Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Whew... made it!

Summer school (that I'm teaching) is o-v-e-r! Whew... I made it through alive! You could have never told me that four days a week, three hours a day, for one month, would be such a task! I am mentally DRAINED. I think the added stress of my own summer classes made it a lot worse. These are the two HARDEST classes I've ever taken... and both at the same time! I'm dying over here!

BUT... I see the light! At least now, I have a month off (minus a few teacher in-service days) before school starts back. I finally get to start working on my new classroom! Yay!

So, usually when bloggers disappear... like I have... it is because they are not doing so well on the weight-loss front.

Guess what?

I am doing better than I have in a while! I am binge-free. I am back in gym for over an hour every day and am "feeling" progress. Honestly, my muscles are so damned sore I am convinced my body hates me! But I am not quitting!

My no-sugar June was an epic FAIL. Sorry... I tried. And I have cut WAY back. And I am still shooting for this goal in July.

I feel like I am slowly getting back to putting ME at the top of my priority list. For a while, I was so overwhelmed that I could feel myself sinking into depression again. There was just SO MUCH that I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. Besides work, school, and parenting, so much emotional shit keeps coming up and I just can't deal. My ex is back in jail, and that is just devastating to my kids. They were just getting used to having him again.

But something, somehow, just "clicked" and I decided that I just needed to snap the hell out of it! I was not going to just lay down and let failure win! So that's when I hit the gym (and we all know what exercise can do for your mood).

I am done with the scale for a while. I just don't need the mind games right now. I am eating healthy food, I have cut down sugar drastically, and I am doing at least an hour of cardio/strength training 6 days a week. If I keep it up, I will lose weight and get healthy. I don't care what the damned scale says right now!

Ok.... Right now, I have almost 700 blogs waiting in my Google reader... but I am determined to catch up!

It's good to be back!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Toy Story 3...

One of the BEST movies I've ever seen! I cried like an infant at the end! This is a must see!

Just got back from a night away with my two youngest kids. Big sister has been at camp for a week, so I decided we would have a night away near the campsite. It was awesome. Movie, then dinner, then swimming and relaxing.

My life has been so hectic, but I have been trying to stay focused.

I feel renewed and ready to move on with the summer. Summer school that I am teaching is over on Wednesday, and not a day too soon! With my own summer school classes being so demanding, I need the extra time to focus on ME again.

I am SO behind on blog reading. Google Reader says I have 500+ unread. I am determined to catch up, though! But just know I am here, and I'm not quitting!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

YumJared Sugar Sweet Free Day

Yum Yucky and TheAntiJared would love for you to go sugar free for one day and make a pledge of any amount (through Paypal) to benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

"We are challenging you to take control of the Sugar Beast and go sugarless AND artificial sweetener-free for one day. All pledged proceeds will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Association in support of a cure for Type 1 Diabetes."  

Read Yum Yucky's original post HERE. There is also a give-a-way!

I'll definitely be joining in! Will you?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Sorry for my absense, but life is INSANE right now as usual. I am totally overwhelmed with grad school and LIFE. But more on that later...

Eating... well, it has been better. I am still holding strong with the no sugar plan for June, but there HAVE been slip-ups.

While I am getting my act together for a post, let me introduce you to my new friend, Caroline...

Caroline Jhingory is a superstar, and since I showed the video the other day on WHAT NOT TO DO, I wanted to give you a little inspiration. I asked Caroline to give us her story, and here it is!

I was 5’2 and 273lbs in the 8th grade.

Over the last eight (8) years, now at 29 years old and still around 5’2ish in height, I have lost and maintained a 123lb weight loss without gastric bypass surgery, any commercial diet programs or fad diets. 

I attribute my weight loss success to strengthening my faith, determination, patience…and a treadmill. 

Exercise has been the central tool in my transformation, but it’s still only one part of the puzzle towards health.  I significantly changed how I eat; altering my relationship to food and eating.  Again, I adhere to no specific diet.  I practice mindful eating, remaining disciplined and limiting my intake of carbohydrates, sugar, dairy products and caffeine.

What was your turning point and/or "Ah-ha!" moment?

There was no major incident that caused me to have an “aha moment” really.  One day I was home visiting from college.  And I just said to myself “I had enough!”   Enough of wearing body girdles to fit into certain outfits, enough of being the girl that guys never acknowledged.  Overall being obese had caused me to miss out on enjoying simple things in life:  I had not worn a bathing suit since I was 9 years old, was never able to ride a roller coaster because the safety bar did not fit over my stomach, and did not have my first boyfriend until graduate school.

