Monday, December 31, 2012

Accepting the Unexpected...

Happy New Year's Eve Readers!  Do any of you have any plans for the evening?  I'm happy to say that I do.  I'll be spending the evening with my sister enjoying a lovely meal at Hyde Park Restaurant in downtown Cleveland.  After that... who knows.  But it's nice to know that I actually have plans and not spending my New Year's secretly wallowing in self-pity like I normally did.  I was good at hiding my true feelings.

There is so much on my mind right now as we're leaving 2012 behind and stepping into 2013.  This year was completely unexpected.  I didn't start 2012 with the plan to lose weight. As you know all know, it unexpectedly crept up on me.  I was actually trying to come to terms with the fact that I'd always be fat and there was nothing I could do about it at the beginning of 2012.  I know I was only fooling myself because I truly would have never been happy as morbidly obese individual with only food to console me.  I'd always made secret resolutions to lose weight thinking to myself, "This year will be the year that I do it."  But I never lost weight.  Low expectations = low results, which also means no disappointment.

As unexpected as this year was, I'm glad I accepted it and ran with it.  Along the way, I brought some others with me. I'm not the only one in my circle that lost weight this year.  My sister has made great progress, and my great friend started around November, and she's lost 16 pounds so far.  Yes folks... I've got a revolution on my hands now.  Several people are asking me... curious as to what I'm doing.  What's motivating me.  Every time I hear the word motivation I cringe.  You guys know how I feel about that, and I gladly share it when people ask.  I feel that motivation is only a small part of what keeps me going.  The decision I make about food and exercise are part of my life now.  It's my routine.  Once that routine is settled, and you fully commit to it, it's hard to fall off.  My health and well-being is my number one priority now.  That's why I feel this is working for me

So, we all must be ready to embrace the unexpected blessing that come to us.  Mine came as an email to join a fitness change.  I bet the individual who sent me that email has no clue how the little challenge changed my life.  It changed the way I live.  We must always be ready to take what is giving to us - whether good or bad - and run with it.  I've made some very poor choices this year too.  But I didn't let those choices derail me.  I accepted them, and moved on. Most importantly, I learned from them. 

Accepting the unexpected can be easy... and it can be difficult.  But no matter what life gives you,  


Isn't it Ironic, I'm having trouble with accepting the unexpected that occurred this morning.  Today was the deadline for my 30 by December 31st goal I made several months ago.  I was trying to get to my second milestone by December 31, 2012 knowing it would be a difficult challenge. If I met the challenge, I would reward myself with TWO charms and not one.  Well, it seemed like I wasn't going to meet the challenge, and I was cool with it.  I ordered the two charms and I was going to enjoy both of them once I hit milestone #2.  Milestone #2 isn't due until 1/25/2014 at 220.2 pounds.  That would be a total of 124.8 pounds lost since I started.

I weighed myself this past Saturday as usual, and I weighted 222.2.  So I know I couldn't lose two pounds in two days.  No biggie.  I competed a heavy Zumba workout on Saturday.  Yesterday, I did a hellacious Kettlebell/Plyometric workout that I created off the top of my head, and I ended that workout with 100 squats before I fell out in the floor.  Hey!  Don't judge!  I was earning a cheeseburger and fries...which was delicious. 

So, I decided to step on the scale today and report my results to my readers since a deal is a deal.  What does the scale say?  Something unexpected.


I must have stepped off and on that scale at least five times.  Same results.  I was quite baffled.  I came upstairs then went back downstairs and did it again. 220.2  That's can't be right.  I can't lose two pounds in two days.  That's insane.  So, should I take my own advice and accept it?  I updated my weight on the widgets on this page, but I'm not quite sure of this miraculous weight loss.  So, I guess I made my deadline?  WHO CARES!  I'm getting my Tiffany charms and celebrating! 
Happy New Year everyone.  Be safe.  Have fun and most importantly, Keep Calm and Move On!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Did I Open a Can of Worms?

Hi Readers!  Did you miss me?  I missed you guys, and it's great to be back.  It's nice to take a week off here and there, but so much happens in that time, and I feel like I have monstrous entries when I return.  So get ready for another one. 
First up, Dave Matthews weekend was THE BEST!  I had a great time down in Virginia, and CWN and family were such gracious hosts.  Thank you so much for opening up your home to me and the greatness that is The Dave Matthews Band.  It was like going to Graceland for DMB fans.  It was a weekend filled with fun, food, and friends.  And, believe me, I made sure to enjoy all of it. 
It can be difficult to manager your food intake when you don't journal everything, and I admit that I didn't document everything that went in my mouth.  What I did do is remain cognizant of what I was eating and how much.  I also shared some meals with my friends.  Sharing meals is a great way to limit your calorie intake.  Sometimes, all you need is a 1/2 and not the whole thing.  It's also a great way to get your sweet fix.  I love sharing desserts with people. 
So, after Dave Matthews Stellar Weekend, I was back to work and working out.  I missed two days so I was a bit concerned as to how I'd jump back into the gym.  I tell you... I MISSED THE GYM.  Badly.  I was so ready to get back in there.  Of course, it was Tuesday so I'm jumping into Metabolic Conditioning, which is one of my hardest workouts of the week.  I'd say I did great.  I was energized and ready to go.  This week's class focused on using your own body weight instead of barbells or other tools.  There was a lot of planking, sit ups, push ups, and so on.  I don't think many of us consider how our own bodies can be used as resistance tool.  Great stuff.
Next up was my last Kettlebell class of the quarter.  There were four of us including the instructor and each person picked their four favorite moves, and we did each circuit twice.  I picked some doosies... Snatch, Dead Lift, Clean to Overhead Press, and Double Bell Thrusters.  Wow!  That was one of the hardest classes we've had, and I loved every minute of it.  I'm hoping to take Kettlebells again in January so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

So I worked out hard, and it's time to weigh in on Saturday.  Didn't know what to expect.  I ended up losing a pound over two weeks.  Hmmm.... I'm wondering about my 30 by the Dec. 31st goal I set back in October.  Will I meet it?  Did I open a can of worms by giving myself a deadline to lose weight?

Well, there are many differing opinions on this topic of goal setting by a specific date or for a specific occasion.  Many feel that it's not a good idea because if you don't meet your goal, it is very discouraging.  A person may feel like a failure for not accomplishing their goal by their due date and give up completely.  I've even done this myself.  When I was on the low carb diet, I bought a size 14 Ralph Lauren white eyelet skirt that was sitting in my closet as my "skinny goal skirt."  Well, I never got wear it.  I think the closest I got was a size 18 at that time.  When I gained all the weight back, I just threw the skirt in a box and forgot about it.  That skirt was a sign of my failure and I wanted to get as far away from it as possible.  I remember how optimistic I was when I bought it.  Now, it's just another albatross hanging around my neck along with the 100+ pounds I gained back.
Now, I compare myself today to how I was several years ago when I was in Low Carb Hell.  Mentally, I'm in a whole other place.  I came to grips with why I ate the way I did.  I acknowledged that the only reason I was overweight was because I PUT MYSELF THERE.  I took responsibility for my actions, and most importantly, I FORGAVE MYSELF.  Before, I looked to low carb as the solution to make me happy.  Low carbs meant lost weight = I'm happy now.  Not even close.
So, going back to the worms.  Am I leading myself to failure if I don't meet my 31st goal?  HELL NO!  Does that mean I'm not going to reward myself with TWO charms if I don't get to my second milestone by the 31st?  NOPE!  Those two charms are hiding somewhere in this house, and when I reach 220 pounds - whether it's next week or next month, I'm going to be looking for them.
If there is one thing I can say about goal setting, it's that it must be realistic... FOR YOU.  No one should set your goals.  You set them.  You know what you are capable of doing.  My long term goal is to be 160 pounds and off all my medication... So, does that mean that if I'm at 155 and still taking my diabetes meds, I'm not going to London.... No.  My goals are set for me.  My ultimate goal is to be healthy, and healthy can come in many forms.  My doctor and I will make that decision.  I do know that at 160 is a great starting place, and losing that weight over three years is realistic and achievable.  You mind MUST be in the right place in order for you to be successful.  Forgive yourself.  Heal yourself.  And Move.
And moving has it's rewards.  That skirt is going to have be to taken in when I go to Jamaica in June.  Yes.... that means it fits me TODAY.  And those pretty blue boxes are more incentives for me to sign off and go downstairs and work with Jillian and Zumba.  I did visit Tiffany's in Richmond,VA and purchased a ring and a Zodiac charm.  Happy New Year to me.  Those worms are going to Squirm their ass right back into that can.  That can is closed.

