Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I'm Doing This.

On my mind tonight...
It's my dream. 
It's my life. 
God gave it to me. 
And I'm blessed! 
I refuse to let my weight hold me back anymore. 
I have so much to do with my time on this earth.
I have lives to affect.
And I want to impact them in a positive way.

I'm actually starting to view food as fuel.
And it feels better than I thought it would!
I'm surrounded by amazing people in my life.
People who encourage me, support me, believe in me, and love me.
It makes so much difference.
My life is really great.
And I'm blessed!

Thanks for listening to my brain dump tonight!
Sometimes you just have to get some things out.
It doesn't always have to have a theme.
It just has to be real.

Life isn't easy.
I struggle daily with some form of challenge.
But I rise to it and usually overcome.
Other times I learn the hard way.
But I always get back up on my feet.
And I press on.
I keep my faith and believe that God will get me through

He always has.
He always will.
And I'm blessed!

Goodnight and have an AMAZING tomorrow, kids!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

I Can and I Will

Each day just gets better!  Many of my good habits have become the norm!  There are some things I don't have to think as hard about, like eating a healthy breakfast and drinking plenty of water.  I still struggle with a few things that are going to take more endurance and work, though.

My biggest challenge is value vs. portion (to put it another way, a lot of food for little money vs. the amount I really need as fuel for my body).  I mentioned in a previous post that I have a difficult time turning down what seems to be a good value (aka: the "Value Meal").  Getting the most for your money has been drilled into my head for a long time, thanks to America's fast food chains, restaurants, and retail stores.  It really is an intensive process for me to talk myself through the temptation of going with a large value meal for just an extra 50 cents.  Or another temptation of getting two items for two bucks when I only need the serving size of one.  When I resist, I usually end up saving money and definitely calories!  It sounds so simple, I know.  But this process takes a lot of effort for me.  I give myself a pep talk (as my own life coach) before making a decision now...

I remind myself that a "value meal" isn't really a value when it leads to weight gain, disappointment, and self-loathing. 

I remind myself that I've worked very hard to get to this point, I CAN and I WILL get past this temptation. 

I remind myself of my key advantages of weight loss I listed. 

And, I remind myself THIS IS MY DREAM.  The owners of McDonald's might dream of continuing to make billions of dollars selling hamburgers and fries, but MY DREAMS are more important than putting money in their pockets.  I'd rather save my money and spend it on new clothes in a smaller size!

And, if those weren't enough, I now have this:

Sunday, January 29, 2012

It Gets Better!

~Zig Ziglar

Remember when I told you about my first experience doing Zumba in my basement?  I felt anything but coordinated, super clumsy, and really out of shape.  I had visions of those DVDs collecting dust in no time.  I felt super gross.  Honestly, 5% of me wanted to just cry and quit.

Well, let me tell you that IT GETS BETTER! 

This evening I did a Zumba session and it was really fun!  It went by so fast and I made it through... even after a second round of being sick!  I'm wondering if working out in the basement is causing me to get sick, though.  It's dusty and basementy.  The last two times I've gotten sick I've worked out hard in the basement with the fan blowing on me for 50 minutes.  Maybe it's just a coincidence.  I'm praying that it doesn't rear its ugly head again.

But today I realized my main motivation in continuing to work out.  I'm noticing my body and face are beginning to slim down and my clothes are fitting looser!  Also, I'm starting to receive compliments on my noticeable weight loss!  That's super exciting!  And, the weeks I've done the most workouts are the weeks with the most weight loss (shocking, I know)!  

I really want to encourage you to start moving.  Just start somewhere.  Don't worry if you feel awkward, out of breath, uncoordinated, or tired.  Just do your best because it gets better with each day! 

I feel so much better about myself and I love knowing I'm one step closer to my dream with each workout!  I no longer envision the DVDs collecting dust.  I now envision myself being able to shop in any store I want, picking out clothes I like... not just what I can fit into.  I envision wearing dresses again, feeling more confident, wanting to be photographed (and not just from the neck up), and receiving good health reports from the doctor!  There are so many benefits and I'm thrilled that I'm making my dream come true!  I know you can do it, too.  Just remember...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Darn Sweet Tooth!

Sugary sweets... I seriously crave them (as previously discussed).  And it frustrates me!

For some reason I have a difficult time ending a meal without eating something sweet.  Maybe it's that we grow up hearing we can't have dessert until we've finished our dinner.  But seriously?  I'm over that.  I'm a big girl now and if I want sweets before, during, or after dinner, that's what I'm having!

