Guest Bloggers

Fit Bride, Amber // Before & After My First 5k

AmberProfileI'm a Color Runner! I can't believe it!  The night before the race: 

As I get ready to embark on my first 5k, I realize I am really nervous! I have never run more then a mile and I swear that was back in high school. I may have walked/run on a treadmill for more than a mile but it took quite some time! I know the Color Run is supposed to be fun, it's at the national harbor and will definitely be pretty, but the issue is: I DON’T RUN!

I knew this run was coming but I had talked to a few people running with me and they said they weren’t doing any intense training. (Sure, they may be smaller then me but I have been working out.) Everyday I take at least 30 minutes to do something active. (Sure it's more cardio and kickboxing than running, but my heart knows how to pump! My muscles know how to work!) But run? I just don’t know! We will find out! At least for now I am excited to have a good dinner, get in bed early, and hit the ground running in the morning. LITERALLY! LOL.

After the 5K:

Right before the race I was definitely nervous (read above!) - Sara and I discussed arriving almost 2 hours early and she had all these tidbits on what I should wear/bring… things got serious! The night before I barely slept. Lol! I woke up at 6am, got my game face on, did some stretching (my hubby suggested I start early!) and got in the car to head to the event! Once I arrived I INSTANTLY felt better! I saw so many different people of different ages, weights, fitness levels. Plus, most of the people were dressed in tutu’s or something colorful and fun so the mood was very light! There was no seriousness or super stretching that made me feel my performance would DEFINITELY be inadequate! They gave us tattoos and headbands and that got me in the spirit to have tons of fun! Yay - it's here! My first 5k! 

Color Run

When we got ready to get in the line there were tons of people there. We had just met up with our team of ladies developed on Facebook so the 30 minutes in line was spent taking lots of selfies to show we were AMPED for the run!

Color Run

Once we got to the start line my nerves crept in a little bit because while I knew walking was appropriate, I also knew that the ladies in my group would want to TRY and run the whole thing and I wanted to try and prove it to myself as well!

So, we start and we are running and I am OK! When the first few start to walk I felt good that my lungs were still cooperating and I could keep running! At this point, I found my running buddy -- Michelle; pictured pre-race below -- and was able to keep with her for most of the rest of the time! It was really great because we ended up making different little goals for ourselves -- we would start running at a certain sign and walk through certain color stations. We had a rhythm going (and I was really running)!

Color Run_Amber

Actually, harder than the running was getting used to having the powdered paint thrown at me! I know next time I do it to bring a towel or something for my eyes because wearing contacts and having dust fly in them constantly is not a good look! I also thought there were going to be mile markers or something that let me know where we were. It wasn’t until I saw the finish line that I realized I had actually run 3 miles! My running buddy and I pushed ourselves through to the end of the race and it was so rewarding to finish! I felt fit, I felt in great shape, and I didn’t want to die! I wanted to take a shower and throw away my contacts but physically, I felt great! Suns out, guns out! :)

Color Run-1

My overall impression of the Color Run is that it was a lot of fun! Doing it with a group of friends definitely helped with the lead up excitement, having a more experienced runner (Sara) definitely helped me to have some insight into what I was going to experience, and having a running buddy was awesome because she helped motivate me at times when I probably would have just kept walking!

Color Run-2

My overall impression of my first 5K is that IT'S NOT THAT BAD!

It wasn’t as long or as tiring as I had originally thought. I finished the whole thing in 38 minutes and probably 85% of that was running!

I never thought of myself as an active person but this really helped me to think about how I need to broaden my horizons. I need to try things that look scary because they probably aren’t. My weight loss has changed my life by making me healthier. I can do more then I did before and that is so rewarding! I might not be at my goal weight, but all in all I am healthier! Healthy enough to do a 5K where before I wouldn’t have thought that! God is good!




Fit Bride Cherie's Wedding Weekend!

cherie's-wedding I can't believe it! Our very first fit bride blogger, Cherie is getting married in just three days! Cherie has been a great contributing writer to Fit for a Bride and become a wonderful friend! Cherie: we wish you the very best wedding day a bride could ever hope for! You deserve it!

Congratulations you two!

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Get caught up with Cherie:

Fit Bride, Amber // A Day in my Diet

AmberProfileAs I get ready to write this post it's amazing to think back. Many of my earlier entries included what I ate and how I thought it wasn't "that bad." OMG I was wrong!! The exciting thing is that no matter what pills I am on, my eating has definitely changed. I am way more conscious of what I eat now. I know how a little something to eat can make all the difference! Sure, I still miss many things about the fat girl life because doing whatever pleases you is always fun, but losing weight feels great too! Breakfast

Breakfast used to be McDonald's, a donut, or bagel from panera! Now breakfast is usually a granola bar or something high in fiber, like oatmeal. I  usually have a snack about 2 hours after breakfast, too and almost always have fruit. Grapes and strawberries have been my favorite. I still can't deny a banana from time to time but I have to be conscious of my carb account because I can only have 65 g of carbs a day; therefore, I have to always balance it out. I also always try to eat breakfast within 2 hours of waking up. Before I would simply wait until I was starving, but my diet is all about having my metabolism as powerful as possible and that means eating first thing and eating often!


Lunch is usually a half sandwich or salad. The only salad I really like is caesar and you'd think I would be sick of it by now, but I'm not!! Making my own salad from a salad bar is a quick go-to as well and with two places right near me, that's always an option!! When it comes to the sandwich, the bread really determines how much of it I eat. If I make my own, I have found a 45-calorie bread with just 8 grams of carbs for 2 slices. (That's about 1/3 of the carbs normally in any type of bread!) If I end up going out for lunch it is definitely half sandwich. I have gotten very good at not eating fries and chips and instead opting for a vegetables as my side.

  I find that if I allow myself a cheat like perhaps a burger, having broccoli or green beans isn't a big deal!! Overall I try to have larger lunches because I usually don't eat dinner until late. Having a bigger lunch also helps me to stay focused for my afternoon of work. My lunch is usually where I will have the most carbohydrates unless I have plans after work so it does switch up.

I am supposed to have an afternoon snack because of my work schedule, but honestly, I forget sometimes! I know that is an awful thing as I'm never supposed to forget meals, however, we all know what it's like when you're busy at work and the day has just disappeared by. It's amazing that not eating can cause a stall in weight loss (who would have thought?).

Thankfully I've tried to plan ahead by having granola bars, almonds, cashews or walnuts in the office. The 100-calorie packs have definitely become a permanent thing on my grocery list. Easy to travel with and very filling!



Dinner is usually the most boring meal of the day for me. When I get home from work I always workout. My workout is at least 60 minutes, most of the time around 90. By the time I have worked out it's 8 o'clock so I always just have meat and vegetables. The meat varies from pot roast to rotisserie chicken to steak. I have gotten creative with vegetables so okra, brussels sprouts and spinach have become new favorites but I also like cabbage, collard greens and broccoli. I find that lunch is my exciting meal but due to how late I eat, dinner is boring. But when I see the pounds fall off it all makes it worthwhile.

What's your go-to breakfast, lunch and dinner options?

Have they evolved over time?