PS - I owe you guys new pictures (another 15 pounds down).  I think I'm going to wait until I hit the next milestone to post them.  You've guys know what I'm looking like anyways. :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

My Heroes

Hey all!  Another week has come and gone.  We are quickly approaching the end of 2012, and it certainly has me in a pensive mood.  I've been through so many changes this year - changes that I feel are for the better.  Makes me wonder what's in store for 2013.  I'm definitely not making any predictions because that's not the kind of person I am, and I'm not a person who makes New Year Resolutions either.  If I was, I would have lost weight a long time ago because I secretly make that resolution every year and to no avail...until this year.

Funny that it was really a move to save money that kind of spearheaded my journey.  At this point, I'm grateful for anything that got my ass moving into action. And as soon as I saw positive results, my entire being just changed and I got behind this endeavor 100%.  I remember getting on that scale back on 1/28 and seeing that 15 pounds gone.  That was a huge motivator for me.  But it wasn't just the scale.  Something...or should I say someone...made a even larger impact on me.  More than that number on the scale could ever show.

My supporters.  My motivators.  My encouragers.  My listeners.  My cheerleaders.  

My friends.  My family.  My readers.  My Heroes.

I have the most amazing support system.  I am truly blessed to know all of you.  I am fortunate to have you in my corner cheering me on.  You tell me when I need to stop.  You also tell me when I need to push.  You tell me never to give up.  You tell me to let my detractors be my motivators.  You tell me to ignore the scale and listen to my body.  You tell me to enjoy myself.  You tell me to run faster and jump higher and shake it harder.  You give me advice and point me in the right direction.  You hold my hand.  You understand, and even if you don't, you empathize.  Many of you have never been in my shoes and had the weight to carry that I did, but you never let me forget that you carried it with me.  And as I lost it, so did you, and your weight became easier to bear.
You always tell me that I'm your inspiration.  You say, "I'm setting the example.  I'm letting people know that it CAN be done." Well, I'm here to tell you that you are all my heroes.  You never gave up  on me, even when gained all that weight I lost several years ago.  You didn't criticize, laugh or talk behind my back.  You didn't push me, and you didn't question me.  You know how I felt about gaining all that weight back and you didn't point fingers or blame me.  You accepted me.  You were patient.  You had more faith in me that I had in myself. 
So I will make this promise to you.  I refuse to let myself go back to how I was.  I will always work hard to continue on the path I've chosen for myself and LIVE.  I will move forward. 
To all my family, my friends, my Bestie Eliza, my Zen Master K.R., my mini-Zen Master H.K., Bryn, my work mom and sister, The COOL GIRLS club, my Sorors, my Frat, my readers, and anyone else I forgot...  Please don't take it personally, you are all My Heroes, and you deserve so much more than I could ever give you.  Just know that I appreciate and love you all, and I won't let myself go.  Never again.
On a happier less sappy note (rolling eyes), I will not be blogging next week since I'll be in VA with one of my heroes listening to the awesomeness that is Dave Matthews Band.  Only 5.6 pounds left to 220... Let's keep that momentum going.  30 by the 31st!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Uncharted Territory

Hey everyone!  I know I didn't post during Thanksgiving week.  It wasn't because I completely derailed and fell off the wagon.  I honestly didn't have anything to report.  My weight pretty much stayed the same.  I worked out really hard that week so I could enjoy my Thanksgiving with my family and friends. 
I also spent a little too much time online enjoying the Black Friday sales.  I couldn't help it.  It's amazing that I actually have choices now.  Skinny jeans, leggings, platform heels... These are all things I thought I'd never be able to wear.  I tried on a outfit that I got from Macy's, and I asked my mom for her opinion.  She just looked at me with her mouth wide open.  So, I'm thinking it must look pretty bad.  She just shook her head and said, "I can't believe I'm looking at my daughter.  You look amazing."  Okay...I had to go compose myself after that.  That meant so much coming from her because she has seen me struggle my entire life with my weight.  It's support like that from her and from all of you that makes it worthwhile.
Taking the Plunge!
So, how am I doing after Thanksgiving?  I'm doing fantastic.  As a matter of fact, I have some very important news to share.  I'm heading into uncharted territory so from here until the end of my journey, every experience is going to be brand new for me.  Why is that?
Well, I'm at my lightest ever adult weight.  Each pound loss is another milestone.  When I was on the low carb diet, my lowest weight was 229.  It was at that weight that my physician had to remove me from the plan due to medical complications, and as you know, things went downhill from there.  I never weighed lower than 229... until today.  Thanks to hard work, dedication, a kick ass run on the treadmill combined with a hellacious kettle bell class, I now weigh 228 pounds.  And I thank the good Lord for that! 
It hasn't been easy lately.  I had a lot of ups and downs over the last six to eight weeks.  My weight went up.  It went down.  I stayed in the 230's for a long time, and since my weight remained the same last week, I didn't know if I was going to make my "30 by the 31st" mini goal.  Sometimes, it's difficult to stay on task when you don't see the scale move, but it didn't get me down this time like usual.  Sure, I was frustrated that the scale didn't move, but I experienced other things that gave me hope.  
  • I'm able to complete full bodied push ups.
  • I ran my fastest time and speed on the treadmill.
  • My endurance is improving.
  • My planking is amazing.
  • My shoulders, arms, and legs are stronger.
  • I actually completed 100 full squats in less than 5 minutes.
  • I wearing a size 16!
It's these observations that make it easier to buckle down, work harder, and stay focused.  I'm only 8 pounds away from my second milestone... that would be 125 pounds in less than one year. At this point, it's hard to wrap my head around it.  I mean... that really ME I'm seeing in the mirror.  I'm not looking at other people and wishing I was them.  I AM THEM.
Can you imagine yourself strapped with an additional 125 pounds on your back?  Can you imagine trying to go up one flight of stairs or walking to and from the bathroom?  Imagine completing your basic routine with all that extra weight.  It's difficult to comprehend, isn't it?  I was doing that everyday, and hating every minute of it.  People ask me all the time how I started this journey.  How did I make the decision to lose weight?  Believe me, when any person truly gets sick and tired of something in their life and honestly cannot live with it anymore, they will get rid of it.  That's how I stared.  I hated how I looked.  I hated how I felt, and I was just tired.  I didn't want to do it anymore.  That was my turning point, and the changes I made were gradual.  Small changes that added up to big results.  I didn't even add exercise until I knew I had my appetite and eating managed.
So, what's next?  Same as always.  I will continue to work out and monitor my food intake. After all, I got charms to buy and a trip to plan.  Thanks to all of you who read my blog, support me, and encourage me.  I know I've said it before, but it bears saying again.  These journey is so much easier knowing I have all of you with me.  And to those of you who are struggling with your weight or any other personal situation, please know that you have a friend out there hoping you will Find Your Way.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Doing Better All By Myself

