Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Week 9 Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight:
Current weight:
This week's loss
: 0 pounds

Last week's goals: Maintain control while in Little Rock, work out 4 to 6 times between now and next week, stay under caloric budget for the week, and work HARD to overcome feelings of defeat, insecurity, and self-negativity.

What went well:  Even though I went over my weekly caloric budget and didn't work out one time, I didn't gain any weight!   I had good days where I began the act of being my own cheerleader, which literally really "pumped me up".  People are beginning to notice my weight loss and give me compliments, which is so nice.  It's great with others can finally tell and the hard work is paying off!  I helped inspire and motivate others by sharing my struggles on my

Challenges: Week 9 was my most challenging week so far.  I struggled to meet most of my goals.  I maintained control while in Little Rock - for the most part - but didn't work out once, went over my weekly budget by almost 500 calories, and struggled again with insecurity, self-consciousness, and feelings of defeat and being overwhelmed.  I wanted to cry and kick and scream, frankly.  I was usually able to talk myself out of letting it defeat me, but there were times I really thought about losing it.  

Two road trips in a row led me to McDonald's several times.  While it's not "healthy" food, I only ordered a cheeseburger and medium fry with water every time (vs. the two cheeseburger meal and large fry with a hot fudge sundae I used to get on a weekly basis...  it just sounds GROSS to me now!!)

I'm very frustrated with the barriers I keep facing with trying to have a Zumba class offered to employees at work.  Seriously, how difficult does it have to be?  I truly felt so angry yesterday that, for a second, I just wanted to scrap the dream altogether.  The excuses I keep receiving are ridiculous.  

But after I cooled off, I turned the anger into fuel.  NO ONE is going to get in the way of this dream!  Those excuses are lame and it's clear they aren't committed enough to support me in making my dream a reality.  So, I no longer need their "assistance".  I'll find another way.  

When God closes one door, He opens another.  

There.  It's done.  And my dream still lives!  AND, when I'm fit and healthy and happy, I can feel great that I didn't let those barriers get in my way.  YEE HAW!

(Oh, and here's the perfect cheer for this..  "You've gotta fight to win!")

This week's goals: Stop making excuses for not working out, work out 4 times between now and next week, stay under caloric budget for the week, and work HARD to overcome feelings of defeat, insecurity, and self-negativity.

Total lost so far: 17 pounds!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Beware of Dream Crushers

When you start down the path to making your dreams come true, you will begin to see everything from a new perspective!  You'll find confidence that was previously buried inside you.  You'll discover confidence you didn't know you had.  You'll become engaged in life again!

But don't be surprised when you also face obstacles, barriers, challenges, and adversity.  You may even encounter "dream crushers", or those too weak to follow their own dreams.  They may not be supportive of the path you're on.  They may want to see you fail.  They may say spiteful things to put fear, insecurity, or doubt in your mind.  They're coming from a place of jealousy and unhappiness in their own life.

If you do encounter dream crushers, just remember...
  These are YOUR dreams. 
  They came from YOUR heart.
  They were given to YOU.
  YOU are important and deserve to be happy.
  There's nothing selfish about following your dreams.
  When you follow your dreams you'll become engaged and passionate about life.
  That passion will spread to those around you.
  The people in your life who really love you and care WILL support you.
  Those who don't support you are the ones missing out on an amazing person.
  Dream crushers haven't dealt with the hurts from their past and are unhappy with their lives.
  Give them time, they may come around.
  If they don't, it's unfortunate.  They'll miss out on so many blessings and a life full of happiness.

Stay strong.  Rely on God.  Don't let the dream crushers get you down. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Be Your Own Cheerleader

In her comments on yesterday's post, my sister-in-law shared about a blog post she read on  I can't believe how it came at just the right time!  The writer shared how her journey to health and wellness helped her become her own best "cheerleader" and how important it is to cheer for yourself!

