Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Mind is Catching Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 29, 2013

One of Those Days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The simple answer, because I know I need to.

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekly Goals

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

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Weigh In Day

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

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

Friday, July 26, 2013

Week in Review

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

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

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Worth a Reward

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Food Swap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

What I Won't Let Go Of

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, July 22, 2013

Low to No Carb Continued

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Weekly Goals

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

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

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

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Weigh In Day

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

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

Friday, July 19, 2013

Week In Review

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

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

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

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My Trigger Foods

Here is a list of my trigger foods. These are the foods that tempt me the most, almost as if they are calling my name when I am no where near them. But, they are also foods that I try to eat in moderation. Alone, they probably aren't the worst foods to be eaten but when combined with other foods, they can be high in calories. The reason these foods are my trigger foods is because once I think of them, it triggers something in my mind that doesn't rest until I have eaten it and still doesn't rest if there is more around.

  • Brownies / cupcakes 
  • Devils food cake with chocolate icing 
  • Birthday cake
  • Ice cream
  • Key lime pie
  • Breads (rolls, biscuits, etc.), pasta / rice, potatoes (baked, fried, french fries, etc.), etc.
It seems that my trigger foods are mainly sweets and the more I try to get them out of my system the more I want them. I know I will never give up ice cream and it will probably remain on this list forever, but that is something I am fine with.  Although small at this point, this list will steadily grow and it may even shrink as time goes on. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Weekly Goals Update

My week has been progressing rather well. I hit a pivotal moment in my journey yesterday when I finally realized how I reacted to myself and not how others saw me. Check out how my weekly goals are coming along.

  • Exercise - I have been pushing myself in these exercises this week. The one thing I can say about these exercises is that they are pretty repetitive. I am not saying that in a bad way but in a way that indicates, once you have done them on one disc you are ready to do them again on another disc and have the hang of it. My workouts have been lasting a little over an hour and I have yet to do the 13 minute workout this week (giving me my two a day) but the week is only half way over and I still have time. 
  • Calorie deficit - since the start of my week on Monday, I have not eaten back any of my exercise calories. I simply don't log them until the end of the day that way I can make sure I don't eat any of them back. I seem to have a greater average weight loss at the end of the week when I have a higher calorie deficit at the end of the day. 
  • Low to no carbs - for the past two days, I didn't eat any carb (grain, pasta, etc.) other than cereal but today I must admit that I had a half of a club sandwich when I went out with my godmother. On the plus size, it was only a half of a sandwich and I picked the croutons out of my salad. This is just a minor incident and I will steadily be moving forward on my low to no carb plan. 
  • Water - I have taken down at least 4 cups today and have done pretty well over the last couple of days. 
  • Lose at least 1.2 pounds - that is still left up in the air since the week is not over yet. 
So far, I have done pretty well on my goals, but I still have two days left in this week and I am not sure what those two days will bring, but I hope they bring something good. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


I have always been "plus size" (I put that in quotations because the definition of plus size is ever changing) and for years I never had a problem with it. I can also say that I have never been the most confident person in the world because society has always condemned people for being plus size.

If I felt alone in the world, upset, etc., I could hide behind myself. It was as if I was invisible and no one could see me. Being on the larger side meant that I had more room to hide within myself. My body truly was my comfort zone. My body was the one things that would never leave me. It would expand with me as I ate more, it would shrink with me as I ate less; it was always there.

A few minutes ago, I didn't see my mirror on the bathroom floor, I stepped on it and you guessed it; it broke. I have never been extremely superstitious but lately luck hasn't been on my side either. I picked up the mirror and looked at myself in it. What I saw, was a person who was hard to recognize, a distorted image of who I thought I was. What that told me, other than the fact that I have to purchase a new mirror, was that in the blink of an eye, things can change and you can become someone you don't recognize.

