Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekly Goals

Last week was a surprisingly exceptional week for me and it is one that I hope will happen again. This weeks goals follow last weeks very closely, with a couple additions.

This week, I want to:
  • Lose at least 1 pound - Losing at least one pound puts me closer to my next mini goal of losing 20 pounds on this journey.
  • Drink over 32 ounces of water daily - This seems to be a recurring goal for me because I have yet to consume at least 32 ounces of water daily.
  • Stay low carb - Again, this is also recurring because so far it is working for me. I don't cut out all carbs but I keep my carb intake to a minimum.
  • Stay closer to my calorie budget - I am not sure if this is what helped at this weeks weigh-in or if it was Yoga Meltdown but the closer I get to my calorie goal the better I do. Lately, I have found that I can actually eat desert, guilt free because I have enough calories left over.
  • Yoga Meltdown - Last week was my first couple of days on Yoga Meltdown and although I have yet to complete the entire 30 minutes, I am pretty proud of what I have been able to do. Yoga Meltdown claims that you can lose up to 5 pounds in a week and based on my weight loss last week and the amount of days I completed it, it may have had an affect.
  • Exercise more - I would like to actually get in at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, lately I have fallen short of that goal in recent weeks, so hopefully this week will be different.
  • Pay attention to my body - My body knows what it wants and what it needs and I need to pay attention to that. When I think I am hungry, drink water to make sure I am not just thirsty. When I am tired, get adequate rest, etc. 
Hopefully this week will be better all around and I can accomplish all of these goals for once.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Weigh-In Day

I am not sure what I did this week that played a major role in today's weigh in. All I know is that when I stepped on the scale I thought it was broken. I stepped on the scale, then back off the scale, then on and then off because I couldn't believe what was displayed (digitally) in front of my eyes.

I went down the hall to get my tablet to see what I weighed last week when I updated my weight in Lose It!. I even had someone else get on the scale to see if it was accurate. I stepped on the scale once again and put this new weight in.

This week, the scale revealed that I lost another 2.4 pounds. Unbelievable for me because I am not sure what made this week so different. Maybe it was yoga meltdown, I am not sure (I will be doing it again next week though).

This week just tells me that I am still in control on this journey and although I have a long ways to go, I can complete the rest of this journey knowing that I can accomplish anything.

Total loss this week: 2.4 pounds
Total loss for the month: 4 pounds
Total loss since the start of this journey: 17.2 pounds (I hit my mini 15 pounds lost goal!!!!!!!)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Week In Review

Time sure did fly by this week, not sure where it went to, but I don't think much of it was on my side. Lately, since the time changed, it seems that I don't have time for anything anymore.

Looking back at this week, I would say I had a mediocre week, not too bad but not necessarily the best.

Once again I fell short of drinking 32 ounces of water a day but I am getting better, taking down almost 20 ounces a day. It's not that I don't like water, I just can't consume mass amounts in one sitting.

As far as staying low carb goes, I did okay with it, I could have done better but I did pick up a habit for sweets this week. Of course, they weren't the healthiest choice, but they were good and now out of my cravings.

I managed 2 of 3 days with Yoga Meltdown, 1 day short of my goal, 1 day better than I thought I would do. I still haven't made up my mind on if I will go back to 30DS or RI30 as alternatives or stick Yoga Meltdown out.

I am not sure how close I was to my calorie budget each day, I know I didn't get over, but some days I was no where near as close as I should have been and that is starting to bother me.

As this week comes to a close, I am not sure if I am ready for what tomorrow brings, but I know that I can't wait to get on the scale to see.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Finding What Works For You

While on this journey, I have had to amend a few things, take on new things, handle obstacles and numerous other things, but those things didn't stop me. There were several times when they could have. There were times when I could have given up and said it wasn't worth it, but I know this is worth it.

You will often hear people saying losing weight isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle changed -- they are correct. I have had to find what works for me on this journey and make the necessary changes. Yes, I wish I could eat cake and ice cream all day and never gain a pound, but I know that will never happen. I wish I could eat cheeseburgers and french fries all day and never gain a pound, but I know that will definitely not happen. Therefore, I have to find what works for me. Having a cheeseburger here and there won't hurt me. Having a piece of cake and some ice cream once in a while won't hurt me, it's having these items in excess that will.

There are certain things that I am still trying to find that works for me but that is the interesting part of this journey. I have to try things before I know if they will work for me. I have to enjoy new things, open myself up to new things and embrace those new things because one (or better yet, a few) of those new things (aren't you tired of me saying "new things") will change my life for the better, I just have to find what ultimately works for me.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Yoga Meltdown Day 2

Today, was my first semi-full day of Yoga Meltdown. I say semi-full because I completed 22 of the 30 minutes, which was an improvement over my 12 minutes completed yesterday. As I mentioned yesterday, this workout is going to do as it is intended. I can say that now as my arms are sore, but I know that is from my muscles working the way they are supposed to.

