Thursday, March 31, 2011

Am I Just Counting Calories?

A few months ago, I created a new page on my blog called "Living the Lifestyle".  It's a page in which I describe - in detail - what it is that I'm doing to help me lose weight.

Losing 84lbs is a big accomplishment - a very noticeable accomplishment.  With the wonderful compliments I receive on my continuous transformation, I get this very common question "What diet plan are you using?"  That question was the main reason I set up the new page.

My first mindset when starting the new page?  Diets don't work.  Then, I realized that making that statement wasn't fair.  Diets don't work, for me.  Been there, tried that, got the t-shirts....none of which ever helped me lose any weight...or keep it off anyway.

I know a lot of people that have had some great success with diet plans.  I know people that have lost tons of weight losing programs such as Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers.  The cold, hard truth of the matter is - I just can't stand the restrictions that comes with all of those things.  I want need freedom to make my own decisions.  Counting calories is hard enough, I can't handle adding another step like calculating points on top of that.  That doesn't mean that others can't and don't have amazing results with doing it - they do.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with my mentor and another teacher - both of which have been using Weight Watchers.  It was mind boggling to me as I watched them discuss how many points were in a food item, using the nutritional value, plugging it in to a calculator, and coming up with the ending points.  I guess my mind boggling came from not understanding or knowing much about Weight Watchers.  The other teacher then asked me "do you just count calories?"

My first response was to say yes - but then I thought about that response all day and night.  Do I just count calories?  She was genuinely interested in what it was I did to lose weight - and the best I could give her was "yes, I just count calories".  Wow, if there was only a rewind button available.

After the conversation I wanted to smack my own forehead and yell "idiot" to myself.  Of course I don't just count calories.  There's a lot more to it than that.  I count calories, yes, but I have a target amount of calories I eat each day.  I look at food labels and check things like fat content, carbs, protein, etc.  I work out 6-7 times a week.  I make a meal plan to help me make the right food decisions.  It's a lot more complicated than just counting calories. 

Then, this morning, I realized something.  It's really not that complicated.  I don't walk around with a calculator and add up my calories.  In fact, most days I don't even add my foods to my food log until the evenings.  I look at food labels, yes, but I never deprive myself of anything.  It's gotten to the point, once again, where I no longer look at foods as "bad" foods or "good" foods.  I have found that I no longer have cravings for "bad" foods - because I enjoy the freedom of eating whatever I like.  HOWEVER, you very rarely see me craving fried foods, candy, cakes, or cookies.  If I want chocolate - I grab a Fiber One Chocolate & Oats bar.  If I'm just looking for sweet - Chobani comes to the rescue with some amazing Greek yogurt.  When the "salties" sneak up on me - I dig in to some hummus and pita chips or cucumber slices drizzled with salt or maybe a handful of almonds or Terra veggie chips. 

It really isn't about what I'm "doing" it's about the mindset that I'm in.  Diets don't work for me because I can't handle the restrictions that come with diets.  If I'm constantly obsessing over counting calories, figuring points, stopping whatever it is I'm doing to write down something I just ate - then I'm bueno!

Knowing that I can go into my kitchen and prepare something to eat - and KNOWING that what I'm eating is good for me....that's my "diet plan".  Keeping my kitchen stocked with healthy snacks, whole grains, veggies, fruits, and lean meats...that's my "diet plan".  Opting to drink coffee in the mornings and water for the rest of the day - because I want to - that's my "diet plan".  Are you getting the picture?  Good.

So, to answer the question "am I just counting calories?"  The answer is NO.  I'm not.  I'm driving the car to weight loss - my calorie counting is my GPS.  It's a guide.  Sometimes I need directions, sometimes I don't.  I'm mindful about what goes in to my body - but that's just a piece of the puzzle.  Making the dedication to go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week, running on the weekends, staying active....those are important pieces, too. 

Losing 84lbs did not just come from the food I eat - or don't eat.  It comes from a commitment to changing my ENTIRE lifestyle.  No more sitting around hoping the pounds will fall off while I'm shoveling in bags of chips.  Losing weight is hard work - but it doesn't have to be all counting and portioning.  Just making some mindful decisions is a good start - followed up with some intense exercise.  Food and exercise go hand in hand - with out one, there can't be a balance.  Sure, you might start to lose weight if you just cut back on some of the junk - but then what?  In order to really get some fat burn and muscle built, there has to be exercise. 

There you go - that's what I do...that's how I roll.

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Weigh to Go Wednesday: Much Better!!

Spring In2 Action

It's time once again to check in for the Spring in 2 Action Challenge.  Another week is almost half over, and there's no better way to celebrate Hump Day than by sharing some numbers!!

Since last Wednesday, my mood has definitely improved.  I was getting so frustrated with the numbers I was seeing on the scale each week.  Then I saw some improvement over the next couple of days.  Then I went to the gym and once again saw a gain.  Go down next day, up after a work-out.  It's a nasty cycle - but one that I'm getting accustomed to.

It seems to baffle people when I tell them I have a gain after a work-out.  It did me, too.  Wait, it didn't baffle me - it down right pissed me off.  There's nothing more frustrating than to sweat your butt off in the gym only to see a 2 or 3lb gain on the scale the next day.  Then I realized that the days that followed, the scale started making it's way down - and that made me feel better.  Now, I'm doing my best to adjust to the fluctuation - and to help my team get a good number on the scale each Wednesday, I've made the executive decision to NOT work-out on Tuesday nights.

Don't think of it as a cop-out.  It's not.  It's one day a week that I won't be working out.  Well, two this week - because Thursday I have something planned- but you know what I mean.  If I get to see my progress after a day of NOT working out...then that's what I'll do.

OK, I know - enough want to see some numbers, right?  Well, then let's get to it. 

Starting weight:  214.6lbs
Weight last week:  214.6lbs
Weight this week:  212.4lbs

Yep, that's right.  I lost 2.2.lbs this week.  Am I happy with that?  Heck yeah I am.

Last week, I said that I wanted to push past the plateau of 214lbs.  I've been stuck at that number for over a month - and I did NOT like it.  This week, I pushed past the wall - and for that I am extremely happy.

I'm not exactly out of the woods, yet.  Being 2lbs away from the plateau number still puts me at risk of seeing that number again, if I'm not careful.  I don't EVER want to see that 214 on the scale again.

Tonight, I'm off to the gym.  It will be my first time this week - due to Running Club on Monday afternoons, now.  After the awesome work-out I had Saturday with my mom, I'm ready to do that again. 

I've been pretty "Lucy Goosey" with my trips to the gym the past couple of weeks.  I told myself that if I was making it out to the track a couple times a week to run - then I was still getting in some good work-outs.  Well, after watching The Biggest Loser last night - I have a new found desire for the gym.

If you haven't seen this week's The Biggest Loser yet - don't read anymore.  **SPOILER ALERT**

After seeing the devastation that hit Courtney and Jen last night - I couldn't help but feel a connection to my own thoughts on working out.  Just like Jen, I kept telling myself that "I've got this" I don't really need to go to the gym 3 or 4 times a week.  I could "make-do" with running.  Yeah, look where it got them.  It didn't.  Seeing their disasters on the scale last night made me realize that I need the gym.  Running isn't enough.  Sure, it is a great work-out...but it's not going to get me to see the results I really want.  I need cardio AND strength training.  I need more than a 30 minute jog, I need intense cardio...elliptical, bike, wave runner...they all do their own separate parts.  So, no more skipping the gym for me. 

OK, time to get myself ready for another fun filled day in a kindergarten classroom.

Good luck to all those that are participating in the Spring in 2 Action challenge!!

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Third Time's A Charm?

Since August, I've participated in two Biggest Loser competitions hosted by the elementary school I'm currently interning in.  Since August, I haven't come close to actually winning either of them.

Today, a new round of Biggest Loser starts - and this time, it's a "couples" match.  My mentor and I have decided that we are going to be a "couple" and work together to compete.

