A bundle of joy arrives in November!

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My husband and I are very excited to share that in November, we’ll be parents! We enjoyed an awesome five years of marriage before deciding to expand our family, and now that we’re expecting, we’re over the moon. I’ll be sharing more on the blog later about what it will mean to have a plus-sized pregnancy (hint: nothing dramatic. With healthy eating and exercise, you can have a healthy, normal pregnancy — I have so far been lucky to have not gained a pound, and have felt great!), and how I ultimately made the decision to move forward with my life despite not reaching my goal with weight. But for now, I wanted to share a little bit about how we broke the news.

Matt and I went on a Caribbean cruise in mid-March, and thankfully, even though I was about eight weeks along, other than fatigue, I felt really good (I did miss my mojitos, though!). We decided to take a photo on the beach and write “Baby C” in the sand (See below). I’m wearing my weekly bump shirt that I made (thanks to my pal KJ Pugs), and two awesome gals on the beach helped us stage a mini photo shoot. Because we live eight hours away from our immediate family, we knew we’d have to break the news digitally to some people. Thankfully Matt’s Dad was coming down to visit, so we got to surprise him in person with a custom mug that says “Grandpa, Est. 11/15”.

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We also got to tell my best friend and sister in person. I bought them aunt onesies, wrapped them in boxes, and had them both open the boxes at the same time. My sister screamed so loud and jumped up and down that I’m pretty sure the cats thought it was the apocolypse — it was awesome! Here she is right after hearing the news, and right after putting on her makeup (sorry, Ape! My timing was off on that!), hair still wet in a babushka.

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Surprising my parents was a little bit more complex. We decided to have my sister print the photo from the cruise, and present it to my parents while we skyped them. You’ll hear my sister say we shipped the picture. Thanks to my awesome brother, we have this video of my mom’s insane reaction. (Back story: My mom has been annoyingly obsessed with becoming a Grandma since I was about 18 (not kidding!). She had to be sternly reminded several times that we would have kids when we were ready, and I always told her good things come to those who wait. See, Mom? It finally happened!) PS if you’re offended by F-bombs, do not watch this video because there are several of them! My favorite part is the dog jumping up and down with my mom.

I’d been trickling out the news slowly to family and friends, and as of today I’m 13.5 weeks pregnant and thanks to a detailed scan last week, we know that Baby C. looks great and is so far nice and healthy! (Please say a little prayer, send good thoughts, or make a wish on a dandelion that all continues to go well.) 🙂  To pre-emptively answer a few questions I’ve been getting lately:

  • How am I feeling? As I mentioned earlier, my only major symptom has been fatigue, but I’m starting to perk up a little bit. I haven’t had any morning sickness and I feel so fortunate that so far I’m feeling really, really good. Being crazy excited helps 🙂
  • When is the due date? November 12, a Scorpio!
  • Will we find out gender? Yes! Definitely. I think we still have a few more weeks to go before we’ll know. I definitely have a “feeling” it’s one gender, so I’ll be curious to see if I’m right!
  • Any cravings? In the earlier weeks I craved a Veggie Delite sub from Subway, and have been super averse to chicken. In fact, I’m struggling with eating meat in general. I’ve never been a big meat eater and am having to be creative about getting enough protein. The most consistent craving I’ve had is berries – strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, which I have almost daily. I’ve also craved Sour Patch Kids and Cheez-Its, but am trying to keep my junky indulgences to a minimum.
  • Was the baby planned? Yes, indeed! I am very grateful to have conceived as having PCOS can make things dicey in terms of fertility, and I am well aware of the struggles so many people go through to become parents. I am holding all of the hopeful parents to be in my heart that one day their dream is fulfilled.

So that’s my news, Double Chinners! I’ll be back on the DCD more often now because, heck, I missed y’all, and even though my new blog is cool, DCD will always be my home. Thank you as always for your loyalty and time, and for reading my little old blog. I’m a pretty lucky gal! <3

It’s not goodbye, but see ya around!

Dear Double Chinners,

When I started this blog over four years ago (wow!), I felt inspired and compelled to chronicle my journey from fat to fabulous. When I started blogging, the ‘fabulous’ part meant that I’d reach my goal weight and flutter off into a land of thinness, where I could eat chips and dip with no ramifications (I still wish for that!). As the years wore on and the journey remained a journey and not a destination, I started to grow a little bit bored of the whole “losing weight” thing. I’ve accepted that my struggles with reaching a healthy weight will be something I’m constantly trying to achieve, and that’s okay.