Good afternoon everyone.  I hope you are having a nice weekend so far.  Mine has been spectacular.  It's just been a fantastic week all the way around.  After the "Great Halloween Debacle," it felt good to get back on track.  This week was pretty much smooth sailing.  I attended all of my regular fitness classes.  I feel myself getting stronger each week.  I'm able to do a few full body push ups now.  My planking is just incredible.  I'm pleased with my progress this week, and of course, it paid off with a nice loss.  I am still on track to hit 220.2 by 12/31.  If I can keep pace with a two pound loss over the next six weeks, I'll reach it.  Now, more than ever, it's important to maintain focus...especially considering what's approaching this week.
Yep... it's Thanksgiving week, and to be honest, I'm not dreading it like I thought I would.  We're going the non-traditional route this year.  Wednesday will be a turkey dinner.  Thursday will be a fish fry at my cousin's house.  I plan on working out every single day this week including Thanksgiving day.  Unfortunately, I'm losing a day at the gym and our kettlebell class was not scheduled for this week.  No worries there since I just did an awesome kettlebell workout today all by myself.  I followed the same format as we do in class. 50 second intervals.  10 second rest.  I did this for 30 minutes or so.  I also included some ab work as well.  I finished up with Zumba Core on the Wii.  I got a great sweat, and proved to myself that I can do my own kettlebell class by myself.  I'll follow this same route on Thanksgiving.  It will give me some breathing room for dessert.
I really do feel the "Great Halloween Debacle" did something for me.  It's making me not as anxious to treat myself every now and then.  Before, I would worry about what my treats would do to my weight loss.  Would it derail me?  Not at all.  I've been eating sweets here and there.  I had a piece of cake with dinner last night. I tell you, exercising everyday really does pay off.  Make it a habit.  Once it's ingrained in your routine, it's hard to get off track.
And if I compare how I'm doing now to how I did on that low carb diet, I'm doing much better.  I may be able to get to 120 pounds lost by the end of 2012, and that's not even my one year anniversary.  I'm knocking on the door of heading into uncharted territory.  My lowest adult weight was 229.  I'm getting very close to that now, and I accomplished that without restricting carbs or driving myself insane.  Yes, folks, it can be done.  Carbs are not the enemy.  Each time I get on that scale and see another pound down, I feel like I'm giving the middle finger to all those doubter and nay-sayers who said it can't be done without some type of restriction to carbs.  Don't get Caught Up in all that "low carb is the enemy" nonsense.  It's all hype.  And it doesn't work.  I'm living proof.  I'm doing better all by myself.
P.S. - Blogger was acting weird last week and would let me post any pictures.  I added them this week so check out the Photo Album page for some updates.  Scroll to the bottom for the new additions.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Just What I Need

Hey Readers!  I went AWOL!  I didn't post my weight and blog entry during Halloween week.  To be honest, that week was bloody awful.  I don't know if it was Halloween or if I was just feeling rebellious.  I was pretty following a see-food diet, I saw food... and I ate it.

The only good thing about the week of Halloween is that I didn't stop exercising.  Not one day.  But, I really wasn't feeling it.  I didn't put my full effort into it.  I felt like I was just going through the motions, even during my kettlebell class.  I felt completely off my game.

And, what happened when I weighed myself last Saturday?  Well, I really couldn't weigh myself that day.  I ended up waking up at 5 am to do a Jillian DVD before heading to Mentor, OH to attend President Obama's campaign rally.  That was amazing (I posted a pic or two on the photo album page).  After that, I attended a Twilight party at my friend's house... and yes, I really did enjoy myself.

When I weighed myself on Sunday and I saw a three pound weight gain.  I really wasn't surprised.   To be honest, I've been feeling bored and dispondent.  Not because of what I've accomplished, but because I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back.  Just when I felt I got my appetite and cravings under control, my appetite went through the roof.  I was hungry often.  I wanted to eat everything.  I wanted pizza, french fries, hamburgers, cake and candy.  I felt like the "Old Me" was creeping back in and trying to take over.  And, I admit I fell into some old habits.  I ate candy... more than one serving of candy.  I had cupcakes and pizza and waffles with REAL SYRUP. 

Sunday was reality check time.  I thought back to my week, and what I ate and didn't record.  I also remembered that I didn't feel all that great after eating that food.  I used to get such great enjoyment from food.  It was my crutch and my therapist.  My boyfriend and my confidant.  Now... it's just FOOD, and I felt a little sick about my behavior. 

So, instead of wallowing in a downward shame spiral, I wrote last week off as what it was, a temporary setback.  I jumped in Jillian and Zumba on Sunday, and I hit my workouts this week with more vigour.  It also helped that my metabolic class completely kicked my ass.  Kettlebells were amazing.  I jumped and shook in Zumba, and I really worked hard at home.

So, when Saturday came and I found that I lost all the weight that I gained (and a tiny bit more), it was time for personal reflection.  Was Halloween week really worth it?  Was all that food worth it?  What did I get out of it?   You know, I think maybe I needed to go through that crazy week.  Maybe it was time for me to revisit how I used to be, and remember how I used to feel. I look at myself in the mirror and it's such a drastic change from where I used to be.  It's shocking and wonderful... and scary too.  I don't want to go back to how I used to be. I love who I am now. I'm happier and healthier.  So, I fell off the wagon.  You know, as long as I learned from that experience and moved on, Ain't Nothing Wrong With That.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Too Much? Or Just Right?

Hey everyone!  It's it a cold and rainy day in NE Ohio.  I guess we'll be getting a bit of Hurricane Sandy early next week.  I hope it isn't too bad.  It's definitely putting a damper on any outdoor activities.  This is when I'm happy I have a gym membership because weather will never be a factor in my workout.  Plus, I'm a creature of habit, and I like to plan ahead and get my workout done ASAP - which means the earlier the better.  I usually hit the gym around 10:30 am.  However, this quarter I do have three afternoon classes.  It hasn't present any problems because I enjoy classes very much.  I like working out with others because it keeps me motivated to move my ass and not slack off.  Sixty minutes or more at least 6 days a week.  So what does my workout schedule look like?  Many have asked what I've been up too, so I'll tell you what I did this past week.
  • Sunday - Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Work Out #2 (20 min) and Zumba Wii (51 min)
  • Monday - Elliptical Warm Up (22 min) and Kick 45 class (kickboxing aerobics 45 min)
  • Tuesday - Elliptical Warm Up (30 min) and Metabolic Conditioning (or Baby Cross Fit 30 min)
  • Wednesday - Kettlebell Class (45 min) and Elliptical (30 min)
  • Thursday - Elliptical Warm Up (24 min) and Zumba (45 min)
  • Friday - Day Off (Thank GOD!!)
  • Saturday - Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred Work Out #2 (20 min)
Yeah, that's what it looks like.  Some people say that's way too much.  I don't think so.  Folks need to realize that I have to lose a hellacious amount of weight.  I'm not like that crazy looking chick on that Nutri-System commerical that scares the hell out of me every time she starts her spastic salsa routine (if you've seen it, you know what I'm talking about.  That chicks is spooky and awkward!).  I need to loose close to 200 pounds...not 40.  And, in order to lose that much, you got to put in a lot work. That means I attempt to get in 60 minutes of intense exercise each day.  I like to have a good sweat going before I enter my exercise classes -hence the elliptical pre-work.  I seek out classes that are challenging and keep my heart rate elevated.  I'm looking for maximum calorie burn and hard muscle work.  It's required in order to get the results I need.
So, it's true that this may be too much for that crazy lady on Nutri-System.  But, not for me.  It works.  And, it also hurts.  I do take a day off here and there, and have light days (take Friday and today for an example).  Rest is required in order for me to keep going, and keep my body and joints healthy.  When my hip hurts, I cut the running out.  When my knee aches, I take a day off or do light work.  But, I keep moving, and I keep motivated.  I listen to my music on my new buddy. It's nice being able to move my arms not having to worry about getting my arms tangled in my headphone cords or my iPhone falling off the elliptical (Otterboxes work wonders).  Keeping your arms moving on the elliptical builds core stability.  Music keeps me moving, and my exercise playlist rocks.  Thanks to all who have contributed to it.  Feel free to keep sending me your favorite songs.  I love discovering and adding new music that keeps my hype.
So, to answer the question... Too Much?  Hell no, I'd say it's just right.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rolling Along...

