Thursday, January 31, 2013

Just Be You

On this journey there are times when you will get discouraged and want to go back to your old ways, which is understandable and normal. Your heart has to be in a program before you can succeed in it. You also cannot compare yourself to others.

Right now, I am sitting in my schools dining hall (eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich) while another female student sits in front of me and consumes an Entire Einstein’s Bros. bagel along with one of their blueberry muffins (I can attest, the bagels and muffins are FANTASTIC). That image alone may be discouraging to some, they may ask themselves “Why can’t I eat like she does and still look that good” (she is probably a size 2 by my estimations – yet looks healthy).

This is where that comparison comes into play; you can’t compare yourself to those around you because you are your own individual.  Metabolisms vary, exercise intensity varies – you just have to do you and be comfortable with it. Some people struggle to gain weight just as we struggle to lose it.

Another thing I wanted to touch on while it was on my mind is even if you are plus size you don’t have to wear frumpy clothes to workout in. In an earlier post I mentioned how clothes can motivate a workout (or something along those lines). Find some workout gear that makes you feel good and then ROCK IT!! Don’t worry about what someone says if you like to wear your yoga pants or your legging everyday so you don’t have to change your clothes to go to the gym, because guess what, I am on your side. I hate having to put on clothes that I actually have to zip, button and pair with a belt. I just want to be comfortable.

If you have ever seen the Tide commercial (I hyper-linked it so go ahead a view it), I completely agree with what she is saying, yes I am too lazy to put on real pants but guess what, I am not too lazy to hit the gym and break a sweat so I can burn some calories and feel great about myself afterwards.

If you haven’t already, stop comparing yourself to others and live this weight loss journey for who it is meant to be about – YOU! Feel great about yourself, feel motivated and most importantly feel inspired to make a change in your life. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


This biggest thing that has helped me when it has come to the weight loss so far has been motivation. My mom has been my biggest supporter and I am beyond thankful for her encouragement. I have also found great motivation via Instagram and Lose It! (hence the networking, in this case, social networking).

It can definitely be helpful to have people you know by your side, but people you connect with (who are on the same journey you are on) can be the icing on the cake.

Follow blogs (like this one), talk with people on a weight loss journey and above all, enjoy yourself.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


If you are reading this, I want to thank you for stopping by my blog and if you find something here that you like, feel free to follow this blog by email, leave comments, etc.

On the side of the page you will see other ways you can see what I am sharing about my weight loss journey (Instagram and Twitter).

Again, thank you for taking the time to read this blog, it means a lot to me.


If I have done this correctly, chances are I may not have, these should be pretty accurate measurements. Of course as I hope to lose more weight and inches my numbers will come down and I will be able to keep up to date on those numbers.

Neck - 15
Bust - 49
Chest - 42
Waist - 47
Hips - 53
Calves - 17
Upper Arm - 14 (left) and 15 (right)
Forearm - 11

Again, chances are I have measured something incorrectly and if so, I will go back and edit that information. All numbers are reported in inches.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Take Action

Today, my devotional featured the following sentence, "How often do you find yourself putting off things that you dread doing?" My answer, very often. This can be my school work or more recently, losing weight.

When it came to losing weight, I would put it off and tell myself that I would start a new journey in a certain month or I would start working out on a certain day -- those days came and I did start a new journey or start working out and guess what, it didn't last.

I wasn't motivated enough to make a change until recently. I always tell myself I don't want to be this size forever and I don't. It wasn't until I took action on January 2 that I realized I really want this more than anything right now. I want to lose weight and I want to get in shape.

I don't want to be plagued by health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, I just want to live a healthy lifestyle and actually feel good about my body. Growing up you never realize what society says is wrong with your body.

When I look in the mirror I am constantly reminded of what I have gone through to get here. I see the muffin top, which shows years of eating very unhealthy foods. I see stretch marks, which shows me gaining weight rapidly and losing weight (after all, you get stretch marks from either gaining weight or losing weight). I see the arm giggle which results from fat with no muscle. My thighs rub together, but hey, there is a famous picture of Marilyn Monroe with the quote "proof that you can be adored by thousands of men, even when your thighs touch".

