Thursday, December 27, 2012

January Challenge

So I decided to start this challenge because when I started my journey to fitness there were no real guides to help me as a beginner. There are a few things you need to get in order before you officially start.  You want to lose weight but starting seems like such a big deal. Well that is what this challenge is about, getting you set up to succeed.  We will do this challenge in 3 phases and each phase you will add something to your toolbox.

My recommendation prior to Phase 1:

1. If you have not been to the doctor in a year schedule an appointment as soon as possible.  Get a full work up make sure you have your cholesterol checked, blood glucose levels and thyroid levels.  Ask your doctor about how they see your weight affecting your health.

Phases 1.   January 1 to 10

1.    Go to the dollar store pick up some measuring cups and spoons.  Ultimately you would like to get a food scale but measuring cup and spoons are a cheap weigh to get started quickly.  From day one you will either weigh or measure  (both) all of your portions.
       Grab a cheap notebook or one you already have. You will from day one write down everything that you put in your mouth. No matter what it is, this for your eyes only.  Write down  the food and calories , pick a calorie point you would like to for a day, don’t go below 1200  a day!!!
     On day 1 weigh your self and measure your legs, arms and waist.  Pick a time of day that you can repeat   in ten days.  (Put the scale away and don’t touch again for 10 days!!!!)
       Look around your house do you have any work out DVD’s, do you have a gym membership you are not using. Shoot do you have sneakers or weights. Find the tools that you are ready have and use them. DON’T purchase anything new.  Commit to 30 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of strength training six days a week.  Walk for 30 minutes, run get on the elliptical or do walk away the pounds.   For strength if you have weights use them I will post some work out guides for you to use.  If you don’t have weights use-canned food to start.   Track you exercise in the same notebook you use for your food.

Side note: many of you might be tempted to use an online sight to start. That is fine but what if you don’t have access to that sight all the time. Small notebook is easy to carry and you can keep it with you at all times.  The simpler this is the better it is.

5.     Go grocery shopping !!!  

a.     Shop for lean ,meats and fish shoot for 95 percent
lean or higher. If it’s only 90 percent lean, a 100-gram (about 3.5-ounce) portion of meat would still have 10 grams of fat per serving—not exactly low-fat. When buying poultry, choose breast (whole or ground) only.  Splurge on shrimp. This high-protein, low-fat, low-calorie option feels decadent, so pick up a shrimp cocktail ring., beans, fruits , vegetables, low fat dairy and  whole grains.   

b.     Low fat dairy,  don’t buy a brick. Cheese is way too easy to overeat if you’re faced with a big hunk of it. If there’s a block you love, take it to the deli and ask them to slice it into 1-ounce portions. Otherwise, look for string cheese. Buy nonfat greek yogurt but be careful not purchase the ones with lots of extra  sugar loaded in them. 

c.      Vegetables and fruit grab a rainbow. To get a variety of nutrients, try to include every color of the spectrum—red, green, orange, yellow, purple, white—in your diet. Shop on delivery day. Ask your grocer when the store receives produce. Fruits and veggies lose nutrients and flavor the longer they sit out in the air and light.

d.     Whole grains Try quinoa, bulgur, barley, and brown-rice pasta to add new elements to your menu. 

e.  Look at labels if you don't understand the ingredients then don't buy it. Shop the perimeter of the store.  look at fruits and vegetables as snack instead of buying 100 cal snacks or puddings.  

f.       Sit down and plan all your meals for 10 days.  Bag up fruits and veggies in snack bags and put them in a bowl in the fridge. That way you have snacks ready to go.  Pack you lunch  and snacks everyday that way you have control over what you are eating.  Look on pintrest , cooking light an eating well. You have some others but plan a menu so that you wont feel deprived.  That way you know what you will be eating for all of your meals

tip:  Every time I leave he house I grab a snack and throw it in my purse. I usually grab one for my entire family. It keeps us from snacking on fast food and junk. If you use nuts as a snack make sure you measure them!!!!!! 

So that is phase 1,  they say it takes 2 weeks to make something a habit , I am giving you 10 days to get it together before adding anything to your list.  Ready, set, get  off the couch!!!!

Phase 2 will be posted January 5, 2013!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Challenges

So I recently started cross fit and it is fun, I love P90X,insanity and running but sometimes it is hard to see how much you have progressed unless you do something different.

My WOD( work out of the day)




Grass hoppers

Slam balls

So I had to do a mobility work out, stretch, running then do each each exercise 21x's then 18 and so on.
I completed mine in 12:22 seconds.  Not bad for a girl who spent most of her life overweight.  I love this box and I cant wait to try new things.  I am excited to see what, is to come. I will share my vision board on new years eve.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tis the season

This is a difficult season for me, I grew up with a grandmother who made the holiday season larger than life. I was used to going to her home and being surrounded by my entire family.  Regardless of what nightmare I was living with in my own home. I knew that time would be sacred, peaceful and safe for me.  Since her passing so much has changed in my life and I spend the holidays with only my husband and children.  In the beginning I would cook tons of food and eat till my hearts content, honestly filling my sorrow with food.