I've recently began changing the types of "sweets" I consume.  I'm eating more yogurt, fruits, granola bars, and protein shakes.  And the funny thing is, in the past, I would have viewed this as torture.  Now, I look forward to it!  It really hasn't taken my body long to adjust to these changes, either.  It's great!

I still struggle with these sweet craving attacks, though.  They come out of nowhere and I have to fight hard to push them away.  I read my list of advantages of losing weight and it usually keeps me from eating something I shouldn't.  Sometimes I have to take it a step further and drink some water. 

But the biggest help has been the commitment I made to wait 5 minutes to give myself time to think through what I'm about to do and to get past the craving.  It gives me time to really think about the consequences of giving in... and I've talked myself out of it every time!  It's kept me from binging and sneaking food! 

And if that doesn't, this should...

Wow.  Have I been there a million times before. 

I can't believe how different it feels to be free from that bondage!  It's a huge weight off my shoulders, my heart, and my body to no longer sneak food or have private rendezvous with snacks.  Instead of trying to fill the emotional voids with food, I'm focused on my dreams and making them happen... the shift in perspective has made all the difference in the world!  I SO encourage you to try it... just give it a shot and see what happens!

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Just a Number

This makes me cry. 

It's just beautiful. 

And really powerful.

It's hard to remember these when we step on the scale, isn't it?  Somehow they fly right out the window and negativity steps in to take it's place.  It takes a lot of strength and effort to shut that junk out and turn on the kudos.  I think we should all write these on or near our scale and vow to read them every time we step on and off!

I can't explain the feeling in my heart when I saw this picture and read those words.  It really makes the scale seem cold and abrasive.  Heartless.  Lifeless.  Then again, it is just a scale.  So why do we become so obsessed? 

Instead of focusing on that number, let's remember the great things we've done all day, the times we resisted temptation, the times we stopped ourselves from saying or thinking something negative about ourselves. 

My sister-in-law shared with me that she's started writing down the positive things she does on strips of paper, folds them up, and puts them in a glass jar.  Throughout the week she watches as the jar fills up.  At the end of the week, or when she's feeling defeated, she can take them out one at a time and read all her achievements, rebuilding her self-esteem and fueling her drive!  Granted, her house cleaner has to refrain from throwing them away while cleaning!

What a great way to change our perspective!  I just might start my own jar this weekend!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not Afraid to Fall


I'm not afraid to fall
It means I've climbed up high
To fall is not to fail
You fail when you don't try
Not afraid to fall
I might just learn to fly
And I will spread these wings of mine

If I get up I might fall back down again
So let's get up, come on
If I get up I might fall back down again
And we get up anyway

by Superchic(k)

I love this song from Superchic(k)!  It's so fun and motivating to me, especially when I stumble or make a mistake in life.  I'm trying hard to fight the defeatist mentality when I mess up or when the scale isn't where I think it should be.

My friend Carin shared with me that she's reading a book called "Made to Crave".  It sounds great and it's now on my wish list!  In reading this book, she discovered a new perspective on her weight loss struggles, which spoke to me as well.

"Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale.... the scale does help measure our progress, but it can't tell us everything."

I've been fighting hard not to feel down about the scale not pointing lower this past week.  I can't let it stop me from making progress and reaching my dreams.  My future is too bright and I have to many fun things to do in life!  Being unhealthy and overweight would only hold me back!

So, instead of focusing on how many pounds you're losing (and feeling like a failure if you didn't lose any), ask yourself these questions:
  * Did I overeat this week on any day?
  * Did I move more and exercise regularly?
  * Do I feel lighter than I did at this time last week?
  * Did I eat in secret or out of anger or frustration (or as a result of another emotion)?
  * Did I, at any time, run to food instead of to God?

What a great way to focus!  I like this new perspective!  It really takes some pressure off to know you're making the right changes that lead to new, good habits.  Again, this is a lifestyle change, so it doesn't happen overnight.  All these good things lead to a happier life, even during the difficult times.  It feels really free to no longer be held in bondage from emotional eating!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!

It's that time again... WWF!  No, not fake wrestling.  My Wednesday Wow Factor!  I was reminded this week that you sometimes need to do things the difficult way first to fully grasp the concept or to learn something you never knew.  Check it out...

Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 218
Current weight: 210
This week's loss: 0

Last week's goals: Continue blogging, continue making good choices and eating small portions, continue logging my food intake on LoseIt, continue exercising - increasing the amount from 3 times to 4 times between now and next Wednesday... and move every day - doing some kind, any kind of movement because it's better than sitting still.

