Monday, January 14, 2013

Let's just get this all out there....

I am writing this because this year I promised myself that I would make 2013 a more positive year where I will focus all my attention and energy onto positive friends, family, work projects, events, ideas, etc. Although a lot of people really dislike hearing that people had a horrible 2012...I really did. I am very blessed in several ways, but if we sum up my year it was a very tough and stressful one.  The second half of  my year was consumed with my disease and I FINALLY want to fill everyone in on what exactly is going on with me so that I can move forward and stop repeating myself to everyone that finds out about it little by little. I do not want this to be the main focus of my year since there is really nothing I can do about it at this point in time. So...BAM...we'll just tell everyone all at once so we can all focus on the fun stuff. 

So basically...before I got married in 2008 I put on 30lbs in one month which was very strange. I went from a size 2 wedding dress to a size 10 in one month. I was humiliated, felt ugly, and was horrified that I had to look like this on my big day. Not to mention the other symptoms that I was feeling. I went to my doctor they tested my thyroid and it's normal. My mom ends up seeing a special on tv about a women suffering from Cushings Disease and how she kept gaining weight etc and one night when I asked her to massage my neck she freaks out because I have big ball on my neck which happens to be one of the symptoms of this disease. It's called a buffalo hump. I feel like a camel. Haha! I bring this up to my doctor and they test my cortisol levels and they're a little high so he sends me over to an Endocrinologist. (this is a symptom of cushiness) She sees me and at this point I'm not too heavy, but I am 30 to 40 lbs over what I am used to weighing. She tells me to go on a diet. Keep in mind...I had already been particularly healthy with my performance schedule. Work out 5 days a week, 6 hours of dancing and singing on stage in heels 3 nights a week, and not a big person to eat snacks or sweets.  I was pissed. Was nobody listening to me???? I was working out when I gained the weight in the first place. Is it normal to gain 30lbs in 1 month??? I don't think so. 

So...I went on a diet and nothing happened. Then miraculously in 2010 I started to shed some weight. I was able to lose 25lbs in about a year. Although it felt like a huge relief to be fitting into my pants again (even if they were snug) all the low carb dieting and 10 mile stationary bike rides seemed like a bit much with such small results to show for all of my work. It stayed off for a bit. Then this past summer 2012 I felt some weight creeping back on. I started doing Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. I did it everyday like the program says you are supposed to. I GAINED 10lbs. :( I knew what was coming. I could see little red dots on my upper thighs which only meant that the stretch marks were returning. You see....with my lovely disease my skin doesn't heal correctly and is very thin. I get covered in these beautiful (sarcastic) purple stretch marks that prevents me from wearing swimsuits, dresses, or anything that would show any part of my legs because they're all the way down to my calves. If my cat scratches me even just a light  little graze will bleed, scab and then scar as opposed to everyone else who would heal in a week or so. Booring! I went to see my family doctor immediately as I was feeling the same as I was the last time. My face was looking different, (moon face), my hair was falling out again, I had horrible mood swings, only for him to tell me to go on a diet and do a workout his wife does. I wanted to punch him and cry.  I demanded to be re-referred back to my Endocrinologist. When I finally saw her we did some more tests and my ACTH levels came back high. The highest range is 65 and mine was in the 300's.  This is a huge factor that can point to a ACTH producing hormone. What is ACTH...a hormone our body releases. You can google it. ACTH tumors are either caused by a brain tumor or an adrenal tumor. This past year I have been poked more than ever, I have seen my doctor several times, spent a ton of money because I don't have health insurance, and I have felt so alone. 2012 really showed me who my friends are and I can tell you that maybe 2 of my friends have taken the time to ask how I've been and I was able to share this with them. A family member even called me an attention seeker and drama queen for bringing this up. I don't know how that could be when hardly anyone knows what's going on, but now you all will and not because I want attention, but because I want everyone to move on to the next subject. I have gained almost 60lbs since July 2012 and YES...I know everyone has noticed. I had not wanted to share this disease with anyone because I don't want anyone to feel like they can pick at my flaws or ask if something with my appearance is part of my disease, because if it is not it will probably be an awkward moment for both you and I. Besides...I don't want people focused on my changing appearance and feel like it's ok to say..."Oh Hayley...i can tell you've gained weight." I already feel uncomfortable enough as it is.   I had a brain MRI in November which was so scary because I am very claustrophobic. My pituitary gland came back oversized, but had no evidence of a tumor. I was so excited!!! So excited that my doctor cut it short and said that I could have a false negative because the gland is the size of a pea and therefore the tumor would be extremely small making it difficult for an MRI to pick up creating a false negative. You see...the fact that it is borderline oversized indicates a possible tumor. So...with my tests and MRI and gland being oversized she can only come to the conclusion that we need to let this thing grow and hope it makes it's debut on my MRI which will take place later this year. So yes...I have a possible brain tumor and it's out for everyone to know. As you can see..I have to wait a whole year to see if it has grown so there is really no point in dwelling on this disease and wasting time. 