Hey!  How's it going out there?  Another week has come and gone.  I swear time is moving super fast.  I blink and Saturday is here again.  This week went well.  I don't know if I've mentioned this earlier, but I decided to give up diet carbonated drinks.  I feel I need to focus on getting more water in me so I decided to remove diet pop and replace it with water.  I've been doing this for over two weeks now, and I thought it would be really hard, but it wasn't.  I wondered if my body would go through some weird adjustment phase, but I was fine, and I feel fine now.  I still crave them from time to time, but it isn't bad. 
YUM YUM! Just as good as a real burger.
I'm also dabbling a bit in vegetarianism.  I haven't made any decisions yet.  If anything, I will incorporate more veggie items and less meat. I've never been a big steak or chicken person.  I do enjoy eating ground beef and turkey.  I sampled the Vegetarian Black Bean burger at Max and Erma's last weekend, and it was SO DELICIOUS!  It truly rivals a regular cheeseburger, and that's saying a lot since I adore them.  Cheeseburgers are my fav!  The burger has guacamole, pico de gallo, shredded lettuce, and a nice green salad.  Very healthy and very delicious.  That was my very first veggie burger I ever ate.  I was so impressed that I contacted one of my very good friends, who happens to be Vegetarian, and I asked for some veggie alternatives.

I went shopping and picked up Boca Spicy Chick'n Patties and Morningstar Veggie Black Bean Patties based on her recommendations.  The Boca patties where a huge hit with my entire family.  They want to try the black bean burgers next week so we'll definitely be adding some guacamole and pico to the menu.  If you haven't added avocados to your diet, I highly recommend it.  It's one of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat, and it tastes fantastic. 
So, as you can see by my moodie, I feel like I'm hitting the nail right on the head lately. I was very leery when deciding to use this moodie for the week because you never know when Murphy (or his law) will pop up and push me back a bit.  But, I went ahead with it because it's truly how I feel.  I'm still making great progress.  I'm seeing amazing changes in my body, and my endurance continues to increase.  I really feel that the kettle bell class I'm taking on Wednesday is making an ENORMOUS impact.  Each week we move faster and learn more skills.  Eventually, our instruction will just shout of moves, and we will do them without a demonstration.

I also discovered that the Metabolic Conditioning class (also led by my kettle bell instructor) is Cross Fit inspired. I can't believe I'm even attempting some of the circuits she has for us.  I can't believe I can do these moves.  This past week's circuit was 25 squats with a 12 lb medicine ball.  As you come out of the squat, you toss the ball in the air, catch it, and go back into the squat.  After squats, 25 burpees, which are the bane of my existence.  I can barely do 5 in a row.  After burpees, 25 push ups.  OUCH!  We have to complete as many circuits as we can in 20 minutes.  I got through 2.  I love it.  I hate it. I feel exhilarated when I'm finished because I've accomplished something that I thought I could never do.  I never thought I could work out with that much intensity.  Now I can see how Cross Fit can be addicting.  It's a very quick workout with amazing results.  I may Crawl on the way out the studio room, but I will do it with a smile on my face.  Until next week folks...

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Cheaters Never Prosper

Hey bloggers!  Another week has come and gone.  It seems that time is just flying by.   I can't believe that it's almost been a year since I started my new life.  I've had some hiccups - ups and downs.  I'm just happy that I made the conscious decision to stick with this and not deviate.  It used to be easy to give up and say, "I don't want to do this anymore."  But, I'm not that person anymore.  I don't want to be obese and unhealthy.  I'm living a full, active life, accomplishing goals, and doing things I though I never could, and I'm much happier for it.

This week was...interesting to say the least.  I decided to do something this week that I haven't done in a very long time.  I didn't know what would happen, but what the hell, right?  You only live once.  So, what did I do?  I CHEATED.

Cheated?  What do you mean you cheated?  Well, I don't really like the word "cheat."  Cheating signifies that I did something wrong and dishonest.  I didn't fake a hole-in-one in mini golf.  I didn't count cards playing blackjack.  I didn't stack my UNO cards.  I supposedly cheated in my "diet."  I ate a few items that I usually tend to stay away from - considering that I have been counting calories and eating in moderation.  However, this week I did quite a bit of eating...that some would say was cheating.

Well, let me tell you. I did not cheat because I'm not on a "diet."  I'm not low carb, or no fat, or South Beach, or Atkins, or any of those other popular ones.  I'm eating what I long as it is within my calorie goal for the day.  I consider my calorie goal like a checkbook that I must withdrawal to zero every day.  As long as I have the calories in the bank, I can eat it.  I make good, healthy choices and consider where I'm going and what I may eat.  If I want something that may cause a larger withdrawal from the bank, I make allowances so I won't go overdraw.

Right now, my calorie limit is 1,200.  It will never go below 1,200 because my body will not function properly on such low fuel.  As a matter of fact, depending on how the next few weeks go, I may need to increase that number. In order for optimal metabolic burn, you MUST eat.  Depriving yourself of food just slows your metabolism and weight lost comes to a halt.

It's a very tricky equation.  But, exercising is the key.  Whatever calories I burn in exercising is a deposit in the calorie bank.  So, if I burn 500 calories in a work out, I can now eat 1,700 calories instead of 1,200.  Don't worry.  My doctor is well aware of what I'm doing, and he placed the 1,200 limit.  So, I will always follow his instruction.

So, what did I eat?  Well, Monday was the Cavs first preseason game (we won!).  I ate at Quaker Steak and Lube.  I had 1/2 a chicken wrap, 2 hot wings, and some cheese fries.  I did not eat all the fries.  Not a big fan of the cheese sauce.  I did devour a carrot cake cupcake with cream cheese frosting.  YUM!  Tuesday I had a homemade cheeseburger.  No fries.  That wasn't too bad.  Wednesday, I ate an entire Panera Cinnamon roll.  YIKES!  I usually split those in half, but I don't know what came over me.

To be honest, I'm lucky I didn't gain this week.  I actually lost enough to post new pictures.  I don't know if I'll ever have another one of those weeks again.  I take 'em one at a time.  However,  I do know that when I go back to the Quicken Loans Arena for another game, I will have another cupcake.  It does have carrots in it.  That's not cheating. :)  And, it was Bad

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Change Up

Hey readers!  I hope everyone is having a good weekend so far.  Mine has been pretty awesome.  As you know, today was the American Diabetes Association Step Out.  I had a great time with my friends, who also happen to be my co-workers and work out buddies.  We killed that 4 mile walk - which actually ended up being 3.59 miles.  We even took the healthy detour, which took us down into the flats in Cleveland.  That also means a hefty downhill and uphill walk, and I smoked them both.  Considering that we were walking with hundreds of people, we were able to make good time and got done under an hour. 
 We even made a pit stop at the Cleveland Cavaliers Team Shop.  I needed some new slim gear to wear to the games this year.  It felt great to be able to buy a ladies jersey with my favorite player's name and number.  I've never had that experience before.  I'm even happy to be able to go to the games this year.  I used to worry about having to go through turnstiles and even sitting in the seats in the arena.  I would avoid going to games because  I was afraid that I would get stuck or wouldn't be able to get through the turnstiles or sit in the seats.  It feels great knowing I can go to many places I love that I used to avoid before.  Losing weight have given me freedom to pursue many things that I've always wanted to do.
Speaking of being able to do new things, I finally reached a major walking/jogging goal.  I was able to complete 4.02 miles in one hour this past Tuesday.  I have never sweat like that in my LIFE!  It was exhilarating.  I was so pumped from that run that I even decided to add a Jillian's 30-day shred session when I got home later that day.  Crazy.. but I was feeling it.  I also felt like I needed to give my body a little shock this week.  I've been bouncing about lately so it was time to change things up a bit.  Jillian is definitely making a difference.  When I first tried that DVD, it was very difficult... and it's only 20 MINUTES.  Now, it's getting better, but still tough.  And I haven't even attempted workouts 2 or 3 yet.
I'm definitely going to add walk/jog/run intervals back into my workouts.  The weather is getting cooler out so I won't be able to exercise outside on Saturdays.  I need to make sure to keep my runs in during the winter so I can keep training and getting my body accustomed to running.  I want to have a really good time for the 10K that's coming in May.
All in all... it was a good week.  My first kettlebell class with a certified trainer was awesome.  We had an assessment up front - which was really challenging.  Then we began the workout portion.  The format was 45 seconds on, 15 second rest for each exercise with the kettlebell.  We will be doing many different exercises working all parts of the body and using various weights.  I'm loving all of it. Great workout... and great sweat.  My fat was in hysterics this week I tell ya!
So, I'm going to be working real hard to get that goal of 30 pounds by the end of 2012.  I want those Tiffany charms bad, and I'm only going to get them if I reach my second milestone at the end of the year.  It's going to be hard since I've been up and down lately, but I'm going to make it.  I am determined.  I WILL make it happen.  I'm a Go Getta.  I get what's mine!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Tale of Two Moods...