Each of the movements is doable and as always you have your "beginner" guide and your "advanced" guide to help you, so pay attention to them. One thing that I have learned is that it is okay to alter the movements to fit you. If you have bad knees, don't go so far into a lunge, if you have a bad shoulder, don't make such large arm rotations  etc. You know your body and you know what works and what doesn't work for it, so make the appropriate changes.

One thing that I have discovered is that, although it is time consuming, it is better to watch the DVD first to get a feel for all of the movements so you know what to expect (of course you don't have to sit through the whole 30 minutes, you could fast forward).

My initial plan was to use this as a substitute for the days in which I am not able to make it to the gym, but for some reason my mind has been telling me that I need to give 30 Day Shred or Ripped In 30 another try. I am not sure why my mind is telling me that, but it is and it may be a good idea to listen to it.

With that being said, things may have to be amended (which is to be expected). If I decide to go back to 30DS or RI30, they will take place 2 days out of the week with the third being a more relaxed day, therefore, a YM day.

I would prefer sticking to one main workout, with a side workout (for me, that would be the gym and a DVD). But, my body may be telling my mind that I need to switch things up, and maybe it is time that I listen.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yoga Meltdown

Yes, you are seeing that image correctly; Jillian Michaels has a Yoga Meltdown DVD. Just like anything associated with Jillian Michaels, this DVD is no joke and it is going to quickly make you realize that everything you once heard about yoga being easy, wasn't true.

Yes the moves may seem easy, but Jillian has you reaching down low for some true calorie burning. which definitely gives it that added kick.

I completed my trial run with this DVD yesterday and after 12 minutes (unfortunately, not 12 consistent minutes since I was moving from room to room), I could feel the burn and I knew the sweating was fast approaching.

The DVD states that you can lose up to 5 pounds in a week, I am pretty sure with consistent usage, that would be possible, but for me using it a couple times a week, I doubt that 5 pounds will drop off in a week, but stranger things have happened.

I feel that this will be effective, because its calming and she isn't "yelling" at you through the television, instead she is at an even tone walking you through the workout.

Tomorrow my plan is to complete level one in its entirety and give a more detailed review of the DVD, so stay tuned.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekly Goals

Last week (as far as my weight loss journey is concerned) was an okay week, not necessarily great but not bad. So there are some things that I still want to accomplish and some new things I want to start.

This week, I want to:

  • Lose between 0.2 ounces and 1 pound - losing 0.2 ounces will put me at a total loss of 15 pounds on this journey but my main goal is to lose at least 1 pound this week.
  • Drink over 32 ounces of water a day - I would love to finish at least 32 ounces of water a day, lately that hasn't been happening (and today I left my water bottle at home) so hopefully this week I can get closer to this goal.
  • Stay low carb - So far, I have been doing pretty good with this but as always there is room for improvements.
  • Stay closer to my calorie budget - this is one of the things that I have noticed, when I stay closer to my budget I lose more weight versus when I am 500 to 800 calories lower.
  • Complete Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown at least 3 days of the week - Hopefully this workout will be a great way to finish some of my busier days which are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
These are some of the things that I want to accomplish this week but as always curves will be thrown and I will have to make some adjustments along the way, which are to be expected and is something that I am anticipating.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Overcoming Challenges

Yesterday, while out shopping, I picked up a rubber duck. Why you ask, it was only $1 and very cute (plus, purchasing it allowed me to get a coupon from Old Navy). Of course, I had no idea what I was going to do with the duck so I just sat it on the cabinet in my bathroom. It wasn't until last night when I realized that duck may have actually been brought into my life for a purpose.

Just as a little child would, I filled the sink with water and allowed the duck to float a while. That is when it hit me. We are very small against our biggest challenges, yet we have the power to overcome them. The duck, who of course was “smaller” than all the water that filled the sink, never sank, it just floated along on top of the water (it overcame its biggest challenge).

Last week, I was stressed from one of my classes (stressed from one of the exams in the class) but I overcame it because I gave it my all and didn’t let it overtake me. Each week I am tempted by something but I overcome that temptation, by diverting my attention to something healthier.

On this journey, there are times when we are going to feel small compared to what we are seeking (our goal weight, non-scale victories, etc.) but we can overcome what is thrown our way. One thing that I am slowly learning is that although there will be stressful times, there will always be something to combat that stress; because I (and you) will never be too small to overcome our biggest challenges. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Weigh-In Day

I didn't know what to expect this week at my weigh-in. I had a goal of losing 1 pound this week and I wasn't going to be devastated if I didn't lose it, it was just a stepping stone as far as I was concerned. One pound lost is another pound closer to my goal.

Today's weigh-in showed a loss of 0.6 ounces. That may not seem like a lot, but I am only 0.2 ounces away from losing 15 pounds, so for me that's getting me closer to a mini goal.

I also purchased Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown to use on the days when I feel like I am stressed and don't want to workout, although I know once I start working out my mood will be lifted. Once I start using it, I hope to be able to give a review on it.

