Friday, May 31, 2013

Operation Red Bikini Complete! Link Up Post & Mega Give Away

Brace yourself- long post coming at ya! It's finally here, the conclusion of Operation Red Bikini aka my favorite Instagram hash tag #operationredbikini I shall miss you! Before sitting down to write this post, I searched through my old posts to find my original ORB goals. This all came about last December when Kassie at Southern Girl Gets Fit decided to throw down a summer challenge. I found my first mentions of Operation Red Bikni back on December 8, 2012. The award for longest challenge ever goes to....

button

The overall concept of Operation Red Bikini was simply a challenge for our blogging community to pick a summer goal piece, a pair of shorts, a certain size, set a new running PR, Rock a Red Bikini, etc in an effort to feel prepared and confident this summer. I whole heartedly believe each of us owes it to ourselves to feel good in our own skin. It's a gift to give yourself, to love being you. You are fabulous, never forget it! 

Every blogger that I have followed participating in Operation Red Bikini has had a different goal. Staying focused for 6 months has been no easy task, however the challenge has been so much fun. I've gotten to know so many of you through our Operation Red Bikni Challenge and the experience has been AMAZING. I may not retire my hashtag just yet :)

If you're participating in the ORB link up, be sure to include your link at the bottom of this post. Next, browse everyone's post and ORB goal wrap up posts for summer inspiration. Leave comments, make some new friends! Searching for fitness inspiration? Look no further- these women ROCK!

First things first, gotta talk give aways...

The Operation Red Bikini swag pack- One lucky lady from the link up will win this awesome sauce collection of summer survival gear from a floppy beach hat to some of Kassie and I's favorite skinny eats, even the a Jillian Michael's DVD (cause we know how ya'll love to hate her)! The winner will be randomly selected from the Link Up Participants. Show these ladies some love, they've worked hard!



Didn't participate in the link up? It's cool, we've got some ORB swag for you too! Two more prizes up for grabs! To enter to win, you must be a follower of this blog and Southern Girl Gets Fit. That's it! All Operation Red Bikini Winners will be announced this coming Tuesday!

One $25 Gift Card to my favorite online boutique Charly and Company. Charly's lace shorts have become my favorite pool side companion....



One Giving Up is Not an Option Tank from Body Love Apparel, because Giving Up is NEVER an option!



My ORB Goals Posted January 2, 2013

Achieve 18% body fat
Wear Hot Shorts to Run (Yeah like volleyball player spandex biz nitch)
Rock a Red Bikini (Pictures & Previous Summer Shots to be Included)

Phew reach for those stars Elle Noel!

1. Achieve 18% body fat- Not there yet, but actively working towards this goal through my Macro meal plan, thanks to my coach aka bikini pro, Macro Meal Planner Extraordinaire, cheerleader, and friend Ashley Leahy! Currently at 20.5-21 percent body fat. Goal is to check again in a week and a half for a status update. Progress, not perfection.

2. Wear Hot Shorts to Run- When I originally posted this goal, I honestly thought the hot shorts were a far away goal. I first wore my volleyball player spandex biz nitch style shorts on January 21, 2013. (South Louisiana Weather). I actually wear my hot shorts A LOT. I kinda love them. They're incredibly comfortable, they allow me to be free!



3. Rock a Red Bikini

First, Let's go back in time

*Note All Pictures Have been Cropped to Protect my Friendships- Nobody panic :)

July 2007- 20 years old. I was at my lightest adult weight in memory. I was actually about 10 pounds lighter than I am now. However, present day, I'm much smaller physically. Why? Muscle weighs more than fat, gotta love that! During this time, I NEVER exercised. I'd get winded going up three flights of stairs. I kid you not. I was an undergraduate student who put the P in PARTAY! (Sorry Mom) I was always hungry and trying to convince myself I wasn't. It's not at all surprising that not eating was not a sustainable method of weight management. I eventually got hungry. Surprise Surprise...


