Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Hello Prairie Path!

Hey everyone! So 5K training has "officially" started for Michelle and I. Thanks to & Google Maps, I was able to find the mileage for the leg of the Illinois Prairie Path near my house. With that in hand, Michelle & I set out for a walk last night. This is the path we took:

EDIT: So I tried to embed the map here, but it didn't work out as planned. SO, here is the link to the route we take. :)

West Chicago Prairie Path! (Google Map)

The walk takes us from the start of the Prairie Path in Reed Keppler Park, and ends at Kress Road, which is a total of 1.7 miles. So to walk to Kress Road & back, the total mileage comes to 3.4 miles, which is a little over what we need for the actual 5K in July. 

Sadly, we didn't make it to the end last night. We were almost to Kress when we turned around and headed back. The only reason, the mosquitoes were INSANE. Honestly, it's a great path to walk. I had never walked out that far on the Prairie Path before, but it was a nice walk. Very peaceful. You do share the path with other walkers, joggers, & cyclists. And if you decide to walk the Prairie Path, I would suggest bringing some kind of mosquito/insect repellent. Poor Michelle was getting eaten alive and it seemed like clouds of mosquitoes were following her, haha. So bug spray is a MUST. 

So all in all, Michelle and I walked 2 miles last night. It was honestly probably a little over that. My feet were a little sore afterwards, but I felt good. Today it's raining, so the path is out of the question today. But I'm hoping we'll get another crack at it before the end of the week. I'll keep you all posted. :) 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday check in!

Hey everyone! Hope this Sunday finds you all doing fantastic! I'm sorry I haven't been around much lately. Life has been interesting the last couple weeks, which has kept me busy. In short, CAR REPAIRS. This next week my car will be going in for some new tires after the lovely blowout I had last week.. so I'm hoping the car repair costs will stop for awhile.

Anyways! Last Sunday when I weighed in, I was up 3 lbs. I wasn't really all that surprised by the gain because I still have yet to get my monthly visitor. For awhile there I had it like clockwork, but I feel like with the increase in working out and my consistent weight loss, that my body is still trying to catch up. When I weighed in today, I was down 5.2 lbs. That brings my weight loss total to 62 lbs (36 lbs since 01/13/2013). Needless to say, I am happy with my results so far. 

On April 8, 2013 I took my measurements for the first time and decided that I would take my measurements once a month to see what kind of progress I was making. So when I took my measurements on May 5, 2013, I was a very happy person. In total, I had lost 8 inches. I lost 3 inches in my hips, 3 inches in my thighs, & 2 inches in my upper arms/bicep area. I had been able to tell that I was losing inches because of how my clothes were fitting. 

Which brings me to my next point, I'm getting smaller!!! A lot of people have pointed out to me that my face is not as round anymore. I can also tell a difference in my upper body. I'm having some slight issues because I have lost quite a bit up top, but my bottom half still needs to catch up. So, that makes for some interesting clothing purchases. I bought a couple of dresses recently in the size I would normally need, and they are way too big in the top now, but they fit my bottom okay. I also recently bought a dress a size smaller than I normally would at Target. It's really amazing the stuff I am starting to be able to fit into. With the loss of inches in my thighs, there are jeans I have that I have either never been able to wear, or haven't worn in quite some time that I can now wear! I also have some of my favorite dresses going in to be taken in so I can wear them over the summer. ALSO!! I bought a coat last year that was super cute. The issue was, I couldn't zip is closed. Well, I CAN ZIP IT CLOSED NOW!! As you can tell, I am SUPER stoked about that. Being a woman of my size, I've head to almost always wear open coats, even in blizzard conditions, because it was hard to find a coat that fit. Now I CAN!! It's rather exciting! 

My feet aren't hurting as bad anymore either. Being that I'm still quite heavy, I notice that after I've walked about an hour my feet are unhappy with me. I thought it might be the shoes I was wearing, but I start to notice the time I'm walking more. Usually when I hit about 45 mins, my feet start to get sore. I mean, I DO need to go get fitted for proper shoes, but I think with my weight it's more the time I'm on my feet than the shoes at this point. So with my continued walking, I know this will start changing. 

Which brings me to my next thing.. COLOR ME RAD!! We are officially 61 days away from the 5k Michelle & I will be walking. I hope some of you will be joining us. Check my last blog post for more info on how you can sign up and join us :)   I made a nifty countdown for myself. I'm getting excited, but I know I still have some work to do before then. I'm hoping maybe this next week Michelle and I will be able to hit the prairie path and see how far we can go. I really want to be able to time how long it takes for us to do 3 miles. I really need to get a pedometer. 

Other than that, not too much is up. I've been eating out more recently, which I've been making good decisions with, but I really need to get back in the habit of cooking. I have more control there, and it's cheaper for me anyway. :)  So that is my plan this next week. Get back into the swing of things with cooking & prepping. I'm VERY successful when I go that route. 

So how have you guys been? What were your successes this last week? What will you do to be successful this week? Share your thoughts! :) Thanks for reading! 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Color Me Rad 5K Chicago

I know I've posted about this before, but I feel it is worth posting and talking about again. How many of you Chicago area lovelies will be joining Michelle ( & I for the Color Me Rad 5K on July 20, 2013??

For you larger lovelies concerned about having to run the 5K, rest assured that you can walk it too. Michelle and I will be doing just that. While we would like to be able to jog a portion of it, we know that running/jogging is a lot of impact and pressure on our knees in our current state, so we'll be walking a good portion of the race. So if you would like to join us, it's not too late!! Here is the link to join in on the fun. 

Michelle and I will be doing the 10:00am wave, and if you would like to join the "team" I've set up, click "join an existing team." It will ask you for my team name, which is Beyond The Fat, and my last name (Kelly). To get 10% off of your registration fee, you can enter promo code WORLDSPORT." The use of the promo code also gives World Sport Chicago 15% of your race entry fee.

If you're not already familiar with World Sport Chicago, they're a pretty awesome organization. World Sport Chicago is an independent, non-profit organization that teaches positive values and leadership through sport. The organization acts on the belief that sport has the power to strengthen individuals, and in turn, Chicago’s communities. World Sport Chicago promotes programs and events and collaborates with several community partners, public agencies and Chicago’s professional sports teams to deliver impact and change.

World Sport Chicago has a unique history as the living legacy of Chicago’s bid for the  2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The organization has evolved substantially since the bid. However, the collaborative spirit that drove those efforts remains central to the work of World Sport Chicago.

The mission of World Sport Chicago is to promote the development of sustainable sports programming that improves the quality of life for under-served youth in Chicago and at-risk communities. World Sport Chicago does this by:

-- Teaching life-enhancing values and character development through sport
-- Leveraging on-going sport programs and events to engage families and strengthen communities
-- Directing resources and technical expertise to communities of need for high-quality and sustainable programming
-- Sharing practices and innovations to develop thought leadership on the positive impact of sport
-- Advocating sport-for-all, regardless of physical and visual abilities.

So pretty please, use that promo code when your checking out so that World Sport Chicago can get 15% of your race entry fee. They are a great organization and, if you would like to learn more about them, you can visit their website at the link below! 

I would LOVE to see a lot of you there. This 5K is not about how fast you walk/run, but it is to do it for a great cause like World Sport Chicago. It is also to show that, no matter your size, you CAN get moving. Speaking from my own experience, you would be amazed at how much walking can do for you. So please, if you've been thinking about signing up for the Color Me Rad 5K, do it! Come join in on the fun with Michelle and I. And if you are going, please let me know so we can look for you! I'll be bringing a camera along, so expect LOTS and lots of photos. Let's DO IT!!! 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Checking in!

Hey everyone! Happy Sunday! It's a beautiful day here in Chicago, but I'm working so I can't enjoy it, haha. Hopefully you all are having a wonderful day.

