Friday, June 29, 2012

Photo Friday | Gold Mine

I feel like this title just committed me to posting photos every Friday.  Seeing how I am a photographer, it should be easy.  We'll see about that...

Jennifer Stamps Photography

Jennifer Stamps Photography

I found this little photography gold mine a few weeks back and did a shoot here with a fashion model.  It's pretty sweet.  I will be going back to explore with my camera soon, so you can expect to see much, much more.

until next time,

peace & love

Thursday, June 28, 2012

This is What 52lbs Looks Like

I had to think about this one a little bit.  Yes, I’m an open book.  Yes, I’m candid, sometimes to a fault.  But, I’m still a woman.  I still desire to feel sexy.  And yes, even tho I’m a happily married woman, still want to feel like others think I’m sexy too. And there is nothing wrong with that.  Someone will surely give me slack for that, but I speak the truth.  It is important for women to feel sexy about themselves!  So, that’s why I was nervous.  As weird as it sounds, sometimes I want people to just think that I've always been fit.  Not know that, for a while, it was completely out of control. 

I posted this compilation of photos to Facebook the night before last and the amount of comments and likes I received was unbelievable.  It made me realize something: I’m not alone.  There are so many people out there who are doing the same thing I’m doing, just got to their goal, are just getting started, or are too scared to try.  I would have done just about anything to see photos like this when I first started.  

As humans, we are naturally visual creatures.  We like to see what is going to happen.  It’s almost like it’s our proof, so – this, my friends – is what 52 lbs of fat looks like on a 5’ 8” woman. 

From left to right:
220lbs - college graduation - May 2007; 190lbs – engagement photos – Aug 2010; 168lbs iPhone birthday photo – June 1, 2012; the end result ...

The golden question: how did you lose the weight?  
I worked at it.  No, seriously, I did.  I ran.  I did squats.  I did lunges.  I sweat, a lot.  I hurt, a lot.  And I kept doing it. I didn’t try magic pills, drinks, or crash diets.  They don’t work and they aren’t natural.  You want to lose weight?  You probably won't like the answer.
 This is the tough love part… 
Get off your ass and go f***ing work for it.  You don’t deserve it if you’re not going to work for it.

As you can see – it’s been five years…
I’d say the summer of 2008 (so a year after that first photo) it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I…was…fat!  My BMI was 33.4.  Now – I don’t pay attention to BMI – it’s total bulls*** but, it’s a sort of guidance.  Do you know what BMI says is obese?  30 and greater.  So, according to BMI, I was obese.  

At 23 years old. 


I sank.  

My heart was crushed.  

I felt ugly, unworthy, gross. 

I all of a sudden couldn’t figure out why my boyfriend (now husband) was with me.  That is a TERRIBLE feeling!

So, I decided to do something.  I wanted to do something fun.  Something that didn't feel like work.  Something I'd stick with. 

So, being the total badass mofo that I am, I decided to start boxing.

Honestly - probably the hardest workout I've ever done!  You try getting in a ring and duking it out for 3 solid minutes - over and over.  Doesn't sound like a lot, but holy hell, it is!

The University of Texas has what’s called UT Informal Classes.  They are basically classes through the University but not for any sort of credit.  Well, they had a boxing class.  Boxing: that sounded FUN!  So I started boxing and started feeling much better about myself.  Plus, I was learning how to knock fools out, which is always a major WIN!

Then, I thought: OMG it would be so much fun to run a half marathon! Whooo! 

I never ran a mile in my life.  And I thought, at 220lbs, that a half marathon would be fun.

I’m sick.  I'm ambitious.

So, I asked my dad, who is a certified tri coach, what to do.

He gave me the hook up and in October 2008 I started training for the 2009 Austin half marathon (held in February).  And guess what, I completed it and lost some lbs in the meantime.  I was down to about 190 and was feeling like I was invincible.  So, naturally, I did more half marathons.  That year, I completed a total of 4 half marathons (last one being the 2010 Austin half).  

During that time I got super lax about my eating.  I’m burning 900 calories on each run, I can eat whatever the hell I want.  Truth, you can, if you’re not trying to lose weight.  If you’re trying to lose weight, you still need to watch what you eat.  Needless to say, the lbs weren't dropping like panties at a Justin Timberlake concert coming off as easily. 

Then, I thought of another GENIUS idea! 

 I’ll do the Chicago Marathon in 2010.  OMG it will be so amazingly awesome! 

 So a dear friend, who is from Chicago, and I started training together (even though she was in AZ and I was in TX – we trained remotely).  Well, about 6 weeks before the race, on my 16 mile run, I broke down.  It was about mile 13 – I was still 3 miles from my car.  I called my husband - fiancĂ© at the time - (who was studying for the Bar exam – that’s how bad this was) to pick me up.  I literally couldn’t walk to my car the 3 miles, let alone run.  

It was demoralizing.  I felt defeated.  I felt like a quitter, even though I had suffered an injury.  

I didn’t run again.  Until very recently.

I was scared.