Now, I'm going to admit - I'm nervous. 

I'm not nervous about having a partner.  Nope, having a partner will help me stay accountable and probably make me work harder.  It's the fact that I've already tried this competition twice - and failed both times.  The competition has been mine to win twice...and I have let myself down twice.

I'm starting to think that by competing in the Biggest Loser competition somehow jinxes me - to failure.  Could it be possible that now I get to compete with a partner -and split any potential winnings - that I could actually win?

I guess we're going to find out.

In other news - after school yesterday, I attended my first Running Club meeting.  My school has started a K-4th grade running club, and I volunteered to be a running coach.

Yes, I love to run.  Anyone that reads this blog knows that.  Running with a group of K-4th graders?  Well, let's just say - I have my work cut out for me.  Not in the fact that I have to help out kids - that's not the problem at all.  It's the fact that these kids can run circles around me - and it took everything I had to keep up with them.

I have to admit that I felt a little silly running with them yesterday afternoon.  Here I have been telling my students that I have been running for a while - and that I'm training to run a 5K - and they are trying to keep me motivated to run faster and keep up with them.  **INSERT EYE ROLL**

It also occurred to me, however, that maybe this is exactly what I need to up my intensity of the training.  I want to up my pace - so pushing myself to try and keep up with them may be the motivation I need to do just that. 

When I got in to the gym, the kids were being separated into grade levels.  I went immediately to the 2nd grade line.  I could have picked any grade I want - but in all honesty, I miss those 2nd graders so much...this is a great opportunity to spend a little time with them each Monday afternoon.  There were several kindergarten kiddos joining in - but there were also several volunteers working with the kindergarten group (including the principle).  Two 2nd graders from my old class showed up - and I was happy about that - but it was nice to hang out with all of the 2nd graders that were participating.

So, now with the introduction of running club - I won't be attending my scheduled gym work-outs on Monday evenings.  No biggie - after last night, I'm sure that I'll be getting a good work-out in on Monday afternoons.

In more running related news - I want to send a big THANK YOU out to Val who made a donation to my RFTC fundraiser yesterday.  Val, please email me your mailing address so that I can get you a Susan G. Komen wristband sent out. 

I am now only $20 away from reaching my fundraising goal.  I am so happy about that.  I still have a month to go before the race.  I still have plenty of wristbands to give away *hint, hint*.

OK, time to get ready for work.  This morning will be my first weigh-in for Biggest Loser Round 3.  I know that this morning when I stepped on my scale, I wasn't thrilled with the number - once again.  I put that down to my uphill climb on my work-out roller coaster.  I'm not too concerned with starting out this competition with a little bit of a higher number - because that helps increase the amount that I will lose in the coming weeks.... but it doesn't help the fact that I'm weighing in tomorrow for the Spring in 2 Action challenge.  Guess we'll have to see how that goes.

Everyone have a great day!!

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Monday, March 28, 2011

Mini Goal Monday: Getting Back to Normal

That's it.  Spring break is over.  My five days of rest and relaxation - and working out - has come to an end, and it's time to get back to the swing of real life.

As of today, I have exactly 47 days till graduation - 34 working days.  There are no more days off between now and then...except for my weekends.

Now that my senior project is behind me, spring break is over, and it's time to see out the last of the semester...I feel like my life can finally return back to normal.  Normal as in getting back to my work-out routine without any distractions.

Yesterday, I didn't make it out for my 5K run that I committed to do every Sunday up until my competitive 5K April 30th.  That was due to a nasty headache that I woke up with.  I'm thinking that if I had actually made myself get out for a run, it could have somehow helped the headache...but there's no time to dwell on that now.  I ended up spending the whole day resting.  Probably not such a bad thing - I have been going pretty strong for the past week.

Today starts a new day, a new week, a return to going to the gym on my scheduled days - and running on the days in between.  It's back to meal planning (which hasn't happened for the past 2 weeks even though I have been really good about what I've eaten).  It's back to...well...normal.  That's what I've grown to think normal is, anyway.  Without the gym, the running, and the meal planning - my life feels off, in a way, out of balance.  Time to fix that.

So, without further a do, here's the mini-goal line up for this week:
  • Gym work-out Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday
  • Run Tuesday, Friday and Sunday
  • Sunday, run a 5K
  • Meal plan for the week
  • Target my calorie intake to 1500-1600 calories per day
  • Push to burn 2600 - 2700 calories per day
  • Drink 80-100ozs of water per day
  • Push through my plateau weight of 214lbs
You'll notice that I have no work-out scheduled on Thursday...that's because it's Peanut's parent-teacher conference.  If I have time to fit in a run, I will.  If I don't, I won't.

I'm upping my water take, once again.  Last week, I was drinking a ton of water each day - and it was having a postive reflection on the scale (by the end of the week)....I want to keep that momentum going.

I really want to have a great number on the scale Wednesday for the Spring in 2 Action challenge.  It's been going for a few weeks now, and my numbers have hardly been noteworthy.  Embarrasing would be a better term to use.  Last week, I was back to my starting weight for the entire challenge...not good.  This week, I really want to push through the number that has been haunting me for the past month... 214lbs.  I just can't seem to get below that number...and I'm hoping that in the next couple of weeks that number will be a thing of the past.

OK, it's time to get myself back in to "work" mindset.  Take a second today and think about a couple of goals you'd like to achieve this week - and please share. 

Oh, and I finally received my Race for the Cure wristbands that I agreed to give away to those that donated any amount to my race fundraising amount.  Right now, I will be sending a wristband to my friend Cathy and my challenge partner Adah.  I'm close to my fundraising goal - but still have a little way to go.  If you can spare a dollar or two - please click on my Participant badge on the side tool bar and donate.  You are not only helping me reach my goal, but helping a great cause - and earning yourself a cute wristband!!  This really means a lot to me.

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mommy & Me Playdate: Gym style!

Yesterday, my family came over to spend the night.  It's something that happens a few times a year - more often when the weather starts warming up.  The plan was for my dad and Hubby to redo my plumbing so that I can have full use of my other bathroom (which I haven't had since I moved in to my house 4 years ago), and for us all to have a BBQ.

It figures that yesterday was 45 degrees and raining.

I'm so tired of the cold weather - yes, I said it.  The person that LOVES winter, that loves the cold weather is saying ENOUGH ALREADY!! I want to be outside so that I can RUN!

The weather is not what this post is about.

Yesterday, once my parents arrived, the plan was for me to take my mom to my gym for a work-out.

I really haven't spoken about my mom much on my blog.  So maybe a little background on her is in order.

My mom is 49 years old.  For the past couple of years, she's struggled with weight issues - just like me.  I have never thought of my mom as "obese".  On the heavier side? Maybe.  That was mostly because she has brought 6 children in to the world - and that does havoc to a woman's body.

A couple of years ago, however, she was diagnosed with diabetes.  That scared the living bejeezus out of her.  She was determined to do whatever it took to be able to handle the diabetes with losing weight, eating healthy, and exercising regularly.  She has managed to do just that.

In the past couple of years she's lost, gained a little, lost a little more.  She went from a 220lb woman to sitting at 177lbs and losing.  Her determination has really pushed me - and I know that my success has really pushed her.

Anyway, so my mom has been working out at home for a long time now.  Every day she walks on her treadmill, and has recently started using a crunch ball to add some intensity to her work-out.  Last weekend, I invited her to join me on my 5K run while I was at her house...and she went.  Yes, it was a little bit of a struggle for her - but she finished it.  She even ran during several parts.

So, yesterday, I told her I was going to take her with me to the gym and let her see what it is I do to work-out.  She was going to get the chance to see how much I have been able to accomplish - fitness wise - and get a sense of why I have grown to love going to the gym.

We got there, and bless her heart - she was so worried about what she looked like.  I told her that it didn't matter - no one was going to pay any attention.  She is so small, now, that she fit right in to scene of the other gym patrons.