In recent years,  I have come to realize  that killing my self by over consuming food would not heal my heart. I decided to look at my little family as a blessing, they are my heart and home. I also made some hard choices and decided to deal with all the issues that kept me in solitude.  Exercise  has become a part of that healing process, running is a freedom for me from all the stress and history.  So this year as the holidays are in full effect, I ramp up my exercise routine and try to find new things to do.

I think that sometimes,  we as people tend to forget that everyone is not on the same path.   We are all on a different journey and may not be celebrating the same blessings. I have no idea, how many times I have been asked if I am going home for Christmas, my reply is yes I will be with my husband and children.  In the past, just that question would wound me and send me running to the refrigerator to  eat away my sorrows.  I am stronger now and I have the tools to choose a different ways to deal with stress and painful memories.

However, there are some people who don't have the tools to make the right choices yet. So as you walk around and spread the holiday cheer, really take the time to look into the eyes of the people you ask random questions.  This may not be their favorite time of the year.

As for me, I am rejoicing in making  new traditions and memories with my husband and children. I will never forget however to be mindful of others during this season or daily for that matter.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Road blocks or excuses?

So I got up on Monday and the weather was beautiful. I found myself upset because I felt like I had no where to run. I live in a location where sidewalks are scarce an lately that has become a bit of a hindrance to my running. I am bored with running the same routes and it seems like I am finding it hard to run the distance I desire with out looping the same places twice.

This would not be an issue but I get bored easily and boredom for me equals lack of motivation. So as I was having this conversation with myself. I realized mid thought that I was allowing sidewalks to become a roadblock to running. I seem to allow silly things to get in the way of meeting my goals. I am running a half marathon in march and I need to push my mileage up slowly to run that race successfully.

Why am I too good to run on grass, or in the bike lane? As long as I take off my Ipod and remain alert I can run anywhere in my neighborhood. So Monday I left my Ipod at home and hit the road, I am not sure how far I ran but I know that it was much farther than the 4.5 mile rut I had been stuck in.  I felt amazing after that run and removed the word can't from the situation.

In addition , the Weight Watchers center in my area is closed. They have community meetings that are at times that just don't meet with my schedule.  So decided I would set up a at work meeting on campus. It is more convenient for me and several other people that I  work with. Sometimes you have to create solutions  to your road blocks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Can I do this?

I had to tell my self that today, as I was running. After spending five days at a convention where I did workout. Not as much as I should have but I got my exercise in. I arrived home feeling tired and depleted. So Monday, my workout never actually happened, in fact I opted for pie instead. Well today after I dropped the boys at childcare, I parked around the corner for my run.  After completing a mile and a half. I found myself asking if I could make it. Then it hit me, it is not can I  but will I make it. If I decide that I am going to do it, I will. If I doubt my own ability then I wont.

Half the battle of working out is overcoming the mental barriers you place on yourself.  You can physically do more than you think you can. That mental voice in your head, will sometimes talk you out of it. I often have to recite positive affirmations to myself when I feel like I am losing motivation.  Sometimes it is as simple as repeating " I can do this" over and over as I work through a hard session. When I am done I say " I did it!!" 

Remove the negative thoughts about your ability and start realizing your potential. Instead of saying " there is no way I can squat a hundred pounds"  say " I  am working toward squatting a hundred pounds.  This holiday season give yourself the gift of positivity!!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Couples Therapy

Seriously that is what it is!!Working out with my husband has strengthen our relationship. We started working out together when we were dating but one of us would be more committed than the other. That was frustrating and we would both fall off our routines. However years after we got married, we  would work out in the gym together and compete on machines. Our diets however were not as good as they could be so we did not see the results we desired, once again we fell off.

As you all know I started on a weight loss journey on my own and built a strong foundation. I had some individuals goals that I met before we started working out again together. My husband also started to plan out his own goals and put a plan in to action.  That was over  two years ago and one thing remains constant, we either work out together or we work out alone. Fitness has become a part of our lives and we have learned to balance each other out.  I can get lazy during reps and he motivates me to push harder. Sometimes he needs a little nudge to get started, so I push him.

We  laugh, joke , listen to great music and talk about everything under the sun while we train. I am the first to notice his body change and he is the first to notice subtle changes in mine.  My children train with us on the weekends and it hilarious to see them try and do yoga moves. My oldest is actually really   strong and will drop down and do  push ups and  sit ups like a pro. I feel like my family benefits from our new habits  and my children don't stop a workout from occurring. We find a way to do it with them.

