Thanksgiving giveaway! CAN’T FAKE STRONG

Happy Thanksgiving!!  Giveaway time!!
Use the form below to enter – and don’t forget the bonus entries!
Whether or not you win the giveaway, you won’t go home empty handed…
you can still get one at Black Friday prices over thru the weekend ;) — already marked, no need for a coupon!

**if you purchase now, and later find out your the winner, I’ll refund ya!**

Enter giveaway below, if you don’t see the
entry box on your device, click here to enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Thanksgiving time again!

I have a few posts to share about how I’ve managed Thanksgiving while working on my fit goals :)   I am sharing them for you as well as reminders for me!!

This was my first Tgiving DW (during weightloss) – I had signed up for a holiday transformation challenge that purposely covered Tgiving thru New Year’s. So my goal was to be ON point even on the holidays. It wasn’t that bad ;)
Even if you are not planning to be strict on that day it has some tips for not eating EVERYTHING in sight haha

And this is a post from my 2nd year AW (after weightloss) – this year I was a little more lax but still wanting to practice moderation. I list strategies for doing that :) The last paragraph explains why it’s important to ME to do that. A lot of people in the fitness community say “oh don’t worry about it, just practice moderation and you’ll be fine” but moderation is a different concept, and very different in practice, for a previously overweight person than it is for someone that’s been fit for years – I’m sorry but it just is… my version of moderation landed me 60# overweight… I didn’t eat boxes of Little Debbie’s at a time, I *thought* I WAS moderating… it’s not natural to everyone… some of us have to learn it (again and again haha) and practice it consciously.  Last year I went a bit overboard, not in one big binge mind you, but I moderated each day a little too much and gained about 3 pounds over the holiday – not bad but that kind of thing adds up!  And it kind of proves my theory that it is not something as natural to me a I’d like it to be…

Thought you’d enjoy a visual of my grocery sale muscle food at this time of year :)
What’s one more great thing about Thanksgiving? Turkey and sweet potatoes on sale! This whole feast for under $12!!! hahahaha already in my freezer… 15 lbs of sweet potatoes, 23 lb worth of turkeys :)   I’m going tomorrow for this year’s haul!

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It’s DVAM – if you don’t know what that is, you should!

October is Breast cancer awareness month (which we are doing a little fundraiser for hint hint) BUT did you know it is also Domestic Violence Awareness month?

This is a blog about fitness and health but this post is not.  This IS about the health of our families and our hearts… and our society.
I originally wrote this post when domestic violence struck an unimaginable tragedy on an entire family in our little neighborhood but it’s emotionally exhausting and I never ended up finishing it.  So instead of referring to that specific incident, I’ll generalize.

When you hear of about horrific stories of domestic violence,  money is gifted to funds set up to help survivors, someone might host a benefit or a memorial – and these are wonderful displays of love and support that are much needed and I hope you would participate in BUT I hope you’ll keep reading for what I think are even more important ways to help … all of us…  while honoring them.

I am a big advocate of domestic violence awareness and am well aware of its tragic, long-term effects.  Our family has suffered it’s own loss to this evil.  This was before facebook and gofundme accounts, which would have been a great help during that time, but even better than that would have been support before it got to the point, support in intervening before the tragedy instead of the helping hands after it had already happened.

In my opinion, one of the very best ways to show your support and love is to educate yourself about domestic violence and to advocate for the organizations and laws that protect families.  Domestic violence is not what you think it is, and it happens where you don’t expect it.   Even after having gone through the tragedy of this kind of loss, I will admit that I didn’t realize how rampant this problem was until I started reading about it more.   As the mother of 2 girls who are now teenagers this scares the crap out of me and it should scare you too:

“1 in 3 adolescents has been abused either physically, sexually or emotionally by a dating partner”  this is just ONE statistic paraphrased from here – you need to click and read that page if nothing else than for a reality check

Domestic violence doesn’t just happen in “someone else’s” living room – it affects people from all walks of life, all ages, all intelligence levels, those all alone and those with tons of family, those from good upbringings and those not, those of poverty and of privilege and it’s dangerous to ignore, because it doesn’t even have to be YOUR partner to find yourself caught in the middle (people in the workplace get caught in the middle, the little family from the first paragraph was only distantly related to the abuser and his victim, and I can’t even describe the after-effects of our own family losing a loved one)  … if you do nothing else DO THIS!!  educate and be aware!
**and especially for your children as they grow, correct their misunderstandings of what domestic violence is so you can protect them! more on that here **

And if you can lend a helping hand – imagine being in a circumstance where a bag of  deodorant and toothpaste are a welcome gift, because you’ve left literally everything behind to get to safety … call and find out what your local shelter needs, open your heart to those suffering in silence, do one little thing to make your world a better place – that seems the best way to honor the lives of others.



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Today in Fitographer history :)

I thought it would be fun to feature blog posts from around this time in previous years… today in blog history sort of thing :)
I think it’s useful for you guys, because unless you’ve read every single post or you’ve been a subscriber since the beginning, you’ve likely missed some of the earlier ones.  And each year my fit journey changes, so it might be useful in YOUR part of the journey to hear perspectives from different years – things I found important to focus on at different times.

For instance, I pretty much have my food down (it’s not EASY by any means, but it is definitely more routine, so I don’t write about those struggles as much, if you follow me on Facebook you’ll see I write a lot about my workouts).

Well without further explanation here are some posts I found near September:    (well isn’t that fortunate!)  (hard to believe it’s been 3 yrs for this!)

