Oct 31, 2013

CAUTION: You are now entering your Comfort Zone

Do you ever have moments in your journey when you wonder why the heck you’re still doing this?

I mean…I’m pretty much at the lowest weight I’ve ever been as an adult.  People compliment me on my hard work, and when I say I’m trying to lose the last 20 pounds, they look at me like I have 2 heads (Where you gonna lose it from!?)

The truth is, I find it pretty comfortable at this weight.


I feel good about myself, I feel strong when I can push through workouts I never thought I’d do before, and I’ve run 3 half marathons.

I’m proud of where I am in my journey, something I never thought I’d be unless I was at my “goal weight”, a number, which in all honesty, is sort of random….why 158 you ask? Well 2 reasons.

First, it’s a decade I don’t think I’ve ever even fathomed was possible for me.  It seems like it’s such a small number, and one I’d be proud to shout from the rooftops…. I don’t want to cringe when someone asks me how much I weigh the next time I’m in the doctor’s office, and even if you added 5 pounds from clothes and water weight, I’d still be happy with that number if I had to weigh-in in front of other people.

Second, it’s exactly 75 pounds from where I started, 233.

75 seems like such an amazing number.  I can’t begin to imagine the pride I’d feel to say “I’ve lost 75 pounds”.  I want that.  I want to be able to say that I did that.  I want to say that I busted my butt, pushed myself further than I ever thought possible, counted my calories, fueled my body, and still managed to deal with everyday life in between.  I’ve had many hiccups on this journey, I’ve never hidden that from you.  I’m not perfect, and I can’t say that I lost my weight in record time, but I CAN say that I’m happy with the road I’ve taken, the things I’ve learned along the way, and where it’s led me thus far.  I can also say that I know I’m not done yet.

Yes, I’ve lost over 50 pounds so far.  Yes, I still have a little more than 20 pounds to go.  No, I won’t stop because I’m comfortable now; it’s time to break out of this comfort zone for good. 


 I know I have weight to lose still, and I want to see the 150s more than you know.

I want this. 

I WILL do this.

I’ve had a rough week this week…in all honesty I let my period get the best of me.  I’ve been moody, tired, and craving carbs and sugar like you wouldn’t believe, and I’ve given in.  Between cookies at work, frozen yogurt after dinner, drinks and apps with friends, and not hitting my step goals each day because I’ve been too tired, my scale has not been my friend these past few days.

Tomorrow marks the start of a new month, and 60 days until New Year’s Eve.  Tomorrow marks exactly 28 days until Thanksgiving.  I’m making a commitment to myself, and to you, that starting tomorrow, I will not be indulging in any treats, large or small, until Thanksgiving.  They’re triggers for me to binge, and I just can’t risk that if I want to reach my goals.  It’s time to get serious again.

I’ll weigh in with you every Friday to keep myself accountable, and I’ve got a new DietBet starting today to lead me up to this goal; it ends the day before Thanksgiving (you can still join here: http://diet.bt/17nPWYP )

Feel free to join me if you need the motivation, but either way, keep leaving those comments and shooting me emails, I need the accountability!!

Oct 29, 2013

Something BIG happened last night!!

I had a post all planned and written for today, but that all went out the window when I decided on a whim to stop at the mall last night on my way home from my Dream Taste event (which was a lot of fun by the way, but that’s another post).

So the BIG thing that happened to me was that I went into New York and Co. because they were having a crazy sale…and I started off by picking up some jeans since I wrecked the one pair I had left last Friday painting for Habitat for Humanity.

I picked up a 10 to try on…and just out of curiosity, I picked up an 8.

I grabbed a few other things and headed to the dressing room, and decided to try on the 10s first.

They fit..almost too loosely though.  I began to wonder if those 8s I had were actually going to fit.  So I said the heck with it and pulled them on…and to my shock and amazement, they FIT! LIKE A GLOVE!