We no longer train in expensive gyms, we hit the gym at the University because it is free. Most of the time we train at home or outside( you will catch me in university gym daily for my cardio fix).  This past summer you would see us at the play ground with the kids  doing our routine while the kids played.  The boys would run over and join in periodically then go back and play when they got bored.

We just started a new round of P90X together and it is amazing how much stronger we are. I  go to bed every night knowing that I will have blast in morning.  After the kids are off in the morning we have a 8am date to press play or run 4 miles. We are stronger in every way,so if you are sitting on the couch with your spouse try getting up together.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Day Spiral....

A day spiral can happen at anytime, for me it usually happens when I am stressed out! What is a day spiral ? Well a day spiral is when you start off with a missed work out or a "cheat meal" and you let your entire day spiral out of control. I usually am thinking that I have already missed a work out or ate too much so, I throw in the towel for the day.  Luckily for me I learned early in this journey that it is never too late to change.  If you miss a workout, get one in later. Eat to much at a  meal,  throw in an extra workout or just deal with it. 

Everyday will have it's challenges , the common denominator in each day is you. You can make the decisions that will determine if you take a step back or forward. Don't let a day spiral  turn into a week of bad decisions. I received a e-mail from a reader asking me how I stay on track. The reality is that there is no magic answer. I am learning as I go and some days I fall back into bad habits.

The difference between the old me and the new me is that I have the tools  that I need to  be successful. I am constantly reading and learning about health and fitness. I surround my self with people who are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My lifestyle is now very active so, I am constantly on the move. So how do I stay on track? I guess it is because I am living a differently, I have changed my life. So this is just how I live now, being sedentary and eating fast food is a rare occasion  in my current life.  I have made this habit , it is now a part of how I live my life. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tales from the treadmill

I have changed my workout routine since the semester began. My office hours are early afternoon so I head to the campus gym at about 8:00am  and I can usually get in a  great workout before I head to my office.  So I have been running indoors consistently for about 3 weeks and I have noticed a few things about the treadmill. I usually wear my ipod and heart monitor while I am running.

I have noticed that, my gadgets usually are off from the treadmills read outs. So I started doing some research.  I found that the calorie estimate on the treadmill is based on the average  exerciser, it has nothing to do with you. So if an average person burns 200 calories running a mile, then that is what it will say.  you in fact may be burning more of less.  So don't base your workout on that caloric burn, your best bet is to use your own heart rate monitor. That way you will have an accurate read out of how much energy you are expelling.

When it comes to distance the treadmill cannot determine your stride.  I happen to be 5'3 and my monitor calculates me running father on the readout than , the treadmill does by a quarter mile.  I have also found a new machine to torture myself, it is called Jacob's ladder.  Click the video below to see a short video about it.

I honestly feel like a clumsy on this machine and I have not stayed on it longer than 15 minutes.  I am working on improving my stamina on it though. For now it is a new challenge that I am embracing. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Scale withdrawl

So I might have  a bit of scale withdraw, I actually tried to piece together my old one.  then I caught myself and had to laugh. I am glad that I decided not to purchase a new one though. I do feel a bit more encouraged that I am not reflecting on the scale every day.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sugar withdrawl

I often get caught in a sugar trap, I have a few weeks where I tend to eat  a bit more sweat treats than  necessary. As I looked through my food journal, I realized that I have had a bit of a junk food fest the last couple of weeks. I guess that is the honesty of a food journal because you really get to see what you are putting in your body.

Anyway, I decide to go on a bit of a detox and get my self back on track. I realized that I was putting in about 150 sugary calories about 4 days a week.  It does  not seem like a lot but that  2400 calories a  month. Which can easily convert to a pound if you add in any other splurges.  In addition to that, also noticed that I was making those splurges at night. So I was hungry and fueling my self with an unfulfilling snack.

Sugar is addictive and it has always been a weakness for me. So  I know that I have to be careful because I can easily fall back in to old habits. My detox is not one where I am attempting to rid my system so much of toxin. I am actually just reinforcing good habit by eating clean and reducing my processed sugar intake. So I still consume  natural sugars from fruits and vegetables.

Mixing up my workouts have been fun, I am planning to write up a workout plan for myself.  That way I have a month of workouts prepared. In addition to that I am planning a photo shoot for my anniversary. Its time for some new family photos, the pictures we have in our home don't resemble the new me.

I am headed out for a workout, have you gotten off the couch today?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Change is good

I am a big fan of changing up you routine but I have become less and less a fan of paying for it. I have purchased and completed several different 90/60 day workout programs along my journey. I have had gym memberships and  I have and will never give up my subscription to Oxygen magazine.  As many of you know , it gets expensive and after adding up the $1320.00 a year I was paying for a  family gym membership, I was not pleased. Not to mention the $936.00 I shelled out in 2 years  for Weight Watchers.

