A Great Getaway, Thanks To A Little Planning

This is a sponsored review from BlogHer and Slim·Fast.

March eighth was my wedding anniversary – my eighth, to be exact. Because our anniversary is in March, we often do very little for Valentine’s Day and instead go all out for our anniversary. This year we visited Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark resort, for a pseudo-tropical vacation close to home. We’ve gone there a few times, and while it’s fun with kids, it’s also just as fun for two adults looking to get away and relax together.

And this year, I decided I wasn’t wearing a bathing suit with a skirt. Ever since I became a mom, my hips and thighs have been given as much coverage as possible under loose fabric during any bathing suit occasion. Let’s be honest, though: skirted suits are a pain. I mean, it’s OK if you’re just planning to sit in a lounge chair and read a book, but they’re completely uncomfortable if you have any plans of stepping foot in the water. The wet fabric clings and bunches when you get out of the water, generally destroying any chance at looking good as you continuously peel the cold, damp fabric from your legs. The minute you take a step, the we fabric latches on to your thighs again, and the peel and stick cycle continues for every step.

To prepare for our anniversary, I stepped up my plan to shape up, lose weight, and improve my health. In January, I left behind the sweets and baked goods of the holiday season and once again embraced healthy eating: tracking my calories each day, eating regular meals and small snacks between meals, and focusing on the nutritional value of what I eat. I journal everything I eat each day using an iPhone app, finding it makes me more honest with myself and less likely to overeat.

I’ve also starting exercising more regularly, including signing up for a series of group “bootcamp” classes in February. Group exercise generally makes me sweat without even working out, as I often compare myself to others around me and worry that I’m the weakest link in the class. But I also know that in a group setting I’m more likely to give 100% because of that same worry, so I’m stepping out of my comfort zone to make sure I get the most from my exercise.

I wanted to feel good about my body when I put on a bathing suit in the store, and even better when I wore it on our anniversary. I’ve lost ten pounds since January, and I’m starting to see muscle tone developing beneath the fat. I like what I’m seeing. When I bought my bathing suit, I declared my anniversary-prep a success, and I couldn’t wait for my husband to see me in that suit.

To be clear: I did this both for me and as a gift for him, but my husband certainly isn’t expecting me to be a certain size. Many years ago, when we first met, he saw me at my highest weight ever. More than when I was 9 months pregnant, even. He loved me at my highest weight, and he loves me now, when I’m nearing my lowest weight. Do I want him to be proud of the woman in the bathing suit next to him? Absolutely. But feeling proud of myself is just as important to me.

The results? Well, check out the photo to the left. Never before now would I even think of posting a photo of myself in a bathing suit on the internet, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come. I’m at the same weight I was when we married. I’m three pounds away from the lowest weight in my adult life. Making the commitment to change the way you eat and exercise is hard, but the payoff of looking better, feeling better, and knowing that I’m improving my health is worth the hard work. I’m worth the hard work.

We had a fantastic time on our anniversary, and all of the preparation and work was worth it. Setting goals for myself helped me get even more excited about our trip, and meeting those goals made me feel fantastic. Having confidence in that bathing suit was my greatest reward as we walked around the waterpark for our anniversary, and that confidence hid any flaws far better than a little skirt would.

Best anniversary yet!

What event are you preparing for?

Now it’s your turn – tell me what big event in your life you’re preparing for, and what you’re doing to prepare for it. It can be anything: wedding, birthday party, moving to a new city, a vacation, etc. Are you shopping for new clothing? Scouting for the best coffee in a new city?

Leave me a comment below sharing how you’re preparing for the next big event in your life (and what that event is!), and you can be entered to win a Slim-Fast gift pack worth $100! Sweepstakes dates are 3/28-4/20.

Visit the BlogHer Promotions & Prizes section for more chances to win as well! And don’t forget to visit the official Slim-Fast site for more information on their products.

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from two of the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

b) Tweet about this promotion and leave the URL to that tweet in a separate comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion and leave the URL to that post in a separate comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older

Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail.

You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

Full disclosure: I did receive compensation in exchange for writing this post and hosting this giveaway for BlogHer and Slim-Fast. 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My next big event is a trip up north to see my in-laws. I need to arrange workouts I can do while I’m away from home because I’ve been doing a ton of weight lifting and I can’t exactly take my weight set with me! I know they have a treadmill so that will get me by for a couple of days. Download some yoga sessions to my ipod and I only need go to the gym maybe one or two days while we’re there! – Jenna Z

  2. Oh, you look fabulous! I need to get back on the healthful-eating train (I’m already working out a lot) so that I can prepare for my brother’s wedding this summer. I’m a bridesmaid, and I think the rest of the people standing up there with me are teeny-tiny (one is an ultra-marathoner!) so I really gotta step up my game!