What went well: My caloric budget is 1,884 calories a day.  Last week (Monday - Sunday) I was 2,427 calories under my weekly budget!!!! It was much better than the week before (900 calories below), I built muscle and toned areas by doing calisthenics, such as squats, lunges, and taking the stairs. Posting daily blogs is really keeping me focused, motivated, and driven. I feel like I'm doing so much good for myself and others and it's really fueling my passion!

Challenges: I didn't do a cardio workout (like Zumba) once. I was dressed and in the basement with the DVD on pause one night, ready to go. Instead, I spent the hour on the phone and walked laps in the basement with our dog Dixie, while I talked. At least I was moving! I've made good decisions like taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking a little further away from the grocery store entrance. I know these things are building muscle, but it doesn't seem to burn the amount of calories that a cardio workout burns. I feel the decrease in cardio added to the fact that I didn't lose any weight this week (or it's because the scale is circa 1984). It's a struggle to not beat yourself up over it or to feel like the week was a waste. BUT IT WASN'T A WASTE! It was worth it!

Also, I did skip a few meals this past week. That's not really a good thing. My body has been storing this food as fat because it hasn't made the transition to put calories into the glycogen storage areas. I feel this also added to my lack of weight loss. I did learn how you can help your body actually prevent calories from turning into fat! It's really not difficult at all and I'm going to try it this week. (Keep reading to find out how.)

I also struggled with insecurity and self-consciousness. As the weight comes off, your body starts to change in ways you didn't expect or ways you feared. Being okay with those outcomes and not giving up is the key. I continue ask for God's help with that!

This week's goals: Blog daily, make good choices and eat small portions, log food intake, EXERCISE - doing cardio 3 to 4 times in the next week and move every day - doing some kind, any kind of movement because it's better than sitting still. And stop skipping meals... eat small portions more often and eat something small when I feel those hunger pangs. I will commit to implementing the tools I've learned to keep so many calories from turning into fat.

Total lost so far: Still 8 pounds!!!!!

(Find more information by clicking this link!)

Q.  When does the body consider calories as "excess?"
A.  When it has no room to store the sugars in the cells. At that point, it goes to Plan B, which is to turn those blood sugars into fat so they don't oxidize nerves and other vital structures.

Q.  How does the body count calories?
A.  It does this indirectly, by monitoring blood sugar levels. When these are too low, the body demands more calories. When these are too high, the body stores the calories via Plan A (glycogen in the cells, if there's room) or Plan B (fat, if there's "no room at the inn").

Q.  When do excess calories become fat?
A.  See the answer to the previous question.

You can prevent some calories from turning into fat by taking the advice below.  It isn't really that difficult, you just need to commit!
  • Eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3 large ones. This allows you to put calories into the glycogen storage areas with far fewer left over. So, fewer calories turn into fat! (I'm all for it!)
  • Exercise, even if just a little, before you eat. This creates room in the cells for calorie storage. 
  • If you're eating because you're hungry, commit that you won't do that for 6 days. You'll find your body adjusts in about 3 days. When the 6 days are up, you're no longer fighting this problem!  Then, when hunger hits, just tell yourself it's only 3 hours between meals and you can wait. Drink a glass of water or have some green tea to settle your stomach.
  • Are you eating your post-workout protein-carb combo as a seventh meal? Shame on you! Go back and do the calorie math.
  • Look at your portion size. Make a habit of cutting fruits in half. Store one half in a container for later. For example, eat half an apple rather than the whole thing.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Every Day Is New

What a trying day.  I've felt attacked and challenged to remain positive.  But that's what can happen when you're trying to do good things and change your life.  Guilt tried to enter the core of my being.  Self-doubt tried to consume me.  Sadness flat out fell upon me.  I cried in our vehicle on a 35 minute drive alone.  I was heartbroken.

My heart is breaking about the things I've seen with some of the kids (now in their twenties) I used to teach in youth group at church.  I'm seeing them test the waters, push the boundaries, and flat out deny that God exists.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion and entitled to decide for themselves what they belive.  I just think back and remember how on fire they were in those days; how eager they were to learn and I loved watching them grow!  But I was overwhelmed with guilt today, feeling that my divorce somehow caused them to turn away from what they once believed.  It was a super difficult time in my life and I know it affected them, too.  It has weighed on my heart ever since.

