Weightloss Tracker

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 31

The Good: I had a jam-up day today with my eating. I felt great and stayed full throughout most of the day. Of course this afternoon when I got home from school (my weakest time of day) I was starving but kept telling myself to fight through the hunger. My trainer Josh says, you aren't truly hungry unless you will go open a bag of raw veggies and eat them. Yes, that does NOT sound appetizing to me so I decided to just hold on and wait it out. It was good because as soon as I got to my workout, I didn't feel weighed down by food I ate and I knew my body was using my stored fat as fuel to get through the workout which is what you want to happen! Woo Hoo!

I did add in 2 protein shakes today. I have been VERY nervous about adding in protein shakes because I don't want to bulk up by any means! Josh gave me a great run down of the benefits of protein and reminded me that my body NEEDS the protein to help me nourish my muscles. I ordered some protein powder that should be here tomorrow but I had some Biggest Loser protein packets that I had gotten last year and never used in my pantry. I decided to try it out today and so far, so good! I had one around late morning and then had another one after my workout.

I also did NOT want to cook dinner tonight. I have had a long 2 days and wanted to come home and chill out instead of cook. I thought on my way home from my training where I could go grab something healthy. I ended up deciding to go to Zaxby's and get a salad since their salads are full of greens, chicken (protein), tomatoes, etc. I LOVE their salads! I did however think about how I could make the salad "healthy" because it can get WAY out of hand in the calorie department if you don't watch what you add to it! I was so proud of myself for thinking through my decisions and was not hesitant to ask for EXACTLY what I wanted and what I didn't want on the salad. I got the Blue salad with grilled, blackened chicken (so good!), light on the cheese, NO DRESSING, and NO TOAST! I didn't think I would like it at first without the dressing but I ended up REALLY enjoying it! The chicken spices helped fill in the flavor gap and it was delicious! I am so glad that I said NO TOAST because I knew that if I had gotten it, I would have eaten it. It was easier for me to go ahead and say NO to it then get it and think about throwing it away. It wouldn't have happened...I know myself! The salad was filling and delicious! Try eating a salad without dressing sometime and enjoy tasting all of the flavors that you miss when you add tons of dressing on it!

The Bad: I ate several small pieces of dark chocolate today and I shouldn't have. I bought a bag of the Dove dark chocolates because I read that they had some of the highest levels of anti-oxidents. I sat them in a bowl in my kitchen thinking that I would have 1 or 2 a day. Probably not my best idea because the 1-2 has turned in to 4-5. I will have to re-plan this strategy! It is nice to have that piece of chocolate at the end of the day. :) With a small piece or two of dark chocolate, I don't feel like I am depriving myself from anything.

The Ugly: I hope I am not too sore tomorrow to go back to BodySmith Fitness like last week. I don't feel that I will be too sore tomorrow but that was what I thought last week too. I do feel stronger this week than last week and I know my muscles are just trying to get used to this new routine. If I cannot go tomorrow, I am definitely going to go on Thursday and get another good workout in before the weekend. I plan to go to Gold's on Friday and Saturday to get some good Cardio in.


I have 74 followers and many others who read my blog daily. I am so blessed and appreciative! Thank you for following me through the good, the bad, and the ugly of weight loss! I would love to have 100 followers by the end of February! Please share my blog with your friends and family that need a little motivation! Knowing I have people that are following me keeps me motivated and excited about working hard to make the changes I need to make!

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30

The Good: I had a pretty good day today overall. It was a typical Monday full of getting things together for the week ahead, planning out my week, etc. I luckily have gotten into a pretty good groove lately and have been able to keep a good balance on working out, eating right, planning meals, working on school work, cleaning, etc. I know they say it takes 3 weeks to make a change and I will have to agree with that. The first week is so hard, the second week gets better as you realize that you can do it, and the third week becomes part of your routine.

I am changing up my eating plan a little. I got some great nutritional information from my trainer. His view on eating healthy food is the same as mine, "if you can't pick it off a tree, dig it out of the earth, or kill it...you don't need to eat it." This is the same view as Jillian Michaels mentions in her book, Master Your Metabolism. The processed crap, excuse my language but it is, is not meant for our bodies. We can have some processed foods but only in moderation. Anything that sits on a shelf in the grocery store or in your pantry for months and years is not something you want to put in your body. Guest what...it does the same thing in your body as it does on the shelf...it SITS THERE! Your body doesn't know how to metabolize it so it basically becomes fat stored in your body. This is a great way to think about what you put it is what you get out.

Tonight I had baked tilapia, a sweet potato, and broccoli. All three things come from the Earth and were delicious!

The Bad: I have gotten down over the last several days because I haven't been able to get a good workout in. It is truly incredible how different I feel after getting in a good workout! Honesty, there is NOTHING like an endorphin-high after a good workout! I over did my workout last week at BodySmith Fitness and my muscles were not liking me for several days. I have finally gotten myself back to feeling better so I am looking forward to a successful week this week! I can tell a HUGE difference in my attitude, body, self-confidence, etc. when I have and haven't worked out.