Total loss this week: 0.6 pounds
Total loss for the month: 1.6 pounds
Total loss since the start of this journey: 14.8 pounds

Friday, March 22, 2013

Week In Review

Another week has come and gone and I can definitely say it was pretty stressful. The silver lining in all of this, the week is over and I made some great progress in the gym while taking out all of my stress.

Looking back on my weekly goals, I accomplished 4 out of the 6 so far.

This week it was really tough for me to smile with all my stress, but for some reason when I got into the gym I smiled because I knew that was the best place for me to be, the best place to take my frustrations out versus falling back on my progress and eating junk food.

I was able to exercise for nearly 30 minutes each day, today I put in 45 minutes on the elliptical alone which I am very proud of. I noticed that with walking to and from classes I am exercising for nearly 20 minutes while at school. Those trips back and forth don't seem like much but they really add up.

I have gotten closer to my calorie budget each day, which is a big thing for me when it comes to my weekly weigh-ins. On weeks where I ate closer to my budget, I lose more weight, versus weeks where I don't and I gain back ounce.

I also managed to stay low carb, having one or no carbs at each meals. This has helped me so much so far because I am able to incorporate more vegetables into my meals and with summer right around the corner it will be easier than ever to incorporate fresh vegetables in my meals.

Unfortunately, I feel short of my goal of drinking 32 ounces of water or more in a day, so that will be another goal of mine until I accomplish it. I also have no idea if I lost at least 1 pound because weigh-in day hasn't arrived and even when it gets here I am thinking about amending my weigh-in days to focus more on non-scale victories this month before getting back to focusing on my numbers.

As this week comes to a close, I am proud of the goals that I have accomplished and ready to tackle the goals that I have left to accomplish.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Looking back on this journey, there are so many times when I could have given up. As you know by now, I have this one dreaded class this semester that is taking a toll on my body. Dealing with this class leaves me stressed, fatigued and feeling horrible. My outlet truly is exercise and watching what I eat.

This past week was definitely the time where if I truly put my mind to it (and no one else wanted any) I could have devoured an half of carton of mint chocolate chip ice cream; but I didn't. Mainly because I didn't want to have to log that into LoseIt! and if I had eaten it, I would have felt worse when there wasn't any left.

In order for me to succeed on this journey, I have to stick to what I truly want to achieve,  I have to remember my short (birthday) and long term (graduation) goals. No matter what obstacles I face (mainly that dreadful accounting for non-business majors course) I know that it will only get better and that I can succeed on this journey.

Losing weight is hard enough as it is without added stressful situation, but I have to keep my eye on the prize. Once the weight is gone, the battle isn't over. I have to maintain that (even in stressful situations) but right now, getting to the gym and eating right is helping me get rid of the excess fat I have accumulated over the years (which definitely wasn't hard to do). I have to stick to my plan, it will pay off in the end.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Not Enough Time

This movie seems to be the story of my life recently. Since the time change, it seems that there just aren't enough hours in the day to get things accomplished. I wake up, go to school, sit through (what seems like endless) classes, come home, eat, do homework and go to sleep. Not once did I mention exercising because I can't seem to find anywhere to fit that into my schedule.

Lately the exercise that I have been getting on days when I do have class, is from walking to and from class and walking up and down the stairs in the parking deck. Still, it's a form of exercise.

This week, tomorrow actually, I have an exam in what is shaping up to be one of the worst classes in my college career. Everyone I talk to feels the same way about the class, they don't know what is going on either or some say it is hard and you'll have to repeat it in another semester. I don't want to do that, I feel as if I have already handed my school money that didn't benefit me.

This has been my biggest source of stress this week, thinking about that exam. Since Monday, I have been studying until I have almost fallen asleep while looking at the material. I know that this is just a hiccup in my week. Come tomorrow at 9:30, I will be smooth sailing for the weekend because my exam will be over and a heavy (and unbearable) weight will have been lifted off of me. But it doesn't end there, I still have more exams in that class to take so I know the cycle will begin once again.

Today, I was so happy to tackle this machine today. When I got on, it seemed like all of my cares and concerns (also known as stressful situations) left my body in the form of sweat and I left the gym feeling renewed. Exercise really is the best way to beat stress.

For the rest of the day I am going to try and take it easy, a little studying followed by a break and then repeating the same process (studying then break, etc.). I will never understand how anyone can get so much work done in a day and still be renewed and refreshed when they wake up, but I can understand that my body is giving me signals that if I didn't over-analyze and get stressed over everything, I could get a lot more accomplished during the day than I am now.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Visual Aids

I have decided that I need to set up visualizations of my weight loss. I have heard of those on a weight loss journey keeping track of what they lose (and unfortunately gain) with jars and marbles, like this:

I have also heard of those on a weight loss journey marking off their weight with something similar to this (instead of this computerized version, I would have a handmade version to give it some personal appeal):
Although this is small, the object is to cross of the numbers you have left to go. For instance, I have 48 pounds left until I reach my goal, so I would cross everything up until 48 (because that is what I have left to lose).