I’M A SIZE 8 PEOPLE!!!!!! This, by far, is the biggest NSV I've ever had...I almost cried in the dressing room.  I don't think you understand...I've NEVER been a single digit pants size.  I never even thought it would be possible, even at my smallest! I am very pear shaped (aka, bottom heavy), so I just always assumed that even when I got to a lower weight I'd still have double digits for pants sizes.  When I was 16 and "modeling", I was wearing a juniors size 11, which put me solidly in the "plus size" category even though I felt pretty average sized back then.

I realized all the stuff I pulled to try on was a bit too big (that's crazy!!), so I went back and grabbed all Mediums and size 8s, and I was shocked when they all fit well.  I actually even grabbed a pair of 6’s to try on…just to see how close I was.  I got them on, buttoned and all, but I had quite the muffin top with them so I’m not really ready to declare that I’m there yet, but I bet 10 more pounds gets me there!

I swear, T25 has changed my body shape!! I’m not seeing crazy movement on the scale, but it’s shrinking my hips and thighs like I never thought possible!  I’m wearing this dress today in a size MEDIUM:

Here’s a few other shots of my grabs from last night, I hope you enjoy as much as I have!!! J

Oct 21, 2013

10 Weeks, BMR calculations, and a Plan

I was talking with a friend this weekend and realized that New Year’s eve is only 10 weeks away!
10 weeks!? Where did this year go!?


As proud as I am of my accomplishments, like running 3 half marathons this year, I’m not where I want to be yet, and I truly thought that I’d be at my goal weight by now when I first started this journey. 

I know it’s not a race when it comes to weight loss, but if I’m being completely honest with myself, I’m getting in my own way lately with my diet by making a lot of consecutive bad choices. I have been gaining and losing the same 5-8 pounds for what feels like months now because I can’t seem to find the willpower to keep my diet in check. 

I’m here to say that ends, today.  I have 10 weeks before New Year’s Eve to lose these last 20 pounds to make this my healthiest year ever, and I’m putting this goal at the top of my priority list.  My friend and I decided if we can hit this goal, we’re going to do something big, like rent a limo and go out to the casino for the night, or maybe just a full blown spa day to splurge on ourselves!

I read this morning on Instagram that you can’t ever lose fat cells, so once you lose weight, you have to work just as hard to keep it off….I forgot about this fun fact.  After a little research, I’ve copied the below passage from http://www.wellsphere.com/exercise-article/true-or-false-we-can-never-get-rid-of-fat-cells/1940331

You can SHRINK fat cells by losing weight, but the only way to ELIMINATE fat cells from your body is through the ever popular liposuction. Your fat cells are like little balloons filled with grease and butter (awesome I know.) You can pour some grease and butter out of the balloon and make it smaller with proper diet and exercise, but it is still a grease filled butter balloon. Sleep also plays a major role in fat loss, in fact, for each additional hour slept you can lose an extra 1.6 pounds of fat on average (Canadian Study).

Kaizen Breakdown on Fat:


1. The medium-sized (red cells) above are the most efficient at storing and releasing fat. Much better than large swollen cells, and small immature cells (Black Cells)
2. Overeating and lack of exercise causes your fat cells to store more fat. As a result, they grow larger and tell your body to produce more new cells.
3. As your fat cells expand, they become swollen or inflamed. Larger fat cells are much worse at releasing fat back into your body to burn off as energy. This makes it more difficult to lose weight.
4. When you lose weight, you draw from these fat cells; but they will never be as small or as efficient at releasing fat like before.

So…science is AGAINST you when it comes to weight loss.  That’s depressing.  You can never just “go back to eating normal” because eating that way is what got you here in the first place.  This is a lifestyle change, it’s not a temporary thing.  This is why it’s so easy for me to gain 5 pounds in one weekend.  This is why we see so many of the contestants from the Biggest Loser gain their weight back…it’s so easy to revert back to those bad ways, and those fat cells are always there, ready to fill themselves up again with all that grease and butter (yuck!).  I’m by no means an expert when it comes to weight loss….it’s taken me a long time to lose what others have managed to do in a much shorter time.  I have counted calories for as long as I can remember, and I’m not sure I’ve ever really found what my magic number is, but I’ve got to do something different, so this is my plan.