The Bottom Line: HOPE-WORKOUT! It makes you feel better, look better, and gives you tons of energy! (I need to post this around my house, in my car, in my classroom, etc! :) )

The Ugly: I am feeling the stress of several things in my life. A police officer from a near-by county was killed on Saturday and it really hit home. I am so thankful my husband chose to follow his calling and dream by going into law enforcement but man it makes it hard on a wife! I know that I cannot control what happens to him and God will call him home when he is ready but it sure does make it hard to have him walk out the door every day. I always want one more hug, one more kiss, one more I love you. There will never be enough hugs, kisses, or I love yous. I have to deal with this fear of losing my husband frequently and it is something I need to completely give to God. He is the only one that can give me the ultimate peace that I am looking for. This incident, along with a co-worker losing her husband today led me to come in and demolish half of a dark chocolate bar today when I got home. Stress eating at its best. I will say, at least it was dark chocolate so it wasn't terrible for me but at the same time I shouldn't have made that decision. I was looking for something to comfort me and chocolate is where I turned. This is something I need to work on...I need to choose another method of finding comfort besides eating. I am learning new lessons every single day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Truth...It's Going to Be Hard!

I found this the other day on Pinterest and had to share because it is definitely what I am feeling this week.

It's hard, it's going to be hard no matter what I do....I just have to choose which hard I want. I want to work hard and exercise hard so I can be healthy for the rest of my life!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How Do These Things Go Together? : ropes, tire, burppes, kettle bell, jello, motivation

How do these things go together you ask?

They go together when you workout at BodySmith Fitness! Wow! What an intense workout! It was EXACTLY what I have been needing and looking for. I have been successful on my own with eating right and doing cardio but I knew I needed to bring it up a few notches.

Tonight was my first night and I was a ball of nerves on the way there. I kept thinking, "can I do this?", "what if I can't finish?", "what if I am weaker than they think?", etc. Negative thoughts were flowing because once again I lacked self-confidence in myself. As soon as I arrived, I had Josh (trainer), C.J. (trainer), and another workoutee welcome me in. They all had smiles on their faces and were very welcoming! As soon as I stepped foot in the gym, I felt at ease. C.J. immediately gave me a high-five and told me he was excited I was there. Josh grabbed me next to take measurements and fill out paperwork. The whole time the measurements were taken, Josh talked to me about the program and completely put me at ease. I was not excited about the numbers I saw on my measurements BUT I told Josh that I will NEVER see those numbers again and boy did that statement come back to me after the workout!

We got started and had to complete 8 different stations. Since I was new, Josh took me step by step through each station and explained what the exercise was targeting. This was great for yours truly...knowledge-a-holic...because I am constantly wanting to know why I am doing something or how it is going to effect me. I was very impressed by Josh's knowledge and immediately trusted the workouts he was giving me because I knew he was knowledgeable about what he was asking me to do. Trust is a huge, especially when I am completely out of my element!

The first station we did was squats which I did fairly well at. This was probably the best I did all night because it only got harder from there! :) The second station I went to was the ropes. I have seen people on the Biggest Loser use the ropes and I always THOUGHT they looked EASY....haha.....yeh RIGHT! I got a rude awakening tonight when I did them! They are TOUGH! I then went on about my business and did the other rotations such as burpees (easy style), kettle bell, row machine, tire/sledge hammer, reverse lunges, and by the end of the night I felt muscles that haven't been awakened in YEARS. I haven't felt like I have had a good full body workout in about 10 years! It definitely was a good workout and flew by because you aren't doing the same thing over and over again.

On my way home, I had some time to think and digest all that happened during my workout tonight. It was a great ride home because I was able to clear my head of the day and reflect on what I just accomplished...yes, finishing tonight's workout was an ACCOMPLISHMENT and one that I wasn't sure I would be able to finish!

1. Losing the weight that I have so conveniently put on over the years is going to be HARD getting off. I chose this lifestyle several years ago and now I am choosing a different one and it is going to take a lot of hard work!

2. I will DEFINITELY rethink my choices of what I am eating now because that workout was NO JOKE! It made me think twice about wanting something that wasn't good for me! It is NOT WORTH IT! :)

3. I never, EVER want to see the numbers I saw tonight when Josh was taking my measurements. I have kept these numbers to myself because I am so ashamed of them but tonight, I had to let someone else see the numbers I saw. It was a sobering experience but one that was good for me because I needed someone else to see them to keep me accountable.

4. I have perfectionist syndrome and I am not sure where it came from or why I have it. I never have been a perfectionist up until the last few years. I want to be perfect at whatever I do and tonight was another sobering experience realizing that I have a long way to go when it comes to the way I am taking care of my body. I was not able to complete each station as I would have liked but I did give it EVERYTHING I had tonight. The great thing is that I will only get better from here which is VERY motivating! I pushed so hard tonight and gave it everything I had and I felt it!