Today was weigh in day for me. Last week I didn't blog my results, so I figured I'd cover that now. Usually the week right before my period I have a big loss. So when I weighed in on April 21st, I was down 5.8 lbs. That was to be expected since I was supposed to be getting my monthly visitor the following week. So that following Sunday I weighed in and I had gained 3 lbs. Again, that was not all that unexpected as I usually fluctuate a lot around my period. So again, I was not surprised. Well, it's Sunday again, so it's weigh in day. Also, I still have yet to get my period. It's 7 days late. Don't worry, I'm not pregnant.. haha. That would actually mean something would have had to happen, which I can say DID not.. haha. So unless it's an immaculate conception.. I'm golden. LOL.

So anyways, last week I walked Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I didn't walk as much as I would have liked, but I did at least get some walking in. I plan to change that this week. So when I got to work I weighed in and found myself down 7 lbs. Needless to say I was shocked with this weigh in. I didn't expect it, especially since I am a week late on my period. But, a loss is a loss and I'll take it! So that brings my weight loss total to 60.8 lbs (33.8 of it since 01/13/2013).

I would be telling a lie if I said I couldn't feel the difference in my body. I tried on some of my dresses that I wore last summer. I've always been really self conscious about my thighs, so I always wore leggings or shorts under my dresses just in case they rode up a little bit. Well, I am happy to say that this summer I will NOT be wearing shorts or leggings under my dresses. I tried some of the dressed on this week and there really is no need to break out the leggings and shorts anymore. :)  So that will be a whole new ballgame for me this summer. I'm super excited to break out some of the sundresses I have and really wear them for the first time. I also tried on a pair of black jeggings that I had. The last time I wore them was last spring and they were tight and uncomfortable. I was able to get them on last spring (I couldn't even get them on before that), but my thighs were too fat and they were tight in the waist which made things SUPER uncomfortable for me. Well, I tried them on yesterday and they FIT. They actually FIT me. My thighs have shrunk with all the walking I've been doing, and I actually sit down in them without cutting off circulation.. haha. Needless to say, I am super stoked to see what the summer holds for me. I can't wait!

So how have you all been doing? Any successes you would like to share? What are your plans for this new week to be successful? Let's kick this weeks butt!

Also, Michelle and I have been thinking about getting a group together on the weekends (Saturdays) to walk with us at Blackwell. Would any of you in the area be interested in doing that with us?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Tuesday!

Howdy everyone. I hope your Tuesday is off to a good start. It's a rainy day here in Chicagoland, which made it difficult to get out of bed this morning. Sorry I haven't been updating like I should, I'm working on fixing that.

So Sunday was my weigh in day and I found myself down 5.8 lbs. The Sunday before I hit the 50 pounds loss mark! So that's two Sundays in a row of great news! But this Sunday I was shocked at the loss, but remembered that (this next part may be too much info for you guys out there) next week I get my monthly visitor. For whatever reason, I always have a big loss the week right before my period. So being that I'm supposed to get it in less than a week now, it all makes sense. But a loss is a loss, and I'll take it. So being down that 5.8 lbs brings my total weight loss thus far to 56 lbs, 29.8 lbs of it lost since 01/13/2013. Needless to say, I am thrilled with my progress.

So last week I didn't work out at all. I had been having some knee issues, so I gave my knees a rest. I probably could have done some arm workouts, but I didn't. So this week I had to get back into the swing of things. I realized last week that I am still too heavy to be jogging. While I LOVE it, it's too much impact on my knees at the moment. But anyways, my best friend is in Morocco until the 30th of April, so I went to Blackwell by myself to get in a good work out. It was such a beautiful day and I was feeling good.

When I got there, I expected to walk Mt. Hoy, walk the trails, get in some pushups, and then do some free weights. Yesterday it took me only 10 mins to go up Mt. Hoy, and down the trail. I only made two stops on the way up (usually I take 3 or 4), which is an accomplishment for me. For some of you, it might not be work, but when you're carrying around the weight I am, it is definitely a struggle. So, once I got to the end of the trail, I stopped and did 30 pushups (3 sets of 10) on the bike racks, then started heading back to my car. Once I got there, I found myself looking at Mt. Hoy again and the voice in my head told me "give it a shot, I bet you can do it again." At that point, I found my feet taking me back to the hill. I made my way up Mt. Hoy (making 3 stops on the way up), and I was shocked. If you would have told me two weeks ago that I would have been able to walk Mt. Hoy twice in one day, I would have laughed at you. But I did it, and I felt amazing afterwards. So, I walked down the trail, around the parking lot again, bringing my walking to 50 mins. Once I reached my car I did some free weights, and then headed home. All in all, I got in a great 60 minute workout and I felt great, though I am sore today. And, I did it all by myself. Usually I hit Mt. Hoy with my best friend, but I am glad I made myself go. Plus, it was nice to get out in the beautiful weather... though I wish it would have carried over into today.

With the rain today, and the dropping temperature for later, it's looking like Mt. Hoy won't be happening today. BUT, the rest of the week looks okay, so I think I'll head back out there hopefully tomorrow, Thursday, and Friday. Looks like some rain is possible, and it will be cooler so I'll just have to bundle up and be prepared. I may go walk the mall tonight after work, so we'll see. Either way, I'm happy with what I've been accomplishing. I have the Color Me Rad 5k on July 20th, so I'm hoping to get my walking up to speed. And maybe by then I'll be able to do some jogging.

Other than that, I've just been taking things once day at a time. I'm still tracking my calories (I'm KittyCat613 on MyFitnessPal if any of you are on there), and eating right. Though the M&M's I had the other day beg to differ. BUT, I don't regret them one bit. They were within my calories, and made a nice little treat. :) So here's to be successful the rest of the week!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Monday!

Hey everyone! Okay, so I have just a few things I wanted to update here. Sorry I haven't been around much, but rest assured I've been eating healthy and working out!

So last Saturday my best friend Michelle and I started working out at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville, IL. As I posted before, we did some jogging, climbed Mount Hoy, and did some trail walking. We had such a great workout in the great outdoors that we decided to hit Blackwell as many times as we could the following week.

Sooooo, this last week Michelle and I worked out and Blackwell on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday! Each workout we managed to throw in some new stuff. On Friday our friend Kristin came along with us, and helped us utilize some other places in the park for some workouts. When I tell you we utilized a good portion of the park, I mean it! Honestly, I think Michelle and I will make a video on how to make a park your own personal gym. :) But that day we did more jogging, climbed Mount Hoy, did some kickboxing moves at the top, walked the trails, did some push-ups & squats at the bikeracks, did some free weights, and then finished off with another round of jogging. It was a fantastic work out!

Honestly, it is amazing what you can do in the great outdoors. Since the weather is getting nicer, I want to be able to work out as much as I can outdoors. There is nothing better than getting in a great workout in the fresh air! So that really is my plan. To hit the park as many times as I can in a week and get my workout on!

As you all know, Sundays are my weigh in day. I weighed in and was down 1.2 lbs from last week, which brings my total to 49 lbs lost (22.7 lost since January 13, 2013). So this week I should be breaking the 50 lbs lost mark! I was expecting to lose a little more this week, but I know I have definitely lost some inches because my clothes are fitting better. Last week I wore a pair of jeans I've never been able to wear, and some underwear I haven't been able to wear in years. Haha! So I know I'm making progress, I just have to be patient. I also took my measurements today. It's something I wish I would have done at the beginning of the year, but at least I have them now as reference and plan to take my measurements once a month.

Another thing I have realized is that I miss working out on my "rest" days. My rest days right now are Sunday & Monday due to my work schedule on those days. Yesterday and today I have been chomping at the bit. I'm ready to get back out there tomorrow and workout. I have also come to the realization that I enjoy jogging. I know I have a long way to go before I'll be able to run, let alone run any great distance, but the time that I spend jogging I enjoy. Which brings me to my next topic...

Since I like jogging so much, and I have my very first 5k coming up in July (July 20th), I've been reading up on the Couch to 5k info and I'm seriously considering doing it. It's a 9 week program that prepares you to be able to run a 5k. I know it will take me longer than 9 weeks to be able to do that, and I know I may have to repeat some weeks a couple of times, but I feel like the structure of the program will help me a lot. And it will help me lose some more weight. So I think I may start giving that a try sometime this next week, we'll see. Either way, jogging will help me get back into shape so when I play basketball again, I'm not killing myself on the court. But, I did come across this article that I like, and I wanted to share it with all of you.

