Tuesday, December 31, 2013

No More "New" Resolutions?

As the last day of 2013 comes to close, I realized that for once I wouldn't be spending the greater portion of my night thinking of resolutions that I may actually be able to stick to. Instead, I will continue with the resolution I made for New Year's 2013.

My resolution for this year, is to continue on my weight loss journey, which I started on January 2, 2013 (read my first post on this blog, declaring 2013 as my year of change here).

For the greater part of my weight loss journey this year (2013), I was successful in the sense that I felt better about myself and I started to notice some non-scale victories. I tried not to focus on the scale, but I will admit that there were times when I let the numbers on the scale define my mood or my approach to the next steps on this journey.

I tried some new exercises and ventured away from some. It took me nearly a whole year to convince my knees that they could hold up and do a proper squat and lunge, but I was finally able to do some. I also mastered the plank for longer than 15 seconds, which is a victory for me.

I can't stop there and I refuse to stop there.

I declared 2013 as my year of change, but 2013 was just my warm up; 2014 will be my year. I will graduate from college in May and my goal is to be down another 15 pounds by then. By August, I hope to be down another 9 pounds (24 total at 3 pounds per month). By December, I hope to be down another 16 (40 total at 3 pounds per month).

Looking at my progress this year, I know that going forward, I need to stay focused by keeping my goal(s) in mind and accepting the fact that this journey brings a lot of highs and lows along the way. If I don't meet my monthly goal, I cannot dwell on that, instead I have to move forward. I have to understand that it is okay to treat myself to foods that may be considered "cheat meals" but only in moderation.

2013 was just my stepping stone, I am ready to move forward on this journey and see what 2014 has in store for me.

Monday, December 16, 2013

An Extensive Update

When I started blogging at the beginning of the year, I told myself that I would use this space to chronicle my journey. That included the good, bad and in between. For awhile, I was a 'daily' blogger. Then I started having trouble finding topics to discuss, so I became an 'every other day' blogger. Then time caught up with me and I quickly became a 'once a week' blogger. Finally, the semester hit like bag a bricks and I became a 'no longer have the energy to post' blogger.

Although the semester is finally over, I still feel physically drained. It's almost as if someone has run over me with their vehicle several times and I cannot pull myself off of the pavement.

My workouts have become nonexistent in a way. If I can get myself to pull up Nike Training Club and actually workout, I know it will be a good day (or in my case, a good night since that is when I tend to workout). The only problem, I have to get myself to actually get my weights and tablet so I can workout. I am not sure why it takes me so long to "get in the mood" to workout because I know that once I am done, my mind is finally clear, I feel good and I know that I am getting back into my workout groove.

Then there comes the issue of eating. The night before Thanksgiving, I ended up catching some type of cold (or perhaps it was a sinus infection, I am not quite sure), something that hasn't happened in nearly two years. On Thanksgiving, I literally felt like I was down for the count. I stayed medicated around the clock, but food and exercise were the last things on my mind. Five days and numerous boxes of medication later (they were never full boxes, I just cleaned up my medicine cabinet) my voice decided it wanted to get weak and my nasal congestion decided it wanted to get worse. Unfortunately for me, I had two presentations back to back. One where I had to take a break from my 3 minute portion to cough as loud as I possibly could and the other where it felt like I was straining for the entire room to hear me.

My voice eventually got stronger and my nasal congestion decided to linger around for another week but during this entire ordeal, my appetite decide it wanted to leave. In the span of a week, I lost 1.2 pounds from not eating proper meals. Any other time I would have rejoiced to see that loss but I knew I was doing damage to my body because I didn't feel like eating.

I have since gained that 1.2 pounds back (plus some) which I never thought I would be happy about but I am because I finally had an appetite again.

Fast forward to today, where I have not worked out once since December began, constantly feel hungry (although it seems that I eat all day long, I must be eating the wrong things) and feel like I have no energy. Therefore, starting tomorrow evening, I am giving myself a week to get back to working out and eating properly so by the time Christmas rolls around, I am back to my old self.

I have no excuse why I can't or won't be successful this week. I have new training cables, plenty of free weights, open space and MyFitnessPal which equals a recipe for success. I owe myself this Christmas gift because I have come too far on this journey to turn around.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

No Scale November?

I have often wondered if I could go a month without stepping on the scale. I am not sure whether I should have been nervous when I told myself that this was my plan for the month or excited that I would not be limited to the numbers I saw on the scale.

I started November with this exact plan; "I won't step on the scale each week, but I will step on every other week." I figured that this was the best approach for me instead of giving up the scale all together for the month (part of me knew I wouldn't make it though).

I joined a new challenge on MyFitnessPal the other week and one of our weekly activities is to weigh in. I had already told myself that I was ready to commit to this journey once again and I wanted to be able to complete a challenge to the fullest potential possible. So, what did I do?

Stepped on the scale.

The number I saw was a gain since I had stepped on the scale five weeks ago, but it was a number that I had expected because each day my pattern of eating was getting worse. Case in point, a few days earlier I had eaten two mini sausage biscuits, oatmeal, pigs in a blanket, about a cup of lo mein noodles and three pieces of sesame chicken all before lunch. Then came the birthday dinner for one of my aunts where I had a salad, two pieces of bread, about 6oz.'s of steak, half of a baked potato and a portion of a Texas tonion for my appetizer. This wasn't even a cheat day!

That was my wake up moment which helped me come to the decision that it was time for me to commit once again. It also helped me come to the realization that I wasn't ready to go a whole month without the scale. It had been five weeks and I was already falling back into my old habits. Yes, I was logging but I wasn't doing much other than that.

Giving up the scale proved to me that there will be a time when I can go an entire month without weighing in, the time just isn't now. There will be a time when I can go a few days without logging and not fall back into my pattern of horrible habits.

Bottom line; in due time, a lot of things will become clear to me and I will have the willpower to make those things happen.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I Can and I Will

I thought about some of my goals this morning and knew that I am at a place in my life where I am ready to start working towards those goals. Goal 1 - get in shape for my college graduation in May 2014. Yes, I will have on my "graduation attire" but I want to be able to wear a dress in a few sizes smaller by then.

Goal 2 - start training for a marathon in either late 2014 or sometime in 2015. Thanks to the C25K app, I have discovered that I like running. I may not be the best at it, if that is even possible, but I have fun while doing it and give it my all.

I started this journey on January 2, 2013 and I vowed to myself then that I would be successful. While I was successful for many months, I hit a bump in August and then again in September. October was decent but November has been all over the place. I have some changes to make, big changes for that matter, but I am ready to get started.

Some of these changes may be more psychological. I know there will be times when that voice will pop in my head and tell me that I can't, that I will fail, that it is not worth it. But, those are the same times when I have to look at this image and tell myself "I can and I will."

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bittersweet Moment

Today, for the last time in my undergraduate career, I registered for classes. I titled this post 'bittersweet moment' because that is exactly what it was. I was happy to get all of the classes that I wanted but sort of sad that I won't be going through that process anymore.

The fact that I have registered for classes eight times, twice at my first university and six times at my current university, doesn't seem like much; but, those eight times have gotten me where I am today. Those eight times tell me that I must have made some great decisions along the way.

There were classes that I dreaded signing up for, classes that I was excited to sign up for and classes that I was on the fence about.

There will be no more writing out the classes I need, looking through the options, creating a "potential" schedule (simply a table in word with dates and times). No more getting up at the crack of dawn (my first university, although I enjoyed that time of morning better) to sit in front of the computer patiently waiting for the clock to change. No more writing down CRN numbers so I don't have to scroll through the (what seems like) endless class options just to find a class. No more anxiety as to whether or not I would be able to get the class I want.

There will be "no more" of a lot of aspects related to my college career.

Where to now?

I have no idea. I would love to say that grad school is on my list, but I am so tired of undergrad I don't know if I could push myself through grad school. I would love to become accredited in public relations (APR) but I am not sure if I have the patience or discipline to study for another "major" test. There are so many things I would love to say are options right now, but I won't know any of those until that wonderful day in May gets here when I can say, "I'm a college graduate."

Soon after, I am sure I will say "now what?"

Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Update

It is hard to believe that October has come and gone, 2013 is truly flying by. I'm here to give my October update, which probably won't be much of an update at all.

In September, I fell of the wagon...hard. It is like I lost all motivation to be on this journey. I told myself, as I always do, that October was going to be my month. October came and 28 days passed before I committed to this journey once again.

I am an emotional eater and earlier in the month it seems like everything that could be dumped on me, mainly schoolwork, was dumped on me. It is like I was buried under an avalanche of tests, projects and more! Tuesday, was the first day I have had where I could come home and actually relax (which really meant I could come home and watch QVC) but it is also the day I decided to pick up the October issue of Fitness magazine that had been sitting on my ottoman and actually complete a workout.