But tonight, the guilt I once felt is gone.

God took it away.  I know that I was put in their lives for a reason and the impact He allowed me to make still lives inside each one of them... somewhere.  And I pray for them anytime they come to my mind!  They were like my little brothers and sisters, each one of them.

I bring this up because the heaviness of this caused additional anxiety, with self-image issues and insecurity.  After another breakdown, my husband comforted me, reassured me that it was going to be fine, and I was able to recover!  But, in the midst of this turmoil, it never occurred to me to run to the fridge or pantry for comfort!!!!!  Instead, I surrounded myself with people I trust, who care about me, and were there to lift me up in prayer. 


You just really have no idea!!!   I'm truly starting to view food as fuel most of the time and rarely think about eating because of an emotion.  Every now and then I'll start to think about eating something out of the boredom habit, but it's rare.  I have faith and belive that, with God's help, it will stay that way!

Celebrate the amazing miracles that happen among all the adversity in this world.  Life is much to short to live in the past, to be negative, and to hold on to the things that hold us back from moving toward our dreams!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Positively Positive!

Now THIS is what I'm talking about!  There's nothing negative about being positive! 

We are human.  We're going to think negative thoughts every now and then.  We're going to say negative things sometimes.  It just slips out.  But when it happens, we can turn it around.  We can forgive ourselves, or ask others to forgive us, and change the focus to positive!

I struggled with this once today.  I didn't feel well at all.  And sometimes when you don't feel well it can make you feel down... sometimes even crabby and negative.  I started thinking negative thoughts when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror today.  It wasn't good.  I kept them to myself.  Then I told myself to stop thinking that way.  I'm on this weight loss journey for a greater purpose and the end result is going to be amazing!  I reminded myself that I have family and friends who have loved me when I was at my heaviest and they will continue to love me.  And so will my husband!

I've been known to let fear stop me from doing great things.  I've probably mentioned this before.  I'll probably mention it again.  But I'm making a great effort to stop that nonsense!  I never want to look back at my life and regret not trying something out of fear of failure, fear of looking stupid, fear of not meeting someone else's standards.  And I never want to be a negative person.

If I'm being 100% honest, I don't like being around negative, pessimistic people.  At all.  It drains the positive energy out of me.  It makes me want to run.  It irritates me.  I sometimes can't handle it.  But positive people... I gravitate towards them!  I love being around someone who sees the good in every situation!  I love surrounding myself with people who use their past to make them better, not bitter... people who support me, encourage me, and lift me up when I'm facing adversity!  Those are the kinds of people I want to be around.  It moves me in the direction of my dreams! 

I want to be that kind of person to others. 

We should all try to live that way.

Life's way too short to focus on the negative.  Where there's a negative, there's always a positive.  And when there's a rain cloud, there's always the sun shining behind it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


              And adding... FIERCE.

This is me.

There are so many words we can use to describe ourselves.  And the words we choose are very powerful.  When you speak words, they somehow become real.  Our thoughts are very real, too.  

We have the ability to choose what we think and say about ourselves.  Our thoughts and words move us in the right direction... or, if we aren't careful, the wrong direction. 

Never underestimate the power of your words and thoughts.

I can't help but wonder why it's sometimes such a challenge to think positive thoughts about ourselves.  Why do we take on what other people think about us?  Why do we create stories in our head about what others may or may not be thinking or feeling about us?

Last fall, an older man who hadn't seen me in a few years approached me and said "Boy it doesn't look like you've missed too many meals." 

After catching my breath (as the wind was completely knocked out of me) I thought "Really?  Did he just seriously say that out loud to me?"  I couldn't believe it.  I was absolutely crushed.  Who says something like that to another person?

After leaving the room I became hysterical... crying so hard, barely able to breathe.  I felt like I was going to fall to ground in weakness.  I still can't believe how hurtful that comment was.  But fortunately, I had some amazing women around me to comfort and lift me up.  They helped me remember how God sees me though His eyes.  They helped me feel so loved and supported in that moment of pain.

Even though I know this comment came from the mouth of an insecure, spiteful, cold-hearted man, it has stuck with me.  It tries to wear me down.  It tries to hold me back.  It tries to keep me stuck in my miserable bondage of emotional eating.  But I refuse to let it define me.  I refuse to let it consume me and hold me back from the great things God has in store.  I pray about it constantly and God just takes that pain away.  He replaces it with His love and grace and I begin to feel beautiful again!