Fit Bride, Amber // Seeing My Family for the First Time After 40 lbs Lost


I had been trying to keep my weight loss a secret from those closest to me. Most have known (hello world!) but some did not. I had tried to stay away from posting pictures of myself on social media as a way for no one to find out! My coworkers definitely know as they have seen me shrink little by little since the beginning of the year and while it is nice to have strangers come up to me and say “you look good!” I have been overweight for most of my life and my family of all people will be prouder of me then any stranger because they know it is something I have struggled with FOREVER. Well just last weekend I saw my ENTIRE family at a wedding in Orlando. It was so rewarding being around family and their gushing over my weight loss was just the icing on the cake! I had bought a new dress (nothing fits!!) for the wedding and it definitely showed off my weight loss!


Sometimes it’s easy to see how far you have to go instead of seeing how far you have come so it was really nice to have people who haven’t seen me daily see how much progress I have made! I am down over 40 pounds now and while I can tell a difference in my stomach, arms and legs, the MAIN place you can see my weight loss is in my face. My face looks completely different! I have even heard that I look younger! That will never get old!!

>>>See more progress photos!<<<

It’s pure and utter motivation for me to keep going, too. Every time I think about pizza I just think that I am actually losing weight, no food will ever be more important then that!

All of my life I get on the scale and it stays the same, may go up, but never goes down pounds, but with this diet and me being so focused I am actually dropping the pounds. I saw the scale go up back in January when I was still an infant in weight loss but now that I have learned my trouble areas and am in the greatest shape of my life due to my workouts, NOTHING seems worth messing that up!

I have also mentioned that my self esteem was very low when I was heavier (just take a look back at my first few posts). I also mentioned a few weeks ago that my self esteem hasn’t changed much as I focus on the negative wayyyy to easily (anyone else with me??), but being around my family and experiencing their love and support not only renewed me to focus on dropping more weight, but also renewed me in terms of what matters. I need to go back there daily and remember that no matter what happens in my day, I have love and support around me and THAT is what I need to focus on. Joel Osteen summed it up perfectly….

”If you are always looking at your problems, meditating on them, feeling sorry for yourself, telling everybody about them; you will become consumed by them. But when you look up, your life will start to move up.”

Its time to start looking up more often, and being lighter should make that easier! ☺




Fit Bride, Amber // SoliderFit Take Two


If you didn't read my first post on SoldierFit, catch up here!

I decided to try Soldierfit again and I am so happy that I did! It was just wonderful. I liked the teacher a lot and realized the teacher and the people in the class make all of the difference. The structure of the class was the same -- some initial stretching, a warm-up, and a five-minute run. Then they had us do a sort of boxing with air punches and side shuffles. (All of which took place indoors so I could breath this time!) And afterward we into stations. They all varied from the TRX to kettle bells.

After the first round of stations we did what they call "family time."  Everyone gets into a circle in the middle of the room and does the same exercise. We did ab moves then cardio. We did some burpees, v-ups, and arm reaches to the opposite toe for 30 seconds (20 seconds each, then 10); afterward we switched it up - cardio to abs following the same time frame.  It was really nice because go into your own world and do your own thing.  No one really pays attention to you except the people in your group. I can honestly say that I pushed myself much harder this time. I think I was just hesitant before because it was my first time there and I didn't know what to expect. This time I feel like the stations and each exercise were also done in shorter increments. ANYONE can push for 30 seconds or a minute.

So, overall I had a better attitude and as a result, a better experience. I still don't plan to get the membership, but at least I've begun to enjoy the classes. I also got the t-shirt which makes it more official now!


Its when you say 3 and 4 minutes that its like "OK wait....I can not do box jumps for 3 minutes".  So, overall I had a better attitude and as a result, a better experience. I still don't plan to get the membership, but at least I've begun to enjoy the classes.

My only suggestion to making the overall better would be to play Top 40 instead of Rock.  I can't deal with rock! It gives me a headache.  Katy Perry has to make everyone want to get down so why am I listening to Bush?  Again, this is probably dependent on the teacher, but so far, 2 out of 2 have had poor taste in music, in my opinion!

All in all it was a good time heading back to SoldierFit.  I definitely plan to attend more classes before the Groupuon runs out!

Before I go, I want to give you this sneak peak of my progress photos that I'll be sharing in full next week:





Fit Bride, Cherie // 5 Costs You're Better Off Without

CHERIE-3 Long time no see loves! Gosh, I apologize for my lateness, but life has been less than chill lately. With my family and friends running around with to-do lists and wish-lists, it's been hard to organize my writing. Yet, I wanted to drop in today to give you the lowdown on a few ideas I have on saving money. Oh dang, right there is where I got ya! Weddings are by far one of the most expensive things I have ever found myself in the middle of (well, college costs do top that), but there are quite a bit of purchases out there that we have been told we "need" to have the wedding of the century. No way dude. We are a bride nation on a mission to save some mulah. Granted, costs are inevitable in the midst of marital preparations; however, let's take a look at a few bucks that are totally worth saving...

Bridal Budgeting

// personalized napkins // I know they look lovely, really. That glossy gold with your sweet names next to one another. Y'all, those napkins are going to find their way to someone's messy mouth. They will then in turn be tossed in the trashcan. Let's save some money here: almost $300....bye.

// web bought programs // I had an excellent experience ordering our save the dates through Minted. The designers were easy to work with and the postcard selection was exactly what we needed. However, when I took a look at matching wedding programs, I almost fell over. These stunning gold foil programs cost just around $450 for 200. Try designing your programs yourself using word or even scanning in your own lettering! Save that $450 for venue costs.

// videography // oh no. I know I just stepped on a few toes when it comes to this one. I couldn't agree with you more, those wedding videos that go viral are tear jerkers for sure. Yet, with the average cost ranging from $900-$3000, it's hard to bite the bullet on this one. I struggled with this decision for a while, but after meeting our incredible photographers, I realized photos were all we needed to relive that day.

// bridesmaid shoes // Through tradition, it's not typical that the bride purchases her bridesmaids' shoes, but lets save them some money too! Go with a neutral shoe that's easy to match. For instance, I told my bridesmaids to stick with a nude, closed toe pump. While it's nice to have match-y shoes designed just for bridesmaids, asking them to spend $20 compared to $100 is far better.

// liquor // you don't need cocktails to have a fun reception. Be sure to check on the prices of beer + wine compared to full open bar. You'd be surprised how much the price drops just by taking away the hard stuff. Just last weekend, I attended a wedding that had a delicious spring sangria, a small selection of beers, and hard cider. It was great! If anything, taking away the heavy stuff prevents both drama and overspending. Your guests won't be angry and your wallets will be happy. amount saved: $2500

So all in all, how much money did we save? All of these things that look small in retrospect, total up to a whopping $5000-$8000 depending on the choice and/or number. I imagine for some brides, I stepped on a few toes, but keep in mind we are all different! These are just a few costs that we were watchful of while planning. I'm sure there are plenty of things that I have chosen that you might find unnecessary. Either way, remember to choose what makes you happy. It's you and your special someone's big day, treat it as such! :)

happy planning!



