Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday Funday

I can't believe the weekend is almost over, but it is - so it's time to make the most of it.  I'm starting my Sunday off by being here with you - my favorite thing to do on the weekends.  Then, it's time to get the kids ready and go meet my parents for breakfast.  My original plans for today was more cleaning, more working-out, and a little relaxation.  Well, last night my parents decided they wanted to come over today...so that has now been worked into the agenda.

I'm going to make today's post brief...so that you can get to enjoying your last day of the weekend, too!!  I know that I said in the week that I was going to do a weigh-in and measurements this weekend...but I've decided to hold off for a week.  I'm really going to push myself this week - now that I'm in the groove of my new schedule. 

My goals for this week are to take advantage of the slightly cooler weather and go for a couple of great runs this week.  I've been doing a great job at packing my lunches and snacks - so I'm going to stay with that.  I bought a couple of new pre-prepared lunches to try this week...low calorie, low fat, and 2 servings of carbs and 1 protein...and the best part is:  they are Asian influenced...my absolute FAVORITE type of food!!

So, come on people - get out there and have some fun today.  Spend some quality time with your family, enjoy the weather (if it's as nice as it is here), and just give yourself a break from stress, worries, and any other negativity!!

Before I go, I have to congratulate Maggie Ann for being the Member of the Week on my Facebook.  She's been very inspirational to me, and I can't wait to share her information with you when she sends it to me.

That's it folks....have an amazing day, an amazing week...

Till next time.  ;)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Alternatives to "Regular" Exercise

Happy Saturday, everyone!!  What a beautiful day it is here in NW Arkansas.  The temperature is currently 78 degrees, the sun is shining, and I got to sleep in this morning until 9:30....all great things to start off the day. Thankfully, this morning, my stress level is down to "stress? What's that?"....my normal range.  I received a phone call last night after writing my blog that really helped clear out the last few stress bunnies that were cluttering my mind - and now I'm ready for a FANTABULOUS weekend. 

Today, I'm going to discuss alternatives to regular exercise.  When I say "regular" exercise - I mean exercise that is planned.  You either go to a gym, you pop in a work-out DVD, you run/walk at a track, or you get on a treadmill.  Basically, anything that pops into your head when you think of the word "exercise".  What a lot of people don't realize, however, is that there are so many things you can do to exercise and burn calories without even realizing it.  **GASP** There are ways I can exercise without having to change into my work-out clothes?  Yep and today we're going to talk about it.

So, you've been feeling kind of guilty that you haven't been doing your regular work-outs, like I have.  You think, I'm going to spend all weekend working out and making up for lost time.  Then Saturday comes and you wake up and think - ugh, I really want to enjoy the weekend, but how can I do that if I'm going to be working out and/ or going to the gym so much?  Luckily, there are things you can do that still allows you to be productive throughout your weekend, burn calories...and for some people, actually enjoy it.  The funny thing is, the "exercises" I'm going to share with you are no secret.  For some people, they may be things you do quite often.  I've also mentioned them in other blog posts - but today they get their own spotlight.  So, what can you do to work-out, burn calories, and not even realize you're exercising?  Here ya go:

Deep clean your house:  Not the most fun of activities, but vigorous cleaning (scrubbing floors, vacuuming, moving furniture, etc.) burns a lot more calories that you realize.  If you're like me, I can spend a Saturday afternoon "deep" cleaning my house - and by the time I'm done, I'm just as sweaty as I am after running for an hour on the treadmill.  To really kick it up a notch - don't use a mop to wash your floors...get down on those hands and knees!!  Don't vacuum around your furniture - move that stuff and get under it!!  Want to really get the most out of your cleaning?  Grab a rag and wash the walls and windows (if you have washable paint/ wallpaper, that is....I except no liability for ruining anything in your house)!!

Go to the park with your kids -and PLAY with them:  Driving your kids to the park and then sitting on a bench watching them play does NOT count!!  This activity is probably the most fun of them all, and yet so many people miss a golden opportunity to get a great work-out in and enjoy precious time with their kids.  Take your kids to the park and play freeze tag, soccer, hide and seek (and you actually climb on the equipment).  If you have itty bitty ones - then grab the stroller and find a park that has a nice lake or pond to walk around.  You can let your little one feed the ducks and you can walk around looking at the beauty of nature around you.  Don't short change yourself, though, try to pick up the pace on the walk - you can have fun, but make the most out of those calories you can burn.

De-Clutter that room/ storage building that's been on your list for months (or even years):   So many people have that spare room, storage building, garage, or corners of their house that when you think about them make you say "ugh".  You've been determined to get rid of some of the clutter - but just haven't found time to get to it.  Well, MAKE TIME!! Think about how many calories you could be burning lifting all of those boxes out of that room, cleaning that room, and then hauling all of those boxes back (cause how many of us really get rid of all that stuff?)  It may sound like the most un-fun thing ever - and you'd probably much rather spend 8 hours in a gym - but you'd be amazed at some of the treasures you find when cleaning out a room that you haven't seen in years.  So many people I know, myself included, have cleaned out areas and have discovered childhood memories, trinkets, and things that they've been looking for for years in those places.  Just think about what you might discover - and you'll finally get that room cleaned out.

Take the family for a walk around a local farmer's market:  In my opinion any kind of walking is exercise.  Even though most people slowly stroll around the vendors' tents at farmer's markets - you can actually kill two birds with one stone on this one.  Not only do you get out of the house and do some nice walking, but you can also find some great local produce and items to take home with you. 

Bowling, roller-skating, ice-skating, swimming:  These should all have their own category, but being that my post is getting on the "long" side, I thought it best to group them together.  These are great Friday or Saturday night activities that guarantee fun, and the burning of calories.  The park rule applies here also - it doesn't count if you're watching your kids have the fun (or friends - doesn't have to be a kid activity) .  Get yourself out there and take some risks.  So, you can't skate?  Oh well - falling and picking yourself up, and slowly crawling around the rink can burn calories just as well as skating at full speed.  If you choose bowling, try to pick a ball that is a little heavy for you.  OK, so you might not get as many strikes - but your arms and other body parts will love the extra work of lifting that heavier ball.  Getting a little on the cool side for swimming?  Then look for an indoor pool - there are plenty of them around.  All of these activities are so much fun, pretty reasonable in the cost department, and best of all: will burn tons of calories!

There you have just a few examples of how you can spend your weekends.  You can still get in a great work-out, spend time with your family, and have fun.  No more worrying about finding the time (or motivation) to go to the gym, the track, or to your treadmill.  Just fill your weekend up with a mixture of all of these things - and you've had one very productive weekend.  Maybe Saturday you start off at the farmer's market, you then take the kids to the park for a while, and you end the day with some roller skating or bowling....you've just burned off a TON of calories spending the whole day just having fun.  Sunday, you decide to stay home and clean out the room and (if you have time) do a good deep cleaning of the rest of the house - my goodness...your entire weekend you've burned off thousands of calories!!!

So, there you have it.  You don't have to give up your weekends working out the "regular" way.  You can still make up for the missed work-outs throughout the week, and put in a lot of extra exercise....but in a much more enjoyable way.  Happy weekend!!!

Till next time.  ;)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ready for the Weekend

Well, my first full week of being a teaching intern has come to an end.  It was a great week - I learned a lot, but I'm so ready for the weekend.

This weekend I plan on focusing on me.  I'm going to get in some well needed and well overdue work-outs, I'm going to organize and clean my house, and I'm going to do my homework.  In between all of that, I'm going to relax and release some of the stress that has slowly built up.

I hate being stressed - then again, who doesn't?  But, when I say it - I don't mean the "I'm always stressed, this is no different" kind of stress.  I try to avoid stress in my life at all costs.  I try not to dwell on things.  My body has a built in stress garbage disposal - and I'm the kind of person that faces problems head on and then they are gone as fast as they came.  I don't bottle up feelings, I don't dwell on the "could haves" or the "should haves" - I just take what life gives me and deal with it the best way I can.  Today, my garbage disposal decided to break-down.  I'm now feeling the weight of stress - and I don't like it.  It has nothing to do with how much I have on my plate, or the hectic schedule that is now my daily routine...it's personal.  It's one of those things that you mull over in your head over and over - trying to find a way to get rid of it...but it just sits there, refusing to go anywhere. 

In any other type of situation, I take to the track and run my stress away.  Did I do that today?  Heck no.  I'm not really sure it would of helped - but how do I know?  I was just so ready to come home after work today - that I just couldn't even think about running.  That's a red flag for me.  Usually the first place I want to be in a stressful situation is the track...but I just needed to get home.  I know it's because I needed someone to talk to - and that person was hubby.  He's the only person I can talk to about the REALLY stressful stuff I deal with - and really get it out of my system.  He listens, I talk (or scream, or shout, or cry), and then he gives me a hug to tell me everything is going to be OK.  For the most part, that always works. It helped today, but I still felt some lingering pieces....so I took to the final de-clogging tool, my stress plunger - and here I am.