Happy Weekend Readers!  I hope everyone had a productive week.  As for me, I'm not quite sure how this week went.  I felt like I was two people this week.  I don't know if it was due to the monstrous achievement I had last week or perhaps it's due to a certain monthly visitor.  All I know is that I struggled all week with something I have not had too much of a problem with so far in this journey.  Usually I'm fighting with Doubting Thomas and his cousin Murphy on my workouts.  I'll admit I haven't had to much trouble with them lately. I've pretty happy with my workout choices, and I'm good at keeping things fresh and challenging myself so they have been absent for the most part. 

What I had problems with this week was my appetite. And, it's so strange.  I found myself hungry at odd moments when I'm usually not.  I have an eating schedule to make sure that I'm feeding myself every few hours to keep hunger in check and my metabolism roaring.  My calorie allowance didn't change much from last week to this week - even with the 5 pound loss.  So, why was I so hungry?  Why was I craving crazy foods?

I honestly don't know the answer to that question.  What I do know is that I fought it as hard as I could.  I worked out hard and tried to keep myself busy.  I increased my resistance workouts this week gearing up for my Kettlebell class that starts next week.  The Kettlebell instructor is the same person that leads my Metabolic Conditioning class, and she is no joke.  My burbees, push ups, and sit ups are improving, and I'm working on a new Jillian DVD.

So, to see an weight increase of 0.8 pounds this week really didn't bother me all that much.  I'm just glad I made it through this week.  I'm keeping my promise and not letting the scale bother or dictate my success or failure for the week.  Especially considering how my clothes feel.  My success this week - knowing I didn't cave to my hunger and cravings and fitting into a size 16 Calvin Klein black dress.  Now, that is SUCCESS.

Thinking back on it all, I'm glad I have these struggles.  I need these challenges. I need to have these internal discussions with myself.  Do I eat what I crave?  Or, should I eat the healthy meal that I packed in my lunch?  Should I pig out on candy or eat the fruit?  Should I eat the huge serving on Chinese food or the balanced meal of baked chicken and vegetables?  I will always have these internal discussions considering my past relationship with food.  They will always be there no matter what happens.  I'll always have to battle with myself to make sure I make the most wise and healthy choices.  In the end, I must be satisfied with the choices I've made, Settle Down, and work it out.

P.S. - There is still time to donate to Step Out for Diabetes.  The walk is next Saturday!  Thanks!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Happy Fall Everyone!  I have to admit I'm supercharged this morning, and there are several reasons why.  First, we are entering my favorite season of the year. I love Fall.  I love the colors.  My favorite holidays are in fall (Halloween and Thanksgiving).  I love the cool temperatures and the clothes.  I love all the fun activities.  Fall is just a time for getting comfy.  To celebrate fall, I've decided to have a spot of tea while writing the blog.  I'm all in the spirit today.  Got London on the mind hence the tea.  It's not Earl Grey or Twinnings, but it'll do.

As for the other reason... I've hit a rather important milestone today.  It's been on my heals teasing me for well over a month, and we've been dancing around each other like we're partners in the Tango.  Well, I finally tackled it this week, and believe me, it was a pain-infested, brutal, no-holds bared battle to the finish, and I won!  That's right.  100.4 POUNDS DOWN!  GONE!  VANISHED!

It wasn't easy either.  I started the week off good, but on Tuesday I got a pneumonia shot when I went for a check up with my doctor (more on that visit later).  It's a muscle shot so I got it in my right arm.  It didn't hurt.  No big deal.  Well, that same day I went to Dick's Sporting Goods to buy a 20 lb Kettlebell.  I need to increase the weight because some of my workouts that work big muscle groups were getting too easy.  I needed to step it up.

That evening I did Jillian's Kettlebells, and I started her 30 day Shed video.  Could finish it. HOLEY COW!  Those two workouts will never be combined.  I was tired and sore.  My right arm was aching.  The next morning, I'm stiff. My right arm is throbbing, and I don't know if I'm going to be able to workout.  I decided to hit the elliptical since it would leave my arm alone.  I'm a bit sad about skipping Metabolic Conditioning...until my two great friends come in the gym while I've been on the elliptical for almost 30 minutes.  So, I take a quick mental body check.  I'm feeling warmed up.  I can move my arm.  Let's do this.

And I did.  Metabolic Condition in like a cross fit class.  Google Cross Fit if you're curious.  I did four circuits of 15 lunges with a weighted bar, 30 Kettlebell swings (she ended up giving me a 30 lb Kettlebell), and 15 jumps on a riser (think step aerobics).  Ended the day with slight fever and body aches. 

It took all week for my arm to get back to normal.  I still worked out...just no weights.  Stiff muscles in my neck and shoulders were pretty intense.  But I muddled through.

So, how do I feel this week?  Well, my moodie for the week should explain it.  I'm ecstatic.  I feel accomplished.  I feel ready to tackle the next 100 (maybe...we'll see).  I feel I've got a really good handle on my eating habits.  I notice that when I go out for meals, I make really conscious choices.  I into consideration my portion sizes.  I split my meals in half.  I offer to share with others.  For example, my family went for Chinese last night for dinner, and I had a great time.  I had General Chicken but I decided to go with brown rice instead of fried or white rice.  I left the soy sauce alone and avoided the extra sauce that was on the chicken.  I still enjoyed it, but I knew that the decisions I made were good ones.  I've come a long way.

So, what's next?  Keeping Calm...Moving On sums it up.  I'm over my mid-way point.  I have 85 pounds to go to reach 160, and I still work on getting rid of the meds.  My doc says I'm doing great.  I'm doing so well that I don't have to see him until next year in March (SIX MONTHS!).  At that appointment, I'll talk to him about what can be done to get rid of these meds.  To me, that seems to be the more challenging task...especially the blood pressure pill and diabetes med.  But I'm determined.  I don't want to take any medicine.  I want to be able to manage my health with diet and exercise.

Now for some FUN!  I have decided to reward myself for this achievement... AND it's not Tiffany related (SHOCKER!)  What is it?  Stay tuned.  I'm keeping this one to myself because most won't understand or will probably think it's stupid.  I could care less.  I've coveted this item for a very long time, and I decided to reward myself.  When it arrives, I'll post it.  I like being mysterious.

Some more FUN... One of my very dear friends and supporters challenged me to lose 100 pounds by October 9th this past Monday.  She said that she'd wear one of my blog t-shirts twice a week for a month if I did.  G, get online and order that tee.  :)  I hope it doesn't get too stinky!

Before I sign off on this epic post, I want to thank all of you...all of my family, friends, and readers who I don't know.  I appreciate all of your kind words and thoughts.  You help me stay focused.  You keep my eye on the big prize... a better quality of LIFE.  That's the ultimate goal.  A better life for me and all of my loved ones.  Thank you from the bottom of my healthier heart (see... he's jumping!) and I feel good cause I Got (All of) You!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Not Insanity.... It's Determination!

Hey everyone!  I hope all is well with you.  With's a mixed bag.  I'll explain.

There is a very popular definition of insanity that was penned in author Rita Mae Brown's book called Sudden Death.  She stated, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results." I agree with her in most cases.  Doing the same thing over again and expecting something to change is pretty much insane.  And unstable. 

I had someone tell me that it was insane how much I was exercising.  I know they didn't mean anything by it...or maybe they did. I don't know. I try not to spend too much time trying to dissect people's motives.  That's a whole other type of insanity that I don't need to encounter.

