Monday, January 31, 2011

Mini Goal Monday

The week ahead is all going to be about discipline.  I have my plan, I have the tools I it's time to focus, push, and dedicate myself to doing what I say I'm going to to do.

This past week, I yet again, struggled.  I am happy to report that I did do all four of my scheduled runs.  I did not do the program twice, but I changed that goal mid week - so I didn't falter on my plans. 

I did not do Yoga or Zumba.  This is where the discipline this week will really set in. 

I did some soul searching on Saturday, and realized that there's a possibility I'm trying to self-sabotage just a little... and once I did realize it, I got angry.  I've promised myself that I'm not going to let myself do that anymore. 

From now on, I will be doing what I say I will - or have a damn good excuse why I didn't...and I'm talking sick kids, family emergency, etc.  No "I didn't feel like it" or "I didn't have time" excuses allowed anymore!

Saturday and Sunday, I drank more water than I did for the entire week.  Once I found that dedication I needed to banish the self-sabotager in me... I felt like I needed to start making up for the wrong that I've done to myself the past couple of weeks.  I probably drank 100ozs of water on both days.

I sat down with my planner yesterday, and really thought about my plans.  Before I started randomly putting things down that I wanted to do, I needed to consider if the times I selected would work for me, if there was a possibility I was overloading myself too much, and what I could do to help make my plans a little easier. 

After a lot of writing and erasing and more writing and even more erasing - I finally came up with my plans.  Thank goodness for pencils!!  Funnily enough, my goals for this week are pretty close to what they've been the past couple of weeks...but the planning on how to make them work - that's what's changed a little:

Mini goals for this week:
  • Yoga Monday - Friday 4am
  • C25K - Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat (5 min warm up walk, 4 min jog/ 1 min walk x 5, 5 min cool down walk)
  • Zumba - Tuesday and Thursday evening
  • Plan my meals - DONE
  • Take my lunch to work every day
  • Drink at least 60ozs of water each day
  • Go to bed at 9pm EVERY week night
I am happy to report that I, indeed, went to bed at 9pm last night and had no problem getting up at 4am this morning to do my Yoga.  I can't describe how good I feel about it.  I was silly to think that I could go to bed between 10 and 10:30 each night and make myself get up at 4am the next morning.  5 1/2 hours of sleep is NOT enough!!!  I think 7 hours is a good number.

For the Zumba, I've decided that instead of selecting a set time, I will do it as soon as Hubby goes to bed.  He usually goes to bed around 7:30 - as he gets up at 10 to go to work.  I will NOT put on one of my TV shows after he hands me the remote...I will grab my PS3 controller instead.  Once I'm done, I will shower and then watch a show before calling it a night.

You'll notice that I don't have anything scheduled on Sunday.  I decided I need a day off.  I recently preached to a friend of mine - who has managed to work out for 27 days in a row (she rocks) - on why she isn't seeing the results she wanted.  I told her it could have something to do with the fact that she's working out every single day, and not giving her body a day to rest.  Well, it's not very nice of me to preach it but not follow my own rule.  So, from now on, Sunday will be my day off. 

Having Sunday off can also be my "reschedule" day.  If, for some MAJOR reason, I can't do a work-out during the week....I can make up for it on Sunday.

I've also planned EVERY meal that I will eat during the week.  Up until now, I was only planning dinners.  I felt that I had enough stuff in the house to make good decisions about the other meals.  I did - but I found that I skipped a few meals last week (mostly breakfast..ugh!).  So, this week, I'm trying out planning each meal.  No more skipping meals for me!!

OK, so everyone PLEASE keep your fingers, toes, and any other body part crossed that I reach can check off every single goal next week.  Tomorrow is my birthday - and my birthday present to myself is feeling the satisfaction of knowing that I CAN DO THIS!!

OH - and there's a severe winter storm heading in to our area tomorrow.  Which means I may have to tweak a few things... time to dust off the treadmill, me thinks.

Do you have a piece of work-out equipment, accessories, etc. that you just couldn't live without?
What are your favorite healthy snacks?
What is one goal that you'd like to achieve this week?

Till next time.  ;)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Future Trak Forecast: Chance of Uncertainty Moving Out of the Area

After last week's fiasco at a sincere, heart-felt post about the struggles I deal with in regards to my control issue, I decided to spend a lot of time this week thinking about it.

It wasn't negative thinking.  I didn't continue to curse myself at how bad the post sounded - it wasn't really about the post - it was more focused on what I was trying to say. 

I pondered on my struggle and my situation so much - that I even got to the point where I started doubting that I really DID have a problem with control.  I think I've come to the realization that I struggle with wanting to be in control - but not dedicating myself enough to it....that make sense?  Well then let me explain.

I like to be in control.  I like to call the shots.  I like to decide what I do, when I do it, and how it's done.  I like having a plan, a schedule.  I like making lists.  I like writing things down - seeing it in black and white - and often, I will write the same things down in several places...just so I'm never without them.

OK, so I like doing all that stuff.  Then I realized... why do I struggle so much with following my schedules?  If I like making them so much, why don't they hold more weight in making me following them?  Why do I not get out of bed at 4am to do Yoga?  Why do I not drink more water?  Why do I decide that it's OK to not do Zumba - and that I'd much rather sit on the couch and watch TV? Why do I eat a school cafeteria lunch even though I brought lunch to school with me? Why do I want so much control over my success, but so easily dismiss the main ingredients that will get me there?

All of these thoughts left some doubt and uncertainty in my mind.  Maybe I don't want to lose weight as much as I think I do.  No, that's not right.  I definitely want to lose the weight.  Maybe it's more that I don't want to commit to the work that's involved?  Maybe I feel like the things that I'm blowing off aren't important? 

So, all these thoughts are flying around my head all week.  I start to doubt myself.  I start to feel like I'm not committed enough.  I start to worry!!

Then, Friday afternoon, I walked out of work to beautiful weather.  I pushed all of my doubt, my worry, my uncertainty down...and pulled off the best run I've had to date.  Yesterday morning, I woke up and after a couple of cups of coffee - I filled my water cup and I drank, and I drank, and I drank.  Then I decided the weather was too beautiful to sit indoors - it was time to head to the track on an UNSCHEDULED day for a run.  I ran...and then I decided to walk...just walk.  Clear my mind, think about what was going on with me, my work-out meditation, if you will.

The walk made such a difference.  I told myself I wouldn't stop walking until I had some answers, until I figured out what was bothering me so much, why I was having such a hard time keeping to the commitments that I set for myself.  I walked for a mile with nothing more than an inner fight...something wasn't making sense...something was causing me to doubt and worry.  Then, out of nowhere, like a ray of sunshine had beamed in to my head to burn the imprint into my head....I had my answer:  I'm scared.

I'm scared that for the first time in ten years I WILL be able to pull it off.  I'm scared that with my lifestyle change, my life will change.  I'm scared that I will work my butt off but not see the results I want.

In my mind, if I self sabotage - just a little - I don't have to be scared.

Then I got angry.  Really angry. Hell fire and fury angry.  I was self-sabotaging...and it wasn't until that very moment that I realized it...or at least could admit to it.  What the hell was I thinking???  Why go through everything that I've been through to not see myself accomplish my goals, my dreams, my aspirations? 

As fast as the anger left.  In it's place?  Determination.  Will power.  CONTROL.

Oh, yeah...the control wasn't the issue - the lack of it was.  I was pretending to be in control.  I was dreaming I was in control.  I was trying to be in control of things I could never have control over.... NOT. ANY. MORE!

There's a new meteorologist in town now...and she's predicting a 100% chance of success!  The storm that approaches is a fierce one...with a high chance of blood, sweat, and tears.  The thunder will be intense.  There will be no changes to the forecast.  Keep an eye on this storm...there's a strong chance that motivation and dedication will be flooding from future posts.  Stay posted!

Today, I'm not going to ask any questions...  I would love it, though, if you could share a short inspirational story of how you overcame a struggle.

Till next time.  ;)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weekend Plans and Planning

I LOVE Winter.  Really, I do.  I love cold weather.  I love snuggling under a blanket with a fire crackling in the fireplace.  But, with the comforts of winter, comes the comfort of snuggling under a blanket with a fire cracking in the fireplace...which leads to no real desire to go outside when it's 30 degrees to run.

Yesterday, we had an unseasonably warm day.  When I walked out of work, it was about 67 degrees...and I was in heaven.  I ripped off my running jacket, put on my armband (that holds my iPhone) and took off.  The warmth of the sun gave me power, energy...a new sense of empowerment in a weird kind of way. 

For my 5 minute warm-up walk, I just couldn't wait to hear the "OK, it's time for your 3 minute jog" from my earphones...and then it came...and I RAN, not jogged, RAN!  Yesterday, I did my C25K session once..just like I had planned.  In previous days, I've ran that same course, doing the same program, and ended with a distance of 1.7 or 1.9 miles with pace times between 17 and 18 minutes a mile. 