5. I now remember what it feels like to get a good workout in. I used to be athletic in high school and was in pretty good shape. I had forgotten how good it felt to feel like "jello" when I leave the gym. I know that I got an awesome workout in tonight because I literally can feel muscles that I haven't felt in years!

6. I am so thankful God put this opportunity in my life. For the first time in a very long time, I actually feel like I AM going to do this and I CAN do it. It is an investment in ME and I have spent many, many years putting ME aside. I left tonight feeling POWERFUL, SUCCESSFUL, MOTIVATED, and INSPIRED by the other people who were working out with me. What a blessing this has already been and I am in workout number 1!

7. Tomorrow....I will be good to pull myself out of bed! :) I am already looking forward to the next workout!

8. I NEVER, EVER want to get in the place I am in now again. I am ready to feel better, feel healthy, have confidence in myself and my abilities, and feel like I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to! So heres to a new challenge that I am up to over the next year! I am looking forward to putting my game face on and challenging myself like I never have before!

Thank you Josh and C.J. for seeing something in me tonight that I haven't seen in almost 10 years. I am so grateful for your continuous support tonight as I challenged myself and the patience to teach me how to complete each station. I am looking forward to getting stronger each and every session!

Monday, January 23, 2012


One of the things I listed in my 12 things I want to do in 2012 was to organize my house from top to bottom. It is absolutely amazing to me to see all of the things I have accumulated in the last 3 years we have lived in our house. Where does it all come from!?

Over the last 3 weeks, I have concentrated on one closet or one cabinet in my house to organize every Sunday night. It has really been helpful to me as I have gone through all of the junk that has accumulated in my house.

As crazy as it might sound, I actually feel RELEIF that I am getting rid of so much stuff! It's almost like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders and I have a clearer head because I know where things are and what I have.

I wanted to organize my house because I realized that I spent so much time trying to find something, digging through drawers, searching for food in the pantry, buying un-needed food and supplies because I couldn't find them and it was too frustrating to look for them, and cleaning my house. Now don't get me wrong, my house did not look like hoarders but I had enough stuff that it was taking time away from taking care of me.

So, here is the plan I came up with and some tips. Use them if you want and I hope you will feel the same way I feel now that I feel like things are in order once again! :)

Hope's Organization Plan:

-Focus on ONE cabinet, drawer, pantry, closet, etc. at a time. When you focus on a whole room, you get overwhelmed and it takes too much time at once to complete. Organizing the smaller areas makes it easier to do and keeps you motivated instead of getting overwhelmed.

-Schedule one evening a week where you can focus on cleaning out/organizing. Mine happens to be Sunday afternoons. I usually have a low key Sunday afternoon/evening and it helps me clear my head for the week ahead.

-Throw away or donate anything you haven't looked at or used in a year unless it is something sentimental. This has been my rule of thumb and has done WONDERS! I have TONS of things in my house that I haven't even opened or touched in a year and sometimes two! Obviously I didn't need them then and don't need them now.

-Post For Sale items on Facebook if they are new or barely used. Facebook has become an "online yard sale" and is a great tool to use to sell things and make a little bit of extra cash.

-I am now a newly addicted fan of Amazon.com's trade-in program! Holy cow!! I was able to get rid of almost all of my old textbooks from college and my Masters and earned Amazon.com gift cards!! I earned $90.00 in my first round! I went through my old books yesterday that I no longer wanted and submitted them to the trade-in program on Amazon and should get back a whopping $95.00 back on gift cards for Amazon.com! To me, that is much better than having books lay around my house. Don't think I got rid of all my books because I didn't! If you know me well, you know that I am a book-a-holic! I could read ALL DAY LONG! I kept all of my favorites. Amazon.com doesn't take back all books but the program does take back most of them! This has created room on my bookshelf and has given me a sense of peace because I can find the books I want when I need them.

-Invest in organizational bins, baskets, containers, etc. It will make your life so much easier! My sister and I took a trip to IKEA last week and I was able to pick up some great, inexpensive containers I used to organize under my cabinets. It truly makes a difference! When I open my cabinets, I no longer have to go search for products or dig through what I have. I also used a gift card we had gotten from Shawn's stepmom and dad to get some great OXO containers for our pantry. Wow! It makes a HUGE difference to see what we have!

-Organize food in your freezer, pantry, and fridge. One of the biggest ways I waste money is on groceries because 9 times out of 10 I don't know what I have! I always try to clean out my fridge, pantry, and freezer at least once a year but I really need to do it every 3-4 months. I now can see all of the things I have so when I am making a recipe I don't have to search for them or go buy it at the store because I can't find it. It also makes me realize how much food I have and how I can cut back on my grocery bill for the next couple of weeks because I have plenty of food to make recipes with. It's also a great idea to go ahead and portion out crackers, cookies, etc. into small ziploc bags so you can grab them and go for lunches or snacks. This will help you stay on track and not splurge when you are cravings something sweet or salty.