My doctor doesn't want to send me in for a sinus sampling as this is a very dangerous procedure. As it is, when and if I get this thing removed it will require brain surgery which in itself is very dangerous. So...she's being considerate and saving me from 2 dangerous surgeries in hopes that Mr. Toomy Tumorsin will decide to grow.  Cushings is a very difficult disease to live with. My body hardly has any vitamin D which in turn makes it hard for my body to absorb calcium which can result in osteoporosis. My bones ache all the time. I get hot flashes like a menopausal lady. I have stretch marks everywhere. I feel like a new born baby growing out of clothes every month and my energy levels are zapped. So I truly apologize if I have been a scatter brain in the past 6 months between mixing Scentsy orders up, not filming for my youtube channel, looking tired at gigs, not wanting to go out, or even being rude at times. Shopping for new clothes a size up doesn't make any girl happy...haha add raging hormones from this disease and you've got a recipe for Bitchy! Haha! But, now that we all know what is going on I will open up a question and answer session in the comment section of my FB page below this blog post so we can all get it out of our systems because I really don't want to be talking about this all year. :) I hope you all understand and at this point feel free to ask whatever you want. I will try my best to answer it. You can also subscribe to my youtube channel (Hayley7363) as I have made a few videos about my symptoms etc to help other people who may suspect cushings disease. I have already received a few letters thanking me as there is hardly any content on youtube talking about this disease. PS...for all of you hypocondriacts...if you've gained some weight you DO not have this disease. Haha! It's very rare...only 10-15 people out of every million get this AND if you feel like I've described something familiar feel free to see your doctor. It's been a 4 year journey and it's still going. So..ask your questions or forever hold your least until my next visit. :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

I will never forget

What can I say? I haven't shared  much of my struggles, my life, or pretty much anything with anyone.  If I were to quiz the majority of my friends they would know just the basic facts about me. I actually had an acquaintance tell me the other day that he didn't know anything about me until he researched my Facebook and was happy to know that I am a Scentsy consultant, like to cook, etc. I laughed and I told him that no one really knows anything about me except for my family and of course my husband. Well, lately I have been going through some  health struggles and I have been keeping it to myself which has stressed me out more than anything. It's been a 4 year battle and it seems like there is no end in sight. I have started to vent about it on my youtube channel which took a lot of consideration on my part. The reason I decided to turn to my channel is because I have viewers from all over the world. If I can help 1 person diagnose themselves or bring awareness to this, then I feel that I will have turned a negative experience into something positive. I'm almost afraid to tell people in my life what is going on because I don't want the focus of certain aspects of this thing to be looked upon because I feel bad enough already. I don't need people pointing out the obvious or possibly pointing things out that perhaps I haven't noticed.  People are cruel and mean like that and I've had enough mean things said to me over the past 4 years that I don't think I could possibly take another hit. I want to look like myself again, feel like myself again, and most importantly...act like myself again. I don't like what I see right now. I am not me, but I know that I am in here somewhere.  From my face looking completely different and aged, to my hair and nails...everything is a mess. 
I am happy that people in my life including my viewers are supportive and that I am learning to embrace what I have to deal with for now.  I am just tired of feeling like I'm never going to get the help that I need. I know this is real, my blood work shows that it's real, and my body feels that it's real. I just need someone to be committed enough to help me through this all the way.  Changing your body is definitely a luxury and when you can't do it quickly realize that. When you have no control over what your body does and doesn't's like being trapped. I feel trapped in this body that I can not fix by myself. Take care of yourselves and don't ever take your health for granted. Take your vitamins and don't be lazy with exercise. This is the part that baffles me. I have always been the type of person to be active and for the most part healthy...and for the past 4 years you would never even know it. One day I will be back to my old self and one day I will thank those of you who have been kind and supportive. I will never forget those of you who have made comments about my appearance and this is includes family. I can't. Although some of you may not even know my situation, it's still unacceptable to pick apart anyones appearance and think it's ok. From asking me after my wedding when I wanted to take pictures  if I could still fit into my dress, talk about me at bbq's in front of other people including strangers to me, or point out my flaws to me as if I wasn't a human being, but some painting that was on a wall. I will never forget those of you who have comforted me in my times of need, asked how I have been every single week for the past 4 years, and have text me on days when I was headed to the doctor's. I will never forget. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Do What You Love!!!