Summer 2008- My weight started climbing. I was conscience of my weight gain, but felt powerless to stop it. I felt if I really wanted to turn things around, then I certainly could. I just didn't want to yet. I was entering the end of my college years and I was stressed. So I ate. A lot. I also drank beer frequently- exhibit A


Summer 2009- My weight had officially become out of my control. Prior to our annual trip to the beach, I joined my current gym in a bid to drop some weight. I managed to lose 15 pounds for the trip, and I gained it all back plus some directly after returning home. I was miserable in my skin and it showed. My cloths didn't fit and my self esteem was in the toilet. However, I still wasn't ready to take control of my life and face the facts. I had some more complaining to do first...


Summer 2010 Complete swim wear black out. My first year post grad, I was working full time, my first big girl job, I'd just gotten engaged, I should have been on top of the world. I wasn't. I was 60-70 pounds over weight. I hated myself. I absolutely hated my body. At this time, I was really battling with my appearance and self worth. I honestly felt they went hand in hand. This is difficult to admit, but I'd given up hope in really loving myself. Most days I think it's fair to say I hated myself. I hated the lack on control I had over my own life. If I couldn't control me, how could I control any outside factors affecting my life? If I continued on this path, what future could I possibly have? I had big dreams, and no confidence to back myself up. Everything was personal to me. I mean everything. I was angry I had allowed my life to spin out of control. Was this the path I wanted to walk in life? I wanted more from myself, but I wasn't ready to put in the work yet. Still in complaining mode. I didn't feel this weight battle was fair, pitty party table for one!

If it weren't for the people who love me most, the real me with all my imperfections, no matter what size pant I wear, I don't know how I would have pulled myself out of this extreme slump I found myself living daily. It wasn't just my body I hated, I was struggling with me, inside and outside me. For lack of a better phrase, I was completely lost. Both in what I wanted out of life and who I am as a person. It was not a bright time. No sad story ending here, a-ha moment coming soon....

Summer 2011 I'm about to get married to my now husband, and boyfriend of 5 years.Who loves me no matter what the scale says. No matter what my pant size says. Who proposed to me at my heaviest weight, because he loves the girl on the inside. He loves my heart. He thinks I'm smart. He believes in my dreams. He admires my tenacity. He adores my character. He believed in me when I didn't believe in me. He thinks I'm beautiful, and his opinion is the only one that matters. I'd just lost 30lbs, I was starting to feel good about myself again. I felt confident in my future. I was taking back my life!


Summer 2012 Throughout the previous year, my yo-yo cycle continued for about 6 months. 6 months out from my wedding I found myself 13 pounds heavier, again, and staring down the barrel of another beach trip. Something snapped. Enough was enough.  I had to break the cycle. I felt confident in my abilities to work for my goals. I had started loving myself again. I knew it would take time, but I was willing to work HARD. This was it. Now or never territory. Summer 2012 what we now know as Elle Noel was born....


Summer 2013 - 258 Blog Posts, a new runner, one half marathon,and more mini challenges than I can count later....Operation Red Bikini Success! NEVER GIVE UP!

..

You died inside,
and you don't know why
So you try to turn the light on...

But stand up and never say never
'Cause this Life is Gonna Get Better
Take a Breath, Shake it Off and Say
I'm on My Way

You been down and feel so fed up
Might not be on top of the world but hey
Here's What You Say

You Might Work but I work Harder
You Might Fight but I Fight Smarter
Might Not be on Top of the World but Hey

I'M ON MY WAY

Charlie Brown- On My Way
Find me on FacebookBeachbodyPinterest, Instagram @ellenoelfitnessKeek, and My Fitness Pal!

Daily Motivator


68 comments:

  1. I think ORB was a great challenge! I wish I would have found yours or Kassie's blog back in December and could have followed along!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. ORB kept me going through the winter. I am still not bikini ready, but I am not giving up. Somebody call 911! YOU LOOK SMOKIN' HOT IN THAT RED BIKINI!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You are so inspirational! With so much going on you are always on top of it and stay so positive! I would love to join a challenge like this!

    ReplyDelete
  4. You look great! I'm a yo-yo dieter too. It's so nice to see that you've come so far. Very inspirational! Congrats on your success.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You are a true inspiration to keep fighting for your goals!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Your drive is awesome as is the life changing transformation you've gone thru. Great challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great challenge and goals! I'm trying to come up with my summer goals and this has motivated me a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are truly and inspiration!!! thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You are amazing and I'm so proud of you for being the inspiration machine that you are! Great job girl. You are beautiful inside and out no matter the weight. I tossed around the idea of ORB but no bikini for this momma yet but I'm on my way to getting there and your inspiration keeps me going when i want to give up!