And strangely, I was mad at running.  

How could it injury me after all the time I dedicated to it?

So, from September 2010 until March 2012 I lost and gained the same 15lbs over and over and over again.  I got down to the 170’s, and then gained it back up to the 190’s, then 170’s, then 190’s, and so on and so forth.  I wasn’t exercising on a regular basis.  I’d try boot camp for a few months.  Then quit.  Then try something else, then quit.

Finally, at the end of February, 2012 I decided that enough was enough.  

Not knowing what to do, I thought I’d try Weight Watchers.  My thought process was this: If Charles Barkley and Jennifer Hudson could do it, then I could.  Plus, if it doesn’t work, I can quit it.  That seemed easy enough.  So, after researching it, I gave it a whirl.  And OMG and I am glad I did.

I started on February 27, 2012 at 191.  It is now 4 months later and I weigh 168 (literally the thinnest/lightest I've been in my adult life - I'm acutally smaller than I was my Senior Year of HS).  That’s averaging almost 1.5 lbs lost each week.  Some weeks were more, some were less, and I’ve had 3 weeks where I’ve gained 1lb.  But, I’ve stuck with it.  

For the first 3 ½ months of Weight Watchers I worked out with a trainer once a week and did boot camp twice a week.  

I’m starting a new schedule where I work out with a trainer once a week, run & free weights 3 times a week, and do yoga 2 times a week.  I figure I’m already at high end of “average” weight for my height, so it’s going to be a little more challenging to lose this last 23 lbs.

The absolute best part about the way I’ve lost this weight is that:

 I have quite literally busted my ass off.  

I know how hard it is.  I know how to keep it off.  And I will continue to bust my ass to keep it off.  Because I’m not getting fat again.  THAT is why it’s better than a magic pill, special drink, or crash diet. I’ve found a perfect balance of diet and exercise and I plan on maintaining it for life.  Really, I don’t see how I have any other option.

So, the fun part: what is my reward?  Well, other than a superhot bod, and seeing how I'm a photographer and photos are important to me, I have 2 rewards…

  1. Since I’m fat in all of our engagement photos, hubby and I are getting more professional photos done by my photog friends who also did our engagement/wedding photos.  We will be in AZ in December, and they will be doing them then – yep, so I gotta be at goal by then!  No pressure… 
  2. I’m getting my own boudoir photos done.  Yes, the boudoir photographer is finally going to get some done herself.  And hey, you never know, maybe I’ll share one or two here… ;)  That might be TMI for some of you, but like I said - I'm an open book. 
There you have it.  The hold-nothing-back-Jen that you all love!  But seriously though, I’m an open book when it comes to just about every aspect of my life.  I’m proud of who I am and realize that it’s because of what I’ve done/overcome that I am who I am today.  If you have any questions or want more deets, please let me know, I’d be happy to share!

And I'll leave you with new obsession.  My 5" hot pink high heels. Ow!

Until next time,

peace & love

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Puppy Love

So, I've been a fan of Karmin since they were a YouTube Channel.  Amazing vocals, talented guitar, and totally rad covers.  Well, fairly recently, they came out with an original album and I'm sure you've all by now heard their first single: Brokenhearted.  Upbeat and pop-y with a little bit of rap - can't beat that, right?!  Super fun.  I listened to the lyrics and they made me smile.  Totally reminds me of the first few months hubby and I started dating...awwww.  So, enjoy...

by Karmin

This is more than a typical kinda thing
Felt the jones in my bones when you were touching me, oh oh
Didn't wanna take it slow
In a daze, going crazed, I can barely think
You're replaying in my brain, find it hard to sleep, oh oh
Waiting for my phone to blow

Now I'm here in a sticky situation
Got a little trouble, yep and now I'm pacin'
Five minutes, ten minutes, now it's been an hour
Don't wanna think too hard, but I'm sour

Oh oh, I can't seem to let you go

See I've been waiting all day
For you to call me baby
So let's get up, let's get on it
Don't you leave me broken hearted tonight
Come on, that's right
Honest baby I'll do
Anything you want to
So can we finish what we started
Don't you leave me broken hearted tonight
Come on, that's right, cheerio

What's the time, such a crime
Not a single word, sipping on a Patron
Just to calm my nerves, oh oh
Poppin' bottles by the phone
Oh yeah
Had me up, had me down, turn me inside out
That's enough, call me up
Maybe I'm in doubt, oh oh
I don't even think you know, no no

See I've been waiting all day
For you to call me baby
So let's get up, let's get on it
Don't you leave me broken hearted tonight
Come on, that's right
Honest baby I'll do
Anything you want to
So can we finish what we started
Don't you leave me broken hearted tonight
Come on, that's right, cheerio

Anything you wanna do, I'll be on it too
Everything you say is like go with the view
Business on the front, party in the back
Maybe I was wrong, was the outfit really wack?

