Thursday, September 30, 2010


This is amazing--if you haven't seen it yet, or even if you have already...definitely worth a re-watch. Inspiration comes from all different journeys, and though running isn't what I've found I love, this is an amazing reminder of that you can change your attitude, your health, your happiness, just by doing it. Making the choices, big or small, that need to be made to get you where you want to be. I hope to inspire people like this one live my life uninhibited by my physical state, to be truly happy with myself, to show others they can do it too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

As if watching a 7 year old isn't enough exercise!

The time has come to ease out of my hyper-intense summer fitness regime and into a more normal life style. Most of you know, I took the summer off to work out. So that I could really focus, have no excuses, and go all out fitness. I worked out 4-6 hours a day. I recorded my food intake and my calorie burn. I tried tons and tons of new, healthy recipes. I absolutely devoted myself to becoming a fitness guru and build healthy habits.

It was pretty much the most worthwhile summer I can remember spending. Ever. But, all "good" things must come to an end. I say "good" because, after all, I was sore for pretty much 3 months straight, always exhausted, and tried many a recipe that just, frankly, was not good.

But now that I have my habits under control, now that I have learned how to push myself mentally, now that I have a whole bunch of healthy recipes in my back pocket, now that I actually know that sweat won't kill me, I need to get back to a normal life. Thus....

I got a new job! Thankfully, I don't need to work full time. That really hasn't ever been a consideration for me, because my hubby and I prefer that I have plenty of time at home to keep the house, make dinners, and just general play good house wife. :) It makes our marriage happier. :)

I'm now working with two kids, a girl age 12 and a boy age 7, children of a single father, retired military. I arrive at their home at 2:40, wait for the boy to get off the bus, get him a snack etcetera, and then tutor him from about 3:00-4:30. He just started 1st grade, and they just moved from Korea. I think the transition from schools has been difficult for him, since he's just learning to read and add and such. Thus, he's only about mid-way through kindergarten academically. Thus--my tutoring. The daughter gets home about 3:30 and does her homework, then has me check it as well. I leave about 4:45ish.

It's really a great position. The kids are polite, energetic, loved, attentive, and enthusiastic. I love that I'm getting to tutor and see progress as he catches up with his class. The pay is amazing, even though I'm only there 10-12 hours a week, the father really wants to make it worth my while, and I'm getting paid as much as I was when I worked for the preschool (last year), and that was 25 hours a week!

So now, here's my new routine. I'm loving it---and I feel SO productive with my day!
I get up with John, and we get ready for our day together. I'm at the gym by 8:00-8:30, and stay until 10:30-11:30. Then I come home, have my protein drink, check email, take a shower, and have lunch. Then I still have another 2 hours to do house work, errands, or even take a nap! I go to work for a few hours, get home by 5:00, and have plenty of time to have dinner on the table by the time John gets home!

So, that's the new routine here! Today I managed to burn 1400 calories in my workout this morning! Go me!

I love my routine....I absolutely thrive on it. And I really feel like this new schedule is going to work great for me. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Runnning to victory :)

I ran 0.4 miles today!!!!

I know it sounds pretty puny...but really it's a huge accomplishment for me. Even though I've been crazy fanatical at the gym this summer, running has been the big hurdle I couldn't get over. 

I've been running a few times a week (if that frequently, to be honest) doing 60 seconds run, 2 minutes walk intervals. Then I bumped it up to 90 seconds run, 2 minutes walk. The most I've ever ran (since starting my exercise this summer) was 2 minutes straight.
It's been a bummer that I haven't stuck with my running very well. A whole 2 weeks has past since I ran. So this morning, after my gym classes, I hopped up on the treadmill and started running. I really wanted to see what type of distance I could go, as opposed to just the length of time. I thought that if I really pushed myself, I could go 1/3 of a mile.

In total, I ran 0.4 miles, which is about 4 minutes 15 seconds (I ran at a 5.7mph pace)! Wow! I'm so proud of myself...over 2 times the length of time I had run before!