I decided over Christmas this year that I was ready for a change. I was planning on writing my traditional New Year’s post for this blog, and I was looking back at last year’s New Year’s post. I had already been feeling stifled this time last year, and even wrote that I was considering starting a new blog, since my “weight loss blog” has really been nothing but a “weight maintenance, sometimes loss, and sometimes gain blog”. I was feeling like I was falling out of love with blogging, and that sucked, because I’ve been blogging since I was 14 and I LOVE blogging. So I took some time away from the blog to think. We didn’t break up, but we took a break. And that break was exactly what I needed to decide that while I’m not done blogging, I need a breath of fresh air. I need to get out of the box that I put myself in, and step into a new place– one that’s huge and large and limitless and lets me talk about whatever the heck I want, like travel or makeup or fashion or weight loss with PCOS.

And so, my friends, LaLaLyssa.com was born. I noodled for awhile on a new blog name, and settled on LaLaLyssa.com for a few reasons. First of all, I had purchased AllLyssa.com as a play on words, to be everything and ALL Alyssa, but then I learned that Allyssa.com (one less L) was a porn site. Yeah, no. Too much potential for awkward typos. I was going to blog under my business site, AlyssaCurran.com, but I liked the idea of a cutesy, separate land for all my ramblings. And so I chose LaLaLyssa.com, for a few reasons:

1) I choose to live my life embracing quirkiness, and sometimes I feel like I’m in LaLa Land.
2) I live IN La La Land (Los Angeles).
3) I used to name products, and one of my favorite things I’ve ever named is a popular toy line that starts with the prefix ‘Lala’.

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So there you have it. The Double Chin Diary isn’t going away, but it’s going to quietly simmer on the backburner. Every now and then when I want to write about weight loss or fitness, I’ll probably write a post over here, but will link to it from my new site as well. As I said before, my journey with weight loss is far from over. Despite the number on the scale, I’ve made some amazing progress towards being a healthier me — like being able to walk amost 60 miles in 3 days, and more importantly, learning to love myself despite my weight. I hope you’ll come over and check out what I’m up to at LaLaLyssa.com, because I love hearing what you think. I’ll always be grateful to the Double Chin Diary for giving me a taste of what being a ‘real blogger’ is like, and for opening the door to many exciting and awesome opportunities. I also plan to one day write a book, and that was the reason I started this blog — because I knew one day, I’d have an “after” to match my “before”, and I’d call it the Double Chin Diary. This isn’t goodbye — it’s just see ya later 🙂

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Reflections on 2013 and wishes for 2014

2013 was a big, important year. The past few months have had more challenges than I’d like, and overall, I’m happy to be wrapping up 2013. Let’s review what happened, shall we?

1) I crossed a major bucket list item off the list — traveling to thailand! One year ago today, I started my first new year’s resolution with a bang! I had wanted to be more active, and 2013 was kicked off with a huge, intense jungle hike across Phi Phi island to a ferry. It was an experience I’ll never forget — in both good ways (the view) and bad ways (the mosquitoes and getting lost on a foreign island with no Malaria protection).

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2) I crossed another major item off my list – earning my master’s degree! While I’m so glad I did it, I’m not going to lie that working on a master’s degree while working full-time was a challenge. There were many tear-filled nights as I had to work through exhaustion and keep plugging away on my thesis, but in the end, I’m proud of what I accomplished. Plus, it’s fun to humblebrag about how I’m a master of mass communication. Oh yeah!

Very excited at my commencement ceremony! Photo by my wonderful thesis chair, Dr. Bluestein.

Very excited at my commencement ceremony! Photo by my wonderful thesis chair, Dr. Bluestein.

3) The Double Chin Diary took me lots of amazing places, like Portland for FitBloggin‘ and Paso Robles for Fitcation. April also joined the Double Chin Diary  this year, and I’m so thankful because she picks up the slack when I don’t have much to say, and it has brought us closer together as sisters and friends. There’s nothing like realizing you’re not alone in any sort of battle you’re going through. April gets it — and I know together we’ll be able to accomplish our goals. I’m always so gracious that people take the time to read this blog. Life is chaotic, and busy, and the fact that you stop by means a lot to us. THANK YOU! I’m also grateful to the great brands that believe in what April and I are doing — from Diet to Go to Amana to Hollywood Wax to Blogher. This year, I’m thrilled and honored to be speaking on a panel about blogging at the Lifestyle Blogger’s Conference in downtown Los Angeles, and to be attending FitBloggin’ in Savannah!

4) I finally got some insight into why losing weight seems to be my unreachable feat. After some stressful months of loss then regain then loss then regain, I worked with a few doctors on in-depth blood testing and PCOS screening. After several frustrating courses of misleading results, I finally had a solid diagnosis of PCOS, a fatty buildup in my liver, and subclinical hypothyroidism. I’ve been on medications for a few months and am happy to be at about 13 pounds lost. 2014 will be the last year I ever say my new year’s resolution is to lose weight. Now that I know what’s going on and have the tools to do it, I’m doing it. No stopping me. I will be victorious!