Even though I haven't shared my stress causer - and sorry, folks, but I'm not going to - I know I can come here and let my feelings and emotions spew out.  Connecting this all back to the weight loss aspect - stress can be an enormous factor in weight gain.  If you're carrying around pounds of stress, you're going to also be adding on pounds of weight...eventually.  Now that my stress level is back down to the normal range - I can take advantage of cleansing my mind and body this weekend and get back to the calm state that I love to be in.  I'm going to run, I'm going to lift some weights, I'm going to organize and clean my house....all activities that make me feel good, and help clear out the clutter so I can be refreshed, focused, and recharged for next week.

Thank you all for listening today.  Before I go, I'm going to share a link I found on another blog that I visit.  It's called Blog Hop.  Here is a list of other great blogs - if you feel like doing some more reading.  Just make sure you come back here....tomorrow morning I will be up and posting like usual.  :)





Till next time.  ;)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Gotta Run

Congratulations, ladies and gents - you're getting another blog post in less than 24 hours from the last.  What's so incredibly important for me to write a post this morning, you ask?  Nothing, except for the fact that I have time to do it this morning.  On Thursday's, I don't get to teach.  Instead, I get to attend my college classes all day.  The only plus side to me missing out on a day with my awesome first graders is the fact that I get to sleep in just a little later, and have time to write my blog before leaving for the day (oh, and I guess my learning is another plus).

I think I'm going to write a Thursday morning post each week, but refrain from posting the night before.  Last night I had some trouble coming up with stuff to write about.  This morning, I have a few things I'm going to share - but hopefully next week, I can have a better plan in place so that my Thursday morning posts are along the lines of "enjoyable" (at least readable) content.

This morning, I've been thinking a lot about my running - or lack there of.  I made a commitment a few days ago that I would start running after work at least twice a week.  It looks as though I will be breaking that promise this week.  I want to kick my own butt - because I HATE breaking promises.  I have a good excuse - I mean reason I didn't run this week...but you know as well as I do that no reason is good enough.  This week's temps have been around 103 by the time school gets out.  When I walk out of the school building, it's just so hot, muggy, and humid - I just can't find the motivation I need to go to the track and run in it.  That's one of the downsides to school getting out at 2:30 in the afternoon.  Although, I got an amazing surprise when I walked out of my house yesterday morning - it was about 65 degrees!!  When I left work yesterday afternoon, I had an appointment that I had to get to (another excuse) but the weather couldn't of been more perfect.  As I drove to my appointment, I was so sad that I was missing out on the perfect weather to go for a run.  It was still 90 degrees, but the humidity wasn't there - so it felt much cooler.

I want you all to know that I'm not running because I don't want to run.  I love running, I miss running...I need to run.  If I can't have boot camp, I need the next best thing - and that is taking a nice long run at the end of each day.  I'm going to take my work-out clothes with me tomorrow, and keeping my fingers crossed that the weather works in my favor to get out and run at the end of work.  I'm so tired when I get home, that I really think that a run before heading home would give me the boost of energy I need to stop me from passing out on the couch within 30 minutes of stepping in the front door.

It's hard for me to admit that I'm having a hard time adjusting to my new schedule.  I feel guilty about being so persistent to all of you that there are no excuses - and being busy isn't a good reason to destroy all of your hard work in getting into your schedule in the first place.  I admit it's a lot harder than I thought.  This is the first time in..well..forever that I've had a job that gets me up at 4:30am and has me coming home close to 5 each evening.  I then spend an hour or two (or four) each evening getting things ready for my next day.  Before I know it, I'm either passed out on the couch because I made the mistake of sitting on it for two minutes, or it's close to 10pm and I tell myself I have to go to bed because 4:30 comes very quickly.  I'm not giving up, though - this is just a learning process for me.  It's just going to take some adjustment, some serious dedication, and taking my own advice: NO EXCUSES! 

As this week comes to a close, not all is lost.  I have been eating right, I've been drinking water during the day, and hopefully the weather cooperates for me to start running after work.  I've also cleared my calendar this weekend so that I can make up a little for lost time.  I'm going to run, I'm going to hit the weights, and I'm going to make myself work hard. 

Till next time.  ;)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Extra Curricular Activity

I came home today with the urge to sit down here and write my blog.  It's been two days since my last confession - urm, post - so I'm definitely overdue.  I am keeping my promise about posting at least 3 times during the week...today is the first day this week.  It's Wednesday...so that means you're going to get five posts in a row this week (including Saturday and Sunday)!

Sitting down, I have drawn a blank.  I had such an urge to get home and get to my blog...but now that I'm here, I don't know what to write.  That has NEVER happened to me before.  Sure, I've had days where what I post isn't the most interesting information in the world - but I've never just drawn a blank.  A part of me wants to share what I've been up to at school the past two days, but the other three quarters of me is fighting it...that's just not want I want to use this blog for. 

Oh, I just remembered....I can share something that's happening at school that's weight loss related (ish).  Last week, one of the teachers mentioned a club that the school sponsors: Girls on the Run.  I was curious about it, so this morning I went and visited the principal to do some inquiring.  After getting some very basic info (the name of the teacher that ran the club) I went and visited with that teacher.  She let me know that she had to stop doing to program because she didn't have the time or the volunteers to run it.  I saw this as a golden opportunity to step up to the plate.  I volunteered on the spot to take over the program...and so this week, I will be getting more information about the program - and hopefully recruiting some people to help me get it going again.  I wish I could share more information about the program, but all I found out today is that it's run by the Boys & Girls Club, and that it involves 3rd and 4th grade girls running....that's all I needed to know to decide that it's something I want to be involved with. 

There you go, I've managed to find away to not only have something to motivate me to run after work, but I can also be a part of a great program for girls...what's better than that?

In other news, I stepped on the scales this evening...they were very nice to me.  No decrease, but no increase either.  Being that it was 5pm when I stepped on them, I can assume that it's even better news because every other time I've weighed myself that late in the day, I'm showing to be about 2lbs heavier.  I'm thinking I might do an "official" weigh-in this weekend - along with some measurements. 

OK, so not the best post in the world - but a post.  My goal for the rest of the week is to find my humor.  I still have it, but it likes to bury under my fatigue in the evenings....need to find a way to coax it out of me for a few minutes while I write my blog.  Tomorrow I will be in University classes all day...that means I shouldn't be as tired tomorrow evening....bring on the FUNNY!!

Till next time.  ;)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Bits In Between

As another week comes to a close, it brings an ending, a new beginning, and a plan to continue doing what I'm doing - succeeding.

I'm the kind of person who likes to hear the bad news first, when given the option - so that's what I'm going to start with this morning.  I will give the bad news, the good news, and then fill in the gaps.

Bad news:  Yesterday, I sent my resignation letter to the instructors of boot camp informing them that I will not be finishing this round of boot camp.  It was extremely hard to write the message - as boot camp has become such a big part of my life and my journey.  I was so determined to make boot camp a part of my busy schedule - but I really had no idea how impossible it was to try and juggle boot camp in with work and school.  Both Bob and Jillian responded to my message to let me know that they understood, and that they would be there if I needed them.  Bob mentioned the words "guest appearance" and that brightened me up a little.  It's nice knowing that if I get a day that I can make it to a camp - I will go.  There are so many days when I NEED to go to boot camp just for my sanity, so having that option is nice.

Good news:  Yesterday, I went out and did a little shopping.  I had to buy new "teaching" clothes, because all of the clothes I bought just 3 months ago are WAY too big!!  I prepared a head of time in the beginning of the summer by buying a few outfits to use for work.  Well, I bought size 18s and 20s back then, because I thought that there would be no way I'd be any smaller in just 3 months.  Well, I was wrong.  There are some 18s that fit, but I had to buy size 16 for the most part.  It was also really nice buying larges instead of XX-Large in shirts.  I spent yesterday actually enjoying shopping for clothes, rather than cringing at the thought of it.  I was able to buy clothes in department stores and at the mall - something I haven't been able to do since I was a kid.  Such a great feeling.

Bits in between:  As I explained yesterday, my new plan is a little different than what I've been doing.  Starting tomorrow, rather than focusing on working out 6 times a week and eating 6 times a day, I've set myself some goals in regards to my eating and exercise.  Starting tomorrow I will be eating breakfast before I leave the house, packing my lunch, taking 2 healthy snacks to eat while at work, and taking my work-out clothes to work with me.  I will be running AT LEAST 2 days a week after work, and doing a hard work-out on the weekends.  My evening meals will still be planned, my grocery shopping will still be done on the weekends, and my dear hubby is going to go back to doing the majority of the cooking - for now - until I get used to my crazy schedule. 