Now, I know it's easy to forget the pain and skip to the glory now that it's over, but sucks while I was doing it. My heart rate sky-rocketed (but my trainer said that's okay for short bursts), I was gasping for air, my legs muscles felt like scorching fire, sweat was dripping into my eyes, fat was jiggling all over the place....yeah, it was just pretty much not a pretty sight.

But I did it. I DID IT!

I'm going to see if I can run half a mile tomorrow or Thursday.

What are you going to do today to make yourself proud?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend and Weigh-In

I was pretty concerned this week about my my fitness. I was kind of sick on Monday and Tuesday such that I didn't go to the gym.....essentially that made for a 4 days weekend.


Then, this weekend I went up to Tennessee to go to my friend Stacy's wedding. I drove up Friday to Dayton TN, spent the night with friends, then drove up to the wedding on Saturday and back on Sunday.

This made for 13 hours of driving in 3 days --time that I could've used being active and instead sat in a car.

Then, to make matters worse, my friends (who are absolutely, totally, naturally skinny--by no fault of their own) brought snack for the road trips. M&M's, dried fruit, nuts......yummmmmmy.

I brought carrots.

Yeah, you can guess which won out....

The reception food was amazing, and filled with pretty good options. Instead of desserts galore, there was a scrumptious array of fruit --- delicious blackberries, raspberries, pineapple, melons, and strawberries! Yum!!! I will NEVER turn down's one of the few healthy things I actual prefer hands down! There also was fruit cocktail, little sausages, spinach and artichoke dip (my kryptonite...can't pass it up!) with chips, chocolate fountain, and of course, cake. 
There also was a delicious, refreshing punch. I have made it a general rule to always just have water, since the calories can be really sneaky and gang up on you in a drink, but lemme tell you, this punch was good. So, enough said on that....I probably had 3 or 4 little glasses.

Receptions are always hard to know exactly how much you consumed. I felt like I had done fairly well all things considered, but there's not really any easy way to count calories during something like that. Sometimes I'm just a worry-wart, so naturally, I was worried.

Today rolls around, my weigh in day. I did my work out this morning. It was pretty light today, just one hour of step aerobics (750 calories burned), and one hour of yoga.

After I did my workout, I went to weigh in. The room that has the scale I normally use was occupied, so I went to a different scale.....and then to a different scale to get a second opinion (since it wasn't my normal scale).....

I lost 2 pounds again! I'm very excited, since that came off of a week that had a 0.5 pound gain, and I was worried it was going to happen again. But no! My body is still doing what it's supposed to...still going down! Woohoo! :)

So, that's that....I guess the moral of this story is I need to worry less and just do what I know gets results. :)
Amazing how just a little more effort and a little less fretting works!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fudging (the expression, not the food...sadly)

I've been letting my nutrition slide.

Not terribly, just a special treat here, a little extra serving there, a snack that's not on my "3 meals, 2 snacks" routine.

You know, just....fudging.

Fudging nutritionally is very easy to do. I think it probably took me 2-3 weeks before I really realized what I was doing. I got cocky.  

Thinking I totally have this nutrition routine down.
Because it's "habit", I can't fail.
Since I know what works, that's automatically what I'll do.


I realize now I actually have no grasp on actually how many calories I'm eating. Oh sure, it's all relative...I have way more notion of the calories I'm eating than when I started.

But that's the's all relative. What I may be doing now may be good enough to maintain my weight, but it sure isn't good enough for 2 pounds a week loss. 

Some people don't need to do that--count every calories that enters their mouth. They have a moderation control built in to their brain. Not me.

It's kind of like cats. 
My sisters' cat has this thing where she always acts like she's starving. They feed Noel twice a day, and she will hound them until she gets her food, then snarf it down like it's her last meal in a year, then meow incessantly an hour later if they even get close to the food cupboard. She would probably be like Garfield if left to her own devices.

My cat is very different. We leave Pixel's food out in this dish that has the big dispenser above it so it just refills when it's empty. It fits about half a bag of cat food in it each time. Pixel eats when she's hungry. And never too much. She's a small cat, and I almost wonder if she's eating enough!