All of this came into perspective as my family and I were making a 1000 mile move across the country. I made some specific  choices,  we chose a warmer climate.  I also picked an apartment complex with a fitness center and decided to utilize that fully. I work at a university with a state of the art gym, free for faculty, so I am sucking it up. I will work out and take classes with students if I have to.

In addition, my husband and I have started planning our daily workouts. We write them out and have a clear idea of what we are working on daily. He is and  has been a refreshing addition to my workouts this summer. We are working out in the evening at the park with the kids.  That way, we can do it as a family and the kids can go play when they get bored. I am truly tired of DVDs and paying that  hefty gym bill but I wont sacrifice my fitness. I still write down everything I eat and all my workouts but now I do it in a journal.

I will say that, this change has  reinvigorated my workouts.I am actually feeling muscle soreness again and I am  excited to plan each day. I feel like I am growing in my journey and moving to making this a lifestyle. I  will be taking the money I would have spent on the gym and saving it each month. I will place that in an account that will add to our next summer vacation as a surprise for my family.

Now I am headed to pull out my Oxygen magazine collection to look for some new recipes. What are you doing to keep yourself in the game?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Running without sidewalks

My new  neighborhood  has only a few sidewalks. I am seriously having  sidewalk withdrawal!! I am a simple runner, prefer to get up and walk out my door and run. Driving to a location seems like a waste of time and money  to me.

It has put a lot of things in to perspective for me, I have to find a neighborhood in my new community that has a consistent amount of sidewalks. When we were searching for a place in Tennessee that was not my main priority but now that I on on the hunt for a house to call my own it is high on the priority list.

I have to apologize for being M.I.A. I was not aware of how much this move would affect my family. I had to take some time to really get my children settled and to bring some balance back to my home. It has also allowed me to bring some new goals into my fitness journey.

I am no longer on the Weight Loss quest but I am really trying to tone and firm up my body. My major areas of concern are my butt and thighs.   I am aware that you cannot spot train but I will be focusing on those muscles more consistently. Seriously, I have had to give up that picture that I thought I would become. I am learning to accepted who I am.

 Many of us have the idea that after you lose weight, you will look like one of the fitness models on a magazine cover.  I was one of them, but we are all made differently and it just does not work like that.   The reality is losing the weight is half the battle, in order to get that look. You have to maintain your weight , healthy eating habits and keep training to achieve muscle definition.  I am not giving up my quest for what I want , I am just loving myself in the process.

So I  have found some great classes in my area, I am hitting the track at the local university and having fun mixing up my fitness quest. Above all I am no longer on the couch. I am proud to say it has been 2 years since I rolled off it. LOL!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

My scale is broken!!!!

Yup, my scale is broken and I have been traveling,working ,packing,mothering and all those thing that have kept me from my weekly meeting. So for the first time in 22months I have no Idea how much I weigh.  It did make me realize that I just might be a "Scale B****".   I have for that past 22 months known how much I weighted down to the ounce, like a new born baby. Yeah I have taken scale breaks but nothing significant enough to brag about.

I am thinking it might be time for me to retire form the scale for a significant time. Since I am obviously obsessed with her. I am thinking of a slow tapering of weigh ins.I will maintain my weekly weigh in status until I confirm my lifetime status. I think I have a least 4 more weeks of maintenance. Then I will taper to a once a month weigh in. Since my home(girl) scale is broken,I will actually have to leave my house to weigh in!!  No more morning peaks before meetings and no more midweek estimations.

I am having a memorial service for my lovely dear friend,who  regardless of how much I cursed at, jumped on or screamed at remained faithful. That was until my 2 year had his way with her last week, I can only imagine the horrific pain my poor scale must have been in . As he dropped her ,over and over again from the side of the couch and proceeded to scoot over her with his bike.

Seriously though, I am walking away from the scale for a while to concentrate on being consistent in my regimen. So that I wont let every pound make or ruin my day. Change is a scary thing and this will definitely be  change for me. I am also buying myself a full body mirror, but I will update you on that in my next post.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Goal Day

Before 254 Pounds 27 min mile!!

On May 19th, 2012 at 8 am I embarked upon my final mission before my goal day.  I ran my first 10k race. Now I have run 5k's in the past while I was on  my get fit kicks. But I never trained for  them and I was never this in shape before. I learned a lot during this race. I had an ideal time that I wanted to make an  ideal  pace  that I wanted to run. Now don't get me wrong I have  run over 6 miles before, 101 times in fact. However, I have never run in pact or with all women. There were hundreds of women around me, all shapes, sizes and ages. In fact there was a 70 year old women, one minute behind me.  I used to think there was some ideal weight or shape that I needed to be. But there is no such thing as ideal, we all have it in us to push ourselves to fitness and health. I honesty wish I would not have waited to do a 10K. I could have done this  year ago. I might not have been as fast but I could have done it. Don't wait until the right time to try something do it now.  I am so excited to embark on the next phase of my journey. Don't worry I am not going anywhere, I will be still blogging my journey.  I am however in the process of planning an out of state move for my new job. So bare with me as I transition to my new home and I will be blogging from my phone until we get settled. Start today and you wont be sorry 22 months later and look at me!! 