OK, so that wraps up my week.  Before I go, I want to mention that I have selected a new Member of the Week.  This week's winner is Fit Bee.  I am waiting for more information from her so that I can share a little of her back ground with you all.  Be sure to check out the Member Highlight section later today to learn a little about her.  Congratulations, Fit Bee!!

Till next time. ;)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Eating My Words

I have to start out by saying what an awesome feeling it is to be sitting in front of my computer at 8:30am drinking my coffee and writing this blog.  I have been back at work for a week, but it feels like a lifetime since I've enjoyed this experience.  I'm fully rested, refreshed, and ready to spill about the week I've had - and how much I've missed writing for you all.

It has been a very long week - an amazing week - but a very long one.  If you've ever heard, or your one of those people that say a teacher's job is "easy" then I'm here to tell you that you are WRONG!!  I have worked harder and longer this week than I have EVER worked in my life.  Every day I have literally stumbled through my front door in the evenings completely exhausted.  The funny part is I have never felt more fulfilled or happy about being so tired - or about the work that I have spent each day doing.  I have waited my whole life to step into a classroom as a teacher, and now that I'm doing it - it's the most amazing feeling...one that is just impossible to put into words. 

So, this blog is a weight loss blog - so it's time to discuss how my new routine and job are affecting my weight loss.  Well, after spending several weeks this summer laying out my "no excuses" mentality, I feel a little guilty about how I've started off.  It would be great to say that my working-out and eating habits have stayed exactly the same - and I haven't faltered at all....but unfortunately, that's not the case. 

No, I haven't worked out 6 times this week.  No, I haven't eaten 6 times every day.  This week has shown me that it's time to make some adjustments to my schedule - but I've learned how to do it, so that's a plus.  I've given myself a week to use my excuses of "I'm so tired", and "I don't have time" - but I have the motto "no excuses" for a reason.  I just had to realize how I work around them.  I was pleasantly surprised this morning when I stepped on the scale to discover that I haven't gained any weight.  I thought that with my lack of exercise and good food choices this week - I was surely going to have gained a pound or two.  Nope, I didn't - and I put that down to how active I have been at work.  I'm serious, teaching really IS hard work. 

Enough about that - it's time to focus on my new plan.  I'm calling this Operation Crazy!  I thought that would be a fitting name, being that I am a Mad, Fat Woman after all.  Taking from a lesson we did in my first grade class this week, I am going to make myself a set of promises.  These promises are going to help deal with focusing on my healthier life and losing weight while dealing with working a full-time job and going to school (college classes).  Here we go:

Operation Crazy:
I promise to pack and take my lunch and two snacks every day.
I promise to eat breakfast or drink a protein shake every morning before leaving for work.
I promise to chose healthy choices when eating lunch out with my co-workers.
I promise to JUST SAY NO when the break-room has unhealthy food options laid out for the taking.
I promise to take work-out clothes to work with me and walk/run around the nearby track at least 2 times a week.
I promise to work-out hard on the weekends.
I promise that I will try my hardest to post to my blog a minimum of 3 nights a week, and every Saturday and Sunday.
I promise to take my water bottle to work every day, keep it filled at all times, and drink at least 3 bottles worth throughout the day.
Lastly, and most importantly, I promise to not fail, fall off the wagon, or make any excuses to not keep the above promises.

I am the kind of person that makes a promise and keeps it.  Looking at these promises, I feel like they are pretty easy to keep.  I put numbers such as "2 times a week" and "3 times a week" because when working 10 hour days they are numbers that I can realistically keep.  I want to work-out more than 2 times a week, and I want to post to my blog more than 3 times during the week, but while still getting used to my new routine I think it's best to start out easy.  If things go well, and I'm running at the track 3 or 4 nights a week then I'm pushing myself - and that's always better than starting out with a high goal and then barely able to make the 2 nights a week. 

Tomorrow I will discuss more about how I intend to keep my promises, my new food plan, and share some bad news about boot camp.

Thank you everyone that continues to support me, follow my journey, and provide words of encouragement.  I know that I can do this with your help - and here's a promise for you "I am still here, I am still fighting the good fight, and I still offer my support in your journey".

Till next time.  ;)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Feeling the Burn....of Work

Don't worry, my intentions is to not allow this blog to become a personal journal of my internship experience.  That being said, I will be sharing information from days that mean a lot to me - and today is one of those days. 

I got to the school this morning around 7:15am.  I started helping my mentor teacher and the other first grade teachers prepare for our first open house.  I was so excited to get everything set up and meet the kids that will be in my class.  It was a long day, and I worked very hard.  By the time the kids started arriving, I was exhausted!  Once the first student walked into the room, though, my energy level shot through the roof and my excitement level went just as high.  It was such a great experience to meet the kiddos that I will have the privilege of teaching for the first nine weeks of my internship.  They were so darn cute!!!  I had such a great time talking to the kids and meeting the parents.  The kids were excited, some a little shy, but all seemed happy about starting school.  As the last student walked out of the door, a rush of joy swam through my veins.  It was a feeling that told me I had been waiting my whole life for that very moment - and that this was the career I was born to do.  Yes, I was tired - exhausted - it's amazing how hard it is to prepare a classroom, but I left the school with such a sense of pride.  I left feeling like I had worked hard, but enjoyed every moment of it.  It was a feeling of pure satisfaction.

I know that I'm going to have a great time with teaching this school year - but I worried a little about my abilities to fulfill my journey.  I don't doubt that I'm going to succeed, I worried more about the amount of time I will be able to devote to working out and eating right.  When I got into my car ready to drive home, I started thinking about how I could make this school year the best one yet - especially in regards to my weight loss.  As thoughts bounced around my head, I pulled out of the parking lot - and that's when my "duh" moment hit me.  Right across the street from the school is a park.  Around that park is a walking/ running track.  Now, I know that I wasn't placed in this school for any other reason than the university I attend just deciding to place me there - but seeing that park was a sign.  There is no need to worry about getting my work-outs in, all I have to do is walk out of work each night, walk across the street, and spend 30 minutes running around that track - at least!  My motto has become "NO EXCUSES!" - well, I most definitely must live up to that motto.  I have access to a track EVERY single day...I must put it to use! 

As much as it breaks my heart to say it, I really don't think that I will be able to do boot camp again after this session finishes.  I wish I could, but with as much work as I will have - there's just no feasible way to do it.  I knew that it was going to come to this, but I wanted to test the waters first before making my decision.  Seeing that track today (after my "duh" moment) made me realize that I'm going to be OK. Just because boot camp is going to end (for now) doesn't mean that I'm going to fail.  It just means that I have to search for other resources - and I've found one. 

Being placed in the school I'm in isn't just going to be an amazing experience for my teaching career, it's also going to provide me the strength and resources I need to continue my weight-loss journey.  How can anyone have a more perfect job than that? 

That's it for tonight - till next time.  ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Starting Out on the Right Foot

So, today was my first "official" day of my teaching internship.  I've attended a couple of meetings over the past couple of weeks, but today marked the first day of going every day.  I got up this morning, packed my snacks and lunch, and off I went.  It was an extremely busy day, but I had my snack, ate my lunch, and drank my water.  I avoided making the short drive to the fast food option, avoided the vending machines, and stuck to my plan. 

My only concern is that once the kids start school, it will be very difficult to eat my snack.  I can't exactly break out some cottage cheese and start eating it in front of the kids - but I will figure something out.

It's amazing how exhausted I am.  I got to work around 7:30 this morning, left at 3:30, got home at 4, then was out the door at 5 to head to boot camp and then got home from boot camp at 8.  Wow, no wonder I'm tired...LOL  Because of the fatigue, it's really hard to bring out my witty side to write about interesting stuff.  I think this is as good as it's going to get tonight.  Sorry folks.

Tomorrow, I have open house at school.  It's going to be another long day, but hopefully I won't be as exhausted when I get home - so I can come up with better material.  Don't want you guys getting bored now, do I?

Well, till next time.  ;)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bye-Bye Week...Good Ridence!

What a week it has been.  I have to say that I'm so glad that it's over.  As much as I wanted to enjoy my last week before my internship started, and the week that my cousin from England came to visit me, it has been far from what I expected.  My body took a rest from working out, but my emotional and mental state got a work-out of a lifetime.  My eating habits this week have been far from perfect, my motivation level has been running on empty almost all week, and my body has suffered the consequences. 

This week has brought a few things in to light.  I've learned that I can eat things that aren't my "normal" diet and not dwell on guilt or punishing myself for it.  I've learned that I've finally come to a point in my life that I can deal with bad feelings and emotions without drowning myself in junk food.  I've learned that my body doesn't like "taking the week off".  I notice the fatigue, the lack of energy, and the bloated feeling I get from not eating my healthy foods and working out as much as I'm used to.  These are all positive things that I've managed to gain from a very bad week, and I think it's always good to learn from my mistakes. 

