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Examining My Attraction to Emotionally Unavailable Men

By marybabysteps · July 26, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

The alternate title to this post was going to be "How I Lost Four Men in One Week," a situation I lamented about on Facebook the other day. It's true. Four sexual/potential sexual connections gone in the span of one week. Yes, I was seeing four men. This shouldn't be a surprise to those who know me. I've never hidden the fact that I don't date exclusively. That means I see more than one man at a time. So now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's take a look at how I've managed to go from four romantic partners down to zero, shall we?

Looking for Connection, Not Casual Sex

I've blogged a number of times about how I began dating immediately after separating because I was desperate for connection. I also wanted to get out and do new things, meet people who stimulated my mind and my senses. I honestly wasn't looking for sex, and I damn sure wasn't on the hunt for another relationship. I knew I needed to grow as a person, deal with my own shit and figure out what I wanted in life. However, I didn't see any reason why I couldn't do all of that while meeting new companions. In fact, it seemed to me that going out with a number of guys would allow me to get a clearer picture of what I did and didn't want in a man. I was right about that. I have learned a ton about what's important to me in a man through my dating experiences over the past two and a half years. After this week, I am determined that what I absolutely do not want and will no longer tolerate is an emotionally unavailable man, one who doesn't share as much of himself with me as I share with him. I wouldn't want that in a friendship, let alone an intimate relationship.

<strong>The Pattern 

</strong>Though it seems to happen again and again, it presents itself in various ways so as not to be immediately detected. Or at least that's how it seems to always go down. Truthfully, I likely know it immediately, but have found ways to justify and accept the repeated unavailability I encounter. It kinda kills me to admit this, as I know I put forth an image of someone who takes no shit and shouldn't be so easily misguided. However, I am human, and reltionships are tricky bastards. It's very difficult to see a problem while you're experiencing it. Hindsight and all. Fucking hindsight. If I look back through the men I've dated, it's almost like I purposefully chose emotionally unavailable men. I may have done just that in my early dating days. I was simply exploring and looking to meet interesting people. There was the married guy, the swinger, the scientist I didn't know was married but who was so freaky intelligent that he had more than a few social quirks. These guys were practically waving red flags of inability to connect. 

Once I caught onto my pattern and it became tiresome, I made honest efforts to avoid dating such guys. In fact, my dating slowed down considerably. And that was okay. I needed some time to think and to refocus. I knew that when I dated again, there were definite things I wanted to avoid. Big ones included men who always wanted to make last-minute plans, rarely willing to commit ahead of time, always letting me know at the last possible moment that they wanted to get together or showing up late. While I had no desire to connect with a clingy guy who needed my constant attention, catching up to talk or text a few times during the week would've been appreciated. Someone who would continue to make the effort to know me and to demonstrate a willingness to go out of his way for me even after getting me in bed would've been nice, too. I was bound and determined to find better.

<strong>What I've Discovered

</strong>As recent events have shown, I obviously haven't gotten past my pattern of attracting emotionally unavailable men. I really did lose four romantic connections in the span of this past week. I'll start with the scenario that actually isn't all that bad. It was with the man I've known the longest. I've always know that he is not fully available to me, and we do have that genuine emotionally connection I crave. He simply decided that he would like to focus on our friendship, and that makes sense to me. Sexual involvement does kind of complicate friendship. So that one is my best-case scenario. He's still in my life and has proven the ability to communicate and the desire to put forth effort on my behalf.

Two men simply dropped off the face of the earth with their texts. I was ghosted, and that really pisses me off. To simply not respond to a direct question in a text, as one man did, is rude and demonstrates the lack of respect he had for me. It was also a clear indicator of the kind of treatment I could expect in the future. That's why I confronted him. I had been absolutely clear with this man that I expected more than a physical relationship and that communication was important to me. He assured me he understood. Apparently, he was mistaken. Upon confronting him, he did apologize. He also gave me some bullshit about being busy. In the past, I would've allowed it. I would have agreed that sometimes I get busy. That's life. It happens. However, I've learned. I've learned that those who truly want to find time for you will do so. It takes less than a minute to respond to a text and let someone know you'll be pretty occupied for the next week or so and to set up a time to touch base later. He didn't take that less than a minute, and his lack of action spoke volumes. After the confrontation, I had agonizing moments of doubt, thinking maybe I overreacted, as this redhead is prone to do. I didn't overreact. I stood up for myself, and I didn't compromise. I'm sad for the loss of the potential I envisioned, but I'm so very proud of myself for taking that stand. After that confrontation, I was too worn out to bother with the other guy who disappeared. Pick your battles, right? 