After 150 pounds  9:18 min mile!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My Taste Buds

I was never really fond of alcohol, in order for me to drink it has to be  fruity. In fact I must admit I really only like girly drinks.  However, in the past year I can taste even the minuscule amount of alcohol in drinks. I have to admit I have yet to find an alcohol  appealing lately.

I made the decision when it comes to food that,if  it did not like the taste of it I wouldn't eat it. I guess that will now apply to alcoholic beverages. It is funny to me because a lot of people in my life are convinced the can find a drink that I will like. They have yet to be successful and I am not looking to find that drink. I am not saying that I will never have a drink ever again but right now I am done with alcohol.

I am not sure if this puts me higher on the  uncool list, but I don't really care.  I don't mind other people drinking and I am not against the  consumption alcohol at all. Honestly to me the stuff is just nasty and  why should I drink something I don't  like.

In addition to my alcohol revelation, I found these great mock drinks by crystal light that are pretty good. 
Even though I try not to use unnatural sweeteners, I am willing to drink these occasionally because they are good.  I love the fact that I am still changing and getting stronger. This journey just keeps surprising me.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Confession Time

So I have a confession to make, today I was just off my game. I was just all over the place emotionally and stressed out. It seemed like everything that I have been trying to do lately has been difficult. So I woke up today and had my normal reasonable breakfast. Got ready for my run and then found that my iPod was not charged. So I bugged my husband for his and he looked all over for it. By the time he gave it to me, I had already talked myself out of my run.

I went about my daily tasks until lunchtime at which time I could not figure out what I wanted for lunch.  I went past several fast food joints, that I could not push myself to go into. Eventually I opted for a long drive home to prepare my own lunch. Still in a funk, I enjoyed a nice lunch at home. The evening progressed and eventually realized that I made it to 7:30 pm without completing my workout. I was curled up in my bed, in my husbands pajama shirt. I logged on to Facebook and the first thing I saw was this picture:
 Omega 3 Fitness
So I got up  and jumped into my work out gear and threw on my Insanity DVD.  Motivation comes from everywhere !!!


I think you can get bored with even the funnest routine. Doing the same thing, day after day gets boring. I have completed P90X 3 or 4 times( lost count). I am on my second round of Insanity and I have to say " I am bored". I am always  running regardless of what program am doing , so that is just a part of my life.

The gym for me can get a bit mundane because I take all the classes and have been on every machine!!! So I am looking for something new to get me excited about. So I am dropping into a cross-fit class this weekend, it is not entirely new to me. I tried it when I first started my journey and felt too out of shape in the class. I am also signing up for a month of boot camp.  I love to workout outside and this  boot camp is outside with a new routine everyday.  Last night I started revamping  my iPod playlist, so that I have some new music to motivate me.

I just started looking into a new hybrid program of P90X and Insanity.  I just cant wait for the weather to be consistent. So I a can hike, run hills, run stairs and just move outside again.   The last two weeks I was so excited about the weather and I was outside exercising as much as possible.

I guess the moral of this story is, if you get  bored  don't give up.  Simply shake up your routine !

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The stress monster has arrived

Really, it appears as if there was a meeting that I was not invited to. They decided that  everything that could go wrong, would go wrong in my life at the same moment. Which left me sleep deprived due to travel and stress. Usually my first stop  would be the grocery store to pick up some comfort food and sweet snacks.I have realized that is not the answer, so I figured I would share what I do to deal with stress.

With a husband, two children, a career, bills and a host of other unpaid duties life can get stressful. I have always been an emotional eater,so I always turn to food to soothe me. If I need to have food to comfort me , it has to be fuel. So I  have carrots and a teaspoon of  peanut butter, instead of a slice of cake.  I always make sure to eat breakfast when I know I am having a stressful day. That  way I don't have an urge to overeat or grab sugary snack later in the day.

On those really stressful days, I amp up my exercise. I head into the gym and take a boxing class, my gym has a kids gym and daycare. So I drop the boys off and head into the boxing rooms. I  go through all the boxing circuits  for an hour until I feel better. I usually run down to the snack bar afterward for a recovery drink.  The young lady behind the counter, always has  some hilarious story to tell me. I find that laughter soothes the soul and make you forget about all that ails you.