I spend so much of my life cheering others on but it's usually very uncomfortable to cheer for myself.  We're led to believe it's unacceptable to speak well of yourself and talk about what a great job you've done.  We really have taken this to heart...

Think of the hours we've spent scolding ourselves and telling ourselves what lazy, worthless, powerless, and weak women we are because we ate an extra scoop of ice cream or put extra sour cream on our tacos.   It's so ridiculous... and upsetting!  It's a lot of energy wasted on negative reinforcement.  No wonder we get stuck in a sick cycle of weight fluctuation, food addiction, depression, and self-loathing.

We rely so heavily on the feedback and encouragement from others, feeling validation when someone else cheers us on.


Scream it from the top of the highest mountain!!!!  YOU.  ARE.  WORTH.  IT.

Cheering is positive reinforcement, saying you can do it, you're doing a great job, way to resist that temptation, terrific job working out!  Cheering is saying don't give up now, you've come too far, remember your dream and how important it is to you, think of the day you finally compare your before and after pictures - then show them to the world!  Cheering is posting positive notes and pictures all over your cubicle walls and fridge and mirrors and creating positive reminders in your phone. 

Actually, it seems like I might do more cheering for myself than I realized!

But my sister-in-law did help me to see that my dreams are SO much more important than a silly graph with red bars going over the "mark".  It's an important tool and part of the journey to my dreams, but that little red graph bar will NOT prevent me from getting where I want to be.  If it's worth having, it's worth fighting for... every step of the way.  I will learn what I need to learn from the red graph bar, then cheer myself on to a new start right now!

L-E-T-S  G-O  Let's go!  Let's go!!!!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Little Rock, Lacrosse, & Looking Ahead

This weekend we went to Little Rock, Arkansas for our nephew's lacrosse tournament (that's him in the white #6 jersey).  It was such a blast and I've found another sport that's super fun to watch!  It's a lot more physical than I would've guessed and reminds me of hockey.  The weather was terrific and it was great spending time with family!

Here's us after game two!  One thing you may or may not be able to see is how totally baggy my jeans are.  They're really big in the waist and ultra saggy in the backside!  YAY!  I bought this sweatshirt last weekend when we were in Shreveport and it was an XL (that's down a size)!  It's really exciting to notice your clothes fitting loose on a regular basis.

It's crazy that while I'm thrilled about my clothes getting too big, I'm wishing it was happening faster; wishing I was seeing and feeling more weight loss results.  How frustrating it is when your mind wants to focus on the negative aspects and short comings.  It's a constant battle.  As easy as it can be in some areas, it's just as difficult others. 

This is the very reason that focusing on your dream is of the utmost importance.  When you focus on the weight loss advantages YOU defined and envision how different you'll feel when you've reached your goal weight or size, it puts everything into perspective.  It helps you focus on what's positive, what's important, and what's necessary to make your dream come true.

I didn't blow it completely this week, but it was my worst week since I started on Wednesday, December 28.  I haven't worked out one time in a week and I was almost 500 calories over weekly budget.  It's the first time I've gone over since I began. 

Part of me wants to cry about it.  The other part of me wants to scream about it and hit something.  HARD.  But the majority of me wants to prove to myself that it won't get me down and my dream is more important than some bad decisions I made (eating more than I should, finding excuses to not exercise, etc.).  I want to prove that I CAN do this.  I want to see my before and after pictures and feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment in how far I've come and the certainty that I never want to go there again.

So with that, I leave us with this:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Simply and Powerfully Stated

These words bless me so much.  I just had to sit here and read them over and over again, reflecting on their depth.  I see how true they are, how obvious it all is to me now.

I want tonight's post to be simple, deep, powerful, and meaningful.  Reflect on how these words apply to your life.  Envision how changing your reactions and your thoughts could completely change your world for the better.  Make a commitment to yourself to try it and see what happens.

I'd love to hear what you saw during your reflection! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's Your Call

Bad things happen to good people.  Mean people do awful things to hurt others.  Disease and sickness creep in.  Loved ones pass away.  Marriages dissolve, homes and jobs are lost, and all hope seems gone.