Not yesterday.  Yesterday, I was able to do 2.3 miles with the same program.  On Wednesday, it took me 35 minutes to do 1.9 miles - yesterday, I finished  2.3 miles in 33 minutes! I had an average pace time of 14:40!!!  That's my fastest time, yet.  I was stoked.

Today, the weather is supposed to be about the same.  I'm not scheduled to run today - but everything inside of me is telling me that I can't miss another opportunity.  Old Man Winter is on his way back from his mini-vacation...and is due to arrive tomorrow evening.  It's now or never.  Today, I'm going for a run.  I'm going to push myself.  I'm going to take advantage of the weather.

Today, I'm also going to really take some time to do my planning for next week.  I'm going to evaluate how I've done up to this point, what things I've stuck with and things I haven't.  I'm going to look at what my issues are - like getting out of bed at 4am to do Yoga.  I'm going to make some executive CEO decisions about what is realistic, what's going to benefit me, what's going to eliminate the "I didn't get to's" from my weekly updates.

This week I bought a new planner especially for this very thing.  I live for schedules.  I love to-do lists.  I love the feeling of placing a nice big "check" next to each item on the list.  When I see something that hasn't been done - it bothers me.  I start to beat up on myself.  I start to feel a little twinge of failure or disappointment. 

This is the last week I want to feel that way.  It's the last week of stepping on the scales, seeing the number, and being able to count the reasons of why I didn't do well. 

It doesn't mean eliminating things off of my list - it means looking at where I'm going wrong.  If I can't get up at 4am to do Yoga, it means I'm going to bed too late.  It means I'm not giving myself enough sleep each night.  It means that I may have to change my schedule so that my body will cooperate.

Maybe the times that I'm choosing to schedule things aren't the best times for me.  If I know that at 7pm I'm not going to feel like doing a Zumba routine - then I'm an idiot for scheduling myself to do it then.  Just because I write it down, doesn't mean it's going to MAKE me do it. 

I want my planner to help me.  Guide me.  Let me see where I'm going wrong - and figuring out ways to fix it.  There's more to making a schedule than just plotting in things at available times.  Yes, I don't have anything going on at 7pm in the evenings - but I know myself well enough that 7pm is my "me" time...the time I'm relaxing...the time I'm destressing from my busy day. 

Maybe it means planning every minute of my day - but where's the fun in that?  I don't want to schedule "watch TV" or "take a shower" - cause in reality, that's just ridiculous.  Over planning can lead to the same setbacks.

So, this weekend is all about planning....taking the time to really evaluate myself.  I have to take into consideration my energetic times, my tired times, how much flexibility I want - or need.  Yes, I will plan what I'm going to eat for each meal - but I'm not going to dictate WHEN I can eat.  I'm going to plan my work-outs...and schedule them for times that I know I can manage.

My plans for the weekend?  Planning.  Oh, and that pesky homework stuff that I have to do....and then I get to take a break and go for my run - that I'm already excited for.

Does weather affect your mood or desire to work-out?
Do you feel like planning is a hassle - and you do better off without it?

Till next time. ;)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Food for Thought

This morning, I woke up with no idea what my post would be about today.  That doesn't happen very often.  Most days, I've got ideas rushing though my head from the moment I hit Publish Post to the next day I sit down at my computer.  This morning?  Blank.

So, I decided to spend a few minutes reading some recent blog posts from my favorite bloggers...and it appears that today's trend is food.  Being that I haven't really thought or talked much about food...I figured I'd follow suit of my inspirations.

Last weekend, I had a MAJOR revelation about some of the foods that I used to eat.  It came about when Peanut and Jelly wanted to go to the Little Debbie store and pick out a sweet treat (or five). 

I wasn't thrilled with the idea.  I've tried my best to keep junk out of my house, but I figured they deserve a little sweet treat every now and then...what can it hurt?

We made the trip to Little Debbie - and what an eye opening experience.  It was natural instinct for me to check each label on every box and individual snack cake....but I was shocked to see Peanut doing the same thing each time she saw something that caught her eye.

As we roamed the aisles, I would pick up a box and my insides would become mangled.  In one Honey Bun lies 480 calories.  480 calories!!!  That's about the amount of calories I eat for dinner!!  They were the worst, but the other cakes were close contenders.  There were cakes that possessed 310 calories, 280 calories, 400 calories.

It was one thing for me to be in total shock - but to see the look on Peanut's face was pretty nice.  I would see her pick up a box, turn it over, display a face of horror, and then place the box back on the shelf. 

In the end, the girls did pick up a few boxes of cakes.  I had a discussion with Peanut about eating things in moderation...and if she had a snack cake here and there it wasn't going to be the end of the world.  She still opted for the lesser evils in the store, and picked out a box or two of cakes that stayed between 180 and 250 calories.

I roamed around the aisles looking for something a little healthier.  I saw a box of 100 calorie Nutty Butters (my favorites) and so I grabbed them.  I also picked up two boxes of muffins that claimed to be whole grain - and only 200 calories a muffin.  I thought that a 200 calorie muffin for breakfast wouldn't be the end of the world for me either.

So, long story not really very short:  the girls picked up a couple of boxes, I picked up a few things, and off we went.

After getting home and opening my "whole grain" muffins to find something that resembled a small bite of a muffin - I was pretty upset.  There was no WAY I was wasting 200 calories on a muffin that I could fit in my mouth with one bite.

A week has gone by since the sweet shopping.  The boxes are still sitting on the counter.  Jelly has eaten a few.  Hubby has snacked on one or two here and there.  Peanut and I?  We've been a little more reserved.  Peanut has eaten one or two....but no where near what I'd expected.  I have eaten two Fig Bars (160 calories per bar) and two 100 calorie Nutty Butters.  The muffins have not been touched.

What's the point of this post?  Well, for one, to shed some light on how bad those little sweets are.  The main point is, though, that despite my not counting calories - I found that I'm really more aware of what I put into my body before it goes in.  I don't eat anything without checking the label.  I don't just look at the calories - I look at the ingredients. 

I may not be writing down my calories, counting them, keeping them on a set amount...but I'm consciously aware of a calorie number that I WON'T eat. 

The fact that my habits seem to be rubbing off on my daughter is another thing.  You have no idea how happy I was to see my daughter follow in my footsteps... checking the label, deciding that it's not worth eating something just because it satisfies her sweet tooth (that she inherited from me).  Knowing that she'd much rather eat a 100 calorie Yoplait Lite Boston Creme Pie yogurt than a Boston Creme Pie snack cake that holds three times the calorie amount....and TASTES BETTER in her opinion.

No, I don't want my 10 year old obsessing over her self image or thinking she needs to lose weight - which she doesn't and she isn't.  She has told me that she really likes the healthy eating.  She's becoming more conscience of the mistakes I made that got me hitting the scales at a whopping 300lbs - and doesn't ever want to be like that.  She's making her own decisions to turn away the junk and enjoy the good.  It's not about losing weight for her - it's about staying she doesn't have to go through the torment and heartache I struggled with for 10 years.

I am happy.  For the first time in...well...ever...I feel like I am finally becoming a healthy role model for my children.  My decision to put down the junk food and put in the healthy is rubbing off on her.  She's even started picking out new recipes for Hubby and I to cook.  She loves looking through the healthy cookbooks each week.  She's just as excited as I am for the delivery of our new Taste of Home Comfort Food - Diet cookbook to come in the mail.

Just some food for thought.

Have you noticed a situation where your food decisions have rubbed off on someone?
How do your family react to your healthy living lifestyle?

Till next time.  ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Need to Pull Back the Reigns

This week has been a pretty busy week.  I'm teaching The Unit.  The curriculum unit that took me FOREVER to write has finally made it's way to the classroom.  Despite the horrible time I had writing it - the time seems to be paying off, and the kids are enjoying it.

I know what you're thinking.  Uh oh, she's talking about how busy her week has come the excuses.

Well, knock that thought out of your head...I'm going in the opposite direction here.

Despite how busy I've been - I've been doing a pretty good job keeping to my schedule.  I've been drinking my water every day.  I've been running both scheduled days.  I haven't done my Yoga every day (still working on making myself get out of bed) - and I purposely missed Zumba on Tuesday.

Even though I had a list of mini-goals I planned for this week, I feel as CEO of my life - I have the power to change the goals mid-week.  I'd much rather pull back if I know I'm in too deep than to wait until the end of the week and bring out the excuse book.

One thing I changed, this week only for right now, is to not do Zumba Tuesday night.  After running on Monday and Yoga Tuesday morning - and being up since 2am - I decided early in the day that I was taking the evening off. 