And I don't believe the lies of negativity that try to enter my heart.  I make every effort not to say negative thoughts out loud or think them internally.  It doesn't always happen.  And, believe me, it takes a ton of work.  Somedays more than others. 

But thinking positive thoughts and speaking positive words pulls me in the direction of my dreams.  That's where I want to go!  My past does NOT define me.  I've learned from it, I'm a better person because of it.  And I thank God for it.  I don't hang on to the past, but I do embrace what it taught me.  I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I truly believe I've ended up where I needed to be.  And I'm beyond ecstatic to see where I go from here!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

True Hunger and the "I'm Full" Signal

Sometimes it's easy to mislead ourselves into thinking we're "starving to death" when the truth is, we're really just bored.  But there are times I truly feel like a hungry, hungry hippo! 

It was revealed to me several years ago in the Weigh Down program that we were created with two empty, needing-to-be-fed holes in our body; the stomach and the heart.  The stomach is a literal hole in our body to be fed with the proper amount of food. As for the heart, they refer to our deep-down feelings. To satisfy our deep-down feelings, needs, or desires of the heart, we often turn to food and overload our stomach with more than it needs.  This is the story of the last twelve years of my life.        

Trying to feed a hurting, needy heart with food or anything on the earth is a common mistake.  When you attempt to feed a longing heart with food, you'll stay on the path to being overweight.  There's nothing inherently evil about food, alcohol, tobacco, money, credit cards, etc.  However, it's wrong to become a slave to any of these things or to let them master you.

We try to feed our hurting hearts with physical food. We've also learned to love food. But to find freedom from this bondage, we have to relearn how to feed the stomach only when it is truly hungry, how to feed or nourish the longing human soul without food, and to recognize the different “hunger” urges and not confuse them.

When we stop going to food for comfort and start swallowing regular foods only when our stomach growls, we'll swallow or eat just 1/2 to 1/3 of what we used to swallow. The desire eating goes away!  That means you'll lose weight! 

You can do this.  It's working for me!  The amount of food I'm consuming has decreased as I've began to focus on hunger and fullness!  Once you lose your passion for food and focus on the passion of your dreams, you'll eat less food and therefore lose weight permanently!

I found a fun article on Self.com listing four easy tricks to send the I'm full signal to your brain!  I wanted to share these because they really worked for me!

Portion control is a key player when it comes to balanced nutrition, but it can be hard to listen to your body's hunger signals when your mind is telling you to reach for seconds. When you realize that you're full, take advantage of these tricks to tell your mind that the meal is over:
  • Pick peppermint. A piece of hard candy, a mint, a mug of tea, or even mouthwash -- go for anything peppermint-flavored after eating to flood your senses and keep your instincts in check. As a natural appetite suppressant, peppermint will help you control your cravings and avoid postmeal munchies.
  • Get up and move. It's hard to keep eating if you're no longer near the food, so ending the meal can be as easy as leaving your chair. The best way to let your body know that it's time to stop eating? Switch locations. Move from the kitchen to the living room and busy yourself with other tasks.
  • Have a small taste of something sweet. Sometimes, just a spoonful of something sweet can curb the urge to keep eating and mark the end of a meal. Instead of reaching for a cookie, though, you should choose a healthy, water-based food that will help you feel full. Try a handful of berries, a serving of watermelon, or a spoonful of pomegranate seeds -- the tart seeds pack major antioxidant punch, plus they're high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.
  • Make postmeal plans. If you have something to do after a meal, you'll find it easy to steer clear of unnecessary seconds and quit eating once you're satisfied. It doesn't need to be a major to-do, either -- simply planning to call a friend or pack tomorrow's gym bag will help you stay focused and stop snacking.

Friday, January 20, 2012

How to Let Go

Letting go is certainly not easy.  It doesn't usually happen overnight. It takes some time.  I PROMISE it will get better every day when you really make an effort.  I've had some real struggles with depression, guilt, anxiety, and lots of insecurity.  I've been able to overcome most of them, but I'm still working on the last one. It sometimes grips me tight and can hold me back from doing something great.

One thing that really helped change my perspective was making my list of dreams - writing on paper the things I desire in my heart, even if they seem far away. When you write them down (or type them out) they become real! They become alive somehow and they connect to your heart!

For me, I wasn't able to begin making my dream list at first because I was broken inside. I was absolutely low, depressed, sometimes even hopeless. The picture at the bottom of my blog post 'The Highlight Reel' spoke to me. It was exactly how I felt just before I made my dream list. I couldn't even say the words to pray about what I was feeling, but God understood my pain and what I felt in my heart. I just humbled myself, prayed without speaking... and He heard me.