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new week.  I start my year long teaching internship.  I will be working four days a week, taking classes one day a week, and juggling homework, kids, and boot camp.  It's funny, but I'm actually looking forward to having such a hectic routine again.  I thrive on staying busy, being busy, and I find that I can build a routine and stick to a routine when there's not much "wiggle" room.  Today, I went and did my grocery shopping for the week so that I can pack my lunch and snacks each day.  I look forward to utilizing the kitchen at the school, and staying away from the constant temptations that seem to lurk around every corner.  No fast food, no sweets, no exceptions!

Alright, now it's time to move on to the fun stuff.  It's time to announce this week's member of the week.  This week, the winner is Cathy McAuliffe-Dickerson.  Find out more about her in the Member Highlight section of blog.  Congratulations, Cathy!!

That's it for today.  Moving forward, the blog will be updated in the evenings - just because I will now be up and out early in the morning.  I'm excited to get this week started.  Tomorrow it's buddy night at boot camp, so I'm looking forward to that.  If any of my local followers are interested in attending tomorrow's session of boot camp with me - post a comment or visit my Facebook Page and I will get you hooked up with the details.

Till next time.  ;)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Boot Camp Replay

Before I get started reliving boot camp for you all, I just have to take a second to thank everyone for the well wishes and thoughts that stemmed from yesterday's post.  I know that I was very vague with the issues that I am dealing with.  My point for the post really wasn't to concern anyone with those issues, it was more to bring to light the point of my amazing growth in regards to my healthy journey.  I understand that because I have such amazing and supportive blog followers, some concern would be there.  I appreciate that you care, and I appreciate that you didn't push for more information.  I am dealing with the issues my own way - but it helps knowing that there are so many people out there that care. 

OK, that's enough of the boo-hoo stuff for a second.  Time to get to boot camp.  It's a pretty short replay this week, because my lazy behind only went to one night of camp.  Monday and Wednesday I was with family - so I didn't go to boot camp.  I think I would of much rather been at boot camp, but it's OK I now know not to make that mistake again. 

Before I left for school yesterday morning, I told Hubby that I really didn't feel up to going to boot camp.  My mind was heavy, and I just really thought about giving myself a couple more days to recover from the stress.  While in my meeting, I just felt so tired, felt like I had no energy and it wasn't even noon!  It was then that it hit me - I had been without my boot camp for too long!!  I called Hubby as soon as I was done with my meeting and told him that I had changed my mind.  Boot camp doesn't just help me get fit and stronger, it has become my outlet to release stress.  I know that after a bad day (or few days in this case) that going to boot camp pushes my mental state as well as physical, in turn releasing any stresses that is clogging my brain.  Not just that, but the people at boot camp have a way of making all the bad feelings disappear.  They are supportive, funny - and my friends.  They know how to push me to my limits - and that's what I needed last night.

I started the night out doing some pull-ups, push-ups, and sit-ups.  My mind wasn't really in the game yet, so I didn't push myself as hard as I should of.  During cals, I started feeling why it is I should never take a week off...my body loses some muscle.  Thanks to good ol' Jillian, though, anytime my feet hit the ground to rest, she was there to pick them right back up.  After cals, it was time for the obstacle course.  Miami sorted us into formation and off we went.  Running the obstacles the first time was JUST what I needed.  Miami was there the whole time providing words of encouragement and pushing me when I needed a little mental nudge.  After a single run-through, we went through the course again two times in a row.  By the third time, I really had to walk a bit but I kept on pushing myself....the stress wasn't completely gone, I needed to really hurt, feel the pain, and feel my hard work to get me to that place where I feel like I've given 110%.  I didn't get there.  During the last stretch of the course during the last run, one of my team mates (who is only 15 - and such a motivated kid) had hurt himself while trying to jump the wall.  I had to stop and help him finish. I wouldn't let him give up, I made him push himself to finish and run to the end of the course with me.  It was while running together to the end that the spark I had been waiting all night to feel kicked in.

It was a short lived feeling, unfortunately, because as we crossed the finish line I noticed a small crowd had gathered around the front of the gym.  Another of my team mates was having a seizure.  I saw her two little kids standing there, and my "mommy instinct" kicked in.  I immediately rushed over and pulled them away from the scene.  Once order, and EMT's had been called, Miami had everyone move on to some running.  I was asked to run inside with a team mate that has been having a hard time running outside in the heat.  Due to the injury my other team mate had sustained on the course, I took him with me too.  Inside on the track, I pushed them both to run.  A big part of me really wanted to help push them, make them run hard.  A small part of me was telling me that I was pushing them to push myself - because I needed to run.  I needed to run hard - but I wasn't going to leave them behind.  We finished the run session with both of them running harder and longer than they ever had before - and I walked back outside feeling completely refreshed, stress free, and like my life was back to normal. 

Wow, aren't you glad I only went to camp one night?  Think how long this post would of been if I had gone all three nights...LOL  OK, so that's the boot camp replay for the week.  If you live close to me, Monday night boot camp is having "buddy night".  I can take people with me (or meet them there) and they can work out with us TOTALLY FREE!!  So, if you've read my blog and wondered what it would be like to try it - here's your chance!!  Just write a comment here or visit me on my Facebook Page if you're interested.

Till next time.  ;)

Friday, August 13, 2010

No More Drowning!!

Wow, what a week I've had.  I can't even put into words how much I've missed my blog the past couple of days.  It felt so weird not waking up and heading straight to my computer to share my thoughts with you all before getting my day started.  It's OK now, though, because I'm back. 

So, the past couple of days I spent at my parents' house.  I wish I could say that I had an amazing time, but I really can't.  I had fun Wednesday night, but some things happened there yesterday that I really want to forget about...but can't.  I'm not going to go into details - because I just don't feel like I can.  What I can say is that I dealt with some terrible family issues and left my parents' house feeling sad, confused, and extremely emotional.  Feelings like these are the feelings that scare me the most...especially in terms of being healthy and losing weight.  They are the emotions that used to make me head straight for the junk food.  I'm happy to say that I didn't do that.  I stayed away from the junk food. 

I feel better now that I'm home, had a good night's sleep, and doing what I have learned to do when dealing with bad feelings/ emotions - writing about it.  It's amazing how therapeutic it is to get your feelings out on paper (or computer).  It's another one of those moments that has made me realize that I've changed in more ways than just physically.  Not only do I look better, but I feel better.  I feel better knowing that I don't have to drown my sorrows in a pint of ice-cream or a bag of chocolate chip cookies.  I know that binging doesn't ever make me feel any better, it usually ends up making me feel worse.  Rather than gaining 10 minutes of freedom from my true problems by diving into a bag of salty chips, I've found a way to deal with my problems head on so that they don't fester and turn into more eating, more sadness, and more anger at sabotaging myself. 

I consider myself a positive person.  I try to find the good in bad situations.  Sometimes, though, that's just not possible.  What happened at my parents' house is one of those times.  I just had to realize that sometimes I just have to move on - I can't dwell on it.  Can I just move on and act like nothing ever happened? No.  Not this time.  It will take a long time to get over what I had to deal with - but I will get over it.  Just knowing that I found a way to release some of the pressure is good enough for me at the moment.  I know that I can move on - and that's the most important part.  I am a new person.  The old me wouldn't be sitting here right now.  The old me would probably be sitting in a pile of junk food containers realizing that I spent a whole night cramming myself full still waiting for the moment that I feel good enough to stop.  I'm not that person anymore.  I never want to be that person again.  She's gone - and she's never allowed back in my life. It's over, I will deal with my issues, and life will go on with me continuing to lose weight, living a healthy life - and nothing or nobody is ever going to take that away from me!

In other news, yesterday was my last official day of summer break. I've attended a couple of school meetings the past couple of weeks, but today is the day my semester and student teaching internship officially starts. Most people are pretty sad when their summer is over, and it's time to head back to school. Not me! I'm so excited to start teaching, so excited to get through this year, and just ready to have my crazy life back again. Starting Monday, I will probably be posting my blog in the evenings - because I will have to leave so early to be at school. Don't worry, though, the posts will be here....I just can't live without being here every day. It's my way of staying sane, and connecting with the feelings that surge through me.

Till next time.  :)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Realizing My Normal Life

What a weird past couple of days I've had.  I say weird not to describe the activities I've been doing, the places I've been or the people I've been with - I'm using the word just to describe me.  I came to a realization this morning of how different my life, and the inner me has become.

For seven months I've exercised and eaten healthier foods.  Have their been days when I didn't feel like working out and skipped it? Yes.  Are there days that I've eaten unhealthy foods? Yes.  Have I felt guilty each time, and then decided to work my butt off for a week after to make up for it?  Absolutely!  Things are different this week.  I'm feeling something I've never felt before - or should I say I'm missing a feeling that I always feel....the guilt is gone.

