Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Are you a Pusha Man?

It is that time of the year where cookies, cakes and sweet treats are in abundance everywhere you go. They are hard to avoid and many times your will power is tested many times a day. I say have a cookie or a slice of something and move on.

There are however some people that make that a difficult task. You know who I am talking about, I like to call them the "Pusha Man". They are the people that insist you eat some of their cookies because they are so good and demand that you have seconds because you only live once.  The walk around the office with tins of treats adorning Holiday sweaters
waiting for you.
The question is are you the "Pusha Man"? Regarless if it is with Holiday treats or gym invitations. Are you constantly bombarding others with offers that they want to refuse.  We have to be aware that not everyone wants to partake in our treats or workouts. We need be conscious or attempts to persuade or annoy others with our offers. Sometimes we are so excited about what we have to offer that we want everyone to partake in our joy. Be-careful  you may be a Pusha Man!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 5-8

The past few days have been hectic!!!! I have been getting mine in through out the day, I have yet to miss a day.  The push ups are getting easier  but the lunges hurt!!!!

How are you doing on this challenge?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 4

Today is usually my day off from the gym, so I am sore!!!!!
Anyway, I ran the 2 miles first because running is my thing. In fact the running part is fun to me( I know scary). So I think that is the easy part to the challenge.  The push ups hurt and I am truly feeling the burn today. The crunches and lunges were not that bad but I am sure  I will feel the burn soon. 

Push up Stats:                    2 Mile Stats:
                 Day 1- 41            Day 2- 26 minutes
                 Day 2 - 44           Day 3 -  21 min
                 Day 3 -39            Day 4 - 23 min
                 Day 4 - 46 

How was your day 4?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day 3

So today,  decided to plan these sessions. I work out 6 days a week so I am doing this in addition to my workout. I think by day 7 this might take the place of my workout though. Until then I am breaking these activities up throughout the day. So when I got up today, I did my 1 minutes of push ups and ran 4.3 miles.  This evening when I went to the gym I completed my lunges.

I will say that I am feeling these push ups!! My chest is sore and I think I will keep the pushups as a morning routine. This is taking me back to the endurance I built up doing P90X .

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 1

Day 1:   1 minute of pushups, you may have to stop but keep track of your time. So even if it takes you 5 minutes you will get in 1 minute. You can do these on your knees or your toes.

Day one was not extremely difficult, with the exception of having a five year old record my push ups. So I actually did thirteen minutes of push ups before I decided, to just to have him, take a picture of me doing a  push ups instead of a video. I am actually excited to see how this 12 day work out turns out. If you go to my Face book page you will be able to see the video narrated by my 5 year old.

Friday, December 2, 2011

12 Days of Fitness Challenge

For 12 consecutive days you will be assigned a different task each day. 
Starts on December 5th, 2011 
The Challenge
Be sure to check with your physician before starting any exercise program. If you are currently working with a rehab specialist, you may want to ask him/her about performing any of the exercises described below.

Day 1:   1 minutes of pushups, you may have to stop but keep track of your time. So even if it takes you 5 minutes you will get in 1 minute. You can do these on your knees or your toes.
Day 2:  1 Minute of Pushups.  2 miles of cardio (on a treadmill, at the mall, outside, at an outdoor/indoor track, etc…). You could also use an elliptical, bike, or even do laps in a pool.  The goal is to work hard, sweat and burn calories!!!
DAY 3:  1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio and 3 sets of lunges (12 to15) per leg. Make sure you take breaks in between your sets. Example
Day 4:   1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio, 3 sets of lunges and 4 sets of crunches (15 to 20)
Day 5:  1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio, 3 sets of lunges, 4 sets of crunches and 5 walking lunges with at least 5 pounds. Example
Day 6:   1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio, 3 sets of lunges, 4 sets of crunches, 5 walking lunges and 6 minutes  stretching
Day 7: 1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio, 3 sets of lunges, 4 sets of crunches, 5 walking lunges, 6 minutes  stretching and  7 Yoga poses click here for examples
Day 8: 1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio, 3 sets of lunges, 4 sets of crunches, 5 walking lunges, 6 minutes  stretching , 7 Yoga poses , 8 squat jumps Example
Day 9:  1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio, 3 sets of lunges, 4 sets of crunches, 5 walking lunges, 6 minutes  stretching , 7 Yoga poses , 8 squat jumps  and find some stairs there should be at least 10 of them, run up and down them  9 times.
Day 10:  :  1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio, 3 sets of lunges, 4 sets of crunches, 5 walking lunges, 6 minutes  stretching , 7 Yoga poses , 8 squat jump, run stairs 9 times. 10 assisted or unassisted pull-ups.

Day 11: 1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio, 3 sets of lunges, 4 sets of crunches, 5 walking lunges, 6 minutes  stretching , 7 Yoga poses , 8 squat jump, run stairs 9 times. 10 pull-ups. 11 bicep curls for each arm with a challenging weight.  

Day 12: 1 minute of pushups, 2 miles of cardio, 3 sets of lunges, 4 sets of crunches, 5 walking lunges, 6 minutes  stretching , 7 Yoga poses , 8 squat jump, run stairs 9 times. 10 pull-ups. 11 bicep curls for each arm with a challenging weight.  12 mountain climbers Example

 Are you in????

(shout out to my girl SW for the picture)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Change is good

ha ha ha ha ha. I have to laugh  at my self because after six weeks of immersing my self in locking my hair. I have removed them. I am not ready, it does not mean I wont do it in the future, just not now.

I am also embracing my days off a little bit more,I have been in overdrive for a year and my days off seemed to have disappeared as of late. I was reading Oxygen magazine a few days ago and I realized that some months I go 3 weeks without an adequate rest day.  Rest is necessary for your muscles to recover and I need  to take rest days more often. I feel awesome and recharged after a day of rest last week.