Fit Bride Amber // My Workout Routine

AmberProfileMy workout since the diet started has really been kickboxing. Cardio, cardio, cardio. I am a cardio bunny now! I love doing cardio. I could do it for hours. It's very rare that I get super tired while doing it. Of course it happens after awhile, but if it's a new and fresh routine, I will keep going! TurboFire and TurboKick on YouTube

A lightbulb went off maybe a week ago that I should check out YouTube and BOY, was that something I should have done YEARS ago! I love doing Charlene Johnson’s turbo fire workouts but little did I know she did something called turbo kick previously! (Here's a glimpse of it on YouTube.) It must have been a workout that people did at select gyms as I have found at least 20 videos on YouTube of her teaching instructors new routines for the upcoming week. Once I found out how to transfer them from my phone/iPad to the computer, OMG my life was changed! It's like completely new workouts all the time -- for free! (Sure the quality isn’t that great but I have gotten completely accustomed to working out at home now keeping myself motivated, ensuring to turn it on and not just get lazy and sit on the couch, so with these videos its like new breath!) I can feel my body changing. I feel like I am in the greatest shape of my life! I can jump more, last longer, do more moves that previously would completely expend all my energy, and it's just so damn exciting!

My First Taste of SoldierFit

With my renewed focus I decided to not only keep up with my cardio workouts but FINALLY use the Soldierfit Groupon that Sara got me for Christmas. The night before I was scared shitless because I had no idea what to expect. I haven’t done group fitness in YEARS so I was really nervous about what it would entail. Even though I tried to find every excuse not to go like I said before, I am determined! I was not letting anything stand in my way! Usually on St Patricks day I would be out somewhere drinking green beer, but I actually decided to workout instead... #progress!

Soldierfit was not at all what I was expecting, though. They asked me to get there 45 minutes early for a tour and to fill out paperwork. (I could have gotten there 15 minutes before.) Most of the time I was talking to this other girl who was newer as well. While sitting there I just knew, I am in good shape! This won't be too bad because I do cardio… I do kickboxing…. my body is accustomed to intense workouts! After all, that's why I was so excited about trying out this place!


The class started out with a jogging warm up. We did lots of running outside and I am not used to being a runner. I can definitely go at my own pace. There were probably about 30 people in there, most seemed to be friends, and we were all at our own pace, but I was definitely the slowest (me and the other new girl) but I was still just fine with it!

There’s lots of yelling because it is really like the military.   They even wear matching clothes! (Crazy!) They had various stations where you did a cardio and interval move (box jump, push-ups on tires, kettlebell duck walks, etc.), an ab section in the middle followed by more stations.

By the end of the workout I was definitely sweating! I had done exercises that I had never done before and knew I'd be sore. However, the most overwhelming feeling I had was “I am getting sick.” They kept the doors open the WHOLE TIME and it was freezing outside, and right when the workout is over with -- when all I wanted to do was go blow my nose and take a shower -- the girl who I had met with originally starts her sales speech! Shoot me now!

She tells me to be able to have full access to the gym and all the workouts it's $159 a month!! Ohhhhhh no!! I mean, sure, I get that it’s a different workout every time; the stations are different, the teachers are different, they have lots of times where I could get to a class in the morning, middle of the day, and lots at night, but I was definitely put off by the fact that she asked me to sign-up immediately after the class.

Anyway, I told her I would sleep on and headed home. I decided I would definitely go back (the Groupon gives me access for the entire month), but I'm not sure it's worth signing up.

In the end I'm really just proud of myself for going and experiencing a different type of workout! However, for me, free workouts with CJ at home will be hard to trade-in for an expensive bootcamp!

More to come about SoldierFit and, progress photos!! Stay tuned!





Southern Charm Engagement Session with Johna G. Photography

Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot

You guys know our adorable fit bride, Cherie, whose wedding is right around the corner? Well, I'm so honored to get to share her gorgeous engagement photos with you today! The pink tulle, polka dots and genuine giggles are adorbs! Seriously, I'd by lying if I said this wasn't my favorite engagement session, ever! Not sure there was ever a Southern couple as cute as these two! Chere: thanks for sharing these with us! Imagery by Johna G. Photography

Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot
Charleston Engagement Shoot

If there's anything I'll admit to, it's the fact that I have a bit of Southern in me.

There's something about the South that makes my knees go weak no matter how much I want to claim myself a city girl. The fact is, the South is a charming place and it's scenes are serene, and we've had a love for the low country for quite some time now. You could even say Charleston has become a little home away from home for us!

Ever since L's sweet proposal in this little ole' city (read about it here), we knew that the charm of Charleston would have a place of it's own in our wedding planning and festivities... And what better way to make that happen than with our engagement shoot location being the very place itself?

Honestly it felt surreal to know we were really taking our engagement photos!

I even remember looking at my Da (my grandmother) and saying, "our a Charleston dreams are coming true!"

Earlier on in the weekend L's mom purchased this incredible

Rifle Paper

Print as a gift for our future home. It meant so much to me that I couldn't help but include it in our Rainbow Row shoot. 

Add a little hand lettering from my shop, 

Waiting on Wildflowers

 and that completes a perfect pic of us, if I do say so myself!

About our photographer, Johna:

Something I absolutely loved about working with Johna was that she made it feel easy to be us. While many of the pictures were something apart of a vision or placement, the reactions were so natural and fun. We didn't feel uncomfortable at all, and if we did, we just switched the pose to make it feel more like us.

If I'm going to sum up the love I have for my man in a pic, this is it. Y'all- #thatsmyfiance!!!!

I'm going to boldly proclaim that this was basically the most amazing photo shoot ever (I knowwww, lacking a little humility there). But the truth is, when you get to spend the day twirling around Charleston with your man and your best friend as the photographer, it's hard to compare it to anything else! :)

Can you guess which shot is Cherie's fave?How could you choose, right? 

My shirt and his shirt: H&M / His pants: American Eagle / My Skirt: Shabby Apple / Shoes: Macy's / Accessories: H&M / Signs: Waiting on Wildflowers Homemade Hand Lettering / Charleston Print:Rifle Paper & Co.



Fit Bride, Amber // My Ode to Everything I Miss

AmberProfileSo what things do I miss since being on this diet??? There are so many things... I miss coffee (well, really, French vanilla creamer), pizza, alcohol, burgers and fries, pasta, rice, sandwiches, mozzarella sticks, breakfast sandwiches, and nachos! To be totally honest, football season hasn't been the same. I used to drink beer and eat nachos, fries, and pizza! I mean everything good! Last time we watched a football I was knocking back water like it was giving me a buzz. Lol!  I had meatballs, brussel sprouts and jalapeño poppers. (Not bad; I could have 3 jalapeño poppers for 20g of carbs and I LOVE jalapeño poppers!) It all sounds rather boring, but that is my life. Trying to lose the weight and I didn’t deprive myself. Sure, I missed the alcohol, but I didn’t starve and the game was just as fun!

My Old Morning Routine

In the morning I used to stop by Wawa on my way to work. I would get a coffee ¾ full of regular coffee, ¼ full of French vanilla creamer and 2 sweet and lows. While I can have sweet and low AND coffee french vanilla creamer has 5g of carbs in a tablespoon. Thats right, not in a cup -- in a tablespoon! Well I am sure I used to drink 20g of carbs just with breakfast and that’s not all I would get from Wawa.