-Put all of your cleaning supplies in a bag so it is portable to carry around the house. I absolutely LOVE using my Thirty-One organizing utility tote for my cleaning supplies! All of my supplies fit in the bag and I can easily go room to room without it being a big ordeal. It also helps me know that all my cleaning supplies are together so when I am looking for something I can easily find it. Create a cleaning schedule that works for you. There are tons of cleaning schedule ideas on Pinterest you can check out or just decide on one day out of the week to vacuum, dust, etc. Hint: Getting rid of the clutter in your house will make it a lot easier to clean in a jiffy! :) If you are interested in one, you can order from my website!

-Create spaces in your home that are free of clutter so your mind can be at rest. I have worked for over a year now to turn our master bedroom into a room that Shawn and I both find peaceful and calming. I want to rest in my bedroom and feel rejuvenated in the morning when I wake up. Keeping our bedroom free of clutter is a big goal of mine. I think it is the hardest room to keep clutter free because I spend so much time in it working on my doctorate work, reading, studying, watching tv, etc. I have to remind myself to keep it clean and organized.

I hope these tips help! I feel like a new person because I am not coming home and constantly having to pick up the house or clean up. I can concentrate on logging my food for the day, exercising, spending time with my husband, and working on my doctorate work.

January 23

The Good: I had a pretty good day overall. I got on the scale this morning and had lost another 2 pounds which brings my total to 7 pounds in 2 weeks which is pretty exciting! I am trying to remind myself that slow and steady wins the race. I want the 30 pounds I gained back gone so fast I can barely even stand it but I know that it will take time for me to lose those 30 pounds again. I am ready to get back to where I was before I started gaining this weight back!

I took yesterday and today off of exercising because my body needed a serious break from last week. I worked out every day last week and on Saturday. My body was so sore this weekend that it hurt even to lay down in my bed! It is a good thing but I realized that I needed a day or two off to give it a rest so it would be in full swing for this week. I am REALLY excited (and nervous!) about this week because I will begin training sessions at BodySmith Fitness in Columbia. I am doing this program along with my cardio at Gold's. Josh owns BodySmith Fitness and is the husband of a good friend of mine from college. I am excited to add this element into my workout routine and am hoping to see some great successes! I feel like I have a good bit of knowledge about cardio but I am a novice when it comes to weights and building muscle. I am looking forward to challenging my body and learning more about exercising! I start tomorrow!! Wish me luck!

The Bad: I had a long meeting after school today and we had a delicious dessert for a snack. It was well worth the indulgence but I wish I had only taken a few bites instead of eating all of it. I am slowly learning and making changes to the way I think about food.

The Ugly: I am worried about overloading myself with everything going on in my life. I finally feel like I have a schedule down and then it changes. I continue to pray that God is leading me in the right direction in all areas of my life. I know he has specifically placed opportunities in my life for a purpose and I am following his lead. I am just taking it one day at a time. :) That's all I can do!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January 19

The Good: I had an extremely long day today at school and didn't leave school until 5:30. The last thing I wanted to do today was workout and honestly was going to take today "off" from working out. During a meeting today, I hate a bagel and cream cheese which I shouldn't have but after I ate it I decided I need to at least come home and walk a mile on my treadmill. I didn't want to go to the gym because it is extremely packed after 5 and I didn't want to get into all of the chaos after working such a long day. I had to talk myself into walking when I got home but I am sure glad I did. I literally walked in the door, let the dogs out, put on my workout clothes and walked. I grabbed a banana before I got on the treadmill because I was starving but I just wanted something that would hold me over until I finished my workout. Like I said before, 20 minutes is my wall. There is something about hitting the 20 minute mark. When I do cross over to 20:01 I feel like I can honestly go on forever with whatever workout I am doing. I didn't think I was going to get to 20 minutes tonight. I was tired, ready to fix dinner and put on my PJs but since I caved in and ate the bagel this afternoon, I knew I had to work it off. I ended up doing 2 miles and jogged/walked them. Afterwards, I was SO glad I decided to workout. I kept telling myself, "Hope, remember NO EXCUSES!" All I wanted to do was come up with excuses about why I didn't want to workout today or why I couldn't All of them were hogwash and I am so glad I didn't listen to my excuses and took action instead! Today was a victory for me. A HUGE victory!

I came across this picture today and just had to share. It is so true and a great visual! Are you looking for a magic pill for weight loss? Here it is! :)

The Bad: Like I said in the "good" section of this post, I caved in an ate a bagel today from Brueggers. There is something about their cinnamon bagels that I just cannot resist! It is one of my favorite things and I truly enjoyed E...V...E...R...Y bite this afternoon during my meeting. I could have made a better choice by cutting it in half and only eating one half but I didn't. The good thing is that I am starting to realize ways that I can "enjoy" some of the foods I love but they need to be enjoyed in moderation. Keeping myself away from all of the foods I enjoy is not going to help me create a lifestyle of balance which is what I am working to do. I just need to find ways to enjoy them in moderation instead of frequently.