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are such an amazing motivator and inspiration!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. You look fabulous! Thanks for the link up!

    ReplyDelete
  12. ORB was an awesome motivation to get my bootay in gear!! My original goal was 60 more lbs (added to the 127)...Unfortunately I didn't meet it :( I did lose about 24lbs though….I’m happy with the loss and I will keep going at it til I meet my goal!! Thanks girl for the inspiration and push you give us!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. What a great challenge! What will we do without it? Thanks for the extra motivation to run the half, it wouldn't have been the same without ORB! So Glad you and Kassie teamed up to do this! Can't wait to see what's next!

    PS You look awesome in your red bikini!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Look at you now girl! HOTTIE! Love that bathing suit :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I wish I had found you earlier because I totally would have participated (even though I'm not "yet" a blogger...haven't found my bawls yet!). I have, however, been setting and reaching goals because of the bloggers like yourself that I've been faithfully following. Down 13 lbs since January! WOOHOO!

    You are looking awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I liked ORB! It kept me motivated and I may not have reached my goal, but I did lose over 20 lbs!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You rocked this challenge!! Can't wait to see what your next challenge will be.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Look at you in that Red Bikini!! You look HOT!!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I thought ORB was cool!! Very motivational!! And you look AMAZING in your red bikini!!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I LOVE that bikini - you look AMAZING! So happy for you! And I'm so glad to see the difference weights can make for your body. Thanks for being such an inspiration every day. I haven't met my goals, but I sure am glad to have people like you to look up to for motivation. You ROCK!

    ReplyDelete
  21. THIS MADE ME CRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! True story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seeing your success and you rocking that red bikini just ugh hahahahaha This time next year I will be there. I know I have come a LONG way but even more so now as I am working on my strength training and starting my journey for my first half in September!...

    ReplyDelete
  22. That bikini is beautiful and you look amazing! What a touching post. Got me all misty eyed!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Elle Noel, you are simply amazing! Way to go on your success, it's so inspirational! I wish I had been able to connect more with the ORB gang, I'm just no good at the whole # thing.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I admire you for putting all this out there...its hard enough to admit those things to ourselves, but to put it out there publicly is a feat. CONGRATS :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Wow, you look SO great! You really kicked the tar out of this challenge, L! And seriously, 20% body fat??? That's incredible! You are such an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Oopsies! I posted this on the wrong post:)I loved this long challenge and if Kara and I win the link up prize, we'll be good sisters and share like we were taught :) I never would have ever pictured myself in a bikini after having four kids but I did and it feels great! You are my numero uno inspiration and keep motivating me to get at it every day!! Keep it up Gisele! You have a wonderful transformation too!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. And I just have to say! You officially look like Gisele in that red bikini....you've earned every last bit of that! Thanks for taking us on a swimsuit journey..I feel like we've all been there. But it changes now :)

    ReplyDelete
  28. HOT MAMA! You look great and are such an inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
  29. GIRL YOU LOOK AWESOME!!!! Rock that itty bitty bikini!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. You look great! You are such an inspiration. Thanks for sharing your life with us everyday!

    ReplyDelete
  31. You look amazing!!! Can I whistle through writing, hummmm. No, but If i could I would!! Go enjoy that bikini body this summer!!! (insert whistle)!!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great post, Elle!! ;)
    You have worked so hard and you look ahhhhhhhhhhh-mazing!!!
    And I totally want that ORB swag!!!
    I said it in my post but I can't say it enough!! Thank you to you and Kassie for doing this challenge!!!
    Ad for pushing and encouraging us all along the way!!

    ReplyDelete
  33. WAY TO GO! Check you out in that red bikini! I need to link up with you around the neighborhood to get some of that interval action into my runs! PROUD

    www.runningonplenty.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. You are hot stuff lady!! Keep it up.

