Singing in the Rain or West Side Story (made in 1961, so that might be pushing it). Interesting that they are all musicals :)

What Time Period would you like to have lived?

Write or Die Wednesdays

 All material © Erica Musyt