Other than that, not too much is up in my world. It's supposed to rain a lot this week, but I'm hoping some of it will hold off enough to be able to get my workouts in at Blackwell. Otherwise, it'll be plan B. :) Hope you all have a wonderful week, and I will check in again with you all soon!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Getting my workout on!

As I have started to get into the swing of things with working out & eating healthy, I am feeling great. I've already noticed a change in my body and my limitations. I'm doing things that I never thought I would be able to do.

As I shared on my FaceBook page yesterday, I started some HIIT training with my best friend Michelle, which she learned from her trainer Christopher Sasha. On Saturday my best friend Michelle and I hit Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville, IL and conquered Mount Hoy. It was such an accomplishment for us, and I don't think we realized the scope of what we accomplished until we were leaving the forest preserve and could really see the hill.

Sunday and Monday we didn't walk (different work schedules), but Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday we did. Tuesday we did our walk, but we added more in Wednesday and Thursday. For the first time in over 10 years I jogged on Wednesday. So we jogged a bit, then hit the hill for our walk. Today we did the same, and added in some kickboxing moves once we reached the top of the hill.

This is me pre-workout :)

Michelle showing me some wall kicks she learned from her kickboxing trainer Carrie :)
Me getting ready to throw some punches. 
Usually I would be embarrassed to post the photo right above (the one of me getting ready to throw some punches), but honestly.. I can feel and see a change in my body already. I'm approaching the 50 lbs lost mark (21 since January 13th, 2013), and I can tell in the way that my clothes fit me that I've dropped weight and inches. For example, I wore a pair of jeans to work today that I have NEVER been able to wear. So that was a victory ALL in itself.

Michelle has been kicking ass too. She has honestly been showing me a lot of new things to do. She was the one who suggested we do some jogging, and I'm glad she did. When she first suggested it, my initial thought was "no way, I can't do this." But, I DID do it and I felt amazing. There really is no way to describe how awesome it feels to do something you thought you couldn't. I hadn't jogged in well over 10 years, so that accomplishment was amazing. 

Another awesome thing that happened today was the biker training for a 100 mile race. As we were working out on top of Mount Hoy, this gentleman riding his bike up and down the hill came up and headed down the hill. He saw us working out, but left us alone. Sometimes it embarrassing when people bust in on your work outs, mainly because I have a lot to work on with my confidence. As we worked out and made out way down the train, he lapped us a couple times on his bike. As we reached the bottom of the trail he had already lapped us and was heading to ride up the hill again (this guy was a BEAST!). When he saw us at the end of the trail, he turned around and came over to us. He was honestly the sweetest man. He said the following: 

 "I'm not sure how often you ladies do this, but I just wanted to come over and say hi and show my support and encourage you to continue doing what you're doing. All the hard work will be so worth it in the end. Good luck to the both of you." 

He congratulated us on our effort and really just wanted to motivate us to keep up our plans, and encourage us. Honestly, it was just really awesome for a complete stranger to feel moved to give us some encouragement. I tell ya, God sometimes sends people your way to show you you're on the right path. We got the message loud and clear. I hope we run into him again so we can hear how his training is going. He is truly inspirational.

So, I can't wait for weigh in day. I can't wait to see my progress for this week. Weigh in day is Sunday and I'm really hoping to hit the 50 mark (I'm at 48 right now), and I will be SUPER stoked. Also, I have the Color Me Rad 5K on July 20th that I'm starting to train for. I know I won't be able to run the whole thing, but if I keep up the way I'm going I should be able to do a pretty decent amount of jogging. I'm super excited about that!

The plan for tomorrow (Friday) is to get up early and get my walk/jog on with Michelle at Blackwell. Our friend Kristin is joining us, so I am super excited about that! After that I'm doing a photoshoot with Michelle. For those of you who don't already know, I'm a photographer. :) If you want to see some of my work, let me know and I'll post the info. Then, later that night I'm hitting the gym with my friend Katie! I'm SUPER excited and I've been feeling SO accomplished.

Honestly though, I couldn't do it without all of you. I don't think anyone realizes just how much support from those around you means. It's hard when you're trying to do things on your own. You could have all the willpower in the world, but knowing that you have an army of support behind you makes life easier. It makes you want to succeed not only for yourself, but for the people who are supporting you. Knowing you have people behind you who WANT to see you succeed makes all the difference. I couldn't imagine doing this without all of your support. So THANK YOU all SOOOOOOOOOO much! I can't say thank you enough!

And I wanted to leave you all with a quote from Tony Robbins that my friend Jenni tagged me in recently. This quote has been on my mind a lot lately. So here it is.

"You're in the midst of a war: a battle between the limits of a crowd seeking the surrender of your dreams, and the power of your true vision to create and contribute. It is a fight between those who will tell you what you cannot do, and that part of you that knows / and has always known / that we are more than our environment; and that a dream, backed by an unrelenting will to attain it, is truly a reality with an imminent arrival." -- Tony Robbins

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What flipped the switch

For those of us who need to lose weight, or even those who don't have a lot to lose & just want to look/feel better, there is always that one moment that propels us to get on the healthy wagon. It could be a photo, an article of clothing you can no longer fit into, or even an activity you are now struggling to do. Honestly, it could be a number of things. All that matters is you're getting healthy, and you're most definitely not alone on the journey.

I've always been the fat kid/girl. The way I dealt with being made fun of, was to make fun of myself first. I still find myself making jokes at my own expense, just ask my friends. Though, I don't see it as a bad thing. It's honestly more of a way to show that I have a sense of humor about my situation. Also, once I crack a joke, it makes it less appealing for someone else to do the same. While I was growing up, I used to play sports with the guys. I loved doing that, and honestly wish I would have just sucked it up and committed myself to getting healthy by playing sports back then. There are a number of reasons why that didn't happen, that maybe I can get into in another blog post.

Back then basketball was the love of my life. Around 5th or 6th grade I learned to play and realized I was quite good. Through Junior High and High School I played basketball in my free time with the neighborhood boys, at youth group, and at open gym through my church. Even for being large, I was good. When I would play, people actually wanted me on their team. I would take a basketball class in gym class every semester, which lead to my gym teachers always telling me I need to join the basketball team. I considered it for awhile, and in my sophomore year I was ready to try out for the team. Sad to say, once one of the things we had to pass was running the mile, I knew I was a goner. I was already quite large and running a mile in an acceptable time frame was just not something I could do. So, I didn't end up going for the try out. I honestly kick myself every day for that. Maybe I wouldn't have done all that great, but that could have also been the start to me getting healthy. Also, with my skills it was very possible I would have made the team.. which makes me think about what could have been. It's not a nice thought, and that is always a failure in the back of my mind.

I guess what I am trying to say is, I had a couple of things flip the switch in my head telling me I need to get healthy. The main one happened in 2009. In November of 2009 there was a birthday dinner and night out for my best friend Michelle. A group of us met up downtown Chicago at the Grand Luxe for dinner, and then we hit a couple bars for drinks afterwards. I had a great time, and our friends took a lot of pictures. The moment came when I saw those pictures on FaceBook. I was shocked and honestly, ended up untagging myself in most of them. I mean, I knew I was big (of course!), but I looked TERRIBLE. I hated those pictures, and after seeing them, I had a little but of a mini breakdown. I just, didn't take very well to the photos. After that, I started to make more of a conscious effort to eat better. It did take awhile for me to get into the swing of things, and I did fall off the wagon several times, but this time it finally stuck for me and I'm SO happy about that.

Those right there are two of the photos from that night. I was the heaviest I had EVER been at this point. Maybe someday I'll share the actual number with you all. I hate even looking at those photos and sharing them here, but I know eventually I'll be able to look back at them as a stepping stone. They will be a reminder of where I've come from & just how far I've come. The plus is, even after falling off the wagon quite a few times, I've lost a total of 47 lbs since this photo. So, I've already made progress, and I am proud of myself for that.

