Weightloss Tracker

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

One Year Journey in Pictures

Shawn and I in December 2010

February 2010

February 2010-First 5K

Us in May 2011

Us with Grandpapa in September 2011

October 2011-Ray Tanner 5K

Us in November 2011

Me in December 2010

Me in December 2011

I still have a long way to go but I know I am going to get there. I am taking this journey one step at a time.


I will never forget sitting on my couch a year ago watching Patrick House win Biggest Loser. It was after that finale that I decided that I needed to do something about my health, my weight, and my life. I needed to get back to my athletic build that I used to have in high school, I needed to get back to being healthy so I could live longer, I needed to get healthy so I could possibly have a child one day, I needed to get my life back because I was watching it go by as I watched from the sidelines.

Ok, so I thought this day was going to be different BUT it's ok because I am still working hard on my journey. I was hoping by this point I would have reached 100 pounds lost but life had a different plan for me. I successfully had lost 60 and then I have gained 30 back BUT I am on the road again to lose it again (hopefully this time for good).

As I thought about the last year, I thought of the many changes I have made to my lifestyle. Most importantly, I have added in the exercise component which I still have trouble doing but it gives me enormous benefits. I have also tried to eliminate most of my sugars and for a while, I had reduced my sugar intake to almost nothing, and finally I have successfully completed a WHOLE YEAR without soft drinks! How in the world I ever would have thought I would have been able to do it, I don't know! I did it though! There were MANY days that I wanted to reach for the nearest soft drink but EVERY time, and I mean EVERY time, I went to grab one or order one I always thought back to the health benefits of drinking water instead. These thoughts provided success for me and I am so proud to say that I have been soft-drink free for a year. To me, that is something HUGE to celebrate! :)

Since I am on the topic of soft drinks, I have included a list below of the benefits of NOT drinking soft drinks:
-Reduced Sugar Intake: The average 12-oz. serving of soda contains up to 9 tsp. of added sugar, which is over the daily limit for most people. Willett says that there are several health conditions that may be avoided simply by cutting your soda and sugar intake. When you consume too much sugar, your pancreas has to work harder and produces more insulin, so restricting your intake of sugary sodas can help you reduce your risk of diabetes. Diets that include several sodas a day also put you at greater risk of heart disease, something you can help prevent by avoiding soda.

-Weight Loss: The calories in a 12-oz. serving of soda are considered empty calories because they do not supply any nutrition. Over time, drinking several sodas a day can lead to unhealthy weight gain. The opposite is true if you cut soda out of your diet. If you are used to drinking three or four sodas a day, you can cut hundreds of calories from your diet just by switching to a calorie-free drink like plain water. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight decreases your chances of many negative health conditions, including obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

-Reduced Bone Fractures: The phosphoric acid in many types of soda cause bone damage by leaching calcium out of them and making them weaker and more susceptible to damage. The Harvard University Gazette says that just two sodas a day can cause significant bone weakening among teenage girls, which can have harmful effects as they get older as well. Bone mass is built during adolescence and early adulthood and begins to decline after that. Replacing soda with milk is an important way to help protect your bones no matter what your age.

-Leaves Room for Other Nutrients: According to Bonnie Sanders Polin, Frances Towner Giedt and the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, authors of "Cleveland Clinic Healthy Heart Lifestyle Guide and Cookbook," diets high in soda consumption leave less room for healthier drinks, such as 100 percent fruit juice, milk and water. Filling up on soda often results in a lower intake of fruits, vegetables and grains, as well. Eliminating soda from your diet will leave you hungry for more nutritious foods and drinks that benefit your health.

Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/409390-what-are-the-benefits-of-not-drinking-soda/#ixzz1gZT5BRvS

The list could go on and on and on but I will only leave you with these. Just remember one of these healthy benefits of not drinking soft drinks (diet or regular) every time you reach for one. :)

Thank YOU to ALL of my friends, family, and followers for riding along this crazy journey with me. I feel so much support even on the tough days. I appreciate all of the support I get daily from each of you! -Hope :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Starting Over Again

Okay, so I know I have written numerous posts on my blog about starting over but I do believe this is definitely the last time. I am ready to get back to blogging, exercising, feeling better, getting healthier, motivating others, etc. I could go on and on and on about everything I "miss" about losing weight. It FAR outweighs gaining weight which is what I have been doing over the last 5-6 months. I updated my tracker at the top of the blog and as you can tell, I have gained back 30 pounds of the 55 I had lost. Ouch.

I have been so frustrated lately because I cannot seem to find my "groove" again. I am trying desperately to find that rhythm back again. There are days when I am back "on" writing down my food, watching my intake, exercising, etc. and then I go right back to days where I don't want to even think about eating healthy foods, exercising, or watching what I am putting in my body. Unfortunately, I have more days like the latter. I have really been soul searching and trying to figure out why I am reverting back to my old ways and I think I have come across several reasons why: 1) I am tackling a doctorate degree right now which has added a lot of stress but good stress 2) I have a husband who works 12 hour shifts nights/days that don't match my routine 3) I am home by myself a lot due to my husband's job so I am hanging around the house by myself watching TV, etc. 4) I am stressed out at school this year due to numerous reasons that I didn't have last year 5) I am once again tackling too many things at once and not focusing on myself which is probably my biggest problem.