The Ugly: No uglys today! Woo Hoo! :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 18

The Good: I had a killer workout this afternoon! I always try to beat my calories burned from the day before and today I think I maxed myself out. I burned 888 calories in an hour! I felt every calorie shed by the end of it! I was pouring sweat and I kept telling myself to push through it. I also reminded myself of a funny quote I saw on Pinterest that says, "sweat is just fat crying." :)

I also ate on plan today which was great. I knew I was going to dinner with my good friend Meredith so I knew I had to get a good workout in today to off set my dinner out. I did chose a healthier choice tonight at Miyo's. I ate chicken lettuce wraps and a sushi roll. It was delicious and my time with Meredith was wonderful as always. She keeps me motivated to continue and is an incredible friend! She is one of my biggest cheerleaders and I am so thankful for our many, many years of friendship!

The Bad: I didn't really have a bad today but I know I will be sore tomorrow so that might be my bad. ;)

The Ugly: Nothing to report today! All good! :)

I also wanted to share some lyrics to one of my favorite songs right now. I listen to it every morning on the way to school and it always lifts my spirits! Enjoy!

Keep Your Head Up-Andy Grammar
I've been waiting on the sunset
Bills on my mindset
I can get deny theyre getting high
Higher than my income
Income's breadcrumbs
I've been trying to survive

The glow that the sun gives
Right around sunset
Helps me realize
This is just a journey
Drop your worries
You are gonna turn out fine.
Oh, you'll turn out fine.
Fine, oh, you'll turn out fine.

But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.
you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.

I know it's hard, know its hard,
To remember sometimes,
But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.

I've got my hands in my pockets,
Kickin these rocks.
Its kinda hard to watch this life go by.
I'm buyin in the skeptics,
Skeptics mess with, the confidence in my eyes

I'm seeing all the angles, starts to get tangled
I start to comprimise
My life and the purpose.
Is it all worth it,
Am I gonna turn out fine?
Oh, you'll turn out fine.
Fine, oh, you'll turn out fine.

But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.
you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.

I know it's hard, know its hard,
To remember sometimes,
But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.

Only rainbows after rain
The sun will always come again.
And its a circle, circling,
Around again, it comes around again.

Only rainbows after rain
The sun will always come again.
And its a circle, circling,
Around again, it comes around,

But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.
you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.

I know it's hard, know its hard
To remember sometimes,
But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.

Keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.
Keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.
Keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 17

The Good: I had a great workout! I beat my best time and calories burned so I was pumped!! I ended up burning 861 calories in an hour on the elliptical today which was great! I love the elliptical and I always feel like I am getting my best bang-for-my-buck when I am on it. I burn more calories on it than any other machine. I will say, there is NO better feeling than after working out. The endorphins are going and the feeling of accomplishment is incredible. I have to continuously remind myself of this when I don't feel like going to the gym. :)

Other good news: I lost 5 pounds in my first week back on track! Definitely motivating to continue!!

The Bad: I haven't been writing down my food this week. I LOVE my BodyBugg but I do get slightly frustrated with the food log part of it online. MyFitnessPal is so much easier to use and user friendly! I need to start logging my food on there and still uploading my data on my BodyBugg so I have best of both worlds.

The Ugly: I was CRAVING chocolate today and had 2 pieces of dark chocolate at school today. I know that sounds like it isn't much but those calories add up quickly! Afterwards, I definitely wished I hadn't eaten them and just fought through the cravings. I am learning something new about myself daily and learning that I can say no to the thoughts in my head.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review: I Got This by Jennifer Hudson

I Got This by Jennifer Hudson

I just received this book from Amazon.com yesterday afternoon and I finished it today! If that doesn't tell you what kind of book it is, I don't know what will! It is a great book and full of motivation! I saw Jennifer on Dr. Oz yesterday and was completely inspired by her and her journey through the ups and downs of weight loss. I can relate to her so well and it was so nice to hear her story and see that she too struggled with losing weight and gaining it back. I was intrigued by her story and was excited to read it after I heard her yesterday.

The first half of the book is full of Jennifer's life story. She gives you a wonderful picture of who she is, where she came from, and the struggles she went through as a child as well as an adult. She talks a lot about the struggles she had in the signing world and how her plus size figure was a constant barrier from her ultimate success. The second half of the book is about her new life as a mom and as a size 6 woman. She is a Weight Watchers member and spokeswoman. She talks a lot about the Weight Watchers program and how she implemented it into her own life. I know I always complain of being too busy but she has tons on her plate and is maintaining her weight loss. It was great to read how she was doing it and how she has inspired so many people along the way!

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite parts of the book and I hope you will pick up your own copy to read. The back of the book also includes several of her favorite Weight Watchers recipes and I cannot wait to try them!