Everything that I have just named is what society has deemed unacceptable, but it is what I deem a work in process. With dedication and (extremely) hard work, one day I won't have a muffin top, one day my arms won't giggle when I hold them out and rapidly move them back and forth and my thighs won't touch. But that day isn't tomorrow, that day is somewhere in the future and that day wouldn't have been possible unless I started to take action.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


I am not sure how many people actually read this blog, it may just be me, but for anyone who may come across this blog and decide to read it (maybe even consider following it), I want to pass along two great magazines that I have come across.

Fitness Magazine and SELF Magazine are two great magazines because they offer information and tips that are actually helpful and can be incorporated into your everyday activities. Both magazines have their February editions on your local newsstands.

These magazines are meant for people who are trying to get fit, trying to stay fit, looking for great lower calorie recipes and great workouts, etc. -- the possibilities are endless with these magazines. I picked them up on a whim but am definitely glad that I did.

This month, SELF has a great "portable" workout. I say portable because you tear out the sheet and you have six individual workouts (also known as a stack, because you do them one right after the other). Both magazines have wonderful recipes that are definitely worth trying.

Next time you need a great read, pick up these two magazines when you see them, you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Weigh-In Day

Today's weigh-in showed a loss of 2.6 pounds which I am very proud about. I thought this week was going to be rough because I haven't been able to exercise (other than walking around my college campus). I made it to the gym I joined yesterday for an invigorating workout on the treadmill and a cool down on the elliptical, but I wasn't sure if that was going to be enough.

Spending 35 minutes at the gym was pretty good for my first time at this new one. Today, I hope to get back to the gym to end this week on a high note and also feel good going into the start of next week. Soon, I will increase my time at the gym to 45 minutes, then an hour, etc.

Since January 2, I have lost a total of 8.6 pounds. That makes me feel absolutely wonderful and it is reassuring knowing that I am only 1.4 pounds away from losing 10 this month.

All I can say is, so far so good, thanks to Lose It! for making a wonderful program (both the app and online) that makes losing weight easy and fun. Lets see what next week brings.

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Journey

“It’s not that some people have willpower and some don’t. It’s that some people are ready to change and others are not.” -- James Gordon
Losing weight is a journey, it is not something that you should expect to happen over night, but it will happen. Losing weight is all about willpower, hence the quote. Sometimes it comes down to passing up your favorite fried foods and choosing the lower calorie, lower fat, baked or broiled alternative.

Its those small changes that pay off in large ways later down the road. Yes, there are times when we will get discouraged along the way, but if we think far enough into the future -- thinking to our ultimate goal, whether weight loss or getting healthier in general -- it will give us the willpower to stay strong on this journey and to make the best decisions for ourselves.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dining Out

Eating at your favorite restaurants can still be enjoyable thanks to the Lose It! app and restaurants that actually offer lighter options. Red Lobster has to be hands down my favorite restaurant, but all of the menu options can be overwhelming. Thanks to Lose It! (and the fact that Red Lobster does offer lighter options) I don't have to worry.

Each restaurant in the Lose It! database shows each of the foods that they offer (give or take a few) along with the calories. So if you know you want to have a 550 calorie dinner at Red Lobster you know that you can have the broiled seafood platter for 280 calories, a cheddar bay biscuit for 180 and a garden salad for 90 calories. If you prefer to have the fried seafood platter for 1,090 calories, you know you could eat half of that to stay within your 550 calorie range.That is the benefit of using the restaurant section of Lose It!, the possibilities are endless.

It is rare that I go out to a restaurant, unless it is on the weekend, but the good thing is that there are plenty of restaurants to choose from in the database, some of my favorites are:

  • Five Guys (yes, all those calories are enjoyable when eaten in moderation -- after all, I am human)
  • KFC
  • Longhorn Steakhouse
  • Maggiano's
  • Olive Garden (on the rare occasion that I go there)
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Red Lobster
  • Ruby Tuesday (again, on the rare occasion that I go there)
  • Sonic (yes, when eaten in moderation)

Surprising fact: some of Sonic's hamburgers have more calories than those at Five Guys.