As you can see, my list of reasons why I have reverted back to my old habits could go on and on and on. The bottom line: I stopped caring about ME. I started to focus on a million and one other things and continue to say "yes" to people when they ask me to do something. I am a people pleaser and I LOVE helping others out but at the same time I need to find balance in my life so I can be successful in my weightloss journey again. I am not stopping my pursuit of my doctorate degree so that isn't going away any time soon but I can make lemonade out of the other "lemons" in my life right now.

I know this weight will be an issue my whole-entire-life. I will always have a weight problem because of PCOS BUT I can try my best to control it. I have to make time to exercise and I have to make time to write down my food intake to keep myself accountable. I also have to pray daily that God will continue to walk with me through this journey. I know I keep telling myself "I can do it on my own" but I can't...obviously.

One of the books I read last year that really helped me change my way of thinking was Lysa TerKeurst's book Made to Crave. Her book is about how we should crave time with God instead of craving foods or other idols in our lives. The book is phenomenal and if you see Amazon.com's ratings, others agree with me. She also has a 60 day devotional book that is coming out on Tuesday!! I would HIGHLY recommend checking her books out. I will revisit Made to Crave again over Christmas break and will start the devotional book as soon as it comes in the mail this week! :) I already pre-ordered it from Amazon.com. :) She also has a free 21 day email devotional that you can sign up for here.

Bear with me as I get back on track again. My one year anniversary of starting my weightloss journey is coming up in 5 days and I was hoping that I would be down about 100 pounds BUT life got in the way and I didn't make that goal BUT I am NOT giving up. I will continue to do my best every day to make an extra effort to get healthy for ME.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November 4

The Good: Today marks the 8th year that my husband and I have been together. We have been through a lot together in 8 years but I am so thankful to have him by my side. As we both embark on our weightloss journeys, we cheer each other on and give each other support. :)

The Bad: We went to the Carolina Craftsman Classic today with our friends, Adam and Erin, and also had a wonderful breakfast with them. It certainly was not a healthy breakfast but I did enjoy spending time with them!

The Ugly: Shawn and I went to eat Mexican for lunch...yes....not the best idea but we did. Tomorrow we both start our Isagenix 30 day cleanse so I guess we can let this last Mexican meal slide. Looking forward to jump starting tomorrow!!

Day 4: I am thankful to have a husband that supports me in all of my endeavors. I am so thankful to have him by my side through all of my ups and downs!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November 4

The Good: I had a great workout after school today which was much needed after a crazy, stressful day. It definitely took me a while to get back into the rhythm of the elliptical and I am certainly no where close to where I left off but it felt good to get back on it and try again. As I was on the elliptical today, it reminded me how good it felt to relieve my stress by working out. Just taking 30 minutes-1 hour to clear my head is well worth it! I need to remind myself of this on the days that I don't feel like going to workout. :)

The Bad: I wasn't able to do my usual hour on the elliptical which was defeating but I know I will be able to get back to that point hopefully very soon!

The Ugly: I was stressed out this afternoon at work and dived into a bag of M&Ms. Did they make me feel better? Yes, for an instant but that was it. I need to remove myself from emotional eating ASAP! The workout this afternoon I did felt far better than the pack of M&Ms.

Day 3: I am thankful for my family. Without them, I certainly would not be the person I am today nor would I be able to make this lifestyle change! They have been with me through the good times and the bad and have never left my side!

November 2

The Good: I felt good all day and had a little pep in my step which I think is from getting back to the gym for the past 2 days. It felt good to have that feeling back again. I also got on the scale just to see where I was and have already lost 2 pounds just by getting back to the gym! I definitely learned a lot through this "off" time I have had and one of the biggest things I have learned is that my body REQUIRES exercise....PERIOD. I am not someone who can get away without working out. I reflected even in high school when I was the fittest I have ever been and it was clear to me that I walked 9-18 holes of golf EVERY DAY along with having a personal trainer at Gold's along with at least an hour of cardio 4-5 times a week. This proves that my body requires exercise...even if it isn't strenuous, it still needs to MOVE.

The Bad:
We had Hudson's catered for lunch today at school by Rymarc Homes which was so awesome but the options were BBQ, BBQ chicken, mac-n-cheese, rice and gravy, rolls, and spiced apples. That's right....no veggies. I did enjoy it and knew I would have to regroup afterwards. It was so nice to eat like an adult for the day!!

The Ugly: We had breakfast at church tonight. It was so good and hit the spot and once again...not many good choices to choose from. Instead of giving up afterwards, I decided that this was only one day and I would get back on track tomorrow.

Day 2: I am thankful for a beautiful neighborhood that is safe and I enjoy walking in.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November 1

The Good: I went to the gym for day 2 back in action and was proud of myself! The first step to start again is sooo hard but once you get started, everything quickly falls back into place. I also cooked dinner tonight for Shawn and I and it was awesome! So easy and so good! I made a Jenni-O Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast in the oven, sweet potatoes, and asparagus. Very simple and really good. The Jenni-O Turkey Breasts are awesome and easy to fix! Check them out next time you are looking for something yummy and easy to cook! You can find them in the meat section of the grocery store. :)

Check out this link from Women's Health on the Best Foods for Women....Jenni-O Applewood Smoked Turkey Breast made the list!