My Favorite Parts:
"Here's what I know for sureL The only way you can sustain a permanent change is to create a new way of thinking, acting, and being." (page 127)

"To me, eating a piece of chocolate is as relaxing as a massage. It's an event. And when I am eating it, nobody better bother me because that is my moment of bliss. Some people like to have a glass of wine at the end of a busy day. Me? I like to eat some delicious chocolate." (page 137) Amen girl, AMEN!

"One thing I know for sure, you can't force the issue of weight loss. When someone wants to lose weight, they will do whatever it takes. They can't do it for anyone else but themselves. It has to be for them alone." (page 152)

"Whenever you see my stretch marks and excess skin-that is to let you know that my weight loss is real. I am proud of those reminders of how I once looked. They are my war wounds, my battle scars, and they're there to remind me of what used to be the truth." (page 172)

"I never dreamed that my actions would have such a powerful impact, but God did. He is using every part of me to make a difference in people's lives by spreading my message of health any way I can." (page 196)

"There have been many times throughout my life when both my faith and will have been tested. That's just life. I've always been able to push on and perservere when even the darkest of clouds hung over my head. God gave us free will, which means we all have the option to make the right choices in our lives." (page 209)

Day 3

The Good: Once again, I had another great day thanks to my planning! I am one of those people who sets a goal and does it. I have a slight problem of perfection syndrome. :) If I say I am going to do something, I am going to do it....and I am certainly going to do it if I have a plan in place for the week.

I went to the gym and had a great workout today. I once again did 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes on the treadmill. I am getting stronger every day and I can feel it. I do keep trying to do what I did before on treadmill and elliptical and I just can't get there yet. I have to remind myself that I am 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was at the gym before and that it will take some time to get back to where I was. It is hard because I knew what kind of numbers, as in miles and calories burned, I could push out in an hour and now I am falling short of those numbers. Each day I know I am only getting stronger which is great and I know I will be back to where I was soon enough.

Tonight I was fixing sandwhiches for my school luncheon tomorrow and I put one aside for dinner tonight. A cook never serves something without tasting it first. ;) I found the recipe on Pinterest but made it a "healthier" version. It was absolutely DELICIOUS!! I will be adding it to my list of favorite recipes! Here is the recipe:

4 large chicken breasts
1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup of light caesar salad dressing
romaine lettuce
whole wheat buns
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Cook chicken for 6-8 hours on low in crockpot. When finished, shred the chicken into small pieces into a large mixing bowl. The chicken should shred really easily because it will be very tender! Add salad dressing, pepper, and parmesan in bowl of chicken and mix all ingredients together. Place chicken mixture on bun and top with lettuce. Very easy and VERY delicious! Enjoy! :)

The Bad: I was CRAVING something sweet tonight after dinner. I was hoping the fruit I ate would help curb my appetite for sweets but it didn't. I was however very proud of myself because I walked out of the kitchen and went to take a shower. Before I knew it, I wasn't even thinking about eating something sweet anymore. Progress is being made one choice at a time! :)

The Ugly: I cannot hardly find anything to wear in my closet. I wear the same things over and over because all of my "new" clothes were from when I lost weight and they don't fit very well right now. It certainly is not fun to wake up in the morning and chose the same things over and over to wear. I can't wait to drop the 30 pounds so I can get back into my others clothes!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 2

The Good: I had another great day of sticking to my meal plan and exercise plan. I was proud of myself for not caving in to any temptation today. I wanted to so bad but instead of reaching for a snack, I diverted my attention and did something else. This really helped because it changed what my mind was thinking. I actually ate under my calories today and have felt full!

I went to the gym today and had a great workout! I completed 4 miles on the elliptical and treadmill. I wanted to give up several times because workout out is hard, especially after I have already felt what is was like to lose weight before. I can feel the weight I have gained back....every single pound....and I am ready to get it back off!

I also watched Jennifer Hudson on the Dr. Oz show today and it was amazing! She is an incredible person and her story is so inspiring! If you get a chance to watch the show, please do because it had tons of great information! She gave recipe ideas, exercise tips, WW tips, etc. While watching it, she was showing some of her favorite meals and one of them was the turkey burger. Shawn and I made turkey burgers all of the time last year and they were one of my favorite meals as well! I left the gym and went straight to Publix...to my surprise the Jenni-O turkey was on sale!! I stocked up and bought 8 packs so I could freeze some. When i was making them, I decided to double the recipe so I could freeze individual pattys that I could pull out and cook when I am in a pinch. I think this will be helpful to me because the worst thing for me is to stand in front of the fridge, freezer, or pantry without a plan in mind. That is when I start to eat whatever I can find and not keep track of my portions. PLANNING IS KEY to SUCCESS!! You are less likely to veer off of your plan and eat something else if you already set a plan for the week.

The Bad: My legs hurt today from working out yesterday. It made it a little harder to talk myself in to doing a long workout today but I was able to push through the soreness and complete a great workout!