So, I wonder if I am insane?  I am doing the same thing over and over again.  I exercise 60 plus minutes pretty much everyday of the week.  I meticulously document my food and portion sizes and count my calories.  As a result, I expect to see the scale move down.  It hasn't moved much lately.  It didn't move hardly at all this week.  Am I insane? 

NO!  I'm not insane. I'm DETERMINED.  Most of us have never felt what it's like to carry around 95 pounds and within the span of eight months...have it disappear.  I still have trouble wrapping my head around it. At the beginning of 2012, I was coming to terms with the fact that I was going to be obese for the rest of my life and trying to deal with what it would mean.  The loneliness it would bring.  Knowing that I would most likely lose years of my life.

That's changed now.  I see a different life ahead of me.  It doesn't matter if the scale moves 0.4 or 4.4.  What matters is how I feel, and I feel fantastic.  Yeah, I wish the scale had moved more.  But what I'm more impressed with is all the push ups and burpies I did in my Metabolic Conditioning class on Wednesday. That class was a beast.  It's only going to get harder.  I'm looking forward to it.   My biceps are getting bigger.  My legs are getting thinner.  Damn it!! My belly is gone.  I can see my feet.  I keep looking down while I'm walking.  I can see straight down my body to my feet.  I look to the side and back and can see the rest of my body.  No one know what that feels like unless you've been in my shoes.  It's hard to put into words.  It's emotional and exhilarating.

That Century Club is still dogging me, but I'm going to get there.  I'm going to keep moving, shaking,  jumping, burping (LOL), and rocking my body.  I'm going to sign up for a Kettlebell instruction class starting in October.  I'm going to keep reaching for that 15 minute mile.  And...lastly I'm going to lose 30 pounds by Dec. 31st so I can achieve two milestones in one year.  Very ambitious...I know.  But I'm DETERMINED!  Insanity can SUCK IT.

Another side note - I've entered a work challenge with my co-workers. All participants must commit to some type of activity 30 minutes a day Monday - Friday from 9/17 - 11/16.  For each day you do not complete your exercise, you must pay $2.  Also, if you commit to a weight loss goal (mine is 16 lbs.) and don't reach it, you pay $5.  All money collected will be donated to charity.  I can totally do this.  It's a fun challenge, and I'm glad to see my coworkers involved and active.

Lastly, there is still time to donate to the ADA Step Out!  Thanks to all of you who donated.  I reached my fundraising goal.  All of you are so kind and supportive.  Thank you.

Lastly...lastly?  I designed cool Keep Calm blog tshirts?  I have the blue one.  The black one is next.  Need to keep my eyes on the prize.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

I Broke It!

Hey Readers!  I hope everyone had a productive week.  Sometimes I find that short work weeks are more challenging than regular ones because your schedule is a bit out of wack.  Considering that I was at war with my body, I was a bit apprehensive about this week.  I just wanted to get myself back to "normal."  Get my schedule back on track. 

I admit that I haven't felt like "myself" lately.  I don't know if it due to me adjusting to being in a relationship again.  Maybe I was totally too pumped up for my birthday, and we all know how that ended.  I just know that I was tired not "moving."  I felt I was stagnant, and that plateau was just weighing on me.  More so than Doubting Thomas and his sidekick ever could.

Plateaus are tough.  And this one was even worse because I'm so close to the century club.  It seemed like I hit 90 pounds, and my body refused to budge.  Back and forth I went.  I was up. I was down. I was the same.  I was so frustrated, and then getting sick and not working out for a week.  That is sure fire way for me to totally derail and fall off. 

But I was sick and tired of it.  I kept telling myself everyday this week that I was going to break it.  I worked hard.  I increased my intensity.  I made my workouts more challenging.  I found that I was able to work out at higher intensities for longer periods of time, which made sense since I'm able to run more instead of walk during my intervals.

I felt different too.  Mentally, I was calm as the week went on. I started feeling like myself again.  I was diligently recording my food intake and making good choices.  I drank plenty of water.  I was surprised that I was able to work out over seven straight days considering how long it was I went without exercising.  Each day got easier to the point I felt I never missed a day.

So...what happened?  I BROKE IT!  I BROKE that bitch of a plateau.  I am more than thrilled.  I'm happy that the scale moved, but I'm ecstatic about the fact that I didn't let the plateau beat me.  I could have easily just decided not to keep going.  But that's not me anymore.  I couldn't wait to get back to working out.  I missed it.  I need it.  It keeps me sane and mentally focused.  I'm able to just clear my mind and sweat it all out.  I didn't need all that doubt weighing me down.  I got rid of it, and I'm better for it. 

If there is anything I learned from this is how mentally tough I really am.  I kept myself focused although all these doubts and negative thoughts were pounding on me trying to work themselves inside my head.  I Don't Need It.  I got rid of all of it.  I let them drip down my face with all that sweat.  Damn straight!

Side Note: I booked a trip to Jamaica for next year.  I hope to be below 200 when I go.  So... Next goal - Get below 200 pounds before June 19th.  Think I can do it?  I'm certainly going to try.

Also, if you have a few dollars to spare... I don't care if it's $1.00 or $5.00... Please donate to Step Out for Diabetes.  The link is at the top of the page.  I'm so close to my $200 fund raising goal.  I'd appreciate it so much.  Thanks!  The walk is in less than ONE MONTH!  Let's do it!

Lastly, I posted the 90 pound pictures under the Weight Loss Photo Page.  Take a look.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Revolt is Over

Long see, right?  It feels like I haven't posted an entry in forever.  I missed these entries because it's a way for me reflect on how my week went and it also keeps my honest and accountable.  And, can I just say that these two week were very trying!  My goodness!  My body completely revolted against me, but you know what? I gained control, and the revolt is over.  Let me fill you in.

First up... the biometric measure test that I took on Wednesday, 8/22.  If you are new to the blog, check out the biometric page.  I also posted the full results so you can view them there.  I was aiming for 3 out of 5.  Secretly, I was hoping for 4 out of 5.  Good news was that I did make 3/5 so I will get some savings in 2013.  I am disappointed in my glucose test since I had tested within range earlier in the year.  But, I'm taking what I can get.  This is great news considering I wasn't planning on doing anything when these tests were first offered to us.  I am proud that I was able to get three vital measures down within range in 7 months.   I am definitely going to enjoy the extra money in my paycheck.  It's like a raise for being healthy. :)  Next year, I'm going 5/5!

On Wednesday, my Zen Master also suggested a way for me to reach 4 miles in an hour on the treadmill.  Run a quarter mile.  Walk a quarter mile.  At first I thought... W.T.F?!?!?  How on earth am I going to do that?  Well, my body did it.  I didn't make 4 miles, but I did reach 3.9/hour.  My body paid for it after.  I hurt so bad.  But, I was also happy because I was able to run a quarter mile.

Next up... Pittsburgh trip.  It started off great.  I was having a lot of fun and enjoying myself.  On the eve of my birthday, I ate a Chicken Caesar salad... which pretty much took me out of commission ON my birthday and for several days after.  Something in that salad did not agree with my body, and it rebelled...EVERYWHERE!  Getting food poisoning is not the ideal way to lose weight, and in case you're wondering if I did lose... NOPE.  I'm glad too.  I definitely don't want to lose weight that way.  So, to sum it up, birthday is definitely postponed to another day. I'm going to just act like it didn't happen... although it did.

Getting sick was really unfortunate, and I was certainly worried.  I had already decided to take more than one day off during my birthday break, and I was concerned about how that would affect my body when I decided to start again. I haven't gone more than one day without working out so it was troublesome for me think about.  Now, with my illness, I ended up not working out for a whole WEEK.  It was EIGHT days to be exact. 

I wanted to make sure by body was ready because I was so weak.  So, on Friday I told myself I'd do Zumba.  At first, I was wheezing a bit.  No joke.  But by the second song, I got my wind back and completed my normal 1 hour routine.  My knees hurt later in the day, but I just made sure to rest and drink plenty of water.  I also decided that I was doing to walk/run on Saturday.