Finally, there's the fourth man to leave my life. I think my Facebook friends may just be more disappointed about this one than I was. Yep, it's my steady local date. The one who brought the assortment of chocolate when I had PMS. The one who gave me the grocery store gift card for no reason. The one who often showed up bearing wine. The one I had the most incredible sexual connection with. That one, who also happens to be the one who never shared anything personal or vulnerable with me about himself, but would regularly say to me, "What do you want to know? I'll answer anything." Except he seemed to answer in rather roundabout ways or would choose to answer a question with a question. He was expert at it. He also never took me to his home. These things make you think he's hiding something, I know. I did an exhaustive search and don't feel that he was hiding anything beyond his true self. That's why I continued to accept it. I rationalized his behavior away because he did do nice things for me, and we did go out and have fun together. It wasn't just about the sex. It was casual. Isn't casual what I wanted, too? Besides you can't make someone open up to you. No, you can't make anyone do anything, but you sure as hell can decide what you will accept. And I finally decided that it wasn't fair for me to be an open book and to go beyond my comfort zone in ways he asked me to when he was so unwilling to do the same. I told him as much, and we were to get together to talk. That very day, he let me know he  decided to take some time to focus on other areas of his life and wouldn't be seeing me. I told him goodbye.

So do I have regrets? Of course, I do. In some ways, I really do feel used and taken advantage of. On the other hand, every experience offers more insight and allows me to be clearer about my needs. I've given it a great deal of thought over the past few days, and I've done some real soul searching. It's quite possible that I was sending mixed signals in the fact that I didn't want an exclusive relationship, but I expected emotional connection. Some men may not be able to separate the two and likely fear that emotional intimacy equals commitment. In many ways, it does. Being committed to someone doesn't necessitate exclusivity, though. I think that may be difficult for some people to grasp. Regardless, I believe I made myself clear in every instance regarding what I needed. When you don't get what you need, it's probably best to move on. Was there definitely malicious intent on the part of these men? There probably wasn't, actually. That doesn't mean their behavior was acceptable or that I needed to tolerate it. Did I learn why I so frequently attract emotionaly unavailable men? Nope. I'll probably never really know. What I have learned and what I do know is that I need to put myself first and that doing so isn't selfish.

My Le-Vel Thrive Experience - Weeks 7 and 8

By marybabysteps · May 23, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

I've posted here and on Facebook quite a bit about Thrive and the difference it's made for me. I am so passionate about these products because it is no exaggeration when I say my life has been changed since using them. Let me take some time to share with you the ways in which I have been changed as a person since beginning my 8-week Thrive Experience. 

<strong>I'm Sleeping Better

</strong>The main reason I had originally agreed to try a sample pack of Thrive was because I absolutely NEEDED more energy. Stress, terrible sleep patterns and poor eating habits had turned me into a zombie. I couldn't function and I knew something had to change. I was sick of sleeping my days away and feeling constantly overwhelmed. No matter how I tried to will myself to make change, it simply wasn't happening. I was't living, just barely surviving. 

The very first day I took my Thrive, I noticed a difference. We call that a Day One Thriver. Not everyone feels it on Day One, and that's okay. Everyone's body is different. We all have nutritional gaps that need to be filled, and the ingredeints in Thrive help to do that. I had A LOT of nutritional gaps! Some people feel tons of energy right away. My experience wasn't like that. I didn't clean my whole house or play outside with my kid that first day. But I did stay awake for most of the day, and I was able to get quite a bit of writing done. That was a huge change for me. I went to bed that night and slept through until morning. In my very own bed, not the couch. That's when I knew there might just be something to this Thrive thing.

I'm More Energetic

Since then, I have experienced sustained energy. I'm able to get through most days with a very short nap, if any, and I can tick through a reasonable to-do list, even having energy to look forward to going out at night for the occasional date. You all know I love my date nights, but even those were a struggle in the past when what I really wanted to do was lay down in front of the TV and be alone due to the depression and fatigue.  Check out the "before" and "after" photo. I think it's apparent that I have more energy after my Thrive Experience. Plus, I lost eight pounds! Bonus. 


</strong><strong>I'm Nicer

</strong>Yep, nicer. Ask my kids. They'll tell you. Getting good, regular sleep goes a long way toward improving your mood. I'm not so quick to snap when one of the kids asks me a question. Even the littlest thing used to cause a reaction of panic in me. Because I was already feeling so overwhelmed, the small inquiries the kids would have seemed like giant decisions to me and would cause me agitation. Now that I have some energy and a clearer mind, I'm much better able to approach the beauty of life's day to day encounters. I missed chatting with my children, and I'm so grateful to be back to them. 

<strong>I'm More Focused

</strong>I have adult ADD, so focusing on tasks is a challenge for me to begin wtih. However, before Thrive, it was nearly impossible. My brain was constantly foggy. Lack of sleep and being nutritionally deficient will do that to you, I suppose. Nowadays, I'm able to get through an article or blog post without taking a break to nap or jumping from tab to tab on my computer. I can read a chapter in a book without daydreaming. Best of all, I can create a daily to-do list each day and actually have a hope of tackling it. Before Thrive, I didn't even have the concentration to write the list, let alone think about completing the tasks on it. Attention will always be a struggle for me. Even when I was on my prescription stimulant, it wasn't perfect. That prescription was over $165 a month and didn't give me all the benefits of Thrive. So I'm pretty darn happy with the improved focus I've gained with my Thrive, in addition to everything else it's provided me. 

