The Biggest Winner Day 14: No more excuses

Today I continued focusing on what I could do instead of what I can’t do and once again I surprised myself (and no I still complaining caloriesdon’t like spin).

I got to the gym extra early today and had a nice warm up on the arc trainer. I’m starting to fall in love with this machine more and more every day when I use to hate it!

After my nice warm up and stretch, Jackson took us up to the track area. That could only mean we were doing some laps. Right I was too!

We started with laps around the track – one jogging and one half sprinting. I pushed myself as hard as I could … I really tried. I’m getting better at jogging for a distance. It’s coming along but I’m still not where I want to be. It bugs me that I can’t run faster. It’s the impact on my knee that bugs me.

After the joy of laps, we returned to the mezzanine area for kettle bell fun! We started with squats presses, then it was deadlifts with a row. Next was a squat curl and then triceps (That one hurt). Next was Jacks. We repeated this sequence but changed out the jacks for another move that is totally escaping my brain right now. The third time around we did a swing. Sorry… brain fart for the night.

After the Kettle Bells, we headed down to my least favorite room in the gym – the SPIN room. UGH! Just the thought of sitting on that seat makes me cringe. I wasn’t going to whine about it though. Actually, I received great comments from Jackson for killing it on the bike today.

I’m trying hard. With the finale of the contest nearing every day, I’m making a real effort to reach my goals. I know Jackson will get me there. It’s just a matter of time.


I’m losing my bingo arms!

Well, now that I have your attention – I simply had to use that as my headline since that’s what my (loving) husband told inspirationme tonight … not once, but twice.

It’s been a very interesting day in the life of me. Work was great – a very productive day. I left at 2:30 pm to go to my 3 p.m. Physical Therapy evaluation for my knee. My therapist and doctor are both extremely optimistic that my knee will heal with therapy so (fingers crossed). Thankfully, I’m doing therapy at my gym so it’s works for everything else I need to do. Therapy ended at about 4 p.m. and I headed over to meet with the director of the personal training department who was kind enough to give me time to come up with the money for the Biggest Winner competition. We chatted for a while about various topics and I really enjoyed meeting with her.

Next up was my nutrition appointment with Jackie (who I adore) – if you’re keeping track… I’ve already been at the gym for 2 hours at this point. I know I’m doing a great job with my eating habits, but having Jackie there by my side for questions and guidance is sure great. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

During my nutrition appointment, Jackie mentioned that I should come to her Drop 10 in 10 class and talk sometime because she thought I’m such an inspiration and motivational speaker. I was shocked and honored honestly. Ironically, the class was meeting tonight (at 6 p.m.) for the last time until next year. Well – no time like the present! After our appointment,  I grabbed a 30 minute workout and then headed over to the class.

Love meIt’s really funny. I never set out to be an inspiration to other people, it just sort of happened naturally. Now that I’ve been blogging and sharing my story, I guess i can sort of see how people have taken an interest in my life. I have a great story and I’m a natural story-teller so it all works.

So I stuck around tonight for the meeting and Jackie gave me a few minutes to just tell my story – and that’s exactly what I did. The women, who I’m guessing were all older than me, seemed genuinely interested in my story. They had questions and I did my best to have answers. I wasn’t really prepared, but it truly felt natural and honestly – I loved it.

Tonight was another step on my journey to changing my life and I’m realizing more and more that while my body has ultimately changed, it’s my whole self that has made the change. I truly believe that’s the true battle of weight loss. It’s a mindset you have to commit to and when you do, the rest will change with it.

Sure, I’ve become a bit obsessive with my weight loss and staying on track but it’s all for the good of my health. The real me is finally emerging and I’m truly loving it!

It was bound to happen

see yourself I knew the day would come and I was hoping it would be soon! Today, I had that moment. The shining moment where you put ony our clothes and look in the mirror and feel like you’ve really accomplished something.

Today I pulled out a shirt I normally layer because I hated the way it hugged my curves (that I didn’t like). Normally, this is where the sweater over shirt comes into play but I just put it on and … (gasp) I looked great. It laid correctly, it didn’t hug everything I hate and it was actually loose on my body.

People kept telling me that I’d wake up and finally see the changes. Six months into this transformation (and really about 12 weeks), I finally see the differences in myself.

I’m literally jumping with joy! It’s the happiest I’ve been in a while. I know I’m getting one step closer to my goals. I just wanted to share that joy with you!

Giving into tempatation does not equal failure

Well, it happened. Sarris got the best of me……

I’m not going to make excuses, but I’m just going to say – it’s been a BAD day.

Let’s start with the why…

It started yesterday when I got home from the gym and my husband told me our daughter got another note from her teacher (mind you… she’s only 4). Bella apparently had a very bad day yesterday. When she was finished with her school work, she proceeded to act up. To make a long story short, it just got worse as the day went on. Her teacher wanted us to be aware because her actions caused her to lose her earned treat from class. I support that decision FULLY.