I guess the reason I posted this blog is because I know there are a lot of you out there who have already had the "oh my gosh, I need to get healthy" moment, and there are others that are just having that moment now. Or maybe you are at the healthiest point in your life, but know someone who may be going through this. Either way, I wanted to show that anyone taking that step toward being healthy is not alone. It is possible to get healthy. It is possible to lose the weight. Even if you have a lot of weight to lose like me, IT IS POSSIBLE. You just have to really want it. You have to be dedicated to getting healthy. And, there are so many options out there to get healthy.

What options did I choose for myself? I chose to do it all natural. I'm eating better & cleaner, tracking my calories, and working on moving more. Don't get me wrong, I had thought about weight loss surgery, but the idea of surgery scares me. I know I know, people go through surgeries all the time, but I'm a wuss. But, it was a thought. The reason I decided to forego the surgery was the fact that, by the grace of God I'm not a diabetic, and I don't have any health issues that would require me to go the surgery route. If I did, and dropping the weight was something I needed to do more quickly, it is definitely something I would do. I know a few people who have had weight loss surgery and are having success with it. They love the decision they made, and are feeling great! Any way you break it down, no matter what the method, getting healthy and losing weight is hard work. It takes a lot of strength, drive, and determination. We also need to remember that we didn't get like this overnight, so it's not going to come off overnight either. It takes time, and in the grand scheme of things, all the time and hard work is SO worth it.

And honestly, I want to thank all of you who read this for your continued support of my journey. Knowing I have you all in my corner makes this journey a little bit easier. And if you're also on a journey of your own, I hope my blog helps you on yours. We're in this together! So thank you for reading. I think my next entry will be my goals post, so stay tuned!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Payday & ready to grocery shop

It's Thursday! Thankfully today is my Friday, and I have the whole weekend off. I'm SUPER excited about that! I hope your Thursday has been fantastic! 

So today was payday, which means grocery shopping this weekend. I've made my grocery list and have a recipe in mind I would like to try. I've been finding some great recipes at the following websites: 

I found a recipe I want to try out this next week. It looks so yummy, and while it takes some prep (minor), most of the work is done in a crock pot. Here is the link to the recipe. 

There are some discrepancies in the recipe from the title etc. For instance, the recipe is for stuffed pork chops with bacon, apples, and walnuts, but the actual recipe calls for pecans. So nothing major. I will, however, be making this with walnuts. I am also thinking about substituting cinnamon for the Spanish paprika. I'll let you all know how it comes out and I'll be sure to take some photos. I also read in the comments that, in the crockpot, it has only been taking most people 8 hours to cook. So I'll verify that as well. :) 

I need to start writing down some of "recipes" of the stuff I make. The thing is, I'm kind of a "throw it in the pan" kinda gal, so sometimes what I make is just a hodgepodge of what I have available, haha. I do measure though, I guess I'm just afraid most of you will think it's odd. Haha! But honestly, it makes for some YUMMY food most of the time. But, since some of you were interested in what I've been eating, I'll make a point to write what I'm adding down and take some photos. :) 

Also, if any of you have some great recipes you would like to share, please feel free to leave them in the comments here, or you can post them on my FaceBook Page here: :)  Also, please don't forget to like my page, if you haven't already. It's a great way for us to connect! 

Another thing, I am in need of a food scale (I wan't to be as precise as possible), and I would also like to get a food processor. I'm working on a budget, so if any of you have some leads for me on where I can get these items more affordable, I would GREATLY appreciate it. :) Have I mentioned how much I love you guys? 

So what will YOU be doing this weekend to be successful? What are YOUR plans?!  :) 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Paleo/Primal Eating

So a friend of mine asked me what my thoughts on the Paleo "diet" are, and if I would blog about it. So here are my thoughts.

Since deciding to get healthy, I have been making a conscious effort to read more about food & nutrition. While I still have A TON to learn, I am picking up more things here and there. My journey to get healthy has evolved quite a bit over the last two years. Two years ago, my main goal was to log my food and make healthier choices. At that time, healthier choices were adding more salads into the mix, doing more of my own cooking, mixing in some veggies, and essentially eating food that I considered "healthier." There was a time where I wasn't eating breakfast, so when I began to log my food/calories, I was eating Nutrigrain bars. I was also eating a lot of oatmeal, and not the best kind either. I was buying the packaged oatmeal with the variety of flavors. You know, the oatmeal FULL of sugar. Yeah, that's the one. At the time, what I was eating was healthier than my previous diet full of fast food. But while I was eating "healthier" than I had been before, I was still eating things that were really not the best option for me.

As things progressed, I wanted to cut out more of the processed food I was eating, and opt for healthier foods. Around that time my friend Katie and her husband Fonz had joined Crossfit and they were beginning to eat Paleo. Intrigued, I had Katie explain it to me, which lead me to read about it online. I toyed with the idea for awhile before I took the plunge and decided to try it out.

Would I consider myself Paleo?? No, I wouldn't. I'm not quite on that level yet, and I'm not 100% sure that is the right path for me. If anything, I would consider myself more Primal, and somewhat loose at that, though I'm working on it. There is a difference, and I will explain and provide some links as well. Please note, I could be wrong in my explanations here, this is just what I've picked up via internet research. But I consider myself more Primal as I have yet to cut out dairy and grains completely yet. I still have milk from time to time, I love cheese, and I do find myself eating some grains upon occasion.

The thing is, both Paleo & Primal are very similar. What they both have in common, the need to eat REAL food. Both diets cut out processed foods & sugars, and aim for diets with animal protein/fats, vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Basically if a caveman could have eaten it, it's fair game. There is more to Paleo & Primal, so I've put some links below for your reading pleasure.

Now to answer your questions as to why I chose to go the more Paleo/Primal route. To me it really just is a no-brainer. Often times before I opted to eat more Paleo/Primal, I would find myself hungry with very little left for my daily calories. As I started to eat more protein, and fill my side dishes with veggies, I was full longer and had less cravings. And honestly, I felt good. When I made the switch toward the Paleo/Primal direction, I was a little hesitant at first, but after about a month or so of it I felt a change. I felt better, which is not surprising since I was eating REAL and better food than I was before.

Another reason why I chose Paleo/Primal... I've seen it work. As I stated above, my friend Katie & her husband Fonz have been doing the Paleo thing as well as Crossfit, and I've seen the success they have had with it. Katie has been working on getting back into the swing of Crossfit & eating a stricter Paleo diet, and has toned up and lost some weight. Fonz on the other hand went into Crossfit & Paleo full force and lost quite a bit of weight. We're talking over a hundred pounds in a ten month time period. So I've seen that, when you really put in the work, you can be successful. So seeing the differences in my friends, and having their support, I decided to go the Paleo/Primal route. And hopefully soon I'll be incorporating a very modified version of Crossfit. But that is a post for another time.

If anyone would like a more in depth blog post about this, I can definitely work on that. As I said, I'm still learning and will share any new information I come across if you want to read it. :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy Sunday!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.

Sundays for me are usually pretty busy. Sunday is the beginning of my work week, weigh in day, and also my food prep day. On Sundays I work 3pm-midnight and when I get off I usually go home, catch up on The Walking Dead, and make my food for the week. Tonight will be no different. :)

Last night I had the chance to spend a lovely evening out with some awesome ladies for my friend Katie's birthday. We had a dinner at Zaza Trattoria in St. Charles, which is Italian food. Now, for some of you who don't know, I have a love/hate relationship with pasta. Earlier in the week I checked out their menu so I could plan ahead for the evening. I DID order a pasta dish, and I DID have a couple drinks last night, but I also planned ahead. I knew what I was getting into, and made sure I had the calories to allow myself to have a good time. It's honestly so awesome to see the changes in myself already. If you would have talked to me two years ago, planning ahead was something I didn't do. I would have eaten/drank whatever I wanted without planning ahead, just with the thought of "this is a special occasion." I was the queen of excuses. A bad day for me now is NOWHERE close to a bad day for me two years ago. It's honestly amazing. Also, it helped that we did some walking last night as we did a bar crawl after dinner. It was a lot of fun.