Life's a river. I'm gonna keep paddling!

Life’s a river. I’m gonna keep paddling!

Those were highlights from 2013, so now what about 2014? I don’t have any “resolutions” other than to keep on fighting to get to a healthier me. The Double Chin Diary has been kind of a “weight gain and weight maintenance” blog rather than a “weight loss” blog, and I’d like to change that. (Maybe I’ll just start a new blog? LOL.) I think I finally have the tools to do it. The So Cal Lady Bloggers, a blogging collective I’m a part of, asked a thought provoking question of what word I would choose to focus on for 2014. In 2013, I felt like I was always struggling to find balance. To find balance between how many projects are too many. To find balance in learning to say no. To find balance in continuing to exercise even though I was seeing weight gain instead of weight loss. To find balance in how I approached spending and saving. After some careful thought, I think my word for 2014 will be PERSPECTIVE. I spent a lot of time in 2013 learning to readjust the way I chose to see the world, and how I reacted to challenges. I’m beginning 2014 as a different person; a matured person in that recognizing sometimes all of the difficult things we encounter do actually serve a purpose. In 2014, I want to remember that a positive, thoughtful perspective on life will always serve me best.

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I’m wishing you the most amazing new year, and now, I want to know:

What will your word be for 2014?

 

 

 

 

 

Five Things on Friday

Hi Everybody, it’s Friday, woot woot! With the holidays, things are rockin’ and rollin’ and my schedule has been filled with fabulous festivities like the grand opening of my dear friend’s plus size bridal salon, holiday parties, and of course, working on getting in shape! I’ve been really good this week about doing some sort of exercise every day — mostly running with my couch to 5k app and then some yoga. I’m trying hard to maintain some level of “zen” in my life during the hectic but fun holiday season. I have a bunch of random things I wanna tell you about, so here’s my “Five for Friday”.

1) You really should read this article, “So You’re Feeling Too Fat To Be Photographed“. As someone who suffers from chronic doublechinitis, I can relate to the “Aghh! No Pictures!” phenomenon. However, the author’s life-changing experience gives her the perfect authority to speak on such a touchy subject — visually capturing the way you look when you don’t like the way you look. Read it, shed a little tear, and then smile big for the camera.

2) We have a WINNER!!!! Congrats to Melissa for winning the week of Diet to Go meals. I used a very complicated system (paper and pen) to tally up all your entries and pick the winner. Some of you pinned like crazy – you ROCK! We’ll be doing another amazing Diet to Go giveaway soon, so keep playing for your chance to win! Feeling lucky? There’s about one more day left to win some Prosperity Cinnamon. Enter now!

3) Do you guys have any tips for falling back asleep in the morning if you wake up too early? I know — sounds weird. Our kitten Oliver is almost a year old, and he likes to start causing chaos at about 5:00 A.M., either by knocking stuff over, chewing on things, or kneading my stomach with his jabby little kitten paws. UGH! It takes me about 45 minutes to fall back asleep after that. 5:00 A.M. is just TOO early to get started for the day… not gonna happen. Any tips? Do I need to lock him out of the room? 🙁

Early Morning Noise Maker.

Early Morning Noise Maker.

4) This time of year is hard for me food-wise, because I’m surrounded by holiday treats. I’ve been doing pretty well navigating so far (my jeans are loose! WOOHOO! Official weigh in is next week), but for some reason I go kookoo for peppermint and chocolate flavored things. At Trader Joe’s, I felt like my hands were magnetic to the Peppermint Joe Joe’s — but TWO cookies is 140 calories. Um, what?! I found a great alternative though! Try the Mini Dark Chocolate Shortbread Peppermint Stars. You can have 13 for 120 calories. Much better — volume eating.

5) I had the opportunity this week to share my story about my weight loss gain loss gain whatever-it-is on my dear friend Emmie’s blog this week. Go check it out, and if you don’t read Authentically Emmie, get to it. She’s the bee’s knees – and recently wrote an article in Ladies Home Journal!

Okay, guys, that’s all I got. I hope you’re having a wonderful week. Tell me what’s going on with you! Any great food finds? Exercise progress? Random feelings? Let it all out and let’s get our weekends started!

xoxo

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Mamavation Motivation

Hey gals and boys! TGIF, right?! This week has been a craaaaaazy whirlwind. I’ve been jamming on some client deadlines and projects, and in addition, I’ve got a personal project going on that’s keeping me very busy… HOUSE HUNTING! More on that and how it makes me want to stress eat later.