I never thought that I would have made it this far on my journey, which started on January 2 of this year. When I look in the mirror, I don't recognize myself. For one, I actually feel better about myself when I look in the mirror. Two, it seems that my level of confidence has improved. People would always tell me "you are so quiet" and they always interpreted that as being shy. I never wanted to draw attention to myself so I would always remain quiet and not talk to people around me because I felt as if they would judge me based on how I look.

Yesterday was the first time it hit me that I was finally breaking out of my comfort zone. I had to conduct some business and the guy who was helping me actually entertained me in a conversation for close to two hours. It was the first time I actually had a conversation that covered everything from where we grew up, attended high school, college, life plans, relationships, etc. and never felt self-conscious. I actually felt inspired to keep talking and bring up new things.

This journey has really changed me for the better and as every day goes by, I feel that I can break out of my shell even more. Even if it just begins with a two hour conversation with someone or actually feeling confident in a bathing suit, which is the next task left to tackle in about a week and a half.

I titled this post 'reactions' because the most important thing on this journey is how you react to the changes in yourself, not how others react to you. When you start feeling better about yourself, break out of your shell, take on something that may not have been imaginable for you before those are all signs of changes. They are all changes that you should be proud of.

I have a long ways to go before I will fully be adjusted to being someone I never thought I could, but I am fine because I believe that good things come to those who go out for them. I wanted to make a change for the better and that is why I started this journey. I am in the prime of my life and I want to take advantage of that. I no longer want to be self-conscious, afraid to talk to people because of what they may say, etc.; I want to become the person I know I can be.

I want to live beyond the old me.

Monday, July 15, 2013

No / Low Carb

A few months ago, I "tried" to cut out carbs from my system. Tried is in quotes because I did not succeed at all. This time around, I have been on this journey longer and have more discipline. For the next two weeks I will be focusing on very low carbs, practically none.

This may seem a bit irrational, but I realize that a lot of the time when I eat carbs, they are useless carbs.  Now, I am not saying that  all carbs are useless, but for me they were. I was eating a hamburger and the bun, when I knew that I would be satisfied with just the burger alone.

When it is hot outside, I don't like to eat a lot of hot or heavy foods. It is supposed to feel like it is over 100 degrees for the better part of the week. Therefore, I know I will be eating a lot of tuna fish, marinated veggies, basically anything that is quick to fix.

Unfortunately, even foods we think don't have them, do have carbs. There main carb I refuse to cut out is dry cereal (Special K to be exact).  Surprisingly, when I look at the break down of my breakfast today everything I ate (with the exception of the cereal because I already knew it was a carb) had carbs in it. So there is no way that I will ever be able to complete cut carbs out of my system which is why I am cutting out grains, pasta, potatoes, etc.

This won't be easy because I have to admit that I do like my carbs, but I know that I can survive without them for the next two weeks. That is why I am telling myself no / low carbs. No carbs if I don't need them, low carbs if I feel I will lose my mind without them. 

Ultimately, my goal in two weeks is to put on a swimsuit and actually feel confident in it, even if I have to wear a cover-up (as usual). 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Weekly Goals

I am coming off of a phenomenal week, with a loss of over two pounds, following a week with a gain. I want to keep seeing a loss on the scales and I think when I finish with a calorie deficit of between 400 and 500 calories (or more) I see a loss. I never thought I would finish a day with over 500 calories, but when I work my butt off during a workout and still eat foods that are low in calorie, I manage to end the day with a decent calorie deficit.