Not only was I impressed with the workout which featured Jeanette Jenkins, I finally figured out why celebrities want her as their personal trainer, she knows her stuff (not to mention, she re-tweeted me; talk about excited). On paper, the workout looks like a breeze, but once you get into it, it is one of the most intense workouts I have experienced from a magazine.

For the past five days my eating has actually been better. I am logging everything that I am eating or drinking and have avoided sweets. If I am craving a soda, I go with a diet one, although that is very rare. It wasn't until today that I discovered I can eat a mini piece of candy and be as satisfied as I would if I ate the entire bar.

The last 5 days have been more successful than this entire month has but that just serves as my motivation for November. I realized that I haven't updated my measurements in a while, so that and a goals for November post are currently on my list. Hopefully November will be successful in terms of weight loss, life and school work. I only have one more month in this semester and I am ready to bring it!

Friday, October 25, 2013


I have to say that honesty is a trait that a value highly. As much as I value it, there are times when it comes from the people close to you that it really stings.

Up until a month ago, I was logging regularly on MyFitnessPal. Some unexpected events occurred and my logging to a back seat. I have really struggled with getting back into the habit of logging everything that I eat and every exercise that I complete. But, I know that in order to be successful, I have to get back into what I was doing.

Yesterday, I happened to state (in front of my main supporter) that I couldn't get the numbers on the scale to go down. Their response, 'well you have been hitting the breads kind of hard'. Talk about an eye opener.

I will admit that I have let some of my old habits creep back into my life, which was never a good thing. Truth be told, I have been hitting the breads (and other carbs) very hard. To have someone actually mention that is what I was dong (from their observations alone) was pretty hurtful. It wasn't necessarily their comment that hurt me, it was the fact that their comment made me realize I was hurting my body by reverting to my old ways.

I tell myself time and time again that today is going to be the day that I begin working out again. Then their comes the main excuse,  'everything is picking up in the semester and I rarely have time to myself'. That alone should tell me that I have to make time for myself, no matter how much work I am buried under. Even if it is just 30 minutes a day, that is enough time to get in some type of exercise.

I downloaded a few apps from Zen Labs, LLC this past week and since they can be done indoors (the push-up trainer for example), I figured I would start there and then as the semester calms down (hopefully very very soon, a little over 1 month left!), I will be able to get back outside and start C25K over.

All of these ideas and plans sound great in my head and they are things that I want to do. I just hope I can start committing to what I blog about.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

My Fall Fashion Picks

I've said it numerous times, Fall is my favorite time of the year! I love sweaters, scarves, boots and more. But, there are times when some of the latest trends are not made for all body shapes and sizes. I search and search for things that work well for me and when I find them, I purchase multiples.

Here are some of my Fall fashion picks that I hope to capture in pictures as the season gets underway. Each of these pieces pair well with others, are extremely comfortable and compliment all body types.

1. The Liz Claiborne Denim Henley pairs well with just about anything. I paired it with a pair of khaki pants earlier this week but can't wait to pair it with skinny jeans or black pants. A denim shirt is something that can be dressed up or kept casual.

2. These A.N.A. boots are my favorite fashion item so far. I never thought I would go with boots that had laces and zipped up but I suppose my tastes have changed. I love wearing these with boot cut jeans. I tried to pair them with skinny jeans and they made my legs look funny, it may have been the particular pants but I will be trying these with skinny jeans again.

3. Because of my height, my skinny jeans are always paired with boots (whether tall or short). I haven't specified any brand of skinny jeans because all of my jeans come from J.C. Penney or Old Navy. Both retailers have a pretty good range of sizes and the jeans fit well (meaning, you don't have to wiggle to get everything in).

4. I love these Mossimo Ankle Boots because they are easy to slip on and the taupe color goes well with jeans or any pair of dress pants. I like the fact that I can wear these boots to the office, to class and when out with the horses; they are that versatile.

5. I normally don't rotate my handbag any more than seasonally. I am known for taking the largest (and heaviest) handbag in my family but I decided to lighten things up for Fall. This seasons handbag is the Large Pocket Satchel from Dooney and Bourke. I was skeptical once I got home with my purchase because I am so used to having a larger bag, but I think this one will surprise me (and my shoulder will thank me later).

These are five of my fashion pics that will definitely be put to use this season. As I add to my collection, I will post updates.

Friday, October 11, 2013


burnout [noun]: the condition of someone who has become very physically and emotionally tired after doing a difficult job for a long time.

For me, the definition says it all; I am burned out. I don't know when it happened, but it did and I don't think there is any turning back now.

There are times when I like to sit back and examine my life thus far, I try not to go back too far, maybe a few years or so. In doing this, I can see how things have (or in some instances, have not changed). When I was a freshman in college my approach to life changed. I was blessed to be able to go to college and I was blessed to have a support system at home that was rooting for me.

I remember how excited I was for my classes during that first semester that I even surprised myself. I remember taking a History of Jazz class and being one of two students who constantly answered every single question asked. The more classes I began to take, the less questions I answered.

Today, as a senior in college, I have yet to answer a question in any of my classes this semester. It's not that I don't know the answers, I answer the question in my head correctly no sooner than the professor asks it, I am just too tired to do much of anything (yes, even answer a simple question).

It's the same for weight loss. I started this year on a good note. I was going to the gym, logging everyday and eating healthier. I was starting to see some real progress. Then, life started to get busy. I stopped going to the gym, even going as far as cancelling my gym membership (best decision that I made this year I believe) and I started to fall off of the wagon. I was sneaking in a little too much "cheat food" then catching myself and eating healthier again. This was a steady process; on the wagon, off the wagon, on and off until I took a break from logging for a week.

I would log one or two meals, but never my largest meal. I was eating honey buns like they were the last food on earth and I gained about 4 pounds. That next week, I worked my butt off and lost 3 of those pounds and each week following I continued to either lose a pound or a few ounces.

Then, life became busy once again and I stopped logging all together and found that it was hard to pick back up. I haven't exercised like I want to (I would have been done with C25K by now if I had stuck it out) but no matter how busy my schedule gets, there are still 24 hours in a day.

I have been logging pretty regularly for the past week. Yes, I missed one day but MyFitnessPal lets you know how many days you have been logging and today I hit my 5th day. I plan on working out again in the near future, as soon as this rain (which I absolutely love) moves on to other areas.

I don't think I will ever fully recover from being burned out. While there are things that I can do to help this recovery process, I know that if I don't keep busy, I will start reverting to my old habits; which is never good.

Right now, I can only take it a day at a time and try my hardest to take a few minutes each day for myself to do something I enjoy. I also have to look at the fact that this is just college, I haven't even begun to experience burnout in the working world.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DIY Project

I have stated several times that I have a few DIY projects that need to be completed. For one, I was supposed to complete my weight loss progress jars a few months ago. That was something I started in my head but failed to actually put in motion. Following that, there were several weight loss related DIY projects that I wanted to start, but never did.

This past weekend, as I was on my way home from my weekend trip to the mountains, I passed by a set of chairs sitting at the end of someone's driveway. I wasn't driving and was able to see that although the chairs were at the end of the driveway, they had a free sign on them (although the sign was laying flat by now).

To make what would other wise be a long story short, someone picked up the chairs for me and this post serves as my official announcement of my next (and soon to be completed) DIY project. Resorting these soon to be decorative items.

I have no idea where I am going to start. I believe I saw a post on Instagram where someone redid their entire backyard patio area, but of course I don't remember who they were.

I know my first stop will be Michael's but I have no idea where I will go from there. My hope is to remove all of the rust, change the color of the paint (once the rust is removed) and re-do the lattice on the seat and back.

Of course this won't be a one day job, I am thinking about stretching it out over 3 days. There is no need to rush it, which was my problem when it came to my weight-loss related projects. I had a great idea, but didn't time myself to the best of my ability.

I would love to have these chairs done by the end of October, but no later than Thanksgiving.

As times goes on, I will post my updates and (hopefully) post my finished results in a couple of weeks!

Monday, October 7, 2013

My Mountain Mentality

There are times when I really know how to complain. I mean I can go on and on about things until I think my point has been achieved.

I spend so much time complaining over certain things that I never spend time looking at how blessed I am or even relaxing.

It seems like there is never enough time in the day to set aside for relaxation. If I do, I end up falling behind in my work and if I don't I am left exhausted and unable to focus on simple tasks.

This past weekend I vowed that I would take some time to relax in the mountains, although I knew that I would be taking along my books to complete my classwork. All in all, I had a pretty relaxing weekend, until it came time to travel back and I was left with fatigue.