The Bad: For the last few weeks, I have physically felt bad. I know putting 25 pounds back on my body is hurting it and I honestly don't think it ever phased me before how poorly I really felt physically. I can definitely tell those 25 pounds are back and they are NOT wanted in this body. I am working hard to get them back off and trying to have them back off before Christmas. I think I can do it if I work really hard at watching what I eat and exercise at least 5 times a week.

The Ugly: Stress....honestly stress from work and Shawn's work has been what has gotten in my way of working out the last few months. I have been praying about it constantly and looking for answers on how to get back in the routine I was in last winter/spring. I cannot believe my year is coming up so quickly! It is amazing how quickly time flies. I am trying to find different ways to relive stress instead of eating. I am definitely a stress eater. I used to deny it but have sense realized that denying isn't helping the problem one bit. I recently read an article Jillian Michaels wrote about stress eating. She said to find alternate ways to decompress and to destress...for example....take a hot bath/shower, go for a walk to clear your head, listen to music and dance around the house, give yourself a pedicure/manicure, read a book, etc. I need to continue to think of these things when I get stressed out and implement them instead of binge eating whatever I can find in the pantry or fridge! :)

I am also going to include something I am thankful for each day of November that relates to my blog. Please join me if you would like!
Day 1-I am thankful for my body. As difficult as my weight struggle has been my whole life, I am glad I have a body that moves and is healthy enough to enjoy life!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A few facts and thoughts...

I heard several facts tonight while watching The Biggest Loser I wanted to share:

-The average American consumes over 50 pounds of soft drinks a year! Holy cow! Luckily I gave up soft drinks last November and I haven't looked back! :)

-Turkey burgers are by far the better choice than beef burgers. Shawn and I LOVE turkey burgers now and don't know how I could go back to a beef burger.

-Your body can only lose a certain amount of weight at one time. Don't give up if you have a week where you didn't lose as much as you would have thought. Give your body time to adjust.

-No one can bring you success but you!

-It is all about balance. Focus on eating healthy meals but also give yourself opportunities to enjoy foods you enjoy but in moderation.

-Challenge yourself every time you workout. Try something new or try to go a little faster, a little big longer, etc.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ray Tanner Home Run 5K-Success!

Yesterday, Shawn, Meredith, and I walked/ran in The Ray Tanner Home Run 5K. We had a BLAST! What a fun and BEAUTIFUL day it was! Meredith decided this summer to join me and signed up. I was so excited when she said she was going to do it with me! It was her first 5K and I was honored to do it with her! At the time I was telling her about it, I was training to run the whole 3.1 miles but needless to say, that didn't happen. Meredith is an incredible athlete so I was nervous about Saturday until she messaged me Friday night to let me know she was having problems with her hip and she didn't think she could run the whole thing. God answered my prayer and she said, hers too! :) I will be completely honest and tell you that I wanted to back out of doing the whole thing. I was so down on myself and knew 3.1 miles was going to be really tough considering I haven't exercised in 3 months. If it hadn't been for Meredith, Shawn and I wouldn't have done it. I am so THANKFUL that I had Meredith to be my accountability because the 5K was awesome!! Shawn and I both commented on how great we felt afterwards even though we were tired and sore.

The Ray Tanner 5K was such an awesome experience. The course was great and the weather was absolutely P-E-R-F-E-C-T! I think I may have said that the weather "couldn't get any better than this" about 50 times. :) Blue skies, sunshine, a great friend and husband by my side, motivational people along the sidelines....perfection. I would HIGHLY recommend you to do a 5K whenever you can! It is one of the most motivational experiences you will ever have! Don't be afraid of it! There are so many different people competing at various levels so don't worry about what you can't do. Just get out there and walk! Enjoy the experience!

My motivation for exercise has returned! Thank GOODNESS! Shawn and I both decided that it was time to get back to business and keep each other accountable. We are going to get back to exercising at least 4-5 times a week. It is definitely a mind issue for me. I know it will make me feel so much better and give me more energy but I just create a block for exercise instead. I am going to push through the block this week and get back to business!

The next 5K I am doing is the Sleigh Bell Trot at Saluda Shoals Park on November 22. It is at night and you get to go through the park and see all of the awesome Christmas lights! Come join me! It's going to be FUN!! :) Here is the link to sign-up!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


As you can tell, I have taken a month long hiatus from blogging on here. I have lost much of my motivation and I am not sure where and why it went away. I am ready to get back on the program to continue to lose the much needed weight I
need to lose. I think my biggest reason that I have "given up" has been because I don't feel like I can find the success I had before again. As I have been thinking about how to get started back again, I realized that I am talking myself out of losing weight again, I am telling myself that it is "too hard" and that I "don't have the time." In all honesty, these are NO excuses and the same ones that would bother me when people would ask about my weight loss. They would tell me that they wish they could lose weight like me but it is too hard or their life was too crazy....I am now that person. I'm ready to change that again!

I need to get back to the BASICS. I came up with an acronym to help me get back to the success I found previously.

B-Bodybugg-It is time for be to put my BodyBugg back on to track my calories burned each day. This kept me ACCOUNTABLE!

A-Activity-I HAVE to get back into exercising daily. I not only lost weight but I felt better when I exercised. Even if I start with just 20-30 minutes and work my way back up is better than what I am doing now.