As you can see from the ticker on the side I  have taken a break from the scale, it has been refreshing in fact. I will jump on the scale Saturday to see what my progress has been. I am looking forward to making it to goal. It seems so close but so far away sometimes.  A new year is approaching, stay tuned I will post my 2012 goals soon!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I keep getting asked what keeps me going on this journey.  What is my motivation?
I have my days were I am like F&^% this!!! and I want to drown myself in chocolate. Days where I feel like just sitting all day and not moving off the couch.  The thing is I have been on this journey before  and I have given up before. Only to slowly roll back into the same position I was in before.  

Part of my motivation is that I know what it is like to be stuck on the "couch". The couch is just a metaphor for where ever you cant seem to get away from because of your weight. So I have been stuck in the "plus size section" and benched during the game. Unable to ride the rides at the amusement park and uncomfortable on the plane. I have been ridiculed for my weight and laughed at.  I have always been a strong person but I cant say those things have not been motivation. Why would I want to be back in that position again. A position that I myself would be creating.

Beyond the superficial reason I have already listed, I have to say that I feel differently now. I  am much more energetic and positive because of who I have become. I know that there is a solution to every problem, that I just have to find.

So when I am feeling like giving up, I take a moment and remember where I came from. I think about all the hard work a dedication it took to get where I am. I enjoy a piece of chocolate and  then head to complete my workout. Half way through my work out I usually forget why I doubted myself in the first place.

I also want to add as  mothers(fathers), wives(husbands),employees,  friends etc. we have tons of responsibilities. If  you are to be successful you must dedicate time to your self everyday.  With out excuses, nothing can come in the way of your time. You must make time even on busy days to take care of yourself. That is the one thing I do now, is I invest in me!!! If I know that I will have a busy day, I plan everything around my workout.  I love my family but if i am not happy they wont get the best me. So I have to put me first for 2 hours a day!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving is coming......

Seriously when you are trying to lose weight Thanksgiving is definitely the elephant in the room. Forgetting what is is really supposed to mean , this holiday is all about food. Not just any food but fattening and extremely tasty food. If you grew up in my family, it was never done on a small scale. The amount of food that was available could have easily fed the entire neighborhood. In fact it usually did feed the neighborhood and there were leftovers.

I have some awesome memories from those holiday but now that look back. It was not about the food but about the family and friends that we got to share it with. In the past eight years, I noticed that thanksgiving has not been the same, the same food was available  but the people were gone.  In the past few years I have been reducing the amount of food that I cook for the holidays. Making it a simple meal instead of one that lingers in the house for days. 

This year I am deviating from the traditional menu, I am actually making a seafood dinner. Steamed seafood , pasta salad and a vegetables . I am making one yummy desert but I have to figure out what it will be. Our gym will be open on Thanksgiving, so we will start the day off in the gym playing basketball with the boys.  Then head home and everyone will have something to do in the kitchen to help prepare our meal. I am excited about thanksgiving this year because I think we will be creating some new traditions. I want my children to remember this time not because of the food but because of the memories we made.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

There is no such thing as failure!!!

Yes you read the title correctly, there is no such thing as failure when it come to fitness.  This is a journey that will last a lifetime. You will never fail as long as you keep going.  I have been doing some research and have some great things to share.

Burning fat: Are you burning fat when you workout? Well if you are working out for less than twenty minutes, then the answer is no!!! You don't start burning fat until you  have been exercising for twenty minutes.   What does this mean? Well it means that you need be exercising for at minimum of 20 minutes.  To be honest it should be at least an hour a day to make significant progress

Building Muscle:  Are you doing resistance training?  Muscle burns more calories than fat, so if you have lean muscle you will burn more calories a day.  There is a myth that lifting weights will make you bulky. It is in fact a myth.  Lifting weights will only build lean muscle that will in turn help you burn more fat!  You should be weight training at least 3 days a week.   Don forget to change you program every 4 to 6 weeks.  a Plateau occurs when you do are doing the resistance exercises for a long period of time. You want your body to remain confused, so variety is necessary. I alternate 3 different programs every 4 weeks .

Cardio or Weights: Many of us go to the gym and we do both weight training and cardio in the same session.  Most of you will do your cardio first , just to get it out of the way.  However since you don't start burning fat until 20 minutes into you workout, you should do your weights first. You are going to expel more energy doing cardio. So you want to burn most of your fat doing  your cardio.

I hope these tips were helpful.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Changes, Beautiful Changes

I have been natural for about ten years. For the most part I have worn braids, weaves, afros, wigs,twists and occasionally I have rocked a press and curl. With a consistent work out schedule the one thing I have noticed is that my hairstyles don't last long. My braids are lasting about six weeks and then they need to be redone. So that is a pretty expensive  thing to deal with at $120 to $200  every six weeks.

The other issue I have is that my hair tends to loc when I am wearing braids and taking them out has become a process. I am tired of afros and I don't think I could stand another weave. So for about two years I have been considering locing my hair. I went back and forth because I feel like it is a permanent decision and I wanted to be confidant in my decision.  I took the plunge last week and got some coils put in my hair to start the locing process.  I excited to see what they will become.

I am also on the hunt for a gym with a bit more to it than Planet Fitness. I have to say I am horribly bored with that place. They lack  variety in their equipment is driving me insane.  Now for 20$ a month they are a steal. If you are just starting out then I would recommend a gym with a minimal investment. Now that I am ten pounds away from my goal, I see that my work out routine is a bit more extensive than it used to be. I spend about two hours in the gym five days a week. 45 minutes on cardio, 45 minutes on weights, then thirty minutes on my warm up and cool down. I  find my self bored with P90X and Insanity and I don't want to reach a road block .

