Tina from Tennessee Guest Post!

Hello!  I'm Tina from Tennessee.  Jenna asked me to guest blog for her while she gets ready to move into her lovely new home. Thank you, Jenna for the opportunity!  

Before I dive into the good stuff, I wanted to share a little bit of my background.  I was born and raised in Northeast Tennessee, near the Tennessee/Virginia border.  I currently reside in a neighboring town close to where I grew up. To give you an idea, we live between Knoxville and Bristol, home of Bristol Motor Speedway!  I have been married to Chad for thirteen years (my Dad introduced us!) and we have two children, Carson (age 9) and Caylee (age 7).  We love our Tennessee Vols, the Boston RedSox, and the Denver Broncos.  Carson is playing on a competitive baseball team and Caylee takes dance classes.  We are a busy family! 

I am currently a stay at home mom but I am rarely home.  Before we made the decision for me to stay home, I was a special education teacher for seven years then moved to Assistant Director of Special Education for our district for three years.  Chad is an engineer for a consulting firm.  His schedule requires lots of long hours and travel so it only makes sense that I am home with our kiddos.

I met Jenna via Kelly's Korner when Jenna's mother in law was sick.  I started reading Jenna's blog.  My heart broke for her when Ms. Janet passed.  I kept reading her blog and was amazed at how well her family stuck together during the most difficult of times.  I got the sense that they truly get what family means.  I love how "real" Jenna is and I love that she is sharing her weight loss journey, which leads me to my connection with her.

I am currently going through my own weight loss journey with Weight Watchers.  Jenna has inspired me through her sharing of her tips and tidbits for weight loss, activity, and even recipes.  I began attending Weight Watchers meetings on October 6, 2014.  I chose the face to face meetings because I need the accountability of the scales.  Besides I enjoy the interactions with our leaders and my fellow members.  I get so much more out of attending the meetings than I do logging onto a website and simply tracking my food.  I included the date because it was the day before my anniversary and birthday.  Who would start a weight loss program the week of two major celebrations?  This girl, apparently.  While I didn't have a tremendous amount of weight to lose, I did have two goals:
(1) Not gain weight during my half marathon training 
(2) To be happy in a dress for the Nutcracker

I started training for the St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon about the same time I started WW.  Every other time I trained for a half, I would gain weight.  I decided that I wasn't going to do that this time.  I knew I would feel better running if I weighed less.  My second goal was to be happy in a dress that I had to wear for the Nutcracker.  My daughter was chosen to dance in the party scene in the Nutcracker.  If your child was chosen for that particular part, you were asked to be in the party scene too.  Last year we did it and I was heavier and looked like a big cow on stage in the only dress that fit me.  I can proudly say that both of my goals were met in December!

This is me after the half marathon.  My waistline is definitely smaller!!!

This is the dress that I wore this year for Nutcracker {I hate my bangs pinned back, for what it is worth!}.  My former dance teacher and director told me that I was the most beautiful lady in the group and told me that I looked stunning on stage.  I almost cried.  I was so proud!  

If I had to give out the secrets to my Weight Watchers success, it can be summed up in four words: TRACK, PLAN, DRINK, MOVE.

Track: write down EVERYTHING that goes in your mouth.  The beauty of weight watchers is that you can eat what you want but you have to be accountable for it.  I remember at the beginning of my journey the kids wanted Dunkin Donuts for breakfast.  I wanted a blueberry cake donut so bad I could taste it.  I decided to get the donut and cut it into fourths.  I had one fourth of the donut per day for four days.  The entire donut was 9 points but if you divide it into fourths, it is only 2 points!  I got my donut and ate it too!

Plan: Write down what you are going to eat before you eat it.  MEAL PLAN.  I was good about meal planning for dinner before WW but I have stepped up my game in that I plan what I will have for breakfast and lunch.  I keep my meals written down in my planner, my lifeline!  If we have baseball practice or dance, I see it and can write what we will eat all in the same place.  

Drink: 8 glasses of water everyday.  I bought me a pitcher at the Dollar Store and I fill it up every morning.  I try not to drink anything else (except my morning coffee) until the pitcher is empty. Another tip, get a fun water bottle to make drinking the water more fun.  Here is mine.  It isn't fun but it is practical.  It fits in my cup holder.  I am looking for a monogram sticker to put on it though!

Move: Get off the couch and do something!  Be active!  This can be hard in the winter time but I found that chores around the house earn activity points!  Since  I am a runner, getting activity points isn't hard for me.  Simple things like parking away from the entrance to the grocery store can help.  Throwing baseballs in the yard with Carson also gets me some activity points!  I have a FitBit Flex and I love how it syncs with Weight Watchers to track activity.  I am always searching for new FitBit friends!  

Since I am in my maintenance phase of Weight Watchers, I had to set new goals. I want to (1) stay in the new clothes I purchased; and (2) stay active. Seems simple enough.

Thank you for reading my story.  Thank you, Jenna, for allowing me to use your blog to share my story.  I would love to connect with more folks!  You can follow me on Instagram (I am @tinatnvol), email me at, or find me over on


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