Since Saturday, I've encountered my worst few days I've had since starting my journey.  I've eaten pizza, I've eaten hamburgers, I've eaten at Golden Corral (and didn't stick just to the salad bar), I missed boot camp, the only exercising I've done since Friday night is swimming (and I mean the leisurely kind).  If I was confessing these sins to you a year ago - the outcome of the post would be quite different.  I would go on to say "I've steered off course too far these past couple of days, I've probably gained a couple of pounds, so it's time to throw in the towel and give up".

Don't worry, that's not what I'm going to say.  I know that I've spent the past couple of weeks talking about "being strong", "not giving in to temptation".   I'm a bit of a hypocrite to lay all of that out there for you - and then do what I've done these past couple of days.  I'm not apologizing though - because I've learned something from this.  The guilt that haunts me any time I consume something I shouldn't has completely disappeared.  I don't feel the need to head to the track and run my big butt off until I feel like I've somehow made up for what I have done.  I've spent the past couple of days enjoying family time, spending time with my cousin who I haven't seen in 16 years - and he will be going home at the end of the week.  He will go, my life will go back to what I'm used to doing: eating healthy, exercising, and NOT missing boot camp.  So I gain a pound or two this week.  I'm not on a deadline.  My life isn't going to drastically change for the worst because I see a small increase in the scale instead of a decrease.  I'm just going to go back to what I know is normal.  That, my friends, is the lesson learned. 

The me a year ago would of thrown in the towel after 2 days.  The me four months ago would of unleashed grueling days of exercise punishment to compensate.  The me now says, oh well...no biggie...life goes on, and my weight will continue to fall once life gets back to NORMAL.  Am I trying to say that it's OK to binge and slack off for a week?  Yes and no.  Like I have already said, it's taken a long time to get to this place where I don't feel like my whole world is crashing in around me each time I eat a slice of pizza.  It's taken time, dedication, and building a comfort in my lifestyle to where doing what I've done the past few days isn't NORMAL.  I say that word with the caps because normal means that there's no doubt in my mind that I now live a healthy lifestyle.  How can I say that after confessing that I've filled up on junk for the past few days?  I came to the realization that I'm not adjusting anymore, I'm not still getting used to figuring out what I can and can't eat...it just all comes naturally.  My healthy life is my normal life.  Spending a few days eating bad foods and not working out isn't normal - it's just one of those things that happens....and I know that it's not going to undo all of the hard work I've done, not going to put me back on the fast track to being the almost 300lb woman I once was.  I'm different now. 

Now, I don't want you to read this post and think "WOO HOO, time to order a pizza!!"  I don't want you thinking that I'm sending the message that I'm encouraging you to take the week off and binge to your little heart's content.  If my cousin wasn't here, this post wouldn't even be today's post because this week would be just a normal week of healthy eating and exercise.  The message I'm sending is that it takes time for you to understand the changes you're making in your lifestyle and even longer for them to really sink in.  There will be days when you attend a party or go out and eat for a special occasion.  While I still encourage you to try and think about what you're going to eat - you shouldn't beat yourself up if you don't eat what you should.  If you feel guilty after eating a piece of chocolate - you're not to the point yet where you've accepted your lifestyle change.  If you eat pizza with your family and think "well, I've probably gained 5lbs just from that pizza so it's not even worth trying anymore" you're not to that point.  If you feel like you better rush off to the gym and spend 5 hours working off the hamburger you just ate....you're not to that point.  If you spend a couple of days eating bad foods and skipping your work outs and you feel like it's not the end of the world, you wake up the next morning and decide to eat your normal healthy breakfast, go for your normal morning run, and pick up where you left off: CONGRATULATIONS!! You feel exactly as I do now, and you're at that the point where you really want to be. 

Till next time.  :)

Monday, August 09, 2010

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Sorry folks!  No fancy themes this week.  No hard core words of wisdom or advice.  This week is my last week before the crazy that is my normal life kicks back into full speed.  I'm talking about coming to the end of my summer. 

This is probably going to be the hardest week for me in 7 months.  This week is jammed packed with family functions, parties, and school meetings.  This week is truly going to test my sanity - as well as my strength. 

My cousin, who I haven't seen in 16 years, came to visit us from England this past Saturday.  We stayed at my mom's and had a big barbecue Saturday night.  I was really good - I did drink, but I did not eat too much.  Yesterday, he came home with me and is staying until tomorrow.  I'm trying to think of things to do today, but I live in one of the most boring places in the U.S. - so not really a whole lot of options in regards of places to go or things to see.  Then tomorrow, we all pack up and go spend the day at my mom's.  Then Wednesday, I will be in a school meeting all day then back to my mom's in Oklahoma for another barbecue/ party with more family.  Thursday, another day at my mom's and then coming home that night.  Friday, another school meeting all day and boot camp that night.  Then a weekend full of going out with my friends and more partying.  I'm tired from just typing about it.

I will be missing boot camp tonight and Wednesday - and I'm really not happy about it.  With as many temptations and lack of healthy activity I'll be partaking in this week - I really don't need to be missing the one thing that keeps me totally on track.  Worst case scenario means taking this week as a mini-break, and jumping back into full speed ahead next week.

Next week, my teaching internship officially starts.  I go back to the grind of being at work all day, taking classes, having homework - you know - the "normal" life.  I figure that this week, I will keep up with my blog by rambling about whatever subject pops into my head when I sit down at the computer.  Being that I'm going to be pulled in so many directions - I really don't want to add the work of planning my blog posts like I usually do.  I will see how "winging it" goes - and apologize in advance for the strong possibility that this week can be full of not much more than just words on a computer screen. 

So, that's it for today - please just bare with me for the week....I will be back to my normal self next week.  :)

Till next time.  ;)

Image from:  http://thepartyplancoach.com/2010/03/are-you-in-a-slump/

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Did I Make It? The 50lb Target Update

Before I get to the weigh-in results, I first have an important announcement.  This week was the first week for the Member of the Week contest on my Facebook page.  To find a winner, I looked at comment "likes", discussion posts, and blog comments.  This week's winner is....drum roll..... LINDA NICKLE!!!

Congratulations Linda!! You are now in the running for Member of the Month, and the prize that goes with it.  Until then, you will have the glory of having a mention on the new "Member Highlight" section of the blog.

OK, now it's time to get down to business.  Last week, I made the announcement that I was 3lbs away from losing 50lbs.  I weighed in at 216lbs, and needed to reach 213lbs to reach the 50lb loss mark.  This week was my first week back to boot camp, and I was really nervous about pulling it off.  Well, I did not lose the 3lbs.  Here is what the scale said this morning:


I know it's a little hard to read, so if you're having trouble - the number on the scale read: 210lbs!!!! Not only did I lose the 3lbs I needed to reach a very important milestone - but I lose 3lbs more than needed.  It now leaves me only 11lbs away from weighing less than 200lbs....something I haven't been in 10 years!!! 

So, that's my post for today.  A very happy post - one that I'm extremely proud of!!

Till next time.  ;)





Saturday, August 07, 2010

Boot Camp Round 2..Yep, I'm Doing it AGAIN!!

This week was my first week starting boot camp - again.  If you've been reading for a while, you will know that a few weeks ago I completed a six week fitness boot camp at a local gym.  If you read those posts, you are probably thinking "why the heck would she put herself through that again?" 

If you haven't read those posts - you should - they were probably the hardest six weeks of my life.  I pushed myself to do things I never thought I could do.  I whined, I complained, I kept thinking that there was no way that I could actually see it through.  Most nights I was on the verge of passing out or getting sick, my body hurt in places I didn't even know existed, but I didn't quit.  I am so thankful that I didn't.  By the time the camp was over with, I was a completely different person.  That, my friends, is why I had to go back and do it again.

Monday was the first day, and the fitness tests.  After having a 2 week break, I kind of expected my results for push-ups and sit-ups to have dwindled a bit.  I spent my 2 weeks off running - pretty much every night - but had slipped a little on my weight work.  Well, obviously I didn't slip too much because I was able to push out 9 push-ups and 20 sit-ups.  That's the same amount of push-ups that I left boot camp doing, and I only lost 3 sit-ups.  Then came the part that I'd been waiting for - the 1 mile run.  I knew that I had broken my time of 14:05 from the final results of the last boot camp while running during my two weeks off.  I worried that with the heat of 102 degrees, that it would affect the run just a little.  It did, but not enough for me to worry.  I finished my run in 13:06....knocking a minute off of my last time. 

Wednesday we had our nutritional counseling and then did circuits.  I was so impressed with how well I was able to do the circuits.  I'm not going to say they were easy - because they sure weren't - but compared to the first time I ever did circuits...I have greatly improved.  The best way to say it: I wasn't dying after the first 60 seconds!! I pushed through them, and finished strong.  Then we went on to sprints.  Oh, how I've come to LOVE sprints.  It's my "thing".  Now that I've really upped the ante on my running - I enjoy sprints more than anything else.  I ran my big butt off over, and over, and over, and... well you get the picture.  I kept up with my faster team mates - and didn't ease up on how fast I ran. 