<strong>I'm Less Sore

</strong>My improved sleep was the very first thing I noticed after taking Thrive. The second improvement I felt was the lack of pain in my knees. Mornings were always slow for me. Besides being exhausted, my knees were always in pain, causing me to hobble around the house like a woman far older than my 41 years of age. My very first morning after taking Thrive was completely different. It was such a surprise to me to realize I'd just walked from my bedroom to the bathroom without pain and with a normal gait, instead of my former shuffle. The stairs no longer intimidate me. I can sit cross legged with my laptop for hours and not get up wincing in pain. Being pain-free is a game changer that also adds to my improved energy levels. Besides the relief I feel in my knees, my lower back and ankles are also improved. It's nice to walk standing tall, to head out for a stroll with the dog and not be intimidated by the hills that used to keep me from even trying.<strong>

I'm More Confident
All of these benefits have combined to make me a more confident person. I know it may sound like an exaggeration, but it's the absolute truth. I am more confident in meeting with people because I feel more clear-headed, able to converse without reaching for the words I want to say. I can go places when invited without worrying that I simply don't have the energy to take on the activity. Leaving the house doesn't seem overwhelming to me. I look for social situations now. Remember those eight pounds I mentioned losing? Well, that's been great. More important than the weight loss, however, is the brightness that has returned to my eyes and the glow to my skin. I used to be really proud of my healthy skin. I take care of it regularly, with facial wash and daily moisturizer. Before Thrive, I knew my skin had begun looking sallow and pasty. Take a look now! People have complimented me, telling me I look years younger. I FEEL years younger, and it makes me happy to see that reflected in my appearance. My hair and nails are healthier, too. Love that!

<strong>I'm More Hopeful

</strong>I never would have thought that a product could change my outlook on life. When I made the decision to invest in my first month's supply of Thrive, it was because I was at a point of desperation. I just wanted to feel better. I was so tired, sore and depressed. I'd been through a lot over the past year or so, and all the stress had taken its toll. I had lost all ability to be hopeful and optimistic. The idea of dreaming about my future was laughable. It didn't seem that things could get better when I felt so awful, run-down and depressed all the time. Thrive has helped me to regain my confidence. I have struggled for a long time to get past self-esteem issues. Unfortunately, my physical and mental state had begun to allow those old wounds to creep back. A clear head, more energy and less pain has led to a more positive outlook. I feel like I'm back to being the confident, hopeful woman I had been a couple years ago, and I couldn't be more pleased. 

I could really go on and on, but I think this sums up my Thrive Experience pretty well. If you can identify with any of my story, I urge you to consider trying Thrive for yourself. Please visit my site to learn more about the products. I'm more than happy to answer any questions you may have. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I'm passionate about this product and appreciate you taking the time to learn just why I am.

I'd love to help you get started on your own Thrive Experience. In fact, I am so confident in this product line that I am willing to offer my own personal money-back guarantee. If you make a purchase from my Le-Vel Thrive website and are not satisfied after trying it as directed for two weeks, I will allow you to return the unused product to me for a refund of the cost of that remaining product. What do you think? Is it worth a try now? I hope you'll consider investing in yourself. Regardless, thank you for taking the time to hear my testimonial!

Find Great Deals with Ann Coupons

By marybabysteps · May 16, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

I love to shop online. I've learned a number of tricks over the years when it comes to saving money. One of the biggest is to use coupon or promo code sites beofre checking out when making an online purchase. Always. I always do a quick web search for coupons, promo codes or discounts before I complete my order. Nearly every time, I'll find some bit of savings, even if it's only 10%. I'm pretty familiar with what's out there when it comes to finding a deal. However, I just learned about a coupon site called Ann Coupons, and I must say that I'm impressed. 

The first thing I noticed about the site is the ease of navigation. You can search for specific vendors easily in a number of ways. Click on a category at the top of the page to browse stores or type a specific name in the search box if you know the kind of coupon you're looking for. For example, a search for Red Lobster will get you some of the best Red Lobster coupons online. I was honestly surprised at the variety of coupons available through just that search alone. 

Ann Coupons even has a feature that lets you find gift cards. Visit the blog to browse some of the highest value deals available right now. I think this is an especially good way to find unique gift ideas if you're feeling stumped and don't know what to get that person who has everything. You're buying a gift, you might as well save some money while you're at it! 

I will definitely be using Ann Coupons for my future online shopping excursions. My advice is to never checkout without doing a quick search for a discount or coupon. Ann Coupons seems to be a great place to start that search! 

* This has been a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

My Le-Vel Thrive Experience - Weeks 5 and 6

By marybabysteps · May 15, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

Somehow I managed to neglect an update for weeks 5 and 6. I posted a photo on Facebook, but nothing here on the blog. Since that time has come and gone, I will simply post the side by side photo here. My next post will be an in-depth review of my entire 8-week Thrive Experience, with photos. For now, take a look at my photos from week 6.

