Monthly Archives: December 2008

Pre-Christmas workout plan

Hey guys!

Sorry I haven’t been blogging my food recently. I still plan to, but I have so much other (positive) stuff on my mind right now that I can’t seem to focus, ha ha. Currently, I am pondering my Pre-Christmas workout plan, since I already have the use of any YMCA facility set up for the week after Christmas, thanks to my employer 🙂

Okay, so most of you have noticed by now that I exercise during the work day because I have use of a few gyms here at work, plus classes, etc. I work 15 miles (30 round trip) away from home and most of the time I either take the bus or car pool with my mom because I am cheap and want to save gas (I started doing this when it went over $3, even though it’s around $1.59 here now, I haven’t stopped). But, I will be off work starting this Saturday (two days, gasp!) and my YMCA benefit doesn’t kick in until Friday, December 26th. So I have almost a whole week I need to take care of in between.

Barring any severe winter weather or sub-zero temperatures, I do hope to take a bunch of walks and runs outside during this time, especially with the dog, she loves taking a long walk/jog and then sleeping the rest of the day 😉

But I also want to keep up with strength training too. Luckily, there are many moves I can do that don’t require a gym or even weights for that matter (pushups, dips, squats, lunges, crunches, etc.) and I do have a set of 5 lb weights and a resistance band, should I choose to use those. I would also like to do some yoga over the break because I love how flexible, toned and stress-free it makes me feel 🙂

I have not come up with a specific plan just yet, but I do know that when I have a plan written out, it does help me stay on task. Sort of like having a to-do list! For right now, here are a few guidelines I will be using:

  1. If it’s warmer than 32 degrees (and not snowing, raining or icing) I will walk and/or run outside for at least 30 minutes (in addition to regular dog walking).
  2. If it is too cold or precipitous, I will do an indoor activity, such as a workout DVD or perhaps driving to the mall to do some indoor walking (with no shopping until cardio time completed, haha).
  3. In the one week period, I will get in at least 3 sessions of strength training for each major muscle group (upper body, core, lower body) by utilizing equipment at home or moves using body weight.
  4. I will stretch after every work out to keep my muscles from getting tight or sore.
  5. I will incorporate some yoga at least once during the week.
  6. I will play volleyball on Tuesday night 🙂
  7. I will listen to my body and if I feel like I need a day off, I will take it.

Sounds like I’ll manage! What are your plans for working out over the holidays?

Happy Thursday! The weekend is almost here 😉

Let’s see how far we’ve come…

I got on the scale at home this morning with a fresh new perspective. For the first time in recent history, I can say that I love where I am right now. I’m no longer going to focus on losing weight because I think I am at my “happy” place for now. Plus I am still building muscle, so I don’t expect to lose much more fat to offset the muscle gain in numbers.

I’m finally coming to terms with my body…it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty great. Especially considering how much it has gone through these past two years. I am finally becoming comfortable with who I am now; no longer an overweight person trying to lose weight. I am a healthy, fit female who is trying to keep it that way the rest of her life. And I feel fantastic. I still have bad days here and there, but overall, I feel good most of the time and I rarely get sick.

The past three days in particular, I have been more comfortable in my own skin. For a while now, I sort of felt like I was a fat girl living in a thin person’s body, like I didn’t recognize myself. I still get surprised sometimes when I look in the mirror, I won’t lie. But now I have realized that this is me, this is the hard work I have done, and I’m ready to take ownership of it.

So with that in mind, in the past two years, since January 18th, 2007, I have accomplished quite a bit and I want to share it with you all. When I’m reminded of all of these things, somehow it puts it all in perspective for me because they are things I can see (proof) to show how far I’ve come.

The health stuff:

  • Lost 70 lbs, been maintaining 66 of it for 1 year now!
  • Gone from 48.5% body fat down to 22%
  • Lost a ton of inches and added lots of lean muscle (I will have to go through my papers at home to get some real numbers for you!)
  • Taken up running (September 2007), having never truly ran before, and completed two 5k’s, a 10k, 10-miler, and half-marathon, all in Spring of 2008. I can’t wait to do more!
  • Lowered my blood pressure from 120/85 (average) to 116/62
  • Lowered my cholesterol from “borderline” to healthy range
  • Lowered by fasting blood glucose from 116 to 60
  • Resting pulse rate went from 82 to 60 bpm
  • Feeling much more energetic and no longer fatigued from treating my body with poor nutrition and little to no exercise.