Many times we're caught in the middle and our worlds are turned upside down.  We find ourselves in situations we never expected to be in.  We try to deal.  We try to breathe.  We try to make it through another day.  Sometimes it consumes us and we do the best we can with what we know.

The great news is there's a way to get through these difficult situations and focus on using them to change lives for the better.  As these awful things are happening to or around us, can you imagine yourself saying "I don't understand why this is happening to me, but I know there's a reason I'm going through it.  And if my story will help just one other person, it will all be worth it."  I know it might sound far-fetched, but it really is possible to think this way. 

Many things have happened in my life that I never expected to go through; a divorce, weight gain, sickness, depression, and some other unfortunate events.  But during them all, I really did believe my situations were going to be used later to help others.  I let it strengthen me.  I refused to let it define me or own the victim role.  I would never let it destroy me.  I knew God had a greater purpose in mind and He would use the results of the decisions I made to help others through similar events.

Truthfully, there's a part of me that wishes I had never overeaten a day in my life and could have kept a perfect little figure all my thirty-three years.  But the other part is actually really grateful I've taken this path because it's led me to a new chapter in my journey... weight loss. 

I now get to share my story of struggles, challenges, and successes with you!  We're relating to each other in ways I didn't know were possible.  I feel supported BY you and I love being a support FOR you!  So many people struggle with being overweight, depression, anxiety, self-criticizing, insecurity, and a billion other struggles, so what if sharing my story helped even ten of those people?

And what if I could get those same ten to recognize their dreams, write them down and start focusing on making them happen?  Can you imagine how much more engaged they'd be in life, work, their families, their hobbies, connected to their spirituality, and more?  I understand I'm just one person and I may not be able to change the entire world.  But what if I could help change the worlds of ten people?  Maybe they would feel the power of making their dreams come true and share it with those around them.  If those ten shared it with ten people, before we know it a hundred people have been affected in a positive way!  And it just keeps getting better from there!

Don't underestimate the power of sharing your stories with those who are going through similar events.  You may be the support and comfort they need at just the right time. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Peel and Heal

Is there someone from your past (or present) was like a vampire sucking all the hopes, dreams, confidence, and courage right out of you?  Did they crush your dreams?  Did they say passive-aggressive, negative things that have led you to give up on dreaming altogether? 

Why do we hold on to such negative experiences or comments for so long?  How are they so powerful that we allow them to change our will and desire to be the best versions of ourselves?  I don't think we realize how much those negative situations have impacted us until we start working hard to make a difference in our lives, to change our perspective and become who we really want to be.

When you focus on your dreams, or even think about dreaming again, it can bring up some really uncomfortable feelings you might not realize were there.  You might be like me and find it difficult to put a few dreams on your dream list out of fear or anger from past situations. 

The truth is we can't move forward in the direction of our dreams until we deal with the ugly, uncomfortable, yucky past we keep ignoring or running from.  We have to peel those layers, process how they make us feel and how they've held us back, and then let them go.  Just get them out of your body so they can no longer do damage to your future.  Please believe me when I say this; you deserve to have the life you dream about.  You deserve to find true happiness.

When we focus on the things we really want in life we find a hidden empowerment that somehow ignites the fire inside.  It energizes us, engages us, and it spreads to those around us.  It changes the way we look at adversity, challenges, opportunities, and barriers.  It changes our perspecitive from negative and pessimistic to positive and optimistic! 

If you truly want to bring your dreams into reality you'll find the strength to face those dark places from your past, process them, and let them go.  If you have no strength at all, turn to God.  He's always strong enough to carry you.  You'll probably cry and have a snotty nose, you might scream and kick.  But once it travels from inside your soul to the space you're in, then disinegrates into nothing, the healing can begin.  You're on your way to AMAZING places!  You can begin living the life you dream about!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 218
Current weight: 201
This week's loss: 4 pounds

Last week's goals: Maintain control while in Shreveport, work out 4 to 6 times between now and next week, eat small portions, avoid skipping meals, and continue fighting the feelings of defeat, insecurity, and self-negativity.