Being in the mountains is not only peaceful but it gives you a sense that you are on top of the world. It allows you to escape what it bothering you, if only for a minute. Walking down to the river and actually thinking about your problems floating away can do a person wonders.

The moral of this story is something that I need to finally do. I need to stop stressing about every small thing that goes wrong and start realizing how blessed I am to make it through these small challenges.

I stress the fact that I am tired, but I am blessed to still be here.

I'm too concerned with the fact that I want this and that, but there are people who have been furloughed and don't know when their next pay check may come in so they can provide for their family.

I complain because my car and I aren't on good terms, I blessed to have a car that even moves.
There are so many times when I complain about what I don't have when I should be thankful for the things I do have. The same goes with relaxing. I won't have the opportunity to live this day again and I truly need to learn how to take my "mountain mentality" and transfer it to my "everyday life" mentality.

I never take the time to let all of my wants, wishes, concerns, etc. float down the river like I did this weekend. This weekend wasn't about what material item I wanted, what grade I wish I made on an exam or how close fall break was. This weekend was spent being thankful for all that I have.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Search for Fall Boots

I have said it once and I will say it again, possibly several times, maybe even a hundred. I LOVE FALL! I am not sure what it is exactly, whether it is the changing of the leaves or the weather but it is my favorite season by far.

It is the only season where I seem to fully embrace my body and clothe it in something other than yoga capris and t-shirts.

As you can imagine, one of the things I enjoy most about fall are the clothing choices. Sweaters, skinny jeans and boots. To be honest, I also love a good pair of sweat pants and a hoodie. The only dilemma that I run in to is when I can't find some of my favorite clothing choices in my size. One may automatically think that I am talking about those sweaters or skinny jeans, but I am actually talking about boots.

The dilemma isn't that I can't find them in my shoe size, I can't find the right boot to adjust to my calves. I have a nice pair of slip on boots that have no problem going over my calves, but there was a time when they had a problem staying flat on the ground (i.e., I ended up on the ground twice in the same day).

Then a nice pair of boots once existed that actually zipped up and over my calves. The only problem with those were the fact that the one inch rubber heel seemed like it was deflating with every step. Who has a pair of boots where the heel seems to deflate then re-inflate, then deflate and re-inflate.

Lastly, there were a pair of boots where the heel did not seem to deflate then re-inflate but the only problem with those is the fact that I think the zipper might be screaming when it is approaching my calf. Don't get me wrong, they do zip all the way up when I am not tucking my jeans into them, but they could fit better. When it comes to tucking those jeans in, the zipper doesn't even stand a chance and a pair of long socks come into the mix to cover up the unzipped area.

My greatest wish for this Fall is to find a pair of boots that zip up comfortably over my calves when my jeans are tucked in to them and when they aren't. Once I find those, I feel that my boot collection will be complete... (for about a month or so).

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fall Has Arrived!

Fall is my favorite time of the year. What's not to love? The leaves change, the temperatures drop, you can wear scarves without looking weird and you can drink your favorite hot beverage without sweating!

I have loved Fall for as long as I can remember. For the reasons above and also because if you are in the process of losing weight, you can find different clothing items to take you through that transition period. Whether scarves, boots, sweaters, belts, the list goes on and on.

My schedule has been packed lately and I must admit that my working out and eating healthy has fallen by the wayside. In a recent post, I described how I have been gravitating towards fast foods that are also unhealthy foods. In my mind, I tell myself that I am going to get back to C25K. The only bad thing with that is that I have told myself that very same thing for the last 3 weeks.

At times, I put too much pressure on myself. When it comes to C25K, I put pressure on myself because (for me) I have to burn more calories than I did the previous time because if I don't I feel like I have failed myself. The same goes for eating. More often than not, I will eat what I want but there are times when I won't eat something or will work out longer because of the fear of going over my daily allotted calories. Again, it comes down to me putting to much pressure on myself.

Starting today, I am changing how this blog operates. I have used this since January to chronicle my weight loss, the highs, the lows and everything in between. But today, this blog is becoming more of a lifestyle blog. I will continue to chronicle my weight loss (or at times gains) while also chronicling different aspects of my life; such as plus size clothing finds, the long road before college graduation and my dreams of making it in the public relations world.

So, why is this post titled Fall Has Arrived? Because, for me, Fall is a time to find myself, to be comfortable and once I have done that it is as if a new person has arrived. Today, that person is here and she isn't going anywhere.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Stressful Eating

I will never see any results if I don't go out and work for them. I start this post off with that one phrase because it is true. If I want to see any results, I have to work for them. They won't simply fall into my lap; or in this case, the weight simply won't fall off. 

This week has been my most stressful to date since the start of the semester with two exams only one day apart. I am not a strong test taker at all (like many individuals out there). I get nervous before the test, once the test is in front of me my mind tends to go blank and if the exams are timed (yes, I have one professor who is very cruel with the timing of tests) I panic when others turn their exams in because I feel that the time is dwindling down and I am not even half way done!

Now, what does that have to do with weight loss?

When I get stressed, I revert to my stressful eating habits. That means, I pick up the quickest food I can find and eat it. In this case, it only took me a week to go through a box of low fat strawberry pop-tarts. They were my weakness this week. Every time I looked, my hand was drawn to the cabinet, located the pop-tart box with ease, slid one package into my lunch bag or backpack and I was out the door. 

The next thing I knew, my hand was drawn to the shiny wrapper, I felt relief when it was opened and comfort when a piece of that strawberry pastry was in my mouth. 

I paid no attention to calories. I mean, I knew how many calories were in each pop-tart (who can really eat only one?) but I didn't let that interfere with my decision to eat them or not.

One thing I have yet to learn on this journey, is how to manage eating healthy even when stressed.

My plan this week was to get out and pick up with week three of C25K; unfortunately, that didn't happen. So, I am making that my plan for next week.

This semester will prove to be my busiest yet as a college student so there will be plenty of times when I have very little time to plan a meal ahead, have a group to meet with, phone calls to return, etc. and the temptation of picking up something fast (a.k.a. something unhealthy) will always be there hanging over my shoulder.

One way to combat that stress is to get all of my work done ahead of time (which is what I try to do) and sit down to plan my meals. I can also set time aside for myself each day no matter what is on my agenda. Or, I could continue to list things that I have already tried and sound like a broken record.

I am so close to hitting the 30 pounds lost mark that I want to be there before the end of October. In order to do that, I have to get off of my rear end and start putting some of these plans that I am coming up with in my head in motion. I know it will take a while to combat this stressful eating but with patience, endurance and the belief that I will succeed, I know that it will be possible.

On another note, this big event that I have been working on when it comes to my internship will take place next Saturday, so don't be surprised when you see a blog post dedicated to that!

Friday, September 13, 2013

How PR is related to Weight Loss (My Opinions)

It seems that life has just been zooming by. I haven't had nearly as much time as I would like to write but it seems that I have more than enough time to spend on school work (but, this is college life and that too will come to a close in 8 months!).

If you follow me on twitter, you will notice that my tweets have changed from being more weight loss related to focusing on Public Relations; this change will only be in effect until December (the end of the semester). My twitter handle has also changed but I am still the same person!

I am in the process of trying to figure out how to indicate what the tweet pertains to so you don't have to read any PR related stuff if you don't want to. I am thinking about including a 'WL' to indicate that the tweet will actually pertain to weight loss since most of my PR tweets are being re-tweeted (RT).

It hit me earlier this week that PR and weight loss share some of the same concepts. I actually sat down and thought about three of my top reasons why the two are similar; they are featured below.

PR is all about relationships, but so is weight loss: This is something that I have heard since the beginning of my public relations classes, relationships are key. At the same time, I have noticed that when I have some one to workout with or talk about weight loss with, I tend to lose weight. Essentially there is the potential to form relationships with those that I am working out with. In both cases, forming relationships are beneficial.

Introverts can succeed at PR and they can succeed at weight loss. I read an interesting article this week describing ways that introverts can succeed at PR  but the same is true for introverts who are in the process of losing weight. You don't have to be the most outspoken person in your gym class or in your running group; you just have to be dedicated. If I had to, I would described myself as an introvert (as would anyone who knows me). I do enjoy talking, I especially like talking with others, but I am not necessarily the first person to speak up. The same goes with weight loss. I love the idea of working out with others, but I normally am not the person to go out and form the group.

When it comes to PR, if you give a little you don't get much out of it, but if you give a lot, the possibilities are endless. The same goes with weight loss. If you sit around hoping the weight will fall off, it won't. On the other hand, if you make the necessary changes, the ball will get moving in the right direction.