Wawa has these sandwiches right in the front when you get ready to leave. When I first started stopping there I would get the sausage biscuit with egg and cheese. I think it had like 600 calories and was 70% of my saturated fat for the day but do you think I cared?? I would always say “well if that’s all I eat for breakfast and I can last a little while, its not that bad.” After awhile the whole “thick biscuit” thing got to me and I started getting the ham, egg and cheese croissant. That’s right, I graduated from ridiculous to much worse! Oh and don’t think they didn’t have the turkey sausage, egg white or English muffin option. That’s for ridiculous people, not someone like me. That’s for healthy people who don’t mind eating cardboard, not Amber! It's interesting when you look back and all your unhealthy eating. Just this weekend I had a craving for a breakfast sandwich so I went by Roy Rogers and got a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit. I ate 3 bites and it was soooo greasy, I knew it was bad. After the 4th bite (not even half way through the sandwich) I threw it away. It messed up my stomach so bad I knew my health has just changed. I can’t shovel the same crap into my mouth that I used to. And I shouldn’t!!

Burger King was my like one a week meal plan. At least once a week. I would get a whopper and cut it in half, double up the meat and get rid of half of the bread. I always thought to myself “I am cutting carbs…this isn’t bad” Many who know me know that used to be one of my tricks…eating a burger with only half of a bun. But did that stop me from eating the fries?? No…that’s like a balanced meal right? Burger and fries?? Getting a salad as a side was DEPRIVING myself! Oh the horror!!

As I look at the list above I think will I ever eat those foods again.

I remember when I did this liquid diet a couple of years ago I thought to myself….oh well my appetite is going to change. I wont want as much food as I ate before so I wont go to wendys and get a single combo AND 5 nuggets as a meal. I will only eat smaller portions as my body wont be used to all that food. Well 6 months later I was at Wendy’s so that isn’t the right way to look at it. I have to face the fact that some things I just can’t eat ever again.

But my eating has changed so much and honestly, I am really proud of myself. I spent a good hour in the grocery store last Friday looking at tons of labels and making sure I had lots of good options in my carb range to get me through the week. And honestly,  I don’t want to go back to where I was. I don’t want to say “fuck it” and just eat something I shouldn’t. I want to be one of those people who eats healthy and feels guilty if I have a miniature snickers! I want to be one of those people who doesn’t look like “oh that is just too healthy, let me get something fattening.”

While I am definitely making progress, I am not there yet. For 30 years I haven’t had the self control to not partake in something I wanted, especially since college. When I look back I think that’s why I gained 60 pounds between high school and college. I could do whatever I wanted. I could go out to eat. I had money to buy junk and when I found out about drinking, MAN that was a mistake! I knew I was gaining weight but I didn’t care. Even though I felt shame, even though I couldn’t watch music videos because I felt fat, I still ate. Self-medicated I guess is what they call it.

But as we all know, everyone has to indulge every now and then. I hear people say to eat 80% clean and 20% actually I don’t know what they say but 20% cheat is what I am thinking. I definitely don’t want to do that. I am still in my infancy. I am going to allow myself a nice cheat meal when I lose 20 pounds -- we'll go out, have a nice meal, maybe a drink or two, and not worry about it. The next day I will get back on that horse and I will keep on my journey. That's the plan!





Fit Bride, Amber // Lifestyle Changes

AmberProfile Progress update!!

When I first started keeping this journal and writing down how I felt about being overweight I was 231 lbs. I keep remembering that number because I never want to forget where I was or what it felt like to be that size.

20 days on this program and I am now 218 lbs! That's definitely progress!

However, I have to admit, some of those old feelings of inadequacy are popping up. Even though I haven’t been this size for at least 2 years, I feel like I need to lose more. A lot more. This is knowing it wouldn't be healthy to lose this weight any fast than I currently am.

It's not all about the weight, though, right? This is a lifestyle change. With that said, I want to share a non-scale victory with you:

Today was the first day I declined happy hour with about 15 of my coworkers.

YAY! (This = major progress) 

They were celebrating a friend of mine getting a promotion and a new person starting. Happy hour was scheduled for Glory Days… I love Glory Days! But as soon as I saw the invite, I knew I didn't want to go. I am still too “new” to this lifestyle change to even want to mess it up by going to happy hour. Sure some say to just go and not drink, but that's not me. Some say just have one drink, but that's too hard, too. If I learned ANYTHING from my trip to Orlando, it is that alcohol can ruin EVERYTHING I have done to lose weight. Not to mention, it would take more than a single drink for me to really have fun at happy hour. I am an experienced drinker, which is definitely the reason I am the size I am... I think my whole life I've been overstimulating myself with things like alcohol; always going overboard and indulging (wanting to get the worst [yet most delicious] thing on the menu). Probably in an attempt to make myself feel better about myself, but really just making matters worse.

I've realized that at least right now I'm not at the point yet where I can be go to happy hour and not drink or be tempted to throw in the towel. And that's OK. 

I've also realized I need to let go of what others think of me, especially if I expect to really change my lifestyle. Everyone was on me about not going, of course. I think they look and me think, "What is one happy hour going to do? You're already huge!” They've seen me lose weight and gain it back. I doubt they think I'm taking this seriously this time, but I am trying this time. And at the end of the day, they can think what they want. They aren’t going through this weight loss journey with me, they aren’t as invested in me as I am; they probably don't care about how I'll look in my wedding dress but I do! Right now they're just worried about the big girl who likes to go out, have fun, and drink. They aren’t really concerned about my goals and ambitions. Those that do understand, know why I'm not there.

A New Perspective

Months ago I literally cried because I felt as if I had no friends. No one wanted to hang out with me….no one wanted to do happy hour. Brandon has been working this evening shift for awhile so I felt so lonely just coming home to myself, like no one cared. Of course I attributed it to me being fat…. me not being the pretty, fun girl. But my outlook has changed. Now I look forward to coming home after work and working out. I look forward to staying motivated to lose weight. I look forward to hibernating so I can just wow everyone with my weight loss. I am so determined you guys!! I am so focused. I refuse to let anything get in my way! And as upset as I was last week for gaining weight while traveling due to the alcohol, it was a learning lesson that means a lot more now because I'm making the change. Now I know just how damaging a single happy hour can be!

All of this reminds me that God is good!! Even when you don’t see what's happening, He is working in your life. I was so down in the dumps last year and literally had no self confidence. I beat myself for everything and felt like I had nothing. But God put the persona doctors commercial come on for me to see it that day. God bought the right people in my life so I have support. I see Him in all this -- there have been times of weakness in the car when I am on the way home and I just think “let me get something to take home... I want a snack” and God makes my phone ring or the line is too long. I can leave work and think “I have no energy to workout, I should have done it in the morning!” Then for some reason, as soon as I get home and walk up 3 flights of steps I feel energy take over me and I can't wait to change into my workout clothes!

God has been with me every step of the way and I feel as if this is my time.

This is my time to grow up, stop making excuses, and to focus on what really matters. Joel Osteen always says that God has something waiting for you -- something HUGE! He is going to cause a breakthrough in your life; you just have to be patient.

Honestly, I feel like God has been preparing me for 2015. Brandon's job. My job. My new house. The wedding. And finally, this weight loss. I won't let any happy hour stand in my way. ☺

Have you had to turn down friends for dinner or happy hour because you're trying to make a lifestyle change? 