At this stage, I'd lost about seven pounds, I believe. The biggest difference you can see is in my face, I think. For the first time, I actually chose to purchase a product based on the benefits it offered BESIDES weight loss. When I decided to purchase my first month's supply of Thrive, I had reached a point of desperation. I truly was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I knew from my experience on my trial pack that this product made a difference in how I felt, so I decided to take the chance and invest in my health. I have absolutely no regrets. 

If you think the time is now for you to invest in yourself and begin to sleep better, feel less pain and have more energy, visit my site and check out the Thrive products. An investment of $150 may seem like a lot; however, you will be surprised at how much better you feel and all of the things you no longer need. I can almost guarantee you won't need to buy energy drinks, coffee, soda or high-sugar snacks to perk you up in the middle of the day. Your Thrive experience is only $5 a day. How much are you spending on all of that other stuff? 

So do yourself a favor and visit my Le-Vel Thrive website to learn more about the product line. You'll find descriptions, ingredient lists and more. You can also visit the Le-Vel Facebook fan page to read hundreds of other testimonials and see how people are benefitting from Thrive.

My Le-Vel Thrive Experience - Weeks 3 and 4

By marybabysteps · April 12, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

I'm a bit behind on my Thrive updates. But for good reason. I've been busy doing paid client work and spending time with our new dog, Mimi. Here she is hanging out with Brady and the cats. Isn't she pretty? 

I'm hopeful she will help me to be more active. She has a bad leg, but she still loves to go for short walks. So that's a start toward getting me out and moving. Honestly, before Thrive, I'm not sure I would have agreed to taking her in when my friends were in need. I'm pretty sure the idea of taking care of one more living creature would have been too much for me. With the energy and renewed outlook I have since taking Thrive, I didn't think twice about volunteering and was actually excited about the prospect. 

Anyway, let me give you a quick update on my progress. It will be short and sweet, mostly just photos so you can see the difference. I've been feeling prettty much the same as I did in my first and second updates

<strong>Week 3 Update 

</strong>Here's a side by side before and after of my face. The first is me with makeup, which covers the circles I usually have under my eyes. The second is me at week 3 of my Thrive Experience wearing no makeup. I think these photos really sum up how I'm feeling. My eyes are brighter. My skin no longer looks pasty and pale. My face is thinner. Being able to see these physical changes makes me even more excited about continuing my Thrive Experience. 

Can you see the difference? I think it's amazing. At three weeks, I was still feeling great. Energized, with very little joint pain. I also noticed that my respiratory allergy symptoms were improved. I'm allergic to wheat and milk, both of which make me stuffy with a runny nose. It's been much better since Thrive. Also, I've gotten only one headache since starting this journey., and it wasn't as bad as my usual ones That's pretty darn good for me. 

Week 4 Update

At the beginning of week 4, I noticed I was a bit more tired and had some bad cravings. To be upfront, I haven't really changed my diet thus far, though I have seemed to eat less, feeling full sooner. I've defrinitely been drinking more water this entire experience. I know that has been a really positive thing for my body overall. But back to my tiredness and cravings. Pretty sure that was just hormonal, related to PMS and the start of my period. That's to be expected, and i didn't stress over it much. My weight loss seemed to be at a stand still. However, I also think this is related to my menstrual cycle. Here are before and after photos at four weeks. 

Again, I can mainly see the difference in my face. Oh yeah, and my favorite bra fits comfortably again. Yay! But why is it that you tend to lose weight in your boobs first? i'd kind of like to keep those. Dammit. 

Well, there you have it. Weeks 3 and 4 updates. I am still feeling fantastic, looking better and losing weight gradually. Visit my Le-Vel Thrive website to learn more or please feel free to contact me. I'd love to help you start Thriving, too. If you're like me, you may be thinking it's worth a shot. I knew that nothing was going to change if I didn't do something, and I'm so very glad I did. 

Online Dating Reality #3 - People are Disgusting

By marybabysteps · March 29, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

In today's online dating reality post I'll be addressing the subject that all of my Facebook friends are already well aware of, and that's the fact that people are disgusting. I share regularly on social media the raunchy approaches and messages I receive from men on dating sites. I do this beause, prior to entering the online dating scene two years ago, I honestly had no idea just how gross people could be. Maybe I'm naive. However, friends continue to be surprised by my postings, so I'm not the only one. If you're just as blissfully unaware of the depths of disgusting that you are likely to encounter in online dating, let me help to prepare you for the inevitable.

<strong>First Words Out of Their Mouths

</strong>Yep, they will be raunchy before ever exchanging a word with you. Just the other day, I received this gem - "well then can you deep throat?" That's exactly how he wrote it. No capitalization or punctuation beyond a question mark. Yes, I'm a writer. I'm offended by this, as well as by the fact that he assumed I was going to suck his dick. Who introduces themselves this way? This doesn't usually happen in real life. As with most internet trolls, the online dating dumbasses like to hide behind their computer screens in an attempt to be as offensive or shocking as possible. The thing I can't understand is the motive. We're all using these sites to achieve something. Even if that something is sex, approaching someone by asking her if she deep throats doesn't seem like the best way to get it. What do you think? 