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More fit fun! help me pick :)

Fun!! Guess who got some jewelry samples in!



Which is your favorite shape, and which is your favorite tag?
Love for you to take a quick survey to help me know which to keep/toss – takes about 30 seconds unless you spend time drooling over the bling ;)   :

*bonus – there is a space for you to receive a notice, IF you wish, when they are available (and prob on sale) so you don’t miss it*


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“She Believed” Necklace Giveaway!

Giveaway time!!  Use the form below to enter – and don’t forget the bonus entries!
Whether or not you win the giveaway, you won’t go home empty handed…
you can still get one at 20% off ;) — already marked, no need for a coupon!
(thru Aug 15)

**if you purchase now, and later find out your the winner, I’ll refund ya!**

Enter giveaway below, if you don’t see the
entry box on your device, click here to enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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“She believed she could …”


“She believed she could so she did”
I love that quote (obviously – you’ve seen the necklace I wear and sell – pssst  it’s on sale :)   )

BUT I have to admit, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes we don’t believe, unfortunately that usually also means “so she didn’t” :(

I certainly did not start out believing I could, or that even if I did that it would “work”. Heck I wasn’t sure I could stick to my diet for 2 whole months much less commit more than 45 minutes per week for exercise.** But what I’ve learned over my fit struggles and triumphs is that sometimes we just have to jump, work on small successes and SHOW ourselves that we can and should believe.

Sometimes the 1st few (or many) steps don’t come from a place of confidence and belief and positive thinking but rather from a state of “I’m not sure, it seems impossible, but I am gonna give it a shot, like a real shot, not half assed, not sorta kinda, but a jump in with both feet shot at it… and I am scared, but it won’t kill me, I know that, and I’m just gonna try”.   And then come a few wins, or at least a few get back up after you falls, and you do start to develop that “she believed she could so she did” mindset. It doesn’t make the challenge much easier, it just comes from a more peaceful starting place :)

**For the record, I’ve been eating my “healthy food” for 4.5 years now and probably average 4-5 hours of exercise each week ;)

But if you’ve been scrolling thru the same motivational pics and articles that I have, and feeling sort of hopeless because “if my success depends on believing I can do it, I’m screwed!” Don’t worry, you don’t have to be confident and self assured to make your move! The secret to success might be belief in yourself BUT you don’t have to have it right this moment to get started – just get something done, try your hardest, do your damnedest and look for the small successes!

Do what you would do IF you DID believe, pretending isn’t always bad ;) – the belief will come :) and that is an amazing transformation!

and if you need a little reminder – get yourself one of these ;)

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Help me pick a color :)

Still making this beautiful necklace (which will be on sale for Camp Gorgo starting this weekend!)

BUT I want to add another necklace and you can help me choose the color :)
Simple survey below, click your fav color and hit “Done” – easy peasy!
If you wish you can also request quotes for future necklaces :)

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My website struggles and your fitness…


My photography website has run for years on image software that works only for computer users – meaning mobile users couldn’t see my sample portrait galleries, just the studio information like pricing and that fun stuff – not ideal for a photographer’s website :)   (you knew I am a baby photographer right?)

BUT over the years I have invested a lot of work into building that website, and updating or changing software is a big risk in wrecking everything and bringing it totally crashing down – especially since it has YEARS of customizations built in (I used to be a computer programmer, you knew that too right?,  so I am not afraid to dabble but I also know the consequences of making risky changes).

Frankly the idea of working 16/7  to resuscitate it after a failed attempt is not very appealing to me, so it has been on the back burner – the one you reserve for the scary projects, the projects likely to back fire, the ones that might not work out…

Well yesterday I delved back in and started researching methods to convert these image galleries safely.  Someone must have come up with a magic pill by now right?  (can you see where I am going with this? how it is starting to relate to YOUR fitness journey).   No  luck with the magic pill thing, everything pointed to me having to just rebuild them all.

At once I had the solution ….. I deleted them ALL! I left myself no choice, no other option, but to update, start fresh, rebuild all the galleries, and work with a sliver of faith that *I* would be able to figure out how to salvage whatever happened  :)

And now… on mobile devices everywhere … the world can see the images on my website.  They are no longer lost in desktop computer land (aka last decade)  :)  

And I did that sh*t myself!! :)

That I managed to get it to work wasn’t the amazing or brave part – it was hitting that delete button in the beginning.  Actually I probably didn’t need to delete until I was sure the new one was working, but I knew that is what would get me in the game, off my tush, pot-committed … and done!

have you ever pushed that “delete” button (figuratively)?  is there something you need to push it for?

*surely you don’t need me to explain the metaphor/parable right???  ;) *

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Transformation Tuesday!

Happy ‪#‎transformationtuesday‬!


Today I wanted to share the story behind the transformation  – what I did, what I learned, what helped me to make this transformation :)

So you get 3 versions:
1. spelled out version – I wrote this at the end of the first year, exactly what I did, I’ve learned some and changed some since then and you can read that stuff in later posts ;)
2. quick tips to just get started – simple lessons to start using right now to get you started
3. The absolute, bare minimum – if I had to distill what I learned for transformation down to 1 concept

and then I encourage you to scan this quick list of posts – if you haven’t been reading the blog from the beginning days (gasp) you might have missed some super awesome, wise advice (or at least wiseass advice!)

**if you see a post that really resonates with you let me know (just hit reply) so that I can highlight it for someone else!!**

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