Well, upon getting home … she hadn’t had a nap. She also hasn’t been feeling well battling a cold. Bella had a melt down and stormed up the stairs, threw herself on her bed in true drama queen fashion and ended up falling asleep.

We, unfortunately, allowed her to sleep the rest of the night. Figuring maybe she was just exhausted. No nap, not feeling well…. We all know how that goes. Boy were we wrong!

Fast-forward to 2:00 a.m. … we’re sound asleep in our bed… and then it starts.

“Mom… I’m hungry.”

Ok fine… we tell her to go downstairs and grab something. She has a plethora of things to choose from (fruit, cereal, etc.) all ready and available for her. We try to let her be independent.

She comes back upstairs. We hoped she’d just go back to bed.

Nope … WIDE awake.

“Mom … I want to go downstairs and watch TV.”


Seeing this is a lose-lose situation … Daddy turns on the bedroom TV. I drift in and out of sleep / awake for the next 4 hours. This is naturally from the constant position changing of my kid (squeezed between us, sitting on me, snuggling with me, leaning on me… you get the point).

When I’ve drifted my last time and am forced to get up, I discover my husband used the last of the milk. My daughter (at some point) messed with the mini fridge and turned up the temperature so the soy milk was also frozen.  At this point, I’m exhausted, hungry and really irritable.

I throw oatmeal, fruit, ice and protein powder in to a blender and pray it doesn’t taste disgusting because I’m THAT hungry and I’m running really, really late. Surprisingly, the shake wasn’t a disaster. I missed the creamy taste from the milk that masks the chalky taste, but it sufficed for the time being.

Dropped Bella off about 10 minutes later than normal and her teacher was there. I spent the next 15 minutes discussing my kids behavior with her and letting her know we fully support her firm approach with our child.

The day at work hasn’t been that much more wonderful to be honest. Now at 2:00 p.m. … I simply couldn’t take it anymore. I grabbed my buck and headed to the kitchen. I just NEEDED chocolate.

I know what you’re all going to say – it’s will power, I’m better than this… etc. etc. but let me tell you… that chocolate tasted like pure heaven and actually did make me feel better.

Now the point where you’ll be proud of me because after my post yesterday, I’m more aware of what I was grabbing and all the bad calories that were coming along with them.

I took my candy bar and broke it in half. I put ½ in my desk drawer and locked it (yes this is sad, but it’s working). I took the other half and broke it out to six pieces (something I’ve never done before). I took five pieces and put them on a napkin at the corner of my desk, well out of immediate reach of my arm. I took the 1st piece and actually just let it melt in my mouth. Not chew, not devour… just melt.

In our last meeting, Maria (who’s running our contest) talked about “enjoying” your food. I can honestly say … this is the first time I felt like I actually enjoyed my chocolate bar. I could kill a whole bar in five minutes… but this half of a bar actually took me a good 45 minutes to fully eat.

Putting the candy on the corner of my desk required me to consciously reach for it. I had to turn and reach. Not readily available next to me. Thus, I didn’t always grab a piece right when one was finished. I spaced them out.

Ok so I consumed about 130 empty calories because I’m having a bad day, but it could have easily been 260 and I likely wouldn’t have been satisfied. Now I’ve also got 130 more empty calories to eat another day when I remember it’s in there!

I guess my point is … while I caved and had a moment of weakness. I’ve learned how to control that weakness. I felt that I MUST have chocolate so I got some; however, I’m smart enough to satisfy that need and then save the rest for another day. I think that’s a lesson worth being proud about!

What’s for dinner?

It was always the same phone call on my way home from work – “what’s for dinner?” It was the same conversation with my husband every night followed with an “I don’t know, what do you want?” 

I’m fairly confident that part of our obesity problems stemmed for this question. We never really “planned” dinner, we just guessed and hoped for the best. Our meals were laden with highly processed, quick fix meals that were anything but healthy. 

Today, we’ve adopted a weekly meal plan that I devise when the sale ads come out for the week. This helps control the costs while also ensuring that question will never result in a last minute dinner decision again. 

I guess if you’re looking for advice – creating the meal plans only takes a few minutes but the peace of mind they give you last weeks at a time. It’s much easier to stick to your weight loss journey and healthy eating habits with a plan. 

Let the torture begin ….

I knew this day would come, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so quickly. Here I sit at work on my lunch break fighting an insane urge to grab a few $1 and head to the kitchen – someone’s selling Sarris Candy bars.

For those that know me, Sarris chocolate is like pure heaven to me and of course all my favorites are there – peanut butter, crisp, almond and the list goes on. It’s utter torture.