    The fun stuff:

  • Finding this amazing blogging community, where I’ve made lots of friends and have gotten to pursue two of my favorite things: food and writing!
  • Trying new foods, things I never imagined I would be eating and also learning to cook a lot of things too, I have become much more well rounded in my diet.
  • Gone from a size 18W to just a regular 8 (I do have one pair of size 6 pants that fit too!)
  • From XL-XXL shirts to a S-M
  • I can now wear a size Small in stuff from Victoria’s Secret (most of their stuff only goes up to a large and I was barely making it most of the time)
  • Gone from a bra size 40DD to a 36B (sorry if that’s TMI, but it’s too much not to report)
  • Being able to go to a store knowing that something in there will fit me!
  • Writing a monthly column for my workplace’s employee newsletter that focuses on healthy living.

    The mental/spiritual stuff:

  • I no longer feel “out of control” or helpless, instead I feel quite empowered!
  • I have more of an outgoing personality thanks to a newfound self-confidence; I used to be somewhat of a wallflower.
  • No longer afraid to be in crowds or thinking people are looking at me, judging me on my appearance (I’m sure they still do, but I don’t care anymore!)
  • This gift of health has made me much closer to God, our relationship has benefited from all of this greatly, which is truly the most important thing in my life.
  • I have more fun with my husband and friends, especially going to concerts, shopping, etc. things that would’ve worn me out before can’t get me down now.
  • I have been inspired to help others more, which has led to some charity work, blood donating and of course my big mission trip to Nicaragua this past summer. I feel very blessed and want to give back to those less fortunate than me.
  • Having co-workers or friends share their successes with me, telling me that I inspired them to do something for themselves and their health
  • I have become hyperaware of my family’s health & habits (many of them I used to have) and want to help them change their lives, that is going to be my 2009 goal.

    There is SO MUCH more I could write here and maybe I will come back and add some more later but for now I just felt inspired to get these out there.

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot…this morning, the scale said my favorite number…147.5! I’ll take it 🙂

  • Guess I’m still watching…

    I went into the season finale of “The Biggest Loser” last night with something on the line…if anyone other than Michelle wins, I would not watch it anymore. I like the show, but I feel like this year it had become more about “the game” and less about (mostly) humble people transforming their lives. THEN, MICHELLE WON!

    First off, I was thrilled to bits when Allison announced that Ed had been voted in as the third finalist by America, getting an astounding 85% of the votes! Haha, in your face. Thanks to my peeps who voted for Ed, even though you don’t watch the show. Actually, I like Ed, but that’s what he and his wife get for trying to control the outcome of something.

    You may recall, the last week on the ranch he purposely gained weight hoping it would send her to the finals, but Michelle blew everyone away with her weight loss that week so Ed & Heba ended up in the bottom 2. Hmm…Heba ended up winning the $100,000 for being the biggest percentage loser of the voted off contestants. I hope she’s happy; something about her just seems so disingenuous to me. Even Vicky, who was so vile through the 2nd half of the season, seemed rather happy and peaceful compared to her. I even felt sort of bad for hating on her, but only a little bit.

    Needless to say, everyone looked phenomenal. But I do often wonder how many of them will be able to keep it up long term now that the show is over. I actually think the people who spent more time at home in the “real world” will have an easier time because they already have more experience dealing with the stresses of every day life and not having trainers to work you out 4-6 hours a day. So it will be interesting to see.

    I’m so glad for Michelle. She went on “The Biggest Loser” to change her life, reconnect with her mother and in the process she inspired many young women, I am sure. She was the lone black team member remaining, so I’m sure it’s a huge deal for Jillian (her trainer) too.

    Well, another season has ended and I guess I’m still watching. The show can be frustrating, unrealistic, over the top at times, but the truth is, I love seeing people who are in a situation I am quite familiar with turn their lives around for the better. It reminds me of how I did the same thing…without a show.