I have also come to the realization that the stress will come back. So instead of ending a stressful day, hoping the stress wont come back. I now make a plan to deal with stressful situations. That way I can prevent having to deal with the same stressful issues  in the future. Confronting  problems maybe stressful initially but in the long run it prevents future stress.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Imaginary Wall

I often meet this wall when I am working out . It is like you get to that point  where you feel like , your legs are heavy and you can move anymore. You have hit the wall, I call it my imaginary wall, in the past I would just stop.  My body is telling me that it cant do it anymore, every step seems to be more and more difficult.  I think we all hit the wall but  the difference is what we do when we meet up with it.

Many of of us give up far too soon, we think that we can't go on. The question is: Have you  ever tried to go any further? If you have never tried to keep going, how will you know if you can do it or not?  We sell ourselves short when we don't realize that we have the potential to do more. If your loved ones  were in danger beyond that wall, would you stop or would you fight to get to them?  Would you keep pushing your self until you achieved your goal, I know I would.

When I made a decision to break down my imaginary wall, I had been running 1 .5 miles on a daily basis and it seemed that I would always lose steam at when the announcement came on through my iPod that I was at 1.47 miles. One day I realized that, I was giving up and I need to push through to see what would happen.  The first thing I did  was turn off the  miles announcement on my iPod.  Then I made my self and energy packed play list. That day , when I started my run  I was determined to run  more than 1.5 miles.  When I finally hit my wall and looked at my iPod I had ran 2.76 miles.  It was proof  positive that I could do more than even I knew I was capable.

Now when I strap my sneakers to run, I never say I am going to run 6 miles. I say to myself that today I am going to break  down that wall and keep going. We all have imaginary walls that hold us back, can you look in your life and see where your wall stands ?

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Amazingly  this post has taken me a long time to write because I have had to reflect on such a long journey.  After looking back I decided that I wont look back any more. Making it to this points makes me realize that I am capable of change.  So from this moment forward, I will no longer reference what I used to be, or talk about the "new me". 

I will constantly change as a person but I am moving forward in a new direction. My past habits and body composition are just that the past. I am now a fit and athletic woman , who works diligently on a daily basis to achieve the physical and dietary needs that I have chosen for my  life.

I still have a ways to go, to be where I want to be but that is okay. No dream  is ever accomplished with out hard work, persistence and commitment. I know now that I have all of those things.   After parting with  100 POUNDS!!!!!

I am pleased to say I can do this. If I can do this then so can you, you have what it takes to make a change. All it takes is changing one meal at a time and moving a little bit more each day. There is no quick fix, this has taken me 19 months of hard work and I am still going .  Everyday that you are working toward your goal, is  a successful one. We all  fall off the wagon occasionally but what is important is that you immediately get back on. Getting off the couch  is the first step. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Love Letter

I did not have to kiss a lot of frogs to find my prince. Ten years ago I was just dating my husband, we had no titles but at 22 and 23 we were becoming best friends. I shared with him everything about myself  before we got into a relationship. Even knowing all my imperfections, he asked me if I would be in a relationship with him.
We have never been  big on Valentines Day, we give each other cards year around. Several times a day we tell each other " I Love You", and I never leave the house without giving him a kiss. Even if I am angry I still give him an angry peck. This year Valentines Day has had a bit more meaning. The past few years have be incredibly difficult for me. I am and have been going through the process of changing myself both mentally and physically. It has not been an easy process and in the process of becoming the new me, I gave up a lot.I gave up some of the people in my life and some of  my old habits. I have struggled with these changes and through it all one thing has remained constant. My husband has been there!

He told me I was good enough when I could not see it myself. He Loved me when I did not have enough Love to give to myself. He saw the extraordinary in me, when I did not know it was there.  He held me when I cried and wiped the tears away. He pushed me when I thought that I could not go any further. As I began to change, he would let me know that my changes were visible. He gave me tough Love when he saw that I needed it.  When it was clear that , I had become a different person, he fell in Love with the "NEW" me. Now I know this man is not perfect, he has flaws but I Love each and every one of them.

I am not a very religious person but if there is indeed a God, I know that he created this man for me. When I woke up this morning, there were no roses but a card. A card that explained exactly what our relationship meant to him. There was just enough chocolate , so that I would not deviate from my plan. I was in his arms and he whispered " I Love You Nip".  The same whisper , that I hear each and every morning.

So today as I look in the eyes of my two little boys, who look just like him. I know I that  am Blessed!! It is entirely possible that he will do something to annoy the hell out me, sometime soon. But it is okay because, I never said he was perfect just perfect for me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Last week after watching this video, it hit me. I can do way more than I  think I can. A lot of motivation is about your mindset. Having a "can do" attitude will go a long way,  it was seeing this video that made me realize I was selling my self short. I can work much harder than I am, so I have kicked it into high gear! So far this week I feel like I have a new level of motivation.