1.       Calculate my BMR (basal metabolic rate).  If you google search this, you’ll find easy calculators (like this one: http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/)  to tell you what your number is based on your height and current weight (you should recalculate every 5 pounds or so). This is this the energy you use no matter what you are doing, even when you are sleeping.
You can also do this manually using the following formula:
Women:  BMR = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) - (4.7 x age in years)
The manual formula gives me a higher number than the online calculators, but the manual formula is what is suggested for more accuracy, so I’ll use that for now.  My BMR is: 1793.3

2.       Now understand your Active Metabolic Rate (or AMR).  This accounts for the amount of activity you see in your everyday life (not including exercise, just based on your profession).  Use the numbers listed below and multiply the appropriate number by your BMR to get your AMR (this is the amount of calories you should eat every day to maintain your current weight at your current activity level). According to Jillian Michaels:

·          If you are chained to your desk and sedentary most of your day, you’re a 1.1. People who fall into this category would be receptionists, telemarketers, and customer service reps. (I’m an architect, chained to my desk the majority of my day, so this is me).

·         If you’re mildly active over the course of the day, you're a 1.2. People who fall into this category: housewives and retail salespeople - basically folks who are on their feet throughout the day but not exerting themselves as a part of their job.

·         If you're active and on your feet moving at a fast pace, you're at 1.3 - fitness trainers, plumbers, electricians, waitresses, etc. Someone who is up, moving, and exerting energy.

·         If you are extremely physically active you’re a 1.4, like a construction worker or a professional athlete.

3.       My BMR therefore is 1793.3 x 1.1, or 1972.63.

4.       In order to lose 1 pound per week, you need to eliminate 3500 calories from your diet.  3500 divided by 7 days per week is 500 calories per day.  For me, this would be 1472.63.
*****Edit: Please don't ever drop below 1200 calories; if your AMR is so low that you drop below 1200 in order to lose 1 pound per week, consider losing at a slower pace or increasing your workouts in order to eat more each day and/or lose more rapidly.  I'm certinaly not a professional, this is just the method I'm using!********

5.       I would ideally like to lose 2 pounds per week, which means I need to eliminate another 500 calories per day through exercise.  I plan to do this through T25 (I typically burn about 300 calories per ½ hour workout), and by taking extra steps each day through walking or running.  My new goal is to hit 10,000 steps each day on my Fitbit.  I went for a 3 mile walk with my husband this morning, and burned over 300 calories doing that alone, so I’m well on my way to my 500 calorie/day goal.

6.       Pay more attention to protein.  I’m having a hard time with feeling hungry lately, and I know my body is still recovering from my 2 recent half marathons, but I’ve been giving in to those hunger pains with carbs….which don’t keep you full for very long, so the hungry cycle continues.  I’m going to try to up my protein intake this week to see if it helps keep my hunger pains in check and keep me under my calorie goal each day.  I am re-committing to have Shakeology every morning since this is a huge helping of protein to start my day off right!

So that’s my goal…my big push through the end of this year.  I’m determined now.  No more screwing around, I mean business!

Who’s with me??

Oct 16, 2013

Confessions of a fat girl: I have Dinner Anxiety

In posting some comments in different Facebook groups this morning, my pal Brittany who blogs over at Razorback Britt pointed out something that should have been so obvious to me….I suffer from “Dinner Anxiety”.


My worst time of day, without a doubt, is at night, between the hours of 6 and 9pm. I get home from work, I'm always stressed about what to make for dinner (and the time it will take to make it) and then, after I eat...I'm still hungry (or I think I am because I let myself get so ravenous) that I mindlessly snack for the remainder of the day (insert "clean" snack here, like popcorn...it's ok because it's healthy right??)

I’m trying to get better about this, but the reality is that even after being on this journey for over a year, I’m just not comfortable in the kitchen.  I don’t enjoy cooking.  I actually might go as far as to say that I HATE cooking.  I feel completely at a loss sometimes because it’s always on me to decide what to cook, to plan, to prep, etc.  I’ve had this discussion many times with my husband, and if it’s possible, he hates all that stuff even more than I do, so if I left it up to him, we’d go out to eat or have take-out every single night.