Another change I'm making: I'm not doing the C25K session twice each planned day.  The past two weeks were pretty easy for me.  I was able to run and still had plenty of energy at the end of the first session to repeat it. This week, I've upped my time running (now running 3 minutes and walking 2 minutes).  I'm struggling, just a little.  I'm pushing myself to run the full 3 minutes - and by the time I'm done with the 5 routines of running/ walking - I feel like I've had a good work-out. 

The only reason I was planning on pushing myself to do the training twice was because I didn't feel like I was really working out that hard.  After my first two sessions - I know that the program is now getting a little more difficult to keep up with (which is a good thing) and that one time through is enough....except for Sunday. 

I want to get in at least one LONG run each week.  I've been reading everywhere that it's good to do a few shorter distance runs through the week, and to do one long run - to help build stamina and pace.  Well, being that I usually have my best pace and stamina on Sundays...I've decided that will be the day I do the long run.  I will repeat the C25K program twice on Sundays.

I have to say that last night I was very proud of myself.  After work and a staff meeting, I did NOT feel like running.  On top of just not feeling like it, I wasn't feeling that great either.  I had a stomach ache...not sure why...but it sure didnt feel good.  I decided to suck it up and get out there.  My heart wasn't really in it (as you can see from the 18 minute pace time on my running log) but I made myself do it, regardless. This is a big victory for I had to share.  I'm realizing that even when I just don't feel like it - I need to at least try.

Last night, I bought a new planner that's just for my goals.  I will use it to schedule my work-outs, my food, everything related to my weight loss journey.  I have an app on my iPhone that I've been using...but for some reason, I do so much better with written plans.  It means more to me when I take the time to write everything out on a calendar...and I really LOVE seeing the plans in black and white (or blue, or red, or whatever fancy colored pen I use). 

The planner I use for work and school is my backbone.  I put everything in there - meetings, lesson plans, home work assignments.  I consult with it many times each day - and I stick to whatever is written in there.  I highlight the important stuff, I make myself motivational sticky notes to post on the pages, and I feel like my planner is my friend - to help keep my life organized.

I thought I was ready to move to an electronic version - but I just don't have the same relationship with my electronic planner.  The electronic calendar is too pretty, too easy to delete things, just no connection...and even though it's great for alert's just as great to be able to push DELETE and go on with whatever I'm doing.

So, I'm pulling back on a couple of things this week.  I feel good knowing that I can, and that I won't have to bring out that dreaded excuse book because I put too much on my plate. 

What do you find to be the best way to keep to your plans/ goals?
Do to-do lists, written planners, calendars, etc. help you?

Till next time.  ;)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Weigh to Go Wednesday

Power of One Challenge

It's that time of week again.  The time I jump on the scale and look at my progress for the week - in numbers.  Not to ruin the suspense, but I knew I wasn't going to have a great week this week.  It was one of the reasons I didn't weigh-in for my Biggest Loser competition - that and the fact that yesterday morning I ate breakfast and drank some coffee before going to work.  It's not mandatory for me to weigh-in each week for that challenge...but it is for the Power of One Challenge...despite knowing I'm not going to see a great number.

So, without further's the results for this week:

Starting weight:      227lbs
Weight last week:  219.8lbs
Current weight:      220.2lbs (+0.4)
Percentage of total weight loss:  3%

Yep, I gained.  I had a horrible feeling I would.  After being stuck in the house for four days because of snow - and not doing anything but some cleaning - I just knew that I would regret it when I stepped on the scale this week.

This is my first gain since the challenge started.  My first, and hopefully the last.  I never like seeing a gain on the scale - and when I do, it really makes me look at where I went wrong and figure out ways to fix it so it won't happen again.

I shouldn't really feel too bad - because when I stepped on the scale Sunday morning, I saw 222lbs!!  That scared the heck out of me.  It looks as though my Zumba, running, and Yoga pulled through in time for me to drop 2lbs since Sunday.  It was a clear cut sign at what can happen when I don't work out, and what happens when I do.

Another plus I take from this:  my honesty.  This time last year, as horrible as it is for me to admit it, I would not have indulged my gain.  Instead, I would have just recorded the same weight from last week...just because I wouldn't or couldn't handle being honest with myself.  I wasn't involved with a challenge, then, would have gained nothing from lying....yet, that early in my journey....I just couldn't bring myself to admit a gain.

I am not proud of the woman that started this journey a year ago.  I know she was dedicated and motivated - but also a little delusional.  In her mind, fudging the numbers each week gave her power, maybe gave her something to hope for.  Maybe she thought by adding a pound or two or five to the actual amount she lost each week gave her a positive outlook on her weight loss efforts.  What ever the reason - she's gone now, has been for a long time... and I feel so much better for it.

One thing I've gained since going through the ups and downs of the scale is that the scale is just a number.  Just yesterday, I commented on a blog about the power the scale can have - if it's given it.  I used to rely every ounce (no pun intended) of my progress on what that scale told me each week.  If I lost, it's because I worked hard.  If I gained it was because I didn't.  Then I would work harder, and still see little to no real progress...and then I would get frustrated and try even harder and see no real I would give in for a while and then see a DROP....Lordy, that can really set me in to crazy mode.

So after that rollercoaster of emotions, I learned a valuable lesson.  The scale is a great guide to monitor progress - but it's not the only way.  If my clothes are fitting a little looser, if I'm able to run a little further, if I'm able to do one more push-up....then I've made progress.  If I can walk in to a restaurant and order a healthy option, if I check the back of a snack cake and throw it down in disgust over the amount of calories a small sweet holds....then I've made progress.  Did you know that there's 480 calories in a Honey Bun?? That's ridiculous!!

The point in all of this is to not discount the fact that I gained a little this week.  It's how I process the news.  No, I don't like a gain - but I know why I got it.  I know why, which means only I can make sure that I don't make the same mistakes again.  I also know that I'm progressing in other areas.... I can now run for 3 minutes straight at more than just a bounce, I can do all of the Sun Salutations with full Chatarunga ( a real push up), I can turn away from sweet temptations - and not only turn away, but feel disgusted that I would even put them into my body such a short time ago.  I am making progress!!

So, my friends:

How much weight (pun intended) does the scale have on your feelings of success?
What are other ways that you monitor success?
Share with me something you couldn't do when you first started your journey - but can now do now, or do better?

Till next time.  ;)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

There's a New CEO in Town...ME!

Before I get to today's post, I have to share my funny story with you all.  As I'm writing this, it's 3:25AM on Tuesday.  Why am I writing at such an ungodly hour?  Well, because I feel asleep on the couch last night - I'm guessing somewhere between 6 and 7PM.  Hubby, being the wonderful, caring man he is decided to just leave me there when he went to work at 10PM.  I wake up from my blissful slumber to a completely silent house.  My first reaction?  PANIC!!  I'm asleep on the couch which means I didn't go to bed which means I didn't set my alarm which means I COULD BE LATE!!

I jump off the couch - completely forgetting to look at the clock on the wall - and run to the bathroom.  I come out of the bathroom and make a mad dash for the bedroom to get dressed.  During my sprint, I glance up at the clock on the see 2:05AM.  UGH!! 

I'm one of those people that once I'm up - I'm up.  There's no going back to bed for me.  I have to also take into consideration that if I did fall asleep closer to 6PM - I had 8 hours of sleep....almost 2 hours more than I usually another reason there's no way I can go back to sleep.  So, my day starts today at 2:05AM... guess there will be no excuse not to do my Yoga this morning... HA!

OK - now time for my post. 

The Monday Project

Today, I have been given a promotion.  No more am I manager of the household, supervisor of children, cook, maid, nurse or counselor.  Nope, today I have now claimed the title of CEO.... of my life.

It's all part of this week's project from The Sisterhood.

To follow up with the goal writing we've all been doing the past couple of weeks, the fantastic minds behind The Sisterhood created a new challenge for us.... to become CEO of our lives.

We've made our goals, we've mapped out plans on how we're going to get there.  All that's left to do is find a way to stick with the plans in order to reach the goals.  That's where the CEO part comes in.

Being CEO means making appointments and sticking to them.  Not just sticking to them - but not allowing anything to get in the way.  As stated in our project: "No one cancels with a CEO of anything, so you won't cancel on yourself".

CEOs run major corporations.  They oversee a lot of workers, work with business plans, work from home, travel....hmm, sounds familiar.  They're top priority is their calendar.  If it's on their calendar - they do it!

As a former V.P. assistant at the biggest retailer in the world (rhymes with Mall Smart), I know how important a calendar is to an executive.  The majority of my job consisted of overseeing that calendar - making sure the V.P. didn't miss a thing...that she made it to ALL of her appointments...scheduled everything. 

Now that I'm CEO - of my life - I have to do the same thing.

First thing - get all my work-outs in my calendar.  I have to make appointments for these things - and stick to them.  There's no canceling allowed! 