I decided to take her through my entire work-out...informing her that she could back down the intensity at any point, if she needed to.

We started out on the treadmill.  I set mine to a 3.3mph walk with a 2 incline for my warm-up.  She opted for 3.1 at a 1 incline.  I did my usual intervals, 2 min jog/ 2 min walks.  My mom decided to up the intensity and incline of her walk.  I informed her we would do 15 minutes on the treadmill.  Even though she didn't opt for the interval jogs, I could see that she wanted to.  The last 2 minutes, she decided to jog with me - and she did a great job.  I know that she could have done all of the intervals - but she didn't want to push too hard, and I understand that.

Next, it was time for a little weight work.  Now, my mom has a permanent shoulder injury that disallows her from participating in any upper body weight problem, I sat her on a leg pull machine.  While she did 15 reps on each leg and then 15 reps with both legs, I went about and did my two sets on the stair stepper and the lat pull.  Then - it was on to the Wave Runner.

I've spoken to my mom about the Wave Runner.  It's a skating simulator - and it REALLY pushes your legs.  I only stay on the Wave Runner for 5 minutes - because that's really all I can handle right now.  She did the 5 minutes with me - and pushed through every bit of burn that she encountered.

After both of our legs were feeling the effects of our work-out, thus far, it was on to a 15 minute elliptical ride.  I love the elliptical.  I think it has become my new favorite piece of gym equipment.  I got on, started out at level 5 went up to level 7 and pushed myself to stay above 100 strides per minute.  My mom was determined to stay at the same level, but had to back off the speed a little.  After the elliptical, I couldn't have been more proud of my mom.  We were both drenched in sweat - and she had stayed with me through every step of the work-out.  To have a nice cool-down session, we moved to the stationary bike to finish up with a 15 minute ride.

It was so nice to have someone at the gym to work-out with - especially my mom.  I love her new found passion to be fit and not just lose weight.  I love how her determination pushes her every step - because I know that she doesn't want to be made to feel like she can't keep up with her 200lb daughter.  Age definitely has no effect on my mother - no matter what, she's got heart..and she's gonna push herself with every beat of it.

It's so nice to have something like getting fit in common with my mom.  We can share our successes, our failures, our setbacks and our achievements.  The competitive nature of us both keeps us on our toes.  She's not going to let her 29 year old daughter "out-exercise" her and I'm not going to let my 49 year old mother "out-exercise" me.  We bring it out in each other - and it's in the most healthy of competitions. 

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Saturday, March 26, 2011

What an Amazing Feeling

When was the last time someone told you that you were beautiful AND you believed them?

When was the last time you stood in front of the mirror and actually liked the person looking back at you?

When was the last time that you walked in to a crowd of people with confidence about how you looked?

If I had been asked these questions two days ago, my responses would be...well, probably not since high school....and even then, I'm not sure I actually ever felt "beautiful".

Today, my responses are different.

Last night, for the first time IN MY ADULT LIFE I felt absolutely amazing.  I felt beautiful.  I felt confident.  Yes, I even felt HOT!

Yesterday, I wrote a blog about wanting to achieve the feeling of "hotness" while going out with some friends.  I was...urm...well...a little awkward in my description.  Reading that post this morning, I realized that the things I listed in order to make myself feel hot - like getting attention from other people - didn't matter.  I felt hot before I even left my house.

On Twitter, I documented my goal as Operation: Hotness.  I started out with doing my nails.  Then, after a short run I was in the shower to get to the next stage.  Clothes, hair, and make-up all came next.  When I was finally finished, I was flooded with an emotion that was new to me.

I stood in front of the mirror for a long time.  I didn't stand there the way I usually do.  My usual mirror analysis consists of grabbing the rolls of fat, sucking in my stomach to try and make myself look smaller, feeling disgusted with what I was seeing.  No, last night was much different. 

Last night, I stood there and slowly ran my hand down the front of my stomach.  Where were the rolls?  I ran my hands over the curves of my waist and hips - yes, there were curves.  I turned to the side, I turned to the other side, I checked out the back side....Who was this woman staring at me?  I recognize's been a very long time since I've seen her - I think the last time I saw her was the night I attended the junior prom as a sophomore in high school.  That was the one night of my life that I felt really pretty...don't remember feeling "beautiful" but I felt good that night.

As I stood looking at myself in the mirror, I realized one thing:  Other people can't ever make me feel this way...only I can make myself feel this way.  I realized I couldn't care less about what other people would think...I felt amazing.  I felt beautiful.  I felt hot.

While I was out with Sanity and my other friends last night, I could almost feel the heat from my confidence beaming off of me.  I had such a great time... I sang, I danced, I spoke to people that I didn't know.  I didn't care to notice if people were looking at me - it just didn't matter.  I was the life of the party last night, and I invited everyone to join in. 

So, today, I am a new person.  I thought that once I took the clothes off, put my hair up, and threw on my "house clothes" that the feeling I had last night would disappear.  You know what?  It didn't.  I still feel great in my leggings and t-shirt.  I still feel beautiful with my hair messily thrown up in a clip.  I still feel amazing now that the make-up is gone. 

I may not be as thin as I want to be (yet), yes, I still have a bit of "excess baggage" on my body that I want to get rid of - but regardless of that...I can feel beautiful.  I can look at myself and see beauty.  This is a huge milestone for me - and I feel that it's only going to keep my drive and passion going.  If I feel beautiful now, what's going to happen once I do reach my goal weight?  That is something I can't wait to see.

It wouldn't be right to share a post like this without some, here you go.  My first moment of feeling beautiful and hot!

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Friday, March 25, 2011

Am I Ready for Hot?

The inspiration for today's post came from reading my friend and challenge partner, Adah's blog about her amazing husband. 

Yesterday, I wrote a post about the great motivation I received from my Hubby this week...and as I was writing my post, she was writing hers.  It's weird that we're both on the same brain waves.

Anywho, I love how amazing her husband is - but it's not that part that sparked the idea for today's post.  It was a line of her post that said "I haven’t been HOT in my mind for years (and I’m still having a hard time with that)!  He always tells me I look nice or pretty but for some reason HOT got my attention!"

As I read those words, I thought about the vocabulary that I use to describe myself.  Words such as hot are definitely not one of those words.  I tell people I look "better".  I tell people I feel better about myself.  Better than I was?  Well, I never really thought myself as sexy or better?  That really means "thinner". 

Nice - that's a word I use quite a bit.  When I get dressed, I think I look "nice".  The clothes look good - I don't cringe at the sight of myself in the mirror...yep, I look "nice".

Pretty?  That's on the edge with me.  I don't think I'm ugly.  Even at my heaviest, I wouldn't describe myself as ugly.  Fat? Yes.  Ugly? No.  Pretty?  I don't know.   Average looking?  That's more like it.  I have never thought of myself as beautiful...I have good qualities and not so good qualities when I think about myself.  Then, I have to think, what does "average looking" mean?

In my mind, "average" means I blend in.  I don't stick out.  I'm not going to get second glances...I can walk through a crowd of people and not a single one of them will notice me.  Back when I was close to 300lbs, I was always insecure about that feeling.  Were people looking at me and thinking "holy cow, look at the size of that?"  Once the number began to fall, I was happy with dispelling that feeling...I was totally content if I could go out and not a single person even notice me.

Now, things are a little different.  I feel different.  I'm so proud of what I have accomplished already.  I'm not so sure if I'm OK with being "average" anymore.  Deep inside the pit of my stomach, I don't want to go unnoticed.  I want to stand out - in a good way.  I want people to look at me and think "wow, she looks great!"  I want to be able to walk through a crowd of people and notice that one or two of them shoot me a second glance.  Dare I say, I love to go out with some friends and have a guy buy me a drink or offer his phone number. 

I know what you're thinking - why does that matter?  I'm in a wonderful and happy relationship.  I shouldn't be worrying what other people think about me.  I definitely shouldn't be thinking about other guys hitting on me - why on earth would I want such a thing?