    Best picture ever

    This has to be one of the better pictures I’ve taken if not the best…

    This breakfast bowl contained 1/2 cup oats (made with 1/2 cup skim milk), 1 small chopped apple, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 tsp sugar free syrup, 1 tbsp walnut pieces, 1 tbsp Mighty Maple PB, and one crumbled up no bake cookie. Oh my 😉

    Happy Tuesday!

    We lucked out with the weather, we were supposed to get some nasty snow/ice storm last night but it was mostly just freezing rain and not enough to cause any traffic problems today. We aren’t out of the woods for today yet though, more is on the way. Hope wherever you are that you are safe and warm!

    Another moment

    I totally had another one of those “moments” this morning when I was getting ready for work. Since this is my blog, I will even admit to you that I took a picture of myself in the mirror because I was somewhat impressed with the way my stomach looked this morning. That never happens! All those ab exercises must finally be paying off, haha.

    Lunch yesterday was some salmon salad (salmon + ricotta + celery) open faced on a whole wheat English muffin, a side of mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, 3-4 different beans) and a hot green tea.

    Someone brought clementines into work, so I had one for some sweetness and Vitamin C, plus it sorta rounded out the meal 😉

    Later on, I had some fat free hot cocoa to warm me up : )

    Then my afternoon snack was a Kroger brand Carb master yogurt (strawberry), topped with chopped pecans.


    I don’t know how, but I managed not to need another snack until I got home to eat dinner! I had a really good day.

    For dinner, I grilled some marinated tofu (in BWW Spicy Garlic sauce) on the George Foreman and steamed some green beans in the microwave. If I had thought about it earlier, I could’ve made some barley or thawed out a roll or something to have with this, but it actually worked just fine.


    A little while later, I had 2 no bake cookies that my stepmother-in-law sent me home with on Sunday. They were soooo good. I love how they are small too, I looked these up and they should be about 82 calories per cookie.


    I went out and walked the dog and then had one more small one before I went upstairs, brushed my teeth and got into bed 🙂

    I hope this feeling stays with me for a while! Hope you all enjoyed your Monday!

    Feel so good

    I went through almost the entire morning without needing a snack, whoa! Even though my oatmeal was “simple” it must’ve been the right formula for my hunger today 🙂 I did use more milk this time and no water, hmm…

    I ended up having a small apple right before I went to go work out at the gym. I probably could’ve done without it but I didn’t want to crash in the middle of my workout!


    I did 32 minutes on the elliptical trainer today on Level 7, keeping with the beat of my iPod music and reading a book; the time really went by fast! I felt nice and sweaty at the end and I burned about 340 calories.

    I had a little time left, so I did a few sets of chest presses, shoulder shrugs, and ab exercises (v-crunch and bicycle). I wanted to do some legs, but I ran out of time. Maybe tonight or tomorrow?

    The real reason I’m posting this is because it hit me sometime today how good I feel. It’s a combination of things but even with my recent indulgences, I am feeling really good about myself. I hope this doesn’t sound vain, but while I was at the gym today, I was lifting in front of the mirror and I couldn’t help but notice how small (and toned) I look. I doubt it was just the clothes I was wearing because trust me, my gym clothes are not flattering, hahaha…

    But, I really think that my weight fluctuations as of late could really be muscle addition. Because my clothes still fit, some are even getting loose in certain places and I really am eating well 80% of the time. And I have been doing a lot of weight and strength training recently. So I’m going to stop measuring myself by that number.

    I’m usually my own worst critic and even though I’ve been the weight I am for a year now, I still sometimes forget that I’m not that 200 pound girl anymore and I’m shocked when I see myself in the mirror. Because sometimes I still feel like her on the inside. But not this time!

    Just wanted to share…hope everyone is having a good day 🙂

    Starting a new week!

    I’m actually really glad today is Monday because it’s the start of a new week, plus this is my last week of work for 2008, woo hoo!