This is something else I found to be interesting, which may work out better for me:

Each time I lose a pound, I (or someone else, if they feel generous that day) will put a tip in the jar. The reason I say this will work out better for me is because I participate in Relay for Life, which is a week after my birthday this year. As my contribution, I can donate "my pounds lost" (the money of course!!).

These are just a few of the ideas that I have come across (or that have been brought to my attention since I started this journey). Hopefully, I can get some of these visual aids started this weekend.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Weekly Goals

Earlier, I was thinking about what I should write about today (especially something that I haven;t already mentioned) and I decided what better way to kick off a week than with weekly goals. I thought of some things I want to accomplish this week and on Friday (when I usually do my week in review) I will have something to look back on and see what I did accomplish and what I didn't.

This week, I want to:

  • Lose at least 1 pound - last week I didn't lose anything, but after taking measurements I realized I have lost inches, talk about excited; but I do worry, have I reached the dreaded plateau?
  • Drink over 32 ounces of water a day - of course that is probably not even anywhere in the ballpark of the "recommended" water intake for me, but it is a start
  • Stay low carb - I feel that I have been doing pretty good, but I do need to make quite a few improvements
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day for 4 days - today the extent of my exercise was walking to class and power walking up the steps in the parking deck at school, that counts for something, but is no where near my 30 minute goal
  • Get closer to my calorie budget - I know that may sound like I am moving backwards but I have found that I lose more weight when I am eating close to my calorie budget for the day (staying at least 200 - 300 calories under budget)
  • Smile more - because I have a loss of 14.2 pounds to be proud of and even if I have reached the dreaded plateau, switching up my routine should kick start my body back into the right direction
These are just some of things I hope to accomplish this week so it is definitely time to get my head back in the game because this week may prove to be my hardest yet on this journey. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

College Student Losing Weight

If you have read my profile (provided at the right of this page) you know that I am a college student who is striving to lose weight. That is already tough as it is but what makes it even tougher, is when you are a college student who is not fixing their own meals (by fixing I mean, starting from scratch and seeing it all the way through).

Now, don't think to far into that, there is nothing wrong with my hands and I am perfect capable of fixing my own meals (I have done it plenty of times before, but mainly in the summertime and when I am spring and winter breaks) I just don't fix them that often.

One of the things I like about fixing my own meals is exactly that, I am fixing my own meal. I am fixing what I want to eat and not focusing on what other may want or how they want it prepared. Sundays are the worse for me. I try to help my mom plan the meals but chances are it won't be fixed the way I want it.

Now that is nothing against my mom, who is a wonderful cook and will go to the ends of the earth to see that I succeed on this weight loss journey when it come to meal prep, but when you are fixing meals for everyone other than you, the way they get prepared goes so far off of the way you intended. Not sure if that makes sense, let me break it down. If I request chicken breasts with rice and a vegetable, the chicken will be fixed with some kind of sauce or onions and peppers (things I don't like all the time and definitely don't want them mixed in to my meals).

Therefore, when I get the opportunity to fix meals, I jump on it. I fix them the way that I want and that is that. Anyone else who wants some can add whatever they like when they choose that way they don't interfere with the way I intend my meal to come out.

Now this post may sound like a big complaint but it is more of an expression of how I value the times in which I can fix meals for my family. It allows me to fix something that I enjoy, that's low calorie (no one other than my mom and I need to know that) and something that I will want to eat off of again. Therefore, what I want to express in all of this is that only you know the way in which you want your meals prepared and if that doesn't happen often, don't be afraid to fix them yourself and allow family members to add in things that they want.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Weigh-In Day

Since today's weigh in resulted in no change, I decided to take some new measurements. There may not be much of a change (if any) but as long as I'm not gaining inches, I am fine.

Here are January's measurements:
Neck - 15
Bust - 49
Chest - 42
Waist - 47
Hips - 53
Thighs - 28
Calves - 17
Upper Arm - 14 (left) and 15 (right)
Forearm - 11

Here are March's measurements:
Neck - 15
Bust - 47
Chest - 41
Waist - 46
Hips - 51
Thighs - 28 (both)
Calves - 17 (both)
Upper Arm - 14 (both)
Forearm - 11

I was pretty bummed to see my weight didn't change but I was very excited to see that I lost inches in my bust, chest, waist and hips areas. That has left me with a permanent smile for the night and lets me know that I am doing something right.

Next week it's back to taking the time to record every meal I eat on Lose It! and exercising (going to the gym and taking at least 30 minutes for myself when I can't make it to the gym), this weight loss journey won't be (and hasn't necessarily been) easy but in the long run it will pay off.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Week In Review

Looking back on this week, my meals were pretty good when it came to the amount of calories consumed. Each day, I stayed below my caloric budget and on some days I even had enough calories left over that I could eat a cupcake so I could get closer to my budget. I find that for me, I lose more weight when I eat more calories (essentially putting my closer to my caloric budget).