How has losing weight/being healthy & fit changed your life?
Outside of all the superficial stuff of being able to wear cute clothes and a guy or two noticing me, my weight loss has made me more driven all around.  Losing 123lbs has made me feel as if no obstacle to big whether its school, work-related or family-related.  Life has taught me that God is never gonna give me more than I am capable of handling.

How often do you exercise?

My key to success was learning to replace an unhealthy addiction: mindless eating while sitting in front of the television, with a healthy addiction: hitting the gym everyday.  “I eat everyday, so I workout everyday,” is my number one fitness tip when giving advice to others.

What is your favorite workout?

For 60 minutes, I love to do a combined high speed and high incline walk on the treadmill while listening to music and/or watching a mindless reality show.  It really makes me feel like I’m challenging myself and using every muscle in my body to pull myself up on the incline.  And it has also given me a great booty!
What 5 food items are "must haves" in your kitchen?
  • Costco’s Kirkland Organic Salt-Free Seasoning – Sure it is healthy, but I have just never been a fan of salty food.
  • Economy size bag of frozen chicken breasts.  – I think of chicken breasts as my “chameleon food.”  I can make them adapt too almost any dish and they are a convenient source of lean protein.
  • Frozen veggies such as cauliflower, spinach and bell peppers – Being that I am a single lady and feeding only me, fresh veggies tend to spoil very quickly.  Frozen veggies of course last longer, are usually already chopped and cheaper!
  • Leak-proof Tupperware – I am a creation of convenience.  On Sunday, I typically cook my lunches and dinners for the week and put them in Tupperware.  That way I always have healthy food ready that I can just pop in the microwave.
  • Water, water, water and more water – I live in Washington, DC and there has been way too much controversy on drinking the tap water here.  Water keeps me well hydrated for my workouts and lubricates my joints for tough workouts as well.

What is your favorite motivational/inspirational quote?

“Those who can most be accounted brave are those who know best know the meaning of what is sweet in life and what is terrible, and then go out undeterred to meet what is to come.”   ~Pericles  (a gift from Tulane Professor Cinda Lanza, when I was having a really bad day)

How do you find balance in your life?
My faith, exercise and travel have become my therapy.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

It would be expected that losing 123lbs is my greatest accomplishment.  However, my greatest accomplishment is coming to peace with the car accident death of my two teenage cousins and absence of my father after my parents’ divorce.  For many years, I was angry at the world and God about these two things.  I dealt with my anger by vacuuming in Hot Pockets and Hostess cupcakes.  Perhaps my real “aha moment” was reaching a place of forgiveness.

What do you love most about your body?

I love and admire my body’s stamina when I am at the gym.  My body’s endurance when working out surprises me everyday.  And of course I love my booty!

Best compliment?
A cardiologist looking at a sonogram of my heart, told me that I have the heart and heart rate of a marathon runner!

What are the last 5 songs played on your iPod?

  • Bootylicious – Destiny’s Child
  • Keep Hope Alive – Crystal Method
  • Again – Faith Evans
  • All Nite (Don’t Stop) – Janet Jackson
  • On to the Next One – Jay Z

What weight loss/fitness tools do you use that you rely on in your weight loss/fit life journey?
Good, comfortable and affordable workout clothes from discount designer stores like Marshall’s and Ross.  You really can find the durable sweat resistant workout clothes there for half the price.  For me, having cute fitness clothes, motivates me to workout.

My IPOD and Black Berry!  A few weeks ago I learned how to stream music through my Black Berry so it’s a stand in for my IPOD from time to time.

I am a member of many online wellness and fitness communities.  Discussing health and wellness with individuals from all over the world has provided me with continued motivation and tips on adhering to healthy lifestyle.

Find Caroline on Facebook!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Must see...

This is deep... Please watch.

How do YOU identify with this woman?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I had an inservice meeting today and I absolutely fell apart! I am NOT ready to be out of my controlled eating environment. I have done well all week, but take the control over the menu out of my hands and #fail.

I had candy. I ate the barbeque, chips and baked beans for lunch. Damn! I controlled portions and didn't go back for seconds like everyone else. I also drank a lot of water. But candy - that's a no-no.

This is what I will do DIFFERENT.

I am already back on plan. This will NOT be a free-day-I-will-start-over-tomorrow-because-I-messed-up-today type of day. No.

I am NOT throwing in the towel.

I am on my way to the gym, and I will eat light for the rest of the day. I stocked up on lots of fruit and veggies last night, so I have good food to choose from. I am also posting this NOW so I will be accountable.