I’m pledging my membership to Mamavation and part of that pledge is to tell y’all why I want to be involved. Because Alpha Gamma Kappi Phi! Just kidding, but any time I hear the word pledge I think about sororities, of which I was shamefully never invited (nor interested). I was always more of a band nerd/online message board type of gal…

Anyhoodles, Mamavation is an awesome online community of women social media and blogging fanatics. The cool thing about Mamavation is it has a healthy living angle, and the creator, Leah, is a weight loss and health transformation success story, having lost over 170 pounds over two pregnancies. WOW. Beyond being an all around kick-butt lady, I’ve met her in personal several times and she’s always been super nice, incredibly intelligent and an all-around mentor and thought-leader in social media. Given that I pay my bills by twiddling with Twitter and frolicking on Facebook for brands, companies and public figures, I look up to Leah for her unique approach to creating meaningful conversations online. She’s the real deal.

Leah and Alyssa show off their pearly whites at FitBloggin 2013 in Portland, Ore.

Leah and Alyssa show off their pearly whites at FitBloggin 2013 in Portland, Ore.

I’ll be joining other Mamavation bloggers for a fun-filled fitness vacation in October in Paso Robles, Calif. Although I’m not a mom yet, I’m looking forward to the MOTIVATION, SUPPORT, KNOWLEDGE and FRIENDSHIP I can gain through Mamavation. That’s one of the very best things about social media and blogging — the friends you gain just by being yourself. (I’m lookin’ at you. Yes, you, the person reading this when you probably should be working!) 😉

So, there you have it — my pledge to be a Mamavation Gal and work off this double chin. I actually haven’t stepped on a scale in two weeks, which could be catastrophic, genius or just “meh”, but I’ve been doing ok food wise and slacking a bit on exercise. My goal next week is to kick it up, which should be easier as a bunch of my deadlines will have come and gone. Also, tomorrow I’m running the Neon Run 5k — so watch for that! It will be a glow bracelet, black light jamboree in downtown LA. I can’t wait!

I hope you have an amazing Friday, and tell me, what online communities or groups are you a part of???

 

 

 

 

What’s up this Wednesday? Double Chin Digest

Helloooooo Double Chinners! It’s currently 12:27 AM and I just finished a crap-ton of freelance writing projects (Every day I’m hustlin’), but I’m not gonna leave you hanging without a post — I felt bad that I missed one for today. Err, yesterday? Kind of awkward writing to you in the future tense but really being in the present. Anyways… Here are a couple Double Chin Diary related news-items coming up in the next few weeks!

1) Diet to Go is having a huge sweepstakes! 1 Grand Prize winner will score a month of free meals, and FIVE runners-up will receive a week of free meals! This is huge – each week is at least an $85 value. Like their page to enter now… I’m feeling lucky. You also get 10 bonus entries if you share on Facebook! I’ve been on Diet to Go for two weeks now and am down about six pounds and am immensely enjoying the large amount of cheese that comes on many of their meals. Me + Cheese = BFF’s. SummerShapeup_badge

2) I had the honor of working out with the weight saint himself, sir Richard Simmons! Isn’t he fabulous? I’ll tell you what else is fabulous – my new Spandits headband. Watch for a full review and giveaway coming this week!

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3) I’ll be starting my low-glycemic and insulin resistant diet next week. I’ve ordered several books and am trying to keep the obsessive Googling to a minimum, or I’ll freak myself into believing I have every disease known to man. My attitude about my diagnosis changes on the daily – one day I’ll be thrilled to have an answer, and the next I feel like having a pity party because boo-hoo, something’s wrong with me, and it’s going to be 10,000 times harder to lose weight because of my spotty little ovary. (Sorry, TMI, but that’s how I roll.)  My logical side knows that despite this little hiccup, I am fortunate to have a generally benign condition — and I am so grateful to still be able-bodied, and for the most part, healthy. Now I just need to get really dedicated about my new way of eating, and continue to be a fitness freak.

4) My favorite snack of the moment is the Chobani Coco Loco Almond Flip. Do yourself a favor and try it… it’s seriously like ice cream with 12 grams of protein and 3 different probiotics. Nom, nom, nom. I’m enjoying treats like these as I know my new diet is going to be fairly low-sugar and I’ll have to stay away from carbs. That’s sad because I <3 carbs – but certainly I’ll need occasional treats, and instead of splurging on something like a Brownie, I’m going to get one of these. I’ll have more info on these soon as I’m going to be doing a list of my favorite new finds, and you can bet these are on it.

5) FITBLOGGIN is a mere 2 weeks away! I’m so excited to be with all my bloggy besties and learn lots of new things to share with you. Check out my new pens and let me know if you want one. I’d love to think of you writing your to-do lists and signing blank checks for me with my pen. Oh, so you WERE paying attention. What’s that? You wouldn’t sign a blank check for me?!

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Ok, that’s all I got! I’ll be back tomorrow with my weekly weigh in. I hope you have a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!