You see, eating out can be fun and enjoyable you just have to educate yourself on the healthier options that are available out there. Don't stress it, eat drink and be merry!! 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

In-depth Review of Lose It! App and Web

Lose It! has been the best part of my weight loss journey (and no, there is no compensation for what I am about to tell and yes it may be repetitive of a previous post). I first started using Lose It! in January 2012. When I started using it, it was new to me and I didn't know what to expect. I created my profile online and downloaded the app for my phone.

I went through all of the step of creating a profile; name, age, height, current weight, goal weight, etc., before I was able to determine how much weight I wanted to lose on a weekly basis. I figured, "Hey, let's do it - lose the most a week that I can", the highest option was a loss of 2 pounds per week, which was fine with me.

I was given my calorie budget for the day and stuck to it for 3 months, in those 3 months I lost 28 pounds; a lot of those pounds resulted from me watching what I was eating and a few of those came from exercise. It wasn't until I stopped using Lose It!, that the pounds came back (yes, multiple pounds -- 30 of them). They came back because I wasn't ready to give up Lose It!, I realized that was my main problem.

Fast forward to this month, January 2013, I started Lose It! again (I actually created a new profile in November 2012, but didn't want to start a new program until the new year). So far, in the three weeks that I have been using Lose It!, I have lost 6 pounds -- that's two pounds a week!!

When you use the Lost It! app, you see something that looks like this, notice the 5 options on the top row. The first is my day, my day shows a linear graph of the calories that you have consumed and that you have burned, this helps you know how many more calories you can consume during the day.

The next section is the log, which is provided in the picture; this is my log for today (so far, the dinner portion isn't finished yet). As you can tell the log shows your budget, food calories consumed, exercise, net (average of calories consumed and those burnt) and how many calories you are under (in the green) or over (would be red).

There is also a motivation section (which shows what you would see on the web based version of Lose It!), a goals section - which shows your goal weight, how many pounds you plan to lose a week and your daily calorie budget plus a graph showing your weight loss (or weight gain if there was any). The more section provides additional information for your benefit. 

I am still able to eat the foods that I like, like today I just had to have some peanut m&m's (about 8 of them).  The more calories I burn the better I feel, that way  I don't feel bad about eating those 8 m&m's. 

The more weight you lose, the less calories you are allowed for the day, therefore, when I continue to lose weight and my calories go down, I will cut out more carbs. 

The best thing about the app and the web versions of Lose It! is the fact that they sync together.

This is an example of my Lose It! home page which displays the same thing that I see on my phone.
The web version also features a community section, a challenges section (where you can see what challenges are out there and join them), a reports page for the day, week, etc., forums  settings and your connected apps/devices. 

I cannot begin to stress how amazing this site is and how it makes you aware of the foods you are eating, the calories you are bringing into your body and the calories that you are burning. This has worked wonderfully for me in the past and I know that it will continue to work for me in the future, it actually makes calorie counting fun and easy. Overall, this is a wonderful program that is definitely worth using. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Decision to Join

After consideration, I have decided to join a gym. I had to sit down and make another list of pros and cons when it came to joining a gym. It took me two days to actually  visit gyms and narrow my choices down to four (three will be mentioned, one will not be based on the location). My overall reviews about those three will be below simply because I felt they were worth mentioning.

The "Y" is about 20 minutes from my house and since the beginning of January (up until yesterday) they were boldly telling everyone that if you joined before January 21, you wouldn't have to pay a joining fee. Of course that sounds amazing, but I was not too convinced. Therefore, I went into the "Y" and after the staff member explained everything to me, what I saw inside was not worth $88 a month. The building itself looked worn (and dingy) and the machines didn't look any better. Of course from the outside they looked immaculate, but on the inside they didn't. The only perk was that there would have been more than one machine. I immediately knew this was not the right place for me, but politely took the literature that the staff member offered me and went on my way.