These are just a few of the reasons why I see PR and Weight Loss sharing some of the same concepts. Of course, there will be differences, but I like to focus on the similarities! Bear with me this semester when it comes to PR and weight loss, I am pretty sure the madness will calm down eventually!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back at It

The last week was one I really didn't plan for. Actually, I am not sure how anyone can really plan their week and have everything fall into place, but if I had that ability, last week wouldn't have turned out like it did.

I took the week off from blogging, it was not my intention, but things do happen for unknown reasons. I also took a week off from C25K and accurately tracking my foods on MFP, again unplanned. But, even in this week off, I only gained a pound.

I'm not too worried about that pound because I look at what I didn't do compared to what I did do. I did a little too much snacking and not enough logging. I did a little too much sitting around and not enough moving. So for everything that I didn't do, gaining a pound is not the worse thing in the world.

This week I am slowly getting myself back on track. First with exercising more, then with logging my foods once again. I seem to have more weeks off now than I would like, but the fact that I can recommit and get back to what I was once doing, lets me know that I am still in this and not afraid to get back at it.

I suppose the 'slow and steady wins the race' saying is definitely true. Because right now I am moving slower than ever, but still keeping a steady pace and I know I will win this race.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Trust the Process

This truly is a process that is going to take both time and effort. I didn't expect to see results overnight nor did I expect to see the results that I desired in month or two months. I knew that it was going to take a while to see something but I have to trust in myself and not get discouraged by what I do or don't see / achieve.

I took a look at my measurements since I started recording them in March. Since then I have lost some considerable inches. I am not saying this to toot my own horn or to gloat, but it shows me that although I may not see it when I look in the mirror, something is changing.

Since March I have lost:

  • 3 inches from my bust
  • 3 inches from my chest
  • 5 inches from my waist
  • 2 inches from my hips
  • 3.5 inches from my thighs
  • 2 inches from my calves
  • .5 inches from my upper arms
  • 1.5 inches from my forearms
Looking in a mirror, I wouldn't have been able to tell that. Lately, I have noticed some shirts fitting me differently in my lower midsections, which was a major NSV for me, but I know that I can't stop and get overly excited by what the numbers the tape measure are showing me. 

If I continue like I have been, who knows how many more inches I can lose or gain via muscle definition. Essentially, I have to trust this process and see where it takes me.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Weekly Weigh-In + Week in Review

Looking back on this week, it was an okay week. Of course it could have been better but I have never had a week that was so good that it didn't need improving on and I know that I won't ever have that kind of week because there will always been something that needs to be improved on.

I finished week 2 of C25K, well, I sort of finished week 2 of C25K. What do I mean by that? I completed day one last week and told myself that I would start the week over this Tuesday. Well, I did, but when I got to Wednesday and checked day two off, I knew that I should go ahead and count my day one from the previous week. And that is exactly what I did. 2 days from this week plus 1 day from last week equals 3 days total which is how long your C25K weeks run. So, technically I am done with week 2 (but I may or may not have cheated myself, I will figure that out later).

My eating slightly improved. I did visit Panera this week, but I didn't go as many times as I have been going in the past, so that is definitely an improvement for me. One thing I did notice was that I have been eating a lot of sandwiches lately mainly because they are what I have been craving. By now you should know that when I have a craving for something, I go ahead and eat it. Going into next week, I am going to try and lay off of the sandwiches a little, allowing myself to have one maybe once a day and not nearly every day like in the past. In my defense, those sandwiches from Panera were only half sandwiches, so that's technically one slice of bread right?

When it comes to weight loss, I didn't lose a pound but I didn't gain one either. I am happy about the last part, the fact that although I didn't lose a pound, not even an ounce for that matter, I didn't gain one. I like the numbers that I am seeing on the scale but as always, I try not to pay attention to those because they can go lower, higher or stay the same. Instead, I will be checking my measurements to see if anything has or hasn't changed in the month of August (they will be available on the progress page shortly).

Looking ahead to next week, I know some of the areas I need to work on:

  • Less sandwiches (actually, less carbs in general would be a nice idea)
  • Completing all of week 3 in one actual week instead of splitting it up (just a personal preference)
  • Drinking water, not just filling my CamelBak up and throwing it in my bag, but actually taking the time to drink the water out of it
Here's to a new week, a new month and new opportunities that are ahead of me!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

C25K: Week 2

This week, I am continuing week 2 of C25K. I actually completed day 1 of week 2, last week and today was a continuation but all I can say is that 20 minutes in, I was sweating like I was running through the desert. There really isn't much difference in the weeks, aside from the fact that you are running and walking longer; everything else stays the same. You still alternate between running and jogging.

Initially, at the beginning, I have this approach, "I can do this, no matter what, I can do this" and when I hit that 18 to 20 minute mark I have this approach, "My legs feel like they are going to fall off, the burn so bad". Either way, my mind is focused on one thing and one thing only; checking another day off of the app.

Of course, after taking a week off, I knew that things were going to be a little difficult to get back in the swing of things, but I also know that if I keep my eyes focused on the prize, in this case actually being able to run / jog / walk a 5K then I should be alright.

I also have this new-found love for Panera and will admit that I eat from there a little too much (is that even possible?) during the week and although this is going to hurt me to write, I think I will be limiting my Panera intake to once a week, if that for the next couple of weeks because the sodium intake on my Panera eating days is outrageous.

Hopefully, it will be easier to do than it was to say (okay, it wasn't that bad to state what my plan is) but that also means that I have to come up with some new lunch items because right now my mind is burned out and the only thing I can think of for lunch is Panera's pick two.

Let's hope I get out of this 'can't think of anything to eat for lunch' rut pretty soon because if not, I don't know what I will do.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Weigh In Day

I didn't know what to expect from weigh in day this week, mainly because I was only able to check one day off of my C25K app but I knew that whatever I saw, would be recorded. My eating wasn't terrible this week, my sodium levels on some days were higher than I would have liked them to be but taking a day off from where I was eating lunch seemed to help that problem out.

Although I was only able to check one day off of week 2 of C25K, I still managed to get out 2 days to walk, that 1 day to run and then two days were spent inside cleaning up; you would be surprised at the amount of calories you can burn just while cleaning or doing laundry for that matter.

To change directions and move this from a week in review, which it has become, back to my weekly weigh in post, I am able to record another loss of 1.8 pounds on here and over on MyFitnessPal. That means I am finally in the upper 230's! Which, is a number that I have been wanting to see for a while now, I'm glad to see it but I have my eye on seeing some lower numbers than that in the future.

I will continue with week 2 of C25K this week, I will actually be starting the week over since I only got in one day last week (more on that in a later post), I will also be working on my water intake and I may even venture into new territory and try almond milk (I know, random right!).  Either way, I am in it to win it and can't wait to see what next week brings.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

New Rules (Fall Semester)

As a new semester rolls around, this is my last fall semester as a college student, I have to figure out how I can best manage my time when it comes to school, working and importantly, working out. I have started C25K and so far I am loving it. I will be starting my second week sometime this week and my plan is to complete C25K on Tuesday, Thursday and either Friday or Saturday. 

Of course, I have to fit my school work into my schedule and that always takes priority, but I feel that I have better control over the situation since I can complete C25K almost any time of the day and practically anywhere. 

To stay successful during this semester I know what I have to do. For starters, I have to pack my lunch on the days that I know I won't be in the comfort of my own kitchen. Luckily for me, that is only two days out of the week. There will be some days when I don't want to pack my lunch and if so, my new favorite quick eatery is around the corner from where I work and there is also one on campus. 

That location is Panera Bread. I wasn't always fond of Panera Bread and I tend to stay away from places after I have one bad experience, which is what happened one time at Panera, but my internship supervisor treated me to lunch one day and that is the place she suggested we dine at and I am glad she did. 

I also have to pack healthy snacks when I am in class, there is nothing worse than being in a class full of your peers, sitting beside two people, the room is quiet and your stomach growls; I've been there and done that on multiple occasions. 

I also have to keep water with me, I do that anyways but I have to make sure I am getting in my water intake during the day, even if I am drinking something else like lemonade or tea. I also have to keep my level of stress down and when I do get stressed, get up and get moving; whether it is walking, jogging or checking off another day of C25K. 

If I can stick to these rules I have established for myself during the semester, I should be able to make it and hopefully lose another 10 to 15 pounds in the next 15 weeks. Stick with me and see how everything plays out!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

C25K First Week

My first week on C25K went very well. It was a bit of an adjustment since I haven't been "seriously" jogging or running since softball playing days but it was something that was easy to adjust to since you are running for 60 seconds then walking for 90 seconds.

