Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Headed West

I get to see the mountains today :)

I had been thinking about taking a trip to visit some of my favorite people, and after some discussion Curtis agreed that he could hold down the fort while I took a solo trip. It's been about 4 years since I have been to Denver, so I am looking forward to reacquainting myself with one of my favorite US cities. I have a car rented and a docket full of activities for my 4 day stay. I can't wait!!

This vacation is also coming at the perfect time. Do you ever just have those days where you need to see your girlfriends?? Sometimes talking on the phone just isn't enough. I haven't seen the girls I am visiting in a long time, and since then, both have had babies. I am excited to meet the latest additions to our "friend family" and to have some time to catch up with a few of my greatest girlfriends.

In other news, I stepped on the scale this morning since I won't have access to my scale tomorrow. 194.3!! I have lost 35.7 pounds since November 1. The changes are really starting to take place since I have incorporated heavier lifting sessions and longer runs into my routine. It's amazing how much of a difference I feel in my body, my mind and my endurance level. On Monday, I ran a 5k on my treadmill in just over 32 minutes. Not bad considering I was running it in 40 minutes 2 weeks ago :)

It's wet and rainy here today, but there are clear skies in Denver. Rocky Mountains here I come!!

Enjoy the weekend!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

About Eating Clean....


Over the last month, I have surrounded myself with information about "Clean Eating." Books, websites, blogs, articles, recipes, magazines and more books. I started with Tosca Reno's Eat Clean Diet Recharged! My friend Kate has a much better review of the book than I do, so I will just point you in her direction. I pretty much agree with everything that Kate has to say about the book. It's a fantastic starting point for anyone that is interested in what it means to eat clean.

After I was done with Tosca's book, I ran out and bought her cookbook along with a Clean Eating Magazine. This magazine has quickly become a favorite of mine. I bought a subscription almost immediately. Inside the front flap, I found this neat-o definition of what it means to Eat Clean: (click the thumbnail)


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I posted this on my refrigerator about a month ago as reminder of what we are doing over here. I haven't talked much about this entire clean eating thing (yet), but it consumes a lot of my daily thoughts as I try and integrate the principles into our lifestyle. I find myself making compromises where I need to, but overall, we are getting it down. As a result, there is one shelf in our pantry that is now barren. See, it used to house all of the processed junk that we were used to consuming. The Fiber One bars, the Wheat Thins, the Triscuits and the 100-calorie packs. It's the one shelf I would run to first if I needed a snack. Not anymore. I am experimenting with things like quinoa and steel cut oats. I find myself after a bowl of oatmeal as a snack these days and it's starting to pay off. My 2.5 lb loss last week is definite evidence of this payoff.

For once in my life, I feel like my "diet" search is over. Eating clean is not a "diet" in the traditional sense. It's a lifestyle change, and one that really brings you back to the basics. This mentality is full of common sense, and I love that about it. It's simple, it's easy (with some forethought and preparation) and it's a forever solution to my weight and health issues. After reading Tosca's book, it was like the light bulb had finally gone off in my head. I love those Eureka moments!

Now a quick word about Weight Watchers:

Weight Watchers has taught me so much about portion control and what it takes to get the weight off. However, I always felt that Weight Watchers was lacking something, and that something for me was learning how to make the proper food choices. Weight Watchers caters to people that need to make small changes at first. It allows you flexibility in your food choices, so much so that I believe it can be detrimental to someone on a lifestyle mission like myself. I am beyond making those small changes. I am in it for the long haul. I realized that I couldn't continue to save my points/calories for something naughty just because my body needed a treat. Sure, indulgences are fine in moderation, but I can't live the rest of my life consuming 100 cal packs and then starving my way to dinner. While that might get me the same result (read: pounds off, weight lost) I am doing my body a disservice in the long run. Eating clean is teaching me what it means to make smart, nutritionally-sound food choices. So far, so good!

So, here it is. My blog-proclamation to continue eating clean and to start writing about it more :) We'll see how it goes!

Monday, April 19, 2010

ONEDERLAND

I did it! I weighed in on Friday to see a 2.5 lb loss!! I am currently 198.3 lbs and I could not be happier!