I recently decided to look into a service called “Dream Dinners”, where you can go and prep several meals at once (they do all the shopping, cutting, and cleaning for you!). 

It’s obviously more expensive than if I did this by myself in my own home, but the prices really aren’t too bad per serving, and the reality is I would never make “gourmet meals” like I would get by going here, both due to lack of experience and the fact that buying costly ingredients for one dish usually doesn’t make much sense (hence the constant grilled chicken with broccoli dinner staple that I default to).

I’m hosting a group on October 28th to try it out, where we’ll each make 3 different meals (each meal is 3 servings).  I’m hoping I can stretch the meal and get lunch the next day for me out of it too, but we’ll see what the serving sizes really look like.  Either way, I’m hoping this will be a step in the right direction for me, I’m so bad about cooking and I know we could benefit from eating at home more.  In the past, I did weight loss programs like Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem, which took a lot of stress out of the situation for me, but it’s not realistic to eat microwave dinners for the rest of your life, and there’s so many preservatives (and sodium) packed into that stuff that it’s really counterproductive…when I went back to eating “real food” after doing those programs, I gained back all the weight I lost plus some, because it didn’t really teach me anything about preparing food for myself.
I don't know what to expect, but given that this place is more like an "assembly line" type system where they do all the planning/thinking for you, I think this might be a great starting point for me.  I might even realize that I can do some similar meals at home on my own after some time, but we'll see what I think after the 28th!

 In the meantime, I’d love to know: what are your go-to, healthy, easy weeknight dinners?

Oct 15, 2013

Race Recap

On Saturday, I ran my 3rd half marathon in Hartford, CT.

I have always wanted to do this race…it’s practically in my back yard, so goal times aside, this was a huge bucket list thing for me to check off my list!  I had just done Providence 2 weeks ago, and finished in 2:20, so I had this crazy thought that maybe I could finish seconds faster and fall below the 2:20 mark.  I did T25 all last week, including a double day on Wednesday and Thursday so I could have a rest day on Friday.  This, my friends, was probably my biggest mistake.  I did (2) hour-long workouts, which are both leg-intense, just days before my race.

I woke up on Saturday morning and I knew I was in trouble…it still hurt to sit down to pee from all that squatting earlier in the week.  No big deal I thought, I’ll be fine, just a little extra stretching, right?

My legs were feeling heavy, but I was trying to think positive thoughts leading up to the start.  I was super stoked to wear my new long-sleeved hoodie from Strong Confident YOU (not only is the saying super cute, but the material is so soft and comfy, perfect for fall running weather!).

I got lined up and ready to go, although the whole pre-race experience for me was quite hectic.

As the gun went off, it was a bit of a cattle push to get to the start.  As soon as I crossed that timing strip though, I went out strong, starting around a 9 minute mile (whoa, too fast!) and quickly realized that my running apps had both skipped WAY ahead, and were showing that I was about 1 mile further than I was.  This screwed up my pacing and timing for the rest of the race L

I tried to just focus on my body, where I felt comfortable at, and finding a pack of runners I felt I could keep pace with pretty well.

By mile 4, I knew I was in for a struggle; both of my hips were hurting pretty badly at this point.  I’ve had problems with my right hip before, but never my left, and this time it was both at once, radiating around to my lower back, shooting down my legs, causing serious discomfort.  Nevertheless, I pushed through, thinking it would pass eventually.  I got some cramps around mile 5 which I haven’t had any issues with in training, so I wasn’t really sure how to fix it..a friend once told me if you “swallow air” it helps, so I tried that for a bit, and they did seem to go away.

At the halfway mark, I was on pace to finish right around 2:20, and I got a bit of a second wind.  As bad as I was feeling, I was still on pace to finish this race with an awesome time! I picked up the pace a little knowing I’d be losing energy soon and I’d have to make up for that lost time....that and I saw this AWESOME sign that I didn't get a chance to snap a picture of, so here's one I found on the internet:


(in this case it said 1/2 marathon, but same difference, right!?)
Flash forward to mile 9, and my hips are SCREAMING at me to stop. I’m almost in tears they hurt so bad.  I passed a friend cheering me on around mile 9.5, and I’m not sure why, but after I saw her I gave myself permission to take a walk break at the next water stop.  At mile 10, I walked through the water station, and found that my hips felt much better after that quick break, so I got back on my way and started running again.  But that relief was short lived, and the pain got even more intense, to the point where I HAD to stop. I probably ended up taking 5-6 breaks to walk and stretch out my hips as best I could.  I knew at that point I wasn’t going to PR, so I was just focused on finishing strong, and running through that finish line.