  3. Oooh, and I tweeted. http://twitter.com/KariDahlen/status/52503959251861505 (karianna-at-karianna-dot-us)

  4. I am trying to be healthy and try to lost this post baby weight before going to the beach on vacation and before we take family pictures
    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

  5. Well I do have our 11th anniversary coming up, nothing planned but would love to feel better about myself

  6. Your look great. I am planning our anniversary in May and this is a great motivation. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. I am turning fifty and having a small get together to celebrate.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I’m preparing for my next birthday. I hope to have lost some weight by then and be more fit. I’ve been watching what I eat and hope to start exercising again. LPoser1 [at] gmail [dot] com

  9. Hi, I’m preparing for my 40th birthday and I’m exercising like crazy to lose 10 pounds before then.
    maddiemb {at} comcast (dot) net

  10. I am a 41 year old working mother of three who gets up every weekday morning at 5 a.m. and runs seven miles. I also do strength traing with weights and watch what I eat. I’m more fit now than I was in my twenties and I still feel like I’m in my twenties not to mention everyone says I still look like I’m in my twenties.

  11. I’m planning to join marathon training this summer.

  12. I’m preparing for my 45th birthday by trying to lose weight and get healthier!

  13. My husband and I are on a weight loss journey! We have joined the gym and our goal is to workout every other day! The hardest part is eating better and/or substituting meals with something like Slimfast!


  14. I’m getting in shape for hiking/camping trips this summer.
    hlee99 (at) gmail (dot) com

  15. I’m preparing for niece’s birthday/family get together–lots of eating so slim down now.
    eugeniewu (at) gmail (dot) com

  16. Anonymous says:

    Would like to slim down for the birth of my first grandchild would like to be the best looking grandma in the waiting room.
    s barrett 92 at yahoo dot com

  17. I actually need to get on the ball. I need to start exercising and cutting down the amt of food I eat.

  18. Oh my, you look amazing! You SHOULD be proud. And the suit suits you 🙂

  19. No big events coming up, but I just lost my mother to the same cancer that took my dad, so I’m very focused on being as healthy as I can moving forward, while still havng fun!

  20. sweepmom says:

    We have a destination wedding coming up this year. I am trying the P90X system to tone myself up.

  21. Wow, good for you for sticking with it! I have the opposite problem; I’m fine with my thighs and tush, but I’m totally apple shaped. I don’t have an event to lose for, just overall health and happiness. And to wear my wedding ring again. 🙂

  22. Congrats to you, It’s always great to hear success stories. I don’t have an event so much as a get back on shape for me thing going on After a winter where I had one sickness after another, I am out of shape and have putt on weight, time to get healthy again for me

  23. A trip to the beach so I am watching what I eat and exercising more

  24. my little boy’s birthday party but I’ve put on so much weight since being diagnosed with cancer. Not doing anything yet.
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

  25. I don’t want to just prepare for an event I want to prepare for life

  26. I’m planning for a big vacation and I’d love to be just a little slimmer for it.

  27. I’ve been struggling with this all my life and just can’t find the right way for me to win this battle. I’m going to the Caribbean this summer and am desperate to drop some of this extra weight before we go.

  28. Anonymous says:

    my next event is my husbands family reunion and i wanna look my best right now i’m just watching what i eat

  29. I’m actually trying to lose weight so I will look good for my son’s wedding

    teechbiz at gmail dot com

  30. I have been working very hard on both my diet and my excercise since early Jan. So far I have lost almost 50 pounds and hope to lose another 50 by the end of the year!
    You look fantastic and most certainly should feel good about all of your hard work!

    maomjo at hotmail dot com

  31. The only major event I’m preparing for is old age!!

  32. I’m preparing for the rest of my life. I have two teenage children that I homeschool. Two years ago, I started homeschooling because we had to move to a really bad part of town. Because of where we live we don’t get out much. Our past time activities became watching movies and playing video games. My mom became concerned about our health, physically and socially. Knowing we love to swim she encouraged us to get a membership to a swimming pool. I am currently about 50 pounds overweight, and the pool opens at the end of may. I know that it is unrealistic to expect to lose that much weight in that short amount of time. I really can’t afford to get a new swimsuit, so I have to do my best and hope that’s good enough.

  33. anichellek says:

    I’ve got a family reunion at the beach in July… I’d really love to get down to a comfortable swimsuit weight by then. I’d say about 20 lbs or so. If I start now I know I can do it! I just purchased a new exercise routine on dvd’s and 2 weeks in am still loving it.