Sorry. Trying to figure out the motives of online dumbasses is a blog post in itself. This post is just to give you a heads up that they exist and to let you know that they will likely approach you. No one was nice enough to warn me. Just to give you a clue of some of the kinds of obnoxious messages you may receive, here are some of my favorites that come to mind, sorry to those of you who've heard them before:

  • You into BDSM, Goddess? 
  • U swallow?
  • Hi honey how are you baby?
  • Let's play Mary ;)
  • I wish you would have my baby... blue eyes red hair... yeah. Lol
  • Would you make love in a bed of Circus Peanuts? (after reading that my weakness is for this awful candy)
  • Heyyyy sexy how r u

These aren't even the worst, just some of the more memorable or most recent. I wish I had kept a file of the horrible messages I've gotten since day one. 

<strong>Get Ready for the Photos

</strong>Sometimes you'll actually start conversing with someone because they've approached you in a respectful manner and seem interesting. Don't be shocked, though, when he sends you the infamous unsolicited dick pic. Yes, that is a thing. It does happen. Sometimes they will ask if you want a picture. Other times, you'll just be surprised by having it pop up on your phone. Men are proud of their junk, I guess. But most of the women I've spoken to have no interest in seeing an up-close, unedited photo of a man's cock before meeting him or being at a point where she'd actually consider being intimate with him. I mean, there you are exchanging "getting to know you" texts, and up pops an unflattering photo of his dick. Again, I don't know what they're thinking when they do stuff like this. 

I think I'll start sending them this video: 

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/oDIdJ46HSkg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>


It'll Be Okay

</strong>All right, please say I haven't completely scared you away from the prospect of internet dating. That was never my intent. I just believe that it's best to have information upfront before taking on something new, rather than to be completely taken by surprise. I'd want someone to tell me. Did anyone? Nope. Thanks a lot, single friends! 

Online dating can be filled with some disgusting people. Sometimes you receive a nice surpise in your inbox in the form of a thoughtful, interesting introduction. If you take a look through my past posts about online dating, you'll see that I have met some very wonderful men and had some great experiences. My biggest advice would be to try to have a sense of humor, don't engage the dumbasses and remain hopeful. It can be difficult. Believe me, I know. Some days, you want to scream. There may be times you decide to take a break from it all. I've done that, too. Follow your gut and be open to experiences. Also know that sometimes people are just disgusting.

My Thrive Experience Week 2

By marybabysteps · March 23, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

It's been a little over two weeks since the beginning of my Thrive Experience. I'm still feeling fantastic. This update will be a bit shorter than my first because I haven't noticed a lot that's new. I've still got energy, and I'm calmer. Just more optimistic and relaxed, overall. I'm sure the improved sleep I've experienced has contributed to my better mood. And having the energy to get through my day absolutely makes me feel more optimistic. Before I always felt like I was behind on everything, and it seemed there was so little chance I'd get things done that it hardly seemed worth trying. It led to an ugly cycle of depression. 

<strong>Before Thrive

</strong>When I asked my friend for a sample of Thrive, I truly was at the point of desperation. I was constantly tired, with absolutely no focus. I was sleeping in shifts throughout the day and night. Three or four hour naps. No matter how I tried to get back on a regular sleep schedule, nothing worked. Being constantly fatigued made it impossible to think straight. I was becoming more and more pessimistic about things improving. 

And my physical health was suffering. I had put on so much weight over the past year and a half or so. My appetite was out of control, and I'm sure it was a combination of inactivity and emotional eating. Just going to the grocery store felt like attempting an hour-long advanced cardio class. It had become absolutely ridiculous. I was sleeping through my life, falling further behind on my goals. I knew it was time to do something, anything. 

<strong>Since Thrive

</strong>Thrive is not a miracle worker, but it's darn close. No, I'm not constantly energetic. And I'm not knocking everything off my list each and every day. But since I started my Thrive Experience, it all seems so much more possible. My sleep is the biggest improvement. I immediatley began sleeping regularly, each night, for eight hours at least. I wake up without an alarm, and I am able to get out of bed without creaky, sore knees and joints. I sit on the couch with my legs crossed and my computer on my lap for long periods throughout the day. I'm able to get up without pain and go down the stairs with ease. 

I'm still absent minded and a bit foggy. As someone with adult ADD, that's kind of to be expected. Like I said, Thrive is not a miracle worker. However, my mind is much clearer. I can complete short articles and blog posts without switching over to Facebook, email, dating sites and back again. As you can imagine, my productivity has improved. I feel so much more accomplished and like the goals I have set for myself are really possible. 

I went for a walk the other day, and I baked banana bread this weekend. These are two things that never would have happened before Thrive. Two very easy daily tasks that were completley beyond my reach. It's been a long time since I've enjoyed some of the most simple things life has to offer. I'm so much more positive now that I'm feeling better. I'm more patient with my kids and even more fun and outgoing when I go on dates. Not to mention my sex life has improved. Remember how difficult just going grocery shopping used to be for me? Imagine actual physical activity. It was exhausiting! Fun, but exhausting. Having energy for things makes life so much more fun! 