Time management skills are crucial to CEOs.  They have to make time to see everyone, but also run a business....the same thing is true for me.  I have to take care of my kids, work, go to school, fit in homework, cooking and cleaning.  My work-outs are my important appointments...and I need to make it to all of them.

Now, I know at the end of the year, my bank account won't be sporting the CEO fat check - but the fat on my behind I will gladly cash in.  Instead of collecting the dough - I'll be giving it away.  Much better, in my opinion.  The only way I can make my goals a reality is to work my butt off....literally...and nothing can stand in the way of that. Enough fat jokes? OK

Luckily, I kind of got in to this mentality when I first wrote my goals down a few weeks ago.  On Mondays, I've started posting my goal progress.  I was doing almost everything right.  I was writing out my mini-goals, laying the foundation to get to my major goals....but the not sticking to it part was still getting in the way.

If Mike Duke (CEO of Mall Smart) walked into his office every morning and said "I don't feel like meeting with the person that could really benefit this company, today - cancel" to his assistant, I doubt Mall Smart would last very long.  If he told his executives that the business plans he proposed - that would help the company reach all of their profit goals - weren't really that important, and that it was OK for them to not really follow them...well, then I doubt he'd be running the company for more than a day longer. 

This project has told me that it's time to TAKE CHARGE!  I am now in control of the business that is my life - only I can determine if I succeed or falter....and I'll only have myself to blame if it's the latter.  Goals and plans can be changed, sure.  If I don't make all of my projections...I better be able to say that I tried my best, gave it all I can to make it work.  Then, and only then, can I redraft, regroup, and try again.

So, that's my plan for the future.  I'm in charge now - and there's some changes afoot!

What are you doing to take charge and control of your weight loss efforts?
How do you overcome the obstacles that often stand in your way when it's time to devote sometime to working out?
How do you overcome those obstacles?

Till next time.  ;)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mini Goal Monday

It's Monday.  Thanks to a snow storm, I was given a refreshing four day weekend...but I may have relaxed a little too much.

I am able to check off two and a half of the five things off of last week's mini goal list.  I planned my meals, I ate three times a day with a snack, and I ran two of the four scheduled runs.  I didn't drink as much water as I should have, nor did I do my Yoga - AT ALL...ugh!

It would be easy for me to just say my famous "I'll try better this week" but I'm tired of repeating that.  I mean, I AM going to do better this week.  I just have to start getting rid of the whole "try my best" attitude.  Am I really trying as hard as I can if the goals I don't get to check off are drinking more water or getting my Yoga in?  Those aren't exactly hard things to conquer.

The battle I faced with myself yesterday did have some positive after effects.  After writing my second post, yesterday, I felt better.  Not only did I feel better, but after the comments that were left, I started to really think about how I felt and what I planned on doing to change things.  Yes, I struggle with control issues - but I think I'm also struggling with having control of the things that are important.  If I focused the effort I spend worrying about things I have no control over, and put it towards the things I do....exercising, drinking more water, doing the things I say I'm going to do...then I might find I'm able to check off each and every goal each week.

So, after my reflection time yesterday, I had the urge to work-out.  I decided, finally, that it was time to break out the Zumba and give it a try.  I was so glad I did last night - not so much this morning. 

Holy crap balls that workout was hard!  I did the 20 minute beginner routine, and by the time it was over I was sweating more than I do when I go for my 3 mile runs!!  My body moved in ways that I just don't think it should.  I am just thankful I decided to do it in the comfort of my home - instead of in a packed gym!

This morning, my back is KILLING me!!  I don't think it's in a bad way.  I just moved my hips and back a lot more than they're used to.  I also know that my "form" probably wasn't what it should be.  I just tried my best to stay with the woman on my screen - and gave no time to making sure my body was aligned and straight.

It was hard.  I was exhausted.  BUT it was so much fun.  Peanut and I both did our best...and we both laughed our butts off.  We were obvious beginners...but I think with a little practice, we'll be pulling off some killer dance moves in no time.  I set up my work-out routine after I was finished with my first session - and I LOVE the fact that I can customize it to my liking.

Doing a Yoga session this morning would have probably helped with my now stiff back, but stupid me forgot to fix my alarm clock before going to bed last I didn't wake up until 5am.  Maybe the pain I endure today will be a nice reminder that I better get my butt up tomorrow!  For all actions there are consequences.. I'm learning that the hard way.

OK, so now it's time to share this week's goals.  Again, I'm staying pretty routine - and making sure that they are all "do-able".  Here goes:
  • Do 3 mile C25K training Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday
  • Do Yoga at least 4 times
  • Do 20 minute Zumba workout Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
  • Plan my meals (already done!)
  • Take my lunch to work EVERY day
  • Drink 60ozs of water each day
 Yes, I know, I've really packed in the work-outs.  I'm not going to go too hard on myself next week if I miss a work-out this week...but I really believe that it's all doable.  I mean, the 20 minutes of Zumba on the nights that I'm not running shouldn't be too bad...but if I really get too sore, then I'll cut that back a bit.  This week, if I make myself get up to do my Yoga, it should help with the stiffness and soreness.  If I feel like I'm in pain Wednesday - after a night of running and a follow up with Zumba the next night - then I will take the night off on Thursday.

OK - that's it for this week's mini goals.  I'm excited to see what my weekly project is for The Power of One Challenge.  I didn't have one last week, because they offered everyone another week to work on goals.  I guess I needed the extra week, to really put all of my goals in to perspective.  This is going to be a strong week for me...I can already feel it!!

What are some of your mini-goals this week?
For any Yogis - do you find that Yoga helps with mending soreness?

Till next time.  ;)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Control Freak - Part II

So, I've almost deleted my last post about 50 times.  I get ready to click the delete button...and then I take a second.  I realize, if I delete it - I let my inner control freak win.  I just can't do that.  It's bugging me, though, big time.  I don't like reading it - yet I can't stop.  None of it explains what I really feel, what I really deal's just bugging the crap out of me.

I got out of the house for a while - and the whole time, I was consumed with thinking about that post.  I have never struggled so much with explaining how I feel - or what I mean.  My writing has always helped me get through anything.  I've never had problems finding words to express my emotions or my moods...but trying to explain my "control issue" was HARD.

When I got home, I made myself a cup of coffee - OK, Peanut made me a cup of coffee - and then I sat down in front of the read it one more time (or three).  As I was reading the words, and feeling the anger and frustration escalate, my inner voice finally decided to chime in.

Inner Me:  The feelings you're having now are the feelings you found so hard to explain.  Rather than dwelling on it, either delete it or take the opportunity to explain...again
Me:  Yeah, but I tried to explain - and look where it got me.  I'm angry, frustrated...over something so stupid as the words I used in a blog post
Inner Me:  You will only remain angry if you keep allowing yourself to feel that way.  You said you wanted to get better about this...why not start now?
Me:  But how?  How do I make myself feel better?  Deleting it won't really help - because then that will bug me...because I let it win.
Inner Me:  Then click on the button that says "New Post" and freakin' start over!
Me:  OK, but what if I don't like what I say in that post?
Inner Me:  Then you continue to let it bug you - and face the fact that you are weak...and you're going to let your control take over....if you truly want to be in control - find a better way to do it!
Me:  OK, geez... I'll try it
Inner Me:  Thank goodness...and then will you please do me a favor and GET OVER IT ALREADY!!

So, maybe this post will better explain what I feel.  Something as simple as not finding the right words for a blog post is a major catastrophe for me.  Maybe you all understand, maybe you don't.  What I have to realize is the fact that I'm the only one that has to deal with this.

It's not really about trying to show others what I deal with - it's about realizing how bad it is to me.  I'm the only person that can fix it. 

That is what today is supposed to be about....finding my flaws, embracing them, and then working on fixing them.  I have a huge victory by not allowing myself to delete my last post.  Yes, it bothers me...but I just have to suck it up.  Knowing that I can just suck it up, not obsess over it, and move on...that's what these posts are supposed to be about.

So, that's it.  I'm not reading that post anymore.  I did the best I could - and that's all that matters.

Just because that post doesn't say what I want it to, doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it.  Just because I feel like it needs to be redone, or changed, or deleted completely just shows the perfectionist and control freak trying to take over....and I WON'T LET IT.

I am strong.  I am powerful.  Sometimes that's a blessing, sometimes a curse.  At the end of the day, I just have to learn how to balance....breath....relax....and all is good in my world.

Till next time.  ;)

Soulful Sunday

I apologize in advance for the following ramble.  Do not hold this post accountable for my future posts...not one of my bests.  What started out as a post to explain, ended up being the complete opposite.  I cannot be held responsible for any confusion or frustration you may receive from reading this.

It's that time of week, again, where I move out of the realm of weight loss and exercise and just talk about me.  I know, I talk about me every day - but I mean the inner me...not the weight or the fat...the me within.  I know that these posts will be super long...but my long drones is really for my benefit.  To see my flaws in black and white, to me, is one of the most therapeutic things for me to do.

