Friday, August 19, 2011

honeymoon time

Yes, our honeymoon begins in less than 20 hours! At 6am Austin time, we'll be leaving for Newark with a 7 hour layover then headed to Frankfurt. Don't worry, during those 7 hours, we'll be making our way into the City for a nice lunch! I love New York.

Anyways, we'll be gone 10 days. And am going to try to post as I get time. I'm bringing my laptop and of course my camera and lenses. This is a road trip across Europe, so there will be lots of experiences to share with you that I hope I'll get to post every so often!

Today, I'll leave you with my Twitter #FollowFriday suggestions. My special Honeymoon Edition Favorite-Twitter-Duos! If you're on Twitter, you should follow them. I love them!

  1. @jesswilliams27 and @jaydubbs and their tag-team, totally-awesome photog biz @Session_Nine // this super talented duo did our wedding!
  2. the witty @thegroomsays and his gorgeous bride @jofosterwilson // read his blog, just do it -
  3. one of my besties @mrstarachatt and her adorable husband @Zack_Chatterton
  4. two ladies who need to come to Austin so we can get pedis! @SueMac99 and @thatpinkgirl // They also blog: Sue - & TPG -
  5. last but definitely not least @HellaSound and @pauloelias #fooduphouston

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

a waiting game

So, for those who are following along, today was the day I was supposed to get my blood work done. I'll make this short and sweet because when I think about it too much it makes me anxious (which is something I need to work on).

After talking with my doctor, she has decided to test for a lot more than just my thyroid and hormones. With the symptoms I have, I guess they all add up to a semi-serious female hormone issue. I don't want to get into details but if it goes untreated it could lead to some very serious long term problems. The good news is that it can be treated but I may still deal with some of the long term problems just to a lesser extent. The bummer news is at this point it's a waiting game.

These new tests need to be taken during a certain time of month, which is 2 weeks from now. Well, 2 weeks from now, I'm in Europe, so it needs to wait until 6 weeks from now, with another 2 weeks waiting around for results. Yay...8 weeks for waiting. Awesome.

I'm trying not to dwell on any of this because it might not even be the case, although my doctor seemed to think it was.

So, the plan for the next 8 weeks? Keep eating right. Keep working out. Think about the positive things in my life, not the uncertainties.

Friday, August 5, 2011

letting go; not giving up

Let it go.

Something I have a very difficult time with. I like to hold on to things. I like knowing what’s going to happen next. I like knowing that if I do XYZ then ABC will happen. Guess what? That’s not how life works. At all. And I feel like I’m getting an extra dose of that. I feel like I’m supposed to be learning something from all of this but am too damn stubborn to accept it.

Most of you know that I’ve been struggling to lose weight. I lost about 50 lbs a litter over 2 years ago and have been struggling with the last 20-25 pounds. Not something you should have to struggle with. 5-10 pounds? That’s something to struggle with, but not 20-25.

I started seeing a nutritionist about 11 months ago because of this massive frustration. Eating healthy and training for half marathons should lend to fat loss, but for me, it wasn’t.

We tweaked my diet to a gluten/dairy free diet which helped tremendously. I lost some weight in the first few months and felt great. We also changed up my exercise routine. I learned that long distance running isn’t always the best for fat loss (something I did NOT want to hear). But it’s been almost year and the rest just won’t seem to leave.

We then started calorie counting. Maybe I was eating too much of the good foods? Turns out, I was. Not way too much, just a little too much, so we adjusted it. I started tracking calories consumed and calories burned. Knowing FOR SURE that this would lead to fat loss. I don’t know how I could possibly burn 400-600 calories 5 days/week and eat 1500 calories* and not lose fat. Well, it’s happening. I’m not losing.

*Please do not compare my calorie intake to yours. I’ve been under the care of a professional, licensed nutritionist who has given me a unique body comp. Proper calorie intake for people will vary, drastically.

So, what’s next? We’re checking out my thyroid and hormone panel. Clearly there is something not right. Someone with normal levels should be able to eat what I’m eating and workout like I am and lose fat. There has to be an explanation to this.