There was a Curves on my way home and I decided to stop by and see what they had to offer. When I went  in everyone was so nice and welcoming. I filled out an informational sheet with one of the "coaches" and she explained to me the program. Curves gives you a meal plan that you are able to follow and offers their "30 minute" workout. There were about 5 or 6 machines in the entire building (which was not that big) along with flat steps where you spend 30 seconds on each machine. At first the machines look pretty easy, but the faster and harder you pump the harder the resistance becomes. The one thing that bothered me about Curves was that you have to use each machine twice, essentially you are on sort of a track and have to complete two circles, but my mom kindly pointed out something to me, there were no sanitation stations to wipe down your machines. I wasn't impressed by that nor was I impressed by the lack of machines. When I go to a gym (fitness center, whatever it shall be called) I want to have my choice of machines, not follow behind someone and do the same thing they do. After all, we all aren't built the same and I would have been the youngest person in the entire place (made me feel sort of awkward).

Results Fitness
This was my second trip to Results Fitness (mainly because after my first trip I misplaced the literature that I was given). I fell in love with the place the first time I went and on my second trip (again, to receive more literature) I decided I wanted the "official" tour of the place. One of the owners took my mom and I through every machine, demonstrating how it was properly used (and trust me, they have a lot of machines in there). He also told us of there expansion project (he had already told us but it was good to hear it in more details). Over the next three years, this gym plans to build group rooms (which will be finished by the end of this year, usually takes about 6 months) and in the next year or so they hope to have built an addition that will feature a pool, sauna and spa. Talk about amazing!! That sealed the deal for me and without letting him know, I knew I was hooked.

I know this was a long process, but when you are giving your money away each month, it better be to a place that actually deserves it. Now I am not knocking Curves or the "Y", I am just saying those places are not for me, but I am glad that I found a place that I will enjoy going to. The only thing I have left to do is to go into the gym and join, but I plan to get that done by tomorrow.

Hopefully this will be a wonderful addition to my weight loss journey!!

Monday, January 21, 2013


When reading a weight loss blog there are many things that can be helpful, especially if they are inspiring to you. When I am starting a new weight loss journey I start to research different products that are on the market. By products I mean electronics that I can use along with any calorie counting that I am doing. Therefore, I sat down to think of some things I would love to read on a weight loss blog, they are as follows:

  • Review of Lose It! (online and app)
  • Typical meals for any given day or week
  • Staying calm while eating out (at various restaurants)
  • Typical  gym routine
  • At home workouts

These are just a few things that I hope to have coming up in the future, they are things that I believe would be helpful to anyone no matter where they are in their weight loss journey. 

Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weigh-In Day (Yesterday)

Saturday's are my usual weigh-in days (I did my weigh-in yesterday just forgot to post it); Saturday mornings seem to work the best for me simply because I view that as the end of my week and the end of another "workout" week. So far the numbers I am seeing are pretty good - I am down 6 pounds since January 2, 2013. This is right on track; Lose It! allows you to enter your goal weight and how much weight you want to lose per week, I wanted to lose 2 pounds per week (that is the maximum) and that is what I have been doing for the past 3 weeks. So far I am feeling pretty good about myself and what I have and have not been including in my updated eating plan and my exercise rituals.

The only thing I wish I could change so far would be going to the gym more often. Its not that easy to hop in the car at 4 pm on a Sunday and travel 35 minutes to the gym, to spend an hour in the gym, then drive another 35 minutes back home when I know that it will be dark as I don't know what outside.

I literally pass two gyms on my way to the one at my school; one that is 15 minutes away and one that is 17 minutes away (yes they are that close to each other). But of course with those come fees that I discussed in a previous post.

The more I think about it, the less likely I am to join a gym closer to home since I can go to the one at my school for free. Yes, when it comes to the more local gym, the pros outweigh the cons, but it is no need to make rush decisions (that is something that I never say). All in all maybe that is for the best though, not sure yet but will have to see.

Guess that's it for today, more to come in the future.

Still to come:

  • The actual numbers I am seeing on the scale
  • Measurements
  • More in-depth review of the Fitbit Zip
  • More in-depth review of Lose It! (online and app)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Joining a Gym?

In a previous post I mentioned how I HATED to break a sweat when working out. Therefore, I didn't like working out. Recently that has changed. I have discovered that I LOVE going to the gym now and even consider joining one outside of the one at my college.

Instead of driving 35 minutes to the gym, I can drive about 18 minutes to the gym that I am considering joining. Of course, I can use the gym at my college for free (included in tuition and fees) or I can pay to use the more local gym. As usual there are a set of pros and cons of joining a gym outside of school, I decided to sit down and make a list of those.