I decided a couple of weeks ago to devote Sundays as my own personal day of worship....PLEASE don't take that to be offensive.  I in no way, shape or form believe that I am in the same category as God or Jesus - I just feel like Sundays are a good day to reflect on myself...the wrong I've done to myself and the wrong I feel about myself.  I reflect - and then try to repair.

Today, I've decided I want to discuss one of my personality traits.  It's something I'm working on, have been working on.  It's something I dislike about myself - and I want it gone!

Anyone that knows me in real life would probably use the word "perfectionist" to describe me.  There are many other words...I'm sure...but I've heard people describe me using that word.  Those people, they know me.

Many people are perfectionists...they like things done a certain way and won't stop until it is.  My issue is similar to that...but extends a little further.  I am a perfectionist to a fault - and I am a control freak....there, I said it.  Perfectionist isn't really the best word, control freak is much more appropriate.

Nobody really likes to fail or have setbacks.  Most people, however, will just pick themselves back up and try something different.  I just can't do that.  If things aren't going the way I want - I panic.  I obsessively look for the point where I went wrong - and try to fix it.  I obsess over the loss of control

I have to be in control - and if I'm not...fear sets in.  The crippling, sweaty palms, uncontrollable tears, anger, frustration...think Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. 

I can deal with plans changing or spontaneous events.  I don't have a schedule or routine that has to be kept.  It mostly affects me when I really have no control of a situation.

A good example comes to mind...not being able to reach Hubby on the cell.  Sounds stupid, right?  I mean, I can't control him answering his phone... but when he doesn't answer, my blood begins to boil, my heart begins racing, the curse words and irrational anger sets in.  He's learned not to call me back for at least 15 minutes after the missed call - he doesn't want to feel my wrath.

Same thing happens when I don't get a response email.  I don't know how many times I've been waiting for an email response for a day or two- and literally had to shut down my computer and hide my phone because I get to the point where I will send another email....and it WON'T be pretty.

It's not just situations like this.  Those aren't the best examples.  It makes me sound like I get crazy because I'm not in control of others - and that's not really the case.  I don't like the "unknown". Wow, it's so much harder to explain than I thought it would be.  I need to be on top of my plans - at all times.  By not being able to reach someone or receiving a response keeps me in the "unknown" - and I don't like that one bit.  I need certainty...I need to know that things are going my way, or at least given time to change my way. 

Another example:  The weather.  You have no idea how much I check the weather forecast in a day.  I have to know if there's going to be snow or rain or a heat wave...because it may affect my plans somehow.  I need to have the time to alter and adjust.  If I'm planning on running, and there's a chance a snow storm is on it's way - I have to know so that I can prepare.  If I'm planning a cook-out and there's rain in the forecast, I need time to figure out how to make it work.  If that rain cloud comes along while I'm out cooking - you better believe all Hell will break lose.  That make more sense?  Probably not - but geez this is hard.

Not having control makes me irrational, crazy, full of anger....I bet you was wondering where the "Mad, Fat Woman" would come to light, huh?

I'm working on it.  I've found that the meditation has helped.  I've also found that getting more organized has helped.  I've always been a some-what organized person...but now I'm moving away from irrational control freak to organized control freak.  I feel more in control when I have lists: to-do lists, back up plans, a budget, meal plans..... they all help.  I try to plan for the unexpected. 

I'm beginning to realize that there are many things that I just can't control.  Not that it makes it any easier - but I've at least began to accept that I have to take a second to breath before panic sets in.  I've found that many of my issues can be easy fixes - if I take just a second to think about it.  It's a work in progress.

OK - I've frustrated myself even more trying to explain all of this...I don't have control over what I want to say, and what's spewing out I think it's best that I stop now.

Do you have any issues with control?
What is one of the funniest examples you can share about a situation you had no control over?
What's one of your personality traits that you'd like to see gone?

Till next time. ;)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sharing My Sandwich

For those of you that have children, you've probably heard that your children will be exactly like you - and that your kids will do all of those things you did as a child as a form of payback to what your own mothers had to put up with.

My goodness, that statement is so true!

I don't know how many times I've complained and whined to my own mother about some of the things my kids get up to and all I get is "you did the same thing when you was that age". 

Most of the time, we see the similarities during rough times....but what about the good?  When do I get to share the good things I did as a child and then have my own children repeat those events?  Urm, how about TODAY?

Yesterday, I told you that I had a productive day planned - full of cleaning and clearing and sorting and arranging and using my house as a major piece of work-out equipment.  Well, all of that happened....yet I wasn't the one to do it all. DOH!

Before I started yesterday morning, I shared my plans with Peanut.  Now, Peanut, she's my mini-me.  She looks like me, she acts like me.  She believes herself to be "back-up" mom.  It's her job (in her mind) to run the roost whenever my back is turned.  She's bossy.  She's independant.  She's sassy.  She's sarcastic.  When I look at her, I see myself.

Most of the time, it can get on my nerves - because I'm constantly putting out fires between her and Butter.  He doesn't want to be bossed around by his sister - who is only 11 months older than he is.  He doesn't want her calling the shots, telling him what he needs to do and how to do it....and it all makes him mad and leads to arguments and fights.  It's when I'm putting out the fires that my mom chimes in with the "that was you when you was her age". 

Yeah, I was the oldest of 6 kids.  My parents were gone a lot for work and it was my responsibility to take care of my younger siblings.  I was bossy, I get that.  I can now see why I was always fighting with my brother who is only 14 months younger than me.... I still think he needed to be bossed around - that boy was and still is trouble!

I digress.  So, Peanut shares my "in charge" attitude - but yesterday, she brought out the side of myself that I haven't seen in a long time.  After sharing my plans to clean the house, she took it upon herself to start cleaning.  I didn't ask her to.  I didn't tell her to.  She just started cleaning. 

While I was in my room cleaning, she was in the kitchen scrubbing counters and the microwave.  She cleaned the floors, did all the dishes, rearranged the junk that had piled up in the dining room. 

While I was writing my blog post and folding laundry, she was in the living room cleaning away Jelly's toys that were all over the place.  She was dusting.  She was vacuuming.  SHE WAS CLEARING OUT MY GYM AREA!!! 

I couldn't believe my eyes when I stepped into the living room.  It was as if someone had wound her up and let her go flying around the house with a cleaning rag in her hand.

I explain all of this as though it's the first time Peanut did something like this.  It's not.  Peanut takes it upon herself each and every day to help out around the house.  She gets up early with Jelly on the weekends - without being asked.  She cleans the dishes in the evening - without being asked.  She often baths Jelly in the evenings - you guessed it, without being asked.

At first, I didn't know if it was right to do a feature post about Peanut.  I have three children, and I don't want to single one out above the other.  The truth is, though, my Peanut deserves it.  My household is no bed of roses.  We have had some major issues with Butter - and she has been the target to a lot of his "issues".  She is NOT the cause.   Yeah, she can be bossy, but that is not the root of the actions that spill from Butter.  No matter how much she tries to be nice to him - he pushes her away. 

Butter, unfortunately for me, is his bio-dad's Mini-Him.  All of the lying, stealing, anger, violence....all repeats of his bio-dad's younger years.  I just get to be the one that is punished while he enjoys his life far away somewhere.  No, it's not fair, but Butter is MY son - and I will deal with any issues that come my way.  I can only hope that I can help before Butter turns in to the good for nothing piece of crap his father is....I won't stop trying EVER.

OK - didn't mean to go off on that rant. 

The point is, looking at my daughter reassures me.  There have been many times I've doubted my parenting skills.  There are times that I've cried myself to sleep from guilt that I don't spend enough time with my kids, or that I'm not doing everything I can for them.  I worry that I'm not being the best role model or caregiver or supporter.  Then, I look at my Peanut.  Yes, there are times when I'm gone too much or I'm too busy or I'm too focused on school work, but at the end of the day I know that what I'm doing will help us all in the long run.  I know that no matter what I do or how I do it, my kids will make their own decisions and mistakes - and I just have to be there for them. 

Knowing that my daughter is growing up like me?  Well, that's not too bad.  Despite the mistakes and decisions I made in life - I think I turned out OK.  I hope that she decides to take different roads than I took - but no matter what roads she travels....she's going to be just fine because I will be there - always - just like my mom has done for me.  Then, one day, when she has kids of her own I can say those wonderful words: "you were just like that when you was that age".

Thanks for listening, today...

Till next time.  ;)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Getting Creative and Productive

Thanks to my dear friend, Mother Nature, I have yet another snow day.  If that sounds sarcastic- it's not meant to be...I am happy...VERY HAPPY!!

Like I rambled explained yesterday, snow days are a great opportunity for me to get caught up on, homework, writing...things that I can never really find time to do when life is flowing at a usual pace.