Unfortunately, I was extremely sedentary this week. I don't know what it was about this week (I can't even blame it on the time change) but I have been extremely tired. Maybe it comes from lack of exercise and my body has nothing to re-charge it, but whatever it is I hope I figure it out soon so I can get back in the swing of things.

I am not sure what the scales will show this week. Although I feel that I ate sensibly this week,  my lack of physical exercise may also play a huge part when it comes to weigh-in day. I am only 0.8 pounds away from losing 15 so I hope the scale shows that this week. That way I have new motivation going into next week.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Plus Size Beauty Pageants


Today we had a phenomenal discussion in my women writers class, a discussion that didn't pertain to women writers at all. Our discussion revolved around beauty pageants. You may be wondering what this has to do with a weight loss blog, stick around with me and you will find out but I warn you this post may get very random (and slightly confusing) at times.

When I think of beauty pageants, my mind automatically goes to Miss United States (clips from Miss Congeniality pop into my head when I think of this) and Miss America. As well as know, Miss America has five rounds; personal interview, talent, lifestyle and fitness in swimsuit, evening wear and onstage question. Miss United States has four rounds; personal interview, swimsuit and fitness, evening wear and onstage question.

When we started the discussion, I had no idea how deep it would travel, we covered everything from pageants  to Little Miss Sunshine, to Dove commercials and anything in between.

Pageants are not for everyone. What I mean by that, is that you have to be comfortable in order to do a pageant. I for one don't think I could compete in a pageant because of what they have come to symbolize, but that is just my personal preference and I am in no way shape or form trying to say pageants are a bad thing.

I want to talk specifically about the sections of the competitions that I have in bold. Miss America states that women are judged on overall physical fitness. How can you measure someones physical fitness from how they appear in a bathing suit? I played softball for four years and the thing that surprised me the most was that there were times when I could often outrun girls smaller than  me but girls larger than me could out run me. Society would deem that unacceptable. We live in a world where "thin is in" and people automatically assume that when you are thin you are healthy. That really bothers me. No one can look at you from the outside and determine how physically fit you are, instead what they are doing is objectifying your body.

Society already has me feeling like a "social outcast" when I go to the pool and am in a cover-up until I am ready to get in the pool (and trust me, when my mind is made up that I am getting in the pool, I have 30 seconds to get the cover-up off and jump in) because my body doesn't fit societies norms. The last I heard, ideal body measurements for women were 36-24-36, at this point in my life - what I am supposed to do with those measurements, put them on a shirt and say "this is what society thinks I should measure up to"?

Why aren't there more competitions for plus sized women? Competitions where we (I dare not say "they" because I myself am plus sized) can go on stage with women who look like us and embrace who we are. Why aren't there competitions that actually show women who have muffin tops, thighs that touch and stretch marks? Why aren't there more competitions with "real" women?

Young girls are looking at these pageants and seeing what society says they should look like when they get older. All these young girls need to know is that when they get older they should feel healthy, they shouldn't feel like they are depriving themselves of things that they want.

As I leave what has become more of a rant and not a post, I can say that I am plus size, and I am working on becoming healthier while losing weight and inches in the process. One day I may have the courage to enter a beauty pageant (hopefully a plus size one) where I and other women can walk across a stage and be proud of who we are.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Shop Til You Drop

I wish shopping would be considered an official sport, if so I know it would be the easiest way for me to burn calories. One thing that I have noticed is that days when I am out shopping, I am getting in more walking than I could imagine. All of those countless trips up and down aisles in Target or other stores, going from store to store in the mall, etc. really racks up some steps on my Fitbit Zip (which I love and literally panic when I can't find it because it has helped me so much on this journey).

It seems that the activities I least think about as forms of exercise are the ones that work me out the most. On days that I do spend out shopping I feel "lighter" because although I am not sweating at the gym, I am working out. All of that walking and lifting and pushing (baskets) counts for something, right?

The purpose of this post (I know it takes me forever to get to the purpose of my posts) is that although you may have some days where you feel that you are not working out because you are not sweating it out at the gym, you actually are. As long as you are moving, your body is working out, it just may not be in the way that you think.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Taking Time For Me

One of the most important things, I have yet to realize on this journey, is that I have to take time for myself. When I refer to taking time for myself, I don't just mean sitting around all day and watching television (although that is what the majority of my spring break amounted to), I am talking about dedicating at least 30 minutes to myself and doing something productive, outside of school work. By now you have probably guessed what my something product shall be, working out.

I have one particularly stressful class this semester, Accounting for Non-Business Majors, for the life of me I just can't get the material down to where I understand it and I don't get confused by the professor. Normally, this is my motivation when I go to the gym. Take all of my stress and anger that this class gives me out in my workout. By doing this I am able to go "harder" (so to say) in my workout.