From that moment on, I felt different! And a few hours later I started my dream list... and it's been so exciting from there!!!

I broke my dreams out into categories such as: spiritual - financial - psychological - physical - emotional - intellectual - creative - professional - adventure - legacy - character - material. This made it easier to wrap my head around what I really want for my future.

When you make your list, indicate the top three dreams that are most important to you. You might find that some of them coincide!  My top dreams are:

1. Lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, starting a personal blog to help in my journey (IP = in progress)
2. Move others to acknowledge their dreams, seeing dreams become reality - making their world a happier, more fulfilling place to dwell! (IP)
3. Be a full-time Dream Coach or Life Coach!
4. See Zumba classes FINALLY offered to associates at work during lunch hours! (IP)
5. Do voice-over acting!
6. Purchase an additional vehicle! (Plan IP)
7. Become a certified Zumba instructor!
8. Transform the unfinished, dark, storage basement into a bright, fun workout/hangout space! (IP)
9. Gain self-confidence and develop a better self-image! (IP)

So, I started with dream #1, because it was the nearest to my heart. It's been amazing! Putting myself out there, being transparent, taking risks, and sharing personal & embarrassing information with the world has changed everything! It's mostly because I see and feel my dream coming to life... but not just one dream. More than one!

As I share my journey with others (YOU are a part of my journey!), I'm inspiring and helping some of them to move in the direction of their dreams.... kicking off dream #2 and working towards dream #3!  As I work out to Zumba DVDs in my basement, it's fueling my passion to see dreams #4 and #7 become reality!  And, the fact that I'm working out in the basement has encouraged me to begin dream #8!  AND, as I'm working out, eating anything I want in moderation, logging my food, and sharing my journey with others, it's starting to bring dream #9 to life!

I have MANY other dreams! Some are pretty personal. Some are difficult to even think about (even alone in my head). But I can't attain them all at once.  I had to start somewhere. I'm focused on the dreams closest to my heart and I can't wait to see where they take me!

I want to give you hope in knowing that recognizing your dreams can really change your perspecitve.  It can change your outlook on your life, adversity, your purpose on this earth, and most situations!


Thursday, January 19, 2012

'Dare to Dream' White Board Photos

[Read the 'What's Holding You Back' post first, then check out these photos!]

Here are some photos from the white board in our Dare to Dream session today.  These are the emotions other dreamers felt when reflecting on their own lives.

I'm posting them in hopes they will help you recognize some of the barriers preventing you from bringing your dreams to life!  Click on each photo to enlarge!

What's Holding You Back?

In our Dare to Dream session at work today I asked some difficult and heavy questions to my fellow dreamers.  The questions prompted amazing discussions and we faced some hard-hitting, even ugly, truths about the barriers that can get in our way of moving in the direction of our dreams.  

Whether the dream you're focused on is to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, or if you have another dream you're pursuing (or would like to pursue), do you find there's an emotion or situation holding you back?  Is there an overwhelming feeling that prevents you from moving forward with making YOUR dream a reality?  

Personally, until December 28, 2011, I held on to guilt from past decisions and poor choices I made.  I held on to insecurity that stemmed from my past, fear of failure, fear of a difficult process & hard work, and a lot of fear of being judged by others in a negative way.

There are so many emotions and situations that can cause you to push your dreams aside... shame, worthlessness, hopelessness, depression, uncertainty, lack of support, feeling unloved, unsure how to begin, and many others.  

Think about the source of that (or those) emotion(s).  Where did they begin?  As a child?  During your teen years?  Adulthood?  Are they a result of poor choices you made?  Did someone in your life not support you or treat you the way you ought to be treated?  Were you not encouraged to do great things in life?  Is it part of your character or personality?  Do you put your value in what you know about yourself or what others think of you? 

Sometimes finding the source of what's holding us back, acknowledging it, processing it, and then letting it go, is the only way to move in the direction of our dreams.  

Are you willing to process the emotions or situations holding you back in order to bring your dreams to life? 

I finally did... and it feels amazing! 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!

So this is is the most exciting Wednesday Wow Factor for me yet!  I'm thrilled to share my success with y'all and hope it encourages you in your journey to break habits, refocus, and change perspectives!