So I decided to tour the gyms in my area and  have taken advantage of the weekly free passes. I am currently visiting Golds and I love it.  I think I  am sold they have something for my entire family. Now the issue is that Golds is expensive  for a family membership it is 109.00 a month. That is a large chunk of change. It does include a kids club and free child care for two hours while you workout. The kids gym is awesome and shoot, I want to play in there. I love the fact that my husband and I will be able to work out together again with out the children. I also will be able to work out when he is working.  I guess I am kind of talking my self into it right now. So I am on the fence and I am trying to see how that will fit into my budget.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Releasing the invisible weight

Losing this weight has be a serious journey, not just a physical one either. It has been a emotional and mental journey. Many of us carry with us an invisible weight. One that keeps us in the refrigerator trying to eat away the pain of the past traumatic events.   I realize that even if I change my physically habits, that mentally I can still be where I was. Yes I was over weight because I ate too much but why  was I eating.

Addressing that question is the beginning of healing wounds that have been open for over 20 years. I have no doubt that I may lose a  few people along the way. I am however done carrying the burdens of old. Wrongs that were not my own and protecting secrets that unearth the Mr. Hyde's lurking around.  20 years of weight that I smothered myself with, over 100lbs of weight. 

As I release my self of this weight I can only imagine what many of you are holding onto. Many times we think that we must suffer in silence to protect others. In the long run, you are suffering and  those you protect  are living.  As you make external changes, you will  soon find a desire to make internal changes. When  you make positive  internal changes, your external life will reflect the positivity you are encompassing.

Today I am free all of the weight , that was holding me down. Light as a feather........

Friday, September 30, 2011

Can you still eat chocolate?

I had to laugh when a colleague asked me this today.  I was leaving the book store after  picking  up my chocolate fix  and she appeared mortified at my purchase.  As if I was  going to destroy all of my hard work with one candy bar. It takes far more than one candy bar to gain 89 pounds back.

However, I do eat chocolate just not the way I used to, instead of purchasing a king size candy bar and eating the entire thing.  I break it into 4 pieces and enjoy 1/4 of it a day over  4 days. This way I still get my chocolate  fix but it does not effect my waist line.  I add it into my daily points values and  forget it. I don't do this every week or everyday. Even if I did, everything in moderation is OK!

I have found that over eating is difficult for me to do now. My body show signs of being full much sooner than it did in the past.  When I am full my body shows, no interest in food and it is hard for me to consume unnecessary calories. I now look for my body to signal hunger before I eat, and this has become second nature to me.  In the past I remember eating an never feeling hunger or feeling like I was always starving.  I no longer have those uncomfortable feelings. I think that is an accomplishment, it shows  that I am in control!!!!

Don be afraid of your favorite things, find a way to eat them in moderation that work for you.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Small Changes

Working out does not have to be painful and grueling. Working out can be fun if you learn how to enjoy simple everyday things. Sunday  and  Tuesday we have a dance hour in my house, it was started to run out some of that energy that my kids have before they wind down for bed.  Not only is it fun but, it is a work out. By the time we are done everyone is sweating and  bath time is a necessary for everyone involved.  My kids love it  and they are always asking " Do we have dance hour today?" My one year old frequently walks up to the television and starts to dance and points at me.

Another thing that I now do religiously is take the stairs, it does not matter how many flights. I always take the stairs up and down.  It has been my goal for quite sometime not to be winded when I reached the top step. Currently I can do ten  flights with out breaking a sweat and that feels amazing. Shoot a lady still has to look good when she reaches her destinations. I have been known to take off my shoes and carry toiletries just in case.

Finally, we all must shop regardless of what we are shopping for. If you park in the farthest spot possible you will be sure to get a workout every time you go to the grocery store.  I usually park in the last spot available in the lot.  A few small changes will help increase your activity level slowly. Don't be afraid to change some habits,  change  will eventually  help you  Get Off The Couch!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

My hectic life

So my  life has been so hectic, my son plays football now. So my evening are a constant race to get to practice, make dinner, eat, work out , give baths, read stories and prep for the next day. 
I have created a checklist of what has to be done each day and for me working out is on the list. I know myself and as much as I love running outside,cold weather is deterrent. So as of tomorrow I am back in the gym in the morning. It is actually a good thing because I need  to shake up my routine and the gym will help me do that.

On a side note no one told me that my calf's would shrink so, now I have to replace all of my knee boots. I am dreading the loss of my lovely shoes :(   Oh well if getting off the couch gets me three new pairs of knee boots who am I to complain.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goal Day!!!!

I have to thank Val for the split pictures that she did for me.  You can see the difference is crazy with these amazing pictures. I have lost close to ninety pounds of fat and I feel amazing. As you can see by the ticker on the side I still have some weight left to lose. I will continue to work toward my weight loss goal until I achieve it but I am also focusing on other  fitness goals as well.

1.  extending my daily run to 6 miles

2.  (next year)  Bikini photo with great abs!!!

3. Running a 1/2 marathon

4. Complete P90X2

5. Work on my muscle definition

6.  To actually write my food down instead of tracking on the computer. I sometimes fail to keep track when I dont have access technology. So I plan to start writing my food down because I should have no excuses

WOW  my goals are different!!!!!! I can say that I have completed all of my previous goals and I am looking forward to sharing the rest of this journey with you all.  Next goal day January 1, I should be running 6 miles a day by then. Time to get some cold weather running gear. If you have any doubt about Getting Off The Couch. I can tell you , that you wont regret  it. If you cant get off the couch, I have a solution for you to, until you can. 

This Elliptical machine has an average cost of $80.00 and you can sit on the couch and use it. That is until you can get off the couch  on your own.   You can start this journey today, it is your life!

Blessings and Love!!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What the @#$% am I doing wrong!!!!