I finished the race in 2:26:47.

Not my best time, not my worst.  Still something to be proud of, but I still feel like I could do better.  I could barely walk the rest of the day, and with loads of painkillers, spent most of the weekend on the couch recuperating.  I went for a long walk yesterday, and today I’m still feeling sore but decided it was time to get back in the saddle, and got back to T25.  I’m still pretty sore, and my lower back is bothering me so I’ll be taking it a little easier this week, but I know I have to keep moving.

I think I’m done with long races for now anyways, I need to really focus on my weight loss again…I think I’m the only person out there that runs 13.1 miles and GAINS five pounds L
How was your weekend?

Oct 7, 2013

Motivation Monday: Morning Workouts

This time of year is HARD.

It’s dark when my alarm goes off.  My bed is so warm.  My husband is more willing to cuddle when it’s cooler out so he’ll put an arm around me before I can sneak out of bed and I just want to stay there all day.

But then I think about how much better it will feel knowing I’m totally done with my workout for the day.  Knowing that when I get home from work, I can relax, do a few things around the house, go for a walk, or just veg on the couch depending on the day.

It’s not easy to find the motivation to get up and workout in the morning, but I’ve done a good job at making it a habit, and ANYONE can do this, especially if I did.  (Believe me, I’m the furthest thing from a morning person, I take a full half hour or longer to “wake-up” unlike my husband who jumps out of bed ready to go.)  And really, the truth is, that I’ve NEVER regretted a morning workout.  On the rare occasion that I skip one and sleep in, I usually feel pretty crappy the rest of the day, and end of feeling so guilty that I’m afraid to eat anything because I haven’t burned any extra calories.


Need some help? Think of it this way: it takes 21 days to form a habit.  For the next 3 weeks, get your workout done as soon as you wake up, even if it’s just a brisk 20 minute walk outside or on the treadmill. 

One of the things that helped me out of bed in the beginning was the guilt of waking up my husband for nothing.  He’s a light sleeper, so he wakes up when my alarm goes off; he would get really mad at me if I set my alarm and then when back to bed, since I woke him up for no good reason.  I forced myself out of bed to save that argument, and after a few weeks, it didn’t feel as awful every morning.  Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of days (today included) where I have a VERY hard time getting out of bed, but in the end, you just have to make yourself do it. Commit to it.  Make a promise to yourself, and at the end of 21 days, if you’ve stuck with it, treat yourself to a reward (no, not food, but something for yourself like new clothes, a manicure, a new workout video, etc.).  There are plenty of tips out there, so experiment and find what works for you.  For me, I HAVE to be in bed by 10am, or my 5:30 wake-up call just ain’t happening.  I also lay out my workout clothes the night before so I’m not fumbling around the bedroom in the dark looking for stuff.  In the end, the tricks that work for me might be different than the ones that work for you, but just figure out what you need to make it happen, and stick with it.  A habit is a habit, pure and simple, and this is the healthiest one you can form.  This habit is even easier for me to maintain now that I know my workouts are only 25 minutes long with T25, but any workout will do the trick, so just get moving!


You can do this, I’m cheering you on!
I've linked up with Kristin and Kristin for tips and tricks Tuesday on this one, go check out their pages and send them some love!

exploring Domesticity

Oct 4, 2013

Getting Real

It’s officially time to face the music.  September was an awful month, and even though I managed to exercise and run quite a bit, my diet has been awful.  Today things are going to change.

I stepped on the scale this morning, after basically taking  “a week off” from T25 and from dieting in general (although who are we kidding, I took a whole month off).

I was so upset at the number I totally forgot to snap a picture, but trust me when I say it wasn’t pretty.