When I started this journey back in November I started taking my measurements. I never did manage to take an actual photo which isn't that surprising. I used to dodge the camera with all of my might when I was 230 lbs. I just couldn't stomach seeing the photos and I sure wasn't going to purposefully take a "before" shot. Hindsight is always 20/20 as I would love to have one now, but oh well. I did find a picture that was taken on Thanksgiving and I can see the differences BIG TIME!

Here is the before shot taken on Thanksgiving:
And here is the picture I took on Thursday night before my workout:

Can you see the differences?? I can, mostly in the face, tummy and arms. I carry quite a bit of my weight in the upper half of my body and it's obvious (to me at least!) that I have lost almost 32 lbs. I also took my measurements, and I have lost 14 inches overall, mostly in my hips, stomach and thighs. WOW.

I also graduated from C25K last week, and started to take my runs outside. Ironically, our treadmill died on Thursday night. I guess it had had enough of our constant use, so outside I went. Running outside is proving to be a huge challenge, and I am being way too hard on myself about it. We took a family run on Saturday morning, and I finished very frustrated with myself. Curtis, being the motivator that he is told me to cut that negativity out and focus on getting stronger outside. I have to remember that I am dealing with a resistance that the treadmill didn't have and that is going to take some time to adjust to. I have a run planned for this afternoon; by myself and outside. I am thinking that being alone might help me to focus a bit more on running consistently. We will see how it goes! It can only get better from here, right?

So, there it is. I am on my way to my goal weight of 180 lbs. I feel great about my accomplishments so far, and I am excited that it's just the beginning of Spring around here. I have many months to work on my running outdoors, and I am looking forward to it!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where Have I Been??

Good question. Enjoying the weather, running my socks off, cooking, working and chasing after an 18 month old. Those are the things that seem to occupy my time these days. Life as the Queen is a busy one :)

I wanted to update my trusty readers with the latest good news regarding my weight loss journey.

Check out my ticker! -------------------------------------------------------->
I am this.close to breaking 30 lbs!! I expect to break it this week, and with that will come another huge milestone....being under 200 lbs for the first time since 2005!

And there's more...

Last night I completed a 30 minute run. The first of 3 runs in the final week of Couch 2 5k. I have 2 more runs to go and then I will have graduated from the program. If you would have asked me 5 months ago, if I could ever see myself completing the program, I would have laughed in your face. I tried it twice before, and twice I failed. This time, I have succeeded.

There is this cliche that says "Running will set you free." I always thought it was bogus. How could running set someone free? I mean, really?? I am here to tell you that YES, running can set you free. As I was on the treadmill last night, it clicked for me. I was in my rhythm, head-bopping to the music, and I felt AWESOME. So awesome, that my 30 minute run could have probably turned into a 40 minute run. I get it now. Running has taught me that I can do the things I never thought that I could. That my friends, is enough to set me free. I am free from living a sedentary life, and free to live the healthy life that I know I deserve. The "I can't" voice in my head has been toned down to a dull whisper. The next step, is to work on silencing her completely :)

Stay tuned for my weigh-in at the end of this week! I am enthusiastic about what that scale has in store for me.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Half Way

I have broken through this plateau like a runner through the finish tape. 1 week of doing everything right did the trick. I was actually excited to get on the scale this morning to see the number. There was no hesitation or fist clenching. I just wanted to see the reward for my accomplishments this week. I got that reward in the form of 1.7 pounds. I have lost 25.5 total lbs! I am halfway to my goal weight with this weigh in and I feel great! I am currently averaging 1.3 lbs per week since November 1. Steady and healthy!

So what exactly did I do to break through this plateau?

Well, first, we overhauled our diet as I explained in my last post. I stopped eating the same things over and over again and really spiced up our meal plan this week. I stocked the fridge with hard boiled eggs, Power Chicken, chicken salad, grilled chicken breasts, soup and fresh fruits and veggies. When I wanted a snack, I ate some veggies with some Bolthouse Yogurt Ranch (YUM!) and a handful of almonds. I ate string cheese and brown bread, instead of a pudding cup and a 1oo calorie pack. We just completely overhauled the way we eat over the last 7 days and it has showed!