I'm like Noel. With some foods, I don't know when to stop. Or I get the munchies... and don't know when to stop. This is why I cleaned all tempting junk food out of the house at the beginning of the summer. But now, even though I'm making "healthy" choices, I still eat too much (Think-- nuts. They're a great source of protein and healthy fat....but way high in calories).

So, here's what I'm going to do: I'm going to start recording my food again. 

Every day, everything I eat. 

I use an online food tracker to make it fairly easy. Also, I'm also going to post my calories on my blog. Not everyday, but enough to make me accountable and record it and own up to what I'm doing. Just for some more accountability. 

So....back to work! Here's to being the sensible cat! :) 

My kitten Pixel when she was a baby

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Happy Pants Dance

So, I have this box.

It's a big, moving type box (Chick-Fil-A waffle fry box to be specific), in the tip-top of my closet.

In big, sharpie marker it reads: Clothes To Grow In-To

At the beginning of the summer, I went through a "Pre-Cleansing Ritual". This all-important ritual involved removing all contraband from my pantry (you know, all the good stuff.....white pasta, hi-fat soups, chips, even stock items like extra ranch and chocolate chips!), making sure my goals and calorie budget were easily accessable, and sorting through my clothes to actually figure out what fit me in my current size and what many, many, many things didn't.

Because my most significant weight gain happened in the last 2 years, I've kept a good portion of my clothes as I've went up the sizes. Even before that, during college, though I didn't gain as much weight and I wore things out more, I kept my favorite things in hopes of getting back in them.

Most men scoff at the idea of keeping clothes around that don't fit you any more. For me, this was a very vital part of my journey. My plan success story is that I am going to lose weight so rapidly that I won't have the money to purchase new clothes for each size I pass.  But since I already have clothes in the next 2 or 3 sizes down that I've been keeping around, it all works out. :)

I don't, however, recommend keeping clothes that are incredibly dated and out of style and waaaaay further down your weight loss road. NOT because you won't get there. 
But because, 
A) they're just going to take up tons of closet space or shelf space 
B) they often act as more of a discouragement than a motivation, 
C) If it's too old chances are you won't like it when you do lose the weight and will throw it out anyways, and most importantly
D) You darn well deserve some new clothes and a shopping spree when you've lost that much weight anyways!!!!

So anyway, MY box. :)

This was the first time all summer that I've opened the box. I had a pair of jeans that I knew would fit me first that was already in my drawer, and frankly, I've just stretched the use of my shirts by wearing them layered or tighter, so I've mostly just noticed my shirts fitting better in general.

I decided to get down the box after I realized that my next pair of jeans (the one I kept in the drawer even though it was a bit small), was starting to get loose around the waist. Here's the result of what now fits!!!!!:

1 pair of dress pants (not worn for at least a year)
1 pair of pink capris (not worn since college)
2 pairs of khakis (at least 1 1/2 years)
1 new workout shirt (I'm not sure I ever wore this -I think it was on sale)
2 shirts that are know shifted to my "nearly fit" side of the closet
1 lacey-over-lay shirt thing-y that was too tight on my arms before

So yeah.......This is officially called Happy Pants Dance. The part of the blog where I come out and do a happy dance in front of my mirror, open my box and show what exciting things I fit into now! :) 

Yay for NSV!!!!! (non-scale victorys)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Racquetball and a Change of Attitude

Today I had a sort of epiphany.

John and I had an amazing labor day weekend, and so spontaneously decided to extend it by taking a day vacation. Since this was going to cut into my workout, we decided to do something different together.

We went and played racquetball! Let me paint a picture for you of how me "playing" went last time (and any time) I played.

I reluctantly step inside the court, instantly uncomfortable because of the floor-to-ceiling glass that lets any causal bystander observe.

John serves lightly-- "too fast!!!" I screech as I skid out of the way of the ferocious oncoming ball. John goes and retrieves the ball as I stand in the same place. 

Again, he serves, much more slowly this time. I nimbly take a step and reach my racket out to return the shot. 