  • Enrollment fee
  • Monthly dues
  • Smaller (than the one on my college campus)

  • Ability to be one of about 300 founding members
  • One time enrollment with no annual fees
  • Discount on all goods and services
  • Fixed rate for life of gym membership
  • Shorter distance
  • Personalized training
  • Plans for expansion (the gym that is, not my body) - as a side note -- the plans for expansion or phenomenal and are set to include group rooms, pools, spas and a sauna
  • Quiet (meaning not a lot of people at a time) 

Overall, there are more pros than cons when it comes to joining a separate gym. For me the pros outweigh the cons on many levels because I am still paying for the gym at my school each semester and what happens when I graduate? I don't have free access to the gym, I would have to pay $240 (if joining the alumni association) or $335 (if I choose to not join the alumni association) just to continue going there.

At least with this "possible" gym, which is right around the corner, I don't have to worry about that. I simply enroll as a founding member (as long as there are still spots left) and pay a monthly fee and that's it. I can go to the gym as often as I want, for as long as I want and be closer to home.

 Yet, after I have convinced myself that I think this is the best choice, the question still hangs; will I join this gym after all? 

Friday, January 18, 2013


It has taken me almost 21 years to fully realize that I have always had a dependence on food. My dependence on food goes back many years. I can remember eating donuts late at night then going to bed, snacking on "junk foods" throughout the day or eating the large meals at fast food restaurants.

Growing up, I saw nothing wrong with that. After all, I was changing with the times. The meals were getting larger and less healthy and so was I. My pediatrician was always nice when I went in for a check-up. She would show me the chart and tell me, "this is the weight you should be (pointing to a curve on a graph), but this is the weight you are (pointing to a dot no where near that ideal curve).

I would be lying if I said that didn't bother me. To know that I was so much heavier than what I should be at such a young age (then so much heavier meant about 20 to 30 pounds) was hurtful, but my mom stuck by my side and told me that we would start to do things differently. That worked for awhile until I started making my own food choices.

Things did start to turn around when I was a freshman in high school and joined the marching band. In less than 4 months I had dropped 20 pounds. Why? Because for once, I was finally burning more calories than I was taking in (especially with marching in the heat). Instead of embracing this, I used it as a crutch. During the "off season" (non marching season) I would go back to my old eating habits, but tell myself that I would lose the weight when marching season started back up. That wasn't always the case. As my body got used to the exercise it was tougher for me to drop the weight, but it certainly wasn't tougher for me to gain the weight.

During high school my weight fluctuated. I would lose weight during marching season, gain weight during the holidays and lose weight when softball season started. By the time I graduated high school my body had become used to this pattern and it was hard for me to lose any weight at all. I told myself that my freshman year in college would be different because I didn't want to be part of the "freshman 15", instead I was part of the freshman 7.

I was shocked to know that during my freshman year in college I only gained 7 pounds, especially since I was eating ice cream every night and eating from a local Italian restaurant and / or McDonald's once a week. Again, I made an empty promise to myself that during my sophomore year things would change. Instead I was eating more because I had transferred colleges and was back home and grabbing meals whenever I thought I was hungry (turns out I was just bored or tempted with the food).

Last year, 2012, I started to track what I was eating with the Lose It! app. It was highly successful and I ended up losing around 25 pounds within the first 4 months because I was watching the foods that I was eating and taking better care of my body. When I stopped tracking my foods in May, because I thought I had a grip on things, the weight started coming back and by the end of 2012 I was back up another 30 pounds, essentially gaining the weight I had once lost in the beginning of the year plus an additional 5 pounds!

Now that I am in my junior year of college (second semester) I am determined that this will be my year of change (see earlier post with same title). I have started watching what I eat again (started using Lost It! again) and have been incorporating Zumba, walking and visits to the gym (time in the gym ranges anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to start out with, then I plan on increasing that time to an hour).

Although I have only been back on this journey, that is what I like to call it because it is a journey, for a couple weeks I know I will go through many high and low points until reaching that ultimate goal; but for now, I am feeling better about myself. Taking it slowly is really helping me start to accept the things that I need to change.