Secondly, I finished week 5 of Couch 2 5k, which required me to run a straight 20 minutes without stopping. Those of you that know me, know I am not a runner. I have wonky legs and no form when I run. I often get shin splints because I simply don't know what I am doing out there!! Well, no more, people. I am slowly (read: turtles pace) converting to being a decent jogger. I won't even say runner yet, because that is a total stretch at this point. I am just extremely giddy that I completed a 20 minute run! WOO HOO!

And last but certainly not least, I tracked EVERYTHING and I didn't use my WW application either. I found out last week that Sparkpeople has an app for the iPhone and I took advantage of it. I have been able to balance out my calories, fat, protein, fiber and sugars to see exactly how much I am getting of each. I quickly realized where I needed to make adjustments. I drank all of my water, and even tracked it all. I really think that this is a key component to this process for me. I have to track it ALL!

I am amazed at how 1 week has completely shifted my thinking about this process. I am eager to continue working on eating a balanced diet, exercising and doing all of those things that I know will get me the results I am after!

Only 4.5 pounds to go before I am under 200 lbs. I can do this!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Weight Loss Update

Although my weight loss journey never ceased, it did decide to take a huge pit stop. I am caught somewhere between a plateau and a turning point. Over the last week, I have made a very strong effort to completely overhaul my eating habits. Weight Watchers has always been really great for me and it has taught me so much about the tools that I need to be successful. The problem with Weight Watchers has always been my lack of focus on eating wholesome, nutritionally good food. I never hesitated to turn to a 100-calorie pack, or eat pudding out of a cup. I became used to fat free bread and low fat cheese. What I realized, was that I was trading calories in one spot, to be able to binge in another. That doesn't make sense in my long term weight loss plan so I knew I had to do something drastic.

So, here we are. I have ferociously jumped on the eating clean bandwagon. Only a few days in and I am actually enjoying the food. I ditched the 100 calorie packs and the fat free bread in favor of lots of veggies and Ezekiel bread. I prepped a ton of food on Sunday. It's Wednesday and we still have a fully stocked fridge with chicken salad, small pre-made spinach salads, Weight Watchers Zero Point Soup, hard boiled eggs, natural peanut butter and tons of fruits and veggies. I know this is going to take some getting used to, but so far I am feeling VERY satisfied with the food choices.

As far as exercise goes, I am still cranking out the Couch 2 5 k program. I am at the end of week 5 and steam rolling through it. I couldn't believe that I was actually able to run for 8 straight minutes!! I CAN run! Who knew?? I also bought some 12 lb free weights, because my 10's are starting to feel a little light.

Weigh in is Friday, and I am hoping for a nice loss to go along with my newly overhauled plan of action. Logic tells me it's going to happen, because at this point, I am doing everything correctly.

Does anyone else "eat clean?" If so, do you have any resources you can share with me??

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

31 and Feelin' Young....ish

It's my birthday today. I am 31 years old.

It's been a typical Wednesday so far. I got up without the alarm (haaaa!), took a shower and got ready for work. I cuddled my baby, ate some breakfast and kissed the boys goodbye. I am now sitting at work, hardly working and reflecting on the past 31 years.

For whatever reason, this birthday is an emotional one for me. As a child, I remember thinking that if you were 30+ you were OLD. Flying through my 20's, I never really felt these emotions. Maybe it's the lack of coolness that this birthday brings, or maybe it's the realization that 10 years has passed since my legendary 21st birthday. Maybe it's just because I don't feel OLD, but since my 12 year old self considered 30 to be well-aged, then I must be, right? Either way, I feel just a smidgen older, a little bit wiser and a whole lot more satisfied with life.

The past 10 years have been a huge learning experience for me. I graduated from college, got my first job at a CPA firm, bought a house, married my love, and had my first baby. I like to think that with age, comes some level of maturity and understanding of the way this world works. Still, I feel lost sometimes. I don't have all the answers, and I really don't feel OLD. Why do I keep thinking that I am?? I still laugh at silly jokes, and giggle when I hear a loud belch. I like to pull pranks on my co-workers and sing freakishly loud in my car while I am driving. These are surely not actions of a regular 31 year old, right?? :)

Today, I am going to celebrate being 31 years young. I feel great, I have minimal wrinkles, I don't wear glasses (yet) and my knees are still intact. I haven't even broken a major bone in 31 years! These are things to celebrate! hahaa!! The sun is shining and I have only a few hours left at work before I head out to spend the day with my favorite little boy. LIFE IS GOOD.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Doldrums

I am at that point in the middle of the season, where I just want to see a robin fly by my window. I want to breathe in the smell of the freshly cut grass. I want to exist in the outdoors. I want to see the sunshine. I know it's out there somewhere. (right??? :o) I feel trapped inside; listless, dormant and ready for a change. In other words, I am getting antsy.