That is how I felt a bit last month when I felt like I hit a Plataea . I really had to look at what I was doing and make sure I was really on plan.  On the Surface it appeared that was, I was running every morning, eating fairly well. I would treat myself occasionally but nothing to extravagant or high in calories.

So I decided to sit down and look at a few things:
1. My food diary
2. My fitness journal and run keeper
3. My attitude

1. Food Diary:
I realized that I failed to complete some of  meal entries and that I had  over indulged in some meals then skipped others. I also realized that I was eating almost the same thing every week. Shoot i got bored just reading it. That would explain why I am finding my self, uninterested in food more and more.

2. Fitness Journal:
My journal showed that I was consistent with working out but in the intensity column I was checking moderate. Which means to me that I was not working as hard as could be working out during some of my workouts. I also saw that I was doing some of the same workout consistently and I was getting bored with them. Running was consistent I did it six days a week but my distance was not progressing, I was consistently at 3.5 miles.

3. Attitude:
Hmmmm what can I say, I have been a bit annoyed with everything lately. So I am sort of being ruled by emotions and it is time for me to let my brain take control.

After reviewing all of that I realize that I need to get out the cook book or my stack of cooking light magazines and do some meal planning.  I really need to make sure that I write down everything that I eat as well.   Enjoying what I eat is important to me, I did not gain 110 extra pounds eating boring food. So I am not going to lose the weight eating boring food!! I also have to get back the intensity in my workouts, find my hunger again. Running will always be a part of my life so, I need to increase my distance. Finally my attitude, I have to stop worrying about things I can not control and stop letting emotions rule me.

I think I have said this time and time again, this journey is a very difficult one. I am learning about my self more and more each day. Even though this road is a narrow one, I am so glad I decided to Get off The Couch!!!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Vacation complexities

I am so sorry that I have been MIA but vacation has made it difficult to blog. So vacation was great, I maintained my running schedule although to be honest I had to stop working out twice a day for a week.  Eating was a challenge, we were gone for like three weeks.  So I did eat a few meals that I would not consider part of my plan. However I am ok with it, I did not gain but I only loss a 1/2 a pound in three weeks. So I guess you can say I did OK, considering living in hotels, spare rooms and traveling non stop for three weeks.

Where am I now?, well I am working on getting back to my 6am running schedule. The summer was awesome because I was able to run at 8am but since I need to be at work at 8 that is out of the question. I am also participating in 10lbs challenge with my husband. I am don't want to lose that bet so I am focused!!!

So I am in the max interval part of Insanity and it is indeed insane!!!!!!  So I am back from vacation and still grinding toward my goal. I wont stop even whenI get there!!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

BMI Category

I have officially left the obese category, according to my BMI I am now in the overweight category.  This is a major goal completion for me. I have been working  so hard to get out of that high risk category and  I am so proud to have reduced my health risks. 

If you look to the right you will see  I have reduced my BMI by 16 points and lost 86.4 pounds, in the eleven months since starting this journey. I turned 32 on Sunday and I was in the best shape of my life. I am truly amazed at the things my body can do!!! From running, to P90x to Insanity I am pushing my limits now.

My children notice that I am changing my habits, my oldest son now asks to run with me and tries to lift weights. My newly one year old, routinely breaks into downward dog. He also loves my yoga mat and claps while I work out.

I know I say this all the time but my life has changed drastically because of this journey. If you are considering starting a journey that will improve your health. Don't wait!!! Get Off The Couch!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Late Night Changes

Wow where do I start, I realized today that my late night habits have changed. In the past when I could not sleep I would eat. Lately I press play on my insanity dvds  then take a hot shower.
This is a change I am so proud of.  Who would have thought, me working out instead of eating.
My goals seem attainable and every day I am closer to where I want to be.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Goal Day Change

I have to admit I was convinced that I would make it to goal in 9 months but reality has hit me in the face. That with a few weeks left 26 pounds will not vanish in that time. So I pushed it back and I am OK with it, part of this journey is adapting and changing. I am off for the summer, so I start my day, 6 days a week with a run. I actually look forward to it and wake up in the morning pumped!!!In the evening, I was doing P90X and now I am doing Insanity. I find that I can do so much more than I ever thought I could.  I am physically strong now, with muscles forming and visible.

 I completed the  P90X lean program and that program changed my life.  I can do pull ups, chin ups and push ups!!Theses are things that I used to watch other people do and never thought I woud be phsyically able. Now I pump them in out in sets of 25!! Yes SETS OF 25!!!!  I am also taking swimming lessons again, so that I can be comfortable swimming laps.  If you remember one of my earlier blogs, I said that one of my goals was to wear shorts. Well I own several pairs now and wear them on a daily basis!!!

When I started this blog, I did it to keep myself motivated. I have since met some amazing people that are on the same journey. It amazes me, how magnificent the men and women  are that I have encountered on this journey.  They are also a wealth of information, I blog jump looking for recipes and dinner ideas. I have also joined  two groups on face book, with  two very different groups of people. Each group keeps me motivated in a different way. I must just say "WOW" this journey has changed my life. I am a different person physically, mentally and emotionally. Everyone around me can see that I am brighter(lighter) every day.

If you are contemplating a change, don't think about it one more day. DO IT!! Get Off The Couch!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unsolicitated Advice

I have hit a point in my weight loss where I am being barraged with advice. I am sure that most of it is from people who love me. I am also convinced that they are not educated on the process that I am going through.
Comments such as "You look good now but if you keep losing weight you will look like a crack head" ,"Don't get too skinny" , " Ooh you have lost enough weight", " Why are you still working out?", " Do you eat, you cant be on a diet forever"   and the infamous " You know men like a woman with some meat their bones".