Today I actually told me mom, "I love going to the gym," that is something that I would have never said a few years ago, but it is something that I am glad to say now. I know that this will not be an easy journey but I know that the results will be worth the "weight" (get it, weight instead of wait -- hahaha).

My body is telling me that I need to change and I am finally accepting that.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Walking the Distance

One of the benefits of attending a large university is that your classes tend to be spread out, which means more walking. For the past two days I have had to travel approximately 10 minutes on foot (through a park, crossing several streets) just to get from one of my classes to the other. Instead of looking at this as a challenge, I look at it as a reward. I am rewarding my body with exercise.

While this may not be the same type of exercise that I would have received had I gone to the gym, it is still something. More importantly, it is something that my body will benefit from. Yes, taking that 10 minute stroll in the pouring down rain hasn't been fun this week, but looking on the bright side, I walked faster to get out of the rain and therefore I burned more calories.

This is just one of the benefits of attending a larger college, more walking distance and more opportunities to burn calories during the day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Morning or Evening?

I have found that when I am stressed out, working out in the morning is better for me. It helps to give me the needed energy to go through the rest of my day. On the other hand, if I have been stressed out, I find that working out in the evening helps me go out on a good note. In a way it contradicts itself. Whenever I need a pick me up, I enjoy working out (I am saying that more now than I have ever said in my whole life) and whenever I need to be doing something so I am not tempted to eat, I enjoy working out.

I have found that pictures motivate me. I tend to take pictures after my workouts. All of my pictures are posted to my Instagram account. Today's picture was of my 30 minutes on the treadmill this morning burning 219 calories. Its things like that, that keep me motivated to better myself.

When I work out in the morning I can eat more during the day versus when I workout in the evenings and I have already enjoyed all of my meals. Either way I look at it as winning, because I am staying under my calorie count for each day and motivating myself with new pictures after each workout.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Today, I accepted two challenges on Lose It! ( The first challenge, which was created by individuals on Lose It!, is "you bite it - you write it". You have to log what you have eaten everyday. So far I have logged 15 days (that is everyday since I have started this journey on January 2). Those 15 days have placed me in the top 5.

I also decided to join the "unstoppable" challenge, also created by individuals on the site. For this challenge, you have to log everything for 16 weeks. This should be no problem seeing as though I plan on using Lose It! even after I reach my weight loss goal (which is scheduled for August).

For now, these are the only two challenges that I have joined. February is a new month and is bound to bring about new challenges, I may look into some more then.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hitting the Gym

I have never liked to break a sweat, so I have always avoided gyms. When I was a senior in high school (about to start my fourth year of varsity softball) a friend and I went to our local gym to get our bodies re-conditioned. That lasted all of about a month.

I made a promise to myself that when I went off to college for my freshman year, I would hit the gym (I wanted to avoid the dreaded "Freshman 15" -- I instead was the Freshman 7). Coincidentally, my dorm was about 100 feet from the entrance of the gym. Talk about a reality check. Its like they knew exactly where to place me. During my freshman year I visited the gym a total of 3 times (twice to complete an assignment for my power walking class and once to get an amazingly delicious smoothie, because the other smoothie location had closed for the day).

I only utilized what I paid for 3 times in a year. This year was different. As a student, you receive a gym membership, which is included in your school fees. I was tired of paying for something that I wasn't using, so today (the first day of spring semester) I decided to hit the gym -- which coincidentally is 100 feet from my parking deck.

After getting my fingerprint scanned (for access to the gym) I was off to find a machine that I knew I could operate. I started on the elliptical and boy can I say my thighs were burning after 10 minutes. Trying to make the most of my introductory trip to the gym I headed over to the stationary bikes and after 20 minutes of moderate activity, I "biked" a distance of 4.24 miles. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

Today won't be my only trip to the gym this semester, I hope to make it to my college gym at least once a week and maybe join a gym closer to home. I am not sure how my relationship will work out with the gym, but so far it is off to a good start.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Prior to starting this journey, I can confirm that I had a serious snacking addiction. When I walked by food, it intrigued me and I had to have a snack at that moment. Since starting this journey on January 2, my snacking habit has died down quite a bit. I normally eat one snack between breakfast and lunch. For the last week, that mid-morning snack has been Mariani California Almonds (honey roasted, yes I know - not as healthy as plain ones). For me, I focus on caloric intake (not necessarily other numbers, although they do come into consideration) and that is what helps me determine what I am and am not going to eat. 