Look for motivation in everyday things, you never know what might push you to the next level.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Weightwatchers Shoot

Goodie Bag 

I am so excited to blog about my experience at the Weight Watchers Magazine shoot. This was an amazing experience that actually started a week before, I actually thought it would. I live about an hour away from New York City, so a week before the  the shoot, I drove up to have a hair consultation at the ritzy  John Sahag Salon.  If you have no idea who he is , he is the hair pioneer behind the acclaimed dry-cutting technique that many stylist use today. 
I met with Doug who happens to be the chemical/ color specialist. Sacha who is a associate colorist.  Karmela, who happens to be the most unique and warm hearted person ever. She also is fantastic with scissors and seems to work magic every time she touches a pair. Not to leave any one out , the manager of the salon Zoe and several other junior stylist and assistants were in on my day.  After the consultation it was decided that I would need to get one of the chemical process done to my hair that day. Then come back the following week and complete the look.  

The day of the actual shoot the call time was 9am, and I arrived at about 8:40.  I was met at the door by a host of Weight Watcher staff members. Including  Liz Brous (editor) and Deborah Hard(photo editor). I met all the three other women who were apart of the makeover shoot. Everyone was extremely excited to get stated. So after they took our breakfast orders, we were whisked to the back to change into  t-shirt for our before pictures.  

It seemed like immediately after the pictures were taken, the process went into overdrive.  I sat in Sacha's chair and she started my color process. Sacha was a very personable stylist, she held a great conversation. She was also very attentive and never walked away from me. This process in other salon probably would have taken 6 hours. with Sacha I was done with color and in Karmela's chair with in 2 hours and in another set of amazing hands. 

Karmela blew, cut it and flat ironed my hair in no time and it looks amazing. So with in the hour I was in the make up chair.I never actually got the name of the make up artist but  she did tell me that the last film she worked on was  the new Men in Black 3.  She was really personable and concerned with how I wanted my make up to look.  She even took the time to give me a few tips. 

After my makeup was complete, we headed by taxi to  Location 05 in Tribeca. I was a beautiful white loft style studio. As an apartment in NYC we are talking at least a million, five real estate. When we arrived lunch was waiting and catered by Green, there was a nice healthy assortment of sandwiches, cous cous, fruit  salad ,tarts and and assortment of beverages. 

After eating lunch, I met with the stylist  Alyssa Deen, who had an assortment for clothing choices available. I tried on about four different out fit before  we found the one. As soon As I was out of wardrobe, I walked right back into Karmela's hands and she perfected my hair for the shoot.  Then Elisa Flowers, another awesome makeup artist brightened up my make up and created a fabulous lip shade for me. Yes, I said created!!!

Then I headed over to the set where, the photographer Sarra Fleur, took some amazing photos of me!!! I got to do about eight different poses with props.  Sara is amazing and gives gentle direction but allows you to be your self. After I completed my part I was able to relax for a while and talk with Liz, about my wight loss experience and how I felt about the makeover. The day concluded with a group photo with the other makeover participants. 

I received a great goodie bag with some primo Weight watchers products.
The New Cookbook

The New Issue of the Magazine

These are new bars with all natural ingredients!!!! DELICIOUS

PB bars, are okay but not my cup of tea, my six year old loves them

 I have to say it was an amazing experience!!!! I will be able to add additional pictures of me at the set after the magazine comes out!!!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Why am I fat ?

The impression that question left on me, will last a lifetime. I sat this morning with a young woman who attempted to answer that question. I think its hilarious that so many people think that you become over weight simply because of food.  I often think that some of the most physically beautiful people are the ugliest of the bunch.

For many food  is isolation, it helps them to cope with a pain that others may not understand.  I am not saying that all over weight people have this issue but I am simply speaking about the ones that do. The idea that simply losing weight will solve your problems is absurd. If that is the case then why do so many people gain it back. 

When I look at this journey that I have been on, I realize that I have had to deal with some many "other" issues. In fact the losing weight has been the easiest part, it is dealing with why I ate the way I did that was the most difficult part. I have had to walk away from a few friends, associates and family members in order to be successful. When you change, you will find that many of your loved ones liked you just the way you were. They were comfortable with  the old you and changing will cause tension and make you choose.

I look back at who I used to be and I see that the best parts of me have stayed  with me.  However, the part of me that allowed myself to be repeatedly hurt, taken advantaged  of  and humiliated  I  left behind with those who enjoyed it. The strength that I have now at this moment, was not created simply by losing weight. It was created by dealing with my reality and my past. Part of being a  person walking around emotionally  wounded,is that you lack the ability to see your worth. So you allow others to take advantage of you and it becomes who you are.  I am not afraid to admit, that USED to be me, I put myself in situations in which I could not win. Over and over again, never realizing that I allowed my self to be there.

Each and everyone of you has something special to give to this world. If you have trouble looking at yourself in the mirror and realizing what it is, without ridiculing your self. Then you have more to do then just diet and exercise. That work, will be the most important work you will do on this journey.