S-Sweets-I need to pry myself away from sweets again. My sweet tooth is back and I need to get away from it again. A small amount of dark chocolate would be a better choice than other dessert options.

I-Intake-I need to be particular again about what I put in my body. I need to get back to fresh fruits, fresh veggies, etc. I need to get away from the "convenience foods."

C-Calories- I need to remember Calories in, calories out. I know there is debate about whether it is the correct way to lose weight but it worked for me. It was the first time I truly found success.

S-Scribble- If I nibble, I scribble...I need to WRITE all the food down I eat daily to keep myself on track. Even if I don't want to write it down, I have to. If I don't write down what I eat, I am shooting in the dark on whether I am taking in the correct amount of calories.

There are 11 weeks left to Christmas. Will you join me in committing the next 11 weeks to health!? This will be the GREATEST gift you could possibly give yourself! We will check in together weekly and keep up with each others successes. I think this will be a fun way to challenge each other to commit to healthy eating and exercise for the next 11 weeks. If you want to join this challenge with me, post your name below in the comment section so I can keep up with who is doing the challenge. You don't have to post your weight or anything, just a commitment to try your best to commit to bettering your health. :) Let's do this!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Stuffed Pasta Shells

This weekend I was bound and determined to try a new recipe since I haven't had time to try something new in a while. I came across a stuffed shell recipe that looked good so I tweaked it a little and made it mine. It turned out SOOOOO good and I would highly recommend making it for your next family dinner! :) The other great thing about it is you can easily make enough to put some in the freezer for a meal on another day! I hope you enjoy it!!

Stuffed Pasta Shells
Serving Size-3 stuffed shells
Calories: 365 cals
Fat: 10g
Protein: 28g
*It seems pretty high but this is a VERY filling meal!

27 (9 oz) Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1.25 lb lean ground turkey
32 oz crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper
2 cups part skim ricotta cheese
8 oz reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
9 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed well between paper towels
1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°. Bring water to a boil and add pasta shells. Make sure you do not overcook the pasta shells.

While boiling the water, cook the ground turkey over medium heat in a frying pan. When turkey is done, add in chopped onion and minced garlic.

Add crushed tomatoes, fresh basil, salt and pepper to meat. Cover and simmer on low for a few minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together ricotta, egg, spinach, mozzarella, and parmesan.

Lightly cover the bottom of a baking dish with some of the pasta/meat mixture. Fill each pasta shell with 2 tbsp of the cheese/spinach mixture. Place the stuffed shell on top of the sauce in baking dish. You can use two baking dishes if you want so you can freeze one for another time.

Once all pasta shells are in dish or dishes, add the rest of the tomato/meat sauce on the tops of the shells.

Put foil over the baking dish and bake in oven for 40 minutes. Three shells doesn't seem like a lot but these shells will fill you up I promise! :)

PS-This meal was so good that Shawn and I both wanted to lick our plates! :)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Quick Meals for One

Hey guys,
Remember a few weeks ago I said that I was going to make it my mission to find quick and easy meals for one? Well, I am still working on it and have found some great things at the grocery store so far. I am still working on fixing easy meals so I will post those soon but I found several good finds at the grocery store.

I have listed the items I have found below:


I apologize for the 2 week absence. My grandfather passed away so I have been spending my extra time with my family. I have enjoyed recapping memories of fun times with my grandfather and most importantly remembering all that he taught me during the last 25 years. I was so excited to share my weightloss experiences with him during the last few months of his life. I know he was so proud of me and all I have accomplished thus far and I look forward to him watching the rest of my journey from up above. :)

This was the last picture I took with Grandpapa about a month ago.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

September 6

The Good: I had a pretty good day with my eating. I started out by fixing myself my "normal" breakfast of scrambled egg whites, greek yogurt, and center cut bacon. It felt good to get back to something that I knew was a good fit for me and my weightloss. I had my Isagenix shake for lunch which was a perfect pick me up for my energy! I made a crock-pot meal today to eat for dinner tonight so I wouldn't have to think about making dinner when I got home. I tried a new recipe for teriyaki chicken. It was good but not what I was hoping for so I will continue to work on it. :)

I did come to the realization today that I need to get back to the gym for so many reasons besides losing weight. I remembered last spring when everyone was getting sick at school, I didn't because I was working out and taking care of my body. I need to start taking my vitamins again every morning and getting at least a 20-30 minute workout/run in. I WILL make a point to do it tomorrow! I already wrote it down in my planner! I have realized that I HAVE to write it down otherwise I won't keep myself accountable. I make it a date with myself. A date to take care of myself to make sure I am the best "Hope" I can be...physically, mentally, and emotionally.

The Bad: Mom and I did splurge and go to Yumilicious today after I left my dentist appointment. We have only been there once together so she wanted to go back. Instead of getting my usual avocado tart with fresh fruit, I did not do so well and got cake batter, coffee, and pecan praline yogurt and topped it with cookie dough, sprinkles, and Oreos. Yeh...not so good. Will definitely make a better choice next time!