One thing I should note before moving on is that there was a short period of a few days where I felt very hungry and quite tired. After doing some reserch I think that may have been simply my body getting rid of toxins and briidging some of the nutritional gaps that were present. I've heard other Thrivers mention the same issues, as well as friends who have tried other nutritional supplements. That time has passed, and I'm no longer feeling sluggish periods in my days.

Weight Loss

Here's one of the biggest benefits - the weight loss. I was so excited that I already spilled the beans on Facebook. In two weeks, I've lost five pounds! That's without changing much about my diet or adding any exercise regime. I have started drinking a lot more water, and for the most part, my appetite has decreased. Here's the proof. Check out the scale! 

And here are side by side photos of me at the beginning of my Thrive Experience and two weeks in. I can tell a slight difference in my appearance. Can you? If you were to see me in real life, you'd probably be able to tell that the bags under my eyes are less visible, and my skin and eyes are brighter. Those are some changes I've definitely noticed. 

It's recommended that you try Thrive for at least eight weeks in order to feel the maximum effects. Some people notice a dramatic difference on day one. Some don't. I suspect it has to do with your beginning level of nutrition and fitness. I, personally, had nowhere to go but up. If you'd like to read other testimonials besides mine, head on over to the Le-Vel Facebook page to take a look. They have tons of stories of how Thrive is improving people's lives. 

If you're curious about what Thrive is, take al look at this post I wrote about the products I take. You can also visit my website to learn more or sign up as a free customer. 

More About Le-Vel Thrive Products

By marybabysteps · March 19, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

I wrote recently about the new nutritional line I am taking and how I have signed up to be a Brand Promoter for the company. I wanted to write a little more about the products and the goals I have for my experience before I take the time to write my next update letting you know how I'm feeling on the product. The company is called Le-Vel, and the product line is Thrive.  You may have seen myself and others posting about Le-Vel Thrive on Facebook and other places online or talking about it in your real life circles. The reason people are talking about it is simply because it is a product that does what it claims to do, and it's made a difference in the lives of many people who take it, including mine. 

<strong>The DFT Difference

</strong>There are three basic products to the line. I'd like to start with the Thrive Premium Lifestyle DFT patch, even though it's the last in the Thrive 3-step process. DFT stands for Derma Fusion Technology, indicating that it is placed on the skin and that the ingredients are absorbed into the system through the skin. This is a delivery system that is a first of its kind. The DFT system offers time-released delivery of a unique formula that boosts metabolism, aids in weight loss, improves mental clarity and aids in appetite control. 

I am using the Thrive Plus - DFT Ultra, which is a larger patch that delivers a higher concentration of the formula. It's meant for people like me who have 50 or more pounds to lose. It's also good for highly active folks and athletes. I'm quite happy with the results of this product. The DFT patch contains ingredients such as green coffee bean extract, garcinia cambrogia, CoQ10, white willow bark, green tea extract and other proprietary blends. I lvoe the energy it gives me! 

<strong>Premium Lifestyle Capsule

</strong>The Thrive Premium Lifestyle Capsules are the first part of the 3-step process. The capsule comes in a women's formula and a men's. I belive that the men's formula simply contains a higher level of ingredients. Contained in the capsules is a natural formula of vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, antioxidants, enzymes, probiotics and amino acids. The ingredients are basically a blend of vitamins, along with folic acid, chromium, vanadium and selenium. 

<strong>Premium Lifestyle Mix

</strong>The Premium Lifestyle Mix is the shake. It can be purhcased in individual packets or by the canister. This mix was designed to complement the capsules. It contains a blend of vitamins and minerals, as well. The ingredients are formulated for both men and women and are a nutrient-rich formula that is meant to support lean muscles and aid in weight management. 

Used all together, the 3-step process combines to give you the Thrive Experience. Results, obviously, will vary and are based on which gaps may exist in your particular nutritional needs. Typically, users experience improved cognitive performance, support of digestive and immune systems, lean muscle and joint support, pain management support, aid in weight management and more. 

Here is the easy 3-step process involved in the Thrive Experience, and it's recommended to give the products eight weeks to fully notice the ultimate difference. However, most people, including myself, notice improvement in various areas much sooner. Sometimes even the first day! 

This video gives you an overview of the products. Please visit my Le-Vel Thrive site if you'd like to learn more. If you'd like to try a sample of the products, I can have a two-day sample sent out to you for $10,  a four-day sample for $20, etc.  

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ilFHI2YyTcE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe>

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions, and please visit my site to learn more! By the way, signing up as a Brand Promoter is free and offers upgrade packages not available to customers. There's no pressure to sell and no quotas. Many people sign up simply because they're so happy with the results. I'm one of those people. Most of you know I'm no salesperson. I would, however, love to earn enough money to purchase my own Thrive products as well as share the experience with others I think would benefit from it. Let me know if you have questions!