My first day went better than I thought; I figured that I would be doubled over by the end but I wasn't. Sweating profusely, yes; doubled over, no. The second day was harder than the first. Not sure why that was the case for me but it was. I figured that my body was sore and didn't want to go through another day, but I did and I pushed through it. My third day was easier but my abdomen region was definitely feeling it. If there was any day that I should have been doubled over, it was the third day.

This weeks, bring another 3 days of C25K and those are three days that I am looking forward to. On the days when I am not doing C25K, I still walk / jog for 30 to 35 minutes mainly because it is something that I am really starting to enjoy.

Looking forward to next week and whatever C25K brings my way~

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Weigh In Day

When I went on vacation last week, I told myself that I was going to be taking a vacation from everything; logging, those intense workouts I had been doing and more. I essentially went back to eating foods that I haven't eaten since I started this journey.

I also gained 3.8 pounds (this is last weeks gain) in the process. I was not shocked at that number nor was I upset. Mainly because I made the decision to eat those foods, skip out on logging everything and only complete a "lighter" workout 3 times during the week.

Last Saturday, my normal weigh in day, I made my mind up that I was coming back and would be better than ever. I started C25K (more on that in a later post) and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I never imagined myself as a runner and although I am not there yet, I am getting closer. I have moved from the couch and I am closer to running a 5K than I actually was last week.

Spending the past 3 days (the weeks on C25K run for 3 days periods) running / jogging / walking has opened my eyes to so much. I have made healthier eating choices and have actually wanted to get out and complete another day.

Although this week went well, I didn't know what to expect on the scale. I can report a loss of 3.4 pounds, which means I am almost back to my pre-vacation weight! That tells me that something is working. It is either my new workout, my new approach to eating or perhaps both.

Either way, I plan on keeping this up, because I won't be reverting back to those vacation habits any time soon.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What I'm Doing Now

I don't like structured repetitive actions. I never have and I doubt that I ever will. The same goes with working out. I ended my gym membership in June and since then I have been focusing on working out at home with the help of DVDs, but that gets pretty mundane after awhile.

I love my DVDs but they feature the same structured repetitive actions and it starts to not only take a toll on my body but it takes one on my nerves as well. Therefore, I have been contemplating on what exercises I should complete next on my journey. I narrowed it down to Tae Bo (I know another DVD) and the Couch to 5K (C25K) app.

Yesterday, I started C25K and I am in no way a runner but I am not exactly coming straight from the couch. The app breaks everything down and really makes you want to push yourself for the full length of time. Yesterday I did a brisk five minute warm-up walk, followed by alternations of jogging for 60 seconds and 90 seconds of walking followed by a five minute cool down.

There are tones that alert you so you know when to walk or run, as well as a "female announcer" who does the same.

I thoroughly enjoyed my first day and can't wait to get back out there this evening. This program runs for 9 weeks which means I should finish up around mid October if I stay successful and stick with this everyday.

I am pretty sad that it only runs 3 days out of the week, but I will probably just repeat two days so I can get in 5 days of cardio on the weeks when I want to push myself a little more.

I will post updates as the weeks progress and also continue to post my workout results and scale pictures on Instagram.

Stay tuned!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Layout for the Year

I normally establish a set of weekly goals, but for the past couple of months, those weekly goals have been the same every week. I won't abandon my weekly goals but I will focus more on accountability for the next year.

  • Weighing in weekly no matter how good or bad my week has been. In order to make sure I stay accountable, I may even begin to post my scale pictures on Instagram (not following me, just click the button to your right).
  • Taking measurements at the beginning and end of every month helps me know what progress (if any) I am making even if the numbers on the scale don't reflect that. 
  • Taking pictures of the scale to document my progress each month, these pictures will be posted to Instagram. 
  • Establishing incentives along the way as I work towards reaching my goals. 
  • Resting my body when it needs it.
  • Logging every thing that enters my mouth, even if it is on a "cheat day".
  • Weighing the pros and cons of each decision I make while on this journey. It doesn't matter if it is a decision of what food to eat or what exercise to complete. 
The next year won't be easy, it may not be fun, but it will be full of the decisions I make as I continue on this journey. Most importantly, it will be full of days where I determine whether or not I get closer to my goals or revert to my old ways. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What Has (and Hasn't) Worked

I've lost weight on this journey, so that means that something I have been doing is working. Here are some of the things that have been working for me.

  • Counting calories has become one of the most important things to me because I am able to see how many calories I am taking in and how many I am burning. It also show me that foods I think may be healthy actually aren't and those that I think may not be healthy actually are. 
  • Having a cheat meal is important to me because it lets me know that I am human and not some robot that can only eat certain foods that contain certain calories. Aside from that, I try not to focus on cheat meals so much, mainly because they tend to be on the weekend and I am moving more then so I can afford to eat a little more. 
  • Eating what I want when I have a craving is also important mainly because if I go ahead and eat it, I won't indulge on it later. 
  • By not eating my exercise calories back, I am able to finish with a higher calorie deficit at the end of the day, which means I finish my week off with more calories and the numbers tend to go down on the scale. 
  • Avoiding carb heavy foods the day before a weigh in has also been beneficial as has avoiding anything mixed with alcohol until after I weigh in.
These are some of the things that have worked for me on this journey and they are also things that I plan on implementing in the future.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Re-establishing Goals

After a week where I truly ate what I wanted and didn't pay any attention to calories consumed, it is time for me to refocus and outline what I want to achieve on this journey. When I started this journey, I had specific goals in mind and thought that since it was so easy for me to lose weight last year that it would be easy for me to lose weight this year. I can admit that I was wrong, very very wrong.

It has not only taken me longer to lose weight this year but my weight has also fluctuated multiple times on this journey. Aside from that, I have a real lack of energy at times and that makes it harder for me to get up and get moving. My lack of energy makes it even harder because I was able to lose the weight last year without working out.

There are times when I wish I could just eat and eat all day long and not gain any weight, but those are the same times that I realize I will never be able to do that. There are more times when I wish I could see my progress in a weeks time and not have to wait months for it.

Not only are these complaints, but they are frustrations that I am dealing with on a daily basis. I wish I could see results faster, I wish I could eat more and work out less and I also wish the weight would melt off and the muscle would build but I know that in order for that to happen, I have to work towards it. In order to work towards what I want to achieve, I have to figure out what I want to get out of this journey.

  • By August 2014, I want to be in onederland; meaning I want to weigh in at 199 or less. Yes, that is a year from now but I need that time to knock out around 50 pounds (I did round that number up because I was 242 when I left for vacation and I know that I have to b in the mid to upper 240s now).  To break that down a little, I would like to be down another 15 pounds by the time Christmas rolls around. 
  • I want to feel comfortable in a one piece swimsuit without the cover-up. I purchased several one piece swimsuits this year and wore them with bottoms but the point was I wore them. There was one day when I even ventured to the beach with only the one piece and a cover-up. The longer I am on this journey, I tell myself I need to take baby steps so I don't overdo it. 
  • I want to get rid of the majority of the muffin top. I have never liked having a muffin top and I can't imagine anyone who would wan't to have one. In the past, although I never wanted to have a muffin top, I never did anything about it. I just stated numerous times how much I disliked my muffin top. In order to get rid of it, I have to work on that area, which is proving to be one of my biggest problem areas. 
  • In addition to losing the muffin top, I want to lose the rolls in the back.
  • I would love to see some definition in my arms. That would be a dream come true to see some sort of definition in my arms, from any angle, during any time of the day.
  • I want to be down 2 pants sizes (eventually wearing anywhere between a 12 and 16) and one size in shirts.
  • I also don't want to feel pressured by the numbers on the scale or get in a panic if I happen to have a cheat meal every once in a while. 
These are just some of the goals that I want to achieve within the next year and as long as I keep a steady pace, I should achieve those goals but I have a feeling that I will achieve so much more just by staying committed for the next 12 months. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

I'm Back

For the past week, I have eaten foods that I haven't eaten since I started my journey; especially honey buns (which I managed to eat 3 of in a week), hostess cupcakes and more! I told myself that I was giving my body a break and I know I did more harm than good this week.

This week, I was on vacation, a vacation away from my normal everyday activities and also a vacation from counting calories, which I didn't do at all this week. Between the burger from Wendy's for dinner on Sunday, the Chinese food for lunch Wednesday and the spaghetti for dinner the same day, the fried potatoes for breakfast (two days in a  row), all of the sweet snack junk foods and Seagram's beverages; I know I have practically eaten (and drank) double my allotted calories for this week.

Part of me is ashamed to admit that, but part of me isn't because I consciously made the decision to eat the foods, no one forced them upon me.