With all of that said, I weighed in today and was down 4.6 lbs for this last week. I'm super happy & proud of my progress! Honestly, the bulk of my success comes from keeping track of my calories, & planning ahead/food prep. There have been times where I didn't log my food, or where I didn't get to prep for the week, and I was not nearly as successful as I could have/should have been. Planning is KEY to any success. Even if you're not Martha Stewart in the kitchen, a little planning goes a long way. For me, I eat a lot of chicken. I know a lot of people who really can't stand chicken, but I am NOT one of those people. I like to sautee it up with some veggies, bake it, there is SO much you can do with it. My newest thing when I bake chicken is to bake it in a foil pouch with some extra virgin olive oil, and I'll throw in a couple tablespoons of pico de gallo or fresh salsa. It comes out nice & moist, with a nice kick to it.

So, for those of you struggling with trying to lose the weight, here is my challenge to you. Log your food. Seriously. Keep a food journal and log your calories. I log my food on and I use their iPhone app when I'm not at the computer. Be honest with your food logs and give it a month. If you're honest in your logs, and make the effort to eat better, you WILL see a difference. Yeah, logging can be a pain in the butt sometimes, but it is SO worth it!

If you do decide to join MyFitnessPal, feel free to add me on there. I'm KittyCat613! Let's keep each other accountable!

So what are your plans for this week to be successful? The start of a new week means a fresh start! Give this week your best!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New stuff!

Just a quick blog, although I'll likely end up blogging more later, to say that I added some new tabs here on the blog. You can see the new tabs above. I added an "About" section, as well as a link to my Beyond the Fat Facebook Page and Twitter. I also have a link section so you can take a look at some of my favorite links, and other inspirational sites. So check it out and I will talk to you all later! :)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Things to remember

I was recently tagged in a FaceBook status by one of my great friends, and inspirations, Jenni Whipple! I wanted to share this here because this status just put me back into the groove of things. I had been feeling down, feeling like there were so many people that wanted to see me fail, that I was just out of sorts. I wanted to share the status with you.. so here is it. 

"When you find yourself in the middle of that battle between those who want you to fail, those who doubt you or what your dreams mean to you, don't you DARE give into them! Don't you dare! You revisit why you WILL achieve your goals! You look at yourself in the mirror and you look at yourself straight in the eyes..even as hard as that may be, you do it! You do it, and you tell yourself WHY you WILL make those dreams come true. Why you will NOT allow THEM, THEM, THEM, to determine your future or who you are making yourself into! Oh no you will not! You have that control! If you slipped, you made a mistake, you pick yourself back up and dust yourself off, and start going in the right direction again. You are only a failure when you quit and give up, but, even after a "give up" you can pick up where you left off and get at it again. Push those nay sayers out of your life and surround yourself with believers. March with those who hold their heads high..that is who you belong with."

If that doesn't get you motivated to dust yourself off and keep going, I don't know what will. Yes, this journey for me is an uphill battle. Although lately it feels like it's an uphill battle, in the snow, with no shoes on. Haha. There are going to be days where I feel like the world is against me, but I'm not doing this for anyone else but ME. At the end of the day, it is ME who makes the decision whether I win or lose, not anyone else. Yes, having people around you who aren't exactly the most supportive does suck, but that is why you need to hold tightly to those who DO support you and build you up. It is essential for anyone's success to surround yourself with positive, like minded people. So, that is what I have been doing and am currently working on. 

It is also important to know that you will always have "haters." Yes, there will be those people in your life who diminish what you're doing or what you have already accomplished. They take pride in making you feel like your accomplishments are invalid. But when you look at the bigger picture, why would anyone want to make you feel bad about something unless it is a valid & great accomplishment? The fact is, there are people who just love to hate anything good in your life. Basically, as long as you have "haters," it's safe to say you're doing something right. LOL. You also have to be careful for sabotagers  These are people who eagerly stake a claim as a "supporting roll" in your journey, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty of things, they will always be the first to drag you down.

Who you surround yourself with is SO much more important than people will ever understand. Therefore, always be sure you surround yourself with positive, loving people. It also doesn't hurt to interact with those who have been down the path you're currently on. There is nothing more motivating than seeing someone who was in your shoes at one point, but who succeeded in their journey. Success stories are an AMAZING form of motivation, and the internet is full of them! :) 

With that, thanks for reading! 


Sorry it's been awhile since my last update. I won't say that I fell off the wagon, but I was slacking a bit. So I'll update you on my present situation.

So the inserts for my Reeboks were a bust. They honestly made my feet hurt even more. I have a very high instep so, when I put them in my shoes, it just made it hard to fit my feet in them. I put them in my shoes before I went to the mall and, on the way there, my feet ached so bad that I ended up taking them out of my shoes before going into the mall.

The thicker socks helped a bit, but I was still left with some blisters on my feet. So my next plan of action, when I have the money to sink into a new pair of kicks, is to go and actually get my feet sized, and get a new pair of shoes. Right now, this option is not feasible for me because I really don't have the cash right now for it. Buying food to eat healthy is far more important at the moment.. so we'll see. I'm hoping to be able to do this soon though, as I haven't been walking in a couple weeks.

As stated before, I had been slacking a bit. I was eating okay, but I was having a bit of a hard time. I'm a stress/emotional eater, and the last two weeks haven't exactly been all that great in my book. Some personal drama caused me to stress a bit, which lead to maybe not the best choices on my plate. I did have a little bit of a gain before I took 2 weeks off from the scale. I am happy to say though, that I am back on track. I weighed in yesterday and, since my last weigh in 2 weeks ago, I'm down 7.4 lbs. So, I am happy with those results.

As far as everything else, I do plan to begin walking again. It may not be in the best shoes for awhile, but I need to get my movement back in. I will also be starting up Crossfit sometime this week, or next week. I'm excited and very nervous. I, of course, will be logging my journey here and I have also created a FaceBook page for my journey. I will post the link to that here once it's up and running in the next couple weeks. I'll be posting progress photos there to show how I'm doing, but those likely won't come until after Crossfit has stuck and I have some progress to show. So maybe around the 6 week mark. :) Either way, I'm excited.

Other than that, life is life. I hope all of you are doing well. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Some updates

I apologize for not updating you guys on my weigh ins for the last two weeks. Life has been a bit hectic, but I'm back.

So Sunday, February 3, 2013 I weighed in and found that I gained 4 lbs. While it's frustrating to see the scale go up, I know why it happened and I was able to fix it this week. When I weighed in on Sunday (2/10/13) I was down almost 2 lbs (1.8). I know I would have been able to get a better loss had I walked like I had planned, but my blistered feet were killing me.

Thankfully, my feet are all cleared up now, and I purchased some thicker socks and some inserts for my shoes this weekend that I will be trying out tonight. I did end up walking Thursday last week, which felt wonderful. It felt really great to get in that walk. So I'm hoping the thicker socks and the inserts fix the situation I'm having with my Reeboks. The plan for tonight is to get in an hour of walking, and NOT have blisters... haha. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Also, Lent begins tomorrow. I'm not Catholic, but I like the idea of it. A couple years ago I gave up soda for Lent and never drank it again after Lent was done. That was a HUGE milestone for me because I had a serious soda addiction. So I'm trying to think of something I can give up, or something I can do in place of giving something up to better myself for Lent. I had somewhat been toying with the idea of giving up dairy, but I LOVE my cheese and often crave milk.. so I'm not sure that's a good idea. I'll let you know tomorrow what I come up with.

Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope y'all are having a wonderful day! :)

Deep thoughts with Jamie

Sorry for the lack of updates recently. Honestly, I've been on and off working on this entry for the last couple of days. So it's finally here. Sorry if it doesn't exactly flow, I just pretty much have been typing whatever came to mind hoping it would make sense. I will probably be posting another entry shortly about my progress over the last couple of weeks. So stay tuned! :)

A friend of mine shared this article on her FaceBook page recently, and I'm glad she did. Thanks for sharing this Janeida!! Not only is this something I think everyone should read, but I'll tell you why. It's about to get deep in here y'all. I told you when I started this blog that I wanted it to be a place where I could be honest.. so here comes the honesty. You may learn a thing or two about me as well.