I find, however, that my urge to sit on the couch and do nothing on a snow day is still in me.  Yesterday, I did indeed get some homework done and I spent some time working on my book.  Then I made my way to the couch to watch a movie - and that was it....except to get up to cook dinner...I remained lazy for the rest of the day.  That means, no, I did not try out my Zumba game.

In my defense, Hubby did a great job of taking over the PS3 most of the day playing with his "friends".  It kept him out of my hair, but it stopped me from doing the one thing that was on the top of my to-do list for yesterday.  I spent the majority of the day sitting right here at my computer - minus the movie and dinner.

This morning, when I got up, I made a deal with myself that I was going to make today a productive day.  No, I can't go out for my scheduled run - because I will NOT run in snow - but that doesn't mean I can't find ways to move. 

Productive can be defined many ways.  Yesterday was productive - I got the planned computer work done - but today's productive has a different meaning.  To accomplish a productive day today, I have to clean my house, burn some calories, and not spend the day on my comfortable rear end.

Cleaning is a great way to move and burn some extra calories.  Deep cleaning has even more benefits.  By deep cleaning, I mean clearing out junk that has piled up (weight work), scrubbing floors (cardio), vacuuming ALL rooms - not just the living room (cardio), and cleaning my room...that seems to have become that storage room for anything we don't have room to store in the rest of the house (weight work and cardio).  I had thought about steam cleaning the carpets - but that's kind of pointless when snow is getting tracked in to the house.  Also, it's time to clean off the work-out equipment that is stored in the back half of my living room.

Last year, MY office was MY room.  It was MY work space and MY work-out space.  I had my home gym, treadmill, and weights in here with me...and they were used.  Then Hubby decided he wanted to share MY office with me - so the work-out equipment had to go.  We have an over sized living room, so we decided to use the back half (previously his office) as the home gym.  That was a great idea.  I could see the TV while working out...that's a plus, right?  The work-out equipment made it to that part of the room....but so did a bunch of other stuff that pushed my gym equipment into a corner....where I couldn't use it.

That has been where the hundreds of dollars of equipment has sat since last October...collecting dust and doubling as a clothing rack and toy storage.  I'm tired of it.  On days like today, I should be able to do my run on the treadmill, or maybe do some weight work....can't do that if I can't use the equipment.  So, by the end of the day - come Hell or high water - I WILL have my gym cleared out so that it can be used.

So, that's my plan for today.... time to get my rear out of the chair and keep moving (I've been going at it for a while now, this was a little break).  I don't want to lose my momentum.

What are you guys up to today???

Till next time.  ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Snow Day

The picture is the view out of my window right before I started writing my post.  I know it's not a great picture - but you can see the snow... you can't see how hard it's still coming down.  About 3" have fallen, and the predicted "heavy" snowfall hasn't even started yet.  That means one thing for me:  SNOW DAY!!!

Today was supposed to be my first college class of my last semester..woo hoo!!  From now until graduation, I will have half a day off on Thursdays and go to school in the afternoon.  That's a nice little break to have mid-week.

So, I'm snowed in. 

A snow day for "old me" would usually mean a pile of snacks, a warm blanket, and the TV remote in my hand. 

A snow day for "new me" means a large glass of water, a warm blanket, and my laptop in my hand....for part of the day.  It also means hooking up my PS3 and working my buns off to some Zumba!!

Pre-college days, a snow day was a gift.  It was Mother Nature's way of saying "you need a day off to relax, catch up on some sleep...enjoy yourself". 

As a college student - the day is still a gift, but it means "you need a day to catch up on work, write out your lesson plans, and make sure you're ready for the coming week."

Teachers dislike snow days with A VENGEANCE.  Snow days for a teacher means having to reorganize everything - decide how to fit the missed stuff into the already jam packed days that follow.  It means having to make the time up at the end of the school year, when the kids have zoned out and prepared themselves for summer fun.  It means fewer days in the summer to have just a little time off, but for the most part prepare for the next school year. 

I, however, am not into that snow day hatred phase yet.  First and foremost, I'm a college student.  I graduate May 14th, regardless of the amount of snow days.  Yes, I still have to reorganize all my plans - but I also get an extra day to unload some of the ever-rising mountain of work that I keep telling myself I need to get to...and then worry about how.  I have a day to prepare for the beginning of my senior project that begins Monday (weather permitting).  I have a day to go over the lesson plans, decide how I'm going to teach the unit that took me so long to create, I have a day to breath - and focus.

So, for the next couple of hours, I'm going to sit in my cozy warm office and review and plan and edit and plan and prepare and plan.

Then, I decided I'm going to take the kids out in the snow.  Jelly has been begging me to go out and build a snowman - and I just can't resist those beautiful baby blues.  This is her first real snow that she can enjoy - how can I deprive her of that? 

Later this afternoon, I think I might take some time to work on my book.  I've been itching to look at it - write - do something that isn't school related....I think that's a perfect start.

Finally - my day will end with some ZUMBA!  I know that Peanut is dying to try it out with me.  We may have to do it this afternoon after the snow to warm up....I'm set schedule for me today.

How do you enjoy snow days?
How do you deal with the comfort food temptations that a snow day brings?
What's your favorite snow day exercise?

I want to quickly add:
Thank you SOOO much for all the kind words of support, yesterday.  I've never had so many comments in one day - it actually made me tear up reading some of your responses and well-wishes. 

Have a great day everyone - I know I will...

Till next time. ;)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Weigh to Go Wednesday

Power of One Challenge

Yesterday, I posted my weigh in results for my Biggest Loser competition.  At school, with my clothes on, after a cup of coffee and a breakfast bar, I weighed in at 221lbs.

Last week, I said that I'd probably use that number for both Biggest Loser and the Power of One Challenge... but after seeing the result on MY scale this morning....urm, no...not gonna happen.

Yes, it will be a pain in the you know where to keep track of two weigh-ins each week... not really, but you know...but I started out using my scale for this challenge, so I'm going to continue.  You'll see why in a second.

Aunt Flo is in town this week.  My track record has always been to have a 2lb gain when she's here.  I've seen that same gain each and every month since January of last year...even when I was on my "break".  I've learned to accept it, not freak out about it, and know that it will be gone next week.  That is, as long as I don't give in to any temptation of salty stuff - which seems to be my craving of choice when she's here - and continue with my running - despite feeling bloated and yucky.

So, want to see the results?? DO YA??  Okie dokie then...

Starting weight:  227lbs
Weight last week:  221.4lbs
Weight this week:  219.8lbs

That's a loss of 1.6lbs!!
My total weight loss so far is 7.2lbs in 3 weeks.
A total percentage of weight loss of 3.17%

I'm stoked...over the moon...ecstatic.

That's a slow and steady loss...not even considering my Aunt Flo weight that could be altering the number.  PLUS it means I'm beating my 2lb a week weight loss goal!!!

It doesn't matter to me AT ALL that I'm not in the leader board for the challenge...because I'm accomplishing my goals.  As long as I'm seeing the slightest of loss each week - I'm a happy camper.

I feel really good about what I've been up to since last Wednesday.  I altered my running plan on Monday, and decided that I would shoot for 3 miles for each of my runs this week.  On Monday, I did 3.1 miles in a little over 50 minutes. 

I'm not concerned about pace at all right now.  I'm doing a jog/ walk mix, so I can't expect to be seeing fast times...but I'm going the distance.  After the session, I felt like I really pushed myself, got in a great work-out, and that's what really matters.  I also felt that shooting for 3 miles isn't over-doing it.  I didn't feel horribly sore I'm ready to tackle that distance again today.

I got my hands on the Zumba game for PS3 - and I plan to start that tomorrow.  I will do that on Thursdays and, technically, Tuesdays will be my only "rest day".  A lot of people will probably tell me that one day a week isn't enough rest....well, I figure it doesn't hurt anything to get some movement in almost every day.  I guess I will just have to see how I do.

I'm drinking plenty of water, I'm eating right....I'm finally finding my groove.

Can you tell a difference in my attitude?  It really occurred to me last night, while reading back over some blog posts from my "break" that I did a lot of whining and complaining and moaning and groaning.  I started the year out like that too - when I wasn't yet motivated, or I was having difficulty getting started.

I feel totally different now.  I'm happy.  I'm proud of myself.  I feel motivated.  I LOVE seeing my hard work pay off.  I'm back to filling my posts each day with my accomplishments, my weight loss/ healthy lifestyle journey.

As much as I hated back tracking after taking some time off - I still feel like it was the best thing I could have done.  It taught me a valuable lesson - and now I have the words to prove it.  Not only do I see a physical difference when I'm working towards my weight loss goals... I feel it.  I'm happier, less stressed, more energetic.  I really feel like I need to thank the folks at The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.  Their challenge really got me focused on something - not just competing in a weight loss competition... but finding the moral to the challenge...the POWER of ME!