I told myself that I was also going to focus on exercising, I walked on the beach 3 mornings and also did activities in the pool everyday (which I would think would count for some sort of exercise). But I feel so far off of my plan, it will take me longer than a weekend to get back on track. It may even take me longer than a week to get myself back on track, but I am dedicated to getting myself back on track because this week showed me how far I have to go on this journey.

Normally, I would have also stated that any experience would have shown me how far I have come, but (in my opinion) I haven't come far enough to resist temptation or possess any sort of strong willpower that would have helped me this week.

On the other hand, I see how far I have to go on this journey and at this point, I have a lot that needs to be accomplished but I also need to take the time to reassess what has been going on, what has worked and what hasn't worked. On top of that, I also need to realign my goals and stick to a plan that I now I can succeed with.

I'm back and ready to tackle this journey with a new approach, it will take time (a lot of time to be exact) but the longer I spend on this journey, the more I can note progress and set backs. This next year (more on that in the next post) will be a wild one fill\ed with plenty of ups and downs but along the way I vow to myself that I will live beyond the old me and become the person I am destined to be.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Rest and Relaxation

I'm taking about a week off to give my mind and body some relaxation from these last few weeks of intense workouts and extreme calorie counting (and I do mean extreme, if it went in my mouth, it was logged on MFP) but I will be keeping track of those weekly goals!

In the meantime, I will also be thinking of some new challenges for myself and ways I can get in more exercise without overdoing myself in the upcoming semester.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Weekly Goals

Here are this weeks goals:
  • Water - I need to drink more water and I need to make myself realize that water is important and my body has ways of telling me when it needs more. 
  • Exercise - I am abandoning my DVDs for a week in exchange for some walking / jogging / running (I figure I can at least manage to do two out of the three). I also look at this as a way to let my muscles relax a little before going at those intense workouts again. 
That's it, just two simple goals for this week because I am trying to relax myself as much as possible so that I don't crash and burn at the end; especially since I still have a long way to go. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Weigh In Day

It is amazing how your weight can fluctuate throughout a day. Yesterday, I decided to weigh in and I figured I may as well go ahead and record the number I saw on the scale (it was a loss) but decided against it because it wasn't my "normal" weigh in day. This morning (at 4:30 am!) I stepped on the scale, and at least 4 different numbers popped up. One was a gain, then there was a loss, then there was the number I saw last week then it finally stopped flashing on a 0.4 ounce gain.

I stepped off of the scale and tried it again, still the same thing. I decided to move the scale to a different part of the house and stepped on it again, this time it revealed a loss. I stepped off and repeated the process, same numbers. I stepped on two more times and told myself that whatever number was on the LED display was the one I was going with.

In that case, I can report a loss of 1.2 pounds this week. I think I am going to invest in some new batteries for my scale and if that doesn't work, I will invest in a new scale. For some reason, it hasn't been as responsive as I would like until I move it around the house, so for now, I am sticking with that particular location and going to buy a new battery.

Until then, I am focusing on next week; which will prove to be one of my toughest weeks to date because I am giving up my workout DVDs for the entire week.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Week in Review

Another week has come and gone as has another month, so it is time for my week in review.

  • Exercise - So far I have had 4 days of solid higher intensity exercise. I am thinking about taking today off and focus on lighter cardio exercise while still burning calories and I will more than likely do that. But, when it comes to exercise my mind changes and I may still pop in a DVD later in the day (I like to switch up the times of day in which I do exercise). I still plan on taking next week off from my DVDs and focus on doing some walking / jogging / running. Because my body does need to rest. 
  • Water - All I can say is that my water intake has greatly improved. I get the majority of my intake during my workouts but as long as I am getting it in, it doesn't matter to me what time of the day it is coming.  
  • Calorie deficit - From Monday through Thursday, I have finished my days with over a 500 calorie deficit which is something that I hope to continue through today. I always struggled with eating my exercise calories back but for the past couple of weeks I haven't been eating them and I can say that right now I don't think I will go back to eating them. It has been one of the best decisions I have made on this journey thus far. 
  • Low carb - so far so good on staying low carb. I cut them out when I can and only eat them in moderation when I do decide to have some. 

So far, things have been going rather well this past month and I hope they continue to go this well in the future. I have set a new goal of being down another 15 pounds by the time Christmas comes around. If I succeed in that, it will be a Christmas gift to myself, but it will be one that is well worth it. 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

July Recap and August Goals

It has been a while since I did a monthly reflection and since it has been a month since I started using Bob Harper's workouts, I figured it was as good a time as any to look back at the month of July and to also set some goals for August.

My goals for July were to:

  • Lose 2-3 pounds
  • Increase strength / pounds of weights 
  • Complete at least 40 push-ups in a minute
  • Lower my BMI
  • Lose 3 inches overall 
Now, on to how I did with those goals:
  • On June 29th (my initial weigh in for July 1st, since the 1st came in on a weekday) I weighed in at 245.5. On July 7th, I was up to 247 (I attribute that to weight training), but thankfully each week following my weight dropped.  June 13, 244.6; July 20th, 243.2; July 27th, 242. Looking at my highest weight compared to my lowest weight, I lost 5 pounds. Looking at my starting weight compared to my end weight, I lost 3.5 pounds. Either way, I reached my goal of loosing between 2 and 3 pounds. 
  • I maintained using 8 pound weights through the month, which I am fine with but I would still like to increase to 10 pound weights. 
  • As the DVDs in the collection progressed, the numbers of push-ups decreased With that being said, the most push-ups I completed in a minute this month was 30 (not too shabby in my opinion). 
  • At the start of the month my BMI was 38.4 and at my highest weight this month it was 38.7; at the end of the month, my BMI is 37.9, so I was successful in lowering that
  • I lost 1 inch from my bust, chest, waist, thighs and calves. If I add all of those inches together, I have lost 5 inches from my body all together.

I ended the month of July better than I thought I was going to, so I am pleased with that. But, I do want to keep this going and that means I can't slack off now.

For the month of August, my goals are to:

  • Lose 4 pounds  
  • Work my way up to using 10 pound weights
  • Lower my BMI
  • Lose 4 inches overall
  • Maintain a calorie deficit each day; with the exception of Sunday
  • Exercise at least 20 days out of the month 
  • Maintain good eating habits for the entire month
I am hoping that I finish August the same way but I can already tell that based on my upcoming schedule it will take a lot of dedication and commitment on my part.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Mind is Catching Up

After several months on this journey, it seems that my mind has finally caught up with my body. What do I mean by that? Now, when I go out to restaurants, I automatically search for the "lighter" options and choose a meal from there.

There is no more scanning through sandwiches and burgers, looking at fried foods or even thinking about dessert (okay, maybe I think about dessert once in a while but do not order it from a restaurant unless it is an extremely special occasion). My eyes go straight for lighter options because I finally realize that no good deed goes unrewarded. Making healthy choices in my mind, lets my body know that I am dedicated to taking care of it.

Here are just some of the restaurants that feature lighter options:

  • Longhorn Steakhouse
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Mimi's Cafe
  • Red Lobster
  • Tripps
  • Olive Garden
  • Chilli's
  • And more! 

There are times when I wish I could eat anything on the menu, not have to worry about counting calories or exercising and the weight would still come off; but sadly, I know that is just a dream that may not come true one day. 

For the past 5 days, I have eaten key lime pie every night. Without even thinking, I pre-logged it in MFP for the entire week because I was determined to eat it. This all started when I was at the store and saw that it was cheaper for me to purchase the whole pie versus purchasing the individual 2 pack. What was I thinking. It hit me a few minutes ago that I was sabotaging myself. I can honestly say that I am ashamed at what I was doing. 

The only good in this is that I have taken the key lime pie out of my diary for the next two days and have decided to get rid of the pie. This is the first time that I have ever been ashamed to admit that I have eaten something that I wanted on this journey.

No one can tell me that food isn't an addiction. Before my key lime pie addiction, I was eating chocolate pudding which was only 90 calories, yet I gave that up for pie which is 450 calories; what was I thinking and why was I consciously sabotaging my own success. Simple answer, I don't know. I was staying well under my daily calories (finishing the day with over 550 calories each day) yet I was consciously making the decision to eat something that is no good for me.

I don't know what was going on with me for the past 5 days but it ends today. This useless eating of desserts (other than the 90 calorie pudding) is over, I have come to far to turn back now and I refuse to do so. The only reason that it is hitting me now is because my brain is finally catching up to my body. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Yesterday on MyFitnessPal, I asked whether or not other members had rituals before they weighed in. When it came to answers, I had no idea what to expect but I was surprised when some of the answers I received closely mirrored some of my own.