I am REALLY trying to change my mentality. It can't be ALL or NOTHING. Grey areas do exist, even if it shouldn't be a color you choose often on this journey.

I will not give up easily. I will be consistent.

I struggle with consistency.

I know I am not supposed to be looking at the scale, but I did weigh this morning. I am down 3.4 lbs from last Tuesday.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

I made it through the weekend...

... and I did well!

My stress level is HIGH right now.

I didn't sleep last night.

Things are hectic.

But I did NOT eat my way through it. I made it through this weekend with only a few slip-ups. Minor ones.

I went out last night, and my group of friends did their "usual" trip to IHOP after our shenanigans. I ordered an omelet, but they brought out pancakes with it. I ate some, but not all... maybe 1/2 of the three small pancakes. I love IHOP's pancakes, and it was worth it. The rest of my eating had been on point for the day, so I just vowed to do well today. I ate 1/4 of the omelet and gave it away.... It didn't have sugar but it looked way too fattening to eat. The last think I need is a stomach-ache from too much grease!

Today, my ex and I took our kids to Chuck-e-Cheese. I got the salad bar, and started out with a big salad w/lots of veggies and low-fat ranch dressing. I was only going to eat one, but I ate two slices of pizza while we were there. My day was so crazy, it was 5 p.m. and that was really my first "meal" of the day and I was hungry. I started to get that "guilty" feeling, but I nipped it in the bud. I was not going to beat myself up over it and start a binge.

I just ended my day with a bowl of fruit, and I am very proud of how I held it together this weekend. Between being away from home, dealing with stress, and eating out, I held it together in a way I believe NORMAL people do.

This is real-life. I have to be able to live in a way that will allow for the occasional slip-up. It doesn't mean I have failed.

Next week I am going to devote a lot of time to my workout regime since I missed it this weekend. I found myself doing squats and leg-lifts in the pool yesterday because I "missed" exercising and wanted to do "something". Kinda made me giggle, lol.

Tomorrow is the first day of summer school and I am so nervous. I don't think that teaching summer school this year is going to be as FUN as it was last year. I feel like I'm under a microscope and it's stressing me out. I pray that tomorrow goes smooth so I can start sleeping again!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Weekend: Interrupted

Today started off GREAT....

....But is ending terribly.

NOT with eating, though. Shocker.

I have finally had an emotionally trying day where I am NOT using food to comfort myself.

Original Plan: Head to Jess's house around noon... swim... cook... relax and have fun for the rest of the evening. Make a grocery run so that food will be on plan and making good choices will be easy.

What actually happened: Well, everything was on plan until dinner. That's when I got a phone call. My ex basically ruined my day and sent me into turmoil. In about 2.5 minutes I was so stressed out I wanted to cry. I wanted Ben & Jerry's, Oreos, and Krispy Kreme. I wanted to numb the pain with food.

But I didn't. Because that really never works anyway.

I decided to just come home. I'll go back to Jess's tomorrow, because I still need to watch her kids so she can work tomorrow afternoon. But tonight, for me, I just needed to come back home.

After I publish this post, I will go to bed so I don't have to deal with temptation. I won't let my mind trick me into thinking I'm hungry.

If there is one thing I can control right now, it is what I put in my mouth. I will not let stress and emotions derail me. I am doing too well.

I will re-group, and try to stay focused this weekend. I stocked Jess's pantry with good, healthy food for me to have while I'm there. No excuses.


Have I ever mentioned on here that I am afraid of do not like group fitness classes? They intimidate me. I always feel like the biggest, most uncoordinated person in the room.

But last night, I tried Zumba... and I loved it! I always wondered what the big deal was, and now I see. There was no pressure to be perfect, and I love to dance. In 52 minutes, I burned 772 calories... so I will definitely be back!

So strength training yesterday... after Zumba I was wiped out. I have a busy day today, so I am actually going to the gym NOW so it will be DONE.  Can you tell I'm still motivated?

Still no sugar, but yesterday there WAS temptation. A couple of weeks ago, I left a bag of my groceries at WalMart. Apparently, the write the items in a book, so that when you come back you get a refund. Well, I came back yesterday and forgot my receipt - which is fine, but you have to get the items instead of the refund. One of the items? Double-stuffed Oreos.