Unfortunately for me, I don't have time to go to the gym everyday, I wish I did, but I don't. Therefore, I have to find ways to work around not being able to get to the gym everyday. Each month I pick up the newest edition of Shape Magazine and this month they have a really awesome workout that I can't wait to complete (during my "trial run" I did the first two exercises to test it out).

Earlier this month I told myself that on the days when I wasn't able to make it to the gym I would do this workout instead. That means I would be completing this workout on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. That is only 3 days, yet I haven't completed the exercise once. Instead, I let stress take over my body which makes me feel lousy.

Starting tomorrow, I am making a vow to myself that I will take at least 30 minutes to complete the workout featured in Shape Magazine but more importantly, I am taking those 30 minutes for myself. I need these 30 minutes out of my day if I am going to make it the next 8 weeks of the semester without having some meltdown and eating everything in sight (yes, I am an emotional eater, which is something I have gotten under control since being on this journey). 

It has taken me two months to realize that I have to take time for myself if I am going to be successful on this journey, but I am glad that I am realizing that now and still have time to put my plan in motion.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Blogs I Follow

Have you checked out the weight loss bloggers I follow? If not, take some time and check out their blogs, they have great information, motivation and inspiration for anyone on a weight loss journey no matter where you are on your journey.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend Break

For the past week all I have wanted to do was go to one of my favorite restaurants, Longhorn Steakhouse, I finally made it there on Saturday. My mom has been my biggest supporter on this journey and this was a way for us to finish out my spring break week.

This was the first cheat day I have had this month, where all rules were thrown out of the window when it came to me watching what I was eating. The only "sensible" menu item I ordered were the salmon, baked potato, green beans and side salad. Everything else was pure cheating food (Texas Tonion and Chocolate Stampede).

Now you may be wondering how many calories are in some of these items, and lose it has an answer for that. The chocolate stampede alone brings in over 2000 calories, but the good thing about that is the fact that it is meant for 2 people and I was only able to eat a little less than half of my portion. I also only ate about 1/3 of the Texas Tonion (which of course is an appetizer and always big enough to share, which is exactly what I did).

Looking back, the only two items I consumed all of was the salad, salmon and half of the baked potato. The other half of the baked potato, green beans, Texas Tonion and Chocolate stampede came home with us. Although by some standards I did better than I thought I would, I know this week I will be making up for it. Getting in more exercising and truly watching what I am putting into my body.

Cheat days are okay when you only have them once in a while, not every weekend, so I know that this was my one cheat day of the month and for the rest of the month I will be focusing on eating right and staying on track.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Weigh-In Day

I thought I had a pretty good week last week, after all, I ate sensibly, exercised and stayed under my daily calorie allowance. Therefore, I had no idea what to expect when I stepped on the scale. On the weeks when I feel pretty good, I don't lose as much; on the weeks when I think I could have done a lot better, I lose more. This is something that I can't wrap my mind around yet.

When I stepped on the scale today, I only had one thought in my mind "please let me see a loss on the scale and not a gain" thankfully when I stepped on the scale, it revealed that I had lost a pound. Talk about excited, now some may not get excited and feel that they should have lost more, but I was very excited to see this one pound loss. One pound may not seem like a lot now, but those pounds can add up and before I know it I will be at my goal.

Total loss this week: 1 pound
Total loss for the month: 1 pound
Total loss since the start of this journey (January 2): 14.2 pounds

Friday, March 8, 2013

Week In Review

Looking back on this week, I feel that I did pretty good, each day I was below my calorie allowance. I managed to get in 2 full workouts (20 to 30 minutes on the elliptical followed by weight lifting and various weight machines). When I was not able to make it to the gym, I made sure I was still active, taking the long way to certain places, parking "slightly" further from the store, walking the perimeter of the stores,etc.

When it comes to foods, I have maintained my "one or none" carb philosophy; maintaining that has been a definite accomplishment for me and I am glad I have made it this far. I have stayed away from sweets except for Thursday which seemed to be my day for eating as many sweets as I could possibly find.

Hopefully the scale is on my side and reveals a loss versus a gain (but you never know how the scale can go), only tomorrows weekly weigh-in (weekly weigh-ins are finally back after taking a week off) can tell.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ask Yourself

There are many non-scale victories that shall be taken into account when on a weight loss journey. At times they may not be noticeable but when you look back on it they become apparent. My Godmother asked me a question the other day, "Since you have been working out, have you noticed your energy level increasing?" At the time I never paid much attention to the fact that I was able to do things longer before getting out of breath or the fact that things I once thought were challenging were becoming pretty easy.