Filed in: Le-Vel Thrive, health
Tagged with: Le-Vel, Thrive, about

25 Things I Betcha Didn't Know About Me

By marybabysteps · March 15, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

My friend, Tracy, recently challenged the members of her Mastermind group to share 25 things about themselves in a blog post. I've never written one of these posts in six years of blogging, so it's probably about time I do. I tend to be pretty forthcoming here on the blog, as well as on Facebook and in my real life. I feel like there's not a lot I haven't shared about myself. But I'll give it a try. Here I go. 

  1. Most of you know that I've been online dating for awhile now. I guess I've always been a little boy crazy. I can remember chasing a male classmate around the room trying to steal a kiss all the way back in Kindergarten. 
  2. I have a terrible sweet tooth and am addicted to candy. One of my favorite kinds is Circus Peanuts. I'm not sure many adults would admit to that. 
  3. I'm allergic to wheat and milk. Because the biggest symptom I experience is a stuffy nose, I tend to eat whatever I please. 
  4. This leads to the revelation that I have absolutely no willpower. Especially when it comes to food. It's very hard for me to cut out things that are bad for me. However, for my health, I intend to try. 
  5. I'm an only child. I always assumed that my child would be, as well. As a mother of three, I was obviously mistaken. 
  6. I'm not the most confident driver and don't enjoy driving in unfamiliar places. However, when I get a car again, I vow to drive absolutely everywhere! 
  7. I belong to a secret group of about 10 members on Facebook. I consider them to be amongst my closest friends and biggest source of support, though I've only met two of them in real life. 
  8. I've worked in two facilities for male juvenile offenders. I learned quite a bit from those young men. 
  9. One of my favorite jobs was working as an Activities Assistant in a nursing home. So much fun! 
  10. I was truly honored to have received the Oustanding Academic Adviser of the Year award for two consecutive years from the students at the community college where I worked before having my third child and deciding to work from home as a freelance writer. 
  11. I was in a sorority in college. It was a shocker to me, too. I'm not exaclty a joiner. And, truthfully, I never did fit in that well, but I made a few really great friends and learned a lot about myself and others. 
  12. You all know I'm a true blue liberal in my politics, right? Did you know I come from a family of staunch conservatives? 
  13. I truly loved the very first two men I met through dating sites after my divorce. Though I've made a good friend or two, there hasn't been that kind of strong emotional connection since. Beginner's luck? 
  14. I lived in an all female residence hall in college and actually enjoyed it quite a bit, despite wanting to go co-ed in the beginning. 
  15. My family moved across the state my senior year of high school. It didn't ruin my life, despite my teenage protests otherwise. I actually made a lot of friends and ended up having a support system when many of us started as freshmen at the university in our town. 
  16. I have never had a broken bone. Knock on wood.
  17. I've been to a swingers club. Though I witnessed many, many things, I did not swing. I promised my Facebook friends I'd write about it. I will. Honest.
  18. I hated being pregnant. Hated it, yet did it three times. 
  19. Despite the fact that I have two cats that I take pictures of and talk about all the time, I secretly am a dog person. Shhh... don't tell the cats. 
  20. I've never been content with being average. However, success came easier to me when I was younger. That's been hard for me to deal with over the past several years. Guess I'll just have to work harder. 
  21. I'm oblivious when it comes to pop culture. Unless it happened in the early '80's to mid '90's, I'm clueless. During the time that I've been raising kids, I've really only absorbed what they've liked. Financial and time constraints have kept me from paying attention to much else. 
  22. I despise winter. I majored in Spanish in college with the intent of moving some place warm with a high Spanish speaking population. As we know, life doesn't always work out as planned. I'm still here in Pennsylvania. 
  23. I don't make friends easily in real life. I tend not to "fit in." I have had the same best friend in my life for over 20 years, and I consider myself quite fortunate for that. 
  24. I'm highly sensitive, in every way. I used to cry over anything and everything in elementary school. Though I've gained control of my emotions over the years, I'm still easily affected by things. 
  25. I've never traveled beyond the borders of North America. I plan to change that one day.

There you have it- 25 things about me. I actually did it. I tried to come up with stuff y'all didn't already know and hope I was successful at that. Have you written a 25 Things blog post? Link it in the comments or even just tell me one thing I don't know about you!

Filed in: Personal Development, fun
Tagged with: 25 things, about me

My Le-Vel Thrive Experience - The Beginning

By marybabysteps · March 8, 2015 · 0 Comments ·

It's been nearly two years since my separation and divorce. It's been a stressful time, to say the least. I've learned a great deal and have come a long way in that time. However, if I'm being honest, the stress has taken its toll on me. On my mind and my body. Constant stress and worry can really do a number on a person. It tears away at your self-esteem, making you doubt your abilities and unable to see a time that will ever be better. It sends you looking for comfort in whatever manner is accessible. In my case, the most available, seemingly harmless comfort was food. I've gained a lot of weight.