When it comes to the day before a weigh in I try to eat lightly. Not a lot of carbs and essentially, nothing to heavy that I feel groggy or bloated afterwards. I have noticed that in the past, if I consumed a heavier meal on a Friday, I wasn't prone to losing much weight, if I lost any. Therefore, I try to eat heavier meals on Monday through Thursday.

I also make sure I use the bathroom (TMI moment over). You would be surprised to realize how much of a difference it makes, and essentially how much water can weigh in your body. As an experiment, one day I weighed myself no sooner than I rolled out of bed then again after I went to the bathroom and you guessed it, there was a significant difference in how much I weighed; about 1 pound to be exact. I am constantly trying to drink water and I know that overnight water is retained and I know that I need to get it out (another TMI moment unfortunately) as soon as I can before I weigh in

Refrain from alcohol for the entire week. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a drink every week nor every other week but when I do it is always on a Saturday evening / night. Mainly because I have already weighed in and I can enjoy the beverage without wondering how much weight it will put on me by the time my feet hit the scale.

I also wear the same exact thing every time I weigh in; that way I can be sure that I am getting a consistent reading on the scale.

These are the rules that I stick to every single week I am on this journey and they have helped me in the past and I hope they continue to help me in the future as this journey progresses.

Monday, July 29, 2013

One of Those Days

Today has just been one of those days for me, a day where I want to workout but can't make myself move from the bed to the floor. Nothing is going on with me health wise to make this move so hard, its more psychological.

I will be starting my senior year of college in a little over three weeks and I couldn't be more excited. The only downfall is that based on my schedule, part of my brain has told me that I won't have much time to workout. Don't get me wrong, I don't go to class everyday but on my days off I will be doing my internship and by the time I make it back home, the only thing my eyes are bound to be set on are the bed.

This may seem like I am setting myself up for failure way to early in the game but I know how I can be, I can be hard on myself.

For the past month I have pushed myself to complete what I consider "intense" exercises. It takes me a while to get up and moving and once I do, there are times when I am counting down the minutes until the workout is over and there are other times when I am pushing myself harder and harder because I have finally  'mastered' the move and have fallen in love with it (in this case, split lunges!).

Part of my lack of quick moving comes from the fact that I realize I am on step closer to being in the 'working' world. I already feel like I am going to college and working and for one, the semester hasn't even started and two, neither has my internship.

I tell myself that I have to find some sort of balance in my schedule. Thankfully, Tuesday through Thursday are only half days and Monday morning, Wednesday evening and Friday are solely focused on my internship. That is technically some sort of balance isn't it? I hope so.

Speaking of finding balance, I also have to find time to reset my mind and body by working out. I love the feel of my bed but know that if I want to stay on a cardio regimen I will have to get up early some mornings just to get in a workout. I cringe at that thought because I already feel like I don't get enough sleep (in reality, I may be getting too much sleep) so how can I give up any of my sleep?

The simple answer, because I know I need to.

The more complex answer, because I know I have come too far to let a semesters worth of classes and an internship stand in the way of my health and well being. I started this journey because I wanted to make a change in my life, a change for the better, and in order to do so, I know that I have to make some sacrifices to my usual routine.

I am not disputing the fact that this won't be hard for me. Right now, I have convinced myself that after I have eaten lunch I will play my workout DVD and knock out two workouts. So, once the semester rolls around, I know it will take some convincing on my behalf to actually take the time to workout.

What is the purpose of this post? Essentially, the more you want something the more ways in which you will try to make it happen. I want to end the year on a successful note and I know that in order to do that, I can't stop what I am doing for 15 whole weeks just because I don't think I will have the time. I have to make time. If I can't wake up at 4:45 am to do a workout, I just have to do it when I get home. If I miss a workout, then I just have to use one of rest days to make it up.

Life is about sacrifices. If I want something, I have to sacrifice something else in order to get it. If I want to continue to lose weight, inches and build some muscle, then I have to sacrifice some of the time I would normally be spending watching television in order to achieve that.

Like I said earlier, it is about time for me to enter the real world and start making some major decisions and one of those decisions is what am I going to give up in order to be successful.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Goals

Getting straight to it this time around for my weekly goals.

  • Exercise - Higher intensity exercise for 5 days out of the week. I have been thinking about doubling up my Ultimate Cardio Body or actually completing the personal training sessions that are also available on the disc (I'm leaning more towards Ultimate Cardio Body and the training session). Either way, I am upping my exercise for this week. I am beyond tired but I know the moment I slack off I run the risk of going back to my old habits. 
  • Water - getting all I can get in, whenever and wherever. The one thing that I have noticed is that when I do tend to do a higher intensity workout, I tend to drink more water, which is always a good thing. By going back to my two a days I should definitely be getting in more water. 
  • Calorie deficit - just as I have done for the past two weeks, I won't be eating back any of my exercise calories. 
  • Low carb - I have started letting myself have at least one carb a day (for the last couple of days it has been the graham cracker crust on a key lime pie) but I have had my eye on a cheeseburger recently (one I plan on consuming this weekend or next week) and I know that in order to not overdo it, I do need to slowly let myself start consuming carbs again. Although I am eating carbs, I will still be doing a very low carb eating style. 
After this week, I plan on letting my body rest from these intense workouts and instead I plan on getting in some walking, jogging or I may be adventurous and start attempt to start running, that way I am still getting in exercise while allowing my body to take the week to rest. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Weigh In Day

I was a little worried about my weigh in today, mainly because I had a slight flare up of my GERD last night, something that hasn't happened in nearly a month. Once you have a flare up it is like you are in a constant state of being bloated and mildly uncomfortable. So, I stepped on the scale anyways and told myself that in order to stay accountable I would record the number I saw into MyFitnessPal no matter what.

I was able to record another loss of 1.2 pounds into MyFitnessPal which had me relieved because I knew for sure that GERD was coming in to sabotage my success. I also updated my measurements to see how they were progressing, again I was slightly nervous because of the bloating issue, but overall they weren't to shabby. Head over to the progress page to check them out!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Week in Review

Another week has passed and in my eyes, it was another successful one. Of course with every success comes room for improvement, but I am a work in progress.

  • Exercise - For some reason, I couldn't bring myself to pop in my workout DVD Monday morning. Thankfully for me, my godmother and I went walking so I was able to burn my calories that way. Then, once I made it home, I popped in the DVD and found a group exercise routine on there which, although short, was a definite full body workout. Tuesday and Wednesday was Body Rev / Cardio Conditioning, while Thursday and today are Ultimate Cardio Body days. I still managed to get in my five days of working out and torched some calories. 
  • Calorie deficit - I had another week where I didn't eat back any of my exercise calories. I think this is what has been helping me recently. I am finishing the day with a significant amount of calories that I don't even have an intention of eating back. After working out in the morning (or early afternoon), a snack and 3 balanced meals, I am full. Some nights, I will allow myself to have some dessert, but not every night (another huge improvement for me). 
  • Low to no carb - I am slowly starting to allow carbs back into my system. I am not eating them every single day, but I am eating them again. I may have a carb at breakfast and then no more for the rest of the day. Or, I may wait and eat my one carb at dinner time. It all depends. 
  • Water - my water intake has greatly improved. I keep a Bubba Keg 52 ounce mug full of water with me before, during and after my workouts so I can make sure I am getting my water in. 
Another week is finally in the books which means I am another week closer to achieving another goal, a goal that doesn't necessarily have to be weight related, a goal that lets me know I have had 7 wonderful months on this journey. Slow and steady will always win the race. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Worth a Reward

My featured question on MyFitnessPal today focused on rewarding yourself when you reach a goal. 

Whenever I reach a goal on this journey (whether it is weight related or not) I always try to reward myself with something. I will admit, if I have hit a plateau, I will shock my body with food. But when it comes to rewards, I try to focus on something that is not food.

I like to focus on things I can actually use that will take me farther along in this journey. My number one preference are shoes, especially Nikes but I also indulge in clothes or a new lips gloss / eye shadow. No matter what, it isn't food. 

I have set my next shoe purchasing goal at 40 or 50 pounds lost. That is because I have my eyes set on this amazing pair of Asics that, from an economical point of view, are well worth the wait. If I hit another 10 pounds lost goal, then I will more than likely reward myself with a new pair of running shorts (although I don't run), a new shirt or a heavier set of dumbbells. 

The more I can challenge myself on this journey, the more I can succeed on this journey. There are times when I am in the midst of a workout and I tell myself "i'm tired" or "i'm not feeling this right now" but then I look down at my Polar HRM and I see those calories that I am burning and I am reminded why I am pushing myself harder and harder each day in these workouts. Because I have a goal. I love to see the numbers on the scale go down. I love to see my arms gaining definition. I love the way my clothes fit looser. I love the fact that each day I can give myself more reasons why I am on (and enjoy) this journey and if that means throwing in a couple of rewards here and there, then I am fine with that. 