Do you feel like God is guiding your efforts to live healthier? 




Fit Bride, Cherie // Every Calorie is Not a War!

CHERIE-3I can honestly say, even though the wedding planning time is coming to a near end, there is still SO much to do. Every time I get to check off one to-do, about fifty more pop up; it's quite humorous! In the midst of planning chaos also comes the meal planning chaos. It would be absolutely insane for me to say that it's possible to stick to any type of strict meal plan throughout engagement (unless you're superwoman). Want to know why? Because theres no good reason to restrict yourself at your showers and other special wedding events. There's no good reason to break your neck over what to get at a restaurant. You need to remember to live while being engaged and remember, you'll still reach your goals with the right daily changes! Just yesterday, I came across this super great quote on Instagram that really set my mind straight when it came to this constant obsession over whether or not I'm eating perfect:


Talk about convicting! Every now and then it feels good to be reminded that this adventure for a healthy lifestyle is not a war, but a journey. Rather than restrict yourself to the extreme, I thought I would come up with 5 food (eating) changes to make daily that will help the other choices fall right in line. Here are my five wedding-ready, body food habits that will help balance out your hectic days of planning.

SALAD FOR BREAKFAST. Wait what? Yep, I'm serious. Who says salad is only for lunch? Try putting a breakfast twist on your favorite green-lover concoction. A few ideas for ya: over easy egg, fresh fruit, yogurt dressings, and granola!

MINT WATER It's such a lovely reminder of warmer weather and it keeps your stomach calm in the midst of all of the stress. Try mixing in a bit of powdered drink mix.

BREAD IS NOT YOUR ENEMY I know the world teaches us that, ladies, but lets be real. Bread is an essential, nutritional item that when timed alongside your workouts, is used for fuel rather than stored for fat.

COFFEE/TEA, WHATEVER DOES YOUR HEART GOOD. Both have been proven to increase metabolism and control hunger. Jazz it up with a little bit of almond milk and some stevia.

SMALLER PLATES, SMALLER PORTIONS. I didn't say snack sized plates, but smaller plates during regular meals help control portions and signal your signs of satiety. Stay strong, sweet brides. You got this.

And remember, this is not a war...

What are your favorite healthy eating tricks that help you stick to eating right?



Fit Bride, Amber // An Inspiration to Others & Out-of-Town Dieting

AmberProfileIts been quite some time since I wrote anything. Time to change that with a nice lonnnnngg entry ☺ Showing Improvement Inspires Others

Last Friday my fiancée and I had to travel to Williamsburg, VA because someone in his family passed away. Even though I had to go out of town for work that Sunday, it was important to be there for support so after a long day of work we ventured to Williamsburg late Friday night. I made sure to pack almonds and a granola bar as I knew that we usually stop at fast food and I didn’t want to partake in any of that! When we got to Williamsburg my parents were sooo complimentary of me! They said they could see my weight loss in my face; they were just so excited for me! Also, very cool: I can tell that my weight loss effort is inspiring my father to do better with his weight. My parents have always been overweight so if I can be an inspiration (and keep with it!) I would love to do that!! I let my father know that it really all has to do with food. We can work out until we are blue in the face, until we actually start changing our eating habits we will keep the weight. My father has a sweet tooth and even when he’s not hungry he has the habit to eat, like while watching TV shows. I'm more of an emotional eater. I have had a bad day…. let me go by BurgerKing. I am stressed at work…. let me drink a bottle of wine. I am going to happy hour…. let me get mozzarella sticks and fried pot stickers... I guess that makes me an “excuse” eater.

determinationThe next day we went to breakfast and I did awesome by only having an omelette and instead of potatoes I got strawberries. (Baby steps!) Then at the repass after the funeral they had all the comfort food you can imagine: fried chicken, baked chicken, ham, macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, green beans, and those delicious rolls churches seem to find! I had a breast of chicken (it was fried but I took off most of the skin) and green beans. I did get a spoonful of macaroni and cheese but it wasn’t very good so God saved me there! One thing I have found from being on this diet is that while I will eat, most of the time I don’t have an appetite. Sometimes I do, don’t get me wrong, but once I start eating I get full rather quickly so that is definitely an improvement. Before where I would try to clean my plate and eat everything because its so good, I actually find myself trying to leave food. I know I am going to eat again, so what is the point in binging on one meal when I will always eat more?

That night I ended up having a wrap for dinner when I got back home and went to sleep satisfied. The next morning before I left I got on the scale and I was down 10 pounds! I was so proud of myself and it gave me renewed focus to stay on track and keep going.

Staying Health During Business Trips

I knew going on the work trip would be a challenge. I packed workout clothes and the convention center/hotel is so large I knew I would be walking; however I am on a diet…. I am trying to lose weight… so even going on a work trip with that in my mind is new territory for me.

When I got there I was starving (not a good way to start the trip). I snacked all morning and on the plane but eventually a girl just needs a meal. Lol! All my coworkers were ready to eat too and they decided to go to this Mexican restaurant. I just knew…. Amber is getting a salad and I was fine with that! However, I hit a roadblock when all the salads looked strange, which just means different as Amber doesn’t try too many salads: fried cactus and plantains. I'm just not used to these things! So even though the chicken quesadilla with mango was CALLING my name... I decided to be good and get a salad. (YAY) After all, it was only lunch!


So, I didn’t order a margarita at first even though out of the 4 of us I was the only one who didn’t, again I was determined and got a water. But, unfortunately, the water was straight up tap water and just tested like iron and impurities! It makes my stomach turn even thinking about it now! So, instead of asking the waitress for a diet coke or something, I asked if she had a skinny margarita and when she said they did, I ordered one up. I felt so guilty when I got back to the room for even eating chips and queso and having a skinny margarita, I worked out for a good 45 min. It was so hot and sweaty in my room and I was trying to do this new nike fitness app so while it wasn’t as good or fun of a workout as I would like, I sweated and that’s all that mattered!

That night we had another event (I know!! All still night one!!) and at it there was a lot of fun: food trucks, trays of appetizers, and of course, open bar. The first food truck I go to has single size soft tacos with different fillings, I got a chicken one. They had kabobs, beef brisket, empanadas, make your own nachos, they had everything! Lots of it was healthy don’t get me wrong….but of course there were things I knew I had to stay away from.

I had decided to get a makers manhattan. I found out about this bourbon based drink almost a year ago. The thing I like about it is that only contains bourbon, sweet vermouth and bitters. It is a VERY strong drink. Instead of drinking 4 beers or 8 glasses of wine, having one or two of these will usually do the trick and I don’t spend as much or intake as many calories. I felt really good about barely eating (I mostly had beef and vegetable kabobs which were DELICIOUS!!) so, I had 4 drinks. That’s right…. the girl on the diet STARTED OFF her work trip with 4 drinks (technically 5) all in one day. Now they were only 3 oz drinks (bartenders can be cheap) but still…. one drink should have been all I had. Actually no alcohol would have been better.