I'll tell you why - because I'm done with being "average", I want to be...dare I say...HOT!

Yikes, just hearing that word sends butterflies to my stomach.  Hot? Me?  Am I ready for that?  Have I done enough to even contemplate using the word "hot" to describe myself?

Again - I know what you're going to say....I don't need anyone else to make me feel that way.  Yeah, that may be true - but having some confirmation from other people sure does help.  What can I say?  Maybe I want a little that so wrong?

This is another area where I have the awesomest Hubby.  He does NOT like going out.  He'd much rather stay at home with the kids while I enjoy a night out on the town.  As much as I'd love for him to come out with me - I know that's not going to happen.  I can also talk to him about my feelings.  He also knows that if a guy should give me any attention and buy me a drink - I'll come rushing through the door when I get home and tell him about it.  He'll laugh at my excitement.  He'll understand the excitement.  He'll be totally OK with it.  That is because he knows I love him more than anything in the world - and our commitment to each other is rock solid.  A guy buying me a drink is motivation for one thing and one thing only - it boosts my self would help make me feel a little more than "average". 

I will admit, my self esteem has been on the rise for a few months now.  I don't over obsess when I look in the mirror.  I can now look at myself and see my changes.  I enjoy the way certain clothes make me feel.  Yet, I still haven't been anywhere close to being able to jump on board with using the term "hot".

So, after this long winded ramble...guess what I'm doing today?  I'm going for "HOT".  Tonight, I'm going out with some gal pals.  Sanity is whisking me away for a fun night out on the town with some friends.  I could do what I always do - grab a pair of jeans, a cute shirt, throw on some make-up and hit the door.... but I'm going to try something else tonight.

I want to see if I can make myself feel hot.  Is it something that can be done?  Do I have enough confidence in what I've achieved so far?  I kind of think I do.  I have an outfit picked out.  I wore it last week to one of the senior presentations.  In that kind of environment, hot was NOT what I was going for.  However, I felt great wearing it.  I had confidence I'd never had before.  I loved the way it fit my body.  I found myself in front of the mirror thinking "wow, you look really great!" 

Tonight, I'm putting that outfit back on - with a different mindset.  I'm striving for "hotness".  I'm doing the whole enchilada...nails, hair, knee high heeled boots...

After the week I've had, I need this.  I need to step away from the scale, the meal planning, the exercise...and take a look at the big picture.  I need to forget the "average"'s time to take a chance. 

Watch out world...tonight I'm striving for HOT!  I know that it may not make sense to a lot of you - but I really do need this. 

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Super Hubby to the Rescue!!

It's no secret that I've been feeling pretty crappy the past couple of days.
I broke my biggest rule - to NEVER let the scale determine my progress.

It's a hard rule to stick to, especially when - at the end of the day - it's the scale that informs me of how much weight I've actually lost.

Yesterday, I was starting to feel a little better... but still not completely satisfied with the number that appeared before me after stepping on the scale.  The math didn't add up.  I was frustrated, despite trying my best to hide it.

I decided that I needed to take my mind off of things for a while - and took my dog to the groomers.  Once I dropped her off, I found out that it was going to be at least 2 hours before she would be finished.  I called Hubby and told him that I was going to amuse myself in Wal-Mart for a couple of hours.

My Hubby then surprised me and told me that he wanted me to go and pick him up - he was going to come out with me.

Now, I don't know if a warning signal went off in his brain or if he had already made the plans in his mind - but he did NOT want me roaming around Wal-Mart by myself.....maybe fearing a possibility that I'd steer off to the junk food aisle??

He knows how I've been feeling lately about the whole weight loss thing.  He has told me everything that all of you have told me - but he knows me better than anyone.  He knows my triggers.  He knows the impact that my moods can have on my eating habits.  He's supported me 110% through this entire process...eating food he's not particularly fond of, helping me create meal plans, cooking the meal plans, and mentally thinking about foods that he brings in to the house.  Yes, he's amazing.  No, you can't have him.

So, I went and picked up Hubby and asked where we were heading.  His response?  The Mall.

I will admit, I was a little disheartened.  He knows that the mall is the one place that I DON'T need to be when I'm in one of my "moods".  I hate walking around the stores that sell the cute clothes that I can't fit into... if anything, I feared it would make my feelings worse.  I let him drive, not saying a word. 

We arrived at Rue 21.  I was at the store a few days ago.  I bought a cute pair of capris a size too small to use as my "motivation pants".  It was the biggest size pant that they sold - and I was excited that I was only one size away from being able to wear their clothes.

We walked around the store and I saw a dress that I thought was really cute - and it was on sale.  Hubby liked it, too, and told me that I should get it.  I told him that I didn't really want to get too many items that didn't fit.  He told me that I could just add it as another "incentive" item.  Feeling a little pressured, and not wanting to go on a rampage of how crappy I was feeling with my progress...I let him buy the dress for me.

We then moseyed around a few other stores.  I found another really cute dress - again, Hubby told me to get it.  I went through the same struggle - but he bought it anyway.

I should add here that Hubby really likes it when I wear dresses...or any girly clothes for that matter.  Before losing weight, I was a tomboy.  My wardrobe consisted of baggy sweats and baggy t-shirts.  I often wore a ball cap to complete my ensemble.  Last summer, after finally making it in to a size 18, I found a couple of dresses that I liked - and weren't too tight - and he really grew to love seeing the new feminine me

The last stop on our journey, I found a couple pairs of size 16 capris.  I really didn't mind getting those - being that I'm in a size 16 right now and don't really have any summer clothes in that size.  He bought them for me, too.

Once we got home, dog all clean and groomed, he asked me to try on my dresses.  I must of shot him a look that can only be described as PSYCHO WOMAN.  It was at that very moment, he looked me in the eyes and said...

"You really have no idea how much weight you've lost, do you?  I don't give a crap what that stupid scale says.  You look AMAZING.  You have worked so hard, and you're not giving yourself enough credit. Just try on the damn dresses.  OK, so they might be a little too tight right now - but you WILL get in to them.  I want you to see how close you really are to getting there."

Totally speechless, I got out the dress from Rue 21.  I pulled it over my head.  A little snug around the top half...but HOLY CRAP it FIT!!  Not only did it fit, but I actually felt pretty good in it.  I rushed to the second dress.  I pulled it over my head in a crazy fury.  Not only did that dress fit - but I had to tighten the straps!!! 

Fighting back the tears that were making their way to my eyes - I looked at Hubby.  He had just five words "See, I told you so".  He gave me a smile, and at that very moment all of my frustration and anger disappeared.

He was right.  I have told myself a million times that the scale doesn't show me how much progress I've made.  Something as simple as trying on a dress that I would never in a million years thought would fit me - and finding out it fits....that's progress.  Knowing that for ten years, I could only walk around the mall and dream of ever fitting in to the cute clothes that I saw...and now knowing that I CAN buy clothes there...that's progress.

I have come a very long way.  Yeah, I've still got a ways to go....but I'm getting there...regardless of what the stupid scale says.

It just took Super Hubby to really show me.

Now, I am more determined than ever to keep fighting this fight.  As much as I didn't want to - I did step on the scale this morning.  You know what I saw?  213lbs!!  That's 1.6lbs down from yesterday.  My trainer was right...this week I was riding up that roller coaster hill of gain because of my hard work - and I'm now getting to see and feel the excitement of rushing down the other side.  I have to keep this ride going...I know I can do this. 

Hold on to your hats, folks, this ride is about to get INTENSE!!

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Weigh to Go Wednesday: Time To Break a Wall

Spring In2 Action

Today is my first day of Spring Break.  Thanks to all the snow we had, it was cut down by two days - but it's OK...I still get a nice 5 day weekend to relax.

I will start off by saying that I did not win the Biggest Loser competition - not even close.  Although I do have a funny story to share...