A Vicious Cycle

It's a new year, and though I haven't formally written about it, I've decided my word for this year is "reinvention." In order to make the changes I'd like to see in my income, my career and my personal life, I've decided I need to first start with my phyical self. I am constantly tired. Constantly. Tired is probably not even a strong enough word. Exhausted. I'm constantly exhausted. My sleep is insane. Often, I sleep in cycles of three to five hours at a time. I can't get through the day without a nap. My thinking is scattered and foggy. I'm so forgetful. The truth is, I do exhibit traits of ADD and used to take Adderall for that, and it helped a lot. However, the constant exhaustion has made my ability to concentrate worse than it has ever been. All of this has led to bouts of depression and anxiety, despite the Prozac I take daily. It's a vicious cycle that makes moving forward nearly impossible.

An Investment in Myself

So when I began to see testimonials for and people talking about Le-Vel Thrive and what it's done for them, I decided to investigate. A friend of mine is a brand promoter for the company, and she sent me a sample. In the course of four days, I noticed changes in my sleep and energy that could not be denied, so I took the plunge and purchased a month's supply. Most of you know, this is not something that is in my budget. At this point, I absolutely have to do something, and I decided the investment in myself is worth it. I have also signed up as a promoter for Le-Vel Thrive, and it is my hope that, if the product proves to be useful for me, others will decide to give it a try for themselves. I'm not a salesperson, by nature. I won't pressure anyone to buy from me. 

For those who know my situation, you have to know that I believe in the product and felt real results in order to have invested in it. I will document my results over the next month here on the blog. I'm truly hopeful to see big changes over that time. I've already seen some very noticeable differences in just the first few days on Thrive. Here are the major and subtle improvements I've observed thus far. 


<strong>Sleep and Energy

</strong>The biggest and most impactful change I've noticed is the difference in my sleep. I've been able to sleep (mostly) straight through the night. Even when I woke through the night briefly, I was able to fall right back to sleep. During my four-day sample period a while back, I noticed that I woke up around 7:00 each day without an alarm. This time around, it's been a bit different. I've woken up after that time, but I've also woken before 7:00. Whatever the case, the bottom line is that I got up without an alarm and without feeling incredibly groggy. That's right. Once I got out of bed, I noticed that my head felt immediately more clear than usual. Ordinarily, my kids know better than to talk to mommy before she's had at least one, preferably two, cups of coffee. With Thrive, I actually feel coherent enough to have a conversation prior to coffee. That's a big deal. I'm not making any claims that I'm hyper-focused and full of energy. That hasn't happened yet. However, I am feeling a difference, and even that small difference means a lot to me. I've even been able to get through days without naps. A day without a nap is unheard of for me. I did nap yesterday, and I actually attribute that to PMS, which has always increased my fatigue.<strong>

Mood and Emotions

</strong>Speaking of PMS, I am a redhead who is naturally prone to emotional ups and downs. PMS really does a number on me, ordinarily. I'm easily agitated, exhausted and cranky. Guess what? I didn't really even realize that I was about to get my period until the app on my computer reminded me. I haven't been short-tempered, even with the kids home due to snow days. Their normal interruptions of my work would send me into a frenzy during PMS past. This week, it's been a minor annoyance. I have noticed that I'm a bit more weepy than usual, but I'll take that over annoyed and agitated any day. I feel overall more able to face life's ups and downs. It's a nice change that I hope will continue.<strong>

Physical Function

</strong>Finally, something very significant I've observed since taking my Thrive over the past few days is that my knees, lower back and hips aren't as sore as usual. It didn't hit me right away when I got out of bed that first day that I wasn't feeling the pain. In fact, I still walked slowly and hobbled to the bathroom the way I usually do until my limbs and joints warm up. Except when I reached my destination, I realized that there was no need to hunch over or walk gingerly. My joints didn't hurt. Even when I went downstairs to get Brady an outfit from the laundry, I didn't feel the pain and creaking in my knees that is usually there! With warmer termperatures coming, I'm actually looking forward to getting out and walking a bit, which is a good thing since I don't currently have a car. 

These changes and observances I'm telling you about aren't miraculous. I'm not suddenly in perfect physical, mental and emotional form. But the difference is significant. It's real, and I feel it. Like my blog's title, I am excited that these changes will only increase and lead to taking the Everyday Baby Steps I need to move toward my goals. 

I will continue to keep you updated on my progress and feedback on how I'm feeling using the Thrive protocol each week for the next month. While the ultimate goal isn't to lose weight, it is a much hoped for outcome, as I think it will lead to a happier and healthier me. So I will post updates on my weight each week, as well. If you'd like to learn more about Thrive, please check out my website. There's an informational video on the page and a lot more in-depth information on each product throughout the site. Feel free to ask questions, though I'm just learning about it all myself. I will write more posts about the products I'm taking and what they are designed to do, in addition to my weekly updates. 

<p>Thanks to everyone who has supported me on this journey. I am excited about the possibilities it offers!

About Me

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