Sometimes you have to take the time to ask yourself; how are you feeling, what needs to be worked on, what are short term things you want to accomplish, etc. If I had to answer those questions, my answers would be as follows:

  • "How are you feeling?" -- Fine, mentally I feel like I am on top of this weight loss game and physically I feel that my body is adjusting to the changes that it has been through.
  • "What needs to be worked on?" -- Actually committing to a time limit in the gym and increasing the number of workouts per week.
  • "What are some short term things you want to accomplish?" -- Losing 1.8 pounds which would put me at 15 pounds lost since the start of this journey.
Of course there are more questions that you can ask yourself, but take the time to do so. Don't get caught up in a number on the scale, pay attention to those non-scale victories. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Portion Control

In my post yesterday I talked about why I feel this weight loss journey is tough. Everyone will have their own reasons as to why it is or is not tough but I wanted to continue talking about another aspect of weight loss, food or better yet portion control.

Some people have high metabolisms; I on the other hand am not one of those people. I wish I could eat all the food I wanted and not have to worry about gaining a pound but sadly I can’t. Therefore on this journey, portion sizes are important.

When I started this journey, I thought that a ½ cup of this and a ¼ of that would not be enough. It definitely took some getting used to and I had to get my mind in focus so I wouldn’t feel deprived of food.  I will admit that is was rough starting out because I was cutting back on what I was eating. Although it was rough starting out, it has gotten easier. One thing that I have noticed since I have been on this journey is that when I measure something out precisely (and trust me, I do it precisely or I start over from the beginning) I feel like I have too much food and am able to cut back.

I tend to use the LoseIt! barcode scanner when it comes to determining my portion size. I feel that using the barcode scanner it is easier for me because I am instantly able to see the amount of calories per serving and I can make wise decisions. I tend to double my vegetable portions, reduce my carb intake and maintain any meats that I am eating.

Although losing weight is tough, cutting back on portion sizes doesn’t have to be. Yes, it does take time, everything does; but once you get a general idea it becomes easier. Increasing water intake is also important. People always say when you first wake up you are thirsty and not hungry (I don’t know about them but I’m hungry, they may be thirsty, but my body tells me I am hungry). I try to make it a habit of finishing at least at full 1 liter CamelBak eddy during the day. At night I typically fill it up halfway and drink out of it until I fall asleep and when I first wake up.

The more water I drink the less food I am tempted to eat at one setting, I also avoid eating “useless” calories during the day by drinking water. Losing weight truly is a lifestyle change, but it is a manageable one. Like I said yesterday, it is tough but with hard work and dedication you can succeed on this journey. You have to do what is right for you, not what is right for someone else.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

This Is Tough

When it comes to losing weight, I wish I could drink a magic potion or snap my fingers one day and the next day all the weight is off. Sadly, that is not how it works (but boy do I wish it did work that way). Losing weight is tough because it doesn't happen overnight, its takes time and it takes hard work.

I say losing weight is tough because it is. Have you ever heard someone tell you that they lost the weight easily and with no trouble? Some may tell you that but not all. There are times when you work yourself as hard as you possibly can in the gym and never feel like you are achieving the results that you desire. That is to be expected.

 Today I tried a new routine, doing the elliptical first, followed by the treadmill. In my previous attempts on the elliptical, I would give up after about 5 minutes and tell myself that was just my cool down (from my workout on the treadmill). Today I decided to put all my energy into the elliptical because I wanted to complete more than 5 minutes. When I got on, I told myself that I was going to push through that exercise no matter what.

I had been on for 2 minutes and realized that this should be a piece of cake since my mind was distracted by the television (I always catch up on Boy Meets World re-runs). By the time I hit 5 minutes I wanted to get off because I thought I was going to kill myself (somehow my foot slid back slightly (which meant it was closer to being off the edge of the machine) and my time at the gym flashed before my eyes in one quick blur) but I told myself that one day I would have to stay on this machine for 20 minutes and the sooner I got it over with the better.

I fought through that workout because I wanted it most importantly because I needed it. I have a goal that I want to accomplish, to reach a weight that I think is healthy for me and to feel better about myself in the process.

As much as I wanted to get off of that elliptical, I wanted to stay on. I was sweating, I was tired, my legs hurt, there were so many excuses I could have given up and gotten off of that elliptical but the one thing that was keeping me on the elliptical was the fact that I want to succeed in reaching my goal.

Losing weight will never be easy, but what in life is easy? This is something that you have to fight through. I have to fight through the sweat, the pain and the moments where I feel that I am wasting my time on this journey before I realize how far I have come. I didn't put this weight on overnight and it won't come off overnight.

This journey will be hard but when I reach my goal I can look back and see what obstacles (lack of motivation, sweets, carbs) I had to overcome to get to where I wanted to be. One day I will reach my goal, I am not sure when that day will be, but it will be worth the wait.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Motivational Quotes

If you have ever heard of motivational boards, then you may be able to relate to this post. Motivational boards can be very helpful when you are on a weight loss journey; after all, they motivate you. Another things that I have found that relate to motivational boards are motivational quotes. 

Every now and then I check different place for motivational quotes and here are a few that I have discovered that I feel pertain to a weight loss journey.

