Monday, March 29, 2010


26 years ago I was born in Webster, Texas to Sarah and Harvey Criswell. I was the apple of their eyes!!

26 years later I am the happy mother of two beautiful boys, a wife to a wonderful husband, and a teacher of 60 6th graders who look up to me for guidance every day.

I think a BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY is in order!! I thought so hard about what my first giveaway was going to be. I really wanted it to be something special, but I didn't want it to be too big as I wanted to get bigger as I went.

To celebrate my big 2-6 I will be giving away....A ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO HEALTH MAGAZINE!!

I love reading this magazine because it has so many great tips for all type of dieters and excercizers. So...you get a one year subscription for FREE. Yep, I pay the tab. After the one year is up, you can either cancel or continue to receive it. You decide.

Here is how to get it. You have until SATURDAY to leave a comment about....What was your deciding moment to start changing your life and start your journey? Also, what has kept you going when the times are tough?

Just leave a comment and tell your friends! This is the gift that keeps giving every month!!

Thanks everyone for your kind words. I love reading your comments!! I can't wait to read your comments for this awesome giveaway!!

Confession: I had TWO margaritas for my birthday dinner.

Cheer: People are starting to notice my skinny self! I am feeling much better about myself after I give into temptations, because I realize that I will never be 100% and I shouldn't have to be. It's not a dreaded diet, it's a lifestyle. And what is life without a little fun!?


  1. OOOO, I love this and want this!!!! :)
    I decided to start the "change" to a healthy lifestyle right before my 25th birthday and I could not find anything to wear. I broke down because I was miserable and uncomfortable with how I looked and felt. It was time to rev things up. Blogging, my bf, and my ultimate goal of being comfortable in a bikini has really kept me going. Seeing results on the scale and in how I feel don't hurt either. I hope I win!!! :)


  2. Happy birthday btw!!!!

    I officially decided to change my life when my soon to be sister-in-law and best friend came into town. We were going out to eat with her family because her dad became a deacon. I was looking for clothes to wear, they had to be fairly nice. Everything that I put on was too small. I even went and bought a new pair of pants a size bigger so that i had something to wear, and they were too small as well. Even my Spanx that I used to wear under everything was too small. I broke down in tears, uncontrollable, unstoppable tears. At that moment, I decided that I didn't want to be the fat girl anymore. What has kept me going is blogging. Blogging about my struggles and about my excitement. The other thing that has been keeping me going is Jerod. He really does complete me. He loves me for who I am, fat, skinny, ugly, pretty...he doesn't care. He loves everything about me and continually tells me so. Without him, I don't think that I would be able to continue.

  3. Why I decided to embark on this journey is that simply one day I woke up and realized that my body is truly my temple. I was depressed, on anxiety meds and stuck in a dead end job. That my unhappiness was due to my limitations in my body, self worth and self esteem and I had to change that. No amount of money in the world can be better than realizing that physically you have done something that you could not before (or when your Wii fit tells you that you have reached a goal)! I want my children to care about their bodies, not be ashamed of them selves and most of all know that I want to be around for a long time!

  4. I say go ahead and have those Margaritas girl you deserve it!

    Happppppyyy Birthday to you!!!!

    I decided to change my life health wise when I was sent to the emergency room for pain in my ovaries. I had a cyst and they said to stop drinking soda. I started with than I saw a picture of myself with my Bf and saw a monster wale arm it was so sick!!!!!! WOW!!! So here I am starting over and changing my lifestyle. I have a great support system and they support me. You may know them its you and all the other bloggers out there. I also have a great support system at home. who root me on all the time.



  5. It looks like it is a women magazine...if that's the case - my wife would love it...and here's a confession of mine......

    I read my wife's magazines every once in a while too.

  6. I gave you an award on my blog! Please come check it out!

    you're a sixth grade teacher?!!! I'm in school right now to be and elementary teacher! WOOOOO. :)

    oooo health magazine? i've never read it.. but i have read.. Shape :)

    My starting moment was when I saw a photo of me in vegas with four of my good friends, who are all super skinny size 2.. and i just looked.. soo GROSS..especially next to all of them.. i seriously started crying :(
    & so far nothing has kept me going when times are tough.. UGHHH. tough times are currently kicking my butt.. but i'm so gonna kick back!