These almonds (a half an ounce) have only 80 calories. Essentially they are a food that I do not feel guilty about eating. When it comes to other snacks, I enjoy yogurt, fresh fruit or fiber one bars (fiber one also makes delicious brownies). 

By focusing on what I am eating, I have had a better handle on the foods that I consume and have not had a flare up of the serious snacking addiction. My snacks are kept to a minimum and my food intake is monitored. Caloric expenditure is also important to me (its the only way to drop these pounds, something I will highlight on in a later post). 

Now, I no longer feel guilty about snacking on foods, especially when they are healthy foods. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review of Fitbit Zip

While browsing in the electronics section at Target, I stumbled across a wireless activity tracker by Fitbit. Anytime I see a new gadget that I think may work for me (no matter what program I am on) I get excited and must have it at that moment or I will not rest until it is in my hands. That was the case with the Fitbit Zip.

I immediately pulled out my phone and searched Google for information relating to this product. When directed to the Fitbit website ( I saw that there (at the time of my purchase) were two products being produced; the Zip and the One -- Fitbit is now taking orders for the Flex. Both devices track steps taken, calories burned and your distance traveled. The One, on the other hand, also tracks stairs climbed, hours and quality of sleep.

I knew that at the moment, I didn't need my sleep pattern tracked so I went with the zip. After four days of deliberation and research, I purchased the Fitbit Zip (which retails for $59.99) from Target a week ago today. I can definitely say, there was no sticker shock when I read the price since the price of everything under the sun has gone up in recent years.

Right out of the box I was eager to use it. After setting the device up (basic information, height, weight, age, etc.) -- step by step instructions are included and should take less than 5 minutes to set up, I noticed that it was showing 35 steps and about 200 calories burned. I knew this was way off since I hadn't moved a muscle since setting it up. I began to wonder, did I purchase a device that wasn't worth the money?

I immediately visited the Fitbit community (yes, with the purchase of a Fitbit product you can track your information online or with an app for your mobile device) to seek answers to my question. I was told that the Fitbit measures the calories you burn just by staying alive.  That explained why there were already calories burned on my Zip.

I knew that seeing the calories I was burning by just staying alive would annoy me so I disabled that function and decided to use my Zip as an activity tracker that displays steps, distance traveled, time and a smiley face emoticon that changes with the intensity of your activity.

Seeing my numbers (i.e., steps and distance traveled)  on the screen pushes me to do more and push myself to new levels. The more steps you take, the more step badges you can earn, the more calories you burn and essentially the more weight you lose.

Over the course of the past week I have fallen in love with my Zip and am glad that I purchased it. It takes a few minutes to get used to but it is worth it in the long run and it is a device that will push you to new levels.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Clothes That Motivate

I have always wanted to be the best "me" that I can be, no matter what I was doing. When it comes to my health, I want to better myself. That is why I started this new program and why I decided to start this blog. This blog serves as a way to motivate myself to become the best person I can be.

I have found that new items (such as the Fitbit Zip, which is new to me but not new to all) motivate me to strive for new goals. Workout attire also motivates me to become more active; I know that may or may not be surprising (definitely not surprising for those who really know me).

I always like to be comfortable and that includes when I am working out. Therefore, finding clothes that are not only cute but comfortable really inspires me. J.C. Penney has an amazing workout clothing line for women of all shapes and sizes. The line, Xersion, features bright colored clothes that pick up your mood and make you want to get out and run/walk a few extra laps around that track, or spend a few extra minutes on the treadmill.

Not only am I working out to better myself, I am wearing clothes that make working out fun which help me push myself harder, reach new goals and burn more calories. What more can a girl ask for?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Setting Goals

I have found that it is easier to set small goals that lead up to a large goal rather than diving in. Thanks to the Lose It! app, I have been able to set a realistic goal. Based on that goal (an ultimate loss of 60 pounds by August), I know how many calories I am allowed per day. I have already started to see results and I owe it all to hard work and dedication.