  34. I am preparing for my 18th wedding anniversary and I want to be in the best shape in my life! I am queenesperfect at yahoo.com

  35. My friends wedding is in June and I would like to squeeze into a smaller dress size for it so I have been running on a treadmill every morning.

    mmburdette22 AT yahoo DOT com

  36. I am preparing for a family reunion in August that happens once every five years. So I’d love to drop 25 pounds. I am using slim fast brs and cutting back on the carbs and sweets and it’s working.
    You look great! Congrats (in advance) on losing those last 3 pounds!

    mail.nw415 at gmail dot com

  37. I’m preparing for a family vacation next month.
    lazybones344 at gmail dot com

  38. We are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary this summer. We are going on a cruise and I’m trying to lose a few pounds for this!

  39. tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/KerryBishop/status/59395249923039232

  40. I don’t have an event coming up, except for summer! I’ve been out of shape for the last couple of years and I’m determined to feel better about myself this summer!

    coriwestphal at msn dot com

  41. I’ve started exercising more to prepare for summer and our vacation.

  42. i’m helping my friend with her wedding, of course she does all the hard work. i’m trying to exercise more to look good in the braidsmaids dress.
    songyueyu at gmail

  43. im going to the beach next month and i need to get in shape before then
    addictedtorodeo at gmail dot com

  44. I’m not trying to slim down for a specific event, but rather I’m trying to improve my overall health and wellness. Although, since swimsuit season is rapidly approaching, it would be nice to be rockin’ a slimmer body at the beach 🙂

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway! 🙂

  45. I’m preparing for my bf to come visit in June from being overseas in the army. I want to look as good as 6 months ago when I last saw him, but the winter was a little rough on me. lol


  46. I am preparing for a big party to celebrate both my parent’s birthdays and their anniversary. I would love to look great for the occasion.

  47. Good for you!!! I just recently prepared for my first vacation in over 10 years. I was careful about eating (but I really need to try the food journal), walked a lot more, did more wii and pilates… because my goal was a primarily walking vacation in Washington DC. I did ok, considering 12 hours on my feet on hard pavement, even lost a bit with all the walking while I was there. Now, I’m continuing, just for me and to look better!

    sksweeps (at) earthlink (dot) net

  48. want to take a trip this summer down the coast of oregon to watch the whales…need to get in shape to be on the beach…don’t want to have to wear a moo moo

  49. I prepare by trying not to eat so late at night. I want to look hot for our trip to San Diego this summer.


  50. I am definitely trying to eat healthier and be more active. Not only to be a better mom, but to teach my kids by example! Then I want to go on a celebration vacation to celebrate our healthier family!

    sweepyhead at gmail dot com

  51. Not really any big planned event coming up for us anytime soon.

  52. You look great! One of my friends is getting married in June and I would love to shed a few pounds before the event. I’m mostly avoiding white sugar and bread, but also limiting salt since I heard it can increase water retention.

  53. The Thanksgiving family reunion. Heading to sixty, but I would like to hear at least one, gee your looking good these days.
    spiersrp at gmail dot com

  54. I am getting ready for my daughters birthday. I am shopping for some new clothing to wear to the party

    itsjustme62613 at gmail.com

  55. i am getting read for our sixth wedding anniversary. we are going to get away for the weekend and i need to be bathing suit ready. I am walking more and eating more fruits and vegetables. i am also cutting back on sweets to get ready for the occasion.
    susansmoaks at gmail dot com

  56. My husband and I take missionary trips every once in a while… there’s one coming up in a couple weeks–leaving for South Africa. Being healthy is a high priority while traveling.

  57. No events coming up in my life. But that’s ok, sometimes it’s nice for everything to be peaceful!
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    email in blogger profile.

  58. I just turned 40. I have again started working out and eating better. I feel much better these days. My husband does slimfast and swears by it! He would absolutely love it if I won this for him!

    shelleymikey at gmail dot com

  59. I’m preparing for our summer vacation. I so want to feel comfortable in a bathing suit this year. trinitygsd at yahoo dot com

  60. Since the new year I have added an extra fruit and veggie to each of my meals.
    I needed to start eating healthier and as I get older I am finding it harder to keep moving.
    I am trying to lose 30lbs for my 20th class reunion by walking and eating healthier.
    katklaw777 at yahoo dot com
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  61. I’m job hunting and would love to fit into a smaller size as I’ll look better and feel better!

  62. Absolutely no events in this boring life.

  63. I am preparing for vacation next month as well as my husband’s class reunion in September. I am exercising more and trying to eat better to lose weight before both events.


  64. Well, I’ve been working on getting fit and losing weight because I feel I need to. The big event? My new job!! I’ve lost a little over 9 pounds and I’m working on more.

    You look GREAT by the way. I’m proud of you!

  65. I’m going on a trip to Hawaii in a few months & I’ve been working out and eating better to loose weight and tone up so I can look good in my bathing suit.