    ReplyDelete
  35. You get it girl!! You are so incredibly inspiring and motivating. If I can do half of what you've done, I'll be doing great. Keep working at it, keep sharing your story, keep motivating the rest of us to do better and be better! You are an amazing lady, and I've loved doing this challenge with y'all!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Way to go! You look great and inspiring to so many women... including me;)

    ReplyDelete
  37. You look FANTASTIC!!! You motivate me daily, pretty lady! Thanks for being such an inspiration :)

    ReplyDelete
  38. You look amazing, lady! I'm a relatively new follower of your blog, and reading your posts every day keeps me in check! I have lost almost 40 pounds over the last year or so, and I'm hoping to drop about 15 more/tone up before my wedding! I have my own red bikini I'll be rocking in a couple weeks! Yay!

    ReplyDelete
  39. I think ORB was awesome. Thanks for motivating others and sharing your tips!

    ReplyDelete
  40. You look so fantastic! You are truly and inspiration!!

    ReplyDelete
  41. So proud and excited for you! I know it has been a journey and I can't wait for mine to begin!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Awesome job! You look fabulous in your red bikini!

    ReplyDelete
  43. So exciting!! You did such a great job. We're all working along with you to lose the weight :)

    ReplyDelete
  44. You look amazing, typing up my post right meow :)

    ReplyDelete
  45. You look AMAZING!!!! Absolutely gorgeous!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  46. I wish I had started following sooner-- you guys all did a great job!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Congrats girl! You're hard work paid off. You go enjoy a wonderful healthy summer in your red suit :)

    ReplyDelete
  48. I got in late, but that hashtag made me think aobut where I wanted to get to. I may not have reached my goal, but I think I did ok.

    ReplyDelete
  49. I have followed your blog for a long time and love reading everyday. I too am a positive patty and am pretty darn good at keeping myself motivated....but I weighed myself for the first time in months the other day (actually to start macro plan with Ashley thanks to you!) and have been really down on myself since the weigh in. Would love the never give up shirt for some motivation to keep working hard!!

    ReplyDelete
  50. I love your blog and read daily. I completed my first half marathon at the end of April and after hearing you talk about Boston it inspired me to not give up at the 13.1 to go for the full next spring.. I'm no where near Boston speed... yet... But thank you for your constant encouragement and tips... Love your blog!

    ReplyDelete
  51. You look amazing! I am doing my own to prep for my wedding / honeymoon in October!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I LOVED the motivation I got every day on Instagram with #operationredbikini. It really pushed me with my little, personal goals. Also, great job!! You look fantastic!

    ReplyDelete
  53. You are rocking that red bikini!!!

    ReplyDelete
  54. This was so motivational. I started reading your blog about the time that you had started Operation Red Bikini. I wasn't aware of your goals until just now but I looked on Instagram every morning to find inspiration from you to get up and work out. I knew you would be posting something about sweating and it would motivate me to get out of bed and go! I know you worked towards your goals for you but there's no way to describe how much it helped me. Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  55. You are such an inspiration!! Keep up the amazing work, you look fantastic!
    -K
    www.babebeforebaby.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  56. ORB was some awesome motivation! xo

    heatheranne99 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  57. I think ORB was a great way to stay motivated! I love seeing other people's journeys, it always helps me out!

    ReplyDelete
  58. I am simply not going to give up!
    Thank you for your inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  59. I loved that ORB kept me motivated to keep moving and eating healthy, even when I was starting to feel lazy. I'm down 40 pounds and still watching the scale move on down! You look great!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I have been super busy lately, but hope to joint the link up today or tomorrow!!

    ReplyDelete
  61. You look amazing in your red bikini! I think you have been a wonderful inspiration and no matter what, you are always positive. Thanks so much to you and Kassie for doing sponsoring ORB, it has been such a good motivator!

    ReplyDelete
  62. wahoooooooooo super inspiring amazing wonderful excellent job!!!! I'm so proud and to read through all that and BAM hit with a rockin red bikini bod almost gave me chills!!! I started following you half way through your challange and it's an honor to feel like a part of it! You are a serious ROCK STAR!!!!! So roud of you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Besides the amateur, national level and professional level posing suits Vandella Costumes offers a selection of shoes, jewelry and pageant suits. 

    ReplyDelete