Now I have been a big girl my entire life. No one told me when I was fat and that I needed to lose weight. Now that I am on a journey to be healthy they have a lot to say. I understand that people may mean well but if you are a friend or family member of a person a weight loss journey. You need to know those are  horrible things to say to a person.  If you are eating right and exercising  there is no way you will end up looking like  a"Crack Head".  "Crack Heads don't eat, they take drugs and do horrendous things to their bodies.

In reality if a person has been over weight their entire life , when they lose weight they will look different. In time you will get used to their new look and it wont be so shocking.  Right now I look fabulous with clothes on but my goal it to look good naked. My husband brought me back a bikini from Miami and I plan to model it for him on the beach. Looking fabulous in it!!!

All jokes aside, someone who is on the verge of loosing their willpower might be affected by those comments. So if you have someone in your life going through a weight loss journey be supportive.  Positivity is the best support because this is not an easy journey!!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Kindness of Strangers

As many of you know we have been dealing with record heat here in the North East. I am still running in the morning with a water bottle strapped to my hip. I don't know if you remember my post a while back about how I scout out my routes. Like looking for mom with small children and introducing my self to regulars I see.   Well, you never know who is watching you.

When I run early in the morning I always see a nice elderly lady on her porch drinking coffee and rocking in her chair. I always wave at her and say "Hi", she always yells "Keep up the good work!." Recently as I turned on her corner, I circle her block twice. I reached for my water bottle to find it empty , disappointed with my self, I said whatever and kept running.  As I circled her block for the second time, she was standing at the corner with a ice cold bottle of water. She passed it off to me and said " Keep Going!".  I thanked her and kept in stride because that is what she told me to do.   

What a wonderful person , who with out a thought decided to help a stranger. Today I dropped a plant off on her porch with a card that said" Keep Going". Someone you don't even know is pulling for you to succeed on your journey. So KEEP GOING!!! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rain Rain Go Away!!!!!!!!

The rain is really messing up my workout plans lately! So I had to make some decision, I mean am I going to let the rain stop me from hitting the pavement. Since we are going on week two of constant rain, the answer had to be NO. I  have dodged the torrential downpours so far but I knew my luck would run out.

So today  I packed my poncho and after work today, I headed out for my run. Half way through my route, it started to rain and I pulled out my poncho.  It actually was not that  bad, the rain cooled me down and I felt my stride increase.  I made in home in record time, in fact as I turned the corner on my street the rain stopped.  I of course had to wash and blow dry my hair but that  was not a real issue since I am natural.

I am very proud o f myself for removing a roadblock, getting of the couch is getting easier each day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Small victories

 I have a list of small victories that I want to share:

1. I broke into the 170"s 

2.  I ran 3 miles in 29 minutes today

3. I went 7 days without chocolate

4. My dress size is officially a 10

5. I can do 35 push up without stopping

6. I have only 2 processed food product in my pantry, so my pantry 97% clean

7. In the past 6 months I've ran 678miles

Some people might look at this list and think these things are insignificant. To me they are my small victories and every victory counts!!!  Sometimes I get so caught in my overall goal that I forget to celebrate the small victories. This week I made a conscious decision to look at some of the immediate accomplishments I have made. So if you haven't done so today CELEBRATE!!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Reving up for summer

I am so in love with the sunshine!!! With gas prices so high I really  had to put getting fit in perspective. The most basic tools you can use are your legs. My job is a few miles from my home, by car it takes me literally 10 minutes to get to work.  I decided that I would run home from work 2 days a week. I started this venture about two weeks ago. The first day I did a combination of walking and running, I think more so because I needed to scope out my surroundings.

The first time I take a new route, I feel it is necessary to scope out your surroundings for safety. Look at the buildings and residences in the area.  I make myself  aware of the people that are hanging around on a regular basis. In fact I always make sure to look out for mom's with children that I see on a regular basis. I make it a point to speak to them regularly. Mothers are very observant , even more so when they are outside with their children. In the event that you are ever in trouble that will be the person to remember you and what  happened .

The next thing I pay attention to  are the small business's in the area and what time they open and close. Most small business's have loyal customers and maintain consistent hours and employees. I make it a point to stop in and patronize one of them to make myself familiar with owner and so that have another safe zone. Finally I scope out the terrain and the traffic pattern. 

I  have cut my commute home down to 30 minutes and it is actually refreshing to  burn off all the stress of work  before I get home.  Did I tell you all that I am doing P90X, I will be completing my first 90 days in the second week of june. I will post my results then, Thanks again for all your support and encouragement!!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Crunching Numbers

I got a few e-mails from folks asking me how I decided my goal weight.  They  are saying that looking at my pictures I should be at goal. Well pictures don't tell the whole story, in fact there are a few factor that I considered when I determined my goal weight.

     1. BMI:   Body Mass Index which  is a number calculated from  my weight  divided by the square of my  height.  It provides a good indication of body fatness.  I know that  the BMI formula depends only upon weight and height, its assumptions about the distribution between lean mass and adipose tissue are not always exact.  But I have a  lot of  fatty tissues so I am unlikely to overestimates  body fat  unlike those with more lean body tissue. My goal is to be in the normal range of 18.5 -25.

2.  WAIST: Waist Circumference above 35( in women)  is associated with an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease when your BMI is between 25 and 34.9. To determine my waist circumference, I located my  upper hip bone and placed a measuring tape around my abdomen .I made sure that  not to push in my skin, then  took a breathe and measured my waist. .  I don't have  specific goal in mind just to be below 35.
3. LEGS: I want my legs to be muscular and shapely. So until they look the  way I want I will keep pushing forward. I carried a lot of my weight in my legs , so I need to burn that fat stored there.  See my leg idol on the right ----------------->
So I still have a few months to go in my journey and  if I have not complete my goals by July 20, 2011 I will keep going. In fact I will never stop this pursuit because this is a lifestyle change, nothing about this is temporary.