While heating up my yummy, healthy lunch I took a quick peak at the bars. Over 200 calories each and it doesn’t get better from there. I came back to my desk to look up further nutritional information. Let’s see…

Milk Chocolate Bar

  • 272 Calories
  • 14g Fat
  • 25g carbs
  • 3g Protein

Milk Chocolate Roasted Almond

  • 264 Calories
  • 16 g Fat
  •  28g Carbs
  • 48g Protein

Salted Pretzel

  • 245 Calories
  • 11g Fat
  • 33g Carbs
  • 4g Protein

Crisped Rice

  • 330 Calories
  • 17g Fat
  • 42g Carbs
  • 4g Protein

Caramel Candy Bar

  • 222 Calories
  • 11g Fat
  • 28g carbs
  • 3g Protein
Dark Chocolate
  • 264 Calories
  • 16g Fat
  • 28g Carbs
  • 2g Protein

So if you’ve kept track … the lowest CALORIE bar is the Caramel … but it’s just pure sugar! The worst bar by far is (sadly my favorite) the Crisped Rice.

This process has made stop to think about the reality of every choice. Two months ago, I would have dropped $5 on the bars and not thought twice. I likely would have consumed at least 1-2 that same day. I’m a chocolate fanatic, I’m not going to lie.

Through writing and thinking (publicly) through my decisions, I’m learning slowly that I can resist the temptation to buy the candy bars. I don’t need to have that chocolate – I’ll reach for my Blue Diamond Chocolate Almonds instead. Much healthier option and a LOT fewer calories.

It’s little victories for me. That’s the only way I’m going to beat this addiction. I didn’t get this way overnight and I know it’s not all going to change in a couple of months. I’m so glad I posted my transition photos last night because the response has just been overwhelming. I know I haven’t changed a lot, but I can see the changes. I can’t wait to see what the changes look like next month and the month after … and by Christmas! I just can’t wait.

I might not see it on the scale, but I see it in my clothes. I practically have no pants left that aren’t falling off. I love a good excuse to go shopping (though I’m sure my husband does NOT). I also feel much better and I know that’s half the battle. I know six months ago, I would never have been able to actually walk / jog a 5K. NEVER! But I did it and I’m so happy I’m going to do another one.

Thank you for all the love and support. You guys help me keep in line. I don’t want to disappoint anyone and I hope that maybe my journey will inspire others to do the same thing. It can be done with some planning and dedication!

Ah Tuesdays

So yesterday was a bit well… insanely hectic. Work was crazy busy, then I had to take a sick child to the doctors at 3:00 p.m. After heading home and finding a quick meal to make for dinner (healthy I might add), I had to rush out by 5:30 p.m to head to my “I’m Sexy and I Know It” weight loss competition meeting and weigh in. 

Things didn’t go as well as I was hoping with the weigh in, only losing a little over 4 pounds – but it’s still 4 very important pounds. These last two weeks my weight has fluctuated drastically day to day. One day I drop 4 pounds, the next I gain back 3. I’ve been told by several people, that’s normal. My body is still adjusting, as is my lifestyle. I’ll be the first to admit – I’ve hit a few bumps in the road. Still, I get right back on and keep on moving. 

So now that the running bug has bit me, I’m making preparations and plans to participate in the Wounded Warrior Project run on November 3. With a little more notice, I’ve had several friends express interest in joining me in (what will likely be) the cold weather to benefit a great organization. I’m expecting a lot more out of this 5K than I did the first time around – like a better time. 

I think this time, I’m going to shoot for 45 minutes (or 15 minutes a mile). I think that’s realistic, but then again, I don’t know the course just yet. I’m going to investigate that very soon. Regardless of my time, what’s really important is that I compete and that I finish. 

After a month of changing our lifestyle, one thing that surprises me is how easy the transformation to eating healthy has been. Our meals are inspired by Clean Eating and Paelo – we take the best of both worlds. It’s very difficult to fully commit to one or the other because some of the restrictions / guidelines just don’t float for me. For example, I like so many recipes I’ve found in Paelo but I refuse to give up my dairy. It’s just not going to happen. However, the changes I’ve made are impacting my life and my family’s life, so what really matters is we’re doing what’s right. 

I guess for me, the hardest part of this change has been trying (as hard as I can) to find a regular exercise routine. After a month, I’m still struggling week to week to make it work. I’m really hoping after this week some things will be changing with our current schedules (for the better) that will make the process a lot easier on me, but then again – who knows! 

I’m proud of the fact that I get to the gym a minimum of three times per week, but on average it’s 4 – 5 times. Usually on Friday and Saturday, we try to take Bella up for Family time so she can swim and play in the gym as well. I’m really happy we sprung for the Wellness Center membership so I can take her there for free. It’s cheap family entertainment that’s good for everyone. 

I feel good about my choices for today and I hope tomorrow yields just as many great choices.