Yesterday at the nutritionist was very difficult. I went in there anticipating being down at least 3 or 4 pounds of fat (it had been 4 weeks since my last visit). What were the results? Fat loss of 0.1 pounds. I’m sorry, but that’s shitty. Down.right.shitty! It really sucks to work your ass off in bootcamp in the 111 degree weather, do core until you feel like vomiting, run sprints on inclines, and pass on the chips every single time to see no tangible results.**

**I do realize that I am healthier than I ever was before. Cutting out gluten and dairy were probably the best things I’ve done. I’m getting stronger. I’m getting faster. I know I’m healthier, but I’m 26…I want to be thin too! I deserve that and it sucks that I’m still not there.

I cried. Then I pouted. Then I become furious. It’s so not fair. But like I said…I’m supposed to learn something here. I need to let it go. Clearly, this is not in my control. That doesn’t mean give it up. My nutritionist explained that I’ve been in a relationship with weight loss. I need to let it go and stop worrying over it. Stop obsessing. I’m supposed to stop counting calories. Stop tracking my calories burned. She explained that I already know what a 1500 calorie/day looks like. I already know how much I burn doing sprints and during bootcamp. Stick with it, and let it go.

So the next step is: stop obsessing and get blood work done. I have an appointment for Monday to get my thyroid and hormone panel tested to figure out what the hell is going on. Part of me hopes I do have a problem. Then I can just adjust my diet and/or take vitamins/medicine to fix it. The thought of being on prescription meds forever stresses me out. I try to “fix” things the natural way, but at this point, I think I’ve proven that they might be needed, at least for a little while.

So there you have it. A very real, raw, unedited, Jen. Really, I mostly posted this to vent. I can honestly say I have tried everything in my power to lose this fat and it’s not working. I’s so discouraging, but I refuse to believe that this is the end of the road for me.

I’m letting go but not giving up.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 1, 2011

go confidently

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." - Henry David Thoreau

Yes. It’s true. Really, it is. And I could not be more excited!

This past year has been insane. INSANE! Good, but insane. I had decided to start up a one-woman-shop in June 2010 as a freelance graphic designer. At first, it was a little slow, but then got kind of busy, and then got a little slow again, and now it’s starting to pick up again. Such is life.

I had really started debating adding photography to that business. I shied away from it many times, but the thought, desire, curiosity, longing kept coming back.

A little back story…
Really, ever since I could remember (and I’ve asked my parents who have confirmed it) I’ve been obsessed with art. I used to draw all the time. For days. Just sit in my room and draw as a kid, like a little kid! I used to write short fiction stories…for fun! I remember finding my parents’ camera back in 2nd or 3rd grade and just taking pictures of EVERYTHING and asking them to develop the film. For my 11th birthday my parents bought me my own camera and I spent my babysitting money developing the film on that. When I was in high school I was the one who always had the camera taking pictures at parties, sleep overs, etc. In high school I also developed my own clothing line, which of course I never did anything with, but you get the picture. Art has always been a very significant part of my life.

For my birthday a few years back, I decided to finally purchase my first DSLR professional grade camera. Not having any real goals in mind, I started taking pictures, again, of EVERYTHING! My dog is a professional model now (just kidding, but he should be).

So this nagging at my heart really, has stemmed from a deep seeded love of art and creativity. I’ve decided to turn my passion into more than just a hobby. I’ve officially opened up my photography services to the public and could not be more thrilled about it! I’ve learned so much over the past few years in regards to photography and business. I’m even more excited that I have a few photo sessions lined up with some friends here in Austin and then in Phoenix when I go back to visit. Photography to me is just a means of freezing time for a split second to capture the beauty around me. I so enjoy photographing love and happiness. To me, it’s the ultimate beauty and I am beyond thrilled that I have the opportunity to share my passion with others!

Link Love
Jennifer Stamps Photography
JSP on Facebook

Thanks for reading!