The Ugly: I am exhausted! Getting back into working after Christmas break, not sleeping well at night, working on Doctorate work, working out, fixing meals, etc. has made me feel exhausted. I am hoping that I will be able to get into a good routine in the next week or two. I have to create a balance with the various parts of my life and I hope I can get it figured out in the next week or two. Once again, PLANNING IS KEY to SUCCESS! Plan for food, exercise, work, etc.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 1

The Good: I had a great day today overall. I made a plan yesterday for my weekly workouts and meals. Creating this plan helped me stay on track (for the most part) today. Having a plan gives me less to think about, removes unwanted options of foods, keeps me accountable to myself, and creates barriers for me that I need. I also recorded my food intake on BodyBugg and wore my armband all day to keep up with my calories burned and steps. It was very interesting to see how much I have back-tracked from 6 months ago. Wow! It is reassuring to me to know that I will get back to where I was before, it's only a matter of time.

I also got in a good workout today. I wanted to work out for an hour but I was not able to due to 2 meetings I had. I did a 30 minute weightloss workout program on the elliptical. I have done this program before and it is great! It creates resistance and changes the incline for you. I hope to get a good hour of cardio in tomorrow after school! One thing that I did notice today again that I needed reminded of was how much energy and effort it takes to burn calories. Reminding myself of this was good because it will make me think twice about eating something that isn't within my calorie allotment for the day.

The Bad: I did not get anywhere close to the amount of calories my BodyBugg set for me to burn today. I know this is partially because I couldn't get in a full hour of cardio but it also makes me aware of my daily movement and walking. I need to make sure I move more regardless if it is in a gym or not.

The Ugly: I caved in after school today and ate 2 reese's cups and 2 bite-size peppermint pattys. :( I had them leftover from a Christmas gift one of my students gave me and I definitely need to get rid of them since they are a temptation. I did however record them in my daily food log and they racked up to over 500 calories!! Yuck! I would have done a LOT better without them and I can assure you they were not as good as 500 calories tasted! I definitely need to remind myself of this if I try to reach for any again!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

5 Tips for Healthy Eating

I came across this short and simple article from Everyday Food Magazine and had to share. :)

1. Have breakfast. A morning meal jump-starts your metabolism and helps prevent overeating later in the day.

2. Fill half your plate with veggies and fruit. Fill the other half with whole grains and lean proteins, such as fish, chicken, or beans.

3. Eat the rainbow: in general, the darker or brighter in color the fruit or vegetable the more nutrients it packs.

4. Don't supersize your portions. As serving of chicken should be the size of a deck of cards.

5. Before shopping, make a list and stick to it. Avoid the aisles that contain processed foods whenever you can. Shop the perimeter of the store.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Calorie Counting

Today was my first day back to calorie counting. I know people have mixed feelings about wether counting calories is the way to lose weight or not but in my opinion it works for me. To me it is the easiest way for me to keep track of what I am consuming. It makes sense to me that I can only have a certain number and it allows me to chose what foods I want without limiting any. Similarly Weight Watchers in essence does the same thing. I like what Weight Watchers does but for me it is easier for me to look on a box or bag of food for the calorie count rather than calculate how many points something is or not. They are pretty much using the same method.

Today I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone for FREE and it was great! Very easy to use to log in my calories, set my caloric daily goals, and log my daily exercise. I was very impressed with how easy it was to log in my food and keep track of my calories. When I first logged in my weight, height, activity level, and how much I wanted to lose a week, I saw that it calculated me to have 1800 calories which is what I started with last year when I first started my weightloss journey. I thought to myself, wow that is a lot of calories BUT by the end of the day I had eaten all of them plus some....yes....rude awakening! It reminded me that it was going to feel good to get back on track and set my "boundaries." It also gave me a goal (if I follow my calorie goal every day) that I would most likely lose 10 pounds by February 11 which gets me really excited! :)

I also searched around and found a Weight Watchers app called iTrackBites that does the same thing but keeps track of Weight Watchers PointsPlus or points. What I like about it is that it keeps an ongoing track of how many points you have left throughout the day and also has a easy area where you can log food intake. I would highly recommend downloading this app if you are a Weight Watcher!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Tough Day

Had a tough day today....one of those "feel bad about myself" days. I know it is a mix of not feeling well from my surgery, stress at work, and my clothes not fitting as well as they used to a few months ago. I got rid of all of my "big" clothes so all I have is my "smaller" clothes and they are not fitting very well. :-( Today was the first day that I actually realized how much weight I have gained back. In some ways, its a good thing because it is waking me up as a reality check to get back on track. Not being able to eat a ton of things right now besides soft foods is not helping but I am using this time to get back on track with my thinking and tracking.

I know that this journey is only one step at a time, one day at a time, one pound at a time. All of these small steps are going to lead to bigger successes.