In my mind, I had two major competitors.  The school coach and an ESL teacher.  The coach is male and his starting weight was 188.  He told me Tuesday that he'd lost 15lbs.  The ESL teacher started off weighing 132lbs and lost 10lbs.  I knew Tuesday that there was no way that I could beat the percentages.  Yes, I had lost 10lbs - was hoping for better numbers - but when it came down to percentage of weight lost they had me beat by a landslide.  I was NOT happy to weigh in and see the number 217lbs (which only gave me 8.5lbs lost for the whole competition).  I hate the scale at school even more than I dislike my own (on certain days).

Anywho - at lunch time, everyone was congratulating the coach because he had the highest percentage of weight loss...and everyone assumed he had won.  Then, at the end of the day, the official email was sent out with the winner.  It appears there was a dark horse in the competition.  One of the aides, who I would guess is in her late fifties/ early sixties and who weighs about 140lbs - probably less - was the winner.  She had lost 11.1% of her weight!!! To make things even funnier....for the past several weeks, she's been walking around with a boot on her leg because she messed up her ankle pretty bad.  I felt bad for the coach who had worked so hard - but it was so funny to see the person that won win the whole thing.

So, today, I weigh in for another challenge.  If you read yesterday's post, you'll know that I was NOT a happy camper.  I had worked really hard all weekend - and was seeing a 2lb gain on the scale.  I was told Monday that it was possible I could see a short-term gain in my weight due to the large amount of working out I had been doing.  Of course, I saw that gain on the day that I was trying to win $150.... but it's OK the gain is starting to go...

Which brings me to today's results:
Starting weight:  214.6lbs
Weight last week:  214lbs
Weight this week:  214.6lbs

Yep, I'm back to my starting weight.  Not happy about that - but I am happy that it's not the 216lbs I saw on my scale yesterday morning.

This week has been very frustrating - and it's only Wednesday.  I made a promise to my friend and challenge partner, Adah, that I would give it my all this week....and I did.  I worked harder this past weekend than I have for the past two weeks!!  It's so frustrating when the hard work isn't shown on the scale.

A motivational talk with a personal trainer Monday evening made me feel a little better - but it didn't help the disappointment I felt when I saw the numbers on the scale this week.  He told me that it takes time for my body to adjust to such an increase in exercise.  He told me I'd most likely see a gain this week - but in order to really make a difference, I had to keep up with the momentum change.  Letting myself get discouraged will only increase the chance that my body won't ever show the progress that I'm making....and I will be stuck on this nasty plateau. 

He used an explanation that has stuck with me...and I'm going to share it with you.  How would you feel if you rode a roller coaster that contained no hills?  Would it be fun to slowly start to move up that incline..heart pounding...waiting for the rush that waits on the other side...getting to the top - and then...nothing?  The car just keeps going in a straight direction.  He told me that would happen to my weight loss if I let the scale bother me.  He told me that putting in the really hard work sometimes brings on small gains...that's the climbing.  In order to see (and feel) that great drop on the other side - you have to keep working hard and not give up.  Giving up or not keeping up with the momentum only leads to a plateau...and there's no fun in a plateau.

As if I needed more motivation and encouragement, I found more last night while watching Biggest Loser.  Olivia shared a story about a plateau.  She shared how getting down to 185 has always been as far as she's ever gotten.  She gets there, things start to plateau, and then she gives up.  For the past two weeks, Olivia hadn't seen the best of numbers when she got on the scale.  She knew she had worked hard, she'd really pushed herself...and the measly losses that showed for it really got her down. 

This week, she was determined to move past the wall that had always stopped her in the past.  As Bob put it "she walked up to that wall, gave it the finger, and moved right past it".  Olivia pushed straight through the wall this week with an amazing 5lb loss.

From all of the this, I have realized that I am at a plateau.  For the past several weeks, I've been hovering around the same weight.  On February, 23rd I finished the Power of One Challenge at 215lbs.  I started the Spring in 2 Action Challenge at 214.6lbs.  I have not been able to move past that number...been stuck here for the past month. 

It is now my time to push through this wall. 

It's time I walk up to it, flip it the finger, and then knock the sucker to the ground.

So, I have my fighter face on.  I'm ready to start kicking the crap out of the wall.  It's time to see me push past 214lbs....I'M SO READY!!
Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Fun, Family 5K, and Fury

I will start out by saying that I'm not having the best of mornings.

In fact, I'm not very happy at all....but before I get to that I want to share my weekend.

The weekend was great.  I worked my butt off.

Friday, I ran 2 miles.  Saturday, I ran 1 mile.  Sunday, I ran a 5K.  Last night, I went to the gym for an hour.

Now, usually I do most of my running on a small 1/4 mile track located at my local park.  It's flat - the track and the concrete.  Running a mile on the track, I've discovered, is totally different than running on a road.

Sunday, I took my brother and sister home to my parents' house.  They live in the country, on a dirt road.  I decided to run my 5K while I was there - and I decided to recruit my mom to do it with us.

So, my mom, my sister, Peanut, and I took off on a 5K run on the hilly dirt road that circles my parent's house. 

What a difference it is running on that type of terrain.  It was hard.  Very hard.  I pushed myself, but probably not as hard as I could - being that I wanted to stay somewhat close to my mom.  I ended up finishing with a time of 47:52 and a pace time of 15:23 per mile.  Not too bad, under the circumstances.  I learned very quickly, however, that I need to start practicing for my 5K away from the comfort of the flat track I usually run.

There was plenty of exercise thrown in to my weekend.  On top of the running, I also spent some time playing soccer with the kids and taking Jelly for a long walk. 

I also ate VERY well.  I watched everything I ate, and I logged everything that went into my mouth. 

As of this morning, I have a calorie deficit since Friday of 5537 calories.  In weight, that's about 1.6lbs I burned off.  That's not too shabby.

NOW let's get to the part to why I'm so angry this morning. 

Today is the weigh in for the Biggest Loser.  I'm not confident that I have a chance to win - being that I found out yesterday that the coach in the competition who started out weighing 188lbs has managed to lose 13lbs.  Yeah, not gonna beat that. 

I didn't want to let that deter me, though.  I want to give it a go - finish strong - all that jazz. 

I step on the scale this morning...and what do I see?  216lbs!!!  A GAIN OF 2LBS since my weigh in last Wednesday!!

Are you freakin' kidding me??

All of that hard work and what do I get for it?  A GAIN!!

I'm so not happy right now.  I started out the Biggest Loser competition weighing 225.8lbs on January 11th.  The scale that's used to weigh us tends to add about 2lbs on top of what my scale says at home...and before I even step on it, I'm showing a 2lb gain.  If I step on that scale this morning and see a weight between 216-218?  Well, that's just pathetic.

It would mean that I didn't even lose 10lbs in three months!! 

Days like today are days that just make me question everything I'm doing.  All the hard work, the careful consideration, the logging, watching the numbers....and I get a reward of a gain on the scale.

I know, I know, there's a lot that could cause a gain - but really? Today?  It has to happen today?

It's not just the Biggest Loser competition I'm worried about, either.  Tomorrow I weigh in for the Spring in 2 Action challenge.  My partner is counting on me.  We both made a pact to really push ourselves this week - and I did - but now I get to report to her that I've gained weight this week.

NOT the way I wanted to start my day.  I'm officially not speaking to my scale again - it's gone too far this time.

OK, enough for now.  Today is my last day before I get a small spring break - so I'm going to focus on that to get me out of this mood.

Till next time.
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My New Sunday Committment - A Small Giveaway

Anyone that has been a frequent flyer on my blog knows that I have found a passion with running.  Well, the idea of running.  Becoming a runner.  Right now, I'm a jogger - and proud of that - but my ultimate goal is to be able to run a full marathon.  That's on the very top of my goal list - right next to getting down to my goal weight.  Yes, being able to run a marathon is just as important to me as losing weight.