The one question I get all the time is: "How do you do it?" or I get comments like..."I don't know how you do it all." These are people who are referring to my daily lifestyle and work ethics.  I thought I'd dedicate my next couple of blogs to work and business since this is a huge part of my life.  You know that old saying, "Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life." Totally true! If you love what you do it will never feel like work. Now, this doesn't mean find something you love and expect for it to happen and just because you love it you don't have to put any work into it. That would be taking things to literally and of course would do nothing for you in the long run. Time flies when you're having fun and when you love your job it never feels like you're actually working.  
With all of that in mind, I am a HUGE believer that you can make anything into a business. ANYTHING! Sit down, get a pen and paper, and rack your brain. What do you love to do? What makes you tick? What are you good at? Now think of a way to make this lucrative for you. Get creative! In my case, I've always loved to sing and entertain, I love writing, make-up, home fragrance, candles, jewelry, animals etc. How did I turn these into businesses??? I now have a DJ/Karaoke business, I am partnered with a network on Youtube where I can showcase my love of everything beauty and get paid for it, write a blog (like this one) and earn a little extra cash, and I am also an Independent Scentsy Consultant which is a Wickless Candle company! This isn't "it" for me because I can only grow from here. Research your loves and you'd be surprised at what you'll find available to you.  My biggest advice is to NOT look down on Independent Sales. Do you like to cook? Try being a Pampered Chef consultant. Love makeup? There's Mary Kay, Avon, Beauti Control etc. Most people will roll their eyes when they find out their friend has become a Mary Kay consultant or a consultant for any other company. While those people are busy rolling their eyes these Independent Sales Consultant's are  driving new cars, taking trips that their business paid for, receiving incentive gifts for a job well done etc.  Many of these men and women are millionaires or are making 3 figures doing what they love because they never quit!
Keep in mind that every business big, small, or independent all take time to grow. I'm not saying...find what you love and expect a ton of money right away. I'm saying find what you love and the effort comes naturally.  People will see that you are genuinely enthusiastic and passionate about what you're doing and over time it becomes contagious. People want to help and support your plans. It's amazing! Eventually it will become successful. The hard part is not giving up. When I first started Youtube it was a hobby. At this point I am now in the marketing business. I receive beauty products worth $2-$200 or more to try out for FREE and if I like them I'll speak about the business and products in my videos. I am also able to buy a nice goodie or an awesome dinner for my husband and I with the pay I receive every month. My YT biz is only growing and some of the women on YT are making a complete living off of their very own brand because they never gave up which inspires me to keep doing what I love. When I started my DJ karaoke business I was working under a friend who would send me out on gigs when he needed me. It was extra cash at that point. Now this is my bread and butter and primary job. I can work as many times a week as I want to or as little as I want to. The choice is mine. But, I had to build clientele, my reputation, and my business. It took 2 years for this to become a steady income, but my efforts have literally paid off. Last but not least my Scentsy business. I have been doing this for about 10 months and at this point I can feel the pace steadily picking up. As someone who has worked in retail I know that their are slow months and busy months. The key is to keep going. This is also the same concept as my DJ business. I had to build a loyal customer base and my reputation with this company. At this point with this business I am able to purchase a nice substantial item for my home, pay a few bills, or have a quick weekend get away with the pay and I have a team under me. Again...I will keep on pushing.  Understand that when something is making you money it is your responsibility to keep the ball rolling. Things will only keep getting better if you keep pushing forward. Patience is the ultimate key. In my future blogs I will talk about my time management, how to have successful businesses, building a business, etc. I am not a professional by any means, but I feel I do pretty well for myself. I am a confident woman with 3 businesses to run, a household to tend to and a husband to love and I feel like I've always been pretty good at the juggling act. If you all have any suggestions that you'd like my opinion on as far as business feel free to post a comment. :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

4 years....