    I also like starting a new week because I get back to a routine which helps me keep my diet & exercise more in balance. This week should be particularly calm, I’m hoping 😉

    I woke up and took the doggie out in the rain for 25 minutes, then after we got back in and dried off, I made a really simple breakfast of oats + skim milk, with peanut butter and walnuts, and a cup of instant flavored coffee (cinnamon chocolate) that I ended up only drinking 2/3 of. I think I used too much water, better try a tea cup next time!


    Happy Monday all! Hope it’s a good one for you.

    Flea market & wrestilng

    Sunday morning I woke up again not craving oats…I think I have an every other day kind of thing for it now, haha. I was actually feeling like something savory and/or proteinous, so I made a wheat bun toasted with cream cheese and two scrambled eggs, perfect!

    I drank a cup of coffee with Equal & skim milk at home and then ended up having another at church…

    We went to a flea market here in town where they have loads of food stuff to sample, but I managed not to let myself go too crazy. I tried a few dips with a pretzel: S’mores, Gingerbread, Chocolate Chip & sugar free Lemon Chiffon. The Gingerbread and Lemon were the best!


    I had exactly this many pieces of flavored popcorn…the iced one was cinnamon roll (OMG) and the other was caramel corn. Thank goodness I only ate one piece of each 🙂


    And thank goodness I also brought a snack of mixed nuts (and a big jug of water) to keep me from eating anything else there! We walked around the whole place and then headed off to get some lunch.


    We went to lunch at a place called Our Best, which is known for it’s fried chicken and southern style comfort food. But they do have some amazing grilled chicken (which I got last time) and then this time I tried the pork tenderloin with some kale, pinto beans and cornbread pancakes. I ate all the pork (minus one piece I traded with the husband for a bite of his salisbury steak), most of the pinto beans (minus a few bites), half the kale and one of the cornbread pancakes. Even though it was sort of wasteful, I was proud of myself for leaving something on my plate 😉

    When I got home, I took the doggie out for another nice big walk because we were having some abnormally warm weather (in the 50’s). We were out for well over 50 minutes, which felt so good!

    I ate the rest of the reindeer chow I started on from Saturday (the 3rd bag, haha). But I didn’t dare bust open that other bag! I’m going to give it away.


    I also had a cup of green tea with equal and skim milk. In between the reindeer chow and tea, I did some massive cleaning of the kitchen and hallway, plus some dishes and laundry. My feet and legs were tired and hurting by the time I finally sat down!


    We had dinner at my in-law’s house to watch the WWE pay per view and they ordered pizza, which I hadn’t had in forever. It’s not my favorite thing, but for some reason last night it really hit the spot. I had these two pieces which were from a medium sized pizza (mushrooms only):


    When I was done, I still felt sort of hungry, so I had a breadstick instead of another slice of pizza. That did the trick!


    I wasn’t going to eat any, but a couple of hours later, they brought out dessert and it sounded really good to me…Dutch Apple Pie (husband’s favorite), so I had a small piece (it sort of fell apart) and scraped it off of the crust, so I threw the crust away…I figure that saved me a few calories.

    Oh, and I had a small scoop (1/4 cup maybe) of fat free ice cream on top:


    I’m hoping with all the walking and shopping and cleaning I did this weekend that I managed to off-set some of the things I ate, but if not, that’s okay, I will strive to keep balancing things out the rest of the time.

    It’s all about staying positive and enjoying yourself while being health-conscious at the same time. I’m hoping this week will be a little less busy with no parties and that I’ll be able to get some good sweaty workouts in too!

    One more to go!

    On the fence

    Saturday was a happenin’ day! I got things started with a nice short walk with the doggie and then I made breakfas — oats with milk, apple and PB:

    I went to a Ladies’ Christmas Tea at my church and I wasn’t planning on eating anything since I had breakfast but we were there for a couple of hours so I did ‘sample’ a few things. I didn’t eat this entire plate…I had the entire mini quiche, most of the fruit and half of the other things (raisin bread, breakfast casserole, cheese grits):


    I also had some coffee with flavored creamers!

    Then I went back home and walked the dog again for about 25 minutes, then took her to see Santa Claus at Feeders Supply (our new home away from home, haha). I will have to post that picture on here soon, have to scan it first!