I can't tell you the exact moment in which I decided I wanted to do it - it just came to me.

Maybe it was the graduation from not being able to walk for more than 15 minutes without becoming extremely winded and needing to sit down to being able to walk for a full mile.  Maybe it was the push of making myself jog for 30 seconds at a time - and being able to do it.  Maybe it's a combination of everything that I have achieved thus far - and finishing a marathon simbolizes the marathon I've been running every single day to lose the weight.

Whatever it is, I'm committed to being a runner.

I've been doing the Couch to 5K program since January.  Technically I should be finishing that up soon, but due to snow and school - I've had to repeat a few weeks.  I'm OK with that...I would rather be able to finish each week strong than moving through the program too fast and not being able to finish it. 

Last week, I shared my excitement of running a 5K while doing 8 minute jogging/ 2 minute walking intervals.  I finished the 5K, I didn't have to walk at all during the 8 minute jogs - and for that I was very proud.

I could have probably benefited from repeating the 8 minute week over again - being that I only did it that one day - but Friday evening, I wanted to try to push myself a little more. 

I decided to be brave and try the 12 minute jog/ 3 minute walking interval.  I'm not going to lie, it was tough...really tough.  My calves were screaming at me during my first running interval.  Once I reached the 8 minute mark, I really didn't know if I'd be able to finish the first jogging session....but I didn't want to quit.  I wanted to keep pushing myself...and I did.

I finished the first 12 minute jog and felt a rush of exhiliration.  I literally laughed out loud.  I was so proud.  The three minute walking interval went by fast - and I was extremely nervous about starting the second interval.  Once again, things got really tough when I reached the 8 minute mark.  I almost stopped.  Then, at 9 minutes I felt a burst of energy...and my pace started increasing.  By 10 minutes I was actually running.  Once my podcast said "one minute left, you can do it" I pushed myself harder than I've ever before....and finished the 12 minutes with an almost sprint. 

I completed two 12 minute jogging intervals with 3 minutes of walking in between and had ran 2 miles.  I finished with a pace time of 15:41 per mile - but that included the 5 minute warm up I did.

Still on the high from the night before, I decided to run again yesterday.  Just a short run.  I didn't want to use my C25K program...I just wanted to run.  So, that's what I did.  I ran a complete mile - without walking AT ALL - in 14:39.

Today, I'm going back to run another 5K.  This is where my blog title comes into play. 

I'm making a committment to myself to run a 5K each and every week between now and my first 5K race on April 30th.  The committment also includes upping my running intervals each week between now and then - and hopefully being able to run the entire time on the day I'm scheduled to compete.

The 5K I'm running in April is important to me.  I've plugged it a couple of times - and you can see my nice button at the top of my page.  It's for Breast Cancer - a cause I really want to support.

No, I don't have a story to share of how breast cancer has affected me or someone close to me.  I could tell you countless stories of how it's affected people I care about...and that's good enough for me.  My passion for this cause truly emerged when I ran last year's Susan G. Koman's Race for the Cure last year.  Seeing those men and women who had faught - or were still fighting - the disease make their way through the course with a smile on their face made me realize that I wanted to help any way I can.

Yes, training for and running in these races benefit me - I'm losing weight while pushing myself to reach my running goals.  But having the opportunity to do it for a cause I truly love makes it that much more important.  It makes it that much more imperitive that I give everything I can to do my best.

That is why, once again, I come to you with the plea of helping me out.  Last week, I was able to reach my half way point of my donation goal within a few minutes of posting my plea.  Today, I'm still in the exact same spot.  My goal is to raise $100.  That doesn't sound like much - but I would love to be able to reach that goal...and maybe even go higher. 

If you can, please help me out by making a small donation to this wonderful cause.  There is no amount that is too little - every little bit helps.

I've decided to host a little giveaway.  It's not a competition.  It's not a "chance" to win something.  I want to thank everyone that helps me.  So, I will be purchasing Susan G. Koman wristbands to send to everyone that makes a donation.

It's not much - but I want to show that I appreciate the support that I'm receiving.  This is my way to thank you AND support this cause.

To help me out, please click on my Participant button located on the top right of the page. :)

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Half Off Everything!!

Happy Saturday, everyone!!

If you're interested in hearing about my interviews I had yesterday, I wrote a post about that on my other blog:  Traveling My Mind

Today is a great day.

It's the first Saturday in a very long time that I'm not worried about how much homework I have.  I'm not worried about what I need to get done.  I'm not worried about deadlines or due dates...or any of it.  I can relax...well, relax from homework anyway.

Today is the day for finally getting to some of the things that have been on my "to-do" list that were given a back burner during the weeks of CRAZY.

First, it's time for some spring cleaning.  Time to get rid of the piles of boxes and winter clothes and toys that I'm sick of stepping over and on.  My dear little Jelly owns her own toy store - that just happens to be located in the back half of my living room. Jelly is in for a little shock today - when half of her store is going on CLEARANCE and being shipped off to a better home....the Goodwill store.

Then there are the boxes of clothes....what toy store would be complete without a selection of apparel from all seasons? Yeah, she's a diva.  Yeah she has tons of clothes...but it's time to get with the season - so it's half off with the clothes today.  Some are staying, some are going out to the storage building, some are going to Goodwill.

The original plans for my the back half of my living room - once hubby took over half of my office - was to transform it into a home gym...and a SMALL play area for Jelly.  Well, it became a LARGE play area for Jelly and something that could be depicted from a scene from Hoarders: Buried Alive.  There's no gym aspect involved - unless you count that the gym equipment makes a great clothes hanger or storage bench for even more junk.

It's adios to all of that crap today.

I'm not sure that I want the home gym, anymore - being that I have a membership to a gym and using it (somewhat).  I want Jelly to have a little play area.  It would be nice to just have a little extra room...some open space.  Is there anything wrong with just having an "open room"?

After cleaning, it's time to get my meal planning done for the week and head off for my weekly trip to the grocery store.  Lots of fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, fish and dairy making a comeback this week.  Now that the weather is getting nicer, it's time to start focusing on some lighter meals....maybe even brushing the dust off of the grill!!

After getting home from what is sure to be an adventure (I'm taking the kids...always much more interesting when they're with me) it will FINALLY be time to get some working-out done.  My original plan was to go to the gym today.  I wanted to take my brother and sister with me - who both decided to come and help me out this weekend.  That was until I found out that there's a $20 guest fee.  Yeah - I'm an unpaid intern...pretty sure I can get creative without using the gym this weekend.

We've decided that a trip to the park to play some soccer, another 2 mile run, and some weight work at home will be just as good.  They're going to be standing by helping me out and pushing me...which they've decided is worth a small fee IF I win the Biggest Loser competition.  That's pure family love and support right there!!

So, it's still a pretty busy day - but fun busy. 

That's what I've got going on - but what about you guys?  How are you?  How you doin'?  What's the weather like where you are right now?  Are things getting a little warmer, or are you still battling some pretty chilly temps?  What's on your to-do list for today??

SHARE PEOPLE!!  I LOVE hearing about what's going on with you.  ;)

K - time to get my day started...

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Friday, March 18, 2011

Last Chance Workout Weekend

I love the Biggest's probably one of my favorite shows on TV right now.

I don't get a lot of time to watch TV - but I figure if I'm going to watch any should be a show that's going to motivate me to not sit in front of it too long...that make sense?  Good.

This weekend, I've decided that I'm going to use my Biggest Loser motivation....and go into Last Chance Workout mode.  All weekend.

If for some reason you don't watch the show - well then you are missing out!! Wait, that's not where I was going...  IF for some reason you don't watch the show, the contestants perform a Last Chance Workout right before their weigh-in.

It's a grueling, intense, sweat pouring, last chance opportunity to burn as many calories possible - right before stepping on the scale for the weekly weigh in.

Being that my final weigh in for my Biggest Loser competition is Tuesday... I have 4 days to put in as many grueling, intense, sweat pouring work-outs I can....and I'm going to.