Monday, January 2, 2012

12 Goals for 2012

I decided to post 12 goals I want to accomplish for 2012. I did this last year and enjoyed checking them off as the year went by. There 12 goals are going to keep me motivated and help me accomplish by ultimate goal which will be lose 100 pounds this year!

1. Walk (at least) 30 miles every month. This would equal around 1 mile a day. I can do more some days if I need to but I want to walk at least 30 miles each month. The total miles for the year would be 360 miles. Ultimately I would like to walk 365 miles this year to equal 1 mile a day for the whole year by December 31, 2012. I will keep track of my miles on the ticker at the top of my blog.

2. Start a Weightloss Journey group. I wanted to do this last year and never got around to it. I have so many ideas for this group and I am really excited about the ideas I have for it! I already have 2 of my sorority sisters joining me and helping me get it started and I cannot wait to see where it goes! Send me a message on Facebook if you would like to join us!!

3. Get rid of SUGAR! I did this last year at the beginning and I felt AMAZING! I bought a book called Sugar Shock by Connie Bennett and am looking forward to sharing more information that I learn about sugar addiction as I read it. I know it is an addiction and I can feel it every day. I know that I will never be able to get rid of it all but I do hope to drastically reduce my sugar intake this year.

4. I want to run a complete 5K this year. In 2011, I walked/jogged in 6 5Ks and was extremely proud of myself considering I had never completed one! This year, I want to run a full one. My friend Meredith Taylor and I have set our goal to run one in 2012 and I am looking forward to starting the training soon! Thanks Mer for being my running buddy! :)

5. Blog at least 2-3 times a week. I was doing so well last year with blogging but then life got in the way and I got too busy. Blogging keeps me accountable and lets me write about my ups and downs. If I stop blogging, keep me accountable and message me to get me back on track. :)

6. Write down my food intake. This was the BEST thing I ever did last year and I know that it is what keeps me accountable with what I eat. Good or bad...I have to write it down.

7. Wear my BodyBugg every day. I was wearing my BodyBugg every day last year and it helped me stay accountable for my food intake, calorie intake, and exercise. I need to take time each day to wear it, upload my progress and track my caloric intake.

8. Read a "health" book or motivation book every month. I have read so many good ones and I know there are a ton out there. Last year, reading these books kept me inspired and when I stopped reading them was when I started to lose sight of my main goal.

9. Organize and declutter my life. One of the things that I have noticed that gets in my way is the clutter that is in my life. When I am constantly cleaning up my house, putting things away, etc. I am taking time away from blogging, exercising, getting my meals together, etc. I have to take time to get rid of clutter that is in my life that is getting in the way of my goals.

10. Pray more. Last year I prayed about my weightloss journey. I know that I cannot take this journey alone...I have to allow my heavenly Father to guide me through this journey that has been difficult for me. He is the one that can lead me from temptation and can help me find inspiration when I need it most. He is all knowing and he knows the plan for my life. I will continue to read the book Made to Crave to help me with temptation.

11. Treat myself for every 10 pounds lost. I did this last year and it was very motivating! Little goals will help me achieve the big goal in the end. 10 pounds is very doable and I need to celebrate the small successes along the way!

12. Help others. Isn't the ultimate goal in life to help others achieve their goals? I found an incredible amount of inspiration from hearing others stories and helping motivate them along their own journeys. I am making it my mission to help at least 12 people this year with their own weightloss journeys.

A New Year, A New Journey to a New Me

What is it about a new year and a fresh start that gives me inspiration again? I know that a new year always brings resolutions that normally are not kept up by many but a new year does give you a fresh plate to start on. I am ready to start this journey over again as I did last year. I am finding inspiration again from books, articles, blogs, etc. and I know they will continue to inspire me as I start my journey of weightloss again.

During the last week, I have made a commitment to myself once again to get back on track. The biggest reason I got motivated again was the fact that I had surgery. It was not a surgery due to my health but one on my wisdom teeth that I had to have. BUT what it did do was scare me back into the real-world because I realize that with the unhealthy weight I am carrying, I am putting myself at greater risk for a long list of health problems and I am NOT cool with that! One of my biggest fears has always been related to doctors, needles, etc. If I don't change my habits and get healthy, I am signing myself up for a life of medical issues which scares me to death. Having the surgery helped put the fear of motivation back in me which is what I needed!

I do have to take it easy the next few weeks physically due to my stitches so I what I am going to do is plan my meals, read articles on weightloss, and plan out my workout schedule so I will be ready to start it in a few weeks. I am not going to waste these weeks just because I cannot work out, instead I am going to get my mind back on track and make plans for what I am going to do.

Tonight at the grocery store I picked up the new People magazine with Half-Their-Size. I never read People except for the first issue in January when they showcase the Half-Their-Size stories. I just love the stories and they always get me motivated. If you can, go pick up a copy, I promise it will motivate you!

Here's a toast to 2012...when I am going to make the 100 lbs lots happen! Thanks for joining my journey and hanging on for the ride! It's always an exciting and fun ride but one with many ups and downs. :)