 I found an interesting fortune from a fortune cookie today while moving some stuff around, it read "Do you believe? Endurance and persistence will be rewarded." -- I find that to be true (I actually find all of my fortune cookie fortunes to be true).

It takes both persistence and endurance to achieve results, no one said this was an overnight accomplishment, but I am ready to stay focused and endure what comes at me.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Finding New Things

Whenever I start a new program (such as this one), there are certain foods that I try to avoid; mainly heavily greasy or fried foods. Yet, there are times when I have a craving for foods and it is better that I get it out of my system by eating a small portion versus thinking about it forever and then pigging out on it later.

So far, I have avoided all fried foods since starting this program. It is not necessarily because those items have been presented to me and I have denied them, it's just that they don't appeal to me anymore.

Lately, I have been keeping my breakfast items pretty simple. English muffins, boiled eggs and bacon or cereal. I also enjoy Eggo waffles (low fat, nutri-grain) and turkey sausage. Thanks to a trip to IHOP (in which I was freaking out trying to determine what to eat when I realized that they still had the Simple and Fit menu items) I discovered that I now enjoy turkey bacon.

Some people feel strange about turkey products, but I love turkey burgers, turkey sausage and now turkey bacon.

Lunch and Dinner have been pretty easy too. I keep tuna packets on hand for a quick lunch as well as salad mix. As previously mentioned, I enjoy turkey burgers and sometimes will incorporate pork chops (although not my favorite) into the mix. Ont top of that, I also enjoy fresh fish.

I have always enjoyed these foods and the fact that they are actually healthy for you is a bonus. I have also discovered that planning meals in advance is a big help. At the start of the day I am able to lay everything out and don't feel guilty when I have to make amendments. It's also nice to incorporate new foods into my meal planning to see what I will enjoy (and try again) and what I may not enjoy (but feel it is worth a try).

Sometimes, you just have to take a step out on a limb and you will find new things that you like.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Personal Bests

Today, I reached a personal best since starting my new program. 4.84 miles and 11,033 steps completed for the day (that is an update from an earlier Instagram post that featured 10,952 steps).

It's things like this that keep motivating me to strive for new highs and set new goals.

Working Out

Whenever I start a new program, I like to get back into the process of working out slowly. I have never been one who likes to bust a sweat by working out (that is why I normally avoid intense workouts). I played softball for 4 years and have had my fair share of running laps and running up and down football stadium steps.

Instead, I like to ease into workouts. Normally I start off with walking and incorporate Zumba soon after (talk about calorie burning). This morning I completed a 2.7 mile walk and felt invigorated. This has given me a lot of motivation to complete another session of Zumba tonight.

Starting my mornings with walks wakes me up and helps to get my mind in focus, finishing my day with Zumba lets me know that I am going out with a bang.

This process takes dedication and I can finally say that I am committed to a change.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Useful Tools

In the past I have used some very useful to help me achieve small (but effective) weight loss goals. This time around I plan on utilizing one of the same tools and incorporating a new one.

Lose It!, which is available on the web and as an app, is a weight loss app that helps you track your caloric intake as well as expenditure. It also allows you to add in foods from various restaurants. It has been extremely helpful to me in the past.

One of the new devices that I will be incorporating in my new program is the Fitbit Zip. The Fitbit Zip is essentially a pedometer but can sync up to Lose It! if you spend 39.99 for the premium Lose It! upgrade.

So far it has taken me some time to adjust to the Fitbit Zip because it measures caloric expenditure even if you are not up an active. After a few adjustments (i.e., turning off the caloric expenditure function) I have enjoyed using the device. As time goes on, I will be able to give a better update.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2013 is my year of change

I am convinced that this year will be a big year for me. It is the year when I finally plan to continue with eating healthier and seeing the results pay off. As usual, I started my eating healthier journey last year (Jan. 2012) and it was successful. With the help of diet and exercise, by April 2012 I was down 30 pounds. It took a lot of hard work and dedication, but I did it. Then from May to December, it was like a train derailed. I began eating unhealthy once again and settled back into my old ways. Not this time! 2013 is my year of change.