Start date: 12/28/11  (Three full weeks!)
Initial weight: 218
Current weight: 210

Last week's goals: Continue blogging about my journey, continue making good choices and eating small portions, continue logging my food intake on LoseIt, continue exercising - increasing the amount from 3 times to 4 times between now and next Wednesday.

What went well: My caloric budget is 1,917 calories a day.  Last week (Monday - Sunday) I was 900 calories under my weekly budget!  Although it wasn't near as good as the week before (2,217 calories below), I'm not beating myself up over it (that's taking a lot of effort)!  I was really sick from Thursday through the rest of the week and didn't exercise at all during that time.  I only logged one exercise for the week, so I didn't reach my goal of increasing the amount.  I realize the lack of exercise (not burning calories) contributed to the increase in caloric intake.   Oh and remember those awesome, tempting sugar cookies I bought for the LSU game?  I didn't eat more than two!!!!!!  And they were in our house for like five days!!!!  Y'all just don't understand how amazing this accomplishment is to me!  I still can't believe it!!   :)

I continue to make better choices in what I'm eating.  When I do decide to enjoy some down-home cookin' (like shrimp and grits), I've seriously decreased my portions from what I would have enjoyed in the past!  Sometimes it surprises me that I can feel so satisfied with a smaller amount.  In the past, I only felt deprived and feelings of "it's not fair".  

My biggest accomplishment since last Wednesday... I put on a pair of size 20 (embarrassing) black pants for work this morning and they were just ridiculously too big on me.  Simply falling off.  I noticed a few pair of pants hanging in a section of "too small for now but maybe someday I'll wear them again" and told my husband "heck, I'll just see if there's a chance that they would fit."  Feeling TONS of anxiety (I could hardly breathe), I tried them on.  THEY FIT!!!!  AND THEY WEREN'T TIGHT!!  They were actually loose!  I'm wearing a size 18 today and it feels amazing (yet still embarrassing.... but I'm not focusing on that).  I'm just excited to see the sizes and my weight continue to decrease!

Challenges:  Occationally, I still think about eating something out of habit.  I keep resisting!  I'm also working through feelings of feeling deprived and "it's not fair" when my family wants to visit a fast food drive-thru.  I'm conditioned to view "more food for less money" as the best deal rather than making the right choice to eat the amount my body needs (which is usually less money than a large value meal).  

And thank the Lord for me being sick this weekend!  My husband was really hungry and wanted Sonic Sunday evening.  He almost didn't go out of respect for me and the changes I'm making.  (I love him!!!!)  He didn't want to tempt me or make it more difficult for me to resist.  I told him it was so fine because I wasn't hungry at all and couldn't smell or taste food if I were hungry.  So we get there and I see the picture of an extra-long cheese coney... my favorite.  I started feeling tempted to say "screw it" and just order one. 

Then, he ordered a tasty-looking burger and a large tater tots with cheese.  When I heard that, I thought I might seriously lose control... I really enjoy tater tots with cheese!  When he asked if I wanted anything, I said no thank you (somewhat reluctantly).  But, when the food was delivered and I was holding the bag as he drove us home, I realized I couldn't even smell them.  I mean I started sniffing the bag like a hound dog and couldn't smell a thing.  AND I WASN'T TEMPTED!  Even when we arrived home and he opened the bag, I wasn't tempted to eat one or two of his yummy cheese tots.  And, the more I resisted, the happier I was!  I was so proud of myself!  I know being sick helped, but it also made me feel like I accomplished something big and gave me the confidence to know I can do it again when I'm feeling well!

This week's goals: Continue blogging, continue making good choices and eating small portions, continue logging my food intake on LoseIt, continue exercising - increasing the amount from 3 times to 4 times between now and next Wednesday... and move every day - doing some kind, any kind of movement because it's better than sitting still.

Total lost so far: 8 pounds!!!!!


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sitting Wrecks Your Body

WOW!  I almost can't believe these facts!  What an eye opener.  An colleague of mine sent this to me and it spoke to my heart.  He said there are some very simple things we can do to minimize these problems and the impact what we eat has on our bodies.

1. Eat more veggies (preferably raw) and less carbs. He found ways to eat more raw veggies to the extent that he easily quadrupled his veggie consumption. It's mostly by salads (not lettuce) made in bulk with a vinegar and oil base.

2. Move around as often as you can. The benefits of movement are no secret - higher metabolism, better C-V system, calorie burn, higher cognitive capacity. There are stairs within a few dozen feet of most of us. Before lunch, walk one flight round trip. It will bump your metabolism, and make the largest muscle groups in the body hungry for nutrients - which means turning some of your lunch into muscle instead of fat. Do it again mid-afternoon. After a week or so, do two flights of stairs. And don't forget the morning when you get to your building. Can't make it to the 10th floor without a trip to the ER? Walk one flight and grab the elevator the rest of the way.