What went well: Focusing on my dream helped me to avoid making bad decisions and eating more than I should.  I am a sweet tea junkie, especially when I'm in the south (where they really know how to make it) and I wasn't tempted to drink ANY (and it was all around me). I didn't even take one sip and it felt great!  During our road trip, I wasn't tempted to eat a bunch of junk food or convenience store quickies. That used to be difficult for me during a 9 hour drive.

And, with all the delicious Cajun food and southern favorites at hand, I didn't go overboard with how much I consumed. I took my time, enjoyed every bite, and did great!
I LOST 4 POUNDS and verified it on an awesome scale (proving that my old gross one really does work properly)!

Challenges: I struggled big time in Shreveport with insecurity and self-consciousness. I didn't like what I saw in pictures taken of me. I found myself comparing with thinner women who looked good in leggings with cute boots or pretty dresses that I'd love to wear. I felt like I wanted to break down and cry several times. Depression kept trying to work it's way in. Fortunately, I was able to talk myself out of letting it defeat me.  It's a constant battle to remind myself I'm doing great and it's happening faster for me than for some other people. Last weekend my self-esteem issues were pretty overwhelming.

While on the road for 9 hours it's difficult to drink a ton of water (since frequent rest room stopping is inconvenient), so I drank a little less than I would on a normal day. And I didn't do aerobic workouts much between last Wednesday and today. Probably one or two, at the most. I was physically active all weekend though, minus the two full days of riding in the car.

This week's goals: Maintain control while in Little Rock, work out 4 to 6 times between now and next week, stay under caloric budget for the week, and work HARD to overcome feelings of defeat, insecurity, and self-negativity.

Total lost so far: 17 pounds!

Bonus Info: You might be wondering how in the world I could lose 4 pounds in a week without working out daily. A friend told me about a natural supplement called Raspberry Ketone he saw on The Dr. Oz Show. Raspberry ketone is an organic compound that produces the smell of raspberries. It's been found that raspberry ketones can help with weight management. Raspberry ketone can help the efficiency of the metabolism by increasing the body’s core temperature and in so doing increasing the body’s fat burning abilities.

To find out more, watch a video of the Dr. Oz episode Miracle Fat Burner in a Bottle or this one on YouTube.

I began taking one supplement a day on Friday, February 10 and bumped it to two a day on Monday, February 13. I haven't experienced side effects, with the exception of raspberry-smelling indigestion. Not bad, right? From what I've read, when paired with African Mango extract it creates a powerful weight loss supplement that harnesses the weight loss powers of both supplements. The Raspberry Ketone enzyme on its own is efficient and effective at helping to lose weight, but combined with African mango it's appearing to be one of the most effective methods of losing weight naturally. I haven't tried this yet, but I might later on.

Please do some research of your own before you buy these to see if it's right for you. I'm not a medical professional, I only know what is working for me.  I've seen a few websites where people (I'm unsure of their credibility) have left comments stating it made them feel hot and they couldn't sleep after taking the supplements and others saying you should avoid them if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure. I've found more positive results out there than negative.

Here's the link to the supplements I purchased!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hi, May I Help You?

Five words.  You say them in a certain way in Kansas City and most everyone knows what you're talking about.  Gates Bar-B-Q. 

Today's lunch for me was a ham sandwich on a bun with fries.  Sounds harmless, right?  Well, I didn't go overboard but it was definitely a loaded calorie lunch.  It was so tasty!

The best part was seeing the terror in my colleague's eyes as she had her rookie experience!  I don't belive there's anything like Gates in her home state of Minnesota.  And we were kind of to blame for not warning her about the Gates experience before we walked in.  She had no idea what to order, she had no idea why the pitch of the cashier's voice was so high and loud, she had no idea why she was being screamed at... she just really had no idea what she just walked into.