First, here is the article. This post probably won't make much sense until you read the article.. so take your time.

Okay, so now that you've read it, here goes nothing. Fat shaming is a HUGE thing right now. As was discussed in the article, it's everywhere. I can recall many times watching the evening news and seeing a segment on obesity and they all start off the same way. The news makes a graphic of an overweight person, most of the time with their heads cut off, eating or walking down a crowded city street. Most of the time they zoom in and emphasize the person's larger stomach or how they're walking. I've always thought to myself how angry I would be if I just happened to catch the latest obesity epidemic segment and saw myself in their graphic, haha. Not because of embarrassment, but just the way obese/overweight people are portrayed.

Yes, obesity IS an epidemic. I AM part of the epidemic. I am MORE than aware of this, which is why I'm working to fix my issues. But honestly, my drive to fix the issues was not always there. I'll get into that more later. My issue is the way that obese/overweight people are portrayed.

I'm not sure what person came up with the "if we're cruel to this person, they will lose weight" idea, but whoever did... they are ALL wrong. When did negative reinforcement ever become a way to make someone successfully change their life? I spent my whole childhood being bullied about my weight, and I even deal with it now at the age of 30. Sadly, most of the taunting comes from kids, but you still have some completely immature adults to do it too. I can't tell you how many times I go to the store and you overhear a child saying "Wow Mommy/Daddy, she's big." Often times you will hear the parent correct their child (THANK YOU!), but you would be surprised just how many don't. I'm not even about to dive into parenting, being that I don't have any kids, but making fun of someone does not translate to them losing weight. If anything, it just makes them disconnect more and more from society, rather than getting the help they really need.

Honestly for me, the main foundation in losing weight is having a great support system. Sadly, not everyone has a person or people to back them up on their journey. I can't even begin to explain how critical a good support system is for me. Making a healthy lifestyle change is hard work, especially since the bad habits you're trying to break have likely been around for a long time. Yes, a person needs willpower to get through everything, but knowing you have amazing people supporting you and backing you up makes those changes a little easier to deal with. Honestly, I would be lost without the little support group I have.

Speaking from experience, most obese people have some sort or mental or emotional issue that goes along with their issue. I DO have mental and emotional issues when it comes to my obesity & food. No surprise there. We as people are supposed to eat to fuel our body, but I find that I eat to mask my emotions. I will be the first to admit, I eat my emotions. When I've had a bad day, it's so easy for me to go home and eat. Match that up with boredom eating, and you have yourself a problem. Since I've started my weight loss journey again, I've caught myself on the verge of boredom eating. I wasn't hungry, I wasn't upset... I was bored. Honestly, that was quite a victory for me to be able to see that because now it's more noticeable for me. Now I know to pay attention and how to stop myself from eating when I'm not hungry.

As for emotional eating, that's a doozy of a topic. There is a sort of shame that comes with eating junk when you're my size. We know we don't need the junk food, but in times of stress, it's almost comforting to eat it. I can remember many times where I would stress out, or something would set me off emotionally, and I would find myself hopping in the car and driving to McDonalds or Burger King for a quick fix. It's not because the food was all that great, or would literally fix the problem, but in some crazy way it was comforting. Somehow, sitting in the car eating that Double Cheeseburger or Whopper made me happy for even a brief moment. For that little moment in time, everything was alright. It was the moments following that the shame set in. Many times on my diet I would have moments like this. I would be doing so well, and then something would happen, causing me to make that journey to McDonalds or Burger King. It didn't help that fast food is proven to be addictive... The worst part about all of this was, I hid it. No way was I admitting that I had a momentary lapse in judgement and found myself hitting the drive-thru. That thought of "I failed" entered my head. Usually, when you've had an emotional setback or stressful day, once you've failed the domino effect begins. The thought of "Well, I failed.. so what I do the rest of the day really doesn't matter?" enters your brain. Then the double cheeseburger you just ate is soon accompanied by a large fry and maybe even a milkshake.

The worst part about it all was hiding the issues. I wouldn't log my impulse, I would just pretend it didn't happen. Which honestly, the second you stop being honest with your food logs, you're not holding youself accountable. So even if you do mess up one meal of the day, log it and move on. Make better decisions the rest of the day. As I stated above, it was a very hush hush thing for me. Any evidence of my trip to the drive-thru was quickly discarded and I sure as hell was not about to admit what happened to my friends or family. Not that it was something I would HAVE to tell them anyway, but sometimes I feel if I would have just come clean about it, they may have helped me figure out ways to stop it from happening to begin with. Either way, I've definitely learned from those situations. Do I still have impulses to go get a double cheeseburger and fries some days? YUP, I do. But, I'm working too hard to derail my progress like that to give in to my temptations. I have too many goals to achieve, and a bucket list I would like to start checking things off of.

My point in all of this is, when someone feels ashamed of doing something, they tend to hide it. Name calling someone, or making fun of someone because of their weight is not helping them out. I've heard so many bullies try to take credit for someone's weight loss because they felt that their ridicule of the person helped jumpstart them into it. In my case, the bullying just made me pull away from everyone and be more of a hermit. It didn't jumpstart me into making any changes. It made me feel terrible enough about myself to the point of depression and anxiety. Making fun of someone makes you a bully, end of story.

The biggest impact on my life, and my reasoning to get healthy, was hearing my friends and loved ones express their concern about me not living a long life. When I could see the genuine concern in their eyes that they would lose me, it made me want to get healthy. Not that I didn't think they wanted me around, I guess I just never realized how serious their concern was. Not only that, it made me want to get healthy for myself. So if there is someone in your life that you want to get healthy, don't make fun or them or bully them. Your harsh words will do more damage than good. Talk to them, support them, and help them get on the right path. Positive reinforcement does more than you know!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Happy Wednesday everyone! So Sunday was my weigh in day, and I was VERY happy with my results. I lost another 4.6 lbs last week, which brings my total weight loss to 39.8 lbs. Now, I know that number needs some clarification, so here it goes.

I started tracking my calories and weight on MyFitnessPal about a year and a half ago. My highest loss there was 40 lbs. Over the course of the year and a half I was using MyFitnessPal, I yo-yo'ed and slacked off. For awhile I was able to maintain most of my loss, but when the holidays came around, I had a bit of a free for all and gained quite a bit between Thanksgiving and New Years. I'm just NOW back up to my 40 lbs lost, but I have lost around 14 lbs since the beginning of 2013. Either way, I'm on a roll and I'm feeling great about it. It's always easier when things seem to really click in your brain.

I've continued to walk, but I am still having issues with blisters on my feet. When I get paid tomorrow, I'm going to check into getting some kind of insert for my Reeboks that I'm hoping may help. If not, looks like I may have to get on the market for another pair of sneakers. We'll see though, I'll keep you posted. As always, if any of you have any suggestions or tips/tricks.. I'm ALL ears.

One thing I did want to cover is what made me jump back on the "get healthy wagon." It's a very sobering feeling listening to your friends and loved ones tell you things like "I want you to be around for a long time," or "I don't want to lose you in your thirties/forties." We as people like to feel like we're different than the statistics. When we read the health studies, we may be able to identify with some of the people in the studies, but part of us is always like "I'm not that bad," or "That's not me." We take what we read with a grain of salt and go on with our lives pretending like we're invincible. It's only as I've gotten older that things my loved ones have said to me have begun to stick. I know that if I keep neglecting my health, I won't be able to live a long and happy life.