3. No more soda. It is DIRECTLY correlated with obesity in the US. He's given several speeches on the evils of soda, and from his research believes diet soda is even worse than regular. Both are worth erasing from your diet.

* He's not a certified health ANYTHING, but has done a lot of research on the topic and feels that these tips might be helpful to people trying to make a little progress in their health.

It makes those extra trips to the restroom even BETTER!  No Depends!!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Turn It Around!

When I attempted to lose weight in the past, I struggled with feeling defeated when I messed up and ate more than I should have (usually caused by skipping meals or waiting too long to eat).  I would feel like I messed up so much and losing weight was too difficult, so I just wanted to quit altogether.  And typically, I would quit.

This time, I feel different.  I freed myself from needless guilt and torture from the start when I admitted that I'm going to slip up from time to time.  There will be days when I wait too long to eat, leaving me ravenous and tempted to eat larger portions.  There will be days I give in to that temptation.  But making one mistake doesn't mean I ruined everything.  It doesn't mean all of my hard work was for nothing.  I can remember that conversation I had with myself and turn it all around!  There's no need to be super critical or hard on myself.  I'm human and breaking bad habits takes time.   I really can't tell you how freeing it feels to have removed that additional weight from my shoulders!

I've always been a big water drinker, but now, it's crazy the amount of water I'm drinking!  I do see a difference in my skin and hair (both are less oily and my face is clearing up), and I actually seem less bloated or swollen (even in my face).  The biggest annoyance for me is the constant trips to the restroom!  I just get sick of going (I actually considered Depends for two seconds!).  However, I decided to change my perspective and I now consider those extra trips additional exercise! 

Another great thing about drinking more water is drinking two glasses of it before a meal prevents you from overeating and helps you burn calories... what a GREAT bonus!  Try it for a week and see what happens!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cursed Shrimp

Sorry for my absence yesterday, but I think I'm on the mend!  I'm still feeling under the weather, but it's slowly getting better. 

So I have to fill you in on our cursed shrimp.  I'm not even kidding.  It had bad luck on it from the start.  My husband and I went to the store last Monday to buy shrimp, corn, and new potatoes for our LSU vs. Bama BCS National Championship game dinner.  This was our first mistake. 

Every game this season, with the exception of the LSU vs. Auburn game we attended, we cooked a cajun meal (crawfish etouffee, crawfish bisque, crawfish pies, jambalaya, and more).  They all contained one key ingredient... crawfish. We found this to be good luck since the Tigers won every game of their season.  WHAT WERE WE THINKING TO MAKE A SWITCH ON THE MOST IMPORTANT GAME OF THE SEASON???

Anyway, after fighting our way through several challenges, our shrimp boil was ready.  It was quite tasty!  It was also bad luck.  The Tigers didn't even show up.  It was the worst, most disheartening game of the season.  (Had to be the shrimp, right?) 

So, we had leftover shrimp and decided to make one of our favorite southern dishes... shrimp and grits!  We thought it would be a great idea to make it for the Saints game (the Saints were two games away from returning to the Super Bowl).  The meal was beyond amazing (and I did SO WELL with the amount I ate, taking my time to enjoy every bite - I didn't overeat)!   The Saints showed up, played hard, and came so close to moving on, but the 49ers took it back right at the end.  It was a good game and the shrimp and grits were delicious!  However, once again, the shrimp was bad luck.  Lesson learned!

Even with the cursed shrimp and three days of being sick, I've done so great with my eating!  The exercise (668 calories burned) is way under the amount I'd planned, but sometimes you just get sick.  The key is to not feel defeated and give up altogether!  I'm gonna press on and keep rockin' it! 

OH!!!  And the best part is I'm down two more pounds from my last weigh-in!  I'm now 213, baby!!!  YEAH!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Feelin' Sick

Well, I'm still feeling very under the weather.  And it's worse than yesterday.  My head's splitting, so I hope you understand if I take a break from doing a lengthy blog today! 

I want to share with you a really awesome reminder I found today.  It really made me stop and think about the times I'm tempted to take a day off of working out.  Even if I do something for 10 or 15 minutes, I'm going to burn more calories than doing nothing for that same amount of time.  

Gosh, this is SO TRUE!