Monday, April 18, 2011

New Phase.

   So a friend completed a side by side photo of me and as you can see there is a huge difference. I am so pleased that all my hard work is visible to the world!!!!!!  When I look at these pictures both of which shock me. I am convinced that I made the right decision, when I decided to change my life. 

What a difference eight months make!! I have about three months left until my goal day and I am going through yet another transition. I have had to walk a fine line when it came to nutrition because I  have been exclusively breast feeding my son. He has a huge appetite and I  have  been eating an additional five hundred calories a day.  I made the personal decision to wean him and as of Thursday I will no longer need those  additional calories.

So I had to sit down and see where I was getting those calories from. I realized that I would add unnecessary snacks into my day to fill the gap.  Looking at my daily journals, I realized that it wont be that difficult to reduce my caloric intake. I am however  giving my self a week to adjust, I am reducing my calories daily instead of drastically. So a hundred a day until I am on a normal diet. 

So instead of ten  mini meals a day, I will go to six mini meals a day in a four day span. I did consult my doctor about reducing my caloric intake. She reminded me that my activity level is very high. So if I get hungry, I should  drink water first to see if it is thirst. If I am still hungry ten minutes later then I need to eat something  high in protein. Something that I did not think of and I love my doctor because through out this journey she has personally handled all of my phone calls. On a side note you too should be contacting your physician if you are starting any diet or excercise  program.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Poor Visibility

Usually when you hear the term visibility you think of meteorology.  I have been thinking more and more about my visible self. I think that we have the ability to make ourselves less visible to the world. We do this by hiding our smiles, wearing frumpy clothing or not engaging others. I am sure I can add several other things to the list. I think the point is that when you are unhappy with yourself you do things so that you feel others don’t see you.

It is a skill that I believe I mastered when I was unhappy with my appearance. I think that becoming visible is a complex process that one goes through. Part of the problem is that when you lose weight, it is hard for you to see your transformation. You have people that you love telling you on a daily basis how wonderful you look.  It is possible that when you look in the mirror you still see some things that you need to work on.

I think as we become more visible things change about you.  For example confidence:  I am more confident and I have a positive attitude that I think is contagious.  I am usually very cheery and I think that my students even see a difference in my attitude. I walk with my head high and smile all the time. So far I like being visible, I think when I am visible I can change the world. Becoming my visible self has allowed me to improve every aspect of my life.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This is an important journey.

I received a phone call a few minutes ago from an old friend. We reconnected on facebook recently and she has been following my journey. We'd both been pretty proud of our curves in the past. Calling ourselves PHAT( Pretty Hot and Thick) . So I kinda of dreaded having the conversation  with her regarding my weight loss journey.
We made small talk but when the conversation turned to her health, she had horrific news. At five feet tall weighing two hundred and eight pounds her health is failing. She has has type two diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and her joints hurt when she walks. This woman is thirty years old and dreams of doing so many wonderful things. She is a social worker and has a beautiful spirit that matches her amazing smile. With a husband and a daughter to take care of, it is a scary  that these preventable ailments are endangering her life right now.
So when she asked me what made me want to change. I explained that I wanted a long life, so that I could see my children grow and develop into the men. That I was tired of being tired,sluggish  and out of shape. That I wanted run and walk with my children without being tired and out of breathe. Over the years I let overweight become obese, again and again. I would diet lose weight and work out for a period of time. Then abandon it because it was too hard.  I thought  I was big boned and that being the correct weight would not look right on me.  I maintained thoughts that kept me chained to a body image that I was unhappy with. I listened to people in my life who wanted me to be happy. So they lied to me and told me, that I was not "really" fat, just thick.
The reality is that I made unrealistic goals and expectations for myself when it came to weight loss and  could not meet them . So I quit when I realized that I could not continue and  reach my goal.  Knowing that I am a motivated and determined person. This issue bothered me non stop, that I failed to get my weight in order. So I realized  when I was pregnant with my son, that I needed to change. I had to go see a a cardiologist  and they found some minor blood flow issues with my heart. They doctor said  in a very nice way that, I was too fat. He explained that once I had the baby and lost weight I would be fine. To imagine that my weight would endanger my heart devastated me. It was that scary moment that catapulted me to want to change FOREVER!
So I am not on a diet, I committed to a lifestyle change. That is why I call this a journey because I know there will be up and downs. I don't think for a minute that this will be easy but I am in this for life. Each of us have different struggles in our lives. This is mine and I am not ashamed of it but I am doing something to change it. I asked her permission to include her in this blog post. So if your reading this, I hope that you are ready for  a change because I am going to call you and nag you constantly. Get ready!!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Closet Woes

I love shopping but, I also think that there are some pieces in my closet that I am emotionally attached to. I know it sounds silly but I have some pieces that I looked fabulous in regardless of what I used to weigh. I have now entered a place where I cant wrap my wrap dresses enough to make them fit, the tailor refuses to take in my lucky pants anymore and my favorite heels are too big. 

I have bagged up my 20's,18's,16's and today it appears that the 14's are on the way out the door. I feel like my house is a consignment store.  I am very happy about this accomplishment.  Before I started this journey I used to see clothing on the clearance rack in a smaller size and buy it. It sounds insane but it was for "when I lose weight".  I have not completed my journey but I am no longer in the plus size section or stores.   I can  walk into Express and Limited and find my size.  Stores that I used to pass and say " one day".  Well today is the day and I have no idea what to buy.

I am fully capable of dressing the plus size Keisha but at my current size I am weary. Excited but weary, I still pick up an XL and take it to the dressing room. Only to ask the attendant to bring me a smaller size.  I guess it might take a bit of time for my mind to catch up with my body.  As summer approaches I am sure I will get there.  So I am picking up a few style magazines and learning how to shop for the new me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A plateau, naw just a change!!!