Here are my weekly goals:

  • Exercise - My goal is to get in at least an hour a day for 5 days. Last week I managed to exercise for an hour a day, 5 days out of the week and on the 6th day I got in 32 minutes. I have no excuses as to why I cannot exercise so I won't be making any more excuses.
  • Calorie deficit - My goal is to finish my days with at least 400 calories or more. That may seem like a lot, but with exercise calories, it's not. Essentially, I won't be eating back my exercise calories this week. 
  • Low to no carbs - I tried this before, but I am series and ready this time. Low to no carbs for the next 2 weeks. I know the foods that I have to cut out of my system and I am ready to accept that. I know that it will be hard, I am not afraid to admit that, but it is something that I have been meaning to do. I can't say I will make it 14 days with low to no carbs, but I am definitely going to try my hardest. I suppose it will be an experiment in itself. 
  • Water - More water ... enough said
  • Lose at least 1.2 pounds - I am so close (only 2 pounds away) to my 20 pounds lost mark and I can taste it. I want it to be a reality before August 1.
Hopefully, I will be successful in my goals this week but only time will tell. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Weigh In Day

I pushed myself harder this week than I ever have on this journey and the best part is that I actually had fun doing so. I set a goal before each workout to burn more calories that I did the day before and I was able to do that which made me even more proud of myself. I wanted to see a loss this week, I needed to see a loss this week to let myself know that I was still doing something right.

When I stepped on the scale this week I was in a bit of disbelief. I had to step right back off, let it reset, tap it and wait for the triple zeros before stepping back on. Although I was in disbelief, I was pleased with what I saw!

My weigh in today shows a loss of 2.4 pounds this week. I have never been more excited at seeing my weight flash on the scale in this bright red numbers. Although I am excited, I have never had two consecutive big number losses in the weeks following each other. So I am simply taking this number with a grain of salt until I see next weeks numbers.

I am definitely going to continue with the cardio workouts on this DVD set and I am contemplating rotating to the next cardio disc or sticking with the one I finished yesterday. Either way I am excited for my next round of intense cardio next week!

I never thought I would say this, but I think I am getting addicted to working out, and I like it!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Week In Review

I cannot believe another week has passed. It feels like yesterday was Monday but I guess its true that time flies when you are having fun and this week I had a lot of fun with my workouts. This has been one of my most successful weeks since being on this journey, even if the numbers don't reflect that tomorrow.

  • Exercise - when it comes to exercising, I kicked it up a notch this week and really pushed myself. Each day my goal was to burn more calories than the day before and I was able to do that. The greatest feeling I have after every workout is not just completing it but actually accomplishing the calories burned goal I had set for myself. Because I was beating my goal each day, I only had one day where I managed to get in two workouts. Two a days will always be something I strive towards. Here is my breakdown of calories burned for this week. My weekly goals of exercise minutes is still 120 minutes (I will be increasing that since it is set to 4 days 30 minutes per day. I plan to increase it to 5 days and anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes per day pretty soon).  My calories burned goal for the week is still 1,090 (which will also be increasing when I increase my exercise minutes in MFP).
  • Water - I kicked it up several notches this week with my water intake and not only I am proud of that (not to toot my own horn) but I owe it to my workouts. The harder I pushed myself, the more intense the workout became and the more water my body needed. 
  • Balanced meals - my meals were pretty good this week, they were balanced and measured out. My snacks consisted of a rice cake and either peaches or pineapples. Each of my meals this week had one meat, veggie and carb - which I consider to be pretty balanced. I did have one night where I had a healthy serving of four veggies and one meat with no carbs. 

I don't know if I will see a loss this week, I hope so, I really want to see one but the scale can lie and it often does. If my body is any indicator of how I feel I have accomplished more than any number on the scale could.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

July Goals

I haven't done a monthly goals post in a while now and since the month is almost at its mid-way point, I figured I better jump on the opportunity now.