“A stumble may prevent a fall.” - English Proverb
Even if you have a slight stumble on this journey, don't give up hope for your long term goal. It is possible, getting over a stumble just shows that you are bigger than anything that is in your way. 

Most people fail, not because of lack of desire, but, because of lack of commitment.” - Vince Lombardi
On this journey, we you desire can be a reality as long as you are committed to what you seek. 

“The cardiologist’s diet: If it tastes good, spit it out.” - Unknown
I beg to differ on this one, vegetables (especially roasted with a little olive oil) taste good and are healthy.

“Movement is a medicine for creating change in a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states.” - Carol Welch
Enough said on this one, exercising your body, exercises your mind and your soul.

These are just a few of the quotes that I have discovered but will add to this list with quotes of my own, tweets or anything else I find to be motivational. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Starting A Blog

For some, starting a blog is a personal journey; maybe they want to update family and friends about their lives, maybe they want to review certain products, the possibilities are endless. I started this weight loss blog because I wanted something to chronicle my weight loss journey that wasn't on pen and paper. I started the blog thinking that I would be the only one who read it so that is how I continued, as if I was the only person who could see what I was writing.

As I began writing more, I noticed that my page views were going up (thankfully they were not all of my own) and I was receiving comments on my posts. I am thankful for those who take the time to read my blog and I do hope that you can relate to something that you can relate to, something you have never heard of or something you feel so passionately about that you just want to comment on it.

With all of that being said, I have been following some really awesome blogs, when I come across one I can relate to, I add it to my "Blogs I Follow" list. If you haven't had the chance yet, definitely go and check out these really awesome ladies who are also on a weight loss journey and blog about their victories and struggles.

Go ahead and visit the blogs of Ashley, Rylie, Emily and Hollie. They are all awesome bloggers with great information, inspiration and motivation to pass along; check them out, you won't be disappointed.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Goals

Coming off of a productive February, I thought about a few goals I would like to accomplish in March (some of which I stated in my blog post yesterday):

  • Lose at least 5 pounds - if I lose 1.8 pounds that puts me at a total loss of 15 pounds, therefore losing 5 pounds will put me closer to losing 20 pounds
  • Actually spend 45 minutes doing a cardio routine - lately I have been doing anywhere from between 38 and 43 minutes of cardio activity, which is definitely an accomplishment but I know I can make it a full 45 minutes
  • Resit eating a "mini" meal just to make it to my caloric allowance - now, I am not saying I am going to starve myself, but I am also not going to eat a mini-meal just to make it to my caloric allowance; instead, I will swap out that meal with a smoothie or fresh fruit
  • Maintain one or no carbs at a meal - I thought this was going to be the hardest thing to ever try and accomplish, but maintaining one or no carbs at a meal has been pretty easy
These are just a few of the goals that I would like to accomplish in March, at the end of March I will come back and see which goals I actually succeeded in. 

Friday, March 1, 2013

February Recap

Looking back on February really shows how time zooms by you, two months have already passed us by and for me, tomorrow marks my two month mark on this weight loss journey. Looking back on February there were things I started that I did not stick with (30 Day Shred) and things I started which took me some time to get adjusted to (letting go of carbs).

Where I am in the journey, 30DS just does not fit. With that being said, when I get to the point where it seems my regular gym routine is providing no results, I may switch up to 30DS to get my body out of the comfort zone that it may have fallen into (not sure if that makes sense).

This year I sat down and made plans for Lent and out of my 3 plans, I have only stuck to 2 of them; eating carbs in moderation and drinking more water. Lately I have been eating one or no carbs (after suffering my version of a carb overload) at meals. I love vegetables and incorporating more of them into my diet is a bonus for me, I am letting go of carbs and picking up more veggies. I have noticed that I am drinking more water, although it is taking me slightly longer to consume it. That's fine because no matter how long it takes to consume it at least I am getting it in.

My weigh-in days for February were on target according to LoseIt! (where my goal is to lose 2 pounds per week, which has been successful so for but I am still at the beginning). Dropping 5 pounds in a month is a definite accomplishment for me but I know this is just the beginning and harder days are coming. If I had to set a "mini" goal for March, it would be to drop 1.8 pounds; which puts me at a total of 15 pounds lost since the start of my journey. I don't want to settle for that "mini" goal, I want to bypass it and my larger goal is to drop another 5 pounds.

I have noticed some non-scale victories this month as well, my face isn't as full as it once was, some of my jeans are fitting looser and I don't get tired as easily as I once did when I first started this journey. I want to get in the gym earlier and stay longer (not sure how that is going to work out especially since today I discovered that I couldn't get 4 of the machines to work, then again that was probably operator error), I am also incorporating different routines into my workout. Using the ab crunch machine, lifting weights when I get bored on the treadmill, etc. Switching up my routine has definitely helped me on this journey.

February turned out to be better than I thought it was going to be, which means I am going into my goal for March with a clear mind and determination. As February moves on and March moves in, thank you for following me on this journey. Good luck on your weight loss journey!!