One thing that really rings in my head is something my mom says to my dad pretty frequently. Some of you may know, and for those that don't, my dad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in July 2012. He's been through the mill with radiation & chemo treatments, and often times I'm not really sure how he deals with all of this. It's definitely been an uphill battle, and it just puts so much into perspective for me. As the medical bills began rolling in, they are INSANE mind you, my dad started to stress about them. My family, like many others out there, is not exactly in the situation to be able to afford all of these medical bills. My dad stresses about them each time more come in the mail and my mom laid it out for him this way: What price do you put on your life? Life is a valueble thing, and my dad wasn't ready to lay down and take it, so he seeked treatment to buy himself some time. Yes, it's expensive, but in the longrun, it's worth every penny to have him around longer.

The same goes for your health... We all make excuses about what we CAN and CAN'T afford when it comes to our health. I won't even lie to you, I AM one of those people. I am on an VERY limited budget, as is most of America. It's hard sometimes to afford everything I need to get healthy, but I've started to take a look at what I'm spending. So maybe I don't need to eat out every weekend. Dinner out with friends has become almost a weekly thing for me. Granted, I'm not going out a fancy shmancy places, but that still adds up. Yeah it's little bits here and there but if it helps me get the healthy food I need in my home, or helps me pay for a gym membership, that's something. A little give here and there can really add up in the end. 

I guess what I'm trying to get at is, if something is really important to you, you will do what you can to grasp what you want. I want to get healthy. I want to be the person I know I'm supposed to me. I'd like to fall in love someday. I'm not at all saying no one can love me in my current state, because they can. But dammit, I'm not happy like this. I'm not happy with myself. I can't expect someone to love me and be happy with me if I'm not. Ya know? Also, I would like the option to have a family someday. Not saying I will, but I would like to be able to make that choice on my own, rather than my weight making it for me. There is just so much I want to do in my life that I know if I don't fix things now, I won't be able to accomplish my goals. My goals are important. If that means logging my food, working out, and cutting some things out so I have the tools I need to succeed, then so be it. That and, each year I get older, it'll get harder and harder to get healthy. So there you have it, those are my reasons for jumping back on the "get healthy wagon."

I think my next post will a list of motivations, and maybe some short term and long term goals. Maybe I'll get that up later this evening after I've gotten my walk in, and watched the Blackhawks game. ;)   Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 25, 2013

WOBEAST mode :)

Hey everyone! Hope you are having an amazing Friday. :)

Soooooo, I've started my walking routine. I've walked the last three days at the mall. My first time around I did 4 laps which equates to 2.56 miles. I did the same Thursday. The only issue I'm having is shoes. Wednesday I wore a pair of sneakers that ended up giving me blisters, including a gnarly blood blister on one of my toes. So Thursday I wore another pair of sneakers that gave me more blisters and cut open the backs of my legs where the sneaker rubbed (I had socks on too...).

Believe it or not, I ended up walking today too. Honestly, that is how I know I see things differently this time around. Normally, I would have used the cuts and blisters on my feet as an excuse and would have stayed home. But I've made too much progress the last 2 weeks to give up like that. I strapped on my sneakers, drove to the mall, and managed to get 3 laps in which is 1.92 miles. Not my best, but I still walked. I also need to find a better pair of sneakers. Tonight I wore my Reeboks, but even those killed my feet. I know it's VERY likely its just all the weight I'm lugging around, but when I wear other things like my boots etc, it's never as bad. The sneakers just rub my feet wrong and I end up with killer blisters. I'm almost wondering if I should try some sort of gel insert for my shoes and maybe that will help. We will see. I'm also down for any suggestions, so bring em! :)

So the plan is to walk again tomorrow. I want to at least get in three laps again, though I would LOVE to get 4 laps in again. Next week I want to push for 5 laps, which would bring me to 3.20 miles. I'm taking it all one step at a time. I weigh in Sunday, so I'm anxious to see what my loss is this week. It's that time of the month for me, so I'm not expecting anything crazy.

As far as everything else goes, a great support system is in the process of being established. It's amazing how much support I get on FaceBook. I know some great people, and that really makes my life easier. Thursday I had a great lunch with my friend Katie. Her and her husband have been doing Crossfit, and she has a lot of information on how to eat, etc. She's actually food shopping with me when I get paid on Thursday so I can get what I need on a limited budget. She's a pro with that sort of thing. I've pretty much been maintaining a very Paleo-esque diet the last six months or so, and she is the same way. So I know she will be able to help me make the most with my budget, all while maintainng a paleo diet. I'm excited!

ALSO, I have some big news coming in the next few months. I can't say what it is now, as I want to get more established with it and into a routine... but I think it may shock some of you.. but in a good way. Don't worry, it's nothing crazy. I'm just a glutton for punishment and know I can do more with my work outs. This will offer me the kind of help, support, and discipline I so desperately need. I can't wait to tell you all! So stay tuned!

And with that, I hope you all have a great weekend! I may blog some more tomorrow. If not, for sure Sunday after my weigh in! Thanks for reading and for all the support! :)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Wednesday!

Hey everyone! Happy hump day! Thankfully today is my "Friday" and I have big plans for my days off.

So last night I got off work and then headed out to do my food shopping. I picked up some pork chops, boneless/skinless chicken breast, & pork loin for my meats. Veggie wise, I picked up some spring mix for my salads, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, & some red onion. I had wanted to pick up some avocado, but they didn't look so appetizing. I also picked up some Greek yogurt, apples, bananas, almonds, eggs, and some cheese.

Last night I was a busy girl. After my shopping, I made dinner and also prepped my chicken for the rest of the week. For dinner I cooked up the pork chops I made, along with some zucchini, red onion, green pepper, tomato, and some mushrooms. The veggies were sauteed in sun dried tomato bruschetta with Italian basil and extra virgin olive oil. I also threw in a little garlic powder. It was so flavorful and yummy! I'm having the leftovers for lunch today and I can't wait to dig in!

As for the chicken, I cleaned the boneless/skinless chicken breasts, put foil down in a baking pan, put in a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, placed the chicken in the pan coating both sides with the EVOO, seasoned them with some salt, pepper, and some roasted red pepper flakes and then covered the pan with foil before putting them in the oven. I baked them at 325f for about an hour. I'm sure they were probably done before that time, but the Blackhawks game was on and I lost track of time.. haha. Either way, they came out fabulously and I can't wait to eat them with some veggies or slice them to put on a salad. In the midst of this all, I also hardboiled some eggs for snacks.

Tonight for dinner I'm planning on making a quesadilla. I have multigrain tortillas at home and I think I'm going to shred up one of the chicken breasts I made. I'll throw in some chopped jalapeno & cheese and have myself a lovely dinner. I'll probably also chop up some tomato and cucumber and have myself a little salad on the side. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! :)

ALSO, my plan for the evening is to get a 45 min walk in and some weight training. I'm blessed to have two very awesome people in my life that help me out a lot with exercises. My dear friend Jenni is a natural body builder and has shown me before how to do some at home weight training. She knows a lot and shares a lot with me! There is also Russ at work who is our sales manager. He is a wealth of information regarding food and fitness. He's been really great at checking in with me and keeping me accountable. I have a weight bench at home and some dumbells, so it's time for me to put them to work. I found a beginners plan online to start incorporating weight work twice a week into my routine. I'm excited to start this. Right now, my main "cardio" is walking as I'm still on the heavier side and don't have access to a gym at the moment. My plan is to do a 45 min to an hour walk five days a week, and do weight work twice a week to start out with. I can't wait to see the changes even small steps will make in my body. I'm excited!

Another awesome thing that will be starting soon is The Central Station Biggest Loser Contest. Myself, Michelle, and Sandra (plus whatever other operators want to join) have decided to start a challenge. We haven't decided on all of the specifics yet, but what I do know is we will be contributing $10-$20 every two weeks to the challenge. We haven't decided if this should be a quarterly thing, or if we will make it a year long challenge. If we do quarterly, the person who loses the most weight at the end of the quarter gets the money contributed. If we do the whole year, the person with the biggest weight loss at the end of the year gets the money saved from our contributions. We have a lot of support on this from Russ (sales manager) in our front office. So this should be exciting!! I'll fill you all in more in depth when we have the whole plan worked out. Either way, I'm looking forward to diving right in and winning some money!! :)

I think that's all for now. I have a couple other posts I want to get out within the next week or so. One of which being my list of motivations to lose weight. So stay tuned and have an amazing day!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Questions about dairy

This question is for any of you who are successfully eating healthy and working out. Not to discriminate those who may just be starting, but this is more of a question to those who have been at it and successful for quite some time because they've formed a routine and usually know the ins and out of what they should/shouldn't be putting in their bodies..

