Challenge Cubed

A few things…

1) I have 11 draft blog posts. I didn’t want to edit or expand on ANY of them, so here I am. 2) I wanted to write this in my backyard, with my party lights on and my “Blogging Day” coffee cup filled with Gatorade. But then I opened my fridge and remembered I needed to cook the chicken and steak in there…so I here I am..
3) And finally…I am in the third day of my weight loss challenge, and I already messed up and ate a ton of french fries at Red Robin today. Two hours of working out later and here I am.

Challenge cubed. It’s a challenge within a challenge within a challenge (that’s cubed right?). As I mentioned, I’m in the middle of my second eight week weight loss challenge. I won the first one (more on that here, and here, and here), and I’ve lost 7 pounds in between the end of the last one and start weight for this one. This challenge ends July 3 and the goal for that challenge is to lose however many pounds I can by then. I have 14 pounds to lose until goal weight, and that brings me to my next challenge (challenge squared)!

Challenge 2 is to get to goal weight by Country Stampede, a major three day country music festival I go to for work. That’s 14 pounds in 6 1/2 weeks, so we’ll see. It’s about two pounds more than is recommended to lose by that time, but I can do it! I hope. We’ll see. I gotta get my sh** together better than tonight (I’m eating Hershey’s as I’m typing this) for that to happen.  If it doesn’t happen, then obviously that would be the goal by the end of the 8 week challenge.

Challenge 3 (cubed!) is to train for a 5K based on THIS. The fun part about it that also will help keep me motivated is that I get to tie this into my job! It will start on Monday and runs for eight weeks so will be over a week after the weight loss challenge. I’m not much looking forward to the running in the heat, but I am looking forward to videoing parts of the challenge for work, tying in other coworkers, and getting to write more for my job.

That’s it! More than likely, the blog posts I write for my work websites will also end up here, so I’ll keep you posted! I am excited, nervous, but mostly re-motivated to get myself finally to that goal weight…and then onto the next one

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A to Z Book Tag

Yaaay tag posts! This one was kind of fun on youtube, so I just decided to do it 🙂

A – Author I’ve Read the Most Of
Julia Quinn

B – Best Sequel Ever
The Golden Lily, Bloodlines Series

C – Currently Reading
Two by Two, Nicholas Sparks

D – Drink of Choice While Reading
Iced mocha coffee on a weekend morning in my reading room. 

E – Ereader or Physical Book?
Physical Book

F – Fictional Character would have Dated in High School
Harry Potter ❤

G – Glad You Gave this Book a Chance
The Hunger Games series 

H – Hidden Gem Book
A Little Something Different, Sandy Hall 

I – Important Reading Moment in Your Life
Collecting full sets of my authors and vowing to have their entire sets (Nicholas Sparks, John Green, & Julia Quinn) 

J – Just Finished
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

K – Kinds of Books you won’t Read
Horror

L – Longest Book You’ve Ever Read
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

M – Major Book Hangover
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

N – Number of Bookcases you Own
Three plus two small built-ins 

O – One Book you’ve Read Multiple Times
All We Know of Heaven, Jacquelyn Mitchard

P – Preferred Place to Read
My reading room! 

Q – Quote that inspires you or gives you all the feels
“Always.” 

R – Reading Regret
Fifty Shades of Grey series

S – Series that You’ve Started & Need to Finish
Bright Young Things, Anna Godbersen

T – Three of Your All-Time Favorite Books
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling
All We Know of Heaven, Jacquelyn Mitchard
Can You Keep a Secret?, Sophie Kinsella

U – Unapologetic Fan Girl For
Nicholas Sparks books

V – Very excited for this Release
Honestly, I don’t have a lot of books that I’m “waiting for” right now. I’m just trying to get through all the ones I already own! But if I had to say something, I would say the final installment to The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer. 

W – Worst Bookish Habit
Not reading enough nonfiction.