Seriously... I almost left them on the counter. But my kids haven't had a "treat" in a while so I brought them home. I told my oldest to hide them where I couldn't find them. But truthfully... I really don't even want them now. The fruit is really helping with the cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

It's the weekend, so I feel like I need to have a plan (especially since we'll be spending the night away). I am babysitting Jess's (four) boys this weekend, and I have decided to do it at her house instead of mine. She has more room, a swing set, and a pool. I can handle all seven kids at my house, but there is just more to do over there. So here is my plan:

1. Bring plenty of fruit & veggies.
2. Have yogurt and other healthy snacks for the kids.
3. Bring my own bottled water.
4. Offer to make dinner (so I know it will be healthy).

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Fitness Assessment Results

Fitness Assessment
June 2, 2010

Weight: 303
Resting Heart Rate: 65
Blood Pressure: 118/72
Body Fat: 45.6% (This was described as “off the chart” for the computer program she was using. She had to take additional measurements with the calipers and calculate another way. EMBARRASING.)
3-Minute Step Test: 132 BPM (Up and down on a step for 3 minutes.)
Sit and Reach: 14 (This measures my flexibility.)
Bench Press Test: 30 Reps (Lifting 35 lbs. She said this was great.)
Chest – 46
R. Upper Arm – 18.5
Waist – 54
Hips – 57
R. Thigh – 34
R. Calf – 20

I have to admit, the numbers are depressing. The bright side? I now have a plan. The trainer was very encouraging and though it was great that I was taking control of my health. But I felt grossly out of shape and fat as hell.

I will return to the trainer for a re-assessment on August 1. My goal is to lose 20 lbs, and to also increase my strength and lower my active heart rate. I am so glad I did this assessment. Now I will be able to measure my success in other ways BESIDES THE SCALE.

I hopped on the elliptical for some cardio after the assessment, and had to stop after 23 minutes because my left foot was HURTING. The arch of my foot was rubbing my shoe the wrong way and it was painful. I tried to keep going but pain started shooting up my leg so I stopped. I figured with the step test and the bench pressing I did, that I got in my 30 minutes.

I really need to find some new shoes. I’ve bought three new pair so far and they all hurt my feet after I wear them for a while. They are comfortable when I buy them, but don’t pass the workout test. Ugh. Very frustrating.

Sugar-free June is still going well! Almost too easy so far… no cravings, no headaches. Maybe the fruit I’m eating is keeping this process painless. My eating has been clean and healthy. No sodas today, either! I am feeling great!

Did I mention I lost 3 lbs since yesterday? Yes, I know I am supposed to ditch the scale. But I wanted to weigh in for the fitness test today so I would have an accurate number.

The rest of the day was spent by the pool. Lovin’ this vacation!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I've got this!

My JUNE top TEN:

1. No refined sugar. Check!
2. No packaged food with over 5 grams of sugar. I might have to make an exception for my Greek yogurt...
3. Fruit is allowed. Ate a LOT of fruit today... watermelon and strawberries...YUM!
4. No alcohol. Check... this is easy. I only drink occasionally....
5. No more than one 12-oz diet soda daily. Um... can you say NONE! I have been doing better on this, and didn't even want one today.
6. Limit artificial sweeteners. Check!
7. No fast food. Check!
8. 150 oz. of water per day (approx. 1/2 my body weight in oz.). I did okay... still need to work on it.
9. Back to the gym! I am shooting for 5 days/week of SOME TYPE OF EXERCISE. 30 minutes on the elliptical (which KILLED me) and about 5 minutes of arms.  Burned 470 calories.
10. Limit processed food. Check! Don't think I had anything processed...But again, I limit processed foods anyway and try to eat clean whenever possible.

Sugar is sneaky, so I am going to have to really watch it. I noticed AFTER I ate sweet potato fries that they had added sugar! I only ate a few, though. And I will make my own from now own!

I went to the grocery store today to stock up on fruit and veggies. I got a watermelon, cantaloupe, pineapple, strawberries, romaine lettuce and spinach. I ate a lot of fruit today, but that's ok. I've never known anyone to get fat off of eating fruit, lol.

My food was great today! Smoothie for breakfast, salad w/ tuna for lunch, grilled chicken, broccoli and sweet potato fries for dinner. Greek yogurt, strawberries, and a sprinkle of granola (w/ only 2 g. sugar) for a snack, along with a lot of watermelon. I also tasted some cantaloupe while I was cutting it.

I have felt satisfied and so far, no headaches.

The trip to the gym reminded me that I need my ass kicked for not exercising. The 30 minutes on the elliptical was GRUELING! UGH!

Tomorrow, I have scheduled a fitness assessment. I'll let ya know how it goes!