This continues, John using his left hand, hitting the ball the straightest and softest he's able to, me only moving a step or two, complaining when the ball was hit too hard, or that I'm scared of it hitting me. I can't judge where it's going to be. I don't like the way it ricashays off the walls as it comes to attack me. I feel like everything jiggles if I move quickly or even try to lunge for the ball.

Ten minutes later, we take a break. "I'm sweating. I hate sweating!" I whine. I make a face to show my disgust. I feel like I can't do anything. I feel like I'm slow, uncoordinated, gross, unathletic, and fat.

After a pathetic "game" of this, I take the sidelines so that John can actually play a real game of racquetball with his friends. I wistfully watch them, wishing I could move that nimbly and quickly, sighing, *knowing* that I will never be able to be that athletic and confident.

HA! Yeah right! We just finished up playing two hours of fierce racquetball. And guess what?

I won 2 out of 4 games!

Yeah that's right. I was pretty amazing. Let me show you the newly improved picture of me playing racquetball....

"Is that all you got?" I taunt, "because I totally owned you that last volley!" I smile a perfect combination of wickedness and sweetness, despite the sweat that is soaking my ponytail and streaming down my face. 

I occasionally glance at my heart rate monitor, because after all, I need to get my workout in today, but that's not what this is about---I'm having fun. 

John wins the next volley, but I retrieve the ball anyway and jog back to my position to await his serve. He still serves lightly for me, but is playing with his right hand. We agreed that he would play with his left hand whenever he was ahead...but frankly, that hasn't been very often. My coordination is stellar, if I can get to the ball in time, I nearly always return it. I slam myself into the wall to be able to return a difficult, fast shot, and am rewarded with returning a shot hits the wall so close to the floor and at such an angle that John couldn't hope to return it. The point is mine. I am so into this game.

That game ends, and I push to play another one. and another, and another. Though I'm panting and have long since finished our water, we only stop because John's thigh is hurting (still recovering from the triathlon he did).

I feel quick. I am quick. I am coordinated. I am nimble and flexible. I actually, for the first time since I can remember, feel athletic

I may still be 75 pounds overweight, but I can do, and am doing things that I wasn't comfortable doing when I was 30 pounds lighter than I am now. Inside this body, there is an athlete forming.

But here's where my epiphany comes in: it's not just my body that is changing....I am changing. I am becoming that person I want to be. This is working!  

We were trying to figure out why I wasn't still afraid of the ball like I used to be. I thought it was just because I'm more coordinated now, but then I realized, no, it's because I choose not to be.  I have so much more confidence now, in myself, in who I am, in what I can accomplish.

I have pushed through so many uncomfortable things because I have decided to, that seriously, you think I'm going to be scared of a little ball hitting me and let that keep me from having fun and being competitive? No way! 

My entire attitude has changed about racquetball. It was no longer this sport I begrudgingly played since John wanted to-- I had fun. I burned 1300 calories in 2 hours, but do you know what? Go me...but I don't care! I had FUN!

This is the first example I've seen of how I actually will be able to enjoy being active once I get to my goal weight. It's not always going to be drudgery, I won't always want to avoid sweating above all else. Because when you're fit enough to be active like that, a whole realm of possibilities open up. For me, I found I love racquetball. I hope I also like canoeing and rock climbing, but I'm not sure yet. But I have solid proof now that I'm not just always going to have to drag my big butt to the gym and slave away because it's what needs to be done.

Will I still go to the gym? probably. But will that be the only thing I do? No....because there will be new activities that I love. I will be able to find new hobbies that I always thought looked cool, but *knew* I'd never be doing. And as the added benefit, they will be helping me stay fit.

What are some of the activities you look forward to being able to actually enjoy when you get fit?

Monday, September 6, 2010


I am now on the eternal quest for healthy versions of normal delicious dishes. But they have to be good. A lot of the stuff I've tried has only been so-so, despite claims that "you can't even tell a difference!!!" Yeah right. That's baloney.

Sooo anyway, I decided to make a quiche this weekend, thinking, "wow, with all these eggs and veggies, this might be a really great healthy dish!"