So, I ask you today...

Do you notice an attitude difference when you're succeeding in your goals?
Do you feel like focusing on your health and weight loss has improved your mentality and stress levels?

Till next time.  ;)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Biggest Loser: Week 2.. Not the Show

I know...I'm not a night blog poster.  I overslept this morning - whoops - and so I had to wait to write my blog post.

It's amazing how out of whack I was all day because I didn't follow my usual routine. 

Not being able to spill my guts on here before heading out for the day is a big deal for throws me off balance, makes me feel like something has been missing all day.  I just can't go to bed without doing a little post.

I would never really consider myself a creature of habit.  My life is so crazy that there's no real set schedule or routine I can put myself in...except for my morning routine. 

I wake up at 4am.  I drink a cup of coffee and write my blog post until 5am.  I then read blogs until 5:30.  Then it's time to get ready for work - and the crazy day begins.

OK, so you should get the picture that I'm out of whack today.

One benefit of posting tonight is the fact that I can report my weigh-in results from my Biggest Loser Challenge.  This morning was my weigh in, and it's week two. 

Last week I said that I would probably use the same weigh-in for this challenge and the Power of One Challenge.  Well, I'm changing my mind...for now.  I'm going to see what my scale says in the morning...and if it's a pretty significant difference from the scale at school (that I weigh in on with my clothes, and a cup of coffee inside of me) then I'm going to keep them separate.  Make sense?  Good!

OK, let's get to it. 

My starting weight was:  225lbs
My weight this week is:  BEEP *random number* Beep *random number* Beep *random number*... 221lbs!!
Total percentage of weight loss:  1.78%

Not too shabby for one week.  Yes, I know that I cheated a little on my first initial was after lunch...but I'll take it.

Tonight, I was going to try out my new Zumba game for the PS3.  Well, I didn't get home until 6pm.  After I had dinner and then worked on my lesson plans - it was 9pm.  I decided I will do it Thursday.

That actually works pretty well for me.  If I run Sundays and Mondays, I can take the day off on Tuesday and do the Zumba on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  That gives me some exercise 6 days a week - and a day off.  I think I deserve that.

OK - I wrote a post... I feel much better.  It may be a lot of rambling, but now I can sleep well and get back to my normal routine in the morning.

Do you have a routine each day?
What happens if your routine gets messed up?
Are you participating in any challenges, either on or off the web? 
If so, do you feel like they help motivate you?

Till next time - well, tomorrow morning.  ;)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Mini-Goals

Last week, I discussed - in great detail - the things I want to accomplish this year.  I created a goal list complete with deadlines and rewards.  I loved doing it - and it has inspired me to start doing a weekly "mini-goal" list.

Each Monday, I'm going to list the things I want to accomplish that week.  I feel like each little step I take will help with build the foundation for achieving the big goals.  I will also update how I did the week before... so that I'm holding myself accountable for completing my goals.

This week, my to-do list consists of:

Planning my meals each day
Eating 3 meals a day and 1 snack
Running 4 times this week
Drinking 60-80ozs of water each day
Do Yoga 4 times this week

I'm keeping it simple this week.  Nothing I can't handle - all easy goals to check off my list.

I'm also adding one more, if I can get my hands on it. 

Yesterday, I saw that the PS3 Move has now released Zumba!  It's Zumba classes that I can do right in front of my TV, in the comfort of my home.  I was so excited when I saw it - because it was only last week I decided that I wanted to try Zumba.

I've heard so much about it - everyone is in a Zumba CRAZE!  I wanted to try it - but I just don't have the time, or the money, to go to a gym to take the classes.  Well, now, if I can get the Zumba fitness for my PS3...then maybe it will be just as good.

I'm adding a challenge to my running this week - not a goal.  I want to try and push myself, but there's a possibility I'm not ready for it.  If I can do it...then its extra kudos for me.

This week, for each of my C25K training sessions, I'm going to do the programs twice.  That would put me at doing about 3.1 miles each session (yes, a 5K).  I believe, in my own personal opinion, that I should be training with the distance that I'm shooting that I can really work on increasing the pace each week.  Running 1.2 or 1.4 miles each time is fine - but I always feel like I could have done more.  I want my runs to push me...make me feel like I accomplished a big a 5K four times a week it is!!

This week, I will be doing a 5 minute warm up and then 2.5 min jog/ 2.5 min brisk walk five times ending with a 5 min walk.  I will repeat the session twice - minus the five minute cool down at the end of the first run through.  If I feel like I can't do the full sessions twice, I will do as much as I can.  I don't think it's too much.  If I learned anything from my Boot Camp days, it was to do what you can and then push yourself a little further each time.  I was barely breaking a sweat during my first week - so it's time to up the intensity.

Luckily, for me, I have a day off today.  I have several errands that I need to I better get to getting.  I have a busy week ahead of me.  I'm ready, motivated, and wanting to check all of those goals off my list this week.  Wish me luck!

If you're one of the Zumba fanatics out there, what do you love about it?
What kind of results have you seen from doing Zumba?
Do you set weekly goals for yourself?
What tools are you using (programs, apps, training programs, etc) that you would love to recommend? (Be sure to include websites, or other ways for me to check it out. ;)

Till next time ;)

Image retrieved from:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Road Construction Ahead

Not sure if you remember or not, but last Sunday I told you that I was going to devote Sundays to dealing with the potholes in my road to happiness.  If that made absolutely no sense to you, whatsoever, you can get all caught up by reading last week's post.

I am going to confess that this week I've struggled a little. 

I haven't done yoga at all - not proud of that.  I have no excuses, no awesome reason, I just didn't do it. 

I really want to tap in to the benefits of yoga.... I enjoy doing it, when I'm doing it.  But it's actually getting to the doing that I'm struggling with.  I can't dwell on what I did wrong, and why I didn't make myself do it.  All I can do is make myself a promise that I'm going to try harder.  The potholes will NEVER get repaired as long as I keep regretting my decisions.

Making my short term goals was a really therapeutic thing for me.  Seeing what I want to achieve in black and white sent a whirl of mixed emotions racing through my body.  Excitement, fear, dedication, nervousness, doubt, and motivation.  It felt like I had an argument going on my brain:

Me:  I'm so excited to do this
Negative me:  That's a tall order, are you sure you can do it?
Positive me:  Of course I can do it!
Negative me:  What if you fail?
Positive me:  That's not an option, I might not make ALL of the deadlines, but I will know in the end that I've done everything I can.
Negative me:  Really?  You couldn't even make yourself do your yoga this week, and you haven't run 4 days a week - like you said you would - since you started all this talk.
Positive me:  I know, but that just means next week I will try harder - I'm not going to let you win.
Negative me:  HAHA!  We shall see.  You keep saying you'll try harder next week...and then you don't.  How many weeks do you think can pass by before you realize you're not going to be able to do it?
Positive me:  I will do it.  When I do, I want you gone.  I want you out of this body, out of my head -  forever!
Negative me:  Deal!

No, I'm not insane - I don't think, anyway.  I really have this inner argument going on in me each and every day.  The only way to flush out the negative is to take away it's that I will have to do.  There are days, most days actually, that I let doubt in.  I think about all that I've done, but still have a hard time seeing the payoff. I really want to change my lifestyle, my body, my mind...but for some reason that damn negative voice is always there - taunting, laughing, telling me to just give up - it's not worth it.

Then, yesterday happens.  I know - this post is supposed to be positive and uplifting....and here it comes...

Yesterday, I had to go and take a test.  The test was for my initial teaching license.  It was a written test that I had to take in a university classroom.  Tests don't bother me, I don't have any form of test anxiety...I don't doubt that I will do a good job....the test is never the problem.

The desk that I take the test, however...that's the problem.

Last year, I took a similar test.  I walked in to the classroom and I felt the blood drain from my face as I looked at the desk where I'd be sitting.  The only thing I could think of was "did they bring in desks from a Kindergarten classroom for this?"  The desks are tiny.  Those horrible kind that have the desk part attached to the chair - allowing a certain amount of space to fit your body into. 

When I sat down, a year ago, I had to squeeze myself in to the desk.  I felt like my circulation was being cut off.  I could feel my cheeks burn with embarrassment as I huffed and puffed to try and find a comfortable way to position my body so that I could sit there for 2 hours without passing out.  It was one of the worst days of my life.

Yesterday, I walked into the same classroom.  I looked at the desks.  My heart starting racing - the previous test experience started playing in my head like a bad horror movie.  I didn't want to sit down.  I wanted to run from the room crying....I just didn't want to put myself through that kind of embarrassment again.

Then I sat down.

No squeezing.  No adjusting.  No huffing or puffing.  

WHAT??  Was that EXTRA room I had in front of me? 