This kinda thing doesn't happen usually
I'm on the opposite side of it, truthfully
I know you want it so come and get it, cheerio

See I've been waiting all day
For you to call me baby
So let's get up, let's get on it
Don't you leave me broken hearted tonight, ohhhohohhhoohhhh
Honest baby I'll do
Anything you want to
So can we finish what we started
Don't you leave me broken hearted tonight
Come on, that's right, cheeri, cheerio

When you gonna call
Don't leave me broken hearted
I've been waiting up
Let's finish what we started, oh oh
I can't seem to let you go
Come on, that's right, cheerio, uh!

If you haven't checked it out yet, make sure you check out my Etsy store. Having a sale and you can use code HAPPY2BDAY (for the 2nd anniversary of my design biz) for 40% off until the end of June. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I'm 2!

Ok - I guess I'm not 2...but my design business is!  June marks the 2nd anniversary of me taking my graphic design to the "professional" level.  Uck...I hate saying that...professional.  But I guess that's what it is, getting paid to do something, right?

Anyways, to celebrate, I'm giving all my lovely friends, supporters, followers, and anyone really that stumbles across this blog, my Twitter account, or Facebook page 40% off the items in my Etsy shop!  Some fun, cute, quirky, semi-vulgar things in that shop.  Ok, not really semi-vulgar, but I call it "unapologetic print design for those with a sense of humor" for a reason. ;)

Pssst...the discount code is at the bottom of this page. 

Here's a few things you'll find

blank inside

inside: congrats on getting knocked up

inside: because I swear you just had a kid...

blank inside
inside: you have it
inside: now we know that you're not a virgin 

Just a few and I'm adding new stuff all the time.  Pretty much whatever I'd say to my BFF is going on a card design.  

So, use this code: HAPPY2BDAY anytime in June and you'll receive 40% off of your purchase!

Enjoy!  And stop apologizing for your inappropriate humor...I don't! 

Monday, June 11, 2012

This one's a fighter

Nothing worthwhile is easy. And that fact that I’m fighting to get it proves two things: I want it more than anything and I’ll fight to never lose it.

This is my anthem.


The Fighter

Gym Class Heroes
(feat. Ryan Tedder)

Text book version of a kid going nowhere fast
And now I'm yelling "kiss my ass"
It's gonna take a couple right hooks, a few left jabs
For you to recognize you really ain't got it bad

Until the referee rings the bell
Until both your eyes start to swell
Until the crowd goes home
What we gonna do ya'll?

[Chorus - Ryan Tedder]
Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life til we're dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they'll say of me, say of me, say of me
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter
That's what they'll say of me, say of me, say of me,
This one's a fighter

Everybody put yo hands up
What we gonna do? [x7] ya'll

If you fall pick yourself up off the floor (get up)
And when your bones can't take no more (c'mon)
Just remember what you're here for
Cuz I know Imma damn sure

Give em hell, turn their heads
Gonna live life til we're dead.
Give me scars, give me pain
Then they'll say of me, say of me, say of me
There goes the fighter, there goes the fighter
Here comes the fighter
That's what they'll say of me, say of me, say of me,
This one's a fighter

'Til the referee rings the bell
'Til both ya eyes start to swell
'Til the crowd goes home,
What we gonna do kid?   

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Best Birthday Ever!

It's kind of a running joke for me.  I'm a firm believer that the best is yet to come, so anytime I experience something, naturally: It's the best thing ever!  Best Christmas ever.  Best vacation ever. And yes - best birthday ever!  All jokes aside, this was one very amazing birthday.  I've never felt more loved and it reminded me just how truly blessed I am to have amazing people in my life.

Friday (my actual birthday) was amazing.  I received THREE bouquets of flowers that day - THREE!!!  AMAZING!

Then, that night, hubby and I headed to San Diego.  We are travelers at heart.  We love, love, love exploring new places (and old places) together!  I hadn't been to San Diego in probably 12 or 15 years so it was so fun to go back! 

 The birthday girl and her newly thinned-self was ready for her flight!

We stayed at the Andaz in San Diego.  Yes, that's a "sexy shower".  You can see from the bedroom to the bathroom through the shower - HOTT!

And we could see Petco Park from our hotel! 

 My birthday kicks!

 We went to the USS Midway museum.  SO COOL!
 Seeing how my mom, dad, and uncle are former Marines, I love anything USMC!

 Hubby: still wishes he were a pilot.  Someday. 

 Fighter pilot, Jen!

The type of Helo my uncle flew for the USMC. 

 He put me in the Brig. 

 Then we had seafood and beer.  And I ran out of beer.  And it was sad.

 Then we went to batting practice before the Diamond Backs and Padres game.  Pitchers chillin in front of us.

Then, JJ Putz (close for the DBacks) tossed me up a ball!  *swoon* 

 Awesome ballpark!

Yep - that's a dog (a real one) in that remote control car.  Austin isn't the only city keepin' it weird!  

On board The Spirit of  San Diego ready for a bay tour. 

Ended the trip with a Belgium Triple local brew called Green Flash.  I love my Belgium Triples! 

So, see?  It really was THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!