Here are my tips for going to Gates Bar-B-Q:
  1. Get online and view their menu if you're considering chosing Gates for your dining experience
  2. Decide what you want BEFORE walking in the door
  3. Ask a friend to scream "HI, MAY I HELP YOU?" as loud as they can over and over again and practice ordering your meal
  4. Do not go alone! Go with a group of people so you aren't the only one experiencing anxiety as you walk in
  5. As you're walking in the door expect to be asked how they can help you before you can even view the counter (at the 12th & Brooklyn location, anyway)
  6. Make one of your friends order first
  7. Be prepared to draw a blank
  8. Try not to cry when asked a fourth time how they can help you and you can't form the words
  9. After your complete meltdown, hand your friend the post-it note you wrote your order on and let them order for you
  10. Enjoy your tasty, Kansas City Bar-B-Q!
Tip of the day:

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Past Does NOT Define Me

I wrote these words in an earlier blog and a friend put them on a picture for me.  I loved the idea so much I decided to put them on this picture I took one morning before work. 

I love all the birds on the wires.  They gather in this same location a lot in the mornings.  And what's neat about this scene is the picture was taken in January when these birds should be far south of Kansas City.  It makes me smile, just wondering what those bird are "talking" about up there.  When one bird moves to another wire, why do several others follow?  It's really just beautiful to me.

But those words are worth repeating to myself.  I really believe the things I said in that post.  I cherish all the lessons I've learned from every situation.  I try to remember what didn't work in my past and what is working now.  I try to focus on where I want to be.  I reflect on how much better my life is now than it was several years ago.  I focus on my list of dreams and how much they mean to me.  I close my eyes and imagine them coming true... and it's like fuel that keeps me going.

If you haven't tried it, give it a whirl!  Just see what it can do for your perspective!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Family Friendly Mardi Gras Parade

Today was a very, VERY busy day loaded with fun!  It started with a terrific church service at Brookwood Baptist Church, followed by a fast lunch, and then off to the Krewe of Highland Mardi Gras Parade.  It's a Sunday afternoon, family friendly parade that runs through some beautiful neighborhoods (with no nudity or shenanigans like you'll find in the French Quarter). We caught TONS of beads, cups, Moon Pies (yes, they actually throw Moon Pies!), and other fun novelties! 

It was definitely unlike any parade I've been to before and I cannot WAIT to come back again!

Even Trigger wore some beads (against his will...)!

After the parade ended we headed straight for the Boardwalk for two hours of shopping.  We stopped by the grocery store and finally made it back to the house just after 8:00 to eat pastalaya (jambalaya pasta) and king cake for dinner. 

Shockingly, I was under my caloric limit today!  I did so well with my eating, but I had a difficult time with my self-esteem, falling into the trap of self-criticizing.  I'm trying so hard not to cry and be upset at the fact that I've lost 18 pounds and yet I'm still not happy with how I look in pictures.  I felt so much bigger than the other women at the parade.  It was a constant fight to keep myself from saying mean things in my head.  Even as I write this, I'm feeling like I want to cry. 

However, I HAVE to focus on the positives; I've lost 18 pounds in seven and a half weeks, I bought an XL sweatshirt this weekend that was actually BIG on me, my jeans are becoming too big, I continue to do great day after day with my caloric intake, and even though I didn't work out to an aerobic DVD this weekend, I've done a ton of walking and have kept physically active. 

The bottom line: I won't give up hope, I won't let these barriers get me down, and I won't give up on my dream!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Southern Favorites

So when we're in Louisiana there are certain things we must enjoy.  Whataburger is one of them!  For lunch I had a Junior Whataburger, medium fries, and a big water.  It was so tasty!  I ate slow and enjoyed every bite... and I was really full when it was all said and done!