    But then I went to lunch with my parents at Great Harvest which is an amazing place and for some dang reason, my pictures of it are GONE! But I had 1/2 a turkey sandwich on Nine grain bread with lettuce, tomato, mustard and some carrots with ranch dressing as a side (I only used about 1/3 of the packet they gave me).

    I went back home and did some laundry and then took the doggie for a long, 45-minute walk in the nearby neighborhoods. It felt so good to go out and get some exercise since I knew I’d be eating more than I usually do (calorie-wise) at the party that night.

    I went to Target to pick up a birthday gift for my friend and I felt hungry so I decided to try one of these, even though I have a ton of bars at home (ahh). It’s a Clif Mojo sweet ‘n salty trail mix bar. It was FANTASTIC! It’s huge and only 180 calories. I like trail mix that has chocolate in it and that’s exactly what it tasted like. Once I’m out of the others, I will definitely buy some of these!


    PARTY TIME!

    Here is the spread…


    I munched on some grapes and a few pieces of broccoli that I didn’t photograph.


    I had two of these plus 1/2 cup of white that wasn’t too good, hmm…


    “Main course” if you will, it’s a low fat paella with turkey sausage & shrimp that my friend Carrie made (holy yum! I had two servings) and a bacon-wrapped water chestnut made by Amy (so sweet & crunchy). Both these ladies read my blog, so big shout out to you gals! 😉

    Of course, Beth made her Reindeer Chow again and I fell under it’s spell, again. She put them into little portioned-controlled holiday bags (haha, think she’s trying to tell me something?) and I ended up having two of these, plus 1/2 of a 3rd one on the way home, yikes.


    I tried a bite of a bourbon ball, but I didn’t like it, so I didn’t finish it:


    It was a fun night, we had a gift exhange, played some games (including a quiz, charades and a wrapping paper fashion show) and of course took lots of incriminating photos. But we all really enjoyed ourselves and can’t wait to do it again next year 🙂

    I’m still on the fence about how “well” I did with my eating. I don’t think I did too bad, except for the reindeer chow. But like I said before, it’s only once a year, and I think this is the last time I’ll have it…oh, except that I took another bag home with me and it’s in the pantry, haha. I might have to give that away as a gift 😉

    Hope you all had a great weekend, more updates to come!

    MIA

    I can’t believe I let the entire weekend get away from me. Needless to say (but I’m gonna anyway), I’ve been busy and didn’t hardly have a free moment to sit down in front of the computer to let you guys in on what I’ve been eating these past few days!

    With that said, let’s finish up Friday, shall we?

    Lunch was a veggie burger with hummus on a wheat bun, a romaine salad with pumpkin seeds parmesan cheese & balsamic dressing and a nice hot tea 🙂

    Mid-afternoon I had two Wasa crackers with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge…

    I tried as hard as I could to resist, but before I left work, I did up having this much peanut butter (but then I put it away)!


    Dinner was a bit of a let down, but I tried to handle it appropriately so I wouldn’t freak out and go eat a whole bunch of things to make up for it. My husband and I had gone to the mall to get some ideas for Christmas (we are procrastinators!) and we ended up eating at the food court. I couldn’t make up my mind first of all and when I finally did, Chick Fil A was out of the salad I wanted so I got soup instead. I ordered the “large” remembering the days when I used to work at the mall and the bowl they gave you was HUGE, but this was it (basically just a little bigger than a cup) and it cost me $5:


    But I guess at least I got to eat…I do feel bad complaining. My husband had gone to Tumbleweed so he shared some of his chips & salsa with me but I only ate a few because they were not very good 😦

    After walking around the mall, we went to the grocery store and then back home where I had some sugar free / fat free chocolate pudding with reddi-whip in one of my favorite dishes 🙂


    That satisfied me for a while but we ended up staying up later, so I had another couple of snacks. First was a small apple with chocolate PB:


    And then 1/4 cup of Quaker Oatmeal Squares cereal! I hadn’t had this cereal in forever but it was on sale for $2 at Kroger, so I could not let it go by me 😉


    When I sat down and figured it up, I think I had about 1600-1700 calories total, so even with the nighttime snacks, I stayed within my range, plus I got plenty of exercise that day and night with shopping 🙂

    Saturday is another story…be back soon.