This is my 30th winter in this bitter cold state. Why do I stick around?? The eternal question of February is right there. Why do I endure it?? I have talked about my love/hate relationship with this season before. Tonight I had one of those "love it" moments. I was just outside shoveling our walkway, and I paused and listened. You could have heard a pin drop. There is no chirp of a cricket, or buzz of a mosquito. Only a big, gray sky and silently falling snow. The flakes are falling big tonight. The kind you can catch with your tongue :) It is Quiet and Peaceful and Calm. I stood there for a moment, and for a fleeting second I didn't wish Spring upon us so quickly. We are fortunate to have the best of 4 seasons. As much as I am ready to get outside and do all of the things we do when it's sunny (!!!) out, there is something to be said about experiencing this. Pure Michigan, right here folks :)

Enjoy the rest of the season. Spring is around the corner and we will be digging ourselves out sooner than we think. In the meantime, go make a snow angel in your yard and catch some flakes on your tongue. :)

Friday, January 29, 2010

There it is....

....that loss that has eluded me. 1.9 lbs. I am now down an even 20 lbs after 90 days of hard work! That averages out to about 1.5 lbs per week, which is a healthy rate of weight loss. Yay me!

Today is the final day of the 90 Day Fitness Challenge that I signed up for on November 1. I am proud of my accomplishments so far, and I look forward to what the next 90 days is going to bring!

Now, let's talk about my goals:

I have 30 lbs to go to get to my initial goal of 180 lbs. I am well on my way, I am feeling great and I am motivated to push forward. My very short term goal is to get to 207, which brings me to my 10% Weight Watchers goal (10% of 230=23 lbs). My goal beyond that, is to lose the 7 lbs to get me below 200. I am desperate to become a onederlander and get this weight off!

I am going to continue to workout at least 3-4x a week. I am getting into a real groove with my workouts, and the days where I don't workout, I actually miss it. What?? How did that happen?? :) I am going to keep on walking and running, and I have a goal to really kick it up a notch with my strength routine.

I am tossing around the idea of trying out a 5k. It freaks me out to even consider it, but I am getting the hang of running now, and it seems like it could fit into this journey quite well. Stay tuned for more on that later!!

I have been reading quite a bit about weight loss 'strategies' and other tips to keep me motivated. I came across this post about the scale. One thing that I am focusing way too much on is the scale and those darn numbers. I constantly battle the urge to step on it before I jump in the shower. Every single day! I want the instant satisfaction that the scale will bring me, but what I really need is to focus on why I am doing this in the first place. That Phit-n-Phat post says this:

"HARD WORK isn't always in the gym or in the kitchen. Often it's in the mind. It's ignoring the scale and looking at what you do to find results. That's not nearly as satisfying but it's more important."

Read it again, Emily. ^^^^ This is the way in which my thinking needs to be transformed. I have to look at the small things to really understand how I can make this a LIFESTYLE. Forever! Otherwise, I will just repeat another cycle of this "get skinny, get fat" business.

For the past 90 days, I have been basing my weight loss success off of the scale and inches lost. In this next section of my journey, I am going to make a valiant effort to use the scale LESS and to use my brain MORE. It sounds ridiculous, but it's really not! Continue to journal, but eat if you are hungry. Maybe you have a day where you just aren't that hungry; so eat less! If the scale doesn't give you what you want that week, make adjustments, but don't fall into a pit because of it. See? My thinking is changing already! While I mentioned my goals above, I also need to remind myself that these are just benchmarks. The real satisfaction will come from gaining a healthy lifestyle that I can live with forever!