We stopped by Tubb's Hardware (a Mardi Gras headquarters) and picked up some garb for the family-friendly (not French Quarter-style) parade on Sunday (pictures to come in tomorrow's post)!  We spent the afternoon watching our nephew play an awesome game of lacrosse (his team won 14-4).  It was a blast! 

Several hours later we took a twenty minute drive to Minden to eat at our favorite place, Crawfish Hole #2.  It's AMAZING!  It's well worth the one hour wait.  There were nine people in our party and we ordered twenty-five pounds of crawfish.  I know it sounds like a ton but it's really not as much as you think.  Once you see how small the meat is that comes from inside, you realize it's not so bad.  And the best thing about boiled crawfish is that you eat slowly, mainly because it's a process to get the tail meat out.  Pacing yourself isn't a challenge. 

I was only able to eat about three and a half pounds myself, which only equaled about 370 calories!  I enjoyed three small new potatoes,a corn cob, and five fried pickle slices as an appetizer.  Oh, and of course consumed gallons of water.  The total for that dinner was under 700 calories!  That's less than my Whataburger lunch (at about 750)!

It feels so good to enjoy the things you really want to eat without going overboard!  I never once felt deprived and I never ate more than I should have. 

Road trippin' isn't as difficult as I expected!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Road Trip!

The idea of taking a road trip when I'm doing so well was really scary for me.  It seemed the temptation of all the convenience store snacks, fast food, and restaurant dining would be more than I could handle.

But, so far so good! 

I haven't felt too tempted to overeat or eat things I shouldn't today!  My water consumption was less than a normal day (to avoid all the pit stops), but I'm trying to make up for it now that restrooms are convenient.  Once we arrived at our destination, there were snack items I enjoyed, in addition to fried catfish, sweet potato fries, and a small piece of Mardi Gras king cake.  The food was SO good and I enjoyed every bite!

We have three more days of eating crawfish and tasty southern food, but I'm not going to worry or get stressed.  I'm putting my trust in God and letting Him lead me and keep me strong this weekend.   Even if I go over my desired caloric intake once or twice, I won't worry.  I won't give up.  It's not the end!

I'll keep surfing this wave and the next because my dream is too important to give up on now!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Learn to Surf

Life comes at us hard sometimes.  It comes with a fury and it can knock the wind right out of our chest. 

It's a fact; we can't stop the waves.  So why not learn to surf?

When a wave of life knocks you over hard, swallows you whole, churns you around in its belly, and spits you out covered in sand and seaweed, you have the power to say "this is not how the story's going to end". 

Look at all the beauty in the wave.  It has a purpose... it's part of a greater plan. 

Almost every grain of sand had a rough beginning.  Many of them were jagged and abrasive.  It took a lot of churning and refining to get them smooth and lovely.  But after going through the smoothing process, they now have a greater purpose. 

Sand is a major ingredient in mortar, concrete, plaster, and asphalt paving.  It's used to purify water and as an abrasive (glued to paper to make sandpaper; it's blown through a hose by compressed air or steam for sandblasting to clean walls of brick or stone buildings, remove paint, and to clean metal items).  Sand is used in pottery and glass making.  Pure quartz sand is even used for lining acid-steel furnaces for it's heat-resistance.  And, the obvious, fun beach activities and sand castles!

Look at the greater purpose here!  After overcoming the difficulties of crashing waves, each grain of sand came out with something to offer the world.  Playing a part in bringing us water that's safe to drink, building safe roads and sidewalks, even protecting us from a potential fire. 

What's your greater purpose?  How will you be able to help others by making it through another wave?  Or ever better, by learning to surf?

Look at your dreams.  Think about how you want your life to be in a year, in ten years, in twenty years.  Visualize the wave that knocked you over.  What are the possible responses you can have to that wave?  Where will each response lead you?  Closer to your dream?  In the opposite direction of your dream? 

Is that what you really want?

If you want to let the waves keep dragging you under, by all means, do.  It's your choice... you get to decide.  But if your dreams are really important to you and you truly want to see them come true, you'll have to learn to surf.  You might find that you're a natural at it!  You might find that it takes a lot of hard work and effort. 