The Ugly: I did not get my water in today and I can tell because tonight I am so thirsty! I also did not get my much needed exercise in today. I have noticed that the 10 pounds I have gained back in the last 3 months is definitely showing up in my clothes! Things are fitting tighter and not looking near as good as they were. The good thing is I threw out all of my old "bigger" clothes so I have no other choice but to lose the weight I gained because I am NOT buying bigger clothes again. I REFUSE!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Challenge!

Hi again! I apologize for the delay in postings. I have been crazy busy with the start of school and life hasn't slowed down enough. I always look forward to Labor Day weekend because it usually signals the time that I am getting back into a normal routine and the beginning of school craziness has calmed down.

I have really spent the last few days reflecting on my weightloss journey. I have been trying to figure out how to get back on track, especially the track that I had myself on for so many months. I have continued to have the "doubtful" feelings again and asking myself, "can I do this?" Of course I know I can because I have already done it but the fear of failure is still haunting me. As I have reflected, I tried to think back to what I was doing when I was making so much progress. One of the best things I EVER did was start this blog. I started it as my "story." I wanted to keep track of my journey and all of the changes. It has been a key aspect of my reflecting this week. I went back to the postings where I had confidence and had written my plan of action. It reminded me that it isn't hard once I get my mind back into it. I also realized that I needed to spend the extra time each day planning and posting on here. It really made a difference! It keep me accountable and it also gave me a space to out down my thoughts during my journey.

I have prayed. I have cried. I have reflected. I have smiled. I have found motivation.

As I prayed about my struggles, God has continued to answer me by telling me to keep trying and keep posting. One of the things he laid on my heart today was to figure out a way to get out of this struggle I am having. The biggest struggle that I have faced in the last few months is Shawn's new work schedule. Once I reflected, thought, and prayed I realized that this is where my struggles have rooted from. His new schedule is nothing like we have ever dealt with before and it has sent me into crisis mode. I spend a lot of time by myself which is causing me to eat. I am a stress eater. I always have been. With this new routine, I feel continuously stressed. I know this time will pass but right now it has rocked my world.

One of the biggest struggles I have dealt with is eating by myself. I realize now that this is one of my weakest points and one that I HAVE to overcome. I HAVE to find a way out of this! After praying this morning, God laid on my heart a wonderful idea and challenge! Ready for it?!

My challenge is to post and create healthy meals for ONE person eating! I think this is going to be SO incredibly valuable to so many people, especially ME! These post will hopefully be helpful to anyone who eats and cooks for one person. So...this is going to be my personal challenge but I hope that it will get me back on track now that I realize that this is one of my biggest struggles now. I hope this will inspire many people to eat healthier even if they are cooking for themselves. Let's make this happen!

I am excited about this new challenge!

One last reflection that I had. I need to go back to the meal plan that gave me success. It was one I created for me and one that worked for me. I will go back to counting calories and eating my egg beaters, bacon, and yogurt in the morning. It is going to take some extra time in the morning but I feel comfortable with this meal because it gave me so much success for so many months. I will continue to drink my Isagenix shake during lunch and will focus on eating healthy meals for one during the evening. I feel like this plan will work for me. I am going to try it for a month and hope to find success again. If not, then I will go back to ground zero and figure out another plan.

If you have any yummy meals you cook for one person or any yummy meals that you would like for me to work on for one person, please post them or send them to me on Facebook! I would love to try them out!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I'm Ready!

I am really excited about the cooler temperatures and the Fall weather heading our way! I am looking forward to getting back outside and enjoying the fresh air while exercising. Today as I walked out the door to go outside for recess duty, I had this overwhelming relief feeing as I felt the cooler air. It was amazing! It made me want to get outside and go for a long walk to destress and clear my head. Are you excited about the cooler temperatures heading our way? I listed a few ideas below that might get you excited about going outside and moving! :)

-Walk (it doesn't have to be fast, go at your own pace)
-Run (take a run and clear your mind while taking in God's beauty)
-Take your family for a fun hike in the upstate
-Go apple-picking in the upstate (if you have any recommendations, please comment below because I am wanting to go one weekend soon!)
-Rake up leaves and spend time in your yard (not quite time but it is getting closer every day)
-Play in the leaves with someone (husband, kids, friends, etc.)
-Sign up for a 5K! (there are tons to sign up for on www.strictlyrunning.com)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Motivational Videos

Hey yall! I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend! I just wanted to share a few videos tonight that I found that are motivating to me and I hope they will be motivating to you also! I hope these videos will encourage you to do something remarkable!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 25

The Good: I cooked dinner tonight for the first time in a long time. I made yummy honey-lime quesadillas that my friend Shannon gave me. It was a delicious meal and it reminded me that cooking dinner does not have to be a long process. :) I also went to the grocery store today and stocked up on some great fresh produce and healthy foods.

The Bad: I did not get a workout in today. I am so exhausted from school this week. I hope to get several good workouts in this weekend when I am well rested! :)

The Ugly: I was stressed when I got out of school today so I came home and dived into some frozen yogurt. Not a good decision at all. I know my over-eating stems from stress. It would have been a much better choice to jump on the treadmill and get a good run in but I didn't make that decision today. I plan to make a better decision next time!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Wow! That is all I can say! I have been encouraged by so many people in the last 24 hours that I have been left speechless. I am so blessed to share my journey with you, the ups and downs, and everything in between. I appreciate all of the uplifting messages, encouraging words, testimonies, etc. that you have shared with me. I hope that I can be an encouragement to you on whatever journey you are on too!