Thank you again for your support as I make this journey. It's been so helpful to have this place to help me along, and I am looking forward to the next several months as well :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bump In The Road

We've had a rough couple of weeks around our house. Charlie got a stomach bug last Thursday which was then passed onto Curtis and I by Saturday. There have been many nights of little sleep, and this is quickly transcending into a lack of exercise. One thing I have been keeping up with is my eating. I haven't splurged due to my lack of an appetite! I weighed in last week, and I had only lost .2 lbs.

While I was eager to know what happened this week, I was hesitant to get on the scale, because of my lack of sleep and exercise. Historically, if I am lacking in those two departments, the scale results aren't pretty. To top it all off, I am mid-cycle and bloated up like a hot air balloon. I got on the scale this morning, and sure enough, I had gained a pound. Grrr. Let's pray it's a lot of water :)

So, I need some encouragement today. For one, I need to get back to my exercise. It's been exactly 1 week since I have done any sort of anything in that department. I have a goal to get 4 workouts in by Sunday evening. It is also the last week of that 90 Day fitness challenge I signed up for which is one more motivator for me. I really need to push it into high gear again!!!

Can you help motivate me?? I need it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Food SCORE!

I used to post my favorite food items here. You know, the things that you find at the grocery store that you never thought you would love, but you actually realized that you do love them? In my case, they also happen to be items that are Weight Watchers friendly, or high in fiber, or low in fat or *insert diet appropriate term here*

I call them Food 'Scores' because I feel like I have accomplished something in the process of discovering them. When you have committed to eating better you have to seek out new ways of consuming. That means planning meals, making healthy dinners, bringing a lunch to work... For me, that also means trying new things. So, here we have it. My recent food scores! "She shoots she scores!" *snicker*

Arnold Sandwich Thins:
(1 WW point)
I love these things. I use them for burgers, sandwiches, toast...you name it. If bread is required, these things are definitely better :)

Jell-O Mousse Temptations:
(1 WW point)
At 60 calories per serving, I am in love with these. Do you need a daily chocolate fix? Try these. Delicious!

Pop Secret 100 Calorie Bags: (2 WW points)
I bring these to work for an afternoon snack. Just the right size for me!

Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta:

As a family, we love this stuff. Charlie goes nuts for it, and Curtis doesn't complain. I think it's just as good as the 'white' stuff. One thing I know is that it's a whole lot better for me. :)

Try them if you haven't already. You may be surprised by how delicious high fiber, sugar free and low-fat can taste!

PS: Do I sound like an ad yet? :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

18.9 lbs and 13 inches!

Yep, you read it right!

I wondered if this week would be an exceptional loss on the scale. I have been really pushing myself this week. I started Couch 2 5k, and for those of you that know me, running is really not my thing. I knew that I needed to start kicking it into high gear, and this seemed like a good way to do that.

I am now just 4 lbs away from my 10% Weight Watchers goal. (10% of your total body weight at the beginning. For me, that number is 207 lbs) It was one of my main goals during these first 90 days to get down to that 10% number and then eventually become a Onederlander. (read that link if you are feeling dumpy and down about your weight) I cannot wait to cross the line to 199. My eye is on the ultimate prize, though. Getting healthy and maintaining that healthy lifestyle for many years to come.

On to next week! I have 3 more weeks left in the 90 Day Fitness Challenge and I am ready to rock it out!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

It's a New Year and a chance for a New Beginning!!

On December 31, I had to weigh in to round out the second month of the weight loss challenge I am participating in. 213.4!! In 2 months, I lost a total of 16.6 lbs and 11 inches!! That is right on target for 2 lbs a week which was my initial goal when I started back on November 1.

Since I had to weigh in last week Thursday, I decided not to weigh in today. I also decided that I will be weighing in on Thursdays from now on. Right now, I am focusing too much on my eating during the weekend, because I am so worried about Monday's outcome. While it's good to be vigilant, I think at this point it's a detriment. When I lost weight before my wedding, Friday was always our weigh in day. On Weight Watchers, it was ideal as we would use most of our Flex points early in the week ie; THE WEEKEND!, and then be able to focus on eating on track during the work week. So, I have decided to go back to that as it always worked out so well.

That is that!! It's another week, and another set of goals.

1. I just started Couch 2 5k yesterday. I want to get my other 2 runs in this week as well as a strength session.

2. Keep on drinking that water!

3. Eat on plan!! I have started meal prepping again after the holidays.

Have a great week and a Happy New Year!