This infographic explains why alcohol is not part of my diet plan!

alcohol infographic

Infographic from LifeHack

A Slip-up But Still Not Giving Up

So night one was done. I went to sleep feeling shitty and tossed and turned all night. The next day I woke up renewed and ready to get back on the horse. I ordered breakfast which was just eggs, bacon, and 1/2 piece of wheat toast. I didn’t eat until almost 1030 so with that plus my snacks and all the water I was drinking, I didn’t get hungry again until dinner. We had one drink at the bar before dinner (another makers manhattan) but since I REFUSED to have the same night as the night before, I only had the one drink while each of my coworkers had 3. I went to dinner feeling focused and ready to attack it. For dinner I chose a filet mignon that was DELICIOUS. I got a caesar salad and asparagus as my sides. The ONLY thing I did bad for dinner was I did have a glass of red wine. Other then that I was very proud of myself.

The next day was my last day. I was really ready to go home at this point as it had been a marathon trip and I don’t sleep too well in hotels. I had a granola bar, fruit, pecans, almonds, and cashews throughout the day. I also drank a lot of water again. For lunch I did have a breast of chicken, some salad, and ¼ baked potato (yes people laughed at me when I literally cut a corner off of the whole potatoes they had in the buffet line, but I wanted some starch just not a lot!) For dinner I went out to see my cousins. I knew there would be alcohol but again, not as much as I am used to. I had a skinny cocktail (it had some fruity name I can’t remember) and then a miller lite. I started tracking things in MyFitnessPal as a way to ensure I was tracking SOMETHING and all of it looked pretty decent. I had 2 chicken wings, ½ caesar salad and some brussel sprouts for dinner. I usually would have eaten a burger, this place specialized in pasta, but I was determined to do good. I am finally getting my eating under control and I have to maintain that as that is 90 percent of my battle. I went to sleep feeling awesome. I had conquered this work trip. I had some alcohol but nowhere near as much as I would have had in the past. I ate REALLY well and couldn’t have been happier. The next day I had to fly home, had a doctors appointment and happy hour planned with a friend (yes another excuse to drink. I honestly hadn't timed it that way so I would have some days of drinking and then would go back to no alcohol as I had done the week before).

I was very excited for the doctors appointment as it is the first time I had gone back since starting the program. I knew I had lost weight, but mostly I was just happy to speak with the doctor about some of the problems I had been having and to ask some additional questions. When I got on the scale it said I had lost 6 pounds, which was quite a blow to me. I had been doing awesome... I was down 10 pounds just 4 days before. How could this be?? The scale they use is not just a scale, it judges BMI, tells about fat in your body, it does it all. The nurse announces that I lost 4 pounds of actual fat. She said it was a good sign as if I had just lost water weight it could have shown I wasn’t taking the diet seriously. I wasn't happy.

Alcohol and Weight Loss

I went in to see the doctor and he asked if I had been working out, he asked if I had been taking the medicine and we talked about all my issues. I told him how I knew I had lost more but I had just come off of the work trip. This doctor is pretty “no non-sense” he was quick to call me out on my excuses, told me to try harder, and told me to work out. I was very frustrated at this point because I had been busting my ass! I had worked out for 1-2 hours for DAYS straight. I had completely changed my eating habits and just been doing everything I can. So for this man to seem like I was slacking, it just bothered me. My fiancée was there and he was trying to comfort me... trying to tell me we both know I had lost more, that it would show up next time, but I was just so defeated.

To be honest, I couldn’t believe that alcohol could really have this much of an impact! I knew alcohol was bad for you but I never knew it was THAT bad for you! I am on a program where I AM losing weight and this thing made me gain 4 pounds?! I guess this is the reason why when I started college I gained so much weight. I never though drinking alcohol makes you lose weight but it was such an eye opener for me to see that every time I drink alcohol I am just piling on the calories. I am just harming my body. I always think “it doesn’t have much calories, it’s a low carb beer” but in the end it is the alcohol that causes the problem…. not the additives. It's bad enough on its own!!

Even though I was disappointed…. even though I was angry at myself…. even though I felt as if I had wasted all that time being good and working out so hard…. deep down I know I can’t quit. I can’t give up. I can’t throw in the towel and just be fat forever. In the end I am making a lifestyle change. I will have hiccups, but overall I am learning what affects me and what doesn’t. I am trying different foods. I am more cautious of what I know can hurt me. I want to look awesome on my honeymoon. I bought my wedding dress so that it can show off my weight loss. No matter what the devil throws in my way I know that God is going to lead me through this journey! I have support! I have determination! I can’t let anything stop me. I won't let anything stop me.

I am kicking this fat in the ass! It’s time for its funeral. Slowly but surely I will accomplish my goals.




Fit Bride, Cherie // Cardio Crazy Workout & Wedding Updates

In honor of hCHERIE-3eart day I thought why not toss around a little cardiovascular workout your way! But first, a few things I want to fill you in on: MY DRESS IS IN!!!! WHAT.

The hotel + honeymoon are both booked! Eek! I'm officially spending almost everyday daydreaming.

I'm on the search for the perfect necklace for my bridesmaids... any suggestions?

I've barely started on either favors or invites... uh oh.

ONLY 107 days to go! (Insert crazy happy panic dance here!)

Enough of the overwhelming wedding stuff, let's move on to this week's cardio workout. It's short and sweet, kind of like those chocolates you'll kindly be avoiding (mostly because you want a cupcake more). I'll post general descriptions below. Each movement is only done for 30 seconds. At the end of the circuit, rest for 90 seconds and repeat to your 'heart's content!

Cardio Crazy

  • jumping jack squats: Just like you would a normal jumping jack, except at a wide squat at the end. Knee's behind your toes and chest up and tall!
  • high knees: pull in those needs, but try not to bend down towards them. This is a great ab workout without getting down on the ground.
  • butt kicks: heels to booty!
  • Burpees: Since I can't be there to show you my favorite way to get this done, check out this great how-to by Blogilates star, Cassey Ho... ***don't do 100, though! Just 30 seconds.
  • Sprint it out - that means run for the finish line... in place!


Also check out Cherie's arm workout



Fit Bride, Amber // The Persona Diet

Hey friends! We're back with more journal entries from my sister-in-law Amber. To those of you who commented on her last post, thank you! Your encouragement is incredible and the reason I love this community so much! This week Amber starts an all-inclusive weight loss program with lots of bells and whistles. It's a no-fail plan through PersonaDoctors and she details all the ins and outs in this post. Keep an eye out for her column every Tuesday! AmberProfile

December 17th

I haven't journaled in a really long time but that doesn't mean that I have not been focused on my weight it's actually the exact opposite. Last Friday I was watching The Today Show for just a couple of minutes and I saw a commercial for this place called PersonaDoctors. I googled it and found out they offer B-12 shots, hormone treatment, meal plans, and a bunch of varieties for you to lose weight quickly and sustain long-term weight loss. They even offer a 30-day money bag guarantee if you're unhappy with their program, which makes me think they have to get really good results if they're offering to give you your money back!

It looks like it may cost between $200-$300 a month depending on what program I go on so I was initially just interested in the B-12 shot I figure why not try for three days to see what type of weight loss success they can give me. What's even more exciting is the fact that I can start this program now, see everyone for Christmas, but then I'll have until April when my cousin gets married to drop a ton of weight and then lose even more weight before my own wedding! I'm getting excited just thinking about it!