Just in case, for some strange reason, I don't give it my all...I've called in the big dogs.  Well, dog.  Well, that's not exactly a nice way to describe her.  My lil sister is coming to spend the weekend with me.  My little sister, who is 15 years old and an athlete.  She's not a natural athlete - she's a self made athlete.  A year ago, my sister was a little on the "heavy" side.  In no way would I have described her as fat or obese - just a little "cuddly".  In just a few months she went from being cuddly to crazy combat mode.

She plays basketball.  She runs - and when I say run... I mean a 5K in about 26 minutes run.  She's now a lean, mean, athletic machine...and I know that she will push me as hard as I need to be pushed this weekend.

This morning, I have 6 ten minute interviews with principals.  That in it self brings on some sweat - but after? That's when I'm hitting the gym.  I'm going for an hour to get in some strength training.  Later this afternoon, I'm going to pick up my sister - and then we're heading to the track for a short run. 

Tomorrow, we're both going to the gym.  For an intense work-out.  Cardio, weights...sweat, endurance.  Then we're going to come home and clean my house - well, rearrange my house.  I'm finally going to do the Spring cleaning I've been meaning to do for the past several weeks.  Load and carry boxes out to the storage building, clean carpets...that kind of stuff.  If the weather is nice tomorrow, the day may end with a few games of tag and frizbee in the yard with the kiddos.

Sunday, I'm back out to run another 5K.  This time, I'm upping my running intervals to twelve minutes.  Yes, you heard me.... TWELVE MINUTES running.  In the same time it will take me to run a 5K, no doubt my sister will have ran a 10K - but it's OK...just having her out there gives me motivation.

I have to take her home Sunday - but Monday?  That's my final day.  The day I can go to the gym and really pound out as much as I can before my big weigh-in Tuesday.

My diet this weekend is really important, also.  This past week has been anything but perfect.  I haven't drank much water.  I haven't eaten what I planned - or should have.  My whole body has been out of whack.  The lack of planning and structure and increase in stress have had serious effects on me.  So, for the next three days at least, it's nothing but water, wholesome grains, lots of veggies, lean meats - and planning!!  I'm bringing my calorie intake down - just a notch - and focusing on 1500 calories instead of my 1700 calories.

It's not a long term change - just a short term.  It's not that huge of a change - but every bit helps.  Conserving 200 calories a day between now and Tuesday saves me 800 calories...which can mean the differenence in losing one more pound.  It means I'm shooting for a calorie deficit of at least 1200 calories for the next 4 days...which equals 4800 calores...which could mean 1.4lb weight loss in just those 4 days.  If I work out harder - I could push that number up to 1500 calorie deficit each day giving me 6000 calories burned - almost 2lb loss.

Now I'm getting a head of myself.  If you haven't noticed, I'm pumped, I'm psyched. 

Competition hasn't really been a huge deal to me in a weight loss situation before.  I've always had the mentality to "do what I can"....well, that was true for a few weeks - and then I started slacking off.  Now "do what I can" has been transformed to "do more than I've ever done before".  I like that better.  It's all about the determination - and I'm rocking it at this very moment.

So, here I go.  Interview in 2 hours...and then the weekend full of working out BEGINS!

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Time to Get Back on Track

I did it!!

I'm finished!!

Senior project is done, finished, finito!!

I did my presentation yesterday - very well, I might add - and only went over my 12 minutes by 45 seconds.  I stood in front of my peers, my teachers, and my assistant principal with confidence and shared about all of the hard work I had done over the past six months.

The past two days have been a challenge.  Having to sit for 7 hours both days, surrounded by a plethora of junk food was hard.  Very hard.  I'm not going to sit here and say I didn't eat any of it - I did.  I didn't think of it as cheating or temptation or failing....I thought of it as just being a part of life.

I had a couple of cookies.  I ate breakfast casserole without asking how many calories were in it.  Yes, I even had a couple of oatmeal brownies.  For lunch I dashed for a salad...I really wanted a salad...I could have stayed in the room and eaten the from the junk buffet - but I didn't. 

Yesterday wasn't about thinking about how many calories I was eating.  It was about coming together with my peers and celebrating our accomplishments.  I didn't celebrate with the food - but I didn't feel guilty about eating it, either.  I knew that it was the end of something big - and once it was over I could get back to my "normal" life.

So, that's what happens today.  Life resumes....and so does getting back to my meal plans and exercise.

Today, I go back to the gym after being gone for more than a week.  I'm ready.  So ready. 

My body has not liked this hiatus one little bit.  I can feel it.  I feel sluggish, my energy is lacking...I need to be woken up by the refreshing feeling of sweat and hard work.

For the days between now and next Tuesday - I want to go into crazy catch-up mode.  I want to get into Biggest Loser Mode - because that's the competition I now have exactly 5 days to focus on.  Winning that competition would mean the world to me - because I have worked hard....the past couple of weeks has been a bit of a setback and I don't want to flush away the hard work I did before that.  I think it's time for some Last Chance Workouts....for the next 5 days.

I know, realistically, I'm not going to be able to pull the numbers I would like.  I honestly don't think that I'm even going to be able to pull the numbers I need to win - but I'm not going to give up.  I have to try.  I have to say that despite what I dealt with - I still finished strong.

So, here I am, basically saying I'M BACK!! 

That also means I'm getting back to reading AND commenting on blogs.  I've missed hearing from you all - and hopefully that will resume, too.

I need your support.  I need your encouragement.  I hope you haven't given up on me - because I haven't given up or disappeared or stopped caring about any of you.  You are what drives me each day...knowing that you're hear, reading about my successes..and sometimes lack of successes.

I also want to take this opportunity to give a little shout out to my Sisterhood challenge partner, Adah.  She has been so much more than a partner these past couple of weeks - she has been a true friend.  She has taken the time to send me emails of encouragement many times - and those emails have really helped get me through these past couple of weeks.  Thank you, Adah.  You have no idea how your kind words have helped me - and I'm going to give everything I can to be the best partner I can be.

Everyone have a great Thursday!!! 

Till next time.  ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weigh to Go Wednesday: What a Week!!

Spring In2 Action

My goodness what a week it has been...and it's only Wednesday!!

Today is a HUGE day for me....the day I've been waiting for since August.

Today is the day I FINALLY present my senior project to my peers, university liaisons, and school principal.  The day that has kept me away from my exercising, has completely messed with my schedule, stressed me out, and has kept me away from all of you.  Today is the day.

Am I nervous? A little.  I've worked very hard the past six months, and today I have exactly twelve minutes in which to explain six months of work.

I'm a talker.  I like to talk.  I'm worried I'll get up there and start talking - and before I know it, my time is up and I'm only on slide 5 of my 27 slide PowerPoint.

It also means that after today, I can have my life back.  The life of working out 7 days a week - and wanting to.  The life of having time to schedule my meal plans - and wanting to.  The life of being in control, working hard to lose weight, and being a good partner to my team mate - and wanting to.

Today is also weigh-in day. 

Last week wasn't great.  I gained 0.6lbs.  I was scared that this week would be even worse...but it's not, thankfully.  So, let's get to some results.

Challenge Start Weight:  214.6lbs
Weight Last Week:  215.2lbs
Weight This Week:  214lbs

I lost 1.2lbs - and I'm very happy with that.  Especially with how much stress I've been dealing with.

I guess my scale is finally taking a little pity on me.  The 5K I ran on Saturday might have helped a little, too.

I haven't gotten in any exercise this week - unless you count spending the day in Kindergarten on Monday.  I know that sounds funny - but I walk over 8,000 steps while I'm at work.  Kindergartners definitely keep you on your feet all day.

Yesterday was brutal.  For seven hours, I sat.  Just sat.  Getting up every couple of hours to stretch my legs.  I wanted to move - I hated being still.  Today I have to do it all over again - UGH!