As a lot of you know I just recently celebrated my 4 year wedding anniversary with my husband.  I always get excited when we reach another year because it's such an accomplishment. I was thinking about when we first got engaged and married and reflecting on how much we've grown.   Marriage isn't always a "good" time or fun and it's definitely not easy.  It takes work and dedication and a lot of teamwork. 
When my husband and I first got engaged we moved into together 6 months before our wedding. The last thing I wanted to do was move in right after getting married. This was all brand new to me. I had never lived outside of my parents house before, so besides paying for car insurance and my cell phone bill I hadn't payed any major bills before. I wanted to have everything prepared before the big day. When we were looking for a place to live we got lucky in finding our townhouse. The rent is awesome and it's bigger than your average apartment especially for the price. We literally combined our furniture that we had in both of our bedrooms at home to create our new home together. We had dollar general bathroom rugs and Dollar Tree shower curtains and rings. We couldn't afford anything. Haha! We were so grateful when my mother-in-law offered to give us her dining room table and some couches and when my parents bought us a microwave and gave us some dishes and silverware. So we had enough furniture to furnish our entire house...maybe not to our liking, but enough to have something in every room which was awesome. Dollar store bathrooms, hand me down living room furniture, and mismatched bedrooms! We were still happy regardless. :)
We had both of our tv's which were basically the old box 20 inch tvs and we had one on our dresser set up with a dvd player so we could watch movies. We didn't have internet or cable for about 6 months after getting married! We're super independent and wanted to stabilize everything on our own. We were sharing one car (my old taurus) and just our luck the air conditioner went out in it and during summer none the less. Not even 3 months after getting married we both lost our jobs because the place we worked at decided to shut it's doors and we were both blessed to find jobs 6 days after. I worked retail basically getting paid nothing, but something was better than nothing. I hated my job. I was so depressed and what was worse, my husband worked nights and I worked days. Sharing one car with opposite schedules completely wore us out. So let's take some inventory...We lose our jobs, gain new ones, have separate schedules, exhaustion, no cable or internet, car without air, and working at a job I hated. Fast forward to year 2 and our car totally shits out on us. We had to get a car and get it fast. We had $500 to put down on a car and we got a good deal on a nice vehicle...then my husband gets rear ended. 
Here's where the blessings begin. Our insurance covers the entire car as a loss and we get a nice amount of $$$ back and get an even newer car! During this time I was feeling depressed and sick (same thing I'm dealing with now) and have to take some time off from work. They phase me out of the schedule! Basically I was fired without even knowing it. One of my best friends asks me to work with him and help him expand his DJ/Karaoke business. I started off doing small gigs with him and getting paid until he tells us that if we really want to make money we all needed to find our own gigs and charge our own prices and basically run our own business off of his. My husband was promoted to an assistant manager where he worked. I began doing beauty Youtube videos off of a suggestion from my friend as a hobby. All of these good things became a domino effect. 
At this current time my husband has 2 jobs (by choice) that he does well with, we have 2 vehicles with, I have a successful business under my friends business where I am lucky to get to do what I love. My Youtube channel became a business where I get paid to make my videos and get sent all sorts of beauty products from companies that I get to review! I joined Scentsy almost a year ago and that business is steadily growing and my husband is definitely a huge helping hand with that when I need orders delivered. We landed on our feet and of course we are slowly updating all of our furniture and rooms little by little and getting things the way we want it to look. I'm not bragging in any way or saying we have it all, I'm just happy with what we're building and becoming.We've had hard times, bad times, and even sad moments...but when I reflect on everything we've accomplished TOGETHER in the past 4 years it makes me proud of the team we're becoming and happy that we're still walking hand in hand as we face all of these challenges.  My point of this blog is that marriage definitely has its ups and downs like everyone says it does. But, if you hold on and push one another to grow those downs will seem to diminish over time with all the ups and the things that you've always imagined can begin to happen. All it takes is a little teamwork and effort.  So..I am excited at reaching another milestone and amazed at how far we've come and can't wait to see what the future has in store for us. :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Positive thoughts