I did much better today with staying on track. I still did not write down my food like I needed to but that will be something I hope to work on tomorrow. Just a few small steps at a time trying to get back to where I was. My mom and I did fix a yummy, healthy dinner tonight of tilapia, little red potatoes, and asparagus. It really makes me realize how good it feels to eat healthy again. The fast food, restaurant food is ok to have every once in a while but you really can tell a difference between food that is unhealthy for you and healthy foods. I continually have to remind myself of this.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful day, full of healthy choices and exercise! Thank you again for following my journey and being an encourager to me every step of the way!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Frustrated? Unmotivated? Failure? How These Words Go Together

Frustrated? Unmotivated? Failure? How do these words go together?

They fit my life right now. I have been through about a 2 1/2 month struggle with getting back on plan. Those of you who have tried to lose weight before, you can relate to this I am sure. It happens to everyone at some point. I promised that I would be real here because I truly started this blog to chart my journey through weightloss. It has turned into so much more and I count my blessings every day! Since I want to be honest with you, I am laying it out on the line in this blog post. I hope that this will help me clear my mind, get back on track, and maybe even help someone else that is stuck in this same situation. So...here it is...the truth but also some inspiration to climb back on and continue the ride of my life!

It all started when school ended in June. I started out great, excited to have so much free time on my hands to go to the gym, workout whenever, cook healthy meals, travel to farmer's markets, etc. I was doing such a great job and was so proud of myself that I had actually changed my lifestyle for good. Remember that saying your mom used to tell you, "don't count your chickens before they hatch?" Yeh, I did that. I honestly was so confident in myself because I had lost over 50 pounds that I thought, "yeh, I got this!" Then life happened and got in the way.

Around mid-summer I went to Hilton Head with my family and enjoyed some a-m-a-z-i-n-g meals BUT I also exercised every morning because I knew I was going to be eating horribly at night when we went out with various companies. If you remember, I wrote a blog post about staying on track even on vacation. Yep, at that point, I was still going strong! Once we got back home, it happened. Shawn started working a shift that was way out of our normal schedule, I started getting anxious about the summer ending and trying to get everything done I had on my "summer to-do list" before school started, and honestly, was FRUSTRATED because the scale had not moved at all in about a month. So, I started slowly getting back into old habits.

Fast forward to the end of July, my family spent a week at Edisto and during that time I did not exercise at all. My excuse---wait for it---"I'm on vacation and I deserve this." Ok, good try but NO! No matter if I am on vacation or not, I still need to exercise to keep my body healthy and feeling good. I took the easy way out and made an excuse to eat whatever I wanted, drank a few alcoholic beverages, and sat on my fanny. I kept telling myself, I am getting back on the program when I get home, I will get back next week, etc. etc. etc. Did it happen? No. It is called----unmotivated. Unmotivated to continue, unmotivated to eat right, unmotivated to cook healthy meals, unmotivated to go to the gym, unmotivated to count my calories, unmotivated to write down what I am eating, 100% unmotivated to continue.

I did have one good thing come out of this time which was coming across Isagenix which I have blogged about several times recently. I absolutely LOVE the chocolate shakes and they are so good for me. They keep me feeling balanced, energized, and clear-minded. Not only do they do all of those things but they are simple and easy. I can make one quickly in the morning on the way to work and I make one for lunch at school. They keep me full and help me keep my calories in check. The problem I am having is dinner. Shawn and I have gotten back into the "out-to-eat" mode lately and it is killing me! I have decided that I have to go "cold-turkey" again to get out of the habit. There are some nights that I am so tired from these first few weeks of school that I cannot imagine cooking dinner but instead of grabbing something convenient, I need to think of some quick, easy, and healthy dinners that I have made in the past. I have to get back to planning my meals.

I am also ashamed to tell you that I honestly feel like a failure. Now, after 2 1/2 months of seeing nothing on the scale has made me ask myself several times, "can I do it?" "Is this the end?" "Can I loose any more weight?" Of course all of these are not true but I am back in the old mind frame that I was in months ago. I have to snap out of it. I am truly thankful that I started this blog in December because it shows me "proof" that I CAN do it! I CAN continue on my journey. I WILL lose the weight. I WILL life a healthy lifestyle. I just have to continue to pump those positive messages into my head until it "clicks" again. I don't want to feel like a failure but I do. I think we all do at some point but we shouldn't. No one is a failure, you can always bounce back and most of the time you bounce back stronger than before. That is my hope!

So, starting fresh again...these are my goals for the next week. I am going to take it little by little until I build myself back up to where I was.
-Exercise at least 20 minutes a day. (Going to walk RIGHT AFTER I finish this post, PROMISE!) :)
-Write down my meals (luckily my shakes stay the same so I just need to concentrate on my snacks and dinner)
-Create a meal plan for the week
-Post on my blog daily (it keeps me in-check)
-Re-read one of my weightloss motivational books
-Treat myself to a few new music downloads to motivate me to walk/run
-Weight myself every morning (I know many people recommend not doing this but it helps me so I do it, I like to see the numbers daily to keep me in-check)

I want to share with you this quote I found,
"Your journey has molded you for a greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time." –Asha Tyson

This quote is so powerful to me. I honestly believe that this journey is just the beginning of an incredible life and every situation that I have encountered has brought me to this point for whatever reason. I have seen success and I have experienced failure but I wouldn't change it for the world. It is going to make me a stronger and better person than before and that is something that I am looking forward to as I jump back on this ride!