X – X Marks the Spot: Pick the 27th Book on Your Shelf
Princess of Glass, Jessica Day George

Y – Your Latest Book Purchase
The Magnolia Story, Chip & Joanna Gaines

Z – Zzzzzzz. Book that Made you Fall Asleep.
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck 

Batman & Jesus

This morning, I was up early…we’re talking way early, about 5:45 AM. Not my favorite thing in the world to do, but it was for a good reason. Church!  I got up, and I kid you not, before I even went to the bathroom, I went to my kitchen and poured some coffee into my biggest coffee cup, my Batman one!

As I was getting ready, I naturally checked twitter, and tweeted this one out:

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Yes, you read that right. I compared Batman to Jesus. Honestly, I tweeted it because I thought it was funny, I was tired, and it popped into my head as I was drinking out of my Batman cup. I’ve thought about it over and over today because of quite a few reasons.

Part of my journey with my faith is that constant worry about what others think about it. Do they think I’m a “good enough” Christian? Is it okay that I don’t ready my Bible very often and only have one? Is it okay that sometimes my only source of worship for the day, week, sometimes month is listening to K-Love in my car? These thoughts don’t come into my mind that much, because my church and friends I’ve met through there are the most welcoming and accepting people I’ve ever met, but sometimes they creep in. So you can see why these questions may have popped into my head since I compared our risen Saviour to a comic book character.

But THEN! I thought some more, and really….what I said wasn’t totally off base. Not when you think about it. Batman and Jesus do have similarities. Both were a source of hope when things were tough. Both had many followers and enemies alike. Both still have fierce, loyal, and faithful believers that gather together to celebrate their legacy.  As I mentioned in my tweet, both rose from the dead. So my tweet that was meant to be lighthearted and funny ended up being more true than I thought.

I know that one strikingly obvious difference between Batman & Jesus is that Batman is fictional and Jesus isn’t. But what I found out as I was going through the question of “Should I have tweeted that?” all day long is that it’s okay to draw similarities between nonfictional and fictional characters, especially if that’s what will grow someone’s relationship with God. For me, the most honest way to be a Christian is to be authentic and genuine in your faith through who you are. My favorite verse that’s on the sidebar of my blog emphasizes this:

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” –1 Timothy 4:12

My name is Torey Nicole Berndt. I’m 26 years old, have iced mocha coffee for breakfast every morning, and my favorite superhero is Batman. I’m also a Christian. And while my faith walk is a consistent journey that changes from day to day, I do know three things. I’m always going to need coffee at 5:45 AM, I’m always going to love Batman & Jesus, and I’m always going to keep it real.

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Finding God in the Ordinary

This past weekend, I went home with my mom to stay with my dad and see my grandparents. Two years later and that still feels weird to say.

Sidenote: My parents have been “geographically separated” for two years so I have two homes (three counting my own house) until dad retires in 89 days and they’re back in the same town. 

Anyway, I went to one of my homes. I haven’t been to church in about a month because I’m an imperfect person, so this weekend, I went to church with my grandparents. God works in mysterious ways, because He knew exactly what I would need to hear after my absence. Their minister’s message this weekend was about friends, and how they enable us to find God in the ordinary of life. It was incredible. It truly took something that all of us have (and often take for granted), and spoke of how, in little ways, something as simple as friendship can show you God in the little things.

Now, I got to thinking about this. My mind was racing through the whole service as I realized that the minister was speaking my truth, only I had to hear him speak it to realize that it was my truth. I have always been the kind of person that tries to find the silver lining, tries to believe in the good, and knows that happiness can be found pretty much anywhere, if you look hard enough. And what I realized this weekend, is that when I hear and feel and see my happy through my friends and family…I’m seeing God, and finding God, and celebrating Him. I just didn’t know it.

  • I heard God when I was in tears at my second showing of Beauty & the Beast simply by listening to the lyric: “Sometimes our happiness is captured…somehow a time and place stands still.”
  • I felt God when my dog rested her head on my arm when we both took a nap a couple weeks ago.
  • I saw God when I watched a video of my nephew rolling over for the first time tonight.