I look at these as incentives for myself, something I look forward to. I know that if I push myself harder that I will reach that goal and that I will be able to bring home something new to reward myself with, something new that will not cause me to gain any weight. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Food Swap

I posted another question on MyFitnessPal today (I enjoy interacting with people on there and answering their questions while asking some of my own) and the more I thought about the question (I posted it this morning) the more it made me think about food swaps.

Yesterday, I made it known that I had no plans on giving up chocolate. There are other foods that I wouldn't give up but I have found some healthier swaps to them.

Turkey burgers instead of hamburgers - if you take ground turkey and make them into hamburger patties, they are out of this world. Some people say that you must have an acquired taste for turkey burgers, but when you use ground turkey, they taste the same or even better. You are cutting calories but can still build your burger the same as you would normally do. 

Sweet potato fries instead of 'regular' fries - don't get me wrong, I love french fries, they are the most wonderful gift to accompany any sandwich but they can come loaded with excess calories. A quick swap, sweet potato fries. Slightly lower in calories but still delicious. 

Apple salad instead of pasta salad - pasta salad is delicious on a hot day but apple salad is better. It's cool, refreshing and very low in calories compared to carb heavy pasta. Cut up a few apples, grab some mayo, raisins, pecans (or anything else you want to throw in there); add all ingredients into a bowl and mix. A splash of lemon juice is also tasty in this (just not too much). 

Grilled chicken instead of fried chicken - still tasty but if you can't let go of fried chicken, fix it oven fried style. Still the same great taste, just not all of the grease. 

These are just some of the food swaps that I have made in the past and I don't regret doing so. You still get the same great taste just fewer calories. Making a swap here and there can lead to a lifestyle of changes. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What I Won't Let Go Of

Earlier today I posted a question on MyFitnessPal but if you follow me on Twitter, you have already seen that question.

I received some great responses to this question. After I asked the question, not only did I wonder what are some of the foods that I have given up or have been consuming in moderation but also what are some foods that I refuse to give up (stubborn, I know). 

When I look back on it, I haven't completely given up any foods, but I have been eating them in moderation. For instance, a month ago, I was eating Bojangles fried chicken once a week (at one point I ate it twice a week), today I realized I haven't had fried chicken since July 4th. Earlier in the year, pizza was a regular thing for me. Especially since Pizza Hut was on campus and it was easy to pick up a personal pan pizza, bread sticks and a drink (and yes, I ate it all; and no, I wasn't ashamed to eat it all back then). I haven't had pizza in weeks either. Soda is another thing, it wasn't until after a friend on MFP mentioned that they cut out soda that it hit me. I haven't had a soda in nearly two weeks and don't miss it one bit. Small changes can turn in to something even bigger. 

Looking at things that I have reduced to only eating in moderation it made me wonder, what are some foods that I refuse to give up. The main answer ... chocolate. Anything chocolate, especially devils food cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream are the two things that I don't think I will ever cut out of my system. 

I can go without carbs for periods at a time, I can go without fried foods for periods at a time and if I really put my mind to it and buckled down, I could probably go without red meat (not doing anything drastic like that any time soon) but I refuse to give up my chocolate. 

Moderation is key. Sometimes it takes cutting some foods out of your system to see that you really aren't missing much. Then there are times when you can allow yourself to have one of those foods that you cut out. It depends on your preferences and goals but don't deprive yourself of anything that you want because you are only harming your body that way. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Low to No Carb Continued

When I made the decision to go low to no carb, I had no idea what would happen. Was I going to crash and burn after 2 days or was I going to make it the entire week. Would I be able to give up carbs or was I going to sneak one or two in? There were so many questions I had that I knew needed to be answered, but I couldn't answer them ahead of time.

I did make it to the end of the week and other than cereal, I only had half a slice or bread and a couple tablespoons of rice during the week. I was proud of my week when I finally made it to the end. I will admit that it was hard (if you have read all of my other posts, you already know that) and I have never missed carbs more until I cut them out of my diet. I have had the most intense cravings for a cheeseburger and fries and I will be eating that this weekend or next weekend. The only reason I don't feel bad about doing so is because I would have cut out carbs during the week.

The funny thing is, this past weekend I was able to reason with myself and convince myself that I didn't need to have a roll at lunch, I could have a piece of cake (and have a piece of cake I did, I had two pieces of cake; although one piece would have equaled a half of piece) and a little ice cream.

It seems that my body has adjusted to not eating certain foods. Although I have cravings for certain carbs, once I start eating them, I can't eat a lot of them because my mind tells me that I am getting full.

The point of this post is that it is funny how our body reacts to different things. You cut certain foods out of your system and your body no longer misses them or gets full off of them easily. You incorporate more exercise into your routine and your body becomes stronger and manages to do things you didn't think it could. Small changes can lead to great results. Cutting out certain foods here and there can lead to so much more.

I plan on keeping my (extremely) low to no carb regimen going for the next week and a half (until the end of July) to see how I do. There will be days when I make the decision to eat a carb then there will be days where I continue to eat no carbs, mainly because I know I won't be cutting carbs out of my system for the rest of my life. I am just letting my body know that it doesn't need carbs every day to function and even when carbs are entering my system, they should only be eaten in moderation.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekly Goals

The past two weeks have been successful for me and what better way to approach this week than combine what I have been doing for the past two weeks. Here are this weeks goals.

  • Exercise - This week I will be combing body rev / cardio conditioning and ultimate cardio body together. I will alternate the DVDs this week (every other day) and continue with that routine through the end of July. 
  • Calorie deficit - My goal for this week is to finish each day with a significant calorie deficit. Essentially, I will not be eating my exercise calories back this week.
  • Low to no carb - I must admit, it was pretty difficult for me to give up some of my favorite carbs, but I made it through the week and I am proud that I did. Therefore, I am back to having an extremely low carb to no carb week. I have one week left on my experiment and I have no plans on messing up now.
  • Water - I need as much as I can get and plan on drinking as much as my body will allow me to. 

For some reason, my feet have been swollen for the last day and I think it may have come from eating a few carbs this week and a little more sodium than my body is used to. Laying off of both of those things for the next week will definitely bring the swelling down and I will be back to non-swollen feet.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Weigh In Day

For me, the key to success is ending the day with a significant calorie deficit. When I say significant, I mean over 500 calories each day. For once, I wasn't really worried about my weigh in today, mainly because I finally hit the point in my journey where I am able to react to the changes it is going through. Today, I went out on a limb and even purchased a one piece bathing suit (I usually purchase separates and pair them together, so I have a tankini and  a skirt (one that goes down mid-thigh, but I figured it was time for a change) to wear in a couple of weeks.

This week I am able to put another loss in the books, a loss of 1.4 pounds. Even if I didn't lose anything this week I would have gained more than weight, I would have gained a new sense of who I was becoming and that means more to me than any number that I may or may not see on the scale.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Week In Review

On Wednesday, I wrote about my goals and how they were coming along so far. I should have known that if I spoke too soon, I would jinx myself. Although, I did in fact jinx myself, I am pretty impressed with how my week has gone.

  • Exercise - I missed one day of exercising this week, yesterday to be exact. I don't know what was going on with my body but it was so tired and I had absolutely no energy at all. I started my workout but my body just wasn't following along with what my mind wanted to do. I am not terribly upset about missing one day of exercise, because I have finished each day with over 525 calories.
  • Calorie deficit - As I mentioned above, each day this week I have finished my days with over 525 calories. Essentially, I have not been eating back any of my exercise calories this week. I avoid eating back any of my exercise calories by adding them at the end of the day.
  • Low to no carbs - other than cereal, I only had two carbs this week. Half of a club sandwich on Wednesday and about 1/4 cup of hibachi rice yesterday. For me, that is beyond impressive because I do love my carbs. Yesterday, I had the biggest craving for a cheeseburger and french fries, I still do at this point, but I have placed that on my no eating list because of the carbs and I want to actually succeed at going very low to no carbs. 
  • Water - my water intake has greatly improved this week mainly because it is so hot outside and I have been pushing myself harder in my workouts. 
  • Lose at least 1.2. pounds - I would definitely hope that I see a loss on the scale this week. Especially since I have been doing intense cardio with a little strength training mixed in. 
Although this week seems like it dragged on, I am just glad that it is Friday and the weekend is ahead of me. Tomorrow is definitely going to be a much needed rest day because my body is tired and it definitely needs to rest. Aside from my body needing to rest, my muscles need time to repair themselves.

Everyday I am feeling better about myself and that is proof that my journey is moving in the right direction. I still have a long way to go but it will be more than worth it when I get to the finish line.