I'm so ready to get back in to the gym AND get back outside and run....that's coming this weekend.  Oh yes it is!! The weather is supposed to be nice - which means I'm a running.

OK, time to get ready for the biggest day of my college career....until graduation, anyway.

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mini Goal Monday: Digging Down for Determination

This week is going to be tough.  Really tough.

It's a week of parent-teacher conferences, senior presentations, and interviews.  That means very little time to work-out....actually, more like NO time.

I'm a week away from the final weigh in for the Biggest Loser competition at work - and I have some pretty tough competition.  I started out doing great....but now that I've plateaued the past couple of weeks, I'm worried that I'm not going to do as great as I thought I would.

My scale and I are still not on the best of terms.  I did not hear what I wanted to hear this morning - but it also didn't increase the I guess I'm going to hold off until Wednesday to see what it has to say for it's self then.

I know that my current stress level isn't helping my weight level any.  I watch Biggest Loser contestants (TV show not work competition)  have bad weeks because of stress.  I now know how they can work their butts off for an entire week and lose maybe a pound or two...some even gain.  It's not because they're eating too much - it's because of the stress.  I think that I'm in that situation this very second.

On top of everything that I'm stressing about - the next two days are going to be BRUTAL!  I have to spend the days watching presentations made by my peers...that's not the brutal part.  The fact that there's going to be a snack buffet both days?  That's going to be brutal.  For a total of 7 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday, I'm going to be stuck in a room with a coral of snacks, desserts, sweets, and salty goods....or should I say BADS.

So, I have only two items for my to-do list this week:
  • Take my own snacks and resist the temptations awaiting me this week
  • Find some way to get in some exercise - any exercise is better than none
That's it.  It's all about will power this week.  Finding the strength inside to push through the barriers that await.  Really holding on to my mantra of Determination.  AND remembering that I have a partner that's counting on me for the Spring into Action challenge.

I know once I get through this week, the worst is over.  My senior project will finally be laid to rest.  My focus will be able to shift to finding a job.  I will be able to get back into my "groove" of going to the gym 4 days a week and running 3 days a week...something I have not done for the past 2 weeks.

I know all too well that getting one great work-out in each week just isn't enough.  Yeah, I ran a 5K on Saturday - just to get in a great work-out....but what did I do for the rest of the week?  I ran a mile the night before and had one trip to the gym.  Definitely not enough.

I think one of my biggest problems is that I expect too much a little too late.  Here I am a week away from the chance of winning a nice big cash prize - and I'm starting to think that I'm not going to do it.  I've lost 10lbs since the start of the Biggest Loser competition...which is good...but good enough?  My competition falls on two men that are on the verge of being athletes, a slender teacher that has managed to lose 6lbs in the past couple of weeks, and several other teachers that have been using Weight Watchers.  This was mine to win - but I think I let it slip from my fingers. 

Oh well - enough of this Negative Nancy stuff. 

Even if I don't win - that doesn't define who I am.  I have come such a long way - and have a long way to go.  Yeah, sure, the money would be great...but I have to let that go.  This isn't about the material prizes, it's about the physical prizes.  Getting down to a size 14 before summer?  That's a prize I'm fighting for.  Running a 5K on April 30th in less than 40 minutes?  Would be a huge win for me.  Just getting back to my schedule, my routine, and my comfort zone?  Ultimate prize package right there. 

Changing the subject just a little - but I can't help but notice some serious cricket chirping coming from my blog the past couple of weeks.  I know it probably has a lot to do with my being gone from my social networks.  I want you to know that I miss you all - I hate not hearing from you - and I'm going to try my best to get back to connecting with you all as soon as I can.  I want you to know that I am reading your blogs - every chance I get.  I haven't been very comment happy, but that's only due to my lack of time.  You'll be hearing from me soon, I promise.

Lastly, a huge shout-out to my friend, Cathy.  Thank you for the wonderful donation to Race for the Cure.  I am now half way to my fundraising goal - in a matter of one day!!

I hope to make it to my fund raising goal - and would love your support.  If you can, please click on the Susan G. Koman logo on the sidebar and help any way you can.

Till next time. ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter

Sunday, March 13, 2011

5K for Fun - Now I Need Your Help

Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day here in Northwest Arkansas.  The sun was shining, the birds were singing, there was a slight breeze - and the temperature was in the upper 60s....BEAUTIFUL!!
This time yesterday morning, I was having an internal conflict.  Saturday is usually the day I go to the gym.  I go to the gym on Saturday and run on Sunday.  Looking out my window told me that I didn't think that was going to happen.

All I could think about while looking out of my window was going for a run.  I wanted to run - BAD.  It was the first day of the year that was nice AND wasn't extremely windy.  I don't mind the wind - I like to use it for resistance - but it was nice thinking about going for a run just to enjoy the weather.  So that's exactly what I decided to do.

Before I left, I made another decision - I was going to run my first 5K of the year....just for the fun of it.  It was more to see how I would do...could I do a whole 5K, what kind of time I could do it in...that sort of stuff.

In case I got there and chickened out - I decided to make a public announcement on Facebook.  I wanted to hold myself accountable - so that I didn't get half way through, realize it was a little too hard, and give up.

Well, I got to the track and started my 5 minute warm-up.  I decided to stick with the 8 min jog/ 2 min walk intervals that I started last weekend.  Last weekend was the first and ONLY time I have ever been able to run that long - and that was for 2.2 miles.  It was difficult, but I really pushed myself to finish.  This time, I was going to have to push myself for an extra mile.

I started strong.  I could feel that my pace had increased since starting the C25K back in January.  Back then, I used the term "wog" as what I was doing for my jogging intervals.  It was more of a walk/jog combination.  I was convinced that I actually walked faster during my walking intervals than I did when I was supposed to be jogging....but not anymore.  My legs are coming much further off the ground, my strides are getting bigger....and I'm getting very close to moving up from jogging to actual running.

I completed the first mile and felt some tightness in my calf muscles.  Not pain - not uncomfortable...just tightness.  By the second end of the second 8 min jog interval I didn't want to jogging had become comfortable and I didn't want to mess it up by slowing down - but I did.  I just walked FAST. 

Getting through the first two miles was almost easy.  My legs were warm and enjoying the push.  Once I got past 2 miles...things started getting a little more difficult.  My legs were like jello for the walk interval after the third 8 minute jog.  Then I had to restart my podcast over because week 5 only has me running for 30 minutes.  I decided to "wog" through the warm-up portion of the repeated podcast.  I didn't want to lose momentum, but I could feel that my legs were really having a hard time.  The fourth 8 minute jog approached and I picked up speed again.  I completed over 1/2 a mile in the 8 minutes and I finished the 5K.
I finished the 5K in 44:59....a second shy of 45 minutes.  That puts my pace a little less than 15 minutes per mile - 14:42 per mile to be exact.  The fact that the time also includes the 5 minute warm up walk and a 5 min "wog" in the middle gives me a little hope that I can do much better by the time my first competitive race comes up in April. 

Last year, I ran my first 5K race EVER in April.  It was the Susan G. Koman Race for the Cure...the same race I will be doing April 30th of this year.  It was probably one of the worst days of my life - I finished in severe pain and spent two days after recovering due to a nasty knee that DID NOT appreciate what I had put it through.

I have come a long way in a year - and I'm not there yet.  My goal is to finish the race in less than 40 minutes.  I think I can do it. 

Before I go, I want to send out a plea for your help.  Last year, I did not promote my participation.  I did not raise any money for Susan G. Koman - except for my race entry fee.  I'd like to really make a difference this year.

If you can, please help me raise some money for this great cause.  I've worked very hard - and plan on working very hard to do the best I can this year.  I'd like to do that physically - and monetarily.

So, if you can - please make a small donation and help me raise my goal of $100.  I've already got it started...and now I need you to help me get there.

Please visit my donation page and donate what you can.
Till next time.  ;)
Created by MyFitnessPal - Free Calorie Counter