But I promise you, it WILL be worth it.

If you want to have something you've never had, you'll have to do something you've never done.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday Wow Factor!

Start date: 12/28/11
Initial weight: 218
Current weight: 205
This week's loss: 1 pound

Last week's goals: Continue blogging, work out 4 to 6 times between now and next week, eat small portions, avoid skipping meals, continue fighting the feelings of defeat, insecurity, and self-negativity.

What went well: Focusing on my dream is helped me push myself to work out when I don't want to and resist temptation of eating what - or when - I shouldn't.  I worked out five times since last Wednesday and the new DVD's have made it really fun!  I have more energy and I'm feeling a little more confident every day!  More people are noticing the weight loss and I'm receiving compliments about it (sometimes difficult to accept, but I am!).  I'll admit it does feel really good and encourages me to continue working hard!

Challenges: I still struggle with insecurity and self-consciousness, but not as often.  Sometimes I look in the mirror and still don't like what I see... but I stop myself before it gets out of hand.  I remind myself I'm doing great and I'm a work in progress... it won't happen overnight.   I also found it difficult to keep from overeating a few times again this week.  It seems there were extra tasty meals (and dang Jose Pepper's) in front of me, but focusing on my dream and all the advantages of losing weight helped me slow down and not overeat.  But that pesky Mexican food... it's my biggest challenge!

This week's goals: Maintain control while in Shreveport (oh my gosh, all that Cajun food, I CAN DO THIS!), work out 4 to 6 times between now and next week, eat small portions, avoid skipping meals, and continue fighting the feelings of defeat, insecurity, and self-negativity.

Total lost so far: 13 pounds!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

We Are Blessed

Tonight, know that you are loved!  No matter your "romantic" status on this Valentine's Day, you are loved by your Creator.  And daily I pray blessings for each reader of this blog and success as you bring your dreams to life.

Today, make a quick list of some of the blessings in your life.  Just stop and look at the great things you have going for you and really appreciate them.  Even if you've been through some really difficult times, you can have hope in where you're headed!  When you're following your dreams, the possibilities are endless. 

Each day is new.  Each breath is an opportunity to do something different, try something you've never tried, make a good decision, or just be thankful.

We really are blessed.

Sometimes it's difficult to see beyond the rain clouds.  But when the storm is over and the clouds part, the sun is still shinning!

Monday, February 13, 2012

This Year I Will

Check out the new book I bought (on sale) this weekend!  It's great.  And it's just what I need right now, a perfect accessory to my Dare to Dream program at work!

It's called 'This Year I Will' by M.J. Ryan.

If you've ever broken a resolution, given up on a diet, or let your dreams fall by the wayside, you should read this book.  It's all about helping you change habits, keep resolutions, and make your dreams come true!

If you're familiar with 'Influencer: The Power to Change Anything', this is very similar.  And, it's kind of the next step to applying the principals in 'The Dream Manager'.  Those two books led to the major perspective change in my life at the end of 2011.  I highly recommend them.

In 'This Year I Will' the author lists these ten tips for making a change.  The book goes into more detail, of course, but they're pretty straight-forward:
  1. Translate vague desires (I must lose weight) into concrete, achievable goals (I will lose five pounds this month)
  2. Make your goal non-negotiable
  3. Write down your typical excuses and create strategies for dealing with them
  4. Make your commitment to change part of your everyday routine, and soon you won't even need to think about it
  5. Goals should be measurable, so monitor your progress in writing
  6. Look at how far you've come, not at how far you have to left to go
  7. Take it one choice at a time
  8. Find role models
  9. To cement a new habit, teach it to someone else
  10. When (not if) you mess up or forget, don't collapse into shame or guilt; try again with greater wisdom for having faltered.
When I read these I was surprised that I'm already doing every one of them, and then some.  And I know it's attributing to my success!  I belive in you.  I know that if I can do it, you absolutely can, too!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Strong Enough

Sometimes we're weak. 
Sometimes we're strong. 
Sometimes we need to continue working to figure out how to overcome certain temptations.