Thank you for hanging on with me! I hope that those of you who have or who are "stuck" in this situation with me will break free from it with me. Remember to change one small thing a day and they will end up adding into a BIG thing eventually. I need to get back to concentrating on myself because I am my own BEST INVESTMENT. I only have one body, one life and I need to do everything I can do make the best of it! Thank you for being my cheerleaders in this long but life-changing journey! I couldn't do it without all of you!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Awesome Groupon today!!

You might want to check out the awesome Groupon today. For only $11 you get a huge box of fresh veggies and fruits! You cannot get that much produce at the grocery store for that price! Check it out and try it out!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Want More Energy? Yes!!

Wow! I am already exhausted after day 2 of being back in the swing of things at school. It is truly amazing what we as teachers do before our students walk through our doors. I usually pull a string of 12 hour days along with standing on my feet the WHOLE time. Before school started, I ordered an awesome product from Isagenix called, Want More Energy? It has a crystal-light substance but tastes way better and is SO good for you! It is full of electrolytes, B vitamins, and ionic trace minerals. This stuff has been a lifesaver during the last 2 days!

Natural energy boost from premium B vitamins and minerals
Improved physical and mental endurance*
Pinpoint focus and clarity*
Replace nutrients lost during exercise or stress

Bottom Line: This stuff is SO good, makes you feel better, gives you extra energy in a natural way, and is a quick and easy, on-the-go option to add to your water. Good stuff!

I will probably be buying stock in this product after the end of the next 2 weeks! :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up

This weekend was full of fun times with my family. We travelled to Abbeville to spend some time with my grandfather and mom's side of the family. I drank my Isagenix shake in the mornings for breakfast but I did not watch my calories when I was out with my family or today. I am definitely going to do better tomorrow and I am really looking forward to getting back into a routine again so I can plan my workout days, meals, etc.

For even more exciting news, remember I told you Shawn was interested in the Isagenix shakes? Well, not only is he interested, he is completely sold on them! He has been drinking one every morning along with me and we both have experienced so much good from them already! Not only are we both dropping some weight that we put on this summer, we are also feeling a lot better, have more energy, and our appetites have been suppressed. It is such a great feeling to know that my husband not only supports what I do but also joins in with me! It makes it SO much easier! We are so excited about starting the 30 day cleanse next month, we are honestly beside ourselves! We have seen such a difference already by using the Healthy Lifestyle pak that we can't wait to see what the 30 day cleanse will do for us!

Also, I wanted to share one more thing with you that I found recently at the grocery store....Alexia Sweet Potato Fries...Oh MY! These things are out-of-control delicious AND they are an awesome substitute for regular french fries if you ever crave them like I do. Shawn and I were thankful that we counted out our proportions before we cooked them because if not, the whole bag would have been gone. These things are pretty much....the best thing ever! One thing I certainly have learned through the last 8 months of my lifestyle change is that you have to find foods that replace your old ones. You have to find foods that you enjoy but are healthier choices for you. I have found this to be key to my success because I don't feel "deprived" from anything.

Check them out in the freezer section next time you are grocery shopping. :)

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Favorite New Find

My favorite new find....Amy's Frozen Pizzas. These are organic pizzas and are absolutely delicious!! Check them out next time you are grocery shopping, I promise you won't be sorry! :) PS-They are on sale 2/$11 at Publix through August 19!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Isagenix Healthy Lifestyle-Day 5

I switched up my routine today because Shawn got off work this morning and wanted to go grab breakfast together. Since he is working nights, anytime he calls me to do something, I'm there! We don't have the same time together like we used to but we know this won't last forever. Since I went to breakfast this morning with him, I drank my IsaLean Shake for lunch. Once again, i doubted the shake..thinking it wouldn't fill me up...and it did! I definitely think I could do the 2 a day shakes but that will come later. PS-Shawn is TOTALLY into the IsaLean shakes with me which makes it even better! He enjoys the vanilla shakes and puts spices in them to change it up a little. Today he added cinnamon and nutmeg and it was quite tasty!

In other news....I have not been working out like I should be. I was doing so well on the C25K plan earlier in July and then hit vacation and I quit. So...I will be starting that program again from Day 1! I am hoping that when I get back on a regular schedule next week with school that I will be able to form my workout plan around it. I definitely know that I need a structured time and a schedule to keep me on track (definitely something I learned about myself this summer). Even though I don't feel like exercising, I KNOW I should be because of all of the amazing benefits it gives me and I ALWAYS feel better after I did it. There has not been one time that I finished a workout and wished I hadn't done it. NEVER! I just need to find that motivation again! I am doing much better with my eating this week getting back on track so hopefully I can add on my exercise again next week.