PersonaI also really like that this program is going to be tailored to me as opposed to it being a program that they recommend for 80% of the population. Instead they're going to look at me, my habits, my family history, and a variety of other factors (hormone issues) that will hopefully allow me to have more success than just having me count calories or do a bunch of workouts.

December 19th

About 8 hours have passed since I left the PersonaDoctors and signed up for the six-month plan - I can't believe I did it! I must admit I'm really excited about this whole thing though! I have a feeling that God is lining up my steps so that I can really lose this weight before my wedding, and I think Sara is definitely going to want to blog about this! I know it's going to work. It's going to be hard but it's all going to work for me. I can't wait to wake up tomorrow morning and workout right away! I'm ready!

It's interesting because there were people of all sizes there today. I mean some seemed bigger than me but I feel like I have a disorder when I look at myself in the mirror, knowing I'm more than 200 pounds, like that's huge.... Still though, the thought of giving up food drives me insane! Tonight I made this potato casserole and ate way too much of it. I already know this diet is not going to recommend potato casserole!!! Truth time? I also had Five Guys today (#fail). I have to honestly change. I have to change my thought process.... Why can't I just focus on the wedding?? Why do I always focus on food? Thankfully part of the program is the counseling so I'll need to be ready to open up and let it all flow. And in all this, be ready to really try and change, not just for now but forever... like, forever forever. I just need to be honest with the doctor on the 30th.

My First Official Appointment 

So today was the day that I went to PersonaDoctors and had my first evaluation. How funny I gained 2 pounds from the last time I was here. That's a just a damn shame! Yes Christmas was in there but still, how often will I make excuses?

So the program really is catered to me. I am very interested to see how it all goes and I am very excited about it! Just like I have always said it is going to be very hard. It is not going to be easy. Some things that will be especially challenging: cutting back on my alcohol intake; I'm only allowed one glass of wine a week. I also have to drink 100 ounces of water… 100 ounces! Wow that is so much. I'm also going to be on four different medications, which is quite a bit! One of the medicines is a diabetic medication because the doctor said that it appears my cells are resisting insulin. Insulin is supposed to get into my fat cells and break them down, but my cells aren't getting any insulin. This medicine is supposed to help insulin break down my fat cells. I'm so happy they uncovered this because it's something I would have never known attempting to lose weight myself and without the help of this program.

Thankfully my thyroid is fine, my lipids, and everything else in my body is just fine. I'm taking an appetite suppressant, a vitamin (self explanatory) and tryptophan, which is kind of weird, I know (same stuff that's in turkey). It is supposed to raise my serotonin levels which helps the appetite suppressant work better. It makes me tired, though so I take that one at night. In addition to the medication I'm also receiving a B12 shot, which I understand is a just another fat burning supplement and supposedly will give me more energy.

As far as what I'm eating,  the diet plan is low-carb and about 1300 calories a day. It's smaller portions than what I'm used to eating but I expected that. In the morning I can have oatmeal and fruit or eggs and bacon. For lunch I'm planning to eat salads with grilled chicken or a wrap. Flank steak is an option for dinner - I can handle that! I mean honestly the whole thing is perfect. I think I can do this, guys! Wish me luck!!

Have you ever done an all-inclusive weight loss plan like PersonaDoctors?

Do you take B12 or other vitamins? 

Have you ever spoken with your doctor about potential insulin or thyroid issues? 





Fit Bride, Amber // Our Love Story


Before Amber starts blogging about embarking on her once-and-for-all weight loss journey I asked her to take some time to tell us about the man she's marrying: Brandon! 

How we met

Before I met Brandon I had been single for 3 years. I had moved to Frederick, MD and started a new job. I dated here and there but nothing substantial. Well that all changed July 3rd 2010...

I met Brandon at a party I had been going to every year since I was 17, at my friend Arleigh's house.

Some background: I met Arleigh when I was a senior in high school. I had just moved from Northern, VA to Williamsburg and I was like a fish out of water. Arleigh, Ericka, LaCrystal let me into their group and all through senior year we were pretty tight. To this day Arleigh is the only person I have kept in contact with. I was in her wedding (she's in mine) and I'm her daughter's Godmother. I love her, she has always been my family.


Arleigh’s birthday is on the 4th of July so she always has a party. On top of that, she always has parties. So over the years, I have definitely searched for many friends of friends that could possibly be my new boo.

I was at Arleigh’s party and her cousin, Taneika approached me. We were in Arleigh’s bridal party so we had known each other since 2007 and had gotten along pretty well. She asked if I was dating anyone and I told her no. She said her brother wanted to meet me. He had dreads, and was dressed very unlike your typical “bad boy.”

He had such a sweet smile so we talked for a bit and at the end of the night he asked for my phone number and the very next day he came to my house to pick me up for a date!

We had such a good time and our relationship just continued! He would send me sweet texts in the morning. He was just so different. He made me feel special, and sexy, and he had a lot going for him. He came to Frederick constantly and eventually moved there to be closer to me!! Brandon helps me to be a stronger person. He helps me to not get lost in my head with very negative thoughts. We have been through a lot and I couldn’t imagine marrying anyone else.


My first date with Brandon in August 2010.

The proposal

December 2013 Brandon proposed! It was Christmas day. My whole family was there and we had just finished opening presents. He then got down on one knee and I just remember screaming. It felt like a dream. It felt unreal because I had been waiting!! What girl doesn’t wait?!?! The rest of the day was spent smiling and showing off my ring. It was two sizes too small so I had to jam it on my finger all day. But man it was worth a purple finger the next day. After the ring got sized Brandon got on his knee in the jewelry store when we picked it up and it was such an added, sweet bonus.


Our Future 

I can’t wait to marry him and spend the rest of our lives together. I know that no matter what comes our way he will be there with me every step ready to fight for me and with me against anything. He has never even seen me below 215 pounds and is still crazy about me. It's funny that I can be so negative, so depressed, feel like things are so awful and well just overall a feeling of “less than.” Yet I have this amazing man who puts up with my emotional tirades, my constant overanalyzing platitudes, and my feelings of not having enough by holding my hand and saying “everything will be okay.” God has blessed me and through everything I have to remember what matters: God matters. Brandon matters. Family matters. Being healthy matters. Happiness matters. Love matters.




Fit Bride, Cherie // Satisfying Your Sweet Cravings Without Jeopardizing Your Goals

When you spend an entire month eating whatever the heck you want, it gets super tough to crack down on your good habits. I have this terrible weakness for all things sweet (oddly enough, an issue that didn't arise until I started eating healthy!) and I find myself discovering any and everything I can to handle the cravings the right way. Here are my go to ways, to have your cake (sorta) and eat it too!

When you want ice cream... Have no fear! Arctic Zero is here! With 150 calories per pint, lactose free- gluten free and packed with protein? It must be a dream.

When chocolate chip cookies are calling your name... Good news for coffee lovers - most flavored creamers are relatively low in sugar and dairy-issue causing ingredients. Today, I paired this lovely product with a strong cup of dark roast coffee. Perfection, y'all.


Maybe you just really, really, really love peanut butter...

Mixed two tablespoons with water and smear over low calorie bread or a juicy apple. Regular PB: 180 calories PB2: 45 calories


You need protein but are unsure of how to get it... If there is anything I've learned in these past few years it's that egg whites are a cure all. Follow my yummy paleo scramble recipe for a sweet tooth recipe that's sure to pack a protein punch without the guilt.