That’s right.  Up in the 180s again.  Even though it’s that time of month, and I know a few of those pounds are probably attributable to that, I’m so ashamed of that number.  To say I’m upset with myself is an understatement, but I needed to put that number out there to face it.  I didn’t want to admit to you all that I fell so far off the wagon, that I gained so much back in such a short time, but the reality is that if I don’t come clean to you about it, I’ll keep living in denial and shoving my pie hole full of bad food.

My DietBet officially starts today (you can still sign up here if you want to play!), and I’m super motivated to win some money on this one.

My plan is to break it down by week, and set mini-goals for myself.
Next week, on Friday October 11th, I WILL be back in the 170s.  I will lose at least 2 pounds this week. 

I will re-start Beta (the second half of T25) on Monday, I will log EVERYTHING I eat into MFP, every day, and I will aim to stay in my calorie range every day.

My workout schedule is as follows:

Sunday: 5 mile road race
Monday: T25
Tuesday: T25 / 3 mile run
Wednesday: T25 Double Day
Thursday: T25 Double Day
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Hartford Half Marathon
You read that right…I’m signing up for another half marathon next week! I’ve always wanted to run Hartford, but originally thought it would be too close to the Providence run, so decided to hold back on it.  I felt so good on Sunday though that I decided I should just go for it…I’ve already built up my mileage anyways, right?

The biggest change I’m going to make is getting back to my meal planning.  I’m going to make an effort today to plan out all of my meals, snacks, and treats for every day next week, and go shopping tomorrow so I can prep/cook over this weekend.  It’s work that I haven’t had time for in September, but I know in order to be successful, I HAVE to make time, I don’t have a choice.


So that’s my plan and I’m sticking to it; what’s your plan for October?

Oct 3, 2013

Last day!

Just a little reminder that my dietbet starts TOMORROW!! Still time to join, but sign up now! And share with your friends too, this is gonna be a good one! http://diet.bt/15H8271

Oh and if you don’t follow me on any other of my social media outlets, I chopped off my hair last night to donate in honor of National Breast Cancer awareness month! Go check me out on Facebook or Instagram to see pictures! (Buttons are in that little tab doohickey on the right  J)

Oct 1, 2013

Lean 4 Halloween

Well hello, October, you sure snuck up on me!

September was crazy busy, and it flew by faster than I would have liked, but now that a new month is here, I think it's time to get focused again.
I really fell off track with my eating in the month of September, and as a fitting end, I forgot to log into MFP yesterday and broke a streak that was over 100 days long.  It's probably for the best though, I wasn't really logging everything I was eating anyways, I was just going through the motions of opening up the app, logging one thing, and forgetting about it for the rest of the day.
I think I'm going to start a new challenge for myself that involves logging everything into MFP daily, and finishing logging for the day, like I did back in June/July.  I really need to get focused again if I'm ever going to lose these last 20 pounds, and my diet is 80% of that.  The other thing I've decided to do is to re-start the beta round of T25.  I've been doing the workouts pretty religiously, only missing one or 2 total, but since my diet has been so horrible, I feel like I really haven't given beta a fighting chance at changing my body.
I realized today that this year, on Halloween, I have a chance to be the fittest I have ever been (so long as I continue on this path).  I haven't bought a real Halloween costume in god knows how long because basically everything sold for adult women is super short and uber revealing, not exactly the kindof thing I was looking for when I was over 50 pounds heavier. 

(why does every adult woman's costume have to start with "sexy"?? Since when was "Sexy Robin" a real thing!?)
But this year might be different....maybe I'll buy a real Halloween costume for once and actually feel confident about the way I look in it (no, I'm not going the ridiculously sexy route, but it'd be nice to know that it's an option, right??) So this is my new challenge: Lean 4 Halloween. 

Join me in a new Dietbet, starting this Friday, and ending on Halloween, where we'll have some incentive to lose 4% of our start weight! I love the motivation these things give me to stay on track, so I hope some of you will join me, and use #lean4halloween on Instagram so I can follow along with your progress this month! Here's the link: http://diet.bt/15H8271

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