Although the results are amazing, leaving people behind is painful. Getting off the couch is not just about  moving physically, but it  includes  mental and emotional  fitness.  The only question I have is, are you still on the couch?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Nosey Neighbor

We all have them , that one person who you run from when you are entering or leaving your house.  Well on my block we have a few of them who seem to observe everything. Recently while I was in the grocery store Miss. Nosey  approached me to ask about my shopping habits, she also asked about my husband  but anyway.

Miss Nosey: Why do you only shop on the edge of the grocery store?

Me:  Because that is where all the things I need are.

Miss Nosey:  If that is all your eating I see why you don lost all that weight.

Me: ( silence)

Miss Nosey: Retha though you got the surgery but I told her I used to see you running in the morning when I was drinking my coffee.

Me: No I did not have surgery

Miss Nosey: I figured, cause I woulda noticed if you were gone anyway. Shoot I don't see the Pizza man come to your house no more  either.

Me: (silence)

Besides that fact that I noticed this woman is watching my house. I realized that other people notice when you change, regardless  of it being positive or negative. When you change it shows,  don't think that your changes go un noticed. In fact even the Grocery store you shop at is aware of your changes.  I always get store coupons, that spit out the machines at the end of my purchases. I used to get cookie coupons and soda coupons. Now I get organic food coupons and fruit coupons because that is what I purchase. Your changes will be apparent  to everyone,  that is one more way to hold your self accountable. Think about who is watching while you slowly change.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Clean Eating

There are 14 principles to Clean Eating, so I will break this down in a few different blog posts.

Eat 6 mini meals spread out throughout the day. - Eating 6 small meals a day will keep you from getting hungry.  These meals should be composed of only clean food and make sure you eat portion sizes. clean basically means that foods are selected from those in their natural state; unprocessed and whole. So no boxed macaroni and cheese. If you look on the back of the box and you don't know what the ingredients are, it s processed and unclean.

 Eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours.- Make sure that you space your meals  from 2 1/2 to 3 hours apart. Basically depending on how soon you feel hungry. I am up early so I am 6/9/12/3/6/9, I will sometime skip 9 if I am not hungry. But I work out from 5-7 so I usually am.

Eat  lean protein and  complex carbohydrates at every meal . - I am sure you are like what is that.  Shoot so was I, so I created a list of the things I eat that are in those categories

Lean Protein:
Beef Tenderloin
Chicken Breasts
Eggs (Egg Whites)
Fat free plain yogurt ( can be strained and turned into cheese)
Fresh fish
Lean Ground turkey ( ground turkey breast, no the ground yucky stuff)
Natural nut butters (almonds, cashew, peanut)
Pork Tenderloin

Examples of Complex Carbohydrates:
Brown Rice
Oatmeal  (can be ground and used as flour)
Quinoa **
Whole-Grain Pasta
Chickpeas **
Beans **
Sweet Potatoes

** these can be used as a protein source

Carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables
Turnip Greens

dried fruits 
passion fruit

Healthy fats
Cold-water fish
Flax seed
Nut butters (natural organic, read the label it should only be the nut ground up in the jar)
Olive Oil

 If you can start with theses three steps, you will be making a major change in how you eat. If you are o Weight Watchers I am sure you can see how this attributes to the simply filling plan.  I recently cleaned out my cupboards and  made my entire house clean, my family is better for it.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Journey...

Yup, that is right 2012 marks  the beginning of a new journey for me. I have been successful on this journey for 538 days, about a year and a half. For the most part I have been researching and learning how to be who I wanted to be.  Now that I am sure, what direction I want to go in it feel amazing to have the tools to do what I want. The ticker on the side of the page brings me so much joy and I feel like I have a accomplished goal that I have been working for most of my adult life.

So I am not making any resolutions because they seem to fade. I have goals for this year that I will accomplish.    

1. Eat Clean- I am switching my family to clean eating. I have dabbled in it for 8 months and  I am switching to eating clean at least 95% of the time. I usually have 1 meal a week that is just a treat, so I will leave room for that. Eating clean will help me to get my body where I want to be. As far as muscle definition and will help my work outs really do what they are meant to do. The reality of this journey is that 80% of losing weight is your diet!!! I will be doing a few blogs on clean eating soon. If your on Weight Watchers a good way to switch to eating clean in to use the Simply Filling Plan.

2. I have joined the 2012 Golds Gym 12 week Challenge  and  plan to win it!!!! So look for more blogs on the challenge and my results. It starts Jan 4th  and ends March 28th!

3. I am running the Divas Half Marathon on May 20th in Myrtle Beach SC.

4. Keep Going, Keep Pushing, Work Harder!!!!!!  

4 fitness goal for 2012 seem like more than enough. I hope that this year I can help motivate you to keep going and if you have not started to start today!!!

Day 1 GET UP !!!!!!