Life is ordinary. It’s full of ordinary moments. But through friends and with God….that becomes a life full of extraordinary ordinary moments. And those are my favorite kind  🙂

I Fell Off the Wagon…Then Got Tattoos

Honestly, I could leave this post with the title and it would accurately relay what the content would be about. But what’s the fun in that??

As you could ascertain from my most recent post, I. Did. So. Well. I hit my halfway point on my weight loss and WON my weight loss challenge!!!! That was on a Monday. Here’s how it’s gone since then:

  • Monday: Bachelor finale. Did okay. Ate a cupcake and one glass of wine.
  • Tuesday – Thursday:  Good job for Torey! I was just fine on my calories.
  • Friday – NOW: Ummmmm. I haven’t counted once. It was just supposed to be Friday since I was in KC with friends, but it’s turned into a whole long bad week of eating.

So now what? Well, I’m leaving on a jet plane tonight to go to Indianapolis. I’m not about to tell myself that I’m going to be healthy while on vacation. My friend Kari & I have already planned on eating all of the following: pizza / cheese breadsticks, popcorn, Oreos, cheddar sour cream potato chips, Mexican food, and let’s be real….wine. So I will let myself enjoy the weekend as a “last weekend,” of sorts. Because at the end of the day, my goal is 200….not halfway to 200. So I will start again on Monday! New challenge, new motivation, new rewards at the end of it (mostly my clothes fitting better).

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Nowwwwww to a slightly more exciting topic of conversation – my tattoos! If you don’t know me well, here’s a little tidbit about my personality: I am a goody two shoes who over analyzes every little decision of her life and doesn’t do anything unless it’s been very carefully planned out and the pros & cons have been weighed and measured with my family. This was a decision that yes, while I’ve been contemplating for five years, was made and done for ME without thinking about everyone else’s opinions. Here’s the results! 🙂

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They’re on the inside of each ankle. The Mickey Mouse head and lightning bolt are on the right and the sentiment on the left. I absolutely love them and I am thrilled with how they turned out. ❤

Off to Indy I go!!!

Maybe Leggings ARE Pants

The weight loss challenge is over!!!! It was an eight week challenge (9 total weigh ins). Here’s the progress:

-Pre-Challenge Doctors’ Office Weigh In: 242
-Week 1: 239.2
-Week 2: 233.8
-Week 3: 234
-Week 4: 230.4
-Week 5: 227.4
-Week 6: 229.8
-Week 7: 224.8
-Week 8: 224
-Week 9: 221
Total Pounds Lost: 21
Body Fat Percentage Lost: 8.8%

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I am so proud of myself, anddddd I WON THE CHALLENGE! I won $135.00, just in time for my trip to Indianapolis next weekend! To be honest, the results I saw and felt were motivation enough for me to continue my journey, but MAN! A tangible, hold-in-your-hand, spend it money sure does help motivate too! 🙂

Results pics and motivation pics. To be honest, I don’t have that great of images to post, because I was not good and didn’t take good before pictures. BUT these tell you a little bit and also help tell my story so far.

The image on the left is the before picture and the image on the right is the after picture. Yes, the before pic is 21 pounds heavier than the after pic. I can see a difference, but it’s my body, and it’s hard to tell that there is a difference. Once again…not great pictures. But like I mentioned in the very beginning, I loved the way I looked before I started this challenge. You can tell that in the before picture. I love the way I look now, and you can tell that in the after picture too. The big thing about the after picture is what I have courage to do now that I didn’t have before I lost the weight…wear leggings as pants.

I have been a firm believer that leggings are NOT pants! However,since losing the weight, I have found that I’m very comfortable wearing leggings, and you can make them look cute! It kills my mother (sorry mom!), but that’s a change I’ve noticed. I’ve been able to buy some shirts & pants I wouldn’t have fit into 21 pounds ago, so that is also reassuring!