A few weeks ago my weight loss start to slow down.  Considering the fact that I have been faithful to my diet and exercise routine I know that I should be seeing more progress. Instead of getting discouraged I decided to do a bit of research and realized that I was going through a PLATEAU.

A plateau occurs because your metabolism slows down as you lose lean tissue . When you lose weight, you lose both fat and lean tissue.  Losing weight can slow your metabolism after time . So  in order to lose those additional pounds you  will have to rev up your  activity or decrease your caloric intake . So I figured I needed to change up a few things to stay on track. I realized that my menu , workout routine and schedule was predictable.

I knew that I could not reduce my caloric intake.  When I looked my menu I did notice I could change how I received my my calories. So instead of eating five  meals a day I switched to six smaller meals. I switched from chicken to turkey and  from beef to fish.  I  increased the amount vegetables I was consuming and started to weigh and measure every thing.

Now my workout routine is completely of my own creation. I run  five days a week and weight train two days a week.  Considering that I am running almost four  miles a day I know that my activity level is high but I decided to switch my routine completely.  I purchased P90X for my husband in October and I decided I would try it out. So now I am running 3 days a week a doing P90X 6 days a week.

The results was a six pound weight loss!!!!!!!   Plateau Busted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Are you looking at me?

I have a confession to make. I am the woman on the treadmill, dancing, playing air drums and smiling( I don't sing out loud). I cant help it , music is what keeps me going at the gym. I am in a zone and  I am not concerned what others think about me at the gym. Look, laugh, point and stare all you want.  I am having a blast in my own little world.
The irony of this situation is, I used to be the woman who thought she was too fat to go to the gym. I thought that people would look at me because I was overweight and laugh at me. Now I could care less who is watching me.
Gym time is a time for me to work out all the stress in my life. I run, kick , lift or push it all away. I am usually stress free 10 minutes into my workout and that is when a huge smile spreads across my face. If you have children then you may know how difficult it is to work out at home. My children are pretty young so they are usually hanging on some part of my body while I am home. When I am working, I am dealing with students and administrative duties all day. So working out on campus is not fun and actually kind of weird if you ask me.
When I hit my gym, where you wont find any children and I have never seen one student there yet. ( knock on wood). I am in my own private oasis where I can work on becoming a better me.  I have learned a lot of lessons  while dragging my self along this journey.  Learning to carve out time daily to dedicate specifically to myself  is the best lesson I've learned  yet.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Keep Going!!!

Last week I felt all out of whack and it seemed like I was  making all the wrong choices.  I can admit that I was discouraged thinking that instead of losing I would gain.   Sort of felt like my next goal date was inching closer and my progress did not seem enough.
Instead of giving up I stayed on plan, I worked out when I could. I ate what I was supposed to and treated myself (within  portion size). I look back now and see that I was just in a funk but instead of resorting to old habits I kept going.
I kept working out, eating right and resisting temptation. The result was a light bulb moment,
I lost my goal amount for the week. I also gained  a new perspective on perseverance.  To keep going even when it seems like you may not receive your desired out come is true perseverance.
As I push my self through this journey, I am learning more about myself and what it takes to change. Change is not easy  and it does not happen quickly. It is slow, painful and rewarding.  The rewards don't come when you want them but they creep up slowly and surprise you.  

As you can see from the ticker on the side I am creeping up on 60lbs lost!!! I know that change is hard but it feels so good!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Myth or Two Will Derail You!!!

When you've been working out and you have small gain instead of a loss. People always tell you that muscle weighs more than fat.  WRONG!!!   When you work out with weights, the muscle tissue breaks down and has to be built back up. The process of healing causes fluid retention in the muscle tissue, which causes a minor gain( ounces).
Muscle is leaner and does not take up as much room but fat will take up more room and will look bulky.  So a person with 2 pounds of muscle will look leaner than a person with 2 pounds of fat. They will however weight the same.

top is  fat / bottom muscle 
 A pound of muscle weighs the same amount as a pound of fat. They just look differently. Fat does not turn into muscle. You can lose fat and gain muscle but fat can not turn into muscle. You can however have muscle under fat but you will have to lose the fat in order to see the muscle.
If you stop exercising your muscle will not turn into fat but it will be covered with fat. Thus making the muscle less visible.  To lose fat you must burn more calories in a day than you consume.

Losing weight is all about balance,if you are trying to lose fat then you need to do more cardio than strength training. But you still need to include some strength training in your routine.  I currently  do cardiovascular training five days week and resistance training two days a week. When I have lost my desired amount of fat,I will decrease my cardio and increase my weight training.

There will be ups and downs on this journey but don't buy into myths. It is important to spend some time learning about fitness and your body.That way you understand the process your body is going through, further you wont be discouraged  due to a lack of information.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Dressing Room

Last night I spent some time in the dressing room at our local mall. If you remember one of my earlier posts, you know that I love to shop. One of the perks of losing weight is that I get to shop frequently.   Anyway, I was in the dressing room when I heard a woman outside the door crying to her husband. She’d taken ten dresses into the room with her and none of them fit. She was asking him why he didn’t tell her she was getting fat.  He of course was floored and had no response.
This little encounter made me think, are we oblivious to weight gain or are we just lying to our selves.   Every time you have to purchase a larger pair of pants, you know you have put on a few pounds.  Then you lie to yourself and say “but I still look good”. Every time you go through the drive through and consume a day’s worth of calories for one meal, you lie to yourself and say “it’s ok”. Then one day we are in the dressing room, with the huge mirrors, unflattering light and you can’t lie to yourself anymore.   So you blame someone else instead of looking in the mirror and realizing that YOU did this to yourself.
I used to be that woman and I am sure that some of you are still that woman or man. Being angry will help you if you use that anger to change. Anger won’t help if you direct it at the ones you love and place the blame on them.  I am fortunate that my husband won’t lie to me,  if  ask him a question he will tell me the truth.  So the age old question ” Do you I look fat in these jean?”, I have never asked to my husband. I am sure he would have told the truth in a nice way.
Last night while I was in the dressing room  in front of that big mirror and the horrible lights.  I was smiling because I could see everything  that I accomplished and what  I needed to work on.   I Found four  fabulous dresses  for  my date tonight  with my husband.  For the first time in a while, I had to decide  which one to purchase because they all fit well and looked fabulous on me. 
I don’t know about you but  Getting  Off The Couch  has been wonderful for me!!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You said what?