My goals for the month of July are to:

  • Lose 2 - 3 pounds. Last week I focused on strength training which resulted in a gain on the scales (they do say muscle weighs more than fat so I am hoping that is what was going on). I still want to see a loss on the scale. Although a loss in weight doesn't mean as much as a loss in inches, it is still nice to see the numbers go down. 
  • Increase strength / pounds of weights. Last week I was using 5 pound free weights, at the end of the week I moved up to 8 pound weights. By the end of July I would love to be moving up to 10 pounds free weights. 
  • Complete at least 40 push-ups in a minute. I could never do a proper push-up. I am even known to modify the "girl version" but lately I have been getting better. I am not able to do about 30 push-ups in a minute and that is with keeping my knees on the ground and my back and butt level. That's progress right there. 
  • Lower my BMI. I plan on investing in a new scale that measures weight, BMI and water weight which will help me in the long run when it comes to accurately measuring my numbers. 
  • Lose 3 inches overall. It doesn't matter from where, but, I would love to lose at least 3 inches altogether. 
Better late than never with these goals, I think I can still make some progress if I keep focused and continue with what I am doing. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Temptations / Trigger Foods

There are plenty of foods that have tempted me on this journey, the foods can be called "trigger" foods. My temptations / trigger foods often call out to me. It may sound strange, but when I pass them, it seems as if they are calling my name. The further I get from them, the louder it becomes. Of course, I know this is all in my head, but it is all to real for me.

My main trigger foods are desserts. Key lime pie, brownies, mint chocolate chip ice cream (or any kind of ice cream for that matter) and often times, fast food - Bojangles is my number one temptation right now.

These foods are ones that I know I have the willpower to avoid, I just have to have the willpower to avoid them when I have the urge to eat them.

Yesterday, I was able to pass up on Five Guys and Sonic because I told myself that I didn't want to waste calories on foods that weren't worth it. Instead, I went to Shoney's and loaded my plate up with greens, green beans and corn. I had a small helping of mac and cheese and a piece of fried chicken. I was able to eat more food, healthier food, there than I would have at Five Guys or Sonic. I made my mind up that I was going to have a piece of hot fudge cake from Shoney's but once I looked up the calories, that thought quickly left out of my mind.

I guess you could say this is a non-scale victory, being able to resist some of the foods that tempt me the most. I resisted them yesterday because I had a great workout session and was proud to finish my day with around 546 calories left. Same for today, right now after logging all of my meals, I have 979 calories left for the day. It's not that I don't eat, I have done nothing but eat today, it's just that I have been eating healthier and cutting out a lot of those trigger foods. Eating healthier means I am not consuming as many calories, and working out harder, means I am earning exercise calories. Which all equals, larger calories deficits at the end of the day.

Rachael, a great blogger over at 'My weight loss journey' made a list of her trigger foods and placed them on the refrigerator. Talk about a great idea!

Making a list of all of the foods that tempt me and the rewards I can get from not eating them are the next thing on my DIY today list. It is also one of the things that will benefit me the most because after all, I am what I eat.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summertime Recipe

Today, I want to highlight some more of my favorite summertime recipes!

The first, marinated veggies, are probably the easiest and only requires 3 ingredients! All you need is a tomato, cucumber and your favorite dressing. Cut up the veggies, toss in the dressing and serve. You can also add thin slices of onion to give it an added boost in flavor. I personally prefer to "marinate" my veggies in Italian, red wine or Catalina dressings. A picture of the marinated veggies is available on my Instagram.

The second, are "fried" zucchinis. These aren't truly fried but once you are finished with them, you won't know the difference. Grab your favorite pan and coat with your choice of vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray. Cut up some zucchini, beat an egg in a bowl and add bread crumbs to an additional bowl. Dip the zucchini in the egg and coat in bread crumbs. Place in hot pan (which either contains actual vegetable oil or vegetable oil spray) and cook on both sides until golden brown (about 3 minutes on each side, depending on how hot your pan is).


Monday, July 8, 2013

Bod Rev / Cardio Conditioning

Last week I started doing Bob Harper's 4 DVD workout set. The workout I completed last week was Pure Burn / Super Strength. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but was pleasantly pleased at the end of the week with what I had accomplished. The only sad thing about it is the fact that I only did it for a week before moving on to another DVD in the set (more on that later).

The workout I am focusing on this week is Body Rev / Cardio Conditioning and since today was my first day completing the workout, I figured I might as well give my initial thoughts.