I was feeling ambitious this morning so I did the quarter mile intervals again.  AND I rocked it.  I didn't get 4 miles/hour, but I did finish with my best outdoor run time to date.  In fact, I was running .3 mile intervals in the tail end of my run.  So, my conclusion... I'm not winded, and I can run for longer intervals.  .3 will turn into .5 and so on. 

So, after all that body drama, what did the scale say?  I lost 0.2 pounds.  How do I feel about that?  I really don't know.  It was my birthday.  I was celebrating.  Was I recording everything?  Absolutely not.  Was I eating absolutely crazy?  No.  Did I have birthday cake and birthday ice cream cake?  Yes.  Was it ridiculous pieces?  No.  So, I say these last two weeks were a wash.  My body was doing whatever the hell it wanted, and I'm taking control back.  I'm tried to sitting in one place, and I've been in one place for almost a month.  Body, you better listen up.  I'm taking control back.  Get ready.  It's Payback time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Keeping Calm… Moving On…

Hey blog readers. Sorry for the late posting. This past weekend was crazy busy. I had two family dinners and caught up with my bestie. I was able to get an interval walk/run in on Saturday morning.
I haven’t run outside in over a month. I figured that since I hadn’t run in a while, I’d have a poor time, but I still finished with my best time yet. Each time I get faster which is what I’m aiming for. I think I’m
going to pick up intervals again during the week too. Give myself a chance to do it two times a week – once on a treadmill and once outside. Hopefully, the extra day will give me more opportunities to trim
my time.

Well, regarding my weigh in on Saturday… I’m trying to not let it bother me too much. I gained 0.6
pounds. Nothing like what happened a few weeks ago. I steadily tracked all week and exercised 6 out
of 7 days. So based on that information, one of two things happened.

1. I’m gaining muscle. Muscle is denser and weighs more than fat. However, it takes up way less
space. So, if I’m gaining muscle and losing fat, it is possible not to see much movement on the
scale. Now, if I don’t see any change in how my clothes feel as I’m going through these stages,
then that is a problem because…

2. I’m truly gaining weight.

I really don’t think it’s #2 because I’m not eating crazy and I’m still working out. I eat a good balance of
fruits and vegetables, and I have an occasional sweet, but it’s measured and contained. So, I’m going
with #1. And, I’m totally fine with that. In fact, I hope it continues.

I love the fact that I’m getting stronger. Stronger body means bigger muscles. Bigger muscles mean I’ll
be able to work harder, run faster, and jump higher. I ran for 5 straight minutes on the treadmill the
other day. FIVE STRAIGHT MINUTES!!! The Old Navy jeans that I finally got into several weeks ago… I can now pull them on and off without have to unbutton and unzip them. I had to buy two new belts,
and I bought them from Target. Not a plus size store.

So, I’m not going to freak out over what happened. At this point in my journey, it’s going to be about
more about how I feel, how my clothes feel, and how I look. I’m not going to focus on the scale like I
used to. I’m still going to weigh myself once a week, but it’s no longer the focal point.
It may take me a longer to lose this last 10 pounds to reach the century club, and if it’s due to the fact
that I’m trading fat for muscle, I’m going to keep calm and move on. I don’t mind taking my time to
reach this milestone in that manner.  I'm going to be my own Champion.

Lastly, due to recent changes in my life that are super positive (read last week’s post), I will be
postponing my Tiffany trip. Don’t worry! I’m still going to get my bracelet… just not this weekend. I’ll
get it eventually along with all of my other goal rewards. Sometimes, you just got to sit back and decide
what’s more important. 

Special Note: My biometric test is this coming Wednesday.  Wish me luck!  I should have all the results by next week.  My blog post will most likely be delayed due to the weekend festivities so I should have plenty to tell you next week.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

With Changes Comes New Opportunities...

Hey Readers!  Last week was a wake up call for me.  I learned a lot about maintaining focus and remembering why I am doing all of this.  This isn't something temporary.  It's permanent.  It's how I will live my life.   Now that I've had a week to reflect back on what I did and where I went wrong, I am better able to watch for those patterns and try to get myself back on track.  This week definitely went better.  I was back to my routine and although there was a spontaneous change toward the end of the week, I was  able to adjust to it, and keep my head together.  I'm also learning that spontaneity can be a good thing, and I need to learn to adapt to quick changes and make adjustments that will continue to support my life goals.

I guess this is all leading up to my mood for the week.  I'd say it's BLISS.  Something very good - life altering for me - happened this week.  I guess you can say I've never been happier.  I'm in a blissful state.  Let me explain.

The life of an obese person can be lonely.  Sure, I've always been surrounded by family and friends.  I'm fun to be around, and I love to laugh and make others laugh.  But, there was always something missing, and when I didn't feel attractive, I tended to keep people away.  I kept people at arms length because I was afraid of rejection and pain.  I didn't want to get hurt because I knew the results would be devastating. 

Whenever I would get the courage to take the initiative and tell someone how I felt, I always got the same responses, "I not good enough for you."  "If you decided to leave me, I wouldn't know what to do."  I always thought... where am I going?  I'm a very loyal individual so if I'm going to be in a relationship with a man, I'm going to be with him.  I'm not going to jump up and leave.  So, to me, those responses puzzled and hurt me.  After all, isn't it my decision?  Aren't I the one who should know if you're good for me?

So, those two responses translated to something else entirely for me.  I'm too fat to be loved.  I'm too fat to be appreciated.  No one would be proud to be seen with me.  So, after the last debacle, I picked up my shattered ego, and shut myself down for a long time.  I was existing...not living.

When I decided to make a change, I made it for me.  Not to find a man or to make myself more attractive.   Sure, it was something I thought about, but it was not the deciding factor.  As I started to transform, men began to notice, but I'm still the same person I was 90 pounds ago.  If you attracted to me know, it was all about appearance and not about substance.  I know I'm more confident because I feel better about myself.  But, I'm not a fool so don't approach me like one..

I feel I'm at the point now where I can truly welcome a significant other into my life and be able to share myself without feeling insecure and fearing rejection.  I'm been blessed to find someone that appreciates all of me.  He appreciates my thoughts and beliefs..  He supports my goals and dreams.  He's supportive, nurturing and loving.  And what's most important is that I FEEL the same.  I can support his goals and dreams.  I can appreciate his thoughts and beliefs, and I'm secure in myself and our relationship.  I now have confidence in my ability to be welcome others into my life.  That is something that I had to overcome.   

So, what does all this mean?  With new changes, come new opportunities.  I'm still right where I need to be.  I'm back on track... I just welcoming a new team member.  So welcome aboard Anthony.  You came just at the right time.

P.S. - This is probably my first and last sappy post.  I promise.  I'm still basking in the glow, so sue me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Hey everyone!  I'm back.  I survived.  I'm still breathing.  I'm not panicking.  I'm not hyperventilating.  The world did not spinning off it's axis.  An asteroid did not hit the earth.  So, I bet you're wondering why I'm spouting off all these doomsday prophecies.  Well, the inevitable occurred, and I find irony in it since it happened right after my six month anniversary.  I gained.  I gained weight.  I did not lose this past week.  And, I'm actually surprised at how I'm handling it.
If this had happened earlier in my journey, I'm sure I would have handled it differently.  I probably would panicked.  Had a melt down beyond epic proportions.  I swear I'm not usually full of drama.  I despise it in fact since I like to live a drama-free life.  I do find that when drama does infiltrate my life, I invited it in.  This situation is no different.

Now, I know that a weight gain of 2.5 pounds shouldn't shoot me straight into bedlam.  It did startle me when I saw the numbers on the scale this morning.  But, it wasn't unexpected because I know what I did.  I let my situation own me.  I let my laziness rule.  I let my schedule disruption take over.  And, when I did all of that, the result was what I saw on the scale.

Of course, this weight gain may not be that big of a deal.  I mean it could be because I'm amassed more muscle this week.  My clothes are still lose.  I know the number on the scale SHOULD NOT be my ultimate measuring stick.  But, it is. I'm human folks.  I need that number on that scale.  It's how I get my feedback. 