Dairy... haha. I know that's not really a question, so here it is. Do you fit dairy into your daily routine, or do you tend to shy away from it?

The reason I ask is, I'm lactose intolerant. It's not super bad, but I have to be careful with some of the dairy I eat. For instance, I love cheese, but don't usually have any issues with it. Maybe because I don't eat enough of it to have issues. I also don't have any issues with yogurt, and regularly eat Greek yogurt. The issue comes in with milk. I have pretty much cut milk out of my diet. I mostly drink water, tea, and sometimes the occasional coffee if I'm tired and need a boost. I do use almond milk as well, but I don't regularly drink it. I don't go out of my way to have a glass of almond milk is what I'm saying.

I've been milk free for about a year now and lately I've been having INTENSE cravings for milk. I've tried to quench my craving by having some almond milk, but it just doesn't cut it. When I get the craving, it literally pops into my head and nags at me until I give in and have a glass of milk. And skim milk just won't do it either, I end up having to have a glass of 2% or even Vitamin D milk. Since I don't purchase milk, I tend to have a glass of whatever is in the house when I have my craving, which has been Vitamin D milk. So I guess my real question is, should I be cutting milk out of my diet like I have been? I've read arguments on both sides on why we should or shouldn't drink milk, but I guess I just want to come at if from a health standpoint. Is milk something I should continue to omit from my diet to lose the weight, or is it something I should put back into my diet in small amounts? I'm all ears! Let me hear what you think/have to say on the topic!

Gooood morning!

Good morning my lovelies! I hope your Tuesday is off to a great start! I'm here at work, trying to make myself enjoy this oatmeal concoction I made this morning as I hurried out the door.. no dice. You see, I didn't get a chance to do my grocery shopping yet (but I will tonight!), and I finished up my supply of food yesterday. So this morning, the only thing I had available was some Quaker Quick Oats, cinnamon, & some stevia... In theory it sounded tastey as I was heading out the door, but it really isn't. But it's the only thing I had to make this morning, so I need to find some way to actually eat this disaster. Yuck.

Sooooo, as I sit here giving my oatmeal creation the evil eye, it just reminds me how much I NEED to make time for this lifestyle change. You see, instead of sucking it up and going grocery shopping Saturday, I opted to sleep in. I then watched the Blackhawks game with my mom, and then instead of going after that, I got ready for a night out on the town with my girls. I did have a blast with them, but it basically left me foodless until I go to the store tonight... Not my best idea, but I definitely learned my lesson. It's all about PRIORITIES. Being that getting healthy and losing weight is my priority now, I need to make sure I keep up with what I'm supposed to be doing. So come 5pm, I will be on my way to the store to get my food!

Priorities can be any number of things when it comes to weight loss and getting healthy. It could mean scheduling your work outs and sticking with them, grocery shopping, or food preparation for the week. For me it's all of the above. My last go-around I had a lot of trouble doing my work outs. It wasn't because I was physically unable to do them, I just didn't make them a priority. Instead of blacking out that 45 minute to an hour timeframe from my schedule, if anyone came calling I would gladly skip the workout and excuse it with "I just don't have the time." Well, I see where that got me... and I won't be making that mistake again. So sorry friends, my work out times are set in stone (barring any work issues or emergencies), and I'll have to work around them, even if it means me working out by myself or missing something for awhile.

As for food shopping... I need to try and do this weekly. I get paid every two weeks and have a budget of $120 for two weeks ($240/month). This will thankfully be changing once I get my car paid off in February. I'll have more money to invest in my groceries. Often times I will buy all of my groceries in one trip, but since I like to purchase as much fresh produce as I can, this creates a problem because not all of my produce will stay good for two weeks. I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've had things go bad.. which is just money down the drain. Since I'm on a budget, I can't afford to keep doing that. SO, I need to make it a point to at least make it to the store once a week to get the fresh produce I need for that week. I need to remind myself that my shopping is VITAL to my success. I currently rent a place with my mom & dad, so it's not like I'll ever go hungry, it's just that they shop VERY differently than I do. In a pinch, I am able to make okay choices with the food in the house if I ever have an issue and I can't get to the store, but it's still not the best options for me, so I NEED to make time to get to the store like I'm supposed to. Afterall, I'm the one who ends up losing in the end if I don't get the foods I need to succeed.

Food preparation is another big one for me. Right now I am on a second shift/first shift hybrid. I currently work Sunday and Monday 3pm to midnight, and then Tuesday & Wednesday 8am to 5pm. I've always had an issue with being on a normal schedule the days I work 2nd (3pm to midnight). When I get off work at midnight, I'm usually not ready for bed. I'm amped and wired up from the day, so that usually means I'm awake til an ungodly hour. That usually translates to me basically going to bed SUPER late, sleeping, then getting up and getting ready for work. I sadly don't leave much time to do much before work. Tuesdays are usually the hardest day though because I get off work at midnight the night before, and have to be back at work at 8am. So usually I'm rolling into work at 8am with on a few hours of sleep. Due to that, it's usually easier for me to prepare my meals for the week on a Saturday night, or Sunday night after I get off work.

I eat a lot of chicken because there is so much you can do with it, so I'll usually buy boneless/skinless chicken breast. I know a lot of people don't like chicken for whatever reason, but it's pretty versatile (at least to me, haha), and I happen to like it. A good portion of the time I end up wrapping each chicken breast in foil with some extra virgin olive oil, a little salt & pepper, seal the foil, and then bake them. They come out nice and tender. I like flavor, so I will use spices. Sometimes I'll use chili powder, or roasted red pepper flakes for some heat, or I'll throw in some oregano. And if you want a little more flavor, you can always use your favorite salad dressing instead of extra virgin olive oil. I've been known to use a little ranch dressing or even Italian dressing when making my chicken. Just remember, a little goes a long way with the olive oil and salad dressings. It's basically being used to make sure the chicken breast comes out tender/moist, and has some flavor. I like to do different things to each chicken breast so I have a little something different for each meal. Pair them up with steamed veggies, or even slice it up and put it on a salad, and you have a meal! After I've made my chicken for the week I put them into little baggies and place them in the fridge, taking them out as needed. It makes life SO much easier when I can just grab and go.

Anyways, I like how my post went off on some random tangents. I shouldn't really be surprised becasue well, that's pretty much who I am. One random tangent after another. I have so much more I want to dive into in this blog, one of the topics being about who I am, where I came from, and what is driving me to change my life. So I will get there and should have that post sometime this week. As always, if there is anything you would like to know, just ask in the comments. :)

Hope you all are well! Have a great day & thanks for reading!!

Monday, January 21, 2013


I'm baaaaaaaaaacccccccckkkkkkkkk...

Some of you followed my blog previously, and will notice that I deleted my past entries. Part of the resurrection of this blog for me was starting from scratch. I wanted to start with a clean slate, so getting rid of everything from before is my clean slate.

With that said, the one thing I also want in this blog is complete honesty. I'm using this blog as a window into my life, and my lifestyle change. I'm hoping that the trials and tribulations I go through to get healthy may inspire someone else to do the same. I also want it to show that, if you are taking on the challenge of changing your life for the better, you are NOT alone. I also want to put extra emphasis on the fact that we are human. Mistakes will be made, and it is important to learn from those mistakes and continue on our journey. There will be things to celebrate, and there will also be some hiccups/things to learn from. Let's embrace them all and start the journey to a healthier life!

With all of that said, welcome to my journey! I promise to be up front and honest here, and I promise to post at least one blog a week. That was something I slacked off on the last time around. Keep me accountable people! And if you have any questions, feel free to comment and I'll answer them! :)