Today as I entered the gym, before I swiped my card, the nice young lady greeted me by name.  That’s right I am officially regular at the gym.  I know that is relatively a small victory but I am in to celebrating small victories.  I have to acknowledge Amanda who is a regular reader of my blog and recognized me at the gym.  I felt pretty darn special when she told me she had been reading from day one. 
I recently received an e-mail asking me how much I weigh.  I have avoided this question like a plague my entire life. I used to give an estimate at the DMV when they asked my weight. So I think it is quite funny that I talk about it weekly in blog posts.  So for those of you who have sent me e-mails inquiring? I am 14 pounds away from my next goal of 180.  Yeah I know, I can’t just come out and say it but I am excited to be where I am today.
Breaking the 200 pound mark was a huge accomplishment for me. I mean what woman wants to weigh over 200 lbs. Honestly, I had no idea that I even weighed that much because I used to shy away from the scale.   Not to mention people lie to you and tell you that you don’t look like you weigh that much.  Leaving that weight behind for me was a testament to hard work and dedication.  I will say it out loud because I am not ashamed of where I used to be and I will never see 200 on the scale again!
I know that I was not alone in the 200 club because 6 out of every 10 Americans are obese or over weight.  Some of them don’t know which category they fall in because they have not been on a scale in 6 months or longer.  So if you fall into the category get your butt to the doctors and have a physical done.  You will not only learn your weight but find out some important information about your health.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Pictures of me as I progress

Before I started
September 2009
September 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

Birthday Madness!!!

I am stuck in the middle of cake madness at my house.  My son’s birthday was on the 13th so I had to get cupcakes for his class. Then I had to bake a cake for our family celebration and I also ordered a cake for his party on Saturday. I am a sugaraholic and it is really hard for me to avoid sweet stuff when it is right in my face.  I had a bad dream last night where I was being chased by a large slice of chocolate cake.
I am planning to have a piece of cake at his party Saturday but I can’t stand having it in the house.  I came up with a nifty solution for the party. I found these nice little cake boxes for the party. So along with grab bags I am sending every kid home with an extra piece of cake.  I am sure the their parents will be cursing me on the way home.
If you have been reading you are aware that I have not weighed in since the week before Christmas. The big day is Wednesday January 19.  I am both mortified and excited about this weigh in because I have no idea what my progress has been. It has been sobering not to face the scale every week.  I will however be returning to weekly weigh in until March 14th. I am also starting a morning gym routine next week. I will be hitting the gym before work in the morning.   I am not really looking forward to the first few weeks. I am sure as soon as I get into a routine I will be OK.
So, are any of you doing anything new this week?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Goals

I revisit my goal about every three months, so that they stay fresh in my mind. I did however want to make some long term goals for the year.  I am taking into consideration that my goal day is July 20,2011 so these really are goals up until that point.
1.   Cardio 5 time a week, to improve cardiovascular fitness.  I want to feel better when I am walking for long periods of time so  I think 5 days of cardio a week will help me with that.
2.   Make sure to add more vegetable to my meals, I eat veggies but I am sure that I can add more to meals for added vitamins. I would prefer to eat my vitamins  instead of using supplements.
3.   Stop buying gadgets!!!!!
4.   Stop being so preoccupied with the scale, the problem with some weight loss programs is that you must weigh in every week. I still weigh in but I only want to receive my loss total monthly.
I stopped at four because in March I am going to revisit these goals and see if I need to continue or change them.  
I decided to remove the scale form my bathroom because it started to become a habit for me to weigh myself.  I would brush my teeth then get on the scale, and then I would get discouraged by the number. Regardless of the fact that I feel great and know that I have accomplished a lot so far.  To give myself a weekly tally I will calculate the minutes of cardio I do a week.  I have also entered the world of Wii, I wish I would have  done it sooner. It is fun but also a workout!!!  I love the dance games and I find myself dancing in the living room with my husband and son for hours.  All of the games require you to move and I realize that we watch less television now. 
I have also implemented no technology Monday in my house.  Monday after 2pm, there is no television, Internet or phone use in my home. We are reading, playing board games or outside.  I had the most relaxing Monday this week and got to read a complete book. My son played with all his toys and joined me in the living room reading.

So I have some simple goals and instituted simple changes!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back to Basics!

After reassessing my goals for the New Year, I decided  it was time to return to basics.  When I  began this journey I  had  a plan to keep things simple. I think that after 6 months I started to add more gadgets to my routine.  I had this realization yesterday , when I dedicated to go for a run outside. I pulled on my under armour,  slipped the chip into my NIKE, slapped on my heart rate monitor, strapped on my IPOD and turned on my IRunner. I did all this before I even got to the front door.

I realized at that moment that I missed the days when I used to, throw on sweats and hit the door. I would just run until I got tired and then push my self to run some more. All I would do is look at the clock when I left and then again when I returned. I realized that I am making things more complicated than they need to be.  I don't really  need to know how fast or far I run. All I need is some great music to keep me going during those rough spots.

So I am returning to basics because I want to remember this journey as a labor of love! Have you added some unnecessary gadgets along the way?
Check back tomorrow because I will be posting my goals for 2011