Last night, we ran the obstacle course for time.  I finished the first run strong, but forgot to ask what my time was - so I have no idea what it was.  I will find out Monday, though.  My main focus was to get through as fast as I could - and then help my team mates finish.  That's what I did.  I ran back to get everyone that needed help, and finished the final sprint with them.  Then I got to hear that we'd be running the course again - and I did that, and when I finished the second time... it was back to it.  I finished the third time.  I was tired, but still not on the verge of dying.  After the course it was time for relay races.  Just 7 weeks ago, I just couldn't do the relays.  There was no crab walking for me - there was sitting on my butt and scooting across the grass.  There was no bunny hops, there were little bounces.  There were no bear crawls, there was walking while bending over and barely scraping my fingers on the ground.  Not last night!!!  I did them all!!   We finished the night with a jog around the gym.  It was such an eye opening experience.  I went from being the slowest (by a long way) runner on my team (the slower team) to being one of the fastest.  While we did our jog, Jillian (one of the sudo-names for my boot camp instructors) kept me and some of the other team members busy with sprinting to the front of the team back to it.  Last camp, I could barely keep up with the jogging - let alone doing sprints while I was running.  Last night, I wanted more...to keep running, to keep sprinting.  The changes in me are drastic - and I have a feeling that this time, there's not going to be any feelings of wanting to quit or that I can't do something.

We have a great group of people doing boot camp this time.  I get to do it with some of my favorite people from last time, and we have several new faces as well.  The atmosphere is supportive, and a lot of people are already experiencing some of the "joys" that come with boot camp.  It's an amazing feeling to watch and help a person that thinks they have no physical abilities finish the obstacle course, do a bazillion circuits, sprint, and jog around the gym.  I know that they are all going to share the triumphs I celebrated though my first boot camp - and I'm so happy I will be there with them to witness them all. 

Tomorrow, I'm going to announce the winner of the Member of the Week contest.  You still have time to get on my Facebook Page - join, introduce yourself, and be in the running. 

Till next time.  ;)

Friday, August 06, 2010

My Family Really Won't Go for the Healthy Lifestyle Stuff

You've finally mustered the motivation to DO THIS! You've made a schedule for when you're going to work out, you've started to think about what you're going to start eating...and then BAM, something hits you that you'd forgotten about.  Is my family going to go for eating healthy like I am?  If the thought, "oh well, I'll just eat healthy by myself" goes through your head ERASE IT!!!

If you live by yourself, then you really don't have to worry about it -because you're only buying food to feed you.  If you're married, have kids, etc. then there's absolutely no reason why the rest of your family can't change their eating habits right along with you.

"There's no way my husband's going to give up his junk food".  Have you sat down and spoken to him about it?  Have you told him that eating healthy doesn't mean giving up the foods he loves - it just means preparing them different?  Have you tried telling him that he can still eat pizza, steak, even fried chicken - it will just be cooked different, still taste great, but be really good for him.  None of those reasons work?  Then tell him that you want to be healthy, you want him to be healthy with you, and if he really loves you then he'll at least give it a try - that's right, go for the kill with pure guilt.  You do what you gotta do!

"My kids will stop eating if I try to feed them healthy food."  If this is your excuse - SHAME ON YOU!!  I don't say that without having been there.  I was one of those people that allowed my kids to eat whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted.  When I told them there would be no more junk in the house - they adjusted...no whining, no fighting, no threats of not eating that's for sure.  They still have snack foods, but rather than a bag of chips, cookies or candy - they enjoy eating string cheese, granola bars, and fat-free/sugar free jello and pudding.  They also really enjoy dinner time.  They tell me that the food is delicious, they often ask if we can have the same thing again, and if there's something they don't like - we compromise as a family to either not eat it again, or change it the next time. 

Yeah, all of this is easy for me to say because I'm engaged to a man that LOVES to cook - and really enjoys the healthy foods that we've prepared.  Don't think, though, that in the beginning it was easy.  When I told him, once again, I was going to try and lose weight - I got the rolling of the eyes.  Then, when I told him that I expected to whole family to eat the foods that I was eating I got "yeah, right" from him.  I asked him to at least give me a week to prove that it wouldn't be so bad. He agreed.  That was 7 months ago, and now our household wouldn't have it any other way.  It was like my fiance had won the jackpot - he could use fresh ingredients, put his creative cooking skills to the test, and he now enjoys preparing food more than he ever has before.  He's not the only one.  I was never a real fan of cooking - that was one of the things that attracted me to my fiance...he loved to cook, I didn't... DONE!!  Since our lifestyle change, however, I have also started spreading my creative wings and exploring the endless kitchen possibilities.  We now divide up the cooking responsibilities - and we both enjoy preparing the dinners our family will eat. 

Now, there are a few things that you can agree to - or should I say, be forced in to.  I will use my fiance as an example.  He LOVES Big Red Soda.  I knew that it would be a cold day in Hell before he'd agree to the "no soda" rule.  I hate Big Red, so that wasn't an issue for me.  Every once in a while he wants chips and dip to snack on.  I was very opposed to this - but he's a healthy weight, I couldn't really use the "you could lose a few pounds yourself" excuse.  How did we compromise?  When he buys stuff like that - and it's not very often - he keeps his stuff locked up and away from me.  There's been occasions when he's bought some Reese's (the only chocolate he likes) but I don't even get a smell of them, because he locks them away.  If there are things that your hubby just absolutely WILL NOT give up - compromise to have him store his "goodies" in a place that you can't see them or get to them.  If you are the type of person that will break open a lock to get to the loot - then make him enjoy his stuff away from the house.  There are always ways to compromise - you just have to sit down and discuss these things.  If you're truly serious, he should be willing to support you and at least try and make the transition as comfortable as possible for you. 

One way to ensure better success for your family's transition is to do the meal plan and the grocery shopping yourself.  If the food's not there for them to eat, then they can't eat it.  If you prepare the meal, chances are the family isn't going to boycott you and refuse to eat....especially when they smell the wonderful aromas that healthy foods have.  If they do try to boycott you - DON'T GIVE IN!!! Start out by preparing foods that aren't too complicated, or aren't too obviously healthy.  If your the kind of family that eats steak, pizza and fried chicken a lot, don't start trying to feed your family fresh fish, salads, or chicken breast and brown rice.  Start out with preparing the foods they love, cooked healthy, and see what they have to say about it.  The only differences between a "bad pizza" and a "good pizza" is the crust, switching the cheese from full fat to fat-free, and not piling it with pepperoni - but using stuff like turkey or chicken and fresh veggies.  Rather than frying a steak, try cooking it on the grill.  I will post the recipe for "fried chicken" in the recipe section - so you will have that covered too.  Once they start to see that the transition isn't as bad as they thought, you can then start presenting to them other foods that are equally as yummy and even more healthy.

If you have a problem that I haven't covered, please post it in the comments - I will help you through it.

So, that's it for "Smack in the Face" week.  I hope that the posts shared this week have been a wake up call for you.  Tomorrow, I will give my boot camp replay for the week.  Sunday, I will announce the winner of "member of the week" from my Facebook page, and share how my week has been.  I am 3lbs away from losing 50lbs.  It was a goal to try and shed those pounds this week - you can tune in Sunday to see if I reached the goal...or if I have to wait another week.

Till next time.  ;)

Thursday, August 05, 2010

I Want to Lose Weight, But I Don't Have the Motivation

Making the statement "I want to lose weight, but I don't have the motivation" is like saying "I want to win the lottery, but I'm not going to buy any lottery tickets".  It's just not going to happen.  If you want to lose weight, you have to find the motivation.

When you make a statement like "I don't have the motivation", what you really mean is "I don't want to do the work".  I'm not going to sit here and say that there's no work involved - there's lots of work..HARD work...but the rewards at the end make it all worth it.  I want you to take a second to think about what type of person you are.  Let's use a job as an example.  If there's a job or a promotion you REALLY want, are you the kind of person who sets their mind to getting it no matter what?  Are you the kind of person that applies for the job and believes if it's something you're supposed to have, then you'll get it?  Or are you a person that will long for the job, but never make a single attempt to show your interest or apply for it?

If you're a person that's willing to do whatever it takes to get what you want - then you shouldn't have a problem facing the hard work of losing weight.  If you believe that something will happen for you "if it's meant to be" or just longs for something without ever revealing your desires, then you're going to have some major problems when it comes to losing weight.  Before you read on, you need to really spend some time thinking about how bad you want to lose weight.  If I was to tell you that you can start off making minor adjustments and doing very little exercise - would that increase the motivation? 