What's your favorite way to get what you want without all of the calories?




Fit Bride, Cherie // Making your Workout your Own

CHERIE-3Within the last couple of months of working out this whole fitness-bridal plan, I have made many mistakes but also experienced many moments of success. To be honest, as soon as I dropped CrossFit from the radar back in October I went through this odd period of withdrawal... I was at a standstill fitness-wise and barely knew how to hit the ground running again (literally).

I knew I wanted to make cardio a bigger part of the plan since my body tends to enjoy it, but low weight-high rep was also something I was keen on sticking to. I know there's about 4.5 billion memes circulating the web that say things like 'ha - who says lifting heavy makes you bulky - check me out,' but I'm a firm believer in something a little different. I'm a believer in 'I've been there done that and know my body does things differently.'

When I was using CrossFit as my main source of exercise, I ate like a mad woman, too. Lifting heavy + eating a ton translates to big traps and wide thighs on this latin body! When I went to my first dress fitting back in October, I knew immediately I wanted to look a little different come the big day. After an un-shameful Thanksgiving chow down I hopped back on track and boy do I feel great! Good news is, there are tons of way to make the everyday feel like something new.

Check out my recent fitness changes to find a littler inspiration in making the mundane seem a bit more magical! Here's what I'm doing differently:

More Cardio 2-3 cardio sessions per week: Running, stair stepper, and good ol' fashioned Tabata

I know cardio isn't necessarily everyone's cup of tea, but guys it really is good for you! The key to surviving a 20-30 minute cardio session is great music and a training buddy. For a true challenge, take your cardio outdoors. The change up in terrain and temperature will push you that much further and keep you from feeling like you're doing the same old thing.

Walking + Yoga Yoga at least once a week

Whether it be teaching a session or joining in on one, I've been trying to work in yoga at least one time a week. To warm up my muscles, I will get there about 10 minutes early and take a few laps at a brisk pace.

CrossFit with 'lighter' weights (and body weight movements, like handstands!) Going faster with lighter weights at WODs

Now that I'm back in my hometown, I finally can workout with my training partner again! She's means so much to me as a friend and honorary little sister, so getting to share in the pain of WOD together truly is an awesome experience! To prevent the muscle gain and emphasize muscle tone, I've been working with lighter weights and moving at a faster pace. To Rx a WOD is always fun to see on the board, but sometimes you have to take a few steps back.


Ab Exercises Everything from planking to class flutter kicks (low boat pose with leg pulses), ab exercises are always a quick and easy add-in to any workout.


Oh an did you think I forgot about our planking deal?

I'd love to hear about how you did!

I took my plank from 1m 15 sec all the way up to 3 minutes! 

What special tweaks do you make to your routine to shake things up? 

Do you change your fitness routine based on the changes you want to see in your body? 

Does CrossFit make you bulky?



Fit Bride, Cherie // Goal Makin' in 2015

CHERIE-3WHOA. I don't know about you guys, but it's almost super hard to believe 2015 is already here! After an exciting and, at times, exhausting year, it's time to sit down and make those goals.

I'm not big on the word 'resolution', but having goals for your life is something worth wandering. Today, I thought I'd get a little personal and share my goals for 2015. I've got about a billion so I'll spare you the novel and head straight to the biggies!


1. Work hard: this is possibly the most cliche goal of all, but there's nothing like working hard and feeling accomplished no matter what.


2. Prayin' for the Mister: I feel super adamant about covering this year in prayer and love. Marriage will for sure he a challenge, so to keep our hearts straight I want to make sure I take the time to focus on the important stuff!


3. Run a 1/2 Marathon: I know. Wow. I can barely keep up with my mini-running schedule now, but I think it's a goal worth running towards!

4. Embrace Messy: I have a tendency to get a bit fussy when it comes to not having things go as planned or look a certain way. I want the idea of embracing messy be a constant reminder to myself that sometimes sweatpants and a day without a to-do list is completely and totally acceptable.

5. Big life things: Like graduate, get married, and get a job! Yeah, those are definitely goals (big days!) I cannot way to meet in the new year!


So whether your plans are big or small for the big twenty-15, remember to stay focused and press on towards those exciting things you've been daydreaming about it.

Darlin' it's time to make it happen!

What are you big goals for 2015?

And tips on 1/2 marathon training?




Fit Bride Cherie // What to do When There's Nothing to do {Bridal Edition}

CHERIE-3I so wish I had a good bit of information to share about our upcoming nuptials and their joyful moments of planning, but honestly I'm finding myself in a bit of a standstill. Shame on whoever forgot to include in the bride-to-be's checklist that this is a part of the process as well! However, it has also become a time to realize that engagement is not merely a time of planning but also of growing. L. and I have experienced so much growth in our relationship simply from 'getting our life together.' From the change over of bills to the new rental we will soon call home - we had had to compromise and be patient with one another regardless of the outcome. Yet, even in a time of character growth you still find yourself trying to hurry along that little countdown on your phone (yep, totally guilty). So for all of my fellow bride-to-bes who have nothing to 'plan', here a few things that will make the time passing feel more like a breath of fresh air rather than a moment of hurry.

Pinterest away your future nest

For L. and I, we are currently in the midst of compromising on the hanging of his beloved Star Wars poster and the necessity of a chalkboard wall. Y'all, make the process of decorating a partnered effort. While we ladies certainly have our own taste, you also need to be sure your man doesn't feel like he's living in a home that's not his own. Here's what L. and I have been pinning on coffee dates...


L. and I are BIG TIME coffee drinkers, so having a way to display our many, collected mugs is a must! Now...about that Star Wars poster...

Do Something Really Really Brave I know you must all be sick of hearing me repeat my personal motto of 'be brave', but it couldn't not possibly be more fitting for a time of transition. Engagement is full of really exciting things that take a lot of courage. After opening up my Etsy shop, I immediately felt a rush of excitement/scared poopless/absolute thrill fill my heart. To do something brave during engagement is a huge consistent reminder on how far you've come in life and where you're headed. should probably check out my Etsy shop sweet brides (need something custom for your wedding? I got you.)


Make a List of Mr + Mrs Adventures

L. and I have started a very long list of adventures to take once we get married. Some travel based and others based on dancing in the living room. A few of our musts (and some impossible but hopeful musts):


  • Have a Nerf gun war
  • Road trip up North
  • Hide-N-Seek
  • Host a really big dinner party
  • Watch all of the Star Wars movies in one sitting
  • Having a food eating contest
  • Run a half marathon

... I imagine we will be adding these things to our Chalkboard wall that is bound to happen! ;)

Read! (or listen)

Whether or not you're a book person, why not give it a try? Since I'm in the last lap of my college education, reading something non-academic based is so rare simply because I just don't give it enough though! Here's a book I cannot wait to get my hands on over the Holidays. Also, if reading isn't your thing, try audiobook listening.


I hope that helps darlin' - if not, take a moment to think of a few out of the ordinary things that will make this beautiful season of your life worth waiting in.

Images: Mugs | #GirlBoss | Waiting on Wildflowers Shop | Laurel Avenue Photography