I feel like I have so much to be thankful for and I try to remind myself of this everyday. I had a slip up in life today. Somehow I got involved in a bit of drama by simply being a good friend to someone else. Someone had an issue with it and I think there was some misplaced feelings and I some how became a target in a mini war. It put me in a negative mood all day. I am a busy girl and a bit of a lone ranger even though I have my husband. I work alone at a table (I love my job), I am home alone frequently, I shop alone, I eat alone, I workout alone....etc. I am alone a lot. I don't mind it though because when my husband and I have our time together we make up for all the missed time that our work week creates. I find it almost impossible to have drama in my life since I simply have no time for it at all. So...with today's issue I couldn't believe that I allowed myself to feel negative. I am practicing positive thinking. I am doing it now more than ever and I think todays random event was just a test.  I feel as if it was a way of distracting me from my positive thoughts and I had to work really hard to switch my thoughts around today, but I did it. I think looking around at our homes and the things we own whether big or small should make us feel blessed. Concentrating on our food and appreciating a meal is a definite way to feel positive. Writing in a journal, reading, praying, organizing (for me...haha), thinking about our successes, a bath, or talking to a good friend are all ways to switch your thoughts around. So...Today I came home and organized a few things. I love to do it because I am able to take the time to look at my belongings and remember where I got them and I get filled with a grateful feeling. Anyways...The point of this blog today is to remind you that no matter what random situations come up that can put you in a negative place, you have the power to get back to a place of positivity. :)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My journey to becoming a performer/entertainer

Being a performer/entertainer has it's perks. It's fun, it's something I'm passionate about, I make money doing what I love, good pay, and I meet new people all the time. A lot of people will say my job is "easy." But, this is the judging the book by the cover syndrome. The downfalls of my job are stress, worries about catching a cold (because you can't sing or talk), having to be up late hours all the time, smoky atmospheres, drunk people, drunk RUDE people, added stress of making sure an entire building is enjoying their time (your the host!) and not knowing if I will still have my job the next week. As an entertainer who is self employed you never know what will happen the next week. Prime example...I sang at an establishment for 5 years which we will talk about in a bit and it closed down from one day to the next! Will a business change their mind? Will they want to go a different direction? This is stressful. You can never get too comfortable in one place. 
My journey as an entertainer had been a long one and I've definitely paid my dues. I have been slandered, hated on, fake friended, discriminated against, and stalked because of what I choose to do with my life. I had always been interested in singing and I was always interested in singing for people. My dad bought me my first karaoke machine when I was 9 years old and the first karaoke song I learned was Crazy by Patsy Cline. I would sing in my garage by myself or in my closet and would pray that someday I would be able to do it for people. As I got older and the choir years approached in middle school and high school I began to try out for solos. I would make every solo in jr. high! I was so excited to get to go up to the microphone and sing. When I reached high school I had a new choir director who's daughter was in our class. He was the prime example of someone who used favoritism. There was one time my friend Diana and I decided we wanted to join an exclusive  show choir at our school and we were instructed to pick any song of our liking and we would have to audition. We chose a duet with Celine Dion and Barbara Streisand. We practiced this ALL summer long and every chance we got. When school started our senior year we went in during our lunch hour to audition and literally knocked this song out of the park. All of our hard work and dedication had paid off! No one wanted to try out after us because we had done so well. In the back of the room stood the choir directors daughter with her arms crossed and her eyes filled with jealousy. We didn't make the show choir. We were crushed because we knew we were good. 
I started to develop a horrible case of stage fright because he constantly rejected me for every show, solo opportunity, etc. I began to believe that I really was bad. But then I remembered all the solos I got in jr. high and realized that this guy was just not going to let me in because of his daughter and the favoritism of her and all of her friends. I knew this because there were many awesome singers who had been rejected by this man along with myself. His loss! Funny how most of these kids were white too. Hmmm... Anywho, I decided to start going to karaoke with my friend Mark! He would host in a coffee shop next to the place I now do most of my gigs at! I would go out alone and sing Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears songs. Then my high school girlfriends starting joining me and it became so much fun. For 5 years (age 16-21) I would get a horrible burning feeling in my stomach when it was my turn to sing. Every time I would sing a note that feeling would go away and when I would have to pause during the song that burning feeling came back. My stage fright was the worst! But, I never let anyone know it. By age 19 I had already known Mark for about 3 years at this point. I became seasoned in karaoke contests. I would go out to bars alone and sing my little heart out and win! It wasn't always a win, but when I would even come close I knew I was on the right track.
Mark told me about a place called Graham Central Station. I had been there a few times and saw one of my girlfriends performing along with some entertainers and was mesmerized. He told me that they were holding auditions. I was soooo excited! This was in May of 03. He came back later and told me that most of the entertainers were downing the idea of me trying out. So...I gave up and said forget it. Then by August of 03 I changed my mind and decided to give it a try. I went in for an audition and sang with all of my heart. It was the only thing that I felt that I was good at and I needed to prove it to myself. I got hired that same day even though my Mom was totally against me working at a club...much less a place that had 7-8 clubs under one roof! I auditioned in secret and when I made it she was so proud that she didn't mind me working there anymore. I was a singer!!! I sang in a place that held almost 4.000 people and when I started it was packed to the brim. Everyday driving to work when I saw that sign I would get anxiety. I never ever let my audience know how nervous I was. I walked in like I owned the place. Through all of my years of performing and stage fright I never told anyone how nervous I was or how scared I was. No way! People smell your fear and telling everyone you're nervous only makes your nerves worse. I learned quickly that it was either fake it or fall apart. Just as I started to believe I was bad because of my choir teacher I started to believe I was awesome because of my "fake" confidence. That pretend confidence grew into real confidence and here I am years later running my own gigs thanks to Mark who I've now known for 13 years!  My point being....had I given up in August of 03 because of what people thought or given up because my choir teacher rejected me I would have never had the opportunity to model for local magazines, win several trophies at Borderfest, and be nominated for The Girls that Rock the Valley etc! I got numerous opportunities and paid jobs just by simply putting myself out there! I would had never had the opportunity to meet and get to work with all of the talented people I did at GCS. I never took one single day of performing for granted and rarely missed work because I knew this opportunity wouldn't last forever.
The girls were mean to me when I started Graham, I have lost contests to people who didn't deserve to win, had rumors spread about me, have had both my engagement and marriage picked apart, been on stage for hours because of corporate people in the building, had people come up to my face and let me know I've gained weight, been hated on because I've won a contest, gotten discriminated against at contests because I sing for a living, been made out to be a horrible person because I work in bars, and lost relationships. I NEVER gave up! So...when people say my job is "easy" they don't know the half of it. Haha! If being an entertainer is something you're interested in then you have to expect all of these things to come with the territory. You have to understand that you win some and lose some. You have to endure and get a thick skin. This is not the business for the weak! You have to know that things will not always go your way. But, most of all you have to understand that this is fun. If you lose the fun and you can't have fun doing it..then there's no point. So...when I say I've paid my dues...It means that I've endured, experienced, and have done this for 13 years! Just thought I'd throw my story out there for you all that need a little inspiration. :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Level 2 Review of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred

So today I finished level 2 of Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred! I will give you all a little overview of my experiences with it. I heard and read a lot of reviews stating that level 2 felt a lot easier than level 1. I have to disagree with that. I felt like the workout was definitely tougher and took some getting used to. From walking pushups, tougher cardio moves, etc I had to stop quite a bit more to catch my breath. Remember I told you that there are two girls in the back of Jillian that you can follow? Natalie is the girl who does the unmodified version of the workout and Anita is the one who does the modified version and is the one I'm following for this round. In this specific level you can tell that Natalie is having a super difficult time delivering the moves correctly and her form is a little sloppy which is a little scary for me being that I'm doing the unmodified version the next round. Haha! All I can think is...if this girl can't do it and she was hand selected for this video..what's a girl like me going to look like? lol! I'll give it my best shot when the time comes though. :)
In level 2 I felt like we concentrated on back, shoulders, and abs a lot more than we did in level one. Be prepared to have a sore upper back. I will say that some of the moves did get easier and some of them I still wasn't able to fully complete by day 10 of this level.  My abs were sore the entire 10 days of this level which I liked. I did not skip a single day in level 1, but did skip two days during level 2 meaning I stayed with this level for 12 days as opposed to 10. I skipped due to "lady cramps" and another day because I really was out of time and would've been late to work. Bummer. But, all and all I am proud that I made through another level and will be approaching level 3 tomorrow. 
I did take before pictures, but I'm still debating if I'll post them on here after the first round. Maybe after the second round when I'm feeling a little more confident. ;) As far as my measurements and weight go...I have gained a total of 5 lbs while doing this work out. My husband insists that it's muscle building, so we'll see. I will mention that he did say my booty is looking smaller and perkier which is fabulous! Haha! I lost another half an inch off my arms and that is pretty much all that budged this time around. I am not discouraged because as I mentioned before I was on "lady time" and I tend to retain a lot of water so I'm sure my measurements weren't precise.  
I am happy to see my arms slimming out and I did try on a few blouses and could see that my lovely back fat wasn't as visible. Haha! My stomach is slimming down a bit and my muffin top isn't as big as it was. I'm feeling stronger and healthier which is always a plus. I can't wait to finish level 3 to get my final 30 day challenge results. Then it's on to round 2 of the 30 day shred. If you all are interested in doing this challenge you can find this workout video on for about 5 bucks!