It. Was. Hard.

Here is a description of the workout, provided on the back of the DVD case:
An intense hour of explosive, heart rate accelerating cardio. Try to keep up with Bob and his team as they push you harder and faster than you thought you could go.

Yes, I admit that this workout is another intense one and it is hard at times. There were two times where I had to take a break because I was feeling lightheaded. The parts that continued to those lightheaded feelings were the weighted swings (not the exact name I don't think), mainly the ones where you were down then up down then up, all in swift motions. After taking those necessary breaks, I was back up and at it.

This workout is mainly cardio, which is fine by me but you did get in a fair share of moves with weights. I set a goal for today's workout to burn 450 calories, I fell short of my goal by only 15 calories which I don't think is too bad at all.

I also set an overall goal to be able to do two a days, because I want to get more cardio into my days. The reason I will be able to do two a days is because this workout (& the one last week) feature one hour long workout and one mini-workout which runs about 25 minutes.

Normally, I do the one hour workout first then later in the evening (especially if I am bored or nothing but repeats are on TV) I will do the mini workout, which is targeted towards beginners.

The workout is hard but I am committed to finishing this week out strong like last week and I look forward to the weeks to come.
Now, here is where the problem comes in.

I am really enjoying these workouts and how they push me, but I only have them scheduled to be completed for one week at a time. Therefore, I will be extending the workouts to two weeks each (not necessarily consecutive) but I want to get at least 8 weeks out of this set of DVDs.

I hope to get another updated version of my workout schedule up on the workout schedule page within the next half hour.

If you want to see my progress, follow me on Bloglovin', Instagram (beyondtheoldme), Twitter (beyondtheoldme) and lets be friends on MyFitnessPal (beyondtheoldme)!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Weekly Goals

Last week, I spent time strength training, which was reflected on the scale. This week, I want to see the numbers go down again, way down actually. I would love to lose 2 pounds this week, but my goal is to drop at least 1.2 pounds. I know that if I accurately monitor what I am eating, count my calories (i.e., log all of my foods) and workout, I should come close to that goal loss; as long as I get in enough calories.

Here are my weekly goals:
  • Exercise - I am starting a new workout this week (Body Rev / Cardio Conditioning) and although I won't complete the workout I had scheduled for today, I will be getting it in tomorrow (so two in a day, something I have been aiming towards). I surprised myself with how many days I was able to get in two workouts last week and that motivates me to get in two workouts each day this week. Therefore, my short term goal is one workout per day, with my long term goal being two workouts per day. 
  • Water - I need to keep drinking water and as much as I possibly can. My goal last week was to drink an entire CamelBak each day, but I managed to get in more and I want to keep that up. 
  • Balanced Eater - I have a thing for rice cakes and for the past week I have been snacking on them. I normally eat these as one of my snack, while I try to eat peaches or pineapples as another snack. That allows me to eat three balanced meals. I eat the same thing. on the same day each week (ex. Tuesday - Eggo's, Wednesday - boiled egg, etc.) and have been trying to bring some balance to that. I want to get in more protein versus carbs, but I have been struggling with that. I want to get in more veggies, fewer starches; more protein, fewer carbs.

I would definitely love to see a loss on the scale this week and accomplish all of these goals and I know that if I put my mind to it and believe in myself, that everything will fall into place and I will have a successful week.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Weigh In Day

This entire week I have spent the duration of my exercises lifting weights. I knew that when Is tarted, I would more than likely see a gain on the scales. Surprisingly, it didn't bother me because I do want to build muscle and eventually I will have to see a gain if I keep going.

Weight loss / gain this week: +1.2 pounds
Total loss since the start of this journey: 16 pounds 

Any other time I would have been slightly discouraged at a gain but continued with my journey, today is the exact opposite, I knew what I was getting myself into and I am happy to be building muscle. I feel stronger, my arms are getting more defined and so are my legs, which is exactly what I want.