Speed round of other motivating / happy things about losing the weight:

  • It’s getting easier and easier to count calories and eat less.
  • I love working out. If I don’t work out almost every day, I’m on edge.
  • I see and feel results every day.
  • I really don’t even like cheating that much anymore. I don’t worry about it when I do cheat, but I don’t find myself wanting or needing to anymore.

While the weight loss to this point IS very exciting, I’m not done. Monday’s weigh-in could be interesting because I’ve had a Bachelor finale watch party this week AND two showings of Beauty and the Beast this weekend, but like my weigh-ins show earlier, not all weeks are for losing. I won’t stop til 200, and maybe not even then! Halfway sure feels good though 🙂

The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of Weight Loss

Weigh In Updates: 
-Week 1: 239.2
-Week 2: 233.8
-Week 3: 234
-Week 4: 230.4
-Week 5: 227.4
-Week 6: 229.8
-Week 7: 224.8
Total Pounds Lost: 14.4
Body Fat Percentage Lost: 6%

I am incredibly proud of myself for starting and keeping up with this journey. It’s crazy to think that I’ve been doing it for six weeks, and haven’t really dropped much of my motivation. I’m still encouraged for the rest of my journey. However, sometimes, it’s hard because while 14.4 pounds is great…there’s still 224.8 to go. WHICH leads me to the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly parts of weight loss.

Good
-I drink more water & less soda! I can’t give up my blood supply… I mean Diet Dr Pepper…but I drink far less of it now.
-I LOVE my fitness classes and genuinely look forward to them. I do kickboxing twice a week, zumba three times a week, and try to walk / run at least one of the other two days. I’m hoping to train for another 5K (we’ll see), and if I can’t do a zumba class, I work out to one of these bad boys. The Fitness Marshall is HILARIOUS and it’s a great workout.

-My stomach is shrinking. I find myself full after eating far less than I used to. -I never crave fast food anymore. If anything, I crave Panera salads (seriously, their Romaine & Kale Caesar salad is to die for).
-Since I eat in far more than I eat out, I’m saving money!
-I am starting to visibly see results when I look in the mirror. I’m thinner now! -My pants & workout shorts are fitting much better.
-I sleep exceptionally well. I hardly ever have any times “awake,” and always less than ten times “restless” on my fitbit when I check my sleep tracking.
-I am hardly ever tired during the day anymore. I have much more energy!

Bad
-I still battle hunger. There are days (especially rest days) where I am starving all day.
-Cheat days somtimes turn into three cheat days. I do pretty good of limiting my cheating though.
-Sometimes, I have to say no to going out to eat with friends because I don’t have enough calories left, and sometimes that’s sad.
-I haven’t had wine in six weeks.
-The longer I go with this, the more I want to cheat. I’m not sure why this isn’t the opposite. I think it’s because I see results, so I feel like if I cheat, it’s okay? I have no idea.
-Calorie counting can get hard & frustrating sometimes. You have to count everything. Measuring out tablespoons of ketchup is obnoxious.
-It’s a big guessing game. Am I recording the right amount of minutes of exercise? Is that really how many calories are in a taco? How many over or under should I truly stay each day? Can I overeat by 300 one day if I undereat by 300 the next (answer? no).

Ugly
-I literally screamed at an olive oil bottle in my kitchen one night when I realized olive oil does in fact have calories.
-You can occasionally find me measuring M&Ms ounce by ounce (one M&M at a time) just so I don’t overeat on chocolate.
-Today, I legitimately had a slight meltdown at the complications I faced in simply trying to order my kale & romaine salad.
-Also today…I licked every last bit of peanut butter off of a paper plate.
-There are days where out goes the green beans and nuts, and in comes the cookie.
-900 calories left you say? Just enough for an order of Pizza Hut cheese breadsticks with marinara sauce!

There are far more good things than bad (don’t go counting, it’s even), and the good outweighs (HAHA!) the bad. All I can do is continue to work my butt off, and hope the pounds go with it! I have no intentions of stopping until my first goal weight…and then we’ll set another one.

Who can relate? What are your goods, bads, and uglies?