Mexican food, especially Jose Pepper's, (I know... we've talked about this two times before) is my biggest temptation and weakness for sure.  I did rather well during the previous three visits, but today, I felt pretty disappointed in myself.  I was hungry, the chips and salsa were endless, and the food took extra long to make because they were busy.  I didn't go completely wild like I could have, but I certainly felt much more full than I wanted to.  That meal has lasted me the remainder of the day, both in calories and in stomach capacity.

It's times like these you can feel really down on yourself.  You're faced with the challenge of not replaying your choices back in your head, stressing over what you did wrong, beating yourself up for not slowing down or not drinking two glasses of water before eating, or a number of other "failures". 

But you know what?  These aren't "failures".  They're just mistakes.  They're bad decisions you made during a small part of your day.  So what?  You didn't ruin everything.  That meal is over.  It's now a new moment and a new beginning! 

The song Strong Enough by Matthew West really helps me through situations like this.  It's just a fact, sometimes we aren't strong enough.  We need to let God have control and help us when we're weak.  That was my problem today.  I didn't ask God to help me pace myself and think about every bite of food I put into my mouth.  I didn't ask Him to slow me down, focus on the conversation with my husband, and say no to a refill of chips.

I'm using today's events as another lesson; to help me remember to turn to God during tempting situations.  I've done it before, and it does work!  He will definitely help... all we need to do is ask!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Do Somethin'

I don't know what got into me last night, but I was compelled to do not only one, but TWO workouts back-to-back!  Fifty-five minutes later, when the Pussycat Dolls Workout was over, I felt like I had just warmed up.  I thought "why don't I just try another DVD and see what happens?"  So I put in Zumba Live!  

Away I danced, bringin' it and lovin' it!  I lasted forty minutes into it and began to feel light-headed.  I took it as a sign I should call it a success and stop.  I just couldn't believe how fun those ninety-five minutes were!  And I felt so accomplished and proud of myself.  It was nice to be active instead of sitting and watching t.v.

If you struggle with getting up and doing something, figure out what floats your boat.  What do you consider fun?  Do you like to dance (even if you feel goofy or awkward)?  Do you like stretching, walking, lifting weights, swimming, playing sports, walking the dog, or something else?  Determine what's fun, or at least enjoyable, and start doing it! 

I don't have a Wii, but I know several people who do and use Wii Fit as their form of exercise.  From what I've heard, it can kick your butt!  I'd love to do 'Just Dance' during times when I'm needing a change.  Maybe that could me my 40 pound weight loss reward!

Whatever engages you and drives you to get up off the sofa, DO IT!  Remember, you'll never regret doing a workout, but you'll usually regret skipping one. 

Think about your dream.  Isn't it worth missing a show or several minutes of internet browsing?  Get TiVO or a VCR and record the show.  And the internet's not going anywhere.  Neither of those are good excuses. 

Think about all the advantages to losing weight.  There are so many things you want more than to sit on your hiney.  Think about how many people have more weight to lose than you.  You don't have it as bad as you think.  People with more weight to lose than you have lost it.  They've maintained it.  You can do it, too. 

It's time to change your perspective.

You have to make the choice to do this.  

This is your dream. 

Your deserve to see it come true. 

You truly desire this for yourself.

It CAN happen.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Simple Beauty

Sometimes there's real beauty in simple words.  Simple words can be very powerful. 

Tonight I'm sharing some words that speak to me, especially when negative thoughts start creeping in.  I know some of you struggle with this issue as well, and it's good to be reminded that we aren't worthless, ugly, gross, unlovable, or a million other lies.  We're loved, we're beautiful, we're unique, and we have a purpose on this earth. 

We deserve to have a happy life... and we deserve to see our dreams into reality!

Psalm 34:18