Next week, I start another Bob Harper DVD which I will be reviewing and will keep updates coming on Twitter and my workout results on Instagram.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Week In Review

I can say, this week has been a very good week for me. I truly am proud of what I have accomplished this week and although I have a long road ahead of me, I know that if I keep pushing myself like I did this week, everything should fall into place.

Here is how my week went:

  • Exercise / Weekly Weigh In - I have put in 5 days of exercise this week alone which is something to be proud of and it is only Friday! This week I completed Bob Harper's Pure Burn / Super Strength and it focused mainly on weight lifting in addition to cardio. I am pretty nervous for my weigh in tomorrow since I have been lifting weights all week. I would have been fine with a gain, because it would have been a gain in muscle but I would have also been fine with a loss. If I do have a gain, I won't be stressing it because of the muscle build. Here is a break down of my calories this week via MyFitnessPal. My weekly goal of exercise minutes is 120, this week alone I have completed 331 minutes. My calories burned goal is 1,090 and this week alone I have burned 2,184. 

  • Water - My water intake has definitely improved this week and I owe it all to my intense workout sessions. Either way I look at it, I am getting water in, which is what I have needed all along. 
  • Balanced Eating - My eating has been all over the place this week. For the most part my eating during my main meals was balanced but I had a strong craving for brownies on Monday and I can never eat one brownie and be done with them, I have to "help" eat them until they are gone. It is a bad habit and one that I am keeping under check. On the other hand I did pretty good with my eating yesterday. Unfortunately I left my turkey burgers in the house, so they never made it out to the grill so I chose to eat a hamburger and will be fixing my turkey burgers tonight. Other than the burger swap, I stuck to my spaghetti salad and a small helping of baked beans. I was surprised that I didn't have a taste for a hot dog, but I will admit that I enjoyed some fried chicken wings. Dessert was on another level, I am not ashamed to admit that I did enjoy a small (so small it was gone in 3 bites) helping of apple pie and blue bell ice cream, a cupcake and small slice of key lime pie. The only reason I am not ashamed to admit what I ate is because I have worked hard during my workout this week and it wasn't like I spend every day eating like that. 

I definitely have a long way to go but July is off to a very good start and I plan to keep it going like that. I have made more progress this week than I have in a while and although I won't be celebrating that just yet, I feel that good things are waiting for me as long as I keep pushing myself to be the best I can be.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

Hopefully you had a wonderful 4th of July!! Even if you didn't eat "clean" don't worry, everyone is allowed a cheat day here and there and it is definitely not worth beating yourself up about.

I counted all of my calories before I left home and although I had to make some amendments, I think I stayed under my calorie budget for today which is a huge accomplishment for me. Even if I didn't, I know I have earned this day from all of the hard work I have been putting into my workouts this week.

Talk to you all tomorrow when I reveal how my week went. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Food Swapping

Summertime is the perfect time to pull out the grill and the 4th of July is no exception. Since tomorrow is Independence Day, it should also be the one day that we can declare our independence from foods that may have been holding us back.

Here are some of the food swaps I plan on making tomorrow:

  • Turkey burger instead of a regular burger. I am not just talking about the frozen turkey burger patty you can buy, I am talking about lean ground turkey shaped into patties and thrown on the grill. Of course, it will be topped with all of my favorite condiments, but that is okay, because I am cutting out some calories by using ground turkey. 
  • Spaghetti salad instead of potato salad. I am not sure what the difference in calories will be, but a little spaghetti salad can go a long way therefore I don't have to load my plate up with a lot of carbs. As a bonus spaghetti salad has more veggies in it than potato salad does. 
  • Corn instead of baked beans. Baked beans are delicious, but they fill me up too quickly. Therefore, by swapping them out for an ear of corn, I am replacing a lot of calories with a veggie.
These are the main swaps I plan on making and while it may not seem like much, I will definitely be saving some calories. When it comes to dessert, it will be hot and from what I hear, key lime pie is on the menu. For once, I won't feel like I have to bargain with myself to eat it because I have shaved off some significant calories during the main course.