Tonight I am going to leave you with some motivational quotes I found on Pinterest. :) Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Isagenix Healthy Lifestyle-Day 4

Wow! Today was an AWESOME day! Feeling better than I have in several months! Plus, so far, since Monday, I have lost 5 pounds! 5 POUNDS in 4 days! Holy moly! I know some of it is coming from getting back on eating healthier but some of it is definitely from the Isagenix products I am using. I did try something different with my shake today to bulk it up a little. Instead of mixing it this morning with 8 oz of water, I mixed it with my organic milk instead. Wow, what a difference it made! I absolutely LOVE the chocolate shake flavor! It is so good and so filling!

I decided to give everyone a little more information on the Isagenix shakes. I would highly recommend them to anyone. Since I am already passionate about these shakes, I am now a seller of them. If you are interested in trying them out, please look at my website and check them out for yourself. You can go on my website and shop for the products. You can become a preferred customer and get them at whole sale prices which is the best way to get a great deal on them. The prices are much cheaper than what they show on the website.

I can't wait to take my measurements on Day 8! I am going to take them on Day 8, Day 15, Day 22, and Day 30. :)

IsaLean Shakes contain 23 grams of high-quality undenatured whey and casein protein from New Zealand that exceed USDA organic standards. Available in Natural Creamy Chocolate and Natural Creamy Vanilla, our shakes are also low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol and have added enzymes that break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to maximize the absorption of key nutrients. Best of all, at only 240 calories, 6 grams of fat and less than $3.50 a meal, an IsaLean Shake is the perfect, well-balanced meal, no matter your lifestyle.

Packed with premium nutrition that includes a balanced ratio of high-quality protein, healthy fats and energy-boosting carbohydrates, IsaLean Shakes supports weight loss and an increase in lean body mass.

Other facts about the IsaLean Shake:
-Clinically shown to support healthy weight loss and weight management.
-High quality whey and casein proteins to maintain or gain muscle.
-Low lactose for easy digestion, without bloating.
-Promotes healthy bones with macro-minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium.
-Contains zinc for energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
-Low sodium and cholesterol to promote heart health.

Overall, this shake is pretty much, hands down, amazing. I feel so good every morning putting all of these awesome vitamins and minerals in my body and knowing that this shake not only helps me with my weight loss but it is also helping me build a strong, healthy body. Also, the shake replaces my breakfast which is going to save me a lot of time in the mornings when school starts back next week! :) Just an added bonus. :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Day 2

I had another good but tough day getting back on the program. This morning I started off with my Isagenix shake in the vanilla flavor. It wasn't bad but I am definitely a chocolate girl through and through. :) I also took the Natural Accelerator pill to help boost my metabolism throughout the day.

Again, I was hungry between meals so I need to find a fix for that. I know I need to be eating a small, healthy snack in between meals, I just need to do better about doing it. In my head, I keep telling myself that if I don't eat the snacks in between then I will have extra calories for later. But, I am getting so hungry in between that it is causing me to feel bad and overeat when I do eat a meal. I went to Publix tonight and got lots of healthy snacks to help fill in those difficult times.

My energy level definitely was up this morning and started to go down around 3:00. That is usually my "exhaustion" time anyway because that is when I get done with school on my regular schedule. I need to find a "pick-me-up" during this time. Isagenix offers a product called Want More Energy? that I might need to look in to. :)

How is everyone else doing? I have found that it is so helpful to write down how I am feeling throughout this journey. It gives me a great record of how I feel and what I am doing each day. I would highly recommend it! :)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Isagenix Healthy Lifestyle Day 1

Today was my first day back on my weightloss plan and it was also my first day starting the Isagenix Healthy Lifestyle system. I will be honest, today was a very tough day. Mostly because I have been "off" my weightloss plan for about 2 months now. I haven't been counting calories, exercising daily, watching my sugar and salt intake, etc. I felt like it was a complete detox for me today which is great because my body needs it. It has been absolutely amazing to see how much I have learned about my body the last 7 months. I now "listen" to my body and watch for signals. As I have eaten unhealthier foods the last 2 months, I have noticed a change in my energy level (it is down), my stomach is constantly upset because I am not eating healthy foods, and my metabolism has slowed down. As hard as today was, I am thankful that I am starting back.

Not only did I start to detox my system today, I also started my Isagenix system today which I shared a little about yesterday. I started this morning with a Isashake in the chocolate flavor.

It will take place of my breakfast for the next month. I am actually excited about it because it will save me time and money for when school starts back in a few weeks. I was a little hesitant at first because I thought to myself, there is no way that this shake will fill me up but I was completely wrong! It filled me up and was delicious! I also took a natural accelerator pill that Isagenix sells that gives you extra energy and revs up your metabolism. Along with the shake, I took 2 ozs of the Cleanse for Life juice and the Ionix Supreme juice. Both of these go along with the cleansing part of the system and give your body the extra nutrients it needs.

My absolute favorite part of the system was the DELICIOUS IsaDelights Plus dark chocolate infused with green tea bites. These are AMAZING! I ate one this afternoon and it helped suppress my appetite until dinner time. YUMMMMM!!

Overall, I was impressed with the day even though it was a difficult one. It was a little challenging to me to start my day off with a shake instead of my usual egg beaters and greek yogurt but I think it was because I was apprehensive about it filling me up. I am looking forward to using this product in the next 30 days. The other great thing about it was that my husband decided to start it with me! He started with the vanilla shake this morning and it filled him up too which says A LOT because he has a big appetite! I was excited to see that he is going to get his health priorities in line with me. :)