So, how did I allow this to happen?  Easy.  I did not track.  I did not measure.  I did not log my food.  Funny thing is, when I was on vacation, I still measured.  I still tracked my water intake.  I made sure to find some sort of exercise.  What made this situation so different?  Sure, I didn't have the time for conventional exercise, but hauling all that furniture on a truck and moving and cleaning sure did work up a healthy sweat for me two days in a row.

It all goes back to tracking.  I did not record what I ate.  I have no clue how much I ate.  If I ate too much.  If I ate too little.  When I got home yesterday, I went for a motorcycle ride with my brother in 90 degree weather without eating for several hours.  When I got back, I felt like crap.  I felt ill all evening.  I ate, but it wasn't the right things.  I also was super nervous because I knew I had to meet the scale in the morning, and I wasn't going to like what I saw.

So, what caused the weight gain?  Too many calories?  Not enough?  No exercise?  Hell if I know, and I'm not going to beat my head against the wall trying to figure out what happened.  What I do know is this.  People who are successful at not only losing substantial weight and keeping it off do one thing consistently.  Monitor and record what they eat.  They are meticulous about it.  They do not let routine disruptions stop them.  So, that's what I must do.  Today is the start of a new week.  I'm going back to what has worked for the past 26 weeks.  If this week has taught me anything, it's that planning is key.  I successfully  navigated through three weeks of my gym being shut down only to be thrown off by a schedule disruption of three days.  Are you fucking kidding me?  No excuses.  I lost (err...gained).  I learned.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Six Months In...

Hey readers!  It was one hell of a week let me tell you.  It was challenging, but I muddled through.  I also felt inspired because I knew I was completing my 26th week.  Six months into my new life...  I never thought I'd be where I am right now.  I'm on the cusp of entering the Century Club.  I've lost 87.2 pounds in 6 months.  It's still hard for me to put my mind around that, especially since I was able to do it without any serious restrictions.  I'm still eating carbs. I'm still eating fats. I'm still eating protein. 
If there is one thing that I've learned so far is that a diet that restricts either of those three items won't work for me.  I needed to learn how to eat and make tradeoffs.  I was able to lose this weight eating an occasional cheeseburger and piece of dessert or candy.  I'm much happier for it. 

When I see myself in the mirror, it's still a bit surreal.  I guess because it happened so fast.  I'm several weeks into stage two, and I'm almost down 30 lbs.  Milestone #2 is reaching 220.3 pounds.  I'm already at 257.8.  Before, losing 40 pounds seemed impossible.  Not anymore. 

As a matter of fact, I backed up off my exercise this week.  I weighed myself Wednesday evening to check in, and I found myself down 5 pounds with two more workout days in the week.  This worried me a bit because I was losing too fast.  So, I took a day off on Thursday, which I'm happy to say I enjoyed.  I think I've worked through my guilt issues when I decide to take a day off.  It seems that since I've increase my resistance workouts to three days a week, my weight loss is speeding up.  I'm definitely not losing muscle either because my arms are more defined.

I also changed my workout routine this week by backing off Zumba on Sunday.  I worked the bells so hard on Sunday that my legs were like jelly.  So, I'm going to continue with that.  I'm working Zumba down to only two days a week.  Since my gym is opening up on Monday, I'll still be able to work in a resistance class so I can get three days of weights in.  I'm finding that I enjoy the group classes more than working alone on a piece of equipment.  I really enjoy the interaction with the instructor and the other participants.  That's also why I like Zumba Wii and Jillian's kettlebell workout.  I don't feel like I'm alone. am I going to celebrate my anniversary?  Well, I worked out on the elliptical this morning, which killed me.  No interval running today due to weather.  I'm just glad I got it done.  Now, I'm just going to relax.  I'm really looking forward to my trip to Pittsburg.  Count down commences tomorrow...4 weeks to go.

Lastly, I'm going to be going out of town this week coming.  I'll be in Tennessee helping a family member move back to Ohio.  It will be interesting to see how I handle being out of my routine for another week.  I think I'll be okay.  I'm going to watch what I eat and make sure I get some exercise in...even if it's a walk.  Last time I was on vacation resulted in my largest weight loss week.  I don't think it will be like that this time, but it does make me feel better about stepping out of my routine and still being able to accomplish my goals.   My weigh-in and blog entry will be delayed.  I'll post next Sunday when I'm back in town.

So...let's here it for a great 6 months.  Let's keep that momentum going.  Thanks to all of you for your comments, support, ass kicks, and everything.  It really does make a difference.  My song choice for this week is a really happy tune since that's how I'm feeling.  The song title is a bit unusual...but very familiar to some of you.  Let's here it for Quincy Jones and a bit of Soul Bossa Nova.

Here's to a great six months! Let's celebrate with some jazz flute!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

It Was Only a Matter of Time...

Well, another week down.  It was somethin' else.  Things seemed to be moving along great.  Last week I was firing on all cylinders.  It was the last week that my gym would be closed for renovations, so I was looking forward to getting back to my regular schedule.  Kettlebells and I were getting along great.  I remember wondering where D.T. was.  He hadn't showed up for quite some time.  I felt a bit smug.  Perhaps, I had him beat.  Yeah...right.

D.T. and his damn cousin Murphy came back for a visit.  They showed up every single day.  Little BASTARDS! On Monday, D.T. tried to convince me to step off the elliptical after 45 minutes.  I was so tired, so why don't I just check out early.  And, I thought about it too.  I mean 45 minutes is a substantial workout, right?  What's another 15 minutes?  I decided to stay on and back off on my intensity.  I was able to finish my hour and cool down.  So, at least I had him beat that day.

Tuesday was just fucked.  All the way around.  Bad day.  It was so bad that I was totally not focused during Zumba.  What the hell!  I'm never not focused, especially during Zumba.  My footwork was off.  I was distracted.  It just sucked.  D.T. laughed.  He thought it was funny, and he was winning.

I sure didn't miss you, D.T.

Wednesday...I didn't want to do anything.  I wanted to go home after work.  I didn't want to hit the elliptical again.  I was afraid that D.T. was going to laugh me off the machine.  So, I told myself, "If I'm not going to work out at the gym, I'm going to do kettlebells when I get home."  And I did.  It was a great workout, and I felt my form getting better. However, it was only 25 minutes.  I didn't do my hour.  D.T. was snickering at me.  Just like he is in the picture on the left. 

Thursday.  I needed to complete another early morning Wii workout so I needed to get to bed early Wednesday night.  Guess what happened?  Couldn't sleep.  I popped up at 2:36 am on Thursday morning, and I couldn't get back to sleep.  When 3:00 am rolled around, I just got up.  Got dressed.  Completed by Zumba workout.  I felt like hot shit afterwards (disclaimer...I've never felt hot shit before, but I'm sure it felt like I did after that).  And that feeling stayed with me all day.  When I don't get enough rest, I feel nauseous.  I felt queasy all day long.  

Shove that email up your ....!

And if that wasn't comes Murphy.  Toward the end of the work day I get this email from Murphy that says, "Due to unforeseen flooring installation problems, the gym will be closed for another week."  It will open July 30th instead of the 23rd.  Really?  Really!!  GAH!  And I had to laugh because at that point, after the week I had, I wanted to cry. 

I even took a step back to reevaluate myself.  Was I really that upset about the gym being closed another week?  Is it that big of a deal?  HELL YEAH IT IS!  My workouts mean a lot to me.  It gets me to clear my head.  It's therapy for my body and soul.  I've been out of my normal schedule for two weeks now, and I'm anxious to get it back. 

So...after all of that mental drama, how did I do this week?  Here's the crazy part. I had the third best week since I've started.  4.6 pounds lost.  81.8 pounds down.  23.7% body weight lost.  So, I'm going to shut up. 

Now that I think about it.  I'm glad Tom and Murph showed up.  I need them.  They keep me focused on the big prize.  They keep me humble and honest.  They try to hang me up, but I'll always Keep Trying.  I'm come too far to let them get the best of me. 

Next week is my 6 month anniversary.  I can't believe it's been that long.  Time is passing by so quickly.  Thanks for reading.