Well, I can tell you that you can start out easy...but for major results, you're going to eventually have to work harder.  If losing weight was easy, do you really think there would be so many obese people in the world?  Of course not!!  If you want a high end career, chances are you're either going to have to work your butt off in college or spend years working your way up and earning experience.  Yeah, yeah I know that there are those people that have everything handed to them on a silver platter - but there are also people that are able to eat whatever they want and never gain a pound.  Chances are, you're not one of those people.

I'm not going to pretend that this post is going to magically change your life, and give you the motivation you're looking for.  I am a firm believer that you won't change until YOU want to.  No one can tell you that you HAVE to lose weight.  I know many people that have been told by doctors that they need to lose weight or they are heading towards all kinds of medical problems - and that news has no effect on them whatsoever, so by my blogging about needing motivation isn't going to change a thing. 

I also can't answer the question "how do I get motivation?"  Several things motivate people to make the changes they need to make in order to start their weight loss journey.  For 10 years I struggled to find the right motivation to stay with what I was doing, and not let anything stand in my way.  In the end it came down to the fact that I was so tired of being tired.  I'm 28 years old, and felt like I was 80!! I couldn't run, I couldn't play with my kids, heck - I could barely walk up a few stairs without feeling like I could pass out.  I didn't want to go into my new profession of being a teacher and try to promote kids to be healthy, when my own body showed them that I didn't believe what I was telling them.  I didn't want to stress to my kids how important it was to be active and eat less junk, when they watched me devouring junk food and never moving off the couch unless I had to.  It all hit me at once - and when it did...I knew I was in this FOREVER!!

Six and a half months have gone by since I started my journey.  It's not a lifetime, but it's the longest I've EVER lasted with trying to lose weight.  I'm 3lbs away from losing 50lbs.  I weigh 216lbs - a weight I haven't seen since I was about 19 years old.  It's not super fast weight loss...but it's healthy, maintainable weight loss.  I can now run - yes RUN - a mile in 12 1/2 minutes.  I can jog for more than 30 minutes without stopping.  I can fit into a size 16 - when six months ago I was in a size 24-26!!  I feel stronger, I feel healthier, and most of all I feel BEAUTIFUL!! That is a word I have NEVER had the desire to use to describe myself.  I still have a long way to go - but I have no doubt that I will get there, and when I do my life will continue doing the things I have grown to love...like eating healthy, exercising, and helping others find their way to the success that I have achieved.

I'm sorry if you thought reading this post would give you that urge you needed to get off the couch.  That's just not how it works.  You have to look to yourself to find it.  Living a healthy lifestyle and doing a little exercise can be hard work, especially when you first start out - but if you're willing to see it through...get to the point of total comfort in the lifestyle - you will see dramatic results, not only on the outside of your body but within it.  You have to buy the lottery ticket to win the lottery.  Unlike the lottery, however, once you do make the TOTAL committement to a healthier lifestyle the odds are in your favor and you will WIN!!

My only advice that I can give to maybe help get you steered in the right direction is by asking you to stand in front of the mirror or take a picture of yourself.  Look at the person looking back at you - spend some time really studying that person.  Are you happy with what you see?  You have the power to change that image - tell yourself that....then, well, do it!
Good luck!

Till next time.  ;)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Food Is Your Friend

Disclaimer:  Before we get started, I would just like to make a few comments.  This post is about emotional eating.  I do NOT believe that emotional eating is a typical excuse like those previously discussed.  Emotional eating is a problem that many people deal with, myself being one of them.  This post's purpose is to bring to light symptoms of emotional eating, and healthier ways to deal with it.

You've had a rough day at work, you want nothing more than to curl up on the couch with a bag of chips for the rest of the night.  You have a fight with a significant other, or maybe broke up, time to grab a pint of ice-cream to drown your sorrows.  You just got that promotion you've been waiting for, time to buy Krispy Kremes for the whole office to celebrate.  You're so bored, you don't know what to do with yourself.  Time to grab that giant bag of buttery popcorn and watch the movie that you've been wanting to see for a while.

No matter what your mood is, there's always a junk food friend there for you.  The reality is, though, with friends like these - who needs enemies?  Your junk food friend is always there to listen, allows you to get through your mood - whatever it may be - but then what?  How long does that great feeling last?  How long after your great time with "junky" do you start to feel guilty?  Uh oh, you start to feel guilty.  Should you really have eaten the whole bag of chips, enjoyed every last bite of the pint of ice-cream, or eaten the whole bag of popcorn during the movie?  How quick does it take for that friendly relationship to turn into one of hate or disappointment?

Emotional eating is a real problem.  After all the hard work you've been doing to eat healthy, work-out..and now you're drowned with guilt over the junk food splurge.  Well, it's time to get some new friends.  You need friends that aren't going to make you feel guilty, that still give you that great feeling you get when you've enjoyed all that chocolaty or salty goodness, but stays there with you - not bailing on you - that continues to offer support at all times.

So, what are your alternatives?  You really don't want to break that friendship you've had for so long.  It's the only true friendship you've ever had to deal with your moods....who are you going to turn to now?  You're going to turn to the three friends that will NEVER let you down!! You're going to build a solid relationship with them, trust them, grow to love them - and end up wondering what you ever saw in those other so-called "friends".  Who are they?  Healthy food, exercise, and your support network.

What?? Am I crazy?? No, I'm not.  I know, you don't think munching on a bag of veggies is going to give you the same satisfaction the chips or popcorn gives.  You highly doubt that an apple is going to show you the same love that chocolate does.  Exercise is the last thing you want to turn to after the day you've had....but it's time to give them a chance.  They really love you a lot more than you think - it's all about you letting them show you how.

Let's try the beginning scenarios a different way.  Don't leave - just hear me out:

You've had a hard day at work.  You're exhausted.  You know that you need to get things done when you get home - but how are you going to find the energy?  Before you go home, you decide to go for a walk around the parking lot.  Nothing too fast.  You walk, take deep breaths, allow the air to clear your mind.  Listen to some music, or to the hub of traffic driving by.  What's that?  You start to feel less stressed?  You start to feel a sense of calm?  Wow - who would of known that a 10 minute walk could do so much?  You get back to your car, drive home, and greet your family with a sense of new-found energy...time to start helping with homework and preparing dinner. 

You've just had a terrible fight with your significant other.  You're so stressed, your so upset.  You are definitely in no mood to go for a walk - that's just not going to cut it!  It's time to pick up the phone.  Call your mom, your best-friend, your sister or brother....someone that will listen.  None of those people would listen?  Then you call ME!!  You have worked on building a support system for a reason - it's time to cash in your credits and put them to the test.  You feel like you in no way, shape or form could call someone with that kind of problem?  OK, then write! Sit down at your computer, or dig out a notebook and write down everything your feeling.  You will be amazed at how therapeutic writing can be.

You just got the promotion you've been wanting for months.  You want to celebrate!!   Then round up the family and cook a great meal to celebrate!! You can treat yourself, you earned it.  One Krispy Kreme has about the same calories as a nice meal - so which would you rather partake in?  Even if you do opt for something a little out of the realm of healthy - it will probably still have less calories than a donut...and much more satisfaction.

Your bored.  There's nothing good on TV, you're not in the mood to read a book.  Your kids are whining that they're bored, too.  Well, then how about a game of soccer outside or a trip to a park for a picnic?  If it's hot outside - then get out the sprinklers and water hose and have a water fight.  Go to the local pool for some refreshing swimming.  What?  It's at night when the boredom sets in?  Then dig out the board games or playing cards.  If your kids are too young for that - break out the blankets and build a living room fort.  Dig out the 90 calorie granola bars, crumble them up into a baggie, and make camping trail mix.  If you're bored - HAVE FUN!!

The first step in breaking your friendship with "junky" is by not allowing him into your house.  If he's there, you're going to turn to him.  If he's not, then your more than likely going to find an alternative.  If nothing else works, and you really feel like eating...turn to my post about healthy snack alternatives.  There are a million and one ways to deal with emotional eating - the hard part is finding something else that satisfies you.  My recent new friend has become my running.  Even on nights when I want nothing more than to just snack away on the couch - I MAKE myself go to the track.  I start out with walking, breathing, relaxing...and eventually the need to run kicks in.  If I'm in a situation where I can't just go to the track - I  usually end up with a snack.  The difference is, though, I've found new friends: cottage cheese, hummus, cucumber slices, fat-free frozen yogurt, and fat-free jello pudding.  They ease my cravings, cure my current ails, and don't leave me with the guilty feeling. Eating six times a day has really helped me overcome the need to snack, because I'm pretty much eating constantly.  If I'm the mood after dinner for some frozen yogurt instead of the apple and peanut butter that's scheduled, I switch them.  If I'm really upset, and just feel the need for binging - I pick up the phone and call my mom.  I can't be on the phone with my mom for less than 30 minutes...and 99% of the time, after talking to her - I feel better and it's probably time for me to eat, anyways. 