  8. My deciding moment happened after I moved to a new state with my boyfriend, so he could go to school for his PhD. After all the stress of applying to schools and taking the GRE and finally getting a school and planning a move across country and then moving across country and finally buying a house in the new state we were finally settled. We moved into the new house, unpacked and it was official, we were there to stay. I didn't really know anyone, so I figured what better time to focus on my health. I started counting calories and working out and the rest, as they say, is history.

    Honestly, the biggest thing that has kept me going is probably my blog and reading other people's blogs. Being able to talk about your feelings and celebrate your successes is a huge motivator to keep on keepin on. Plus if you have a day where you're just frustrated you can just read other people's blogs. Either you'll see other people struggling with the same issues and realize you're not alone and it's ok or you'll see other people being successful and be motivated to get back on track. It helps more than I can ever express.

  9. Happy birthday!

    It took me a long time to decide enough was enough. Students had called me fat, one told me I was going to break a chair, another said my belly was too big. I was no longer fitting comfortably into booths at restaurants. The straw that broke the camel's back, however, was the fact that I had to wear a stupid looking bib instead of a vest under my tux at my own wedding. Gross. It was hideous and I was very upset that I was so fat.

    I started running in the middle of April of 2009. Since then, I've lost almost 50 pounds.

    The one thing that's kept me going is my blog. All the support I get from my readers really pushes me to succeed. I feel like if I fail, I'm letting down a lot more people than just myself.

    Happy birthday again! I'm sure you're going to lose a bunch of weight this year!

  10. Hey girl
    well I decided to change my life when my mother who is in amazing shape had a heart attack and then found out she has a deep vein blood clot in her leg. Normally these happen in people who are overweight, yet my mom is in amazing shape, works out everyday, has no fat on her and eats healthily. I saw how upset and discouraged she was that this was happening to her even though she works so hard to take care of herself. She cried and looked at me and said "Lauren, you need to take better care of yourself you can do it, lose the weight your health is all you have" and it is so true. It breaks my heart to see my mom have to go through all of this, but it is also what keeps me going I want to do it for her and for me. I do not want to let her down and I want to be able to live long for my future children. Since heart problems and blood clots run in my family I need to be sure to take care of myself and not give my body any reason other than maybe heredity to turn on me!
    My boyfriend is very supportive and also keeps me going as well as watching the Biggest Loser, if these people can do it we all can :)
    happy birthday!! and awesome giveaway idea!

  11. I guess I haven't officially entered the giveaway until now.

    I took a picture with my students and when I got the picture back was not too happy about the belly that stuck way far out. I ripped it up (but kept it) and quit drinking Mountain Dew to start with. I love Mountain Dew. My students new that and during teacher appreciation week got me enough mountain dew to last a year - seriously. I gave it all away and haven't looked back.

    During the tough times (like my broken ankle right now) I try to change up my routine to get out of the funk. I want to come back harder and stronger than when I was before I broke my ankle. That's how I get through those tough times.

  12. Oh my gosh I would absolutely love to win this!!!! I have been wanting to get Health magazine, for some reason never did though. So I am loving your giveaway girly.

    My Ah HA moment was when i started college eight hours away from home I was in charge of my own life, and I was able to do things my way. As a result I started eating better even when I lived in the dorms. I started dating a hockey player and began doing his workouts. I was able to lose a bunch of weight and get into great shape. When I moved back home after college some of that went down the drain, and now I live with the FH and I am trying my best to be better with things. I even started running which is a huge step for me. What's keeping me going is fitting into my NO GIVE wedding dress in August. My fear is not fitting into it so I am really trying. So it would be great if I managed to win this! I hope you had a fabulous birthday!!

    xo Have a great night!

  13. my deciding moment had you involved with it! I needed that extra feeling that someone believed in me and it was you. You have never made fun of me for being huge, and you are helping(even though you probably dont know it). I decided that i wanted to be back to my happy self/weight before i turn 30. 30 is creeping up on me quickly and it was time to make the change. When i read you were going through the same thing, it made me feel that much better about doing it. Good luck with your lose, and there is actualy sugar free, carb free margarita mix that they selll at kroger and tequila is carb free (jose is) so it wont hurt to have a few, they are my favs!! Love you!


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