Yes.  I could easily sit in the chair - no restraint, no discomfort....just easy peasy in the seat.  I could even twist around and talk to the person behind me.  I wanted to scream...but this time, in pure excitement and joy.  Finally, I had a clear picture of the work that I had done.  I could see what I had accomplished.  Something as small as being able to fit into a desk was what I needed to put into perspective how my hard work does mean something - the results ARE there.

So, there's my road construction for the week.  No, I didn't work on one particular thing to love about myself ... a pothole was filled by a moment, a small moment.  Realizing how far I've come by something so small had HUGE benefits.  Sometimes, it takes something little to really make the big picture come into light.  That's what happened for me this week.

Have you ever had an unexpected situation make you realize how much hard work you've accomplished?
How do you overcome days when you just want to throw in the towel?
How do you get rid of the negativity in your brain and focus on the positive?

Till next time.  ;)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gazing into My Crystal Ball

Thursday, I wrote a post about my short term goals.  I promised that I would write a post about my long term that's what I'm going to do, sort of.

Writing a list of things I would like to accomplish in 2011 was pretty easy.  I know how much weight I want to lose, I know how far I want to run.  Trying to think of things I want to do over the next 5 years (the amount of time I consider to be "long term") was not as easy.

Making long term goals is like asking a fortune teller to look into her magic crystal ball.  Trying to imagine what my life will be like, and what I'll be doing, five years from now is no easy task.

There are several things that I would like to have in the next five years:  Getting a teaching job, getting a new house...wish list type stuff. 

Then there's things I'd like to accomplish:  Running a 1/2 marathon, running a full marathon, becoming a motivational speaker to those trying to lose weight, maybe becoming a yoga instructor.

These are goals that I have more control over. 

I can do a lot of things to try and get a teaching job - but at the end of the day, I won't be the one making the decision on whether or not I'm worthy of a job offer.

Without a teaching job, I can kiss the desire to buying a new house goodbye.  No job = no financial stability for a new mortgage.

I do, however, have the power to make running marathons, being a motivational speaker, and becoming a yoga instructor a reality.  I have to commit, put in the training, and WA LA... I will accomplish those goals.  No one, but myself, can take those things away.

I know, I know...there's always the possibility that something bad could happen that could make those dreams crumble before my eyes - but come on, people, I'm not about to start letting negative thoughts seep in to my brain!!

So, I decided I'm not going to set my 5 year plan in stone - like I did with my short term goals.  I just made a list.  I decided to put a year that I'd like to achieve those things, and not worry about the "what ifs".  The list looks like this:

Get a teaching job:  2011 (yes, it's this year...but it also starts the momentum for other long term goals)
Run a 1/2 marathon:  2012
Run a full marathon:  2013
Take a trip to England:  2013
Become a motivational speaker:  2013/2014
Become a yoga instructor: 2013/2014

Complete my Master's Degree:  2014
Buy a new house: 2015/2016
Finish writing my book:  2016

So, as you can see, getting my teaching job will have an impact on several of those goals.  Can't go to England or think about getting my Master's Degree without a job to pay for it....nevermind buying a new house.

Running the marathons will depend on my success this year.  If I don't succeed with my weight loss goals this year - well, nevermind...that's not an option.  I WILL succeed with those.

Becoming a motivational speaker and yoga instructor are new...something I've never really thought about before making the list the other night.  All the talk about "paying it forward" has been on my mind - and I was trying to think of ways I could do that.  How about sharing my story with others?  How about helping people find the beauty and power in yoga?  Yep - that's a good start.

Did you all notice the last one?  "Finish writing my book"  Yeah, that's been a work in progress for about 2 years.  I've always loved to write - and my life has quite a story attached to it.  I'm writing a biography, but in a fictional story kinda way.  It's hard to explain - but I started doing it two years ago, and have looked at it maybe twice in the past year.  It's going to be finished one day....looks like someday in 2016.  I would like it to be before then, but who knows.

Alright, enough gabbing already, I have a big test I'm taking today - and I better get a move on.  It's a test for my teaching license..YIKES!  Think of me today, will ya??

When you think about long term goals, does it scare you?
Are you more of a "I'll see what happens when it happens" kind of person?
What are some of the big things you'd like to accomplish in the next five years?

Till next time.  ;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Clearing Up my Spill

Yesterday, I posted about my goals, rewards, and deadlines for 2011. All of the things that I want to will accomplish in 2011 is nicely laid out with mini goals, dates that I want to will achieve my goals, and the nice rewards I will receive when I get there.

Today, I feel a lot more excited.  No.  That's not the right word.  Not excited, more like dedicated.  Yes, that's much better.  I am more dedicated than I was - because I like a challenge.  I like deadlines.  I like having the control to make things happen - and having only myself to blame if I don't put forth the effort.

I had planned on talking about my long term goals today - things I want to achieve in the next 5 years.  I've decided to put that post off today, and discuss something else.  Don't worry - I will get to my long term goals tomorrow.

Today, I need to clear something up.  Yesterday, I received a comment that made me realize I should mention an explanation.  I'm not trying to be defensive - on the contrary.  I know what the person leaving the comment was thinking - and I love her for it.  She is a very close person to me, and I know that she had no intention of hurting my feelings or being negative or trying to bring me down.  Her words were her opinion, and I've always, ALWAYS respected her opinion.

In my post yesterday, I mentioned that my reward for completing a 5K in under 30 minutes would be a family dinner at one of our favorite restaurants...and then I said "not caring about the calories or fat". 

The comment from yesterday made a reference to the fact that because I made that statement, I felt like I was depriving myself of those things - and not really thinking about living a healthy lifestyle.  Anyone reading my blog probably came to the same conclusion.  That's why I felt the need to clarify that statement. 

That statement was actually a little of an inside joke - with myself.  Of course, you're not going to know what that joke is - so I'm going to share it.

I have mentioned numerous times that I'm not on a diet.  I want to live a healthy lifestyle - not concerned about counting calories.  I believe if I eat good, healthy, nutritional foods - I don't have to count calories.  That mentality is working. 

The statement I made about the fat and calories is because I often get comments made to me anytime I mention going out to eat.  People say things like "Aren't you supposed to be on a diet?"  "It's not really a good idea to be eating out if you're trying to lose weight" and my favorite "Well, make sure you read all of the nutritional information before you eat anything at a restaurant, because one meal and you'll blow your diet completely".

For some reason, just because I'm trying to lose weight, people think that I should never be able to eat in a restaurant again.  Well, if I was on a diet - maybe that would be the case - but I'm not.  Many restaurants offer healthy options.  Many restaurants have foods that are better for me than eating a greasy steak and french fries.  Being that I'm not on a diet, and doing this for life, I can't have the mentality that I can't enjoy a normal life - full of going out to eat with friends and family once in a blue moon.

So, the long winded point for my comment yesterday about "not caring about fat and calories" was more a little stab at all those people that believe it is a cardinal sin to eat at a restaurant when trying to lose weight.  I don't think that I'm depriving myself in any way.  If I wanted to eat junk food - I would.  I don't, so I won't. 

Yes, it's been a struggle to really see why I want to live a healthy lifestyle - but I've also discovered (the hard way) what that crap does to my body...and I NEVER want to be that way again!!

I believe that, especially by the time I've reached that particular goal, I would have truly taught myself all of the secrets of making good choices when it comes to reading a menu.  There may be a few traces of temptation left in me right now - making the leap to junk-food queen to healthy goddess is a hard one! 

I can't deny that I still think "why bother with all of would be much easier to eat anything and everything and just stay fat and unhealthy" - but then my goddess voice jumps in "remember how you felt when you took those 3 months off?"  Then my mind refocuses - and I look at a bag of potato chips like it has maggots crawling out of the top of it.  I don't want it in my body.  I don't want it spreading it's poison into my system.  I don't want to EVER feel bloated and tired and sick and miserable and sad about what I'm eating again!

OK, so my plans of not sounding defensive don't really seemed to have played out very well.  Again, I'm not trying to be defensive.  I truly do appreciate the honest opinion of everyone - especially the person that made the comment yesterday.  It also allows for me to do posts like this...clear up any confusion or misrepresentation on my part. 

I am in this for the long haul.  I am still a student in "Healthy Living High".  I'm still learning what it truly takes to be healthy, live healthy - and it's going to be a while before I graduate.  I don't feel deprived, I feel ALIVE!  For the first time in a very long time I feel POWERFUL.  I feel like I'm slowly but surely redecorating this body of mine - and I'm downsizing.  I love the choices I'm making.  I love the food I'm eating.  I don't miss the junk - or the feelings associated with it.

Today, I want to know:

What funny things have you heard people say to you in regards to your journeys?
Do you feel like people have weird expectations of people trying to lose weight?
What is your personal opinion about enjoying a normal life, despite living a healthy lifestyle?  What things do you feel you can and can't do?

Till next time.  ;)