Another huge calorie saver that is worth trying is to taste a little of everything. It may seem like a lot, but a half of spoonful of everything can help save calories. You are still tasting everything, but you are not consuming all of those calories.

No matter what you eat, remember that it is a celebration and during a celebration you are supposed to enjoy good food (whether healthy or not). One day of good eating never hurt anyone.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I Am Feeling It

You know the saying, 'if it burns, it's working'; that is exactly how my body was feeling this morning when I completed my first official day of Pure Burn / Super Strength. It is an intense workout, but it is one that is doable. It is about 64 to 66 minutes of non-stop action (there are only two water breaks during the whole workout).

Some people do Insanity, P90X, etc., but I consider this to be my version of those programs. My arms were burning, my midsection has been sore all day (it hurts to laugh and to get in and out of a car), my legs hurt; but I am not complaining at all. This is the only body that I will be given in my lifetime and it is about time that I treat it right.

Exercise isn't the only thing I can do to treat my body right, I also have to eat correctly; after all, 'you are what you eat' and I want to be healthy!

Luckily, with this workout, there is a modified version but for the most part I managed to keep up with the non-modified models. I pushed myself today and I couldn't be more proud, it took 6 months for me to realize that if I am not working hard enough, I am hardly working.

I am working harder than ever this month and it is about time.

If you want to follow my progress, follow me on Bloglovin', Twitter (@beyondtheoldme), Instagram (beyondtheoldme) and let's be friends on MyFitnessPal (beyondtheoldme)!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Bob Harper 4 DVD Workout Set

If you have been reading my last couple of posts (or follow me on Twitter) you know that I recently purchased a new set of workout DVDs. The DVDs are from Bob Harper and the set contains total trainer plus, ultimate cardio body, cardio conditioning and pure burn super strength.

I loved Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser workouts so when I purchased these, I thought, "these will be great calorie burners." I am sure they will, but in order to burn those calories, I have to make it through the workout. This morning I attempted to complete total trainer plus and I made 19 out of 30 minutes.

I can say that this workout is hard! There is no doubt about it, but, a hard workout will get results. One of the things that disappointed me about this workout is that there is no modified version. On total trainer plus, your follow along person is already physically fit. That can be discouraging for someone, like myself, who isn't, because she is able to constantly keep up with the workout (there are a few times when she stumbles, I like that because it reminds me that she is human after all). I know I would have been able to keep up better with a modified version of the workout.

Also, this is not a workout to be done on an empty stomach (my mistake), it also shouldn't be done on a completely full one. Bob recommends having a snack about 30 minutes before you do this workout and he is right you are going to need it. As I write this post, I am sitting in a dark room with all the curtains closed because I am nauseated and need to be in complete darkness. Take it from me, do NOT attempt this workout on an empty stomach.

The workout is a repetitive one, the good thing about that is that if you missed a few steps the first time around, you have another chance to catch them. Here are a few of the moves:

  • hand walks
  • bur-pees
  • rows
  • lunges
  • push ups to a T formation
  • squat roll ups
  • Turkish get ups
  • runners jumping stretch
  • plank
  • and more! 
These were just the first 15 to 18 minutes worth of workouts, which are intense! 

I plan on looking through all of the other workouts to see if I started with the hardest one of all and if so, I will be updating my workout schedule. If I didn't start with the hardest one, I am in for a very hard and long month ahead of me.

Ironically, I did pick the hardest workout to start out on. Don't get me wrong, none of these workouts are easy, but the others have 3 models you can follow with one of them being a modified version. Therefore, I have updated my workout calendar to reflect the change in sequence that will be occurring. I will be starting off with pure burn / super strength, body rev / cardio conditioning, ultimate cardio body and total trainer plus.