But nooooo, all the recipes I looked up were like 300-500 calories per slice! Yeah, not working for me!

So, I decided to make my own version.  Here's what I did:

  • Used egg whites instead of whole eggs (keeping nearly all of the protein, and none of the fat)
  • Used part-skim cheese instead of regular, and cut the amount back from 1 1/2 cups to just 1 cup
  • Used normal milk (1% with a bit of half and half) instead of all half and half like some recipes call for)
  • Completely dropped the crust (the crust accounts for 100 calories per slice)
  • Stayed clear of fatty fillings like bacon, etc

The result? 100 calories per slice, of absolute amazingness! 

I've started trying to substitute egg whites when I can, but frankly, a lot of times the consistency is way different, or I just really miss the taste of the yokes. Honestly, though I'm not going to claim "you can't tell a difference" (haha), I didn't notice at all, and I felt like I was getting a yummy decadent food. John likes it too....he always enjoys quiche--even if it is seen as a "girly food." And you can eat it any time of day!

Here's the full nutritional info of the specific quiche I made (chicken breast, broccoli, mushrooms, mozzerella) -- 100 calories, 3.6 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 4 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 12 g protein. I say pretty good!! :)

This is going to become a staple at my house. Here's to finding healthy treasures!


I was requested to post the recipe of the quiche I here it is. :)

Chicken, Broccoli, Mushroom Quiche

1 cup raw broccoli florets
1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms
4 oz. baked chicken breast (I used leftover rotisserie chicken for extra flavor)
1 cup (3.5 oz) low-fat mozzerella cheese
12 tablespoons Egg White Egg Beaters (liquid egg whites in little cartons)
1.5 cups 1% milk
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg

  1. Preheat over to 350  
  2. steam or sautee broccoli and mushrooms, usually minimal oil, or just water, until just tender
  3. mix with chicken, spread mixture in glass pie dish
  4. spread cheese over veggie/chicken mixture
  5. mix egg whites, milk, salt, and nutmeg together, pour into pie dish
  6. bake for one hour uncovered
  7. remove from oven, let sit for 15 minutes (this part is important, otherwise you'll wonder why it seems like there's still lots of liquid in it)
  8. Eat up!
You can also substitute different vegetables or meat. Yesterday I made another one that had canadian bacon, tomatoes, and mushrooms...yummy! Let me know what variations you try out!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cookie dough, chicken strips, and icecream, oh my!

I've been having cravings lately. Lots of them. The worst I've had this whole summer. Actually, some of the only ones I've had this summer.

The smooth, creamy deliciousness of soft serve blizzards from Dairy Queen.

The fried, glorious perfection of Chick-Fil-A's chicken strips, paired with their amazing fries, not without the best part of the honey barbecue sauce.

The not-so-secret delight of freshly made chocolate chip cookie dough before it's baked into cookies.

The satisfying, mouth-watering crunch of a good Dorito or Salt&Vinegar chip.

Okay, enough of that....writing about it is definitely not helping.

Yeah, like I said, it's been bad. I've been very firm in my mindset that this whole thing isn't about a diet for's about changing my habits and choices. And I've done very well with that. But the fact remains that as I change my habits, I have been depriving myself of an abundance of foods I love.

I'm continuing to remind myself of the setbacks indulging too much would result in, and worrying about this coming weigh-in has kept me mostly in check.....but gosh, it's hard.

This journey isn't easy. I never expected it to be. But that doesn't change the reality of the temptations and the pity parties. It sucks.

John recently conquered his first triathlon last weekend, and he told me that what he tells himself when it's hurting the most is-- "Not because it's easy, but because it's hard." For him, that means, the reason he's challenging himself to push through the pain, is just's a challenge. He wants to conquer it, to prove to himself he can finish.

I'm not there yet, but that got me thinking. For me, the reason I say no, the reason I keep depriving myself of the things my body mistakenly thinks it needs, the reason I keep pushing myself in workouts, is -- "Not because it's easy, but because it's worth it."