Junk food is NOT your friend.  Healthy food and exercise can be - you just have to give them a chance.  Building your support network is another step in the right direction.  I am amazed at the new friends I've made building my network - and I wouldn't hesitate to call them if I really needed them.  I know that they wouldn't mind - and they'd help me get through the difficulties I'm facing. 

If you need me, I'm here....evict the junk food - you deserve new friends!!

Till next time.  ;)

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Healthy Eating is SOOOO Expensive

So, you really want to start eating healthier - but it's just so darn expensive.  I understand.  Pre-packaged, junky foods are so much cheaper, so much easier to prepare.  Who needs any extra expense like healthy food in today's economy?  I mean, it's just your health, it's just your family's health - very unimportant expense!!

You'd much rather save a few bucks now so that you have the money to pay for the doctor and hospital bills when you have diabetes, right?  Save those extra pennies - hospital bills from a heart attack are EXPENSIVE!!  Oh, you have insurance?? Well, then that's great!! You can save the money to leave in your will!!!

Yes, healthy food can be a little more expensive - when items are bought individually compared to the crap filled junk that you're used to buying.  In reality, it you STOP buying the junk and replace everything with healthier foods that you prepare yourself - GASP!, prepare yourself?? - you'd find your grocery bill to be about the same...if not cheaper.

STOP buying the soda ranging from $2.50 - $5.00 a week.  STOP buying the chips, cookies, ice-cream, and sweets ranging from $5 - $20 a week.  STOP buying the crappy, pre-packaged frozen meals you just love to fix for you family ranging from $10 - $40 a week...and wow, you just saved a ton of money.  START buying whole wheat or multi-grain bread.  START buying fat-free or 1% milk and dairy.  START buying fresh meats, brown rice, and fresh produce...and WA LA, you just came out even and you've made the leap into healthy eating!!  I know, that was very difficult.

Heaven forbid, you start cooking your meals from fresh ingredients.  That's just too hard, right? Don't have time to cook?  Read yesterday's post...that's just ridiculous. Oh, and let's discuss how much money you spend on fast food.....think about how many times you grab lunch from the drive-thru, or pick up a pizza for the family on the way home.  Could probably save just a little money by NOT doing that.  Who  would of known that you can pack a lunch to take to work, or you could throw some stuff in a crock pot before you leave for work in the morning, and have dinner waiting for you when you come home.  That's just too hard, right?

Money is not the issue when it comes to healthy eating - YOU ARE!!  It's another one of those excuses that people just love to throw around.  No one is asking you to buy the name brand EVERYTHING...it's just replacing the junk with the new.  If your washer breaks down, you pretty likely to go and buy a new one.  Well, what are you going to do when your heart and other organs break down?? Can't run to Sears for replacements to those.  SPEND THE MONEY!!  I bet my first born child (sorry, honey) that when you really replace all that crap you're used to buying with healthy, fresh, unprocessed ingredients - you find you break even, if not have a few extra pennies in your pocket when it's all said and done.

Challenge for today.  Think about how much stuff you buy that you could do without.  Chips, cookies, soda, fast-food etc.  Tally that amount up.....shocked?

Till next time.  ;)

Monday, August 02, 2010

Not Enough Hours in the Day

"I work full time".  "I have kids!"  "I'm a full time student, with going to classes AND homework..."  "I don't get five minutes a day to myself, let alone thirty".

Any of these statements sound familiar?  What if I was to ask you - why don't you work out?  Now are they sounding familiar?  They should.  They're the most common excuses I hear for not exercising.  Yeah, I said it EXCUSES!!!

Well, try raising 3 kids (one of which is a toddler - so no baby excuses), going to school full-time, working part-time, spending evenings doing homework.  There's no way you could find time to work out, right?  WRONG!!! That was my schedule back in January when I started my journey.  Wanna know what it's going to be like in 2 weeks?  Up at 5am so that I can get the kids ready and get the little one to daycare by 6:30am.  Be at my internship by 7 - where I will stay until around 4 everyday somenights closer to 6 if not later.  Then go pick up lil one then home.  Still taking classes, still got homework - still got kids that need help with their homework in the evenings.  Hmmm...there's no way I'll be able to work out - right??  WRONG AGAIN!!  Not only will I be working out, but I'll be going to Boot Camp three times a week!!

How much time do you spend on the computer doing stuff other than working?  How much time do you spend watching TV?  How many hours do you sleep at night?  If your answer is none, none, and 6....then you're not reading this...so it doesn't count. 

You don't exercise because you don't want to exercise.  If you REALLY wanted to - you'd make time.  But who wants to make time for that?  Not you?  Then don't whine about being overweight!!! Don't whine that you want to get healthier!!  Don't whine when the doctors tell you that you're heading down the road to diabetes, heart disease, etc.  

Everyone has 15 minutes a day that they could spend doing some kind of physical activity.  Work long hours? Go for a walk around the parking lot before going home.  Got kids?  Then take them to the park and play a game of soccer.  Got a baby?  Put him in a stroller and walk your butt around on a walking trail.  Don't have time to go to a track each day?  Then buy a $5 work-out DVD and do it at home - or spend 10 minutes a day doing push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks...ANYTHING!! 

You are the controller of excuses.  They are like road blocks - unless you find another way around them, you'll be stuck in your spot FOREVER!  We all live busy lives - you're no exception.  Yet, so many people are able to find 15-30 minutes a day EVERY day just for themselves.  They use that time to work out. 

So, today I challenge you.  Stop your whining.  Stop your excuse making.  Get your butt off of the couch and DO SOMETHING!!!  Will you except the challenge?

Till next time.  ;)

Image courtesy of:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/photomastergreg/1325980336/

Sunday, August 01, 2010

More Than Just a Diary

This week has been a very exciting week for me.  Getting to do a TV interview was extremely exciting, but the excitement came in the days that followed the airing.  I went from a woman trying to lose weight and get healthy and sharing her story with a blog, to a woman trying to lose weight and get healthy and wanting to help other people do the same any way I can.

I changed up a few things a couple of weeks ago by sharing a week of posts that explained everything that I'm doing to lose weight and get fit.  Now, I want to continue doing similar posts like that - anything that can inspire and motivate other people to finally get off the couch and move towards a longer, healthier life.

So - what's going to happen now?

Tomorrow kicks off "Smack in the Face" week.  I get mean, I get straight forward, I get in your face.  This week will be a week of NO MORE EXCUSES!!  Excuses are like belly buttons - everyone has one, but it serves no use to you now.  If you're one of those people that likes Jillian Michaels - then you should enjoy the next week.  If you're someone who's easily offended - then you might not want to read the blog this coming week.  My intent is NOT to offend - but I'm not sugar coating anything.  If you're one of those people that wants to lose weight, but just haven't found the urge to do it....MAKE SURE YOU'RE HERE EVERY DAY!!

There's exciting new things that are going to start on my Facebook page too.  If you're not a member, visit Diary of a Mad, Fat Woman and join.  I am starting a new thing called "Member of the Week".  The member of the week will be a new contest that encourages participation in discussions - that's it.  The winner will get a featured spot on my blog - as well as be in for a drawing for the "Member of the Month".  The member of the month will win a prize.  Prizes will be things like Bondi Bands (with my signature I AM WOMAN, HEAR ME ROAR!), water bottles, and other fitness/ health related items.  You don't have to be local to win - yes, I will pay shipping.
Me in a Bondi Band

I really want the discussion area of the Facebook page to get some use.  Once things get going, I will be  starting new discussions, as well as hosting "chat nights" where we can chat together - live - in a chat room. 

Now, I have members on my page that are elite athletes, are not trying to lose weight, or are just curious about what I'm doing.  That's OK!! I encourage EVERYONE to participate.  Those of you that don't fall into the "want to lose weight" category can help give advice, help provide support - and just be apart of a friendly community.  That's what it's all about.  I want to build a community of support - so that there is a place you can go for advice, to vent your frustrations, and know that there's someone that WILL answer your questions, WILL give you advice, and WILL support you every step of the way. 

Now, I can't do this alone - this will all come down to you!!  Will you help me achieve my goal?  Don't be shy, don't be embarrassed....it's time to JUST DO IT!! (Thanks, Nike)

So - let's get it started.  Let's build a community - stand together - help each other.  If you're not a member of the Facebook page - please join.  If you are a member, take a second to go to the discussions tab  on the Facebook page and introduce yourself.  It doesn't matter if I know you - others want to know you too! 

Tomorrow - day one of Smack in the Face Week - I hit TIME!!  My favorite excuse, urm I mean reason, people have a hard time with healthy living.  Don't miss it!!

Till next time.  ;)

Image from:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/slopestyle1992/3407020922/